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Gut bacteria predict survival after stem cell transplant, study shows
Date:6/17/2014

(WASHINGTON, June 17, 2014) New research, published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology, suggests that the diversity of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of patients receiving stem cell transplants may be an important predictor of their post-transplant survival.

A healthy gastrointestinal tract contains a balanced community of microorganisms (known as microbiota), largely comprised of "friendly" bacteria that aid digestion and are important to immune system function. When this community of microbes is compromised, the microbiota may become less diverse, and the body becomes more susceptible to certain diseases.

Previous studies have shown that the intensive treatment given to individuals receiving a stem cell transplant from a healthy donor (known as an allogeneic stem cell transplant or SCT) can destroy a significant portion of the recipients' gut microbiota and reduce its overall diversity. Disturbances of the gut microbiota have been shown to be correlated with post-transplant complications such as bloodstream infections and graft-versus-host disease.

"While the link between gut microbiota and complications in allogeneic SCT has been previously established, until this point it has remained unclear whether the gut bacteria of transplant recipients could predict their survival," said senior study author Ying Taur, MD, MPH, of the Lucille Castori Center for Microbes, Inflammation, and Cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. "This study sought to further explore the potential connection between transplantation, gut bacteria, and overall survival."

To better understand the association between post-transplant microbiota and patient outcomes,
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Contact: Amanda Szabo
aszabo@hematology.org
202-552-4914
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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