Publications by authors named "Dominik Selleslag"

79 Publications

A randomised, placebo-controlled phase 3 study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ASP0113, a DNA-based CMV vaccine, in seropositive allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplant recipients.

EClinicalMedicine 2021 Mar 19;33:100787. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, K.U. Leuven and Department of Hematology, UZ Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Background: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a complication of allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). ASP0113, a DNA-based vaccine, contains two plasmids encoding human CMV glycoprotein B and phosphoprotein 65 (pp65). We assessed ASP0113 in CMV-seropositive allo-HCT recipients.

Methods: In this phase 3, randomised, placebo-controlled study, CMV-seropositive allo-HCT recipients were randomly assigned (1:1) via interactive response technology to receive five injections of 1 mL of 5 mg/mL ASP0113 or placebo. The pharmacist and designated staff were unblinded. Masked syringes maintained the blind for patients and study personnel. Efficacy and safety analyses included patients who received ≥1 dose of ASP0113/placebo. The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of allo-HCT recipients with composite all-cause mortality and adjudicated CMV end-organ disease (EOD) by 1 year post-transplant. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01877655 (not recruiting).

Findings: Patients were recruited between Sept 11, 2013 and Sept 21, 2016. Overall, 501 patients received ≥1 dose of ASP0113 ( = 246) or placebo ( = 255). The proportion of patients with composite all-cause mortality and adjudicated CMV EOD by 1 year post-transplant was 35.4% ( = 87) with ASP0113 and 30•2% ( = 77) with placebo (odds ratio 1.27; 95% confidence interval: 0.87 to 1.85;  = 0.205). Incidence of injection site-related treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) was higher with ASP0113 than placebo. Overall incidence and severity of other TEAEs was similar between groups. T-cell response to pp65 increased over time and was greater with placebo than ASP0113 ( = 0.027).

Interpretation: ASP0113 did not reduce overall mortality or CMV EOD by 1 year post-transplant. Safety findings were similar between groups.

Funding: Astellas Pharma Global Development, Inc .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.100787DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8020145PMC
March 2021

Efficacy of ruxolitinib in B-lymphoblastic leukaemia with the PCM1-JAK2 fusion gene.

Br J Haematol 2021 Feb 27;192(4):e112-e115. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Center for Human Genetics, University Hospitals Leuven and KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17340DOI Listing
February 2021

Oral Azacitidine Maintenance Therapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia in First Remission.

N Engl J Med 2020 12;383(26):2526-2537

From the Department of Clinical Haematology, Alfred Hospital, and the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia (A.H.W.); the Department of Internal Medicine III, Ulm University Hospital, Ulm, Germany (H. Döhner); Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury, United Kingdom (C.P.); Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Cáncer, Instituto Carlos III, Madrid, and Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe, Valencia - both in Spain (P.M.); Raisa Gorbacheva Memorial Research Institute for Pediatric Oncology, Hematology, and Transplantation, Pavlov First Saint Petersburg State Medical University, St. Petersburg, Russia (B.A.); the Department of Hematology, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, and Institut de Recherche Saint-Louis, Université de Paris, Paris (H. Dombret); the Department of Leukemia, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (F.R.); Indiana University Cancer Center, Indianapolis (H.S.); Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea (J.H.J.); Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) Comprehensive Cancer Center, Hematology Research Unit Helsinki and iCAN Digital Precision Cancer Center Medicine Flagship, University of Helsinki, Helsinki (K.P.); AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende AV, Bruges, Belgium (D.S.); University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Canada (I.S.); Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun (M.T.), and Dr. Abdurrahman Yurtaslan Ankara Oncology Training and Research Hospital, Ankara (M.K.C.) - both in Turkey; Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo Hospital, Alessandria (V.G.), Città della Salute e della Scienza, Turin (C.F.), Ospedale San Gerardo Monza, Monza (L.B.), and Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa (G.B.) - all in Italy; Rambam Medical Center and Faculty of Medicine Technion, Haifa, Israel (Y.O.); Hospital dos Capuchos, Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Central, Lisbon, Portugal (A.B.S.); Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland (J.R.); Ústav Hematologie a Krevní Transfuze, Prague, Czech Republic (J.C.); Amsterdam University Medical Center, Location VUMC (Vrije Universiteit Medical Center), Amsterdam (G.J.O.); Celgene (Bristol Myers Squibb), Boudry, Switzerland (I.L.T.); Bristol Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ (B.S., K.K., Q.D., C.L.B.); University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City (B.S.); and Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York (G.J.R.).

Background: Although induction chemotherapy results in remission in many older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), relapse is common and overall survival is poor.

Methods: We conducted a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the oral formulation of azacitidine (CC-486, a hypomethylating agent that is not bioequivalent to injectable azacitidine), as maintenance therapy in patients with AML who were in first remission after intensive chemotherapy. Patients who were 55 years of age or older, were in complete remission with or without complete blood count recovery, and were not candidates for hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation were randomly assigned to receive CC-486 (300 mg) or placebo once daily for 14 days per 28-day cycle. The primary end point was overall survival. Secondary end points included relapse-free survival and health-related quality of life.

Results: A total of 472 patients underwent randomization; 238 were assigned to the CC-486 group and 234 were assigned to the placebo group. The median age was 68 years (range, 55 to 86). Median overall survival from the time of randomization was significantly longer with CC-486 than with placebo (24.7 months and 14.8 months, respectively; P<0.001). Median relapse-free survival was also significantly longer with CC-486 than with placebo (10.2 months and 4.8 months, respectively; P<0.001). Benefits of CC-486 with respect to overall and relapse-free survival were shown in most subgroups defined according to baseline characteristics. The most common adverse events in both groups were grade 1 or 2 gastrointestinal events. Common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were neutropenia (in 41% of patients in the CC-486 group and 24% of patients in the placebo group) and thrombocytopenia (in 22% and 21%, respectively). Overall health-related quality of life was preserved during CC-486 treatment.

Conclusions: CC-486 maintenance therapy was associated with significantly longer overall and relapse-free survival than placebo among older patients with AML who were in remission after chemotherapy. Side effects were mainly gastrointestinal symptoms and neutropenia. Quality-of-life measures were maintained throughout treatment. (Supported by Celgene; QUAZAR AML-001 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01757535.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2004444DOI Listing
December 2020

Use of chimerism analysis after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: Belgian guidelines and review of the current literature.

Acta Clin Belg 2020 May 2:1-9. Epub 2020 May 2.

Department of Hematology, University Hospital, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative treatment option in both adult and pediatric patients with malignant and non-malignant hematological diseases.  Chimerism analysis, which determines the donor or recipient origin of hematopoietic cells in HSCT recipients, is an essential aspect of post-HSCT follow-up. To review the current literature and develop Belgian consensus guidelines for the use of chimerism analysis in the standard of care after allogeneic HSCT.: Non-systematic review of the literature in consultancy with the members of the BHS transplantation committee.: Clinical application with regards to prediction of graft failure or relapse as well as cell source are reviewed. A consensus guideline on the use of chimerism analysis after HSCT is presented.: Monitoring of the dynamics or kinetics of a patient's chimerism status by serial analysis at fixed time points, as well as on suspicion of relapse or graft failure, is needed to monitor engraftment levels, as well as disease control and possible relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17843286.2020.1754635DOI Listing
May 2020

Safety and efficacy of self-administered romiplostim in patients with immune thrombocytopenia: Results of an integrated database of five clinical trials.

Am J Hematol 2020 06 21;95(6):643-651. Epub 2020 Mar 21.

Amgen (Europe) GmbH, Rotkreuz, Switzerland.

Romiplostim self-administration by patients or caregivers may offer time/cost savings to healthcare professionals (HCPs) and convenience for patients who avoid weekly clinic visits. We performed an integrated analysis of five clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy and safety of romiplostim self-administration. Data were analyzed from adults with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) who received weekly romiplostim via self-administration or from an HCP. Patients who achieved a stable romiplostim dose for ≥3 weeks (HCP group ≥5 weeks to provide an appropriate index date to enable comparisons with the self-administration group) with platelet counts ≥50 × 10 /L were eligible. In the self-administration (n = 621) vs HCP (n = 133) groups, respectively, median age was 53 vs 58 years, median time since primary ITP diagnosis was 3.7 vs 2.5 years, and median baseline platelet count at ITP diagnosis was 19.0 vs 20.0 × 10 /L. In the self-administration and HCP-dosed groups, median romiplostim treatment duration was 89 vs 52 weeks and median total number of doses was 81 vs 50, respectively. In the self-administration and HCP groups, respectively: 95.0% and 100.0% of patients achieved ≥1 platelet response (defined as weekly platelet count ≥50 × 10 /L without rescue medication in previous 4 weeks); the median percentage of weeks with a response was 94.5% and 95.9%; and rescue medication was used in 36.7% and 39.8% of patients. Self-administration did not adversely affect safety; duration-adjusted rates for all treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) and bleeding TEAEs were numerically lower with self-administration. Romiplostim self-administration appears effective and well tolerated in eligible patients with ITP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25776DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7318268PMC
June 2020

ATIR101 administered after T-cell-depleted haploidentical HSCT reduces NRM and improves overall survival in acute leukemia.

Leukemia 2020 07 11;34(7):1907-1923. Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Department of Internal Medicine II, Center of Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg University Medical Center, Wuerzburg, Germany.

Overcoming graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) without increasing relapse and severe infections is a major challenge after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). ATIR101 is a haploidentical, naïve cell-enriched T-cell product, depleted of recipient-alloreactive T cells to minimize the risk of GvHD and provide graft-versus-infection and -leukemia activity. Safety and efficacy of ATIR101 administered after T-cell-depleted haploidentical HSCT (TCD-haplo + ATIR101) without posttransplant immunosuppressors were evaluated in a Phase 2, multicenter study of 23 patients with acute leukemia and compared with an observational cohort undergoing TCD-haplo alone (n = 35), matched unrelated donor (MUD; n = 64), mismatched unrelated donor (MMUD; n = 37), and umbilical cord blood (UCB; n = 22) HSCT. The primary endpoint, 6-month non-relapse mortality (NRM), was 13% with TCD-haplo + ATIR101. One year post HSCT, TCD-haplo + ATIR101 resulted in lower NRM versus TCD-haplo alone (P = 0.008). GvHD-free, relapse-free survival (GRFS) was higher with TCD-haplo + ATIR101 versus MMUD and UCB (both P < 0.03; 1-year rates: 56.5%, 27.0%, and 22.7%, respectively) and was not statistically different from MUD (1 year: 40.6%). ATIR101 grafts with high third-party reactivity were associated with fewer clinically relevant viral infections. Results suggest that haploidentical, selective donor-cell depletion may eliminate requirements for posttransplant immunosuppressors without increasing GvHD risk, with similar GRFS to MUD. Following these results, a randomized Phase 3 trial versus posttransplant cyclophosphamide had been initiated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-0733-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7326707PMC
July 2020

Luspatercept in Patients with Lower-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes.

N Engl J Med 2020 01;382(2):140-151

From Service d'Hématologie Séniors, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris and Université Paris 7, Paris (P.F., L.A.), Service des Maladies du Sang, Hôpital Huriez, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) de Lille, Lille (B.Q.), the Department of Internal Medicine, CHU Toulouse, Institut Universitaire du Cancer de Toulouse, Toulouse (O.B.-R.), and Université Cote d'Azur, Département d'Hématologie Clinique, CHU Nice, Nice (T.C.) - all in France; Medical Clinic and Policlinic 1, Hematology and Cellular Therapy, Leipzig University Hospital, Leipzig (U.P.), Klinik für Hämatologie, Onkologie, and Klinische Immunologie, Universitätsklinik Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf (U.G.), and Klinik und Poliklinik für Innere Medizin III, Technische Universität München, Munich (K.S.G.) - all in Germany; the Department of Haemato-Oncology, King's College London, London (G.J.M.), Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford (P.V.), and the Department of Haematology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds (D.B.) - all in the United Kingdom; the Department of Leukemia, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (G.G.-M.); Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto (R.B.); MDS Unit, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Florence (V.S.), the Department of Oncology and Hematology, S. Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Bologna (C.F.), the University of Pavia, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia (M.C.), the Hematology Unit, Santi Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo Hospital, Alessandria (F.S., V.G.), and Dipartimento Biomedicina e Prevenzione, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome (M.-T.V.) - all in Italy; the Hematology Department, University Hospital of Salamanca, Institute of Biomedical Research of Salamanca, Salamanca (M.D.-C.), Unidad de Hematología, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Seville (J.F.F.), and the Department of Hematology, Hospital Universitario Cruces, Vizcaya (B.A.) - all in Spain; the Department of Hematology Science, School of Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey (O.I.); the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland (M.A.S.); the Department of Hematology, Algemeen Ziekenhuis Sint-Jan, Bruges (D.S.), and Universitair Ziekenhuis Gent, Ghent (D.M.) - both in Belgium; the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore (A.E.D.); the Division of Hematology-Oncology, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center (J.G.J.), and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (A.V.) - both in New York; the Department of Hematology, University Medical Center of Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands (E.V.); Stanford University Cancer Center, Stanford, CA (P.L.G.); the Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm (E.H.-L.); the Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT (A.M.Z.); Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville (M.R.S.); Celgene, Summit, NJ (A.L., J.Z., A.R., D.R.D.); Celgene International, Boudry, Switzerland (A.B.); Acceleron Pharma, Cambridge, MA (P.G.L., M.L.S.); and Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL (R.S.K., A.F.L.).

Background: Patients with anemia and lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes in whom erythropoiesis-stimulating agent therapy is not effective generally become dependent on red-cell transfusions. Luspatercept, a recombinant fusion protein that binds transforming growth factor β superfamily ligands to reduce SMAD2 and SMAD3 signaling, showed promising results in a phase 2 study.

Methods: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned patients with very-low-risk, low-risk, or intermediate-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (defined according to the Revised International Prognostic Scoring System) with ring sideroblasts who had been receiving regular red-cell transfusions to receive either luspatercept (at a dose of 1.0 up to 1.75 mg per kilogram of body weight) or placebo, administered subcutaneously every 3 weeks. The primary end point was transfusion independence for 8 weeks or longer during weeks 1 through 24, and the key secondary end point was transfusion independence for 12 weeks or longer, assessed during both weeks 1 through 24 and weeks 1 through 48.

Results: Of the 229 patients enrolled, 153 were randomly assigned to receive luspatercept and 76 to receive placebo; the baseline characteristics of the patients were balanced. Transfusion independence for 8 weeks or longer was observed in 38% of the patients in the luspatercept group, as compared with 13% of those in the placebo group (P<0.001). A higher percentage of patients in the luspatercept group than in the placebo group met the key secondary end point (28% vs. 8% for weeks 1 through 24, and 33% vs. 12% for weeks 1 through 48; P<0.001 for both comparisons). The most common luspatercept-associated adverse events (of any grade) included fatigue, diarrhea, asthenia, nausea, and dizziness. The incidence of adverse events decreased over time.

Conclusions: Luspatercept reduced the severity of anemia in patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes with ring sideroblasts who had been receiving regular red-cell transfusions and who had disease that was refractory to or unlikely to respond to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents or who had discontinued such agents owing to an adverse event. (Funded by Celgene and Acceleron Pharma; MEDALIST ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02631070; EudraCT number, 2015-003454-41.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1908892DOI Listing
January 2020

Recombinant Zoster Vaccine Significantly Reduces the Impact on Quality of Life Caused by Herpes Zoster in Adult Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial (ZOE-HSCT).

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2019 12 5;25(12):2474-2481. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Herpes zoster (HZ) can have a substantial impact on quality of life (QoL). The vaccine efficacy (VE) of a recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) was 68.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 55.6% to 77.5%) in a phase 3 study in adult autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients (NCT01610414). Herein, we report the impact of RZV on patients' QoL. Autologous HSCT recipients were randomized 1:1 to receive 2 doses of RZV or placebo, given 1 to 2 months apart. QoL was measured by the Short Form Survey-36 and Euro-QoL-5 Dimension at baseline, 1 month, and 1 year postdose 2 and during suspected HZ episodes with the Zoster Brief Pain Inventory (ZBPI). The RZV impact on ZBPI burden of illness and burden of interference scores was estimated. The 2 scores were calculated from the area under the curve (days 0 to 182) of the ZBPI worst pain and ZBPI activities of daily living scores, respectively, assuming a score of 0 for patients not having a confirmed HZ episode. The ZBPI maximum worst pain score was significantly lower in the RZV than placebo group (mean: 5.8 versus 7.1, P = .011). Consequently, the VE estimates for HZ burden of illness (82.5%; 95% CI, 73.6 to 91.4) and burden of interference (82.8%; 95% CI, 73.3 to 92.3) were higher than the HZ VE estimate (ie, 68.2%). RZV showed significantly better QoL scores than placebo 1 week following rash onset among patients with confirmed HZ. In addition to reducing the risk of HZ and its complications, RZV significantly reduced the impact of HZ on patients' QoL in those who developed breakthrough disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.07.036DOI Listing
December 2019

Providing both autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) may have a stronger impact on the outcome of autologous HSCT in adult patients than activity levels or implementation of JACIE at Belgian transplant centres.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2019 09 29;54(9):1434-1442. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

CHU de Liège, Liège, Belgium.

While performance since the introduction of the JACIE quality management system has been shown to be improved for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT), impact on autologous-HSCT remains unclear in Europe. Our study on 2697 autologous-HSCT performed in adults in 17 Belgian centres (2007-2013) aims at comparing the adjusted 1 and 3-yr survival between the different centres & investigating the impact of 3 centre-related factors on performance (time between JACIE accreditation achievement by the centre and the considered transplant, centre activity volume and type of HSCT performed by centres: exclusively autologous vs both autologous & allogeneic). We showed a relatively homogeneous performance between Belgian centres before national completeness of JACIE implementation. The 3 centre-related factors had a significant impact on the 1-yr survival, while activity volume and type of HSCT impacted the 3-yr survival of autologous-HSCT patients in univariable analyses. Only activity volume (impact on 1-yr survival only) and type of HSCT (impact on 1 and 3-yr survivals) remained significant in multivariable analysis. This is explained by the strong relationship between these 3 variables. An extended transplantation experience, i.e., performing both auto & allo-HSCT, appears to be a newly informative quality indicator potentially conveying a multitude of underlying complex factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-019-0458-8DOI Listing
September 2019

Clinical implications of measurable residual disease in AML: Review of current evidence.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 2019 Jan 24;133:142-148. Epub 2018 Nov 24.

Ghent University Hospital, Laboratory of Molecular Diagnostics, C. Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address:

Despite the fact that 80% of adult acute myeloid leukaemia patients reach complete morphological remission after induction chemotherapy, many of them relapse. Many studies have shown that detection of minimal residual disease (defined as 'any detectable evidence of persistent leukaemic cells during complete morphological remission') has an added value in prediction of relapse and survival, and is more than just a surrogate marker for already known risk factors in AML. As such, the behaviour of the disease during treatment might become equally or even more important to decide whether or not an upgrade of treatment (such as an allogeneic stem cell transplantation) is necessary to improve outcome. However, there are still many open issues as to what the ideal time point is to measure MRD, which threshold is clinically significant, what sample (peripheral blood or bone marrow) should be used and how we can standardize tests so that results from different labs become comparable. This review gives an overview of currently available evidence regarding technical issues, prognostic impact and MRD-directed treatment in AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2018.11.010DOI Listing
January 2019

Mediastinal Myeloid Sarcoma with TP53 Mutation Preceding Acute Myeloid Leukemia with a PICALM-MLLT10 Fusion Gene.

Acta Haematol 2018 18;140(2):97-104. Epub 2018 Sep 18.

Department of Hematology, AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende, Bruges, Belgium.

Introduction: Myeloid sarcoma (MS), previously known as granulocytic sarcoma or chloroma, is a rare neoplastic condition defined as a tumor mass consisting of myeloblasts or immature myeloid cells occurring at an extramedullary site. Clinical presentation is diverse and determined by a tumor mass effect or local organ dysfunction.

Case Report: We report the case of a 25-year-old previously healthy male with rapidly progressive shortness of breath. A chest CT scan demonstrated a heterogenous anterosuperior mediastinal mass with pleural and pericardial invasion. A diagnosis of MS with both myeloid and lymphoid characteristics was made by pathologic, morphologic, and immunophenotypic investigation. Next generation analysis revealed a pathogenic TP53 mutation (c.1035_1036insCT, p.Glu346Leufs*25). After 4 cycles of chemotherapy only a partial metabolic response and tumor size reduction was obtained. A pretransplant bone marrow biopsy revealed the progression of disease to acute myeloid leukemia. Cytogenetic analysis demonstrated a t(10; 11)(p12;q21). Fluorescence in situ hybridization confirmed the presence of a PICALM-MLLT10 fusion gene.

Conclusion: MS with a mediastinal localization is rare and often misdiagnosed as malignant lymphoma. Acute leukemia harboring a PICALM-MLLT10 fusion gene is characterized by a mixed T cell and myeloid phenotype. The rearrangement is a rare recurrent translocation associated with specific clinical features, as illustrated in this case report.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000491596DOI Listing
June 2019

Treatment outcomes in patients with proven/probable vs possible invasive mould disease in a phase III trial comparing isavuconazole vs voriconazole.

Mycoses 2018 Nov 13;61(11):868-876. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

University of Würzburg Medical Center, Würzburg, Germany.

Treatment outcomes in patients with proven/probable vs possible invasive mould disease (IMD; 2008 European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Mycoses Study Group [EORTC/MSG] criteria) needed further assessment. The Phase III SECURE trial compared isavuconazole vs voriconazole for treatment of IMD. This post hoc analysis assessed all-cause mortality (ACM) through day 42 (primary endpoint) and day 84, overall and clinical success at end of treatment (EOT), and drug-related treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) in subgroups with proven/probable or possible IMD. Of 516 randomised patients, 304 (58.9%) had proven/probable IMD and 164 (31.8%) had possible IMD as per EORTC/MSG criteria; 48 did not have IMD. Across treatment groups, day 42 and day 84 ACM were numerically lower for possible vs proven/probable IMD (day 42: 17.1% vs 21.1%; P = 0.3, day 84: 26.2% vs 32.6%; P = 0.15). Overall and clinical success at EOT were significantly higher for possible IMD compared with proven/probable IMD (48.2% vs 36.2%; P = 0.01, 75.0% vs 63.1%; P = 0.01 respectively). Fewer drug-related TEAEs were reported with isavuconazole compared with voriconazole in patients with either proven/probable or possible IMD. Compared with patients with proven/probable IMD, those with possible IMD demonstrated higher overall and clinical success rates, supporting early initiation of antifungal treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/myc.12831DOI Listing
November 2018

The eGVHD App has the potential to improve the accuracy of graft-versus-host disease assessment: a multicenter randomized controlled trial.

Haematologica 2018 10 14;103(10):1698-1707. Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Academic Centre for Nursing and Midwifery, KU Leuven, Belgium.

Graft--host disease (GvHD) assessment has been shown to be a challenge for healthcare professionals, leading to the development of the eGVHD App (www.uzleuven.be/egvhd). In this study, we formally evaluated the accuracy of using the App compared to traditional assessment methods to assess GvHD. Our national multicenter randomized controlled trial involved seven Belgian transplantation centers and 78 healthcare professionals selected using a 2-stage convenience sampling approach between January and April 2017. Using a 1:1 randomization stratified by profession, healthcare professionals were assigned to use either the App ("APP") or their usual GvHD assessment aids ("No APP") to assess the diagnosis and severity score of 10 expert-validated clinical vignettes. Our main outcome measure was the difference in accuracy for GvHD severity scoring between both groups. The odds of being correct were 6.14 (95%CI: 2.83-13.34) and 6.29 (95%CI: 4.32-9.15) times higher in favor of the "APP" group for diagnosis and scoring, respectively (<0.001). App-assisted GvHD severity scoring was significantly superior for both acute and chronic GvHD, with an Odds Ratio of 17.89 and 4.34 respectively (<0.001) and showed a significantly increased inter-observer agreement compared to standard practice. Despite a mean increase of 24 minutes (95%CI: 20.45-26.97) in the time needed to score the whole GvHD test package in the "APP" group (<0.001), usability feedback was positive. The eGVHD App shows superior GvHD assessment accuracy compared to standard practice and has the potential to improve the quality of outcome data registration in allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2018.190777DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165809PMC
October 2018

Infusion of bone marrow derived multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease: a multicenter prospective study.

Oncotarget 2018 Apr 17;9(29):20590-20604. Epub 2018 Apr 17.

Department of Hematology, CHU of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium.

The prognosis of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) remains poor and better treatments are urgently needed. Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC)-based therapy emerged as a promising approach but response rates were highly variable across studies. We conducted a multicenter prospective study assessing the efficacy of 1-2 infusion(s) of cryopreserved, third-party donor bone marrow-derived MSCs for treating grade II-IV steroid-refractory or -dependent aGVHD in a series of 33 patients. MSCs were produced centrally and distributed to 8 hospitals throughout Belgium to be infused in 2 consecutive cohorts of patients receiving 1-2 or 3-4 × 10 MSCs/kg per dose, respectively. All patients received MSCs as the first rescue therapy after corticosteroids, with the exception for one patient who received prior treatment with mycophenolate mofetil (that was still ongoing by the time of MSC therapy). In these conditions, MSC therapy resulted in at least a partial response in 13 patients (40.6%) at day 30 and in 15 patients (46%) within 90 days after first MSC infusion. The corresponding complete response rates were 21.6% (7 patients) and 30% (10 patients), respectively. Only 5 patients achieved a sustained complete response, lasting for at least 1 month. The 1-year overall survival was 18.2% (95% CI: 8.82-37.5%). Higher response and survival rates were observed among patients receiving 3-4 × 10 MSCs/kg for first infusion, as compared with patients receiving 1-2 × 106 MSCs/ kg. Response and survival with MSC therapy for SR/SD-aGVHD remains to be optimized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5945536PMC
April 2018

A Belgian consensus protocol for autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in multiple sclerosis.

Acta Neurol Belg 2018 Jun 13;118(2):161-168. Epub 2018 Mar 13.

Department of Hematology, Antwerp University Hospital, Wilrijkstraat 10, 2650, Edegem, Belgium.

Multiple sclerosis is considered to be an immune mediated inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system. It mainly affects young, socioeconomic active patients. Although our armamentarium for this disease has significantly evolved in recent years some patients remain refractory to conventional therapies. In these cases, autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation can be considered as a therapeutic option. Decreasing morbidity, mortality, and increasing patient awareness have led to rising inquiry by our patients about this treatment option. With the aim of a standardized protocol and data registration, a Belgian working party on stem cell therapy in multiple sclerosis was established. In this paper, we report the consensus protocol of this working party on autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in multiple sclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13760-018-0905-0DOI Listing
June 2018

Correction to: Management of immune thrombocytopenia in multiple sclerosis patients treated with alemtuzumab: a Belgian consensus.

Acta Neurol Belg 2018 03;118(1):141

Department of Hematology, Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

The article Management of immune thrombocytopenia in multiple sclerosis patients treated with alemtuzumab: a Belgian consensus, written by Lambert et al., was originally published electronically on the publisher's internet portal on 27 January 2018 without open access.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13760-018-0899-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6828241PMC
March 2018

Management of immune thrombocytopenia in multiple sclerosis patients treated with alemtuzumab: a Belgian consensus.

Acta Neurol Belg 2018 Mar 27;118(1):7-11. Epub 2018 Jan 27.

Department of Hematology, Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) is a humanized monoclonal antibody indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis with active disease defined by clinical or imaging features. Alemtuzumab demonstrated superior efficacy over active comparator in both treatment naive patients and those with inadequate response to prior therapy. Alemtuzumab is associated with a consistent and manageable safety and tolerability profile. Treatment with alemtuzumab for multiple sclerosis increases the risk for autoimmune adverse events including immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Complete blood counts with differential should be obtained prior to initiation of treatment and at monthly intervals thereafter for 48 months after the last infusion. After this period of time, testing should be performed based on clinical findings suggestive of ITP. If ITP onset is confirmed, appropriate medical intervention should be promptly initiated, including immediate referral to a specialist. This paper presents the consensus of Belgian multiple sclerosis specialists and hematologists to guide the treating physician with practical recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13760-018-0882-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5857274PMC
March 2018

Haploidentical transplant in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome.

Blood Adv 2017 Oct 27;1(22):1876-1883. Epub 2017 Sep 27.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

The only curative treatment in patients with intermediate or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), which usually results in a long-term, disease-free survival rate of between 30% and 50%, depending on the disease risk and the type of donor. In patients without an HLA-matched sibling donor, a family haploidentical donor is an alternative option. The present study reports the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation activity for haploidentical transplantation in MDS patients. A total of 228 patients transplanted from a mismatched HLA-related donor between 2007 and 2014 were studied. The median age at transplant was 56 years. Eighty-four (37%) patients had MDS transformed into acute myeloid leukemia at the time of transplant. Ex vivo T-cell depletion was used in 34 patients. One hundred ninety-four patients received a T-cell replete transplant and 102 patients received posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PT-CY) as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis. The cumulative incidences of acute and chronic GVHD in PT-CY vs other patients were 25% vs 37% and 37% vs 24%, respectively. The cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality was 55% in patients who did not receive PT-CY (no PT-CY) and 41% in patients who did receive PT-CY. Three-year overall survival was 28% in no PT-CY patients and 38% in PT-CY patients. In multivariable analysis, the main risk factors were the intensity of the conditioning regimen and the use of PT-CY. In conclusion, the outcomes of MDS patients who received an haploidentical transplant are close to the results other transplantations from HLA-mismatched donors with approximately one-third of patients alive and free of disease 3 years after transplant, and the use of PT-CY may improve their outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2017007146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5728144PMC
October 2017

Outcomes of haploidentical stem cell transplantation for chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a retrospective study on behalf of the chronic malignancies working party of the EBMT.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2018 03 18;53(3):255-263. Epub 2017 Dec 18.

University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) may result in long-term disease control in high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Recently, haploidentical HCT is gaining interest because of better outcomes with post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCY). We analyzed patients with CLL who received an allogeneic HCT with a haploidentical donor and whose data were available in the EBMT registry. In total 117 patients (74% males) were included; 38% received PTCY as GVHD prophylaxis. For the whole study cohort OS at 2 and 5 yrs was 48 and 38%, respectively. PFS at 2 and 5 yrs was 38 and 31%, respectively. Cumulative incidence (CI) of NRM in the whole group at 2 and 5 years were 40 and 44%, respectively. CI of relapse at 2 and 5 yrs were 22 and 26%, respectively. All outcomes were not statistically different in patients who received PTCY compared to other types of GVHD prophylaxis. In conclusion, results of haploidentical HCT in CLL seem almost identical to those with HLA-matched donors. Thereby, haploidentical HCT is an appropriate alternative in high risk CLL patients with a transplant indication but no available HLA-matched donor. Despite the use of PTCY, the CI of relapse seems not higher than observed after HLA-matched HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-017-0023-2DOI Listing
March 2018

Eltrombopag for advanced myelodysplastic syndromes or acute myeloid leukaemia and severe thrombocytopenia (ASPIRE): a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2018 Jan 11;5(1):e34-e43. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

AZ St-Jan Brugge AV, Bruges, Belgium.

Background: Thrombocytopenia is a life-threatening complication in patients with advanced myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). In this study (ASPIRE), we aimed to assess eltrombopag, an oral thrombopoietin receptor agonist, for thrombocytopenia (grade 4) treatment in adult patients with advanced MDS or AML.

Methods: ASPIRE consisted of an open-label, double-blind phase for 8 weeks and a randomised, double-blind phase (parts 1 and 2, reported here) for 12 weeks, and an open-label extension (part 3). Eligible patients were men and women aged 18 years or older, with intermediate-2 or high-risk MDS or AML, with bone marrow blasts of 50% or less, and had either grade 4 thrombocytopenia due to bone marrow insufficiency (platelet counts <25 × 10 per L) or grade 4 thrombocytopenia before platelet transfusion, with 25 × 10 platelets per L or greater after transfusion. Additionally, eligible patients had at least one of the following within the screening period of 4 weeks: platelet transfusion, symptomatic bleeding, or platelet count of less than 10 × 10 per L. During part 1, patients received eltrombopag, and dose-escalation criteria for part 2 were determined. In part 2, we randomly allocated patients 2:1 using an interactive voice-response system to eltrombopag or placebo, stratified by baseline platelet count (<10 × 10 platelets per L vs ≥10 × 10 platelets per L) and disease (MDS vs AML). In parts 1 and 2, patients received supportive standard of care and initiated eltrombopag or placebo at 100 mg per day (50 mg per day for patients of east-Asian heritage) to a maximum of 300 mg per day (150 mg per day for patients of east-Asian heritage). The part 2 primary objective was assessed by a composite primary endpoint of clinically relevant thrombocytopenic events (CRTE) during weeks 5-12, defined as one of the following events, either alone or in combination: grade 3 or worse haemorrhagic adverse events; platelet counts of less than 10 × 10 per L; or platelet transfusions. Efficacy analyses were based on intention to treat; clinically meaningful efficacy was defined as 30% absolute difference between groups. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01440374.

Findings: In part 1, 17 patients received eltrombopag and 11 patients completed treatment; four experienced significantly increased platelet counts, and ten had reduced platelet transfusion requirements. In part 2 we randomly allocated 145 patients to receive supportive care plus eltrombopag (n=98) or placebo (n=47); similar proportions had MDS (50 [51%] patients to eltrombopag, 22 (47%) patients to placebo) or AML (48 [49%] patients to eltrombopag, 25 [53%] patients to placebo). Average weekly CRTE proportions from weeks 5-12 were significantly lower with eltrombopag (54% [95% CI 43-64]) than with placebo (69% [57-80], odds ratio [OR] 0·20, 95% CI 0·05-0·87; p=0·032) although the difference between treatment groups was less than 30%. The most common grade 3 and grade 4 adverse events were fatigue (six [6%] in the eltrombopag group and one [2%] in the placebo group), hypokalaemia (six [6%] and two [4%]), pneumonia (five [5%] and five [11%]), and febrile neutropenia (five [5%] and six [13%]). Serious adverse events were reported in 56 (58%) eltrombopag-treated patients and 32 (68%) placebo-treated patients. Seven eltrombopag recipients and two placebo recipients had serious adverse events that were suspected to be study drug-related (eltrombopag: acute kidney injury, arterial thrombosis, bone pain, diarrhoea, myocardial infarction, pyrexia, retinal vein occlusion, n=1 each; placebo: vomiting, white blood cell count increased, n=1 each). Two eltrombopag recipients (arterial thrombosis n=1; myocardial infarction n=1) and no placebo recipients experienced fatal serious adverse events suspected to be study drug-related.

Interpretation: No new safety concerns were noted with eltrombopag and the trial met the primary objective of a reduction in CRTEs; eltrombopag might be a treatment option for thrombocytopenic patients with AML or MDS who are ineligible for other treatment and who are not receiving disease-modifying treatment.

Funding: Novartis Pharma AG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(17)30228-4DOI Listing
January 2018

Azacitidine improves clinical outcomes in older patients with acute myeloid leukaemia with myelodysplasia-related changes compared with conventional care regimens.

BMC Cancer 2017 Dec 14;17(1):852. Epub 2017 Dec 14.

Hôpital Saint Louis, Institut Universitaire d'Hématologie, University Paris Diderot, Paris, France.

Background: Compared with World Health Organization-defined acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) not otherwise specified, patients with AML with myelodysplasia-related changes (AML-MRC) are generally older and more likely to have poor-risk cytogenetics, leading to poor response and prognosis. More than one-half of all older (≥65 years) patients in the phase 3 AZA-AML-001 trial had newly diagnosed AML-MRC.

Methods: We compared clinical outcomes for patients with AML-MRC treated with azacitidine or conventional care regimens (CCR; induction chemotherapy, low-dose cytarabine, or supportive care only) overall and within patient subgroups defined by cytogenetic risk (intermediate or poor) and age (65-74 years or ≥75 years). The same analyses were used to compare azacitidine with low-dose cytarabine in patients who had been preselected to low-dose cytarabine before they were randomized to receive azacitidine or CCR (ie, low-dose cytarabine).

Results: Median overall survival was significantly prolonged with azacitidine (n = 129) versus CCR (n = 133): 8.9 versus 4.9 months (hazard ratio 0.74, [95%CI 0.57, 0.97]). Among patients with intermediate-risk cytogenetics, median overall survival with azacitidine was 16.4 months, and with CCR was 8.9 months (hazard ratio 0.73 [95%CI 0.48, 1.10]). Median overall survival was significantly improved for patients ages 65-74 years treated with azacitidine compared with those who received CCR (14.2 versus 7.3 months, respectively; hazard ratio 0.64 [95%CI 0.42, 0.97]). Within the subgroup of patients preselected to low-dose cytarabine before randomization, median overall survival with azacitidine was 9.5 months versus 4.6 months with low-dose cytarabine (hazard ratio 0.77 [95%CI 0.55, 1.09]). Within the low-dose cytarabine preselection group, patients with intermediate-risk cytogenetics who received azacitidine had a median overall survival of 14.1 months versus 6.4 months with low-dose cytarabine, and patients aged 65-74 years had median survival of 14.9 months versus 5.2 months, respectively. Overall response rates were similar with azacitidine and CCR (24.8% and 17.3%, respectively), but higher with azacitidine versus low-dose cytarabine (27.2% and 13.9%). Adverse events were generally comparable between the treatment arms.

Conclusions: Azacitidine may be the preferred treatment for patients with AML-MRC who are not candidates for intensive chemotherapy, particularly patients ages 65-74 years and those with intermediate-risk cytogenetics.

Trial Registration: This study was registered at clinicalTrials.gov on February 16, 2010 ( NCT01074047 ).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-017-3803-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731212PMC
December 2017

Impact of unresolved neutropenia in patients with neutropenia and invasive aspergillosis: a post hoc analysis of the SECURE trial.

J Antimicrob Chemother 2018 03;73(3):757-763

Infectious Disease, UT Health San Antonio and the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, San Antonio, TX, USA.

Background: Historically, baseline neutropenia and lack of neutrophil recovery have been associated with poor outcomes in invasive aspergillosis (IA). It is unclear how treatment with the new Aspergillus-active triazoles isavuconazole and voriconazole affects outcomes in neutropenic patients with IA.

Methods: A post hoc analysis of the Phase 3 SECURE trial assessed patients with neutropenia (neutrophil count <0.5 × 109/L for >10 days at baseline) with IA (proven/probable) who had received either isavuconazole or voriconazole. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality (ACM) through day 42. ACM in patients with resolved versus unresolved neutropenia at day 7 and overall success at end of treatment (EOT) were also assessed.

Results: One hundred and forty-two patients with neutropenia and IA were included (isavuconazole n = 78, voriconazole n = 64). ACM through day 42 (primary endpoint), day 7 and EOT were higher for patients with unresolved versus resolved neutropenia at each timepoint (day 42, unresolved: 45.0% isavuconazole, 45.2% voriconazole; resolved: 5.0% isavuconazole, 5.9% voriconazole; day 7, unresolved: 31.0% isavuconazole, 29.8% voriconazole; resolved: 5.0% isavuconazole, 5.9% voriconazole; EOT, unresolved: 48.6% isavuconazole, 36.4% voriconazole; resolved: 5.0% isavuconazole, 14.3% voriconazole). ACM was significantly higher for isavuconazole-treated patients with unresolved versus resolved neutropenia (day 7, P = 0.031; day 42, P < 0.001; EOT, P < 0.001). In voriconazole-treated patients, ACM was significantly higher among patients with unresolved versus resolved neutropenia at day 42 (P = 0.002) and numerically higher at day 7 and EOT (P > 0.05 for both).

Conclusions: Isavuconazole had comparable efficacy and safety to voriconazole in neutropenic patients with IA. Resolution of neutropenia was associated with improved outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkx423DOI Listing
March 2018

Recommendations on the use of ruxolitinib for the treatment of myelofibrosis.

Hematology 2018 May 12;23(4):194-200. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

e Department of Hemato-Oncolocy , Erasme Hospital , Brussels , Belgium.

Objectives: Myelofibrosis (MF) is a severe disease, with decreased life expectancy and heavy symptom burden. Ruxolitinib is the only approved pharmacotherapy for the treatment of MF patients. In Belgium, ruxolitinib is only reimbursed for MF patients with splenomegaly for whom the disease is categorized as intermediate-2 or high risk. The improvement of symptoms without spleen volume reduction is not considered sufficient to continue treatment. The aim of this manuscript is to provide guidance for the safe and effective administration of ruxolitinib, considering the particularities of the Belgian reimbursement criteria.

Methods: Our recommendations are based on a consensus reached during two meetings, where available data and observations derived from clinical experience were discussed.

Results And Discussion: We recommend changing the current Belgian reimbursement conditions to include the evaluation of disease-related symptoms along with splenomegaly to decide whether ruxolitinib treatment should be continued or not. Indeed, the decrease in disease-related symptoms seems to be an equally important parameter as the decrease in splenic volume in the evaluation of the response to ruxolitinib. We also advocate for the treatment with ruxolitinib of MF patients in lower-risk categories with severe disease-related symptoms, as this drug could greatly improve their quality of life. Optimization of the ruxolitinib dose is recommended to avoid an unnecessary decrease in platelet count or hemoglobin that may jeopardize treatment continuation.

Conclusion: With the aim to optimize the treatment of MF patients, the Belgian regulation for ruxolitinib should be revised in terms of reimbursement criteria, dose titration, stopping rules, and patient follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10245332.2017.1385192DOI Listing
May 2018

Clinical characteristics and outcomes according to age in lenalidomide-treated patients with RBC transfusion-dependent lower-risk MDS and del(5q).

J Hematol Oncol 2017 06 26;10(1):131. Epub 2017 Jun 26.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA.

Background: Particularly since the advent of lenalidomide, lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients with del(5q) have been the focus of many studies; however, the impact of age on disease characteristics and response to lenalidomide has not been analyzed.

Methods: We assessed the effect of age on clinical characteristics and outcomes in 286 lenalidomide-treated MDS patients with del(5q) from two multicenter trials.

Results: A total of 33.9, 34.3, and 31.8% patients were aged <65 years, ≥65 to <75 years, and ≥75 years, respectively. Age <65 years was associated with less favorable International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) risk and additional cytopenias at baseline versus older age groups, significantly lower cytogenetic response rates (p = 0.022 vs. ≥65 to <75 years; p = 0.047 vs. ≥75 years), and higher rates of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) progression (Gray's test, p = 0.013). Lenalidomide was equally well tolerated across age groups, producing consistently high rates of red blood cell transfusion independence ≥26 weeks.

Conclusions: Baseline disease characteristics and AML progression appear to be more severe in younger lower-risk MDS patients with del(5q), whereas older age does not seem to compromise the response to lenalidomide.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00065156 and NCT00179621.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-017-0491-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5485496PMC
June 2017

Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation for Patients Age ≥ 70 Years with Myelodysplastic Syndrome: A Retrospective Study of the MDS Subcommittee of the Chronic Malignancies Working Party of the EBMT.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2017 01 5;23(1):44-52. Epub 2016 Oct 5.

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

In this retrospective analysis we evaluated the outcome of 313 patients aged ≥ 70 years in the registry of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS; n = 221) and secondary acute myeloid leukemia (n = 92) who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) from related (n = 79) or unrelated (n = 234) donors. Median age at HSCT was 72 years (range, 70 to 78). Conditioning regimen was nonmyeloablative (n = 54), reduced intensity (n = 207), or standard intensity (n = 52). Allogeneic HSCT for MDS patients ≥ 70 years was increasingly performed over time. Although during 2000 to 2004 only 16 patients received HSCT, during 2011 to 2013 the number of transplantations increased to 181. The cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality at 1 year and relapse at 3 years was 32% and 28%, respectively, with a 3-year overall survival rate of 34%. Good performance, determined by Karnofsky performance status, and recipients' seronegativity for cytomegalovirus was associated with 3-year estimated overall survival rates of 43% (P = .01) and 46% (P = .002), respectively. Conditioning intensity did not impact survival. After careful patient selection, allogeneic HSCT can be offered to patients older than 70 years with MDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2016.09.027DOI Listing
January 2017

A large observational study of patients with primary immune thrombocytopenia receiving romiplostim in European clinical practice.

Eur J Haematol 2017 Feb 26;98(2):112-120. Epub 2016 Sep 26.

International Medical Development and Research, Amgen (Europe) GmbH, Zug, Switzerland.

Objective: Romiplostim has maintained long-term platelet counts in patients with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) for up to 5 yr in clinical studies. This prospective observational study aimed to describe romiplostim utilisation and outcomes in European clinical practice.

Methods: Adults with primary ITP who received romiplostim in routine care were eligible.

Results: Three-hundred and forty patients were eligible for analysis, of whom 299 (88%) completed the 2-yr observation period. The median age was 62 yr, with 43% of patients aged ≥65 yr, and two-thirds of patients initiated romiplostim before splenectomy. The median average weekly dose of romiplostim was 2.8 μg/kg. The median baseline platelet count was 20 × 10 /L, which increased after 2 wk of romiplostim treatment and remained >50 × 10 /L thereafter. After romiplostim initiation, there was a decrease in rates of grade ≥3 bleeding events (from 12 to 2 per 100 patient-years) and ITP-related hospitalisations (from 87 to 33 per 100 patient-years). The rate of thrombotic events was 2 per 100 patient-years, and bone marrow fibrosis occurred in two patients.

Conclusions: Romiplostim dosing, effectiveness and safety in an unselected real-world ITP population seemed comparable with that observed in clinical studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12807DOI Listing
February 2017