In a recent study published in Clinical and Translational Science, researchers at Chapman University in Orange, CA, evaluated risk factors for acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) in pediatric patients receiving the immunosuppressive drug tacrolimus.
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (allo-HCT) is a treatment which can be used for various types of blood cancers. Unfortunately, this may lead to GVHD, where donor blood cells attack the recipient’s tissues and can lead to life-threatening complications. Current treatments include immunosuppressive drugs such as tacrolimus, which may have severe side effects. Evidence suggests pediatric patients may clear tacrolimus at a faster rate, which highlights the challenges of tacrolimus treatment in pediatric patients.
The authors performed a retrospective cohort single center chart review study to determine risk factors which influence aGVHD in patients receiving tacrolimus. The authors found that the risk of aGVHD was significantly increased when parent donors or donors were older in age compared to pediatric patients receiving allo-HCT from age matched-related donors. Further, although more experiments are needed, the authors did not find any significant pharmacokinetic factors association with tacrolimus treatment and aGVHD development (p=0.08). The authors suggest larger sample sizes may be needed to evaluate these factors.
Phan M, Chavan R, Beuttler R, et al. Evaluating risk factors for acute graft versus host disease in pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients receiving tacrolimus. Clin Transl Sci. 10.1111/cts.12982 (2021).
Tags: GVHD, Risk, pediatric, transplantation