Reduced intensity and non-myeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation in children and adolescents with malignant and non-malignant diseases

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Abstract

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (AlloSCT) from related or unrelated histocompatible donors has been well established as potentially curative therapy for children and adolescents with selected malignant and non-malignant diseases. In the malignant setting non-myeloablative (NMA)/reduced intensity (RI)-AlloSCT eradicates malignant cells through a graft versus malignancy effect provided by alloreactive donor T-lymphocytes and/or natural killer cells. In patients with non-malignant diseases NMA/RI AlloSCT provides enough immunosuppression to promote engraftment and correct underlying genetic defects. In children, myeloablative AlloSCT is not only associated with acute short-term toxicities but also long-term late complications such as growth retardation, infertility, and secondary malignancies. NMA/RI-AlloSCT in children may be associated with reduction in use of blood products, risk of infections, transplant-related mortality, and length of hospitalization. Despite the success of RI-AlloSCT in adults, large prospective and/or randomized multicenter studies are necessary in children and adolescent recipients to define the appropriate patient population, optimal conditioning regimens, cost-benefits, survival and differences in short-term and long-term effects compared to conventional myeloablative conditioning. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2008;50:1–8. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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