Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Life Saving Discrepancy: Study Shows Effectiveness Of Mismatched Bone Marrow Transplants

Date:
October 23, 1998
Source:
Weizmann Institute Of Science
Summary:
Scientists from Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science and Perugia University in Italy have shown that thanks to a method they developed, transplants using mismatched marrow can be as effective as those in which the donor and recipient are fully matched.

REHOVOT, Israel - October 22, 1998 - For many leukemia sufferers, bone marrow transplantation is their only hope. Unfortunately, in about 40 percent of terminal cases, patients fail to find a perfectly matched donor among relatives or in any of the donor registries.

Now, scientists from Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science and Perugia University in Italy have shown that thanks to a method they developed, transplants using mismatched marrow can be as effective as those in which the donor and recipient are fully matched. The results of their latest study, reported in the October 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, have raised hopes that one day a donor will be found for virtually every candidate for a bone marrow transplant.

Normally, a donor and recipient are considered compatible when they are matched for all six immunological markers on their chromosomes - three inherited from the mother and three from the father. In the method developed by a team headed by Prof. Yair Reisner of Weizmann's Immunology Department and Prof. Massimo Martelli of Perugia's Policlinico Monteluce, the donor and the recipient need to be matched for only three markers.

Such a partial match is always found between parents and children, and there is a 75-percent chance of finding it between siblings. Even among the extended family, the chances of finding a partially compatible donor are fairly good.

A key element of the Weizmann-Perugia method is the use of extremely large doses of donor marrow. The donor is treated with hormone injections that release large numbers of stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream. In a procedure known as leukapheresis, the stem cells are selectively removed from blood withdrawn from the body, and the remaining blood is re-infused to the donor. In another crucial step, donated stem cells are then "cleansed" to erase the characteristics that contribute to rejection in mismatched transplants.

In the study, the Perugia-Weizmann team traces the results of dozens of such mismatched transplants performed on patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia or acute lymphoid leukemia between 1995 and 1997.

Of the 43 patients treated, 16 were free of disease when the study results were summed up. To appreciate this figure, one must keep in mind that all patients had failed to respond to any other treatment, and without a transplant would have certainly died. The rest of the patients were alive but had a relapse of leukemia, or had died of the disease or of transplant-related complications.

These results are similar to the success rate obtained in this category of patients with perfectly matched transplants from unrelated donors.

According to the scientists, the study shows that their method overcomes the main obstacles limiting the use of mismatched transplants - namely, graft failure and an adverse immunological reaction called graft-versus-host disease.

"Since most patients have a mismatched relative (who can serve as a bone marrow donor), advances in this area will greatly increase the availability of transplants as curative therapy," the researchers conclude in their report.

Several hospitals in Israel, Germany, Austria and the United States have begun to introduce the Perugia-Weizmann transplantation method.

In January 1999, Prof. Reisner and Prof. Martelli will host an international symposium in Eilat, Israel, for some 60 physicians interested in applying the new method. The participants, most of them heads of transplantation departments in their respective hospitals, will come from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States.

Prof. Reisner holds the Henry H. Drake Professorial Chair in Immunology at the Weizmann Institute. This research was funded in part by Rowland Schaefer, Miami, Florida; the Pauline Fried Estate, Los Angeles, California; the Concern Foundation, Los Angeles, California; the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities; Comitato per la Vita "Daniele Chianelli"; Associazione Italiana Ricerche sul Cancro (AIRC); Associazione Italiana Leucemie e Linfomi (AIL), and Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Italy-USA Program on Therapy of Tumors.

The Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's foremost centers of scientific research and graduate study. Its 2,400 scientists, students, technicians, and engineers pursue basic research in the quest for knowledge and the enhancement of the human condition. New ways of fighting disease and hunger, protecting the environment, and harnessing alternative sources of energy are high priorities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Weizmann Institute Of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Weizmann Institute Of Science. "Life Saving Discrepancy: Study Shows Effectiveness Of Mismatched Bone Marrow Transplants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981023072444.htm>.
Weizmann Institute Of Science. (1998, October 23). Life Saving Discrepancy: Study Shows Effectiveness Of Mismatched Bone Marrow Transplants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981023072444.htm
Weizmann Institute Of Science. "Life Saving Discrepancy: Study Shows Effectiveness Of Mismatched Bone Marrow Transplants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981023072444.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins