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Bone Marrow Transplant. 1992 Oct;10(4):391-5.

Hematologic relapse of chronic myelogenous leukemia following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation: apparent graft-versus-leukemia effect following abrupt discontinuation of immunosuppression.

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Bone Marrow Transplantation Research, Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75246.


Two patients with hematologic relapse of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) following allogeneic BMT were treated by abrupt discontinuation of cyclosporine. Both patients rapidly attained complete hematologic and cytogenetic remission and remain free of disease with long follow-up. In the first patient, disappearance of CML was associated with the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In the second patient GVHD did not develop until after clearing of disease had been documented by cytogenetic analysis. Laboratory studies in the second patient disclosed the presence of lytic activity against both K562 and autologous CML cells that enhanced with IL2. Correlation with serial immunophenotyping data from this patient suggests that the effector for this graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) reaction could have been a T lymphocyte. Abrupt discontinuation of post-transplant immunosuppression with cyclosporine may represent a therapeutic approach to CML which has recurred following BMT. Moreover, investigation of this clinical phenomenon in subsequent cases may permit direct study of the cellular mechanisms involved in the GVL effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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