Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Lancet Oncol. 2012 Apr;13(4):366-74. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70004-9. Epub 2012 Feb 15.

Effect of T-cell-epitope matching at HLA-DPB1 in recipients of unrelated-donor haemopoietic-cell transplantation: a retrospective study.

Erratum in

  • Lancet Oncol. 2012 Apr;13(4):e134-5.



The risks after unrelated-donor haemopoietic-cell transplantation with matched HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQB1 alleles between donor and recipient (10/10 matched) can be decreased by selection of unrelated donors who also match for HLA-DPB1; however, such donors are difficult to find. Classification of HLA-DPB1 mismatches based on T-cell-epitope groups could identify mismatches that might be tolerated (permissive) and those that would increase risks (non-permissive) after transplantation. We did a retrospective study to compare outcomes between permissive and non-permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatches in unrelated-donor haemopoietic-cell transplantation.


HLA and clinical data for unrelated-donor [corrected] transplantations submitted to the International Histocompatibility Working Group in haemopoietic-cell transplantation were analysed retrospectively. HLA-DPB1 T-cell-epitope groups were assigned according to a functional algorithm based on alloreactive T-cell crossreactivity patterns. Recipients and unrelated donors matching status were classified as HLA-DPB1 match, non-permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatch (those with mismatched T-cell-epitope groups), or permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatch (those with matched T-cell-epitope groups). The clinical outcomes assessed were overall mortality, non-relapse mortality, relapse, and severe (grade 3-4) acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD).


Of 8539 transplantations, 5428 (64%) were matched for ten of ten HLA alleles (HLA 10/10 matched) and 3111 (36%) for nine of ten alleles (HLA 9/10 matched). Of the group overall, 1719 (20%) were HLA-DPB1 matches, 2670 (31%) non-permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatches, and 4150 (49%) permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatches. In HLA 10/10-matched transplantations, non-permissive mismatches were associated with a significantly increased risk of overall mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1·15, 95% CI 1·05-1·25; p=0·002), non-relapse mortality (1·28, 1·14-1·42; p<0·0001), and severe aGvHD (odds ratio [OR] 1·31, 95% CI 1·11-1·54; p=0·001), but not relapse (HR 0·89, 95% CI 0·77-1·02; p=0·10), compared with permissive mismatches. There were significant differences between permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatches and HLA-DPB1 matches in terms of non-relapse mortality (0·86, 0·75-0·98; p=0·03) and relapse (1·34, 1·17-1·54; p<0·0001), but not for overall mortality (0·96, 0·87-1·06; p=0·40) or aGvHD (OR 0·84, 95% CI 0·69-1·03; p=0·09). In the HLA 9/10 matched population, non-permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatches also increased the risk of overall mortality (HR 1·10, 95% CI 1·00-1·22; p=0·06), non-relapse mortality (1·19, 1·05-1·36; p=0·007), and severe aGvHD (OR 1·37, 95% CI 1·13-1·66; p=0·002) compared with permissive mismatches, but the risk of relapse was the same in both groups (HR 0·93, 95% CI 0·78-1·11; p=0·44). Outcomes for HLA 10/10-matched transplantations with non-permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatches did not differ substantially from those for HLA 9/10-matched transplantations with permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatches or HLA-DPB1 matches.


T-cell-epitope matching defines permissive and non-permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatches. Avoidance of an unrelated donor with a non-permissive T-cell-epitope mismatch at HLA-DPB1 might provide a practical clinical strategy for lowering the risks of mortality after unrelated-donor haemopoietic-cell transplantation.


National Institutes of Health; Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro; Telethon Foundation; Italian Ministry of Health; Cariplo Foundation; National Cancer Institute; National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Office of Naval Research; IRGHET Paris; Swedish Cancer Society; Children's Cancer Foundation; Swedish Research Council; Cancer Society in Stockholm; Karolinska Institutet; and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk