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Cord Blood Transplants Beneficial When Matched Donors Cannot Be Found

The majority of patients in need of allogeneic hematopoietic cell-transplants do not have HLA-matched donors available. Researchers recently performed a retrospective study including 582 patients with acute myeloid or lymphoid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome in need of hematopoietic cell-transplants. HLA-matched unrelated donors were found for 344 patients; 98 patients received a transplant from an HLA-mismatched donor; and 140 patients received a cord-blood transplant. Compared to patients with residual disease who received cord-blood transplants, patients with residual disease who had a matched transplant or mismatched transplant had a higher risk of death. Among patients with residual disease, cord-blood transplant recipients also had lower rates of relapse than patients receiving either matched or mismatched transplants.

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