To overcome the delayed or failed engraftment after unrelated cord blood transplantation (CBT), we conducted a multicenter phase II study of intrabone single-unit CBT without antithymocyte globulin (ATG) for adult patients with hematological malignancies (UMIN-CTR, UMIN000020997). Sixty-four patients received an intrabone injection of unwashed (n = 61) or washed (n = 3) cord blood after local anesthesia. All injection-related adverse events were mild and resolved spontaneously. Sixty-two patients were evaluable for the efficacy of intrabone CBT of serological HLA-A, -B, and -DR ≥ 4/6 matched cord blood with a median number of 2.57 × 107/kg cryopreserved total nucleated cells. The probability of survival with neutrophil engraftment on day 28 was 77.4% (95% confidence interval, 67.0–85.8%), which exceeded the threshold value. The cumulative incidences of neutrophils ≥ 0.5 × 109/L on day 60 was 80.6% (68.2–88.6%), with a median time to recovery of 21 days after transplantation. The cumulative incidences of platelets ≥ 20 × 109/L and platelets ≥ 50 × 109/L on day 100 were 75.8% (62.6–84.9%) and 72.6% (59.4–82.1%), respectively, with median time to platelets ≥ 20 × 109/L and platelets ≥ 50 × 109/L of 38 and 45 days after transplantation, respectively. The cumulative incidences of grade II–IV and III–IV acute graft-versus-host disease were 29.0% and 6.5%, respectively. All responded to steroid therapy, and secondary treatments were not required. The present study suggests the efficacy of intrabone single-unit CBT without ATG in terms of early engraftment and controllable acute graft-versus-host disease.
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