Graft-versus-host disease following marrow transplantation for aplastic anemia: different impact of two GVHD prevention strategies
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Prevention of GVHD is one of the most desirable goals of BMT in aplastic anemia (AA). We reviewed the medical records of 24 consecutive patients treated with BMT for acquired AA using two different GVHD prevention strategies. Ten patients were given alemtuzumab-based GVHD prophylaxis (50-60 mg in three divided doses on days -8, -7 and -6), and 14 patients were given conventional GVHD prophylaxis with calcineurin inhibitors plus MTX before the introduction of the alemtuzumab-based protocols. The incidence of acute, chronic and 'serious GVHD' was significantly reduced in alemtuzumab-treated patients compared to conventionally treated patients [11 vs 64% (P=0.03), 0 vs 78% (P=0.002) and 0 vs 57% (P=0.007), respectively]. Engraftment time and rates of graft failure appeared similar in the two groups. A significantly higher proportion of alemtuzumab-treated patients developed CMV reactivation compared to control patients (83 vs 12%; P=0.03); none developed CMV disease. The rates of other infectious complications did not appear significantly different. Our data suggest that 50-60 mg of alemtuzumab given according to the current schedule significantly reduces the risk of GVHD without increasing the risk of graft failure or serious infections.
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