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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University
Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy