Immunosuppressive therapy without hematopoietic growth factor exposure in pediatric acquired aplastic anemia

Rebecca J. Deyell, Evan B. Shereck, Ruth A. Milner, Kirk R. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Immunosuppressive therapy (IST) is recommended for children with acquired aplastic anemia (AA) who lack a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched sibling donor for hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Hematopoietic growth factors have often been included in IST supportive care, but prolonged exposure may increase the risk of secondary clonal evolution. The authors evaluated response, survival, and the incidence of clonal evolution following cyclosporine-based IST without hematopoietic growth factor exposure in a population-based pediatric cohort, identified retrospectively. Forty-five patients with a median age of 7.3 years (range 1.217.0 years) were included. Partial (PR) and complete (CR) response was achieved in 82% and 64%, at a median of 55 days (range 11414 days) and 7.6 months (range 2.882.2 months), respectively. Patients with associated seronegative hepatitis had an increased likelihood of PR and CR on multivariate analyses (PR: hazard ratio [HR] 3.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.40, 7.11; CR: HR 2.99, 95% CI 1.35, 6.62), whereas older children were less likely to achieve IST response than children younger than 5 years at diagnosis. Five- and 10-year overall survival was 96% ± 4% and 90% ± 7%, respectively, and 5-year failure-free survival was 63% ± 8%. There was no infection-related mortality, although 16.4% of patients had at least 1 episode of documented bacteremia. The 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse was 12.9% and of clonal evolution was 3.2%. The authors conclude that children with AA who receive IST without hematopoietic growth factor support have excellent response and survival outcomes and a low incidence of clonal evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-478
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Hematology and Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Aplastic anemia
  • bone marrow failure
  • hematology
  • nonmalignant
  • supportive care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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