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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2007 Oct;13(10):1160-8. Epub 2007 Aug 3.

Outcomes among patients with recurrent high-risk hematologic malignancies after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

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Division of Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.


We retrospectively analyzed outcomes among 307 consecutive patients who had recurrent or persistent acute leukemia (n = 244), chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast phase (CML; n = 28), or advanced myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS; n = 35) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation and who received at least 1 relapse-directed intervention: withdrawal of immunosuppression, chemotherapy, or donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI). Transplants were performed at a single institution between 1995 and 2004, and outcomes were analyzed according to time intervals from transplantation to detection of malignancy: "early," <100 days (n = 111); "intermediate," 100-200 days (n = 73); and "late," >200 days (n = 123). The overall remission rate was 30%. Compared to early recurrence, intermediate recurrence and late recurrence were associated with increasing probabilities of remission (hazard ratios, 1.89 and 2.16; P = .05 and .02) and decreasing risks of overall mortality (hazard ratios, 0.73 and 0.33; P = .05 and <.0001). The 2-year overall survival (OS) estimates for patients with early, intermediate, and late recurrence were 3%, 9%, and 19%, respectively. Remission was associated with a median survival prolongation of 9.5 months. Individual types or combinations of these nonrandomly assigned relapse-directed interventions were not associated with higher or lower probabilities of remission or survival. More effective intervention strategies are needed for treatment of recurrent high-risk hematologic malignancies after hematopoietic cell transplantation. In the absence of innovative clinical trials, patients with early recurrence might wish to forego further interventions in favor of palliative care.

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