Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New marrow transplant method developed at Stanford may eliminate fatal side effects

07.12.2004


Bone marrow transplantation can cure lymphomas and leukemia, but in about half of the cases transplanted immune cells wind up attacking the patient’s body, as well as the cancer.



In response to this problem, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a technique that can virtually eliminate this life-threatening complication, known as graft-versus-host disease, without compromising the transplanted cells’ effectiveness against cancer.

The therapy entails adjusting the patient’s level of a specific type of immune cell, the regulatory T cells, before the transplant is done. The method was first developed in mice by Samuel Strober, MD, professor of medicine (immunology and rheumatology), who has been studying these types of cells for more than 25 years. Robert Lowsky, MD, assistant professor of medicine (bone marrow transplantation), has adapted this strategy for humans along with Strober, and will present the results of tests Dec. 6 at the annual American Society of Hematology meeting in San Diego.


In two clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health, Lowsky, Strober and other colleagues found that only one of the 37 patients who received the treatment developed graft-versus-host disease. "You would have expected something in the order of 30 to 60 percent incidence of severe graft-versus-host disease in these patients, according to conventional methods," said Strober.

Studies of the new method found there was no increase in the rate of infections in the treated patients. The studies also found that the majority of patients who were in partial remission went into complete remission, and those who were in complete remission didn’t relapse. "It looks like there is a potent anti-tumor effect from our method despite the incidence of graft-versus-host disease being dramatically lowered," said Lowsky.

Also at the conference, Strober will conduct a session in which he reviews the checkered history of regulatory T cells. For years immunologists were polarized into groups who believed in the cells, once known as suppressor T cells, and those who doubted their existence. But with the development of more advanced techniques for distinguishing between the different types of immune system cells, the existence of the regulatory T cells has been confirmed. The latest research suggests that the regulatory T cells act as the immune system’s peacekeepers, signaling to other T cells when to hold off from attacking an intruder.

"The news going into this meeting is that the field of regulatory T cells has not only come out of the clouded period that it was in, but is now being accepted and adapted into clinical trials as a conceptual framework for achieving certain desirable outcomes, for example in the area of bone marrow transplantation," said Strober.

Always a proponent of the existence of regulatory T cells, Strober worked out over the years a strategy using irradiation and antibodies to increase the relative amount of regulatory T cells in the immune tissues of host mice from about 1 percent of the total T cells to more than 90 percent. By increasing the relative amount of these cells, he found that he could retain the desired effect of killing cancerous cells following bone marrow transplantation, but eliminate the attack on host tissues. "It allows you to throw out the one effect but not the other," he said.

Lowsky said he and Strober have now taken Strober’s animal model and translated it to the clinical setting for people. Although they have not yet gathered conclusive evidence that this cellular process worked the same in humans as it did in mice-that would require doing direct examinations of cells from patients’ spleens or lymph nodes-Lowsky said their evaluations of the blood and marrow samples suggest that is the case.

Now that the method is proving to be a viable therapy for humans, the team will be testing it with other cancer centers.

Others involved in the clinical trial are Robert Negrin, MD, professor of medicine; Yinping Liu, MD, a staff research associate and Judith Shizuru, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine, all in the bone marrow transplantation division, and Tsuyoshi Takahashi, MD, a research fellow in Strober’s lab.

M.A. Malone | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.stanford.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>