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Graft Cryopreservation Does Not Impact Overall Survival after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Using Post-Transplantation Cyclophosphamide for Graft-versus-Host Disease Prophylaxis. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 Jul;26(7):1312-1317



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Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85083795044   34 Citations


The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant barriers to timely donor evaluation, cell collection, and graft transport for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT). To ensure availability of donor cells on the scheduled date of infusion, many sites now collect cryopreserved grafts before the start of pretransplantation conditioning. Post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (ptCY) is an increasingly used approach for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, but the impact of graft cryopreservation on the outcomes of allo-HCT using ptCY is not known. Using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) database, we compared the outcomes of HCT using cryopreserved versus fresh grafts in patients undergoing HCT for hematologic malignancy with ptCY. We analyzed 274 patients with hematologic malignancy undergoing allo-HCT between 2013 and 2018 with cryopreserved grafts and ptCY. Eighteen patients received bone marrow grafts and 256 received peripheral blood stem cell grafts. These patients were matched for age, graft type, disease risk index (DRI), and propensity score with 1080 patients who underwent allo-HCT with fresh grafts. The propensity score, which is an assessment of the likelihood of receiving a fresh graft versus a cryopreserved graft, was calculated using logistic regression to account for the following: disease histology, Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS), HCT Comorbidity Index, conditioning regimen intensity, donor type, and recipient race. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Secondary endpoints included acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), non-relapse mortality (NRM), relapse/progression and disease-free survival (DFS). Because of multiple comparisons, only P values <.01 were considered statistically significant. The 2 cohorts (cryopreserved and fresh) were similar in terms of patient age, KPS, diagnosis, DRI, HCT-CI, donor/graft source, and conditioning intensity. One-year probabilities of OS were 71.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 68.3% to 73.8%) with fresh grafts and 70.3% (95% CI, 64.6% to 75.7%) with cryopreserved grafts (P = .81). Corresponding probabilities of OS at 2 years were 60.6% (95% CI, 57.3% to 63.8%) and 58.7% (95% CI, 51.9% to 65.4%) (P = .62). In matched-pair regression analysis, graft cryopreservation was not associated with a significantly higher risk of mortality (hazard ratio [HR] for cryopreserved versus fresh, 1.05; 95% CI, .86 to 1.29; P = .60). Similarly, rates of neutrophil recovery (HR, .91; 95% CI, .80 to 1.02; P = .12), platelet recovery (HR, .88; 95% CI, .78 to 1.00; P = .05), grade III-IV acute GVHD (HR, .78; 95% CI, .50 to 1.22; P = .27), NRM (HR, 1.16; 95% CI, .86 to 1.55; P = .32) and relapse/progression (HR, 1.21; 95% CI, .97 to 1.50; P = .09) were similar with cryopreserved grafts versus fresh grafts. There were somewhat lower rates of chronic GVHD (HR, 78; 95% CI, .61 to .99; P = .04) and DFS (HR for treatment failure, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.29; P = .04) with graft cryopreservation that were of marginal statistical significance after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Overall, our data indicate that graft cryopreservation does not significantly delay hematopoietic recovery, increase the risk of acute GVHD or NRM, or decrease OS after allo-HCT using ptCY.

Author List

Hamadani M, Zhang MJ, Tang XY, Fei M, Brunstein C, Chhabra S, D'Souza A, Milano F, Phelan R, Saber W, Shaw BE, Weisdorf D, Devine SM, Horowitz MM


Anita D'Souza MD Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Mehdi H. Hamadani MD Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Mary M. Horowitz MD, MS Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Rachel A. Phelan MD, MPH Associate Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Wael Saber MD, MS Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Bronwen E. Shaw MBChB, PhD Center Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Mei-Jie Zhang PhD Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Aged, 80 and over
Bone Marrow Transplantation
Cohort Studies
Coronavirus Infections
Graft vs Host Disease
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Histocompatibility Testing
Middle Aged
Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Pneumonia, Viral
Survival Analysis
Transplantation Conditioning
Transplantation, Homologous
United States
Unrelated Donors