The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and its affiliate, the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), are supporting clinical trials to determine the best unrelated marrow and blood cell transplant procedures for patients and donors.
The Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN), of which the NMDP and CIBMTR are collaborating members, are sponsoring the trials to compare peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collection and transplantation to that of marrow in unrelated transplants.
This research will aid the transplant physician in determining the optimal approach for patients. In addition, this research will compare physical side effects and how the donation experience affects the daily life of marrow and blood cell donors.
The ultimate goal is to provide guidance to physicians so they can make decisions to provide the best outcome for the patient, said Dr. Dennis Confer, NMDP chief medical officer. There will be some diseases where either bone marrow transplants or PBSC may provide the better quality of life result.
This trial comparing PBSC to marrow from unrelated donors is a randomized, multi-center trial that will involve 550 patient and donor pairs during the next three years from almost 40 medical centers. A milestone in the trial already has been met with more than 50 patient and donor pairs agreeing to be part of this important study.
In addition to comparing the differences of the two types of transplants, the research also may find patients have similar results with either type of transplant. At the same time, the study will look at the differences in donating marrow and PBSC.