The number of HLA-haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplants continues to increase worldwide due to recent improvements in outcomes, allowing more patients with hematological malignancies and non-malignant disorders to benefit from this procedure and have a chance to cure their disease. Despite these encouraging results, questions remain as multiple donors are usually available for transplantation, and choosing the best HLA-haploidentical donor for transplantation remains a challenge. Several approaches to haploidentical transplantation have been developed over time and, based on the graft received, can be grouped as follows: T-cell depleted haploidentical transplants, either complete or partial, or with T-cell replete grafts, performed with post-transplant cyclophosphamide-based graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, or G-CSF-primed bone marrow graft and enhanced GVHD prophylaxis. Carefully selecting the donor can help optimize transplant outcomes for recipients of haploidentical donor transplants. Variables usually considered in the donor selection include presence of donor-specific antibodies in the recipient, donor age, donor/recipient gender and ABO combinations, and immunogenic variables, such as natural killer cell alloreactivity or KIR haplotype. Here we provide a comprehensive review of available evidence for selecting haploidentical donors for transplantation, and summarize the recommendations from the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) on donor selection for different transplant platforms.
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