Background: Stem-cell transplantation can cure primary immunodeficiencies. However, in patients with pre-existing organ toxicity, patients younger than 1 year, and those with DNA or telomere repair disorders, chemotherapy-based conditioning is poorly tolerated and results in major morbidity and mortality. We tested a novel antibody-based minimal-intensity conditioning (MIC) regimen to assess whether this approach allowed curative donor stem-cell engraftment without non-haemopoietic toxicity. Methods: 16 high-risk patients underwent stem-cell transplantation for primary immunodeficiencies with an MIC regimen consisting of two rat anti-CD45 monoclonal antibodies YTH24.5 and YTH 54.12 for myelosuppression, and alemtuzumab (anti-CD52) and fludarabine, and low dose cyclophosphamide for immunosuppression. Donors were matched siblings (n=5), and matched (9) and mismatched (2) unrelated donors. Findings: Antibody-based conditioning was well tolerated, with only two cases of grade 3 and no grade 4 toxicity. Rates of clinically significant acute (n=6, 36%) and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (n=5, 31%) were acceptable. 15 of 16 patients (94%) engrafted, of whom 11 (69%) achieved full or high-level mixed chimerism in both lymphoid and myeloid lineages, and three achieved engraftment in the T-lymphoid lineage only. One patient needed retransplantation. At a median of 40 months post-transplant, 13 of 16 patients (81%) in this high-risk cohort were alive and cured from their underlying disease. Interpretation: Monoclonal antibody-based conditioning seems well tolerated and can achieve curative engraftment even in patients with severe organ toxicity or DNA repair defects, or both. This novel approach represents a shift from the paradigm that intensive chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or both, is needed for donor stem-cell engraftment. This antibody-based conditioning regimen may reduce toxicity and late effects and enable SCT in virtually any primary immunodeficiency patient with a matched donor. Funding: None.
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