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Fully matched donors best for blood or marrow transplant

Half-matched donors are acceptable if no match is found

Age18-81 years old
Number of Participants2,320
Research GoalImprove Survival
Not everyone who needs a blood or marrow transplant (BMT) has a fully matched donor. Half-matched donors (also called haplo) are OK, but fully matched donors are better. That’s according to a new study from the CIBMTR. 

The study included 2,300 people who got BMT for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Everyone got BMT in the US during 2011-2018.

The study compared the medical records of people who got half-matched versus fully matched BMT. People who got a fully-matched BMT were less likely to get acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD is a serious complication of transplant. 

In people who received less intense medicines (called reduced-intensity preparation), those had a matched donor lived longer than those who had a half-matched donor. 

Keep in mind 

This was not a clinical trial. The results apply only to people who have acute leukemia or MDS, not other diseases. Everyone in this study got BMT with peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC). More research is needed on BMT with bone marrow and cord blood

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