Risk factors for the development of a new (secondary) malignancy after marrow transplantation are still incompletely defined. In the present study, we analyzed results in 700 patients with severe aplastic anemia treated with allogeneic marrow transplantation at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, or at the Hopital St Louis in Paris, France. Twenty-three patients developed a malignancy 1.4 to 221 months (median, 91 months) after transplantation for a Kaplan-Meier estimate of 14% (95% confidence interval, 4% to 24%) at 20 years. Five cases were lymphoid malignancies (two acute lymphoblastic leukemias and three lymphoproliferative disorders) occurring 1.4 to 14.6 months (median, 3 months) posttransplant, and 18 were solid tumors (17 squamous cell and one mucoepidermoid carcinoma) presenting 30 to 221 months (median, 99 months) posttransplant. Thus, the hazard for lymphoid malignancies declined rapidly posttransplant, while the hazard for solid tumors increased progressively with time posttransplant. Risk factors for solid tumors identified in univariable analysis included the underlying diagnosis of Fanconi anemia (P = .0002), azathioprine therapy for chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (P < .0001), irradiation (total body or thoracoabdominal) as part of the conditioning regimen (P = .0002), chronic GVHD (P = .0099), acute GVHD (P = .0135), and male sex (P = .0499). In multivariable, stepwise proportional hazards models, azathioprine therapy (P < .0001) and the diagnosis of Fanconi anemia (P < .0001) were significant factors for all patients. Irradiation was a significant factor (P = .004) only if the time-dependent variable azathioprine was not included in the analysis. If only non-Fanconi patients were considered, azathioprine (P = .0043), age (P = .025), and irradiation (P = .042) were significant factors. Results in patients with Fanconi anemia and malignancies other than solid tumors were not subjected to an analysis because of the small number of events. It is of note, however, that no case of myeloproliferative disorder was observed. In summary, the highest risk of developing a solid tumor was associated with the diagnosis of Fanconi anemia. Better prevention of GVHD or omission of azathioprine as GVHD therapy (or both) may reduce the risk of late tumor development. Similarly, nonirradiation conditioning regimens may reduce the tumor risk, at least in patients without Fanconi anemia. Interactions between potential risk factors are complex, and further observation and additional analyses will be of interest.

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