The Clinical Research Division’s Dr. Marco Mielcarek has received $2.2 million from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to continue research on whether statin treatment is effective at reducing the risk of graft-vs.-host disease in patients receiving an allogeneic stem cell transplant. While statins are a class of drugs for treating high cholesterol, they also have immune-modulating effects.
The five-year grant will build upon previous work that Mielcarek and colleagues published last year in Blood, which found that patients who received stem cells harvested from donors who had taken statins received profound protection against severe acute GVHD.
The new grant has three major aims:
“These findings, if confirmed, will have a significant impact on improving the safety of clinical stem cell transplants,” said Mielcarek, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.