Unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis

K S Baker, A H Filipovich, T G Gross, W J Grossman, G A Hale, R J Hayashi, N R Kamani, S Kurian, N Kapoor, O Ringdén, M Eapen
Bone Marrow Transplantation 2008, 42 (3): 175-80
We report outcomes after unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for 91 patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) transplanted in the US in 1989-2005. Fifty-one percent were <1 year at HCT and 29% had Lansky performance scores<90%. Most (80%) were conditioned with BU, CY, and etoposide (VP16) with or without anti-thymocyte globulin. Bone marrow was the predominant graft source. Neutrophil recovery was 91% at day-42. The probabilities of grades 2-4 acute GVHD at day-100 and chronic GVHD at 5 years were 41 and 23%, respectively. The overall mortality rate was higher in patients who did not receive BU/CY/VP16-conditioning regimen (RR 1.95, P=0.035). The 5-year probability of overall survival was 53% in patients who received BU/CY/VP16 compared to 24% in those who received other regimens. In the subset of patients with known disease-specific characteristics, only one of five patients with active disease at HCT is alive. For those in clinical remission at HCT (n=46), the 5-year probability of overall survival was 49%. Early mortality rates after HCT were high, 35% at day-100. These data demonstrate that a BU/CY/VP16-conditioning regimen provides cure in approximately 50% of patients and future studies should explore strategies to lower early mortality.

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