Who Is a Better Donor for Recipients of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: A Young HLA-Mismatched Haploidentical Relative or an Older Fully HLA-Matched Sibling or Unrelated Donor?

Eva Karam, Justin Laporte, Scott R Solomon, Lawrence E Morris, Xu Zhang, H Kent Holland, Asad Bashey, Melhem M Solh
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2019, 25 (10): 2054-2060
T cell replete HLA-mismatched haploidentical transplantation (HIDT) with post-transplant cyclophosphamide is increasingly becoming an acceptable treatment approach for patients lacking timely access to a suitably matched related donor transplant (MRDT) or matched unrelated donor transplant (MUDT). Multiple recent registry and single-center studies have shown comparable overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) rates among HIDT, MRDT, and MUDT with a significantly lower risk of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) among HIDT recipients. Candidates for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) often have access to multiple donor sources, and a relevant question is whether outcomes can be improved with a younger HLA-mismatched haploidentical donor (≤35 years) rather than an older matched related donor (≥35 years) or matched unrelated donor (≥35 years). We analyzed 406 consecutive allogenic HSCT recipients, with a median age of 54 years (range, 19 to 77), after a MRDT with a donor age of ≥35 years (n = 222), MUDT with a donor age of ≥35 years (n = 91), and HIDT with a donor age of ≤35 years (n = 93). Median follow-up time for survivors was 51.5 months. Compared with MRDT and MUDT, HIDT recipients had a similar median age at time of HSCT, hematopoietic cell transplant comorbidity index, disease risk index distribution, and donor recipient sex matching. The survival estimates and relapse incidence at 3 years post-HSCT were OS (64% for MRDT, 54% for MUDT, and 62% for HIDT), DFS (55% for MRDT, 44% for MUDT, and 58% for HIDT), Transplant related mortality (TRM) (19% for MRDT, 16% for MUDT, and 18% for HIDT), and relapse (26% for MRDT, 37% for MUDT, and 24% for HIDT). HIDT recipients had better 3-year relapse rates compared with MUDT recipients (24% versus 37%, P= .048), with similar DFS and OS in a univariate analysis. MRDT recipients had a better relapse rate (26% versus 37%, P = .042) compared with MUDT recipients. Recipients of HIDT also had significantly lower rates of moderate to severe chronic GVHD compared with MRDT and MUDT recipients (P = .01). Multivariable analysis showed no effect of donor on OS, DFS, relapse, and TRM. Recipients of HIDT from a young donor ≤35 years had similar OS, lower rates of chronic GVHD, and better chronic GVHD-free, relapse-free survival compared with patients undergoing transplantation with an MRD or a MUD donor ≥35 years. This study suggests that given a situation where a choice between a young haploidentical relative and an older matched unrelated donor is to be made, one can achieve similar survival with a haploidentical donor and significantly lower rates of chronic GVHD.

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