Minimal Identifiable Disease and the Role of Conditioning Intensity in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Acute Myelogenous Leukemia Evolving from Myelodysplastic Syndrome.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Volume 22, Issue 7, p.1227-33 (2016)


Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is the only known treatment with curative potential for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), but relapse is a major cause of failure. We studied results in 289 patients transplanted between June 2004 and December 2013. Minimal Identifiable Disease (MID) markers pre-HCT were determined by multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) and cytogenetics on marrow aspirates. The impact of MID on outcome after low and high intensity conditioning HCT was determined. Among 287 evaluable patients, 68 (23.7%) had more than 5% marrow blasts at HCT; 219 patients were in morphologic remission but 154 (53.7%) were MID positive, while 65 (22.6%) were MID negative. The impact of MID on outcome was significantly different between patients who received low-intensity conditioning and patients who received a high-intensity regimen. The impact of conditioning intensity differed across the various MID categories. In particular, the risk of overall mortality was higher with low-intensity than with high-intensity regimens for patients who were positive for MID by cytogenetics regardless of positivity by MFC (HR=1.67 if MFC+/cytogenetics+, HR=7.23 if MFC-/cytogenetics+). On the other hand, patients who were MID-negative by both MFC and cytogenetics had similar risks of mortality with low- and high-intensity regimens (HR=0.99). The main factor responsible for mortality after low-intensity conditioning in MID positive patients was relapse. The presence of MID should be considered when deciding on conditioning intensity as it identifies subgroups of patients who may benefit from high- or low-intensity conditioning, respectively.