St. Luke’s Lecture 1986

16/12/1986 in Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, 6, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Dr. Shaun R. McCann, Department of Haematology, St. James’s Hospital and Trinity College, Dublin

Applications of Bone Marrow Transplantation

Historical Aspects:  Although there are many interesting historical anecdotes describing the oral administration of extracts of bone marrow and spleen to patients with various haematological disorders it was Osgood et al(1) who first reported the intravenous administration of human marrow cells into a patient with aplastic anaemia in 1939.

After the Second World War interest in bone marrow transplantation was stimulated because of the development of atomic weapons and the devastating effects of iosizing radiation. A number of important observations including Jacabson’s(2) demonstration of the protective effect of splenic shielding on lethally irradiated mice, and likewise the protective effect of isologous bone marrow laid the groundwork for marrow transplantation. By the late 1950’s it became clear that the protective effect of spleen or marrow depended on the presence of a cellular component(3,4),* which was subsequently shown to be the so called pluripotent stem cell. The existence of the pluripotent stem cell in the animal model and the development of clonogenic assays for bone marrow progenitor and stem cells was of great significance in the understanding of the mechanisms underlying bone marrow transplantation(5,6,7).

Irish J Med Sci, , Volume 157, Issue 3, pp 70–76

This being the eleventh St. Luke’s Lecture since its beginnings in 1975.