Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early infusion of donor T cells prevents graft versus host disease in blood cancer patients, study suggests

Date:
February 3, 2011
Source:
American Society of Hematology
Summary:
Scientists have developed a potential new strategy for preventing graft-versus-host disease and promoting the patient's immune system recovery after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

For blood cancer patients at high risk of relapse, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), the transplantation of blood-forming stem cells, is one of best options for treatment and a potential cure. Unfortunately, the most common complication of HSCT is graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a serious and often deadly post-transplant complication that occurs when the newly transplanted donor cells recognize the recipient's own cells as foreign and react by attacking the cells in the patient's body.

A study just published in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology, highlights updated results for a potential new strategy for preventing GVHD and promoting the patient's immune system recovery after transplant.

Patients who do not have a compatible donor in the family or in donor registries must rely on a transplant from alternative sources, such as a partially matched donor, as their only hope for cure. To ensure the success of transplants from partially matched donors, the donated stem cells must be treated before they are transplanted into the patient. This treatment depletes the donor's T cells, which are critical for promoting immune recovery after transplant but can also trigger severe and potentially fatal GVHD. Therefore, managing the dual function of T cells is critical before and after the transplant procedure.

In a trial conducted at the University of Perugia in Italy by a group that has pioneered the use of partially matched donors, researchers explored the use of a population of T cells called regulatory T cells (Tregs) that control immune reactions. Regulatory T cells have been widely studied in animal models and have been shown to promote the acceptance of organ grafts and control abnormal immune reactions associated with GVHD. They have not yet been tested in humans prior to this study, which enrolled 22 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), five patients with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL), and one patient with high-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Four days before HSCT, the 28 patients were infused with donor Tregs, and on the day of the transplant, they were infused with normal T cells in an effort to simultaneously prevent GVHD and promote immune system recovery.

"Our aim was to determine if patient outcomes could be improved if Tregs were introduced early in the transplantation process," said senior study author Massimo F. Martelli, MD, Full Professor and Head of the Umbria Region Bone Marrow Transplantation Program at the University of Perugia.

Results of the study revealed that 26 patients achieved full-donor engraftment, meaning that all of the transplanted donor cells were able to reproduce into new, cancer-free cells. Only two of the 26 patients that were evaluated developed acute GVHD, and at median follow-up of 11.2 months none of the patients had developed chronic GVHD. The immune system of these patients was restored to normal levels, better than other patients who had not received the T cell infusions. There were also fewer episodes of the reactivation of Cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common virus known as a major cause of morbidity and mortality after HSCT due to a weakened immune system, and no patient developed CMV disease. Furthermore, early Treg infusion was not associated with an increased incidence of leukemia relapse; only one relapse had occurred at median follow-up of 12 months in a patient with AML. One patient died from adenoviral infection and GVHD and one died from GVHD; at median follow-up of 12 months, 12 patients (46.1 percent) were alive and disease-free.

"This is an update of the first study in humans that demonstrates that regulatory T cell-based therapy ensures that hematopoietic stem cell transplant is successful, without triggering GVHD, by reconstituting the patient's immune system faster than standard transplant methods," said Mauro Di Ianni, MD, senior study co-author and Researcher at the Hematology and Clinical Immunology Section at the University of Perugia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Hematology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mauro Di Ianni et al. Tregs prevent GvHD and promote immune reconstitution in HLA-haploidentical transplantation. Blood, February 3, 2011 DOI: 10.1182/blood-2010-10-311894

Cite This Page:

American Society of Hematology. "Early infusion of donor T cells prevents graft versus host disease in blood cancer patients, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110203124830.htm>.
American Society of Hematology. (2011, February 3). Early infusion of donor T cells prevents graft versus host disease in blood cancer patients, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110203124830.htm
American Society of Hematology. "Early infusion of donor T cells prevents graft versus host disease in blood cancer patients, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110203124830.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins