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Author Notes:

Corresponding Author: Muna Qayed, MD, MSc, 2015 Uppergate Dr, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, Phone: 404-785-1272, Fax: 404-785-1421, Muna.qayed@choa.org.


Research Funding:

The CIBMTR is supported primarily by Public Health Service Grant/Cooperative Agreement 5U24-CA076518 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); a Grant/Cooperative Agreement 5U10HL069294 from NHLBI and NCI; a contract HHSH250201200016C with Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA/DHHS); two Grants N00014-15-1-0848 and N00014-16-1-2020 from the Office of Naval Research; and grants from * Actinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Alexion; * Amgen, Inc.; Anonymous donation to the Medical College of Wisconsin; Astellas Pharma US; AstraZeneca; Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc.; Be the Match Foundation; * Bluebird Bio, Inc.; * Bristol Myers Squibb Oncology; * Celgene Corporation; Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.; Cerus Corporation; * Chimerix, Inc.; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Gamida Cell Ltd.; Genentech, Inc.; Genzyme Corporation; Gilead Sciences, Inc.; Health Research, Inc. Roswell Park Cancer Institute; HistoGenetics, Inc.; Incyte Corporation; Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC; * Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation; The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Medac, GmbH; MedImmune; The Medical College of Wisconsin; * Merck & Co, Inc.; * Mesoblast; MesoScale Diagnostics, Inc.; * Miltenyi Biotec, Inc.; National Marrow Donor Program; Neovii Biotech NA, Inc.; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Onyx Pharmaceuticals; Optum Healthcare Solutions, Inc.; Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.; Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd. – Japan; PCORI; Perkin Elmer, Inc.; Pfizer, Inc; * Sanofi US; * Seattle Genetics; * Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; St. Baldrick’s Foundation; * Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, Inc.; Takeda Oncology; Telomere Diagnostics, Inc.; University of Minnesota; and * Wellpoint, Inc.

This work is supported in part by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health UL1TR000454 and KL2TR000455 (MQ)


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Hematology
  • Immunology
  • Transplantation
  • GVHD
  • Matched sibling donor transplantation
  • Children
  • Recipient age
  • Leukemia

Influence of Age on Acute and Chronic GVHD in Children Undergoing HLA-Identical Sibling Bone Marrow Transplantation for Acute Leukemia: Implications for Prophylaxis

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Journal Title:

Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation


Volume 24, Number 3


, Pages 521-528

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Relapse remains the major cause of mortality after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for pediatric acute leukemia. Previous research has suggested that reducing the intensity of calcineurin inhibitor-based graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis may be an effective strategy for abrogating the risk of relapse in pediatric patients undergoing matched sibling donor (MSD) HCT. We reasoned that the benefits of this strategy could be maximized by selectively applying it to those patients least likely to develop GVHD. We conducted a study of risk factors for GVHD, to risk-stratify patients based on age. Patients age <18 years with leukemia who received myeloablative, T cell-replete MSD bone marrow transplantation and calcineurin inhibitor-based GVHD prophylaxis between 2000 and 2013 and were entered into the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research registry were included. The cumulative incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD (aGVHD) was 19%, that of grade II-IV aGVHD 7%, and that of chronic GVHD (cGVHD) was 16%. Compared with age 13 to 18 years, age 2 to 12 years was associated with a lower risk of grade II-IV aGVHD (hazard ratio [HR],.42; 95% confidence interval [CI],.26 to.70; P =.0008), grade II-IV aGVHD (HR,.24; 95% CI,.10 to.56; P =.001), and cGVHD (HR,.32; 95% CI,.19 to.54; P <.001). Compared with 2000-2004, the risk of grade II-IV aGVHD was lower in children undergoing transplantation in 2005-2008 (HR,.36; 95% CI,.20 to.65; P =.0007) and in 2009-2013 (HR,.24; 95% CI..11 to.53; P =.0004). Similarly, the risk of grade III-IV aGVHD was lower in children undergoing transplantation in 2005-2008 (HR,.23; 95% CI,.08 to.65; P =.0056) and 2009-2013 (HR,.16; 95% CI,.04 to.67; P =.0126) compared with those doing so in 2000-2004. We conclude that aGVHD rates have decreased significantly over time, and that children age 2 to 12 years are at very low risk for aGVHD and cGVHD. These results should be validated in an independent analysis, because these patients with high-risk malignancies may be good candidates for trials of reduced GVHD prophylaxis.

Copyright information:

© 2017 The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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