Secondary solid cancer following hematopoietic cell transplantation in patients with thalassemia major

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Hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients have a substantial risk of developing secondary solid cancers (SSCs). The aim of this retrospective study was to compare the incidence of SSC in a monocentric cohort of thalassemia major (TM) patients (n = 122) who received HCT versus an hematopoietic cell donor monocentric cohort (n = 122) and versus a large multicenter cohort of age- and sex-matched TM patients (n = 244) who received conventional therapy. With a median follow-up of 24 years, 8 transplanted patients were diagnosed with SSC at a median of 18 years after HCT and at a median age of 33 years. Three patients died of cancer progression and 5 are living after a follow-up ranging from 10 months to 16 years after SSC diagnosis. The 30-year cumulative incidence of developing SSC was 13.24%. The occurrence of solid cancers in the hematopoietic cell donor cohort was limited to only one case for a significantly lower cumulative incidence (3.23%, P = 0.02) and to 3 cases in the cohort of nontransplant patients for a significantly lower cumulative incidence (1.32%, P = 0.005). This study shows that the magnitude of increased risk of SST is fourfold to sixfold for patients treated with HCT as compared with hematopoietic cell donors and nontransplant patients.

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