Salman Fazal, MD, explains how to lower the risk of graft-versus-host disease in patients who undergo allogeneic stem cell transplant.
Salman Fazal, MD, a hematologist/oncologist in the Division of Hematology and Cellular Therapy at West Penn Hospital of Allegheny Health Network, explains how to lower the risk of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in patients who undergo allogeneic stem cell transplant or treat GVHD when it does develop.
To lower risk of GVHD, Fazal says that it is best to use a fully matched donor However, it is not possible to find a fully matched donor for every patient. Treatment with cyclophosphamide following transplant is another way to prevent GVHD.
For patients who do develop GVHD following their transplant, Fazal explains that new treatment options have been introduced for GVHD.
0:08 | So, the graft-versus-host disease does present one of the transplant-related complications. And in order to lower the incidence of graft-versus-host disease, we like to use fully matched donors. [This] may not be possible for every patient, and in situations where we used haploidentical donor or a mismatched unrelated donor. We do use strategies such as post-transplant cyclophosphamide to lower the incidence of graft-versus-host disease.
0:47 | We also have new treatment options for treatment of steroid-refractory acute and chronic graft versus host disease. So certainly, if the patients are developing signs and symptoms of graft-versus-host disease, we try to employ those therapies earlier in the in the complication to minimize worsening of their disease.