Marrow transplantation from unrelated volunteer donors

C. Anasetti, R. Etzioni, E. W. Petersdorf, P. J. Martin, J. A. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Marrow transplants from human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-compatible unrelated volunteer donors have become feasible for more than 30% of patients without a family match and have allowed long-term, disease-free survival in 15-65% of patients with a variety of hematological disorders. However, unrelated donor transplants have a higher incidence of graft failure and graft versus host disease (GVHD) than do HLA-matched sibling transplants. This increase may be due to disparities between donor and recipient for undetected HLA determinants or for non-HLA histocompatibility genes. Because of the large number of HLA loci and their high degree of polymorphism, fully compatible donors will not be found for most patients. Fortunately, a limited degree of HLA mismatch does not necessarily impair long-term survival in patients with hematologic malignancy. Current studies are defining the risk associated with mismatching for each histocompatibility locus and are developing methods for marrow transplantation that can decrease morbidity and improve survival despite genetic disparity between donor and recipient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-179
Number of pages11
JournalAnnual review of medicine
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • GVHD
  • HLA
  • Immunosuppression
  • Leukemia
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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