Author(s): Schaap N, Schattenberg A, Mensink E, Preijers F, Hillegers M, , Schaap N, Schattenberg A, Mensink E, Preijers F, Hillegers M,
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Abstract Using red cell phenotyping (RCP) and/or cytogenetics (CYT) we identified 19 patients with persisting mixed chimerism (MC) among 231 patients transplanted with partially T cell-depleted stem cell grafts from HLA-identical siblings. Persisting MC is defined as MC for more than 2 years in patients without any evidence of relapse. Median leukemia-free survival in these patients was 150 (range, 50-218) months. Diagnoses were ALL (n= 10); AML (n = 2); CML (n = 2); NHL (n = 2); MDS (n= 1); MM (n = 1) and SAA (n = 1). Purpose of this study was the long-term follow-up of MC and definition of patterns of chimerism in the various subsets of PBMCs and granulocytes. Using a PCR-STR technique CD3(+)/CD4(+) (T4 lymphocytes), CD3(+)/CD8(+) (T8 lymphocytes), CD45(+)/CD19(+) (B lymphocytes), CD45(+)/CD14(+) (monocytes), CD45(+)/CD15(+) (granulocytes) and CD3(-)/CD56(+) (NK-cells) were analyzed. The majority of patients with persisting MC were conditioned with a less intensive conditioning regimen and had little GVHD. Sequential monitoring of the chimerism resulted in a group of patients (n = 7) with very slow transient mixed chimerism that resulted in complete DC after median 7 years. Another nine patients had a relatively high percentage of persisting autologous cells for a median of 12 years and in three patients we observed a stable low percentage of autologous cells. Only two out of 19 patients (AML-CR1, CML-CP1) relapsed during follow-up. Both patients had a relatively high percentage of autologous cells. Chimerism in granulocytes and PBMC subsets was analyzed at a median of 8 years after SCT in nine patients. In five patients mixed chimerism simultaneously detected by RCP and CYT was associated with MC in all subsets. Within each individual patient the percentages of donor and recipient cells were very different between the different subsets. Two CML-CP1 patients were mixed chimera in only two subsets and in one patient these subsets represented pending relapse. In another two patients mixed chimerism with a very low number of autologous red cells was not found in the PBMCs because of the different sensitivity level of the RCP and the PCR-STR technique. We conclude that in patients with persisting mixed chimerism after partially T cell-depleted SCT a remarkable number of patients had lymphoid malignancies, the majority of the patients were conditioned with less intensive conditioning regimens and the mixed chimerism was not correlated with relapse. Chimerism in granulocytes and PBMC subsets did show great intra-individual differences in the subsets and these data correlated well with RCP and CYT data with the exception of the NK cells.
This article was published in Leukemia
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion