Hematology: Preventing relapse


Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has become a successful therapy for many hematological cancers that do not respond to chemotherapy. Although it remains a risky procedure, most of the deaths after HSCT in the past two decades are attributable to recurrence of the malignancy rather than to graftversus-host disease (GvHD). However, to minimize the effects of chronic or acute GvHD, patients are generally treated with systemic immunosuppressive therapy (IST). This may reduce the activity of the donor cells against the host, but also against the leukemia, which can result in relapse. “We have known for many years that GvHD is associated with a reduced risk of recurrent malignancy after HSCT,” explains Paul Martin, senior researcher of the study, “recent changes in the criteria for diagnosis of chronic GvHD led us to ask whether acute and chronic GvHD differed in their influence on risk of recurrence.” In addition, they also sought to evaluate how IST may influence the risk of recurrent leukemia. To that end, the researchers retrospectively analyzed 2,656 patients with different hematological malignancies. In patients with either chronic or acute GvHD, relapse rates declined gradually for 3 years after transplantation and removing IST did not have any effect on these rates. Although relapse rates were not statistically different in patients without GvHD compared with patients with chronic or acute GvHD during the HEMATOLOGY

DOI: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2011.99

Cite this paper

@article{Villanueva2011HematologyPR, title={Hematology: Preventing relapse}, author={M. Teresa Villanueva}, journal={Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology}, year={2011}, volume={8}, pages={448-448} }