Allele-Level HLA Matching Impacts Key Outcomes Following Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation for Inherited Metabolic Disorders

Kanwaldeep K. Mallhi, Angela R. Smith, Todd E. DeFor, Troy C. Lund, Paul J. Orchard, Weston P. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has demonstrated efficacy for numerous inherited metabolic disorders (IMDs). Umbilical cord blood transplant (UCBT) is increasingly used as a graft source in IMDs, but little is known of the impact of cord blood unit (CBU)/recipient HLA allelic disparity on key outcomes following UCBT for IMD. We reviewed outcomes of 106 consecutive first, single UCBTs for IMD at the University of Minnesota with regard to CBU/recipient HLA allelic matching (HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1). The median age at UCBT was 1 year, and 87 patients (82%) received myeloablative conditioning. Primary diagnoses were Hurler syndrome (41%), cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (35%), metachromatic leukodystrophy/globoid cell leukodystrophy (9%), and other (16%). The 5-year overall survival (OS) for the entire cohort was 70% (95% confidence interval, 59% to 79%). Rates of severe acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease were low (6% for each). CBU/recipient HLA conventional matching was based on antigen-level matching at HLA-A and -B, and on allele-level matching at HLA-DRB1. Of 46 conventional matched UCBTs, 20 (43%) were mismatched at 1 or more alleles. Of 49 conventional 5/6 UCBTs, 30 (61%) were mismatched at ≥2 alleles and 19 (39%) were mismatched at ≥3 alleles. Within the 6/6 conventional match stratum, comparisons of key outcomes between allele-matched and allele-mismatched UCBT were as follows: 5-year OS, 88% versus 42% (P < .01); 1-year engrafted survival (ES) with ≥90% donor chimerism, 73% versus 60% (P = .33); graft failure, 8% versus 30% (P = .05); and transplantation-related mortality (TRM), 8% versus 30% (P = .04). For patients undergoing conventional 5/6 HLA-matched UCBT, better allelic matching was associated with similar outcomes: 5-year OS, 77% versus 74% (P = .72); 1-year ES, 73% versus 47% (P = .06); graft failure, 17% versus 42% (P = .05); and TRM, 10% versus 16% (P = .54). On multivariable analyses, fewer allele-level mismatches within each conventional match stratum continued to predict more favorable outcomes following UCBT. These data provide evidence that allele-level HLA matching considerations within a conventional HLA match stratum may better predict outcomes of interest after UCBT for IMD. Larger studies are warranted to confirm these findings and explore other allele-level HLA match dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation


  • Allelic HLA
  • Engrafted survival outcomes
  • High resolution
  • Inherited metabolic disorders
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Umbilical cord


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