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Bone marrow transplant

Bone marrow transplantation is a procedure in which a patient receives healthy stem cells (blood-forming cells) to replace their own stem cells that have been destroyed by treatment with radiation or high doses of chemotherapy. The healthy stem cells may come from the bone marrow of the patient or from a related or unrelated donor. A bone marrow transplant may be autologous (using a patient’s own stem cells that were collected and saved before treatment), allogeneic (using stem cells from a related or unrelated donor), or syngeneic (using stem cells donated by an identical twin). Also called BMT.

Bone Marrow Transplantation

Over the last three decades, advances in treatment and supportive care have translated into steady improvements in survival after bone marrow transplantation (BMT) given for patients with leukemia and other malignant and nonmalignant diseases. With larger numbers of transplant recipients surviving long-term, concern has turned to quantifying the late effects of this treatment, particularly total-body irradiation (doses from 8 to 15 Gy), and severe immune dysfunction. Radiation Epidemiology Branch investigators have expanded and updated their previously assembled multi-institutional cohort to evaluate risk factors for new solid malignancies and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders among nearly 30,000 allogeneic transplant recipients, thereby doubling the numbers of 5 and 10-year survivors at risk for new malignancies. Preliminary results from the expanded study show that overall, patients developed new invasive solid cancers at twice the rate expected based on general population rates with risk rising steeply over time. Results show a markedly high risk associated with radiation conditioning regimens delivered at ages under 10 years with a rapidly declining trend in both relative and absolute risks with increasing age at radiation.

Read the full article on the National Cancer Institute website.


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Cancer Treatment Options

Updated 2024

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