Important breakthrough for transplant recipients and patients with AIDS



    MONTREAL, Jan. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - A researcher at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont
Hospital has discovered the mechanism that prevents the regeneration of CD4+ T
lymphocytes, which are white cells that are required for the proper
functioning of the immune system.
    Published today in the prestigious journal Nature Immunology, this study
by Dr. Martin Guimond is likely to have a major positive impact on patients
who undergo intensive chemotherapy, receive bone marrow transplants, or become
infected with HIV.

    Regeneration of the immune system

    Chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants are effective methods for
treating patients suffering from leukemia or other blood cancers.
Unfortunately, due to the massive destruction of T lymphocytes, these kinds of
treatments cause a major weakening of the immune system. Immunity can then
take many years to regenerate, leaving patients highly vulnerable to
infection.
    Dr. Guimond's study identified a negative regulation loop that restricts
the ability of T lymphocytes to divide. "By acting on this regulation loop, we
can create a homeostatic production of CD4+ T lymphocytes that will allow the
immune system to regenerate," explained Dr. Guimond, who recently joined the
Research Centre of the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.

    About Dr. Martin Guimond

    An associate researcher in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology
at the Université de Montréal, Dr. Guimond developed extensive expertise in
transplantation immunology at the National Cancer Institute/National
Institutes of Health (NCI/NIH). His main research fields are hematopoietic
stem cell transplantation, graft-versus-host disease, as well as immune
reconstitution in bone marrow transplant recipients.
    These specialties fit perfectly with the mission of the Centre of
Excellence for Cellular Therapy, which is planned to open in 2010. This new
complex will give Montreal a word-class research centre with the best doctors
and researchers who are working to unlock the major therapeutic potential of
stem cell research, a field that represents the future of medicine.




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For further information: Pascal Mailhot, External Communications
Coordinator, (514) 942-0186

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Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont

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