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Gene therapy tested to protect bone marrow during chemotherapy

the new gene, they are resistant to these chemotherapy agents.

This trial is unique because the patients do not undergo treatment to empty the bone marrow prior to cell infusion, which is the standard procedure. Instead, the intent is to "select" for the genetically altered cells with intermittent outpatient chemotherapy treatments, said Gerson.

So far, five patients have entered the trial at the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland, all with advanced malignancies. Only one patient has been able to receive more than one dose of chemotherapy because the others had evidence of tumor growth and were switched to other therapies. In one patient, evidence of genetically altered cells was documented by molecular analysis in both the blood and marrow six weeks after the infusion.

Accrual for this study continues so that different levels of cell infusion and the impact of more doses of chemotherapy on the ability to select for the genetically altered stem cells can be assessed.

Future clinical trails with this stem cell gene may be used to improve treatments for patients with specific cancers and with inherited stem cell diseases.


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Contact: George Stamatis
George.Stamatis@case.edu
216-368-3635
Case Western Reserve University
6-Jun-2004


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