09 December 2010

Role of Stem Cell Transplant Procedures for Blood Cancer Treatment

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Results from four innovative studies help answer outstanding questions about stem cell transplant procedures in treating various hematologic malignancies 

Research recently presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology reveals that there is no increase in overall cancer risk in people who donate stem cells and that the utilization of a double cord blood stem cell transplant is associated with better overall outcomes when used early in the treatment of acute leukemias. While research shows that the use of an allogeneic stem cell transplant following an autologous stem cell transplant does not improve progression-free survival in patients with standard risk multiple myeloma, scientists have found a promising new treatment that may help prevent chronic graft-versus-host disease, a serious complication of stem cell transplantation.

"Major advances have been made in stem cell transplantation, and studies such as these provide further understanding of the many questions and unknowns that remain in this rapidly evolving field of research," said moderator of the press conference Armand Keating, MD, Vice President of ASH and Professor of Medicine, Director of the Division of Hematology, and Epstein Chair in Cell Therapy and Transplantation at the University of Toronto. "Results from these studies allow us to continuously improve treatment regimens and manage complications for our patients with multiple blood cancers who require stem cell transplants."

Donation of peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs), which are stem cells found in the bloodstream, requires the application of filgrastim or similar drugs in order to mobilize the stem cells from the bone marrow to the bloodstream. Some long-term safety issues related to the use of filgrastim, including a potentially increased risk to the donor of developing leukemia, have previously been raised in the scientific literature.

(ScienceDaily)

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