We analysed 86 patients with CML who received unrelated cord blood transplantation (UCBT), identified through a registry of the Japan Cord Blood Bank Network. At transplantation, the median patient age was 39 years (range, 1-67 years); 38 patients were in chronic phase (CP), 13 in the accelerated phase (AP) and 35 in blast crisis (BC). Median duration from diagnosis to UCBT was 1.5 years (range, 0.2-14.6 years). A nucleated cell (NC) dose of more than 3.0 × 107 per kg was sufficient to achieve neutrophil (91%) and platelet recovery (86%), whereas the lower dose of NC achieved only 60 and 61%, respectively. The duration and type of pre-transplant treatment did not affect neutrophil or platelet recovery. Results of multivariate analysis indicated that older patients (>50 years) had a higher incidence of transplant-related mortality. Advanced-disease stage and lower doses of NCs were significantly associated with lower leukaemia-free and event-free survival. At 2-year survival for patients in CP, AP and BC was 71, 59 and 32%, respectively (P=0.0004). A pre-transplant European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation scoring system was effective in predicting the outcome of UCBT. We conclude that UCBT is a reasonable alternative therapy for patients with CML.
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