Patients with hematologic malignancies who received unrelated donor bone marrow transplantation had better psychological well-being, less burdensome chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) symptoms, and were more likely to return to work compared with recipients of peripheral blood transplantation at 5 years post-transplantation, a study published in JAMA Oncology has shown.1

Either bone marrow or peripheral blood from unrelated donors may be used for hematopoietic cell transplantation; however, it is unclear which graft source results in improved patient-reported outcomes.

For the study, investigators collected patient-reported outcomes at enrollment and 0.5, 1, 2, and 5 years after transplantation from 551 patients who received 1 of 2 graft sources. Patients were participants of a multicenter randomized clinical trial.

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Results showed that at 5 years after transplantation, average Mental Health Inventory Psychological Well-Being scores (P = .01) and Lee chronic GVDH symptom scores (P = .004) were significantly better for bone marrow recipients.

Recipients of bone marrow transplantation were also more likely to be working full or part-time compared with peripheral blood transplantation recipients (P = .002).

There were no significant differences in survival (P = .84), relapse (P = .47), or treatment-related death (P = 0.44) between the 2 graft types.

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The findings ultimately suggest that bone marrow transplantation from an unrelated donor should be the standard of care for these types of transplant procedures.


  1. Lee SJ, Logan B, Westervelt P, et al. Comparison of patient-reported outcomes in 5-year survivors who received bone marrow vs peripheral blood unrelated donor transplantation. JAMA Oncol. 2016 Aug 11. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.2520. [Epub ahead of print]