Abstract Perspective: Efficacy of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for autoimmune diseases

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Autoimmune diseases are usually treatable, but rarely curable. Allogeneic blood or bone marrow transplantation (BMT) has been shown in case reports or small series to potentially result in long-term remission (cure?). In this retrospective study we reviewed cases of patients who had both an autoimmune disease and a blood/marrow disease like leukemia for which BMT was needed. We found that the autoimmune disease entered a long-term remission (cure?) in 7/9 patients with lupus,  8/12 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA),  4/4 with systemic sclerosis (SSc),  13/16 with psoriasis,  11/12 with Behcet’s disease (BD),  14/15 with Crohn’s disease (CD),  5/5 with ulcerative colitis (UC),  4/8 with multiple sclerosis (MS),  and  0/3 with type 1 diabetes (T1DM). However, when a more stringent definition of long-term remission was used, it occurred in only 3/3 patients with lupus,  5/7 with RA,  2/2 with SSc,  3/6 with psoriasis,  3/3 with BD,  10/10 with CD,  3/3 with UC,  1/3 with MS,  and  0/2 with T1DM. Prospective clinical studies are needed to determine the likelihood of long-term remission after BMT, using relatively nontoxic BMT protocols. I have written such a study for rheumatoid arthritis and am searching for a funder of the study.

– Study author Jan Storek, MD, PhD, FACP