A patient with severe combined immunodeficiency received seven transplants of bone marrow from an HLA-B-compatible and HLA-D-compatible unrelated donor in an attempt to provide immunologic reconstitution. The first 4 transplants achieved restricted engraftment with evidence of rudimentary immunologic function. A fifth transplant, given after low-dose cyclophosphamide, produced reconstitution of cell-mediated immunity. Marrow aplasia developed after recontamination with a non-pathogenic microflora. Transplantation of marrow previously stored in liquid nitrogen was ineffective. A subsequent transplant, administered after high-dose cyclophosphamide, achieved durable engraftment, with complete hematopoietic and immunologic reconstitution. Seventeen months after transplantation, full functional engraftment persists. Graft-versus-host disease has been chronic and moderately severe, but limited to the skin and oral mucosa. Transplantation of marrow from unrelated histocompatible donors may provide a useful treatment for patients with severe combined immunodeficiency or aplastic anemia who lack a mtched sibling or related donor.
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