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Half-matched BMT better than cord blood in some cases

Fully matched donors still the first choice for blood and marrow transplant

Age18-70
Number of Participants1,300
Research GoalIncrease Access
Blood and marrow transplant (BMT) can cure acute leukemia and lymphoma. There are 3 sources for BMT: bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cells, and umbilical cord blood. These can come from fully matched or half-matched donors. A new study shows that for a person with leukemia or lymphoma, if a fully matched donor is not available, a halfmatched donor is better than umbilical cord blood.

This news is especially important for people of color, who are less likely to have a fully matched donor on the registry. 

This study included about 1,300 people who had acute leukemia or lymphoma and got BMT during 2012-2018. All the people got reduced-intensity medicines before BMT. 

After 5 years: 
  •  About 40% of people who got cord blood were alive 
  • About 50% of people who got half-matched bone marrow or peripheral blood were alive The study included equal amounts of men and women. Also, the people in the study had the same racial and ethnic diversity as all people in the US. 
This study compared both real-world experiences of patients who were not in a clinical trial with patients in a clinical trial. Results were similar. This means that the study results may be true for most people. 

Keep in mind

No study is perfect. If you have acute leukemia or lymphoma, ask your doctor: 

  •  What are my treatment options?
  •  What are the possible benefits and harms of each treatment?
  •  What are the chances that I have a matching donor? 

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