Research homes in on cause of graft-versus-host disease

The Vancouver Sun reported on research by UBC and the B.C. Children’s Hospital on the topic of a common and potentially deadly condition that can follow bone-marrow or stem-cell transplants.

Graft-versus-host disease can affect about 50 per cent of patients who receive bone-marrow transplants, usually to treat leukemia or lymphoma. Researchers discovered that a protein called CXCL10 was found more often in people who developed graft-versus-host disease.

“We know treatment is imperfect and what we’re trying to do is make it safer and more available. We are getting better and better at decreasing the risk of graft-versus-host disease, but right now it’s still in the 50-60-per-cent range,” the study stated.

The article also appeared in the Calgary Herald, Windsor Star, Regina Leader-PostEdmonton Journal and Saskatoon Star Phoenix.