HLA-DPB1 mismatches between donor and recipient are commonly seen in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from an unrelated donor. HLA-DPB1 mismatch, conventionally determined by the similarity of the T-cell epitope (TCE), is associated with an increased risk of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and a decreased risk of disease relapse. We investigated the clinical impact of HLA-DPB1 molecular mismatch quantified by mismatched eplets (ME) and the Predicted Indirectly Recognizable HLA Epitopes Score (PS) in a cohort of 1,514 patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplants from unrelated donors matched at HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1/3/4/5, and - DQB1 loci. HLA-DPB1 alloimmunity in the graft-versus-host direction, determined by high graft-versus-host ME/PS, was associated with a reduced risk of relapse (hazard ratio [HR]=0.83, P=0.05 for ME) and increased risk of grade 2-4 acute GVHD (HR=1.44, P<0.001 for ME), whereas high host-versus-graft ME/PS was only associated with an increased risk of grade 2-4 acute GVHD (HR=1.26, P=0.004 for ME). Notably, in the permissive mismatch subgroup classified by TCE grouping, high host-versus-graft ME/PS was associated with an increased risk of relapse (HR=1.36, P=0.026 for ME) and grade 2-4 acute GVHD (HR=1.43, P=0.003 for PS-II). Decision curve analysis showed that graftversus- host ME outperformed other models and provided the best clinical net benefit for the modification of acute GVHD prophylaxis regimens in patients with a high risk of developing clinically significant acute GVHD. In conclusion, molecular assessment of HLA-DPB1 mismatch enables separate prediction of host-versus-graft or graft-versus-host alloresponse quantitatively and allows further refinement of HLA-DPB1 permissiveness as defined by conventional TCE grouping.
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