Tuesday, October 30, 2012

History of bone marrow transplantation

The use of bone marrow transplantation was first documented as early as the 19th century when medical practitioners attempted to use this poorly understood treatment option as last attempt to treat disease.

The first bone marrow transplantation was performed in 1891 by Brown-Sequard. This marrow was given by mouth and unfortunately it was not successful. 

Intravenous marrow was given to a woman with gold-induced aplastic anemia in 1939. The donor was her brother. This was the first true transplant attempt.

Bone marrow transplantation done in late 1950s to the late 1960s were often disappointing. Most patients who had transplant were terminally ill and often died soon after the transplant.

Around these time, bone marrow rich in stem cells was injected and sometimes fed to patients in an attempt to treat disease.

Bone marrow transplantation continued to build in the progress made in the 1970s. Between 1969 and 1975, bone marrow transplantation was used to treat severe aplastic anemia or acute leukemia when other therapies failed.

In 1956 American physician E. Donnall Thomas performed the first successful syngeneic bone marrow transplant between two humans.

In 1977, Thomas, at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, reported on his first one thousand bone marrow transplant and he had some long term survivors.

The first experiments were performed by Thomas in patients with advanced hematologic malignancies and demonstrated that chemotherapy followed by intravenous marrow infusion could result in a transient graft, although all patients subsequently died of progressive disease.

The result of bone marrow transplantation continued to improve through the 1970os and 1980s as new antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agents were deployed.
History of bone marrow transplantation
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