Four Things to Ask Your Doctor About Bone Marrow Transplants

NEW YORK, Dec. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Those who have leukemia, lymphoma or other blood cancer diseases might have heard about bone marrow transplant as a potential treatment. As with any serious procedure, it is important to have all questions answered by a physician before any decision is made. Below are four important questions to ask during a doctor's visit.

* What is a bone marrow transplant?

First, patients undergo chemotherapy and sometimes radiation to destroy their diseased marrow. Then, healthy blood-forming cells are given directly into the patient's bloodstream, where they can begin to multiply and function. Many of those cells are going to transform into infection and cancer-fighting white blood cells. To avoid having these white blood cells mistakenly attacking patient's own tissue, the injected healthy blood-forming cells need to match the patient's tissue type as closely as possible. For many patients, bone marrow transplant is considered the only possibility of a cure.

* What's the difference between an autologous and allogeneic bone marrow transplant?

An autologous transplant uses the patient's own remaining healthy blood-forming cells that are collected and used later for transplant. An allogeneic transplant uses blood-forming cells from a volunteer or from cord blood unit. The donor's tissue type must closely match the patient's tissue type. The donor can be either related or unrelated to the patient. Related donors are usually a brother or sister.

* Am I at risk of catching a disease from an unrelated bone marrow transplant?

Unrelated donors on the registry of the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program (also called The Be The Match Registry®) are carefully screened and tested. These tests significantly reduce the risk—but do not eliminate the possibility—that a donor could pass a disease to a patient. Before they are approved to donate, donors are tested for infectious diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis, answer questions about their health history and are checked by doctors for signs of disease. Due to extensive testing, probabilities of contracting infectious diseases from blood products have significantly decreased over time. For example, probability of HIV infection via blood transfusion is now estimated at one in between 1.4 million and 1.8 million transfusions.

* What if I am over age 55?

The prospect of a bone marrow transplant is much more challenging for those age 55 and above. Many in this group who need it are ruled ineligible for the procedure, because the high-dose chemotherapy that traditionally precedes the transplant—and which is standard therapy for younger patients—is often deemed too harsh for the immune system of otherwise healthy-looking older people. Actinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. an innovative New York City based biotech company, is seeking to change this situation by developing Iomab™-B, a compound that has demonstrated in early clinical trials the ability to successfully prepare patients of all ages for bone marrow transplants. The company will be initiating a Phase 3 trial in 2014.

For more information, visit, who paid for the writing and dissemination of this release.

Contact: Laura Radocaj, Dian Griesel Int'l.  212.825.3210

SOURCE Actinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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