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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Medical School
Department of Medicine

PI: Mukta Arora

Identification and Development of Genetic Polymorphisms as Biomarkers for Graft-versus-Host Disease

Allogenic hematopoietic cell transplant continues to be associated with high morbidity and mortality. Fifteen to 50% of patients die from complications related to the procedure. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) affects 20–80% of transplant recipients and is the major cause of post-transplant non-relapse mortality. While some clinical parameters (age and donor:recipient histocompatibility, for example) can predict GVHD, no biological factors have been identified that either reliably predict the incidence and severity of GVHD and its associated mortality or allow an understanding of the underlying pathogenesis of the disease, which in turn could inform innovative treatment approaches. Hence, there exists a critical need to identify reliable biomarkers for the disease.

These researchers hypothesize that polymorphisms in genes regulating biological pathways of GVHD are associated with GVHD and transplant-related mortality. They are analyzing, in 838 subjects (donors and recipients), the relationship of 450 genetic polymorphisms that may modulate the immune response, inflammatory amplification, and the metabolism of therapeutic agents with the incidence and course of GVHD and transplant-related mortality.

Group Members

Saonli Basu, Faculty Collaborator
Alanna White, Research Associate