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More people get half-matched blood or marrow transplant

New medicines allow more people to get treatment, including people of color

AgeLess than 10 to over 70 years old
Number of Participants93,790
Research GoalImprove Survival
New medicines have helped people to get a life-saving blood or marrow transplant (BMT) even if they don’t have a fully matched donor. 

This helps more people of color get BMT. That’s because people of color are less likely to have a fully matched donor. Now, anyone without a fully matched donor can use a mismatched donor. 

There are 3 types of mismatched donors: 
  • Half-matched (haploidentical), usually a parent or child 
  • Mismatched, unrelated 
  • Umbilical cord blood 

In the past, people who got mismatched donors did not live as long, often because they got a serious effect called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).

Recently, doctors found better medicines to prevent GVHD. These medicines are cyclophosphamide and abatacept.

In the last 10 years, compared to the past, more people got half-matched BMT with cyclophosphamide medicine.

Although more White patients got BMT than patients of other races, a higher percentage of people of color got halfmatched or mismatched BMT. That includes patients who were Black or African American, Hispanic, Asian and other races.

Finally, people in all racial and ethnic groups are living longer after BMT now than in the past. 

Keep in mind 

Although BMT can cure leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell disease, and other problems, it can cause GVHD. And sometimes cancers come back (relapse). 

What’s next 

More research is needed to prevent relapse and GVHD and to overcome inequities in access to health care. The ASTCT-NMDP ACCESS Initiative aims to increase awareness for barriers to BMT and to help patients of all incomes and races receive BMT and achieve best outcomes after BMT