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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2011 Jun;17(6):885-92. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2010.09.012. Epub 2010 Sep 24.

HLA-C antigen mismatch is associated with worse outcome in unrelated donor peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.

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  • 1Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


The association between HLA matching and outcome in unrelated-donor peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) transplantation has not yet been established. In the present study, a total of 1933 unrelated donor-recipient pairs who underwent PBSC transplantation between 1999 and 2006 for acute myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, or chronic myelogenous leukemia and received high-resolution HLA typing for HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, -DQA1, and -DQB1 were included in the analysis. Outcomes were compared between HLA-matched and HLA-mismatched pairs, adjusting for patient and transplant characteristics. Matching for HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1 alleles (8/8 match) was associated with better survival at 1 year compared with 7/8 HLA-matched pairs (56% vs 47%). Using 8/8 HLA-matched patients as the baseline (n = 1243), HLA-C antigen mismatches (n = 189) were statistically significantly associated with lower leukemia-free survival (relative risk [RR], 1.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13-1.64; P = .0010), and increased risk for mortality (RR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.16-1.70; P = .0005), treatment-related mortality (RR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.25-2.08; P = .0002), and grade III-IV graft-versus-host disease (RR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.50-2.62; P < .0001). HLA-B antigen or allele mismatching was associated with an increased risk for acute GVHD grade III-IV. No statistically significant differences in outcome were observed for HLA-C allele (n = 61), HLA-A antigen/allele (n = 136), HLA-DRB1 allele (n = 39), or HLA-DQ antigen/allele (n = 114) mismatches compared with 8/8 HLA-matched pairs. HLA mismatch was not associated with relapse or chronic GVHD. HLA-C antigen-mismatched unrelated PBSC donors were associated with worse outcomes compared with 8/8 HLA-matched donors. The study's limited power due to small sample size precludes conclusions about other mismatches.

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