Leukemia: Stem Cell Transplant Therapy for AML
March 20, 2013

 Myeloproliferative neoplasms are a group of diseases of the bone marrow where cells are produced in excess. In some cases, myeloproliferative neoplasms can transform into acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a cancer where an overgrowth of abnormal white blood cells prevents the production of normal blood cells. A particularly deadly complication, only 15% of AML patients will survive beyond two years. The rarity of transformation to AML makes it difficult to study, so the optimal treatment is unknown.
OCI Clinician-Investigator Dr. Vikas Gupta evaluated a treatment strategy of transplanting healthy blood cell-producing stem cells from a donor’s bone marrow or blood—a procedure known as hematopoietic cell transplantation—into patients with AML. In the study of 39 treated patients, chemotherapy was used to control the AML prior to transplantation; 13 patients had a good response to treatment yet were not eligible for a transplant and received the chemotherapy alone. Transplantation significantly improved outcomes over chemotherapy alone, with 47% of transplant patients surviving past the two year mark. “Transplantation should be the goal for all individuals at the outset of treatment,” Dr. Gupta concludes.
This work was supported by The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

Source: NRx - February 2013.

Treatment outcomes following leukemic transformation in Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms. Kennedy JA, Atenafu EG, Messner HA, Craddock KJ, Brandwein JM, Lipton JH, Minden MD, Schimmer AD, Schuh AC, Yee KW, Gupta V. Blood. 2013 January 29. 
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