To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world’s first successful bone marrow transplant from a matched and related donor, performed at the University of Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed August 24, 2018, as University of Minnesota Blood and Marrow Transplant Day.
On August 24, 1968, Dr. Robert Good, with the University of Minnesota Medical Center, performed the world’s first successful human bone marrow transplant using an HLA-matched sibling donor on an infant with an immune deficiency syndrome. This was the first bone marrow transplant between siblings who were not identical twins. Since then, the institution has performed nearly 8,000 blood and marrow transplants for the treatment of various blood cancers and other disorders.
Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD, University of Minnesota Health pediatric blood and marrow transplant physician and Masonic Cancer Center member, has been at the forefront of advancing stem cell transplantation for rare childhood disorders.
“In the 130-year history of the University of Minnesota Medical School, this is one of our best-known firsts,” said Dean of the Medical School Jakub Tolar. “We continue to build on Dr. Good’s innovation and to be inspired by his commitment to helping patients.”
A blood and marrow transplant replaces diseased or failing bone marrow with healthy stem cells from a donor that will eventually settle in the bone marrow and produce new blood cells. The procedure allows the recipient to receive and start producing new stem cells that work properly.
Today, the use of blood and marrow transplants has expanded beyond blood cancers and immune deficiencies to also include solid tumors, Fanconi anemia (FA), bone marrow failure disorders, and inherited metabolic diseases such as adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) and Hurler and Hunter syndromes.
University of Minnesota experts are also exploring the use of bone marrow transplant to treat other difficult-to-treat diseases.