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August 19th, 2009
New Anti-T-Cell Globulin Treatment May Minimize Graft-Versus-Host Disease

A recent study proclaims that patients who require a blood stem-cell transplant may be able to lessen the risk of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD – transplanted materials attack the body), thanks to ant-T-cell globulin treatment.

GVHD effects roughly 60 percent of those who have underwent blood stem cell transplants from the bone marrow or peripheral blood of unrelated donors (commonly referred to as hematopoietic cell transplantation).  GVHD is a situation where the immune cells / T-cells from the donor recognizes the recipient’s tissues as unfamiliar and attack.  Studies have propose antibodies that remove T-cells could avert the attack.

The recent study comprised of 201 adults who had blood cancer and had planned  for a unrelated donor’s transplant.  One group was treated to fend off GVHD prophylaxis, whereas the others were treated with standard therapy and anti-T-cell globulin.

After 100 days, roughly 34 percent of the people undergoing the standard treatment succumbed to GVHD or died, contrasted with 21 percent of the patients in the ATG-F group.

The phase 3 trial states that the general occurrence of acute GVHD was minimized in the ATG-F group (12 percent) than those who received the standard therapy (24 percent).  The study also discovered that the two-year collective occurrence of chronic GVHD and extensive chronic GVHD in the ATG-F group was roughly 31 percent and 12 percent, contrasted with 59 and 43 percent for the standard therapy group.

The study also found that the ATG-F group did not have increased rates for relapse, deaths not related to relapse or deaths from infection, then the standard treatment.

Dr. Finke of Universitatsklinkum Feiburg in Germany stated in a news release that their study is the first “randomized clinical trial to show that ATG-F can reduce severe acute and clinically relevant chronic GVHD without compromising disease-free survival or overall survival … the use of ATG-F is safe for patients who are going to receive transplantation from matched unrelated donors.”


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