Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Graft vs. Tumor and Graft vs. Host Reactions

Allogeneic transplantation significantly reduces the risk of relapse for patients with blood-related cancers, as well as some solid tumor cancers, by introducing a donor immune system capable of recognizing a patient’s cancer and targeting it for destruction. By better understanding the mechanisms of this graft response, researchers hope to identify new opportunities for enhancing patient outcome.

A second area of research focuses on addressing graft vs. host disease. One of the primary complications of allogeneic transplantation, this condition occurs when transplanted immune cells from the donor attack the patient’s own body. Researchers are studying the molecular "markers" that trigger this response and how they differ from those involved in graft vs. tumor reactions with the aim of identifying new strategies for minimizing this complication.

By elucidating the fundamental mechanisms used by the immune system to determine “self” and “non-self,” this research could have important implications for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, as well as acute and chronic rejection following organ transplantation.

Program Researchers

Sally Arai, MD

Karl Blume, MD

Peter Greenberg, MD

Laura J. Johnston, MD

Ginna G. Laport, MD

Robert Lowsky, MD

David Miklos, MD, PhD

Robert S. Negrin, MD

Vu Nguyen, MD

Keith E. Stockerl-Goldstein, MD

Samuel Strober, MD


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