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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)


Twelve of 17 patients with histiocytosis-X were immunologically abnormal, as shown by the presence of circulating lymphocytes spontaneously cytotoxic to cultured human fibroblasts or of antibody to autologous erythrocytes. The patients also had a notable lack of histamine H2 surface receptors on their T lymphocytes, suggesting a suppressor-cell deficiency. The lymphocyte abnormalities were reversed in vitro after incubation in a crude extract of calf thymus gland, and therefore all 17 patients were treated with daily intramuscular injections of this extract. With this therapy, 10 patients entered complete remission -- a response at least as good as that observed in historical controls treated with chemotherapy. A positive clinical response was associated with an increase in the number of T-cell histamine H2 receptors to normal levels and with correction of the other immunologic abnormalities. The results of this preliminary study justify a larger prospective clinical trial of thymic extract and further investigation of the immunoregulatory mechanisms in histiocytosis-X.[1]


  1. Histiocytosis-X. Osband, M.E., Lipton, J.M., Lavin, P., Levey, R., Vawter, G., Greenberger, J.S., McCaffrey, R.P., Parkman, R. N. Engl. J. Med. (1981) [Pubmed]
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