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Cancer patients inherit brand-new immune systems after undergoing bone marrow transplants. Though this intensive therapy can rid the body of malignancies, it often triggers graft-versus-host disease — a condition in which freshly adopted immune cells mount violent attacks on a person’s tissues and organs, viewing them as foreign.

Other than steroids, which only work about half of the time, there have been few options to treat the disease. GVHD, as the condition is known, is often fatal.

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