Publications by authors named "Ghadir Sasa"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Transient Pancytopenia Subsequently Diagnosed With Acute Leukemia: A Report of 4 Cases of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2020 Aug 26. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

*Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology/Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine †Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers, Houston §Cook Children's Medical Center, Fort Worth, TX ‡University of California San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital, San Francisco, CA.

A transient pancytopenic phase has been described in pediatric leukemia. The characteristic complete recovery of peripheral counts can obscure a clinician's suspicion for malignancy and may impact subsequent follow-up care. The authors describe 4 pediatric patients that had transient pancytopenia with an initial abnormal marrow finding. These patients were subsequently diagnosed with acute leukemia within 5 months of presentation. Awareness of this phenomenon by the provider and education of families may help with the appropriate and timely diagnosis of subsequent leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000001922DOI Listing
August 2020

Diagnosis and treatment of pediatric myelodysplastic syndromes: A survey of the North American Pediatric Aplastic Anemia Consortium.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 10 11;67(10):e28652. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) represent a group of clonal hematopoietic stem cell disorders that commonly progress to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The diagnostics, prognostics, and treatment of adult MDS are established but do not directly translate to children and adolescents. Pediatric MDS is a rare disease, characterized by unique cytogenetics and histology compared with adult MDS, and often arises secondary to germline predisposition or cytotoxic exposures. Our objective was to highlight aspects of diagnosis/management that would benefit from further systematic review toward the development of clinical practice guidelines for pediatric MDS.

Procedure: The North American Pediatric Aplastic Anemia Consortium (NAPAAC) is composed of collaborative institutions with a strong interest in pediatric bone marrow failure syndromes and hematologic malignancies. The NAPAAC MDS working group developed a national survey distributed to 35 NAPAAC institutions to assess data on (1) clinical presentation of pediatric MDS, (2) diagnostic evaluation, (3) criteria for diagnosis, (4) supportive care and treatment decisions, and (5) role of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).

Results: Twenty-eight of 35 institutions returned the survey. Most centers agreed on a common diagnostic workup, though there was considerable variation regarding the criteria for diagnosis. Although there was consensus on supportive care, treatment strategies, including the role of cytoreduction and HSCT, varied across centers surveyed.

Conclusions: There is lack of national consensus on diagnosis and treatment of pediatric MDS. This survey identified key aspects of MDS management that will warrant systematic review toward the goal of developing national clinical practice guidelines for pediatric MDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28652DOI Listing
October 2020

A study assessing the feasibility of randomization of pediatric and young adult patients between matched unrelated donor bone marrow transplantation and immune-suppressive therapy for newly diagnosed severe aplastic anemia: A joint pilot trial of the North American Pediatric Aplastic Anemia Consortium and the Pediatric Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Consortium.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 10 9;67(10):e28444. Epub 2020 Aug 9.

Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Recent data show survival after matched unrelated donor (MUD) bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is similar to matched sibling procedures for young patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA). Donor delays, risk of transplant-related mortality (TRM), and concern about chronic graft versus host disease raise questions about whether MUD BMT or immune suppression therapy (IST) should be preferred initial therapy for young patients lacking matched sibling donors.

Procedure: We performed a pilot trial to assess the feasibility of randomizing patients under age 26 with newly diagnosed SAA to receive IST versus MUD BMT. Primary aims assessed the acceptability of randomization and timing of BMT. Secondary aims measured toxicities, response, and survival.

Results: Sixty-seven patients with possible SAA were screened at nine centers. Of 57 with confirmed SAA, 23 underwent randomization and received therapy with a median follow-up of 18 months. Of 12 randomized to BMT, 10 started BMT as initial therapy at a median of 36 days after randomization. One BMT recipient experienced secondary graft failure, requiring a second procedure. Six of 11 randomized to IST responded, whereas five with refractory disease underwent successful salvage BMT. One patient achieving complete response relapsed after discontinuation of immune suppression and died of infection after salvage BMT.

Conclusions: This feasibility study showed that a high percentage of patients underwent randomization and received up-front MUD BMT. Our study lays the groundwork for a larger randomized trial that will define best initial therapy for young patients with SAA who have an available MUD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28444DOI Listing
October 2020

Incorporation of thiotepa in a reduced intensity conditioning regimen may improve engraftment after transplant for HLH.

Br J Haematol 2020 03 27;188(6):e84-e87. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16370DOI Listing
March 2020

Toward Functional Immune Monitoring in Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 05 10;26(5):911-919. Epub 2020 Jan 10.

Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas; Texas Children's Cancer Center, Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas; Department of Pediatrics, and Medicine Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Serious viral infections, due to delayed immune reconstitution, are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Thus, many transplant centers prospectively track cellular immune recovery by evaluating absolute cell numbers and the phenotypic profile of reconstituting T cell subsets to identify individuals who are at highest risk of infection. Conventional assessments, however, fail to measure either the antigen specificity or functional capacity of reconstituting cells-both factors that correlate with endogenous antiviral protection. In this pilot study, we sought to address this limitation by prospectively investigating the tempo of endogenous immune reconstitution in a cohort of 23 pediatric HSCT patients using both quantitative (flow cytometry) and qualitative (IFNγ ELISpot) measures, which we correlated with either the presence or absence of infections associated with cytomegalovirus, adenovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, BK virus, human herpes virus 6, respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza, influenza, and human metapneumovirus. We present data spanning 12 months post-transplant demonstrating the influence of conditioning on immune recovery and highlighting the differential impact of active viral replication on the quantity and quality of reconstituting cells. Judicious use of standard (phenotypic) and novel (functional) monitoring strategies can help guide the clinical care and personalized management of allogenic HSCT recipients with infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.01.005DOI Listing
May 2020

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant for relapsed and refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma in pediatric patients.

Blood Adv 2019 09;3(18):2689-2695

Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Texas Children's Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine/Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX.

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) for relapsed pediatric non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is often reserved for patients with certain NHL subtypes or high-risk disease whereas the remainder receive autologous HSCT. Given the aggressive nature of pediatric NHL, we performed allogeneic HSCTs for all patients regardless of disease risk. We report overall survival (OS) and prognostic variables in 36 pediatric patients who underwent allogeneic HSCT between 1998 and 2016. OS at 3 years was 67%. The 3-year OS varied based on NHL subtype: 100% for anaplastic large cell lymphoma (n = 14), 63% for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (n = 8), 17% for lymphoblastic lymphoma (LL; n = 9) and 80% for other subtypes combined (n = 5). Disease status influenced outcome with 3-year OS of 100% for patients in complete remission (n = 15), 59% with partial remission (PR; n = 17), and 0% with progressive/stable disease (n = 3) ( = .004). Of the 17 patients in PR, all 6 with LL died of relapsed disease, whereas the other 11 attained remission after HSCT and remained disease-free. The cumulative incidence of relapse after HSCT for LL was 78% compared with 15% for all other NHL subtypes combined ( < .0001). Cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was low in our cohort at 6%. Hence, allogeneic HSCT is a well-tolerated and useful therapeutic option with low rates of NRM and relapse for all NHL subtypes except LL with active disease at HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2018026203DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6759733PMC
September 2019

"Mini" bank of only 8 donors supplies CMV-directed T cells to diverse recipients.

Blood Adv 2019 09;3(17):2571-2580

Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), and standard antiviral therapies are associated with significant side effects and development of drug-resistant mutants. Adoptively transferred donor-derived CMV-specific T cells (CMVSTs) can provide an alternative treatment modality with few side effects but are not widely available due to their patient-specific nature. Here we report the establishment and use of a bank of CMVSTs derived from just 8 CMV-seropositive donors, with HLA types representing the diverse US population, as an "off-the-shelf" therapy to treat drug-refractory infections. To date, we have screened 29 patients for study participation and identified a suitable line, with ≥2 of 8 shared HLA antigens, for 28 (96.6%) patients with a median of 4 shared HLA antigens. Of these, 10 patients with persistent/refractory CMV infections or disease were eligible for treatment; a single infusion of cells produced 3 partial responses and 7 complete responses, for a cumulative response rate of 100% (95% confidence interval, 69.2-100) with no graft-versus-host disease, graft failure, or cytokine release syndrome. Potential wider use of the tested CMVSTs across transplant centers is made more feasible by our ability to produce sufficient material to generate cells for >2000 infusions from a single donor collection. Our data indicate that a "mini" bank of CMVSTs prepared from just 8 well-chosen third-party donors can supply the majority of patients with an appropriately matched line that produces safe and effective anti-CMV activity post-HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000371DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6737421PMC
September 2019

First case of neutropenia and thrombocytopenia in the setting of cerebral cavernous malformation 3.

Int J Hematol 2019 Jul 23;110(1):95-101. Epub 2019 Mar 23.

Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, 1102 Bates St. Ste. C1025, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Cerebral cavernous malformation 3 (CCM3) is a vascular malformation disorder causing brain slow-flow vascular parenchymal lesions. These lesions are the result of variants in the Programmed Cell Death Protein 10 (PDCD10) gene, located on 3q26.1. We report an 8-month-old patient who was presented with seizures and intracranial abscesses and was found to have a variant of PDCD10 on whole exome sequencing, representing, to our knowledge, the youngest case of CCM3 described in the literature. Her clinical course was complicated by the development of neutropenia, requiring granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and thrombocytopenia, requiring intermittent platelet transfusions, with later development of B acute lymphoblastic leukemia 2 years after initial presentation. This case represents the first description in the literature of hematologic complications in the setting of CCM3. We hypothesize that these hematological manifestations are the result of alterations in the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton, affecting the process of hematopoiesis in a similar fashion to the documented effect of the PDCD10 variant on neuronal migration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12185-019-02626-wDOI Listing
July 2019

Lymphopenia With Clinical and Laboratory Features of Combined Immune Deficiency in an 11-Year-Old Female With Variants and Fanconi Anemia.

Front Pediatr 2018 18;6:390. Epub 2019 Jan 18.

Section of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX, United States.

Fanconi anemia (FA) is an inherited bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition disorder due to mutations in DNA repair pathways proteins (FANC). The dysfunctional proteins are unable to repair DNA breaks and cause genomic instability. Mutations in many of the 19 genes are well characterized biochemically and clinically. Little is known about the gene which acts downstream of the FA-core proteins. Here we report a 11-year-old female previously diagnosed with FA and bone marrow failure. Gene sequencing demonstrated deletion of exons 2-18 and a pathologic missense mutation (c. 2444G>A, p. Arg815Gln) in (Chr3). Her medical history is significant for an episode of pneumococcal sepsis despite adequate vaccination. Repeated blood samples and immunophenotyping demonstrated severe lymphopenia. There were markedly low CD4 T-cell counts with a low CD4:CD8 ratio. Changes in the composition of the B-cell population included significantly diminished absolute total B-cells, and decreased mature cells. There was no immunogenic response to vaccination against . The NK-cell count was unaffected and demonstrated normal spontaneous and stimulated cytotoxic response. Bone marrow analysis demonstrated hypocellularity without dysplasia. The clinical and laboratory features are suggestive of combined immune deficiency. FANCD2 may be involved in the transition of immature B and T cells to mature cells, a process that requires substantial DNA recombination not observed in NK cells. Additional genetic and biochemical evaluation is needed to further characterize the novel genetic and clinical findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fped.2018.00390DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6346677PMC
January 2019

Understanding the evolving phenotype of vascular complications in telomere biology disorders.

Angiogenesis 2019 02 25;22(1):95-102. Epub 2018 Aug 25.

Clinical Genetics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, 6E456, Bethesda, MD, 20892-6772, USA.

Vascular complications such as bleeding due to gastrointestinal telangiectatic anomalies, pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, hepatopulmonary syndrome, and retinal vessel abnormalities are being reported in patients with telomere biology disorders (TBDs) more frequently than previously described. The international clinical care consortium of telomere-associated ailments and family support group Dyskeratosis Congenita Outreach, Inc. held a workshop on vascular abnormalities in the TBDs at the National Cancer Institute in October 2017. Clinicians and basic scientists reviewed current data on vascular complications, hypotheses for the underlying biology and developed new collaborations to address the etiology and clinical management of vascular complications in TBDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10456-018-9640-7DOI Listing
February 2019

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant following crizotinib monotherapy for relapsed/refractory anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

Pediatr Transplant 2018 08 2;22(5):e13210. Epub 2018 May 2.

Department of Pediatrics, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.

Relapsed ALK-positive ALCL often is responsive to CRZ monotherapy. The subsequent role of allogeneic HCT after achieving second remission is poorly understood. We report 6 children who underwent allogeneic HCT for relapsed ALCL after CRZ. Age at transplant ranged from 10.7 to 22.6 years. Follow-up ranged from 0.9 to 4.5 years. All patients engrafted. Three of 4 patients that received a reduced-toxicity conditioning regimen containing fludarabine, alemtuzumab, and low-dose irradiation showed progressive mixed chimerism. Five patients remain in remission. One patient developed isolated CNS relapse 3.6 years after HCT despite a lack of previous CNS involvement. No acute transplant-related complications were experienced. One patient developed chronic renal disease secondary to transplant-associated microangiopathy and one patient chronic GVHD secondary to DLI. Ultimately, allogeneic HCT appears safe and potentially curative after remission induction with CRZ. The role of conditioning therapy, ablative or reduced intensity, remains uncertain for patients' post-CRZ monotherapy, and further studies may be warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/petr.13210DOI Listing
August 2018

High Incidence of Autoimmune Disease after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Chronic Granulomatous Disease.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 08 6;24(8):1643-1650. Epub 2018 Apr 6.

Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital Cancer Center and Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:

There is a lack of consensus regarding the role and method of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) on patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). Long-term follow-up after HSCT in these patient population is essential to know its potential complications and decide who will benefit the most from HSCT. We report the outcome of HSCT and long-term follow-up in 24 patients with CGD, transplanted in our center from either related (n = 6) or unrelated (n = 18) donors, over a 12-year period (2003 to 2015), using high-dose alemtuzumab in the preparative regimen. We evaluated the incidence and timing of adverse events and potential risk factors. We described in detailed the novel finding of increased autoimmunity after HSCT in patients with CGD. At a median follow-up of 1460 days, 22 patients were full donor chimeras, and 2 patients had stable mixed chimerism. All assessable patients showed normalization of their neutrophil oxidative burst test. None of the patients developed grades II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease, and no patient had chronic graft-versus-host disease. Twelve of 24 patients developed 17 autoimmune diseases (ADs). Severe ADs (cytopenia and neuropathy) occurred exclusively in the unrelated donor setting and mainly in the first year after HSCT, whereas thyroid AD occurred in the related donor setting as well and more than 3 years after HSCT. Two patients died due to infectious complications after developing autoimmune cytopenias. One additional patient suffered severe brain injury. The remaining 21 patients have long-term Lansky scores ≥ 80. The outcome of HSCT from unrelated donors is comparable with related donors but might carry an increased risk of developing severe AD. A lower dose of alemtuzumab may reduce this risk and should be tested in further studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.03.029DOI Listing
August 2018

Current Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Pediatric Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia: Success, Failure and Future Perspectives-A Single-Center Experience, 2008 to 2016.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 07 14;24(7):1424-1431. Epub 2018 Mar 14.

Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston Methodist Hospital. Houston, Texas.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only curative option for a subset of patients with high-risk or relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Given evolving practices, it is important to continually evaluate outcomes for pediatric ALL following HSCT. Outcomes after HSCT are influenced by the type of donor used as this determines the degree and method of T cell depletion used and, consequently, specific transplant-related morbidities. We retrospectively analyzed HSCT data from our center for transplants performed between January 2008 and May 2016, comparing outcomes among different donor types. One hundred and twenty-four pediatric patients underwent HSCT from a matched sibling donor (MSD; n = 48), an unrelated matched donor (UMD; n = 56), or a haploidentical donor (n = 20). We observed a similar 3-year event-free survival (EFS) for MSD recipients (of .64) and for UMD recipients (.62), but a significantly lower EFS for recipients of haploidentical transplants (.35; P = .01). Relapse was the main cause of HSCT failure and was significantly higher in the haploidentical donor group (.47 versus .19 for MSD and .24 for UMD; P = .02). Treatment-related mortality was evenly distributed among the donor groups (.17, .16, and .15 for the MSD, UMD, and haploidentical groups, respectively). Rates of infection-related mortality were lower than previously reported. Relapse is the main obstacle for successful HSCT in the contemporary era, and this effect is most evident in recipients of haploidentical donor grafts. Newer methods to improve graft-versus-leukemia effect are being evaluated and will need to be incorporated into the management of high-risk patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.03.001DOI Listing
July 2018

Outcomes after Allogeneic Transplant in Patients with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 03 28;24(3):537-541. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is a rare X-linked disorder characterized by a triad of immunodeficiency, eczema, and thrombocytopenia. Currently, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the most reliable curative treatment with excellent results for patients with HLA-matched family or unrelated donors. However, even after fully myeloablative preparative regimens, mixed donor chimerism is a potential concern. We performed a retrospective chart review of 12 children who underwent allogeneic HSCT for WAS to report our experience. The median age at transplant was 10.5 months (range, 3 to 39). The median nucleated cell dose from the marrow was 4.55 × 10/kg (range, .3 to 7.9). The median times to neutrophil and platelet engraftment were 19 days (range, 13 to 27) and 18.5 days (range, 12 to 31), respectively. The rate of overall survival was 92% with median follow-up of 67 months (range, 3 to 146). Two patients developed grade IV acute graft-versus-host disease, and 1 died on day +99. Five of 12 patient's (42%) had mixed donor chimerism (range, 12% to 85%) at day +180. None of the pretransplant patient parameters was predictive of mixed chimerism. Nonetheless, of these 5 patients, 2 had normalization of the platelet count despite the mixed chimerism, 2 had full donor chimerism after receiving a second transplant with the same donor, and 1 remains transfusion dependent awaiting a second transplant. Hence, even with a significant rate of mixed chimerism, HSCT provides substantial benefit to WAS patients, with excellent overall survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.11.019DOI Listing
March 2018

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation rescues the hematological, immunological, and vascular phenotype in DADA2.

Blood 2017 12 3;130(24):2682-2688. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Immunology, University Hospitals of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Deficiency of adenosine deaminase 2 (DADA2) is caused by biallelic deleterious mutations in DADA2 results in variable autoinflammation and vasculopathy (recurrent fevers, livedo reticularis, polyarteritis nodosa, lacunar ischemic strokes, and intracranial hemorrhages), immunodeficiency and bone marrow failure. Tumor necrosis factor-α blockade is the treatment of choice for the autoinflammation and vascular manifestations. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) represents a potential definitive treatment. We present a cohort of 14 patients from 6 countries who received HSCT for DADA2. Indication for HSCT was bone marrow dysfunction or immunodeficiency. Six of 14 patients had vasculitis pre-HSCT. The median age at HSCT was 7.5 years. Conditioning regimens were myeloablative (9) and reduced intensity (5). Donors were HLA-matched sibling (n = 1), HLA-matched unrelated (n = 9), HLA-mismatched unrelated (n = 3), and HLA haploidentical sibling (n = 1). All patients are alive and well with no new vascular events and resolution of hematological and immunological phenotype at a median follow-up of 18 months (range, 5 months to 13 years). Plasma ADA2 enzyme activity normalized in those tested post-HSCT (7/7), as early as day +14 (myeloid engraftment). Post-HSCT hematological autoimmunity (cytopenias) was reported in 4 patients, acute graft-versus-host disease grade 1 in 2, grade 2 in 3, and grade 3-4 in 1, and moderate chronic graft-versus-host disease in 1 patient. In conclusion, in 14 patients, HSCT was an effective and definitive treatment of DADA2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2017-07-798660DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731089PMC
December 2017

Off-the-Shelf Virus-Specific T Cells to Treat BK Virus, Human Herpesvirus 6, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr Virus, and Adenovirus Infections After Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Transplantation.

J Clin Oncol 2017 Nov 7;35(31):3547-3557. Epub 2017 Aug 7.

Ifigeneia Tzannou, Anastasia Papadopoulou, Swati Naik, Kathryn Leung, Caridad A. Martinez, Carlos A. Ramos, George Carrum, Ghadir Sasa, Premal Lulla, Ayumi Watanabe, Manik Kuvalekar, Adrian P. Gee, Bambi J. Grilley, Robert A. Krance, Stephen Gottschalk, Malcolm K. Brenner, Cliona M. Rooney, Helen E. Heslop, Ann M. Leen, and Bilal Omer, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, and Houston Methodist Hospital; Meng-Fen Wu and Hao Liu, Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.

Purpose Improvement of cure rates for patients treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) will require efforts to decrease treatment-related mortality from severe viral infections. Adoptively transferred virus-specific T cells (VSTs) generated from eligible, third-party donors could provide broad antiviral protection to recipients of HSCT as an immediately available off-the-shelf product. Patient and Methods We generated a bank of VSTs that recognized five common viral pathogens: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), adenovirus (AdV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), BK virus (BKV), and human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6). The VSTs were administered to 38 patients with 45 infections in a phase II clinical trial. Results A single infusion produced a cumulative complete or partial response rate of 92% (95% CI, 78.1% to 98.3%) overall and the following rates by virus: 100% for BKV (n = 16), 94% for CMV (n = 17), 71% for AdV (n = 7), 100% for EBV (n = 2), and 67% for HHV-6 (n = 3). Clinical benefit was achieved in 31 patients treated for one infection and in seven patients treated for multiple coincident infections. Thirteen of 14 patients treated for BKV-associated hemorrhagic cystitis experienced complete resolution of gross hematuria by week 6. Infusions were safe, and only two occurrences of de novo graft-versus host disease (grade 1) were observed. VST tracking by epitope profiling revealed persistence of functional VSTs of third-party origin for up to 12 weeks. Conclusion The use of banked VSTs is a feasible, safe, and effective approach to treat severe and drug-refractory infections after HSCT, including infections from two viruses (BKV and HHV-6) that had never been targeted previously with an off-the-shelf product. Furthermore, the multispecificity of the VSTs ensures extensive antiviral coverage, which facilitates the treatment of patients with multiple infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2017.73.0655DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5662844PMC
November 2017

Standardized high-sensitivity flow cytometry testing for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria in children with acquired bone marrow failure disorders: A single center US study.

Cytometry B Clin Cytom 2018 07 27;94(4):699-704. Epub 2017 Jun 27.

Pathology and Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas.

Background: Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare, acquired hematopoietic stem cell disorder that has not been well-documented in children, particularly those with acquired bone marrow failure disorders (ABMFD)-acquired aplastic anemia (AAA) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Therefore, we sought to determine the prevalence of PNH populations in children with ABMFD.

Methods: PNH testing was performed in children with an ABMFD diagnosis using high sensitivity (≥0.01%) fluorescent aerolysin (FLAER)-based assay according to 2010 International Clinical Cytometry Society (ICCS) PNH Consensus Guidelines and 2012 Practical PNH Guidelines. FLAER/CD64/CD15/CD24/CD14/CD45 and CD235a/CD59 panels were used for white blood cell and red blood cell testing, respectively.

Results: Thirty-seven patients with ABMFD (34 AAA, 3 MDS) were included (17M/20F, age 2-18 years, median 9 years). PNH populations were identified in 17 of 37 (46%) patients. Of the 17 patients with PNH populations identified, 7 were PNH clones (>1% PNH population), and 10 had minor PNH population or rare cells with PNH phenotype (≤1% PNH population).

Conclusions: This is the first study to use a standardized high-sensitivity FLAER-based flow cytometry assay and the recommended cutoff of 0.01% to identify cells with PNH phenotype in pediatric patients with ABMFD in the United States. The identification of a PNH population in 46% of ABMFD supports the recommendation for high sensitivity PNH testing in children with these disorders. As a less sensitive assay using a cutoff of ≥ 1% PNH population would have missed 10 (27%) patients with minor PNH population or rare cells with PNH phenotype. © 2017 International Clinical Cytometry Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cyto.b.21536DOI Listing
July 2018

Features of Hepatitis in Hepatitis-associated Aplastic Anemia: Clinical and Histopathologic Study.

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2017 01;64(1):e7-e12

*Department of Pathology†Section of Hematology‡Section of Hepatology of the Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Houston.

Objectives: Hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia (HAA) is a rare variant of aplastic anemia in which patients present with severe pancytopenia after an episode of acute hepatitis. The marrow failure is often rapid, severe, and usually fatal if untreated. The preceding hepatitis is largely under-studied.

Methods: Retrospective study of the clinical and histopathologic features of hepatitis in pediatric patients who subsequently developed aplastic anemia and comparison with consecutive cases of acute liver failure and random cases of autoimmune hepatitis during the same time frame.

Results: All 7 patients of HAA had significant elevations in aminotransferases and conjugated hyperbilirubinemia at initial presentation. Echoing liver function indices, cholestatic hepatitis with sinusoidal obstruction-type endothelial injury was seen histomorphologically. Autoimmune hepatitis serology such as anti-F-actin, anti-liver/kidney microsome, and hypergammaglobulinemia was negative in all patients. Five of 7 patients (71.4%) had, however, elevated antinuclear antibody, all with a speckled pattern. Hepatitis virus serology was negative in all patients. By immunohistochemical staining, the lobular CD8/CD4 lymphocyte ratio was markedly elevated in all of the initial samples with significant reduction in this ratio (P = 0.03) in 3 patients post treatment (ursodiol, antibiotics, and/or immunosuppressive therapy).

Conclusions: Hepatitis preceding HAA is characterized by marked elevation of aminotransferases, conjugated hyperbilirubinemia, elevated antinuclear antibody with a speckled pattern, cholestatic hepatitis with sinusoidal obstruction morphology, and CD8 dominant lobular infiltrates. The present study suggests HAA may result from cytotoxic T-cell-mediated sinusoidal endothelial and hepatocytic injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPG.0000000000001271DOI Listing
January 2017

Outcomes after Second Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantations in Pediatric Patients with Relapsed Hematological Malignancies.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2015 Jul 10;21(7):1266-72. Epub 2015 Mar 10.

Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas.

Relapse of hematological malignancies after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) is associated with poor prognosis. A second HCT represents one of the few therapeutic options for these high-risk patients. For children undergoing second HCT, the outcome data are particularly limited. We, therefore, conducted a retrospective single-institution study and report the outcomes and prognostic variables associated with overall survival (OS) and relapse in 43 pediatric patients who underwent a second HCT between 2000 and 2013. Eleven of the 43 patients who underwent transplantation remain alive and disease-free at a median follow-up of 49 months (range, 5 to 127 months). The 5-year probability of OS for the entire cohort was 24%. Patients who had early relapse (<6 months) after first HCT had significantly worse OS than those who relapsed late (>6 months), with 5-year OS at 11% versus 34%, respectively (hazard ratio [HR], 2.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21 to 4.93; P = .013). Active disease at time of second HCT was also associated with a significantly increased risk of relapse (subdistribution hazard ratio [SHR], 2.36; P = .049) for the entire cohort and relapse was the most frequent cause of death (23 of 32; 72%). On subgroup analysis for the 34 patients with leukemia alone, presence of active disease was associated both with a significant decrease in OS (SHR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.02 to 5.09; P = .044) and significant increase in the rate of relapse (SHR, 2.46; P = .046). By contrast, underlying disease, donor source, conditioning regimen, or development of GVHD did not modify OS or rate of relapse. Hence, a second HCT appears to be a useful therapeutic option in children with relapsed hematological malignancies that is most likely to benefit those individuals with late onset of relapse and with low disease burden at the time of transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.02.024DOI Listing
July 2015

Compound heterozygous CORO1A mutations in siblings with a mucocutaneous-immunodeficiency syndrome of epidermodysplasia verruciformis-HPV, molluscum contagiosum and granulomatous tuberculoid leprosy.

J Clin Immunol 2014 Oct 30;34(7):871-90. Epub 2014 Jul 30.

Allergy & Immunology, Section of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX, USA.

Purpose: Coronin-1A deficiency is a recently recognized autosomal recessive primary immunodeficiency caused by mutations in CORO1A (OMIM 605000) that results in T-cell lymphopenia and is classified as T(-)B(+)NK(+)severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Only two other CORO1A-kindred are known to date, thus the defining characteristics are not well delineated. We identified a unique CORO1A-kindred.

Methods: We captured a 10-year analysis of the immune-clinical phenotypes in two affected siblings from disease debut of age 7 years. Target-specific genetic studies were pursued but unrevealing. Telomere lengths were also assessed. Whole exome sequencing (WES) uncovered the molecular diagnosis and Western blot validated findings.

Results: We found the compound heterozygous CORO1A variants: c.248_249delCT (p.P83RfsX10) and a novel mutation c.1077delC (p.Q360RfsX44) (NM_007074.3) in two affected non-consanguineous siblings that manifested as absent CD4CD45RA(+) (naïve) T and memory B cells, low NK cells and abnormally increased double-negative (DN) ϒδ T-cells. Distinguishing characteristics were late clinical debut with an unusual mucocutaneous syndrome of epidermodysplasia verruciformis-human papilloma virus (EV-HPV), molluscum contagiosum and oral-cutaneous herpetic ulcers; the older female sibling also had a disfiguring granulomatous tuberculoid leprosy. Both had bilateral bronchiectasis and the female died of EBV+ lymphomas at age 16 years. The younger surviving male, without malignancy, had reproducibly very short telomere lengths, not before appreciated in CORO1A mutations.

Conclusion: We reveal the third CORO1A-mutated kindred, with the immune phenotype of abnormal naïve CD4 and DN T-cells and newfound characteristics of a late/hypomorphic-like SCID of an EV-HPV mucocutaneous syndrome with also B and NK defects and shortened telomeres. Our findings contribute to the elucidation of the CORO1A-SCID-CID spectrum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10875-014-0074-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4386834PMC
October 2014

PGM3 mutations cause a congenital disorder of glycosylation with severe immunodeficiency and skeletal dysplasia.

Am J Hum Genet 2014 Jul 12;95(1):96-107. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

Section of Immunology, Allergy, and Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Human phosphoglucomutase 3 (PGM3) catalyzes the conversion of N-acetyl-glucosamine (GlcNAc)-6-phosphate into GlcNAc-1-phosphate during the synthesis of uridine diphosphate (UDP)-GlcNAc, a sugar nucleotide critical to multiple glycosylation pathways. We identified three unrelated children with recurrent infections, congenital leukopenia including neutropenia, B and T cell lymphopenia, and progression to bone marrow failure. Whole-exome sequencing demonstrated deleterious mutations in PGM3 in all three subjects, delineating their disease to be due to an unsuspected congenital disorder of glycosylation (CDG). Functional studies of the disease-associated PGM3 variants in E. coli cells demonstrated reduced PGM3 activity for all mutants tested. Two of the three children had skeletal anomalies resembling Desbuquois dysplasia: short stature, brachydactyly, dysmorphic facial features, and intellectual disability. However, these additional features were absent in the third child, showing the clinical variability of the disease. Two children received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation of cord blood and bone marrow from matched related donors; both had successful engraftment and correction of neutropenia and lymphopenia. We define PGM3-CDG as a treatable immunodeficiency, document the power of whole-exome sequencing in gene discoveries for rare disorders, and illustrate the utility of genomic analyses in studying combined and variable phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.05.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4085583PMC
July 2014

A homozygous telomerase T-motif variant resulting in markedly reduced repeat addition processivity in siblings with Hoyeraal Hreidarsson syndrome.

Blood 2013 May 28;121(18):3586-93. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Hoyeraal Hreidarsson syndrome (HHS) is a form of dyskeratosis congenita (DC) characterized by bone marrow failure, intrauterine growth retardation, developmental delay, microcephaly, cerebellar hypoplasia, immunodeficiency, and extremely short telomeres. As with DC, mutations in genes encoding factors required for telomere maintenance, such as telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), have been found in patients with HHS. We describe 2 sibling HHS cases caused by a homozygous mutation (p.T567M) within the TERT T motif. This mutation resulted in a marked reduction in the capacity of telomerase to processively synthesize telomeric repeats, indicating a role for the T motif in this unique aspect of telomerase function. We support this finding by demonstrating defective processivity in the previously reported p.K570N T-motif mutation. The consanguineous, heterozygous p.T567M parents exhibited telomere lengths around the first percentile and no evidence of a DC phenotype. Although heterozygous processivity defects have been associated with familial, adult-onset pulmonary fibrosis, these cases demonstrate the severe clinical and functional impact of biallelic processivity mutations. Thus, despite retaining the capacity to add short stretches of telomeric repeats onto the shortest telomeres, sole expression of telomerase processivity mutants can lead to a profound failure of telomere maintenance and early-onset multisystem disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2012-08-447755DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3643759PMC
May 2013

A role for heterochromatin protein 1γ at human telomeres.

Genes Dev 2011 Sep 24;25(17):1807-19. Epub 2011 Aug 24.

Molecular Pathogenesis Program, Department of Pathology, Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine of the Skirball Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA.

Human telomere function is mediated by shelterin, a six-subunit complex that is required for telomere replication, protection, and cohesion. TIN2, the central component of shelterin, has binding sites to three subunits: TRF1, TRF2, and TPP1. Here we identify a fourth partner, heterochromatin protein 1γ (HP1γ), that binds to a conserved canonical HP1-binding motif, PXVXL, in the C-terminal domain of TIN2. We show that HP1γ localizes to telomeres in S phase, where it is required to establish/maintain cohesion. We further demonstrate that the HP1-binding site in TIN2 is required for sister telomere cohesion and can impact telomere length maintenance by telomerase. Remarkably, the PTVML HP1-binding site is embedded in the recently identified cluster of mutations in TIN2 that gives rise to dyskeratosis congenita (DC), an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome caused by defects in telomere maintenance. We show that DC-associated mutations in TIN2 abrogate binding to HP1γ and that DC patient cells are defective in sister telomere cohesion. Our data indicate a novel requirement for HP1γ in the establishment/maintenance of cohesion at human telomeres and, furthermore, may provide insight into the mechanism of pathogenesis in TIN2-mediated DC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.17325211DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3175717PMC
September 2011