Graft-versus-host disease prevention by methotrexate combined with cyclosporin compared to methotrexate alone in patients given marrow grafts for severe aplastic anaemia: long-term follow-up of a controlled trial

Journal Article

Forty-six patients with aplastic anaemia (median age 23 years) were given cyclophosphamide followed by infusion of marrow from an HLA-identical family member. To evaluate postgrafting prophylaxis for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), the patients were entered into a randomized prospective trial comparing a combination of methotrexate and cyclosporin (n = 22) to methotrexate alone (n = 24). Methotrexate/cyclosporin significantly reduced the incidence and severity of acute GVHD and improved early survival. This report updates the results of the randomized trial with follow-up ranging from 3 to more than 6 years. The methotrexate/cyclosporin regimen did not interfere with sustained engraftment, and there were no significant differences in the incidence of early or late graft rejection among the two treatment groups (10% v 4%). The incidence of chronic GVHD was higher among methotrexate/cyclosporin-treated patients (58% v 36%; P = 0.18). Two patients in each treatment group still require treatment for chronic GVHD, while treatment is no longer needed in the other patients. Projected 4-year survival is 72% in patients given methotrexate/cyclosporin compared to 58% in patients given methotrexate alone (P = 0.16). Having achieved a reduction in the incidence of acute GVHD and associated early mortality without impairing engraftment, it is clear that future progress in marrow grafting for aplastic anaemia must come in the area of chronic GVHD.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Storb, R; Deeg, HJ; Pepe, M; Doney, K; Appelbaum, F; Beatty, P; Bensinger, W; Buckner, CD; Clift, R; Hansen, J; Hill, R; Longton, G; Anasetti, C; Martin, P; Loughran, TP; Sanders, J; Singer, J; Stewart, P; Sullivan, KM

Published Date

  • 1989

Published In

  • British Journal of Haematology

Volume / Issue

  • 72 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 567 - 572

PubMed ID

  • 2673331