Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Thalassemia
Javid Gaziev and Guido Lucarelli
Affiliation: International Centre for Transplantation in Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Anemia, Mediterranean Institute of Hematology, Policlinico Tor Vergata, Viale Oxford 81, Rome-00133, Italy.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) represents the only cure for patients with thalassemia. At present, HSCT in younger patients from an HLA- matched sibling donor offers 80% to 87% probability of cure according to risk classes. However, results of HSCT in adult patients continue to be inferior due to advanced phase of disease. Highresolution tissue typing techniques have enabled transplant centres to offer allogeneic HSCT from unrelated donors to patients with thalassemia who could not benefit from matched sibling donor transplantation with results comparable to those obtained using sibling donors. Advances in transplantation biology have made it possible to perform haploidentical HSCT in patients with thalassemia who lack a related or unrelated matched donor. Although, limited number of patients, results of unrelated cord blood transplantation for thalassemia are encouraging. Patients with graft failure could now benefit from second transplantation using the same donor with a high disease-free survival rate. Most ex- thalassemics continue to have disease and treatment-related complications acquired before transplantation which require adequate treatment following BMT.
Keywords: Thalassemia, bone marrow transplantation, unrelated donor, haploidentical donor, unrelated cord blood transplantation, ex-thalassemics, thalassemias, hematopoiesis, Stem Cell Transplantation, Umiblical Cord Blood
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