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Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2011 Sep;24(3):359-68. doi: 10.1016/j.beha.2011.05.001. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

Treatment of hematological malignancies with nonmyeloablative, HLA-haploidentical bone marrow transplantation and high dose, post-transplantation cyclophosphamide.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation provides the only potential curative option in many patients with hematological malignancies. Finding a suitably matched donor in a timely manner is often difficult. However, most patients have a partially HLA-mismatched (HLA-haploidentical) first-degree relative readily available. Historically, HLA-haploidentical bone marrow transplantation (BMT) has been considered extremely high risk due to high rates of life-threatening graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and non-relapse mortality (NRM). Modifications of the stem cell graft, such as T-cell depletion, have resulted in poor rates of engraftment. We have recently completed a phase II clinical trial of nonmyeloablative HLA-haploidentical hematopoietic BMT followed by post-transplantation high-cyclophosphamide. High-dose cyclophosphamide has been shown to create immunogenic tolerance by specifically killing activated mature T-cells. As a result, alloreactive T-cells in the donor graft are selectively destroyed thereby decreasing the incidence of severe GVHD. As well, host-versus-graft reactive T-cells are also selectively eliminated thereby increasing rates of engraftment. Among 210 patients with hematological malignancies receiving nonmyeloablative, HLA-haploidentical BMT with post-transplantation cyclophosphamide, the rate of sustained donor cell engraftment has been 87%. The cumulative incidence of grade 2-4 acute GVHD is 27%, grade 3-4 acute GVHD is 5% and chronic GVHD is 15%. Interestingly, increasing HLA disparity between donor and recipient was not associated with increasing incidence of GVHD or decreased event-free survival. Nonmyeloablative haploidentical stem cell transplantation with post-transplantation cyclophosphamide seems to be a promising, potentially curative, option for patients with hematological malignancies who either lack an HLA-matched related or unrelated donor, or in whom a myeloablative preparative regimen is contraindicated due to significant co-morbidities or history of extensive pre-treatment.

Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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