Annals of Hematology

, Volume 96, Issue 5, pp 817–827 | Cite as

Haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantation using in vitro T cell depleted grafts as salvage therapy in patients with disease relapse after prior allogeneic transplantation

  • Sebastian P. Haen
  • Christiane Groh
  • Michael Schumm
  • Linus Backert
  • Markus W. Löffler
  • Birgit Federmann
  • Christoph Faul
  • Daniela Dörfel
  • Wichard Vogel
  • Rupert Handgretinger
  • Lothar Kanz
  • Wolfgang A. BethgeEmail author
Original Article


Disease relapse after one or more allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantations (HCT) represents a therapeutic challenge with all options bearing a significant morbidity and mortality. Haploidentical HCT may induce more pronounced anti-leukemic effects and was evaluated at our center in 25 consecutive patients with disease relapse after preceding HCT receiving haploidentical grafts after in vitro T cell depletion. Overall survival at 1 and 2 years was 32 and 14%, respectively. Of note, patients with complete remission (CR) before haploidentical HCT had a very favorable overall survival of 41.7% at 2 years. Cumulative incidence of non-relapse mortality was 36 and 40% at 1 and 2 years, respectively. With a cumulative incidence for relapse of 36 and 45.6% at 1 and 2 years, disease-free survival (DFS) was 28 and 14.4%, respectively. Here also, patients with CR before haploidentical HCT had a favorable DFS of 42% at 2 years. Only very limited acute (11 patients (44%) with a median grade 1) and chronic graft versus host disease (GvHD) (5 patients (11%), limited grade only) was observed. The main complications and causes of death comprised—besides relapse—infections and bleeding complications. Hence, haploidentical HCT can achieve long-term survival comparable to second transplantation with matched or mismatched donors for patients with otherwise deleterious prognosis and should be considered as a treatment option for patients experiencing disease relapse after previous allogeneic HCT.


Haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantation Relapse Graft versus host disease Salvage therapy 



The authors wish to thank Mirjam Breig, Anja Junker, and Diana Kilian for assistance in data collection and database maintenance. We would also like to thank the staff of the stem cell laboratory of the University Hospital of Tübingen, especially Stefanie Ackermann and Gabriele Hochwelker. Moreover, the authors wish to thank the physicians and nursing staff of the transplantation ward and the outpatient clinic for participating in patient care, and Prof. Dr. Peter Martus (Institute for clinical Epidemiology and applied Biometry, University Tuebingen) for statistical advice.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to disclose.


Sebastian Haen was supported by the German José Carreras Leukemia Foundation (Project-No. DJS 08-04). Part of this work has been supported by an institutional grant (AKF 151-0-0) of the University of Tuebingen.

Research involving human participants

This retrospective analysis was reviewed and approved by the institutional ethics committee of the medical faculty and university hospital Tübingen.

Informed consent

Due to the retrospective nature of this analysis, no informed content was obtained from the patients.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary Table 4 (DOCX 24 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian P. Haen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christiane Groh
    • 1
  • Michael Schumm
    • 3
  • Linus Backert
    • 2
    • 4
  • Markus W. Löffler
    • 2
    • 5
  • Birgit Federmann
    • 1
    • 6
  • Christoph Faul
    • 1
  • Daniela Dörfel
    • 1
  • Wichard Vogel
    • 1
  • Rupert Handgretinger
    • 3
  • Lothar Kanz
    • 1
  • Wolfgang A. Bethge
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Medizinische Klinik II für Onkologie, Hämatologie, Immunologie, Rheumatologie und PulmologieUniversitätsklinikum TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Interfakultäres Institut für Zellbiologie, Abteilung ImmunologieTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Universitätsklinik für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin, Abteilung I für Allgemeine Pädiatrie, Hämatologie und OnkologieTübingenGermany
  4. 4.Eberhard Karls-Universität Tübingen, Applied Bioinformatics GroupTübingenGermany
  5. 5.Universitätsklinik für Allgemeine, Viszeral- und TransplantationschirurgieTübingenGermany
  6. 6.Institut für Allgemeine Pathologie und Pathologische AnatomieTübingenGermany

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