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Blood. 2000 Mar 15;95(6):1931-4.

Antilymphocyte globulin, cyclosporine, prednisolone, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor for severe aplastic anemia: an update of the GITMO/EBMT study on 100 patients. European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) Working Party on Severe Aplastic Anemia and the Gruppo Italiano Trapianti di Midolio Osseo (GITMO).

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  • 1Divisione Ematologia 2, Ospedale San Martino, Genova, Italy.


One hundred consecutive patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA) received horse antilymphocyte globulin (ALG), cyclosporin A (CyA), 6-methylprednisolone (6Mpred), and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) as first-line therapy. The median age was 16 years (range, 1-72 years) and median neutrophil count was 0.2 x 10(9)/L (range, 0-0.5 x 10(9)/L). Trilineage hematologic recovery (at a median interval of 96 days from treatment) was seen in 77 patients (48 complete, 29 partial) after 1 (n = 50) or more courses of ALG (n = 27). Of the 23 nonresponders, 11 patients died at a median interval of 83 days (range, 16-1132 days), 6 were considered treatment failures and underwent transplantation, and 6 were pancytopenic. Cytogenetic abnormalities were seen in 11% of patients, clonal hematologic disease in 8%, and relapse of marrow aplasia in 9%. The actuarial survival at 5 years was 87% (median follow-up 1424 days): 76% versus 98% for patients with neutrophil counts less than versus greater than 0.2 x 10(9)/L (P =.001) and 88% versus 87% for patients aged less than versus more than 16 years (P =.8). The actuarial probability of discontinuing CyA was 38%. Patients who did not achieve a white blood cell (WBC) count of 5 x 10(9)/L during G-CSF treatment have a low probability of responding (37%) and a high mortality rate (42%). This update confirms a high probability for SAA patients of becoming transfusion independent and of surviving after treatment with ALG, CyA, 6Mpred, and G-CSF, with a significant effect of neutrophil counts on outcome. Problems still remain, such as absent or incomplete responses, clonal evolution, relapse of the original disease, and cyclosporine dependence. Early transplantation, also from alternative donors, may be warranted in patients with poor WBC response to G-CSF. (Blood. 2000;95:1931-1934)

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