Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2019 May;36(4):211-221. doi: 10.1080/08880018.2019.1621970. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Aplastic anemia in children: How good is immunosuppressive therapy?

Jain R1, Trehan A1, Bansal D1,2, Varma N2.


Aplastic anemia (AA) is an uncommon disorder in children, with hematopoietic stem cell transplant being the 1st line therapy; immunosuppressive therapy (IST) is the alternative therapy and is the most commonly used modality of treatment. There is paucity of data from the developing countries regarding treatment outcome with IST. We aimed to assess the outcome of IST in children with AA. Data for 43 children treated with IST from January 2012 to January 2017 (5 years) were retrieved from clinic records. IST included equine antithymocyte globulin (ATG) along with cyclosporine A. Complete response, partial response and nonresponse was seen in 9 (21%), 14 (32.5%) and 20(46.5%) patients, respectively. The median time to best response in the whole cohort was 19.1 months. However, complete response occurred nearly 2-year post-IST. There was no difference in outcome related to severity of AA, the presence of PNH clone, higher ALC or different available brands of ATG. There was a significantly better rate of response (p value: .03) at 6 months in patients who went on to achieve a CR vs patients who achieved a final PR only. An overall response rate, including partial and complete response, of 53.5% was seen in our cohort with a 3-year OS of 63%. This is not at par to the outcome reported from developed nations. The available brands of ATG were similar in terms of response kinetics as well as survival. A delayed time to complete response with prolonged requirement of cyclosporine therapy was seen in the cohort.

KEYWORDS: Antithymocyte globulin; aplastic anemia; immunosuppressive therapy

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