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Leukemia. 2011 Mar;25(3):498-505. doi: 10.1038/leu.2010.283. Epub 2010 Dec 7.

Monitoring of WT1 expression in PB and CD34(+) donor chimerism of BM predicts early relapse in AML and MDS patients after hematopoietic cell transplantation with reduced-intensity conditioning.

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


Relapse of malignant disease remains the major complication in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) with reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC). In this study, we investigated the predictive value of disease-specific markers (DSMs), donor chimerism (DC) analysis of unsorted (UDC) or CD34(+) sorted cells and Wilms' tumor gene 1 (WT1) expression. Eighty-eight patients with AML or MDS were monitored after allogenic HCT following 2 Gy total-body irradiation with (n=84) or without (n=4) fludarabine 3 × 30 mg/m(2), followed by cyclosporin A and mycophenolate mofetil. DSMs were determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and WT1 expression by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Chimerism analysis was performed on unsorted or CD34(+) sorted cells, by FISH or short tandem repeat polymerase chain reaction. Twenty-one (24%) patients relapsed within 4 months after HCT. UDC, CD34(+) DC and WT1 expression were each significant predictors of relapse with sensitivities ranging from 53 to 79% and specificities of 82-91%. Relapse within 28 days was excluded almost entirely on the basis of WT1 expression combined with CD34(+) DC kinetics. Monitoring of WT1 expression and CD34(+) DC predict relapse of AML and MDS after RIC-HCT.

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