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Blood Cancer J. 2011 Apr;1(4):e16. doi: 10.1038/bcj.2011.14. Epub 2011 Apr 29.

Long-term complications and side effects after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: an update.

Abstract

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is an effective therapy for various malignant and non-malignant diseases. Many patients have now been followed for two or three decades posttransplant and are presumed to be cured. With the tremendous advances achieved in terms of supportive care, it is reasonable to expect outcomes to improve steadily and consequently increasing numbers of transplant survivors will be facing life after the initial transplant experience. Although long-term allo-HSCT survivors generally enjoy good health, for many others, cure or control of the underlying disease is not accompanied by full restoration of health. The burden of long-term morbidity borne by allo-HSCT survivors is substantial, and long-term follow-up of patients who received allo-HSCT is now widely recommended. Immediate survival is no longer the sole concern after allo-HSCT. The goals should also include complete recovery of the overall health status with normal physical and psychological functioning. Long-term side effects after allo-HSCT include non-malignant organ or tissue dysfunction, changes in quality of life, infections related to abnormal immune reconstitution and secondary cancers. Many of these can be attributed to the deleterious effects of chronic graft-versus-host disease. The aims of this review are to provide an update on the recent research evidence in the field.

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