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What is GvHD, and how does it affect daily life?

Regis Peffault de Latour

September 9, 2020

During the 46th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT), Know AML spoke to Regis Peffault de Latour of Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, FR, about graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). In this video we ask, What is GvHD, and how does it affect daily life? For cancers of the blood, like acute myeloid leukemia (AML), doctors often choose to treat patients by performing a bone marrow transplant. To increase the chance of a successful transplant, the donor and recipient must be genetically similar in specific areas. In an ideal world, an identical twin would be the perfect choice, but as this is rarely possible other options must be explored. A transplant can use the patient's own bone marrow, which is known as an autologous transplant, or it can come from a donor, and in this case it is called an allogeneic transplant. The idea is that the white blood cells from the transplant will attack the cancer cells in the recipient. However, the attack is not always specific to the cancer cells, and the normal cells of the recipient may be targeted too, which can lead to GvHD.