Author(s): Gorczyska E, Turkiewicz D, Toporski J, Kalwak K, Rybka B,
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Abstract Immunotherapy consisting of withdrawal of immunosuppression and/or donor lymphocyte infusions was initiated in 14 children (10 acute lymphoblastic leukemia, three acute myeloblastic leukemia and one myelodysplastic syndrome) with an increasing amount of autologous DNA (increasing mixed chimerism, inMC) detected after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Two children were in relapse when inMC was detected, 12 remained in CR. Children with overt relapse at the time of cessation of cyclosporine A (CsA) received "debulking" chemotherapy. One of them developed acute grade III graft-versus-host disease, converted to complete donor chimerism (CC) and achieved remission. Another patient did not respond and died due to disease progression. Among 12 children treated in remission, 11 responded with conversion to CC, seven after CsA withdrawal and four after DLI. One patient did not respond, rejected the graft and died due to pulmonary aspergillosis. In one patient, the response was transient, inMC reappeared and frank relapse occurred. One patient developed isolated CNS relapse despite conversion to CC, but achieved CR after conventional treatment. One child died in CC due to infection. No graft-versus-host disease (GvHD)-related death occurred. A total of 10 patients are alive in remission with median follow-up of 338 days. Our results support the hypothesis that chimerism-guided immunotherapy after alloHCT may prevent progression to hematological relapse.
This article was published in Bone Marrow Transplant
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion