Is there a higher graft-versus-host disease risk for some BIPOC patients? Expert Dr. Idoroenyi Amanam from City of Hope explains bone marrow transplant challenges for African American and Hispanic patients and where research stands on improving transplant outcomes.
Do certain populations have a higher risk of graft-versus-host disease after stem cell transplantation?
Dr. Indoroenyi Amanam:
Yes. So, we do know that there are differences in outcomes for African Americans and Hispanics compared to whites after transplant. And we think aside from just the fact that African Americans and Hispanics have a lower chance of having full matched donors, there are other genetic variations that we can’t account for currently that may explain the reasons why they have poor outcomes post-transplant. And one of those issues is related to graft-versus-host disease.
And so, we do know that if you have a donor who’s not a complete match, you have a higher risk of having graft-versus-host disease. And we also know that if you’re an African American and Hispanic, you also have higher risk for graft-versus-host disease. And so I think there’s still a lot of work to be done for us to really understand, one, why that’s the case.