Special issues related to hematopoietic SCT in the Eastern Mediterranean region and the first regional activity report

Adult HSCT, King Faisal Cancer Center, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Bone marrow transplantation (Impact Factor: 3.57). 01/2009; 43(1):1-12. DOI: 10.1038/bmt.2008.389
Source: PubMed


Although several centers are now performing allogeneic hematopoietic SCT (HSCT) in the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) region, the availability is still limited. Special issues including compatible donor availability and potential for alternative donor programs are discussed. In comparison to Europe and North America, differences in patterns of diseases and pre-HSCT general status, particularly for patients with BM failure, are described. Other differences including high sero-positivity for CMV, hepatitis B and C infection, and specific observations about GVHD and its relation to genetically homogeneous communities are also discussed. We report that a total of 17 HSCT programs (performing five or more HSCTs annually) exist in 9 countries of the EM region. Only six programs are currently reporting to European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation or Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplantation Research. A total of 7617 HSCTs have been performed by these programs including 5701 allogeneic HSCTs. The area has low-HSCT team density (1.56 teams per 10 million inhabitants vs 14.43 in Europe) and very low-HSCT team distribution (0.27 teams per 10 000 sq km area vs <1-6 teams in Europe). Gross national income per capita had no clear association with low-HSCT activity. Much improvement in infrastructure and formation of an EM regional HSCT registry are needed.

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    • "High prevalence of HBV and HCV Poor tolerance to 4th dose (day 11) Methotrexate Lack of national or regional registry for alternate donor program Genetic tools for better risk profiling for GVHD needed Iran [5] (up to October 2007) 1381 598 1979 b-Thalassemia is common Egypt [4] (up to June 2007) 1,090 272+ 1362 Low motivation of donors Lack of matched unrelated donors High prevalence of HBV and HCV. Schistosomiasis endemicity High prevalence of b-thalassemia (carrier state 9–11%) and such patients are heavily pre-transfused and poorly chelated Pakistan [2] (up to December 2006) 350 50 400 Only three small centers for a population of 165 million 100% CMV positive donors and patients. "
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