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Lancet. 2003 Feb 15;361(9357):553-60.

Long-term survival and transplantation of haemopoietic stem cells for immunodeficiencies: report of the European experience 1968-99.

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Service de Biostatistique et Service d'Immunologie et d'Hématologie Pédiatrique, Hôpital Necker Enfants Malades, Paris, France.



Transplantation of allogeneic haemopoietic stem cells can cure several primary immunodeficiencies. This European report focuses on the long-term results of such procedures done between 1968 and December, 1999, for primary immunodeficiencies.


The report includes data from 37 centres in 18 countries, which participated in a European registry for stem-cell transplantation in severe combined immuno deficiencies (SCID) and in other immunodeficiency disorders (non-SCID). 1082 transplants in 919 patients were studied (566 in 475 SCID patients, 512 in 444 non-SCID patients; four procedures excluded owing to insufficient data). Minimum follow-up of 6 months was required.


In SCID, 3-year survival with sustained engraftment was significantly better after HLA-identical than after mismatched transplantation (77% vs 54%; p=0.002) and survival improved over time. In HLA-mismatched stem-cell transplantation, B(-) SCID had poorer prognosis than B(+) SCID. However, improvement with time occurred in both SCID phenotypes. In non-SCID, 3-year survival after genotypically HLA-matched, phenotypically HLA-matched, HLA-mismatched related, and unrelated-donor transplantation was 71%, 42%, 42%, and 59%, respectively (p=0.0006). Acute graft versus host disease predicted poor prognosis whatever the donor origin except in related HLA-identical transplantation in SCID.


The improvement in survival over time indicates more effective prevention and treatment of disease-related and procedure-related complications--eg, infections and graft versus host disease. An important factor is better prevention of graft versus host disease in the HLA-non-identical setting by use of more efficient methods of T-cell depletion. For non-SCID, stem-cell transplantation can provide a cure, and grafts from unrelated donors are almost as beneficial as those from genetically HLA-identical relatives.

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