The FM reduced-intensity preparative regimen has been used successfully in adults for allogeneic HSCT. Its role in pediatric hematologic malignancies is unclear. We studied the engraftment efficacy and the antineoplastic effect of adding TBI to the FM combination. Between July 1998 and January 2004 a total of 29 pediatric (19 males) patients were treated. Twenty-two had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), 6 had acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and 1 anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Disease status at the time of SCT was: CR2 (19 patients), CR3 (5), CR1 (2, with Ph+ leukemia), and induction failure/relapse (3). Six patients received this regimen for a second HSCT. The donor was unrelated in 21 cases: 1–2 antigen mismatched cord blood (CB) in 20, and peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) in one. Of the 8 related-donor HSCT, 2 were not genotypically identical. The conditioning regimen was TBI 9Gy (3 fractions on day -7, -6, and -5), F 30 mg/m2 IV daily (days -4 to -1) and M 140 mg/m2 IV on day -1. GVHD prophylaxis consisted of tacrolimus and mini-methotrexate. No anti-thymocyte globulin was used. The regimen was well-tolerated, with grade II-III oral mucositis and diarrhea the most common side effects seen. Twenty-seven patients achieved ANC engraftment after a median time of 16 days (range 11–35), and 23 also had platelet engraftment at a median of 42 days (range 14–200). There was one case of primary graft failure and one early death. Six of 27 evaluable patients developed grade III-IV acute GVHD and three chronic GVHD. There were seven deaths in the first 100 days (3 from interstitial pneumonitis, 1 GVHD, 1 renal failure, 1 VOD, 1 graft failure), all in patients with ALL. Nine patients (7 with ALL) relapsed at a median of 8 months post-transplant (range 2–54). With a median follow-up of 54 months (range 7–79), 7 of 22 ALL, 5 of 6 AML, 1 of 1 lymphoma patients are alive and in remission (12 are over two years post HSCT). In conclusion, the addition of TBI to FM leads to successful engraftment of allogeneic HSC (including 1–2 antigen mismatched unrelated cord blood units) in heavily pretreated pediatric patients with hematologic malignancies, without the inclusion of ATG. The regimen was well tolerated and its activity in AML deserves further evaluation.

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