HOW DO REGENERATIVE THERAPIES WORK?
Regenerative therapy for the thymus is performed through allogeneic thymic tissue transplantation, which means the collected thymus tissue from a donor is transplanted to the infant born without the thymus. The thymus is a specialized lymphoid organ of the immune system located in the anterior mediastinum behind the sternum. It is responsible for the maturation of T lymphocytes (T cells) which are formed in the bone marrow. These T cells play a major role in the body’s immune system and fight against infection. The thymus disintegrates and becomes fibrotic with aging.
Congenital athymia is a very rare disease where the thymus gland may be absent or its function may be suppressed. In the absence of the thymus gland, the T cells will be absent and the infant will be highly immunodeficient, DiGeorge syndrome (primary immunodeficiency). They may also have congenital heart disease, developmental disabilities including learning and behavioral problems, lower than normal levels of calcium in the blood and endocrine (hormonal) system problems. Such infants can be treated with allogeneic cultured thymus tissue implantation.
Thymus tissue is retrieved from healthy infants who are less than 9 months of age after screening for infectious diseases as required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cell- and tissue-based products. The healthy thymus tissue is cultured under sterile conditions and later transplanted to the recipient infant. The surgeon creates individual pockets in the quadriceps muscles for each tissue slice using both quadriceps muscles and then transplants successfully. After transplantation surgery, the recipient infant is given immunosuppressants to prevent rejection.
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF REGENERATIVE THERAPIES?
Side effects following allogenic thymic transplantation include:
The most serious side effect includes:
- Enteritis or colitis
The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.