We analyzed the outcome of 100 patients with acquired severe aplastic anemia undergoing an alternative donor transplant, after immune suppressive therapy had failed.
DESIGN AND METHODS:
As a conditioning regimen, patients received either a combination of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and antithymocyte globulin (n=52, median age 13 years) or this combination with the addition of low dose (2 Gy) total body irradiation (n=48, median age 27 years).
With a median follow-up of 1665 and 765 days, the actuarial 5-year survival was 73% for the group that received fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and antithymocyte globulin and 79% for the group given the conditioning regimen including total body irradiation. Acute graft-versus-host disease grade III-IV was seen in 18% and 7% of the groups, respectively. Graft failure was seen in 17 patients with an overall cumulative incidence of 17% in patients receiving conditioning with or without total body irradiation: 9 of these 17 patients survive in the long-term. The most significant predictor of survival was the interval between diagnosis and transplantation, with 5-year survival rates of 87% and 55% for patients grafted within 2 years of diagnosis and more than 2 years after diagnosis, respectively (P=0.0004). Major causes of death were graft failure (n=7), post-transplant-lymphoproliferative-disease (n=4) and graft-versus-host disease (n=4).
This study confirms positive results of alternative donor transplants in patients with severe aplastic anemia, the best outcomes being achieved in patients grafted within 2 years of diagnosis. Prevention of rejection and Epstein-Barr virus reactivation may further improve these results.