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

June 17, 2013

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.

Explore further: Groundbreaking study that may change transplant practices

Related Stories

Groundbreaking study that may change transplant practices

November 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 October ...

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

August 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

Re-emergence of syphilis traced to pandemic strain cluster

December 5, 2016

Over the last few decades, an age-old infectious disease has been re-emerging globally: syphilis. Using techniques to analyze low levels of DNA, an international research team headed by the University of Zurich has now shown ...

New mechanism to control human viral infections discovered

December 5, 2016

A team of researchers, co-led by a University of California, Riverside professor, has found a long-sought-after mechanism in human cells that creates immunity to influenza A virus, which causes annual seasonal epidemics and ...

Researcher making headway in fighting migraines

December 5, 2016

A study by a UT Dallas researcher has revealed new information about a potential chemical causing pain hypersensitivity in migraines, which is the third most common disease in the world.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.