PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF RELAPSE OF ACUTE LEUKEMIA AND MYELODYSPLASTIC SYNDROME AFTER ALLOGENEIC HEMATOPOIETIC CELL TRANSPLANTATION IN PEDIATRIC PATIENTS
Keywords:pediatric, bmt, relapse, all, aml
The best way to manage acute leukemia relapse after HCT is to prevent it, buying time for GVL with immunomodulation and, if no GVHD between days +60 and + 90, prophylactic DLI can be indicate for very high or high risk patients. Short-term low dose of cyclosporine or methotrexate can add safety to pro-DLI, particularly after mismatched or unrelated transplantation. Maintenance with imatinib or dastinib, recommended for Ph-positive ALL, with sorafenib, for FLT3-ITD AML, or azacitidine, for myelodysplastic syndrome patients, can be effective in reducing relapse rates. However, target agent maintenance can add toxicity, depends on patient adherence and demands physician experience to know when is safe to start, how adjust the dose according individual tolerance after transplant and to detect undesirable drug interactions. The second step to avoid hematological relapse is preemptive approach guided by measurable residual disease or mixed chimerism. In patients off immunosuppression, chemotherapy followed by DLI is a useful strategy, and if no response, interferon alpha can be associated to enhance GVL. Target-specific agents can be start at this point either. After relapse, antigen-directed therapy with blinatumumab for CD19 ALL, inotuzumab for CD22 ALL are excellent options to induce MRD negativity and facilitate HCT. Disadvantages of new immunotherapies are: high incidence of VOD with inotuzumab and gemtuzumab; lower response in patients with high leukemia burden or concurrent extramedullary relapse; necessity of consolidation with HCT after a bridging therapy with BiTE and probably with CAR-T cell therapy also. It is important to realize that if remission after chemotherapy is associated with the development of GVHD, then there may be limited benefit (and possibly harm) in consolidating with any kind of cellular therapy. However, for patients who achieved remission without GVHD, either DLI or second transplant can be recommend. Further studies are necessary to determine at which point each strategy might yield the best results.
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