Residual minimal disease (MRD) in hematological malignancies has become a valid tool to predict clinical relapse after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT).

Methods and Patients:

We screened 154 patients with myelofibrosis who underwent ASCT for molecular residual disease by qPCR or next-generation sequencing (NGS) for JAK2V617F, MPLW515L and MPLW515K or Calreticulin (L367fs*46, and K385fs*47) mutations in peripheral blood (PB) on days +100 and +180 after transplantation. Out of 154 pts, 103 were JAK2V617F (n=101), 31 Calreticulin (CALR), and 4 MPL mutated, while 13 pts were triple negative. 136 pts could be followed after ASCT with one molecular marker. The median age of the pts was 58 years (range, 32-75 y). Patients had either primary myelofibrosis (n= 90), post ET/PV myelofibrosis (n=40), myelofibrosis in acceleration or were transformed to AML (n=6). Conditioning mainly relied on a busulfan-based reduced-intensity regimen. Donor were HLA-identical sibling (n=26), matched unrelated (n=71) or mismatched unrelated (n=39). JAK2V617F, MPL, and CALR mutations were measured by usage of Taqman PCR or in case of CALR Type 2 mutation by digital PCR on day +100 and day +180 from PB as described elsewhere.


After a median follow up of 78 months (range, 49-101 months) the 5-year estimated overall survival was 60% (95% CI: 50-70%) and the cumulative incidence of relapse at 5 years was 26% (95% CI: 18-34%) for the entire study population. On days +100 and +180 after transplantation in 27% and 12% of the patients the underlying mutation was still detectable in peripheral blood. The percentage of complete clearance was higher in CALR-mutated patients (96%) in comparison to MPL (75%) and JAKV2617F (70%) mutated pts. Whereas there was a trend for better survival for CALR-mutated patients in comparison to JAK2-mutated patients (71% vs 57%; p=0.48), once a patient achieved molecular remission post-transplant the risk of relapse remained low independently of the underlying mutation. Patients who were alive and without relapse at days +100 or +180 but with still detectable mutation in PB had a significantly higher risk of relapse than those who were molecular negative (62% vs 10%, p<0.001; and 70% vs 10%, p<0.001, respectively). In a multivariate analysis only high-risk disease status (HR 2.5; 95% CI: 1.18-5.25, p=0.016) and detectable MRD at day 180 (HR 8.36, 95% CI: 2.76-25.30, p<0.001) were significant factors for a higher risk of relapse.


JAK2V617F, CALR and MPL genetic lesions allow to monitor MRD in around 90% of the myelofibrosis patients after ASCT by qPCR or digital PCR in the PB. Persistence of MRD on days +100 or +180 in peripheral blood can be used to taper immunosuppressive drugs or to apply donor lymphocyte infusion to prevent clinical relapse.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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