Outcomes of Half-Matched Approach
In 2005, a novel two-step method of stem cell transplantation was developed by the Jefferson Transplant team for patients who have only half-matched donors in order to decrease the severity of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), an often life-threatening complication of stem cell transplant. In this approach, donor T-cells and stem cells are given in two separate steps. Chemotherapy drugs are administered after the introduction of T-cells but before stem cells are infused.
GVHD cells are killed while cells that restore normal bone marrow function are spared. This method has greatly improved the outcomes for patients undergoing transplants from half-matched donors allowing many more patients without matched donors to receive transplants. Because of the low treatment-associated complications using this approach, the two-step transplant process has been extended to patients with matched related donors and patients with sickle cell disease. This approach is especially effective for patients whose disease is under control at the time of transplant.
Experience in Using Mismatched Donors for Blood and Marrow Transplants
Our team has extensive experience and expertise in using mismatched donors for BMT, having now performed more than 120 transplants using this new approach. The outcome of our half-matched approach for patients transplanted in first or second remission now rivals the results seen with fully matched donors. We have applied similar approaches to most of our allogeneic (donor) transplants including our fully matched related and unrelated donor transplants and are also encouraged by our successes in these areas as well.
In some cases, transplants using your own cells (autologous transplants) are appropriate. This is also within the range of services that we provide.