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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2007 Jan;39(1):31-9. Epub 2006 Nov 20.

Short-term methotrexate could reduce early immune reactions and improve outcomes in umbilical cord blood transplantation for adults.

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Department of Hematology, Toyohashi Municipal Hospital, Toyohashi, Japan.


Post transplant immune disorders are problematic in cord blood transplantation (CBT) for adult patients, and optimal prophylaxis has not been established. We investigated whether intensive graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis using short-term methotrexate (MTX) has a prognostic impact on CBT. Post-CBT immune reactions were classified according to time course as pre-engraftment immune reaction (PIR), engraftment syndrome (ES) or acute GVHD. Between March 2001 and November 2005, a total of 77 patients underwent CBT at eight transplantation centers. Median age was 48 years (range, 18-69 years). Preparative regimens comprised myeloablative (n=31) or reduced-intensity (n=46). Acute GVHD prophylaxis included cyclosporine alone (n=23), tacrolimus alone (n=12), cyclosporine plus MTX (n=17), tacrolimus plus short-term MTX (n=23) or cyclosporine plus methylprednisolone (n=2). Cumulative incidences of PIR, ES and grade II-IV GVHD were 36, 12 and 23%, respectively. Short-term MTX exerted significant favorable effects on post-CBT immune reactions (hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.31-0.98; P=0.04) in multivariate analysis. Overall survival rates for patients with and without short-term MTX at day 180 were 59% (95% CI, 42-73%) and 16% (95% CI, 6.6-30%) (P=0.0001), respectively. Short-term MTX could offer one optimal regimen to reduce immune reactions and improve outcomes in CBT.

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