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Stem cell transplantation of therapy-resistant chronic leukemia successful
Date:7/12/2010

tic drugs. The donor type (related or unrelated) also had no influence on the result.

"Our study is the largest so far for this patient population and proved that allogeneic stem cell transplantation is a promising therapy option for high-risk CLL and has the potential to cure for this otherwise incurable kind of leukemia," says Professor Dreger, head of the study.

Risks of stem cell transplantation

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is a very stressful and risky form of therapy, which could previously not be carried out on the generally older patients affected by CLL. With the new improved method studied here, tolerance was significantly improved. The main risk still remains the "graft-versus-host reaction", in which donor cells attack the patient's own cells, which are foreign to them. However, this is also the mechanism by which the leukemia cells are eliminated. "It is crucial to control the transplanted donor immune cells so that the effect is strong enough to eliminate the leukemia cells but not strong enough to lead to complications in other tissues and organs. For this, regular measurement of the CLL cells in blood is a new, extremely helpful instrument," says Professor Dreger.


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Contact: Dr. Peter Dreger
peter.dreger@med.uni-heidelberg.de
062-215-68008
University Hospital Heidelberg
Source:Eurekalert

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