Keratinocyte Growth factor (KGF) is an epithelial cell growth factor of the fibroblast growth factor family and is produced by fibroblasts and microvascular endothelium in response to proinflammatory cytokines and steroid hormones. KGF is a heparin binding growth factor that exerts effects on epithelial cells in a paracrine fashion through interaction with KGF receptors. Preclinical data has demonstrated that KGF can prevent lung and gastrointestinal toxicity following chemotherapy and radiation and preliminary clinical data in the later setting supports these findings. In the experimental allogeneic bone marrow transplant scenario KGF has shown significant ability to prevent graft-versus-host disease by maintaining gastrointestinal tract integrity and acting as a ”cytokine shield“ to prevent subsequent proinflammatory cytokine generation. Within this setting KGF has also shown an ability to prevent experimental idiopathic pneumonia syndrome by stimulating production of surfactant protein A, promoting alveolar epithelialization and attenuating immune-mediated injury. Perhaps most unexpectantly, KGF appears able to maintain thymic function during allogeneic stem cell transplantation and so promote T cell engraftment and reconstitution. These data suggest that KGF will find a therapeutic role in the prevention of epithelial toxicity following intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy protocols and in allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Keywords: keratinocyte growth factor(kgf), mucositis
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