By Kayla Santos

Research shows that patients of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation had a high risk of developing cancers including esophageal, colon, oral, skin, and brain and nervous system cancers. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, or HSCT, is the transplantation of multi potent hematopoietic stem cells, from sources such as bone marrow, peripheral blood or umbilical blood, into a patient. The transplant is risky and is therefore performed primarily on patients of blood or bone cancer with poor immune systems. The objective of the treatment is to promote immune function in these patients.

As presented in the article Continuing increased risk of oral/esophageal cancer after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in adults in association with chronic graft-versus-host disease, published in the journal Annals of Oncology, 17,545 patients received HSCT in Japan between 1990 and 2007 and amongst them 269 secondary solid cancers were detected. The cancers have been linked to graft-versus-host disease where donor tissues attack recipient tissues. Studies are still being conducted but physicians are encouraged to consider these risks when prescribing HSCT therapy to patients.

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