Background: We aimed to clarify the impact of the donor source of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) on Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia [Ph(-) ALL] with focus on cord blood (CB). Patients and methods: We retrospectively analyzed data of 1726 patients who underwent myeloablative allo-SCT for adult Ph(-) ALL. The sources of the allo-SCT were related donors (RD; N = 684), unrelated donors (URD; N = 809), and CB (N = 233). Results: Overall survival (OS) in patients after CB allo-SCT in first complete remission (CR1) was comparable with that after RD or URD allo-SCT (RD: 65%, URD: 64% and CB: 57% at 4 years, P = 0.11). CB was not a significant risk factor for relapse or non-relapse mortality as well as for OS in multivariate analyses. Similarly, the donor source was not a significant risk factor for OS in subsequent CR or non-CR (RD: 47%, URD: 39% and CB: 48% in subsequent CR, P = 0.33; RD: 15%, URD: 21% and CB: 18% in non-CR, P = 0.20 at 4 years). Conclusion: Allo-SCT using CB led to OS similar to those of RD or URD in any disease status. To avoid missing the appropriate timing, CB is a favorable alternative source for adult Ph(-) ALL patients without a suitable RD or URD.
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