Acute and Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease After Ablative and Nonmyeloablative Conditioning for Allogeneic Hematopoietic Transplantation

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2004 Mar;10(3):178-85. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2003.10.006.


In this study, we evaluated the influence of nonmyeloablative and ablative conditioning regimens on the occurrence of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). One hundred thirty-seven patients undergoing matched-related sibling transplantations received the same GVHD prophylaxis. Myeloablative regimens included intravenous busulfan/cyclophosphamide (n=45) and fludarabine/melphalan (n=29). Patients in the nonmyeloablative group (n=63) received fludarabine/idarubicin/cytarabine, cisplatin/fludarabine/idarubicin, and fludarabine/cyclophosphamide. The actuarial rate of grade II to IV acute GVHD was significantly higher (hazard ratio, 3.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-8.8) in patients receiving ablative regimens (36%) compared with the nonmyeloablative group (12%). The cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was higher in the ablative group (40%) compared with the nonmyeloablative group (14%). The rates were comparable within the first 200 days and were significantly higher in the ablative group beyond day 200 (hazard ratio, 5.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-23.2). Nonrelapse and GVHD-related mortality were relatively low in both groups. The use of the described nonmyeloablative preparative regimens was associated with a reduced incidence of grade II to IV acute GVHD and chronic GVHD compared with the busulfan/cyclophosphamide and fludarabine/melphalan transplant regimens. It is interesting to note that nonrelapse mortality with nonmyeloablative regimens in older and more debilitated patients was low (14%) and comparable to that achieved with standard high-dose regimens in younger patients.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Graft vs Host Disease / drug therapy
  • Graft vs Host Disease / etiology*
  • Graft vs Host Disease / mortality
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Transplantation Chimera
  • Transplantation Conditioning*