Table of Contents
Immunosuppressive Therapy Definition
Treatments that limit or suppress the IMMUNE RESPONSE. Such treatment may incorporate IMMUNOSUPPRESSIVE MEDICATIONS such as CORTICOSTEROID MEDICATIONS, DISEASEMODIFYING ANTI-RHEUMATIC DRUGS (DMARDS), CHEMOTHERAPY, RADIATION THERAPY, and MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES (MABS).
Doctors may prescribe short-term immunosuppressive therapy (two to six weeks) to treat moderate to severe type I HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTION or to reduce INFLAMMATION due to injury. Long-term immunosuppressive therapy is generally a treatment option for chronic AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS such as SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS (SLE) and RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS. People who have had organ transplants must take lifelong immunosuppressive therapy to reduce the risk for organ rejection and GRAFT VS. HOST DISEASE. The risk for complications and side effects rises the longer a person is on immunosuppressive therapy.
Immunoablation (the administration of high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy) wipes out the immune response altogether by killing the BONE MARROW, which removes all leukocytes and their subtypes from the IMMUNE SYSTEM’s resource arsenal. This form of immunosuppressive therapy prepares the body to receive BONE MARROW TRANSPLANTATION or STEM CELL transplantation, which then rebuilds the immune system from the marrow up.