Access to stem cell transplantation: Do women fare as well as men?

Paulette Mehta, Bradley H Pollock, Melodee Nugent, Mary Horowitz, John R. Wingard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Women have less access to certain types of expensive treatments including renal transplantation, cardiac catheterization and diagnostic studies for lung cancer. Whether women have less access to stem cell transplantation (SCT) is not known. We evaluated allogeneic SCT data from the International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry (IBMTR) and compared them with disease incidence data from the Surveillance and Epidemiologic End Results (SEER) database. We estimated the ratio of males to females among transplanted patients with acute lymphoblastic (ALL), acute myelogenous (AML) and chronic myelogenous (CML) leukemia, diseases for which SCT is often done and compared them to male/female ratios of disease incidence. The association between gender and SCT was estimated as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (Cl). There was no association between gender (male vs female) and the rates of SCT for individuals with AML (OR = 0.95, 95% Cl = 0.89-1.02), or CML (OR = 1.0; Cl = 0.90-1.1). Among patients with newly diagnosed ALL, more males underwent SCT than females (OR = 1.30, Cl = 1.18-1.44). Because children with newly diagnosed ALL usually have a favorable prognosis, SCT is not generally a frontline therapy. Therefore, when we compared SCT rates to a population of children with relapsed ALL, the gender differences disappeared (OR = 1.09, Cl = 0.94-1.25). We conclude that for the diagnoses where SCT is commonly used, there is no significant bias towards use in males compared to females. While boys with ALL appear to receive SCT at a higher rate, this difference is likely attributable to biological rather than social reasons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-102
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Hematology
Volume72
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Access
  • Gender bias
  • Stem cell transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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