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As the site is still up, this interesting research news item from Lymphoma & Lymphoma Research, may be of interest, See you on the other side
Professor Paul Moss of Birmingham University and head of Cancer research UK discusses research to improve matching to donors in stem cell transplants and research to improve graft versus leukaemia at the same time reduce side effects and predict and intervene early in patients in whom graft versus host disease is expected to develop.
Thanks for your patience.
LLR article June 20th 2013
Birmingham scientists given £1.6 million to research blood cancer cure
Snippets from LLR article :
"University of Birmingham scientists have been awarded £1.6 million by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to improve the effectiveness of stem cell transplants for patients with blood cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma.
Interestingly a powerful ‘graft-versus-leukaemia’ effect develops after transplantation in which the donor immune system recognises remaining leukaemia cells as ‘foreign’ and kills them. This immune reaction is crucial to a transplant’s success. For the first time, the University of Birmingham researchers will examine these immune responses in the first few days after transplantation, leading to a better understanding of how they are generated.
In addition, the researchers have developed a way to vaccinate the healthy stem cell donor with proteins that can generate anti-leukaemia immune cells. If the donor’s immune system can be ‘primed’ to recognise cancer cells before transplantation, the graft-versus-leukaemia effect will be greatly improved. If preliminary trials are successful, the technique will become available to transplant patients in clinical trials
As well as boosting the graft versus leukaemia effect, the project will focus on reducing side-effects of transplants by improving donor-patient genetic matching. Currently a stem cell donor is chosen that has similar immune-related genes to the patient, but it is not possible to achieve a perfect pairing. This means that the new donor immune system has genes that are slightly different from the patient’s. This enhances the graft-versus-leukaemia response but can also lead to side-effects if the new immune system attacks the patient’s tissue.
Professor Paul Moss of the University of Birmingham said: “This project will enable us to select better donor and recipient combinations, and to predict and intervene early in patients in whom we expect graft versus host disease to develop.” ".