Hong Kong Med J 2009;15(Suppl 3):S13-6
Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Taiwan: past, present, and future
PM Chen, LT Hsiao, JL Tang, CC Yen, JH Liu, KH Lin, TJ Chiou, CH Tzeng
Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital; and National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taiwan
In Taiwan, haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been used to treat patients with haematological diseases since 1983. Thereafter till 2007, there were 2537 patients who had undergone HSCT in more than 15 hospitals. Their diseases included acute myeloid leukaemia in 27.8% of cases, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 23.3%, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia 12.8%, chronic myeloid leukaemia 11.9%, severe aplastic anaemia 8.7%, and multiple myeloma 4.1%. Most of the cases received myeloablative conditioning regimens. More than 15% of cases received non-myeloablative regimens, and the mean age of these cases was at least 10 years older than those who received myeloablative regimens. The types of graft included peripheral blood (60.4%) and bone marrow (32.0%). A total of 35% of patients received autologous grafts. Of 1557 allogeneic HSCT patients, 338 (21.7%) received grafts from unrelated donors. Cord blood transplantation has been successfully performed in paediatric patients with thalassaemia major and with a large body size, and adult patients. The incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease was relatively low in Taiwan. On the contrary, a relatively higher proportion of hepatitis B carrier in the recipients had led to a higher incidence of reactivation hepatitis, which was markedly decreased following lamivudine prophylaxis. In conclusion, HSCT has become a routine therapy for major medical centres in Taiwan. Our unique experiences in the past decades also contributed to the progress of HSCT. With the establishment of professional association and patient supportive groups, we hope we can fully improve our daily practice and clinical as well as basic research in HSCT.