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Physician-scientists at Johns Hopkins have developed a treatment program using high doses of the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide (trade name: cytoxan), without bone marrow transplantation, to “re-boot” the immune system and achieve long-lasting, complete remissions in some patients with severe aplastic anemia, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune disorders. The drug can rid the body of the cells that cause aplastic anemia without destroying key blood and bone marrow-forming stem cells.
Dr. Robert Brodsky, director of the Division of Hematology, and his colleagues in neurology and rheumatology are applying this approach in other severe autoimmune disorders, including aplastic anemia, scleroderma, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune hematologic disorders.