Haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HaploHSCT) from a mismatched family member (MMFM) donor offers an alternative option for patients who lack an HLA-matched donor. The main obstacles to successful haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from a mismatched family member donor are delayed immune reconstitution, vulnerability to infections, and severe graft-versus-host disease (GvHD).

Method: We designed a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen that excluded total body irradiation and anti-thymocyte globulin. The graft was immunomagnetically depleted of CD3+ T-cells (CD3 negative selection) and contained a large number of both CD34+ and CD34 stem cells and most other immune cells especailly NK cells. This protocol was used to treat 22 pediatric patients with refractory hematologic malignancies.

Results and Discussion: After transplantation, 91% of the patients achieved full donor chimerism. They also showed rapid recovery of CD3+ T-cells, T-cell receptor excision circle counts, TCRβ repertoire diversity and NK-cells during first four months post-transplantation. The incidence and extent of viremia were limited and no lethal infection was seen. Only 9% of patients had grade 3 acute GvHD, while 27% patients had grade 1 and another 27% had grade 2 acute GvHD. This well-tolerated regimen appears to accelerate immune recovery and shorten the duration of early post-transplant immunodeficiency, thereby reducing susceptibility to viral infections. Rapid T-cell reconstitution, retention of NK-cells in the graft, and induction of low grade GvHD may also enhance the potential anti-cancer immune effect.

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Corresponding author