Author(s): Lawitschka A, Ball L, Peters C
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Abstract Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative treatment for many children with life-threatening diseases. One of the most significant long-term complications of transplantation is chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Although the rates of cGVHD after HSCT are lower in the pediatric population than in adults, cGVHD remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Medicines used to prevent and treat cGVHD remain unsatisfactory, with protracted use of immune suppression necessary and high rates of first-line treatment failure. Efforts to improve salvage treatment are urgently required. Nonpharmacologic strategies attempt to modulate the cellular inflammation response and possibly allow reduction or cessation of immunosuppressive drugs. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) have been shown in vitro to mediate a wide variety of immune responses. MSC have been used in the prophylaxis of acute GVHD (aGVHD) and for the treatment of established steroid refractory aGVHD and, more recently, in the management of cGVHD. Extracorporeal photochemotherapy (ECP) has shown promising efficacy in graft-versus-host disease, and may allow a significant reduction in the use of systemic steroids and other immunosuppressants, reducing long-term morbidity and mortality. The accumulated experience shows ECP to be well tolerated, with no clinically significant side effects. Copyright © 2012 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Biol Blood Marrow Transplant
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy