Stem cell transplants to become more accessible with new framework
The Liberal and Nationals Government is helping refine the delivery of life-saving stem cell and bone marrow transplants for patients with blood or immune disorders, and those receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment. This is big news for the progress of recovery of patients, and for the future of medicine in itself.
Haemopoietic progenitor cells (HPC) are self-renewing stem cells which can change and mature into all blood cell types. A HPC transplant regenerates bone marrow and blood-forming systems, potentially saving or extending the recipient’s life.
Federal Regional Health Minister, Dr David Gillespie said the new National HPC Framework spans Commonwealth and state and territory governments, delivering on a commitment to enhance future operations and management of the Australian HPC sector.
“This will set strong foundations for robust decision-making and future arrangements across the HPC sector, helping to guide clinicians, advocates and policy-makers,” Dr Gillespie said.
“We know that demand for transplants is increasing; in 1996–97 there were 237 donor searches, while in 2019–20 there were more than 900.”
“Our Government is committed to improving access to HPC transplants for Australian patients, whether they have leukemia or other blood disorders, or are undergoing chemo or radiation therapy, which can damage their blood-forming system.”
Dr Gillespie said the principles within the framework cover important issues across the HPC sector including national consistency, governance and oversight, funding and sustainability, donor registration and retention, collection, searching and matching, and ethics and research.
The Framework was informed by a 2018 Review of the HPC sector in addition to targeted consultation. Its development has been a collaborative effort by all jurisdictions and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
For those interested in following the development and major plan of this effort, a copy of the National HPC Framework is available on the Department of Health website.
Original content from The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP media page. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.