New approach for bone marrow transplantation have been presented by two recent studies, according to a report published on September 25, 2018.
By using this new approach, life-saving procedure could be made safer and more effective for patients, according to the pre-clinical laboratory tests. As per the researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute, studies conducted by them showed that the use of an experimental drug called CASIN in laboratory mice resulted in higher efficiency when blood stem cells were harvested from donors and less toxicity was observed in transplant recipients.
By carrying out a stem cell transplant, lives of people suffering from cancers such as leukemia could be saved. However, patients need to be prepped for the transplantation, which will involve use of toxic chemotherapy to kill off a person’s existing and malfunctioning blood-making system. This allows it to be replaced with healthy blood stem cells called hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).
Apart from the toxicity for patients, the procedure need not always work. Harvesting effective donor HSCs can be a challenge and once it is transplanted, the cells often do not engraft in sufficient numbers to make the patient healthy. In one Leukemia study, the drug CASIN was rationally designed by the researchers. The drug mimics the action of an important gene called CDC42 that helps regulate blood stem cells. Tests in mouse models showed that CASIN can effectively mobilize blood-making stem cells and promote their exit from the bone marrow. The study indicates that blood stem cells harvested from CASIN-treated donor mice have better long-term reconstitution potential following transplant than cells harvested with regimens currently used in clinic.
In another study, CASIN was used by the researchers to precondition mouse transplant recipients to make the body’s bone marrow compartments more receptive to new and healthy blood stem cells. This study was conducted in donated human cells, mouse cells, and mouse models of bone marrow transplant. Therefore, results of such studies need not always translate to human patients.
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