Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New drug cuts risk of deadly transplant side effect in half

First study in humans shows promise for preventing graft-versus-host disease following bone marrow transplant

A new class of drugs reduced the risk of patients contracting a serious and often deadly side effect of lifesaving bone marrow transplant treatments, according to a study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The study, the first to test this treatment in people, combined the drug vorinostat with standard medications given after transplant, resulting in 21 percent of patients developing graft-vs.-host disease compared to 42 percent of patients who typically develop this condition with standard medications alone.

Results of the study will be presented Dec. 9 at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

"Graft-vs.-host disease is the most serious complication from transplant that limits our ability to offer it more broadly. Current prevention strategies have remained mostly unchanged over the past 20 years. This study has us cautiously excited that there may be a potential new way to prevent this condition," says lead study author Sung Choi, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at the U-M Medical School.

Vorinostat is currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat certain types of cancer. But U-M researchers, led by senior study author Pavan Reddy, M.D., found in laboratory studies that the drug had anti-inflammatory effects as well – which they hypothesized could be useful in preventing graft-vs.-host disease, a condition in which the new donor cells begin attacking other cells in the patient's body.

Choi will present data on the first 47 patients enrolled on the study at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and Washington University. Participants were older adults who were undergoing a reduced-intensity bone marrow transplant with cells donated from a relative. Patients received standard medication used after a transplant to prevent graft-vs.-host disease. They also received vorinostat, which is given as a pill taken orally.

The researchers found vorinostat was safe and tolerable to give to this vulnerable population, with manageable side effects. In addition, rates of patient death and cancer relapse among the study participants were similar to historical averages.

The results mirror those found in the laboratory using mice. Reddy, an associate professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School, has been studying this approach in the lab for eight years.

"This is an entirely new approach to preventing graft-vs.-host disease," Choi says. Specifically, vorinostat targets histone deacetylases, which are different from the usual molecules targeted by traditional treatments.

"Vorinostat has a dual effect as an anti-cancer and an anti-inflammatory agent. That's what's potentially great about using it to prevent graft-vs.-host, because it may also help prevent the leukemia from returning," Choi says.

The study is continuing to enroll participants. The researchers hope next to test vorinostat in patients receiving a transplant from an unrelated donor, which carries an even greater risk of graft-vs.-host disease. This approach is not currently available outside of this clinical trial.

Note for patients: If you would like more information about the current clinical trial or about other treatment options at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, call the Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Additional authors:

From U-M: Thomas M. Braun, Ph.D.; Guoqing Hou, Ph.D.; John E. Levine, M.D., M.S.; Yaping Sun, M.D., Ph.D.; Daniel R. Couriel, M.D.; Lawrence Chang, M.D., M.P.H.; John M. Magenau, M.D.; Attaphol Pawarode; Carrie Kitko, M.D.; Sophie Paczesny, M.D., Ph.D.; Edward M. Peres, M.D.; Gregory A. Yanik, M.D.; Michael Lehmann, M.D.; and James L.M. Ferrara, M.D., D.Sc. From Washington University, St. Louis: John F. DiPersio, M.D., Ph.D., and Keith Stockerl-Goldstein, M.D. From Mie University Hospital, Japan: Isao Tawara, M.D., Ph.D. From Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation, Berkeley, Calif.: Oleg I. Krijanovski, Ph.D., M.D. From University of Alabama, Birmingham: Shin Mineishi, M.D. From University of Colorado Health Science Center: Charles A. Dinarello, M.D.

Funding: National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases grant A1091623-01, National Cancer Institute grant CA143379, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, St. Baldrick's Foundation.

Disclosure: None

Reference: 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, Atlanta, Dec. 8-11, 2012. Abstract No. 740, Targeting Histone Deacetylases as a New Strategy for Graft Versus Host Disease Prevention.


U-M Cancer AnswerLine, 800-865-1125
U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center,
Clinical trials at U-M,

Nicole Fawcett | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>