Augusta, Georgia (PressExposure) November 05, 2009 -- Terra med Alliance News: Gamida Cell announced today the publication of an article evaluating carlecortemcel-l, the generic name of what is widely known as "StemEx", as a therapy for blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. The article, Carlecortemcel-l, an ex vivo expanded umbilical cord blood cell graft for allogeneic transplantation, written by Dr. Ka Wah Chan and Dr. Demetrios Petropoulos, will be published in the November 2009 issue of Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy. It is now available for online review at (http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1517/14712590903321447).
Dr. Chan is the director of the Hematology/Oncology and Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Programs at the Texas Transplant Institute on the campus of Methodist Children's Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. He is also a principal investigator of the ExCell study currently evaluating StemEx. Dr. Petropoulos is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist at the Children's Cancer Hospital at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, where the Phase I study of StemEx was conducted.
In the article Dr. Chan and Dr. Petropoulos note, "Early results suggested that carlecortemcel-l infusion ... may be associated with favorable non-relapse mortality ratesâ¦. Ex vivo expansion of umbilical cord blood (UCB) cells appears to be a logical approach to increase the availability of this source for hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation. Laboratory research showed that the critical element of success is to improve HSC proliferation without promoting differentiation. The manufacturing of carlecortemcel-l represents a novel methodology that fulfills this criterion. It is the only product that has reached the confirmatory stage of clinical development. A single institution study (Phase I study at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center) suggested that the infusion of these expanded cells â¦ may improve transplant outcome in large-sized patients." Source Gamida Cell
The term leukemia refers to cancers of the white blood cells, which are also referred to as leukocytes or WBCs. When a child has leukemia, large numbers of abnormal white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. These abnormal white cells crowd the bone marrow and flood the bloodstream, but they cannot perform their proper role of protecting the body against disease because they are defective.
As leukemia progresses, the cancer interferes with the body's production of other types of blood cells, including red blood cells and platelets. This results in anemia (low numbers of red cells) and bleeding problems, in addition to the increased risk of infection caused by white cell abnormalities.