What are some limitations of allogeneic stem cell transplantation less for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM)?

Updated: May 11, 2021
  • Author: Dhaval Shah, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Physicians use allogeneic transplantation less often than autologous transplantation in MM patients, for several reasons. First, the risks of complications and death from allogeneic transplantation increase with age, and most patients with MM are older than the ideal age for allogeneic transplantation. 

Second, the transplantation-related mortality rate is quite high in patients with MM who undergo allogeneic transplantation. The death rate within 100 days of transplantation ranges from 10% to 56% in different case series.

Third, although some survivors experience long-term disease-free results after allogeneic transplantation, a retrospective case-matched analysis of allogeneic versus autologous transplantation showed a median survival of 34 months for the autologous transplantation group and 18 months for the allogeneic group.

The exception to this rule is the rare patient with a twin donor. In a limited study of 25 transplantations involving twins, outcomes with syngeneic transplantations were superior, with reduced transplantation-related mortality.

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