Fludarabine-based conditioning secures engraftment of second hematopoietic stem cell allografts (HSCT) in the treatment of initial graft failure

Joseph H Chewning, Hugo Castro-Malaspina, Ann Jakubowski, Nancy A Kernan, Esperanza B Papadopoulos, Trudy N Small, Glenn Heller, Katharine C Hsu, Miguel A Perales, Marcel R M van den Brink, James W Young, Susan E Prockop, Nancy H Collins, Richard J O'Reilly, Farid Boulad
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2007, 13 (11): 1313-23
Graft failure is associated with a high mortality rate. To date, regimens invoked for second transplants have resulted in inconsistent engraftment with high transplant-related mortality (TRM). We here report 16 consecutive patients, aged 4-59 years, who received second HSCT (HSCT-2) at a median of 45 days following primary or secondary failure of an initial unmodified (N = 3) or T cell-depleted (TCD) (N = 13) HSCT (HSCT-1). HSCT-1 was administered after myeloablative total body irradiation (TBI)- or alkylator-based conditioning for acute leukemias (N = 7), MDS (N = 6), CML (N = 2), and Fanconi anemia (N = 1). All patients experienced 1 or more infectious complications between HSCT-1 and HSCT-2, and 10 patients had active infections at the time of HSCT-2. Cytoreduction regimens used for HSCT-2 included fludarabine (Flu) in combination with cyclophosphamide (CTX) (N = 9), or thiotepa (Thio) (N = 5). In addition, 1 patient received Flu alone and 1 patient Thio combined with CTX. Antithymocyte globulin (ATG) (N = 11) or Alemtuzumab (N = 3) was added pretransplant to prevent rejection. For HSCT-2, donors included HLA-matched (N = 3) or mismatched (N = 8) related, or matched (N = 2) or mismatched (N = 3) unrelated donors. The primary graft donor was used in 6 of 16 cases. The grafts administered were unmodified peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT) (N = 5) or bone marrow transplantation (BMT) (N = 3), TCD PBSCT (N = 8). All patients achieved engraftment at a median of 12 days and evaluable patients achieved complete donor chimerism. Six patients are alive with a median follow-up of 49 months, including 4/9 conditioned with Flu/CTX. In this series, outcome was statistically superior for younger patients (<or=20 years). In summary, second HSCT using the combination of a fludarabine- and ATG-based, nonmyeloablative regimen and higher numbers of CD34+ progenitor cells has been associated with acceptable toxicity and allowed consistent engraftment with hematopoietic reconstitution in patients with previous graft failure.

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