A combined biomarker and clinical panel for chronic graft versus host disease diagnosis

Abstract

Whilst many chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD) biomarkers have been previously reported, few have been verified in an independent cGVHD cohort. We aimed to verify the diagnostic accuracy of previously reported markers of cGVHD in a multi-centre Chronic GVHD Consortium. A total of 42 RNA and 18 protein candidate biomarkers were assessed amongst 59 cGVHD cases and 33 matched non-GVHD controls. Total RNA was isolated from PBMC, and RNA markers were quantified using PCR. Serum protein markers were quantified using ELISA. A combined 3 RNA biomarker (IRS2, PLEKHF1 and IL1R2) and 2 clinical variables (recipient CMV serostatus and conditioning regimen intensity) panel accurately (AUC 0.81) segregated cGVHD cases from controls. Other studied RNA and protein markers were not confirmed as accurate cGVHD diagnostic biomarkers. The studied markers failed to segregate higher risk cGVHD (per overall NIH 0-3 score, and overlap versus classic cGVHD status). These data support the need for multiple independent verification studies for the ultimate clinical application of cGVHD diagnostic biomarkers.

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