Treatment of Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease in Childhood with Extracorporeal Photochemotherapy/Photopheresis: The Padova Experience

Calore E. (2015), Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation  (Link to abstract)                                                        

This is a retrospective study of 72 consecutive pediatric patients treated with extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) for acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD). Twenty one patients were steroid-refractory, 42 were steroid-dependent, and 9 patients had no steroids given before ECP due to infectious complications. The outcomes at the end of ECP were 72% complete remission, 11% partial remission and only 17% with no response to treatment. The transplant related mortality at day +180 was only 4%.  The 5-year overall survival was 71%, time to progression of 81%, and progression-free survival of 72%.

This study suggests that ECP is effective in treating aGVHD, without a negative impact on the primary disease. Prospective data likely would be further illuminating.