Therapy-related myeloid neoplasms (tMNs) are severe adverse events that can occur after treatment with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT). This study aimed to investigate the development of tMNs following ASCT at the molecular level by whole-exome sequencing (WES) and targeted deep sequencing (TDS) in sequential (pre-) tMN samples. WES identified a significantly higher number of mutations in tMNs as compared with de novo myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) (median 27 vs 12 mutations; P = .001). The mutations found in tMNs did not carry a clear aging-signature, unlike the mutations found in de novo MDS, indicating a different mutational mechanism. In some patients, tMN mutations were identified in both myeloid and T cells, suggesting that tMNs may originate from early hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). However, the mutational spectra of tMNs and the preceding malignancies did not overlap, excluding common ancestry for these malignancies. By use of TDS, tMN mutations were identified at low variant allele frequencies (VAFs) in transplant material in 70% of the patients with tMNs. Reconstruction of clonal patterns based on VAFs revealed that premalignant clones can be present more than 7 years preceding a tMN diagnosis, a finding that was confirmed by immunohistochemistry on bone marrow biopsies. Our results indicate that tMN development after ASCT originates in HSCs bearing (pre-)tMN mutations that are present years before disease onset and that post-ASCT treatment can influence the selection of these clones. Early detection of premalignant clones and monitoring of their evolutionary trajectory may help to predict the development of tMNs and guide early intervention in the future.
Hematopoiesis and Stem Cells, Transplantation, Free Research Articles, Myeloid Neoplasia, CME article, Clinical Trials and Observations