Long-term follow-up of T cell-depleted allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in refractory multiple myeloma: Importance of allogeneic T cells

Carol Ann Huff, Ephraim J. Fuchs, Stephen J. Noga, Paul V. O'Donnell, Richard F. Ambinder, Louis Diehl, Ivan Borrello, Georgia B. Vogelsang, Carole B. Miller, Ian A. Flinn, Robert A. Brodsky, Deborah Marcellus, Richard J. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Multiple myeloma may be cured by myeloablative conditioning and allogeneic blood or marrow transplantation (alloBMT), but this occurs at the expense of high transplant-related mortality. In an endeavor to reduce procedure-related toxicity, this study retrospectively evaluated the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of T cell depletion by counterflow centrifugal elutriation before alloBMT. Fifty-one patients with stage II (6) or III (45) multiple myeloma received alloBMTs using T cell depletion by elutriation. Fifty-three percent (27 of 51) of patients had primary refractory disease at the time of transplantation, 10% (5 of 51) had relapsed disease, and 4% (2 of 51) had refractory relapsed disease. The median age was 49 (range, 32 to 62) years, and the median time from diagnosis to transplantation was 9 (range, 4 to 58) months. Patients had received a median of 1 (range, 1 to 3) regimen and 4 (range, 2 to 16) cycles of chemotherapy. In this population, transplant-related mortality rate was 24% (12 of 51) with 2 patients dying of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Thirty-one of 39 evaluable patients have experienced relapse, and the probability of progression-free survival 5 years after alloBMT alone is 16%. Sixteen patients were given donor lymphocyte infusions (DLI) at the time of relapse (n = 11) or for persistent disease 1 year after transplantation (n = 5). Acute or chronic GVHD was seen in 63% (10 of 16) of patients given DLI. Responses were seen in 8 of 16 patients (6 complete response [CR], 2 partial response [PR]) with 6 of 8 responding patients having GVHD. Five recipients of DLI remain in a continuous CR, ranging from 3 to 64 months in duration. Thus, like chronic myelogenous leukemia, allogeneic T cells appear to have potent antimyeloma activity that is critical for achieving a cure. DLI-induced remissions of multiple myeloma can be durable, even in patients with refractory multiple myeloma. Unlike chronic myelogenous leukemia, the antimyeloma effect of allogeneic T cells rarely occurs in the absence of clinically significant GVHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-319
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2003


  • Allogeneic
  • Donor lymphocyte infusion
  • Graft versus host disease
  • Myeloma
  • Refractory
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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