Should methotrexate plus calcineurin inhibitors be considered standard of care for prophylaxis of acute graft-versus-host disease?

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2010 Jan;16(1 Suppl):S18-27. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2009.10.016. Epub 2009 Oct 24.


In a rapidly developing field, one can always anticipate that different interpretations of similar data will coexist. Stem cell transplanters can be a contentious lot, especially in the absence of controlled randomized trials. Thus, although improvements in the basic understanding of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) has led to many testable hypotheses in the management of GVHD, there remains little consensus regarding the most effective and least toxic approach to GVHD prevention. In the 1980s, the comparison would have been between cyclosporine-based regimens and ex vivo T cell depletion (TCD). Although ex vivo TCD is still used in some settings, pharmacologic-based therapy and in vivo TCD with serotherapy now predominate. This review is meant to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the "standard of care" and assess the prospects for future regimens that may be more effective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors*
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Graft vs Host Disease / drug therapy
  • Graft vs Host Disease / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects
  • Methotrexate / pharmacology*
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use


  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Methotrexate