Purpose: We investigated if graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which is associated with an antitumor effect, could be induced in women with advanced breast cancer by treatment with cyclosporine (CSA) following reinfusion of purged autologous marrow after treatment with high-dose chemotherapy and defined the toxicities of this approach. Patients and Methods: Fifty-one women with advanced breast cancer responding to therapy were treated with escalating doses of CSA (1.0, 2.5, or 3.75 mg/kg/d) for 28 days following high-dose chemotherapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation and monitored for induction of GVHD and toxicity of therapy. Results: GVHD was induced in a dose-dependent fashion in 14%, 68%, and 92% of patients at each dose level, respectively, a median of 15 days following autologous marrow reinfusion. GVHD was clinically mild and limited to skin. Toxicity was acceptable, with two deaths within 50 days of marrow reinfusion. Statistically significant increases in maximum creatinine and bilirubin levels were seen at all dose levels when compared with similarly treated historic controls who did not receive CSA. Time to last platelet transfusion was significantly delayed in patients treated at the highest dose. Conclusion: GVHD can be safely induced by treatment with CSA in women with advanced breast cancer who are receiving high-dose alkylating agents and autologous bone marrow transplantation. The toxicity of this approach is acceptable. Evidence of antitumor efficacy awaits further investigation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research