Treatment of blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm.
Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is a rare myeloid malignancy with no defined standard of care. BPDCN presents most commonly with skin lesions with or without extramedullary organ involvement before leukemic dissemination. As a result of its clinical ambiguity, differentiating BPDCN from benign skin lesions or those of acute myeloid leukemia with leukemia cutis is challenging. BPDCN is most easily defined by the phenotype CD4+CD56+CD123+lineage-MPO-, although many patients will present with variable expression of CD4, CD56, or alternate plasmacytoid markers, which compounds the difficulty in differentiating BPDCN from other myeloid or lymphoid malignancies. Chromosomal aberrations are frequent, and the mutational landscape of BPDCN is being rapidly characterized although no obvious molecular target for chemoimmunotherapy has been identified. Chemotherapy regimens developed for acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoid leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndrome have all been used to treat BPDCN. Relapse is frequent, and overall survival is quite poor. Allogeneic transplantation offers a chance at prolonged remission and possible cure for those who are eligible; unfortunately, relapse remains high ranging from 30% to 40%. Novel therapies such as SL-401, a diphtheria toxin conjugated to interleukin-3 (IL-3) is commonly overexpressed in BPDCN and other aggressive myeloid malignancies and has shown considerable promise in ongoing clinical trials. Future work with SL-401 will define its place in treating relapsed or refractory disease as well as its role as a first-line therapy or bridge to transplantation.
Sullivan, JM; Rizzieri, DA
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