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New Interventional Radiology Treatment Shows Hope for People With Complications from Bone Marrow, Stem Cell Transplants
Date:3/18/2008

ferent parts of the body, particularly the skin, liver and intestines. In this study the affected organs were the liver and small and large bowels.

Studies from the 1990s show that steroid resistance is common -- 80 percent of people fail to have a sustained, complete response rate or only have a partial response, which means the immune cells are still attacking the organ to varying degrees. "Until now, there has been no good therapy for steroid-resistant patients with GVHD. This small study -- the first of its kind in the United States--shows a new, viable option; however, larger studies with longer follow-up results are needed," added Weintraub.

Abstract 187, "Intra-arterial Steroid Injection Therapy for Systemic Steroid Resistant Graft-Versus-Host Disease," can be found at http://www.SIRmeeting.org.

About Graft-Versus-Host Disease

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a common side effect of an allogeneic bone marrow transplant (one using blood-forming cells donated by a family member or unrelated donor) or cord blood transplant. The differences between a donor's marrow and recipient's tissues often cause T cells (a type of white blood cell) from the donor's marrow to recognize the recipient's body tissues as foreign, according to the National Institutes of Health. GVHD is the term used when a donor's immune cells attacks the recipient's body -- causing damage. Acute GVHD starts within three months after transplant, while chronic GVHD begins more than three months after transplant (and can last as long as three years). NIH notes that rates of GVHD vary from 30-40 percent for related donors and recipients to 60-80 percent for unrelated donors and recipients. Following a bone marrow transplant, the recipient is prescribed drugs that suppress the immune system to help with reducing the chances or severity of GVHD.

Bone marrow transplants are usually reserved for individual
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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