07:24pm Monday 23 October 2017

New method to replicate immunity-boosting cells to benefit transplant patients, according to Penn, Minnesota study

This is a dramatic increase over previous duplication methods and will give patients a better chance of having a successful bone marrow or organ transplant. “These highly expanded and functional suppressor T cells could be used to generate a master cell bank that could be used to treat a large number of patients, making this type of therapy much more feasible and cost-effective,” says James Riley, PhD, research associate professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. The discovery could also have profound implications for patients with autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Recent work with these cells has already shown promising effects in the treatment of acute graft-versus-host disease, where immune cells in the donor’s bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cell or umbilical cord blood, try to reject the patient who is not a perfect tissue match. Between 30-40 percent of all related bone marrow transplant patients experience graft-versus-host disease with 10-30 percent of kidney transplants and 60-80 percent of liver transplant recipients experience acute rejection, according to the National Institutes of Health. In an upcoming clinical trial, the team plans to administer increasing doses of the regulatory T cells before bone marrow transplants using the new expansion method. To read more, please see the University of Minnesota news release.

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4 billion enterprise.

Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine is currently ranked #2 in U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools and among the top 10 schools for primary care. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $507.6 million awarded in the 2010 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania — recognized as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital – the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2010, Penn Medicine provided $788 million to benefit our community.


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