Disease overview: Systemic mastocytosis (SM) results from a clonal proliferation of abnormal mast cells (MC) in one or more extracutaneous organs. Diagnosis: The major criterion is presence of multifocal clusters of morphologically abnormal MC in the bone marrow. Minor diagnostic criteria include elevated serum tryptase level, abnormal MC expression of CD25 and/or CD2, and presence of KITD816V. Risk stratification: The prognostic relevance of the 2008 World Health Organization (WHO) classification of SM has recently been confirmed. Classification of SM patients into indolent (SM), aggressive SM (ASM), SM associated with a clonal non-MC lineage disease (SM-AHNMD), and mast cell leukemia (MCL) subgroups is a useful first step in establishing prognosis. Risk-adapted therapy: SM treatment is generally palliative. ISM patients have a normal life expectancy and receive symptom-directed therapy; infrequently, cytoreductive therapy may be indicated for refractory symptoms. ASM patients have disease-related organ dysfunction; interferon-α (±corticosteroids) can control dermatological, hematological, gastrointestinal, skeletal, and mediator-release symptoms, but is hampered by poor tolerability. Similarly, cladribine has broad therapeutic activity, with particular utility when rapid MC debulking is indicated; the main toxicity is myelosuppression. Imatinib has a therapeutic role in the presence of an imatinib-sensitive KIT mutation or in KITD816-unmutated patients. Treatment of SM-AHNMD is governed primarily by the non-MC neoplasm; hydroxyurea has modest utility in this setting. Dasatinib's in vitro anti- KITD816V activity has not translated into significant therapeutic activity in most SM patients. In contrast, preliminary data suggest that Midostaurin may produce significant decreases in MC burden in some patients.
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