The impact of allele-level HLA mismatch on outcomes of cord blood transplantation has not been well established. We retrospectively analyzed the effects of HLA allele matching at HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1 in cord blood transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndrome. In multivariate analysis, overall survival (OS) significantly deteriorated in the 4-allele or higher mismatch in pediatric cases (hazard ratio, 1.8 for 4/8 match [reference, 6/8 match] and 2.85 for 3-1/8 match) and the 5-allele or higher mismatch in adult cases (hazard ratio, 1.23 for 3-0/8 match). Incidence of grade Ⅲ to Ⅳ acute graft-versus-host disease was low in the 8/8 match and 1-allele mismatch in pediatric cases (hazard ratio, 0.19 for 8/8 match and 0.41 for 7/8 match) and the 8/8 match in adult cases (hazard ratio, 0.41 for 8/8 match). On the other hand, a higher incidence of relapse was noted in the 8/8 match in adults (hazard ratio, 1.53). The incidence of neutrophil and platelet engraftment decreased in the 3-allele or higher mismatch in adults. In subgroup analysis of graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis in adult cases, a deteriorating effect on OS of HLA 5-allele or higher mismatch was more significant in cases with calcineurin inhibitor with methotrexate than with mycophenolate mofetil. These results suggest that allele-level HLA mismatch affects the outcomes of cord blood transplantation. Information on HLA allele matching at HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1 may be useful for cord blood unit selection.
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