Twenty-nine patients with thalassemia and a median age of 6 years (range 1.1–33 years) were given a BMT from an alternative donor. Six of the 29 donors were HLA-phenotypically identical and two were mismatched relatives, 13 were mismatched siblings and eight were mismatched parents. Six patients received no antigen (relatives), 15 patients one antigen, five patients two antigen and three patients three antigen disparate grafts. Twenty-three patients were in class 2 or class 3, whereas six patients were in class 1. Thirteen patients were given BUCY, nine patients BUCY plus ALG, six patients BUCY plus TBI or TLI and one patient BUCY with prior cytoreductive-immunosuppressive treatment as conditioning. As GVHD prophylaxis four patients received MTX, 22 CsA + MTX + methylprednisolone (MP) and three patients CsA + MP. Thirteen of 29 patients (44.8%) had sustained engraftment. The probability of graft failure or rejection was 55%. There were no significant differences between antigen disparities and graft failure. The incidence of grade II–IV acute GVHD was 47.3% and chronic GVHD was 37.5%. The incidence of acute GVHD was higher in patients receiving one or two antigen disparate in the GVHD direction grafts (vs no antigen) (P EQ 0.04; odds ratio 10.8; 95% CI 1.5–115). The probability of overall and event-free survival was 65% and 21%, respectively, with median follow-up of 7.5 years (range 0.6–17 years) for surviving patients. The degree of HLA disparity between patient and donor did not have a significant effect on survival. The incidence of nonhematologic toxicity was low. Transplant-related mortality was 34%. GVHD (acute or chronic) was a major contributing cause of death (50%) followed by infections (30%). We conclude that at present, due to high graft failure and GVHD rates, BMT from alternative donors should be restricted to patients who have poor life expectancies because they cannot receive adequate conventional treatment or because of alloimmunization to minor blood antigens. Bone Marrow Transplantation (2000) 25, 815–821.
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The authors thank Ms Law Aileen for linguistic assistance and all the members of our BMT Team for their exemplary care of these patients. This work has been supported by the Berloni Foundation against Thalassemia, Pesaro and by the Italian Association against Leukemia Pesaro Section.
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Gaziev, D., Galimberti, M., Lucarelli, G. et al. Bone marrow transplantation from alternative donors for thalassemia: HLA-phenotypically identical relative and HLA-nonidentical sibling or parent transplants. Bone Marrow Transplant 25, 815–821 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bmt.1702242
- bone marrow transplantation
- phenotypically identical related donor
- mismatched related donor
- graft failure
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