The effects of inter-unit HLA-match on early outcomes with regards to double cord blood transplantation have not been established. Therefore, we studied the effect of inter-unit HLA-mismatching on the outcomes of 449 patients with acute leukemia after double cord blood transplantation. Patients were divided into two groups: one group that included transplantations with inter-unit mismatch at 2 or less HLA-loci (n=381) and the other group with inter-unit mismatch at 3 or 4 HLA-loci (n=68). HLA-match considered low resolution matching at HLA-A and -B loci and allele-level at HLA-DRB1, the accepted standard for selecting units for double cord blood transplants. Patients’, disease, and transplant characteristics were similar in the two groups. We observed no effect of the degree of inter-unit HLA-mismatch on neutrophil (Hazard Ratio 1.27, P=0.11) or platelet (Hazard Ratio 0.1.13, P=0.42) recovery, acute graft-versus-host disease (Hazard Ratio 1.17, P=0.36), treatment-related mortality (Hazard Ratio 0.92, P=0.75), relapse (Hazard Ratio 1.18, P=0.49), treatment failure (Hazard Ratio 0.99, P=0.98), or overall survival (Hazard Ratio 0.98, P=0.91). There were no differences in the proportion of transplants with engraftment of both units by three months (5% after transplantation of units with inter-unit mismatch at ≤2 HLA-loci and 4% after transplantation of units with inter-unit mismatch at 3 or 4 HLA-loci). Our observations support the elimination of inter-unit HLA-mismatch criterion when selecting cord blood units in favor of optimizing selection based on individual unit characteristics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The CIBMTR is supported by Public Health Service Grant U24-CA076518 from the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a contract HHSH250201200016C with Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA/DHHS) and grants N00014-15-1-0848 and N00014-16-1-2020 from the Office of Naval Research.