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Study Analyzes Clinical, Economic Impact of Hemorrhagic Cystitis in Stem Cell Transplant Patients

Dr. McGuirk

March 23, 2021

Hemorrhagic cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder defined by lower urinary tract symptoms that include dysuria, hematuria and hemorrhage. The disease can arise as a complication of a viral infection following an allogeneic (donor) stem cell transplant. It occurs in up to 70 percent of hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.

In a retrospective observational study led by The University of Kansas Cancer Center, in partnership with AlloVir, Certara and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, scientists compared the economic burden, health resource utilization (HRU) and clinical outcomes among allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients with virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis to those without virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis using a large U.S. claims database.

“Hemorrhagic cystitis affects quality of life and can even be deadly. It also poses a huge burden to the health care system. At present, managing it is purely supportive, as there are no approved or recommended antivirals for virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis,” said Joseph McGuirk, DO, lead author and division director of the cancer center’s Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapeutics program.

The team surveyed the data of approximately 13,400 patients and found adjusted health care insurance reimbursements were significantly higher for virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis patients with and without graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) compared to patients without virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis. Those patients stayed nearly eight more days in the hospital and six additional days in the intensive care unit, compared to those without hemorrhagic cystitis. Regardless of whether patients had GvHD or not, those with virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis had significantly higher mortality compared to those without it. The results of the study were published in the journal Transplantation and Cell Therapy.

“This study highlights the unmet clinical need for effective strategies to prevent and treat virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients,” Dr. McGuirk said. ‘’Not only would this reduce patient health care costs, it could also save lives.”

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