Stem Cell Therapy Offers New Hope for Patients With Rare Autoimmune Disorder

by Anjali Aryamvally on  January 13, 2018 at 1:31 PM Genetics & Stem Cells News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

An unusual autoimmune disease that causes skin and lung damage can be treated effectively by stem cell transplant, reports new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The approach could represent the first new treatment to improve survival in patients with severe scleroderma in more than four decades.
Stem Cell Therapy Offers New Hope for Patients With Rare Autoimmune Disorder
Stem Cell Therapy Offers New Hope for Patients With Rare Autoimmune Disorder

The experimental procedure uses chemotherapy and radiation to destroy the body's malfunctioning immune system, then replaces it via a stem-cell transplant. The stem cells are taken from the patient's own blood and given back to the patient after the chemotherapy.

In a multisite clinical trial, the approach proved more successful than the existing treatment, significantly improving survival and reported quality of life. "This is a major advance in the treatment of severe scleroderma," said Karen Ballen, MD, a co-investigator on the study and the director of stem cell transplantation at the University of Virginia Cancer Center.

Scleroderma Study

The study compared the most effective existing treatment, the drug cyclophosphamide, with the new approach. Thirty-four trial participants received cyclophosphamide, while 33 received the stem cell transplant treatment. After 72 months, 86 percent of those who received the stem-cell transplant remained alive, compared with only 51 percent of those who received infusions of cyclophosphamide.

In the New England Journal of Medicine paper detailing their findings, the researchers conclude: "At four and a half years of follow up, participants who received a transplant experienced significantly better outcomes overall than those who received cyclophosphamide. In addition, 44 percent of participants who received cyclophosphamide had begun taking anti-rheumatic drugs for progression of their scleroderma, compared to only 9 percent of those who received a transplant."

Both treatment options carried risks of infections and low blood-cell counts, the researchers reported. The overall infection rates were similar.

All participants had severe scleroderma that affected their lungs or kidneys. The researchers noted that their study had limitations that suggest the findings may not apply to all patients with scleroderma.



Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

Related Links

More News on:

Stem Cells - Cord Blood Stem Cells - Fundamentals Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Genetics and Stem Cells Reiki and Pranic Healing Myasthenia Gravis Vitiligo Autoimmune Disorders Wegener’s Granulomatosis Microscopic Polyangiitis 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive

Loading...