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Studies highlight role of stem cell transplant procedures for blood cancer treatment
Date:12/6/2010

dstream, requires the application of filgrastim or similar drugs in order to mobilize the stem cells from the bone marrow to the bloodstream. Some long-term safety issues related to the use of filgrastim, including a potentially increased risk to the donor of developing leukemia, have previously been raised in the scientific literature. Past research has not extensively addressed long-term bone marrow donor safety issues. In order to further minimize risks for volunteer donors, it is therefore extremely important to determine whether the procedures in which both PBSCs and bone marrow are collected are safe.

Researchers from the DKMS German Bone Marrow Donor Center, the largest bone marrow donation center in the world, set out to determine if there were any long-term risks of developing cancer following the donation of PBSCs or bone marrow through a follow-up questionnaire sent to 15,456 donors. In the survey, four main questions were asked about the overall general health of the donor: whether the donor underwent hospitalization or long-term medical treatment for any condition following the donation, whether the donor needed to take any prescription drugs for more than four weeks after the donation, and whether the donor would be interested in donating PBSCs or bone marrow again.

Results from this retrospective study, the largest ever in terms of length of cumulative observation years, revealed that unrelated PBSC and bone marrow donation are safe procedures that do not carry any increased risk to the donor of developing cancer as compared with the general population. A total of 81.3 percent of the contacted donors sent back completed surveys (12,559 out of 15,456), translating into a total of 55,228 observation years (30,777 observation years for 8,730 PBSC donors, 23,037 observation years for 3,556 bone marrow donors, and 1,414 observation years for 273 donors of both PBSCs and bone marrow). A large majority of donors indicated that their overall
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Contact: Lindsey Love
llove@hematology.org
540-538-9326
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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