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Should I be concerned about graft vs. host disease (GVHD)?

Anytime a person receives a transplant, there is a possibility of developing Graft vs. Host Disease. GVHD is a serious, even life threatening, possible complication of any type of transplant, stem cell transplants included. This disease is the result of a patient’s body rejecting the transplant and attacking the cells as though it were a foreign material in the body.

While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk when receiving a transplant, experience has shown that the risk is significantly reduced when cord blood stem cells are used, and when/if it does occur, it has shown to be less severe.