Umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT) is a possible option for patients with aplastic anemia (AA) without a related or unrelated HLA-matched donor, particularly if immunosuppressive therapy (IST) has failed or transplantation is urgently needed. However, a higher rate of graft failure after UCBT remains a major problem, and the optimal conditioning regimen for stable engraftment after UCBT has not been established. Here we investigated 6 adult patients with AA who underwent UCBT using a reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimen comprising fludarabine 125 mg/m2, cyclophosphamide 120 mg/kg, and 4 Gy of total body irradiation (Flu/CY/TBI4Gy) without antithymocyte globulin (ATG). Five patients underwent UCBT after IST failure, and 1 patient underwent UCBT as a first-line treatment due to a fulminant clinical finding of a neutrophil count of 0, despite granulocyte colony-stimulating factor administration. Regarding graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, 2 patients received tacrolimus plus short-term methotrexate and 4 patients received tacrolimus plus mycophenolate mofetil, and all patients achieved sustained engraftment of both neutrophils and platelets, at a median of 17.5 days (range, 14 to 37 days) and 38.5 days (range, 31 to 86 days), respectively, with complete donor chimerism confirmed in all patients at a median of 14 days (range, 14 to 32 days). Three patients developed grade II acute GVHD (aGVHD), but grade III/IV aGVHD was not observed, whereas 4 patients developed chronic GVHD involving only skin. At the time of this report, all 6 patients were alive without the need for blood transfusion, at a median follow-up of 16 months (range, 12 to 131 months). Although further study is needed, our findings suggest that conditioning with Flu/CY/TBI4Gy without ATG might allow stable engraftment in UCBT for adults with AA.
- Antithymocyte globulin
- Aplastic anemia
- Reduced-intensity conditioning
- Total body irradiation
- Umbilical cord blood transplantation
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