Northwest Marrow Transplant Program Convenes Meeting on Stem Cell Transplantation

09/26/01    Portland, Ore.


The controversy surrounding stem cell research will be one of several topics discussed at the Northwest Marrow Transplant Program's meeting on stem cell transplantation. National and local experts will discuss the latest advances and technology in stem cell medicine and research.


Friday, Sept. 28, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.


 Lloyd Center DoubleTree Hotel, Portland

National and local experts on stem cells are meeting this week in Portland to discuss the various current and future medical and scientific uses for stem cells. On Friday, Sept. 28, at the Lloyd Center DoubleTree Hotel in Portland, the Northwest Marrow Transplant Program is sponsoring "Stem Cell Transplantation: The State of the Art and the New Frontier."

The meeting will bring together physicians and researchers on subjects ranging from the use of Gleevec, a recently proven leukemia-fighting drug, in conjunction with transplantation; immunotherapy and the use of "mini-transplants;" as well as umbilical cord blood transplants. The exciting new area of regeneration therapy, where stem cells are used to regenerate cells in organs such as the liver, heart and muscle cells, also will be a focus of discussion. The day-long program will conclude with a panel discussion on the future business potential, the regulatory issues, as well as health economic impact of stem cell therapies and their applications.

"Stem cell transplantation has been around longer than most people realize and we are now making great strides in expanding the types of diseases it can treat," said Richard Maziarz, M.D., professor of medicine (hematology/oncology) in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine and co-organizer of the conference. "We not only need to educate more physicians on the expanded indications for these procedures, but we also need to educate health systems and insurance companies on the technology, and both the potential and limitations of these treatments."

Stem cell transplants use progenitor blood cells, those that can develop into any type of blood cell, to repopulate a patient's blood cells after intense chemotherapy treatment. Stem cell transplants are sometimes used in conjunction with or in place of bone marrow transplants because of their ability to quickly produce new blood cells of varying types. Transplants are used to treat diseases such as leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, autoimmune diseases and, in some cases, breast cancer. All of these indications will be reviewed at this meeting.

The Northwest Marrow Transplant Program, a collaborative/clinical program of OHSU and Legacy Health System, is sponsoring the conference.