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Phase2Therapy is happy to announce that ‘History of Graft versus Host Disease’ written by P2T Board members  Huib Vriesendorp and Peter Heidt has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Hematology.

The publication provides a biosketch of the discoverer of Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD), Dick van Bekkum, and describes the approach taken by him and his multi-disciplinary team in the Radiobiological Institute TNO, Rijswijk the Netherlands in four different translational animal models, mus, rat, dog, rhesus monkey. Pediatric patients in the Leiden University Medical Center have been the first patients to benefit from the decreased procedure related mortality/morbidity rate of the improved BM transplant procedures

After BMT three types of GvHD are identified: acute, delayed and chronic. Acute GvHD is hard to treat and often lethal before post-BM transplant day 30. Delayed type GvHD occurs when the numbers of administered donor lymphocytes are decreased and/or chemical immunosuppression is administered.

Chronic GvHD occurs in patients after post transplant day 100 in patients who have survived acute or delayed GvHD. Such patients survive, but have a low quality of life due to immunodeficiencies and/or autoimmune disease.The three types of GvHD observed after BMT also cause significant complications after multiple donor blood transfusions and to a lesser degree in newborn babies.

Lethal TaGvHD occurs in patients with Severe Combine Immune Deficiencies (SCID) who receive unirradiated donor blood and in babies who receive an unirradiated ‘exchange’ transfusion of a Rhesus negative, ABO compatible donor. Both complications can be prevented by radiating donor blood with 15-30 Gy before use.

If almost all blood transfusions receive 15-30 Gy before use, at least a hunderd deaths and thousands of intensive care visits will be prevented in a country as small as The Netherlands with a approximately 17 million inhabitants. P2T has designed a new blood irradiator with better temperature control and dose homogeneity, which allows for quicker, cheaper irradiation of blood bags with a linear accelerator. This makes the old fashioned, labour and radiation safety intensive Cesium Chloride blood irradiators obsolete.