Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Title abbreviation: Adv Clin Exp Med
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ISSN 1899–5276 (print)
ISSN 2451-2680 (online)
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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2019, vol. 28, nr 9, September, p. 1185–1192

doi: 10.17219/acem/103069

Publication type: original article

Language: English

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Premature cyclosporine cessation and TBI-containing conditioning regimen increase the risk of acute GvHD in children undergoing unrelated donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Zofia Szmit1,A,B,C,D,E,F, Krzysztof Kałwak1,A,C,D,E,F, Anna Król1,B,C,F, Monika Mielcarek-Siedziuk1,B,C,F, Małgorzata Salamonowicz1,B,C,F, Jowita Frączkiewicz1,B,C,F, Marek Ussowicz1,B,E,F, Joanna Owoc-Lempach1,B,C,F, Ewa Gorczyńska1,A,C,D,E,F

1 Department and Clinic of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Wroclaw Medical University, Supraregional Center of Pediatric Oncology “Cape of Hope”


Background. Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD) is a potentially fatal complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Identifying its risk factors would enable the proper prophylaxis and management, which may significantly improve the general outcome of children treated with HSCT.
Objectives. The aim of this single-center, retrospective cohort study was to assess the potential risk factors for grades II–IV of aGvHD in children after the 1st allo-HSCT from an unrelated donor (UD), performed as a result of an underlying malignant disease.
Material and Methods. From among patients who received HSCT in our center in the years 2004–2015, 237 were included in the study cohort. All the patients received standard aGvHD prophylaxis consisting of cyclosporine (CsA) and a short course of methotrexate (MTX). Various clinical and epidemiological features, the transplant proceedings, graft composition, conditioning regimens, as well as the duration and coherence of aGvHD prophylaxis were analyzed as potential risk factors for aGvHD.
Results. The incidence of II–IV aGvHD in the study cohort was 58.6%. The median time of the diagnosis of aGvHD was 18 days post-HSCT. In the multivariate analysis, risk factors significantly associated with grades II–IV of aGvHD were: myeloablative conditioning regimen containing total body irradiation (TBI-MAC) (RR (relative risk): 1.69; p = 0.03), premature termination of CsA administration due to its toxicity (RR: 1.99; p = 0.0003) and HSCT performed before the year 2009 (RR: 1.97; p = 0.0001). Donor and recipient age, donor–recipient sex mismatch, stem cell source, risk of disease, and amount of infused CD34+ cells seem to be insignificant as risk factors for aGvHD. The overall survival (OS) of patients with aGvHD was noticeably worse that in those who were aGvHD-free: 60.8% vs 74.1% (p = 0.08).
Conclusion. The conditioning regimen and the proper aGvHD prophylaxis, including continuous CsA administration, have a major impact on aGvHD occurrence. According to our results, the termination of CsA therapy should be carefully considered, and avoided if possible.

Key words

risk factors, acute graft-versus-host disease, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, prophylaxis

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