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Blood. 2012 Mar 1;119(9):2141-8. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-07-368233. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Impact of graft-versus-host disease on outcomes after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for adult T-cell leukemia: a retrospective cohort study.

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Department of Hematology and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 54 Shogoin Kawaharacho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.


Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is an effective treatment for adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), raising the question about the role of graft-versus-leukemia effect against ATL. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed the effects of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) on overall survival, disease-associated mortality, and treatment-related mortality among 294 ATL patients who received allogeneic HCT and survived at least 30 days posttransplant with sustained engraftment. Multivariate analyses treating the occurrence of GVHD as a time-varying covariate demonstrated that the development of grade 1-2 acute GVHD was significantly associated with higher overall survival (hazard ratio [HR] for death, 0.65; P = .018) compared with the absence of acute GVHD. Occurrence of either grade 1-2 or grade 3-4 acute GVHD was associated with lower disease-associated mortality compared with the absence of acute GVHD, whereas grade 3-4 acute GVHD was associated with a higher risk for treatment-related mortality (HR, 3.50; P < .001). The development of extensive chronic GVHD was associated with higher treatment-related mortality (HR, 2.75; P = .006) compared with the absence of chronic GVHD. Collectively, these results indicate that the development of mild-to-moderate acute GVHD confers a lower risk of disease progression and a beneficial influence on survival of allografted patients with ATL.

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