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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 150  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 221-227

Anti-thymocyte globulin in haematology: Recent developments

1 Department of Medicine (Hematology & BMT), University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA
2 College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr Reinhold Munker
Department of Medicine (Hematology & BMT), University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_752_19

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Anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) is a polyclonal antiserum introduced into clinical medicine more than 30 years ago. It induces a broad non-specific immunosuppression. In haematology, standard indications are severe aplastic anaemia and prophylaxis and treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (after allogeneic transplantation). For aplastic anaemia, ATG from horses has been found to be superior to ATG from rabbits. In the situation of allogeneic transplantation, ATG lessens the risk of chronic GVHD but may not improve survival. There is current controversy regarding which patients benefit most from ATG and what the ideal dosage is. It is likely that in the coming years a more specific immunosuppressive will be developed that will minimize GVHD while maintaining the graft-versus-malignancy effect.

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