To describe the hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) activities for children in the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) region, data on transplants performed for children less than 18 years of age between 1984 and 2011 in eight EM countries (Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia) were collected. A total of 5187 transplants were performed, of which 4513 (87%) were allogeneic and 674 (13%) were autologous. Overall, the indications for transplantation were malignant diseases in 1736 (38.5%) and non-malignant in 2777 (61.5%) patients. A myeloablative conditioning regimen was used in 88% of the allografts. Bone marrow (BM) was the most frequent source of stem cells (56.2%), although an increasing use of PBSC was observed in the last decade. The stem cell source of autologous HSCT has shifted over time from BM to PBSC, and 80.9% of autologous HSCTs were from PBSCs. The donors for allogeneic transplants were matched-related in 94.5% of the cases, and unrelated transplants, mainly cord blood (99%) in 239 (5.5%) cases. This is the first report to describe the pediatric HSCT activities in EM countries. Non-malignant disorders are the main indication for allogeneic transplantation. Frequency of alternate donor transplantation is low.
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