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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2012 Jan;47(1):33-9. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2011.39. Epub 2011 Mar 7.

Unrelated cord blood transplantation for thalassaemia: a single-institution experience of 35 patients.

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Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Children's Hospital, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.


Our study was designed to prospectively determine whether or not unrelated cord blood transplantation (CBT) can produce outcomes comparable to related donor transplantation for children with β-thalassaemia. In 35 patients, 40 transplants were performed between October 2003 and September 2009. HLA matching at enrolment was 6/6 (n=8), 5/6 (n=16), 4/6 (n=27), or 3/6 (n=1) by low-resolution HLA-A, -B, and high-resolution DRB1. These patients received non-manipulated grafts without ex vivo expansion or T-cell depletion. The median number of nucleated and CD34+ cells infused was 7.8 × 10(7)/kg (range, 2.8-14.7 × 10(7)/kg) and 4.0 × 10(5)/kg (range, 1.7-19.9 × 10(5)/kg), respectively. The 5-year OS and thalassaemia-free survival after the first transplant were 88.3 and 73.9%, respectively. The cumulative incidence of TRM at 2 years was 11.7%. Fourteen patients developed chronic skin GVHD. Thirty patients were alive and transfusion-independent with a Lansky performance score ≥80% achieved between 6 and 76 months post transplant (median, 36 months). These data compare acceptably with the survival rates of related-donor BMT for thalassaemia and suggest that patients without an available HLA-compatible sibling but who have well-matched unrelated donors should also be considered for CBT.

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