Conditioning-related toxicity and acute graft-versus-host disease in patients given methotrexate/cyclosporine prophylaxis

H. J. Deeg, T. R. Spitzer, M. Cottler-Fox, R. Cahill, L. W. Pickle

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66 Scopus citations


Intensive chemoradiotherapy conditioning regimens and acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) are both associated with significant morbidity and mortality after bone marrow transplantation. In this study, we investigated whether the conditioning regimen affected the development of acute GVHD. Thirty-four patients, four with severe aplastic anemia and 30 with a lymphohemopoietic malignancy, were prepared for transplantation either with cyclophosphamide (CY) alone, with CY combined with total body irradiation (TBI) or CY combined with etoposide and either TBI or busulfan. GVHD prophylaxis included methotrexate (MTX 10 mg/m2) given on days 1, 3 and 6, and daily cyclosporine (CSP) on days -1 through 180. The overall incidence of acute GVHD was 36% (15% for HLA identical, 87% for HLA non-identical recipients). However, when assessed by the severity of conditioning regimen-related toxicity, the incidence of GVHD grades II-IV (HLA identical; HLA non-identical) was 0% (0%; 0%), 37% (20%; 67%) and 50% (22%; 100%) for patients with mild, moderate and severe toxicity, respectively. Compliance with GVHD prophylaxis declined with increasing intensity and toxicity of the conditioning regimen. These data suggest that a regimen of three doses of MTX and daily CSP is as effective as four doses of MTX/CSP for GVHD prophylaxis in patients given HLA identical marrow grafts. However, GVHD regimen compliance and efficacy of GVHD prevention are inversely related to the intensity of the conditioning regimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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