During the last decade, the development of biomarkers for the complications seen after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has expanded tremendously, with the most progress having been made for acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD), a common and often fatal complication. Although many factors are known to determine transplant outcome (including the age of the recipient, comorbidity, conditioning intensity, donor source, donor-recipient HLA compatibility, conditioning regimen, posttransplant GVHD prophylaxis), they are incomplete guides for predicting outcomes. Thanks to the advances in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and cytomics technologies, blood biomarkers have been identified and validated for us in promising diagnostic tests, prognostic tests stratifying for future occurrence of aGVHD, and predictive tests for responsiveness to GVHD therapy and nonrelapse mortality. These biomarkers may facilitate timely and selective therapeutic intervention. However, such blood tests are not yet available for routine clinical care. This article provides an overview of the candidate biomarkers for clinical evaluation and outlines a path from biomarker discovery to first clinical correlation, to validation in independent cohorts, to a biomarker-based clinical trial, and finally to general clinical application. This article focuses on biomarkers discovered with a large-scale proteomics platform and validated with the same reproducible assay in at least 2 independent cohorts with sufficient sample size according to the 2014 National Institutes of Health consensus on biomarker criteria, as well as on biomarkers as tests for risk stratification of outcomes, but not on their pathophysiologic contributions, which have been reviewed recently.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology