Unrelated stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma after a reduced-intensity conditioning with pretransplantation antithymocyte globulin is highly effective with low transplantation-related mortality

Nicolaus Kröger, Herbert Gottfried Sayer, Rainer Schwerdtfeger, Michael Kiehl, Arnon Nagler, Helmut Renges, Tatjana Zabelina, Boris Fehse, Francis Ayuk, Georg Wittkowsky, Norbert Schmitz, Axel Rolf Zander
Blood 2002 December 1, 100 (12): 3919-24
We investigated the feasibility of unrelated stem cell transplantation in 21 patients with advanced stage II/III multiple myeloma after a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen consisting of fludarabine (150 mg/m(2)), melphalan (100-140 mg/m(2)), and antithymocyte globulin (ATG; 10 mg/kg on 3 days). The median patient age was 50 years (range, 32-61 years). All patients had received at least one prior autologous transplantation, in 9 cases as part of an autologous-allogeneic tandem protocol. No graft failure was observed. At day 40 complete donor chimerism was detected in all patients. Grade II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was seen in 8 patients (38%), and severe grade III/IV GVHD was observed in 4 patients (19%). Six patients (37%) developed chronic GVHD, but only 2 patients (12%) experienced extensive chronic GVHD. The estimated probability of nonrelapse mortality at day 100 was 10% and at 1 year was 26%. After allografting, 40% of the patients achieved a complete remission, and 50% achieved a partial remission, resulting in an overall response rate of 90%. After a median follow-up of 13 months, the 2-year estimated overall and progression-free survival rates are 74% (95% CI, 54%-94%) and 53% (95% CI, 29%-87%), respectively. A shorter progression-free survival was seen in patients who already experienced relapse to prior autograft (26% versus 86%, P =.04). Dose-reduced conditioning with pretransplantation ATG followed by unrelated stem cell transplantation provides durable engraftment and donor chimerism, reduces substantially the risk of transplant-related organ toxicity, and induces high remission rates.

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