Specialized Apheresis Therapy Holds Promise in Cancer Treatment

Study finds drawing blood can be a powerful therapeutic in extracorporeal photopherisis.

Study finds drawing blood can be a powerful therapeutic in extracorporeal photopherisis.

A recent analysis found that specialized apheresis can be a powerful therapeutic in extracorporeal photopherisis (ECP) for the treatment of advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

In a research paper recently published in Transfusion Medicine Review, Nora Ratcliffe, MD, of Dartmouth Hitchcock, examined current methodology and opportunities surrounding the therapy.

"What we know now about ECP is that it is able to function in more than one way," Dr. Ratcliffe said in a press release. "It can immunotolerize in the autoreactive setting, and immunize against, in a situation such as lymphoma. This enigma poses tremendous opportunity for future basic science investigation in immunology where cancer applications in bone marrow transplantation and lymphoma will benefit from novel therapeutics."

ECP is currently utilized in the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma or in patients with Graft versus Host disease following transplantation, however, questions remain regarding how the therapy works and the optimum schedule for the treatment of patients.

With an expanding knowledge base surrounding the basic science of immunology in ECP, the therapy could “intersect with and inform” the questions health care providers have regarding how to best utilize ECP to treat patients.

"Like with any emerging therapy, support is essential for the combination of bench science, robust animal models, and clinical trials to drive important strategies like extracorporeal photopherisis forward," Dr. Ratcliffe said.