Extramedullary Relapse of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Better Prognosis Than Systemic Relapse

Melhem Solh, Todd E. DeFor, Daniel J. Weisdorf, Dan S. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HSCT) is considered a curative treatment for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Extramedullary relapse after HSCT for AML is a rare event and is less well defined than systemic, hematologic relapse. We retrospectively studied all patients with AML (n = 436) who underwent HSCT at the University of Minnesota between 1996 and 2008 who developed either a bone marrow (BM) or extramedullary (EM) relapse, and examined the incidence and risk factors for BM and EM relapse. Of 128 patients who relapsed post-HSCT, 25 had relapse in EM sites, either isolated (n = 13) or with concurrent BM relapse (n = 12). Relapse sites included bone (n = 1), central nervous system (n = 6), gastrointestinal (n = 4), lymphatic (n = 4), skin (n = 5), genitourinary (n = 1), pulmonary (n = 1), and soft tissue (n= 3). The time to relapse was longer in the EM sites (median, 328 days vs 168 days). Patients with EM relapse were more likely to have had preceding acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (77% vs 49%; . P= .03) or chronic GVHD (46% vs 15%; . P = .02) compared with those with BM relapse. The 6-month survival postrelapse was significantly better in patients with isolated EM relapse (69%) compared with those with combined EM and BM relapse (8%) or those with BM relapse alone (27%) (P < .01). Compared with local therapy alone, systemic therapy yielded better 6-month survival in patients with EM relapse. This study suggests differing pathogenesis of BM relapse versus EM relapse of AML after allogeneic HSCT. GVHD and its accompanying graft-versus-leukemia effect may better protect BM sites, but patients with EM relapse have better responses to combined therapy and improved survival compared with those with BM relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Extramedullary
  • Leukemia
  • Relapse
  • Transplantation

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