Bone marrow transplantation for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) from unrelated and sibling donors: Single center experience

T. Lamparelli, M. T. Van Lint, F. Gualandi, D. Occhini, M. Barbanti, N. Sacchi, G. Ficai, C. Ghinatti, G. B. Ferrara, L. Delfino, S. Pozzi, A. Morabito, P. Zikos, V. Vitale, R. Corvo, F. Frassoni, A. Bacigalupo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is a report on 60 consecutive patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who received an allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) in this Unit. Donors were HLA-identical siblings (SIB) (n = 36) or unrelated donors (MUD) (n = 24) matched by serology for HLA A and B and by molecular biology for HLA DR. All patients were prepared with cyclophosphamide 120 mg/kg and fractionated total body irradiation 10-12 Gy. GVHD prophylaxis consisted of cyclosporin A (CsA) starting on day -7 and short-course methotrexate. Bone marrow was unmanipulated in all cases. Cytomegalovirus prophylaxis consisted of acyclovir for SIBs and foscarnet for MUDs. When compared to SIB transplants, MUD patients were younger (29 vs 36 years; P = 0.002), had younger donors (31 vs 39; P = 0.001), had a longer interval between diagnosis and BMT (1459 vs 263 days; P <0.001) and received a smaller number of nucleated cells at transplant (3.3 vs 4.4 x 108/kg; P = 0.003). More MUDs had advanced disease (50 vs 17%, P = 0.005). The median day to 0.5 x 109/l neutrophils was similar in both groups (18 days for SIBs vs 17 days for MUDs; P = 0.06); the median platelet count on days +30, +50, +100 was significantly (P <0.01) higher in SIB than in MUD patients (122 vs 38, 113 vs 50 and 97 vs 45 x 109/l, respectively). Acute GVHD was scored as absent-mild, moderate, or severe, in 36, 58 and 6% of SIBs vs 25, 42 and 33% in MUD patients (P = 0.01). Chronic GVHD was comparable (P = 0.1). The actuarial risk of CMV antigenemia at 1 year was 60% in both groups. There were six deaths in SIB patients (two leukemia, two infections, one GVHD, one pneumonitis) and four deaths in MUD patients (three acute GVHD and one infection). Fifty patients survive with a median follow-up of 656 days for SIBs and 485 for MUDs. The actuarial 3-year transplant-related mortality is 12% in SIBs and 17% in MUDs (P = 0.5); the actuarial relapse is 18% in SIBs vs 6% in MUDs (P = 0.4) and 3-year survival 78% in SIBs vs 82% in MUDs (P = 0.7). This study suggests that survival of CML patients after marrow transplantation from unrelated or sibling donors is currently similar, provided the former are well matched. The increased incidence of GVHD in MUD patients is possibly compensated by a lower risk of relapse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1062
Number of pages6
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2 1997


  • Chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Unrelated donor transplants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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