Newsstand

Here's where you'll find a regularly updated, broad range of articles written by the AAMDSIF team, allied health organizations and news organizations. By staying well-informed, patients and families are practicing a form of self-support that will help them be more effective self-advocates when engaging with health care providers.

When a common cold is uncommonly perilous

Originally Published: 03/22/2017
The common cold can be deadly for patients recovering from bone marrow transplants, a new study warns. After a bone marrow transplant, patients have weakened immune systems. This puts them at risk for infections that aren't a major threat to healthy people. But until now, the common cold (rhinovirus) had been overlooked in these patients, according to Dr. Michael Boeckh. He is an infectious disease specialist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. "This is such a prevalent virus . . . about 25 percent of stem cell transplant patients get infected [with rhinovirus] during...

SAA patient finds unrelated donor match in 2 weeks

Originally Published: 03/21/2017
Chris Vowels spent his police career stopping speeders, educating students on the dangers of drugs and gang violence and talking people out of crisis situations. But for the past 1 1/2 years, the retired Richland sergeant’s lone adversary has been his body. Vowels, 63, is battling severe aplastic anemia — a rare disease in which bone marrow does not make enough blood cells. He’s been in and out of hospitals countless times for transfusions and infections. He is limited to his interaction with loved ones, especially his wife of 43 years and their four grandkids. He has learned to wear a mask...

Identifying bone marrow failure in children

Originally Published: 03/15/2017
Pediatricians face a difficult task in determining when to refer a child for a suspected bone marrow failure syndrome. These different disorders typically have some features in common: low blood counts due to poor blood cell production; congenital anomalies; and cancer predisposition. Only a subset of children with bone marrow failure syndromes will present with the findings described in textbooks, however. These children often appear well and lack classic physical findings. The blood counts may even be normal sometimes or drop only intermittently, but the child remains at risk for...

Transplant saves student who thought she had mono

Originally Published: 03/06/2017
Dana Pelz was just out of college and about to start a job at Johnson & Johnson when she got stunning news: She had a life-threatening blood disorder. Today, she's not only thriving—but helping others get a chance at life through Be The Match. I was at the gym when my doctor called to say there was something very wrong with me and I needed to drive to the emergency room—immediately. Looking back now on that day in December 2013, I should’ve been terrified. But I’d just graduated from the University of Minnesota and landed a job in Johnson & Johnson's Sales Leadership Development...

Oncologists tell the backstory of informed consent

Originally Published: 03/02/2017
We want to let you in on a secret. As your oncologists, we’d like to treat you with two, or three, or four different chemotherapy drugs, each of which has distinct side effects, some of which can kill you. Or, if we were cardiothoracic surgeons, we might tell you that we need to crack your chest open to repair your damaged heart valve, and for that to happen you’ll need to undergo anesthesia from which you may never wake up. As doctors, our goal is to help you, of course, and to do no harm. But we may actually hurt you, irreversibly. Not that this happens frequently, but it might. How does...

Drug reduces acute GVHD in unrelated HSCTs

Originally Published: 02/27/2017
Vorinostat (Zolinza) combined with tacrolimus and methotrexate represents a potentially effective combination to mitigate graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in the setting of matched unrelated donor myeloablative conditioning hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT).1 In a phase II single-arm study, the cumulative incidence of grade 2-4 acute GVHD at day 100 with the vorinostat combination was 22%, which met the primary endpoint of the study (target incidence of less than 28%). The historical incidence of acute GVHD despite standard immunosuppressive prophylaxis in patients receiving HSCT is...

Advances in antiviral drug cuts infection post SCT

Originally Published: 02/23/2017
  In a significant advance in improving the safety of donor stem cell transplants, a major clinical trial led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has shown that a novel agent can protect against the most common viral infection that patients face after transplantation. The results represent a breakthrough in a decade-long effort to identify an effective drug for the prevention of CMV infection in transplant patients that doesn’t produce side effects that negate the benefit of the drug itself, the study authors said. The findings, from an...

Foundation Update - February 2017

Originally Published: 02/17/2017
Foundation Update - February 2017

Discovered: Simple way to identify GVHD risks

Originally Published: 02/09/2017
(New York, NY - February 3, 2017) --Researchers at Mount Sinai Health System have discovered a way to predict whether blood cancer patients who received a bone marrow transplant will develop graft-versus-host disease, a common and often lethal complication, according to a study published in JCI (The Journal of Clinical Investigation) Insight. This international study at 11 cancer centers examined blood samples from almost 1,300 bone marrow transplant patients and found that two proteins present in blood drawn a week after a transplant can predict whether a patient will develop a lethal...

New study hails test to weigh SCT for MDS

Originally Published: 02/09/2017
Newswise — A single blood test and basic information about a patient’s medical status can indicate which patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are likely to benefit from a stem cell transplant, and the intensity of pre-transplant chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy that is likely to produce the best results, according to new research by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the investigators report that genetically profiling a patient’s blood cells, while factoring in a patient’s age...