Comparison of outcomes after HLA-matched sibling and unrelated donor transplantation for children with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Mei-Jie Zhang, Stella M Davies, Bruce M Camitta, Brent Logan, Karin Tiedemann, Mary Eapen, Elizabeth L Thiel
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2012, 18 (8): 1204-10
We compared outcomes after 94 HLA-matched sibling, 168 unrelated donor bone marrow (BM; n = 81 matched and n = 88 mismatched), and 86 cord blood transplantations in patients age 1 to 15 years with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in second complete remission (CR). All patients had their first BM relapse within 3 years from diagnosis. Cox regression models were constructed to examine for differences in transplant outcome by donor source. Risks of grade 2 to 4 acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) and chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), when compared to HLA-matched sibling transplants, were higher after matched unrelated donor BM (relative risk [RR], 2.42; P = .001; RR, 5.12; P < .001, respectively), mismatched BM (RR, 3.24; P < .001; RR, 5.19; P < .001, respectively), and cord blood (RR, 2.67; P < .001; RR, 2.54; P = .024, respectively) transplants. Although nonrelapse mortality was higher after transplantation of mismatched unrelated donor BM and cord blood, there were no differences in leukemia-free survival (LFS) between HLA-matched sibling and any of the unrelated donor transplantations. The 3-year probabilities of LFS were 50% after HLA-matched sibling and 44% after matched unrelated BM, and 44% after mismatched unrelated BM and 43% after cord blood transplantation. Our observations support transplantation of BM or cord blood from a suitably matched unrelated donor or cord blood for patients without an HLA-matched sibling with ALL in second CR.

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