Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) is a curative treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). The object of this study was to evaluate the impact of chemotherapy before allo-SCT. We analyzed the data of 283 patients who underwent allo-SCT from an HLA-identical sibling donor for MDS that were reported to the Japan Society for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. The cumulative incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD was 33%. Overall survival (OS) at 5 and 10 years was 48.8 and 42.5%, respectively. Multivariate analyses identified karyotype, FAB classification, and the history of chemotherapy before allo-SCT as significant predictors for OS. OS at 5 years was 57% for patients who underwent allo-SCT as a primary treatment for refractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation (RAEB-t) or secondary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and 54% for those who underwent allo-SCT in remission after induction chemotherapy (P = 0.81). The proportion of patients with a poor karyotype was equivalent between the two groups (P = 0.44). Although only a randomized controlled trial will be able to establish a definite conclusion, these results do not support the administration of induction chemotherapy for patients with RAEB-t or secondary AML before allo-SCT.
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