Pediatric Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm: A Systematic Literature Review

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Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is a rare aggressive hematologic malignancy characterized by frequent skin involvement that most commonly affects older patients. BPDCN is known to have a poor prognosis. Our objective was to assess if outcome and disease prognosis were independently influenced by age when evaluated with clinical presentation, sex, and treatment regimens. We conducted a systematic review to identify BPDCN cases, to compare pediatric BPDCN cases with adult cases. A total of 125 publications were identified detailing 356 cases. Including 1 pediatric case from our institution, 74 were children, and 283 were adults aged 19 or over. Age was shown to be an independent prognostic factor predictive of more favorable outcomes across measures including initial response to therapy, likelihood of relapse, and overall survival at follow-up. The distribution of affected organs at diagnosis was similar across children and adults and type of clinical presentation did not disproportionately influence 1 age group’s prognosis over the other. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia-type chemotherapy regimens were shown to be superior to other chemotherapy regimens (acute myeloid leukemia, lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, other, or none) in inducing complete remission. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation was shown to increase mean survival time. Future research may be directed toward elucidating the further morphologic, cytogenetic, and cytochemical differences between younger and older BPDCN patients.

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