Therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome (t-MDS)/acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML) has been reported after autologous bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (ABMT/PBSCT) for various malignancies. We retrospectively reviewed all adult ABMT/PBSCT cases performed at the University of Chicago Medical Center from 1985 to 1997 in order to determine the incidence of therapy-related leukemia. Among 649 patients, seven (1.1%) developed therapy-related acute lymphoblastic leukemia (one patient) or t-MDS/t-AML (six patients). Of these seven, primary malignancies included one case of breast carcinoma, five cases of Hodgkin's disease (HD) and one case of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Disease-specific incidences for therapy-related leukemia occurring after ABMT/PBSCT were one in 354 (0.3%) for breast carcinoma, five in 79 (6.3%) for HD and one in 103 (1%) for NHL. The median latency periods for the development of therapy-related leukemia from the time of initial diagnosis and of ABMT/PBSCT were 5.5 and 1.5 years, respectively, for the combined HD and NHL group of patients and 4.4 and 2.8 years, respectively, for the one breast carcinoma patient. All seven patients had clonal cytogenetic abnormalities, and five had recurring abnormalities typical of myeloid disorders. Given the similar latency period observed in patients treated with conventional chemotherapy alone, our findings support the hypothesis that therapy-related leukemia after ABMT/PBSCT likely results from pre-transplant therapy. Early detection of therapy-related leukemia is therefore critical to exclude these patients from undergoing ABMT/PBSCT.
- Autologous bone marrow/peripheral blood stem cell transplantation
- Therapy-related leukemia
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