Korean medical professionals have discovered a method to resolve postoperative complications of hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT).

A team of researchers from Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) said Monday that they had found a solution to prevent HSCT complications by effectively producing T lymphocytes progenitor-T cells (T cells hereafter) from HSCs.

The team said if a patient with a blood tumor receives T-cells with HSCT, it can reduce the fatal infection that may occur after transplantation.

This is because T-cells prevent various viral infections by attacking and destroying cancer cells. It is differentiated in the HSCT and developed through T-precursor cells in the thymus.

HSCT is a treatment transplanting healthy HSCs after removing cancer and HSCs from blood cancer patients. It is effective and important in curing various types of blood cancer, including bone marrow failure syndromes.

However, this method has a high risk of complications and can only be applied to some patients. Also, the lack of development of T-cells causes fatal complications, such as cytomegalovirus infections, even causing death.

The research team, led by Professor Shin Dong-yeop of the Department of Hematology-Oncology at the hospital, has successfully produced T cells from HSCs.

They extracted cord blood HSCs at high purity and created an artificial thymic organoid (ATO) culture using recombinant proteins and cytokines from humans. They focused on this idea, excluding the method which uses mice-derived proteins because it did not apply to humans.

As a result, they found that T cells increased more effectively by combining a low oxygen environment's physiological conditions. The phenomenon has been confirmed in multiple amounts by the leading antioxidant agent, ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

After 200 trials, we have found a method to cultivate progenitor T cells. This will improve therapeutic performance for patients who need transplants, and contribute to enhancing the T-cell therapy, which is developing at a fast rate, researchers said.

The results were published in Stem Cells, an international stem cell journal.

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SNUH finds way to produce T-cells to prevent HSCT complications - Korea Biomedical Review

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