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Leukemia. 2013 Jun;27(6):1229-35. doi: 10.1038/leu.2013.7. Epub 2013 Jan 14.

Azacitidine and donor lymphocyte infusions as first salvage therapy for relapse of AML or MDS after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

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Medical Faculty, Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, University of Duesseldorf, Medical Faculty, Duesseldorf, Germany.


The combination of azacitidine and donor lymphocyte infusions (DLI) as first salvage therapy for relapse after allogeneic transplantation (allo-HSCT) was studied in 30 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML; n=28) or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS; n=2) within a prospective single-arm multicenter phase-II trial. Treatment schedule contained up to eight cycles azacitidine (100 mg/m(2)/day, days 1-5, every 28 days) followed by DLI (from 1-5 × 10(6) to 1-5 × 10(8) CD3(+)cells/kg) after every second azacitidine cycle. A median of three courses azacitidine (range 1-8) were administered, and 22 patients (73%) received DLI. Overall response rate was 30%, including seven complete remissions (CRs, 23%) and two partial remissions (7%). Five patients remain in CR for a median of 777 days (range 461-888). Patients with MDS or AML with myelodysplasia-related changes were more likely to respond (P=0.011), and a lower blast count (P=0.039) as well as high-risk cytogenetics (P=0.035) correlated with the likelihood to achieve CR. Incidence of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease was 37% and 17%, respectively. Neutropenia and thrombocytopenia grade III/IV occurred during 65% and 63% of treatment cycles, while infections were the most common grade III/IV non-hematological toxicity. Azacitidine and DLI as salvage therapy is safe, induces long-term remissions and may become an alternative for patients with AML or MDS relapsing after allo-HSCT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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