Haematology research team lead international recruitment for POSTAGE study

Congratulations to the haematology research team at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who are the top international recruiter for a study into acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD).

The team, led by principal investigator Dr Fiona Dignan, Consultant Haematologist at Manchester Royal Infirmary, have recruited most patients both in the UK and internationally to Prospective Outcomes of Second-line Therapy in Acute Graft-versus-Host Study including ECP (POSTAGE).

The study is investigating the effectiveness of five different second-line therapies for patients with aGVHD, a complication of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) that is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. HSCT is used to treat haematological disorders, including various blood cancers.

A ranking system of 0-4 is used to determine severity of aGVHD, and transplant related mortality varies from 28% at the lowest point to 92% at the highest. Only 50% of these patients respond fully to first-line treatment with systemic corticosteroids.

The other half are difficult to manage and there is no clinical consensus on which second-line therapy to give. POSTAGE aims to tackle this problem, and also gather information to act as a compliance audit with current treatment guidelines.

Dr Fiona Dignan said:

This global achievement reflects the commitment and hard work of the haematology research team. All staff should be extremely proud of their efforts. We hope the results of this study guide future treatment recommendations and identify the need for a randomised prospective clinical trial to develop more targeted, effective therapies for these patients.