Balkan Medical Journal
Original Articles

The Impact of Pre-transplant Cell-free DNA Levels on Leukemia Relapse and Transplant-related Complications in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients

1.

Department of Hematology, Gazi University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

2.

Department of Internal Medicine, Gazi University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

Balkan Medical Journal 2020; 37: 138-143
DOI: 10.4274/balkanmedj.galenos.2020.2019.8.25
Read: 29 Downloads: 17 Published: 01 March 2020

Abstract

Background: Cell-free DNA, which may be considered as ldquo;liquid” biopsy, may serve as a diagnostic and prognostic marker not only in hematological malignancies but in solid tumors as well.
Aims: To investigate the prognostic role of pre-transplant cell-free DNA levels in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.
Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Methods: A total of 177 allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients [median age: 36 (16-66) years; male/female: 111/66] with an initial diagnosis of acute leukemia were included in the study. Cell-free DNA was extracted from pre-transplant serum samples by using the MagNA Pure Compact Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit I with the MagNA Pure Compact instrument (Roche Diagnostics, Penzberg, Germany).
Results: A positive correlation was demonstrated between cell-free DNA and age (p=0.018; r=0.177). Pre-transplant cell-free DNA levels were lower in bcr-abl (+) patients (p=0.001), while an adverse correlation was indicated between cell-free DNA and bcr-abl levels (p=0.001; r=-0.531). Acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients with bcr-abl positivity (p=0.001) or abnormal cytogenetics (p=0.038) represented significantly lower pre-transplant cell-free DNA levels. Cell-free DNA levels were lower in patients who developed sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (p=0.035). In terms of long-term complications, acute myeloid leukemia patients who experienced post-transplant relapse had significantly lower pre-transplant cell-free DNA levels (p=0.024). Overall survival was not statistically different between high- and low- cell-free DNA groups (45.2% vs 22.5; p=0.821).
Conclusion: In general, low serum levels of pre-transplant ccedil;ell-free DNA seem to be associated with transplant-related morbidities and may be considered an adverse prognostic factor for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.

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ISSN 2146-3123 EISSN 2146-3131