Cord blood transplantation (CBT) has become an alternative transplantation for various diseases. CBT has comparable efficacy with unrelated transplantation, but higher transplantation related mortality (TRM) rate upto 50% in early results has been a major obstacle. To reduce TRM, we studied reduced toxicity myeloablative conditioning regimen with busulfan and fludarabine for CBT in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients.
This study was a phase II prospective multicenter clinical trial (NCT01274195) and 27 patients were enrolled who underwent CBT with upto 2 HLA mismatch cord blood. Conditioning regimen was composed of fludarabine (40 mg/m2 once daily iv on days -8 ∼ -3), busulfan (0.8 mg/kg every 6 hours iv on days -6 ∼ -3) and rabbit thymoglobulin (2.5 mg/kg once daily iv on days -8 ∼ -6). For GVHD prophylaxis, cyclosporine and MMF were used.
Nine patients received single unit cord blood, and 18 patients received double unit cord blood. Median dose of nucleated cells and CD34+ cells were 4.23×107/kg (0.5–16.4) and 2.58×105/kg (0.33–6.77), respectively. Primary graft failure developed in 5 patients, and secondary graft failure occurred in 1 patient. Acute and chronic GVHD occurred in 16 patients (59.3%) and 10 patients (37%), respectively. TRM developed in 5 patients (cumulative incidence 22.2%), which included chronic GVHD-associated complication (n=1), post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disease (n=2), pneumonia (n=2), and diastolic cardiomyopathy (n=1). Relapse incidence was 30.9%. The 5-year overall and event-free survival were 46.3% and 40.0%, respectively. Patients who received single unit cord blood showed survival rate of 44.4%, and those who received double unit cord blood showed survival rate of 50%. Univariate analysis revealed that low nucleated cell count (P=0.011), low CD34+ cell count (P=0.002) were independent prognostic factor for survival.
Reduced intensity conditioning regimen containing fludarabine and iv busulfan showed lower TRM rate than previous studies with myeloablative conditioning regimens. However graft failure and relapse rate were not satisfactory, and further study for optimization of conditioning regimen is warranted.
No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.