Publications by authors named "Alice Fabarius"

78 Publications

Low risk of contrast media induced hypersensitivity reactions in all subtypes of systemic mastocytosis.

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2021 Oct 9. Epub 2021 Oct 9.

Clinic of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Patients with SM are at increased risk of hypersensitivity reactions. Although hymenoptera venoms are the predominant triggers, cases of CMIHR have also been reported and prophylactic premedication is often performed. However, data from larger series are limited and differences between indolent and advanced systemic mastocytosis have not yet been investigated.

Objective: To determine the incidence and severity of CMIHR in all subtypes of SM.

Methods: We analyzed 162 adult patients with SM (ISM, n=65; advSM, n=97). Firstly, the cumulative incidence of CMIHR was retrospectively assessed in the patient's history. Secondly, at our institution, patients underwent 332 CM-enhanced imagings including 80 CT scans with iodine-based contrast agent and 252 MRI with gadoliniumbased contrast agent and tolerance was assessed.

Results: Previous CMIHRs to CT (vomiting, n=1, erythema, n=1, cardiovascular shock, n=1) and MRI (dyspnea, n=1, cardiovascular shock, n=1) had been reported by 4/162 (2.5%) patients (ISM, n=3; advSM, n=1). In contrast, during or after 332 CM-enhanced CT/MRI examinations at our institution, no CMIHRs were reported. Premedication was solely given to 3 patients prior to CT scans, including one with previous CMIHR, who tolerated the imaging well.

Conclusion: We conclude that i) there is a significant discrepancy between perception and prevalence of hypersensitivity reactions to CM in SM, ii) reactions are scarce in ISM and even rarer in advSM, iii) in SM patients without previous history of CM hypersensitivity, prophylactic premedication prior to CM enhanced-CT/MRI is dispensable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anai.2021.10.004DOI Listing
October 2021

Proteins Marking the Sequence of Genotoxic Signaling from Irradiated Mesenchymal Stromal Cells to CD34+ Cells.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 May 29;22(11). Epub 2021 May 29.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.

Non-targeted effects (NTE) of ionizing radiation may initiate myeloid neoplasms (MN). Here, protein mediators (I) in irradiated human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) as the NTE source, (II) in MSC conditioned supernatant and (III) in human bone marrow CD34+ cells undergoing genotoxic NTE were investigated. Healthy sublethal irradiated MSC showed significantly increased levels of reactive oxygen species. These cells responded by increasing intracellular abundance of proteins involved in proteasomal degradation, protein translation, cytoskeleton dynamics, nucleocytoplasmic shuttling, and those with antioxidant activity. Among the increased proteins were THY1 and GNA11/14, which are signaling proteins with hitherto unknown functions in the radiation response and NTE. In the corresponding MSC conditioned medium, the three chaperones GRP78, CALR, and PDIA3 were increased. Together with GPI, these were the only four altered proteins, which were associated with the observed genotoxic NTE. Healthy CD34+ cells cultured in MSC conditioned medium suffered from more than a six-fold increase in γH2AX focal staining, indicative for DNA double-strand breaks, as well as numerical and structural chromosomal aberrations within three days. At this stage, five proteins were altered, among them IQGAP1, HMGB1, and PA2G4, which are involved in malign development. In summary, our data provide novel insights into three sequential steps of genotoxic signaling from irradiated MSC to CD34+ cells, implicating that induced NTE might initiate the development of MN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22115844DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8197937PMC
May 2021

Clinical and histopathological features of myeloid neoplasms with concurrent Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) V617F and KIT proto-oncogene, receptor tyrosine kinase (KIT) D816V mutations.

Br J Haematol 2021 Jul 1;194(2):344-354. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Haematology and Oncology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

We report on 45 patients with myeloid neoplasms and concurrent Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) V617F and KIT proto-oncogene, receptor tyrosine kinase (KIT) D816V (JAK2 /KIT ) mutations, which are individually identified in >60% of patients with classical myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) and >90% of patients with systemic mastocytosis (SM) respectively. In SM, the concurrent presence of a clonal non-mast cell neoplasm [SM with associated haematological neoplasm (SM-AHN)] usually constitutes a distinct subtype associated with poor survival. All 45 patients presented with a heterogeneous combination of clinical/morphological features typical of the individual disorders (e.g. leuco-/erythro-/thrombocytosis and elevated lactate dehydrogenase for MPN; elevated serum tryptase and alkaline phosphatase for SM). Overlapping features identified in 70% of patients included splenomegaly, cytopenia(s), bone marrow fibrosis and additional somatic mutations. Molecular dissection revealed discordant development of variant allele frequency for both mutations and absence of concurrently positive single-cell derived colonies, indicating disease evolution in two independent clones rather than monoclonal disease in >60% of patients examined. Overall survival of JAK2 /KIT patients without additional somatic high-risk mutations [HRM, e.g. in serine and arginine-rich splicing factor 2 (SRSF2), additional sex combs like-1 (ASXL1) or Runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1)] at 5 years was 77%, indicating that the mutual impact of JAK2 V617F and KIT D816V on prognosis is fundamentally different from the adverse impact of additional HRM in the individual disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17567DOI Listing
July 2021

Genotoxic Bystander Signals from Irradiated Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Mainly Localize in the 10-100 kDa Fraction of Conditioned Medium.

Cells 2021 04 7;10(4). Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.

Genotoxic bystander signals released from irradiated human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) may induce radiation-induced bystander effects (RIBEs) in human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC), potentially causing leukemic transformation. Although the source of bystander signals is evident, the identification and characterization of these signals is challenging. Here, RIBEs were analyzed in human CD34+ cells cultured in distinct molecular size fractions of medium, conditioned by 2 Gy irradiated human MSC. Specifically, γH2AX foci (as a marker of DNA double-strand breaks) and chromosomal instability were evaluated in CD34+ cells grown in approximate (I) < 10 kDa, (II) 10-100 kDa and (III) > 100 kDa fractions of MSC conditioned medium and un-/fractionated control medium, respectively. Hitherto, significantly increased numbers of γH2AX foci ( = 0.0286) and aberrant metaphases ( = 0.0022) were detected in CD34+ cells grown in the (II) 10-100 kDa fraction (0.67 ± 0.10 γH2AX foci per CD34+ cell ∨ 3.8 ± 0.3 aberrant metaphases per CD34+ cell sample; mean ± SEM) when compared to (I) < 10 kDa (0.19 ± 0.01 ∨ 0.3 ± 0.2) or (III) > 100 kDa fractions (0.23 ± 0.04 ∨ 0.4 ± 0.4) or un-/fractionated control medium (0.12 ± 0.01 ∨ 0.1 ± 0.1). Furthermore, RIBEs disappeared after heat inactivation of medium at 75 °C. Taken together, our data suggest that RIBEs are mainly mediated by the heat-sensitive (II) 10-100 kDa fraction of MSC conditioned medium. We postulate proteins as RIBE mediators and in-depth proteome analyses to identify key bystander signals, which define targets for the development of next-generation anti-leukemic drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells10040827DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8067571PMC
April 2021

Adverse Prognostic Impact of the D816V Transcriptional Activity in Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Mar 4;22(5). Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.

In systemic mastocytosis (SM), qualitative and serial quantitative assessment of the D816V mutation is of diagnostic and prognostic relevance. We investigated peripheral blood and bone marrow samples of 161 patients (indolent SM (ISM), = 40; advanced SM, AdvSM, = 121) at referral and during follow-up for the D816V variant allele frequency (VAF) at the DNA-level and the D816V expressed allele burden (EAB) at the RNA-level. A round robin test with four participating laboratories revealed an excellent correlation ( > 0.99, > 0.98) between three different DNA-assays. VAF and EAB strongly correlated in ISM ( 0.91, coefficient of determination, 0.84) but only to a lesser extent in AdvSM ( 0.71; = 0.5). However, as compared to an EAB/VAF ratio ≤2 (cohort A, 77/121 patients, 64%) receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis identified an EAB/VAF ratio of >2 (cohort B, 44/121 patients, 36%) as predictive for an advanced phenotype and a significantly inferior median survival (3.3 vs. 11.7 years; = 0.005). In terms of overall survival, Cox-regression analysis was only significant for the EAB/VAF ratio >2 ( = 0.006) but not for VAF or EAB individually. This study demonstrates for the first time that the transcriptional activity of D816V may play an important role in the pathophysiology of SM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052562DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7961551PMC
March 2021

First report on establishment and characterization of a carcinosarcoma tumour cell line model of the bladder.

Sci Rep 2021 03 16;11(1):6030. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Surgical Department, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167, Mannheim, Germany.

Carcinosarcoma of the urinary bladder is a very rare and aggressive subtype of bladder cancer with poor prognosis. Characteristically carcinosarcomas exhibit biphasic nature with both epithelial and mesenchymal differentiation. Limited information is available regarding its clinical features and appropriate treatments due to its rarity. Development of tumour models can further our understanding of bladder carcinosarcoma. We report establishment and characterization of the first-ever bladder carcinosarcoma cell line MaS-3. It is established by the outgrow method from 86 year-old caucasian male who underwent a radical pelvic resection after neoadjuvant radiotherapy. MaS-3 showed carcinosarcoma profile with high conformity with to the original tumour in terms of immunocytochemistry. Proteome analysis also aligned the MaS-3 cell line with the carcinosarcoma specimen rather than corresponding non-malignant tissue. Chemotherapy sensitivity testing revealed a great sensitivity of MaS-3 growth to 5-Fluorouracil, Gemcitabine and Cisplatin, with almost no impact of Irinotecan. Additionally, the suitability of MaS-3 for 3D in vitro experiments was also demonstrated. The newly established cell line MaS-3 shows typical characteristics of the tumour and may thus be a useful in vitro model system for studying the tumour biology and developing future of treatments of this rare but very aggressive entity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-85400-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7971026PMC
March 2021

Importance of Adequate Diagnostic Workup for Correct Diagnosis of Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2020 10 15;8(9):3121-3127.e1. Epub 2020 May 15.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Little is known about the epidemiology of advanced systemic mastocytosis (advSM).

Objectives: To investigate epidemiologic features and diagnostic pitfalls of advSM in Germany.

Methods: Therefore, 140 patients from a single German reference center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis between 2003 and 2018 were analyzed.

Results: The patients' median age was 68 years (range, 26-86 years), and male versus female ratio was 2:1. An elevated serum tryptase, a KIT D816 mutation, and additional somatic mutations, for example, in SRSF2, ASXL1, or RUNX1, were identified in 95%, 91%, and 74% of patients, respectively. Median overall survival was 3.5 years (range, 0.03-14.3 years; male vs female 2.6 vs 4.2 years; P = .02). Two categories of misdiagnoses were identified in 51 of 140 (36%) patients: First, systemic mastocytosis (SM) was overlooked in 28 of 140 (20%) patients primarily diagnosed with various subtypes of myeloid neoplasms. Second, 23 of 140 (16%) patients were diagnosed with supposed progression from indolent SM to advSM; however, combination of an elevated KIT D816V variant allele frequency in peripheral blood (n = 22), monocytosis (n = 9), eosinophilia (n = 6), and/or mutations in SRSF2, ASXL1, or RUNX1 (n = 10) suggest that distinct signs of potential advSM were overlooked in virtually all patients. Based on locally diagnosed patients in an area of 2.5 million inhabitants, but obviously without considering more, yet unrecognized cases, the incidence and prevalence of advSM is at least 0.8 and 5.2, respectively, per 1 million inhabitants.

Conclusions: Adequate analyses of tryptase levels, bone marrow morphology, and genetics in patients with myeloid neoplasms or SM would help to prevent the significant underdiagnosis of advSM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2020.05.005DOI Listing
October 2020

High-risk additional chromosomal abnormalities at low blast counts herald death by CML.

Leukemia 2020 08 7;34(8):2074-2086. Epub 2020 May 7.

Department of Hematology-Oncology, Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Blast crisis is one of the remaining challenges in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Whether additional chromosomal abnormalities (ACAs) enable an earlier recognition of imminent blastic proliferation and a timelier change of treatment is unknown. One thousand five hundred and ten imatinib-treated patients with Philadelphia-chromosome-positive (Ph+) CML randomized in CML-study IV were analyzed for ACA/Ph+ and blast increase. By impact on survival, ACAs were grouped into high risk (+8, +Ph, i(17q), +17, +19, +21, 3q26.2, 11q23, -7/7q abnormalities; complex) and low risk (all other). The presence of high- and low-risk ACAs was linked to six cohorts with different blast levels (1%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, and 30%) in a Cox model. One hundred and twenty-three patients displayed ACA/Ph+ (8.1%), 91 were high risk. At low blast levels (1-15%), high-risk ACA showed an increased hazard to die compared to no ACA (ratios: 3.65 in blood; 6.12 in marrow) in contrast to low-risk ACA. No effect was observed at blast levels of 20-30%. Sixty-three patients with high-risk ACA (69%) died (n = 37) or were alive after progression or progression-related transplantation (n = 26). High-risk ACA at low blast counts identify end-phase CML earlier than current diagnostic systems. Mortality was lower with earlier treatment. Cytogenetic monitoring is indicated when signs of progression surface or response to therapy is unsatisfactory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-0826-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7387244PMC
August 2020

Response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in myeloid neoplasms associated with PCM1-JAK2, BCR-JAK2 and ETV6-ABL1 fusion genes.

Am J Hematol 2020 07 28;95(7):824-833. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

We report on 18 patients with myeloid neoplasms and associated tyrosine kinase (TK) fusion genes on treatment with the TK inhibitors (TKI) ruxolitinib (PCM1-JAK2, n = 8; BCR-JAK2, n = 1) and imatinib, nilotinib or dasatinib (ETV6-ABL1, n = 9). On ruxolitinib (median 24 months, range 2-36 months), a complete hematologic response (CHR) and complete cytogenetic response (CCR) was achieved by five of nine and two of nine patients, respectively. However, ruxolitinib was stopped in eight of nine patients because of primary resistance (n = 3), progression (n = 3) or planned allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo SCT, n = 2). At a median of 36 months (range 4-78 months) from diagnosis, five of nine patients are alive: four of six patients after allo SCT and one patient who remains on ruxolitinib. In ETV6-ABL1 positive patients, a durable CHR was achieved by four of nine patients (imatinib with one of five, nilotinib with two of three, dasatinib with one of one). Because of inadequate efficacy (lack of hematological and/or cytogenetic/molecular response), six of nine patients (imatinib, n = 5; nilotinib, n = 1) were switched to nilotinib or dasatinib. At a median of 23 months (range 3-60 months) from diagnosis, five of nine patients are in CCR or complete molecular response (nilotinib, n = 2; dasatinib, n = 2; allo SCT, n = 1) while two of nine patients have died. We conclude that (a) responses on ruxolitinib may only be transient in the majority of JAK2 fusion gene positive patients with allo SCT being an important early treatment option, and (b) nilotinib or dasatinib may be more effective than imatinib to induce durable complete remissions in ETV6-ABL1 positive patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25825DOI Listing
July 2020

Separase activity distribution can be a marker of major molecular response and proliferation of CD34 cells in TKI-treated chronic myeloid leukemia patients.

Ann Hematol 2020 May 6;99(5):991-1006. Epub 2020 Apr 6.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Separase, a cysteine endopeptidase, is a key player in mitotic sister chromatid separation, replication fork dynamics, and DNA repair. Aberrant expression and/or altered separase proteolytic activity are associated with aneuploidy, tumorigenesis, and disease progression. Since genomic instability and clonal evolution are hallmarks of progressing chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), we have comparatively examined separase proteolytic activity in TKI-treated chronic phase CML. Separase proteolytic activity was analyzed on single cell level in 88 clinical samples and in 14 healthy controls by a flow cytometric assay. In parallel, BCR-ABL1 gene expression and replication fork velocity were measured by qRT-PCR and DNA fiber assays, respectively. The separase activity distribution (SAD) value indicating the occurrence of MNCs with elevated separase proteolytic activity within samples was found to positively correlate with BCR-ABL1 gene expression levels and loss of MMR (relapse) throughout routine BCR-ABL1 monitoring. Analyses of CD34 cells and MNCs fractionized by flow cytometric cell sorting according to their separase activity levels (H- and L-fractions) revealed that CD34 cells with elevated separase activity levels (H-fractions) displayed enhanced proliferation/viability when compared with cells with regular (L-fraction) separase activity (mean 3.3-fold, p = 0.0011). BCR-ABL1 gene expression positivity prevailed in MNC H-fractions over L-fractions (42% vs. 8%, respectively). Moreover, expanding CD34 cells of H-fractions showed decreased replication fork velocity compared with cells of L-fractions (p < 0.0001). Our data suggests an association between high separase activity, residual BCR-ABL1 gene expression, and enhanced proliferative capacity in hematopoietic cells within the leukemic niche of TKI-treated chronic phase CML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-04007-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7196950PMC
May 2020

DNA Damage and DNA Damage Response in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Feb 11;21(4). Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.

DNA damage and alterations in the DNA damage response (DDR) are critical sources of genetic instability that might be involved in BCR-ABL1 kinase-mediated blastic transformation of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Here, increased DNA damage is detected by γH2AX foci analysis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of de novo untreated chronic phase (CP)-CML patients ( = 5; 2.5 γH2AX foci per PBMC ± 0.5) and blast phase (BP)-CML patients ( = 3; 4.4 γH2AX foci per PBMC ± 0.7) as well as CP-CML patients with loss of major molecular response (MMR) ( = 5; 1.8 γH2AX foci per PBMC ± 0.4) when compared to DNA damage in PBMC of healthy donors ( = 8; 1.0 γH2AX foci per PBMC ± 0.1) and CP-CML patients in deep molecular response or MMR ( = 26; 1.0 γH2AX foci per PBMC ± 0.1). Progressive activation of erroneous non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) repair mechanisms during blastic transformation in CML is indicated by abundant co-localization of γH2AX/53BP1 foci, while a decline of the DDR is suggested by defective expression of (p-)ATM and (p-)CHK2. In summary, our data provide evidence for the accumulation of DNA damage in the course of CML and suggest ongoing DNA damage, erroneous NHEJ repair mechanisms, and alterations in the DDR as critical mediators of blastic transformation in CML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21041177DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7072846PMC
February 2020

Treatment-free remission in FIP1L1-PDGFRA-positive myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia after imatinib discontinuation.

Blood Adv 2020 Feb;4(3):440-443

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

FIP1L1-PDGFRA-positive myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia (MLN-eo) are exquisitely sensitive to imatinib. Almost all patients achieve a complete molecular remission (CMR) by nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, which can be maintained with low-dose imatinib (eg, 3 × 100 mg/wk). Because imatinib can be safely stopped in a substantial proportion of patients with BCR-ABL1-positive CML, we sought to analyze the clinical and molecular follow-up of 12 FIP1L1-PDGFRA-positive patients with MLN-eo in chronic phase who discontinued imatinib after achievement of a CMR. Median time of treatment and median time of CMR before imatinib discontinuation (last dose at 3 × 100 mg/wk, n = 8; or 100 mg/d, n = 4) were 80 (range, 43-175) and 66 (range, 37-174) months, respectively. A molecular relapse was observed in 4 patients after 10, 22 (n = 2), and 24 months. A second CMR was achieved in 3 patients after 3, 4, and 21 months. Eight patients (62%) are in ongoing CMR (median, 17 months; range, 3-71 months). Molecular relapse-free survival was 91% at 12 months and 65% at 24 months. No significant differences (eg, dose and duration of imatinib treatment or duration of CMR before imatinib discontinuation) were identified between patients with and without molecular relapse. Our data demonstrate that imatinib can be safely stopped in FIP1L1-PDGFRA-positive MLN-eo because of a high treatment-free remission at 12 and 24 months and because most patients achieve a rapid second CMR after restart of imatinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019001111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7013256PMC
February 2020

An increased bone mineral density is an adverse prognostic factor in patients with systemic mastocytosis.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2020 Apr 24;146(4):945-951. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Purpose: Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is characterized by the expansion of clonal mast cells that infiltrate various organ systems. The extent of organ infiltration and subsequent organ damage distinguishes between indolent SM (ISM) defined by a nearly normal life expectancy and advanced SM (AdvSM) defined by poor prognosis. In ISM, measurement of the bone mineral density (BMD) frequently reveals osteoporosis. In contrast, the clinical implication of an increased BMD and osteosclerosis remains unclear.

Methods: BMD was evaluated in 61 patients with mastocytosis (ISM, n = 29, 48%; AdvSM, n = 32, 52%). We correlated the prevalence of osteoporosis, increased BMD and osteosclerosis with clinical parameters, disease variant and prognosis.

Results: Osteoporosis was detected in 11/29 (38%) patients with ISM but only in 2/32 (6%) patients with AdvSM (p = 0.004). An increased BMD was detected in 1/29 (3%) patients with ISM and 24/32 (75%) patients with AdvSM (p < 0.001) while osteosclerosis was only detected in AdvSM patients (16/32, 50%). AdvSM patients with increased BMD had higher levels of bone marrow mast cell infiltration, higher serum tryptase and alkaline phosphatase levels compared to ISM as well as higher number of high-molecular risk mutations (p < 0.05). In addition, we found that the prognosis of AdvSM patients with increased BMD is inferior compared to those without increased BMD (median overall survival 3.6 years versus not reached, p = 0.031).

Conclusions: Osteoporosis is a common feature in ISM but not in AdvSM. An increased BMD is frequently present in AdvSM but not in ISM and is associated with more advanced disease and inferior outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-019-03119-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7085471PMC
April 2020

Antileukemic Efficacy in Vitro of Talazoparib and APE1 Inhibitor III Combined with Decitabine in Myeloid Malignancies.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Oct 3;11(10). Epub 2019 Oct 3.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.

Malignant hematopoietic cells of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)/chronic myelomonocytic leukemias (CMML) and acute myeloid leukemias (AML) may be vulnerable to inhibition of poly(ADP ribose) polymerase 1/2 (PARP1/2) and apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1). PARP1/2 and APE1 are critical enzymes involved in single-strand break repair and base excision repair, respectively. Here, we investigated the cytotoxic efficacy of talazoparib and APE1 inhibitor III, inhibitors of PARP1/2 and APE1, in primary CD34+ MDS/CMML cell samples ( = 8; 4 MDS and 4 CMML) and in primary CD34+ or CD34- AML cell samples ( = 18) in comparison to healthy CD34+ donor cell samples ( = 8). Strikingly, talazoparib and APE1 inhibitor III demonstrated critical antileukemic efficacy in selected MDS/CMML and AML cell samples. Low doses of talazoparib and APE1 inhibitor III further increased the cytotoxic efficacy of decitabine in MDS/CMML and AML cells. Moreover, low doses of APE1 inhibitor III increased the cytotoxic efficacy of talazoparib in MDS/CMML and AML cells. In summary, talazoparib and APE1 inhibitor III demonstrated substantial antileukemic efficacy as single agents, in combination with decitabine, and combined with each other. Hence, our findings support further investigation of these agents in sophisticated clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826540PMC
October 2019

MARS: Mutation-Adjusted Risk Score for Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis.

J Clin Oncol 2019 11 11;37(31):2846-2856. Epub 2019 Sep 11.

University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Purpose: To develop a risk score for patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis (AdvSM) that integrates clinical and mutation characteristics.

Patients And Methods: The study included 383 patients with AdvSM from the German Registry on Disorders of Eosinophils and Mast Cells (training set; n = 231) and several centers for mastocytosis in the United States and Europe, all within the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (validation set; n = 152). A Cox multivariable model was used to select variables that were predictive of overall survival (OS).

Results: In multivariable analysis, the following risk factors were identified as being associated with OS: age greater than 60 years, anemia (hemoglobin < 10 g/dL), thrombocytopenia (platelets < 100 × 10/L), presence of one high molecular risk gene mutation (ie, in , , and/or ), and presence of two or more high molecular risk gene mutations. By assigning hazard ratio-weighted points to these variables, the following three risk categories were defined: low risk (median OS, not reached), intermediate risk (median OS, 3.9 years; 95% CI, 2.1 to 5.7 years), and high risk (median OS, 1.9 years; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.6 years; < .001). The mutation-adjusted risk score (MARS) was independent of the WHO classification and was confirmed in the independent validation set. During a median follow-up time of 2.2 years (range, 0 to 23 years), 63 (16%) of 383 patients experienced a leukemic transformation to secondary mast cell leukemia (32%) or secondary acute myeloid leukemia (68%). The MARS was also predictive for leukemia-free survival ( < .001).

Conclusion: The MARS is a validated, five-parameter, WHO-independent prognostic score that defines three risk groups among patients with AdvSM and may improve up-front treatment stratification for these rare hematologic neoplasms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.00640DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823885PMC
November 2019

Inhibitory effects of midostaurin and avapritinib on myeloid progenitors derived from patients with KIT D816V positive advanced systemic mastocytosis.

Leukemia 2019 05 25;33(5):1195-1205. Epub 2019 Mar 25.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

Advanced systemic mastocytosis (advSM) is characterized by the presence of an acquired KIT D816V mutation in >90% of patients. In the majority of patients, KIT D816V is not only detected in mast cells but also in other hematopoietic lineages. We sought to investigate the effects of the KIT-inhibitors midostaurin and avapritinib on single-cell-derived myeloid progenitor cells using granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming-units of patients with KIT D816V positive advSM. Colonies obtained prior to treatment were incubated in vitro with midostaurin (n = 10) or avapritinib (n = 11) and showed a marked reduction (≥50%) of KIT D816V positive colonies in 3/10 (30%) and 7/11 (64%) patient samples, respectively. Three of those 7 (43%) avapritinib responders were resistant to midostaurin in both, in vitro and in vivo. Colonies from four patients with high-risk molecular profile and aggressive clinical course were resistant to both drugs. The in vitro activity of midostaurin strongly correlated with clinical and molecular responses, e.g., relative reduction of KIT D816V allele burden and the proportion of KIT D816V positive colonies obtained after six months midostaurin-treatment in vivo. We conclude that the colony inhibition assay provides useful information for prediction of responses on midostaurin and that avapritinib has a superior in vitro activity compared to midostaurin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-019-0450-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6756065PMC
May 2019

Diagnostic performance of the molecular BCR-ABL1 monitoring system may impact on inclusion of CML patients in stopping trials.

PLoS One 2019 21;14(3):e0214305. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

In chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), the duration of deep molecular response (MR) before treatment cessation (MR4 or deeper, corresponding to BCR-ABL1 ≤ 0.01% on the International Scale (IS)) is considered as a prognostic factor for treatment free remission in stopping trials. MR level determination is dependent on the sensitivity of the monitoring technique. Here, we compared a newly established TaqMan (TM) and our so far routinely used LightCycler (LC) quantitative reverse transcription (qRT)-PCR systems for their ability to achieve the best possible sensitivity in BCR-ABL1 monitoring. We have comparatively analyzed RNA samples from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 92 randomly chosen patients with CML resembling major molecular remission (MMR) or better and of 128 CML patients after treatment cessation (EURO-SKI stopping trial). While our LC system utilized ABL1, the TM system is based on GUSB as reference gene. We observed 99% concordance with respect to achievement of MMR. However, we found that 34 of the 92 patients monitored by TM/GUSB were re-classified to the next inferior MR log level, especially when LC/ABL1-based results were borderline to thresholds. Thirteen patients BCR-ABL1 negative in LC/ABL1 became positive after TM/GUSB analysis. In the 128 patients included in the EURO-SKI trial identical molecular findings were achieved for 114 patients. However, 14 patients were re-classified to the next inferior log-level by the TM/GUSB combination. Eight of these patients relapsed after treatment cessation; two of them were re-classified from MR4 to MMR and therefore did not meet inclusion criteria anymore. In conclusion, we consider both methods as comparable and interchangeable in terms of achievement of MMR and of longitudinal evaluation of clinical courses. However, in LC/ABL1 negative samples, slightly enhanced TM/GUSB sensitivity may lead to inferior classification of clinical samples in the context of TFR.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0214305PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6428315PMC
December 2019

KIT D816 mutated/CBF-negative acute myeloid leukemia: a poor-risk subtype associated with systemic mastocytosis.

Leukemia 2019 05 11;33(5):1124-1134. Epub 2019 Jan 11.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

KIT D816 mutations (KIT D816) are strongly associated with systemic mastocytosis (SM) but are also detectable in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), where they represent an adverse prognostic factor in combination with core binding factor (CBF) fusion genes. Here, we evaluated the clinical and molecular features of KIT D816/CBF-negative (CBF) AML, a previously uncharacterized combination. All KIT D816/CBF cases (n = 40) had histologically proven SM with associated AML (SM-AML). Molecular analyses revealed at least one additional somatic mutation (median, n = 3) beside KIT D816 (e.g., SRSF2, 38%; ASXL1, 31%; RUNX1, 34%) in 32/32 (100%) patients. Secondary AML evolved in 29/40 (73%) patients from SM ± associated myeloid neoplasm. Longitudinal molecular and cytogenetic analyses revealed the acquisition of new mutations and/or karyotype evolution in 15/16 (94%) patients at the time of SM-AML. Median overall survival (OS) was 5.4 months. A screen of two independent AML databases (AML) revealed remarkable similarities between KIT D816/CBF SM-AML and KIT D816/CBF AML (n = 69) with regard to KIT D816 variant allele frequency, mutation profile, aberrant karyotype, and OS suggesting underlying SM in a significant proportion of AML patients. Bone marrow histology and reclassification as SM-AML has important clinical implications regarding prognosis and potential inclusion of KIT inhibitors in treatment concepts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-018-0346-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6756067PMC
May 2019

Imatinib dose reduction in major molecular response of chronic myeloid leukemia: results from the German Chronic Myeloid Leukemia-Study IV.

Haematologica 2019 05 4;104(5):955-962. Epub 2018 Dec 4.

Medizinische Klinik III, Universität München, Germany.

Standard first-line therapy of chronic myeloid leukemia is treatment with imatinib. In the randomized German Chronic Myeloid Leukemia-Study IV, more potent BCR-ABL inhibition with 800 mg ('high-dose') imatinib accelerated achievement of a deep molecular remission. However, whether and when a de-escalation of the dose intensity under high-dose imatinib can be safely performed without increasing the risk of losing deep molecular response is unknown. To gain insights into this clinically relevant question, we analyzed the outcome of imatinib dose reductions from 800 mg to 400 mg daily in the Chronic Myeloid Leukemia-Study IV. Of the 422 patients that were randomized to the 800 mg arm, 68 reduced imatinib to 400 mg after they had achieved at least a stable major molecular response. Of these 68 patients, 61 (90%) maintained major molecular remission on imatinib at 400 mg. Five of the seven patients who lost major molecular remission on the imatinib standard dose regained major molecular remission while still on 400 mg imatinib. Only two of 68 patients had to switch to more potent kinase inhibition to regain major molecular remission. Importantly, the lengths of the intervals between imatinib high-dose treatment before and after achieving major molecular remission were associated with the probabilities of maintaining major molecular remission with the standard dose of imatinib. Taken together, the data support the view that a deep molecular remission achieved with high-dose imatinib can be safely maintained with standard dose in most patients. Study protocol registered at .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2018.206797DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6518910PMC
May 2019

Accumulation of DNA damage and alteration of the DNA damage response in monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Leuk Lymphoma 2019 03 31;60(3):795-804. Epub 2018 Oct 31.

a Department of Hematology and Oncology , Heidelberg University , Mannheim , Germany.

Accumulation of DNA damage and alteration of the DNA damage response (DDR) are critical features of genetic instability that is presumed to be implicated in the pathogenesis of monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Here, we show increased numbers of γH2AX foci, a marker of DNA double-strand breaks (DSB), in CD19+ cells of CLL patients as compared to CD19+ cells of MBL patients and healthy individuals. Furthermore, numerous γH2AX/53BP1 foci in CLL cells suggest activation of error-prone non-homologous end-joining repair mechanisms. Signatures of DDR proteins further indicate alterations of the DDR in CLL in contrast to a largely regular activation in MBL and healthy controls. In summary, our results provide evidence for the stepwise accumulation of DNA damage in the progression of MBL towards CLL and suggest increased DNA damage, error-prone DNA repair and altered DDR signaling to be critical mechanisms of clonal evolution in MBL and CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2018.1498494DOI Listing
March 2019

Discontinuation of tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy in chronic myeloid leukaemia (EURO-SKI): a prespecified interim analysis of a prospective, multicentre, non-randomised, trial.

Lancet Oncol 2018 06 4;19(6):747-757. Epub 2018 May 4.

Bergonié Cancer Institute, Inserm Unit 916, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France. Electronic address:

Background: Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have improved the survival of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia. Many patients have deep molecular responses, a prerequisite for TKI therapy discontinuation. We aimed to define precise conditions for stopping treatment.

Methods: In this prospective, non-randomised trial, we enrolled patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia at 61 European centres in 11 countries. Eligible patients had chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukaemia, had received any TKI for at least 3 years (without treatment failure according to European LeukemiaNet [ELN] recommendations), and had a confirmed deep molecular response for at least 1 year. The primary endpoint was molecular relapse-free survival, defined by loss of major molecular response (MMR; >0·1% BCR-ABL1 on the International Scale) and assessed in all patients with at least one molecular result. Secondary endpoints were a prognostic analysis of factors affecting maintenance of MMR at 6 months in learning and validation samples and the cost impact of stopping TKI therapy. We considered loss of haematological response, progress to accelerated-phase chronic myeloid leukaemia, or blast crisis as serious adverse events. This study presents the results of the prespecified interim analysis, which was done after the 6-month molecular relapse-free survival status was known for 200 patients. The study is ongoing and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01596114.

Findings: Between May 30, 2012, and Dec 3, 2014, we assessed 868 patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia for eligibility, of whom 758 were enrolled. Median follow-up of the 755 patients evaluable for molecular response was 27 months (IQR 21-34). Molecular relapse-free survival for these patients was 61% (95% CI 57-64) at 6 months and 50% (46-54) at 24 months. Of these 755 patients, 371 (49%) lost MMR after TKI discontinuation, four (1%) died while in MMR for reasons unrelated to chronic myeloid leukaemia (myocardial infarction, lung cancer, renal cancer, and heart failure), and 13 (2%) restarted TKI therapy while in MMR. A further six (1%) patients died in chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukaemia after loss of MMR and re-initiation of TKI therapy for reasons unrelated to chronic myeloid leukaemia, and two (<1%) patients lost MMR despite restarting TKI therapy. In the prognostic analysis in 405 patients who received imatinib as first-line treatment (learning sample), longer treatment duration (odds ratio [OR] per year 1·14 [95% CI 1·05-1·23]; p=0·0010) and longer deep molecular response durations (1·13 [1·04-1·23]; p=0·0032) were associated with increasing probability of MMR maintenance at 6 months. The OR for deep molecular response duration was replicated in the validation sample consisting of 171 patients treated with any TKI as first-line treatment, although the association was not significant (1·13 [0·98-1·29]; p=0·08). TKI discontinuation was associated with substantial cost savings (an estimated €22 million). No serious adverse events were reported.

Interpretation: Patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia who have achieved deep molecular responses have good molecular relapse-free survival. Such patients should be considered for TKI discontinuation, particularly those who have been in deep molecular response for a long time. Stopping treatment could spare patients from treatment-induced side-effects and reduce health expenditure.

Funding: ELN Foundation and France National Cancer Institute.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30192-XDOI Listing
June 2018

The benefit of quality control charts (QCC) for routine quantitative BCR-ABL1 monitoring in chronic myeloid leukemia.

PLoS One 2018 24;13(4):e0196326. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) is state of the art in molecular monitoring of minimal residual disease in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). In this context, maintenance of assay fidelity and detection of technical inaccuracy are crucial. Beside multiple common negative controls for the clinical sample preparations, quality control charts (QCC) are a common validation tool to sustain high process quality by continuously recording of qRT-PCR control parameters. Here, we report on establishment and benefit of QCC in qRT-PCR-based CML diagnostics. The absolute quantification of BCR-ABL1 fusion transcripts in patient samples is based on coamplification of a serially diluted reference plasmid (pME-2). For QCC establishment the measured Ct values of each pME-2 standard dilution (4-400,000) of a test set resembling 21 sequential qRT-PCR experiments were recorded and statistically evaluated. Test set data were used for determination of warning limits (mean +/- 2-fold standard deviation) and control (intervention) limits (mean +/- 3-fold standard deviation) to allow rapid detection of defined out-of-control situations which may require intervention. We have retrospectively analyzed QCC data of 282 sequential qRT-PCR experiments (564 reactions). Data evaluation using QCCs revealed three out-of-control situations that required intervention like experiment repeats, renewal of pME-2 standards, replacement of reagents or personnel re-training. In conclusion, with minimal more effort and hands-on time QCC rank among the best tools to grant high quality and reproducibility in CML routine molecular diagnosis.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0196326PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5916859PMC
August 2018

Effect of ABCG2, OCT1, and ABCB1 (MDR1) Gene Expression on Treatment-Free Remission in a EURO-SKI Subtrial.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2018 04 8;18(4):266-271. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Introduction: Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) can safely be discontinued in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients with sustained deep molecular response. ABCG2 (breast cancer resistance protein), OCT1 (organic cation transporter 1), and ABCB1 (multidrug resistance protein 1) gene products are known to play a crucial role in acquired pharmacogenetic TKI resistance. Their influence on treatment-free remission (TFR) has not yet been investigated.

Materials And Methods: RNA was isolated on the last day of TKI intake from peripheral blood leukocytes of 132 chronic phase CML patients who discontinued TKI treatment within the European Stop Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Study trial. Plasmid standards were designed including subgenic inserts of OCT1, ABCG2, and ABCB1 together with GUSB as reference gene. For expression analyses, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used. Multiple Cox regression analysis was performed. In addition, gene expression cutoffs for patient risk stratification were investigated.

Results: The TFR rate of 132 patients, 12 months after TKI discontinuation, was 54% (95% confidence interval [CI], 46%-62%). ABCG2 expression (‰) was retained as the only significant variable (P = .02; hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.07) in multiple Cox regression analysis. Only for the ABCG2 efflux transporter, a significant cutoff was found (P = .04). Patients with an ABCG2/GUSB transcript level >4.5‰ (n = 93) showed a 12-month TFR rate of 47% (95% CI, 37%-57%), whereas patients with low ABCG2 expression (≤4.5‰; n = 39) had a 12-month TFR rate of 72% (95% CI, 55%-82%).

Conclusion: In this study, we investigated the effect of pharmacogenetics in the context of a CML treatment discontinuation trial. The transcript levels of the efflux transporter ABCG2 predicted TFR after TKI discontinuation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2018.02.004DOI Listing
April 2018

Defining therapy goals for major molecular remission in chronic myeloid leukemia: results of the randomized CML Study IV.

Leukemia 2018 05 26;32(5):1222-1228. Epub 2018 Feb 26.

Institut für Medizinische Informationsverarbeitung, Biometrie und Epidemiologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, Germany.

Major molecular remission (MMR) is an important therapy goal in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). So far, MMR is not a failure criterion according to ELN management recommendation leading to uncertainties when to change therapy in CML patients not reaching MMR after 12 months. At monthly landmarks, for different molecular remission status Hazard ratios (HR) were estimated for patients registered to CML study IV who were divided in a learning and a validation sample. The minimum HR for MMR was found at 2.5 years with 0.28 (compared to patients without remission). In the validation sample, a significant advantage for progression-free survival (PFS) for patients in MMR could be detected (p-value 0.007). The optimal time to predict PFS in patients with MMR could be validated in an independent sample at 2.5 years. With our model we provide a suggestion when to define lack of MMR as therapy failure and thus treatment change should be considered. The optimal response time for 1% BCR-ABL at about 12-15 months was confirmed and for deep molecular remission no specific time point was detected. Nevertheless, it was demonstrated that the earlier the MMR is achieved the higher is the chance to attain deep molecular response later.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-018-0055-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5940636PMC
May 2018

Increased separase activity and occurrence of centrosome aberrations concur with transformation of MDS.

PLoS One 2018 25;13(1):e0191734. Epub 2018 Jan 25.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

ESPL1/separase, a cysteine endopeptidase, is a key player in centrosome duplication and mitotic sister chromatid separation. Aberrant expression and/or altered separase proteolytic activity are associated with centrosome amplification, aneuploidy, tumorigenesis and disease progression. Since centrosome alterations are a common and early detectable feature in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and cytogenetic aberrations play an important role in disease risk stratification, we examined separase activity on single cell level in 67 bone marrow samples obtained from patients with MDS, secondary acute myeloid leukemia (sAML), de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and healthy controls by a flow cytometric separase activity assay. The separase activity distribution (SAD) value, a calculated measure for the occurrence of cells with prominent separase activity within the analyzed sample, was tested for correlation with the centrosome, karyotype and gene mutation status. We found higher SAD values in bone marrow cells of sAML patients than in corresponding cells of MDS patients. This concurred with an increased incidence of aberrant centrosome phenotypes in sAML vs. MDS samples. No correlation was found between SAD values and the karyotype/gene mutation status. During follow-up of four MDS patients we observed increasing SAD values after transformation to sAML, in two patients SAD values decreased during azacitidine therapy. Cell culture experiments employing MDS-L cells as an in vitro model of MDS revealed that treatment with rigosertib, a PLK1 inhibitor and therapeutic drug known to induce G2/M arrest, results in decreased SAD values. In conclusion, the appearance of cells with unusual high separase activity levels, as indicated by increased SAD values, concurs with the transformation of MDS to sAML and may reflect separase dysregulation potentially contributing to clonal evolution during MDS progression. Separase activity measurement may therefore be useful as a novel additional molecular marker for disease monitoring.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0191734PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5784974PMC
March 2018

Incidence and prognostic impact of cytogenetic aberrations in patients with systemic mastocytosis.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2018 05 19;57(5):252-259. Epub 2018 Feb 19.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany.

The clinical behavior of systemic mastocytosis (SM) is strongly associated with activating mutations in KIT (D816V in >80% of cases), with the severity of the phenotype influenced by additional somatic mutations, for example, in SRSF2, ASXL1, or RUNX1. Complex molecular profiles are frequently associated with the presence of an associated hematologic neoplasm (AHN) and an unfavorable clinical outcome. However, little is known about the incidence and prognostic impact of cytogenetic aberrations. We analyzed cytogenetic and molecular characteristics of 109 patients (KIT D816V+, n = 102, 94%) with indolent (ISM, n = 26) and advanced SM (n = 83) with (n = 73, 88%) or without AHN. An aberrant karyotype was identified in SM-AHN (16/73, 22%) patients only. In patients with an aberrant karyotype, additional somatic mutations were identified in 12/16 (75%) patients. Seven of 10 (70%) patients with a poor-risk karyotype, for example, monosomy 7 or complex karyotype, and 1/6 (17%) patients with a good-risk karyotype progressed to secondary acute myeloid leukemia (n = 7) or mast cell leukemia (n = 1) within a median of 40 months (range 2-190, P = .04). In advanced SM, the median overall survival (OS) of poor-risk karyotype patients was significantly shorter than in good-risk/normal karyotype patients (4 vs 39 months; hazard ratio 11.7, 95% CI 5.0-27.3; P < .0001). Additionally, the shortened OS in patients with poor-risk karyotype was independent from the mutation status. In summary, a poor-risk karyotype is an independent prognostic variable in advanced SM. Cytogenetic and molecular analyses should be routinely performed in all patients with advanced SM ± AHN because these investigations greatly support prognostication and treatment decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22526DOI Listing
May 2018

Immunofluorescence Microscopy of γH2AX and 53BP1 for Analyzing the Formation and Repair of DNA Double-strand Breaks.

J Vis Exp 2017 11 3(129). Epub 2017 Nov 3.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Medical Faculty Mannheim of the Heidelberg University.

DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) are serious DNA lesions. Analysis of the formation and repair of DSB is relevant in a broad spectrum of research areas including genome integrity, genotoxicity, radiation biology, aging, cancer, and drug development. In response to DSB, the histone H2AX is phosphorylated at Serine 139 in a region of several megabase pairs forming discrete nuclear foci detectable by immunofluorescence microscopy. In addition, 53BP1 (p53 binding protein 1) is another important DSB-responsive protein promoting repair of DSB by nonhomologous end-joining while preventing homologous recombination. According to the specific functions of γH2AX and 53BP1, the combined analysis of γH2AX and 53BP1 by immunofluorescence microscopy may be a reasonable approach for a detailed analysis of DSB. This manuscript provides a step-by-step protocol supplemented with methodical notes for performing the technique. Specifically, the influence of the cell cycle on γH2AX foci patterns is demonstrated in normal fibroblasts of the cell line NHDF. Further, the value of the γH2AX foci as a biomarker is depicted in x-ray irradiated lymphocytes of a healthy individual. Finally, genetic instability is investigated in CD34+ cells of a patient with acute myeloid leukemia by immunofluorescence microscopy of γH2AX and 53BP1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/56617DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5755291PMC
November 2017

Imatinib in myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia and rearrangement of PDGFRB in chronic or blast phase.

Ann Hematol 2017 Sep 19;96(9):1463-1470. Epub 2017 Jul 19.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

We evaluated clinical characteristics and outcome on imatinib of 22 patients with myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia and rearrangement of PDGFRB. Median age was 49 years (range 20-80), 91% were male. Fifteen different PDGFRB fusion genes were identified. Eosinophilia was absent in 4/19 (21%) cases and only 11/19 (58%) cases had eosinophils ≥1.5×10/L. On imatinib, 17/17 (100%) patients in chronic phase achieved complete hematologic remission after median 2 months (range 0-13)​. Complete cytogenetic remission and/or complete molecular remission by RT-PCR were achieved in 12/13 (92%) and 12/14 patients (86%) after median 10 (range 3-34) and 19 months (range 7-110), respectively. In patients with blast phase (myeloid, n = 2; lymphoid, n = 3), treatment included combinations of imatinib (n = 5), intensive chemotherapy (n = 3), and/or allogeneic stem cell transplantation (n = 3). All 3 transplanted patients (complex karyotype, n = 2) experienced early relapse. Initially, patients were treated with imatinib 400 mg/day (n = 15) or 100 mg/day (n = 7), the dose was reduced from 400 mg/day to 100 mg/day during follow-up in 9 patients. After a median treatment of 71 months (range 1-135), the 5-year survival rate was 83%; 4/22 (18%) patients died (chronic phase; n = 2; blast phase, n = 2) due to progression (n = 3) or comorbidity while in remission (n = 1). Of note, 3/4 patients had a complex karyotype. In summary, the most important characteristics of myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with rearrangement of PDGFRB include (a) male predominance, (b) frequent lack of hypereosinophilia,
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-017-3067-xDOI Listing
September 2017

Accurate quantification of chromosomal lesions via short tandem repeat analysis using minimal amounts of DNA.

J Med Genet 2017 09 9;54(9):640-650. Epub 2017 Jun 9.

III Medizinische Klinik, Hämatologie und Onkologie, Universitätsmedizin Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

Background: Cytogenetic aberrations such as deletion of chromosome 5q (del(5q)) represent key elements in routine clinical diagnostics of haematological malignancies. Currently established methods such as metaphase cytogenetics, FISH or array-based approaches have limitations due to their dependency on viable cells, high costs or semi-quantitative nature. Importantly, they cannot be used on low abundance DNA. We therefore aimed to establish a robust and quantitative technique that overcomes these shortcomings.

Methods: For precise determination of del(5q) cell fractions, we developed an inexpensive multiplex-PCR assay requiring only nanograms of DNA that simultaneously measures allelic imbalances of 12 independent short tandem repeat markers.

Results: Application of this method to n=1142 samples from n=260 individuals revealed strong intermarker concordance (R²=0.77-0.97) and reproducibility (mean SD: 1.7%). Notably, the assay showed accurate quantification via standard curve assessment (R²>0.99) and high concordance with paired FISH measurements (R²=0.92) even with subnanogram amounts of DNA. Moreover, cytogenetic response was reliably confirmed in del(5q) patients with myelodysplastic syndromes treated with lenalidomide. While the assay demonstrated good diagnostic accuracy in receiver operating characteristic analysis (area under the curve: 0.97), we further observed robust correlation between bone marrow and peripheral blood samples (R²=0.79), suggesting its potential suitability for less-invasive clonal monitoring.

Conclusions: In conclusion, we present an adaptable tool for quantification of chromosomal aberrations, particularly in problematic samples, which should be easily applicable to further tumour entities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2017-104528DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5574397PMC
September 2017
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