Technology Insight: hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for systemic rheumatic disease.

Nat Clin Pract Rheumatol. 2008 Apr;4(4):184-91

Technology Insight: hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for systemic rheumatic disease.

Authors: Nikolov NP, Pavletic SZ

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have the capacity for self-renewal and the potential to differentiate into all types of hematopoietic and immune system cells. These features have been successfully used to treat a multitude of hematologic malignancies and nonmalignant diseases such as aplastic anemia, hemoglobinopathies, inborn errors of metabolism and congenital immunodeficiency states. The application of HSC transplantation has been expanded over the past decade to include immune-mediated diseases such as multiple sclerosis, treatment-refractory rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis. Transplantation of HSCs for the treatment of autoimmune diseases aims to fundamentally correct the dysregulated immune system, which could result in sustained clinical remission or potential cure. The use of this approach is currently restricted to clinical research, as there is no standard conditioning regimen to attain these aims in autoimmune diseases. HSC transplantation is associated with inherent morbidity and mortality, both treatment-related and disease-related, and selecting the correct group of patients with the best risk:benefit ratio is a challenging task.

PMID: 18285764 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]