Allogeneic stem cell transplant

An ASCT continues to be an effective treatment option, particularly for patients in advanced phases of CML.

An ASCT involves infusing the patient with healthy bone marrow stem cells from a matched relative or unrelated matched donor.

The healthy stem cells migrate to the patientsā€™ bone marrow and start forming new blood cells. The procedure requires a hospital stay of four to six weeks.

To prepare CML patientsā€™ bone marrows to receive healthy donor stem cells, they receive high doses of chemotherapy. This is intended to kill as many leukaemia cells as possible. This process prevents the patientsā€™ immune systems rejecting the newly-donated stem cells.

ASCTs are only an option for fit patients as the highā€‘dose chemotherapy is difficult to tolerate.

With ASCTs, there is a risk of serious side effects because the donor cells can attack the healthy tissues of the host patients in a process called graftā€‘versusā€‘host disease. For most patients, the risk of a transplant may be greater than the benefit.