New Hope For Children When Leukemia Treatment Fails

Clinicians at St. Jude
Children’s Research Hospital have successfully demonstrated an improved
technique for blood stem cell transplantations in children that shows
promise for those most likely to fail standard treatment for leukemia.

The St. Jude technique allows blood stem cells to come from parents or
unmatched adult siblings; and it avoids the aggressive, toxic treatments
that usually must accompany the transplant. This allows the majority of
patients with leukemia or non-cancerous blood disorders to receive a
transplant, according to Gregory Hale, M.D., St. Jude Bone Marrow
Transplantation Division interim chief. A report on this work appears in
the prepublication edition of the British Journal of Haematology.

“Our technique also accelerated recovery of the immune system in
recipients and shortened the duration of immune deficiency during the early
post-transplant period, reducing the risk of infections,” said Gregory
Hale, M.D., St. Jude Bone Marrow Transplantation Division interim chief.

The other St. Jude authors of this paper include Xiaohua Chen, Raymond
Barfield, Ely Benaim, Wing H. Leung, James Knowles, Edwin Horwitz, Paul
Woodard, Kimberly Kasow, Usman Yusuf, Frederick G. Behm, Randall T. Hayden,
Sheila A. Shurtleff, Victoria Turner and Deo Kumar Srivastava; and Rupert
Handgretinger, formerly of St. Jude and currently at University Children’s
Hospital, University of Tubingen, Germany.

This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health,
the Assisi Foundation of Memphis and ALSAC.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for
its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and
other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and
based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with
scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays
for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are
never asked to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its
fund-raising organization. For more information, please visit

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


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