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Medscape Oncology / By Zosia Chustecka

December 07 2013

Reporter Zosia Chustecka reported findings from a study presented at The American Society of Hematology’s (ASH) 55th Annual Meeting, which show age is no longer a barrier to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) due to advances in transplant technology. In fact, older patients are now seeing similar success rates to younger patients. Ageism still exists, however, leaving many patients who could benefit from a transplant with no referral to transplant, and subsequently, no cure. Dr. Mary Horowitz, scientific director of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), Be The Match’s research program, is quoted in the article, saying, “…These advances have not penetrated through to the general oncology community and are not widely appreciated, so the idea persists that transplants are only feasible for younger patients (under 55 years of age). There are many 55 to 65-year-olds who could benefit from a transplant, but these patients are not being referred by their primary oncologist.”