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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2008 Mar;41(5):425-37. doi: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1705973. Epub 2008 Jan 21.

Hematopoietic transplantation from adult unrelated donors as treatment for acute myeloid leukemia.

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  • 1Clinical Hematology Division and Hematopoietic Transplant Program, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Transplantation from unrelated donors (URD) is increasingly being used as treatment for hematological malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This increase is the consequence of the availability of more than 11 million URD volunteers and the more efficient donor search process in the recent years. Median time to identify a suitable URD is now 2 months. More than 50% of Caucasian patients have an human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-allele donor match and a one-antigen or allele HLA-mismatched donor may also be acceptable. Complications of URD transplants are particularly frequent and severe, with long-term OS in the registries being 10-20% inferior to HLA-identical sibling transplantation. High resolution DNA techniques for donor and recipient HLA matching have contributed to the survival in experienced centres after unrelated donor SCT approaching that achieved with sibling donors. The introduction of reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) has extended URD transplants to elderly and/or debilitated patients with AML. With this approach, TRM decreases, although graft-versus-host disease-related morbidity and mortality remain a problem. Despite this complication, results after URD transplantation in this age group seem better than those achieved with chemotherapy and/or autologous transplantation. To confirm this possibility, prospective multicenter comparisons of URD transplants after RIC with other treatment options for elderly AML patients have recently been started.

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