Publications by authors named "Carrie L Kitko"

54 Publications

Characteristics of Graft-versus-Host Disease (GvHD) after Post-transplant Cyclophosphamide versus Conventional GvHD Prophylaxis.

Transplant Cell Ther 2022 Jul 16. Epub 2022 Jul 16.

City of Hope, Duarte, CA.

Post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) has been shown to effectively control GvHD in haploidentical (Haplo) transplants. In this retrospective registry study, we compared GvHD organ distribution, severity, and outcomes in patients with GvHD occurring after Haplo transplantation with PTCy GvHD prophylaxis (Haplo/PTCy) versus HLA-matched unrelated donor transplantation with conventional prophylaxis (MUD/conventional). We evaluated two cohorts: patients with grade 2-4 acute GvHD (aGvHD) including 264 and 1,163 recipients of Haplo and MUD transplants; and patients with any chronic GvHD (cGvHD) including 206 and 1,018 recipients of Haplo and MUD transplants, respectively. In comparison with MUD/conventional transplantation +/- antithymocyte globulin (ATG), grade 3-4 aGvHD (28% vs. 39%, P=.001), stage 3-4 lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract aGvHD (14% vs 21%, P=.01), and chronic GI GvHD (21% vs. 31%, P=.006) were less common after Haplo/PTCy transplantation. In patients with grade 2-4 aGvHD, cGcHD rate after Haplo/PTCY was also lower (HR =.4, P<.001) in comparison with MUD/conventional transplantation without ATG in the non-myeloablative conditioning setting. Irrespective of the use of ATG, non-relapse mortality rate was lower (HR=.6, P =.01) after Haplo/PTCy transplantation, except for transplants that were from a female donor into a male recipient. In patients with cGvHD, irrespective of ATG use, Haplo/PTCy transplantation had lower non-relapse mortality rate (HR=.6, P=.04). Mortality rate was higher (HR=1.6, P=.03) within, but not after (HR=.9, P=.6) the first six months subsequent to cGvHD diagnosis. Our results suggest that PTCy-based GvHD prophylaxis mitigates the development of GI GvHD and may translate into lower GvHD-related non-relapse mortality rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2022.07.013DOI Listing
July 2022

KIR-Favorable TCR-αβ/CD19-Depleted Haploidentical HCT in Children with ALL/AML/MDS: Primary Analysis of PTCTC ONC1401.

Blood 2022 Jul 1. Epub 2022 Jul 1.

Loma Linda University school of Medicine, Cancer Center, Children Hospital and Medical Center, Loma Linda, California, United States.

The Pediatric Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Consortium (PTCTC) performed a prospective multicenter study of TCR-αβ/CD19-depleted haploidentical HCT in children with acute leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) to determine 1-year disease free survival (DFS) and compare 2-year outcomes to other donor cell sources. Fifty-one patients 0.7-21 years old were enrolled; donors were killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR)-favorable based upon ligand mismatch and/or high B-content. The 1-year DFS was 78% (95% CI 66-89%). Superior 2-year DFS and OS were noted in patients <10 years of age, those treated with reduced toxicity conditioning (RTC) rather than traditional myeloablative conditioning, and children who were flow minimal residual disease (MRD) <0.01% pre-transplant. Multivariate analysis comparing the KIR-favorable haploidentical cohort with concomitantly enrolled Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) controls showed similar DFS and OS compared to other donor cell sources. Multivariate analysis also showed a marked decrease in the risk of grade 2-4 (p=0.0001) and 3-4 acute GHVD (p=0.0062), chronic GVHD (p<0.0001), and transplant related mortality (TRM; p<0.0001) vs. other donor cell sources. Ethnic and racial minorities accounted for 53% of enrolled patients, and data from a large cohort of recipients/donors screened for KIR showed that >80% of recipients had a KIR-favorable donor by our definition, demonstrating that this approach is broadly applicable to groups often unable to find donors. This prospective, multicenter study showed improved outcomes using TCR-αβ/CD19-depleted haploidentical donors using RTC for children with acute leukemia and MDS; randomized trials comparing this approach with matched unrelated donors are warranted (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02646839).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2022015959DOI Listing
July 2022

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine safety and immunogenicity in patients with hematologic malignancies, transplantation, and cellular therapies.

Blood Rev 2022 Jun 12:100984. Epub 2022 Jun 12.

Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States of America.

Individuals with hematological malignancies and hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT) recipients are immunologically heterogenous groups with varying degrees of immunosuppression at increased risk of severe disease and mortality from SARS-CoV-2 infection. SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are key interventions to preventing severe COVID-19 and its complications. While these individuals were excluded from initial vaccine trials, there is now a growing body of acceptable safety and immunogenicity data among these individuals. A consistent signal for new or worsening graft versus host disease in allogeneic HCT recipients has not been demonstrated post-vaccination. Immunogenicity in these populations is variable depending on disease and treatment factors. However, serological responses may not accurately reflect vaccine protection as correlates of protection within these populations are not yet established. Large-scale studies powered to identify rare serious events, resolve differences in vaccine responses between different vaccination strategies, and identify immune correlates of protection within these populations are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.blre.2022.100984DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9188822PMC
June 2022

Assessment of systemic and gastrointestinal tissue damage biomarkers for GVHD risk stratification.

Blood Adv 2022 06;6(12):3707-3715

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Internal Medicine III, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

We used a rigorous PRoBE (prospective-specimen collection, retrospective-blinded-evaluation) study design to compare the ability of biomarkers of systemic inflammation and biomarkers of gastrointestinal (GI) tissue damage to predict response to corticosteroid treatment, the incidence of clinically severe disease, 6-month nonrelapse mortality (NRM), and overall survival in patients with acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). We prospectively collected serum samples of newly diagnosed GVHD patients (n = 730) from 19 centers, divided them into training (n = 352) and validation (n = 378) cohorts, and measured TNFR1, TIM3, IL6, ST2, and REG3α via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Performances of the 4 strongest algorithms from the training cohort (TNFR1 + TIM3, TNFR1 + ST2, TNFR1 + REG3α, and ST2 + REG3α) were evaluated in the validation cohort. The algorithm that included only biomarkers of systemic inflammation (TNFR1 + TIM3) had a significantly smaller area under the curve (AUC; 0.57) than the AUCs of algorithms that contained ≥1 GI damage biomarker (TNFR1 + ST2, 0.70; TNFR1 + REG3α, 0.73; ST2 + REG3α, 0.79; all P < .001). All 4 algorithms were able to predict short-term outcomes such as response to systemic corticosteroids and severe GVHD, but the inclusion of a GI damage biomarker was needed to predict long-term outcomes such as 6-month NRM and survival. The algorithm that included 2 GI damage biomarkers was the most accurate of the 4 algorithms for all endpoints.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2022007296DOI Listing
June 2022

Is It Possible to Separate the Graft-Versus-Leukemia (GVL) Effect Against B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia From Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD) After Hematopoietic Cell Transplant?

Front Pediatr 2022 24;10:796994. Epub 2022 Mar 24.

Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, British Columbia Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Hematopoietic cell transplant is a curative therapy for many pediatric patients with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Its therapeutic mechanism is primarily based on the generation of an alloreactive graft-versus-leukemia effect that can eliminate residual leukemia cells thus preventing relapse. However its efficacy is diminished by the concurrent emergence of harmful graft-versus-host disease disease which affects healthly tissue leading to significant morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this review is to describe the interventions that have been trialed in order to augment the beneficial graft-versus leukemia effect post-hematopoietic cell transplant while limiting the harmful consequences of graft-versus-host disease. This includes many emerging and promising strategies such as and graft manipulation, targeted cell therapies, T-cell engagers and multiple pharmacologic interventions that stimulate specific donor effector cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fped.2022.796994DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8987503PMC
March 2022

A Prospective, Multicenter Study of Closed-System Extracorporeal Photopheresis for Children with Steroid-Refractory Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease.

Transplant Cell Ther 2022 05 4;28(5):261.e1-261.e7. Epub 2022 Feb 4.

SCT Unit, St. Anna Children's Hospital, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria; St. Anna Children's Cancer Research Institute, Vienna, Austria.

Therapy for steroid-refractory (SR) acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) involves intensive immunosuppression, which is associated with significant risk of infection. Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) is used to treat SR-aGVHD and is considered more immunomodulatory than immunosuppressive. However, pediatric data are mostly retrospective and often involve multistep ECP that includes apheresis followed by separate photosensitizing/reinfusion on another device. This study aimed to prospectively evaluate the efficacy and safety of a single-device ECP system in children with SR-aGVHD. In this open-label multicenter phase 3 study of the Therakos CellEx Photopheresis System in children/young adults age 1 to 21 years with SR-aGVHD. Patients were treated 3 times per week for 4 weeks, then twice weekly through week 12 while maintaining standard aGVHD prophylaxis. The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving an overall response (OR) at day +28 without the addition of next-line systemic treatment. Secondary endpoints included the proportion of patients achieving OR at weeks 8 and 12; the mean weekly steroid dose at weeks 4, 8, and 12; and treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs). Twenty-nine children (median age, 8 years) were enrolled. OR was 55% by day 28, 74% by week 8, and 79% by week 12. Progressive improvements were observed in the skin and the gastrointestinal tract. The mean steroid dose was decreased from 1.54 mg/kg/day at baseline to 0.90 mg/kg/day at week 4; 35% of patients achieved a >50% steroid dose reduction by week 4, and 75% achieved a >50% steroid dose reduction by week 12. Of the 168 TEAEs reported among 25 patients (86%), 28 events (17%) were infections and 14 events (8%) were considered likely treatment related (all nonserious). Of 627 ECP treatments administered in children and young adults, 68% required blood priming. TEAEs related to Uvadex or ECP were rare, hypocalcemia was the most common (3 events total). Three deaths occurred and were deemed unrelated to ECP by the investigators. Use of the Therakos CellEx Photopheresis System was effective in children with SR-aGVHD, with more than one-half experiencing improvement by day 28 and further responses observed over 12 weeks. Very few TEAEs were attributable to ECP, and no new safety signals were observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2022.01.025DOI Listing
May 2022

Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease, Nonrelapse Mortality, and Disease Relapse in Older versus Younger Adults Undergoing Matched Allogeneic Peripheral Blood Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: A Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research Analysis.

Transplant Cell Ther 2022 01 9;28(1):34-42. Epub 2021 Oct 9.

Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington.

The effect of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) on the risk of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) and relapse has not been specifically studied in older adults, who are increasingly undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) and surviving long-term to develop cGVHD. In this Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) analysis, we tested our hypothesis that the risk of NRM was higher with the development of cGVHD, particularly among older adults (age ≥60 years). We included 4429 adults age ≥40 years who underwent a first HLA-matched peripheral blood stem cell alloHCT for acute myelogenous leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome between 2008 and 2017. We compared outcomes of 4 groups-older adults (≥60 years) and younger adults (40 to 59 years) with cGVHD and older and younger adults without cGVHD-to determine the effect of older age and cGVHD on various outcomes. We used Cox proportional hazard models to determine the risk of NRM, relapse, and overall survival (OS). We treated cGVHD as a time-dependent covariate. The severity of cGVHD was based on the CIBMTR clinical definitions. cGVHD was significantly associated with a higher risk of NRM and lower risk of relapse regardless of age. The risk of NRM was higher for older adults versus younger adults. Adults who developed cGVHD as a group had longer OS compared with age-matched cohorts without cGVHD. Older adults had worse OS regardless of cGVHD. Among adults with cGVHD, clinically moderate or severe cGVHD was associated with a significantly higher risk of NRM and lower risk of relapse; severe cGVHD was associated with shorter OS, whereas mild to moderate cGVHD was associated with longer OS. Among both younger and older adults, the development of cGVHD was associated with a higher risk of NRM, lower risk of relapse, and longer OS. Older adults had a higher risk of NRM, but the increased risk of NRM associated with cGVHD did not differ based on age. The development of mild to moderate cGVHD offered the most favorable balance between minimizing NRM and decreasing the risk of relapse. The relapse risk was lowest for adults with severe cGVHD, but high NRM resulted in shorter OS. Developing strategies to avoid clinically severe cGVHD is critically important. © 2021 American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.10.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8792177PMC
January 2022

Initial therapy for chronic graft-versus-host disease: analysis of practice variation and failure-free survival.

Blood Adv 2021 11;5(22):4549-4559

Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.

Prior clinical trials largely considered prednisone 1 mg/kg per day with or without calcineurin inhibitor as standard initial therapy for chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), but uncertainty remains regarding the extent of practice variation and whether this affects subsequent outcomes. We assembled a cohort of 745 patients with cGVHD treated with initial systemic immune suppressive (IS) therapy from 3 prior cGVHD Consortium observational studies. Initial therapy was defined as first IS therapy started for cGVHD or prednisone increased to ≥0.4 mg/kg per day from lower doses within 30 days before cGVHD diagnosis to any time afterward. Initial therapies were nonprednisone IS therapies (n = 137, 18%), prednisone alone (n = 411, 55%), or prednisone plus other IS therapy (n = 197, 26%). In multivariate analysis, initial therapy group was not associated with failure-free survival (FFS; a composite of death, relapse, and new IS therapy), overall survival (OS), or nonrelapse mortality (NRM). Among the prednisone-based approaches, steroid dose was <0.25 (9%), 0.25 to 0.74 (36%), 0.75 to 1.25 (42%), or >1.25 mg/kg per day (13%). Prednisone dose within the patients treated with steroids was not significantly associated with FFS, OS, or NRM. No significant interactions were detected between overall cGVHD severity and either initial therapy group or prednisone dose for the outcomes of FFS, OS, or NRM. These observational data document heterogeneity in more contemporary cGVHD initial treatment practices, including prednisone dose and use of nonsteroid approaches. This variation was not associated with FFS, OS, or NRM. Prospective trials are needed to verify efficacy of reduced-dose prednisone or prednisone-free initial therapy approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021005286DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8759136PMC
November 2021

Metabolomic identification of α-ketoglutaric acid elevation in pediatric chronic graft-versus-host disease.

Blood 2022 01;139(2):287-299

Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program and.

Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is the most common cause for non-relapse mortality postallogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). However, there are no well-defined biomarkers for cGVHD or late acute GVHD (aGVHD). This study is a longitudinal evaluation of metabolomic patterns of cGVHD and late aGVHD in pediatric HSCT recipients. A quantitative analysis of plasma metabolites was performed on 222 evaluable pediatric subjects from the ABLE/PBMTC1202 study. We performed a risk-assignment analysis at day + 100 (D100) on subjects who later developed either cGVHD or late aGVHD after day 114 to non-cGVHD controls. A second analysis at diagnosis used fixed and mixed multiple regression to compare cGVHD at onset to time-matched non-cGVHD controls. A metabolomic biomarker was considered biologically relevant only if it met all 3 selection criteria: (1) P ≤ .05; (2) effect ratio of ≥1.3 or ≤0.75; and (3) receiver operator characteristic AUC ≥0.60. We found a consistent elevation in plasma α-ketoglutaric acid before (D100) and at the onset of cGVHD, not impacted by cGVHD severity, pubertal status, or previous aGVHD. In addition, late aGVHD had a unique metabolomic pattern at D100 compared with cGVHD. Additional metabolomic correlation patterns were seen with the clinical presentation of pulmonary, de novo, and progressive cGVHD. α-ketoglutaric acid emerged as the single most significant metabolite associated with cGVHD, both in the D100 risk-assignment and later diagnostic onset analysis. These distinctive metabolic patterns may lead to improved subclassification of cGVHD. Future validation of these exploratory results is needed. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02067832.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2021013244DOI Listing
January 2022

Nonrelapse mortality among patients diagnosed with chronic GVHD: an updated analysis from the Chronic GVHD Consortium.

Blood Adv 2021 10;5(20):4278-4284

Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is the leading cause of late morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. To better understand patients at highest risk for nonrelapse mortality (NRM), we analyzed patient-, transplant-, and cGVHD-related variables, risk factors, and causes of nonrelapse deaths in an updated cohort of 937 patients enrolled on 2 prospective, longitudinal observational studies through the Chronic GVHD Consortium. The median follow-up of survivors was 4 years (range, 0.1 months to 12.5 years). Relapse accounted for 25% of the 333 deaths. The cumulative incidence of NRM was 22% at 5 years, and it increased over time at a projected 40% (95% confidence interval, 30%-50%) at 12 years. Centers reported that cGVHD (37.8%) was the most common cause of NRM and was associated with organ failure, infection, or additional causes not otherwise specified. The next most frequent causes without mention of cGVHD were infection (17%) and respiratory failure (10%). In multivariable analysis, an increased risk for NRM was significantly associated with the use of reduced intensity conditioning, higher total bilirubin, National Institutes of Health (NIH) skin score of 2 to 3, NIH lung score of 1 to 3, worse modified Human Activity Profile adjusted activity score, and decreased distance on walk test. To summarize, cGVHD NRM does not plateau but increases over time and is most commonly attributed to GVHD or infection, presumably associated with immunocompromised status. Severe skin and lung cGVHD remain challenging manifestations associated with increased NRM, for which novel therapeutic options that do not predispose patients to infections are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004941DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8945647PMC
October 2021

The role of biomarkers in risk stratification, treatment and outcome in acute GVHD.

Curr Opin Hematol 2021 11;28(6):401-407

Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Purpose Of Review: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) following hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) has a significant impact on morbidity and mortality among recipients. Predicting the long-term outcomes at the time of diagnosis of GVHD or even after response to up-front therapy can be challenging and only has modest accuracy. With biomarkers available to help guide decision-making, the landscape of GVHD is evolving.

Recent Findings: Several acute GVHD biomarkers have been identified, with some better able to categorize patients based on their GVHD severity and potential for refractory disease than standard clinical staging or response criteria.

Summary: Biomarkers are now being incorporated into the clinical trial design for both high and low-risk GVHD. These findings will likely impact how clinical care is delivered in the future as improved risk stratification has the potential to improve outcomes by providing individualized treatment plans for affected patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MOH.0000000000000681DOI Listing
November 2021

Evaluation of Elafin as a Prognostic Biomarker in Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 12 30;27(12):988.e1-988.e7. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.

Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major cause of mortality in patients undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for hematologic malignancies. The skin is the most commonly involved organ in GVHD. Elafin, a protease inhibitor overexpressed in inflamed epidermis, was previously identified as a diagnostic biomarker of skin GVHD; however, this finding was restricted to a subset of patients with isolated skin GVHD. The main driver of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) in HCT recipients is gastrointestinal (GI) GVHD. Two biomarkers, Regenerating islet-derived 3a (REG3α) and Suppressor of tumorigenesis 2 (ST2), have been validated as biomarkers of GI GVHD that predict long-term outcomes in patients treated for GVHD. We undertook this study to determine the utility of elafin as a prognostic biomarker in the general population of acute GVHD patients in whom GVHD may develop in multiple organs. We analyzed serum elafin concentrations as a predictive biomarker of acute GVHD outcomes and compared it with ST2 and REG3α in a large group of patients treated at multiple centers. A total of 526 patients from the Mount Sinai Acute GVHD International Consortium (MAGIC) who had received corticosteroid treatment for skin GVHD and who had not been previously studied were analyzed. Serum concentrations of elafin, ST2, and REG3α were measured by ELISA in all patients. The patients were divided at random into equal training and validation sets, and a competing-risk regression model was developed to model 6-month NRM using elafin concentration in the training set. Additional models were developed using concentrations of ST2 and REG3α or the combination of all 3 biomarkers as predictors. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed using the validation set to evaluate the predictive accuracy of each model and to stratify patients into high- and low-risk biomarker groups. The cumulative incidence of 6-month NRM, overall survival (OS), and 4-week treatment response were compared between the risk groups. Unexpectedly, patients in the low-risk elafin group demonstrated a higher incidence of 6-month NRM, although the difference was not statistically significant (17% versus 11%; P = .19). OS at 6 months (68% versus 68%; P > .99) and 4-week response (78% versus 78%; P = .98) were similar in the low-risk and high-risk elafin groups. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) was 0.55 for elafin and 0.75 for the combination of ST2 and REG3α. The addition of elafin to the other 2 biomarkers did not improve the AUC. Our data indicate that serum elafin concentrations measured at the initiation of systemic treatment for acute GVHD did not predict 6-month NRM, OS, or treatment response in a multicenter population of patients treated systemically for acute GVHD. As seen in previous studies, serum concentrations of the GI GVHD biomarkers ST2 and REG3α were significant predictors of NRM, and the addition of elafin levels did not improve their accuracy. These results underscore the importance of GI disease in driving NRM in patients who develop acute GVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.08.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8671218PMC
December 2021

Case Report: Immune Dysregulation Due to Reactivation After Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplant.

Front Pediatr 2021 10;9:719679. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, United States.

Disseminated toxoplasmosis is an uncommon but highly lethal cause of hyperferritinemic sepsis after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We report two cases of disseminated toxoplasmosis from two centers in critically ill adolescents after HCT: a 19-year-old who developed fever and altered mental status on day +19 after HCT and a 20-year-old who developed fever and diarrhea on day +52 after HCT. Both patients developed hyperferritinemia with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome and profound immune dysregulation, which progressed to death despite maximal medical therapies. Because disseminated toxoplasmosis is both treatable and challenging to diagnose, it is imperative that intensivists maintain a high index of suspicion for infection when managing immunocompromised children, particularly in those with known positive serologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fped.2021.719679DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8382793PMC
August 2021

Standardizing Definitions of Hematopoietic Recovery, Graft Rejection, Graft Failure, Poor Graft Function, and Donor Chimerism in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: A Report on Behalf of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 08;27(8):642-649

West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is potentially curative for certain hematologic malignancies and nonmalignant diseases. The field of allo-HCT has witnessed significant advances, including broadening indications for transplantation, availability of alternative donor sources, less toxic preparative regimens, new cell manipulation techniques, and novel GVHD prevention methods, all of which have expanded the applicability of the procedure. These advances have led to clinical practice conundrums when applying traditional definitions of hematopoietic recovery, graft rejection, graft failure, poor graft function, and donor chimerism, because these may vary based on donor type, cell source, cell dose, primary disease, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, and conditioning intensity, among other variables. To address these contemporary challenges, we surveyed a panel of allo-HCT experts in an attempt to standardize these definitions. We analyzed survey responses from adult and pediatric transplantation physicians separately. Consensus was achieved for definitions of neutrophil and platelet recovery, graft rejection, graft failure, poor graft function, and donor chimerism, but not for delayed engraftment. Here we highlight the complexities associated with the management of mixed donor chimerism in malignant and nonmalignant hematologic diseases, which remains an area for future research. We recognize that there are multiple other specific, and at times complex, clinical scenarios for which clinical management must be individualized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.04.007DOI Listing
August 2021

National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Project on Criteria for Clinical Trials in Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease: IV. The 2020 Highly morbid forms report.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 10 10;27(10):817-835. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington; Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) can be associated with significant morbidity, in part because of nonreversible fibrosis, which impacts physical functioning (eye, skin, lung manifestations) and mortality (lung, gastrointestinal manifestations). Progress in preventing severe morbidity and mortality associated with chronic GVHD is limited by a complex and incompletely understood disease biology and a lack of prognostic biomarkers. Likewise, treatment advances for highly morbid manifestations remain hindered by the absence of effective organ-specific approaches targeting "irreversible" fibrotic sequelae and difficulties in conducting clinical trials in a heterogeneous disease with small patient numbers. The purpose of this document is to identify current gaps, to outline a roadmap of research goals for highly morbid forms of chronic GVHD including advanced skin sclerosis, fasciitis, lung, ocular and gastrointestinal involvement, and to propose strategies for effective trial design. The working group made the following recommendations: (1) Phenotype chronic GVHD clinically and biologically in future cohorts, to describe the incidence, prognostic factors, mechanisms of organ damage, and clinical evolution of highly morbid conditions including long-term effects in children; (2) Conduct longitudinal multicenter studies with common definitions and research sample collections; (3) Develop new approaches for early identification and treatment of highly morbid forms of chronic GVHD, especially biologically targeted treatments, with a special focus on fibrotic changes; and (4) Establish primary endpoints for clinical trials addressing each highly morbid manifestation in relationship to the time point of intervention (early versus late). Alternative endpoints, such as lack of progression and improvement in physical functioning or quality of life, may be suitable for clinical trials in patients with highly morbid manifestations. Finally, new approaches for objective response assessment and exploration of novel trial designs for small populations are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.06.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8478861PMC
October 2021

National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Project on Criteria for Clinical Trials in Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease: III. The 2020 Treatment of Chronic GVHD Report.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 09 11;27(9):729-737. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Clinical Division of Hematology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Positive results from recent clinical trials have significantly expanded current therapeutic options for patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). However, new insights into the associations between clinical characteristics of chronic GVHD, pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease, and the clinical and biological effects of novel therapeutic agents are required to allow for a more individualized approach to treatment. The current report is focused on setting research priorities and direction in the treatment of chronic GVHD. Detailed correlative scientific studies should be conducted in the context of clinical trials to evaluate associations between clinical outcomes and the biological effect of systemic therapeutics. For patients who require systemic therapy but not urgent initiation of glucocorticoids, clinical trials for initial systemic treatment of chronic GVHD should investigate novel agents as monotherapy without concurrently starting glucocorticoids, to avoid confounding biological, pathological, and clinical assessments. Clinical trials for treatment-refractory disease should specifically target patients with incomplete or suboptimal responses to most recent therapy who are early in their disease course. Close collaboration between academic medical centers, medical societies, and industry is needed to support an individualized, biology-based strategic approach to chronic GVHD therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.05.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8944207PMC
September 2021

National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Project on Criteria for Clinical Trials in Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease: IIa. The 2020 Clinical Implementation and Early Diagnosis Working Group Report.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 07 9;27(7):545-557. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Recognition of the earliest signs and symptoms of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) that lead to severe manifestations remains a challenge. The standardization provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2005 and 2014 consensus projects has helped improve diagnostic accuracy and severity scoring for clinical trials, but utilization of these tools in routine clinical practice is variable. Additionally, when patients meet the NIH diagnostic criteria, many already have significant morbidity and possibly irreversible organ damage. The goals of this early diagnosis project are 2-fold. First, we provide consensus recommendations regarding implementation of the current NIH diagnostic guidelines into routine transplant care, outside of clinical trials, aiming to enhance early clinical recognition of chronic GVHD. Second, we propose directions for future research efforts to enable discovery of new, early laboratory as well as clinical indicators of chronic GVHD, both globally and for highly morbid organ-specific manifestations. Identification of early features of chronic GVHD that have high positive predictive value for progression to more severe manifestations of the disease could potentially allow for future pre-emptive clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.03.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8803210PMC
July 2021

Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics and Risk of Graft-versus-Host Disease in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Transplantation for Acute Leukemia: Association of Carbapenem Use with the Risk of Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 02 21;27(2):177.e1-177.e8. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

Variation in the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) has been associated with acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD). Because antibiotics induce dysbiosis, we examined the association of broad-spectrum antibiotics with subsequent aGVHD risk in pediatric patients undergoing HCT for acute leukemia. We performed a retrospective analysis in a dataset merged from 2 sources: (1) the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, an observational transplantation registry, and (2) the Pediatric Health Information Services, an administrative database from freestanding children's hospitals. We captured exposure to 3 classes of antibiotics used for empiric treatment of febrile neutropenia: (1) broad-spectrum cephalosporins, (2) antipseudomonal penicillins, and (3) carbapenems. The primary outcome was grade II-IV aGVHD; secondary outcomes were grade III-IV aGVHD and lower GI GVHD. The adjusted logistic regression model (full cohort) and time-to-event analysis (subcohort) included transplantation characteristics, GVHD risk factors, and adjunctive antibiotic exposures as covariates. The full cohort included 2550 patients at 36 centers; the subcohort included 1174 patients. In adjusted models, carbapenems were associated with an increased risk of grade II-IV aGVHD in the full cohort (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.51) and subcohort (sub hazard ratio [HR], 1.31; 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.72), as well as with an increased risk of grade III-IV aGVHD (subHR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.25 to 2.52). Early carbapenem exposure (before day 0) especially impacted aGVHD risk. For antipseudomonal penicillins, the associations with aGVHD were in the direction of increased risk but were not statistically significant. There was no identified association between broad-spectrum cephalosporins and aGVHD. Carbapenems, more than other broad-spectrum antibiotics, should be used judiciously in pediatric HCT recipients to minimize aGVHD risk. Further research is needed to clarify the mechanism underlying this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.10.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946150PMC
February 2021

Biomarker-guided preemption of steroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease with α-1-antitrypsin.

Blood Adv 2020 12;4(24):6098-6105

Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Steroid-refractory (SR) acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major cause of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), but its occurrence is not accurately predicted by pre-HCT clinical risk factors. The Mount Sinai Acute GVHD International Consortium (MAGIC) algorithm probability (MAP) identifies patients who are at high risk for developing SR GVHD as early as 7 days after HCT based on the extent of intestinal crypt damage as measured by the concentrations of 2 serum biomarkers, suppressor of tumorigenesis 2 and regenerating islet-derived 3α. We conducted a multicenter proof-of-concept "preemptive" treatment trial of α-1-antitrypsin (AAT), a serine protease inhibitor with demonstrated activity against GVHD, in patients at high risk for developing SR GVHD. Patients were eligible if they possessed a high-risk MAP on day 7 after HCT or, if initially low risk, became high risk on repeat testing at day 14. Thirty high-risk patients were treated with twice-weekly infusions of AAT for a total of 16 doses, and their outcomes were compared with 90 high-risk near-contemporaneous MAGIC control patients. AAT treatment was well tolerated with few toxicities, but it did not lower the incidence of SR GVHD compared with controls (20% vs 14%, P = .56). We conclude that real-time biomarker-based risk assignment is feasible early after allogeneic HCT but that this dose and schedule of AAT did not change the incidence of SR acute GVHD. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT03459040.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003336DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7756981PMC
December 2020

A validated pediatric disease risk index for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Blood 2021 02;137(7):983-993

Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, Department of Medicine, and.

A disease risk index (DRI) that was developed for adults with hematologic malignancy who were undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation is also being used to stratify children and adolescents by disease risk. Therefore, to develop and validate a DRI that can be used to stratify those with AML and ALL by their disease risk, we analyzed 2569 patients aged <18 years with acute myeloid (AML; n = 1224) or lymphoblastic (ALL; n = 1345) leukemia who underwent hematopoietic cell transplantation. Training and validation subsets for each disease were generated randomly with 1:1 assignment to the subsets, and separate prognostic models were derived for each disease. For AML, 4 risk groups were identified based on age, cytogenetic risk, and disease status, including minimal residual disease status at transplantation. The 5-year leukemia-free survival for low (0 points), intermediate (2, 3, 5), high (7, 8), and very high (>8) risk groups was 78%, 53%, 40%, and 25%, respectively (P < .0001). For ALL, 3 risk groups were identified based on age and disease status, including minimal residual disease status at transplantation. The 5-year leukemia-free survival for low (0 points), intermediate (2-4), and high (≥5) risk groups was 68%, 51%, and 33%, respectively (P < .0001). We confirmed that the risk groups could be applied to overall survival, with 5-year survival ranging from 80% to 33% and 73% to 42% for AML and ALL, respectively (P < .0001). This validated pediatric DRI, which includes age and residual disease status, can be used to facilitate prognostication and stratification of children with AML and ALL for allogeneic transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020009342DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7918183PMC
February 2021

Pericardial effusion following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children: Incidence, risk factors, and outcomes.

Pediatr Transplant 2020 08 2;24(5):e13748. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Pediatric Hematology Oncology, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

PCE is a complication of HSCT that has previously been described in small single-center studies. This study aimed to assess the frequency of, risk factors for, and outcomes of children with a PCE following HSCT across a large multi-center cohort. All patients ≤21 years undergoing first HSCT (1/2005-9/2015) were identified from the Pediatric Health Information System. ICD-9 codes were used to identify patients with a PCE during or following the transplant encounter. Multivariable modeling assessed risk factors for developing a PCE and assessed the impact of PCE on patient outcome. Of 10 455 included patients, 739 (7.1%) developed a PCE (median 69 days post-HSCT, interquartile range 33-165 days). PCE developed more commonly in allogeneic vs autologous HSCT recipients (9.1% vs 2.9%, P < .001). Among allogeneic HSCT recipients, independent risk factors for PCE included thrombotic microangiopathy (AHR 2.94, 95% CI 2.16-4.00), heart failure (AHR 2.07, 95% CI 1.61-2.66), PCE pre-HSCT (AHR 1.92, 95% CI 1.19-3.09), arrhythmia (AHR 1.76, 95% CI 1.44-2.16), graft-versus-host disease (AHR 1.31, 95% CI 1.05-1.62), female sex (AHR 1.28, 95% CI 1.07-1.52), and malignancy (AHR 1.28, 95% CI 1.02-1.60). Allogeneic HSCT patients with PCE demonstrated worse survival than those without PCE (5-year survival 50.8% vs 76.9%, P < .001). PCE was independently associated with mortality (AHR 1.96, 95% CI 1.62-2.37) following allogeneic HSCT and was not impacted by pericardial intervention. PCE occurs more commonly in patients following allogeneic (vs autologous) HSCT and is associated with inferior outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/petr.13748DOI Listing
August 2020

Immune profile differences between chronic GVHD and late acute GVHD: results of the ABLE/PBMTC 1202 studies.

Blood 2020 04;135(15):1287-1298

Stem Cell Transplant Outpatient & Aftercare Clinic, St. Anna Children's Hospital, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Human graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) biology beyond 3 months after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is complex. The Applied Biomarker in Late Effects of Childhood Cancer study (ABLE/PBMTC1202, NCT02067832) evaluated the immune profiles in chronic GVHD (cGVHD) and late acute GVHD (L-aGVHD). Peripheral blood immune cell and plasma markers were analyzed at day 100 post-HSCT and correlated with GVHD diagnosed according to the National Institutes of Health consensus criteria (NIH-CC) for cGVHD. Of 302 children enrolled, 241 were evaluable as L-aGVHD, cGVHD, active L-aGVHD or cGVHD, and no cGVHD/L-aGVHD. Significant marker differences, adjusted for major clinical factors, were defined as meeting all 3 criteria: receiver-operating characteristic area under the curve ≥0.60, P ≤ .05, and effect ratio ≥1.3 or ≤0.75. Patients with only distinctive features but determined as cGVHD by the adjudication committee (non-NIH-CC) had immune profiles similar to NIH-CC. Both cGVHD and L-aGVHD had decreased transitional B cells and increased cytolytic natural killer (NK) cells. cGVHD had additional abnormalities, with increased activated T cells, naive helper T (Th) and cytotoxic T cells, loss of CD56bright regulatory NK cells, and increased ST2 and soluble CD13. Active L-aGVHD before day 114 had additional abnormalities in naive Th, naive regulatory T (Treg) cell populations, and cytokines, and active cGVHD had an increase in PD-1- and a decrease in PD-1+ memory Treg cells. Unsupervised analysis appeared to show a progression of immune abnormalities from no cGVHD/L-aGVHD to L-aGVHD, with the most complex pattern in cGVHD. Comprehensive immune profiling will allow us to better understand how to minimize L-aGVHD and cGVHD. Further confirmation in adult and pediatric cohorts is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019003186DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146024PMC
April 2020

Disease risk and GVHD biomarkers can stratify patients for risk of relapse and nonrelapse mortality post hematopoietic cell transplant.

Leukemia 2020 07 4;34(7):1898-1906. Epub 2020 Feb 4.

Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, Children's Hospital, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

The graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) can prevent relapse but the risk of severe graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) leads to prolonged intensive immunosuppression and possible blunting of the GVL effect. Strategies to reduce immunosuppression in order to prevent relapse have been offset by increases in severe GVHD and nonrelapse mortality (NRM). We recently validated the MAGIC algorithm probability (MAP) that predicts the risk for severe GVHD and NRM in asymptomatic patients using serum biomarkers. In this study we tested whether the MAP could identify patients whose risk for relapse is higher than their risk for severe GVHD and NRM. The multicenter study population (n = 1604) was divided into two cohorts: historical (2006-2015, n = 702) and current (2015-2017, n = 902) with similar NRM, relapse, and survival. On day 28 post-HCT, patients who had not developed GVHD (75% of the population) and who possessed a low MAP were at much higher risk for relapse (24%) than severe GVHD and NRM (16 and 9%); this difference was even more pronounced in patients with a high disease risk index (relapse 33%, NRM 9%). Such patients are good candidates to test relapse prevention strategies that might enhance GVL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-0726-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7332389PMC
July 2020

The MAGIC algorithm probability is a validated response biomarker of treatment of acute graft-versus-host disease.

Blood Adv 2019 12;3(23):4034-4042

Division of Haematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

The Mount Sinai Acute GVHD International Consortium (MAGIC) algorithm probability (MAP), derived from 2 serum biomarkers, measures damage to crypts in the gastrointestinal tract during graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). We hypothesized that changes in MAP after treatment could validate it as a response biomarker. We prospectively collected serum samples and clinical stages of acute GVHD from 615 patients receiving hematopoietic cell transplantation in 20 centers at initiation of first-line systemic treatment and 4 weeks later. We computed MAPs and clinical responses and compared their abilities to predict 6-month nonrelapse mortality (NRM) in the validation cohort (n = 367). After 4 weeks of treatment, MAPs predicted NRM better than the change in clinical symptoms in all patients and identified 2 groups with significantly different NRM in both clinical responders (40% vs 12%, P < .0001) and nonresponders (65% vs 25%, P < .0001). MAPs successfully reclassified patients for NRM risk within every clinical grade of acute GVHD after 4 weeks of treatment. At the beginning of treatment, patients with a low MAP that rose above the threshold of 0.290 after 4 weeks of treatment had a significant increase in NRM, whereas patients with a high MAP at onset that fell below that threshold after treatment had a striking decrease in NRM that translated into clear differences in overall survival. We conclude that a MAP measured before and after treatment of acute GVHD is a response biomarker that predicts long-term outcomes more accurately than change in clinical symptoms. MAPs have the potential to guide therapy for acute GVHD and may function as a useful end point in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000791DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6963240PMC
December 2019

Mentors' perspectives on the successes and challenges of mentoring in the COG Young Investigator mentorship program: A report from the Children's Oncology Group.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2019 10 16;66(10):e27920. Epub 2019 Jul 16.

Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

Background: Identification and development of young investigators (YI) is critical to the long-term success of research organizations. In 2004, the Children's Oncology Group (COG) created a mentorship program to foster the career development of YIs (faculty <10 years from initial appointment). This study sought to assess mentors' long-term assessment of this program.

Procedure: In 2018, 101 past or current mentors in the COG YI mentorship program completed an online survey. Statistical comparisons were made with the Kruskal-Walis test.

Results: The response rate was 74.2%. As some mentors had multiple mentees, we report on 138 total mentee-mentor pairs. Mentors were 57.4% male, and mentees were 39.1% male. Mentors rated being mentored as a YI as important with a median rating of 90 on a scale of 1-100, interquartile range (IQR) 80-100. Most mentors reported that being mentored themselves helped their own success within COG (78.2%) and with their overall career development (92.1%). Most mentors enjoyed serving in the program (72.3%) and the median success rating (on a scale of 1-100) across the mentor-mentee pairings was 75, IQR 39-90. Success ratings did not differ by mentor/mentee gender, but improved with increased frequency of mentor-mentee interactions (P < .001). Mentor-mentee pairs who set initial goals reported higher success ratings than those who did not (P < .001). Tangible successes included current mentee COG committee involvement (45.7%), ongoing mentor-mentee collaboration (53.6%), and co-authored manuscript publication (38.4%).

Conclusion: These data indicate that mentorship is important for successful professional development. Long-term mentoring success improves when mentors and mentees set goals upfront and meet frequently.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.27920DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6707882PMC
October 2019

Benefits and challenges with diagnosing chronic and late acute GVHD in children using the NIH consensus criteria.

Blood 2019 07 1;134(3):304-316. Epub 2019 May 1.

British Columbia Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) and late acute graft-versus-host disease (L-aGVHD) are understudied complications of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Criteria (NIH-CC) were designed to improve the diagnostic accuracy of cGVHD and to better classify graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) syndromes but have not been validated in patients <18 years of age. The objectives of this prospective multi-institution study were to determine: (1) whether the NIH-CC could be used to diagnose pediatric cGVHD and whether the criteria operationalize well in a multi-institution study; (2) the frequency of cGVHD and L-aGVHD in children using the NIH-CC; and (3) the clinical features and risk factors for cGVHD and L-aGVHD using the NIH-CC. Twenty-seven transplant centers enrolled 302 patients <18 years of age before conditioning and prospectively followed them for 1 year posttransplant for development of cGVHD. Centers justified their cGVHD diagnosis according to the NIH-CC using central review and a study adjudication committee. A total of 28.2% of reported cGVHD cases was reclassified, usually as L-aGVHD, following study committee review. Similar incidence of cGVHD and L-aGVHD was found (21% and 24.7%, respectively). The most common organs involved with diagnostic or distinctive manifestations of cGVHD in children include the mouth, skin, eyes, and lungs. Importantly, the 2014 NIH-CC for bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome perform poorly in children. Past acute GVHD and peripheral blood grafts are major risk factors for cGVHD and L-aGVHD, with recipients ≥12 years of age being at risk for cGVHD. Applying the NIH-CC in pediatrics is feasible and reliable; however, further refinement of the criteria specifically for children is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019000216DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6911839PMC
July 2019

A phase II/III randomized, multicenter trial of prednisone/sirolimus prednisone/ sirolimus/calcineurin inhibitor for the treatment of chronic graft--host disease: BMT CTN 0801.

Haematologica 2018 11 28;103(11):1915-1924. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Initial therapy of chronic graft--host disease is prednisone ± a calcineurin-inhibitor, but most patients respond inadequately. In a randomized, adaptive, phase II/III, multicenter trial we studied whether prednisone/sirolimus or prednisone/sirolimus/photopheresis was more effective than prednisone/sirolimus/calcineurin-inhibitor for treating chronic graft--host disease in treatment-naïve or early inadequate responders. Primary endpoints of this study were proportions of subjects alive without relapse or secondary therapy with 6-month complete or partial response in phase II, or with 2-year complete response in phase III. The prednisone/sirolimus/photopheresis arm closed prematurely because of slow accrual and the remaining two-drug three-drug study ended in phase II due to statistical futility with 138 evaluable subjects. The two-drug and three-drug arms did not differ in rates of 6-month complete or partial response (48.6% 50.0%, =0.87), or 2-year complete response (14.7% 15.5%, =0.90). Serum creatinine values >1.5 times baseline were less frequent in the calcineurin-inhibitor-free arm at 2 months (1.5% 11.7%, =0.025) and 6 months (7.8% 24.0%, =0.016). Higher adjusted Short Form-36 Physical Component Summary and Physical Functioning scores were seen in the two-drug arm at both 2 months (=0.02 and =0.04, respectively) and 6 months (=0.007 and =0.001, respectively). Failure-free survival and overall survival rates at 2 years were similar for patients in the the two-drug and three-drug arms (48.6% 46.2%, =0.78; 81.5% 74%, =0.28). Based on similar long-term outcomes, prednisone/sirolimus is a therapeutic alternative to prednisone/sirolimus/calcineurin-inhibitor for chronic graft--host disease, being easier to administer and better tolerated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2018.195123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6278959PMC
November 2018

MAGIC biomarkers predict long-term outcomes for steroid-resistant acute GVHD.

Blood 2018 06 15;131(25):2846-2855. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is treated with systemic corticosteroid immunosuppression. Clinical response after 1 week of therapy often guides further treatment decisions, but long-term outcomes vary widely among centers, and more accurate predictive tests are urgently needed. We analyzed clinical data and blood samples taken 1 week after systemic treatment of GVHD from 507 patients from 17 centers of the Mount Sinai Acute GVHD International Consortium (MAGIC), dividing them into a test cohort (n = 236) and 2 validation cohorts separated in time (n = 142 and n = 129). Initial response to systemic steroids correlated with response at 4 weeks, 1-year nonrelapse mortality (NRM), and overall survival (OS). A previously validated algorithm of 2 MAGIC biomarkers (ST2 and REG3α) consistently separated steroid-resistant patients into 2 groups with dramatically different NRM and OS ( < .001 for all 3 cohorts). High biomarker probability, resistance to steroids, and GVHD severity (Minnesota risk) were all significant predictors of NRM in multivariate analysis. A direct comparison of receiver operating characteristic curves showed that the area under the curve for biomarker probability (0.82) was significantly greater than that for steroid response (0.68, = .004) and for Minnesota risk (0.72, = .005). In conclusion, MAGIC biomarker probabilities generated after 1 week of systemic treatment of GVHD predict long-term outcomes in steroid-resistant GVHD better than clinical criteria and should prove useful in developing better treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2018-01-822957DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6014357PMC
June 2018
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