Disease Information

Stem Cell / Bone Marrow Transplant: Allogeneic Stem Cell / Bone Marrow Transplant

Alternate Names: None

Definition

Allogeneic stem cell transplant / bone marrow transplant is used to treat a variety of malignant and non-malignant diseases. Malignant diseases would include selected leukemias and lymphomas or refractory solid tumors. Non-malignant diseases would include bone marrow failure disorders, selected genetic diseases and sickle cell disease.

Donor Types
These include identical twins (syngeneic), HLA-matched siblings, matched unrelated donors, partially matched family members, related umbilical cord blood and unrelated umbilical cord blood. Stem cells may be obtained by bone marrow harvest, collection of peripheral blood or collection of placental cord blood at birth.

Survival Rates

The survival rates differ by diagnosis, donor type, and disease status.

Treatment Strategies

This form of treatment generally requires pre-transplant conditioning therapy with high-dose chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy and immunosuppressive antibodies. This is followed by infusion of the stem cells via a central venous catheter. Patients who have received a stem cell transplant / bone marrow transplant then require careful monitoring for infection, blood product support, antibiotic therapy, analysis of donor cell engraftment and monitoring of immune reconstitution.

Current Research

Allogeneic stem cell transplant / bone marrow transplant using non matched sibling donors is complicated by graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) among other problems. This is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening complication that occurs in 50-100 percent of patients receiving matched unrelated or partially matched family member transplants. Investigators at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are using new techniques to purify blood stem cells in an attempt to make transplantation safer by reducing GVHD. These investigators are also studying transplantation tolerance and techniques to enhance immune recovery after stem cell transplant / bone marrow transplant.

 

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