The risk of graft-rejection after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation using conventional cyclophosphamide-based conditioning is increased in patients with bone marrow failure syndromes (BMFS) who are heavily transfused and often HLA-alloimmunized. Fifty-six patients with BMFS underwent fludarabine-based reduced-intensity conditioning and allogeneic peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) transplantation at a single institution. The conditioning regimen consisted of intravenous cyclophosphamide, fludarabine, and equine antithymocyte globulin. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis included cyclosporine A alone or in combination with either mycophenolate mofetil or methotrexate. To reduce the risk of graft-rejection/failure, unmanipulated G-CSF mobilized PBPCs obtained from an HLA-identical or single HLA-antigen mismatched relative were transplanted rather than donor bone marrow. Despite a high prevalence of pretransplant HLA-alloimmunization (41%) and a heavy prior transfusion burden, graft-failure did not occur with all patients having sustained donor lympho-hematopoietic engraftment. The cumulative incidence of grade II-IV acute-GVHD and chronic-GVHD was 51.8% and 72%, respectively; with 87.1% surviving at a median follow-up of 4.5 years. A multivariate analysis showed pretransplant alloimmunization and rapid donor T-cell engraftment (≥95% donor by day 30) were both significantly (P < 0.05) associated with the development of chronic-GVHD (adjusted HR 2.13 and 2.99, respectively). These data show fludarabine-based PBPC transplantation overcomes the risk of graft-failure in patients with BMFS, although rapid donor T-cell engraftment associated with this approach appears to increase the risk of chronic-GVHD. (Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00003838). Am. J. Hematol. 88:874-882, 2013.
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