Advances in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) have resulted in a growing number of transplant survivors; however, long-term survivors are at risk of developing late complications, and published guidelines recommend screening of this population. We conducted a single-center prospective study to evaluate the adherence to and usefulness of recommended screenings at a long-term follow-up (LTFU) clinic.
We included consecutive patients who received allo-HCT at our center from 2014, as well as post-HCT patients visiting our outpatient clinic. Visits and screenings were planned at 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year after allo-HCT, and annually thereafter. Outcomes were reported by physicians including the incidence of findings at each screening that led to interventions.
Among the 216 participants, 95% visited the LTFU clinic, and 94% completed planned screenings. However, the rate of secondary cancer screenings targeting high-risk subjects was lower (38% to 68%). The overall percentage of screening results leading to interventions was 4.5%, with higher percentages (> 10%) for bone density testing, ophthalmological examinations, dental assessment, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and colonoscopy, with two patients diagnosed with secondary cancers.
Although the overall screening rate was high, it should be possible to improve the detection rate of late complications by decreasing screening failures, especially the screening for secondary cancers limited for high-risk survivors. A nationwide effort to educate HCT survivors and health practitioners using standardized nationwide LTFU tools may be effective, along with the development of institutional, local, and nationwide networks to maintain effective follow-up systems.

© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.