Immune severe aplastic anemia (SAA) is characterized by pancytopenia and immune-mediated bone marrow destruction. SAA may be treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or immunosuppressive therapy (IST). However, 30% of patients treated with IST relapse. We previously reported a clinical trial of alemtuzumab in which more than half of 25 relapsed SAA patients (56%) responded hematologically. Here, we present long-term results of a total of 42 patients. Participants with SAA who had previously completed antithymocyte globulin (ATG)-based IST, but had relapsed, were enrolled on this study. Alemtuzumab was administered intravenously (IV) (n = 28) or subcutaneously (SC) (n = 14). The primary endpoint was hematologic response at 6 months. Secondary endpoints included relapse, clonal evolution, and survival. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00195624). Patients were enrolled over 9 years, with median follow-up of 6 years. Median age was 32 years, with 57% being female. At 6 months, 18 patients (43%) achieved response; 15 (54%) of those who received IV compared with 3 (21%) who received SC therapy. Six patients (14%) had durable long-term response without need for subsequent AA-directed therapy or HSCT at last follow-up. Nine patients had clonal evolution, with high-risk evolution occurring in 6. Overall survival was 67% at median follow-up of 6 years. Prolonged iatrogenic immunosuppression was observed as long as 2 years after alemtuzumab administration. Alemtuzumab induces responses in relapsed SAA, some of which are durable long-term. However, immunosuppression can persist for years, requiring long-term monitoring.
- aplastic anemia