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For many patients with advanced/aggressive hematologic malignancies, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) offers the only opportunity for cure. However, some patients relapse, and many experience other complications their transplant.
Our research efforts are focused on making HSCT safer and more effective, reducing transplant-related complications, and improving immune system recovery.
As one of the largest HSCT centers in the world, we have the clinical volume and expertise to evaluate multiple approaches to improve transplant outcomes. Our robust research enterprise is focused on several key areas:
While advances have been made, there is more work to be done. Our program currently offers more than 15 clinical trials for stem cell transplant patients, many of which are available only at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC). Key
areas of research are featured below. See a full list of our stem cell transplant clinical trials.
Dana-Farber is one of the world's leading research and treatment centers for acute and chronic GvHD, a challenging complication of allogeneic HSCT that can impact both quality of life and survival. Our scientists made the groundbreaking discovery of the
role that both B cells and interleukin-2 (IL-2) can have in managing GvHD, and several studies examining these approaches and other novel therapies are ongoing. Some of these trials in GvHD management and prevention are highlighted below.
For patients who receive stem cells from unrelated, mismatched donors, there is an increased risk of aGvHD and infections. Despite the use of drugs such as methotrexate, tacrolimus, and cyclosporine A, many patients still suffer from acute or chronic
Chronic GvHD (cGvHD) remains a major complication of allogeneic HSCT, occurring in approximately 50 percent of transplant survivors and involving inflammation in multiple organs. Patients with cGvHD require prolonged immunosuppressive treatment, but some
experience significant side effects and unsatisfactory outcomes, particularly patients with high-risk features of cGvHD.
Although allogeneic HSCT is a potential curative therapy for patients with advanced hematologic cancers, disease relapse is the most frequent cause of treatment failure. Our team is pursuing novel strategies in immunotherapy and vaccine therapy to induce
or restore curative GvT activity post-transplant.
An estimated 75 percent of patients who undergo stem cell transplantation each year develop an infectious complication. Our team has many active studies to prevent and address such complications, including the one described below targeting cytomegalovirus
(CMV), the most common viral infection in transplantation.
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