Transfusions of blood which were in storage for less than nine days increased the odds of survival in animals and caused some cancer types to withdraw; this discovery, made at Tel Aviv University, Israel, may answer the old question: why do some blood transfusions during cancer-related surgeries lead to increased recurrence of the cancer while others do not?
Banking a patient’s own blood in preparation to a surgery may not be helpful as it is usually stored for weeks before being transfused back to the patient. Donor blood may have a more beneficial influence on the patient, thinks Professor Ben-Eliyahu. “The age of the blood itself impacts survival. The best recipe for transfusions might be fresh blood from other people. We found no differences between autologous [self] blood and blood from other donors. The latter can be stored for much shorter durations before use,” he said.