Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for 3 Patients with Severe Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
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We performed autologous CD34+ stem cell transplantation in 3 patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) refractory to conventional treatment. All patients had systemic type JRA. In case 1 (a 3-year-old boy), purified CD34+ cells from bone marrow were transplanted after a preconditioning regimen consisting of cyclophosphamide (200 mg/kg) and antithymocyte globulin (ATG) (40 mg/kg). However, the disease flared soon after transplantation. In case 2 (a 13-year-old girl) and case 3 (a 21-year-old woman), a preconditioning regimen consisting of etoposide (VP16) (2 g/m2), thiotepa (300 mg/m2), and ATG (40 mg/kg) was followed by transplantation of purified CD34+ stem cells harvested from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The patients in cases 2 and 3 attained complete remission without any medication. Thus for patients with refractory JRA, autologous CD34+ cell transplantation appears to be a safe and feasible choice of treatment in terms of good quality of life. However, a greater number of patients and a longer observation period are needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn.
Key wordsJRA CD34+ selection Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
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