Delayed platelet engraftment is a common complication after umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT) accompanied by increased transplant-related complications or death. This study was designed to determine the safety and efficacy of recombinant human thrombopoietin (rhTPO) in promoting platelet engraftment after UCBT. A total of 120 patients scheduled to receive UCBT were randomly assigned to the rhTPO group (300 U/kg once
daily from days 14 to 28 after UCBT, n = 60) or the control group (n = 60). The primary outcome was the 60-day cumulative incidence of platelet engraftment after single-unit cord blood transplantation. The 60-day cumulative incidence of platelet engraftment (platelet count =20 × 109/L) and the 120-day cumulative incidence of platelet recovery (platelet count =50 × 109/L) were both significantly higher in the rhTPO group than in the control group (83.1% vs 66.7%, P = .020; and 81.4% vs 65.0%, P = .032, respectively). In addition, the number of required platelet infusions was significantly lower in the rhTPO group than in the control group (6 vs 8 units, respectively; P = .026). The cumulative incidence of neutrophil engraftment and the probability of 2-year overall survival, disease-free survival, and graft-versus-host disease-free relapse-free survival did not differ between the 2 groups. Other transplant-related outcomes and complications did not differ between the 2 groups, and no severe adverse effects were observed in patients receiving rhTPO. This study demonstrated that rhTPO is well tolerated in patients and could effectively promote platelet engraftment after UCBT. This study was registered on the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (http://www.chictr.org.cn/index.aspx) as ChiCTR-IPR-16009357.