Chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD) is the most significant non-relapse cause of morbidity and mortality following stem cell transplantation (SCT) for malignancies. Although the rates of cGVHD are lower in children than adults, the incidence of cGVHD in children has increased in recent years. The manifestations and mechanisms of cGVHD in children and adults appear similar, although the natural history and response to therapy may be different. cGVHD and its current treatments have a spectrum of deleterious effects on normal growth and organ development in children. In addition, the impact of prolonged immunosuppression is of particular concern in childhood, a critical time of immunologic development in response to common infections and immunizations.
Data and research focused on cGVHD in pediatrics are limited. The goal of the cGVHD Multidisciplinary Team is to study the biology and clinical course of cGVHD in both adults and children on our Natural History Study. In addition, we have therapeutic trials focused on the treatment of this complex disorder. We are dedicated to improving understanding and developing better therapies for cGVHD.