Analysis of risk factors influencing outcomes after cord blood transplantation in children with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia: a EUROCORD, EBMT, EWOG-MDS, CIBMTR study.


We retrospectively analyzed 110 patients with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, given single-unit, unrelated donor umbilical cord blood transplantation. Median age at diagnosis and at transplantation was 1.4 years (age range, 0.1-6.4 years) and 2.2 years (age range, 0.5-7.4 years), respectively. Before transplantation, 88 patients received chemotherapy; splenectomy was performed in 24 patients. Monosomy of chromosome 7 was the most frequent cytogenetic abnormality, found in 24% of patients. All but 8 patients received myeloablative conditioning; cyclosporine plus steroids was the most common graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis. Sixteen percent of units were HLA-matched with the recipient, whereas 43% and 35% had either 1 or 2 to 3 HLA disparities, respectively. The median number of nucleated cells infused was 7.1 × 10(7)/kg (range, 1.7-27.6 × 10(7)/kg). With a median follow-up of 64 months (range, 14-174 months), the 5-year cumulative incidences of transplantation-related mortality and relapse were 22% and 33%, respectively. The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 44%. In multivariate analysis, factors predicting better disease-free survival were age younger than 1.4 years at diagnosis (hazard ratio [HR], 0.42; P = .005), 0 to 1 HLA disparities in the donor/recipient pair (HR, 0.4; P = .009), and karyotype other than monosomy 7 (HR, 0.5; P = .02). Umbilical cord blood transplantation may cure a relevant proportion of children with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. Because disease recurrence remains the major cause of treatment failure, strategies to reduce incidence of relapse are warranted.





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Publication Info

Locatelli, Franco, Alessandro Crotta, Annalisa Ruggeri, Mary Eapen, John E Wagner, Margaret L Macmillan, Marco Zecca, Joanne Kurtzberg, et al. (2013). Analysis of risk factors influencing outcomes after cord blood transplantation in children with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia: a EUROCORD, EBMT, EWOG-MDS, CIBMTR study. Blood, 122(12). pp. 2135–2141. 10.1182/blood-2013-03-491589 Retrieved from

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Joanne Kurtzberg

Jerome S. Harris Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Kurtzberg is an internationally renowned expert in pediatric hematology/oncology, pediatric blood and marrow transplantation, umbilical cord blood banking and transplantation, and novel applications of cord blood and birthing tissues in the emerging fields of cellular therapies and regenerative medicine.   Dr. Kurtzberg serves as the Director of the Marcus Center for Cellular Cures (MC3), Director of the Pediatric Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program, Director of the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, and Co-Director of the Stem Cell Transplant Laboratory at Duke University.  The Carolinas Cord Blood Bank is an FDA licensed public cord blood bank distributing unrelated cord blood units for donors for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) through the CW Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program.  The Robertson GMP Cell Manufacturing Laboratory supports manufacturing of RETHYMIC (BLA, Enzyvant, 2021), allogeneic cord tissue derived and bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), and DUOC, a microglial/macrophage cell derived from cord blood.

Dr. Kurtzberg’s research in MC3 focuses on translational studies from bench to bedside, seeking to develop transformative clinical therapies using cells, tissues, molecules, genes, and biomaterials to treat diseases and injuries that currently lack effective treatments. Recent areas of investigation in MC3 include clinical trials investigating the safety and efficacy of autologous and allogeneic cord blood in children with neonatal brain injury – hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy (CP), and autism. Clinical trials testing allogeneic cord blood are also being conducted in adults with acute ischemic stroke. Clinical trials optimizing manufacturing and testing the safety and efficacy of cord tissue MSCs in children with autism, CP and HIE and adults with COVID-lung disease are underway. DUOC, given intrathecally, is under study in children with leukodystrophies and adults with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

In the past, Dr. Kurtzberg has developed novel chemotherapeutic drugs for acute leukemias, assays enumerating ALDH bright cells to predict cord blood unit potency, methods of cord blood expansion, potency assays for targeted cell and tissue based therapies. Dr. Kurtzberg currently holds several INDs for investigational clinical trials from the FDA.  She has also trained numerous medical students, residents, clinical and post-doctoral fellows over the course of her career.

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