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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2005 Sep;11(9):680-7.

Pilot trial on the use of etanercept and methylprednisolone as primary treatment for acute graft-versus-host disease.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. ubertij@karmanos.org

Abstract

Clinical and preclinical data indicate that tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha is an important mediator of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. We completed a study using etanercept, a fusion protein capable of neutralizing TNF-alpha, for the initial treatment of aGVHD. Etanercept (25 mg subcutaneously) was administered twice weekly for 16 doses, along with methylprednisolone (2 mg/kg) and tacrolimus for biopsy-proven aGVHD. Twenty patients with a median age of 47 years (range, 8-63 years) were enrolled. Fourteen patients with grade II aGVHD (11 family donors and 3 unrelated donors) and 6 patients with grade III aGVHD (3 family donors and 3 unrelated donors) were treated. Twelve patients completed 16 doses of therapy, and 8 received 5 to 15 doses. Reasons for not completing all doses of etanercept included progression of aGVHD (n = 4), relapsed leukemia (n = 2), progression of pulmonary and central nervous system lesions (n = 1), and perforated duodenal ulcer (n = 1). Fifteen (75%) of 20 patients had complete resolution of aGVHD within 4 weeks of therapy. Increasing levels of soluble TNF receptor 1 plasma concentration during the first 4 weeks of therapy indicated progression of aGVHD in 5 patients. In contrast, for 15 responding patients, soluble TNF receptor 1 plasma concentration levels returned to baseline. These data demonstrate the feasibility of using cytokine blockade in the early treatment of aGVHD.

PMID:
16125638
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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