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GRAFT VERSUS HOST DISEASE

  • It is a common side effect of any transplant when the immune cells of the recipient’s body do not recognize the donor’s cells and start attacking them, thus leading to failure of the transplant. The GVHD is usually associated with stem cell or bone marrow transplant, as well as other forms of tissue graft.

  • GVHD is broadly categorized into two types, the acute and chronic where its symptoms can range from mild to severe. This can be especially life threatening if the stem cells of the related or unrelated donor regard the recipient’s body as foreign and do not adequately match the recipient.

  • The stem cells of cord blood are less likely to cause GVHD as compared to bone marrow and other sources of stem cells.

  • Tissues and cells from possible donors are checked strictly before a transplant takes place. GVHD is less likely to occur when the stem cells used for transplant are from the family banked cord blood unit as they can further reduce the likelihood of GVHD, and improve the transplant success rates.