Local researchers said patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA) could benefit from a wider selection of donors for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT).
The research team, led by Professor Lee Jong-wook at the Department of Hematology at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, said it compared SCT results from unrelated donors and those from haploidentical donors. The results showed that STC from haploidentical donors was effective in treating the rare disease.
|Professors Lee Jong-wook (left) and Park Sung-soo at the Department of Hematology at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital have found that patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA) could benefit from a wider selection of donors for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT). (St. Mary’s Hospital)|
To treat SAA, the patient needs SCT from a sibling human leukocyte antigens (HLA)-matched donor. If the patient has an old age or lacks an HLA-matched donor, the patient gets immunosuppressive therapy. If a patient fails in immunosuppressive treatment without HAL-matched donor, the patient can receive SCT from an HLA-matched unrelated donor, or an HLA-haploidentical sibling donor.
The research team enrolled 153 adult patients with SAA who received allogeneic transplantation from alternative donors. The comparison between unrelated donor transplantation and HLA-haploidentical donor transplantation showed no significant difference in SCT outcomes. The overall survival of the unrelated donor group was 90.3 percent, and that of the HLA-haploidentical group, 84.4 percent.
“In the treatment of patients without HLA-matched donors, SCT with HLA-matched unrelated donors has been considered the first option, but the probability of finding such a donor is only 50 percent,” Professor Lee said.
The latest study results gave a broader scope of selection of SCT donors, which will raise the probability of cure for patients with SAA, he added.
Professor Park Sung-soo, the first author of the study, said the study showed a way to save the time and cost of finding a donor for SAA patients who have to experience severe bleeding and life-threatening inflammation to help them find more donors.
The study has been published in the online issue of Transplantation on June 29.
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