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December 3, 1982

Immunotherapy in Leprosy

JAMA. 1982;248(21):2833. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330210025010

To the Editor.—  Binford et al (1982; 247:2283-2292) discussed the state of the art in leprosy. They noticed the failure of transfer factor as a therapeutic tool. Saha et al1 confirmed the failure of transfer factor, but they also reported the successful treatment of patients with leprosy with repeated whole WBC transfusions and the clearing of pathological, clinical, and histological findings. Earlier in 1972, the same technique2 was reported in the successful treatment of lepromatous and tuberculoid patients with weekly transfusions of WBCs from normal histocompatible donors. Just recently, Sanchez and colleagues (personal communication, 1982), at the University of Puerto Rico, have duplicated these findings.These results open new avenues for immunologic research in the therapy for leprosy. Is the patient's immune system being temporarily or permanently restored to normal function so that the patient can successfully clear his disease? This and many other questions can and should