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Leukemia. 2013 Mar;27(3):604-9. doi: 10.1038/leu.2012.210. Epub 2012 Jul 23.

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation for older advanced MDS patients: improved survival with young unrelated donor in comparison with HLA-identical siblings.

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Department for Stem Cell Transplantation, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


We investigated whether a young human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched unrelated donor (MUD) should be preferred as donor to an HLA-identical sibling (MRD) for older patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) (≥ 50 years) who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT). Outcomes of 719 MDS patients with a median age of 58 years (range, 50-73 years) who received AHSCT from related (n=555) or unrelated (n=164) donors between 1999 and 2008 and reported to the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation were analyzed. The median donor age of the MRD was 56 years (range: 35-78), in contrast to 34 years (range: 19-64) for the MUDs. Influence of donor's age on survival was not observed for MRD (hazard ratio (HR): 1.01 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99-1.02), P=0.2), but there was a significant impact of MUD's age on outcome (HR: 1.03 (95% CI: 1.01-1.06); P=0.02). Transplantation from younger MUDs (<30 years) had a significant improved 5-year overall survival in comparison with MRD and older MUDs (>30 years): 40% vs 33% vs 24% (P=0.04). In a multivariate analysis, AHSCT from young MUD (<30 years) remained a significant factor for improved survival in comparison with MRD (HR: 0.65 (95% CI: 0.45-0.95), P=0.03), which should be considered in donor selection for older patients.

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