Donor Lymphocyte Infusion Is a Feasible Way to Improve Survival in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndromes Who Relapse after Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) is used to induce remission in patients who relapse after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). During the last decade, the hypomethylating agent Azacitidine has been used together with DLI for a synergistic graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect. Here we report results of DLI/Azacitidine treatment from a retrospective single-center study.

METHODS: 50 AML/MDS patients treated for relapse after allo-HSCT between 2001 and 2020 with DLI at the Department of Hematology, at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital were included for analyses. A subgroup of patients who obtained complete remission (CR) after reinduction chemotherapy, received DLI in combination with low-dose (32 mg/m2) Azacitidine.

RESULTS: Overall survival in all patients after DLI treatment was 59% at 2 years and 20% at 5 years. Relapse-free survival in patients in CR prior to DLI was 32% after 2 years and 7% after 5 years. In the DLI+low-dose-Azacitidine group, 5-years relapse-free survival was 40%.

CONCLUSION: DLI remains an effective treatment in post-transplant relapse leaving one fifth of patients long-term survivors. Our results support the concomitant use of low-dose Azacitidine in the future use of DLI in order to enhance the GVL effect of donor lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Haematologica
ISSN0001-5792
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Donor lymphocyte infusion
  • Graft-versus-tumor effect
  • Hypomethylating agents

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