An infusion of stem cells from a donor — an allogeneic stem cell transplant — is one way of treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). One potential complication of stem cell transplantation is graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), an immune reaction that occurs when T cells (white blood cells) from the donor attack the recipient’s tissues and organs.
Removing the T cells (T cell depletion) from the donor’s stem cell transplant lowers the risk of GvHD but may also increase the recipient’s risk of infection. Researchers in this study want to determine if giving transplant recipients a drug called palifermin can reduce the risk of infection. This drug helps protect the lining of the mouth, throat, and stomach, which typically develop sores or ulcers after high dose chemotherapy and when blood cell counts are very low. Palifermin might also help the patient’s immune system recover more quickly. The drug is already approved for transplant patients who receive their own stem cells (autologous transplantation).
Patients in this study will include those with advanced myelodysplastic syndromes (refractory anemia with excess blasts 1 and 2) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) evolved from MDS.