[Eradication of adult T-cell leukemia cells and maintenance of remission by the graft-versus-leukemia effect after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation].Rinsho Ketsueki. 2004 Sep; 45(9):1044-7.RK
A 44-year-old man was referred to Hakodate Chuo Hospital because of progressive fatigue in April 2001, and was diagnosed as having adult T-cell leukemia (ATL; acute type). Complete remission was not obtained even with the application of multiple anti-leukemic agents including CHOP-V-MMV. The patient received an allogeneic bone marrow transplant from his HLA-identical, HTLV-I antibody-negative sibling donor in June 2002. The conditioning regimen consisted of cyclophosphamide, etoposide and total body irradiation. Cyclosporine A and a short course of methotrexate were given as prophylaxis for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Engraftment was achieved on day 16, while ATL cells were detected in the peripheral blood throughout the transplantation. ATL cells were also detected in bone marrow on day 20. Withdrawal of the immunosuppressant induced the eradication of the residual ATL cells in the peripheral blood on day 24 and in the bone marrow on day 40. Grade III of acute GVHD developed in the bowel on day 40, which lasted for over 5 months and was gradually resolved by administration of prednisolone and tacrolimus. The patient remains in complete remission 23 months after the transplantation. The clinical consequence of our case clearly shows that a graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect combined with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) plays a curative role even in an early phase after bone marrow transplantation for patients with adult T-cell leukemia.