Bone marrow transplantation. vol:17 issue:5 pages:745-51
Between December 1981 and March 1994, 24 patients with a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) underwent allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) for RA with trilineage dysplasia (n = 4), CMML (n = 1), RAEB (n = 4), RAEBt (n = 9) and AML following MDS (n = 6). Fifteen patients (two RAEB, seven RAEBt and six sAML) received chemotherapy before BMT resulting in complete remission in 10 patients (six RAEBt and four sAML) at the time of BMT. Sixteen marrow donors were genotypically HLA-identical siblings. Remaining donors were other family members (five) or unrelated donors (three). The status of the underlying disease at the time of conditioning was the major factor determining long-term survival. The disease-freed survival of RA patients and patients presenting with RAEB, RAEBt and AML but transplanted in complete remission, was respectively 50 and 60%. On the contrary, none of the nine high-risk MDS patients transplanted with persistent disease, survived. Outcome after transplantation with alternative donors was inferior with one long-term survivor, mainly related to the high incidence of severe acute GVHD and its accompanying infectious complications. Six patients relapsed resulting in an actuarial probability of relapse of 28%. Twelve patients died of transplant-related complications leading to a non-relapse mortality at 5 years of 50%. At present eight patients are alive and disease-free 20 to 132 months post-transplantation resulting in an actuarial 5-year disease-free survival of 40.7%. Our results suggest that allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is a feasible treatment option for patients with MDS. However, improvement in GVHD prophylaxis and supportive care to reduce transplant-treated mortality and improved relapse prevention are imperative.