Reduced-Intensity Allogeneic Transplant for Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome Using Combined CD34-Selected Haploidentical Graft and a Single Umbilical Cord Unit Compared with Matched Unrelated Donor Stem Cells in Older Adults

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2018 May;24(5):997-1004. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.12.794. Epub 2017 Dec 27.


Haplo/cord transplantation combines an umbilical cord blood (UCB) graft with CD34-selected haploidentical cells and results in rapid hematopoietic recovery followed by durable UCB engraftment. We compared outcomes of transplants in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) who received either HLA-matched unrelated donor (MUD) cells or haplo/cord grafts. Between 2007 and 2013, 109 adults ages 50 and older underwent similar reduced-intensity conditioning with fludarabine and melphalan and antibody-mediated T cell depletion for AML (n = 83) or high-risk MDS (n = 26) followed by either a MUD (n = 68) or haplo/cord (n = 41) graft. Patient characteristics were similar for each graft source except for more minority patients receiving a haplo/cord transplant (P = .01). One half of the AML patients were not in remission. Two-year progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and graft-versus-host disease-free relapse-free survival were 38%, 48%, and 32.1% for MUD and 33%, 48%, and 33.8% for haplo/cord transplants (P = .62 for PFS; P = .97 for OS; P= .84), respectively. Acute grades II to IV and chronic graft-versus-host-disease rates did not differ at 19.5% and 4.9% in haplo/cord compared with 25% and 7.4% after MUD (P = .53 and P = .62, respectively). Multivariate analysis confirmed no significant differences in transplant outcomes by donor type. Haplo/cord reduced-intensity transplantation achieves similar outcomes relative to MUD in older AML and MDS patients, making this a promising option for those without matched donors.

Keywords: AML; Cord blood; Elderly; MDS; Unrelated donor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD34 / blood
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / transplantation
  • Graft vs Host Disease / etiology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / mortality
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / standards
  • Histocompatibility Testing
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / mortality
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / therapy*
  • Lymphocyte Depletion
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / mortality
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / therapy*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Transplantation Conditioning / methods*
  • Transplantation Conditioning / mortality
  • Transplantation, Haploidentical
  • Unrelated Donors


  • Antigens, CD34