Chronic graft-versus-host disease: long-term results from a randomized trial on graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis with or without anti-T-cell globulin ATG-Fresenius

Gérard Socié, Claudia Schmoor, Wolfgang A Bethge, Hellmut D Ottinger, Matthias Stelljes, Axel R Zander, Liisa Volin, Tapani Ruutu, Dominik A Heim, Rainer Schwerdtfeger, Karin Kolbe, Jiri Mayer, Johan A Maertens, Werner Linkesch, Ernst Holler, Vladimir Koza, Martin Bornhäuser, Hermann Einsele, Hans-Jochem Kolb, Hartmut Bertz, Matthias Egger, Olga Grishina, Jürgen Finke
Blood 2011 June 9, 117 (23): 6375-82
Previous randomized graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)-prophylaxis trials have failed to demonstrate reduced incidence and severity of chronic GVHD (cGVHD). Here we reanalyzed and updated a randomized phase 3 trial comparing standard GVHD prophylaxis with or without pretransplantation ATG-Fresenius (ATG-F) in 201 adult patients receiving myeloablative conditioning before transplantation from unrelated donors. The cumulative incidence of extensive cGVHD after 3 years was 12.2% in the ATG-F group versus 45.0% in the control group (P < .0001). The 3-year cumulative incidence of relapse and of nonrelapse mortality was 32.6% and 19.4% in the ATG-F group and 28.2% and 33.5% in the control group (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.21, P = .47, and HR = 0.68, P = .18), respectively. This nonsignificant reduction in nonrelapse mortality without increased relapse risk led to an overall survival rate after 3 years of 55.2% in the ATG-F group and 43.3% in the control group (HR = 0.84, P = .39, nonsignificant). The HR for receiving immunosuppressive therapy (IST) was 0.31 after ATG-F (P < .0001), and the 3-year probability of survival free of IST was 52.9% and 16.9% in the ATG-F versus control, respectively. The addition of ATG-F to standard cyclosporine, methotrexate GVHD prophylaxis lowers the incidence and severity of cGVHD, and the risk of receiving IST without raising the relapse rate. ATG-F prophylaxis reduces cGVHD morbidity.

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