A study looking at outcomes of stem cell transplants (BOOST)

Cancer type:

Acute leukaemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
Blood cancers
Chronic leukaemia
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)
Hairy cell leukaemia
Hodgkin lymphoma
Low grade lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma





This study is open to people who are having a stem cell transplant and people who are donors of stem cells for a transplant.

More about this trial

People with leukaemia Open a glossary item or lymphoma Open a glossary item have a stem cell transplant when standard treatment Open a glossary item doesn’t work. Stem cell transplants work well and cure some people. But doctors would like to improve the success of this treatment.

As with all treatments a stem cell transplant has side effects and some of these can be life threatening. Researchers are looking for ways to help prevent or reduce the side effects.

Researchers take blood samples from you before and after your stem cell transplant. They will also take blood samples from donors when their stem cells are collected.

The team will study these samples to get a better understanding of stem cell transplants. They want to improve the success of having a transplant and reduce side effects. 

Who can enter

The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this study. Talk to your doctor or the study team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you.

You may be able to join this study if you are being treated for leukaemia or lymphoma at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham and you are:

  • having a stem cell transplant or are a donor of stem cells for a transplant
  • at least 16 years old.

Trial design

The study team needs up to 500 people to join.

Before your transplant you have blood taken on 2 occasions.

After your transplant you have blood taken once a week for 4 weeks.


  • every 2 weeks for 4 months
  • every month for up to a year
  • every 3 months for up to 3½ years

People who have a donor transplant
The team take a number of blood samples if any of the following happen after your transplant:

  • you get graft versus host disease (GvHD)
  • you receive white blood cells called lymphocytes from a donor
  • you get an infection with the cytomegalovirus (CMV) or the Epstein barre virus (EBV)

They might ask to take a small sample of skin (biopsy Open a glossary item) if you develop GvHD of the skin.

To help them learn more about skin changes, your doctor might also create a blister using suction. They will then take a sample of the fluid in the blister.  

Donors of stem cells
When you go to hospital to donate your stem cells the researchers will take a blood sample. They also ask you to fill in a short questionnaire.

You might also be asked for a small sample of skin (biopsy) or fluid from a skin blister.

After your stem cells have been given to a patient if there are any left over the team will ask to use them for this study. 

Hospital visits

For people having a transplant there are no extra visits to the hospital.

For people donating stem cells you go to the hospital to have them collected. This takes a couple of hours. When you feel all right you are free to go home. 

Side effects

We have information about the side effects of having a transplant.

Your doctor will talk to you about having a transplant before you agree to take part.

For people who are donating stem cells your doctor will talk to you about the process and any side effects before you agree to donate. 



Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Paul Moss

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Birmingham

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

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