[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An unrelated donor (UD) search was submitted to the Italian Bone Marrow Donor Registry between February 2002 and December 2004, for 326 consecutive patients with hematological malignancies, eligible for a reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) UD transplant. Only two regimens were allowed: melphalan, alemtuzumab, fludarabine and total body irradiation of 200 cGy (regimen A) and thiotepa, cyclophosphamide, anti-thymocyte globulin (regimen B). The outcome of patients receiving an UD transplant (n=121) was compared with patients who did not find a donor (n=205), in a time dependent analysis, correcting for time to transplant. The median follow up from activation of donor search was 6.1 years. UD transplant was associated with a significantly better survival in patients with acute leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) whereas only a favorable trend was documented for Hodgkin's disease. No survival benefit was registered for chronic leukemias. The outcome of the two different conditioning regimens was comparable, in terms of survival, transplant-related mortality and graft versus host disease. In conclusion, finding an UD and undergoing a RIC transplant significantly improves survival of patients with acute leukemia and NHL. The advantage is less clear for HD and chronic leukemias. The role of different conditioning regimens remains to be elucidated by prospective clinical trials.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 03/2012; 26(8):1779-85. · 10.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (t-MDS) have poor survival and high non-relapse mortality (NRM) after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. This retrospective study assessed the transplant outcomes of 29 consecutive patients with t-AML (83%) or t-MDS (17%) treated with allogeneic transplantation. The median age of patients was 51 years. Donors were mostly matched unrelated (52%), and 59% of patients received myeloablative conditioning. Two-year overall survival, event-free survival and relapse incidence were 37%, 34% and 33%; NRM was 17% at 100 days, and 32% at 2 years. Event-free survival was reduced in patients with high-risk cytogenetics (p = 0.02), Karnofsky performance status ≤ 80% (p = 0.001) and disease after induction ± consolidation (p = 0.006). NRM was higher in patients receiving > 2 therapy lines for previous cancer (p = 0.01) and in those allografted > 6 months from diagnosis (p = 0.03). In conclusion, allogeneic transplantation should be proposed timely to these patients after an accurate analysis of patient history.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since 2002, date of publication of the previous Italian Society of Haematology (SIE) practice guidelines for management of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), novel disease-modifying treatments have been introduced and the SIE commissioned an update. After a comprehensive review of the medical literature published since January 2001, the Expert Panel formulated recommendations for the management of adult and paediatric MDS, graded according to the available evidence. The major updates are: first-line hypomethylating agents in patients with INT2-high-risk disease; controlled use of first-line lenalidomide in low-INT1 risk transfusion-dependent patients with 5q deletion; deferasirox in low-INT1 patients with a relevant transfusional load; first-line high-dose ESA in low-INT1 patients with Hb <10 g/dl and endogenous EPO <500 U/l; allogeneic HSCT first-line therapy for INT2- and high-risk patients <65 years without severe co morbidities.
Leukemia research 02/2010; 34(12):1576-88. · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) continues to be a major limitation to successful haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. If experimental studies and clinical observations could partially elucidate the pathophysiology of acute GVHD, the biology of chronic GVHD is still much less well understood.
The aim of this study is to describe a peculiar photoinduced rash which triggered acute and then chronic lesions of GVHD in four allogenic haematopoietic-transplanted patients and discuss the possible aetiology and treatment.
Four patients, two children and two adults affected by either mild or severe chronic GVHD, developed an erythematous rash on sun- or narrow-band ultraviolet B-exposed area, which triggered the onset of acute lesions of GVHD. Any of the patients presented neither a history of photosensitivity nor circulating autoantibodies nor urinary/fecal porphyrine.
The histopathologic findings were characterized by an interface dermatitis with sparse perivascular infiltrate of lymphocytes and scattered necrotic keratinocytes, especially in the upper part of epidermis. Direct immunofluorescence studies excluded lupus-like pattern, revealing nests of fluorescent bodies at the dermal-epidermal junction and in papillary dermis.
This peculiar isomorphic reaction of cutaneous GVHD after sun or narrow-band ultraviolet B exposures is described, and the possible mechanism involved is discussed. It may represent an interesting model of progression of chronic GVHD, starting with an acute stage and ending up with chronic clinical and histological findings, especially considering that there is no animal model that fully replicates all of the features of chronic GVHD in humans.
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 09/2009; 23(8):913-8. · 2.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) for patients with refractory anaemia may result in a 50% event-free survival, but the high non-relapse mortality (NRM) precludes a general application of this therapeutic modality. This study evaluated the impact of various pre-transplant variables, including disease duration, intensity of the conditioning regimen, type of donor and year of transplantation on outcome. The study population consisted of 374 patients; 244 were transplanted from human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-identical siblings and 130 patients from matched unrelated donors. The median age was 39 years. One hundred and two patients were transplanted after reduced intensity conditioning (RIC). The overall 4-year survival was 52%. The 4-year survival of patients transplanted with HLA-identical sibling donors and matched unrelated donors was 52% and 50%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed an improved survival (P = 0.05) and a lower NRM (P = 0.02) when the transplantation was performed in recent years. Increasing age, and disease duration of >12 months were associated with inferior survival. RIC resulted in a similar survival despite an increased relapse risk (P = 0.02). This improved outcome permits alloSCT in patients older than 50 years of age, even with the use of matched unrelated donors. AlloSCT should be preferentially performed early after diagnosis after careful analysis of prognostic variables.
British Journal of Haematology 07/2009; 146(6):627-36. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The importance of HLA donor-recipient matching in unrelated haematopoietic SCT (HSCT) is the subject of debate. In this retrospective study, we analyzed 805 adult patients from the Italian Registry receiving HSCT for a haematological malignancy from January 1999 to June 2006 and correlated the degree of HLA matching with transplant outcome. All patient-donor pairs had high-resolution typing at HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1 and -DQB1. There was a significantly higher risk of overall mortality, non-relapse mortality, graft failure and acute GVHD (aGVHD) for patients receiving HSCT from an unrelated donor with one or more low- or high-resolution mismatch/es (Mm/s). When only a single HLA Mm is present (9/10 matched pairs), mortality risk is higher than among 10/10 matched pairs in patients transplanted with acute leukaemia in the first CR ('early' patients) but not in the other patients (advanced patients): HR=1.69, 95% CI=0.94-3.02, P=0.08; HR=1.03, 95% CI=0.80-1.32, P=0.82, for early and advanced patients, respectively. These results confirm that the advantage of a 10/10 match has a greater effect in early patients, thus suggesting that a 9/10 matched donor can be chosen in patients with advanced disease lacking a rapidly available 10/10 matched one.
Bone marrow transplantation 05/2009; 44(9):571-7. · 3.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The anti-CD20 chimaeric monoclonal antibody Rituximab has recently been shown to induce significant clinical response in a proportion of patients with refractory chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). We now report 38 patients, median age 48 years (22-61), receiving Rituximab for refractory cGVHD, assessed for clinical response and survival. Median duration of cGVHD before Rituximab was 23 months (range 2-116), the median number of failed treatment lines was 3 (range 1 to > or =6) and the median follow-up after Rituximab was 11 months (1-88). Overall response rate was 65%: skin 17/20 (63%), mouth 10/21 (48%), eyes 6/14 (43%), liver 3/12 (25%), lung 3/8 (37.5%), joints 4/5, gut 3/4, thrombocytopaenia 2/3, vagina 0/2, pure red cell aplasia 0/1 and, myasthenia gravis 1/1. During the study period 8/38 died: causes of death were cGVHD progression (n=3), disease relapse (n=1), infection (n=3), sudden death (n=1). The actuarial 2 year survival is currently 76%. We confirm that Rituximab is effective in over 50% of patients with refractory cGVHD and may have a beneficial impact on survival.
Bone Marrow Transplantation 09/2007; 40(3):273-7. · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation are at high risk for infection with a variety of pathogens during different phases of the procedure. Human infections due to Bartonella spp. are viewed as emerging diseases typical in, although not exclusive to, immunosuppressed patients, in particular those with AIDS, organ transplants and haematological malignancies. We describe four patients, three children and one adult, who developed vegetating papillomatous lesions exclusively on the oral mucosae. They shared a history of haematological malignancy and allogeneic bone marrow/stem cell transplantation, and later developed chronic graft-versus-host disease, also involving the oral mucosae. Histopathologically, the vegetating lesions were characterized by a diffuse neoangiogenesis, granulation-like tissue, and a mixed cell infiltrate predominantly composed of neutrophils. Gram-negative bacteria were found in the endothelial cells of the vessels in the deeper portion of the corium by electron microscopy. In three cases, DNA of B. henselae was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and confirmed by sequencing of the PCR products. All the lesions healed after systemic antibiotic therapy, although some recurred after months, and regressed again after systemic antibiotic treatment associated with conservative surgical excision.
British Journal of Dermatology 08/2007; 157(1):174-8. · 4.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We performed a survey of the European Cooperative Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation to analyze the outcome of 625 acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) patients transplanted with auto- or allogeneic-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (autoHSCT, alloHSCT) after 1993, in first (CR1) or in second complete remission (CR2). Leukemia-free survival (LFS) at 5 years in CR1 was 69% for 149 patients autografted and 68% for 144 patients allografted, whereas in CR2, LFS was 51% in 195 autoHSCT and 59% in 137 alloHSCT recipients, respectively. In the group of autoHSCT for CR1 (n=149), higher relapse incidence (RI) was associated with shorter time from diagnosis to transplant (<7.6 months); transplant-related mortality (TRM) was increased in older patients (>47 years), whereas for CR2, longer time from diagnosis to transplant (>18 months) was associated with increased LFS and decreased RI. In the alloHSCT group for CR1 (n=144), age (<33 years) was associated with increased LFS and decreased TRM and for CR2 (n=137), the use of mobilized peripheral blood stem cells was associated with decreased TRM. Female recipient, a female donor to male recipient and transplants performed before 1997 were associated with decreased RI. In conclusion, HSCT still appears to have a role in APL, especially for patients in CR2.
Bone Marrow Transplantation 04/2007; 39(8):461-9. · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This is an update of a randomized study on antithymocyte globulin (ATG; Thymoglobulin) before transplantation in patients undergoing unmanipulated marrow transplantation from unrelated donors. The median follow-up for surviving patients is 5.7 years. At last follow-up, chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was scored in 60% of non-ATG and in 37% of ATG patients (P=.05), and extensive chronic GVHD was present in 41% and 15%, respectively (P=.01). Chronic lung dysfunction was diagnosed in 51% versus 19% of patients (P=.005). Forced vital capacity decreased significantly with time in non-ATG patients (P=.005), but not in patients who received ATG (P=.30). The proportion of patients with Karnofsky scores of >or=90% at 4 years was 57% versus 89% in non-ATG versus ATG patients (P=.03). The actuarial 6-year survival for all patients randomized was 31% versus 44% (non-ATG versus ATG; P=.80). The cumulative incidence of transplant-related mortality was 51% versus 41% (P=.70) and of relapse was 32% versus 40% (P=.90). For patients who survived 1 year, transplant-related mortality was 25% versus 3% (P=.03), and actuarial survival was 58% versus 85% (P=.09). In conclusion, the addition of ATG to cyclosporine/methotrexate provides significant protection against extensive chronic GVHD and chronic lung dysfunction, reduces late transplant mortality, and improves quality of life in patients undergoing unrelated donor transplantation.
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 05/2006; 12(5):560-5. · 3.35 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) occurs in one-third or even half of bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients, involving three major target organs: gut, liver and skin.
The histopathological and immunohistochemical features of normal-looking skin in oncohaematological patients on day 100 after BMT were studied to find a possible relationship between the histopathological findings and clinical variables (history or clinical evidence of GvHD, previous therapeutic regimens or infections).
Fifty-one Caucasian oncohaematological patients, who had had an allogenic BMT, had a biopsy taken from normal-looking skin in nonsun-exposed areas (buttocks or the lumbar region), around the 100th day after BMT. The histology was studied, and the influence of clinical variables on the development of every different histopathological pattern was evaluated through statistical analysis.
Histopathological analysis based on morphological criteria revealed the presence of three different patterns: a postinflammatory pattern (45%), changes similar to grade I and II of GvHD (31%) and no significant changes (24%). Statistical analysis revealed that only the presence of peaks of cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigen in the blood within 100 days from BMT was significantly associated with the pattern of GvHD-like changes.
Normal-looking skin in 76% of BMT patients is not necessarily histologically normal. The pattern with more prominent changes, the GvHD-like pattern, has been found to be associated with a more frequent history of CMV antigen in the blood within 100 days from BMT.
British Journal of Dermatology 10/2004; 151(3):579-86. · 4.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Radiation recall dermatitis is one of the skin sequelae that may affect oncology patients. It occurs in a previously irradiated field, when subsequent chemotherapy is given. The eruption may be elicited by chemotherapy, even several months after radiotherapy. Its mechanism is poorly understood, and the histopathologic findings have received, to date, only sketchy descriptions. A 55-year-old male affected by multiple myeloma received radiation therapy both on his left coxofemoral area, and lumbar region (D11-L1). After cyclophosphamide administration, he developed 2 well defined square-shaped, infiltrated erythematoviolaceous plaques in the prior irradiated fields. Histopathologic findings revealed a diffusely fibrosclerosing process, involving deep dermis, hypodermis, as well as the underlying muscle, while sparing the epidermis and superficial-mid dermis. Histopathology was indistinguishable from deep radio-dermatitis, panniculitis, and myositis. This is the first case providing clear evidence of the causative role of cyclophosphamide in inducing a cutaneous and subcutaneous radiation recall reaction.
American Journal of Dermatopathology 07/2004; 26(3):213-6. · 1.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DC), the most specialized antigen-presenting cells, can be detected in the peripheral blood (PB) and divided into two subsets of populations, DC1 and DC2, endowed with different functions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect on DC release and on their subsets of three regimens utilized to mobilize CD34+ cells into the PB in cancer patients and in normal CD34+ cell donors.
The mobilizing sequences were: standard-dose epirubicin+taxol+granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF; 15 patients with advanced breast cancer), high-dose cyclophosphamide (CTX)+G-CSF (10 patients with breast cancer patients and 7 with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, NHL), and G-CSF alone (5 normal donors of CD34+ cells for allogeneic transplantation). Comparative data were obtained from the steady-state PB of 20 healthy volunteers. For flow cytometric analysis, DC were gated as negative for specific lineage markers (CD3, CD11b, CD14, CD16, CD56, CD19, CD20, CD34) and positive for HLA-DR. The DC1 and DC2 subsets were defined as CD11c and CDw123 positive, respectively.
The percentages of DC at baseline and the time of CD34+ cell peak were: 0.48 and 0.51 for standard-dose chemotherapy (CT); 0.55 and 0.63 for breast cancer after high-dose CTX+G-CSF; 0.53 and 0.71 for NHL after high-dose CTX+G-CSF; and 0.51 and 0.54 for normal donors of CD34+ cells after G-CSF alone (all p=n.s.). Mean DC1/DC2 ratios in each study group at the time of CD34+ cell peak were 0.10, 0.12, and 0.18, respectively. Finally, in the group of healthy volunteers, the percentage of circulating DC was 0.95 and the mean DC1/DC2 ratio was 1.28.
To our knowledge, this is the first report that demonstrates that both standard-dose or high-dose CT, when utilized together with G-CSF, do not induce DC mobilization into the PB, whereas a reversed DC1/DC2 ratio is observed. Furthermore, a lack of significant DC mobilization after G-CSF alone was also seen, in contrast to what was previously observed by others. These data should be taken in account when evaluating clinical correlations between DC number and CPC engraftment in both the transplantation setting, when monitoring the effects on the immune system of combinations of new drugs and/or cytokines, and when high numbers of DC are required for both experimental and clinical applications.
Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 07/2003; 52(6):359-66. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One hundred nine patients with hematologic malignancies, undergoing bone marrow transplants (BMT) from unrelated donors, were randomized in 2 consecutive trials to receive or not to receive antithymocyte globulin (ATG) in the conditioning regimen, as follows: (A) 54 patients (median age, 28 years; 39% with advanced disease) were randomized to no ATG (n = 25) versus 7.5 mg/kg rabbit ATG (Thymoglobulin; Sangstat, Lyon, France) (n = 29); (B) 55 patients (median age, 31 years, 71% with advanced disease) were randomized to no ATG (n = 28) versus 15 mg/kg rabbit ATG (n = 27). Grade III-IV graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was diagnosed in 36% versus 41% (P =.8) in the first and in 50% versus 11% (P =.001) in the second trial. Transplant-related mortality (TRM), relapse, and actuarial 3-year survival rates were comparable in both trials. In fact, despite the reduction of GVHD in the second trial, a higher risk for lethal infections (30% vs 7%; P =.02) was seen in the arm given 15 mg/kg ATG. Extensive chronic GVHD developed overall more frequently in patients given no ATG (62% vs 39%; P =.04), as confirmed by multivariate analysis (P =.03). Time to 50 x 10(9)/L platelets was comparable in the first trial (21 vs 24 days; P =.3) and delayed in the ATG arm in the second trial (23 vs 38 days; P =.02). These trials suggest that (1) 15 mg/kg ATG before BMT significantly reduces the risk for grade III-IV acute GVHD, (2) this does not translate to a reduction in TRM because of the increased risk for infections, and (3) though survival is unchanged, extensive chronic GVHD is significantly reduced in patients receiving ATG.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leukemic relapse is the most frequent cause of treatment failure after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). To identify prognostic factors affecting the outcome of second HSCT, we performed a retrospective study on patients with acute leukemia (AL) undergoing second HSCT who reported to the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the European Cooperative Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation registry.
One hundred seventy patients who received second HSCTs for AL experienced relapse after first HSCTs were performed from 1978 to 1997. Status at second HSCT, time between first and second HSCT, conditioning regimen, source of stem cells, treatment-related mortality (TRM), acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD), leukemia-free survival (LFS), overall survival (OS), and relapse were considered.
Engraftment occurred in 97% of patients. Forty-two patients were alive at last follow-up, with a 5-year OS rate of 26%. The 5-year probability for TRM, LFS, and relapse was 46%, 25%, and 59%, respectively. Grade > or = 2 aGVHD occurred in 59% of patients, and chronic GVHD occurred in 32%. In multivariate analysis, diagnosis, interval to relapse after first HSCT > 292 days, aGVHD at first HSCT, complete remission status at second HSCT, use of total-body irradiation at second HSCT, acute GVHD at second HSCT, and use of bone marrow as source of stem cells at second HSCT were associated with better outcome.
Second HSCT represents an effective therapeutic option for AL patients relapsed after allogeneic HSCT, with a 3-year LFS rate of 52% for the subset of patients who experienced relapse more than 292 days after receiving the first HSCT and who were in remission before receiving the second HSCT.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 08/2001; 19(16):3675-84. · 17.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data from autologous peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) transplant recipients were used for cost analysis and modelling so as to link the main intervention procedures and clinical events to resource use and costs. This cohort consisted of 64 patients from 4 to 62 years old at transplantation (mean, 36.9 years) who underwent a first transplant between August 1994 and May 1997. The main indications for transplantation were non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (47%), multiple myeloma (30%) and Hodgkin's lymphomas (15%). The course of a patient during the whole transplant procedure was modelled using a Markov chain of six states of health: (1) mobilisation and recovery of PBPC; (2) post-mobilisation phase; (3) conditioning and transplant; (4) critical haematological reconstitution; (5) non-critical haematological reconstitution; (6) death. The probability of transition between the different health states, together with the estimated costs, were the input for the Markov model. The model also managed transition probabilities depending both on the current health state and on various demographic, clinical and procedure-related covariates unique to the patient. The expected time spent in each clinical state and the expected total cost were, therefore, estimated. This analysis gave an actual total cost per transplanted patient of $26,600 (95% range: $24,700 to $43,500) while mean duration was 197 days. The expenses for in-hospital stay accounted for 80% of the costs. Both the probability of staying in the different states, and the consequent cost were dependent on the number of CD34-positive cells collected, the phase and the type of the disease, the subset of patients (either children or adults), and the post-transplant G-CSF prophylaxis. The sensitivity of the estimates to alternative assumptions was studied, and the method of comparing alternative future scenarios by the model was explored.
Bone Marrow Transplantation 05/1999; 23(7):719-25. · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bone marrow (BM) and/or peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC) given after high-dose chemo-radiotherapy are commonly cryopreserved. Re-infusion of the thawed product can cause cardiovascular and other complications. We compared two groups of adult patients receiving autologous BM or PBPC transplant to assess the incidence of adverse events occurring during infusion. Fifty-one patients received BM, and 75 PBPC. The two groups were comparable in respect of age, total volume infused, quantity of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and number of polymorphonuclear neutrophils. Patients receiving PBPC had a higher number of nucleated cells per kg of body weight; those in the BM group received a significantly greater quantity of red cells. Non-cardiovascular complications occurred in 19% and 8% of patients rescued by BM and PBPC respectively. The incidence of hypertension was 21% in the BM and 36% in the PBPC group. Asymptomatic hypotension was more frequent in PBPC patients (P<0.001). Bradyarrhythmia was noticed in two of 75 PBPC patients and in 14 of 51 BM patients (P<0.001). In the former group one patient had heart block; he died of renal failure 10 days later. Bradycardia and hemoglobinuria were more common in patients receiving BM where a higher concentration of red cells was present (P<0.001). Since bradyarrhythmias may be a life-threatening complication we advise continuous careful monitoring during infusion of thawed BM. The strong correlation between bradycardia and red blood cell contamination suggests the use of purified products with a very low red cell content.
Bone Marrow Transplantation 03/1999; 23(6):533-7. · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ninety-five patients undergoing an allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) and developing acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD) were randomized to receive low-dose intravenous 6-methylprednisolone (6MPred; 2 mg/kg /d; n = 47) or high-dose 6MPred (10 mg/kg/d; n = 48) for 5 days, with subsequent tapering doses. On day 5 patients not responding or progressing on low-dose 6MPred could be switched to high-dose 6MPred. All patients, aged 1 to 55 years, were recipients of unmanipulated BMT from HLA identical sibling donors. Patients were stratified at randomization for age (</>/= 20 years), disease (acute leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia [CML], nonneoplastic disease), disease status (early/advanced), and GvHD prophylaxis (cyclosporin/cyclosporin + methotrexate). Primary endpoints were response to treatment and evolution of aGvHD to grade III-IV. Secondary endpoints were cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections, transplant-related mortality (TRM), and relapse. The median interval between BMT and treatment was 12 days (6 to 43). Results in the two groups (2 v 10 mg/kg) were as follows: response of aGvHD 68% versus 71% (P = .9), evolution to aGvHD grade III-IV 17% versus 20% (P = . 6), CMV infections 55% versus 60% (P = .7), 3-year actuarial TRM 28% versus 32% (P = .7), relapse 17% versus 7% (P = .1). The actuarial survival at 3 years was 63% versus 62% (P = .9) with a median follow up of 580 and 778 days. On day 5 of therapy, 26 patients assigned to low-dose (2 mg/kg) 6MPred were switched to a higher dose of 6MPred because of no response or progression. Their actuarial TRM was 46%, which is significantly higher than TRM of patients who responded on 2 mg/kg and continued with tapering doses (TRM = 16%, P = .007). In conclusion, early treatment of acute GvHD with 6MPred 10 mg/kg/d does not improve the response rate as compared with 2 mg/kg/d, nor does it prevent evolution to aGvHD grade III-IV. CMV infections, TRM, and survival were also comparable. A group of patients at high risk of TRM can be identified after 5 days of treatment with 6MPred 2 mg/kg and could be eligible for alternative forms of therapy.