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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2001 Apr;27(8):801-7.

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation reduces disease progression compared to autologous transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma.

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  • 1Departments of Internal Medicine, Radiation-Oncology, and Biostatistics, University of Michigan Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


This study compares the probability of disease progression, progression-free survival, and overall survival between patients undergoing an allogeneic or autologous transplant for multiple myeloma using an identical preparative regimen. Patients received a preparative regimen of TBI, busulfan, and cyclophosphamide followed by an allogeneic or autologous transplant. In the allogeneic group (n = 21), six patients received bone marrow and 15 received G-CSF mobilized PBSC; all autologous patients (n = 35) received PBSC mobilized with cyclophosphamide and G-CSF. Allogeneic donors were HLA-identical (n = 20) or one-antigen mismatched (n = 1) siblings. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis consisted of tacrolimus (n = 10), tacrolimus/methotrexate (n = 6), cyclosporine/methotrexate (n = 4), or cyclosporine (n = 1). The groups were evenly matched for gender, pretransplant therapy, disease status at time of transplant, myeloma subtype, and time from diagnosis to transplant. The median age was significantly lower in the allogeneic group (48 vs 55 years, P < 0.01). In the allogeneic group the probabilities of developing acute GVHD grade II-IV and chronic GVHD were 55% and 82%, respectively. The Kaplan-Meier probability of disease progression was significantly lower in the allogeneic group (11% vs 64%, P < 0.001) compared to the autologous group. Although progression-free (60% vs 30%, P = 0.19) and overall survival at 2 years (60% vs 42%, P = 0.39) favored the allogeneic group, this did not reach statistical significance. Within the allogeneic transplant group, patients age 50 years or under had a 3-year overall survival significantly higher when compared to older patients (79% vs 29%, P = 0.03). Using identical preparative regimens, allogeneic transplantation reduced disease progression compared to autologous transplantation for myeloma. This suggests that allogeneic transplantation induces a graft-versus-myeloma (GVM) effect.

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