Oral chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in Australia: clinical features and challenges in management

30 June 2016

Data from the Australasian Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient Registry show a steady increase in the number of allogeneic haemopoietic stem cell transplantations (HSCT) performed annually in Australia and New Zealand. In 2012, 629 allogeneic HSCT were performed. Allogeneic HSCT is associated with numerous potential complications, including chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). The oral cavity is one of the most frequent sites affected by cGvHD, often leading to significant disability and reduced quality of life. Management strategies are often complex, of variable efficacy and influenced by the availability of various therapeutic agents, access to compounding pharmacies and associated costs. This paper summarises the current status of allogeneic HSCT in Australia and New Zealand with a focus on oral cGvHD and the associated challenges in its management. Key words: graft-versus-host disease, oral mucosa, saliva.