Glycosorb® ABO for stem cells transplants

Early results indicate that Glycosorb® ABO reduces the risk of complications in stem cell transplants

Every year, more than 90,000 stem cell transplants are performed globally, of which about 45 percent are allogenic, i.e. the stem cells come from another person. Of these, about 20 percent have a blood group incompatibility which may cause serious complications and thus increase the risk of morbidity and mortality in the early phase after transplantation. Therefore, it is an advantage to use Glycosorb® ABO which is developed to specifically remove anti-A/B antibodies without any impact on the immune system. The results of Glycosorb® ABO in stem cell transplants are good, but experience is so far limited. If the long-term results are found to be in the same class as in blood group incompatible organ transplants, the potential for this product application is large.

After a stem cell transplant, it is important that the transplanted stem cells are allowed to mature and form new healthy blood cells. Once the stem cells have split and matured, they can form virtually all the cells in the blood.

For patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), blood group incompatibility occurs and some centers state that up to 40 percent of these patients are blood group incompliant. Furthermore, blood group incompatibility can be classified into three groups: major, minor and bidirectional incompatibility with the following respective frequency: 15-20 percent, 15-20 percent and up to 5 percent.

Major ABO incompatibility means that the recipient has blood group-specific antibodies targeting blood group A/B-antigen on the donor’s stem cells, which can lead to complications, such as pure red cell aplasia (PRCA). PRCA is a condition in which the formation of red blood cells is suppressed due to the ABO incompatibility between the donor and recipient.

A study from Austria reports that six patients who all underwent major/bidirectional ABO incompatible HSCT after transplantation developed PRCA. Glycosorb® ABO was subsequentially used and successfully lifted the ongoing PRCA in order for the formation of red blood cells to start. After a median follow-up of 22 months after the last Glycosorb® ABO treatment, all patients were alive and with absence of PRCA.

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