Allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation is an effective therapy for a range of malignancies. High doses of myelosuppressive chemotherapy or radiation have been used in preparative regimens with the goal of preventing graft rejection and eradicating malignancy. Much of the benefit of transplantation, however, results from graft-versus-malignancy effects, mediated by donor immunocompetent cells. An alternative approach is to utilize less toxic, nonmyeloablative preparative regimens to achieve engraftment and allow graft-versus-malignancy effects to develop. This strategy reduces the risk of treatment-related mortality and allows transplantation for elderly or medically infirm patients not eligible for myeloablative therapy. Nonmyeloablative preparative regimens appear promising in diagnoses sensitive to graft-versus-malignancy effects and provide a platform for further development of cellular immunotherapy. Controlled clinical trials are warranted to define the role of nonmyeloablative allogeneic transplants in a range of hematologic malignancies and selected solid tumors.
- Graft-versus-malignancy effect
- Nonmyeloablative allogeneic transplantation