Research Topic

Cellular therapies: past, present and future

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Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation was initiated in the early 1970s by pioneers studying radiation induced bone marrow damage and blood transfusion. Since then, there have been over one million transplants and over 26 million donors registered with the world marrow donor association. In this Research ...

Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation was initiated in the early 1970s by pioneers studying radiation induced bone marrow damage and blood transfusion. Since then, there have been over one million transplants and over 26 million donors registered with the world marrow donor association. In this Research Topic in Frontiers in Immunology we aim to highlight the research achievements which led to the curative therapy of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and also review the ongoing complications such as graft versus host disease (GvHD) and infection caused by the procedure.

We will review early animal and human studies and those which led to the development of changes in transplant protocols such as peripheral blood stem cell and cord blood transplants and the harnessing of graft versus leukaemia (GvL) effects by donor lymphocyte infusions. The Research Topic will cover immunogenetics, the role of biomarkers, and future developments of the therapy which will aim to further improve the outcome for haematopoietic stem cell transplant patients.

The Research Topic will be divided into 8 chapters dealing with animal studies; a history of early human studies; the pathophysiology of HSCT; graft versus host disease; graft versus leukaemia effects; immune reconstitution; immunogenetics; and future developments including use of mesenchymal stem cells, virus specific T cells and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapy.


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