Graft-versus-host disease after nonmyeloablative versus conventional hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Blood, Volume 102, Issue 2, p.756-62 (2003)


Aged, Bone Marrow Transplantation, Busulfan, Cause of Death, Cyclosporine, Female, Graft vs Host Disease, Hematologic Neoplasms, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents, Incidence, Intestines, Life Tables, liver, Male, methotrexate, Middle Aged, Mycophenolic Acid, Organ Specificity, Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation, Retrospective Studies, Severity of Illness Index, Skin, Survival Analysis, Time Factors, Tissue Donors, Transplantation Conditioning, Vidarabine, Washington, Whole-Body Irradiation


It is unknown whether the severity, timing, and quality of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) may be different after nonmyeloablative as compared with myeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Therefore, GVHD incidence, morbidity of skin, liver, and gut, requirements for immunosuppressive therapy, and survival were retrospectively analyzed in 44 patients who underwent nonablative HSCT and 52 who underwent ablative HSCT (median ages, 56 and 54 years, respectively). The nonablative transplantation regimen consisted of low-dose total body irradiation (TBI), preceded in some patients by fludarabine administration and followed in all patients by immunosuppression with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and cyclosporine (CSP). Those who underwent myeloablative HSCT were prepared with different TBI- and non-TBI-containing regimens and received CSP plus methotrexate or MMF for GVHD prophylaxis. The cumulative incidence of grades II-IV acute GVHD was lower after nonablative transplantation (64% vs 85%; P =.001), but there were no differences in the cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD requiring treatment (73% vs 71%; P =.96). Nonablative transplantation was associated with the delayed initiation of steroid treatment for GVHD (0.95 months vs 3.0 months; P <.001) and with the use of fewer systemic immunosuppressants in the first 3 months after transplantation (P