Antithymocyte globulin and cyclosporine for severe aplastic anemia: association between hematologic response and long-term outcome.

In most patients, aplastic anemia results from T-cell-mediated immune destruction of bone marrow. Aplastic anemia can be effectively treated by stem cell transplantation or immunosuppression.
To assess long-term outcomes after immunosuppressive therapy.
Cohort of 122 patients (31 were < or =18 years and 91 were >18 years) with severe aplastic anemia, as determined by bone marrow cellularity and blood cell count criteria, were enrolled in a single-arm interventional research protocol from 1991 to 1998 at a federal government research hospital.
A dose of 40 mg/kg per day of antithymocyte globulin administered for 4 days, 10 to 12 mg/kg per day of cyclosporine for 6 months (adjusted for blood levels), and a short course of corticosteroids (1 mg/d of methylprednisolone for about 2 weeks).
Survival, improvement of pancytopenia and transfusion-independence, relapse, and evolution to other hematologic diseases.
Response rates were 60% at 3 months after initiation of treatment, 61% at 6 months, and 58% at 1 year. The blood cell counts of patients who responded no longer satisfied severity criteria and they were transfusion-independent. Overall actuarial survival at 7 years was 55%. Survival was associated with early satisfaction of response criteria (86% vs 40% at 5 years; P<.001) and by blood counts at 3 months (reticulocyte count or platelet count of >50 x 10(3)/ microL predicted survival at 5 years of 90% [64/71] vs 42% [12/34] for patients with less robust recovery [P<.001 by log-rank test]). There were no deaths among responders more than 3 years after treatment. Relapse was common, but severe pancytopenia usually did not recur. Relapse did not influence survival. Thirteen patients showed evolution to other hematologic diseases, including monosomy 7.
Approximately half of patients with severe aplastic anemia treated with antithymocyte globulin and cyclosporine have durable recovery and excellent long-term survival. These outcomes were related to the quality of hematologic recovery.
AuthorsStephen Rosenfeld, Dean Follmann, Olga Nunez, Neal S Young
JournalJAMA (JAMA) Vol. 289 Issue 9 Pg. 1130-5 (Mar 5 2003) ISSN: 0098-7484 [Print] United States
PMID12622583 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Antilymphocyte Serum
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia, Aplastic (blood, drug therapy)
  • Antilymphocyte Serum (administration & dosage, therapeutic use)
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cyclosporine (administration & dosage, therapeutic use)
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids (therapeutic use)
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents (administration & dosage, therapeutic use)
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone (therapeutic use)
  • Recurrence
  • Survival Analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes (immunology)
  • Treatment Outcome

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