I read an article which says that a patient went thru t-cell transplant and it was very successful and the pt had no trace of lupus. Do you know anything about this 't-cell surgery'?
Thank you for your time, Paula
A T-cell is a type of lymphocyte (white blood cells that protect you from viral infection, helps other cells fight bacterial and fungal infections, produces antibodies, fights cancers, and coordinates the activities of other cells in the immune system). There are two main types of lymphocytes; B-cells and T-cells. B-Cells are created and mature in your bone marrow (B for bone). T-Cells are also created in the bone marrow, however, they mature in you thymus gland (T for thymus). B-Cells produce antibodies which help the body destroy abnormal cells and infective organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.
T-Cells are divided into three groups:
1. Helper T-Cells (called T4 or CD4+) which help other cells destroy infective organisms.
2. Suppressor T-Cells (called T8 or CD8=) which suppress the activity of other lymphocytes so that they don't destroy normal tissue.
3. Killer T-Cells (called cytotoxic T Lymphocytes, or CTLs, and are another kind of T8 or CD8=) which recognize and destroy abnormal or infected cells.
Lupus occurs when a type of T-cell gets carried away and tells the immune system to attack normal body tissues. It has been thought that if you could get rid of the T-cells that had gone bad and replace them with new T-cells (or stem cells), the ne cells would not learn the destructive habits of their predecessors. Thus, T-cell transplantation.
However, this surgery is not a walk in the park, especially if you are very ill from your LUPUS. You must first receive treatment with a powerful immune-suppressing drug to put the disease in temporary remission. You then must get a treatment that makes your bone marrow produce stem cells. These stem cells must be collected in a process that takes three to four days. When the new cells have bee stored in a freezer, you must then get three days of high-dose chemotherapy to clear the way for the stem-cell transplant (you will also get a horse serum that kills of all of your T-cells). then, the stored stem cells are thawed, heated to your body temperature, and transfused back into your body.
The long-term affects of this procedure are not known and doctors do not know if the same agents that caused the LUPUS in the first place can cause it again. However, with severly ill LUPUS patients, the results have been promising enough to warrant a larger study (such as using the procedure on less ill LUPUS patients).
Read my post regarding Cyclopphosphamide for a bit more information on Stem-cell transplants!.
I hope that I have been helpful :P
Peace and Blessings