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Study ties bone marrow transplant to negative sexual side effects
Date:10/24/2013

(WASHINGTON October 24, 2013) New research ties preparative procedures and complications associated with blood or bone marrow transplantation (stem cell transplantation, SCT) with diminished sexual health in both men and women who have undergone the lifesaving procedure. Study data, published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), confirm chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a serious complication that occurs when donor cells attack the recipient's cells, as a potential source of sexual dysfunction and are the first to demonstrate an association between total body irradiation and sexual dysfunction in men. This study is one of the longest and is the most inclusive to date evaluating sexual well-being in SCT survivors using rigorous, well-validated sexual function assessment tools.

SCT is an increasingly effective form of treatment for patients with blood cancer such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. The procedure, which involves the transplantation of cells taken either from a patient's own blood or bone marrow (autologous transplantation) or from a matched donor (allogeneic transplantation), effectively "replaces" damaged cells with healthy cells. While SCT was once associated with high mortality, survival rates have steadily increased, prompting research seeking to study and maximize survivors' quality of life.

"Thanks to improved transplant survival rates, we have now been able to focus our efforts on examining how the procedure affects key aspects of recipients' overall quality of life, including sexual health," said lead study author F. Lennie Wong, PhD, of City of Hope in Duarte, California. "Previous findings point to the unfortunate fact that, while recipients may physically recover,
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Contact: Amanda Szabo
aszabo@hematology.org
202-552-4914
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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