Center for Cytokine Storm Treatment & Laboratory

The CSTL is a Program of Excellence of the Penn Orphan Disease Center

Our Vision

The CSTL’s vision is to conduct groundbreaking research on Castleman disease and other cytokine storms to identify optimal treatments and provide world-class patient care.

Our Mission

The CSTL’s mission is to conduct groundbreaking translational research on Castleman disease, COVID-19, and other cytokine storms to discover novel diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutics, identify optimal treatment approaches, and provide world-class patient care.

The CSTL pursues its mission through basic & translational research, clinical research (ACCELERATE Natural History Registry; CORONA: COvid19 Registry of Off-Label & New Agents), clinical trials (NCT03933904), and multi-disciplinary patient care.

Latest News

  • New Article Published in Infectious Diseases & Therapy Wednesday, May 27, 2020

    A new paper published in Infectious Diseases & Therapy catalogued every drug used to treat COVID-19 in the medical literature. Researchers found that physicians have reported in the use of 115 different off-label and experimental treatments. The event, called COvid19 Registry of Off-label & New Agents (CORONA), is an attempt to take inventory of what treatments are used as well as identify any evidence of treatments that warrant further investigation in a randomized clinical trial. Researchers reviewed about 2,700 published papers detailing the treatment of COVID-19 and gathered data on 9,152 patients treated with 115 different drugs. 

    Check out the PennMedicine Press Release!

  • New Article Published in Journal of Clinical Investigations Insight Thursday, May 7, 2020

    A paper recently published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight seeks to determine what's happening at the cellular level in the immune systems of Castleman Disease patients during a cytokine storm. Researchers took blood samples from iMCD patients who were asymptomatic and from those who were in flare to determine the differences in their immune cells. They discovered a group of cytokines called Type-I Interferons are highly active when patents are in flare and that the JAK pathway seems to be a critical mediator of the cytokine storm. 

    Check out the Penn News Release!

  • New Article Published in Blood Thursday, May 7, 2020

    A study recently published in Blood is one of the largest research studies of Castleman Disease ever performed. Researchers used 26 samples from iMCD patients to demonstrate that there is increased activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. These findings suggest that patients who do not respond to siltuximab may have another option in an inhibitor drug called sirolimus that blocks this pathway. A clinical trial is underway that tests sirolumus in Il-6 blockade refractory patients. This research also highlights the possibility of drug repurposing for the rare disease community. 

    Check out the Penn News Release!

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