Treating leukemia with cord-blood transplant looks promising

September 8, 2016

(HealthDay)—Umbilical cord blood may work as well as current alternatives for adults and children with leukemia—or even better in some cases, according to a study published in the Sept. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

To compare the success of the different options, researchers looked at 582 patients with leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome. If a compatible or stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor wasn't available, the patients received either a cord-blood transplant or an incompatible bone marrow or stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor.

"Our study showed that overall survival after cord-blood transplantation was comparable to the one observed after matched unrelated transplants," lead author Filippo Milano, M.D., Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, told HealthDay. And patients who got cord-blood transplants seemed to live longer than those who got non-matching bone marrow or from unrelated donors, he noted. The cord blood approach appeared especially beneficial for a subset of patients with minimal residual disease.

"Often, cord-blood transplant is thought to be only as the last resource for without donors. But cord blood does not have to be considered only an alternative donor source," Milano said. "In centers with experience, it can yield to great outcomes."

Explore further: Cord blood outperforms matched, unrelated donor in bone marrow transplant

More information: Abstract
Full Text

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sick stem cells point to better MS drugs

March 29, 2017

Doctors seeking a cure for an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis keep chasing a mirage: no matter how well a drug works in the lab, it never seems to help many patients in the clinic. But after closely examining stem cells ...

How math could make bones stronger

March 29, 2017

They may seem rigid and set in their ways, but your bones are actually under constant construction and deconstruction. They give up their nutrient treasures (calcium) to the body and then rebuild in a constant give-and-take ...

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.