Studies of stem cell biology and transplant approaches presented today at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) illustrate how the use of advanced modeling techniques is optimizing stem cells to treat patients with blood disorders, as well as the potential of enhanced treatment strategies to improve the success rate of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation for these patients.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is effectively used today as a form of "replacement" therapy for patients with hard-to-treat blood conditions, providing healthy HSCs to help patients whose bodies cannot properly fight infection or disease on their own. While transplants often lead to long-term remission for many patients, researchers are now challenging traditional assumptions in an effort to further improve success rates while minimizing the remaining risks associated with transplantation.
"As we learn more about the biology and therapeutic use of hematopoietic stem cells to cure blood disorders, we are able to refine our traditional approaches to reduce complications and deliver better patient benefits," said Vanderson Rocha, MD, PhD, moderator of the press conference and Professor of Hematology of Oxford University, United Kingdom. "We are finding that hematopoietic stem cells can be programmed in ways we previously did not think possible, a discovery that may lead to the development of important new therapeutic strategies."
Explore further: Researchers say therapy improves stem cell engraftment in umbilical cord blood transplant recipients