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Keywords:

  • chronic graft versus host disease;
  • bone marrow transplantation;
  • diagnosis;
  • treatment;
  • allogeneic

Summary

The ability to cure increasing numbers of individuals for malignant and non-malignant diseases with the use of stem cell transplantation has resulted in a growing number of long-term survivors with unique medical issues. Chronic graft versus host disease (GvHD) continues to be a significant problem in the allogeneic stem cell transplant setting and, as we continue to use alternative stem cell sources and attempt to modulate the immune system to increase an anti-tumour effect, we will probably see rising numbers of patients with this complication. The capacity to treat this problem and improve both the immediate quality of life as well as long-term effects is imperative and requires the ability of haematologists/oncologists to identify chronic GvHD and its multi-organ system presentations. We describe the risk factors for developing chronic GvHD, its presentation and the current treatment options for both initial therapy and secondary treatment.