Dr. Distelhorst's session is Saturday, December 10, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. in Room 6A. (San Diego Convention Center). http://ash.confex.com/ash/2011/webprogram/Paper35836.html
In a poster presentation (Abstract# 1907), Jeffery Auletta, MD, Kenneth Cooke, MD, and colleagues presented significant findings that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) effectively treat graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) while not interfering with bone marrow transplant's efficacy in treating leukemia.
MSCs are non-hematopoietic (not blood-forming cells) adult stem cells found in the bone marrow and were discovered at UH Seidman Cancer Center and Case Western Reserve University. They maintain hematopoietic stem cell (blood-forming cells) development and also differentiate into fat cells, bone cells and cartilage cells. MSCs have been shown to suppress immune responses ex vivo (outside the body in cell culture conditions).
Due to these properties, MSCs have been used to treat GvHD in bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients. However, how MSC immunomodulation works in vivo (inside the body) has not been well studied, and, in fact, could potentially promote leukemia/lymphoma recurrence in transplant patients. That is, the benefit of BMT is that the donor graft kills residual leukemia in the transplant recipient (host), a process called graft-versus-leukemia (GvL).
"We used a pre-clinical mouse model of BMT to study how human MSCs mediate in vivo immune effects," says Dr. Auletta. "Our results show for the first time using an animal model that human MSCs simultaneously attenuate GvHD, but spare GvL activity."
The poster titled "Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Attenuate Graft-Versus-Host Di
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University Hospitals Case Medical Center