High Incidence of Severe Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease with Tacrolimus and Mycophenolate Mofetil in a Large Cohort of Related and Unrelated Allogeneic Transplantation Patients

Zaid Al-Kadhimi, Zartash Gul, Wei Chen, Daryn Smith, Muneer Abidi, Abhinav Deol, Lois Ayash, Lawrence Lum, Edmund K. Waller, Voravit Ratanatharathorn, Joseph Uberti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Both acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) are major causes of morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT). The optimal pharmacological regimen for GVHD prophylaxis is unclear, but combinations of a calcineurin inhibitor (cyclosporin or tacrolimus [Tac]) and an antimetabolite (methotrexate or mycophenolate mofetil [MMF]) are typically used. We retrospectively evaluated the clinical outcomes of 414 consecutive patients who underwent AHSCT from sibling (SD) or unrelated donors (UD) with Tac/MMF combination, between January 2005 and August 2010. The median follow-up was 60 months. Less than one third of the patients received a reduced-intensity chemoregimen. The incidence of grades III and IV acute GVHD was 22.3% and 36.5% in SD and UD groups, respectively (P =.0007). The incidence of chronic GVHD was 47.1% and 52.7% in the SD and UD groups, respectively. Nonrelapse mortality (NRM) at 60 months was 33.3% and 46.5% in the SD and UD groups, respectively (P =.0016). The incidence of relapse was 22.4% for UD and 28.8% for SD. Five-year overall survival was 43% and 34% in the SD and UD groups, respectively (P =.0183). GVHD was the leading cause of death for the entire cohort. Multivariable analysis showed that 8/8 HLA match, patient's age < 60, and low-risk disease were associated with better survival. The use of Tac/MMF for GVHD prophylaxis was associated with a relatively high incidence of severe acute GVHD and NRM in AHSCT from sibling and unrelated donors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-985
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014



  • Graft-versus-host disease
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Mycophenolate mofetil
  • Tacrolimus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation

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