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Transplantation. 1999 Feb 27;67(4):499-504.

Mycophenolate mofetil and cyclosporine as graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis after allogeneic blood stem cell transplantation.

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  • 1Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany.



Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is an inhibitor of purine nucleotide de novo synthesis leading to impaired proliferation of activated lymphocytes. Studies in animals show a synergistic effect of MMF and cyclosporine (CsA) in preventing acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. We performed a pilot study evaluating the feasibility of the combined application of MMF and CsA as GVHD prophylaxis after allogeneic blood stem cell transplantation. Toxicity and the bioavailability of MMF in this setting were investigated.


Fourteen patients who had received grafts from HLA-compatible siblings received 2 g of oral MMF from day 1 to 14 combined with intravenous CsA at 4 mg/kg starting at day-1. Plasma levels of mycophenolic acid (MPA) and its glucoronide were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. Fifteen patients treated with a combination of CsA and methotrexate at the same institution were referred to as the control group.


Trilineage engraftment was achieved in all study and control patients. Acute GVHD > or = grade II was observed in 46.5% and 60% of the study and control patients, respectively. No major differences in the rate of acute toxicities were detectable. The mean trough blood level of MPA in 10 patients was 0.28 microg/ml, and 5.7 microg/ml for MPA glucoronide. Reduced peak levels of MPA indicate a reduced absorption rate of MMF in the early posttransplant phase.


The combined administration of MMF and CsA was shown to be feasible in patients after allogeneic blood stem cell transplantation. Because of the decreased bioavailability of MMF, dose-finding studies for an intravenous formulation are warranted.

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