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Thirty-year clinical outcomes after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in neuronopathic Gaucher disease.

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Björkvall, Cecilia Kämpe 
Vellodi, Ashok 
GAUCHERITE Consortium 
Cox, Timothy M 


BACKGROUND: Neuronopathic Gaucher Disease (nGD) describes the condition of a subgroup of patients with the Lysosomal Storage Disorder (LSD), Gaucher disease with involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) which results from inherited deficiency of β-glucosylceramidase. Although systemic manifestations of disease are now corrected by augmentation with macrophage-targeted therapeutic enzyme (enzyme replacement therapy, ERT), neurological disease progresses unpredictably as a result of failure of therapeutic enzyme to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Without therapy, the systemic and neurological effects of the disease progress and shorten life: investigators, principally in Sweden and the UK, pioneered bone marrow transplantation (BMT; Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation HSCT) to supply healthy marrow-derived macrophages and other cells, to correct the peripheral disease. Here we report the first long-term follow-up (over 20 years in all cases) of nine patients in the UK and Sweden who underwent HSCT in the 1970s and 1980s. This retrospective, multicentre observational study was undertaken to determine whether there are neurological features of Gaucher disease that can be corrected by HSCT and the extent to which deterioration continues after the procedure. Since intravenous administration of ERT is approved for patients with the neuronopathic disease and ameliorates many of the important systemic manifestations but fails to correct the neurological features, we also consider the current therapeutic positioning of HSCT in this disorder. RESULTS: In the nine patients here reported, neurological disease continued to progress after transplantation, manifesting as seizures, cerebellar disease and abnormalities of tone and reflexes. CONCLUSIONS: Although neurological disease progressed in this cohort of patients, there may be a future role for HSCT in the treatment of nGD. The procedure has the unique advantage of providing a life-long source of normally functioning macrophages in the bone marrow, and possibly other sites, after a single administration. HSCT moreover, clearly ameliorates systemic disease and this may be advantageous-especially where sustained provision of high-cost ERT cannot be guaranteed. Given the remaining unmet needs of patients with neuronopathic Gaucher disease and the greatly improved safety profile of the transplant procedure, HSCT could be considered to provide permanent correction of systemic disease, including bone disease not ameliorated by ERT, when combined with emerging therapies directed at the neurological manifestations of disease; this could include ex-vivo gene therapy approaches.



BMT, HSCT, Neurology, Neuronopathic Gaucher disease, Outcomes, Type 3 Gaucher disease, Enzyme Replacement Therapy, Gaucher Disease, Glucosylceramidase, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Humans, Nervous System Diseases, Retrospective Studies

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Orphanet J Rare Dis

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Medical Research Council (MR/K015338/1)
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)