Reduced-intensity conditioning with busulfan and fludarabine with or without antithymocyte globulin in HLA-identical sibling transplantation—a retrospective analysis

J Schetelig, M Bornhäuser, M Kiehl, R Schwerdtfeger, N Kröger, V Runde, T Zabelina, T K Held, C Thiede, A A Fauser, D Beelen, A Zander, G Ehninger, W Siegert et al.
Bone Marrow Transplantation 2004, 33 (5): 483-90
It is unknown whether the addition of antithymocyte globulin (ATG) to reduced-intensity conditioning with busulfan (BU) and fludarabine (FLU) is beneficial in HLA-identical sibling transplantation. Therefore, we analyzed retrospectively data on 83 patients, who received peripheral blood stem cells from HLA-identical siblings after conditioning with either 8 mg/kg BU and 150 mg/m2 FLU (n=45) or 8 mg/kg BU, 180 mg/m2 FLU and 40 mg/kg ATG (n=38). Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis consisted of CSA alone (n=32) or a combination with either MTX or MMF (n=51). The median age was 52 years. Graft failure occurred in two patients after BU/FLU and in three after BU/FLU/ATG (P=0.66). After conditioning with BU/FLU, platelet recovery was significantly faster (P=0.017), and less platelet (P<0.001) and red blood cell (P=0.002) support was needed. Incidences of acute GVHD grades II and IV were 46 and 49%, respectively. Limited chronic GVHD occurred more often after BU/FLU compared to BU/FLU/ATG (54 vs 23%, P=0.02). The overall survival, non-relapse and relapse mortality did not differ significantly. We conclude that in peripheral blood stem cell transplantation from HLA-identical siblings after reduced-intensity conditioning with BU and FLU, ATG has no major impact on the rate of graft rejection and acute GVHD, but it reduces the incidence of limited chronic GVHD.

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