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Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2011 Oct;108(43):732-40. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2011.0732. Epub 2011 Oct 28.

The treatment of chronic graft-versus-host disease: consensus recommendations of experts from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

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1
Abteilung für Hämatologie und Internistische Onkologie, Universität Regensburg, Franz-Josef Strauss Allee 11, 93053 Regensburg, Germany. daniel.wolff@klinik.uni-regensburg.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is the commonest complication of allogeneic bone marrow and blood stem-cell transplantation, occurring in 50% of all cases and causing late mortality in as many as 25%. There are now about 10 000 patients with cGVHD in Germany, and their number is growing by about 500 each year. cGVHD is a chronic multisystem disease due to impaired tolerance mechanisms. It affects many organs in variable ways, impairing organ function and lowering quality of life.

METHODS:

We present consensus recommendations on the treatment of cGVHD that were developed jointly by the German Working Group on Bone Marrow and Blood Stem-Cell Transplantation, the German and Austrian Societies of Hematology and Oncology, the Swiss Blood Stem-Cell Transplantation Group, and the German-Austrian Working Group on Pediatric Stem-Cell Transplantation. All of the recommendations are based on an evaluation of selected publications.

RESULTS:

Recommendations are given regarding the diagnostic evaluation of cGVHD, first-line treatment (which has a response rate of 30% to 50%), second-line treatment, and topical immunosuppression. Patients with cGVHD should also receive supportive care including anti-infective prophylaxis, vaccinations, hormone replacement, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and psychosocial assistance.

CONCLUSION:

Patients with cGVHD need multidisciplinary care under the guidance of the transplantation center. The aim of these recommendations is to standardize the treatment of cGVHD and thereby improve patient care.

PMID:
22114649
PMCID:
PMC3221419
DOI:
10.3238/arztebl.2011.0732
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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