Background: For patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), disease relapse remains the most common reason for transplant failure and patient death. Recent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have aimed to reduce the risk of relapse by means of post-transplant maintenance therapy. Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs comparing the efficacy and safety of maintenance with observation or placebo in patients with AML after allogeneic HSCT. We searched Cochrane Library, PubMed and conference proceedings up to Febuary 2021. Results: Our search yielded five trials including 736 patients. Maintenance therapy consisted of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in 3 studies (sorafenib 2 studies; midostaurin 1 study) and hypomethylating agents (HMAs) in 2 studies (decitabine and azacytidine 1 study each). Maintenance therapy was associated with an improved overall survival (OS), HR = 0.61 (95% CI 0.47–0.80). Subgroup analysis revealed advantage in OS with either TKI or HMA maintenance. Relapse free survival (RFS) was also improved in the maintenance arm compared with the control arm HR = 0.51(95% CI 0.40 − 0.66). There was no difference between the two arms in overall grade 3/4 adverse events or overall infections, in grade 3/4 infections, or in acute and chronic graft versus host disease. Conclusions: Our meta-analysis shows that post-transplant maintenance therapy in AML patients is effective in improving RFS and OS, with a satisfactory safety profile.
- Acute myeloid leukemia
- allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant