George got the results back from the chimerism test he had done last Wednesday. We expected to see his donor percentages go up since he had been tapering off his tacrolimus. So we were stunned to see that two of the three values they check had dropped and dropped significantly.
His CD3 % actually went up! From 95-97%. These are his T-cells. T cells are a part of the immune system that focuses on specific foreign particles. Rather than generically attack any antigens, T cells circulate until they encounter their specific antigen. As such, T cells play a critical part in immunity to foreign substances.
But, then there are his CD-33/CD66b cells. They fell from 96% donor to only 58% donor. Those numbers are concerning! I’m not exactly sure what these cells do, but it doesn’t matter. We want all his chimerism values to be 100% donor!
Looking at the graph really drives home how the numbers have dropped. So distressing!
Finally, his unfractionated chimerism results: previously 96%, now 72! UGH!
Even more depressing looking at the graph…
So, what does this mean??? We sent a message to Dr. Loren expressing our concern (well, George did) and she responded pretty quickly.
So, we don’t have any answers right now. I know she had said before that a “booster” shot of donor cells sometimes does the trick. It’s called a DLI (donor lymphocyte infusion). When our donor graciously agreed to donate his marrow to George, he agreed to donate 3 times. So, that’s encouraging and I suspect it is what Dr. Loren will suggest when George talks to her tomorrow.
Time for a glass of wine.