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HIV Drug Reduces Graft-Versus-Host (GvHD) in Stem Cell Transplant Patients

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“An HIV drug that redirects immune cell traffic appears to significantly reduce the dangerous complication graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in blood cancer patients following allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT)”

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, autologous, allogeneic or umbilical cord blood, can be a lifesaving procedure for some blood cancer patients. Like may aggressive cancer therapies however,  BMT’s are a highly toxic, high-dose therapy-based procedure. BMT’s from donor stem cells often result in graft vs. Host disease (GvHD).

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GvHD can be deadly. GvHD can cause long-term and late stage collateral damage that can make you wish you never had a BMT. The article linked and excerpted below cites a drug for HIV patients that can prevent GvHD in BMT patients.

Further, there are a host of evidence-based, non-conventional therapies that studies have shown can also reduce the risk of GvHD as well as increase the efficacy of BMT’s.

I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. Have you been diagnosed with a blood cancer? Are you considering having an allogeneic stem cell transplant? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

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Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the transplantation of multipotent hematopoietic stem cells, usually derived from bone marrow, peripheral blood, or umbilical cord blood.[1][2] It may be autologous (the patient’s own stem cells are used), allogeneic (the stem cells come from a donor) or syngeneic (from an identical twin)…”

HIV Drug Reduces Graft-Versus-Host Disease in Stem Cell Transplant Patients

“An HIV drug that redirects immune cell traffic appears to significantly reduce the dangerous complication graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in blood cancer patients following allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT)…

Standard GvHD treatments suppress the immune system, reducing — but not eliminating — the risk of developing the common problem. In the current trial, treatment with the HIV drug maraviroc dramatically reduced the incidence of GvHD in organs where it is most dangerous — without compromising the immune system and leaving patients more vulnerable to severe infections.

…but in this approach we are not killing immune cells or suppressing their activity, we are just preventing them from moving into certain sensitive organs that they could harm.”

Thirty-eight patients with blood cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, lymphoma, myelofibrosis, and others, enrolled in the phase I/II trial. All patients received the standard GvHD prevention drugs tacrolimus and methotrexate, plus a 33-day course of maraviroc that began two days before transplant. In the first 100 days after transplant, none of the patients treated with maraviroc developed GvHD in the gut or liver. By contrast, 12.5 percent of patients in the control group developed GvHD in the gut and 8.3 percent developed it in the liver within 100 days of their transplant.

Maraviroc treatment did not appear to increase treatment-related toxicities in these patients, nor did it alter the relapse rate of their underlying disease.”

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