Expert Point of View: Peripheral Blood or Bone Marrow as Unrelated Donor Stem Cell Source

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3.4.44_lee.jpgThis large randomized, controlled trial took a lot of time and extensive resources, and yet survival was the same between the two types of unrelated donor transplant sources, noted Stephanie J. Lee, MD, Professor of Medicine at Washington University and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. Dr. Lee, a transplant specialist, moderated the ASH press conference where Dr. Anasetti’s paper was discussed.

“There are trade-offs between peripheral blood stem cells and bone marrow stem cells, including a greater risk of chronic graft-vs-host disease with peripheral blood stem cells, and this is causing many of us to reexamine some of our assumptions and ask ourselves what the stem cell source should be. A bone marrow harvest lasts 45 to 90 minutes in the operating room. Collecting peripheral blood stem cells requires growth factor support and is done in the outpatient setting. Both procedures are very safe but do cause some pain.” she said. There will be much discussion about this in the future in light of these results, she noted. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Lee reported no potential conflicts of interest.

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