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Between August 1985 and July 1994, we performed 115 volunteer unrelated donor (VUD) bone marrow transplants (BMT) for first chronic phase (n = 86) or advanced phase (n = 29) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Standard serologic HLA typing of potential donors and recipients was supplemented with one-dimensional isoelectric focusing (IEF) for class I proteins, allogenotyping for DR and DQ alleles using DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis, and the measurement of antirecipient major histocompatibility complex (MHC) cytotoxic T-lymphocyte precursor cells in the donors' blood (CTLp assay). Recipients were conditioned for transplantation with a combination of high-dose chemotherapy and total body irradiation (n = 103) or high-dose chemotherapy alone (n = 12). Twenty eight recipients received ex vivo T-cell-depleted marrow, and 84 underwent some form of in vivo T-cell depletion. The probability of severe (grades III or IV) acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) was 24%, and that of extensive chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), 38%. Proportional hazards regression analysis showed an association between low frequency CTLp and a reduced incidence of severe aGVHD (relative risk [RR], 0.28; P = .0035). The probability of relapse at 3 years was 23%, with first chronic phase disease being independently associated with a lower risk of relapse (RR, 0.71; P = .01). The overall leukemia-free survival (LFS) at 3 years was 37%; the LFS for the first chronic phase and advanced phase recipients was 41% and 26%, respectively. First chronic phase disease (RR, 0.56; P = .063) and the combination of recipient cytomegalovirus (CMV) seronegativity and an IEF-matched donor (RR, 0.48; P = .011) were both associated with improved LFS. The probabilities of survival and LFS for patients under 40 years of age transplanted in first chronic phase from an IEF-matched donor were 73% and 50%, respectively. We conclude that VUD BMT is a reasonable option for patients with CML; when using ex vivo or in vivo T-cell depletion, optimal results are achieved in patients transplanted in chronic phase with marrow from donors without demonstrable class I HLA mismatch and a low CTLp frequency.


Journal article



Publication Date





3590 - 3597


Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Bone Marrow Transplantation, Disease-Free Survival, Female, Graft Survival, Graft vs Host Disease, HLA-A Antigens, HLA-B Antigens, HLA-C Antigens, Histocompatibility, Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, Histocompatibility Testing, Humans, Immunosuppression, Isoelectric Focusing, Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive, Leukemia, Myeloid, Chronic-Phase, Lymphocyte Count, Lymphocyte Depletion, Male, Middle Aged, Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length, Prognosis, Proportional Hazards Models, Retrospective Studies, Survival Analysis, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Tissue Donors, Transplantation, Homologous, Treatment Outcome