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Blood. 2011 Jul 14;118(2):456-63. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-01-330217. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Influence of immunosuppressive treatment on risk of recurrent malignancy after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA.


This study was conducted to elucidate the influence of immunosuppressive treatment (IST) and GVHD on risk of recurrent malignancy after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). The study cohort included 2656 patients who received allogeneic HCT after high-intensity conditioning regimens for treatment of hematologic malignancies. Rates and hazard ratios of relapse and mortality were analyzed according to GVHD and IST as time-varying covariates. Adjusted Cox analyses showed that acute and chronic GVHD were both associated with statistically similar reductions in risk of relapse beyond 18 months after HCT but not during the first 18 months. In patients with GVHD, resolution of GVHD followed by withdrawal of IST was not associated with a subsequent increase in risk of relapse. In patients without GVHD, withdrawal of IST was associated with a reduced risk of relapse during the first 18 months, but the risk of subsequent relapse remained considerably higher than in patients with GVHD. In summary, the association of GVHD with risk of relapse changes over time after HCT. In patients without GVHD, early withdrawal of IST might help to prevent relapse during the first 18 months, but other interventions would be needed to prevent relapse at later time points.

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