Effect of HLA compatibility on engraftment of bone marrow transplants in patients with leukemia or lymphoma
We analyzed the relevance of HLA compatibility to sustained marrow engraftment in 269 patients with hematologic neoplasms who underwent bone marrow transplantations. Each patient received marrow from a family member who shared one HLA haplotype with the patient but differed to a variable degree for the HLA-A, B, and D antigens of the haplotype not shared. These 269 patients were compared with 930 patients who received marrow from siblings with identical HLA genotypes. All patients were treated with cyclophosphamide and total-body irradiation followed by the infusion of unmodified donor marrow cells. The rate of graft failure was 12.3 percent among the recipients of marrow from a donor with only one identical haplotype, as compared with 2.0 percent among recipients of marrow from a sibling with the same HLA genotype (both haplotypes inherited from the same parents) (P < 0.0001). The incidence of graft failure correlated with the degree of donor HLA incompatibility. Graft failure occurred in 3 of 43 transplants (7 percent) from donors who were phenotypically HLA-matched with their recipient (haplotypes similar, but not inherited from the same parents), in 11 of 121 donors (9 percent) incompatible for one HLA locus, in 18 of 86 (21 percent) incompatible for two loci, and in 1 of 19 (5 percent) incompatible for three loci (P = 0.028). In a multivariate binary logistic regression analysis, independent risk factors associated with graft failure were donor incompatibility for HLA-B and D (relative risk = 2.1; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.7 to 2.5; P = 0.0004) and a positive crossmatch for anti-donor lymphocytotoxic antibody (relative risk = 2.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.8 to 2.8; P = 0.0038). Residual host lymphocytes were detected in 11 of 14 patients with graft failure, suggesting that the mechanism for graft failure could be host-mediated immune rejection. We conclude that donor HLA incompatibility and prior alloimmunization are significant risk factors for graft failure, and that a more effective immunosuppressive regimen than those currently used is needed for consistent achievement of sustained engraftment of marrow transplanted from donors who are not HLA-identical siblings.
Anasetti, C; Amos, D; Beatty, PG; Appelbaum, FR; Bensinger, W; Buckner, CD; Clift, R; Doney, K; Martin, PJ; Mickelson, E; Nisperos, B; O'Quigley, J; Ramberg, R; Sanders, JE; Stewart, P; Storb, R; Sullivan, KM; Witherspoon, RP; Thomas, ED; Hansen, JA
New England Journal of Medicine
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