Annals of hematology 2017 04 26() doi 10.1007/s00277-017-2999-5
Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) still belongs to the major challenges after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Immune-suppressive therapy against GvHD is a double-edged sword due to risk of infections and relapse. The ability to adapt prophylactic treatment according to the probability of severe GvHD would be an essential advantage for the patients. We analyzed different biomarkers for their potential to predict the development of GvHD in 28 patients who underwent allogeneic HSCT. Blood was taken once directly after hematopoietic engraftment. In this study, patients were monitored for 12 months after HSCT for the occurrence of acute GvHD or acute/chronic GvHD overlap syndrome. Soluble IL-2 receptor and CD4/CD8 T cell ratio were independently associated with the occurrence of GvHD in the observation period. However, the largest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve with 0.90 was observed when a 5-parameter biomarker score based on CD4(+) T cells, CD8(+) T cells, CD19(-) CD21(+) precursor B cells, CD4/CD8 T cell ratio, and soluble IL-2 receptor was used to predict GvHD. In addition, CD8(+) T cell levels above 2.3% of all mononuclear cells after engraftment may predict relapse-free survival at least for 12 months. In summary, we found a new biomarker panel for prediction of GvHD which is featured by established laboratory assays and high statistical significance. In order to introduce the biomarker panel into routine clinical protocols, we suggest performing a larger multi-center study.