The treatment of severe autoimmune diseases has been recently revitalized by the introduction of intense immune suppression with immune ablative intent followed by three different procedures. These are allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), autologous HSCT (using either marrow or peripheral blood), and intense immune suppression without stem cell support. Current trials suggest that high dose immune suppressive therapy with or without autologous hematopoietic stem cell support can induce remission of previously refractory disease. Follow-up is too brief to determine if intense immune suppression, and more specifically autologous HSCT, will ultimately cure SLE. It is conceivable that an allogeneic source of stem cells from a normal donor (e.g. HLA matched sibling) will be required to achieve a cure. It is also possible that autologous HSCT, even if not curative, may prolong the life of patients with otherwise high-risk features. In carefully selected patients, the potential benefits of this procedure may outweigh the risks.
- Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
- Immune suppression
- Systemic lupus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy