Lower Risk for Serious Adverse Events and No Increased Risk for Cancer after PBSC vs BM Donation

In a study of nearly 9,500 peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) and bone marrow donors who donated through the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP®)/Be The Match®, researchers found that life-threatening events were very rare for both types of donation: 0.26% for marrow and 0.03% for PBSC donors. Although marrow donors had a threefold higher risk for life-threatening, serious unexpected, or chronic adverse events vs. PBSC donors (0.99% vs. 0.31%, respectively, p<0.001), most complications resolved within a matter of days to weeks. Donors receiving granulocyte colony-stimulating factor for PBSC collection had no evidence of increased risk for cancer, autoimmune illness, and stroke. The researchers concluded that despite the higher risk of marrow donation, both donation methods are very safe, with life-threatening complications being very rare, and with no known deaths resulting from donating.

Pulsipher MA, et al. Blood