Donor Protein Boosts Survival in Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplants

Pediatric bone marrow transplant patients appear to do much better when the donor's genotype includes a specific natural killer cell protein.

According to Wing Leung, M.D., PhD, of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and colleagues, pediatric patients receiving an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation demonstrated an improved survival of 60 percent and a decrease in disease progression of 62 percent when the donor's cells include the so-called KIR2DL1-R245 polymorphism.

Hope for Transplant Patients

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this study is that many factors, including reason for transplantation, treatment history and degree of completeness of the HLA match, did not appear to make a difference. In other words, these factors played no part in whether or not the patient benefited from the NK cell protein.

The study, appearing online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, puts added evidence behind the growing belief that NK cells with KIR2DL1 possess an increased ability to fight cancer cells.

Said Leung:

This approach should dramatically improve the outcome of patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation, regardless of their age or underlying condition. NK cells also play an important role in autoimmune disorders, chronic infections, and other conditions, so these results will likely have an impact beyond cancer.

This was a retrospective study of 313 patients who had an allogeneic transplant at St. Jude between 2000 and 2010. The investigators performed allotyping on DNA samples from the donors.

The patients had a median age of 9.9 years at transplant.

Hematologic malignancies were the reason for transplant in 231 cases. Solid tumors accounted for 25 cases, and "nonmalignant conditions" accounted for the remaining 57.

Source: JCO

More Articles

More Articles

In non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, you have your B-cell lymphomas and you have your T-cell lymphomas.

Why B...

MALT lymphoma is a rare B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that typically runs an indolent or slow-growing clinical...

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a relatively rare B-cell subtype of non-Hodgkin'...

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is just one of 50-60 known B-cell subtypes of...

Lymphomatous meningitis [LM], also known as leukemic meningitis, is an extremely serious peripheral cancer that attacks the tissue that covers the...

Since so many chemotherapy agents can affect a patient’s sex drive and fertility, thinking about these issues prior...

Secondary cancers are cancers that develop as a result of chemotherapy and/or...

One of the greatest fears of lymphoma survivors is that they’ll relapse and have to undergo treatment again. This fear is normal but awful to...

Over the years, various classification systems have been used to differentiate lymphoma types including the Rappaport Classification (used until...

If you are new to this website or are looking for guidance to a specific page, here is a list of links to articles that can help you. The "Main...

Often the one who makes the first diagnosis of Hodgkin's Lymphoma / Disease is the person affected. There are some...

Lymphedema is abnormal swelling due to the presence of excess lymphatic fluid within the tissues. This swelling occurs when the...

There are two types of cancer: benign and malignant. Benign cancers are the kind that don't spread and don't threaten one's life. Malignant...

Advances in the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma have resulted in remarkable survival rates, even for...