Autoimmunity, characterized by autoreactive lymphocytes and autoantibodies, is the consequence of a failure to discriminate between self and non-self, and autoimmune diseases are an increasing threat to people living in the industrialized countries. Autoimmune disorders are treatable, but not curable, and patients can face disability at later stages of the disease. Thus, there is a medical and economic need for new concepts and treatments in autoimmune disorders. New concepts and treatments can only be achieved by an interdisciplinary approach bringing together expertise, technologies, and clinical experience. The workshop focused on multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and type I diabetes, and discussed conventional drug therapies, gene therapy, cell and tissue transplantation therapies, and first treatments using blood stem cells for reprogramming the patients' immune system.
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