Adacolumn, an adsorptive carrier based granulocyte and monocyte apheresis device for the treatment of inflammatory and refractory diseases associated with leukocytes
Apheresis has been recognized both economically and therapeutically as a novel approach for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, and certain others, which respond poorly to drug therapy. This report is about Adacolumn, an adsorptive carrier based granulocyte and monocyte apheresis device with a volume of 335 mL, filled with about 220 g of cellulose acetate beads of 2 mm diameter as the column adsorptive carriers. Pre- and post-column leukocyte counts have shown that the carriers adsorb about 65% of granulocytes, 55% of monocytes and 2% of lymphocytes from the blood in the column. Additionally, after apheresis, there is a marked decrease in inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-8) produced by blood leukocytes, together with down-modulation of L-selectin and the chemokine receptor CXCR3. Adacolumn has been used to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and HIV infection. Typical apheresis sessions have been 4-10, at a frequency of one or two sessions per week. Treatment of patients with Adacolumn has been associated with very promising efficacy and safety data. Accordingly, in Japan, Adacolumn has been approved by the Ministry of Health for the treatment of ulcerative colitia. Furthermore, Adacolumn met the required quality and safety standards for medical devices and received an EC certification (CE-mark) from TUV in 1999. However, although Adacolumn carriers are very efficient in depleting excess and activated granulocytes and monocytes/macrophages, the clinical efficacy associated with Adacolumn apheresis cannot be fully explained on the basis of reducing granulocytes and monocytes per se. Hence, a long lasting effect on inflammatory cytokine generation, chemokine activities or immunomodulation is likely, but the precise mechanisms involved are not fully understood yet.
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