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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2012 May;18(5):805-12. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2011.10.016. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Reduced-intensity conditioning stem cell transplantation: comparison of double umbilical cord blood and unrelated donor grafts.

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  • 1Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


There are little data comparing umbilical cord blood (UBC) and conventional stem cell sources for reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We performed a retrospective analysis of RIC HCST using double UCB (dUCB) grafts and RIC HSCT using unrelated donor (URD) grafts. The study included 64 dUCB transplantations and 221 URD transplantations performed at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital between 2004 and 2008. The cumulative incidence of grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was 14.1% for dUCB and 20.3% for URD (P = .32). The 2-year cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was significantly lower in dUCB compared with URD (21.9% versus 53.9%; P < .0001). The 2-year cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality was significantly higher in dUCB (26.9% versus 10.4%; P = .0009). In our analysis, dUCB HSCT and URD HSCT had comparable 3-year overall survival (46% in dUCB and 50% in URD; P = .49) and progression-free survival (30% in dUCB and 40% in URD; P = .47). dUCBT was associated with greater nonrelapse mortality despite less chronic GVHD. Our findings suggest that the use of 2 partially matched UCB units appears to be a suitable alternative for patients undergoing RIC HSCT without an HLA-matched donor.

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