Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) is a potentially curative treatment for different hematological malignancies. A major life-threatening complication is acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). This session will focus on the biology of GVHD in the intestinal tract and the ability of serum biomarkers that predict long-term GVHD outcomes in comparison to clinical GVHD staging. Current strategies to prevent and treat GVHD in alloHCT and their limitations and challenges will be presented. Lastly, new therapies will be reviewed that do not target individual surface molecules such as chemokine or cytokine receptors, but instead inhibit signaling pathways downstream of these molecules.
Dr. James Ferrara’s talk will deal with the biology of GVHD in the intestinal tract which is the most difficult organ to treat. The ability of serum biomarkers that predict long term GVHD outcomes, which relate primarily to the intestinal tract, will also be discussed, including new biologic insights offered by the biomarkers.
Dr. Betty Hamilton will summarize the current strategies to prevent and treat GVHD in alloHCT. She will discuss the limitations and challenges to these approaches and focus on the review of novel prophylactic strategies under development and used in clinical trials for the prevention of GVHD.
Dr. Robert Zeiser will discuss novel therapeutic strategies to treat GVHD with a focus on kinase inhibition. He will also summarize features of the pathomechanism of acute GVHD and strategies that target pathways involved in immune cell activation. Dr. Zeiser will also review kinase inhibition strategies that could enhance graft-versus-leukemia effects.