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Significant impact of antibiotic exposure on GI-GVHD, NRM, and GRFS following allogeneic HCT with non-myeloablative Flu-TBI conditioning.

Leukemia & Lymphoma 2024 March 24
BACKGROUND: Acute gastro-intestinal graft- versus -host disease (GI-GVHD) and non-relapse mortality (NRM) after allogeneic HCT are closely related to loss of microbial diversity and intestinal dominance by single taxa resulting from the use of antibiotics, dietary changes, and mucosal barrier injury. There is a paucity of data on the impact of use of antibiotics in HCT after Flu-TBI-based non-myeloablative (NMA) conditioning where there is absence of mucositis and limited malnutrition.

METHODS: We did a retrospective single-center analysis of patients receiving Flu-TBI-based NMA HCT for a high-grade myeloid malignancy, mostly AML, and MDS, or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We analyzed the impact of pre-engraftment antibiotic exposure, prophylactic ciprofloxacin, and or treatment with broad-spectrum cephalosporin/carbapenem, on HCT outcomes, with a focus on the incidence of acute GI-GVHD by day 180 and NRM at 1 year.

RESULTS: A total of 150 patients were evaluable with a median age of 62 years. Antibiotics were used in 90 patients; 60 prophylactic use only and 30 therapeutic use with or without previous prophylaxis. Antibiotic use resulted in a significant higher incidence of GI-GVHD Stage 1-4; 29% (26/90) versus 5% (3/60) in those not receiving antibiotics (OR 8.1 (95% CI 2.3-28.3), p  = 0.001). Use of antibiotics resulted in higher 1-year NRM (19% (17/90) versus 10% (6/60), HR 2.3, p  = 0.06), and decreased 2-year GRFS (42% (38/90) versus 55% (33/60), HR 1.7, p  = 0.04), but did not impact RFS or OS.

CONCLUSIONS: Use of antibiotics was related to the occurrence of GI-GVHD, NRM, and GRFS in patients receiving truly NMA HCT. Therefore, in the absence of mucositis and low incidence of bacteremia, antibiotics can and should be used restrictively in this setting.

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