Post-transplant cyclophosphamide versus anti-thymocyte globulin as graft- versus-host disease prophylaxis in haploidentical transplant.Haematologica. 2017 02; 102(2):401-410.H
Severe graft-versus-host disease is a major barrier for non-T-cell-depleted haploidentical stem cell transplantation. There is no consensus on the optimal graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis. This study compared the two most commonly used graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis regimens (post-transplant cyclophosphamide-based vs. the anti-thymocyte globulin-based) in adults with acute myeloid leukemia reported to the European Society for Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation. A total of 308 patients were analyzed; 193 received post-transplant cyclophosphamide-based regimen and 115 anti-thymocyte globulin-based regimen as anti-graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis. The post-transplant cyclophosphamide-based regimen was more likely to be associated to bone marrow as graft source (60% vs. 40%; P=0.01). Patients in the post-transplant cyclophosphamide-based regimen group had significantly less grade 3-4 acute graft-versus-host disease than those in the anti-thymocyte globulin-based group (5% vs. 12%, respectively; P=0.01), comparable to chronic graft-versus-host disease. Multivariate analysis showed that non-relapse mortality was lower in the post-transplant cyclophosphamide-based regimen group [22% vs. 30%, Hazard ratio (HR) 1.77(95%CI: 1.09-2.86); P=0.02] with no difference in relapse incidence. Patients receiving post-transplant cyclophosphamide-based regimen had better graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival [HR 1.45 (95%CI: 1.04-2.02); P=0.03] and leukemia-free survival [HR 1.48 (95%CI: 1.03-2.12); P=0.03] than those in the anti-thymocyte globulin-based group. In the multivariate analysis, there was also a trend for a higher overall survival [HR 1.43 (95%CI: 0.98-2.09); P=0.06] for post-transplant cyclophosphamide-based regimen versus the anti-thymocyte globulin-based group. Notably, center experience was also associated with non-relapse mortality and graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival. Haplo-SCT using a post-transplant cyclophosphamide-based regimen can achieve better leukemia-free survival and graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival, lower incidence of graft-versus-host disease and non-relapse mortality as compared to anti-thymocyte globulin-based graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.