From the Journals

Haplo-HCT shows viability in DLBCL



For patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who need allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT), a haploidentical family member could be a viable donor, according to a retrospective study of 1,438 patients.

When combined with nonmyeloablative/reduced intensity conditioning (NMC/RIC) and posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy), patients treated with haploidentical HCT (haplo-HCT) had outcomes similar to those seen in patients with matched donors, reported Peter Dreger, MD, of the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and his colleagues.

“Using well-matched sibling donors (MSDs) or unrelated donors (MUDs), allo-HCT can result in sustained disease control in 30% to 45% of patients with DLBCL who have early disease recurrence after standard chemoimmunotherapy or have failed auto-HCT [autologous HCT],” the investigators wrote in Blood Advances. “However, the search for a well-matched unrelated donor could be time-consuming and unsuccessful in up to 50% of the patients in need.”

But the present findings suggest that haplo-HCT may one day improve these odds by providing a larger pool of potential donors.

The patients in the study were divided into four treatment groups: haplo-HCT (n = 132), MSD (n = 525), MUD with T-cell depletion (n = 403), and MUD without T-cell depletion (n = 378). For graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, patients in the haplo-HCT group received PTCy, with or without a calcineurin inhibitor and mycophenolate mofetil, whereas all patients with matched donors received a calcineurin inhibitor. T-cell depletion was accomplished by in vivo antithymocyte globulin and alemtuzumab.

The primary end point was overall survival (OS). Secondary end points were progression-free survival (PFS), progression/relapse, and nonrelapse mortality (NRM).

After a median follow-up of 4.1 years, all groups had similar outcomes, without statistical differences in multivariable analysis.

In the haplo-HCT group, the 3-year OS rate was 46%, the NRM rate was 22%, the PFS rate was 38%, and the relapse/progression rate was 41%.

Of note, patients receiving haplo-HCT did have a lower cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD, at 15% after 1 year and 18% after 2 years. These rates were significantly lower than the other groups’ 1- and 2-year GVHD rates, which were as follows: MSD, 41% and 48%; MUD with T-cell depletion, 23% and 27%; and MUD without T-cell depletion, 48% and 57%.

The investigators noted that these disparities may actually be caused by the use of bone marrow grafts in the haplo-HCT group instead of peripheral blood grafts, which were used in most of the patients in the other groups.

Overall, the findings were encouraging, but the investigators cautioned that “additional studies are needed before haploidentical donors can be considered as equivalent to well-matched related or unrelated donors in patients with DLBCL.”

The study was funded by the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) and the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. CIBMTR is supported by grants from the U.S. government and the pharmaceutical industry. The authors reported having no competing financial interests.

SOURCE: Dreger P et al. Blood Adv. 2019 Feb 12;3(3):360-9.

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