A new study from the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation reports that in Europe, socioeconomic factors have a direct correlation to the rates and outcomes of stem cell transplantation for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This study was published online today in Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.
“Stem cell transplantation is an expensive procedure requiring well-equipped transplant units; advanced, long-term supportive care; and highly qualified medical and nursing staff, so it may be expected that access to these transplants as well as outcome of the procedure would depend on socioeconomic factors varying among and within countries,” said lead study author Sebastian Giebel, MD, of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Oncology at the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Maria Sklowdowska-Curie Memorial Institute in Gliwice, Poland.
In this study, a team of researchers led by Dr. Giebel evaluated the association of the Human Development Index (HDI) with rates and outcomes (both short- and long-term) of AML patients treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Using data on 16,403 patients from 30 European countries between 2001-2005, the team compared socioeconomic status with HSCT procedure rates. They then analyzed long-term outcomes (primarily leukemia-free survival, or LFS) related to HSCT for a sub-group of 2,015 AML patients who had received an HLA-matched allogeneic (using donor cells rather than one’s own cells) HSCT.
The HDI is used by the United Nations to measure the socioeconomic status of countries across three basic categories: longevity (expressed as a life expectancy index, or LEI), knowledge (expressed as education index, or EI) and standard of living (measured by gross domestic product index, or GDPI). Based on the HDI, countries are considered to have a low, intermediate, or high development status. Most European states fall into the “high” category, but there are some variations so, for the purpose of this study, countries were categorized into five distinct HDI ranges.
Results of the study found that in Europe, the HDI was associated with both rates and results of HSCT for acute leukemia, with the strongest association related to the few countries in the highest HDI group (eight countries). With regard to rates of HSCT procedures, the team found significant correlations between HDI and total HSCTs performed for AML patients. The strongest associations were found between transplant rates and scores related specifically to LEI and GDPI, suggesting that not only purely economic conditions, but also the organization of the health-care and educational systems likely translate into availability of HSCT.
With regard to patient outcomes, transplants performed in countries in the highest HDI group were associated with significantly higher LFS (68%), which resulted mainly from reduced risk of relapse, as compared with the other four HDI groups (56%, 59%, 63%, and 58%, respectively, in order of increasing HDI score).
“We believe there is still room for improvement in most European states to reach the outcomes achieved by the highest-HDI states, and identifying the factors that contribute to these differences is critical,” said Dr. Giebel. “Our study was retrospective in nature, so we would encourage further prospective studies with detailed patient and procedural characteristics to help understand the true differences and design interventions to improve outcomes worldwide.”
Previous studies have demonstrated some association of socioeconomic status (SES) with access to HSCT and mortality after transplantation in other parts of the world, but the association had not previously been studied across Europe, where diversity of SES may be less pronounced and most countries are considered well-developed. However, differences remain with regard to standard of living, education, and organization of health care, which may be reflected in the variations in HDI. Variable factors suggested by the study authors may include compliance with chemotherapy protocol, health insurance coverage, educational status, and availability of care.
Reporters who wish to receive a copy of the study or arrange an interview with Dr. Giebel may contact Patrick Irelan at 202-776-0544 or email@example.com.
The American Society of Hematology (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH provides Blood: The Vital Connection (www.bloodthevitalconnection.org), a credible online resource addressing bleeding and clotting disorders, anemia, and cancer. The official journal of ASH is Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online.
Patrick C. Irelan | EurekAlert!
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences