Navigation Links
Penn researchers repair immune system in leukemia patients following chemotherapy
Date:12/11/2011

(SAN DIEGO) A new treatment using leukemia patients' own infection-fighting cells appears to protect them from infections and cancer recurrence following treatment with fludarabine-based chemotherapy, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The new process is a step toward eliminating the harsh side effects that result from the commonly prescribed drug, which improves progression-free survival in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) but destroys patients' healthy immune cells in the process, leaving them vulnerable to serious viral and bacterial infections. The drug's effects on the immune system tend to be so violent that it has been dubbed "AIDS in a bottle."

Today at the 53rd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, the research team will present results showing how they use a patient's own T cells to repair his or her immune system after fludarabine treatment. With a restored immune system, patients can stop taking prophylactic antibiotics and may have prolonged progression-free survival.

"Fludarabine is a double-edged sword," says Stephen J. Schuster, MD, an associate professor in the division of Hematology-Oncology and director of the Lymphoma Program at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center. "Although it is very active at killing CLL cells, it is also very active at killing normal cells in the immune system, particularly T lymphocytes, which are the master regulators of the immune system. So you rid the patient of their disease, but you also rid them of a normal immune system."

Thirty-four patients enrolled in the multicenter study. Prior to chemotherapy treatment, the researchers isolated healthy T lymphocytes from each patient's blood. When the patient finished chemotherapy, the team grew the T cells in Penn's Clinical Cell and Vaccine Production Facility using a technique that induces them to proliferate rapidly. The researchers then infused the expanded T cells back into the patient. "What we showed was that by giving them back their own T cells after treatment, we can restore patients' immune systems," Schuster said.

"Within four weeks of the T cell infusion, their T cell counts were within the normal range."

After chemotherapy and prior to T cell infusion, the median CD4 T cell count for fludarabine-treated patients was 119 cells/ml blood and the median CD8 T cell count was 80 cells/ml. Thirty days after the patients received the infusion of their own T cells, the median cell counts were in the normal range, at 373 cells/ml and 208 cells/ml for CD4 and CD8 cells, respectively. The T cell numbers remained in the normal range beyond 90 days, leading Schuster and colleagues to conclude that the autologous T cell transfer repaired the immune system of patients.

Although all of the patients' T cell counts returned to the normal range after treatment, not all patients responded equally well to the T cell therapy. Patients who had a complete response to chemotherapy had a more robust T cell recovery than did patients who had only a partial response. "We believe that having a complete remission of CLL seems to create a larger space for the normal immune cells to expand into," Schuster says. "Somehow, the cancer seems to interfere with recovery of the immune system."

In addition to quashing the complications ordinarily associated with treatment, the team hopes that the restored immune system will help keep the cancer in check. At a median follow-up of 14 months after T cell infusion, two-thirds of the patients remain progression-free. Longer follow up will be needed to compare treatment results for patients receiving T cells with published results for patients receiving similar chemotherapy without T cell support.

What is clear from the small trial is that patients can safely stop prophylactic antibiotic therapy after their T cell numbers rebound. Physicians regularly keep CLL patients on extended prophylactic antibiotic therapy to help stave off infections. In this study, though, patients stopped taking antibiotics about a month after receiving T cells without developing significant infections.


'/>"/>

Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2313
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
2. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
3. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
4. Researchers Who Discovered First Genes for Stuttering will Present Findings to the National Stuttering Association
5. Researchers create drug to keep tumor growth switched off
6. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
7. GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
8. Clemson researchers develop hands-free texting application
9. Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer
10. Researchers chart genomic map spanning over 2 dozen cancers
11. Researchers discover second protective role for tumor-suppressor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... According to an article published February 4th on ... portion of hernia repairs throughout the United States. Commenting on this article, Beverly Hills ... this trend has not only been expected, but it seems to be a natural ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... announced a new initiative—the Siemens Foundation-PATH Ingenuity Fellowships—to develop the advanced skills ... recruit top students from U.S. universities who will draw from Siemens’ deep ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Church, VA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 ... ... Store?, Feb. 29, 2016 — 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST, http://www.fdanews.com/fixeddosecombination ... issue in the life cycle of pharmaceutical products, garnering increased attention from all ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... Coco Libre, the maker of coconut water beverages with a purpose, is ... Coco Libre will offer musicians and celebrities the company’s signature Organic Coconut Water, a ... suite, held this year at the W Hollywood Hotel, has become a pre-show “must” ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Itopia, a ... the integration of Clarity Intelligence Platform (CIP) into Cielo®, a discovery, migration and ... intelligence (BI) to their small and medium business (SMB) clients. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... YORK , Feb. 11, 2016 ... instruments commonly used in laboratories. These may range from ... condensers. Laboratory glassware is made from borosilicate glass because ... Laboratory plasticware, on the other hand, started gaining popularity ... it was easier to replace glass with plastic in ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016   Health 2.0 ... of new health technologies, announced today " 10 Year ... in health tech over the past ten years.   ... nearly a decade, Health 2.0 has served as the ... and connected with thousands of technologies, companies, innovators, and ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... AAIPharma Services Corp./Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc. ... development services for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, ... in its Charleston, SC ... recent investments. Charleston ... with small-scale lyophilization. The site has invested in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: