Breaking the Chain of “Trading One Disease for Another”: Understanding Graft-Versus-Host with Lori Styles

Graft-Versus-Host Disease literally adds insult to injury. Preventing it will ensure transplant patients can finally move on with their lives.

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The most devastating aspect of Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GvHD) may not be its harsh symptoms, but rather its incredibly poor timing. 

The disease can strike any time after undergoing a tissue, bone marrow or stem cell transplant, turning what should be a life-saving procedure into a life-threatening situation. 

The donated bone marrow views the recipient’s body as a foreign and dangerous environment and launches an attack. No organ is safe, from the donor recipient’s eyes or skin, to their intestinal system.

We spoke with Lori Styles, M.D., pharmacy senior medical director, Pharmacyclics, about the two different types of GvHD, how the disease affects its victims, and the key to one day ensuring that patients can move past their transplants and on with their lives.