Unmet need in chronic graft-versus-host disease

3 September 2018

More needs to be done to prevent and treat chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in order to improve survivorship and quality of life (QOL) for those patients who have undergone an allogeneic stem cell transplantation, according to a research study “Patient-reported outcomes and health status associated with chronic graft-versus-host disease” by Stephanie J. Lee, et al, published in the September 2018 issue of Haematologica, the journal of the European Haematology Association.

The American study involved a survey of 3,027 patients surviving one or more years after transplantation. With a survey response rate of 45%, of the 1,377 patients in the study, 257 (18.7% of respondents) reported their chronic GvHD was mild, 110 (8.0%) that it was mild and 25 (1.8%) that it was severe. Another 377 (27.4%) had never had chronic GvHD and 280 (20.3%) had had chronic GvHD but it had resolved. The remaining 328 (23.8%) patients did not answer the questions about chronic GvHD and so were excluded from the study.

The study found that approximately 25% to 40% of people with active GvHD were unable to work due to health reasons, compared with 12% whose chronic GvHD had resolved and 15% who had never had chronic GvHD. Mouth, eye and nutritional symptoms persisted after resolution of chronic GvHD. The study’s authors added that: “Our data further suggest that current interventions are insufficient in controlling the impact of chronic GvHD on QOL.”

“We know all too well from our member organisations and global patient surveys just how challenging an allogeneic stem cell transplant can be for patients and their carers and loved ones,” said LCE Regional Director, Jonathan Pearce. “The highlighted issues and findings in this study are welcome and we hope they will lead to increased research in this important area of treatment and care.”

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European Cancer Information System - ECIS public release

6 February 2018

The European Cancer Information System (ECIS) was launched on the occasion of the World Cancer Day by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission's in-house science and knowledge service, allowing experts and practitioners to explore geographical patterns and trends. It is the result of a collaboration between the JRC and the ENCR, gathering data from around 150 European population-based cancer registries covering 32 European countries.

 

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