Researchers find new, safer treatment for serious side effect of bone marrow transplant


Researchers at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai have identified a treatment that is effective and safer than the standard of care for a serious, and sometimes fatal, side effect of bone marrow transplant in cancer patients. Results from a phase 2 clinical trial were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in December.

The clinical trial in adolescents and adults found that a drug that inhibits the  in patients who have graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is safer than steroids, the current standard treatment. GvHD is a side effect seen in patients who have received a bone marrow transplant from a donor to treat blood cancers. The study used a blood test developed at Mount Sinai to identify patients with GvHD most likely to benefit from the new treatment.

"Steroids are known to cause numerous complications in bone marrow transplant recipients who require treatment for GvHD such as serious infections, bone and muscle damage, poor sleep, and poor quality of life," said Aaron Etra, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) at The Tisch Cancer Institute, who presented the study at the ASH meeting.

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