Donor cell leukemia in umbilical cord blood transplant patients: a case study and literature review highlighting the importance of molecular engraftment analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Donor cell neoplasms are rare complications of treatment regimens that involve stem cell transplantation for hematological malignancies, myelodysplastic processes, or certain genetic or metabolic disorders. We report a case of donor cell leukemia in a pediatric patient with a history of acute myeloid leukemia that manifested as recurrent AML FAB type M5 fourteen months after umbilical cord blood transplantation. Although there was some immunophenotypic drift from the patient's original AML and their posttransplant presentation, the initial pathological impression was of recurrent disease. Bone marrow engraftment analysis by multiplex PCR of short tandem repeat markers performed on the patient's diagnostic specimen showed complete engraftment by donor cells, with a loss of heterozygosity in the donor alleles on chromosome 7. This led to the reinterpretation of this patient's disease as donor-derived leukemia. This interpretation was supported by a routine karyotype and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showing loss of chromosome 7 and a male (donor) chromosome complement in this female patient. Also noted was a loss of the patient's presenting chromosomal abnormality, t(11;19)(q23;p13). This case highlights the need for close coordination between all aspects of clinical testing for the transplant patient, including molecular engraftment studies, when distinguishing the very common complication of recurrent disease from the exceedingly rare complication of donor cell leukemia.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Crow, J; Youens, K; Michalowski, S; Perrine, G; Emhart, C; Johnson, F; Gerling, A; Kurtzberg, J; Goodman, BK; Sebastian, S; Rehder, CW; Datto, MB

Published Date

  • July 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 530 - 537

PubMed ID

  • 20431036

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2893640

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1943-7811

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2353/jmoldx.2010.090215


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States