Forty-eight patients with chronic myelocytic leukemia, aged 11 to 47, were treated with high-dose cyclophosphamide and fractionated total body irradiation, followed by infusion of marrow from HLA-identical siblings. They were randomized to receive either methotrexate (MTX) (n = 23) or cyclosporine (CSP) (n = 25) as postgrafting prophylaxis for graft-v-host disease (GVHD). All patients had evidence of sustained hematopoietic engraftment. Seventeen of the 25 patients receiving CSP and 17 of the 23 patients receiving MTX are alive between one and almost four (median, 1.7) years, with an actuarial survival rate at three years of 62% and 66%, respectively (P = .60). Also, with respect to most other parameters studied, the two drugs were identical. The probability of acute GVHD was .42 and .46, respectively (P = .70), that of chronic GVHD, .50 and .63 (P = .44), and that of death from transplant-related causes, .30 and .24 (P = .51). There were no differences in the speed of granulocyte and platelet engraftment (P = .82 and .94, respectively), and the duration of hospitalization was comparable (P = .58). Patients receiving MTX required red cell transfusions for a shorter period of time (P = .02), but had a slightly increased morbidity from early oral mucositis. The leukemia recurrence rates were comparable (P = .60). With the regimens used in this study, we conclude that CSP failed to reduce the incidence of GVHD and improve the survival of patients with chronic myelocytic leukemia when compared to results with standard MTX.
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