New Research Could Improve Success Rate of Autologous Bone Marrow Transplants

New Research Could Improve Success Rate of Autologous Bone Marrow Transplants

New Research Could Improve Success Rate of Autologous Bone Marrow Transplants

The September 26 issue of Nature Medicine featured a report by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center that indicates an improvement in bone marrow transplant success rates could be on the way.  Researchers at the hospital have reported they have been able to increase the mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells in mice.  The increase in mobilization was due to pharmacological inhibition of a communication pathway in the body.

An autologous bone marrow transplant is the preferred, and most effective, method of bone marrow procedures.  An autologous bone marrow transplant is a procedure where the person undergoing the transplant provides his or her own bone marrow to be used for the transplant.  This often happens after radiation therapy for cancer.  By using the patient’s own marrow, doctors do not need to worry about finding a matching marrow donor and the chances the transplant is rejected falls considerably.

However, nearly ten percent of autologous bone marrow recipients fail to mobilize enough stem cells, which significantly lengthens the recovery time.  The new research highlights a possible way to overcome this failure to mobilize.  By inhibiting the pathway using a targeted pharmacological approach, the research indicates that it is possible to increase the mobilization of the hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow into circulating blood.  The increase in mobility would allow the blood to more effectively reach the circulatory system and improve the success rate of autologous bone marrow transplants, while reducing the time it takes patients to recover.

While the research still in the early stages, researchers have said they are hopeful that future studies will agree with their findings, which could lead to clinical applications of the method being approved for use.


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