Stem cell transplantation for leukemias following myelodysplastic syndromes or secondary to cytotoxic therapy.
SourceReviews in Clinical and Experimental Hematology, 6, 1, (2002), pp. 72-85
Article / Letter to editor
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Reviews in Clinical and Experimental Hematology
Two main forms of therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia (t-MDS/AML) have been recognized. The most frequent type, occurring after treatment with alkylating agents, is characterized by abnormalities of chromosomes 5 and/or 7 and t-MDS/AML following treatment with topoisomerase II inhibitors and is associated with molecular aberrations of MLL (11q23) and AML-1 (21q22). Individuals with certain polymorphisms associated with impaired detoxification of cytotoxic agents have an increased risk of developing MDS or AML after treatment of unrelated cancers. Multidrug chemotherapy is less effective for patients with MDS, or AML following MDS, or t-MDS/AML when compared with primary AML, and results in lower complete remission (CR) rates and lower long-term survival. Patients with good risk cytogenetic features, such as t(15; 17), t(8; 21) and inversion 16 are an exception as their treatment outcome is comparable with primary AML patients. Patients who attain a polyclonal and/or a cytogenetic CR may be candidates for autologous stem cell transplantation. For the remaining patients, the only curative option is allogeneic stem cell transplantation with stem cells from a histocompatible sibling or an alternative donor. Reduced intensity conditioning regimens may be considered for patients older than 50 years or patients with comorbidities. The advice is to treat patients early after diagnosis and preferably before progression as these patients have the highest chance of a favorable outcome.
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