John Murray, clinical nurse at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK, discusses the highlights from the nurses session on graft versus host disease (GVHD) at the 2017 annual meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) in Marseille, France. One of the highlights of this session was the presentation by Dr Nathanial Treister, who spoke about patients with oral GVHD. Dr Treister spoke about the difficulties that patients face, what to look for and the treatments that are available for it.
Dr Dominique Vexiau-Robert then spoke about vaginal GVHD, an incredibly under-reported disease. It is very important for nurses to openly talk to patients about this and address this problem, as usually patients will shy away from bringing it up themselves.
The final presentation of this session focused on scleroderma of the skin, by Prof. Hildegard Greinix. Scleroderma is a debilitating condition, which causes contractions of the skin, tightening around the joints, lack of mobility and increased amounts of pain. Although there are many therapies available, unfortunately the best treatment is unknown. During his talk, Prof. Greinix spoke about how to best improve patients quality of life.