Marcello Rotta

marcello rotta

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
New approaches to Haploidentical Hemopoietic Cell Transplant

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a potential curative treatment for lymphomas, myeloma and leukemias. In absence of a related or unrelated matched donor, the most relevant hematopoietic cell source is a partially-matched (haploidentical) related donor sibling, child or parent. Unfortunately the use of haploidentical donor is limited graft rejection, due to recipients Natural Killer(NK)-cells and T-lymphocytes reacting to the incoming graft, and lethal graft versus host disease (GVHD) due to donor T-lymphocytes attacking the recipient environment. Using the canine preclinical model, Dr. Rotta’s lab wants to investigate novel and non-toxic ways to overcome immune-mediated rejection using reagents capable of blocking host NK-cell functions and modulating host T-cell functions, both key components in the rejection process. Further, they will address the most crucial complication of successful engraftment: GVHD. Dr. Rotta will use biological reagents capable of both down regulating activated donor T-cells and preventing further recruitment of T-cell specific for host antigens to induce graft-host tolerance without affecting T-cell with memory to pathogens. These studies will lead at novel approaches to haploidentical HCT, that may allow extending this procedure to large number of patients suffering by hematologic diseases without a matched donor.