General AML

EHA 2019 | Recent advances in the field of allo-HSCT


At the 24th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA), Uwe Platzbecker from the University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, DE, discusses the recent advances in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). 
Prof. Plazbecker highlights two main issues with allo-HSCT. First is the risk of relapse following transplantation, and the second is the post-transplant risk of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD).
Prof. Platzbecker discusses the recent advances to counteract these two issues, highlighting the use of minimal residual disease (MRD) status, measured by next generation sequencing (NGS), to assess a patient's risk of progression following allo-HSCT. He stated individual risk scores would likely be developed shortly, that are based on MRD levels and can guide treatment.
Additionally, Prof. Platzbecker explains that other ways of preventing relapse are the use of maintenance treatment and preemptive strategies. Preemptive approaches include measuring MRD rates post-transplant and treating at specified levels. The implementation of MRD in management pre- and post-transplant was described as the major current effort.
Finishing his discussion, Prof. Platzbecker talked about the treatment of GvHD, which is a threat for patients undergoing transplant. The approval of ruxolitinib, a JAK inhibitor, by the FDA for severe steroid refractory GvHD is one recent advance.