, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 273-274
Date: 20 Aug 2013

Guest Editorial: new basic and clinical aspects of graft-versus-host disease: what can we do without “Doc” Brown’s help?

This is an excerpt from the content

When confronting a difficult case of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), have you ever wished to be able to go back in time? I suppose that only those of you who already have a time machine, like the one operated by Emmett “Doc” Brown and his friend, Martin “Marty” McFly from the 1985 film Back to the Future can honestly say they have not.

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) offers a curative therapy for malignant and nonmalignant hematologic diseases and other disorders. However, GVHD remains a major and lethal complication that limits the wider application of allogeneic HSCT. GVHD develops in recipients of donor grafts that contain T cells responding to genetically distinct proteins on host cells. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes, such as HLA-A, B, C, DRB1, DPB1, and DQB1, which have vast numbers of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), are the most important factor affecting the risk and severity of GVHD. Polymorphisms of non-HLA genes that mainly impact indi