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Penn State Hershey Transplant Program Uses Assay to Monitor Cell-Mediated Immunity
Date:6/1/2008

Improvement Noted in Management of Transplant Recipients with Cancer

HERSHEY, Pa., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The management of immunosuppression in post-transplant patients with cancer is challenging. Clinicians must balance the need to treat the malignancy effectively while simultaneously monitoring the impact of chemotherapeutic agents on a patient's immune system.

Data relevant to improving management of such patients will be presented today at the American Transplant Congress in Toronto, Canada, from a cooperative study conducted by the Departments of Surgery and Pathology and the Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Tadahiro Uemura, M.D., Ph.D. and his colleagues studied the immunosuppression status of 52 patients with post-transplant de novo malignancy, assessing the cell-mediated immunity of patients by taking advantage of the ability of the Cylex immune cell function assay (ImmuKnow(R)). They compared outcomes of patients who were and were not monitored using this assay over a follow-up period of nine months post-transplant. Their paper is entitled "Monitoring of immune function for treatment of post-transplant de novo malignancy." The 52 patients included 40 kidney transplants, 10 liver transplants, and two kidney and pancreas transplants. Uemura is an assistant professor, Division of Transplantation in the Department of Surgery at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

The ImmuKnow cell function test measures cell-mediated immunity (CMI) by assaying the concentration of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from CD4 cells following stimulation. The assay is intended for use in the detection of CMI in an immunosuppressed population.

According to Uemura and his collaborators, in patients previously diagnosed with cancer, levels of CMI were more precisely targeted toward 340 ng ATP/ml (within the "moderate" range of the ImmuKnow assay). Howe
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SOURCE Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
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