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Leukemia. 1999 Mar;13(3):321-6.

Post-transplant acute myeloid leukemia (PT-AML).

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Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Vienna, Austria.


Acute myeloid leukemia following organ transplantation (PT-AML) is a rare event with only a few published cases in the literature. We present three patients who developed AML (FAB M1, M5, M4) after renal, double lung or liver transplantation. Molecular analysis detected a t(9;11) in one patient and documented the recipient origin of AML in a second patient. All patients were treated with chemotherapy. Immunosuppression was reduced to cyclosporin A (CsA) and prednisone in two patients and to prednisone alone in one patient. Two patients achieved a complete remission (CR), with a remission duration of 4.6 months in one patient, the other patient died from septicemia after 15.2 months in CR. One patient was refractory to chemotherapy and died from septicemia. This report together with the documented cases in the literature suggests that PT-AML (1) develops after a median interval of 5 years after transplantation with variable latency (range, <1-17 years); (2) is heterogeneous with respect to FAB classification; (3) shows chromosomal and molecular changes typical of therapy-related AML (t-AML: -7, +8, 11q23, inv16, t(15;17)); (4) standard chemotherapy is feasible after reduction of immunosuppression and produces a CR rate of 56% with a median remission duration of 4.6 months and an overall survival of 2.6 months; (5) the major complications are early death (25%), gram-negative septicemia, progressive disease or relapse. This review provides diagnostic and therapeutic experiences and guidelines for the management of this increasing group of post-transplant patients.

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