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For patients with blood diseases such as acute leukemia, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) can be a curative treatment. At the same time, HSCT can cause serious complications when immune cells of the donor attack normal tissues of the patient. This reactivity of the donor against the patient, called graft versus host disease (GVHD), can be acute or chronic. Up to 50% of the patients submitted to HSCT can develop this complication. Whereas acute GVHD affects mostly the skin, the liver and the gastro-intestinal system, chronic GVHD is more insidious in onset and affects the skin, the mouth, the eyes, the gastric and intestinal mucosa, the liver, the lungs, the muscles and the genital tract.
All known pharmacological therapies for the treatment of this disease are often accompanied by severe side effects.
The EU Horizon 2020-funded research project TREGeneration now combines five parallel clinical studies in Europe and the USA in order to investigate a new, cell-based therapy wherein patients receive regulatory T cells from the donor in order to treat tissue damage due to GVHD.
Repair of tissue and organ damage in refractory chronic graft versus host disease after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation by the infusion of purified allogeneic donor regulatory T lymphocytes
- Collaborative Project: Horizon 2020
- Coordinator: Prof. João Mascarenhas Forjaz Lacerda, iMM Lisboa
- Project start: January 1, 2015
- Funding period: 5 years