Earlier reports suggested that umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT) for aplastic anemia (AA) was feasible in alternative transplantation. To identify differences in outcomes of UCBT and HLA-matched or mismatched unrelated bone marrow transplantation (UBMT) in adults with AA, we analyzed registry data of the Japan Society for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and compared results of UCBT (n = 69) to 8/8-matched (n = 101), 7/8-matched (n = 65), or 6/8-matched (n = 37) UBMT. The transplantation period was from 2002 to 2012, and patients 16 years or older with AA were eligible. Median ages were 49, 35, 28, and 30 years for UCBT, 8/8-matched, 7/8-matched, and 6/8-matched UBMT, respectively. In multivariate analysis, risk of mortality was lower for 8/8-matched UBMT compared with that of UCBT (hazard ratio [HR], 55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 32 to .94; P = .029), adjusted for age and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, which were other associated factors. Mortality risks of 7/8-matched UBMT (HR, 55; 95% CI, 29 to 1.02) or 6/8-matched UBMT (HR, 67; 95% CI, 32 to 1.39) were not significantly different from those of UCBT. Risks of grade 3 or 4 acute and chronic GVHD were not different among the 4 groups. The most prevalent cause of death was graft failure in UCBT and 6/8-matched UBMT and infection in 8/8-matched and 7/8-matched UBMT. Under 40 years old,survival of UCBT was similar to that of UBMT (76%, 79%, 83%, and 83% for UCBT and 8/8-matched, 7/8-matched, and 6/8-matched UBMT, respectively, at 3 years), adjusted for transplantation period, which was another associated factor; however, for ages over 40 years, that of UCBT tended to be lower (47%, 64%, 64%, and 75% for UCBT, 8/8-matched, 7/8-matched, and 6/8-matched UBMT, respectively, at 3 years). To conclude, these data suggest that UCBT could be an alternative treatment option for younger adults when matched sibling or adequate UBMT donors are not available.
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