1651 – Integrated, closed-system, extracorporeal photopheresis systems for the treatment of chronic graft-versus-host disease

Page last updated: 01 October 2021

Application Detail

Description of Medical Service

THERAKOS CELLEX extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) is a leukapheresis-based, immunomodulatory therapy in which a patient’s leukocytes are collected and treated ex vivo with methoxsalen and UVA light and then returned to the patient (Photopheresis is also performed with open systems, also known as two-step methods, which are characterised by different devices for cell separation and drug photo activation). In these systems the combination of the device for separation and the device for photoactivation has not been approved for use together or specifically approved for Photopheresis. The two-step approach also increases the potential risk of patient reinfusion error, infection and cross-contamination. Open systems are only recommended for use in centres that have approval for handling blood components separately. Integrated, closed ECP systems complete the processes of cell separation, photo activation of methoxsalen, and reinfusion of the treated cells back into the patient within an automated and fully integrated process. All components of the treatment are validated for use together.

Description of Medical Condition

Chronic graft vs host disease (cGVHD) can occur in patients undergoing allogeneic transplant procedures. This event originates from donated bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells that view the recipient’s body as foreign, before mounting an attack against the host’s body cells. cGVHD can appear immediately or any time after a patient’s allogenic transplant. Despite prophylactic immunosuppression, there is an increased risk of developing the disease from HSCT. This may contribute to 17-20% of transplant-related deaths regardless of donor-relatedness.

The mainstay of treatment for cGVHD is systemic steroid therapy, however, the most effective approach to steroid-refractory/intolerant/dependent GVHD remains controversial. ECP is recommended by international guidelines and consensus documents for steroid-refractory and dependent cGVHD patients. This application focuses on the use of integrated, closed-system ECP in conjunction with methoxsalen for the treatment of cGVHD after HSCT in adults.

This application follows MSAC’s (and subsequently PBAC’s) recommendation at the April 2020 meeting for a MBS listing of ECP for the treatment of chronic T-cell lymphoma.

Reason for Application


Medical Service Type


Previous Application Number/s

Not Applicable

Associated Documentation

Application Form

Application Form (PDF 1373 KB)
Application Form (Word 284 KB)

Consultation Survey

Consultation Survey (PDF 558 KB)
Consultation Survey (Word 70 KB)

PICO Confirmation

PICO Confirmation (PDF 1554 KB)
PICO Confirmation (Word 840 KB)

Assessment Report


Public Summary Document

Public Summary Document (PDF 670 KB)
Public Summary Document (Word 242 KB)

Meetings for this Application


10 December 2020


10-11 June 2021


29-30 July 2021