Sensitivity of hematological malignancies to graft-versus-host effects: an EBMT megafile analysis
SourceLeukemia, 28, 11, (2014), pp. 2235-2240
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 2: Cancer development and immune defence RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
After allogeneic stem cell transplantation, graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) occurs through recognition of histocompatibility mismatches by donor T lymphocytes. The same mechanism operates in eliminating malignant cells (the graft-versus-tumor or GvT effect). We hypothesized that comparing the correlation between GvHD and relapse might provide a surrogate marker for the susceptibility of diseases to allo-immune effects. We studied 48 111 first allogeneic transplants performed between 1998 and 2007. In chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), the relapse risk declined clearly and proportionally to severity of acute and chronic GvHD. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia and BCR-ABL-negative myeloproliferative neoplasias were comparably sensitive to GvHD as CML, whereas myelodysplastic syndromes and lymphoproliferative disorders showed intermediate sensitivity. GvHD was only associated with modest reductions in relapse risk in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and plasma cell disorders (PCDs). Except for PCD, hazard rates for relapse decreased to almost 0 at 48 months of follow-up in all diseases. These data confirm observations of potent GvT effects associated with GvHD. The strength of the GvHD/GvT correlation differs significantly between hematological malignancies. The parallel drop of relapse rates in different diseases despite differences in GvHD/GvT ratios suggests that GvT effects might operate in the absence of GvHD, particularly in AML.
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