Improving survival rates in children with malignancy have been achieved at the cost of a high frequency of late adverse effects of treatment, especially in intensively treated patients such as those undergoing haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), many of whom suffer the high burden of chronic toxicity. Secondary malignant neoplasms (SMNs) are one of the most devastating late effects, cause much morbidity and are the most frequent cause of late (yet still premature) treatment-related mortality. They occur in up to 7% of HSCT recipients by 20 years post-HSCT, and with no evidence yet of a plateau in incidence with longer follow-up. This review describes the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features and risk factors of the three main categories of post-HSCT SMNs. A wide range of solid SMNs has been described, usually occurring 10 years or more post-HSCT, related most often to previous or conditioning radiotherapy. Therapy-related acute myeloid leukaemia/myelodysplasia occurs earlier, typically three to seven years post-HSCT, mainly in recipients of autologous transplant and is related to previous alkylating agent or topoisomerase II inhibitor chemotherapy. Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders occur early (usually within two years) post-HSCT, usually presenting as Epstein-Barr virus-related B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
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