Medical research

Viagra shows promise for use in bone marrow transplants

Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have demonstrated a new, rapid method to obtain donor stem cells for bone marrow transplants using a combination of Viagra and a second drug called Plerixafor.

Neuroscience

Stem cell transplant reverses disabling MS-like disease

A stem cell transplant reversed a debilitating neurological disease that causes half of the patients to go blind and lose the ability to walk five years after diagnosis. Most of the patients stayed better five years after ...

Medical research

Bone marrow may be the missing piece of the fertility puzzle

A woman's bone marrow may determine her ability to start and sustain a pregnancy, report Yale researchers in PLOS Biology. The study shows that when an egg is fertilized, stem cells leave the bone marrow and travel via the ...

Medical research

New clues on stem cell transplant rejection revealed in study

In 2006, scientists discovered a way to "reprogram" mature cells—adult skin cells, for example—into stem cells that could, in principle, give rise to any tissue or organ in the body. Many assumed it was only a matter ...

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Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the transplantation of blood stem cells derived from the bone marrow (in this case known as bone marrow transplantation) or blood. Stem cell transplantation is a medical procedure in the fields of hematology and oncology, most often performed for people with diseases of the blood, bone marrow, or certain types of cancer.

With the availability of the stem cell growth factors GM-CSF and G-CSF, most hematopoietic stem cell transplantation procedures are now performed using stem cells collected from the peripheral blood, rather than from the bone marrow. Collecting peripheral blood stem cells provides a bigger graft, does not require that the donor be subjected to general anesthesia to collect the graft, results in a shorter time to engraftment, and may provide for a lower long-term relapse rate.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation remains a risky procedure with many possible complications; it has traditionally been reserved for patients with life-threatening diseases. While occasionally used experimentally in nonmalignant and nonhematologic indications such as severe disabling auto-immune disease and cardiovascular disease, the risk of fatal complications appears too high to gain wider acceptance.

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