Four decades of stem cell transplantation for Fanconi anaemia in the Netherlands

Stephanie E Smetsers, Frans J Smiers, Dorine Bresters, Martine C Sonnevelt, Marc B Bierings
British Journal of Haematology 2016, 174 (6): 952-61
This article presents the haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT) results of the complete Dutch Fanconi anaemia (FA) patient cohort. Sixty-eight Dutch FA patients have been transplanted since 1972. In total, 63 (93%) patients engrafted, 54 after first SCT and 9 after second SCT. Fludarabine (FLU)-based conditioning was associated with decreased graft failure (odds ratio 0·21, P = 0·01), decreased early mortality (hazard ratio 0·25, P = 0·01) and improved 5-year overall survival (FLU 87·8% [standard error (SE) 5·1%] versus non-FLU 59·3% [SE 9·5%], P = 0·01). Late mortality was mainly caused by squamous cell carcinoma. Twenty-two patients were treated with the current Dutch FA conditioning regimen (FLU 150 mg/m(2) and cyclophosphamide 30 mg/kg ± anti-thymocyte globulin - no irradiation). Stem cell donors were matched related (n = 8) or alternative donors (n = 14). Stable engraftment after first SCT was achieved in 19 (86%) patients. At a median follow-up of 3·9 years 20 (91%) patients are alive. Our study provides a unique overview of a nation-wide SCT cohort illustrating the major improvements in treatment regimen and patient outcome in recent years. It shows that a non-irradiation and busulfan-free conditioning regimen can be used successfully, also in alternative donor SCT. Furthermore, it underlines the importance of late cancer screening and comprehensive care for this complex disorder.

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