Hemopoietic blood and marrow transplants in the treatment of severe autoimmune disease

Curr Opin Hematol. 1997 Nov;4(6):390-4. doi: 10.1097/00062752-199704060-00005.


The past year of activities represents virtually the first year of activities in hemopoietic blood and marrow transplants in the treatment of severe autoimmune disease. The concept of profound hematoimmunoablation followed by blood or marrow transplants for severe autoimmune disease is not new, but the first publications of such cases treated for autoimmune disease alone occurred only in late 1996. Other case reports followed, and the activity has expanded rapidly such that over 40 treated patients have been described, 35 of whom have been entered into a recently created European League Against Rheumatism/European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation database (now extended to include data from Australasia and the United States). Four international meetings have been held, the published proceedings of which have formed the basis for an ongoing international collaborative effort. Although very early, some trends have been observed: the majority of patients (mostly with multiple sclerosis or scleroderma) have clinically improved or stabilized; the toxicity of the procedure (mostly autologous bone marrow transplantation) was as observed previously in other disorders; and better results are suggested in patients achieving significant T-cell depletion, either through conditioning, graft purging, or both. These impressions must be confirmed by prospective comparative studies using a limited number of regimens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Transplantation Conditioning