Pemphigus vulgaris (PV), an autoimmune disorder characterized by blistering skin/mucus membrane lesions, is mediated by desmoglein-3 autoantibodies. We carried out a prospective clinical trial of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in thymus, bone marrow (BM) and periphery to reconstitute central and peripheral arms of self-tolerance.
Materials and Methods:
Eleven (M:F=5:6) patients with mean age 33.5 years and mean duration of disease 22.8 months, having painful pruritic blisters and ulcers resistant to corticosteroids, were treated with cytokine-stimulated allogeneic HSCT (mean dose: 21.8 × 108 cells/kg BW) from blood group-matched related donors. BM with mean CD34+ count 1.1% was inoculated into thymus, marrow and periphery, followed by two peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) infusions.
Recovery began within 24 hours of HSCT and new lesions stopped after 6 months. No graft versus host disease (GvHD)/adverse effect was observed in any patient/donor. Over a mean follow-up of 8.02 years, all patients were well without recurrence/new lesions.
Drug-resistant PV can be successfully and safely treated by allogeneic HSCT.
Keywords: Bullous lesions, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, pemphigus vulgaris