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A decade of refinements in transplantation improves long-term survival of blood cancers
Date:11/24/2010

SEATTLE A decade of refinements in marrow and stem cell transplantation to treat blood cancers significantly reduced the risk of treatment-related complications and death, according to an institutional self-analysis of transplant-patient outcomes conducted at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Among the major findings of the study, which compared transplant-patient outcomes in the mid-'90s with those a decade later: After adjusting for factors known to be associated with outcome, the researchers observed a statistically significant 60 percent reduction in the risk of death within 200 days of transplant and a 41 percent reduction in the risk of overall mortality at any time after transplant.

"Everything we looked at improved a decade after the initial analysis," said George McDonald, M.D., a Hutchinson Center gastroenterologist and corresponding author of the paper, which was published (date) in the New England Journal of Medicine.

McDonald and colleagues reviewed the outcomes of 1,418 transplant patients who received peripheral-blood stem cells or bone marrow from unrelated donors between 1993 and 1997 and compared them to 1,148 patients who had the same procedures between 2003 and 2007. The malignancies treated included forms of leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome.

The researchers also found that the estimated one-year overall survival rates for both groups were 55 percent and 70 percent, respectively. They also observed statistically significant declines in the risks of severe graft-vs-host-disease; infections caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi; and complications caused by damage to the lungs, kidney and liver.

Lead author and biostatistician Ted Gooley, Ph.D., noted that the analysis presents the findings in terms of the changes in the "risk" or "hazard" of death and transplant complications after taking into account the fact that the patients treated in the mid-2000s were, on average, old
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Contact: Christi Loso
closo@fhcrc.org
206-667-5215
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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