Graft Cryopreservation Does Not Impact Overall Survival after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Using Post-Transplantation Cyclophosphamide for Graft-versus-Host Disease Prophylaxis

Mehdi Hamadani, Mei Jie Zhang, Xiao Ying Tang, Mingwei Fei, Claudio Brunstein, Saurabh Chhabra, Anita D'Souza, Filippo Milano, Rachel Phelan, Wael Saber, Bronwen E. Shaw, Daniel Weisdorf, Steven M. Devine, Mary M. Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant barriers to timely donor evaluation, cell collection, and graft transport for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT). To ensure availability of donor cells on the scheduled date of infusion, many sites now collect cryopreserved grafts before the start of pretransplantation conditioning. Post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (ptCY) is an increasingly used approach for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, but the impact of graft cryopreservation on the outcomes of allo-HCT using ptCY is not known. Using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) database, we compared the outcomes of HCT using cryopreserved versus fresh grafts in patients undergoing HCT for hematologic malignancy with ptCY. We analyzed 274 patients with hematologic malignancy undergoing allo-HCT between 2013 and 2018 with cryopreserved grafts and ptCY. Eighteen patients received bone marrow grafts and 256 received peripheral blood stem cell grafts. These patients were matched for age, graft type, disease risk index (DRI), and propensity score with 1080 patients who underwent allo-HCT with fresh grafts. The propensity score, which is an assessment of the likelihood of receiving a fresh graft versus a cryopreserved graft, was calculated using logistic regression to account for the following: disease histology, Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS), HCT Comorbidity Index, conditioning regimen intensity, donor type, and recipient race. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Secondary endpoints included acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), non-relapse mortality (NRM), relapse/progression and disease-free survival (DFS). Because of multiple comparisons, only P values <.01 were considered statistically significant. The 2 cohorts (cryopreserved and fresh) were similar in terms of patient age, KPS, diagnosis, DRI, HCT-CI, donor/graft source, and conditioning intensity. One-year probabilities of OS were 71.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 68.3% to 73.8%) with fresh grafts and 70.3% (95% CI, 64.6% to 75.7%) with cryopreserved grafts (P = .81). Corresponding probabilities of OS at 2 years were 60.6% (95% CI, 57.3% to 63.8%) and 58.7% (95% CI, 51.9% to 65.4%) (P = .62). In matched-pair regression analysis, graft cryopreservation was not associated with a significantly higher risk of mortality (hazard ratio [HR] for cryopreserved versus fresh, 1.05; 95% CI, .86 to 1.29; P = .60). Similarly, rates of neutrophil recovery (HR, .91; 95% CI, .80 to 1.02; P = .12), platelet recovery (HR, .88; 95% CI, .78 to 1.00; P = .05), grade III-IV acute GVHD (HR, .78; 95% CI, .50 to 1.22; P = .27), NRM (HR, 1.16; 95% CI, .86 to 1.55; P = .32) and relapse/progression (HR, 1.21; 95% CI, .97 to 1.50; P = .09) were similar with cryopreserved grafts versus fresh grafts. There were somewhat lower rates of chronic GVHD (HR, 78; 95% CI, .61 to .99; P = .04) and DFS (HR for treatment failure, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.29; P = .04) with graft cryopreservation that were of marginal statistical significance after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Overall, our data indicate that graft cryopreservation does not significantly delay hematopoietic recovery, increase the risk of acute GVHD or NRM, or decrease OS after allo-HCT using ptCY.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1312-1317
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support: The CIBMTR is supported by Public Health Service Grant/Cooperative Agreement U24-CA076518 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); a Grant/Cooperative Agreement 5U10HL069294 from NHLBI and NCI; a contract HHSH250201200016C with Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA/DHHS); two Grants N00014-13-1-0039 and N00014-14-1-0028 from the Office of Naval Research ; and grants from *Actinium Pharmaceuticals; Allos Therapeutics, Inc.; *Amgen, Inc.; Anonymous donation to the Medical College of Wisconsin; Ariad; Be the Match Foundation; *Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; *Celgene Corporation; Chimerix, Inc.; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Fresenius-Biotech North America, Inc.; *Gamida Cell Teva Joint Venture Ltd.; Genentech, Inc.;*Gentium SpA; Genzyme Corporation; GlaxoSmithKline; Health Research, Inc. Roswell Park Cancer Institute; HistoGenetics, Inc.; Incyte Corporation; Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation; Kiadis Pharma; The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Medac GmbH; The Medical College of Wisconsin; Merck & Co, Inc.; Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Co.; *Milliman USA, Inc.; *Miltenyi Biotec, Inc.; National Marrow Donor Program; Onyx Pharmaceuticals; Optum Healthcare Solutions, Inc.; Osiris Therapeutics, Inc.; Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.; Perkin Elmer, Inc.; *Remedy Informatics; *Sanofi US; Seattle Genetics; Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals; Soligenix, Inc.; St. Baldrick's Foundation; StemCyte, A Global Cord Blood Therapeutics Co.; Stemsoft Software, Inc.; Swedish Orphan Biovitrum; *Tarix Pharmaceuticals; *TerumoBCT; *Teva Neuroscience, Inc.; *THERAKOS, Inc.; University of Minnesota; University of Utah; and *Wellpoint, Inc. The views expressed in this article do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Institute of Health, the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) or any other agency of the US Government.


  • Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • COVID-19
  • Cryopreservation
  • ptCY

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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