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Blood. 2007 Mar 1;109(5):2243-9. Epub 2006 Oct 26.

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in refractory celiac disease with aberrant T cells.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is an increasingly accepted treatment for refractory autoimmune diseases. Refractory celiac disease with aberrant T cells (RCD type II) is unresponsive to available therapies and carries a high risk of transition into enteropathy associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL). This study reports on the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of ASCT in patients with RCD type II. Thirteen patients with RCD type II were evaluated. Seven patients (4 men, 3 women, mean age 61.5 years [range, 51-69 years]) underwent transplantation. After conditioning with fludarabine and melphalan, ASCT was performed. Patients were monitored for response, adverse effects, and hematopoietic reconstitution. All 7 patients completed the mobilization and leukapheresis procedures successfully and subsequently underwent conditioning and transplantation. Engraftment occurred in all patients. No major nonhematologic toxicity or transplantation-related mortality was observed. There was a significant reduction in the aberrant T cells in duodenal biopsies associated with improvement in clinical well-being and normalization of hematologic and biochemical markers (mean follow-up, 15.5 months; range, 7-30 months). One patient died 8 months after transplantation from progressive neuroceliac disease. These preliminary results showed that high-dose chemotherapy followed by ASCT seems feasible and safe and might result in long-term improvement of patients with RCD type II whose condition did not respond promptly to available drugs.

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