Immune ablation and hematopoietic stem cell rescue for severe autoimmune diseases (SADS).

R. K. Burt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In addition to our center (Northwestern University, Chicago), several institutions in the United States (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, University of California at Los Angeles, and Medical College of Wisconsin) and Europe are activating protocols to transplant patients with SADS. In this age of cost-effectiveness, it will be difficult to arrange third-party reimbursement for a hematopoietic stem cell transplant that may lead to medical charges of between $100,000 and $200,000. However, the cost of standard medical care for patients with SADS is not trivial. Dialysis for an SLE patient with renal failure costs $40,000 per year, while the medical resources required to care for a patient with progressive multiple sclerosis may exceed $35,000 per year. Unique BMT regimen-related toxicities may occur, including intracranial hemorrhage in the SLE or rheumatoid arthritis patient who has vasculitis; acute neurologic decompensation in patients with multiple sclerosis, especially if the conditioning regimen contains neurotoxic agents that cross a compromised blood-brain barrier; respiratory failure in patients with myasthenia gravis; and increased renal or pulmonary toxicity in patients with scleroderma and parenchymal fibrosis. Scleroderma-associated gastrointestinal dysmotility and bacterial overgrowth may also lead to greater fungal and bacterial infections [76]. BMT is currently considered appropriate therapy for patients with chronic-phase Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and indolent lymphomas who otherwise have a relatively long life expectancy of 5 and 10 years, respectively. The roughly similar long survival but greater functional impairment of patients with SADS may justify consideration of immune ablation and hematopoietic stem cell rescue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-332
Number of pages16
JournalCancer treatment and research
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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