In a nutshell
This study analyzed the outcomes of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who had experienced multiple relapses. The main finding was that those who received alloSCT while in complete remission for at least the third time had the best survival.
Complete remission means that tests, physical exams, and scans show that all signs of a cancer is gone. Relapse means that a cancer has returned after a time of remission. Many patients with AML experience complete remission and may never relapse. However, some patients may experience relapse multiple times. The outcomes associated with multiple relapses are sometimes unfavorable. Stem cell transplant has been considered as an effective treatment for AML after multiple relapses. It is important to research the outcomes after an alloSCT (healthy stem cells from a donor) of patients with AML who had multiple relapses.
Methods & findings
This study investigated the medical records of patients with AML who had undergone an alloSCT. Only those who had received a transplant with stem cells from an umbilical cord were included. 192 patients included were in complete remission for the 3rd time at least. 300 were experiencing relapse for the 2nd time. 50 were experiencing relapse for at least the 3rd time.
Those who received a transplant when in remission for at least the 3rd time had the best survival after 4 years (48%). This was compared to 21% in those who received a transplant during 2nd relapse and 12% of those who received a transplant during the at least the 3rd relapse.
Those in complete remission for at least the 3rd time were less likely to experience relapse (23% versus 57% in 2nd relapse and 52% in relapse for at least the 3rd time).
The bottom line
This study concluded that patients with AML who received an alloSCT while in complete remission for at least the 3rd time had the best outcomes.
The fine print
This study included patients from Japan only. Therefore the results may not apply to patients elsewhere. Further studies are needed.
Published By :
Annals of Hematology
Jun 16, 2019