Previously Unseen Mutations in Stem Cells of Young Donors Can Be Passed to Recipients, Study Finds

January 15, 2020

(STAT News) – Doctors use stem cell transplants to treat patients with certain cancers or blood disorders. And donors, whose blood or bone marrow is used for the procedures, are typically young, for a variety of reasons. But a pilot study released Wednesday raised the possibility that such donors are also passing along mutations in stem cells that could lead to health problems for some recipients. The study found that nearly 45% of younger donors had mutations in the transplanted stem cells that could raise the risk of conditions that are sometimes seen in recipients, a higher rate than presumed.