Older Lymphoma Patients Focus of New Study

Dr. Aileen Go of Loyola University Health System, who is studying treatment options for older leukemia and lymphoma patients, has won a prestigious Amgen Foundation Fellowship grant. Go is studying the use of umbilical cord blood transplants grown from cord blood cells outside the body. The transplants are intended for patients ages 55 to 75, who previously have been excluded from such treatments.

Patients will receive high-dose chemotherapy, which, in addition to killing cancer cells also destroys the patient's immune system cells. To build a new immune system, patients receive transplanted stem cells, which develop into new immune system cells.

Older patients generally cannot tolerate high-dose chemotherapy. Go and Stiff will study a reduced-intensity chemotherapy regimen, as well as a method for boosting the number of stem cells.

The stem cells will come from donated umbilical cord blood. A newborn's cord blood does not contain enough stem cells for most adult patients. So the cord blood will be sent to a lab that will grow more stem cells prior to the transplant.

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