Hematopoietic cell transplantation for mucopolysaccharidosis patients is safe and effective: results after implementation of international guidelines

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015 Jun;21(6):1106-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.02.011. Epub 2015 Feb 20.


Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is the only treatment able to prevent progressive neurodegenerative disease in a selected group of mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) disorders. However, its use was historically limited by the high risk of graft failure and transplantation-related morbidity and mortality. Therefore, since 2005 new international HCT guidelines for MPS disorders were proposed. The survival and graft outcomes of MPS patients receiving HCT according to these guidelines in 2 European centers of expertise were evaluated. Two consecutive conditioning regimens were used, busulfan/cyclophosphamide or fludarabine/busulfan-based, both with exposure-targeted i.v. busulfan. A noncarrier matched sibling donor (MSD), matched unrelated cord blood (UCB), or matched unrelated donor (MUD) were considered to be preferred donors. If not available, a mismatched UCB donor was used. Participants were 62 MPS patients (56 MPS type I-Hurler, 2 MPS type II, 2 MPS type III, and 2 MPS type VI) receiving HCT at median age 13.5 months (range, 3 to 44). Forty-one patients received a UCB donor, 17 MSD, and 4 MUD. High overall survival (95.2%) and event-free survival (90.3%) were achieved with only low toxicity: 13.3% acute graft-versus-host disease aGVHD) grades II to IV and 14.8% chronic GVHD (1.9% extensive). A mismatched donor predicted for lower event-free survival (P = .04). A higher age at HCT was a predictor for both aGVHD (P = .001) and chronic GVHD (P = .01). The use of a mismatched donor was a predictor for aGVHD (P = .01). Higher rates of full-donor chimerism were achieved in successfully transplanted UCB recipients compared with MSD/MUD (P = .002). If complying with the international HCT guidelines, HCT in MPS patients results in high safety and efficacy. This allows extension of HCT to more attenuated MPS types. Because a younger age at HCT is associated with reduction of HCT-related toxicity, newborn screening may further increase safety.

Keywords: Hematopoietic cell transplantation; Hurler syndrome; Mucopolysaccharidosis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Busulfan / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft vs Host Disease / immunology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / mortality
  • Graft vs Host Disease / pathology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses / immunology
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses / mortality
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses / pathology
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses / therapy*
  • Myeloablative Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / immunology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Siblings
  • Survival Analysis
  • Transplantation Conditioning / methods*
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Unrelated Donors
  • Vidarabine / analogs & derivatives
  • Vidarabine / therapeutic use


  • Myeloablative Agonists
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Vidarabine
  • Busulfan
  • fludarabine