A new technique to prevent the rejection of bone marrow transplants could save children from the negative side effects of chemotherapy.
The technique uses antibodies that kill the patient’s own bone marrow and create space for donor cells. The Lancet published the findings of the work undertaken at the UCL Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
The method has already saved the lives of children with genetic defects of the immune system (primary immunodeficiencies or PID) who were too ill to have a bone marrow transplant.
Children with PID often die from infection or other complications unless they receive bone marrow from a healthy donor. Around 50 children with these disorders receive a transplant in the UK every year.
An antibody is directed against a molecule called CD45 under the new technique, creating a space for the healthy bone marrow from the donor to grow. The research has been described as “remarkable” by Dr Persis Amrolia, a consultant in bone marrow transplant at GOSH who led the research.
Copyright Press Association 2009