A rare bone marrow failure disease caused by low blood cell counts.
A type of therapy
An antibody based therapy that is aimed at Lymphocytes (A type of white blood cell and key part of the immune cell that attacks the stem cells in the bone marrow). This therapy is commonly used as part of the preparatory treatment before the stem cell transplant.
COVID-19 spreads through close sustained contact with someone who has the virus (for instance being within 2 metres of someone for longer than 15 minutes).
The Government's latest advice is to follow stringent social distancing measures and avoid social gatherings. With an immune-suppressed system, you will be at a greater risk therefore social distancing is very important. Detailed government guidance is available here.
Amanda joined the AAT's Board of Trustees in April 2020
Amanda is an executive coach, working with leaders and managers, mainly in the arts, education and the third sector. Previously she had been editorial director at Heinemann publisher and MD of the literary estate of Roald Dahl. While there she developed and had responsibility for two charities, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, a grant-making foundation working to improve the lives of seriously ill children, and the Museum and Story Centre which bears the author’s name, of which she became chair. Amanda’s commitment to our work is founded on the experience of her daughter, who was diagnosed with Aplastic Anaemia in 2019. She is also a volunteer prison representative for the Shannon Trust, which aims to transform peoples’ lives by encouraging prisoners who can read to teach literacy skills to those who cannot.
A number of drugs that can be used to help fight/stop fungal infections. Examples of these drugs are amphotericin, posaconazole, fluconazole, voriconazole and nystatin.
ATG is a purified serum that suppresses the immune system to allow the bone marrow time to recover. It is produced by injecting animals (horse or rabbit) with white blood cells called lymphocytes. The animal then makes antibodies which are collected and purified to produce globulin.
ATG can either be used ahead of a stem cell transplant (rabbit) or with ciclosporin as a stand-alone treatment to let the bone marrow recover.
Everyone should follow the NHS advice around reducing the risk of picking up infections including thoroughly and frequently washing your hands, practicing good hygiene and avoiding contact with people who are unwell
Some people with cancer are more at risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract the COVID-19 infection:
• People having chemotherapy, or who have received chemotherapy in the last three months • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer • People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors. • People having intensive (radical) radiotherapy for lung cancer • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs • People with some types of blood cancer which damage the immune system, even if they have not needed treatment (for example, chronic leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma).
Cancer treatment providers may advise people in these groups to minimise their risk of exposure to COVID-19 infection by avoiding crowded environments, limiting social interaction and maintaining careful hand hygiene.
If you are worried you might have been in contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, call 111 (England, Wales and Scotland) or 0300 200 7885 (Northern Ireland).
A small sample of bone marrow taken for examination
A small bit of bone marrow that is taken under local anaesthetic from either the hip bone or breast bone. The sample is then examined by microscope for abnormalities in the young blood cells.
Bone marrow biopsy and trephine sample
A small section of bone is taken under anaesthetic from either the hip or breast bones for examination. This is usually performed at the same time as the aspirate is taken.
A temporary thin tube
A temporary thin tube put into the vein for the giving of fluids or intravenous drugs, or for taking of blood samples.
A central catheter/line
A central venous catheter, more commonly called a central line or HICKMAN line is a small flexible plastic tube put into the large vein somewhere above the heart. This is used for giving fluids/drugs or for taking blood samples.
An immunosuppressant drug
Is an immunosuppressant drug which can be used for the treatment of aplastic anaemia.
Umbilical cord blood
Blood from the umbilical cord taken at the time of birth. This source of blood is very high in stem cells and can be used as a stem cell source for a stem cell transplant.
A reduction in the number of mature blood cells
There are several types of cytopenia depending on what type of blood cells are depleted:
A type of curative therapy
Treatment with the potential of restoring the bone marrow function so that patients can become transfusion-free, at less risk of infection/bleeding and live a more normal lifestyle.
This depends on the type of cancer and the treatment you have had. Most people make a full recovery after cancer treatment and their immune system either recovers fully or is not affected.
If you have been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, call 111 (England, Scotland and Wales) or 0300 200 7885 (Northern Ireland). Tell the person you speak to about the type of cancer and the treatment you had.
Anita is a Consultant in Clinical Haematology, Lead Consultant for National PNH Service in England, St James Hospital, Leeds
Dominic is a a Consultant Haematologist, Honorary Senior Lecturer at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and The University of Aberdeen
Keith is a Senior Lecturer, Honorary and Consultant Haematologist, Clinical Lead for Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation, at the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Muhammad is a Consultant Haematologist at the Manchester Royal Infirmary
Sally is a Consultant Haematologist at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital
Sujith joined the AAT's Board of Trustees in November 2019.
Dr Sujith Samarasinghe is a consultant paediatric haematologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. He completed his medical training at Imperial School of Medicine, London in 1998. He did his paediatric haematology training at Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College Hospital, London. He was awarded a PhD in 2010 from University College London in the field of immunotherapy for leukaemia.
In 2011, Sujith was appointed as a consultant haematologist in Newcastle but returned to Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2014. His areas of expertise include childhood leukaemia and aplastic anaemia. He is the national lead for childhood aplastic anaemia and supportive care, and a co-investigator on two CAR T-cell studies in childhood leukaemia.