New Drug Used In Stem Cell Transplantation
The makers of the drug Mozobil issued a lengthy press release
today describing the results of the drug in treatment of patients with cancer. The drug is designed to cause the stem cells in bone marrow to rapidly move into the blood stream.
The press release gives some useful information on stem cell transplantation, which I quote here:
Approximately 45,000 stem cell transplantations are performed yearly worldwide (IBMTR/ABMTR 2003). Stem cells used to be collected from patients using an invasive procedure called bone marrow transplant. This technique is now being replaced by a new procedure called peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PBSCT). In this procedure, stem cells are collected from the circulating blood for transplantation. Prior to collection, patients are given G-CSF which causes stem cells in the body to multiply. The objective of this procedure is to get as many stem cells as possible into the circulating blood where they can be collected.
The drug study was done in a compassionate use program, where patients can receive a promising drug for treatment prior to full FDA approval. (For more on compassionate use as related to cancer, and other cancer treatments, see http://www.cancerguide.org/offprotocol.html
.) One part of cancer treatment is to collect blood stem cells prior to undergoing chemotherapy which suppresses the body’s ability to make blood cells. When the chemotherapy is concluded, the patients then receive their own previously collected blood stem cells back. The patients in this study were ones who had previously been unable to generate enough stem cells for successful post-chemo transplantation. Use of the drug Mozobil caused most of the patients (73%) to generate enough stem cells for collection.
Additionally, it is possible that the use of the drug helps the immune system recover faster after the transplant.
The press release has a lot of technical details and statistics if you are interested in knowing more.