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Media Contact: Vincent Joseph Dollard 01 March 2006    
  (404) 727-3366   Print  | Email ]

Emory Physician Publishes Largest Study on Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
In a study published in the Journal Blood, H. Jean Khoury, MD, hematology section chief and director of the Leukemia Program at Emory's Winship Cancer Institute, and his colleagues have completed the largest study of its kind related to the effects of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) on the outcomes of hematopoietic cell transplantation. The article, entitled "The Impact of post-transplantation G-CSF on outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation," appears in the February 15, 2006, issue of Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation involves the intravenous infusion of autologous or allogeneic stem cells collected from bone marrow, peripheral blood, or umbilical cord blood to reestablish hematopoietic function, or the development of blood cells, in patients with damaged or defective bone marrow or immune systems.

Dr. Khoury and his research team evaluated outcomes from more than 2,700 bone marrow transplant patients using data from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR). The purpose of the study was to determine whether outcomes of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-identical related and unrelated hematopoietic-cell transplants were altered by giving G-CSF after transplantation. G-CSF is often administered after hematopoietic cell transplants to accelerate neutrophil, or white blood cell, recovery. Although the impact of hematopoietic growth factors on the outcome of allogeneic hematopoietic-cell transplantation (HCT) has been highly debated, the study's results confirm the safety of administering myeloid growth factors after the transplant procedure.

"Probabilities of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease, leukemia free survival and overall survival were similar whether or not G-CSF was given," said Dr. Khoury. "We confirmed that giving G-CSF did not affect the risk of GVHD, LFS, or survival, so we found no long term benefit or disadvantage to giving G-CSF after transplantation to promote hematopoietic recovery."

The Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) is a voluntary working group of more than 400 transplant centers worldwide that contribute detailed data on consecutive allogeneic HCT to a Statistical Center at the Health Policy Institute of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Approximately 40 percent of allogeneic HCTs worldwide are registered with the CIBMTR. Participating centers are required to register all transplantations consecutively, and compliance is monitored by on-site audits.

A nationally and internationally recognized leader in the field of bone marrow transplantation, Dr. Khoury came to Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute from Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned his medical degree from the Universit? Catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium, completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia, and his fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at Washington University. Dr. Khoury has nearly 40 publications to his credit and is listed in Best Doctors in America, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005.

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