Biomarker gauges graft-versus-host disease risk for stem cell transplant patients

A newly identified biomarker can help spot stem cell transplant patients who are at high risk for graft-versus-host disease, and they can be screened through a blood test. The research team determined that patients with high levels of the ST2 protein faced double the risk of having graft-versus-host disease (a potentially fatal immune response) that resisted standard steroid treatment. Those patients were also four times as likely to die within 6 months of the stem cell procedure, the researchers noted. Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Indiana University, the University of Michigan and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center produced the finding, which is detailed in the New England Journal of Medicine. Item | Abstract

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