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Hot on the TRAIL of graft vs. host disease

For patients with leukemia and other hematological malignancies, transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCT) can be a powerfully effective therapy. In addition to the desirable anti-tumor effect, transplanted cells can also attack the host tissue, resulting in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Arnab Ghosh and colleagues at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center found that expression of a protein that causes cell death, TRAIL, in transplanted cells was critical for an effective anti-tumor response. Immune cells engineered to express higher levels of TRAIL killed the cells that cause GVHD and increased anti-tumor activity. In an accompanying commentary, Nelson Chao suggests that new therapeutics may take advantage of TRAIL-expressing cells to promote an anti-tumor response without putting patients at risk for GVHD.


Contact: Jillian Hurst
Journal of Clinical Investigation

Page: 1

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