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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2014 Feb;20(2):154-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.11.017. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Back to the future! The evolving role of maintenance therapy after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Author information

  • 1Myeloid Malignancies Section, Hematology Branch, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland.
  • 2Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York.
  • 3University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Seidman Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:


Relapse is a devastating event for patients with hematologic cancers treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In most situations, relapse treatment options are limited. Maintenance therapy offers the possibility of delaying or avoiding disease recurrence, but its role remains unclear in most conditions that we treat with transplantation. Here, Dr. Hourigan presents an overview of minimal residual disease (MRD) measurement in hematologic malignancies and the applicability of MRD-based post-transplantation interventions. Dr. McCarthy reviews current knowledge of maintenance therapy in the autologous transplantation context, with emphasis on immunologic interventions and immune modulation strategies designed to prevent relapse. Dr. de Lima discusses current lines of investigation in disease recurrence prevention after allogeneic transplantation, focusing on acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome.


Hematology malignancy; Immune system; Leukemia; Lymphoma; Residual disease

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