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U of M begins nation's first clinical trial using T-reg cells from cord blood in leukemia treatment
Date:9/5/2007

afterbirth after the birth of a child) because they occur in higher frequency than what is typically found in most adults and are easier to expand in culture prior to treatment. This is the first human clinical trial in the world that uses T-regs derived from umbilical cord blood.

This trial is designed to find the highest possible safe dose of T-regs in immune suppressed patients undergoing a double umbilical cord blood transplant for leukemia, other blood cancer, or bone marrow failure. From data in animal models, University researchers believe there will be no acute side effects with the T-regs.

If the data in humans mimics animal models, T-regs will be a powerful therapy to prevent GVHD and enhance engraftment in transplant patients. Once safety and efficacy data are known, researchers hope to test T-regs for treatment of various autoimmune diseases, such as type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis. University researchers hypothesize that if T-regs are transplanted early in the life of the disease, the cells may help prevent disease progression.

This is an exciting time. In the near future, I anticipate being able to combine immune cell populations, like T-regs, that stop immune reactions responsible for autoimmune diseases like diabetes, and immune responses to stem cell infusion given to repair already damaged tissues. This brings great hope not only for adults and children with cancer but many other diseases as well. At the close of this clinical trial, we hope to go right to our first clinical trial with T-regulatory cells in the treatment of newly diagnosed diabetes, said John E. Wagner, M.D., director of the pediatric hematology-oncology and blood and marrow transplantation program at the University of Minnesota.


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Contact: Molly Portz
mportz@umn.edu
612-625-2640
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

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