We investigated the safety and efficacy of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) in the prevention and treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) using a nationwide retrospective survey in Japanese children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Overall, 141 children undergoing allogeneic HSCT for hematological malignancy (n = 84), non-malignancy (n = 52), and solid tumors (n = 5) were administered MMF orally (median 8 years; range 0–15 years; 89 males and 52 females) during 1995–2011. Donors were primarily unrelated and mismatched related. In the GVHD prophylaxis group, 29% and 8.6% of patients developed grade II–IV and III–IV GVHD, respectively. Of the 32 evaluable patients, 16% developed chronic [limited (n = 4) and extensive (n = 1)] GVHD. In the acute GVHD treatment group, 61% had decreased grade. In the chronic GVHD treatment group, 36% had improved symptoms. Combined immunosuppressant was reduced or discontinued in 61% patients. Major adverse events (AEs) were neutropenia (4.3%), infection (3.5%), thrombocytopenia (2.1%), myelosuppression (2.1%), and diarrhea (1.4%). MMF dosage was reduced in two children due to grade ≥ 3 AEs; two children died from infection. MMF thus may be well tolerated in children, and may be an effective option for prophylaxis and treatment of acute and chronic GVHD.
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