Nonmyeloablative Unrelated Donor Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation to Treat Patients with Poor-Risk, Relapsed, or Refractory Multiple Myeloma

George E. Georges*, Michael B. Maris, David G. Maloney, Brenda M. Sandmaier, Mohamed L. Sorror, Judith A. Shizuru, Thoralf Lange, Edward D. Agura, Benedetto Bruno, Peter A. McSweeney, Michael A. Pulsipher, Thomas R. Chauncey, Marco Mielcarek, Barry E. Storer, Rainer Storb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine long-term outcome of unrelated donor nonmyeloablative hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in patients with poor-risk multiple myeloma. A total of 24 patients were enrolled; 17 patients (71%) had chemotherapy-refractory disease, and 14 (58%) experienced disease relapse or progression after previous autologous transplantation. Thirteen patients underwent planned autologous transplantation followed 43-135 days later with unrelated transplantation, whereas 11 proceeded directly to unrelated transplantation. All 24 patients were treated with fludarabine (90 mg/m2) and 2 Gy of total body irradiation before HLA-matched unrelated peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. Postgrafting immunosuppression consisted of cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil. The median follow-up was 3 years after allografting. One patient experienced nonfatal graft rejection. The incidences of acute grades II and III and chronic graft-versus-host disease were 54%, 13%, and 75%, respectively. The 3-year nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was 21%. Complete responses were observed in 10 patients (42%); partial responses, in 4 (17%). At 3 years, overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 61% and 33%, respectively. Patients receiving tandem autologous-unrelated transplantation had superior OS and PFS (77% and 51%) compared with patients proceeding directly to unrelated donor transplantation (44% and 11%) (PFS P value = .03). In summary, for patients with poor-risk, relapsed, or refractory multiple myeloma, cytoreductive autologous HCT followed by nonmyeloablative conditioning and unrelated HCT is an effective treatment approach, with low NRM, high complete remission rates, and prolonged disease-free survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-432
Number of pages10
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation
  • Chronic graft-versus-host disease
  • Graft-versus-tumor effect
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Nonmyeloablative conditioning
  • Peripheral blood stem cell transplantation
  • Unrelated donor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Hematology


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