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

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Multiple myeloma is a form of blood cancer characterized by the overproduction of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Research has demonstrated that autologous stem cell transplantation, a procedure in which a patient is treated with high-dose chemotherapy followed by an infusion of his or her own stem cells, is associated with improved overall survival. However, relapse and progression of the disease still occur following this procedure.

Tandem autologous stem cell transplantation, a procedure in which a patient receives two sequential autologous stem cell transplants, may improve survival beyond that seen after a single transplant. Additionally, donor (allogeneic) stem cell transplantation has potential for replacement of the malignant bone marrow with healthy donor cells as well as a potentially beneficial immune-mediated graft-versus-myeloma-effect. Past studies of allogeneic transplantation for multiple myeloma with full-intensity conditioning demonstrated long-term remission in a group of patients; however, side effects and mortality were high. Non-myeloablative conditioning allogeneic stem cell transplantation (also known as a reduced-intensity transplant), in which a patient receives lower doses of chemotherapy or irradiation followed by an infusion of stem cells from a HLA-matched sibling, has been shown to reduce toxicity,while maintaining the beneficial immunologic effects of allogeneic transplantation. The use of autologous followed by reduced-intensity allogeneic transplant has been shown to be feasible, and preliminary results suggest this approach may potentially be superior to tandem autologous transplant.

Researchers from the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN) sought to determine if a tandem autologous stem cell transplant (auto-auto) with or without maintenance therapy improves overall survival in patients with standard risk multiple myeloma as compared with a regimen of an aut
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Contact: Lindsey Love
llove@hematology.org
540-538-9326
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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