Purpose of Review: Acute graft versus host disease (aGVHD) is a frequent cause of treatment-related mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHCT), with few effective treatment options beyond systemic steroids. Discovery of biomarkers for aGVHD may provide insight into the pathophysiology of aGVHD and suggest novel mechanisms for treatment. Recent Findings: We highlight biomarkers within innate immune activation, T-cell-mediated tissue damage, endothelial damage, dysbiosis, and poor wound healing that can be obtained prior to transplant, in the early transplant period, or at the onset of aGVHD. Summary: aGVHD biomarkers have predictive and prognostic utility but also suggest novel mechanisms of recipient tissue damage and impaired regenerative capacity. These mechanisms should be further studied and tested in therapeutic clinical trials to improve outcomes post-alloHCT.
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Acknowledgements This manuscript was supported by the University of Minnesota Department of Medicine and Women’s Early Research Career Award (SGH). The authors thank Daniel Weisdorf and Margaret MacMillan for their critical discussions and insights. We would also like to acknowledge the authors of the many excellent studies in the field of GVHD biomarker research, although we could not include them all due to space constraints.
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- Acute graft versus host disease