The EBMT–ELN working group recommendations on the prophylaxis and treatment of GvHD: a change-control analysis

Abstract

In 2013, recommendations for a standardized practice in the prophylaxis and treatment of GvHD were adopted and published by the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the European LeukemiaNet. One year later, all 341 European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation centres performing allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation were contacted for a change-control analysis and asked to fill in a questionnaire; 111 centres (33%) responded. Of these, 83% had been aware of the recommendations. Paediatric centres (P=0.004), centres with shorter programme duration (P=0.049), not JACIE (the Joint Accreditation Committee of the International Society for Cellular Therapy and the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation)-accredited centres (P=0.010) and centres from middle-income countries (P=0.033) were more likely to be unaware of the recommendations. Thirty-eight per cent of the centres regarded the recommendations as relevant guidelines affecting their policies, 61% as interesting information. Thirty per cent had decided to make changes in their institutional protocols based on the recommendations. More than 80% were willing to use the recommendations for a control arm in randomized studies. This survey shows that the published recommendations had some, though insufficient, impact on the strategies and methods of allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation applied by the centres. It also identified some of the weaknesses to be addressed when releasing recommendations in the future.

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