I am new here at Medical Science SE (first ever question!) and perhaps I sound like an idiot, but...

Why (or how) would a bone marrow transplant recipient's native immune system attack the new bone marrow if they no longer HAVE their own immune system? After all, it has just been completely destroyed (by chemotherapy) and now replaced?

So what difference does it make if their HLA matches or not?

Hmmmm.... perhaps their newly created WBCs from the donor will attack everything BUT the marrow???

  • 3
    Welcome Kurt. Nice question, I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it first. Did you look into when the majority of rejection occurs, did you try to look-up the answer yourself? Reason I ask, the rules here require that people post their own attempts to find an answer into the topic, what they looked up and where they got stuck. See the How to Ask section of the help center for guidance. Mar 19 at 4:27
  • 3
    Your last sentence is on the right track. Google graft vs. host disease.
    – Carey Gregory
    Mar 19 at 18:32


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