(BPT) - 'Where do I go for help?'-a simple, perhaps broad, but challenging question. This is the first question many people living with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) ask following their diagnosis. GVHD can occur after an allogeneic stem cell transplant when the transplanted, or donor, cells initiate an immune response that attacks the transplant recipient's organs. For many individuals with certain cancers, stem cell transplants offer the hope of a potential cure, and while survival rates for transplant recipients have improved, challenges remain for those who develop GVHD, which is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.
GVHD can be expressed in chronic and acute forms, both capable of affecting multiple organ systems including the skin, gastrointestinal (digestive) tract, and liver. People with GVHD commonly face a wide range of symptoms, from excessive fatigue and emotional distress, to other chronic symptoms that may impact daily life.
Providing comprehensive support via creative solutions: the second annual Incyte Ingenuity Award Program
Incyte recognizes the unique challenges the GVHD community faces and has established the Incyte Ingenuity Award Program to provide direct support through funding innovative initiatives that address specific needs for people affected by GVHD. For the 2021 program, Incyte is proud to announce that Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation are this year's recipients! The judges have granted Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center the $100,000 award and the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation the $35,000 award, as both show creative, collaborative, and novel solutions that have high potential to benefit the GVHD community.
It's time to lend a helping hand: how the 2021 program recipients will support those with GVHD
Following a stem cell transplant, discovering that there is another challenging journey ahead can be incredibly shocking and overwhelming for those diagnosed with GVHD. One of their main concerns is understanding this new condition and finding the level of care they need.
At the heart of a patient's health journey lies the relationships they form-connections to the right doctors, resources, and support make all the difference. With a deep understanding of this crucial moment in a patient's journey, the 2021 Incyte Ingenuity Award recipients proposed two novel initiatives that tie to this same insight-connecting people with GVHD with the support and expertise that they need:
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will seek to establish a GVHD-focused telehealth clinic for the multidisciplinary management of GVHD. Recognizing the evolving healthcare landscape, this telehealth clinic will be available for patients following their transplant, and GVHD diagnosis, meeting them at the start of their new patient journey.
The Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation will build an interactive GVHD provider network, connecting GVHD specialists with community-based providers, in the hopes to ensure that the specialized GVHD expertise and knowledge is accessible to any GVHD patient outside of a major academic center.
Incyte is proud to continue to offer support to the GVHD community through this award program and its dynamic and creative solutions. To learn more about the 2021 recipients and their novel initiatives, visit: https://www.incyteingenuityawards.com/recipients.
© 2021, Incyte Corporation. MAT-INC-01552 11/21