Fludarabine vs cladribine plus busulfan and low-dose TBI as reduced intensity conditioning for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a prospective randomized trial

M Markova, J N Barker, J S Miller, M Arora, J E Wagner, L J Burns, M L MacMillan, D Douek, T DeFor, Y Tan, T Repka, B R Blazar, D J Weisdorf
Bone Marrow Transplantation 2007, 39 (4): 193-9
Purine analogs are often used for conditioning preceding allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT). We prospectively tested fludarabine (Flu) 40 mg/m(2)/day x 5 days vs cladribine (Clad) 10 mg/m(2)/day x 5 days plus oral busulfan (1 mg/kg q6 h x 2 days) and total body irradiation 200 cGy in 32 recipients of matched sibling and unrelated donor (URD) HCT. Patients were similar in age (median 52 years), diagnosis, extensive pre-HCT therapy (56 vs 63%), and high-risk disease status (81 vs 93%). Neutrophil engraftment was prompt (median 11 vs 12 days), but early graft failure using Clad halted randomization. Platelet recovery was prompt (median Flu 18 vs Clad 24 days). Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after Flu vs Clad was similar; (acute grade II/IV 56 vs 69%, P=0.26; chronic 50 vs 31%, P=0.27). Nonrelapse mortality (Flu 25 vs Clad 38%, P=0.47) and progression-free survival at 3 years were similar as well. Multivariate analyses showed slightly, but not significantly lower relative risk (RR) of neutrophil engraftment with Clad (RR 0.6 (95% CI 0.2-1.3) P=0.16) and with URD RR 0.4 (0.2-1.0) P=0.04). Older patients with advanced hematologic malignancies achieve satisfactory outcomes using either of these reduced intensity conditioning regimens.

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