Posttransplant cyclophosphamide for prevention of graft-versus-host disease: results of the prospective randomized HOVON-96 trial

Annoek E.C. Broers*, Cornelis N. de Jong, HOVON Stem Cell Transplantation Working Group, Katerina Bakunina, Mette D. Hazenberg, Marinus van Marwijk Kooy, Marco R. de Groot, Michel van Gelder, Jurgen Kuball, Bronno van der Holt, Ellen Meijer, Jan J. Cornelissen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is the most important complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT). We performed a prospective randomized, multicenter, phase 3 trial to study whether posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PT-Cy) combined with a short course of cyclosporine A (CsA) would result in a reduction of severe GVHD and improvement of GVHD-free, relapse-free survival (GRFS) as compared with the combination of CsA and mycophenolic acid (MPA) after nonmyeloablative (NMA) matched related and unrelated peripheral blood alloHSCT. Between October 2013 and June 2018, 160 patients diagnosed with a high-risk hematological malignancy and having a matched related or at least 8 out of 8 HLA-matched unrelated donor were randomized and allocated in a 1:2 ratio to CsA/MPA or PT-Cy/CsA; a total of 151 patients were transplanted (52 vs 99 patients, respectively). The cumulative incidence of grade 2 to 4 acute GVHD at 6 months was 48% in recipients of CsA/MPA vs 30% following PT-Cy/CsA (hazard ratio [HR], 0.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.29-0.82; P = .007). The 2-year cumulative incidence of extensive chronic GVHD was 48% vs 16% (HR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.21-0.64; P < .001). The 1-year estimate of GRFS was 21% (11% to 32%) vs 45% (35% to 55%), P < .001. With a median follow-up of 56.4 months, relapse incidence, progression-free survival, and overall survival were not significantly different between the 2 treatment arms. PT-Cy combined with a short course of CsA after NMA matched alloHSCT significantly improves GRFS due to a significant reduction in severe acute and chronic GVHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3378-3385
Number of pages8
JournalBlood advances
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Supported by the Dutch Cancer Society (grant 2008-4331) and Novartis.

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© 2022 by The American Society of Hematology. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), permitting only noncommercial, nonderivative use with attribution. All other rights reserved.


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