Measuring therapeutic response in chronic graft-versus-host disease. National Institutes of Health consensus development project on criteria for clinical trials in chronic graft-versus-host disease: IV. The 2014 Response Criteria Working Group report

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015 Jun;21(6):984-99. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.02.025. Epub 2015 Mar 19.


In 2005, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease (GVHD) Consensus Response Criteria Working Group recommended several measures to document serial evaluations of chronic GVHD organ involvement. Provisional definitions of complete response, partial response, and progression were proposed for each organ and for overall outcome. Based on publications over the last 9 years, the 2014 Working Group has updated its recommendations for measures and interpretation of organ and overall responses. Major changes include elimination of several clinical parameters from the determination of response, updates to or addition of new organ scales to assess response, and the recognition that progression excludes minimal, clinically insignificant worsening that does not usually warrant a change in therapy. The response definitions have been revised to reflect these changes and are expected to enhance reliability and practical utility of these measures in clinical trials. Clarification is provided about response assessment after the addition of topical or organ-targeted treatment. Ancillary measures are strongly encouraged in clinical trials. Areas suggested for additional research include criteria to identify irreversible organ damage and validation of the modified response criteria, including in the pediatric population.

Keywords: Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation; Chronic graft-versus-host disease; Consensus; Guidelines; Response criteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Consensus*
  • Disease Progression
  • Graft vs Host Disease / drug therapy*
  • Graft vs Host Disease / immunology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / mortality
  • Graft vs Host Disease / pathology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Remission Induction
  • Survival Analysis
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Immunosuppressive Agents