Success of allogeneic marrow transplantation for children with severe aplastic anaemia


Correspondence: Rainer Storb, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Ave North, Suite D1-100, PO Box 19024, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA.



Allogeneic marrow transplantation offers curative therapy for children with severe aplastic anaemia (SAA). We report the outcomes of 148 children with SAA who received human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-matched related marrow grafts between 1971 and 2010. Patients were divided into three groups, reflecting changes in conditioning and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis regimens that occurred over time. Patients in Group 1 were conditioned with cyclophosphamide (CY; 200 mg/kg) followed by ‘long' (102 d) methotrexate (MTX). Patients in Groups 2 and 3 received CY alone (Group 2) or combined with anti-thymocyte globulin (Group 3) followed by ‘short’ (days 1, 3, 6, and 11) MTX and ciclosporin (until day 180). With a median follow-up of 25 years, the 5-year survivals were 66%, 95%, and 100% for Groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively (overall P < 0·0001). The 3-year estimates of graft rejection were 22%, 32%, and 7%, respectively. The probabilities of grades III-IV acute and 2-year chronic GVHD were 15%, 0%, and 3%, and 21%, 21%, and 10%, respectively. Advances in preparative and GVHD prophylaxis regimens, and supportive care during the past 40 years have led to improved outcomes for children with SAA. These results confirm the use of allogeneic marrow transplantation for children with SAA who have HLA-matched related donors.