Corticosteroids are the accepted primary therapy for acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), but durable responses are seen in only about half of the patients. Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN) 0802, a phase 3 multicenter randomized double-blinded trial,was designed to test whether mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) plus corticosteroids was superior to corticosteroids alone as initial therapy for acute GVHD. Patients with newly diagnosed acute GVHD were eligible if they required systemic therapy. Patients were randomized to receive prednisone with either MMF or placebo. The primary end point was acute or chronic GVHD-free survival at day 56 after initiation of therapy. A futility rule for GVHD-free survival at day 56 was met at a planned interim analysis after 235 patients (of 372) were enrolled: 116 MMF, 119 placebo. Baseline characteristics were well balanced between treatment groups including grade and organ distribution of GVHD. GVHD-free survival at day 56, cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD at 12 months, overallsurvival, Epstein-Barr virus reactivation, severe, life-threatening infections, relapse at 12 months, and quality of life were similar. The addition of MMF to corticosteroids as initial therapy for acute GVHD does not improve GVHD-free survival compared with corticosteroids alone. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01002742.
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© 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.