Following intense chemotherapy, and before the time one’s bone marrow is recovered, patients have very low immunity. During this time, there is an increased risk of acquiring life-threatening infections. Normally, intensive antibiotic therapy and isolation is standard. However, an infusion of cells that aid in immunity may contribute to success of therapy and reduce the period of critical immunosuppression.
According to a recent press release on BCM:
“What’s remarkable about these patients is that they had failed treatment with conventional antiviral therapies and subsequently responded to the T-cells,” said Dr. Ann M. Leen, assistant professor of pediatrics – hematology/ oncology at BCM and a member of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at BCM, Texas Children’s Hospital and The Methodist Hospital. “Many transplant centers do not have facilities to manufacture T-cell lines to treat viral infections. However, our bank of lines, which can be shipped all over the country, let us provide this new treatment more broadly that was previously possible.”
This breakthrough method of making use of banked T-cells reduces the wait time to prepare the cells to less than 10 days, according to Dr. Helen Heslop, professor of medicine – hematology/oncology at BCM, director of the Stem Cell Transplant program at The Methodist Hospital and also a member of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy.
This study is available online in the journal, Blood.