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


December 15, 2011

Penn Medicine News

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), according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania that was presented today at the 53rd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting. 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. David Porter, MD, professor of Medicine and director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation in the Abramson Cancer Center, and Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, associate professor of Medicine and Associate Director for Translational Research at the Abramson Cancer Center, are the senior authors of the study... Read More

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