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ABSTRACT: Chronic graft-versus-host-disease (cGVHD) is the major cause of late morbidity and mortality after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. B cells have been reported to be involved in mediating cGVHD. To assess whether preemptive host B cell depletion prevents extensive cGVHD after allogeneic reduced-intensity conditioning transplantation (RICT), 173 patients treated with RICT for various hematologic diseases, who had or had not received Rituximab (Rtx) within 6 month prior to RICT, were analyzed retrospectively. Rtx treatment within 6 months prior to RICT reduced extensive cGVHD significantly from 45.8% to 20.1%. We hypothesize that most likely host B cells initiate cGVHD, and thus, host B cell depletion prior to RICT by Rtx might be a valuable strategy to reduce extensive cGVHD after RICT.
Biology of blood and marrow transplantation: journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation 07/2009; 15(6):671-8. · 3.15 Impact Factor