Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm

  • Daniel KerrIIEmail author
  • Ling Zhang
  • Lubomir Sokol
Leukemia (PH Wiernik, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Leukemia

Opinion statement

While there is a high initial response rate with standard chemotherapeutic regimens for blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN), the responses are typically not durable and this remains a very aggressive disease with generally poor outcomes. For this reason, the standard approach for eligible patients has been high-dose induction chemotherapy preferably with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)-based regimens followed by consolidation with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT). Unfortunately, many patients with this disease are elderly and/or frail and cannot tolerate this therapy, and the low-dose regimens being used in this population are generally not as effective. However, this paradigm may be changing with the advent of newer targeted therapies, particularly the exploitation of CD123. SL-401 has shown very promising results with manageable toxicities and durable responses and appears to be a viable option for elderly or frail patients who are not eligible for transplant. The other CD123-directed therapies, especially chimeric antigen receptor-therapy (CAR-T), may also give promising results in trials that are currently underway. CAR-T has shown promise in a number of other hematologic malignancies, and toxicities have become more manageable as its use is becoming more widespread. While SL-401 has shown potential to provide durable responses even without transplant, we do not yet know whether it will be effective as a means to avoid transplant in patients who are otherwise eligible. All transplant-eligible patients should undergo alloHSCT consolidation given the current available data indicating this is the optimal approach to achieve a long-term remission. Once the CD123-directed therapies are established as standard regimens, future studies may be designed to investigate whether these therapies can be utilized without the use of transplant. Furthermore, combination therapy using anti-CD123 agents with high-dose induction chemotherapy or other low-dose regimens for elderly/frail patients should be investigated. Given the promising results in early clinical trials, it appears CD123 is the most viable target for BPDCN, and future studies should continue to exploit its expression on BPDCN cells.


BPDCN Leukemia CD123 Bone marrow transplant SL-401 Venetoclax 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hematology and Medical OncologyMoffitt Cancer Center/University of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Moffitt Cancer CenterDepartment of PathologyTampaUSA

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