Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is an immunosuppressive agent that interferes with antigen presentation and with activity against graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In a phase II trial assessing the GVHD prophylactic effects of HCQ, 51 consecutive unrelated donor transplant recipients received HCQ in addition to cyclosporin A, methylprednisolone, and methotrexate. HCQ was initiated on pretransplantation day -21 at 800 mg/d and continued until day +100 after transplantation. HCQ was extremely well tolerated and was not associated with side effects. Pharmacokinetic analyses demonstrated large inter- and intrapatient variability. The addition of HCQ did not affect posttransplantation immune recovery. Grade II to IV acute GVHD was observed in 56% of patients, and grade III and IV GVHD was observed in 17%. Day +100 mortality was 22%. When compared with a matched cohort of patients reported to the International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry, patients receiving HCQ had comparable cumulative incidences of grade II to IV acute GVHD. However, lower incidences of grades III and IV GVHD and better GVHD-free survival were observed in HCQ-treated patients (P =.01). We conclude that prophylactic HCQ is well tolerated and associated with a low incidence of severe acute GVHD. An ongoing placebo-controlled randomized trial will further determine what role HCQ plays in preventing GVHD after allografting.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S1083-8791(03)00294-5
View details for Web of Science ID 000187010600007
View details for PubMedID 14652855