Graft failure (GF) is a life-threatening complication after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Although salvage cord blood transplantation (CBT) is a curative therapy for GF, the optimal immunosuppression after salvage CBT remains unknown. Using nationwide registration data, we compared the transplant outcomes of patients who developed GF and underwent salvage CBT using immunosuppressants, including calcineurin (CNI) alone (n = 177); CNI plus methotrexate (CNI+MTX, n = 150); and CNI plus mycophenolate mofetil (CNI+MMF, n = 161). The CNI+MMF group, in comparison with the CNI+MTX and CNI alone groups, demonstrated better neutrophil recovery at 30 days (62.7 vs. 42.7 vs. 53.1%, P < 0.001); better overall survival (OS) at 12 months (48.4 vs. 33.5 vs. 28.3%, P < 0.001); and lower non-relapse mortality (NRM) at 12 months (35.2 vs. 53.9 vs. 56.5%, P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, CNI+MMF had the best neutrophil recovery (hazard ratio (HR), 1.71; P < 0.001) and OS (HR, 0.64; P = 0.002) and the lowest NRM (HR, 0.53; P < 0.001). Hemorrhage was relatively less frequent in the CNI+MMF group. CNI+MMF can be a promising immunosuppressant regimen after salvage CBT for GF, with better engraftment and survival outcomes, compared with CNI alone and CNI+MTX.
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