Publications by authors named "Farhad Khimani"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Outcomes Associated With Thiotepa-Based Conditioning in Patients With Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma After Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplant.

JAMA Oncol 2021 May 6. Epub 2021 May 6.

Division of Blood & Marrow Transplantation, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Importance: Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) requires induction and consolidation to achieve potential cure. High-dose therapy and autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (AHCT) is an accepted and effective consolidation strategy for PCNSL, but no consensus exists on the optimal conditioning regimens.

Objective: To assess the outcomes in patients with PCNSL undergoing AHCT with the 3 most commonly used conditioning regimens: thiotepa/busulfan/cyclophosphamide (TBC), thiotepa/carmustine (TT-BCNU), and carmustine/etoposide/cytarabine/melphalan (BEAM).

Design, Setting, And Participants: This observational cohort study used registry data from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research registry. The Center is a working group of more than 380 transplantation centers worldwide that contributed detailed data on HCT to a statistical center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The participant data were from 603 adult patients with PCNSL who underwent AHCT as initial, or subsequent, consolidation between January 2010 and December 2018. Patients were excluded if they had a non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtype other than diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, systemic non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or HIV; received an uncommon conditioning regimen; or were not in partial remission or complete remission prior to AHCT. Statistical analysis was performed from July 5, 2020, to March 1, 2021.

Interventions: Patients received 1 of 3 conditioning regimens: TBC (n = 263), TT-BCNU (n = 275), and BEAM (n = 65).

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was progression-free survival. Secondary outcomes included hematopoietic recovery, incidence of relapse, nonrelapse mortality, and overall survival.

Results: Of 603 patients, the mean age was 57 (range, 19-77) years and 318 (53%) were male. The 3-year adjusted progression-free survival rates were higher in the TBC cohort (75%) and TT-BCNU cohort (76%) compared with the BEAM cohort (58%) (P = .03) owing to a higher relapse risk in the BEAM cohort (hazard ratio [HR], 4.34; 95% CI, 2.45-7.70; P < .001). In a multivariable regression analysis, compared with the TBC cohort, patients who received TT-BCNU had a higher relapse risk (HR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.07-2.98; P = .03), lower risk of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) (HR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.29-0.87; P = .01), and similar risk of all-cause mortality more than 6 months after HCT (HR, 1.54; 95% CI, 0.93-2.55; P = .10). Age of 60 years or older, Karnofsky performance status less than 90, and an HCT-comorbidity index greater than or equal to 3 were associated with lower rates of survival across all 3 cohorts. Subgroup analyses demonstrated that patients aged 60 years and older had considerably higher NRM with TBC.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study, thiotepa-based conditioning regimen was associated with higher rates of survival compared with BEAM, despite higher rates of early toxic effects and NRM; these findings may assist clinicians in choosing between TBC or TT-BCNU based on patient and disease characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.1074DOI Listing
May 2021

National Marrow Donor Program-Sponsored Multicenter, Phase II Trial of HLA-Mismatched Unrelated Donor Bone Marrow Transplantation Using Post-Transplant Cyclophosphamide.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Apr 27:JCO2003502. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD.

Purpose: Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is curative for hematologic disorders, but outcomes are historically inferior when using HLA-mismatched donors. Despite unrelated donor registries listing > 38 million volunteers, 25%-80% of US patients lack an HLA-matched unrelated donor, with significant disparity across ethnic groups. We hypothesized that HCT with a mismatched unrelated donor (MMUD) using post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy), a novel strategy successful in overcoming genetic disparity using mismatched related donors, would be feasible and increase access to HCT.

Patients And Methods: We performed a prospective phase II study of MMUD bone marrow HCT with PTCy for patients with hematologic malignancies. The primary end point was 1-year overall survival (OS), hypothesized to be 65% or better. 80 patients enrolled at 11 US transplant centers (December 2016-March 2019). Following myeloablative or reduced-intensity conditioning-based HCT, patients received PTCy on days +3, +4, with sirolimus and mycophenolate mofetil starting on day +5. We compared outcomes to Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research contemporary controls receiving PTCy.

Results: Notably, 48% of patients enrolled were ethnic minorities. 39% of pairs were matched for 4-6 out of 8 HLA alleles. The primary end point was met, with 1-year OS of 76% (90% CI, 67.3 to 83.3) in the entire cohort, and 72% and 79% in the myeloablative and reduced-intensity conditioning strata, respectively. Secondary end points related to engraftment and graft-versus-host-disease were reached. Multivariate analysis comparing the study group with other mismatched HCT controls found no significant differences in OS.

Conclusion: Our prospective study demonstrates the feasibility and effectiveness of HCT with an MMUD in the setting of PTCy. Remarkably, nearly half of the study participants belonged to an ethnic minority population, suggesting this approach may significantly expand access to HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.03502DOI Listing
April 2021

Impact of Total Body Irradiation-Based Myeloablative Conditioning Regimens in Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Mar 30. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Internal Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is a curative treatment option for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Both total body irradiation (TBI)-based and chemotherapy only-based myeloablative transplantation conditioning regimens have been applied, but the optimal regimen remains unclear. We performed a systematic review to assess the efficacy of TBI-based versus chemotherapy only-based myeloablative conditioning regimens. We searched PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases and meeting abstracts for all studies comparing TBI-based and chemotherapy only-based conditioning regimens in patients who underwent allo-HCT for ALL. Two authors independently reviewed all studies for inclusion and extracted data related to overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse, and acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Eight studies were included in the final analysis. The overall methodological quality of the included studies was optimal. TBI-based regimens showed evidence of benefit compared with chemotherapy only-based conditioning regimens in terms of relapse (relative risk [RR], 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 0.94; 6 studies, 5091 patients), OS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.76; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.89; 7 studies, 4727 patients), and PFS (HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.85; 7 studies, 4727 patients). The TBI-based regimen did not increase the likelihood of grade II-IV acute GVHD (RR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.36; 5 studies, 4996 patients) or chronic GVHD (RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.21; 5 studies, 4490 patients), or NRM (RR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.69 to 1.28; 6 studies, 4522 patients). However, TBI-based regimens were associated with an increased risk of grade III-IV acute GVHD (RR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.63; 3 studies, 3675 patients). A subgroup comparison of patients age ≥16 years showed similar results. This systematic review represents evidence supporting the use of TBI-based conditioning regimen in patients undergoing allo-HCT for ALL who are candidates for myeloablative conditioning, as it offers better OS, PFS, and less relapse with acceptable NRM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.03.026DOI Listing
March 2021

ELN 2017 Genetic Risk Stratification Predicts Survival of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients Receiving Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Mar 2;27(3):256.e1-256.e7. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida. Electronic address:

European LeukemiaNet (ELN) 2017 risk stratification by genetics is prognostic of outcomes in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the prognostic impact of the 2017 ELN genetic risk stratification after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) is not well established. We examined the effect of 2017 ELN genetic risk stratification on alloHCT outcomes of AML. We included 500 adult (≥18 years) AML patients in first (n = 370) or second (n = 130) complete remission receiving alloHCT from 2005 to 2016. Patients were classified into favorable (12%), intermediate (57%), and adverse (32%) 2017 ELN risk groups. The Cox proportional hazard model was used to conduct the multivariable analyses of leukemia-free survival (LFS) and overall survival (OS). Relapse and nonrelapse mortality were analyzed by the Fine-Gray regression model. OS at 2 years was 72% in the favorable versus 60% in the intermediate versus 45% in the adverse risk groups (P < .001). In multivariable analyses, the 2017 ELN classifier was an independent predictor of OS after alloHCT with significantly higher overall mortality in the intermediate (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.68, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-2.68; P = .03) and adverse (HR = 2.50, 95% CI, 1.54-4.06; P < .001) risk groups compared to the favorable risk group. Similarly, LFS was worse in the intermediate (HR = 1.63, 95%, CI 1.06-2.53; P = .03) and adverse (HR 2.23, 95% CI, 1.41-3.54; P < .001) risk groups while relapse was higher in the adverse risk group (HR = 2.36, 95% CI, 1.28-4.35; P = .006) as compared to the favorable risk group. These data highlight the prognostic impact of the 2017 ELN genetic risk stratification on the survival of AML patients after alloHCT. Patients in the adverse risk group had the highest risk of relapse and worst survival. Thus the 2017 ELN prognostic system can help identify AML patients who may benefit from clinical trials offering relapse mitigation strategies to improve transplant outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.12.021DOI Listing
March 2021

Incidence and Management of Effusions Before and After CD19-Directed Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cell Therapy in Large B Cell Lymphoma.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Mar 27;27(3):242.e1-242.e6. Epub 2020 Dec 27.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida; Department of Oncologic Sciences, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Electronic address:

In patients with lymphoma, third-space fluid accumulations may develop or worsen during cytokine release syndrome (CRS) associated with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy. Pre-existing symptomatic pleural effusions were excluded by the ZUMA-1 trial of axicabtagene ciloleucel for large B cell lymphoma (LBCL) and variants. The incidence and management of effusions during CAR T cell therapy for LBCL are unknown. We performed a single-center retrospective study evaluating 148 patients receiving CD19-directed CAR T cell therapy for LBCL between May 2015 and September 2019. We retrospectively identified patients who had radiographic pleural, pericardial, or peritoneal effusions that were present prior to the time of CAR T infusion (pre-CAR T) or that newly developed during the first 30 days after CAR T-cell infusion (post-CAR T). Of 148 patients, 19 patients had a pre-CAR T effusion, 17 patients without pre-existing effusion developed a new infusion after CAR T, and 112 patients had no effusions. Comparing pre-CAR T effusions to new effusions post-CAR T, pre-CAR T effusions were more often malignant (84% versus 12%), persistent beyond 30 days (95% versus 18%), and required interventional drainage after CAR T infusion (79% versus 0%). Compared to patients with no effusion, patients with pre-CAR T therapy effusions had a higher frequency of high-risk baseline characteristics, such as bulky disease and high International Prognostic Index. Similarly, patients with pre-CAR T therapy effusions had a higher rate of toxicity with grade 3 or higher CRS occurring in 32% of patients. On multivariate analysis adjusting for age, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group status, bulky disease, albumin, and lactate dehydrogenase, a pre-CAR T therapy effusion was associated with reduced overall survival (hazard ratio, 2.34; 95% confidence interval, 1.09 to 5.03; P = .03). Moreover, there was higher non-relapse mortality (11% versus 1%; P = .005). Post-CAR T effusions were not associated with significant difference in survival. Effusions commonly complicate CAR T cell therapy for lymphoma. Malignant effusions that occur prior to CAR T therapy are frequently persistent and require therapeutic intervention, and patients have a higher rate of toxicity and death. Effusions that newly occur after CAR T therapy can generally be managed medically and tend not to persist.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.12.025DOI Listing
March 2021

Pacritinib Combined with Sirolimus and Low-Dose Tacrolimus for GVHD Prevention after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Preclinical and Phase I Trial Results.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Mar 22. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, Department of Medicine, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Purpose: In this first-in-human, phase I, GVHD prevention trial (NCT02891603), we combine pacritinib (PAC), a JAK2 inhibitor, with sirolimus to concurrently reduce T-cell costimulation via mTOR and IL6 activity. We evaluate the safety of pacritinib when administered with sirolimus plus low-dose tacrolimus (PAC/SIR/TAC) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Patients And Methods: The preclinical efficacy and immune modulation of PAC/SIR were investigated in xenogeneic GVHD. Our phase I trial followed a 3+3 dose-escalation design, including dose level 1 (pacritinib 100 mg daily), level 2 (pacritinib 100 mg twice daily), and level 3 (pacritinib 200 mg twice daily). The primary endpoint was to identify the lowest biologically active and safe dose of pacritinib with SIR/TAC ( = 12). Acute GVHD was scored through day +100. Allografts included 8/8 HLA-matched related or unrelated donor peripheral blood stem cells.

Results: In mice, we show that dual JAK2/mTOR inhibition significantly reduces xenogeneic GVHD and increases peripheral regulatory T cell (Treg) potency as well as Treg induction from conventional CD4 T cells. Pacritinib 100 mg twice a day was identified as the minimum biologically active and safe dose for further study. JAK2/mTOR inhibition suppresses pathogenic Th1 and Th17 cells, spares Tregs and antileukemia effector cells, and exhibits preliminary activity in preventing GVHD. PAC/SIR/TAC preserves donor cytomegalovirus (CMV) immunity and permits timely engraftment without cytopenias.

Conclusions: We demonstrate that PAC/SIR/TAC is safe and preliminarily limits acute GVHD, preserves donor CMV immunity, and permits timely engraftment. The efficacy of PAC/SIR/TAC will be tested in our ongoing phase II GVHD prevention trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-4725DOI Listing
March 2021

Impact of infused CD34+ stem cell dosing for allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation with post-transplant cyclophosphamide.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

Higher infused total nucleated cell dose (TNC) in allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) with post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) is associated with improved overall survival. As many centers prefer peripheral blood stem cell grafts (PBSCT) with PTCy, the effect of cell dose on outcomes with this platform also requires elucidation. We retrospectively evaluated 144 consecutive adult patients who received allogeneic T-cell replete PBSCT with PTCy-based graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis for a hematologic malignancy from 2012-2018. The infused CD34+ cell dose was stratified into low (<5 × 10/kg), intermediate (5-10 × 10/kg) and high (>10 × 10/kg) dose level groups. In multivariate analysis, the low CD34+ cell dose group had worse non-relapse mortality (HR = 4.51, 95% CI: 1.92-10.58, p < 0.001), progression- free survival (HR = 4.11, 95% CI: 2.07-8.15, p < 0.001), and overall survival (HR = 4.06, 95% CI: 2.00-8.25, p ≤ 0.001) compared to the intermediate group. Clinical outcomes between the intermediate and high CD34+ cell dose groups were similar. TNC and CD3+ cell dose had no significant impacts on outcomes. These findings suggest that, in patients receiving allogeneic PBSCT with PTCy, infused CD34+ cell doses >5 × 10 cells/kg may result in improved survival. Thus, this study supports targeting a CD34+ cell dose of >5 × 10 cells/kg for allogeneic PBSCT with PTCy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01219-8DOI Listing
March 2021

Acute patient-reported outcomes in B-cell malignancies treated with axicabtagene ciloleucel.

Cancer Med 2021 Mar 28;10(6):1936-1943. Epub 2021 Feb 28.

Moffitt Cancer Center, Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior, Tampa, FL, USA.

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy with axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) has considerably improved survival in adults with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma. This study reports patient-reported outcomes (PROs) such as quality of life (QOL) and toxicity in the first 90 days after treatment. Hematologic cancer patients treated with axi-cel (N = 103, mean age = 61, 39% female) completed SF-36 or PROMIS-29 QOL questionnaires prior to treatment and 90 days after. PRO-Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events toxicity items were completed by patients at baseline and 14, 30, 60, and 90 days after treatment. Mixed models examined change in PROs over time. From preinfusion to 90 days later, patients reported improvements in physical functioning, pain, and fatigue (ps < 0.01), but worsening of anxiety (p = 0.02). Patient-reported toxicities worsened by day 14 with improvement thereafter. The five most severe symptoms at day 14 included fatigue, decreased appetite, dry mouth, diarrhea frequency, and problems with concentration. Results indicate improvement in some domains of QOL over time with transient patient-reported toxicities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3664DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7957158PMC
March 2021

A phase 2 trial of GVHD prophylaxis with PTCy, sirolimus, and MMF after peripheral blood haploidentical transplantation.

Blood Adv 2021 Mar;5(5):1154-1163

Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, and.

The introduction of posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) made performing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) from HLA haplotype-incompatible donors possible. In a setting of PTCy and tacrolimus/mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) as a graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, a peripheral blood (PB) graft source as compared with bone marrow reduces the relapse rate but increases acute GVHD (aGVHD) and chronic GVHD (cGVHD). This phase 2 trial assessed sirolimus and MMF efficacy following PTCy as a GVHD prophylaxis after PB haploidentical HCT (haplo-HCT). With 32 evaluable patients (≥18 years) enrolled, this study had 90% power to demonstrate a reduction in 100-day grade II-IV aGVHD to 20% from the historical benchmark of 40% after haplo-HCT using PTCy/tacrolimus/MMF. At a median follow-up of 16.1 months, the primary end point of the trial was met with a day-100 grade II-IV aGVHD cumulative incidence of 18.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.5% to 34.0%). There were no graft-failure events and the 1-year probability of National Institutes of Health (NIH) moderate/severe cGVHD was 18.8% (95% CI, 7.4% to 34.0%), nonrelapse mortality was 18.8% (95% CI, 7.4% to 34.0%), relapse was 22.2% (95% CI, 9.6% to 38.2%), disease-free survival was 59.0% (95% CI, 44.1% to 79.0%), GVHD-free relapse-free survival was 49.6% (95% CI, 34.9% to 70.5%), and overall survival was 71.7% (95% CI, 57.7% to 89.2%) for the entire cohort. These data demonstrate that GVHD prophylaxis with sirolimus/MMF following PTCy effectively prevents grade II-IV aGVHD after PB haplo-HCT, warranting prospective comparison of sirolimus vs tacrolimus in combination with MMF following PTCy as GVHD prophylaxis after PB HCT. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT03018223.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003779DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7948297PMC
March 2021

High metabolic tumor volume is associated with decreased efficacy of axicabtagene ciloleucel in large B-cell lymphoma.

Blood Adv 2020 07;4(14):3268-3276

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, and.

High metabolic tumor volume (MTV) predicts worse outcomes in lymphoma treated with chemotherapy. However, it is unknown if this holds for patients treated with axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), an anti-CD19 targeted chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy. The primary objective of this retrospective study was to investigate the relationship between MTV and survival (overall survival [OS] and progression-free survival [PFS]) in patients with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) treated with axi-cel. Secondary objectives included finding the association of MTV with response rates and toxicity. The MTV values on baseline positron emission tomography of 96 patients were calculated via manual methodology using commercial software. Based on a median MTV cutoff value of 147.5 mL in the first cohort (n = 48), patients were divided into high and low MTV groups. Median follow-up for survivors was 24.98 months (range, 10.59-51.02 months). Patients with low MTV had significantly superior OS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.10-0.66) and PFS (HR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.18-0.89). Results were successfully validated in a second cohort of 48 patients with a median follow-up for survivors of 12.03 months (range, 0.89-25.74 months). Patients with low MTV were found to have superior OS (HR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.05-0.42) and PFS (HR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.12-0.69). In conclusion, baseline MTV is associated with OS and PFS in axi-cel recipients with LBCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001900DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7391155PMC
July 2020

Tumor Microenvironment Composition and Severe Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS) Influence Toxicity in Patients with Large B-Cell Lymphoma Treated with Axicabtagene Ciloleucel.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 Sep 15;26(18):4823-4831. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida.

Purpose: One of the challenges of adoptive T-cell therapy is the development of immune-mediated toxicities including cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurotoxicity (NT). We aimed to identify factors that place patients at high risk of severe toxicity or treatment-related death in a cohort of 75 patients with large B-cell lymphoma treated with a standard of care CD19 targeted CAR T-cell product (axicabtagene ciloleucel).

Experimental Design: Serum cytokine and catecholamine levels were measured prior to lymphodepleting chemotherapy, on the day of CAR T infusion and daily thereafter while patients remained hospitalized. Tumor biopsies were taken within 1 month prior to CAR T infusion for evaluation of gene expression.

Results: We identified an association between pretreatment levels of IL6 and life-threatening CRS and NT. Because the risk of toxicity was related to pretreatment factors, we hypothesized that the tumor microenvironment (TME) may influence CAR T-cell toxicity. In pretreatment patient tumor biopsies, gene expression of myeloid markers was associated with higher toxicity.

Conclusions: These results suggest that a proinflammatory state and an unfavorable TME preemptively put patients at risk for toxicity after CAR T-cell therapy. Tailoring toxicity management strategies to patient risk may reduce morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1434DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7501265PMC
September 2020

Immune reconstitution and associated infections following axicabtagene ciloleucel in relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma.

Haematologica 2021 Apr 1;106(4):978-986. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Dept. of Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, USA.

CD19 CAR T-cell therapy with axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) for relapsed or refractory (R/R) large B cell lymphoma (LBCL) may lead to durable remissions, however, prolonged cytopenias and infections may occur. In this single center retrospective study of 85 patients, we characterized immune reconstitution and infections for patients remaining in remission after axi-cel for LBCL. Prolonged cytopenias (those occurring at or after day 30 following infusion) were common with >= grade 3 neutropenia seen in 21/70 (30-0%) patients at day 30 and persisting in 3/31 (9-7%) patients at 1 year. B cells were undetectable in 30/34 (88-2%) patients at day 30, but were detected in 11/19 (57-9%) at 1 year. Median IgG levels reached a nadir at day 180. By contrast, CD4 T cells decreased from baseline and were persistently low with a median CD4 count of 155 cells/μl at 1 year after axi-cel (n=19, range 33 - 269). In total, 23/85 (27-1%) patients received IVIG after axi-cel, and 34/85 (40-0%) received G-CSF. Infections in the first 30 days occurred in 31/85 (36-5%) patients, of which 11/85 (12-9%) required intravenous antibiotics or hospitalization ("severe") and were associated with cytokine release syndrome (CRS), neurotoxicity, tocilizumab use, corticosteroid use, and bridging therapy on univariate analyses. After day 30, 7 severe infections occurred, with no late deaths due to infection. Prolonged cytopenias are common following axi-cel therapy for LBCL and typically recover with time. Most patients experience profound and prolonged CD4 T cell immunosuppression without severe infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.238634DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8017820PMC
April 2021

Reduced-intensity fludarabine/melphalan confers similar survival to busulfan/fludarabine myeloablative regimens for patients with acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplasia.

Leuk Lymphoma 2020 07 5;61(7):1678-1687. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

Optimal conditioning chemotherapy for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) remains uncertain. Myeloablative regimens such as fludarabine/busulfan are favored over reduced-intensity fludarabine/melphalan (Flu/Mel); however, it is not known if Flu/Mel is inferior. We analyzed hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients with AML and MDS who received fludarabine with once-daily intravenous busulfan targeted to either area under the curve (AUC) 5300 µM*L/min (Flu/Bu 5300) ( = 246) or AUC 3500 µM*L/min (Flu/Bu 3500) ( = 81), or Flu/Mel ( = 69). Flu/Bu regimens were compared separately to Flu/Mel. After 2-year follow-up, no differences in overall or relapse-free survival were found between Flu/Bu 5300 or 3500 versus Flu/Mel though relapse rates were significantly higher; 33.1% ( = 0.024), 44.6% ( = 0.002), versus 19.4%, respectively. Flu/Bu 5300 ( = 0.008) and Flu/Bu 3500 ( < 0.001) groups were prognostic for relapse compared to Flu/Mel. Flu/Mel yields lower relapse rates and similar survival benefit when compared to Flu/Bu 3500 or 5300 µM*L/min.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1731498DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7771324PMC
July 2020

Radiation Therapy as a Bridging Strategy for CAR T Cell Therapy With Axicabtagene Ciloleucel in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2019 12 5;105(5):1012-1021. Epub 2019 Jun 5.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida. Electronic address:

Purpose: Axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) is a CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Bridging therapy may be required for lymphoma control during the manufacturing interval between collection of autologous T cells and final CAR T product administration. The optimal bridging therapy is not known and patients are often chemorefractory. We present a case series of patients receiving radiation as a bridge to axi-cel.

Methods And Materials: Between December 2017 and October 2018, 12 patients were intended to receive bridging radiation before axi-cel. The group was characterized by highly aggressive disease including 6 of 12 with "double hit" lymphoma and 6 of 12 with disease ≥10 cm in diameter. All patients received 2 to 4 Gy/fraction to a median dose of 20 Gy (range, 6-36.5 Gy). Half of patients received either 30 Gy in 10 fractions or 20 Gy in 5 fractions. Seven patients received concurrent chemotherapy. Eleven patients underwent axi-cel infusion and one did not. Median follow-up was 3.3 months (range, 1.1-12.0 months).

Results: No significant toxicities were identified during bridging radiation, and no patient experienced in-field progression of disease before axi-cel infusion. One patient experienced abdominal pain, which resolved after dose reduction. Two patients had out-of-field progression of disease during the bridging period. After axi-cel infusion, 3 of 11 patients (27%) experienced severe cytokine release syndrome or neurotoxicity. At 30 days, the objective response rate was 81.8% (11 of 12 evaluable; 1 stable disease, 1 out-of-field progression), with complete response in 27% (3 of 11). At last follow-up, the best objective response rate was 81.8%, with a complete response attained in 45% (5 of 11). Lymphocyte counts decreased slightly in 10 of 12 patients during radiation (median, 0.25 k/uL).

Conclusions: Radiation (with or without concurrent chemotherapy) can be safely administered as a bridge to axi-cel in high-risk lymphoma. Caution should be taken if irradiation is started before apheresis, and lymphocyte counts should be monitored closely throughout. Future investigation is warranted to optimize the use of bridging radiation before CAR T therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.05.065DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6872916PMC
December 2019

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation provides effective salvage despite refractory disease or failed prior autologous transplant in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma: a CIBMTR analysis.

J Hematol Oncol 2019 01 10;12(1). Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Rd. PO Box 26509, Milwaukee, WI, 53226, USA.

Background: There is a paucity of data on the role of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) in patients with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL). Using the CIBMTR registry, we report here the outcomes of AITL patients undergoing an allo-HCT.

Methods: We evaluated 249 adult AITL patients who received their first allo-HCT during 2000-2016.

Results: The median patient age was 56 years (range = 21-77). Majority of the patients were Caucasians (86%), with a male predominance (60%). Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis was predominantly calcineurin inhibitor-based approaches while the most common graft source was peripheral blood (97%). Median follow-up of survivors was 49 months (range = 4-170 months). The cumulative incidence of grade 2-4 and grade 3-4 acute GVHD at day 180 were 36% (95% CI = 30-42) and 12 (95% CI = 8-17), respectively. The cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD at 1 year was 49% (95%CI 43-56). The 1-year non-relapse mortality (NRM) was 19% (95% CI = 14-24), while the 4-year relapse/progression, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were 21% (95% CI = 16-27), 49% (95% CI = 42-56), and 56% (95% CI = 49-63), respectively. On multivariate analysis, chemoresistant status at the time of allo-HCT was associated with a significantly higher risk for therapy failure (inverse of PFS) (RR = 1.73 95% CI = 1.08-2.77), while KPS < 90% was associated with a significantly higher risk of mortality (inverse of OS) (RR = 3.46 95% CI = 1.75-6.87).

Conclusion: Our analysis shows that allo-HCT provides durable disease control even in AITL patients who failed a prior auto-HCT and in those subjects with refractory disease at the time of allografting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-018-0696-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6329157PMC
January 2019

Hepatic veno-occlusive disease following sirolimus-based immune suppression.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2019 01 12;54(1):85-89. Epub 2018 Jun 12.

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

Sirolimus-based graft vs. host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis is associated with higher incidence of veno-occlusive disease/sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (VOD/SOS) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). However, whether the clinical manifestations and prognosis of VOD/SOS differs when diagnosed in the setting of sirolimus-based GVHD prophylaxis is not well studied. To address this question, we examined presenting features and treatment outcome of VOD/SOS cases identified in a large retrospective cohort of consecutive HCT procedures (n = 818 total, sirolimus (SIR)/tacrolimus (TAC) n = 308, and methotrexate (MTX) or mycophenolate mofetil (MMF)/TAC n = 510). In multivariate analysis, sirolimus-based GVHD prophylaxis (p = 0.006, HR 3.33, 1.94-5.7) increased risk for VOD/SOS. A total of 58 patients were clinically diagnosed with VOD/SOS (SIR/TAC 38/308, 12.3%, vs. MTX or MMF/TAC 20/510, 3.9%). VOD/SOS diagnosed following SIR/TAC prophylaxis demonstrated later time of onset (median 39 vs. 26 days; p = 0.005), less severe hyperbilirubinemia (Bili > 2, 65% vs. 90% p = 0.04), lesser degree of weight gain (weight gain > 5%, 52% vs 80%, p = 0.04), and more frequent complete resolution of hepatic injury (79% vs. 55%, p = 0.05). Presenting features and natural history of VOD/SOS in the context of SIR/TAC GVHD prophylaxis differ and thus warrant particular clinical attention to later hepatic injury in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-018-0233-2DOI Listing
January 2019

IL-12/IL-23p40 neutralization blocks Th1/Th17 response after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Haematologica 2018 03 14;103(3):531-539. Epub 2017 Dec 14.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

T-helper 1 and T-helper 17 lymphocytes mediate acute graft--host disease (GvHD). Interleukin 12 is critical for T-helper 1 differentiation and interleukin 23 for T-helper 17 maintenance. Interleukin 12 and 23 are heterodimeric cytokines that share the p40 subunit (IL-12/IL-23p40). In a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial, we examined the biological impact and clinical outcomes following IL-12/IL-23p40 neutralization using ustekinumab. Thirty patients received peripheral blood mobilized hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) from HLA-matched sibling or unrelated donors, received sirolimus plus tacrolimus as GvHD prophylaxis, and were randomized to ustekinumab placebo with 1:1 allocation after stratification by donor type. The primary end point of the trial was the mean percentage (%) T-regulatory (Treg) cells on day 30 post HCT. Ustekinumab was delivered by subcutaneous injection on day -1 and day +20 after transplantation. On day 30 post transplant, no significant difference in % Treg was observed. Ustekinumab suppressed serum IL-12/IL-23p40 levels. Host-reactive donor alloresponse at days 30 and 90 after transplantation was polarized with significant reduction in IL-17 and IFN-α production and increase in IL-4. No toxicity attributed to ustekinumab was observed. Overall survival and National Institute of Health moderate/severe chronic GvHD-free, relapse-free survival were significantly improved among ustekinumab-treated patients. No significant improvements were observed in acute or chronic GvHD, relapse, or non-relapse mortality. These data provide first evidence that IL-12/IL-23p40 neutralization can polarize donor anti-host alloresponse and provide initial clinical efficacy evidence to be tested in subsequent trials. (Trial registered at ).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2017.171199DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5830373PMC
March 2018

Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Richter Syndrome: A Single-Center Experience.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2018 01 12;18(1):e35-e39. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

Department of Malignant Hematology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL.

Background: Recent studies have shown dismal outcomes when chronic lymphocytic leukemia progresses to Richter syndrome after patients receive ibrutinib, with a median overall survival ranging from 2.6 to 3.5 months. Published data on efficacy of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in Richter syndrome are limited to single-center case series and registry data.

Patients And Methods: We evaluated the efficacy of allogeneic transplantation in 10 patients, median age of 63 (range, 50-74) years, allografted at a median of 5 (range, 4-25) months from diagnosis of Richter syndrome. All showed an objective response to therapy before transplantation (first complete remission = 7 [70%], first partial response = 2 [20%], second partial response = 1 [10%]). Most received a myeloablative conditioning regimen (n = 7, 70%). Filgrastim-mobilized peripheral blood stem cells was the preferred cell source (n = 10, 100%).

Results: Median follow-up of surviving patients was 46 (range, 15-82) months. The 4-year overall survival was 50% (95% confidence interval [CI], 19%-81%). Nonrelapse mortality at 1 year and 4 years post-transplantation were 40% (95% CI, 19%-85%) for both time points. The 4-year incidence of relapse/progression was 10% (95% CI, 2%-64%).

Conclusion: Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is an effective treatment for patients with Richter syndrome who show an objective response before allografting. Patients must be referred to transplant centers as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed to evaluate candidacy for the procedure and identify a suitable donor in a timely manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2017.10.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6716154PMC
January 2018

Hypoalbuminemia at Day +90 Is Associated with Inferior Nonrelapse Mortality and Overall Survival in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Recipients: A Confirmatory Study.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 02 13;24(2):400-405. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida; Department of Oncologic Sciences, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Electronic address:

Prognostic biomarkers in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) are needed to improve risk assessment and help guide therapeutic and surveillance strategies to mitigate the risk of death from the procedure. We previously identified hypoalbuminemia at day +90 post-transplantation as an independent predictor of increased nonrelapse mortality (NRM) and inferior overall survival (OS) in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome who were treated with an allo-HCT. Here, we aim to confirm the prognostic significance of day +90 hypoalbuminemia in 783 patients, median age 52 years (range, 18 to 76), who received an allo-HCT for various hematologic malignancies and bone marrow failure syndromes. Multivariate analysis for NRM demonstrated a negative effect of low serum albumin levels (<3.0 versus 3.0 to 3.5 versus >3.5 g/dL) at day +90 post-transplantation (hazard ratios, 8.03 [95% CI, 3.59 to 17.97] versus 2.84 [95% CI, 1.59 to 5.08] versus reference; P < .0001). This was also the case for OS (hazard ratios, 6.86 [95% CI, 4.24 to 11.10] versus 1.52 [95% CI, 1.05 to 2.20] versus reference; P < .0001). Patients with hypoalbuminemia at day +90 post-transplantation are more likely to die from causes other than relapse, particularly infections. This large study confirms the ability of day +90 serum hypoalbuminemia to predict worse NRM and inferior OS. Presence of hypoalbuminemia at day +90 should drive a more rigorous real-time surveillance strategy considering the anticipated high-risk of NRM and poor survival in these patients. Future studies should consider incorporating day +90 serum albumin levels in prognostic models of NRM and OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.09.022DOI Listing
February 2018

IL-2 promotes early Treg reconstitution after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Haematologica 2017 05 19;102(5):948-957. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

Graft--host disease (GvHD) remains a major cause of transplant-related mortality. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) plus sirolimus (SIR) synergistically reduces acute GvHD in rodents and promotes regulatory T cells. This phase II trial tested the hypothesis that IL-2 would facilitate STAT5 phosphorylation in donor T cells, expand regulatory T cells, and ameliorate GvHD. Between 16 April 2014 and 19 December 2015, 20 patients received IL-2 (200,000 IU/m thrice weekly, days 0 to +90) with SIR (5-14 ng/mL) and tacrolimus (TAC) (3-7 ng/mL) after HLA-matched related or unrelated allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). The study was designed to capture an increase in regulatory T cells from 16.0% to more than 23.2% at day +30. IL-2/SIR/TAC significantly increased regulatory T cells at day +30 compared to our published data with SIR/TAC (23.8% 16.0%, =0.0016; 0.052 k/uL 0.037 k/uL, =0.0163), achieving the primary study end point. However, adding IL-2 to SIR/TAC led to a fall in regulatory T cells by day +90 and did not reduce acute or chronic GvHD. Patients who discontinued IL-2 before day +100 showed a suggested trend toward less grade II-IV acute GvHD (16.7% 50%, =0.1475). We surmise that the reported accumulation of IL-2 receptors in circulation over time may neutralize IL-2, lead to progressive loss of regulatory T cells, and offset its clinical efficacy. The amount of phospho-STAT3 CD4 T cells correlated with donor T-cell activation and acute GvHD incidence despite early T-cell STAT5 phosphorylation by IL-2. Optimizing IL-2 dosing and overcoming cytokine sequestration by soluble IL-2 receptor may sustain lasting regulatory T cells after transplantation. However, an approach to target STAT3 is needed to enhance GvHD prevention. ().
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2016.153072DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5477614PMC
May 2017

Nonfluorodeoxyglucose-Avid Persistent Splenomegaly at Time of Transplantation Delays Neutrophil and Platelets Engraftment without Affecting Survival in Patients with Lymphomas Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2016 12 19;22(12):2201-2207. Epub 2016 Sep 19.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida.

It is unclear if persistent splenomegaly in the presence of a negative positron emission tomography (PET) scan before allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) influences post-transplantation outcomes in patients with lymphoma. We retrospectively reviewed records of 152 patients who underwent allogeneic HCT for various lymphomas. Centralized review of pretransplantation computed tomography (CT) and PET images was performed. Spleen volume (SV) was measured using the freehand volume segmentation tool in AW Workstation software (General Electric, Waukesha, WI). Splenic index (SI) was calculated as a product of width, thickness, and length of the spleen. Normal SV was defined as SV < 314.5 cm and normal SI was defined as SI ≤ 480 cm, as described in the literature. Among the study population, 42.8% received an allogeneic HCT from an HLA-matched related donor, 36.2% from a matched unrelated donor, 12.5% from a mismatched unrelated donor, and 8.6% received a double umbilical cord blood transplantation. Most (61.8%) received myeloablative conditioning. Median age at transplantation was 52 (range, 21 to 68) years. Pre-allogeneic HCT spleen CT and PET images were available on 88% and 70.3% patients, respectively. SV ranged from 90 cm to 4684 cm with a median of 290.5 cm and a mean of 400.3 cm. SI calculation showed a range from 50.3 cm to 8276.4 cm with a median of 582.1 cm and a mean of 771.2 cm. The majority of patients (83.1%) had PET-negative spleen before allogeneic transplantation. Engraftment was delayed in PET-negative patients with persistent splenomegaly, with median days to neutrophil engraftment of 17 versus 16 (P = .03) and median days to platelet engraftment of 16 versus 14 (P = .04) when using SV. However, persistent splenomegaly did not appear to impact progression-free survival (P = .11) or overall survival (P = .37). Splenomegaly in the setting of a PET-negative study before allogeneic HCT delays neutrophil and platelet engraftment but does not appear to affect survival. Future studies using registry data or larger multicenter studies would be required to evaluate the impact of splenomegaly and its fluorodeoxyglucose avidity on allogeneic HCT outcomes in specific subtypes of lymphomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2016.09.014DOI Listing
December 2016

Survey of Patients Referred to a University Cancer Center for Benign Hematology: Quality Measures and Patient Understanding.

J Oncol Pract 2015 01 18;11(1):26-9. Epub 2014 Nov 18.

Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center; and West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV.

Objective: To investigate patients' knowledge and understanding of benign hematology and the potential psychological impact that is associated with referral to outpatient clinics.

Methods: At Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, an anonymous and voluntary survey including 28 questions was designed on the basis of information obtained from a single focus group. A participatory pilot survey was performed with 10 patients followed by a full-scale survey from May until November 2013. Statistical software was used for analysis.

Results: Among 98 patients who received the questionnaire, 37.6% were men, 62.4% women, 70.9% ≥ 40 years of age, 94.6% white, and 51.6% had some college education or above. Of the patients surveyed, 62.4% were surprised to find that their appointment was at a cancer center, and 36.6% received no explanation before their referral. A total of 61.3% did not know what benign hematology was, and only 61.2% knew that cancer physicians are also frequently trained to see patients with benign hematology conditions. Among the patients, 46.2% and 39.8% had an increase in anxiety and stress, respectively; 30.1% were afraid that they might have cancer; and 32.3% thought that the reason for their referral to the cancer center was for an evaluation for cancer. Knowledge was significantly better in women patients and patients who had been seen by an outside hematologist before or had been to a cancer center before.

Conclusion: Referral to outpatient clinics in a cancer center for benign hematologic diseases seems to increase psychological stress and anxiety among patients, who may perceive that they are being referred for evaluation of a cancer diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JOP.2014.001543DOI Listing
January 2015

Efficacy of solubilized vemurafenib administered via nasogastric tube.

Future Oncol 2014 Feb;10(2):165-70

Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA.

Until only a few years ago, there was only one truly effective therapy for patients with metastatic melanoma. While long-term remission could be achieved in some patients, toxicities associated with high-dose IL-2 were significant. New insight related to molecular pathways of tumor cells indicated that an activating mutation of BRAF can be found in approximately 50-60% of all patients with melanoma. Proof-of-concept demonstrated in clinical trials of a drug targeting mutant BRAF led to the approval of vemurafenib by the US FDA in August 2011. Supplied in an oral dosage form, we provide an alternative method of administering vemurafenib in a patient unable to take anything by mouth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon.13.187DOI Listing
February 2014

Warm Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia with a Direct Antiglobulin Test Positive for C3 and Negative for IgG: A Case Study and Analytical Literature Review of Incidence and Severity.

Clin Med Insights Case Rep 2013 2;6:57-60. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Department of Medicine, Integris Southwest Medical Center, Oklahoma City, OK.

Polygenic IgG autoantibodies are implicated in majority of the cases of warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia (WAIHA). In some of these cases, complement (C3) proteins accompany the IgG antibodies. WAIHA mediated by C3 alone is relatively rare. We present an interesting case of WAIHA with a direct antiglobulin test (DAT) positive for C3 but negative for IgG in a 79-year-old woman and perform an analytical literature review of the incidence and severity of this clinical entity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4137/CCRep.S11469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3623608PMC
May 2013

Acquired hemophilia: a clinical experience.

W V Med J 2010 Nov-Dec;106(7):32-5

Section of Hematology/Oncology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA.

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December 2011

Predictive model of blood transfusion during CABG surgery in Pakistan.

J Pak Med Assoc 2008 Aug;58(8):421-6

Faculty of Health Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi.

Objective: To determine predictors of need for transfusion of blood and blood products and create a clinical predictive model to reduce indiscriminate use of blood products during surgery.

Method: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 485 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery from January 2004 to December 2004 at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Independent predictors associated with transfusion were identified and a clinical prediction model developed.

Results: The transfusion rate was 37.1%. A predictive model was created based on the presence of pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, low ejection fraction and recent/ongoing myocardial infarction.

Conclusion: The study identifies some predictors of need for blood transfusion in patients undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting. However, prospective studies with a larger sample of patients are needed to determine other predictors and their applicability in patient selection across institutions.
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August 2008

Characteristics of TIA and its management in a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan.

BMC Res Notes 2008 Aug 29;1:73. Epub 2008 Aug 29.

Assistant Professor Neurology, Director Stroke Service, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan.

Background: Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is described as a brief episode of neurological dysfunction caused by focal brain ischemia, with clinical symptoms typically lasting less than an hour, and without evidence of acute infarction. Recent studies depict TIA as a particularly unstable condition. Risk of stroke is greater than 10% in the first 90 days after an index TIA. The presentation, prognosis and intervention for TIA have not been reported in South-Asians in a developing country.

Method: A retrospective chart review was done for 158 patients who were admitted with the diagnosis of TIA, as defined by ICD 9 code 435, from January 2003 to December 2005 at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. The data was entered and analyzed in SPSS version 14.0.

Findings: Among 158 patients, 57.6% were male and 41.1% were female. The common presenting symptoms were motor symptoms (51.3%), speech impairment (43%), sensory impairment (34.8%) and loss of balance/vertigo (29.1%). The median delay in presenting to the hospital was 4 hours. Those with motor symptoms were found to present earlier. The study showed that only 60.8% of all the patients presenting with TIA received any immediate treatment out of which 44.7% received aspirin. Neuroimaging was used in 91.1% of the patients. Of all the TIA patients 9.1% converted to stroke with 50% doing so within the first 24 hours.

Conclusion: The natural history of TIA from this developing nation is comparable to international descriptions. A large percentage of patients are still not receiving any immediate treatment as recommended in available guidelines, even in a tertiary care hospital.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-1-73DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2546420PMC
August 2008

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Perceptions of Medical Students from Pakistan.

Med Educ Online 2007 Dec;12(1):4469

a Department of Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital , Karachi , 74800 , Pakistan.

Background: In view of the increasing popularity of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), it is imperative that medical students, the health professionals of tomorrow, possess adequate knowledge on the topic.

Objectives: This is a descriptive study designed to assess the knowledge, attitudes and behavior of medical students about CAM and to capture their perceptions and opinions about its integration into the medical curriculum.

Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey was done on 198 medical students selected randomly from a Pakistani medical college. Associations between different variables were tested using the χ-test of significance.

Results: Among the 198 participants, a majority believed that some of the CAM modalities are useful; they lacked knowledge, however, about their safety and efficacy. Most of the students believed that it should be used in conjunction with conventional medicine and that, if given adequate training, they would incorporate it in their future medical practice. One-third of the respondents voted in favor of incorporation of CAM into the medical curriculum.

Conclusion: Despite being aware of the usefulness of CAM only a few medical students had pursued further knowledge. In order to prepare the medical students of today to better fulfill their duties as tomorrow's physicians, consideration should be given to incorporating CAM in the medical curriculum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/meo.v12i.4469DOI Listing
December 2007

Reasons for migration among medical students from Karachi.

Med Educ 2008 Jan 27;42(1):61-8. Epub 2007 Nov 27.

Department of Medicine, Aga Khan University, Stadium Road, Karachi, Pakistan.

Context: The subject of economic migration among health care professionals has received intense attention. However, the aetiology of this migration has not been rigorously evaluated in Pakistan. Such knowledge can potentially influence health care and academic policies. Our current study proposes to quantify the relative contributions of various personal, professional and economic variables among final-year medical students in Karachi.

Methods: A self-administered structured questionnaire using a 10-point scale was developed and piloted among Karachi medical students. Additional open-ended questions were included to allow us to capture information not otherwise covered in the questionnaire. SPSS software was used for data entry and analysis.

Results: Over 95% of Aga Khan University (AKU) and over 65% of Baqai University (BU) final-year medical students intend to proceed abroad for their postgraduate training. The 2 most important factors behind this intent as pointed out by the students are poor salary structure (AKU mean score 8.94 +/- 1.73, BU mean score 7.14 +/- 2.6) and poor quality of training in the home country (AKU mean score 9.20 +/- 1.20, BU mean score 8.68 +/- 2.03). Other interesting factors captured through the open-ended questions were the poor work environment and lack of rigor in teaching of residents in domestic university hospitals. Over 50% of final-year medical students cited these issues as major reasons behind their decision to migrate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2923.2007.02904.xDOI Listing
January 2008