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Blood. 2010 May 13;115(19):3861-8. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-12-234096. Epub 2010 Mar 9.

Immune reconstitution after allogeneic transplantation and expanding options for immunomodulation: an update.

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Department of Internal Medicine II, Julius-Maximilians-University, W├╝rzburg, Germany.


Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has advanced to a common procedure for treating also older patients with malignancies and immunodeficiency disorders by redirecting the immune system. Unfortunately, cure is often hampered by relapse of the underlying disease, graft-versus-host disease, or severe opportunistic infections, which account for the majority of deaths after HSCT. Enhancing immune reconstitution is therefore an area of intensive research. An increasing variety of approaches has been explored preclinically and clinically: the application of cytokines, keratinocyte growth factor, growth hormone, cytotoxic lymphocytes, and mesenchymal stem cells or the blockade of sex hormones. New developments of allogeneic HSCT, for example, umbilical cord blood or haploidentical graft preparations leading to prolonged immunodeficiency, have further increased the need to improve immune reconstitution. Although a slow T-cell reconstitution is regarded as primarily responsible for deleterious infections with viruses and fungi, graft-versus-host disease, and relapse, the importance of innate immune cells for disease and infection control is currently being reevaluated. The groundwork has been prepared for the creation of individualized therapy partially based on genetic features of the underlying disease. We provide an update on selected issues of development in this fast evolving field; however, we do not claim completeness.

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