In this study, doctors gave 2 types of medicines after transplant to prevent GVHD:
- An old medicine used for a new purpose, called cyclophosphamide
- Older medicines, such as tacrolimus, methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil or ATG
People who joined the study got BMT from either a fully matched donor or a half-matched, or haploidentical donor.
The study showed that people who got half-matched BMT with cyclophosphamide had less GVHD in their stomach and intestines than people who got fully matched BMT with older medicines.
This was surprising, because in past studies, people who got half-matched BMT had more GVHD than people who got fully matched BMT.
Researchers said that cyclophosphamide may have made the difference. Cyclophosphamide may protect the stomach and intestines against GVHD.
People lived equally long whether they got fully matched BMT with older medicines or half-matched BMT with cyclophosphamide.
It’s important to know that half-matched BMT is safe, because many people don’t have a fully matched donor. More people can find a half-matched donor, usually a parent, brother or sister.