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Long-term results of non-fludarabine versus fludarabine-based stem cell transplantation without total body irradiation in Fanconi anemia patients.

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Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is the only therapeutic modality capable of correcting the hematologic manifestations of Fanconi anemia (FA). The development of well-tolerated immunosuppressive conditioning regimens for FA patients undergoing HCT has proven to be a challenging task for hematologists.


Retrospective, patients referred to the hematology, oncology and stem cell transplantation research center.


We analyzed the outcome of 53 FA patients who had undergone HCT between 1992 and 2010. The median age at transplantation was 9 years. Patients received transplants from an HLA-identical sibling (n=39) or matched relative (n=9) and one-antigen locus mismatched other relative/sibling (n=5). All of the patients underwent transplantation with fludarabine and non-fludarabine-based conditioning regimens. No radiation therapy was given.


The median follow-up period for survivors was 13.5 months (range, 3 months-13.5 years). The 3-year overall survival (OS) was 60.6%. The 3-year OS for patients who did or did not receive fludarabine-based preparative regimens for the allograft was 36.4%, and 70%, respectively. However, there were no statistically significant differences in OS rates between these two groups (P=.112). Graft failure occurred in 4 patients (7.5%). All of these 4 patients had received fludarabine-based conditioning regimens. The incidence of acute GVHD after fludarabine-based regimens was 45% versus 79% in non-fludarabine-based regimens (P=.03).


Despite the high incidence of acute GVHD (78.6%) in the non-fludarabine group, which resulted in the death of some patients, the OS rate was significantly better than in fludarabine recipients. Therefore, in spite of the fact that recent studies advocate the fludarabine-based conditioning regimens, we propose to conduct a multicenter, prospective study to evaluate the outcomes of regimens employed in FA patients.

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