Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Effects of rapamycin combined with low dose prednisone in patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia.

We conducted this randomized trial to investigate the efficacy and safety of rapamycin treatment in adults with chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Eighty-eight patients were separated into the control (cyclosporine A plus prednisone) and experimental (rapamycin plus prednisone) groups. The CD4⁺CD25⁺CD127(low) regulatory T (Treg) cells level, Foxp3 mRNA expression, and the relevant cytokines levels were measured before and after treatment. The overall response (OR) was similar in both groups (experimental group versus control group: 58% versus 62%, P = 0.70). However, sustained response (SR) was more pronounced in the experimental group than in the control group (68% versus 39%, P < 0.05). Both groups showed similar incidence of adverse events (7% versus 11%, P = 0.51). As expected, the low pretreatment baseline level of Treg cells was seen in all patients (P < 0.001); however, the experimental group experienced a significant rise in Treg cell level, and there was a strong correlation between the levels of Treg cells and TGF-beta after the treatment. In addition, the upregulation maintained a stable level during the follow-up phase. Thus, rapamycin plus low dose prednisone could provide a new promising option for therapy of ITP.

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