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Better transplant strategies needed for babies

Transplant may cure disease but has side effects

Age0-12 months old
Number of Participants2,498
Research GoalImprove Survival
Most studies of blood and marrow transplant (BMT) do not include babies younger than age 1. 

To learn how to best help babies, researchers checked the records of about 2,500 babies who got BMT between 2000 and 2014. All the babies got BMT with cells donated by other people. 

Although BMT helps babies live longer overall, survival rates have not gotten much better over time. This is true for babies of all races in the US. In this study, about one-third (1 of 3) babies lived outside the US. 

Compared to adults, babies have a higher risk of these side effects: 
  • a lung problem called idiopathic pneumonia syndrome 
  • a liver problem called sinusoidal obstruction syndrome 

Researchers said that more studies are needed to find out: 
  • how to choose the best BMT donors for babies 
  • which medicines and treatments have fewer side effects for babies 
  • and which treatments are most helpful for babies 

Keep in mind 

Babies are more likely than adults to need BMT for a rare problem that is inherited, such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Adults are more likely than babies to need BMT for cancer. 

Ask your doctor 

What is the best approach for my baby? 

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