Improved Survival For Leukemia Patients With T-Cell Depleted Bone Marrow Transplantation

January 26, 1998

New York, N.Y., January 21, 1998 - Physicians at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have developed an innovative treatment for patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) that results in long-term survival without cancer recurrence. In a study published in the February 1st issue of Blood, Memorial Sloan-Kettering researchers reported that 77% of adult AML patients who received a transplant of T-cell depleted bone marrow from a donor were cancer free as long as 6 years later. Less than 4% of patients suffered a relapse. This is especially significant because the majority of patients with AML are at high risk for cancer recurrence even if chemotherapy can successfully produce remission.

"Our study has shown long-term, disease-free survival for a high proportion of adult patients who received this new treatment," said Dr. Esperanza Papadopoulos, a specialist in bone marrow transplantation at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the paper's lead author. "All surviving patients have continued to do well."

Although it is known that T-cells can cause graft-versus-host disease, a life-threatening condition in which the marrow graft reacts against the patient, current thinking has been that some form of graft-versus-host disease was in fact, necessary for a patient to maintain remission after transplantation. Because the researchers at Memorial Sloan- Kettering thought that it would be preferable to prevent the complications of graft-versus- host disease, they removed the majority of the T-cells from the donor's bone marrow prior to the transplant. In the study, patients received aggressive treatment consisting of total body irradiation and chemotherapy. They then received an allogeneic, T-cell depleted bone marrow graft from a sibling with identical tissue typing. In addition, an immunosuppressant was administered to help prevent rejection.

"We have found that using T-cell depleted bone marrow, 31 adults transplanted for AML after first remission had a survival rate of 77.4% while 8 patients who had already experienced one recurrence had a survival rate of 50% after second remission," said Dr. James Young, a bone marrow transplant expert at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the paper's senior author. "This method limits the risk of developing graft-versus-host disease and is associated with an extremely low rate of leukemic recurrence."

Dr. Richard O'Reilly, Chief of the Bone Marrow Transplant Service at Memorial Sloan- Kettering explained that their study also included older patients who are sometimes considered inappropriate candidates for bone marrow transplantation. "Using this regimen, we offered treatment to patients over the age of 40 who were at higher risk of graft-versus-host disease and its complications," he said. These ten patients had a disease- free survival rate of 70%. "With this procedure's lower percentage of relapse, higher survival rates, and much lower risk of graft-versus-host disease, we feel this procedure will help a significant number of adult patients with AML remain cancer free," said Dr. O'Reilly.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is the world's oldest and largest private institution devoted to prevention, patient care, research, and education in cancer. Throughout its long distinguished history, the Center has played a leadership role in defining the standard of care for patients with cancer. In 1997, Memorial Sloan-Kettering was named the nation's best cancer care center for the fifth consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report.
MSKCC press releases can be found on line at:

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to