Donor source not a factor in post-transplant quality of life
It should go without saying that the patient’s perspective should be taken into account in research studies. To make sure that perspective is included, the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN) included a planned analysis of patient quality of life (QOL) as a part of their clinical trial looking at the difference between blood and marrow transplant (BMT) using double umbilical cord blood or a haploidentical (half-matched) donor. Before this study, it wasn’t known if the donor source affected a patient’s quality of life after transplant or if there was an association between patient quality of life and clinical outcomes.
The trial took place at 33 transplant centers in the U.S. and patients were surveyed until at least two years post-transplant.
The study found no significant differences in patient-reported QOL between the two groups. It also found there was no significant association between pre-transplant QOL and overall survival or progression-free survival.
“Patient-reported quality of life outcomes provide more insights into the post-transplant course beyond traditional clinical outcomes such as survival and the development of complications like graft-versus-host disease,” says Stephen Spellman, Vice President of Research, Be The Match. “The findings from this study further reinforce the suitability of either umbilical cord blood or haploidentical donors for patients without an available matched donor.”
Interestingly, a patient’s self-reported QOL before transplant was a predictor of their QOL after transplant in some of the areas. And, as one would expect, patients who had severe acute GVHD and chronic GVHD rated their QOL lower.
Having data that shows that donor type—double umbilical cord or haploidentical—doesn’t affect post-transplant QOL, is good news for patients and transplant centers. The National Marrow Donor Program and Be The Match are committed to continuing to include patient voices in research.
Learn more by reviewing a comprehensive analysis and description of the study.