The VGH Apheresis Program to help test new treatment for TTP-HUS

 Thrombotic-thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) are devastating clinical syndromes characterized by low platelets, anemia, fever, neurologic symptoms and kidney failure. Daily plasma exchange is the first-line treatment for patients with TTP-HUS. Unfortunately, a significant number of patients fail to respond and second line therapies are not well established.

The Apheresis Program of British Columbia at Vancouver General Hospital, directed by Dr. Gayatri Sreenivasan, has received funding from the Canadian Apheresis Group to evaluate a promising drug, rituximab, which has been successfully used for TTP-HUS in several case reports. As a key participant in this multi-centre trial, CBR scientist Dr. Paul Yenson, with support from the Hematology Research and Clinical Trials Unit (HRCTU), will treat patients with refractory TTP-HUS with a combination of plasma exchange and rituximab. The results of this trial, to be widely disseminated via international medical journals and meetings, will hopefully lead to improved outcome for all patients who suffer from this serious blood-related disorder.

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