Umbilical cord blood transplantation with a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen (RIC-UCBT) is used increasingly in patients who have comorbid organ functions and lack human leukocyte antigen-identical donors. We compared the outcomes in 35 patients who received mycophenolate mofetil plus cyclosporine (MMF/CSP, n = 17) or MMF plus tacrolimus (MMF/TAC, n = 18) for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis after RIC-UCBT. Cumulative incidence of neutrophil engraftment was 94 and 89 % in MMF/CSP and MMF/TAC groups, respectively (p = 0.34). The incidence of pre-engraftment immune reaction did not differ between the MMF/CSP (41 %) and MMF/TAC (39 %, p = 1.00) groups; however, patients in the MMF/TAC group tended to have a lower incidence of grade II–IV acute GVHD than those in MMF/CSP group (28 vs 53 %, p = 0.11). Overall survival (OS) at 1 year was 43 and 60 % in MMF/CSP and MMF/TAC groups, respectively (p = 0.39). Progression-free survival, non-relapse mortality, and relapse rate were comparable between the two groups (p = 0.76, 0.59, and 0.88, respectively). In multivariate analyses, MMF/TAC GVHD prophylaxis was closely associated with improved OS, but not with incidence of engraftment and acute GVHD. These results suggest that more intensive GVHD prophylaxis with MMF/TAC decreased acute GVHD without affecting other clinical outcomes, resulting in improved OS after RIC-UCBT.
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