Health

Langerhans cells are up to the job, they just need a chance

Blood stem cell transplants are an important part of treatment for a variety of serious conditions. However, adverse reactions of the host to donor cells present a significant risk. Now, researchers from the University of ...

Medical research

A small T cell switch with a big impact

T cells play a key role in the human immune system. They are capable of distinguishing diseased or foreign tissue from the body's own, healthy tissue with great accuracy; they are capable of triggering the actions necessary ...

Oncology & Cancer

First man cured of HIV dies of cancer: charity

The first person to be cured of HIV, Timothy Ray Brown—known as the "Berlin Patient"—has died after a battle with cancer, the International Aids Society (IAS) announced Wednesday.

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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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