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.
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
Apr 08, 2019