Publications by authors named "Aimee C Talleur"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Outcomes of pediatric patients who relapse after first HCT for acute leukemia or MDS.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

Disease relapse remains a major cause of treatment failure in patients receiving allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) for high-risk acute leukemias or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Comprehensive data on outcomes after post-transplant relapse are lacking, especially in pediatric patients. Our objective was to assess the impact of various transplant-, patient-, and disease-related variables on survival and outcomes in patients who relapse after alloHCT. We describe our institutional experience with 221 pediatric patients who experienced disease relapse after their first alloHCT for acute leukemias or MDS between 1990 and 2018. In a multivariable model, being in first complete remission at first alloHCT, longer duration of remission after alloHCT, experiencing GVHD and receiving a transplant in a more recent time period were significantly associated with a higher likelihood of receiving a second alloHCT after post-transplant relapse. Of these variables, only longer interval from alloHCT to relapse, receiving a second alloHCT or DLI, and receiving a transplant in a more recent time period were associated with improved overall survival. Our data support pursuing second alloHCT for patients who have experienced relapse after their first transplant, as that remains the only salvage modality with a reasonable chance of inducing long-term remission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01267-0DOI Listing
March 2021

Allogeneic CAR Cell Therapy-More Than a Pipe Dream.

Front Immunol 2020 8;11:618427. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, United States.

Adoptive cellular immunotherapy using immune cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) has shown promise, particularly for the treatment of hematological malignancies. To date, the majority of clinically evaluated CAR cell products have been derived from autologous immune cells. While this strategy can be effective it also imposes several constraints regarding logistics. This includes i) availability of center to perform leukapheresis, ii) necessity for shipment to and from processing centers, and iii) time requirements for product manufacture and clinical release testing. In addition, previous cytotoxic therapies can negatively impact the effector function of autologous immune cells, which may then affect efficacy and/or durability of resultant CAR products. The use of allogeneic CAR cell products generated using cells from healthy donors has the potential to overcome many of these limitations, including through generation of "off the shelf" products. However, allogeneic CAR cell products come with their own challenges, including potential to induce graft-versus-host-disease, as well as risk of immune-mediated rejection by the host. Here we will review promises and challenges of allogeneic CAR immunotherapies, including those being investigated in preclinical models and/or early phase clinical studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.618427DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7821739PMC
January 2021

Hematopoietic cell transplant for reversal of liver fibrosis in a pediatric patient with erythropoietic protoporphyria.

Pediatr Transplant 2021 Jan 6:e13966. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

Background: EPP is a rare disorder of heme biosynthesis in which patients present with disabling photosensitivity. A subset of patients develop severe liver disease with progressive liver failure necessitating an OLT. A HCT can potentially cure EPP by replacing the native bone marrow, which is the primary site of heme synthesis. However, due to concerns for inherent risks of treatment-related toxicities, the use of HCT has been reserved for patients undergoing an OLT to avoid disease recurrence in the hepatic graft. Data for HCT in EPP are lacking, particularly in the pediatric population.

Case (methods/results): We present the case of a 12-year-old patient with EPP photosensitivity and cirrhosis, whom we successfully treated with pre-emptive allogeneic HCT, significantly improving the patient's quality of life. We used a matched-unrelated donor bone marrow-derived graft. Our patient achieved full donor peripheral blood chimerism and has not had any evidence of GVHD. In addition to resolution of photosensitivity, our patient had reversal of liver fibrosis which we feel was largely due to intervention at an early stage of compensated cirrhosis.

Conclusion: Our case highlights the successful application of a known RIC regimen to this rare disorder that was well tolerated with sustained donor engraftment. It also emphasizes the importance of timing for HCT in patients with EPP and liver fibrosis. HCT should be considered early in pediatric patients with EPP-hepatopathy to prevent progression to liver failure and need for OLT with lifelong immunosuppression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/petr.13966DOI Listing
January 2021

What is the role for HSCT or immunotherapy in pediatric hypodiploid B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia?

Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program 2020 12;2020(1):508-511

Division of Oncology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; and.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/hematology.2020000162DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7727504PMC
December 2020

Diagnostic approach to the evaluation of myeloid malignancies following CAR T-cell therapy in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 11;8(2)

Pediatric Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Immunotherapeutic strategies targeting B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) effectively induce remission; however, disease recurrence remains a challenge. Due to the potential for antigen loss, antigen diminution, lineage switch or development of a secondary or treatment-related malignancy, the phenotype and manifestation of subsequent leukemia may be elusive. We report on two patients with multiply relapsed/refractory B-ALL who, following chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, developed myeloid malignancies. In the first case, a myeloid sarcoma developed in a patient with a history of myelodysplastic syndrome. In the second case, two distinct events occurred. The first event represented a donor-derived myelodysplastic syndrome with monosomy 7 in a patient with a prior hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This patient went on to present with lineage switch of her original B-ALL to ambiguous lineage T/myeloid acute leukemia. With the rapidly evolving field of novel immunotherapeutic strategies, evaluation of relapse and/or subsequent neoplasms is becoming increasingly more complex. By virtue of these uniquely complex cases, we provide a framework for the evaluation of relapse or evolution of a subsequent malignancy following antigen-targeted immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001563DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7703409PMC
November 2020

Autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation for the treatment of relapsed/refractory pediatric, adolescent, and young adult Hodgkin lymphoma: a single institutional experience.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 07 9;55(7):1357-1366. Epub 2020 Apr 9.

Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

Pediatric, adolescent, and young adult patients with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma receive multimodal therapy, including autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AutoHCT). Despite aggressive therapy, historical outcomes for this patient population have been poor. This paper describes a single institutional experience utilizing AutoHCT in 74 patients treated from 1988-2015. Our results demonstrate significantly improved outcomes over time. Compared with patients treated in the earlier era (1988-2001), 5-year overall survival improved from 62.5 ± 9.6% to 91.8 ± 4.4% (p < 0.001) and event free survival improved from 41.7 ± 9.6% to 87.7 ± 5.3% (I < 0.001) for patients treated in a later era (2002-2015). Improvements in survival are multifactorial, including reductions in both relapse and nonrelapse mortality. Further investigation is needed to determine the role of AutoHCT in a modern treatment cohort that includes frequent use of targeted immunotherapies. In addition, as the use and availability of effective novel therapeutics increases for this patient population there may be an opportunity for the reduction of standard cytotoxic therapies, including in AutoHCT preparative regimens, thereby mitigating late effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0879-4DOI Listing
July 2020

Longitudinal NK cell kinetics and cytotoxicity in children with neuroblastoma enrolled in a clinical phase II trial.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 03;8(1)

Oncology Department, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Background: Natural killer (NK) cells are one of the main effector populations of immunotherapy with monoclonal antibody and cytokines, used in combination with chemotherapy to treat children with high-risk neuroblastoma on this phase II trial. However, the impact of chemoimmunotherapy on NK cell kinetics, phenotype, and function is understudied.

Methods: We prospectively examined NK cell properties from 63 children with newly diagnosed neuroblastoma enrolled in a phase II trial (NCT01857934) and correlated our findings with tumor volume reduction after 2 courses of chemoimmunotherapy. NK cell studies were conducted longitudinally during chemoimmunotherapy and autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (autoHCT) with optional haploidentical NK cell infusion and additional immunotherapy.

Results: Chemoimmunotherapy led to significant NK cytopenia, but complete NK cell recovery reliably occurred by day 21 of each therapy course as well as after autoHCT. Haploidentical NK cell infusion elevated the NK cell count transiently during autoHCT. NK cell cytotoxicity increased significantly during treatment compared with diagnosis. In addition, NK cells maintained their ability to respond to cytokine stimulation in culture longitudinally. Unsupervised cluster analysis of CD56 NK cell count and tumor volume at diagnosis and after two courses of chemoimmunotherapy identified two patient groups with distinct primary tumor sizes and therapy responses.

Conclusion: After profound NK cytopenia due to chemoimmunotherapy, endogenously reconstituted NK cells exhibit enhanced NK cytotoxicity compared with pretherapy measurements. Our data suggest a relationship between CD56 expression and tumor size before and after two courses of chemoimmunotherapy; however, future studies are necessary to confirm this relationship and its predictive significance.

Trial Registration Number: NCT01857934.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2019-000176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7206969PMC
March 2020

Thoughts from the threshold: patient and family hopes, fears, values, and goals at the onset of pediatric hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 06 28;55(6):1103-1113. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

Division of Quality-of-life and Palliative Care, Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) affords curative potential for high-risk patients but also carries risk of morbidity and mortality. Early palliative care (PC) integration can aid in supporting patients and families, fostering goal-directed care, and maximizing quality-of-life throughout. However, little is known about patient and family hopes, worries, goals, or values in pediatric HCT. Through retrospective review of pretransplant PC consultations, this study sought to provide insights from this unique patient population. Across 100 initial PC encounters conducted between December 2015 and March 2018, patient and caregiver responses to five targeted questions were extracted and analyzed. Data analysis revealed themes related to patient quality-of-life, caregiver/parent role, hopes, and worries. The most commonly identified thematic responses within each topic area were patient quality-of-life "electronics/entertainment" (49%), caregiver/parent role "doing right by my child" (58%), hopes "cure" (83%), worries "potential side effects" (43%), other spirituality (34%), and resiliency (29%). These findings provide an understanding of the values, goals, priorities, hopes, and fears experienced by pediatric HCT patients and their families, which may help inform a targeted approach to improve communication and overall care throughout transplantation. Variability was noted, underscoring the importance of fostering flexible, patient/family-centered communication beginning in the pretransplant period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0794-8DOI Listing
June 2020

Treatment patterns and disease outcomes for pediatric patients with refractory or recurrent Hodgkin lymphoma treated with curative-intent salvage radiotherapy.

Radiother Oncol 2019 05 5;134:89-95. Epub 2019 Feb 5.

Department of Radiation Oncology, St. Jude Children's Hospital, Memphis, United States.

Background And Purpose: The use of radiotherapy (RT) for pediatric patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) experiencing disease progression or recurrence (15%) is controversial. We report treatment patterns and outcomes for pediatric patients with refractory/recurrent HL (rrHL) treated with curative-intent RT.

Materials And Methods: Forty-six patients with rrHL treated with salvage RT at our institution were identified. All received risk-adapted, response-based frontline therapy and were retrieved with cytoreductive regimens followed by RT to failure sites, with or without autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT). Cumulative incidence (CIN) of local failure (LF) and survival were estimated after salvage RT and regression models determined predictors of LF after salvage RT.

Results: RT was administered as part of frontline therapy in 70% of patients, omitted for early response assessment in 13%, or deferred for primary progression in 17%. AHCT was omitted in 20% of patients. Median initial and salvage dose/site were 25.5 Gy and 30.6 Gy, respectively. Eight patients experienced progression. Two died without progression (median follow-up from salvage RT = 3.8 years). The 5-year CIN of LF after salvage RT was 17.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.2-30.2%). The 5-year freedom from subsequent treatment failure and overall survival (OS) was 80.1% (95% CI, 69.2-92.6%) and 88.5% (95% CI, 79.5-98.6%), respectively. Inadequate response to salvage systemic therapy (p = 0.048) and male sex (p = 0.049) were significantly associated with LF after salvage RT.

Conclusion: rrHL is responsive to salvage RT, with low LF rates after moderate doses. OS is excellent, despite refractory disease. Initial salvage therapy response predicts subsequent LF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2019.01.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6478442PMC
May 2019

A quality improvement project to improve pediatric medical provider sleep and communication during night shifts.

Int J Qual Health Care 2019 Oct;31(8):633-638

Department of Psychology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, MS-101, Memphis, TN, USA.

Quality Problem Or Issue: Night-shift medical providers frequently experience limited sleep resulting in fatigue, often because of paging activity. Streamlined medical-specific communication interventions are known to improve sleep and communication among these providers.

Initial Assessment: We found that non-urgent paging communication occurred frequently during night-shifts, leading to provider sleep disturbances within our institution. We tested a quality improvement (QI) intervention to improve paging practices and determined its effect on provider sleep.

Choice Of Solution: We used a Plan-Do-Study-Act QI model aimed at improving clinician sleep and paging communications.

Implementation: We initially conducted focus groups of nurses and physician trainees to inform the creation of a standardized paging intervention. We collected actigraphy and sleep log data from physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician trainees and performed electronic collection of paging frequency data.

Evaluation: Data were collected between December 2015 and March 2017 from pediatric residents, pediatric hematology/oncology (PHO) fellows, hospitalist medicine nocturnists and nurses working during night-shift hours in PHO inpatient units. We collected baseline data before implementation of the QI intervention and at 1 month post-implementation. Although objective measures and provider reports demonstrated improved medical-specific communication paging practices, provider sleep was not affected.

Lessons Learned: Provider-based standardization of paging communication was associated with improved medical-specific communication between nurses and providers; however, provider sleep was not affected. The strategies used in this intervention may be transferable to other clinics and institutions to streamline medical-specific communication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzy221DOI Listing
October 2019

Consolidation Therapy for Newly Diagnosed Pediatric Patients with High-Risk Neuroblastoma Using Busulfan/Melphalan, Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, Anti-GD2 Antibody, Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Interleukin-2, and Haploidentical Natural Killer Cells.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2017 Nov 18;23(11):1910-1917. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. Electronic address:

The treatment of pediatric high-risk neuroblastoma is intensive and multimodal. Despite the introduction of immunotherapy for minimal residual disease, survival rates remain suboptimal and new therapies are needed. As part of a phase 2 trial, we are using a consolidation therapy regimen that combines a busulfan/melphalan conditioning schema, autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT), and experimental immunotherapy with hu14.18K322A (a humanized anti-GD2 monoclonal antibody), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and IL-2, with or without the adoptive transfer of haploidentical natural killer cells (NKs). Here we report on 30 patients who have undergone AHCT with this experimental immunotherapy regimen, 21 of whom received haploidentical NKs. The median time to neutrophil engraftment was 13 days (range, 10 to 28 days) and to platelet engraftment of at least 20  ×  103/mm was 36.5 days (range, 0 to 102 days); no clinical difference was seen in those who did or did not receive NKs. Eight patients developed veno-occlusive disease, with 3 having multiorgan dysfunction. Toxicities were similar for patients who did or did not receive NKs. We conclude that this consolidation regimen is feasible and has an acceptable acute toxicity profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.07.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5682204PMC
November 2017

Limited Margin Radiation Therapy for Children and Young Adults With Ewing Sarcoma Achieves High Rates of Local Tumor Control.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2016 09 12;96(1):119-26. Epub 2016 Apr 12.

Department of Radiation Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. Electronic address:

Purpose: To determine the rate of local failure using focal conformal, limited margin radiation therapy (RT) and dose escalation for tumors ≥8 cm (greatest dimension at diagnosis) in children and young adults with Ewing sarcoma (EWS).

Methods And Materials: Eligible patients with EWS were treated on a phase 2 institutional trial of focal conformal, limited margin RT using conformal or intensity modulated techniques. The treatment volume incorporated a 1-cm constrained margin around the gross tumor. Unresected tumors, <8 cm at diagnosis, received a standard dose of 55.8 Gy and tumors ≥8 cm, an escalated dose to 64.8 Gy. Patients with microscopic residual disease after resection received adjuvant RT to 50.4 Gy. Adjuvant brachytherapy was permitted in selected patients.

Results: Forty-five patients were enrolled: 26 with localized and 19 with metastatic disease. Median (range) age, tumor size, and follow-up were 13.0 years (2.9-24.7 years), 9.0 cm (2.4-17.0 cm), and 54.5 months (1.9-122.2 months), respectively. All patients received systemic chemotherapy. The median (range) RT dose for all patients was 56.1 Gy (45-65.5 Gy). Seventeen patients received adjuvant, 16 standard-dose, and 12 escalated-dose RT. Failures included 1 local, 10 distant, and 1 local/distant. The estimated 10-year cumulative incidence of local failure was 4.4% ± 3.1%, with no statistical difference seen between RT treatment groups and no local failures in the escalated-dose RT treatment group.

Conclusions: Treatment with focal conformal, limited margin RT, including dose escalation for larger tumors, provides favorable local tumor control in EWS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2016.04.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5713481PMC
September 2016