The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) has facilitated unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplants for more than 20 years. In this time period, there have been many changes in clinical practice, including improvements in HLA typing and supportive care, and changes in the source of stem cells. Availability of banked unrelated donor cord blood (incorporated into the NMDP registry in 2000) as a source of stem cells has become an important option for children with leukemia, offering the advantages of immediate availability for children with high-risk disease, the need for a lesser degree of HLA match, and expanding access for those with infrequent HLA haplotypes. Overall survival (OS) in children with acute leukemia transplanted with unrelated donor bone marrow (BM) is markedly better in more recent years, largely attributable to less treatment-related mortality (TRM). Within this cohort, 2-year survival was markedly better for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in first complete response (CR1) (74%) versus second complete response (CR2) (62%) or more advanced disease (33%). Similar findings are observed with patients with AML, suggesting earlier referral to bone marrow transplant (BMT) is optimal for survival. Notably, this improvement over time was not observed in unmodified peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) recipients, suggesting unmodified PBSC may not be the optimal stem cell source for children.
- Bone marrow transplantation
- National Marrow Donor Program
- Pediatric acute leukemia
- Unrelated donor