BACKGROUND: Thiotepa-busulfan-fludarabine (TBF) is a widely used conditioning regimen in single umbilical cord blood transplantation (SUCBT). More recently, it was introduced in the setting of non-T cell depleted haploidentical stem cell transplantation (NTD-Haplo). Whether TBF based conditioning provides additional benefit in transplantation from a particular alternative donor type remains to be established.
METHODS: This was a retrospective study based on an international European registry. We compared outcomes of de-novo acute myeloid leukemia patients in complete remission receiving NTD-Haplo (n = 186) vs. SUCBT (n = 147) following myeloablative conditioning (MAC) with TBF. Median follow-up was 23 months. Treatment groups resembled in baseline characteristics.
RESULTS: SUCBT was associated with delayed engraftment and higher graft failure. In multivariate analysis no statistically significant differences were observed between the two groups in terms of acute or chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) (HR = 1.03, p = 0.92 or HR = 1.86, p = 0.21) and relapse incidence (HR = 0.8, p = 0.65). Non-relapse mortality (NRM) was significantly higher in SUCBT as compared to NTD-Haplo (HR = 2.63, p = 0.001); moreover, SUCBT did worse in terms of overall survival (HR = 2.18, p = 0.002), leukemia-free survival (HR = 1.94, p = 0.007), and GvHD relapse-free survival (HR = 2.38, p = 0.0002).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that TBF-MAC might allow for a potent graft-versus-leukemia, regardless of the alternative donor type. Furthermore, in patients receiving TBF-MAC, survival with NTD-Haplo may be better compared to SUCBT due to decreased NRM.