Future Cancer Risk for Stem Cell Transplant Patients

Future Cancer Risk for Stem Cell Transplant Patients

Patients who receive stem cell transplants have a significant long-term risk of developing a second cancer, according to a new study.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) is an effective standard therapy for malignant and nonmalignant diseases such as leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome. The process involves destroying the patient's own unhealthy stems cells in the bone marrow and replacing them with a compatible donor's stem cells.

The procedure can be lifesaving, but it is associated with serious short- and long-term adverse effects including infections and developing a second cancer.

In order to better understand the risk of a second cancer, researchers from BC Cancer Agency and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver reviewed medical records of 926 patients treated with a stem cell transplant over 18 years.

Researchers report the 10-year incidence of a second cancer was more than 3 percent. The most commonly reported cancers were cancers of the skin, lung, oral cavity and colon. The analysis also revealed the risk more than tripled for patients who received their transplant when they were older than 40.

Furthermore, the study identified a new risk factor in that patients who received stem cells from a female donor almost quadrupled the risk of a second cancer and that risk increased more if the patient was male.

Study authors can't explain why these factors increase the risk of a second cancer, but say since the risk continues to increase with time, extended follow-up needs to be done to better understand the incidence and risk factors of developing a second cancer after a stem cell transplant.

CANCER, published online Nov. 27, 2006

Our source: Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

Ann's NOTE: A study likes this makes me want to ask: "what are the characteristics of people who got second cancer versus those who did not?" Maybe something can be identified. Meanwhile add complementary therapies to your survivorship approach. And good nutrition leads the way - lots of fruits and vegetables (organic where possible), low sugar, low salt, NO junk food/soda).

Remember we are NOT Doctors and have NO medical training.

This site is like an Encyclopedia - there are many pages, many links on many topics.

Support our work with any size DONATION - see left side of any page - for how to donate. You can help raise awareness of CAM.