Two Leukemia Treatments Reveal Similar Results

Amy Munday's picture

Survival rates for leukemia patients who have had two different types of treatment are showing similar results. The new study from Europe is focused on the invasive bone marrow transplant or the blood stem cell transplant, 10 years after transplantation. The peripheral blood stem cell transplant showed a 49.1 percent survival rate in participants and bone marrow transplant participants showed a survival rate of 56.5 percent.

Both leukemia treatments had their pros and cons, but the cons didn't have enough of an effect to alter their ability to live a normal life. "Chronic graft versus host disease was more common among PBSC transplant patients (73 percent) than among bone marrow transplant patients (54 percent), and more PBSC recipients needed immunosuppressive treatment five years after transplantation (26 percent vs. 12 percent)."

Researchers are from the Charite Medicine University in Berlin, Germany, who looked at the survival rates in 329 patients over a ten year period. Differences were noted among patients who suffered from acute leukemia, where bone marrow transplant group survival rate was 28.3 percent, compared with 13 percent in the PBSC transplant group.

The differences in the transplants procedures are significant. Bone marrow transplants collect stem cells from the bone marrow; patients undergo a general anesthetic and surgery. Peripheral blood stem cell transplantation is when stem cells are actually collected from the blood, thus avoiding the physical invasiveness of the former.

The study was published online Jan. 31 in The Lancet Oncology.

Written by Amy Munday

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