The Genetic Epidemiology of Stem-Cell Transplantation

Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a therapy primarily for patients with haematological cancers (leukaemias, lymphomas, myelomas), but also with other diseases of the blood. These patients require new haematopoietic stem cells, which in certain cases can even help to attack remaining cancer cells in the patient's body. However, HSCT is profound and risky, but often the last therapeutic option. Serious complications are common, such as graft rejection, acute or chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), bacterial or fungal infections, or cancer recurrence. The aim of our research is to make HSCT safer and more effective.

In cooperation with the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle (UK), University Hospital Regensburg, and the Clinic for Haematology and Medical Oncology of the UMG, also within an EU network, the clinical course of more than 2,000 patients (recipients) and the associated stem cell donors was recorded and harmonised for joint data evaluation. Genetic information from recipients and donors was obtained from their DNA. The Institute of Genetic Epidemiology is leading a joint genome-wide association study. Genes associated with survival, recurrence or GvHD have been identified.

Last updated March 2023