Higher therapeutic CsA levels early post transplantation reduce risk of acute GVHD and improves survival

J. R. Rogosheske, A. D. Fargen, T. E. Defor, E. Warlick, M. Arora, B. R. Blazar, D. J. Weisdorf, C. G. Brunstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We studied whether early CsA trough levels were associated with the risk of acute GVHD in 337 patients after either sibling PBSC or double umbilical cord blood transplantation. All patients, regardless of donor type, started CsA at a dose of 5 mg/kg i.v. divided twice daily, targeting trough concentrations 200-400 ng/mL. The CsA level was studied by a weighted average method calculated by giving 70% of the weight to the level that was measured just before the onset of the event or day +30. We found that higher weighted average CsA trough levels early post transplantation contributed to lower risk of acute GVHD, and lower non-relapse and overall mortality. Thus, our data support close monitoring with active adjustments of CsA dosing to maintain therapeutic CsA levels in the first weeks of allo-HCT. In patients who are near or even modestly above the CsA target trough level, in the absence of CsA-related toxicity, dose reduction should be cautious to avoid subtherapeutic drug levels resulting in higher risk of acute GVHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-125
Number of pages4
JournalBone marrow transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by grants from the National Cancer Institute PO1-CA65493 (CGB, BRB and TED) and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar in Clinical Research Award (CGB).


  • Allogeneic transplantation
  • Calcineurin inhibitor
  • CsA
  • GVHD


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