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Relapse of Leukaemia

Extramedullary relapse after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for haematological malignancy


We describe the risk factors for and the natural history and response to treatment of extramedullary (EM) relapse in 183 patients who underwent allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (alloBMT) for a variety of haematological malignancies at our institution over a 7½ year period. Fifty-one patients relapsed; 15 had EM relapse either alone or in association with marrow involvement. A retrospective analysis found that the presence of chronic GVHD and a longer interval between transplant and relapse were independently associated with an increased risk of EM compared to marrow-only relapse. EM relapse was also associated with a longer post-relapse survival. Patients with EM relapse appeared to respond to cytotoxic therapy but not to DLI. EM relapse after alloBMT may be more common than previously thought and have a better prognosis than marrow-only relapse. While patients developing chronic GVHD after alloBMT have a lower overall relapse risk than those who do not, they may be more prone to delayed relapse at EM sites. Bone Marrow Transplantation (2000) 26, 1011–1015.

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Chong, G., Byrnes, G., Szer, J. et al. Extramedullary relapse after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for haematological malignancy. Bone Marrow Transplant 26, 1011–1015 (2000).

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  • allogeneic bone marrow transplantation
  • extramedullary relapse
  • graft-versus-host disease
  • donor lymphocyte infusion

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