More than half of patients undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation at our institution are ethnic or racial minorities, making the search for matched unrelated donors more challenging. Since the introduction of haploidentical bone marrow transplant (haplo-BMT) into our pediatric BMT program in 2015, 69.2% of recipients have been minorities. Herein, we describe our experience with the first 13 pediatric and young adult patients with hematologic malignancies who have undergone T cell–replete haplo-BMT after myeloablative conditioning (MAC) at our institution. We have previously documented that in experimental haplo-BMT, post-transplant bendamustine (PT-BEN) is at least as effective as post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PT-CY) against graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and elicits superior graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effects. We report on, for the first time in humans, 4 patients treated with PT-CY and PT-BEN after haplo-BMT as part of our ongoing institutional phase I/II study (NCT02996773). The remaining 9 patients reviewed in this report received PT-CY. Our findings indicate that MAC haplo-BMT is well tolerated by children and young adults with advanced hematologic malignancies with no observed nonrelapse mortality or grades III to IV GVHD. All patients who underwent haplo-BMT remain alive and disease-free with a median follow-up of 15.6 months (range, 1.5 to 31.2). Preliminary findings from our ongoing clinical trial demonstrate that partial substitution of PT-BEN for PT-CY is feasible and safe after haplo-BMT as an immune modulatory strategy to alleviate GVHD and potentially more effectively preserve GVL.
- Haploidentical BMT
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