A brief summary has been given of the present knowledge concerning transfusion of hematopoietic cells in laboratory animals and also in man.
A survey has been made of the possible application of grafts of hematopoietic cells in the "preventive" treatment of experimental leukemia with emphasis on irradiation-induced and spontaneous leukemias.
Numerous articles have been devoted to describing attempts at curing experimental leukemias, especially the transplantable varieties, by irradiation followed by transfusion of hematopoietic cells. The results vary from one leukemia to the other. Most authors admit the rarity of eradicating leukemia by irradiation with lethal or supralethal doses followed by transfusion of isologous hematopoietic cells. It has been shown that eradication can eventually be obtained when irradiation is followed by transfusion of homologous hematopoietic cells. This, most probably, is due to an immune reaction of those cells against the leukemic cells. Furthermore, even when the leukemia can be eradicated, the animals usually die from the secondary syndrome.
A detailed analysis is given of the reported literature dealing with attempts at treating human leukemia by irradiation followed by transfusion of autologous, isologous or homologous bone marrow.