Calming a Storm in the Immune System
HLH researchers explore new drugs, gene therapy
Although science has come a long way in understanding HLH, its treatment presents significant challenges. Each step in treatment – getting the raging immune response under control, then replacing the immune system with bone marrow transplantation – wages its own set of assaults on young bodies. Cincinnati Children’s physician-researchers are working to find more effective, less toxic alternatives.
One approach is a multicenter clinical trial led by Michael Jordan, MD, of theDivision of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Immune Deficiency. The trial combines two currently used approaches into a unique treatment, “hybrid immunotherapy.” It is designed to improve the first step of treating HLH – quieting the inflammatory response. The Hybrid Immunotherapy for HLH (HIT-HLH) trial is the first-ever U.S.-based trial for the condition and the only one funded by the NIH. It involves 10 centers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
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