Biomarkers for Graft-Versus-Host Disease | Part 2

Biomarkers can be used for many purposes — diagnosis, prognosis, projections for success of a treatment. Sophie Paczesny, M.D., Ph.D., a professor at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina and an internationally recognized expert on biomarkers for graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), reviews a typology of biomarkers that groups them into five subtypes and discusses their use in GVHD.

Second of four parts

Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a side effect of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation used to treat many types of blood cancers (leukemia, multiple myeloma) and other conditions related to the blood and the blood marrow. In simplified terms, GvHD occurs when the immune cells in the transplant (“the graft”) turn on and attack the cells of the recipient (“the host.”)

In a review article published in Transplantation and Cellular Therapy in July, corresponding author Sophie Paczesny, M.D., Ph.D., and her colleagues gave an overview of biomarkers and their application to GvHD. Paczesny, a professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical of University of South Carolina, is an expert on hematopoietic cell transplantation, GvHD and biomarkers.

In this segment, Paczesny reviews a National Institutes of Health-FDA typology for biomarkers that includes five functional subtypes — diagnostic, predictive, response (a measurement of how a patient is responding to a treatment), prognostic and risk (a biomarker that show the potential someone has for developing a condition prior to having symptoms).

In the review article, Paczesny and her colleagues discuss research into these subtypes of biomarkers for GvHD, delineating them for both acute and chronic GvHD.