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First in Asia: Peking University Institute of Hematology Performs Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation on 77-Year-Old Patient

2022-05-26

On May 19, a 77-year-old patient, diagnosed with leukemia accompanied by several complications, including hypertension, diabetes, and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, was discharged from the hospital after cancer treatment, setting a record for the oldest patient to receive hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Asia. During his 3-month stay in Peking University People’s Hospital (PKUPH), this senior patient received leukemia-related medical care, including chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, as well as follow-up care provided by our professional healthcare practitioners. 
 
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is complex and systematic treatment that involves high doses of chemotherapy to destroy the patient's original hematopoiesis and immunity. According to the Peking University Institute of Hematology, by 2005, the majority of transplant recipients were limited to 55 years old or younger, and performing bone marrow transplants on patients over 55 years old was internationally recognized as a life-threatening procedure. Graft versus host disease (GVHD) is one of the leading causes of transplant failure in elderly patients. With the development of new techniques for preventing GVHD following transplants in elderly patients, however, Prof. Huang Xiaojun’s team from the Department of Hematology at Peking University People’s Hospital has reduced the risk of developing GVHD after transplant in elderly patients by nearly 20%, which significantly improves the chance of survival in elderly transplant recipients. 
 
After years of efforts by Huang Xiaojun's team to develop individualized treatment strategies for patients, the Peking University Institute of Hematology has become a leader in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and developed a treatment regime called the Beijing Protocol, allowing elderly patients with leukemia to receive treatments and supportive care best suited to their needs.