Tacrolimus and methotrexate for the prophylaxis of graft-versus-host disease after unrelated donor cord blood transplantation for adult patients with hematologic malignancies

T Mori, Y Aisa, T Nakazato, R Yamazaki, T Shimizu, A Mihara, A Yamane, Y Ikeda, S Okamoto
Transplantation Proceedings 2007, 39 (5): 1615-9
Eighteen patients with hematologic malignancies underwent cord blood transplantation (CBT) from unrelated donors after being conditioned with myeloablative or reduced-intensity regimens, and received tacrolimus and methotrexate (15 mg/m(2) on day 1, 10 mg/m(2) on days 3 and 6) as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis. The median number of nucleated cells in infused cord blood was 2.66 x 10(7)/kg (range 1.90 to 4.15 x 10(7)/kg). Engraftment was achieved in 16 of 18 patients. The median time to absolute neutrophil count >0.5 x 10(9)/L was 21.5 days (range 17 to 32), and the median time to platelet count >2.0 x 10(9)/L was 36 days (range 26 to 57). Of the 16 evaluable patients, five and eight had grades I and II acute GVHD, respectively, and none had grades III/IV acute GVHD. The cumulative incidence of grade II acute GVHD was 44.4%. Chronic GVHD occurred in 7 of 15 evaluable patients: limited type in three patients, extensive type in four patients. Of the 18 patients, 14 were alive and disease-free between 173 and 1514 days after CBT (median 746 days). The probability of disease-free survival at 2 years was 79.1%. These results, although in a retrospective study, suggested that tacrolimus and short-term methotrexate effectively prevented the occurrence of severe acute GVHD after unrelated CBT, and may contribute to a high survival rate.

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