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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2011 Dec;17(12):1855-61. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2011.05.019. Epub 2011 May 31.

Selectively T cell-depleted allografts from HLA-matched sibling donors followed by low-dose posttransplantation immunosuppression to improve transplantation outcome in patients with hematologic malignancies.

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Department of Internal Medicine II, Division of Hematology, University Hospital of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany.


We evaluated a photodepletion technique to selectively deplete host-reacting T cells from human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched sibling stem cell transplantations with the goal of reducing posttransplantation immunosuppression to improve antimalignancy effects postallografting. Donor lymphocytes were stimulated with irradiated expanded recipient T lymphocytes in an ex vivo mixed lymphocyte reaction. Alloactivated T cells preferentially retaining the photosensitizer 4,5-dibromorhodamine 123 (TH9402) were eliminated by exposure to visible light. Twenty-four patients with hematologic malignancies (16 high risk) conditioned with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and totalbody irradiation received a CD34-selected stem cell allograft from an HLA-matched sibling along with 5 × 10(6)/kg selectively depleted donor T cells. Low-dose cyclosporine was used for posttransplantation immunosuppression. Eleven patients survived at a median of 30 months. Probabilities (± SEM) for overall and disease-free survival are 39% ± 12% and 30% ± 12%, respectively, whereas grade III-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) was 13% ± 7%. Six patients relapsed, with a relapse probability of 27% ± 10%. These results suggest that selectively photodepleted allografts in matched sibling transplantations followed by low-dose immunosuppression may protect against severe aGVHD but is associated with delayed immune recovery.

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