Safety and Value of Self Bone Marrow Transplants Following Chemotherapy in Scleroderma Patients

2014-08-27 03:55:59 | BioPortfolio


Scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis (SSc), is a diffuse connective tissue disease characterized by changes in the skin, blood vessels, skeletal muscles, and internal organs. The purpose of this study is to determine the safety and value of self bone marrow transplants after chemotherapy in patients with severe SSc.


SSc is a chronic disease involving the abnormal growth of connective tissue, which supports the skin and internal organs. This disease can affect the skin, making it hard and tight; it can also damage the blood vessels and internal organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Initially, precursor blood cells will be mobilized from the bone marrow into the blood stream after chemotherapy and white blood cell growth factors are administered. These precursors (or autologous stem cells) can be harvested from the bloodstream in a procedure called leukapheresis; it is the precursor blood cells that are transplanted back into the patient's body after high dose chemotherapy. Autologous stem cells are preferred over donor bone marrow because there is no risk of rejection. This study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of self bone marrow transplants after intravenous chemotherapy in patients with SSc.

Prior to transplantation, patients will undergo diphtheria/tetanus (DT) vaccination and blood collection. Two weeks after vaccination, patients will have a Hickman catheter inserted into their bodies and will be admitted to the hospital to receive mobilization chemotherapy with intravenous (IV) cyclophosphamide. Patients will be discharged after receiving the cyclophosphamide therapy with the understanding that they must stay locally and must return to the outpatient clinic daily to have blood samples drawn and to receive an injection of a growth factor, G-CSF, in stimulate blood cell production. Patients will undergo leukapheresis at the clinic when their white blood cell (WBC) counts reach 2500 cells/mm3 or more. A machine called the Nexell Isolex 300i will be used to remove T-cells from the cells collected by leukapheresis.

After leukapheresis and other pre-transplant procedures have been completed, patients will be hospitalized for approximately 14 to 21 days. On Days 1 through 5 of hospitalization, patients will receive IV fludarabine and one of several possible dose levels of cyclophosphamide. On Days 3 through 5, patients will receive IV thymoglobulin to kill the T-cells that cause the damage from systemic sclerosis. On Day 8, patients will receive their own stem cells from the previous leukapheresis procedure. While in the hospital, patients will be monitored by daily blood collection and will not be discharged until their white blood cell counts return to a safe, stable level. Prior to discharge from the hospital, patients will undergo a second leukapheresis.

Patients are required to stay locally in Pittsburgh up to 100 days post-transplantation. Study visits will occur at the clinic every week for the first three months after transplant and again at 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months post-transplantation. Study visits will include a physical exam and blood collection; patients will be also asked to complete a questionnaire. Patients will undergo an electrocardiogram (EKG) at Month 1, a chest x-ray at Month 6, 24-hour urine collection at Months 6 and 18, and pulmonary tests at Months 6, 12, and 24. Additional leukapheresis will be conducted at 12 and 24 months post-transplant to assess patients' health.

Study Design

Allocation: Non-Randomized, Control: Dose Comparison, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment




Fludarabine, Cyclophosphamide, Thymoglobulin, Leukapheresis, Self bone marrow transplant


UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
United States




National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:55:59-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Neoplasms located in the bone marrow. They are differentiated from neoplasms composed of bone marrow cells, such as MULTIPLE MYELOMA. Most bone marrow neoplasms are metastatic.

Techniques for the removal of subpopulations of cells (usually residual tumor cells) from the bone marrow ex vivo before it is infused. The purging is achieved by a variety of agents including pharmacologic agents, biophysical agents (laser photoirradiation or radioisotopes) and immunologic agents. Bone marrow purging is used in both autologous and allogeneic BONE MARROW TRANSPLANTATION.

The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells.

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Removal of bone marrow and evaluation of its histologic picture.

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