Stem Cell Treatment And EBV

Recent research in Queensland, Australia, offers hope for sufferers of fulminant infectious mononucleosis (FIM), a severe type of mono. This sort of mono is fortunately very rare, but it is very dangerous.

This life threatening disorder, which destroys the patient's blood cells, gives the person a huge spleen and a high fever and severely compromises the immune system.

With the new possibilities offered by stem cell research, doctors are in a position to offer experimental stem cell treatment to patients in this situation.

Experimental Procedure

When one patient with FIM didn't respond to other treatment because of her compromised immune system, doctors at the Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) suggested a stem cell transplant treatment.

With no other option available, the patient, a young woman, Katie Pulling, who had been in and out of hospital for a few years, agreed to have this experimental stem cell transplant procedure. The transplant treatment conducted by Dr Glen Kennedy, of the Brisbane hospital, together with doctors from the QIMR, proved successful and she was able to live a normal life with a restored immune system.

This experimental treatment may be suitable for other sufferers of the Epstein-Barr Virus and could offer hope for other similar diseases. The research, published in the Journal for Clinical Infectious Diseases, is the first of its type for EBV.

Other Research

Investigating stem cell and modified white blood cells (modified T cells) treatment offers ways to possibly control and treat chronic EBV which research shows may be a genetically related disease.

Numerous clinical trials are in progress to see the effectiveness of this type of treatment for the different forms of mono, including CMV. With other research showing a link between cancer and EBV, the importance of this experimental treatment remains to be seen.

Cancer And EBV

Research published online in the Cell Host and Microbe Journal by researchers in the Duke University Medical Center shows that people with compromised immune systems are much more vulnerable to different cancers if they are also infected with EBV.

Other research into EBV also shows how cells infected with the EBV virus can transform otherwise benign cells into cancer producing cells. This research was conducted by University of North Carolina School of Medicine and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

As scientists start to understand exactly how the EBV virus can take control of cells, the possibility of finding a cure not only for EBV but also for certain types of cancer gets ever closer.

Medical Trials

If you are suffering from chronic CMV or EBV, ask your specialist if there are any clinical trials available in your area that you could participate in. Remember to make sure you understand all the implications of participating in a medical trial before you agree.

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