Therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome after autologous stem cell transplantation for breast cancer
Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Neoplasms, Second Primary
Therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myelogenous leukemia (t-MDS/AML) are serious complications of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer. High-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) may be associated with an increased incidence of these complications. The frequency of t-MDS/AML after ASCT for breast cancer is uncertain. We reviewed our database of 379 consecutive breast cancer ASCT patients treated with alkylator-based chemotherapy, followed for a median of 1.52 years (range 0-8.97), with a median survival of 6.16 years. Three patients have developed tMDS/AML. The probability of developing this complication at 5 years is 0.032 in our series. We have used pathologic, cytogenetic and molecular methods to evaluate which portions of therapy may have predisposed to the development of this complication. Cytogenetic abnormalities were not found in the stem cell harvests of these patients by metaphase analysis or by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). One patient demonstrated a clonal X chromosome inactivation pattern in her stem cell harvest, indicating pre-transplant chemotherapy may have been responsible for the development of her leukemia. As two of our patients developed this complication at greater than 4 years post-transplant, the number of cases may increase with longer follow-up. While the incidence appears to be low, further prospective and retrospective analysis will be necessary to determine which portions of therapy predispose to the development of t-MDS/AML in patients undergoing ASCT for treatment of breast cancer.