Context: Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) using stem cells obtained from a family-related, HLA-identical donor (RID) is the optimal treatment for patients with severe combined immune deficiency (SCID). In the absence of an RID, HLA-mismatched related donors (MMRDs) are often used. However, compared with RIDs, use of MMRDs for BMT is associated with reduced survival and inferior long-term immune reconstitution. Use of HLA-matched unrelated donors (MUDs) represents another potential alternative for BMT.
Objective: To compare outcomes and immune reconstitution in a large cohort of patients with SCID who received RID, MUD, or MMRD BMT.
Design, setting, and patients: Retrospective study of medical records from 94 infants diagnosed as having SCID who received BMT between 1990 and 2004 at 1 Canadian and 1 Italian pediatric referral center. Thirteen, 41, and 40 patients received RID, MUD, and MMRD BMT, respectively.
Main outcome measures: Survival and graft failure, along with incidence of graft-vs-host disease, infections, and other complications; immune reconstitution was assessed in children who survived for more than 2 years after BMT.
Results: Survival after RID BMT was highest. Twelve (92.3%) of 13 patients who received RID BMT, 33 (80.5%) of 41 who received MUD BMT, and 21 (52.5%) of 40 patients who received MMRD BMT survived. Compared with MMRD BMT, survival was significantly higher with RID (P = .008) or with MUD (P = .03). Graft failures and need for repeat BMT were more common in patients receiving MMRD BMT than in those who underwent MUD BMT. Long-term reconstitution of a full T-cell repertoire was achieved more frequently following MUD BMT (94.7%) than after MMRD BMT (61.1%) (P = .02). Acute graft-vs-host disease was documented in 73.1% of patients following MUD BMT but in only 45% after MMRD BMT (P = .009). Conversely, interstitial pneumonitis was observed more frequently after MMRD BMT (14 [35.0%] of 40) than after MUD BMT (3 [7.3%] of 41; P = .002).
Conclusion: Our study suggests that in the absence of a relative with identical HLA, MUD BMT may provide better engraftment, immune reconstitution, and survival for patients with SCID than MMRD BMT.