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NCI First International Workshop on the Biology, Prevention, and Treatment of Relapse after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: report from the Committee on the Epidemiology and Natural History of Relapse following Allogeneic Cell Transplantation. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2010 Jul;16(7):871-90



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-77953587073   71 Citations


Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) is increasingly being used for treatment of hematologic malignancies, and the immunologic graft-versus-tumor effect (GVT) provides its therapeutic effectiveness. Disease relapse remains a cause of treatment failure in a significant proportion of patients undergoing alloHSCT without improvements over the last 2-3 decades. We summarize here current data and outline future research regarding the epidemiology, risk factors, and outcomes of relapse after alloHSCT. Although some factors (eg, disease status at alloHSCT or graft-versus-host disease [GVHD] effects) are common, other disease-specific factors may be unique. The impact of reduced-intensity regimens on relapse and survival still need to be assessed using contemporary supportive care and comparable patient populations. The outcome of patients relapsing after an alloHSCT generally remains poor even though interventions including donor leukocyte infusions can benefit some patients. Trials examining targeted therapies along with improved safety of alloHSCT may result in improved outcomes, yet selection bias necessitates prospective assessment to gauge the real contribution of any new therapies. Ongoing chronic GVHD (cGVHD) or other residual post-alloHSCT morbidities may limit the applicability of new therapies. Developing strategies to promptly identify patients as alloHSCT candidates, while malignancy is in a more treatable stage, could decrease relapses rates after alloHSCT. Better understanding and monitoring of minimal residual disease posttransplant could lead to novel preemptive treatments of relapse. Analyses of larger cohorts through multicenter collaborations or registries remain essential to probe questions not amenable to single center or prospective studies. Studies need to provide data with detail on disease status, prior treatments, biologic markers, and posttransplant events. Stringent statistical methods to study relapse remain an important area of research. The opportunities for improvement in prevention and management of post-alloHSCT relapse are apparent, but clinical discipline in their careful study remains important.

Author List

Pavletic SZ, Kumar S, Mohty M, de Lima M, Foran JM, Pasquini M, Zhang MJ, Giralt S, Bishop MR, Weisdorf D


Marcelo C. Pasquini MD, MS Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Mei-Jie Zhang PhD Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Graft vs Host Disease
Hematologic Neoplasms
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
Risk Factors
Transplantation Conditioning
Transplantation, Homologous
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a