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

er and sicker than those who were treated in the mid-1990s.

McDonald said he and his colleagues can only speculate about the reasons for the improved outcomes because the study was retrospective and was not a randomized comparison of transplant techniques and treatments among groups of patients. However, the authors deemed several changes in clinical practices to be important in risk reduction, many of which were the result of ongoing clinical research (including various randomized clinical trials) conducted at the Hutchinson Center and at other major transplant centers around the world:

  • Careful pharmacologic monitoring and dose adjustments to avoid under and over treatment with the potent chemotherapeutic agents used in transplantation.
  • Use of reduced-intensity conditioning in older and less healthy patients.
  • Less use of high-dose systemic immune suppression to treat acute GVHD.
  • Use of the drug ursodiol to prevent liver complications.
  • New methods for early detection of viral and fungal infections as well as preventive therapy for such infections.
  • The use of better and less toxic anti-fungal drugs to treat serious infections caused by Candidal organisms and molds.
  • Use of donor peripheral blood hematopoietic cells instead of bone marrow as the source of donor cells, which results in faster engraftment and return of immunity.
  • More accurate matching of marrow or stem cell donors with unrelated patients.

"This research and the improved outcomes are the result of a team approach to one of the most complex procedures in medicine," McDonald said. Medical oncologists and transplantation biologists at the Hutchinson Center are supported in the care of patients by specialists in infectious diseases, pulmonary and critical care medicine, nephrology, gastroenterology and hepatology, and by highly skilled nurses and support staff.

"Each of these programs is involved in ongoing clinical research into the com
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Contact: Christi Loso
closo@fhcrc.org
206-667-5215
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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