Challenges and opportunities for international cooperative studies in pediatric hematopoeitic cell transplantation: priorities of the westhafen intercontinental group.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Volume 19, Issue 9, p.1279-87 (2013)


2013, August 2013, Clinical Research Division


More than 20% of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantations (HCTs) are performed in children and adolescents at a large number of relatively small centers. Unlike adults, at least one-third of HCTs in children are performed for rare, nonmalignant indications. Clinical trials to improve HCT outcomes in children have been limited by small numbers and these pediatric-specific features. The need for a larger number of pediatric HCT centers to participate in trials has led to the involvement of international collaborative groups. Representatives of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium, European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation's Pediatric Working Group, International Berlin-Frankfurt-Munster (iBFm) Stem Cell Transplantation Committee, and Children's Oncology Group's Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Discipline Committee met on October 3, 2012, in Frankfurt, Germany to develop a consensus on the highest priorities in pediatric HCT. In addition, it explored the creation of an international consortium to develop studies focused on HCT in children and adolescents. This meeting led to the creation of an international HCT network, dubbed the Westhafen Intercontinental Group, to develop worldwide priorities and strategies to address pediatric HCT issues. This review outlines the priorities of need as identified by this consensus group.