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Rautenberg, Christina; Lauseker, Michael; Kaivers, Jennifer; Jäger, Paul; Fischermanns, Carolin; Pechtel, Sabrina; Haas, Rainer; Kobbe, Guido; Germing, Ulrich; Schroeder, Thomas (2021): Prognostic impact of pretransplant measurable residual disease assessed by peripheral blood WT1-mRNA expression in patients with AML and MDS. In: European Journal of Haematology
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OBJECTIVE As peripheral blood (PB) Wilm's Tumor 1 (WT1)-mRNA expression is established as MRD-marker during conventional AML chemotherapy, impact of pretransplant WT1 expression remains unclear. Therefore, we aimed to assess prognostic impact of pretransplant WT1 expression on post-transplant outcome in patients with AML/MDS. METHODS In 64 AML/MDS patients, pretransplant WT1 expression was retrospectively analyzed using a standardized assay offering high sensitivity, specificity, and a validated cut-off. Patients were divided into three groups determined by pretransplant remission and WT1 expression. Post-transplant outcome of these groups was compared regarding cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR), relapse-free (RFS), and overall survival (OS). RESULTS Pretransplant forty-six patients (72%) showed hematologic remission, including 21 (46%) MRD-negative and 25 (54%) MRD-positive patients indicated by WT1 expression, while 18 refractory patients (28%) showed active disease. Two-year estimates of post-transplant CIR, RFS, and OS were similar in MRD-positive (61%, 37%, 54%) and refractory patients (70%, 26%, 56%), but significantly inferior compared with MRD-negative patients (10%, 89%, 90%). After multivariable adjustment, pretransplant MRD negativity measured by WT1 expression retained its prognostic impact on CIR (P~=~.008), RFS (P~=~.005), and OS (P~=~.049). CONCLUSIONS PB WT1 expression represents a useful method to estimate pretransplant MRD, which is highly predictable for post-transplant outcome and may help improving peri-transplant management in AML/MDS patients.