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New stem cell research, transplant strategies show promise to improve outcomes, reduce complications
Date:12/9/2012

of the multi-center, Phase III trial, 224 pediatric acute leukemia patients were randomized to receive either a single- or double-unit UCB transplant. After a median of 25 months of follow-up, nearly all patients (92%) in both study arms were in remission, with similar overall survival rates at one year post transplant between the groups (71% vs. 66% for the single vs. double unit, respectively). Overall, outcomes were similar between the groups, including disease-free survival (68% vs. 64% in single vs. double) and rates of relapse (12% vs. 14%), suggesting the double UCB transplant did not offer additional therapeutic benefit. While both study arms had the same overall rate of GVHD (57% each), patients who received a double UCB transplant experienced a higher risk of severe (grade 3-4) GVHD (23% vs. 14% for single unit patients), possibly attributed to the greater number of transplanted HSC.

"Our findings, though unexpected, affirm that the standard transplant approach of a single umbilical cord blood unit is optimal so long as the unit offers a sufficient number of cells. The study also demonstrated that a double umbilical cord blood transplant, while not better than a single cord blood transplant, can be an effective strategy among mainly adult patients for whom a single unit of cells is insufficient," said John Wagner, MD, lead author and Director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "With this in mind, we need to focus our efforts on the development of new strategies that will enhance the speed of engraftment and immune recovery and the double umbilical cord blood model may be a useful tool for achieving that goal."

Dr. Wagner will present this study in an oral presentation on Monday, December 10, at 8:00 a.m. EST at the Georgia World Congress Center in Room B312-313a, Level 3, Building B.

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Contact: Andrea Slesinski
aslesinski@hematology.org
614-352-5096
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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