KIR Donor Selection: Feasibility in Identifying better Donors

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24 Scopus citations


We previously reported that acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) transplants using killer cell immunoglobulin-type receptor (KIR) B haplotype better or best (≥2 B activating gene loci ± Cen B/B) unrelated donors (URDs) yield less relapse and better survival. In this prospective trial we evaluated 535 AML searches from 14 participating centers with centralized donor KIR genotyping for donor selection. This represented 3% to 48% of all AML searches (median 20%) per center, totaling 3 to 172 patients (median 22) per center. Donor KIR genotype was reported at a median of 14 days after request (≤26 days for 76% of searches). In 535 searches, 2080 donors were requested for KIR genotyping (mean 4.3 per search); and a median of 1.8 (range, 0 to 4.5) per search were KIR typed. Choosing more donors for confirmatory HLA and KIR haplotype identification enriched the likelihood of finding KIR better or best donors. The search process identified a mean of 30% KIR better or best donors; the success ranged from 24% to 38% in the 11 centers enrolling ≥8 patients. More donors requested for KIR genotyping increased the likelihood of identifying KIR better or best haplotype donors. Of the 247 transplants, 9.3% used KIR best, 19% used KIR better, and 48% used KIR neutral donors while 24% used a non–KIR-tested donor. KIR genotyping did not delay transplantation. The time from search to transplant was identical for transplants using a KIR-genotyped versus a non–KIR-genotyped donor. Prospective evaluation can rapidly identify KIR favorable genotype donors, but choosing more donors per search would substantially increase the likelihood of having a KIR best or better donor available for transplantation. Transplant centers and donor registries must both commit extra effort to incorporate new characteristics (beyond HLA, age, and parity) into improved donor selection. Deliberate efforts to present additional genetic factors for donor selection will require novel procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e28-e32
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial Disclosure: Supported in part by a grant from the National Cancer Institute ( PO1 CA 111412 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant
  • HLA
  • KIR
  • Unrelated donor selection


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