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Posted by on May 26, 2019 in Leukemia | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study looked at stem cell transplant and tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The study found that stem cell transplant is still an effective treatment in certain patients with CML.

Some background

CML is a cancer of the immune system. It may lead to abnormal immune cells. It is often linked with abnormal genes. CML can be treated with stem cell transplant (SCT) or medication. TKIs are an example of a drug which blocks certain proteins on cancer cells to stop their growth. It is important to research which are the most effective treatments for these patients and when are they indicated.

Methods & findings

118 patients with CML that have received a SCT were included in this study. 56 (47.4%) patients received a SCT in the first chronic phase (CP). Of these, 62.5% were transplanted due to lack of response to TKI treatment. 

Overall survival 5 years after transplant was 96.2% in patients transplanted the earliest (in the first CP). This decreased to 70.1% of patients transplanted in the second CP. This decreased further to 36.9% in patients transplanted when very unwell (in a later CP).

Most patients received a SCT from an unrelated donor. Graft versus host disease (GVHD; a complication of SCT where the transplanted cells attack the patient's body) occurred in 75 of 118 patients. It was significantly more common in patients transplanted in the second or later CP compared to the first CP. Patients transplanted in the first CP had the lowest risk of death.

The bottom line

The study concluded that stem cell transplant is still an effective treatment option in patients with unresponsive CML.

The fine print

This study is limited by a small sample size. This may affect results.

Published By :

Bone Marrow Transplantation

Date :

Apr 08, 2019

Original Title :

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation for chronic myeloid leukemia in the TKI era: population-based data from the Swedish CML registry.

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