Cyclosporin A in marrow transplantation for leukemia and aplastic anemia

A. Bacigalupo, F. Frassoni, M. T. van Lint, M. R. Raffo, V. Vitale, G. Corbetta, S. Chierichetti, A. M. Marmont

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A total of 29 consecutive patients with leukemia or aplastic anemia who received an HLA-identical marrow graft were given cyclosporin A (CyA) to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). These patients were compared with a historic group of 25 similar patients with leukemia or AA given methotrexate (MTX) for GvHD prophylaxis at this institution. Engraftment was faster in patients given CyA when compared with MTX patients, with less days of granulocytopenia (P = 0.04), a shorter interval before reaching a platelet count of 70 x 109/l (P = 0.04), fewer major infections (P = 0.01), and fewer days on intravenous antibiotics (P = 0.02). There were no graft failures in CyA patients compared with four of 25 in MTX patients (P = 0.01). Early mortality was lower in CyA patients but not significantly (P = 0.06). The incidence of pulmonary complications was comparable, five of 29 and seven of 25 in CyA and MTX patients, respectively, but the clinical features of such complications differed. Interstitial pneumonia developing after day 30 was seen in MTX patients, whereas an acute respiratory distress syndrome developing between day +8 and day +18 was seen in CyA patients. Acute GvHD was less severe in CyA patients (P = 0.04), but chronic GvHD was comparable (P = 0.3). The actual one-year survival is currently 72% and 52% in CyA and MTX patients, respectively (P = 0.1). Although our initial experience with CyA is encouraging with regard to engraftment and acute GvHD, optimization of CyA protocols will probably be needed for it to be proven as having a definite advantage over MTX.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-248
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Transplantation


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