for people ages up to 25 years (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
completion around



The purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility of comparing outcomes of patients treated de novo with immunosuppressive therapy (IST) versus matched unrelated donor (MUD) hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) for pediatric acquired severe aplastic anemia.


A major challenge in treating pediatric Severe Aplastic Anemia (SAA) is the determination of best primary therapy for patients who lack a fully matched related donor for HSCT. Good survival outcomes have been seen with IST, but initial and late failures, CSA dependence, persistent cytopenias and secondary Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) / Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in a portion of patients leave considerable room for improvement. MUD HSCT survival in SAA has markedly improved, but a direct comparison of this approach with IST is necessary to determine whether this approach is feasible and will lead to better Event Free Survival. This trial will address the feasibility of randomization, test whether patients can be evaluated in a timely fashion and safely begin therapy with MUD HSCT or IST, and give a preliminary assessment of the safety of up-front MUD HSCT. If successful, this trial will lead to a future prospective trial comparing directly IST to MUD HSCT in this disease.


Severe Aplastic Anemia, Anemia, Aplastic Anemia, Cyclosporine, Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate, Fludarabine, Cyclosporins, Thymoglobulin, Antilymphocyte Serum, Immunosuppressive Agents, Matched Unrelated Donor Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant, horse anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG), rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG), low-dose total body irradiation (TBI), Immunosuppressive Therapy (IST), Immunosuppressive Therapy, Matched Unrelated Stem Cell Transplant


You can join if…

Open to people ages up to 25 years

  1. Confirmed diagnosis of idiopathic SAA, defined as:
    • Bone marrow cellularity <25%, or <30% hematopoietic cells.
    • Two out of three of the following (in peripheral blood): neutrophils <0.5 x109/L, platelets <20 x109/L, reticulocyte count <60 x109/L with hemoglobin <8g/dL.
  2. Age ≤25 years old.
  3. No suitable fully matched related donor available (minimum 6/6 match for Human Leukocyte antigen (HLA) -A and B at intermediate or high resolution and DRB1 at high resolution using DNA based typing).
  4. At least two unrelated donors noted on National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) search who are well matched (9/10 or 10/10 for HLA-A, B, C, DRB1, and DQB1 using high resolution).
  5. Signed informed consent for the randomized trial by patient and/or legal guardian.
  6. Adequate organ function defined as in the judgment of the investigator, there is not irreversible organ damage that would preclude the patient from meeting the organ function inclusion criteria for HSCT listed in section 2.3.4 by the intended time of HSCT (6-8 weeks after randomization) or preclude patients from receiving horse ATG.

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Inherited bone marrow failure syndromes (IBMFS). The diagnosis of Fanconi anemia must be excluded by diepoxybutane (DEB) or equivalent testing on peripheral blood or marrow. Telomere length testing should be sent on all patients to exclude Dyskeratosis congenita, but if results are delayed or unavailable and there are no clinical manifestations of DC, patients may enroll. If patients have clinical characteristics suspicious for Shwachman Diamond syndrome, this syndrome must be excluded by pancreatic isoamylase testing or gene mutation analysis. Note: pancreatic isoamylase testing is not accurate in children less than 3 years.
  2. Clonal cytogenetic abnormalities or fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) pattern consistent with pre-myelodysplastic syndrome (pre-MDS) or MDS on marrow examination (see section for details of the required MDS FISH panel).
  3. Known severe allergy to horse ATG.
  4. Prior allogeneic stem cell transplant.
  5. Prior solid organ transplant.
  6. Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
  7. Active Hepatitis B or C. This should be excluded in patients where there is clinical suspicion of hepatitis (e.g. elevated LFTs).
  8. Female patients who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  9. Prior malignancies except resected basal cell carcinoma or treated cervical carcinoma in situ.


  • UCSF
    San Francisco California 94123 United States
  • Stanford Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
    Palo Alto California 94304 United States


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Michael Pulsipher, MD
Study Type
Expecting 40 study participants
Last Updated