Scientific corner

Extracorporeal granulocytapheresis for cancer and rheumatoid arthritis

Motoki Yonekawa Akio KawamuraTakashi KomaiTetsuzo AgishiMasakazu Adachi§ ,

In cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, granulocytosis is often observed and indicates the progress of disease. We developed a granulocytapheresis system to permit granulocyte reduction. Cellulose acetate was found to be a selective and effective adsorbent. In an in vivo study using an acetate bead column, 9.2 × 108 leukocytes were collected. Initially, granulocytapheresis was applied to terminal patients or those with stage IV cancer. Pain, cough and bloody sputum were reduced in spite of no decrease in the tumor size. Granulocytapheresis appears to prevent inflammatory damage in or around the tumor site. This granulocyte reduction technique was also applied to patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The Lansbury index markedly improved after treatment. As cytokines and adhesion molecules might contribute to symptoms, granulocytapheresis may be useful in improving the “Quality of Life” in these diseases.

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