The hematopoietic stem cells transplantation
Each year in the world, physicians replace the deficient blood cell “factory” of 24,000 patients who suffer from serious blood disorders with the one of a matching donor.
With the availability of new medicines, this technique, previously called bone marrow transplant, has been renamed hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) as it is now possible to extract these cells using a simple technique, similar to a blood test, and to transplant them directly, without requiring a bone marrow donation, which is, intrinsically, more invasive. Although this intervention saves more and more lives, it can lead to early or late complications. These complications vary greatly from patient to patient and are regarded as severe in 20 to 30% of cases*. They may be related to treatments to prepare the patient for transplant, to a weak immune system which, for a time, makes the patient more susceptible to infections or very often to attacks of the patient’s tissue by the donor cells (a reaction called graft-versus-host disease or GvHD).
CRYOSTEM aims to enhance the understanding of HSCT complications and the biology of its mechanisms, with a special focus on GvHD, and in turn to pave the way for new treatments. The ultimate goal is to predict these complications, to adapt allograft protocols to each patient and to ensure a better match between the donor/recipient pair in order to limit their occurrence.
*In all cases, HSCT is suggested to the patient when the risk of serious complications is considered to be lower than the risk of progression of disease in the absence of transplantation.