Patients with cancers of the blood and immune system often benefit from transplants of stem cells from a genetically well-matched sibling. However, severe problems may follow these transplants because of the high-dose chemotherapy and radiation that accompany the procedure. Also, donated immune cells sometimes attack healthy tissues in a reaction called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), damaging organs such as the liver, intestines and skin. To reduce toxicity of high-dose preparative chemotherapy, this study performs allogeneic transplant after low doses of chemotherapy. In an attempt to improve anti-tumor effects without increasing GVHD, this study uses donor immune cells (Th2 cells) grown in the laboratory; some patients will receive standard donor immune cells (not grown in laboratory). All patients will receive immune modulating drugs sirolimus and cyclosporine to prevent GVHD.
To determine the safety, treatment effects and rate of GVHD in patients receiving transplants that use low-intensity chemotherapy, sirolimus plus cyclosporine, and transplant booster with either Th2 cells or standard immune cells.
- myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)