Genomic studies of GVHD—lessons learned thus far

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GVHD remains the most significant complication of hematopoietic SCT, despite advances in HLA matching and the identification of risk various factors. To account for the variation in the incidence and severity of this disease, many genetic association studies have been performed in order to explore the role of immunoregulatory gene polymorphisms. These genes include those that encode cytokines, chemokines, and costimulatory molecules. Polymorphisms in other classes of genes such as those involved in drug metabolism, protein folding, and DNA replication have also been studied. In this review, we address the current knowledge of the role of genetic polymorphisms in GVHD. We also discuss the potential pitfalls inherent in genetic association testing and alternative strategies to address these problems.

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