BMT may cure leukemia and other blood cancers. It replaces unhealthy immune cells with healthy cells donated by another person. However, the donated cells may attack organs like skin, digestive tract, or lungs. This is called GVHD
. It can be severe and can affect quality of life.
Researchers at BMT CTN studied the records of 827 people who got BMT. After 5 years, about 20% of people (2 in 10 people) stopped taking immune suppression medicines without getting GVHD
. These people were more
likely to have:
- received bone marrow, rather than peripheral blood.
- taken immune suppression medicines longer before they stopped.
Contrary to past beliefs, staying on the medicines was not linked to cancer coming back.
Ask your doctor
- What medicines are right for me?
- How long should I expect to take my immune suppression medicines after BMT?