AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Extracorporeal chemophototherapy (ECP) is considered an immunomodulatory agent useful in both acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Little is known about the best treatment schedule, and there are no data concerning hematologic parameters and cellular compositions of products during the treatment. DESIGN AND METHODS: This was a single-center study of 27 patients treated with ECP for corticoresistant GVHD. Treatment was given in a short-term series of six courses over 3 weeks, and in case of response, consolidation treatment was given until complete response or stabilization of lesions. RESULTS: Nine out of 12 patients with acute GVHD responded to treatment. In patients with chronic GVHD, 13 out of 15 patients responded (11 complete and 2 partial responses). Responses were obtained essentially in skin or gut lesions; ECP was of particular effect in three cases of bronchiolitis obliterans associated with transplantation, with all three patients responding. Hematologic consequences were studied in patients with chronic GVHD: hemoglobin levels increased significantly after treatment and a reduction in red blood cell transfusion requirements was also observed. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: ECP is effective in both chronic and acute GVHD, particularly in lung forms. ECP can reduce the duration of immunosuppressive therapy and improve erythroid recovery. ECP product quality, including standardization for the number of mononuclear cells for each patient, needs further investigation.
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Vol. 90 No. 8 (2005): August, 2005 : Articles
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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