Reasons for not carrying out stem cell transplantation in patients referred to a transplant unit

Juan Manuel Sancho, Josep María Ribera, Albert Oriol, Montserrat Batlle, Alonso Flores, Lluís Rodríguez, Marta Torrabadella, Fuensanta Millá, Evarist Feliu

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2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Although indications of stem cell transplantation (SCT) are increasing, a transplant may not be performed in all planned cases for several reasons. Our objective was to investigate the reasons for which SCT was not performed in patients referred to a transplant unit. PATIENTS AND METHOD: Pretransplant data of 129 patients consecutively referred to a transplant unit between December 1999 and November 2002 were collected. Frequency and causes of non transplantation were analyzed. Transplanted and non transplanted patient's characteristics were compared. RESULTS: In 119 out of 129 patients, an autologous SCT was indicated and in 10 of them an allogeneic SCT was planned. Mean (SD) age was 46 (14) years (range, 13-69) and 69 (53.5%) were males. One hundred eighteen patients had malignant hematological diseases and 11 had solid tumours. Sixty-one patients showed complete response and 68 had a partial response. At the time of the analysis, 93 SCT had been performed in 90 (69.8%) patients. Autologous SCT was performed in 81 patients (two SCT in one patient) and allogeneic SCT in 10 (two in one patient). Two (1.5%) patients were still awaiting SCT. An SCT was not performed in 37 (28.7%) patients. Causes of non transplantation included: in 12 (32.5%) cases, relapse and/or progression at the time the SCT had been planned; in 12 (32.5%), delay or change in the therapeutic decision; in 9 (24%), poor mobilization; and in 4 (11%), patient's refusal. When delay in SCT was excluded from the analysis, the frequency of no transplant was 19.4%. In 21 (57%) patients of the non-SCT group, peripheral stem cells were previously collected by apheresis. Both groups (SCT and non-SCT) were comparable regarding patients' and disease characteristics except for a more advanced age in the non-SCT group (51 [12] vs 44 [14] years, p < 0.005) and status of the disease at the pretransplant visit. CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of not performing an SCT in patients referred to a SCT unit was considerable. Relapses and disease progression and poor mobilization were the main causes for it. Delay was also a relatively common cause.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-404
JournalMedicina Clinica
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2003


  • Activity registries
  • Delay
  • Poor mobilization
  • Stem cell transplantation

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