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Reduced-intensity conditioning regimens allow application of allogeneic stem cell transplantation to greater numbers of patients with myeloma by reducing transplantation-related mortality. We prospectively evaluated the role of an approach incorporating in vivo T-cell depletion and subsequent adjuvant donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs) as part of front-line therapy for chemotherapy-sensitive multiple myeloma. Twenty patients with HLA-matched related (n = 12) or unrelated (n = 8) donors entered the study. None had previously undergone autologous transplantation. Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) following transplantation was minimal (3 grade II and no grade III or IV). Nonrelapse mortality rate was relatively low (15%) compared with conventional myeloablative allogeneic transplantation series, although it remained significantly higher than in the autologous setting. Disease responses by 6 months posttransplantation were modest (2 in complete remission, 4 in partial remission, 2 were minimally responsive, 6 had no change, 3 had progressive disease, and 3 were not evaluable). Fourteen patients received escalating-dose DLI for residual/progressive disease. Three developed acute GVHD and 2 developed limited chronic GVHD. Seven demonstrated further disease responses, which appeared to be more common in those developing GVHD (5 of 5 versus 2 of 9; P =.02). All responses were associated with conversion from mixed to full donor T-cell chimerism. Response durations were disappointing (5 <12 months) and progression often occurred despite persisting full donor chimerism. Two-year estimated overall survival and current progression-free survival rates (intention to treat with DLI from 6 months) were 71% and 30%, respectively. The current approach incorporating T-cell depletion appears excessively immunosuppressive despite attempts to restore immune function with DLI. Dose escalation failed to allow convincing dissociation of graft-versus-myeloma from GVHD. Attempts to hasten immune reconstitution and to focus and amplify appropriate components of allogeneic T-cell responses will be required to increase complete remission rates and response durations.

Original publication

DOI

10.1053/bbmt.2003.50009

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant

Publication Date

04/2003

Volume

9

Pages

257 - 265

Keywords

Adult, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Female, Graft Survival, Graft vs Tumor Effect, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Humans, Infection, Lymphocyte Depletion, Lymphocyte Transfusion, Male, Middle Aged, Multiple Myeloma, Survival Analysis, T-Lymphocytes, Transplantation Chimera, Transplantation Conditioning, Transplantation, Homologous, Treatment Outcome