A prospective molecular study of chimaerism in patients with haematological malignancies receiving unrelated cord blood or bone marrow transplants: Detection of mixed chimaerism predicts graft failure with or without early autologous reconstitution in cord blood recipients

Giuseppe Cimino, Maria Cristina Rapanotti, Loredana Elia, Anna Paola Iori, Cesare Guglielmi, Maria Screnci, Daniela Carmini, Lidia De Felice, Maria Luisa Moleti, Andrea Mengarelli, Franco Mandelli, William Arcese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We prospectively studied the chimaerism status in the bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB) of 23 patients receiving umbilical cord (UCB, 14 cases) or BM (nine cases) transplants from unrelated donors by PCR amplification of four individual-specific VNTR genetic loci. Haematological engraftment, with persistent full donor pattern, was observed in 10/14 (72%) patients receiving UCB and in 9/9 (100%) patients transplanted with marrow from an unrelated donor (MUD). In contrast, the remaining four patients converted to an autologous pattern. Three out of these four patients had an early autologous haematological reconstitution reaching a neutrophil level >0.5 x 10 9/l at days 27, 33 and 37 after transplant, respectively. In all three of these patients, chimaerism analysis demonstrated an early appearance of donor cells (i.e. within 35 d after UCB transplant) showing a transient full donor (one case) or mixed chimaerism condition (two cases). Despite the early autologous haemopoietic reconstitution, one of the three patients died of GVHD at day 60, which was explained by the demonstration of low levels of donor lymphoid cells. In the MUD group all nine patients converted to a persistent full donor pattern with haematological reconstitution, accompanied in two of them by transient mixed chimaerism lasting to days 60 and 270 after transplant. Our data show that monitoring of chimaerism may predict graft failure with or without early autologous haemopoietic reconstitution in patients receiving unrelated UCB transplants. Furthermore, chimaerism analysis may identify, in patients with autologous reconstitution, those at risk of severe GVHD in whom immunosuppressive therapy should not be discontinued.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-777
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Volume104
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Bone marrow unrelated donor
  • Chimaerism
  • Early autologous haemopoietic reconstitution
  • Graft failure
  • Umbilical cord blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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