Treatment of hematological malignancies with nonmyeloablative, HLA-haploidentical bone marrow transplantation and high dose, post-transplantation cyclophosphamide

Ashley T. Munchel, Yvette L. Kasamon, Ephraim J. Fuchs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation provides the only potential curative option in many patients with hematological malignancies. Finding a suitably matched donor in a timely manner is often difficult. However, most patients have a partially HLA-mismatched (HLA-haploidentical) first-degree relative readily available. Historically, HLA-haploidentical bone marrow transplantation (BMT) has been considered extremely high risk due to high rates of life-threatening graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and non-relapse mortality (NRM). Modifications of the stem cell graft, such as T-cell depletion, have resulted in poor rates of engraftment. We have recently completed a phase II clinical trial of nonmyeloablative HLA-haploidentical hematopoietic BMT followed by post-transplantation high-cyclophosphamide. High-dose cyclophosphamide has been shown to create immunogenic tolerance by specifically killing activated mature T-cells. As a result, alloreactive T-cells in the donor graft are selectively destroyed thereby decreasing the incidence of severe GVHD. As well, host-versus-graft reactive T-cells are also selectively eliminated thereby increasing rates of engraftment. Among 210 patients with hematological malignancies receiving nonmyeloablative, HLA-haploidentical BMT with post-transplantation cyclophosphamide, the rate of sustained donor cell engraftment has been 87%. The cumulative incidence of grade 2-4 acute GVHD is 27%, grade 3-4 acute GVHD is 5% and chronic GVHD is 15%. Interestingly, increasing HLA disparity between donor and recipient was not associated with increasing incidence of GVHD or decreased event-free survival. Nonmyeloablative haploidentical stem cell transplantation with post-transplantation cyclophosphamide seems to be a promising, potentially curative, option for patients with hematological malignancies who either lack an HLA-matched related or unrelated donor, or in whom a myeloablative preparative regimen is contraindicated due to significant co-morbidities or history of extensive pre-treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-368
Number of pages10
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Haematology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • HLA-haploidentical
  • cyclophosphamide
  • hematological malignancies
  • nonmyeloablative
  • stem cell transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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