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Acta Haematol. 2008;119(2):111-4. doi: 10.1159/000121827. Epub 2008 Mar 27.

Spontaneous remission of acute myeloid leukemia relapse after hematopoietic cell transplantation in a high-risk patient with 11q23/MLL abnormality.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, Oncology and Coagulation, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.


A 35-year-old female patient was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia with multiple genetic aberrations [48 XX, del(3)(q21), +6, t(11;15)(q23;q15), +21] including an 11q23/MLL abnormality. The patient achieved a complete remission after one induction chemotherapy cycle. After three courses of consolidation, a matched unrelated hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) was performed. Following an upper respiratory tract infection 7 years after transplant, her blood counts declined to leukocytes of 1 x 10(9)/l, platelets of 51 x 10(9)/l and hemoglobin of 7.5 g/dl. A bone marrow aspirate revealed 55% leukemic blasts carrying the unfavorable genetic aberrations seen at initial diagnosis (11q23/MLL). In the absence of any disease-specific treatment, the leukemic blasts cleared from the bone marrow within 6 days after diagnosis of relapse and peripheral blood counts returned to normal. Molecular analysis of the 11q23/MLL rearrangement was used to evaluate minimal residual disease, which became undetectable in repetitive FISH analyses. This is the first report of spontaneous remission in a patient with initially a multiaberrant leukemic cell clone and a proven 11q23/MLL abnormality at relapse after HCT.

2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

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