A fully matched donor lowers the risk that the patient will get graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD can be a serious effect, where the donated cells attack the patient’s cells, causing problems with their skin, lungs, digestion, and more.
However, many people with cancer do not have a fully matched donor. And recently, doctors found that a new way to prevent GVHD: a medicine called cyclophosphamide.
In a recent clinical trial, 80 people who did not have a fully matched donor got mismatched BMT instead. About half of them were people of color. All of the people had blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndromes and others. All of the people got BMT during 2016-2019. The people got 2 kinds of preparation for BMT: half of the people got reduced-intensity preparation, and half got myeloablative preparation.
Three (3) years after BMT, most people were still alive:
- 70% of people who got reduced-intensity preparation were still alive
- 62% of people who got myeloablative preparation were still alive
Researchers said these results were encouraging.