Trial of HLA epitope matched platelet transfusion in aplastic anaemia and MDS patients

In patients who require HLA matched platelets, is a new method of matching platelets at the epitope level more effective than the standard method of HLA matching, in raising the patient’s platelet count?

What is this study about?

Platelets are a type of blood cell important in preventing or stopping bleeding. Some patients have low numbers of platelets due to their disease or the treatment they are receiving for their disease and they need regular platelet transfusions to replace them. Unfortunately some of these patients develop complications because their body recognises the transfused platelets as different to their own and their body attacks and destroys the transfused platelets. These patients need to have platelet transfusions that are carefully matched to ensure the platelets are not destroyed which can be very challenging.

The purpose of this study is to test whether a new way of identifying platelets for transfusion is better for this group of patients so that their body does not destroy them. The study will compare a new way of selecting platelets for transfusion with the method currently in use. We hope the new method gives a better match and also makes it easier to find well matched platelets.

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details


Who is funding the study?

The study is funded by NHS Blood and Transplant.

When is it taking place?

The trial opened to recruitment in October 2012 and aims to complete in November 2015

Where is it taking place?

The trial is taking place in the United Kingdom at Kings College Hospital, London. Further centres have been opened at Portsmouth; Lewisham, St James’, Leeds; Peterborough; University College Hospital, London; Hammersmith Hospital, London; Bournemouth and Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough. Further sites are scheduled to open in 2014.

Who is included?

Patients who need regular platelet transfusions are more likely to develop an immune response and destroy the transfused platelets. Patients with aplastic anaemia, myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukaemia have been selected for this study because they often require regular prophylactic platelet transfusions and have a stable disease.