Acute myeloid leukemia following solid organ transplantation: entity or novelty?

Eur J Haematol 2014 Jun 7;92(6):459-66. Epub 2014 Mar 7.

Division of Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Due to the rarity of the disease, the characteristics of acute myeloid leukemia following solid organ transplantation (post-transplant AML; PT-AML) are unclear; furthermore, it is not known for certain whether PT-AML is a separate entity or not. We provide a systematic review of all previously reported cases of PT-AML in the English literature (n = 51). 45% of cases occurred after renal transplantation, and 72% were males. The median age at diagnosis of AML was 50 yr, with a median transplant-to-AML interval of 3.8 yr and a rapid decline in incidence after 5 yr. 26% of patients were asymptomatic at the time of presentation, and 42% were pancytopenic. M0/M1/M2, M3, M4/M5, and M6/M7 subtypes comprised 17%, 25%, 39%, and 19% of all cases, respectively. 36% of patients had unfavorable cytogenetic risk disease. The median overall survival was only 3 months. We observed several transplant-specific features: (i) The transplant-to-AML interval follows two very different patterns between renal vs. liver transplant patients. (ii) All 4 cases of donor cell leukemia occurred after liver transplant. (iii) Unfavorable risk disease was marginally significantly more common among renal compared with liver transplant patients (P = 0.057). Our results suggest that PT-AML is a separate entity with distinct characteristics, which need to be investigated further in future research. Heavy post-transplant immunosuppression likely plays a key role in the pathogenesis of PT-AML.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12288DOI Listing
June 2014

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