5 years ago

Missing HLA C group 1 ligand in patients with AML and MDS is associated with reduced risk of relapse and better survival after allogeneic stem cell transplantation with fludarabine and treosulfan reduced toxicity conditioning

Luca Vago, Ronit Yerushalmi, Chiara Bonini, Alessandro Lo Russo, Avichai Shimoni, Noga Shem-Tov, Fabio Ciceri, Arnon Nagler, Jacopo Peccatori, Arie Apel, Ivetta Danylesko, Maria Teresa Lupo Stanghellini, Raffaella Greco, Massimo Bernardi
Reduced-toxicity conditioning with fludarabine and treosulfan is a dose-intensive regimen with enhanced anti-leukemia effect and acceptable toxicity in AML/MDS. HLA-C regulates natural-killer (NK) cell function by inhibiting Killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and is divided into C1 and C2 epitopes. The missing-ligand theory suggests that missing recipient KIR ligands drives NK-alloreactivity after SCT, in the absence of HLA-mismatch by activating unlicensed donor NK cells. We analyzed SCT outcomes in 203 patients with AML/MDS, median age 58 years, given SCT from matched-siblings (n = 97) or matched-unrelated donors (n = 106), using two treosulfan doses (total 36 or 42 g/m2). 34% expressed one HLA-C group 1 allele (C1C1), 19% one HLA-C group 2 allele (C2C2), and 48% both KIR ligands (C1C2). Median follow-up was 48 months. 5-year relapse, nonrelapse mortality (NRM) and leukemia-free survival (LFS) rates were 38%, 27%, and 36%, respectively. Relapse rates were 43%, 45%, and 26% in patients expressing C1C1, C1C2, and C2C2 ligands, respectively (P = .03). Multivariate-analysis identified chemo-refractory disease (HR 3.1, P = .003), poor cytogenetics (HR 1.7, P = .08), female donor to male recipient (HR 0.4, P = .01) and C2C2 ligands (HR 0.4, P = .04) as independent factors predicting relapse. HLA-C ligands were not associated with GVHD or NRM. LFS was 33%, 30%, and 46%, respectively (P = .07). Chemorefractory disease (HR 3.1, P = .0004) and C2C2 group ligand (HR 0.6, P = .06) independently predicted LFS. Treosulfan dose did not predict any SCT outcome. In conclusion, missing HLA-C group 1 ligand is associated with reduced relapse risk, similar NRM and improved LFS, after HLA-matched SCT with treosulfan conditioning in AML/MDS.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/ajh.24827

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