Beacon NewsFlashes – October 9, 2012
Published: Oct 9, 2012 3:39 pm
Direction Of HLA Mismatch Does Not Affect Outcome Of Cord Blood Transplantation – Results of a retrospective study conducted in Japan indicate that the direction of an HLA mismatch does not affect outcomes after mismatched cord blood transplantation. HLA are proteins found on the surface of cells. Each person has a number of sets of these HLA proteins. It is important for a certain set of these HLA proteins to match between patient and donor, or else the risk of the patients’ cells and the donor cells attacking each other increases. Specifically, the Japanese researchers found that a mismatch only in the graft-versus-host direction (donor has two identical HLA proteins in a set but the patient has one that matches and one that does not) or only in the host-versus-graft direction (patient has two identical HLA proteins in a set but the donor has one that matches and one that does not) did not affect overall survival. Unrelated cord blood transplantation may be used as an alternative treatment for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia for whom an unrelated matching donor for stem cell transplantation cannot be found. For more information, see the study in the journal Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (abstract).
Phase 2 Study To Investigate Three-Drug Combo For Lung GVHD – A Phase 2 study will investigate the efficacy and safety of Flovent (fluticasone propionate), azithromycin (Zithromax), and montelukast sodium (Singulair) in patients with graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) in the lungs. GHVD is a serious transplant-related complication in which the donor cells recognize the patient’s cells as foreign and attack them. The trial, which is taking place at treatment centers across the United States, is open to patients who had a bone marrow, stem cell, or umbilical cord transplant and who where diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans in the past three months. For more information, please see the clinical trial description.
Free Conference For MDS Patients And Their Families In Boston – On October 13, the MDS Foundation will host a free one-day conference for MDS patients and their families in Boston. Dr. David Steensma from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, who also writes a quarterly column for The MDS Beacon, will talk about a variety of MDS-related topics. The conference will start at 9 a.m.; complimentary breakfast and lunch will be served. For more information, please see the MDS Foundation website.