Supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb through the Robin Roberts Cancer Thrivership Fund
Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) can cure cancer in many patients, but some survivors will develop a devastating complication called bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). BOS causes debilitating scar tissue in the lungs. Patients with BOS can experience shortness of breath, lung infections and long-term breathing problems. Some patients will die from BOS. BOS is hard to treat because most patients are diagnosed with after permanent damage has been done. If we can diagnose BOS earlier, before patients have symptoms, we might be able to prevent suffering. HCT patients who have a condition called chronic graft-versus-host disease, in which donor cells attack the patient’s tissues, are more likely to develop BOS. Our study will enroll patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease and test whether a simple tool called a spirometer can detect the earliest signs of BOS. We will give study participants a handheld spirometer to measure how well a participant’s lungs are functioning. During the study, participants will use the spirometer every week at home. The spirometer connects to the participant’s smartphone. The results will be sent to the study team over internet. If the team sees that a participant’s lung function begins to decline, the participant’s doctor will be informed. We hope that this tool can help a patient’s doctor diagnose and treat BOS earlier. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that patients who survive cancer also thrive after their treatment.