Celiac.com 04/10/2007 - Patients suffering from refractory celiac disease with aberrant T cells seem to benefit from high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Refractory celiac disease with aberrant T cells has generally proven resistant to known celiac therapies, and patients are at high risk for developing enteropathy associated T-cell lymphoma. The small pilot trial was conducted by Dr. Abdulbaqi Al-toma and colleagues from VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam.
The research team also noted that post-transplant histology of the small intestine revealed marked regeneration coupled with a disappearance of erosions and ulcerations. Furthermore, at 3 to 4 months, post-transplantation tests showed a decline in aberrant T cells from a mean of 63% at baseline to 38%. Additionally, at 2 years, tests for the first hematopoietic stem cell transplant patient showed continuing declines in aberrant T cells (to 3%).
It should be noted that one subject of the study showed no declines in aberrant T cell percentages, histology examination or CD8+ cells, and that the patient died 8 months after the stem-cell transplant.
The research team concluded that the promising short-term results enjoyed by this small test group warrants a longer-term follow-up to properly assess the significance of the findings.
Blood 2007;109:2243-2249.health writer who lives in San Francisco and is a frequent author of articles for Celiac.com.