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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2007 Sep;40(5):473-80. Epub 2007 Jul 9.

Infliximab for GVHD therapy in children.

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Section of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.


GVHD remains a significant complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is a major mediator of GVHD pathogenesis. Infliximab inhibits the binding of TNF-alpha with its cellular receptors and has been associated with encouraging responses in adults with severe GVHD. We retrospectively evaluated the efficacy and safety of infliximab 10 mg/kg i.v. once a week for a median of eight doses (range 1-162) in 24 children with steroid-resistant GVHD. The overall response rate in 22 evaluable children was 82% (12 CR+6 PR). Among those patients with acute GVHD, both skin and gastrointestinal involvement responded well to infliximab; however long-term outcome was poor. While infliximab may be useful to acutely control GVHD manifestations, GVHD recurs commonly upon discontinuation of infliximab. Within 100 days of the final infliximab dose, 77% of patients had bacterial infections, 32% had viral infections and 13.6% had probable or proven non-candidal invasive fungal infections. Infliximab appears to be well-tolerated and to have activity in steroid-resistant GVHD. Controlled studies to assess the pharmacokinetics and most effective dosing regimen of infliximab for the treatment of GVHD are warranted.

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