Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Life-threatening lupus responds to stem cell transplant therapy

01.02.2006


Transplanting patients with blood stem cells that originate from their own bone marrow can induce the remission of life-threatening, treatment-resistant lupus, according to a study that took place at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Researchers found that 50 percent of the 50 patients in the study had disease-free survival at five years with an overall five-year survival rate of 84 percent. The study is published in the February 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.



Lupus, an autoimmune disease in which immune cells attack an individual’s own organs, affects an estimated 1.5 million people, mostly young females. "For this study, we enrolled patients who had either life- or organ-threatening lupus and had exhausted all available treatment options," says lead author Richard Burt, MD, chief, Division of Immunotherapy for Autoimmune Diseases, Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and associate professor of Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. "We found that within an experienced center, high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant may be performed safely and result in disease remission and improvement or salvage of residual organ function in the majority of patients."

The study, which was launched in 1997 when Dr. Burt performed the country’s first stem cell transplant to treat lupus, enrolled 50 patients from 20 states and ran through January 2005. The authors conclude that that the findings provide the justification to launch a randomized study that would compare autologous stem cell transplant with continued standard of care.


The stem cell transplant process used in the study is similar to that done to treat some forms of cancer. The patients’ own bone marrow stem cells were harvested from their blood. These cells, which can become different kinds of blood and immune system cells in the body, were then separated from the other blood cells. Next, in a process that usually requires a few weeks of hospitalization, patients immune systems were virtually destroyed through high doses of chemotherapy. Then the cleansed stem cells were returned to the bone marrow to repopulate the marrow and body in an effort to regenerate a healthier immune system. "The idea is that if you turn back the clock and let the immune system heal itself, the patient should have a chance of ending up without the disease," says Dr. Burt.

A European multi-center trial published in 2004 reported a similar success rate; however the treatment-related mortality rate was much higher at 13 percent, compared to a 2 percent rate in this study. The authors note that the toxicity of the treatment is a result of patient selection, the conditioning regimen and supportive care during and after transplantation. "It is doubtful our lower treatment mortality rate was due to patient selection, as our patients were very ill," says co-author Yu Oyama, MD, an autoimmune disease specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and assistant professor, Division of Immunotherapy for Autoimmune Diseases at the Feinberg School of Medicine.

"A center effect on survival has also been reported for stem cell transplantation in malignancies," says Dr. Burt. "However, it’s important to note that the patients in this study are not comparable to those with malignancies. The patients in this study had organ dysfunction and were immunocompromised for a long time, conditions which often rule out stem cell transplant for cancer patients because it would be too dangerous. This highlights the importance for a medical center to have experience when treating lupus patients with high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant."

Lupus is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease that mainly affects women of child-bearing age. Its symptoms range from unexplained fever, swollen joints and skin rashes to severe damage of the kidneys, lungs or central nervous system. Lupus is three times more common -- and is frequently more severe -- in African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos. Studies show these groups also experience more complications of lupus, including kidney failure for both and neurological problems for African Americans.

"Fortunately, the majority of patients with lupus can be successfully managed with our available medical therapies," says co-author Walter G. Barr, MD, a rheumatologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. "However, for the very severely ill subset of lupus patients who have failed conventional therapies, stem cell transplantation provides a promising new alternative."

Amanda Widtfeldt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nmh.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>