Vol 55, No 3 (2024)
Original research article
Published online: 2024-06-28

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International cooperation to secure access of patients in Ukraine to cellular therapies in conditions of Russian aggression

Kateryna Filonenko1, Jan Maciej Zaucha2, Syberyna Korenkova3, Serhii Klymenko4, Ewa Paszkiewicz-Kozik5, Ewa Lech-Maranda6, Agnieszka Kolkowska-Lesniak6, Maciej Majcherek7, Olha Kylivnyk8, Bartłomej Baumert9, Anna Falkowska10, Iuliia Iavorska11, Agnieszka Tomaszewska12, Katarzyna Czempik13, Maria Bieniaszewska2, Anna Czyz7, Wojciech Legiec8, Bogusław Machalinski9, Katarzyna Drabko10, Olga Grzybowska-Izydorczyk11, Agnieszka Wierzbowska11, Grzegorz Wladyslaw Basak12, Grzegorz Helbig13, Yana Stepanishyna14, Oleksandr Lysytsia15, Iryna Kriachok14, Iwona Hus16, Dietger Niederwieser17
DOI: 10.5603/ahp.100231
Acta Haematol Pol 2024;55(3):168-173.


Introduction: February 2022’s wholesale Russian invasion of Ukraine strongly impaired the availability of hematological treatments including hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) during the first months. Many activities were initiated by Ukrainian physicians with the support of the international community. Ukrainian refugees received almost unlimited access to treatment in some EU countries, such as Poland.

Material and methods: Activities of the ‘Help for Ukrainian Hematology Patients’ (HUP) initiative are described in this article. Information on HCT and cell therapy in refugee patients in Polish transplant centers was collected by questionnaire between 24 February 2022 and 24 February 2023.

Results: Data on 65 patients was available: 22 males and 43 females, with a median age of 35 years. The most frequent diagnoses were Hodgkin’s lymphoma (20 patients) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (17 patients). Allo-HCT was performed in 24 patients, auto-HCT in 36 patients and CAR-T-cells in five patients. Fourteen patients (21.5%) received treatment that was unavailable in Ukraine. The major challenges included social and language issues.

Conclusions: The number of initiatives of Ukrainian physicians and HUP led to a significant increase in the number of HCT procedures in Ukraine after the initial drop-down. The almost unlimited access to healthcare in some EU countries has allowed refugees to get treatment that is unavailable in Ukraine.

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