Nakasone H, Remberger M, Tian L, Brodin P, Sahaf B, Wu F, Mattsson J, Lowsky R, Negrin R, Miklos DB, Meyer E
Haematologica 100 (11) 1477-1485 [2015-11-00; online 2015-08-06]
Sex-mismatched hematopoietic cell transplantation is linked to increased graft-versus-host disease and mortality in myeloablative conditioning. Here we evaluated outcomes of 1,041 adult transplant recipients at two centers between 2006 and 2013 and investigated how the effect of sex-mismatching differed in myeloablative, reduced-intensity, and non-myeloablative total lymphoid irradiation with anti-thymocyte globulin conditioning. Among patients who underwent myeloablative conditioning, male recipients with female donors had increased chronic graft-versus-host disease (hazard ratio 1.83, P<0.01), increased non-relapse mortality (hazard ratio 1.84, P=0.022) and inferior overall survival (hazard ratio 1.59, P=0.018). In contrast, among patients who received reduced-intensity conditioning, male recipients with female donors had increased acute graft-versus-host disease (hazard ratio 1.96, P<0.01) but no difference in non-relapse mortality or overall survival. Among the patients who underwent total lymphoid irradiation with anti-thymocyte globulin, male recipients with female donors showed no increase in graft-versus-host disease or non-relapse mortality. Notably, only in the cohort receiving total lymphoid irradiation with anti-thymocyte globulin were male recipients with female donors significantly associated with reduced relapse (hazard ratio 0.64, P<0.01), and allo-antibody responses against H-Y antigens were predictive of reduced relapse. In the cohort given total lymphoid irradiation with anti-thymocyte globulin, the graft-versus-leukemia effect resulted in superior overall survival in recipients of sex-mismatched grafts (HR 0.69, P=0.037). In addition, only in the cohort treated with total lymphoid irradiation with anti-thymocyte globulin were female recipients with male donors associated with reduced relapse (hazard ratio 0.59, P<0.01) and superior survival (hazard ratio 0.61, P=0.014) compared with sex-matched pairs. We conclude that the risks and benefits of sex-mismatched transplants appear to differ according to conditioning strategy and this could affect donor selection.