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A randomised trial of cell therapy for opportunistic infection after allogeneic stem cell transplant

University of Sydney

Grant:
  • Cell and Gene Therapy Grants
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Professor David Gottlieb

Bone marrow transplants (also known as blood stem cell or stem cell transplants) are the only way to cure the worst types of leukaemia and lymphoma in adults and children.

Patients undergoing bone marrow transplant often die of infection rather than the disease for which the transplant was performed because for a year or more after the transplant, the patient’s new immune system is immature and does not function properly.

Cell therapy involves growing infection and malignancy fighting cells called T-cells in the laboratory, training them to recognize infection and disease, and then giving them to patients soon after the transplant. The idea is to make the patient’s immune system functional and strong soon after transplant and to avoid the period when the patient is most vulnerable to dying.

The proposed clinical trial will test the theory that adding cell therapy to standard antibiotic treatment for infection in patients after bone marrow transplant will improve the immune system leading to better control of serious infections, less serious illness and fewer deaths.