Race, ethnicity affect likelihood of finding suitable unrelated stem cell donor for cancer patients

September 11, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues have published a study describing the greater difficulty in finding matched, unrelated donors for non-Caucasian patients who are candidates for hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT).

The study appeared in the August issue of .

The success of HCT depends on finding cell donors who are closely matched genetically; as the degree of mismatching increases, the success of unrelated donor HCT falls accordingly. A patient's ideal donor is a genetically matched .

The search for a perfectly matched donor for all groups takes time and affects the progression to transplantation. The National estimates that the genetically matched donor rate is 90 percent for , 70 percent for and Asians, and 60 percent for those of .

"Using unrelated adult donors to facilitate HCT has provided major opportunities for patients without a matched sibling donor. In fact, the rate of unrelated donors now exceeds the rate of related donor HCT," said Joseph Pidala, M.D., M.S., assistant member of Moffitt's Blood & Marrow Transplant Department and a member of the Immunology Program. "Using data available at Moffitt, we sought to describe the determinants of a successful, unrelated donor search and to explore the contribution of donor identification versus patient characteristics leading to successful transplantation outcome."

According to Pidala, many patients can achieve prolonged, condition-free survival after unrelated donor HCT. There is, however, a need to understand "modifiable factors" that limit access to unrelated donor HCT.

The researchers concluded that the difficulties in finding well-matched donors in some minority groups were likely related to the degree of genetic heterogeneity within those groups, as well as their underrepresentation in donor pools.

They concluded that when compared to Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans have greater difficulty in finding a suitably matched unrelated donor, and less likelihood of successfully reaching HCT. Other barriers to HCT include age and disease progression.

"This research speaks to the need for reducing the time from HCT consultation to donor identification and HCT," Pidala said. "Survival benefit for HCT is dependent upon finding a suitable donor in a timely manner and addressing modifiable barriers to reaching HCT."

"Our data are consistent with the expectation that if suitable unrelated donors could be more expeditiously identified, patient outcomes would improve, particularly for racial and ethnic minorities and for patients with better performance status," concluded Pidala and his colleagues. "Increased representation of ethnic minorities within unrelated donor registries will increase the likelihood of finding a suitable donor."

Explore further: Bone marrow transplant survival more than doubles for young high-risk leukemia patients

More information: www.nature.com/bmt/journal/vao … /pdf/bmt2012150a.pdf

Related Stories

Bone marrow transplant survival more than doubles for young high-risk leukemia patients

July 14, 2011
Bone marrow transplant survival more than doubled in recent years for young, high-risk leukemia patients treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, with patients who lacked genetically matched donors recording the ...

Antibodies from rabbits improve survival and relapse outcomes of leukemia and myelodysplasia

July 6, 2012
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center's Bone Marrow Transplant Program have demonstrated that the use of antibodies derived from rabbits can improve the survival and relapse outcomes of ...

New half-match bone marrow transplant procedure yields promising outcomes for cancer patients

September 1, 2011
Half-matched bone marrow or stem cell transplants for blood cancer patients have typically been associated with disappointing clinical outcomes. However, a clinical trial conducted at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson ...

Recommended for you

'Labyrinth' chip could help monitor aggressive cancer stem cells

September 21, 2017
Inspired by the Labyrinth of Greek mythology, a new chip etched with fluid channels sends blood samples through a hydrodynamic maze to separate out rare circulating cancer cells into a relatively clean stream for analysis. ...

Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions

September 21, 2017
A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers. Understanding how ...

New kinase detection method helps identify targets for developing cancer drugs

September 21, 2017
Purdue University researchers have developed a high-throughput method for matching kinases to the proteins they phosphorylate, speeding the ability to identify multiple potential cancer drug targets.

Drug combination may improve impact of immunotherapy in head and neck cancer

September 21, 2017
Checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapy has been shown to be very effective in recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer but only in a minority of patients. University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers ...

Poliovirus therapy induces immune responses against cancer

September 20, 2017
An investigational therapy using modified poliovirus to attack cancer tumors appears to unleash the body's own capacity to fight malignancies by activating an inflammation process that counter's the ability of cancer cells ...

Brain cancer growth halted by absence of protein, study finds

September 20, 2017
The growth of certain aggressive brain tumors can be halted by cutting off their access to a signaling molecule produced by the brain's nerve cells, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.