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Cord Blood Good Option for Adults With Leukemia

People with leukemia who received cord-blood transplants had similar survival levels as those given cells or bone marrow from a nonfamily donor, according to a new research report in the journal Lancet Oncology. From the patients whose disease was in remission at the time they received their transplants, 40% to 55% were free of the illness at the two year mark, regardless of the source of the graft, the study found.

Usually cord blood from public banks is used on children suffering from leukemia, and research until this recent study have shown conflicting results in adults. These findings support the use of cord-blood transplants for adults when a donor match cannot be found and when a transplant is needed urgently, the report said.

“Clinicians should not waste time if it is thought that a patient is in imminent danger of progression and should move toward cord-blood transplantation,” said Paul Szabolcs, a professor of pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center, in comment accompanying the research. This report “should bolster efforts to increase the inventory of public cord-blood banks,” he added.

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