Friday, September 16, 2011

New hope for half-match bone marrow transplant in blood cancer

by Delicia Honen Yard OncologyNurseAdvisor

A small study has demonstrated an improved process for making half-matched bone marrow or stem cell transplants for persons with blood cancer more successful.

Although the use of a genetically fully matched donor has yielded the best results in bone marrow transplant, many patients lack a fully matched related or unrelated donor. However, nearly every patient has a half-matched, or haploidentical relative. The successful use of haploindentical donors would greatly expand the number of donors available to every patient, yet half-matched bone marrow or stem cell transplants have been largely unsuccessful.

Neal Flomenberg, MD, chair of the department of medical oncology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and colleagues recently tested their new two-step approach to haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The 27 patients participating in the phase I/II trial had been diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, or myelodysplasia (median age: 52 years).

First, after undergoing radiation therapy, the patients were given a specified dose of T cells from their half-matched family donor—the person's parent, sibling, or child. This was followed by administration of the drug cyclophosphamide to enhance tolerance to the infused donor T cells.

In the second step of the transplant, patients were given a dose of the donor's stem cells to help normalize the patient's blood counts and further strengthen his or her new immune system.

As Flomenberg's team reported in the journal Blood, 17 of the 27 patients were alive 6 months posttransplant. Based on a follow-up of 28 to 56 months, 3-year probability of overall survival for the whole cohort was 48%, increasing to 75% for those who had been in remission at the time of transplantation.

The researchers called these outcomes encouraging, particularly in good-risk patients, and suggested that this procedure be further explored.

“You Have the Power to Donate Life – Sign-up today! to become an organ and tissue donor
Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
New Zealand, register at Organ Donation New Zealand
South Africa,
United States,
United Kingdom, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save or enhance the lives of up to fifty people with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants (see allotransplantation). One tissue donor can help by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves
Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant. Organs can save lives, corneas renew vision, and tissue may help to restore someone's ability to walk, run or move freely without pain. Life Begins with You

No comments: