• HLA-mismatching is associated with GVHD, relapse & survival after haploidentical transplantation utilizing post-transplant cyclophosphamide

  • HLA should inform the selection of haploidentical donors for transplantation.

Hematopoietic cell transplantation from HLA-haploidentical related donors is increasingly used to treat hematologic cancers; however, characteristics of the optimal haploidentical donor have not been established. We studied the role of donor HLA mismatching in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), disease recurrence and survival after haploidentical donor transplantation with post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) for 1434 acute leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome patients reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. The impact of mismatching in the graft-versus-host vector for HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, and -DQB1 alleles, the HLA-B leader, and HLA-DPB1 T-cell epitope (TCE) were studied using multivariable regression methods. Outcome was associated with HLA (mis)matches at individual loci rather than the total number of HLA mismatches. HLA-DRB1 mismatches were associated with lower risk of disease recurrence. HLA-DRB1-mismatching with HLA-DQB1-matching correlated with improved disease-free survival. HLA-B leader matching and HLA-DPB1 TCE-non-permissive mismatching were each associated with improved overall survival. HLA-C matching lowered chronic GVHD risk, and the level of HLA-C expression correlated with transplant-related mortality. Matching status at the HLA-B leader and HLA-DRB1, -DQB1 and -DPB1 predicted disease-free survival, as did patient and donor CMV serostatus, patient age and co-morbidity index. A web-based tool was developed to facilitate selection of the best haploidentical related donor by calculating disease-free survival based on these characteristics. In conclusion, HLA factors influence the success of haploidentical transplantation with PTCy. HLA-DRB1 and -DPB1 mismatching and HLA-C, -B leader, and -DQB1 matching are favorable. Consideration of HLA factors may help to optimize the selection of haploidentical related donors.

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