The road to beating leukemia, lymphoma or other blood cancers often takes patients through a stem cell transplant. But in curing the cancer, transplants can cause a host of other issues, one of which is a lung disorder called bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, or BOS.
BOS blocks the flow of air to the small airways in the lungs and is very difficult to treat once it becomes advanced. About 10% of patients who survive a stem cell transplant develop BOS.
Unfortunately, BOS is also difficult to diagnose, so by the time it’s identified doctors are not able to reverse it. The goal becomes to stop it from getting worse. Only 1 in 5 patients will survive five years after a BOS diagnosis.