CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Jan. 10, 2001
UI researcher helps lead study of bone marrow transplantation complication
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa Health Care researcher is serving
as a co-principal investigator for a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant
to study Graft versus Host Disease (GVHD) in children. GVHD is a common and
life-threatening complication that can follow bone marrow transplantation.
Frederick Goldman, M.D., UI associate professor of pediatrics and director
of the UI Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, received $460,000 of the
$2.3 million, five-year NIH grant for his component of the study. The study's
lead investigator is Andrew Gilman, M.D., of Children's Mercy Hospital in
Kansas City, Mo.
The overall study goals are to evaluate the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine,
a new immunosuppressive drug, for treating GVHD and to better understand what
causes the disease, Goldman said. More than 100 pediatric bone marrow transplant
centers nationwide will participate in the trial, which is sponsored by the
federal Children's Oncology Group. The study will ultimately involve more
than 300 pediatric patients.
"It will be one of the largest multi-institutional studies related
to treating children with GVHD," Goldman said.
Up to 50 percent of children who receive a bone marrow transplantation develop
this potentially fatal disease that also can lead to permanent damage of the
lungs, skin and liver. Bone marrow transplantation is currently the best treatment
available to cure various forms of leukemia and diseases of the bone marrow
or immune system in children. More than 1,000 bone marrow transplants are
performed on children in the United States every year.
"Graft versus Host Disease leads to immune system abnormalities and
susceptibility to infection," said Goldman, who recently contributed
to a phase II trial that showed a beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine
in treating the disease.
For the current phase III trial, Goldman will analyze blood samples taken
from the hundreds of children enrolled in the study. The data will help the
team better understand the origins of GVHD and monitor the effects of the
study drug on immune recovery following bone marrow transplantation. The UI
also will enroll several pediatric patients in the study.
"We hope that information gained from these studies will improve the
outlook for patients with GVHD and someday lead to the development of safer
and less toxic strategies to treat GVHD," Goldman said.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between
the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient
care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.