Relapse of AML after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: methods of monitoring and preventive strategies. A review from the ALWP of the EBMT

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Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) remains the therapeutic method with the most potent anti-leukemic activity mediated by the graft versus leukemia effect. However, a significant proportion of patients with AML will relapse after allo-SCT. The prognosis for these patients is dismal, with a probability of long-term survival of <20%. Data from previous studies have shown that disease-specific prognostic factors, are in general, the same as those in patients treated with conventional chemotherapy. Minimal residual disease (MRD) and chimerism status monitoring after allo-SCT may be used as predictors of impending relapse and should be part of routine follow-up for AML patients. A significant number of studies have shown that pre-emptive administration of donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) based on MRD and chimerism monitoring, as well as prophylactic DLI in AML patients at high risk of relapse is effective in preventing relapse. In this review, we discuss strategies for the identification of high-risk patients, review current therapeutic options and provide our recommendations for the management of post-SCT AML.

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