Conference Coverage

Posttransplant cyclophosphamide helped reduce GVHD rates



– The combination of mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus, and posttransplant cyclophosphamide outperformed other prophylaxis regimens at reducing graft versus host disease with relapse-free survival in a multicenter trial.

The trial’s primary aim was to compare rates of post–hematopoietic stem cell transplant GVHD-free and relapse-free survival (GRFS) in the three study arms, compared with the tacrolimus/methotrexate group, who were receiving a “contemporary control,” Javier Bolaños-Meade, MD, said during a late-breaking abstract session of the combined annual meetings of the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

The mycophenolate mofetil/tacrolimus/posttransplant cyclophosphamide group had a hazard ratio of 0.72 for reaching the primary endpoint – GRFS (95% confidence interval, 0.55-0.94; P = .04), compared with patients receiving the control regimen. In the study, GRFS was defined as the amount of time elapsed between transplant and any of: grade III-IV acute GVHD, chronic GVHD severe enough to require systemic therapy, disease relapse or progression, or death. Grade III-IV acute GVHD and GVHD survival were superior with mycophenolate mofetil/tacrolimus/posttransplant cyclophosphamide, compared with the control (P = .006 and .01, respectively).

The phase 2 trial enrolled adults aged 18-75 years who had a malignant disease and a matched donor, and were slated to receive reduced intensity conditioning. The study randomized patients 1:1:1 to one of three experimental regimens and 224 to the control tacrolimus/methotrexate regimen. In the experimental arms, 92 patients received mycophenolate mofetil/tacrolimus/posttransplant cyclophosphamide; 89 patients received tacrolimus/methotrexate/maraviroc, and 92 patients received tacrolimus/methotrexate/bortezomib.

“According to predetermined parameters for success, tacrolimus/mycophenolate mofetil/cyclophosphamide was superior to control in GRFS, severe acute GVHD, chronic GVHD requiring immunosuppression, and GVHD-free survival, without a negative impact on treatment-related mortality, relapse/progression, overall survival or disease-free survival,” Dr. Bolaños-Meade said.

Patients could be included in the study if they had acute leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, or myelodysplastic syndrome; patients with these diagnoses could have no circulating blasts and had to have less than 10% blasts in bone marrow. Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and lymphoma with sensitive disease at the time of transplant were also eligible. All patients received peripheral blood stem cells, and underwent reduced intensity conditioning.

Permissible conditioning regimens included fludarabine/busulfan dosed at 8 mg/kg or less, fludarabine/cyclophosphamide with or without total body irradiation (TBI), fludarabine/TBI at 200 cGy, or fludarabine/melphalan dosed at less than 150 mg/m2 of body surface area. Alemtuzumab and anti-thymocyte globulin were not permitted.


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