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让骨髓移植更安全有效(四)

2005-10-06 00:00

  An average of one year later, 27 of the 37 were still alive, and cancer was in complete remission in 24 of them — better results than usual. The average age of the patients was 52.

  "It can achieve the cure of the tumor without the high likelihood that you will come down with the dreaded side effect," said the lead researcher, Dr. Samuel Strober.

  The results need to be repeated in larger studies, but are "impressive" and "open a new era in the field," Dr. Gerard Socie, a transplant expert from several universities in Paris, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

  Patients also need to be followed for longer than a year to see if they remain cancer-free, Horowitz said.

  Bone marrow and blood cell transplants are one reason the death rate from childhood cancers has dropped roughly 50 percent since the 1970s. Leukemia is the most common cancer that children face, but it is diagnosed 10 times more often in older adults — the very group for whom transplants have been most dangerous.

  With the new treatment, "the side effects are being markedly reduced, which is good news for elderly patients with leukemia and lymphoma," Strober said.

  The approach also might help people receiving organ transplants if they are "conditioned" with marrow or blood cells from the donor before receiving a kidney or other organ, Strober said.

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