Donor leukocyte infusions in acute lymphocytic leukemia

R. H. Collins, S. Goldstein, S. Giralt, J. Levine, D. Porter, W. Drobyski, J. Barrett, M. Johnson, A. Kirk, M. Horowitz, P. Parker

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212 Scopus citations


Donor leukocyte infusion (DLI) has well-documented activity in CML but the role of DLI in other diseases is less well defined. To evaluate the strategy in acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) we evaluated 44 ALL patients from 27 centers who were treated with DLI. Patients with persistent or recurrent disease received DLI from the original marrow donor (30 matched related, four mismatched family, and 10 matched unrelated). Chemotherapy was given before DLI to 28 patients. Of 15 patients who received no pre-DLI chemotherapy, two achieved complete remissions, lasting 1112 and 764+ days. In four patients who received DLI as consolidation of remission induced by chemotherapy or immunosuppression-withdrawal, duration of remission post DLI was 65, 99, 195 and 672+ days. Of 25 patients who received DLI in the nadir after chemotherapy, 13 survived ≥ 30 days post DLI but did not achieve remission, seven died within less than 30 days post DLI, and five entered remissions that lasted 42, 68, 83, 90, 193 days. Seven patients who did not respond to the initial DLI received a second DLI; none of these patients attained durable remission. Eighteen of 37 evaluable patients developed acute GVHD and five of 20 evaluable patients developed chronic GVHD. Overall actuarial survival is 13% at 3 years. In conclusion, DLI has limited benefit in ALL. New approaches are needed in this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-516
Number of pages6
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia
  • Adoptive immunotherapy
  • Donor leukocyte infusions


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