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Blood or Marrow Transplantation or BMT is used with curative intent for many life-threatening illnesses, including leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Over 70% of those who survive the first two years after BMT become long-term survivors. However, BMT recipients often have an increased risk for long-term complications such as heart disease, lung problems, bone problems or other new cancers. Unfortunately, we do not have a clear understanding of the long-term medical issues faced by these patients.

The BMT Long-term Follow-up Study examines the long-term health and wellbeing of those treated with BMT. The BMT Long-term Follow-up Study is a collaborative research effort between City of Hope (COH), the University of Minnesota (UMN) and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). This study began in 2000 and was initially funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute. The original BMT Long-term Follow-up Study cohort consisted of over 2500 individuals who had received BMT at COH or UMN between 1974 and 1998. Now, with funding from the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and the National Cancer Institute, the BMT Long-term Follow-up Study cohort is being expanded to include about 9000 children and adults who underwent BMT at COH, UMN or UAB between 1974 and 2014, and survived at least two years. The expansion study will also enroll 3000 siblings to serve as a comparison group. In addition, the expansion study will enroll 3000 patients with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma treated without a BMT. The BMT Long-term Follow-up Study, assembled through the efforts of the investigators at COH, UMN and UAB, will be the largest undertaking of its kind. It will be coordinated through UAB, in Birmingham, Alabama.

The importance of this study encompasses the long-term well-being of patients with life-threatening illnesses treated with or without BMT, and the practice of the physicians taking care of these patients. For the transplant team, knowledge of long-term complications is critical in choosing the most appropriate treatment for the patients, as well as in planning appropriate follow-up of survivors. A thorough understanding of the complications could result in a more effective use of prevention strategies after completion of treatment, a potential reduction in possible complications after treatment and decreased costs for both the patients and the healthcare system. Knowledge gained from the study could also result in guidance to help survivors live their healthiest lives possible after cancer treatment and/or BMT.