Impact of red blood cell transfusion dose density on progression-free survival in lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes patients

EUMDS Registry Participants, Alexandra Gwen Smith, Ge Yu

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Progression-free survival of lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes patients treated with red blood cell transfusions is usually reduced, but it is unclear whether transfusion dose density is an independent prognostic factor. The European MDS Registry collects prospective data at 6-monthly intervals of newly diagnosed lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes patients from 16 European countries and Israel. Data on the transfusion dose density - the cumulative dose received at the end of each interval divided by the time since the beginning of the interval in which the first transfusion was received - were analyzed using proportional hazards regression with time-varying co-variates, with death and progression to higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes /acute myeloid leukemia as events. Of the 1267 patients included in the analyses, 317 patients died without progression, in 162 patients the disease had progressed. Progression-free survival was significantly associated with age, EQ-5D index, baseline WHO classification, bone marrow blast count, cytogenetic risk category, number of cytopenias, and country. Transfusion dose density was inversely associated with progression-free survival (p<1x10-4): dose density had an increasing effect on hazard until a dose density of 3 units/16 weeks. The transfusion dose density effect continued to increase beyond 8 units/16 weeks after correction for the impact of treatment with erythropoietin agents, lenalidomide and/or iron chelators. Conclusion: the negative effect of transfusion treatment on progression-free survival already occurs at transfusion densities below 3 units/16 weeks. This indicates that transfusion dependency, even at relatively low dose densities, may be considered as an indicator of inferior progression-free survival. This trial was registered at as #NCT00600860.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-639
Number of pages8
JournalHaematologica-The hematology journal
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jun 2019

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Copyright © 2019, Ferrata Storti Foundation.

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