Aplastic Anemia and Bone Marrow Transplants
As a newly diagnosed patient, you are told very early in the process that a Bone Marrow Transplant is the ultimate solution for dealing with Aplastic Anemia, Myelodysplasia Syndromes and other Autoimmune Diseases. The first line of treatment is usually a drug called Cyclosporine. Patients who fail to respond are then encouraged to try ATG – (Anti-thymocyte globulin).
If neither of these approaches prove successful, they become candidates for a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT). I am not in favor of any approach that radically reduces your bodies natural defense system and am especially opposed to the bone marrow transplant protocol.
Please understand, I respect doctors and all they do, but the suggested protocol for this disease is highly dependent on the patient’s age, size, gender, relation to the donor and others. Small young females may do quite well, but most other patients are not good candidates for the protocol and should seek alternative ways to deal with restoring their immune systems.
The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) tracks the success rates of the national transplant centers, but unfortunately only reports on “first year survival rates.” When I was first diagnosed back in 2001, I came across a very alarming chart that tracked the long term success rate of transplant recipients.
This chart was extracted from a National Marrow Donor Program internal power point presentation back in 2001. I am now on a mission to find a similar chart that tracks the long term success rate of the procedure and will report it here if and when I find it. Understanding there has likely been progress in the past 15 years, I was not at all impressed with the 4 year survival rate at the time and decided not to go forward with a Bone Marrow Transplant in 2001.
Current Aplastic Anemia MDS BMD Survivor Statistics
Odds for those of us over 50 have not improved much. I like my approach better!
Long term survivor (almost 20 years) using alternative protocol with a database of 1 = 100%!
I found the location on the NMDB site that has the power point slides. You can actually download the slides and see for yourself. You need to be careful in how you view the slides. At first glance, slides 33 and 34 reporting on Aplastic Anemia results look more promising than what I found in the past. There is, however a very limited data set and if I go back to slides 23 and 24 that report on MDS where there is a much larger sampling, the results are again not so good! Here is the slide that should get your attention, if you are considering the BMT as your primary option:
If this chart does not concern you , then you are not reading it correctly. What it is really telling you is that your chance of surviving a bone marrow transplant for more than five years are less than 40%!
I’ll take my approach that says long term survival (almost 20 years) is 100%! Admittedly, my survival is based on a database of 1, but if you are the one making the decision, isn’t your long term survival what really matters!
It is also important to note that older, taller males continue to have lower survival rates just like when I first did the research back in 2001.
Bone Marrow Transplant Survival Statistics