Graft Versus Host Disease (GvHD)

About GvHD

A complication of stem cell or bone marrow transplantation is the development of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), which first manifests as skin problems such as rash, itching, formation of common scaly patches of skin, skin which can manifest discoloration, and changes in texture. It is also characterised by possible involvement of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, liver, and other tissues and it can also be organs.[1]


GvHD can occur in an acute or chronic form. Traditionally GvHD was labelled as chronic GvHD (cGvHD) when it occurred 100 or more days after the initial transplant operation and as acute GvHD (aGvHD) when it occurred less than 100 days after transplant. Nowadays, cGvHD and aGvHD are diagnosed based on clinical signs and symptoms, and other tests such as biopsy.[2]


Steroids are usually the primary treatment for GvHD. ECP Immunomodulation or immunosuppressant drugs are also often used after steroids for the treatment of cGvHD specifically.[3] If you have GvHD, be sure to contact your healthcare professional if you have questions about GvHD or your treatment.

ECP Immunomodulation has been used to help treat both acute and chronic GvHD.[4-6]

ECP stands for Extracorporeal Photopheresis, a treatment that works with a patient’s own immune cells to modulate immune function.[7-9]

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  1. Filipovich AH, et al. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2005;11(12):945-956.

  2. Choi SW, et al. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2010; 30(1):75-101.

  3. Knobler R, et al. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2014;28 Suppl 1:1-37.

  4. Greinix HT, et al. Haematologica. 2006;91:405-408.

  5. Flowers ME, et al. Blood. 2008;112:2667-2674.6.

  6. Dignan F, et al. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2014;49:704-708.

  7. Marshall SR. Nat Clin Pract Oncol. 2006 Jun;3(6):302-314.

  8. Bruserud Ø, et al. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2014;63(8):757-777.

  9. Hart JW, et al. Ther Adv Hematol. 2013;4:320-334.



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