The emerging roles of the gut microbiome in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is used for the treatment of hematologic cancers and disorders. However, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in which the donor immune cells attack the genetically-disparate recipient is a significant cause of morbidity. Acute GVHD is an inflammatory condition and the gastrointestinal system is a major organ affected but is also tied to beneficial graft-versus-tumor (GVT) effects. There is increasing interest on the role of the microbiome on immune function as well as on cancer progression and immunotherapy outcomes. However, there are still significant unanswered questions on the role the microbiome plays in GVHD progression or how to exploit the microbiome in GVHD prevention or treatment. In this review, concepts of HSCT with the focus on GVHD pathogenesis as well as issues in preclinical models used to study GVHD will be discussed with an emphasis on the impact of the microbiome. Factors affecting the microbiome and GVHD outcome such as obesity are also examined. The bridging of preclinical models and clinical outcomes in relation to the role of the microbiome will also be discussed along with possibilities for therapeutic exploitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1966262
JournalGut Microbes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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