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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2013 Sep;19(9):1395-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.06.012. Epub 2013 Jun 20.

Low levels of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) predict engraftment syndrome after autologous stem cell transplantation in POEMS syndrome and other plasma cell neoplasms.

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North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital, New York, USA.


A rare, multisystem, plasma cell neoplasm, POEMS (polyradiculoneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M-spike, skin changes) syndrome is characterized by an abundance of proinflammatory and angiogenic cytokines. Patients with POEMS are known to have a high incidence of engraftment syndrome after autologous stem cell transplantation. We conducted a pilot study assessing levels of 30 different pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines before and serially after transplantation in 18 patients with plasma cell neoplasms: POEMS syndrome (n = 9), multiple myeloma (n = 4), and amyloidosis (n = 5). We show that POEMS patients have higher pretransplantation levels of IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, IFN-α, and EGF as compared with those with non-POEMS plasma cell neoplasms. Higher pre- and posttransplantation IL-13 levels correlated with delayed neutrophil engraftment in POEMS patients. Low posttransplantation IL-1RA levels correlated with engraftment syndrome in both POEMS and non-POEMS patients. We conclude that differences in the peri-transplantation cytokine milieu may explain the higher transplantation morbidity in patients with POEMS syndrome. Our results need validation in a larger cohort.


Cytokines; IL-13; IL-1RA; Neutrophil engraftment

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