Two new studies were conducted by the American Society of Hematology on cord blood transplants over bone marrow. Read on to know more about it.
American Society of Hematology (ASH) is the world's largest professional society which is working on blood diseases and has released two major studies on cord blood transplants a while ago, which is a part of its Blood Advances journal. The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Colorado and the University of Pittsburgh, the two studies are aimed to show the numerous benefits of cord blood transplant over bone marrow in cancerous and non-cancerous disorders. With the increasing concerns in the medical sector about finding matching bone marrow donors in a multi-ethnic country like India, the findings of the studies clearly outline the efficacy of cord blood in the treatment of various disorders.
As per the studies conducted to compare the advantages of transplant of cord blood over bone-marrow for cancer, the researchers of University Colorado, measured the outcomes of matched bone marrow and double-unit cord blood transplants in people suffering from cancer. Amongst the 313 patients studied (190 cord blood transplant and 123 matched related donor transplant patients), the two key findings emerged. One, the chances of developing graft versus host disease were higher with bone marrow as compared to cord blood transplants and two, it was discovered that relapse rates were lower in patients who received a cord blood transplant.
As per the conclusions of the first study, a second study on the efficacy of cord blood transplant in non-cancerous disorders was also researched by a team of leading researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. The researchers successfully treated 44 children suffering from different non-cancerous and immune conditions with both low dose chemotherapy and a single-unit of HLA-mismatched cord blood with no cell expansion. There were successful results from the first of its kind and the largest trial showed that cord blood outperformed bone marrow when talking about graft failure, treatment-related mortality and event-free survival. Moreover, this gives a confidence boost to patients and doctors in a multi-ethnic country like India where the chances of finding a matching donor are very minimum.
Talking about the same, Dr Sunil Bhat, MBBS, MD (Pediatrics) Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre, Narayana Health City, Bengaluru said, “Authors have tried a new conditioning regimen which is "reduced toxicity" hence less toxic to the patients but at the same time quite effective resulting into good outcomes in these difficult disease conditions. The application of "immune boost" post-transplant is also novel and results into better immune recovery and fewer complications especially of infections post cord blood transplant.”
Another study which was published during the same year shows us how to select a cord blood donor based on Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) match and also provides clear conclusions on the stem cell dose required for a successful transplant. This study is also an amazing guide to the physicians to select cord blood donors for transplant purposes.
Other key highlights from the studies:
Study 1: To know about the efficiency of Cord Blood transplants over bone marrow for Cancerous disorders
Outcomes of this study demonstrated that cancer patients undergoing cord blood transplants showed better improvement & developed lesser complications than those who received matched sibling donor transplants. The overall improved recovery rate and lack of complications resulted in low costs associated with post-transplant care. This treatment protocol had a distinctly positive impact on the patients’ quality of life.
Study 2: To know about the efficiency of Cord Blood transplants over bone marrow for non-cancerous disorders
The graft failure rate of <5% was observed in this trial and it is the lowest reported rates ever for non-manipulated cord blood grafts in non-cancerous as well as cancerous diseases. The lowest 1-year (Treatment-Related Mortality) TRM of 5%, resulting in >90% Event Free Survival (EFS) at 1 year was reported. A single unit of allogeneic cord blood could be determined for each of the 44 eligible children and not on the basis of their ethnicities, showing the unique and unparalleled match of the cord blood grafts even without being perfectly (HLA) matched.
Cell expansion was not needed in the trial. Usually, a single cord blood unit does not have enough stem cells to treat adults. And, not even a single patient experience severe chronic graft versus host disease. In fact, a prominent improvement in the quality of life was found out in the study. The ideal treatment method used in the trial prevented graft failure and helped with immune reconstitution.
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