American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group

View all recommendations from this society

January 30, 2018

Don’t routinely use peripheral blood stem cells for matched unrelated donor transplantation using myeloablative conditioning and standard graft-versus-host disease prevention regimens when a suitable bone marrow donor is available.

Patients undergoing myeloablative matched unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation with standard graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis (calcineurin inhibitor and methotrexate) with a peripheral blood stem cell graft experience more symptomatic chronic graft-versus-host disease than those receiving bone marrow, without affecting relapse rates or overall survival. Peripheral blood stem cells may be considered in cases with substantial recipient/donor size discrepancy, donor preference, and for malignant diseases with high risk for graft failure.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) and Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group (CBMTG) established a Choosing Wisely BMT Task Force whose objective was to create a list of top five practices in blood and marrow transplantation to be questioned. The Task Force consisted of representatives from ASBMT’s Quality Outcomes, Education, and Practice Guidelines Committees, ASBMT’s Pharmacy Special Interest Group, CBMTG Program Directors, and Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR). Suggestions for current transplantation practices to question were elicited from the CBMTG Program Directors, members of ASBMT’s Quality Outcomes, Practice Guidelines and Education committees, and chairs of the CIBMTR scientific working committees. Suggestions were ranked based on their potential impact on harm reduction, cost reduction, necessity of the test or practice, and the strength of available evidence. Through a modified Delphi process, suggestions were narrowed down to six, which were then subjected to systematic reviews. After further discussion by the Task Force, the final five recommendations were generated.


Anasetti C, Logan BR, Lee SJ, et al. Peripheral-blood stem cells versus bone marrow from unrelated donors. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2012;367:1487-1496.

Lee SJ, Logan B, Westervelt P, et al. Comparison of Patient-Reported Outcomes in 5-Year Survivors Who Received Bone Marrow vs Peripheral Blood Unrelated Donor Transplantation: Long-term Follow-up of a Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncology. 2016;2:1583-1589.