Despite the introduction of targeted drugs, some patients with AML will still need ASCTs. For young patients, who can withstand the rigours of a bone marrow transplantation, an ASCT can be extremely valuable.
With an ASCT, haematologists administer high doses of chemotherapy to destroy the leukaemia cells. Following this, they inject patients with bone marrow stem cells from a matching donor such as sibling, parent, or child. The ASCT helps re‑establish a healthy bone marrow.
An ASCT reduces the risk of relapse more than chemotherapy, but it is also associated with serious complications. These can compromise patients’ future health and increased their risk of death. For this reason, haematology teams only use ASCTs in patients who have a greater risk of relapse .