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Blood. 2003 Feb 15;101(4):1620-9. Epub 2002 Oct 3.

Low-dose total body irradiation (TBI) and fludarabine followed by hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) from HLA-matched or mismatched unrelated donors and postgrafting immunosuppression with cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) can induce durable complete chimerism and sustained remissions in patients with hematological diseases.

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  • 1Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Leipzig, Germany.


Toxicities of high-dose conditioning regimens have limited the use of conventional unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) to younger, medically fit patients. Based on preclinical studies, an HCT approach has been developed for elderly or medically infirm patients with HLA-matched or mismatched unrelated donors. In this study, 52 patients with hematological diseases were included. Most (88%) had preceding unsuccessful conventional HCT or refractory/advanced disease. Patients were treated with fludarabine 30 mg/m(2)/d from days -4 to -2, 2 Gy total body irradiation on day 0, cyclosporine at 6.25 mg/kg twice daily from day -3, and mycophenolate mofetil at 15 mg/kg twice daily from day 0. Durable donor chimerism was attained in 88% of the patients. By day 28, a median of 100% of CD56(+) cells were of donor origin. Granulocyte and T-cell donor chimerism increased to medians of 100% on day 56 and day 180 (range, 55%-100%), respectively. Acute GVHD, grade II, was seen in 42% (CI, 29%-56%); grade III in 8% (CI, 0%-15%); and grade IV in 13% (CI, 4%-23%) of patients; it was fatal in 9%. The 100-day transplantation-related mortality was 11%. Complete remissions, including molecular remissions, were seen in 45% of patients with measurable disease before transplantation. Mortality from disease progression was 27% at one year. With a median follow-up of 19 months, 18 of the 52 patients (35%) were alive and 25% were in remission. HCT from HLA-matched or mismatched unrelated donors can be performed with a reduced intensity conditioning regimen in patients ineligible for conventional HCT.

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