Publications by authors named "Hugo F Fernandez"

60 Publications

Prognostic effect of gender on outcome of treatment for adults with acute myeloid leukaemia.

Br J Haematol 2021 Jun 17. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

There are conflicting reports in the literature suggesting that one gender or the other has a better survival with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The present study was done in an attempt to resolve the issue. The effect of gender was examined on 3546 newly diagnosed patients with AML, including 548 patients with acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) enrolled in 10 multi-institutional treatment studies from March 1984 to November 2008. Kaplan-Meier estimates were used to estimate event-time distributions for survival and multivariate models were used to examine the gender effect after adjusting for multiple risk factors. P values were based on two-sided tests. Non-APL female patients had a significantly better overall (OS) but not disease-free survival (DFS) than males, irrespective of age, initial white blood cell count, or dose of daunorubicin. No differences were observed for obese or FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3-internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD)-positive patients. Female patients with APL had a significantly better OS and DFS than male patients with APL, and differences in survival were greater for patients with t(15;17) + other cytogenetic abnormalities compared with those with t(15;17) only. Gender is an independent prognostic variable in patients with AML. Whether these survival differences are due to hormonal, genetic or pharmacokinetic differences between the sexes or differential toxin exposure such as smoking is unknown. However, the former seems less likely as patient age did not influence the survival advantage for female patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17523DOI Listing
June 2021

Impact of Conditioning Intensity and Genomics on Relapse After Allogeneic Transplantation for Patients With Myelodysplastic Syndrome.

JCO Precis Oncol 2021 25;5. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Laboratory of Myeloid Malignancies, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.

Purpose: Patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are at risk of relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. The utility of ultra-deep genomic testing to predict and the impact of conditioning intensity to prevent MDS relapse are unknown.

Methods: Targeted error-corrected DNA sequencing was performed on preconditioning blood samples from patients with MDS (n = 48) from the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network 0901 phase III randomized clinical trial, which compared outcomes by allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation conditioning intensity in adult patients with < 5% marrow myeloblasts and no leukemic myeloblasts in blood on morphological analysis at the time of pretransplant assessment. Clinical end points (53-month median follow-up) included transplant-related mortality (TRM), relapse, relapse-free survival (RFS), and overall survival (OS). Of the 48 patients examined, 14 experienced TRM, 23 are relapse-free, and 11 relapsed, of which 7 died.

Results: Using a previously described set of 10 gene regions, 42% of patients (n = 20) had mutations detectable before random assignment to reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) or myeloablative conditioning (MAC). Testing positive was associated with increased rates of relapse (3-year relapse, 40% 11%; = .022) and decreased OS (3-year OS, 55% 79%, = .045). In those testing positive, relapse rates were higher (3-year relapse, 75% 17%; = .003) and RFS was lower (3-year RFS, 13% 49%; = .003) in RIC versus MAC arms. Testing additional genes, including those associated with MDS, did not improve prognostication.

Conclusion: This study provides evidence that targeted DNA sequencing in patients with MDS before transplant can identify those with highest post-transplant relapse rates. In those testing positive, random assignment to MAC lowered but did not eliminate relapse risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/PO.20.00355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140814PMC
January 2021

Myeloablative versus Reduced-Intensity Conditioning for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndromes-Long-Term Follow-Up of the BMT CTN 0901 Clinical Trial.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Jun 26;27(6):483.e1-483.e6. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Several prospective randomized trials comparing conditioning intensity before allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) have been performed, with conflicting results. Although reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) leads to lower treatment-related mortality (TRM), this is offset by higher rates of relapse. Long-term follow-up of randomized comparative trials are limited. Here we present long-term follow-up of a randomized comparison of myeloablative conditioning (MAC) compared with RIC before HCT for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or myelodysplasia (MDS). Long-term comparative analyses of overall survival, relapse, and relapse-free survival were performed. Patients age 18 to 65 years with <5% marrow myeloblasts were randomized to receive MAC (n = 135) or RIC (n = 137), followed by HCT from an HLA-matched donor. The primary endpoint of the trial was an 18-month pointwise comparison of overall survival. The analyses were performed using a proportional hazards model. The median follow-up of the entire cohort was 51 months. At 4 years, the transplant-related mortality (TRM) was 25.1% for MAC, compared with 9.9% for RIC (P < .001). Patients who received RIC had a significantly higher risk of relapse compared to those who received MAC (hazard ratio [HR], 4.06; 95% CI, 2.59 to 6.35; P < 0.001). Among the patients who relapsed after HCT, postrelapse survival was similar at 3 years (24% for MAC and 26% for RIC). Overall survival was superior for patients who received MAC compared to those who received RIC (HR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.07 to 2.2; P = .03). Our data show that patients who received MAC were at higher risk of late TRM compared with those who received RIC; however, because of the exceedingly high rates of relapse in the RIC arm, overall survival remained significantly better for patients who received MAC. Among patients with MDS or AML eligible for either MAC or RIC regimens, long-term follow up demonstrates a survival advantage for patients who received MAC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.02.031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8217373PMC
June 2021

Midostaurin after allogeneic stem cell transplant in patients with FLT3-internal tandem duplication-positive acute myeloid leukemia.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 May 7;56(5):1180-1189. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

We evaluated standard-of-care (SOC) treatment with or without midostaurin to prevent relapse following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (alloHSCT) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) harboring internal tandem duplication (ITD) in FLT3. Adults (aged 18-70 years) who received alloHSCT in first complete remission, had achieved hematologic recovery, and were transfusion independent were randomized to receive SOC with or without midostaurin (50 mg twice daily) continuously in twelve 4-week cycles. The primary endpoint was relapse-free survival (RFS) 18 months post-alloHSCT. Sixty patients were randomized (30/arm); 30 completed all 12 cycles (midostaurin + SOC, n = 16; SOC, n = 14). The estimated 18-month RFS (95% CI) was 89% (69-96%) in the midostaurin arm and 76% (54-88%) in the SOC arm (hazard ratio, 0.46 [95% CI, 0.12-1.86]; P = 0.27); estimated relapse rates were 11% and 24%, respectively. Inhibition of FLT3 phosphorylation to <70% of baseline (achieved by 50% of midostaurin-treated patients) was associated with improved RFS. The most common serious adverse events were diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Rates of graft-vs-host disease were similar between both arms (midostaurin + SOC, 70%; SOC, 73%). The addition of midostaurin maintenance therapy following alloHSCT may provide clinical benefit in some patients with FLT3-ITD AML. (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01883362).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-01153-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8113057PMC
May 2021

TGFβR-SMAD3 Signaling Induces Resistance to PARP Inhibitors in the Bone Marrow Microenvironment.

Cell Rep 2020 10;33(1):108221

Sol Sherry Thrombosis Research Center and Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Electronic address:

Synthetic lethality triggered by PARP inhibitor (PARPi) yields promising therapeutic results. Unfortunately, tumor cells acquire PARPi resistance, which is usually associated with the restoration of homologous recombination, loss of PARP1 expression, and/or loss of DNA double-strand break (DSB) end resection regulation. Here, we identify a constitutive mechanism of resistance to PARPi. We report that the bone marrow microenvironment (BMM) facilitates DSB repair activity in leukemia cells to protect them against PARPi-mediated synthetic lethality. This effect depends on the hypoxia-induced overexpression of transforming growth factor beta receptor (TGFβR) kinase on malignant cells, which is activated by bone marrow stromal cells-derived transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1). Genetic and/or pharmacological targeting of the TGF-β1-TGFβR kinase axis results in the restoration of the sensitivity of malignant cells to PARPi in BMM and prolongs the survival of leukemia-bearing mice. Our finding may lead to the therapeutic application of the TGFβR inhibitor in patients receiving PARPis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108221DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7578922PMC
October 2020

Sole Upfront Therapy with Beclomethasone and Budesonide for Upper Gastrointestinal Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 07 30;26(7):1303-1311. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

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

Systemic glucocorticoids remain the standard treatment for gastrointestinal (GI) acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) despite their toxicity and incomplete efficacy. Controlled trials have tested poorly absorbable steroids as adjuncts with systemic glucocorticoids, but only small case series have reported treatment with poorly absorbed beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) and budesonide (BUD) alone. Our team has adopted the practice of administering BDP or BDP+BUD without systemic glucocorticoids as first-line therapy for isolated upper GI (UGI) aGVHD. We report results in 76 patients treated with BDP alone and in 81 patients treated with BDP+BUD, with allocation by physician choice. Almost all patients received peripheral blood stem cells (92%) from a fully HLA-matched related or unrelated donor (80%) after myeloablative conditioning (76%) for acute leukemia (49%), myelodysplastic syndrome (17%), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (14%), or another hematopoietic disorders (20%). After 28 days of treatment with BDP, 46% of the patients had a complete response (CR) and 10% had a partial response (PR); after 200 days, 61 (80%) patients were alive, 34% maintained a CR, and 3% maintained a PR, whereas 53% required additional immunosuppression (IS). After 28 days of treatment with BDP+BUD, 67% had a CR and 10% a PR; after 200 days, 74 (91%) patients were alive, 46% maintained a CR, and 2% maintained a PR, whereas 43% required additional IS. Among the entire cohort of 157 patients, 66 (42%) were treated successfully without systemic glucocorticoids. This study reports the efficacy of poorly absorbable steroids alone for patients with isolated UGI aGVHD. Prospective trials should test for the potential advantages of BDP and BUD use over systemic glucocorticoids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.04.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7771266PMC
July 2020

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

Complete Response of Primary Refractory ALK-Positive Large B-Cell Lymphoma Treated With Single-Agent Nivolumab.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2020 03 24;20(3):e113-e117. Epub 2019 Sep 24.

Thoracic Oncology Program Memorial Cancer Institute, Memorial Healthcare System, Pembroke Pines, FL.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2019.08.015DOI Listing
March 2020

Impact of Conditioning Intensity of Allogeneic Transplantation for Acute Myeloid Leukemia With Genomic Evidence of Residual Disease.

J Clin Oncol 2020 04 20;38(12):1273-1283. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Duke University, Durham, NC.

Purpose: Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in remission remain at risk for relapse even after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT). AML measurable residual disease (MRD) status before alloHCT has been shown to be prognostic. Whether modulation of the intensity of the alloHCT conditioning regimen in patients with AML who test positive for MRD can prevent relapse and improve survival is unknown.

Methods: Ultra-deep, error-corrected sequencing for 13 commonly mutated genes in AML was performed on preconditioning blood from patients treated in a phase III clinical trial that randomly assigned adult patients with myeloid malignancy in morphologic complete remission to myeloablative conditioning (MAC) or reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC).

Results: No mutations were detected in 32% of MAC and 37% of RIC recipients; these groups had similar survival (3-year overall survival [OS], 56% 63%; = .96). In patients with a detectable mutation (next-generation sequencing [NGS] positive), relapse (3-year cumulative incidence, 19% 67%; < .001) and survival (3-year OS, 61% 43%; = .02) was significantly different between the MAC and RIC arms, respectively. In multivariable analysis for NGS-positive patients, adjusting for disease risk and donor group, RIC was significantly associated with increased relapse (hazard ratio [HR], 6.38; 95% CI, 3.37 to 12.10; < .001), decreased relapse-free survival (HR, 2.94; 95% CI, 1.84 to 4.69; < .001), and decreased OS (HR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.17 to 3.30; = .01) compared with MAC. Models of AML MRD also showed benefit for MAC over RIC for those who tested positive.

Conclusion: This study provides evidence that MAC rather than RIC in patients with AML with genomic evidence of MRD before alloHCT can result in improved survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.03011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7164487PMC
April 2020

Inhibition of the mutated c-KIT kinase in AML1-ETO-positive leukemia cells restores sensitivity to PARP inhibitor.

Blood Adv 2019 12;3(23):4050-4054

Sol Sherry Thrombosis Research Center and Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000756DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6963253PMC
December 2019

Plerixafor alone for the mobilization and transplantation of HLA-matched sibling donor hematopoietic stem cells.

Blood Adv 2019 03;3(6):875-883

Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match, Minneapolis, MN.

Plerixafor, a direct antagonist of CXCR4/stromal-derived factor 1, can safely and rapidly mobilize allografts without the use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). We conducted a phase 2, multicenter, prospective study of plerixafor-mobilized HLA-identical sibling allografts for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in recipients with hematological malignancies. Donors (n = 64) were treated with subcutaneous plerixafor (240 µg/kg) and started leukapheresis (LP) 4 hours later. The primary objective was to determine the proportion of donors who were successfully mobilized: defined as collection of ≥2.0 × 10 CD34 cells per kilogram recipient weight in ≤2 LP sessions. Recipients subsequently received reduced intensity (RIC; n = 33) or myeloablative (MAC; n = 30) conditioning. Sixty-three of 64 (98%) donors achieved the primary objective. The median CD34 cell dose per kilogram recipient weight collected within 2 days was 4.7 (0.9-9.6). Plerixafor was well tolerated with only grade 1 or 2 drug-related adverse events noted. Bone pain was not observed. Plerixafor-mobilized grafts engrafted promptly. One-year progression-free and overall survivals were 53% (95% confidence interval [CI], 36% to 71%) and 63% (95% CI, 46% to 79%) for MAC and 64% (95% CI, 47% to 79%) and 70% (95% CI, 53% to 84%) for RIC recipients, respectively. Donor toxicity was reduced relative to G-CSF mobilized related donors. This is the first multicenter trial to demonstrate that, as an alternative to G-CSF, plerixafor rapidly and safely mobilizes sufficient numbers of CD34 cells from matched sibling donors for HCT. Engraftment was prompt, and outcomes in recipients were encouraging. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01696461.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2018027599DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6436017PMC
March 2019

The relationship between clinical trial accrual volume and outcomes in acute myeloid leukemia: A SWOG/ECOG-ACRIN study (S0106 and E1900).

Leuk Res 2019 03 17;78:29-33. Epub 2019 Jan 17.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, United States.

Purpose: To study whether institutional clinical trial accrual volume affects clinical outcomes of younger (age less than 61 years) patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

Patients And Methods: We investigated the impact of clinical trial accrual on response rates, early mortality and survival in patients with AML enrolled between 2002 and 2009 into two parallel cooperative group clinical trials SWOG S0106/ECOG-ACRIN E1900. Institutions were classified as low- (LAIs) (≤ 9 enrolled patients) or high-accruing institutions (HAIs) (≥10 enrolled patients). Fisher's exact text and logistic regression analysis were used to analyze the response and early mortality rates. The effect of accrual volume on survival was analyzed by log-rank tests and Cox regression models.

Results: A total of 1252 patients from 152 institutions were included in the final analyses. The median clinical trial registrations in HAIs was 19 patients (range, 10 to 92) versus 3 (range, 1 to 9) patients in LAIs. In multivariate analyses, HAIs, as a quantitative covariate, was associated with improved complete remission rates (odds ratio (OR) 1.08, p = 0.0051), but no improvement median overall survival (HR 0.97, p = 0.065) or median event-free (hazard ratio (HR) 0.97, p = 0.05). Early mortality rates were similar between cohorts and academic affiliation had no impact on response rates or survival.

Conclusion: Clinical trial accrual volume, had an independent, albeit modest, impact on complete remission rates, but not on overall survival and event-free in younger patients with AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2019.01.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6615032PMC
March 2019

Very poor long-term survival in past and more recent studies for relapsed AML patients: The ECOG-ACRIN experience.

Am J Hematol 2018 Jun 15. Epub 2018 Jun 15.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer, New York, New York.

This study examines the long-term OS of relapsed AML patients who were enrolled to 9 successive ECOG-ACRIN trials for newly diagnosed AML, during 1984-2008. The objectives were to examine whether there is a trend of improvement in the survival of relapsed AML patients in the more recent studies and to search for prognostic factors that are associated with long-term OS after relapse. A total of 3,012 patients were enrolled, 1,779(59.1%) achieved CR1 and of these, 58.9% relapsed. The median follow-up was 9.7 years. The median OS from relapse was 0.5 years and the 5-year OS was 10(±1)%. These results were similar even for the most recent studies. A multivariate model showed that age (p<0.001), cytogenetics at diagnosis, duration of CR1 (p<0.001) and undergoing allogeneic transplantation were significantly associated with OS from relapse. Even among patients who relapsed with better prognostic factors; age<40 and CR1>12 months, there was no significant OS difference between the studies (p=0.48). In conclusion, this large cohort appears to confirm that the survival of AML patients post-relapse continues to be dismal and has not improved during the past quarter of a century. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25162DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6699929PMC
June 2018

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

TP53 and IDH2 Somatic Mutations Are Associated With Inferior Overall Survival After Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Myelodysplastic Syndrome.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2017 11 16;17(11):753-758. Epub 2017 Jun 16.

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

Background: Next-generation sequencing has identified somatic mutations that are prognostic of cancer.

Patients And Methods: We evaluated the incidence and prognostic significance of somatic mutations in 89 myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients who received an allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Next-generation sequencing was performed on paraffin embedded bone marrow, which was obtained at a median of 31 days before initiating the preparative regimen.

Results: The 3 most common subtypes of MDS were refractory anemia with excess blasts (RAEB)-1 (35%), RAEB-2 (29%), and refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia (18%). Most patients (91%) received a myeloablative regimen of fludarabine with intravenous busulfan. Somatic mutations (> 0) were identified in 39 (44%) of analyzed samples. The 6 most commonly identified gene mutations were ASXL1 (8%), DNMT3A (8%), RUNX1 (7%), KRAS (6%), IDH2 (4%), and TP53 (4%). The low incidence of mutations in our study sample might be explained by tissue source and stringent variant-calling methodology. Moreover, we speculate that the low incidence of mutations might, perhaps, also be explained by previous azacitidine treatment in 82% of cases. Multivariate analysis identified TP53 (hazard ratio [HR], 3.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-13.09; P = .03) and IDH2 mutations (HR, 4.74; 95% CI, 1.33-16.91; P = .02) as predictors of inferior 3-year overall survival.

Conclusion: This study furthers implementation of clinical genomics in MDS and identifies TP53 and IDH2 as targets for pre- or post-transplant therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2017.06.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5675815PMC
November 2017

Independent Prognostic Significance of Monosomy 17 and Impact of Karyotype Complexity in Monosomal Karyotype/Complex Karyotype Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Results from Four ECOG-ACRIN Prospective Therapeutic Trials.

Leuk Res 2017 08 12;59:55-64. Epub 2017 May 12.

Leukemia Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, United States.

The presence of a monosomal karyotype (MK+) and/or a complex karyotype (CK+) identifies subcategories of AML with poor prognosis. The prognostic significance of the most common monosomies (monosomy 5, monosomy 7, and monosomy 17) within MK+/CK+AML is not well defined. We analyzed data from 1,592 AML patients age 17-93 years enrolled on ECOG-ACRIN therapeutic trials. The majority of MK+ patients (182/195; 93%) were MK+/CK+ with 87% (158/182) having ≥5 clonal abnormalities (CK≥5). MK+ patients with karyotype complexity ≤4 had a median overall survival (OS) of 0.4y compared to 1.0y for MK- with complexity ≤4 (p<0.001), whereas no OS difference was seen in MK+vs. MK- patients with CK≥5 (p=0.82). Monosomy 5 (93%; 50/54) typically occurred within a highly complex karyotype and had no impact on OS (0.4y; p=0.95). Monosomy 7 demonstrated no impact on OS in patients with CK≥5 (p=0.39) or CK≤4 (p=0.44). Monosomy 17 appeared in 43% (68/158) of CK≥5 patients and demonstrated statistically significant worse OS (0.4y) compared to CK≥5 patients without monosomy 17 (0.5y; p=0.012). Our data suggest that the prognostic impact of MK+is limited to those with less complex karyotypes and that monosomy 17 may independently predict for worse survival in patients with AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2017.05.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5573653PMC
August 2017

Myeloablative Versus Reduced-Intensity Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndromes.

J Clin Oncol 2017 Apr 13;35(11):1154-1161. Epub 2017 Feb 13.

Bart L. Scott and H. Joachim Deeg, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA; Marcelo C. Pasquini, Brent R. Logan, Mehdi Hamadani, and Mary M. Horowitz, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; Juan Wu and Adam M. Mendizabal, Emmes Corporation, Rockville, MD; Steven M. Devine, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, OH; David L. Porter, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Richard T. Maziarz, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR; Erica D. Warlick, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Jennifer Le-Rademacher, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Hugo F. Fernandez, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; Edwin P. Alyea, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; Asad Bashey, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, Atlanta, GA; Sergio Giralt, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Nancy L. Geller and Eric Leifer, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD; and Mitchell E. Horwitz, Duke University, Durham, NC.

Purpose The optimal regimen intensity before allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is unknown. We hypothesized that lower treatment-related mortality (TRM) with reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) would result in improved overall survival (OS) compared with myeloablative conditioning (MAC). To test this hypothesis, we performed a phase III randomized trial comparing MAC with RIC in patients with acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes. Patients and Methods Patients age 18 to 65 years with HCT comorbidity index ≤ 4 and < 5% marrow myeloblasts pre-HCT were randomly assigned to receive MAC (n = 135) or RIC (n = 137) followed by HCT from HLA-matched related or unrelated donors. The primary end point was OS 18 months post-random assignment based on an intent-to-treat analysis. Secondary end points included relapse-free survival (RFS) and TRM. Results Planned enrollment was 356 patients; accrual ceased at 272 because of high relapse incidence with RIC versus MAC (48.3%; 95% CI, 39.6% to 56.4% and 13.5%; 95% CI, 8.3% to 19.8%, respectively; P < .001). At 18 months, OS for patients in the RIC arm was 67.7% (95% CI, 59.1% to 74.9%) versus 77.5% (95% CI, 69.4% to 83.7%) for those in the MAC arm (difference, 9.8%; 95% CI, -0.8% to 20.3%; P = .07). TRM with RIC was 4.4% (95% CI, 1.8% to 8.9%) versus 15.8% (95% CI, 10.2% to 22.5%) with MAC ( P = .002). RFS with RIC was 47.3% (95% CI, 38.7% to 55.4%) versus 67.8% (95% CI, 59.1% to 75%) with MAC ( P < .01). Conclusion OS was higher with MAC, but this was not statistically significant. RIC resulted in lower TRM but higher relapse rates compared with MAC, with a statistically significant advantage in RFS with MAC. These data support the use of MAC as the standard of care for fit patients with acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.70.7091DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5455603PMC
April 2017

Extramedullary Disease in Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia Is Common but Lacks Independent Significance: Analysis of Patients in ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group Trials, 1980-2008.

J Clin Oncol 2016 10;34(29):3544-3553

Chezi Genzel and Jacob M. Rowe, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel; Chezi Ganzel, Dan Douer, and Martin S. Tallman, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Elisabeth M. Paietta, Montefiore Medical Center; Peter H. Wiernik, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Medical Center, New York, NY; Judith Manola and Ju-Whei Lee, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; Hugo F. Fernandez, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Institute, Tampa, FL; Mark R. Litzow, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Selina M. Luger, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Hillard M. Lazarus, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH; and Larry D. Cripe, Indiana University Cancer Center, Indianapolis, IN.

Purpose Extramedullary disease (EMD) at diagnosis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has been recognized for decades. Reported herein are results from a large study of patients with AML who were treated in consecutive ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group frontline clinical trials in an attempt to define the incidence and clinical implications of EMD. Methods Patients with newly diagnosed AML, age 15 years and older, who were treated in 11 clinical trials, were studied to identify EMD, as defined by physical examination, laboratory findings, and imaging results. Results Of the 3,522 patients enrolled, 282 were excluded, including patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia, incorrect diagnosis, or no adequate assessment of EMD at baseline. The overall incidence of EMD was 23.7%. The sites involved were: lymph nodes (11.5%), spleen (7.3%), liver (5.3%), skin (4.5%), gingiva (4.4%), and CNS (1.1%). Most patients (65.3%) had only one site of EMD, 20.9% had two sites, 9.5% had three sites, and 3.4% had four sites. The median overall survival was 1.035 years. In univariable analysis, the presence of any EMD ( P = .005), skin involvement ( P = .002), spleen ( P < .001), and liver ( P < .001), but not CNS ( P = .34), nodal involvement ( P = .94), and gingival hypertrophy ( P = .24), was associated with a shorter overall survival. In contrast, in multivariable analysis, adjusted for known prognostic factors such as cytogenetic risk and WBC count, neither the presence of EMD nor the number of specific sites of EMD were independently prognostic. Conclusion This large study demonstrates that EMD at any site is common but is not an independent prognostic factor. Treatment decisions for patients with EMD should be made on the basis of recognized AML prognostic factors, irrespective of the presence of EMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.67.5892DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5074349PMC
October 2016

What Is the Optimal Induction Therapy for Younger Fit Patients With AML?

Authors:
Hugo F Fernandez

Curr Hematol Malig Rep 2016 10;11(5):327-32

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, 12902 Magnolia Drive, FOB3, Tampa, FL, 337612, USA.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a complex clonal disorder. The disease is characterized by chromosomal and molecular abnormalities that propagate and expand the abnormal clone(s). The main goal of therapy is to achieve and ultimately maintain a complete remission. In the younger AML patient (less than 60 years of age), there has been a standardization of the initial therapy with the 3 + 7 regimen, consisting of an anthracycline and cytarabine combination. Recent intensification of the anthracycline has led to improved remission and survival outcomes in these patients. Prognosis and therapy in this disease is driven by cytogenetic studies and the additional molecular information that is gathered at the time of diagnosis. With the finding of potential targetable lesions within these molecular aberrancies, new treatments are emerging to deepen remissions and ultimately improve survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11899-016-0339-9DOI Listing
October 2016

A clinical measure of DNA methylation predicts outcome in de novo acute myeloid leukemia.

JCI Insight 2016 Jun;1(9)

Department of Pathology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Background: Variable response to chemotherapy in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) represents a major treatment challenge. Clinical and genetic features incompletely predict outcome. The value of clinical epigenetic assays for risk classification has not been extensively explored. We assess the prognostic implications of a clinical assay for multilocus DNA methylation on adult patients with de novo AML.

Methods: We performed multilocus DNA methylation assessment using xMELP on samples and calculated a methylation statistic (M-score) for 166 patients from UPENN with de novo AML who received induction chemotherapy. The association of M-score with complete remission (CR) and overall survival (OS) was evaluated. The optimal M-score cut-point for identifying groups with differing survival was used to define a binary M-score classifier. This classifier was validated in an independent cohort of 383 patients from the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Trial 1900 (E1900; NCT00049517).

Results: A higher mean M-score was associated with death and failure to achieve CR. Multivariable analysis confirmed that a higher M-score was associated with death ( = 0.011) and failure to achieve CR ( = 0.034). Median survival was 26.6 months versus 10.6 months for low and high M-score groups. The ability of the M-score to perform as a classifier was confirmed in patients ≤ 60 years with intermediate cytogenetics and patients who achieved CR, as well as in the E1900 validation cohort.

Conclusion: The M-score represents a valid binary prognostic classifier for patients with de novo AML. The xMELP assay and associated M-score can be used for prognosis and should be further investigated for clinical decision making in AML patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.87323DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4951094PMC
June 2016

Intravenous Busulfan-Based Myeloablative Conditioning Regimens Prior to Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Hematologic Malignancies.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2016 08 3;22(8):1424-1430. Epub 2016 May 3.

The Ottawa Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Busulfan (Bu)-containing regimens are commonly used in myeloablative conditioning regimens before allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Yet, there is considerable variability on how Bu is administered related to frequency (4 times a day [Q6] or daily [Q24]) and combinations with other chemotherapeutic agents (cyclophosphamide [Cy] or fludarabine [Flu]). We performed a prospective cohort study of recipients of Bu-based conditioning according to contemporary practices to compare different approaches (BuCy Q6, n = 495; BuFlu Q24, n = 331; BuCy Q24, n = 96; BuFlu Q6, n = 91) in patients with myeloid malignancies between 2009 and 2011. BuFlu Q24 recipients were more likely to be older and tended to have worse performance status and a higher comorbid burden. The cumulative incidences of hepatic veno-occlusive disease (P = .40), idiopathic pneumonia (P = .50), and seizures (P = .50) did not differ across groups. One-year HCT-related mortality ranged from 12% to 16% (P = .80), 3-year relapse incidence ranged from 32% to 36% (P = .80), and 3-year overall survival ranged from 51% to 58% (P = .20) across groups. This study demonstrates that HCT conditioning regimens using i.v. Bu Q6 or Q24 alone or in combination with Cy or Flu have similar outcomes in the myeloablative setting for treatment of myeloid malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2016.04.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4949158PMC
August 2016

Benefit of high-dose daunorubicin in AML induction extends across cytogenetic and molecular groups.

Blood 2016 Mar 11;127(12):1551-8. Epub 2016 Jan 11.

Division of Hematology and Oncology, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;

The initial report of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-American College of Radiology Imaging Network Cancer Research Group trial E1900 (#NCT00049517) showed that induction therapy with high-dose (HD) daunorubicin (90 mg/m(2)) improved overall survival in adults <60 years old with acute myeloid leukemia (AML); however, at initial analysis, the benefit was restricted to younger patients (<50 years) and patients without unfavorable cytogenetics or aFLT3-ITD mutation. Here, we update the results of E1900 after longer follow-up (median, 80.1 months among survivors), focusing on the benefit of HD daunorubicin on common genetic subgroups. Compared with standard-dose daunorubicin (45 mg/m(2)), HD daunorubicin is associated with a hazard ratio (HR) for death of 0.74 (P= .001). Younger patients (<50 years) benefited from HD daunorubicin (HR, 0.66;P= .002), as did patients with favorable and intermediate cytogenetics (HR, 0.51;P= .03 and HR, 0.68;P= .01, respectively). Patients with unfavorable cytogenetics were shown to benefit from HD daunorubicin on multivariable analysis (adjusted HR, 0.66;P= .04). Patients with FLT3-ITD (24%),DNMT3A(24%), and NPM1(26%) mutant AML all benefited from HD daunorubicin (HR, 0.61,P= .009; HR, 0.62,P= .02; and HR, 0.50,P= .002; respectively). HD benefit was seen in the subgroup of older patients (50-60 years) with the FLT3-ITD or NPM1 mutation. Additionally, the presence of an NPM1 mutation confers a favorable prognosis only for patients receiving anthracycline dose intensification during induction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2015-07-657403DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4807422PMC
March 2016

Allogeneic Transplantation for Unfavorable-Risk Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Authors:
Hugo F Fernandez

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2015 Jun;15 Suppl:S70-2

Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL. Electronic address:

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a complex, heterogeneous disorder that can have devastating effects. Although control of AML can be attained with various induction regimens, long-term cure is much more difficult to maintain. This is understated in patients with unfavorable-risk AML, who are usually older and have prior myeloid and/or therapy-related disease and more challenges in curing this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2015.02.014DOI Listing
June 2015

Beyond the first glance: anthracyclines in AML.

Authors:
Hugo F Fernandez

Blood 2015 Jun;125(25):3828-9

MOFFITT CANCER CENTER AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2015-04-639419DOI Listing
June 2015

Prolonged sirolimus administration after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is associated with decreased risk for moderate-severe chronic graft-versus-host disease.

Haematologica 2015 Jul 3;100(7):970-7. Epub 2015 Apr 3.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Moffitt Cancer Center, USA Oncologic Sciences, College of Medicine at University of South Florida, USA.

Effective pharmacological strategies employed in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation should prevent serious chronic graft-versus-host disease and facilitate donor-recipient immune tolerance. Based on demonstrated pro-tolerogenic activity, sirolimus (rapamycin) is an agent with promise to achieve these goals. In a long-term follow-up analysis of a randomized phase II trial comparing sirolimus/tacrolimus versus methotrexate/tacrolimus for graft-versus-host disease prevention in matched sibling or unrelated donor transplant, we examined the impact of prolonged sirolimus administration (≥ 1 year post-transplant). Median follow-up time for surviving patients at time of this analysis was 41 months (range 27-60) for sirolimus/tacrolimus and 49 months (range 29-63) for methotrexate/tacrolimus. Sirolimus/tacrolimus patients had significantly lower National Institutes of Health Consensus moderate-severe chronic graft-versus-host disease (34% vs. 65%; P=0.004) and late acute graft-versus-host disease (20% vs. 43%; P=0.04). While sirolimus/tacrolimus patients had lower prednisone exposure and earlier discontinuation of tacrolimus (median time to tacrolimus discontinuation 368 days vs. 821 days; P=0.002), there was no significant difference in complete immune suppression discontinuation (60-month estimate: 43% vs. 31%; P=0.78). Prolonged sirolimus administration represents a viable approach to mitigate risk for moderate-severe chronic and late acute graft-versus-host disease. Further study of determinants of successful immune suppression discontinuation is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2015.123588DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486232PMC
July 2015

Ofatumumab in combination with glucocorticoids for primary therapy of chronic graft-versus-host disease: phase I trial results.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2015 Jun 21;21(6):1074-82. Epub 2015 Mar 21.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida; Oncologic Sciences, College of Medicine at University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Standard primary therapy for chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is incompletely effective. Based on biologic insights implicating pathogenic B cells, we conducted a phase I trial examining the combination of standard (1 mg/kg/day prednisone) glucocorticoid therapy with ofatumumab, a humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, for primary chronic GVHD therapy. Patients ages ≥ 18 with National Institutes of Health Consensus moderate-to-severe chronic GVHD newly requiring 1 mg/kg/day prednisone were treated at 3 escalating dose levels (300 mg, 700 mg, and 1000 mg) of i.v. ofatumumab on days 1 and 14 of initial glucocorticoid therapy. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was defined by grade 4 infusion reactions, related grade 4 constitutional symptoms, related grade ≥ 3 organ toxicities, or grade 4 neutropenia lasting > 14 days. A total of 12 patients (median age 54; range, 25 to 72) were treated (dose level 1: n = 3; level 2: n = 3; level 3: n = 6). At enrollment, overall chronic GVHD was moderate (n = 7) or severe (n = 5), with diverse organ involvement (skin: n = 8; mouth: n = 8; eye: n = 8; lung: n = 4; gastrointestinal: n = 3; liver: n = 5; genital: n = 2; joint/fascia: n = 5). Infusion of ofatumumab was well tolerated, and no DLT was observed. From the total number of adverse events (n = 29), possibly related adverse events (n = 4) included grade 1 fatigue, grade 1 transaminitis, and 2 infusion reactions (grades 2 and 3). Infectious complications were expected, and there were no cases of hepatitis B reactivation or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Ofatumumab in combination with prednisone is safe and a phase II examination of efficacy is ongoing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.03.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5757506PMC
June 2015

Musashi2 sustains the mixed-lineage leukemia-driven stem cell regulatory program.

J Clin Invest 2015 Mar 9;125(3):1286-98. Epub 2015 Feb 9.

Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) are found in most aggressive myeloid diseases and contribute to therapeutic resistance. Leukemia cells exhibit a dysregulated developmental program as the result of genetic and epigenetic alterations. Overexpression of the RNA-binding protein Musashi2 (MSI2) has been previously shown to predict poor survival in leukemia. Here, we demonstrated that conditional deletion of Msi2 in the hematopoietic compartment results in delayed leukemogenesis, reduced disease burden, and a loss of LSC function in a murine leukemia model. Gene expression profiling of these Msi2-deficient animals revealed a loss of the hematopoietic/leukemic stem cell self-renewal program and an increase in the differentiation program. In acute myeloid leukemia patients, the presence of a gene signature that was similar to that observed in Msi2-deficent murine LSCs correlated with improved survival. We determined that MSI2 directly maintains the mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) self-renewal program by interacting with and retaining efficient translation of Hoxa9, Myc, and Ikzf2 mRNAs. Moreover, depletion of MLL target Ikzf2 in LSCs reduced colony formation, decreased proliferation, and increased apoptosis. Our data provide evidence that MSI2 controls efficient translation of the oncogenic LSC self-renewal program and suggest MSI2 as a potential therapeutic target for myeloid leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI78440DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4362230PMC
March 2015

Younger adults with acute myeloid leukemia in remission for ≥ 3 years have a high likelihood of cure: The ECOG experience in over 1200 patients.

Leuk Res 2014 Aug 2;38(8):901-6. Epub 2014 Jun 2.

Leukemia Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, United States.

We examined 1229 younger patients with acute myeloid leukemia who achieved CR1 on Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group trials. We defined late relapse as occurring after ≥ 3 years of CR1. With median follow-up of 11.3 years, there were 14 late relapses (1.1% of CR1 patients; 3.3% of 3-year CR1 patients). Eight achieved second CR and median overall survival after late relapse was 3.2 years. Most patients tested (9/11) had a normal karyotype at diagnosis; none had new cytogenetic abnormalities at relapse. Late relapse is rare and nearly all 3-year CR1 patients are cured. If late relapse occurs, outcomes are relatively favorable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2014.05.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4326112PMC
August 2014