Severe and prolonged neutropenia is a common consequence of cancer chemotherapy and is associated with an increased risk of severe infections. Transfusion of donor neutrophils is a viable option to combat this, but obtaining matched donors is a dilemma. There are pharmacologic interventions aimed at shortening the duration of neutropenia and combatting infection; however, infection risk remains high due to a lack of response to these treatments in many patients.
Natural killer (NK) cells are immune cells that can be used as a form of immunotherapy and are particularly effective in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). NK cells can be obtained from peripheral or cord blood, but with low yields. This limits their use for patients that need multiple treatments. They also have a short survival time and do not proliferate or remain viable after injection into patients. The availability of NK cells for therapy can be enhanced by stimulating their production from hematopoietic (CD 34+) stem cells.
Dilated cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscle stretches and becomes weakened, leading to less efficient pumping of the blood throughout the body. It is the most common form of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (not due to coronary artery disease). Dilated cardiomyopathy may be associated with damage to the heart muscle from a variety of causes such as inflammation, infections, and toxic substances. Diastolic dysfunction seen in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy refers to insufficient relaxation and filling of the ventricles during the second part of the heart-pumping phase (leading to increased pressure in the ventricles).
Sickle cell disease refers to a group of genetic blood disorders mainly affecting people of African, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean decent. Those with sickle cell disease carry the abnormal hemoglobin S in their red blood cells due to a mutation of the β-globin gene. Instead of having flexible, disc-shaped red blood cells, affected individuals have characteristic sickle-shaped, more rigid cells that cause disturbances in blood flow and tissue oxygenation.
The leading cause of death for U.S. citizens is cardiovascular disease, which affects nearly a third of the U.S. population. There is an active and dedicated search for effective therapies to address this serious medical issue. The use of immunotherapy approaches for a number of diseases and conditions is continuously gaining momentum. Included in this is the use of CD34+ stem cells from a patients’ own blood (autologously derived) to treat cardiovascular disease. CD34+ is derived from bone marrow and other tissue types. However, CD34+ stems cells are more widely known for their hematopoietic origin.