Treatment of human acute graft-versus-host disease with antithymocyte globulin and cyclosporine with or without methylprednisolone.
Forty-eight patients with hematologic malignancies treated by allogeneic marrow transplantation developed acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), grades II-IV, despite prophylaxis with methotrexate. They were treated with a combination of antithymocyte globulin (ATG) and cyclosporine (CsA), with or without the addition of methylprednisolone (MP). Thirty patients had received HLA-identical and 18 HLA-nonidentical transplants. Median onset of GVHD was day 13 (range 8-60) for patients with HLA-nonidentical grafts and day 18 (range 7-48) for patients given HLA-identical grafts (P = 0.01). Forty-five patients could be evaluated for response on day 7 of therapy. Among these, 13 of 27 given ATG/CSP and 6 of 18 given ATG/CSP/MP improved. Among 33 patients evaluable on day 14 of therapy 13 of 19 given ATG/CSP and 5 of 14 given ATG/CSP/MP showed improvement of GVHD. Patients given HLA-nonidentical grafts responded somewhat (although not significantly) less frequently than patients given HLA-identical grafts. Chronic GVHD developed in 16 of 18 evaluable patients given ATG/CSP and in 5 of 6 given ATG/CSP/MP. Viral, bacterial, and fungal infections were the major cause of death in both groups. Interstitial pneumonitis was more frequent among patients given ATG/CSP/MP. Survival beyond 6 months was 67% among patients treated with ATG/CSP and 25% with ATG/CSP/MP. These data indicate that a regimen of ATG/CSP is of value in the treatment of acute GVHD. The addition of MP was not beneficial and resulted in decreased survival--presumably because of excessive immunosuppression and associated complications.
Deeg, HJ; Loughran, TP; Storb, R; Kennedy, MS; Sullivan, KM; Doney, K; Appelbaum, FR; Thomas, ED
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