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Blood Cancer J. 2019 Apr 12;9(4):46. doi: 10.1038/s41408-019-0204-x.

Umbilical cord blood versus unrelated donor transplantation in adults with primary refractory or relapsed acute myeloid leukemia: a report from Eurocord, the Acute Leukemia Working Party and the Cord Blood Committee of the Cellular Therapy and Immunobiology Working Party of the EBMT.

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GIGA and CHU of Liege, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium.
Department of Haematology, Saint Antoine Hospital, Paris, France.
EBMT Paris Study Office/CEREST-TC, Paris, France.
INSERM UMR 938, Paris, France.
Sorbonne University, Paris, France.
Eurocord, Saint Louis Hospital, Paris, France.
Dipartimento di Oncoematologia e terapie cellulari, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Roma, Italy.
Universitaetsklinikum Dresden, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, Dresden, Germany.
S.Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Institute of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Bologna University, Bologna, Italy.
Department of Hematology/Oncology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.
Hematology Department, University Hospital La Fe, Valencia, Spain.
Deutsche Klinik für Diagnostik, KMT Zentrum, Wiesbaden, Germany.
Department of Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Careggi, Firenze, Italy.
Bone Marrow Transplantation Centre, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
Department of Haematology II, Ospedale San Martino, Genova, Italy.
Department of Hematology, Hemostasis, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.
CHU Bordeaux, Service d'hematologie et therapie cellulaire, F-33000, Bordeaux, France.
Division of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Ramat-Gan, Israel.


The role of umbilical cord blood transplantation (CBT) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with active disease at allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) remains poorly investigated. In this study, we compared transplantation outcomes of 2963 patients with primary refractory or relapsed AML given CBT, 10/10 HLA-matched UD, or 9/10 HLA-matched UD allo-HCT from 2004 to 2015 at EBMT-affiliated centers. Neutrophil engraftment and complete remission rates in CBT, UD 10/10, and UD 9/10 recipients were 75 and 48%, 93 and 69%, and 93 and 70%, respectively. In multivariate Cox analyses, in comparison with CBT (n = 285), UD 10/10 recipients (n = 2001) had a lower incidence of relapse (HR = 0.7, P = 0.001), a lower incidence of non relapse mortality (HR = 0.6, P < 0.001), better GVHD-free and leukemia-free survival (GRFS, HR = 0.8, P < 0.001) and better survival (HR = 0.6, P < 0.001). Further, in comparison with CBT, 9/10 UD recipients (n = 677) also had a lower incidence of relapse (HR = 0.8, P = 0.02), a lower incidence of nonrelapse mortality (HR = 0.7, P = 0.008), better GRFS (HR = 0.8, P = 0.01) and better survival (HR = 0.7, P < 0.001). In summary, these data suggest that in AML patients with active disease at transplantation, allo-HCT with UD results in better transplantation outcomes than CBT.

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