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Resultsfrom a prospective study for CMS coverage presented at the 57th Annual Meetingof the American Society of Hematology compared patients older and younger thanage 65

December 06 2015

Results from a prospectivestudy of 1,280 patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) showed thatsurvival at 100 days and at two years following hematopoietic cell transplant(HCT) for patients aged 65 and older is comparable to patients aged 55 to 64. Thestudy demonstrates that age alone should not be a determinant when consideringHCT for patients with MDS. The study results were presented in an oral sessionat the 57th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology on Sunday,Dec. 6.

The study was undertaken todemonstrate efficacy for HCT in older patients with MDS with the goal ofsecuring coverage for HCT for Medicare beneficiaries. Previously, Medicare did nothave a clear coverage policy for beneficiaries, which created an access barrierfor those patients. This multi-center study—conducted by CIBMTR® (Center for InternationalBlood and Marrow Transplant Research®)—wasapproved after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) establishedcoverage for HCT for MDS through Coverage with Evidence Development (CED) in 2010.The study compared the outcomes of 688 patients aged 65 and older and 592patients aged 55-64 who underwent allogeneic HCT for MDS from 2010 to 2014.

No significant differenceswere found in the two-year overall survival (42 percent compared to 46 percent,p=0.1) and 100-day mortality (p=0.16) after allogeneic HCT for patients in the65 and older age group (median age 68) compared to patients in the 55-64 agegroup (median age 61) respectively. While age was not found to be prognostic ofHCT outcomes, multivariate analysis showed that marrow blasts prior totransplantation, cytogenetics and Sorror co-morbidity scores were independentlyassociated with outcomes.

“This study confirms that agealone should not be a determining factor in the decision to refer olderpatients for transplant consultation to determine patient eligibility fortransplant,” said Ehab Atallah, M.D., lead study author and associate professorof medicine at the Medical College ofWisconsin’s Division of Hematology/Oncology. “Based on ourobservations, transplant should be considered as a treatment option withpayment coverage for older patients who are eligible for HCT.”

“Results of the study representan important development for older patients and their physicians seeking accessto transplant as a potential cure for MDS,” said Michael Boo, J.D., studyauthor and chief strategy officer at the National Marrow Donor Program®(NMDP)/Be The Match®. “The study acknowledges HCTas an important and effective treatment for MDS patients regardless of age.”

Results of this study will beshared with CMS to determine future coverage for Medicare-eligible HCT recipients.

Visit toaccess the abstract and visit formore information about the study.

AboutCIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow TransplantResearch®) 
A research collaborationbetween the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®and the Medical College of Wisconsin, CIBMTR facilitates critical, cutting-edgeresearch that has led to increased survival and an enriched quality of life forthousands of patients. CIBMTR collaborates with the global scientific communityto advance hematopoietic cell transplantation and cellular therapy researchworldwide. The prospective and observational research is accomplished throughscientific and statistical expertise, a large network of transplant centers andclinical database of more than 415,000 transplant recipients. 


Kirsten Lesak-Greenberg, for CIBMTRand the NMDP/Be The Match
212-421-8320 / 763-300-9254  

Maureen Remmel, for TheMedical College of Wisconsin 
414-955-4744 / 414-750-5266