Inaugural HCT Guideline Focuses on Patient Selection, GVHD Treatment

Rachel Narozniak, MA
Published: Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020
Ayman A. Saad, MD, MSc, chair of the NCCN guidelines panel for HCT

Ayman A. Saad, MD, MSc

In response to a rise in hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has published its first guideline for the specialized intervention, which is performed approximately 22,000 times a year in the United States in patients with hematological cancers and other diseases.1


Figure. Annual number of HCT recipients in the United States by Transplant Type (Click to Enlarge)

Advances in transplantation modalities have also contributed to the increase in HCT procedures performed. For example, the development of haploidentical transplantation has expanded the number of patients who can safely receive a transplant, Saad said.

In haploidentical transplants, hematopoietic cells are procured from a family donor who matches half of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) markers of the patient. In contrast, HLA-matched unrelated (nonidentical) donor transplants require tissue typing of the patient’s blood and a subsequent search of international registries to identify a complete match with an unrelated donor.3

“About 10 to 20 years ago, transplants were not common among people older than 70, but now there are ways to carry out transplantation for elderly patients,” said Saad, a professor of clinical medicine at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio.

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