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Long-term outcomes studied for stem cell transplant recipients

se-related death. Mortality not related to relapse was increased in patients who had received the chemotherapy drug carmustine as part of their preparative regimen and among patients who had received a transplant with peripheral blood stem cells, as opposed to stem cells from the bone marrow.

In addition to survival, the researchers wanted to study the quality of life patients had after transplant. To that end, 374 patients from the original group also participated in a follow-up survey investigating issues such as marital status, insurance coverage, education, income, and employment. For comparison, siblings of the participants completed the same questionnaire. The researchers found that the transplant survivors were more likely to report a health problem preventing them from holding a job when compared to the sibling group, especially the older survivors. Transplant participants were also more likely to report difficulty in obtaining or retaining health or life insurance (around 30 percent versus 5 percent). Other factors studied were at a level comparable to the non-transplanted counterparts.

"The results of this study will have a great impact on predicting long-term outcomes for the thousands of patients who receive stem cell transplants every year," said Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., a staff physician at the City of Hope Cancer Center and lead author of the study. "This sets the stage for the study of interventions that could decrease patient deaths years after treatment. For those most at risk, perhaps better therapeutic options are needed."

This work was supported in part by R01 CA078938 from the National Cancer Institute as well as The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Clinical Scholar Award 2191-02.


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Contact: Laura Stark
lstark@hematology.org
American Society of Hematology
19-May-2005


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