Certain types of graft-versus-host disease may increase risk of death, researcher says

Joseph Pidala, M.D., M.S., assistant member of the Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant and Immunology programs at Moffitt Cancer Center, and colleagues from the Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease Consortium have determined that certain gastrointestinal and liver-related types of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) are associated with worsened quality of life and death.

Their study appeared in the May issue of Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, the official journal of the American Society for Blood and .

GVHD is a complication that can occur when a transplant patient receives or bone marrow from a donor. The transplanted cells regard the recipient's body as foreign and attack, causing symptoms ranging from nausea and skin rashes to fatigue and pain. Patients with GVHD are prescribed drugs to suppress their immune system to counteract the disease.

The researchers studied data from 567 patients to determine if the characteristics and symptoms of chronic GVHD were associated with major clinical outcomes, such as quality of life and death. They looked specifically at the site of involvement and liver abnormalities.

"We found important differences in outcomes in relation to gastrointestinal and liver involvement," Pidala said. "Those with elevated bilirubin (a substance in bile) levels, higher gastrointestinal scores, or lower gastrointestinal involvement had an increased risk of death under current treatment approaches."

The authors concluded that their findings will help physicians better define a patient's risk of complications and death after chronic GVHD diagnosis and treatment.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Groundbreaking study that may change transplant practices

Nov 20, 2012

Researchers from John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the nation's 50 best cancer centers, played an important role in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Oct ...

B cell survival holds key to chronic graft vs. host disease

Aug 16, 2012

Leukemia and lymphoma patients who receive life-saving stem cell or bone marrow transplants often experience chronic side effects that significantly decrease quality of life, can last a lifetime, and ultimately affect their ...

Recommended for you

Travel restrictions could worsen Ebola crisis: experts

7 minutes ago

Travel restrictions could worsen West Africa's Ebola epidemic, limiting medical and food supplies and keeping out much-needed doctors, virologists said Tuesday as the disease continued its deadly spread.

World 'losing the battle' to contain Ebola: MSF

47 minutes ago

International medical agency Medecins sans Frontieres said Tuesday the world was "losing the battle" to contain Ebola and called for a global biological disaster response to get aid and personnel to west Africa.

Mutating Ebola viruses not as scary as evolving ones

1 hour ago

My social media accounts today are cluttered with stories about "mutating" Ebola viruses. The usually excellent ScienceAlert, for example, rather breathlessly informs us "The Ebola virus is mutating faster in humans than in animal hosts ...

War between bacteria and phages benefits humans

2 hours ago

In the battle between our immune systems and cholera bacteria, humans may have an unknown ally in bacteria-killing viruses known as phages. In a new study, researchers from Tufts University, Massachusetts ...

Ebola kills 31 people in DR Congo: WHO

3 hours ago

An outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 31 people and the epidemic remains contained in a remote northwestern region, UN the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.

User comments