Publications by authors named "Erica B Bhavsar"

5 Publications

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Assessment of the Efficacy of Therapies Following Venetoclax Discontinuation in CLL Reveals BTK Inhibition as an Effective Strategy.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 Jul 20;26(14):3589-3596. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

Department of Haematology, Churchill Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Purpose: Venetoclax-based therapy is a standard-of-care option in first-line and relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Patient management following venetoclax discontinuation remains nonstandard and poorly understood.

Experimental Design: To address this, we conducted a large international study to identify a cohort of 326 patients who discontinued venetoclax and have been subsequently treated. Coprimary endpoints were overall response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival for the post-venetoclax treatments stratified by treatment type [Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor (BTKi), PI3K inhibitor (PI3Ki), and cellular therapies].

Results: We identified patients with CLL who discontinued venetoclax in the first-line (4%) and relapsed/refractory settings (96%). Patients received a median of three therapies prior to venetoclax; 40% were BTKi naïve ( = 130), and 81% were idelalisib naïve ( = 263). ORR to BTKi was 84% ( = 44) in BTKi-naïve patients versus 54% ( = 30) in BTKi-exposed patients. We demonstrate therapy selection following venetoclax requires prior novel agent exposure consideration and discontinuation reasons.

Conclusions: For BTKi-naïve patients, selection of covalently binding BTKis results in high ORR and durable remissions. For BTKi-exposed patients, covalent BTK inhibition is not effective in the setting of BTKi resistance. PI3Kis following venetoclax do not appear to result in durable remissions. We conclude that BTKi in naïve or previously responsive patients and cellular therapies following venetoclax may be the most effective strategies..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-3815DOI Listing
July 2020

A retrospective comparison of venetoclax alone or in combination with an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody in R/R CLL.

Blood Adv 2019 05;3(10):1568-1573

Nottingham University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Venetoclax (VEN) is approved for relapsed/refractory (R/R) chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) as monotherapy (VENmono) or in combination with rituximab. Whether VEN plus anti-CD20 (VENcombo) is superior to VENmono is unknown. We conducted a multicenter, retrospective cohort analysis comparing 321 CLL patients treated with VENmono vs VENcombo across the United States and the United Kingdom. We examined demographics, baseline characteristics, dosing, adverse events, response rates, and outcomes. The primary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), estimated by Kaplan-Meier method, in patients treated with VENmono vs VENcombo. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed with COX regression. Three hundred twenty-one CLL patients were included (3 median prior treatments, 78% prior ibrutinib). The overall response rates (ORRs) were similar (VENmono, 81% ORR, 34% complete remission [CR] vs VENcombo, 84% ORR, 32% CR). With a median follow-up of 13.4 months, no differences in PFS and OS were observed between the groups. In unadjusted analyses, the hazard ratios (HRs) for PFS and OS for VENmono vs VENcombo were HR 1.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.6-1.8; = .7) and HR 1.2 (95% CI, 0.6-2.3; = .5), respectively. When adjusting for differences between the cohorts, the addition of an anti-CD20 antibody in combination with VEN did not impact PFS (HR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.5-2.0; = .9) or OS (HR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.4-2.6; = .8). We demonstrate comparable efficacy between VENmono and VENcombo in a heavily pretreated, high-risk, retrospective cohort, in terms of both response data and survival outcomes. Prospective studies are needed to validate these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000180DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6538868PMC
May 2019

Epigenetic evolution and lineage histories of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Nature 2019 05 15;569(7757):576-580. Epub 2019 May 15.

New York Genome Center, New York, NY, USA.

Genetic and epigenetic intra-tumoral heterogeneity cooperate to shape the evolutionary course of cancer. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is a highly informative model for cancer evolution as it undergoes substantial genetic diversification and evolution after therapy. The CLL epigenome is also an important disease-defining feature, and growing populations of cells in CLL diversify by stochastic changes in DNA methylation known as epimutations. However, previous studies using bulk sequencing methods to analyse the patterns of DNA methylation were unable to determine whether epimutations affect CLL populations homogeneously. Here, to measure the epimutation rate at single-cell resolution, we applied multiplexed single-cell reduced-representation bisulfite sequencing to B cells from healthy donors and patients with CLL. We observed that the common clonal origin of CLL results in a consistently increased epimutation rate, with low variability in the cell-to-cell epimutation rate. By contrast, variable epimutation rates across healthy B cells reflect diverse evolutionary ages across the trajectory of B cell differentiation, consistent with epimutations serving as a molecular clock. Heritable epimutation information allowed us to reconstruct lineages at high-resolution with single-cell data, and to apply this directly to patient samples. The CLL lineage tree shape revealed earlier branching and longer branch lengths than in normal B cells, reflecting rapid drift after the initial malignant transformation and a greater proliferative history. Integration of single-cell bisulfite sequencing analysis with single-cell transcriptomes and genotyping confirmed that genetic subclones mapped to distinct clades, as inferred solely on the basis of epimutation information. Finally, to examine potential lineage biases during therapy, we profiled serial samples during ibrutinib-associated lymphocytosis, and identified clades of cells that were preferentially expelled from the lymph node after treatment, marked by distinct transcriptional profiles. The single-cell integration of genetic, epigenetic and transcriptional information thus charts the lineage history of CLL and its evolution with therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1198-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6533116PMC
May 2019

Cancer-Associated SF3B1 Hotspot Mutations Induce Cryptic 3' Splice Site Selection through Use of a Different Branch Point.

Cell Rep 2015 Nov 22;13(5):1033-45. Epub 2015 Oct 22.

H3 Biomedicine, Inc., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address:

Recurrent mutations in the spliceosome are observed in several human cancers, but their functional and therapeutic significance remains elusive. SF3B1, the most frequently mutated component of the spliceosome in cancer, is involved in the recognition of the branch point sequence (BPS) during selection of the 3' splice site (ss) in RNA splicing. Here, we report that common and tumor-specific splicing aberrations are induced by SF3B1 mutations and establish aberrant 3' ss selection as the most frequent splicing defect. Strikingly, mutant SF3B1 utilizes a BPS that differs from that used by wild-type SF3B1 and requires the canonical 3' ss to enable aberrant splicing during the second step. Approximately 50% of the aberrantly spliced mRNAs are subjected to nonsense-mediated decay resulting in downregulation of gene and protein expression. These findings ascribe functional significance to the consequences of SF3B1 mutations in cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2015.09.053DOI Listing
November 2015

Idelalisib-associated Colitis: Histologic Findings in 14 Patients.

Am J Surg Pathol 2015 Dec;39(12):1661-7

*Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine †Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY.

Idelalisib is an inhibitor of the PI3Kδ isoform approved for treatment of patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia and indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Many patients develop gastrointestinal symptoms during idelalisib therapy; however, the pathologic effects of this drug have not been characterized. We identified 50 patients who received at least 3 months of idelalisib therapy. Clinical findings and symptoms were noted for each patient, and endoscopic findings were recorded for those who underwent colonoscopic examination. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections from colonic biopsy samples were evaluated for histologic patterns of injury. Twenty-three (46%) patients experienced diarrhea during treatment with idelalisib, including 8 with severe symptoms (≥7 stools/d above baseline and/or requiring hospitalization). Fourteen patients underwent colonoscopic examination with mucosal biopsy. Twelve (86%) of these had colitis characterized by intraepithelial lymphocytosis, crypt cell apoptosis, and neutrophilic infiltration of crypt epithelium. Eleven patients had symptoms severe enough to warrant drug withdrawal, including 9 who were also treated with corticosteroids. Idelalisib commonly causes diarrheal symptoms in patients undergoing therapy for B-cell neoplasia, which may be severe in nearly 20% of patients. Characteristic histologic features include the combination of intraepithelial lymphocytosis and crypt cell apoptosis, often accompanied by neutrophils. Discontinuation of the drug results in symptomatic improvement and resolution of histologic changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAS.0000000000000522DOI Listing
December 2015