Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyLymphomaTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyLymphomaTeam

Ancestry Matters When Seeking Matched Bone Marrow Donors

Updated on May 09, 2019


By: Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The chances of finding an unrelated bone marrow donor are higher for U.S. patients of European descent than for those of non-European descent, a new study finds.

A bone marrow transplant can sometimes help people with life-threatening blood cancers by replacing the patient's cells with healthy ones from a donor. A brother or sister with the same genetic markers as the recipient is the ideal donor.

For patients without a suitable sibling donor, a transplant from a matched unrelated donor is typically the next best option.

In the new study, researchers looked at just over 1,300 blood cancer patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in New York City, who sought a fully matched bone marrow donor between 2005 and 2017.

While 67 percent of patients with European ancestry received a matched transplant from an unrelated donor, the rate was only 33 percent for non-Europeans, including Asians, white Hispanics, and Africans. Those of African descent had the lowest rate.

But not all Europeans had equal success: 41 percent from southern Europe had a fully matched donor, compared to between 64 percent and 77 percent of others, according to the study published online March 27 in the journal Blood Advances.

Most who did not have a full match either received a partial match (17 percent of all patients) or a cord blood transplant (24 percent), according to the study. Four percent of patients did not receive a transplant -- the majority of these patients were of African descent.

"We have identified tremendous racial and ethnic disparity in transplant access," study author Juliet Barker said in a journal news release. "What's more, it has been thought by some that if you just increase the number of registered adult donors that it would resolve this problem, but it hasn't."

Barker, director of the Cord Blood Transplant Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering, said the findings show the importance of efforts to improve outcomes of alternative donor transplantation, including the use of unrelated donor cord blood.

Although experts knew that non-European patients have trouble finding a match, the difficulty for patients with origins in southern Europe hasn't been widely appreciated, Barker said.

Transplant centers have the technology to quickly gauge a patient's chances for a matched donor and should abandon futile adult donor searches and donor drives if chances are poor, she said. "This is more and more important as our population increasingly becomes more diverse," Barker concluded.

SOURCE: Blood Advances, news release
Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved.

Here are some conversations about this topic:

"My daughter is getting results of her scan tomorrow. She has had several bone marrow transplants and now has been dealing with GVHD."

"Is there anyone out there who has had a stem cell transplant?"

"I am sharing hope. As a recovering Lymphoma patient, auto stem cell transplant worked for me."

Have you had a bone marrow transplant?
Share in the comments below or directly on MyLymphomaTeam.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

Related articles

Treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) can be challenging, and so can understanding your treatment...

Oral Therapies for Indolent NHL: Your Doctor Discussion Guide

Treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) can be challenging, and so can understanding your treatment...
By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Over the past 25...

U.S. Cancer Deaths Continue to Decline

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Over the past 25...

Recent articles

Burkitt lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that grows very quickly. People who are...

Understanding Treatments for Burkitt Lymphoma

Burkitt lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that grows very quickly. People who are...
Primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) is a rare type of cancer. Also called primary lymphoma of the...

Understanding Primary Thyroid Lymphoma

Primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) is a rare type of cancer. Also called primary lymphoma of the...
Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL) is a type of cancer that affects cells of the immune system...

What You Need To Know About Hepatosplenic T-cell Lymphoma: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prognosis

Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL) is a type of cancer that affects cells of the immune system...
After being diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma, many people want to better understand their prognosis...

B-Cell Lymphoma Prognosis: Fear, Hope, and Understanding Survival Rates

After being diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma, many people want to better understand their prognosis...
Natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. NK/T-cell lymphoma is also...

Natural Killer/T-Cell Lymphoma: What You Must Know

Natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. NK/T-cell lymphoma is also...
Relationships tend to shift with a major life change like a lymphoma diagnosis. Friends and...

When Family and Friends Don’t Understand Lymphoma

Relationships tend to shift with a major life change like a lymphoma diagnosis. Friends and...
MyLymphomaTeam My lymphoma Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close