Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation HSCtx
A routine treatment without equivalent
The first trial of stem cell transplantation treated irradiated nuclear workers. It then developed into a routine treatment that can cure more than 90% of patients with haematological malignancies and non-malignant disorders in the early stage of the disease if an optimal donor recipient combination is available. Today more than 50.000 transplants are carried out annually worldwide and they are increasing each year. Stem cell transplantation also remains the last hope for patients with advanced or refractory disease.
Source of Stem Cells
Stem cell transplantation can be performed with an autologous transplant i.e the patient is his own donor, or with an allogeneic (another person) compatible donor. Stem cells for transplantation are given by living individuals, either collected from the bone marrow or from the peripheral blood.
The importance of finding a match
For many years stem cell transplant action was restricted to patients with matched family donors (only some 30% of the patients). For patients without a family donor, unrelated donor registries have been set up to find a tissue type match but the chances are small e.g. 1 out 500.000 individuals and many volunteers are necessary from all ethnic backgrounds in order to maximize the chance of meeting needs. More recently cord blood has also been used as a stem cell source for patients without a donor and more than 2000 Cord blood Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplants are performed annually.
The world wide network for blood and marrow transplantation (WBMT)
The WBMT is a federation of 18 scientific and professional societies, created to optimize the global development of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
The WBMT is collaborating with WHO.