Management of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in a socioeconomically vulnerable population without ready access to a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT) center and clinical trials is challenging. Data regarding the outcomes of such patients are sparse.
This retrospective analysis included 90 consecutive patients with ALL who presented to Harbor-UCLA between 2003 and 2018. The primary objective was overall survival (OS), whereas secondary objectives included leukemia-free survival, toxicities of therapy, and referral for HCT and incidence of successful HCT.
Most patients were male (56.7%) and Hispanic (72.2%). The median age of diagnosis was 36 years (range, 18-63 years). The median OS was 26.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 17.4-59.0 months). In patients who achieved complete remission with therapy, the median leukemia-free survival was 16.4 months. Fifty percent of patients experienced at least 1 episode of bacteremia, and nearly 25% of patients developed an invasive fungal infection. Thirty-six percent (n = 32) of patients were referred for HCT. The referral rate increased over time, which led to improved OS in patients who underwent evaluation at a tertiary cancer center (hazard ratio, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.21-0.89; P = .02). Patients who underwent HCT had significantly better OS compared with those who did not (OS not reached vs. 21.9 months; hazard ratio, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.04-0.68; P = .01).
Risk stratification and evidence-based treatment approaches are important for patients with ALL treated in a resource-limited setting. Most patients can be induced successfully and achieve complete remission with therapy. Partnership with a cancer center with early referral for HCT can facilitate curative HCT to be performed.

Published by Elsevier Inc.