• Relapse and clonal evolution with immunosuppression and EPAG were the same as with immunosuppression alone, but they occurred earlier.

  • High-risk evolution to myeloid malignancy was not increased with the addition of EPAG to immunosuppression.

Patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA) are either treated with bone marrow transplant (BMT) or immunosuppression (IST) depending on their age, comorbidities, and available donors. In 2017, our phase 2 trial reported improved hematologic responses with the addition of eltrombopag (EPAG) to standard IST for SAA when compared with a historical cohort treated with IST alone. However, the rates and characteristics of long-term complications, relapse, and clonal evolution, previously described in patients treated with IST alone, are not yet known with this new regimen, IST and EPAG. Patients were accrued from 2012 to 2020, with a total of 178 subjects included in this secondary endpoint analysis. With double the sample size and a much longer median follow-up (4 years) since the original publication in 2017, we report a cumulative relapse rate of 39% in responding patients who received cyclosporine (CSA) maintenance and clonal evolution of 15% in all treated patients at 4 years. Relapse occurred at distinct timepoints: after CSA dose reduction and EPAG discontinuation at 6 months, and after 2 years when CSA was discontinued. Most relapsed patients were retreated with therapeutic doses of CSA +/− EPAG, and two-thirds responded. Clonal evolution to a myeloid malignancy or chromosome 7 abnormality (high-risk) was noted in 5.7% of patients and conferred a poorer overall survival. Neither relapse nor high-risk evolution occurred at a higher rate than was observed in a historical comparator cohort, but the median time to both events was earlier in IST and EPAG treated patients. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01623167.

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