Umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants are commonly used in adults lacking HLA-identical donors. Delays in hematopoietic recovery contribute to mortality and morbidity. To hasten recovery, we used co-infusion of progenitor cells from a partially matched related donor and from an umbilical cord blood graft (haplo-cord transplant). Here we compared the outcomes of haplo-cord and double-cord transplants. A total of 97 adults underwent reduced intensity conditioning followed by haplo-cord transplant and 193 patients received reduced intensity conditioning followed by double umbilical cord blood transplantation. Patients in the haplo-cord group were more often from minority groups and had more advanced malignancy. Haplo-cord recipients received fludarabine-melphalan-anti-thymocyte globulin. Double umbilical cord blood recipients received fludarabine-cyclophosphamide and low-dose total body irradiation. In a multivariate analysis, haplo-cord had faster neutrophil (HR=1.42, P=0.007) and platelet (HR=2.54, P<0.0001) recovery, lower risk of grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (HR=0.26, P<0.0001) and chronic graft-versus-host disease (HR=0.06, P<0.0001). Haplo-cord was associated with decreased risk of relapse (HR 0.48, P=0.001). Graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival was superior with haplo-cord (HR 0.63, P=0.002) but not overall survival (HR=0.97, P=0.85). Haplo-cord transplantation using fludarabine-melphalan-thymoglobulin conditioning hastens hematopoietic recovery with a lower risk of relapse relative to double umbilical cord blood transplantation using the commonly used fludarabine-cyclophosphamide-low-dose total body irradiation conditioning. Graft-versus-host disease-free and relapse-free survival is significantly improved. Haplo-cord is a readily available graft source that improves outcomes and access to transplant for those lacking HLA-matched donors. Trials registered at clinicaltrials.gov identifiers 00943800 and 01810588.
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