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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2012 Aug;18(8):1164-73. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2012.01.015. Epub 2012 Jan 28.

A meta-analysis of unrelated donor umbilical cord blood transplantation versus unrelated donor bone marrow transplantation in acute leukemia patients.

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Department of Hematology and Rheumatology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, 20 Chazhong Road, Fuzhou, Fujian, China.


Umbilical cord blood has emerged as an alternative stem cell source to bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells. Umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT) is also potentially curative for acute leukemia. However, the effect of unrelated donor bone marrow transplantation (UBMT) and UCBT on the outcome of patients with acute leukemia has not been systematically reviewed. In the present meta-analysis, we systematically searched Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CNKI up to May 2011. Two reviewers extracted data independently. Seven studies totaling 3389 patients have been assessed. Pooled results found that the incidence of engraftment failure and transplantation-related mortality were higher in UCBT than in UBMT, and relative risks (RRs) were 4.27 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.94-6.21) and 1.27 (95% CI, 1.01-1.59), respectively. The rates of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in the UCBT group were significantly lower than that in the UBMT group, and RRs were 0.71 (95% CI, 0.65-0.79) and 0.69 (95% CI, 0.52-0.91), respectively. The relapse rate was similar between the UCBT and UBMT group. The leukemia-free survival (LFS) and overall survival (OS) were significantly lower in the UCBT group than in the UBMT group; RRs were 1.14 (95% CI, 1.07-1.22) and hazard ratios (HRs) were 1.31 (95% CI, 1.16-1.48), respectively. Subgroup analysis showed that in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the survival was similar between UCBT and UBMT.

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