Minimal residual disease (MRD) was monitored by Wilms tumor 1 (WT1) expression in 207 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after an allogeneic hemopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) as a trigger to initiate pre-emptive immunotherapy (IT) with cyclosporin discontinuation and/or donor lymphocyte infusion. The trigger for IT was WT1 ≥ 180 copies/104 Abelson cells in marrow cells in the first group of 122 patients (WT1-180) and ≥ 100 copies in a subsequent group of 85 patients (WT1-100). Forty patients received IT. The cumulative incidence (CI) of relapse was 76% in WT1-180 (n = 17) versus 29% in WT1-100 patients (n = 23) receiving IT (P = .006); the leukemia-free survival from MRD positivity was 23% versus 74%, respectively (P = .003). We then looked at the entire AML patient population (n = 207). WT1-180 and WT1-100 patients were comparable for disease phase and age. The overall 4-year CI of transplantation-related mortality was 13% in both groups; the CI of leukemia relapse was 38% in the WT1-180 and 28% in the WT1-100 patients (P = .05) and leukemia-free survival was 56% versus 48%, respectively (P = .07). In conclusion, we suggests that WT1-based pre-emptive immunotherapy is feasible in patients with undergoing an allogeneic HSCT. The protective effect on relapse is greater when IT is triggered at lower levels of WT1.
- Acute myeloid leukemia
- Allogeneic hemopoietic stem cell transplantation
- Wilms tumor 1 (WT1)