Modified donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) for the prophylaxis of leukemia relapse after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with advanced leukemia—feasibility and safety study

Xiao-Jun Huang, Yu Wang, Dai-Hong Liu, Lan-Ping Xu, Huan Chen, Yu-Hong Chen, Wei Han, Hong-Xia Shi, Kai-Yan Liu
Journal of Clinical Immunology 2008, 28 (4): 390-7

PURPOSE: We retrospectively evaluated the feasibility and safety of a modified prophylactic donor lymphocytes infusion (DLI) approach in advanced leukemia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-three patients with advanced leukemia received modified prophylactic DLI; that is, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-primed peripheral blood progenitor cells instead of steady-donor lymphocyte harvests were used, and a short-term immunosuppressive agent (cyclosporine A or methotrexate 10 mg once per week for 2 to 4 weeks) was used for prevention of DLI-associated graft versus host disease (GVHD) after human leukocyte antigen-identical sibling hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

RESULTS: Thirty-nine infusions were performed in 33 patients. The mononuclear cells and median CD3+ cells infused for DLI were 1-2 x 10(8) and 0.93 x 10(6) per kilogram, respectively. Six patients experienced II-IV-grade acute GVHD. Twenty patients developed chronic GVHD. No GVHD-related death or transfusion-related pancytopenia was observed. With an 18-month median follow-up, 16 patients were in disease-free survival, and overall survival at 1 and 1.5 years was 69.0% and 50.2%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The modified prophylactic DLI strategy might represent a step forward in the treatment of advanced leukemia.

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