Minor Memorial Library in Roxbury will present a program, “Bone Marrow Transplant: Past, Present and Future,” June 14 at 5:30 p.m.
The guest speaker will be Dr. Richard O’Reilly, chief at pediatric bone marrow transplant service, Claire L. Tow chair in Pediatric Oncology Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
The program will cover his ground-breaking work in pioneering the use of non-related stem cell donors in treating blood cancers.
In addition, a representative from the organization “Be The Match” will be present with information about bone marrow donation and opportunities for volunteers to sign up for the registry.
Blood cancers affect the bone marrow, the blood cells, the lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system.
An estimated combined total of 172,910 people in the US were expected to be diagnosed with a blood cancer in 2017, accounting for 10.2 percent of the 1,688,780 new cancer cases in the USA.
Five-year survival rates for blood cancers have increased dramatically since 1960 due to advances in therapies such as bone marrow transplants.
As former chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial Sloan Kettering, O’Reilly oversaw all aspects of the clinical, medical education, and research endeavors the department is privileged to provide.
O'Reilly has pioneered transplantation approaches for patients who lack HLA matched siblings.
He and his colleagues introduced the use of matched unrelated donors and T-cell depleted transplants from HLA half matched donors in order to provide a normal blood system without graft versus host disease to patients afflicted with lethal immune deficiencies and leukemia.
He also introduced the use of immune cells for the treatment of virus-induced lymphomas.
O’Reilly is an authority on transplantation immunology and cellular therapies.
For more information, call the South Street library at 860-350-2181.