Myelodysplastic syndrome evolving from aplastic anemia treated with immunosuppressive therapy: efficacy of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.


A proportion of patients with aplastic anemia who are treated with immunosuppressive therapy develop clonal hematologic disorders, including post-aplastic anemia myelodysplastic syndrome. Many will proceed to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. We identified 123 patients with post-aplastic anemia myelodysplastic syndrome who from 1991 through 2011 underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and in a matched-pair analysis compared outcome to that in 393 patients with de novo myelodysplastic syndrome. There was no difference in overall survival. There were no significant differences with regard to 5-year probabilities of relapse, non-relapse mortality, relapse-free survival and overall survival; these were 14%, 40%, 46% and 49% for post-aplastic anemia myelodysplastic syndrome, and 20%, 33%, 47% and 49% for de novo myelodysplastic syndrome, respectively. In multivariate analysis, relapse (hazard ratio 0.71; P=0.18), non-relapse mortality (hazard ratio 1.28; P=0.18), relapse-free survival (hazard ratio 0.97; P=0.80) and overall survival (hazard ratio 1.02; P=0.88) of post-aplastic anemia myelodysplastic syndrome were similar to those of patients with de novo myelodysplastic syndrome. Cytogenetic risk was independently associated with overall survival in both groups. Thus, transplant success in patients with post-aplastic anemia myelodysplastic syndrome was similar to that in patients with de novo myelodysplastic syndrome, and cytogenetics was the only significant prognostic factor for post-aplastic anemia myelodysplastic syndrome patients.





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Publication Info

Kim, Sung-Yong, Jennifer Le Rademacher, Joseph H Antin, Paolo Anderlini, Mouhab Ayas, Minoo Battiwalla, Jeanette Carreras, Joanne Kurtzberg, et al. (2014). Myelodysplastic syndrome evolving from aplastic anemia treated with immunosuppressive therapy: efficacy of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Haematologica, 99(12). pp. 1868–1875. 10.3324/haematol.2014.108977 Retrieved from

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Joanne Kurtzberg

Jerome S. Harris Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Kurtzberg is an internationally renowned expert in pediatric hematology/oncology, pediatric blood and marrow transplantation, umbilical cord blood banking and transplantation, and novel applications of cord blood and birthing tissues in the emerging fields of cellular therapies and regenerative medicine.   Dr. Kurtzberg serves as the Director of the Marcus Center for Cellular Cures (MC3), Director of the Pediatric Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program, Director of the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, and Co-Director of the Stem Cell Transplant Laboratory at Duke University.  The Carolinas Cord Blood Bank is an FDA licensed public cord blood bank distributing unrelated cord blood units for donors for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) through the CW Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program.  The Robertson GMP Cell Manufacturing Laboratory supports manufacturing of RETHYMIC (BLA, Enzyvant, 2021), allogeneic cord tissue derived and bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), and DUOC, a microglial/macrophage cell derived from cord blood.

Dr. Kurtzberg’s research in MC3 focuses on translational studies from bench to bedside, seeking to develop transformative clinical therapies using cells, tissues, molecules, genes, and biomaterials to treat diseases and injuries that currently lack effective treatments. Recent areas of investigation in MC3 include clinical trials investigating the safety and efficacy of autologous and allogeneic cord blood in children with neonatal brain injury – hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy (CP), and autism. Clinical trials testing allogeneic cord blood are also being conducted in adults with acute ischemic stroke. Clinical trials optimizing manufacturing and testing the safety and efficacy of cord tissue MSCs in children with autism, CP and HIE and adults with COVID-lung disease are underway. DUOC, given intrathecally, is under study in children with leukodystrophies and adults with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

In the past, Dr. Kurtzberg has developed novel chemotherapeutic drugs for acute leukemias, assays enumerating ALDH bright cells to predict cord blood unit potency, methods of cord blood expansion, potency assays for targeted cell and tissue based therapies. Dr. Kurtzberg currently holds several INDs for investigational clinical trials from the FDA.  She has also trained numerous medical students, residents, clinical and post-doctoral fellows over the course of her career.

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