Many patients with high-risk hematological malignancies or with incurable inborn errors do not have an HLA-matched sibling and cannot find an HLA-matched donor for an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Transplantation strategies using mismatched haploidentical family donors have been an important development. Although the procedure has saved patients from certain death, it is still beset by major problems like life-threatening infections--due to profound immunodeficiency following T-cell depletion and to disease relapse. At every International Workshop on Haploidentical Transplants, new data are presented, showing how scientists are attempting to improve the outcomes of mismatched transplants while reducing the severity of complications.The fourth Workshop continues in this tradition of presenting ground-breaking research. It opened with presentations of the current results with unrelated volunteer and umbilical cord blood transplants and proceeded to a session with the results of haploidentical transplants in the world with series of patients with high-risk acute leukemia, ranging in number from well over 100 in Perugia, Italy, and 80 in Haifa, Israel, to smaller groups in Europe and the United States. The session on graft engineering presented the latest results in the search for the optimal graft. The graft-vs.-leukemia effect in the haploidentical transplant was discussed in depth. Subsequently, attention focussed on one of the major problems in haploidentical transplant, that is, the delay in immunological recovery. The Workshop closed with presentations on tolerance induction that was followed by the results of ongoing registration studies being performed by the Italian GIMEMA group and the European Bone Marrow Transplant group.
Fourth International Workshop on Haploidentical Transplants, Naples, Italy, July 8-10, 2004 / Aversa, Franco; Berneman, Zwi N; Locatelli, Franco; Martelli, Massimo F; Reisner, Yair; Tabilio, Antonio; Velardi, Andrea; Vuk-Pavlovic, Stanimir. - In: BLOOD CELLS, MOLECULES, & DISEASES. - ISSN 1079-9796. - 33:3(2004), p. 159-75.
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