Several high-risk HLA allele mismatch combinations (HR-MMs) for severe acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) have been identified by analyzing transplantation outcomes in Japanese unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. In this study, we analyzed the effects of HR-MMs in 3 transplantation time periods. We confirmed that the incidence of grade III to IV acute GVHD in the HR-MM group was significantly higher than that in the low-risk (LR) MM group (hazard ratio [HR], 2.74; P<.0001) in the early time period (1993 to 2001). However, the difference in the incidence of grade III to IV acute GVHD between the HR-MM and LR-MM groups was not statistically significant (HR, 1.06; P=.85 and HR, .40; P=.21, respectively) in the mid (2002 to 2007) and late (2008 to 2011) time periods. Similarly, survival in the HR-MM group was significantly inferior to that in the LR-MM group (HR, 1.46; P=.019) in the early time period, whereas the difference in survival between the 2 groups was not statistically significant in the mid and late time periods (HR, 1.06; P=.75 and HR, .82; P=.58, respectively). In conclusion, the adverse impact of HR-MM has become less significant over time. Unrelated transplantation with a single HR-MM could be a viable option in the absence of a matched unrelated donor or an unrelated donor with a single LR-MM.
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