Allogeneic bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplantations are curative treatment modalities for adult Tcell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) because of the intrinsic graft-versus-ATLL effect. However, limited information is available regarding whether cord blood transplantation (CBT) induces a curative graft-versus-ATLL effect against aggressive ATLL. To evaluate the effect of CBT against ATLL, we retrospectively analyzed data from 175 patients with ATLL who initially underwent single-unit CBT. The 2-year overall survival (OS) rate was 20.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.8% to 27.4%). A multivariate analysis revealed that the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was a favorable prognostic factor for OS (hazard ratio, .10; 95% CI, .01 to .94; P=.044). Furthermore, the 2-year OS (42.7%; 95% CI, 28.1% to 56.6%) of patients with grade 1 to 2 acute GVHD was higher than that of patients without acute GVHD (24.2%; 95% CI, 11.2% to 39.8%; P=.048). However, the cumulative incidence of treatment-related mortality (TRM) was high (46.1%; 95% CI, 38.2% to 53.7%), and early death was particularly problematic. In conclusion, CBT cures patients with ATLL partly through a graft-versus-ATLL effect. However, novel interventions will be required, particularly in the early phase, to reduce TRM and optimize GVHD.
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