Publications by authors named "Igor W Blau"

34 Publications

Polymorphisms in CXCR3 ligands predict early CXCL9 recovery and severe chronic GVHD.

Blood Cancer J 2021 Feb 27;11(2):42. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Department of Medicine V, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a major cause of mortality and morbidity after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). The individual risk of severe cGVHD remains difficult to predict and may involve CXCR3 ligands. This study investigated the role of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of CXCL4, CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11, and their day +28 serum levels, in cGVHD pathogenesis. Eighteen CXCR3 and CXCL4, CXCL9-11 SNPs as well as peri-transplant CXCL9-11 serum levels were analyzed in 688 patients without (training cohort; n = 287) or with statin-based endothelial protection cohort (n = 401). Clinical outcomes were correlated to serum levels and SNP status. Significant polymorphisms were further analyzed by luciferase reporter assays. Findings were validated in an independent cohort (n = 202). A combined genetic risk comprising four CXCR3 ligand SNPs was significantly associated with increased risk of severe cGVHD in both training cohort (hazard ratio (HR) 2.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.33-4.64, P = 0.004) and validation cohort (HR 2.95, 95% CI 1.56-5.58, P = 0.001). In reporter assays, significantly reduced suppressive effects of calcineurin inhibitors in constructs with variant alleles of rs884304 (P < 0.001) and rs884004 (P < 0.001) were observed. CXCL9 serum levels at day +28 after alloSCT correlated with both genetic risk and risk of severe cGVHD (HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.10-1.73, P = 0.006). This study identifies patients with high genetic risk to develop severe cGVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00434-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7914250PMC
February 2021

Lenalidomide versus bortezomib maintenance after frontline autologous stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma.

Blood Cancer J 2021 Jan 7;11(1). Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Internal Medicine V, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Lenalidomide (LEN) maintenance (MT) post autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is standard of care in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) but has not been compared to other agents in clinical trials. We retrospectively compared bortezomib (BTZ; n = 138) or LEN (n = 183) MT from two subsequent GMMG phase III trials. All patients received three cycles of BTZ-based triplet induction and post-ASCT MT. BTZ MT (1.3 mg/m i.v.) was administered every 2 weeks for 2 years. LEN MT included two consolidation cycles (25 mg p.o., days 1-21 of 28 day cycles) followed by 10-15 mg/day for 2 years. The BTZ cohort more frequently received tandem ASCT (91% vs. 33%) due to different tandem ASCT strategies. In the LEN and BTZ cohort, 43% and 46% of patients completed 2 years of MT as intended (p = 0.57). Progression-free survival (PFS; HR = 0.83, p = 0.18) and overall survival (OS; HR = 0.70, p = 0.15) did not differ significantly with LEN vs. BTZ MT. Patients with
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-00390-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7791127PMC
January 2021

Changes in treatment landscape of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and their association with mortality: Insights from German claims database.

Eur J Haematol 2021 Feb 20;106(2):148-157. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Takeda Pharma Vertrieb GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin, Germany.

Objectives: Emerging treatments for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (rrMM) have led to increasing options for many patients. This study aimed to assess changes in utilization of these options in Germany with a focus on modern triplet regimens including new agents, such as carfilzomib, ixazomib, elotuzumab and daratumumab, and to evaluate whether this had an impact on rrMM-related outcomes over time.

Methods: The study population consisted of 1255 rrMM patients who were assigned to one of the following 6 treatment groups: immunomodulatory drug (IMiD)-based doublets, proteasome inhibitor (PI)-based doublets, daratumumab monotherapy, PI-IMiD-based triplets, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)-based triplets, or other treatment.

Results: Use of triplet-based therapy regimens increased from 5.9% in 2014 to 31.4% in 2017. In parallel, use of IMiD-based doublets decreased from 74.3% in 2014 to 37.6% in 2017. Over the same time period, the risk of death decreased by 32% and the risk of hospitalization which was reduced by 30%. The risk for serious adverse events remained unchanged.

Conclusions: Between 2014 and 2017, the use of triplet-based therapy regimens for rrMM in Germany has significantly increased and this was associated with a significant decline in deaths and hospitalizations without an increased incidence of serious adverse events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13523DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7894176PMC
February 2021

Comparison of NGS and MFC Methods: Key Metrics in Multiple Myeloma MRD Assessment.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Aug 18;12(8). Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Rheumatology, University Hospital Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

In order to meet the challenges in data evaluation and comparability between studies in multiple myeloma (MM) minimal residual disease (MRD) assessment, the goal of the current study was to provide a step-by-step evaluation of next-generation sequencing (NGS) and multicolor flow cytometry (MFC) data. Bone marrow (BM) sample pairs from 125 MM patients were analyzed by NGS and MFC MM MRD methods. Tumor load (TL) and limit of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) were calculated. The best-fit MRD cut-off was chosen as 1 × 10, resulting in an overall 9.6% ( overall = 12 (NGS = 2, MFC = 10)) nonassessable cases. The overall concordance rate between NGS and MFC was 68.0% ( = 85); discordant results were found in 22.4% (11.2% ( = 14) of cases in each direction. Overall, 55.1% ( = 60/109) and 49.5% ( = 54/109) of patients with a serological response ≥ very good partial response (VGPR) showed BM MRD negativity by NGS and MFC, respectively. A good correlation in the TL assessed by both techniques was found (correlation coefficient = 0.8, = 40, < 0.001). Overall, our study shows good concordance between MM BM MRD status and TL when comparing NGS and MFC at a threshold of 10. However, a sufficient number of analyzed events and calculation of MRD key metrics are essential for the comparison of methods and evaluability of data at a specific MRD cut-off.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12082322DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7464347PMC
August 2020

Bortezomib-based induction, high-dose melphalan and lenalidomide maintenance in myeloma up to 70 years of age.

Leukemia 2021 03 20;35(3):809-822. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Department of Internal Medicine V, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Intensive upfront therapy in newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) including induction therapy (IT), high-dose melphalan (MEL200), and autologous blood stem cell transplantation (ASCT) followed by consolidation and/or maintenance is mostly restricted to patients up to 65 years of age. Prospective phase III trial data in the era of novel agents for patients up to 70 years of age are not available. The GMMG-MM5 trial included 601 patients between 18 and 70 years of age, divided in three groups for the present analysis: ≤60 years (S1, n = 353), 61-65 years (S2, n = 107) and 66-70 years (S3, n = 141). Treatment consisted of a bortezomib-containing IT, MEL200/ASCT, consolidation, and maintenance with lenalidomide. Adherence to treatment was similar among patients of the three age groups. Overall toxicity during all treatment phases was increased in S2 and S3 compared to S1 (any adverse event/any serious adverse event: S1:81.7/41.8% vs. S2:90.7/56.5% vs. S3:87.2/68.1%, p = 0.05/<0.001). With respect to progression-free survival (log-rank p = 0.73), overall survival (log-rank p = 0.54) as well as time-to-progression (Gray's p = 0.83) and non-relapse mortality (Gray's p = 0.25), no differences were found between the three age groups. Our results imply that an intensive upfront therapy with a bortezomib-containing IT, MEL200/ASCT, lenalidomide consolidation, and maintenance should be applied to transplant-eligible MM patients up to 70 years of age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-0976-9DOI Listing
March 2021

Association of Serum Ferritin Levels Before Start of Conditioning With Mortality After alloSCT - A Prospective, Non-interventional Study of the EBMT Transplant Complications Working Party.

Front Immunol 2020 15;11:586. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.

Elevated serum ferritin levels occur due to iron overload or during inflammation and macrophage activation. A correlation of high serum ferritin levels with increased mortality after alloSCT has been suggested by several retrospective analyses as well as by two smaller prospective studies. This prospective multicentric study aimed to study the association of ferritin serum levels before start of conditioning with alloSCT outcome. Patients with acute leukemia, lymphoma or MDS receiving a matched sibling alloSCT for the first time were considered for inclusion, regardless of conditioning. A comparison of outcomes between patients with high and low ferritin level was performed using univariate analysis and multivariate analysis using cause-specific Cox model. Twenty centers reported data on 298 alloSCT recipients. The ferritin cut off point was determined at 1500 μg/l (median of measured ferritin levels). In alloSCT recipients with ferritin levels above cut off measured before the start of conditioning, overall survival (HR = 2.5, CI = 1.5-4.1, = 0.0005) and progression-free survival (HR = 2.4, CI = 1.6-3.8, < 0.0001) were inferior. Excess mortality in the high ferritin group was due to both higher relapse incidence (HR = 2.2, CI = 1.2-3.8, = 0.007) and increased non-relapse mortality (NRM) (HR = 3.1, CI = 1.5-6.4, = 0.002). NRM was driven by significantly higher infection-related mortality in the high ferritin group (HR = 3.9, CI = 1.6-9.7, = 0.003). Acute and chronic GVHD incidence or severity were not associated to serum ferritin levels. We conclude that ferritin levels can serve as routine laboratory biomarker for mortality risk assessment before alloSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7174614PMC
March 2021

MOR202, a novel anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody, in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma: a first-in-human, multicentre, phase 1-2a trial.

Lancet Haematol 2020 May 11;7(5):e381-e394. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Translational Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center Mainfranken, University Hospital of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

Background: Treatment of multiple myeloma is not curative, but targeting CD38 improves patient survival. To further explore this therapeutic approach, we investigated the safety and activity of MOR202, a novel monoclonal antibody targeting CD38, in patients with multiple myeloma.

Methods: This is a multicentre, open-label, phase 1-2a trial done at ten hospitals in Germany and Austria. Enrolled patients were aged 18 years or older with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and Karnofsky performance status of 60% or higher. Patients were assigned to the different treatment regimens with MOR202 ranging between 0·01 mg/kg and 16 mg/kg in a 3 + 3 design. Dose-escalation and expansion was done either with MOR202 intravenous infusions alone (MOR202 q2w [twice a week] and q1w [weekly] groups) or in combination with dexamethasone (MOR202 with dexamethasone group), with dexamethasone plus pomalidomide (MOR202 with dexamethasone plus pomalidomide group) or plus lenalidomide (MOR202 with dexamethasone plus lenalidomide group). Primary endpoints were safety, MOR202 maximum tolerated dose (or recommended dose) and regimen, and immunogenicity. The primary analysis was assessed in the safety population, which included patients who received at least one dose of any study drug. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01421186.

Findings: Between Aug 24, 2011, and Aug 1, 2017, 91 patients were treated, 35 with MOR202 monotherapy, and 56 with MOR202 combination regimens (18 in the MOR202 with dexamethasone group, 21 in the MOR202 with dexamethasone plus pomalidomide group, and 17 in the MOR202 with dexamethasone plus lenalidomide group). MOR202 intravenous infusions were safely administered within 30 min. Infusion-related reactions occurred in 14 (40%) of 35 patients receiving MOR202 monotherapy without steroids, and in four (7%) of 56 patients receiving MOR202 combination treatment. MOR202 maximum tolerated dose was not reached and the recommended regimens were MOR202 administered as an intravenous infusion for 30 min at doses up to 16 mg/kg with dexamethasone (40 mg), or in combination with dexamethasone plus lenalidomide (25 mg) or pomalidomide (4 mg). 35 (38%) of 91 patients developed lymphopenia, 30 (33%) developed neutropenia, and 27 (30%) developed leukopenia; these were the most common grade 3 or higher treatment-emergent adverse events. Serious adverse events were reported in 51 (56%) of 91 patients. None of the deaths were associated with MOR202. One pomalidomide-associated death occurred in the MOR202 with dexamethasone plus pomalidomide group. No anti-MOR202 antibodies were detected in patients.

Interpretation: MOR202 is safe and its clinical activity in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma is promising. Further clinical investigations of combinations with an immunomodulatory drug and dexamethasone are recommended.

Funding: MorphoSys AG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(19)30249-2DOI Listing
May 2020

Response-adapted lenalidomide maintenance in newly diagnosed myeloma: results from the phase III GMMG-MM5 trial.

Leukemia 2020 07 7;34(7):1853-1865. Epub 2020 Feb 7.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Asklepios Hospital Hamburg Altona, Hamburg, Germany.

The MM5 trial aimed at demonstrating a progression-free survival (PFS) difference in continued vs. response-adapted (in case of complete response, CR) lenalidomide (LEN) maintenance therapy (MT) in newly diagnosed, transplant-eligible multiple myeloma (MM). Patients were equally randomized to receive induction therapy with PAd (bortezomib/doxorubicin/dexamethasone) or VCD (bortezomib/cyclophosphamide/dexamethasone), high-dose melphalan and autologous blood stem cell transplantation, and LEN consolidation, followed by either LEN MT for a fixed duration of 2 years (LEN-2Y) or until achievement of CR (LEN-CR, intention-to-treat population n = 502): arms A1:PAd + LEN-2Y (n = 125), B1:PAd + LEN-CR (n = 126), A2:VCD + LEN-2Y (n = 126), B2:VCD + LEN-CR (n = 125). In the LEN-CR group (B1 + B2), n = 88/17.5% patients did not start or discontinued LEN MT due to CR. There was no PFS (p = 0.60, primary endpoint) nor overall survival (OS) (p = 0.15) difference between the four study arms. On pooled LEN MT strategies, OS (hazard ratio, hazard ratio [HR] = 1.42, p = 0.03) but not PFS (HR = 1.15, p = 0.20) was shorter in LEN-CR (B1 + B2) vs. LEN-2Y (A1 + A2) groups. PFS was shortened on landmark analyses from the start of LEN MT in patients being in CR in the LEN-CR group (LEN-CR vs. LEN-2Y, HR = 1.84, p = 0.02). OS from first progression was shortened in the LEN-CR vs. LEN-2Y group (HR = 1.60, p = 0.01). LEN MT should be applied beyond CR for at least 2 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-0724-1DOI Listing
July 2020

Predicting sinusoidal obstruction syndrome after allogeneic stem cell transplantation with the EASIX biomarker panel.

Haematologica 2021 Feb 1;106(2):446-453. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Medicine V, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

No biomarker panel is established for prediction of sinusoidal obstruction syndrome/veno-occlusive disease (SOS/VOD), a major complication of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). We compared the potential of the Endothelial Activation and Stress Index (EASIX), based on lactate dehydrogenase, creatinine, and thrombocytes, with that of the SOS/VOD CIBMTR clinical risk score to predict SOS/VOD in two independent cohorts. In a third cohort, we studied the impact of endothelium-active prophylaxis with pravastatin and ursodeoxycholic acid (UDA) on SOS/VOD risk. The cumulative incidence of SOS/VOD within 28 days after alloSCT in the training cohort (Berlin, 2013-2015, n=446) and in the validation cohort (Heidelberg, 2002-2009, n=380) was 9.6% and 8.4%, respectively. In both cohorts, EASIX assessed at the day of alloSCT (EASIX-d0) was significantly associated with SOS/VOD incidence (p<0.0001), overall survival (OS) and non-relapse mortality (NRM). In contrast, the CIBMTR score showed no statistically significant association with SOS/VOD incidence, and did not predict OS and NRM. In patients receiving pravastatin/UDA, the cumulative incidence of SOS/VOD was significantly lower at 1.7% (p<0.0001, Heidelberg, 2010-2015, n=359) than in the two cohorts not receiving pravastatin/UDA. The protective effect was most pronounced in patients with high EASIX-d0. The cumulative SOS/VOD incidence in the highest EASIX-d0 quartiles were 18.1% and 16.8% in both cohorts without endothelial prophylaxis as compared to 2.2% in patients with pravastatin/UDA prophylaxis (p<0.0001). EASIX-d0 is the first validated biomarker for defining a subpopulation of alloSCT recipients at high risk for SOS/VOD. Statin/UDA endothelial prophylaxis could constitute a prophylactic measure for patients at increased SOS/VOD risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.238790DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7849560PMC
February 2021

Association of uric acid levels before start of conditioning with mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation - a prospective, non-interventional study of the EBMT Transplant Complication Working Party.

Haematologica 2020 07 10;105(7):1977-1983. Epub 2019 Oct 10.

Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.

Uric acid is a danger signal contributing to inflammation. Its relevance to allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) derives from preclinical models where the depletion of uric acid led to improved survival and reduced graft--host disease (GvHD). In a clinical pilot trial, peri-transplant uric acid depletion reduced acute GvHD incidence. This prospective international multicenter study aimed to investigate the association of uric acid serum levels before start of conditioning with alloSCT outcome. We included patients with acute leukemia, lymphoma or myelodysplastic syndrome receiving a first matched sibling alloSCT from peripheral blood, regardless of conditioning. We compared outcomes between patients with high and low uric acid levels with univariate- and multivariate analysis using a cause-specific Cox model. Twenty centers from 10 countries reported data on 366 alloSCT recipients. There were no significant differences in terms of baseline comorbidity and disease stage between the high- and low uric acid group. Patients with uric acid levels above median measured before start of conditioning did not significantly differ from the remaining in terms of acute GvHD grades II-IV incidence (Hazard ratio [HR] 1.5, 95% Confidence interval [CI]: 1.0-2.4, =0.08). However, they had significantly shorter overall survival (HR 2.8, 95% CI: 1.7-4.7, <0.0001) and progression free survival (HR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.1-2.4, =0.025). Non-relapse mortality was significantly increased in alloSCT recipients with high uric acid levels (HR 2.7, 95% CI: 1.4-5.0, =0.003). Finally, the incidence of relapse after alloSCT was increased in patients with higher uric acid levels (HR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.0-2.5, =0.04). We conclude that high uric acid levels before the start of conditioning correlate with increased mortality after alloSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.228668DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7327652PMC
July 2020

Rationale and design of the German-speaking myeloma multicenter group (GMMG) trial HD6: a randomized phase III trial on the effect of elotuzumab in VRD induction/consolidation and lenalidomide maintenance in patients with newly diagnosed myeloma.

BMC Cancer 2019 May 28;19(1):504. Epub 2019 May 28.

University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Despite major advances in therapy, multiple myeloma is still an incurable malignancy in the majority of patients. To increase survival, deeper remissions (i.e. CR) translating into longer PFS need to be achieved. Incorporation of new drugs (i.e. bortezomib and lenalidomide) as induction and maintenance treatment in an intensified treatment concept, including high dose melphalan (200 mg/m), has resulted in increased CR rates, and is considered the standard of care for younger patients. Elotuzumab in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone has given better results as lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone in a phase III trial. The GMMG-HD6 trial will be the first phase III trial investigating the role of elotuzumab in combination with bortezomib, lenalidomide and dexamethasone (VRD) induction/consolidation and lenalidomide maintenance within a high dose concept.

Methods: GMMG-HD6 is a randomized, open, multicenter phase III trial. The planned recruitment number is 564 NDMM patients. All patients will receive 4 VRD cycles as induction and undergo peripheral blood stem cell mobilization and harvesting. Thereafter they will be treated with high dose melphalan therapy plus autologous stem cell transplantation followed by 2 cycles of VRD consolidation and lenalidomide maintenance. Patients in arm B1 + B2 will additionally receive elotuzumab in the induction phase, whereas patients in A2 + B2 will be treated with elotuzumab added to consolidation and maintenance. The primary endpoint of the trial is PFS. Secondary objectives and endpoints are OS, CR rates after induction therapy comparing the two arms VRD (A1 + A2) vs VRD + elotuzumab (B1 + B2), CR rates after consolidation treatment, best response to treatment during the study, time to progression (TTP), duration of response (DOR), toxicity and quality of life.

Results: Since this is the publication of a study protocol of an ongoing study, no results can be presented.

Discussion: This phase III trial is designed to evaluate whether the addition of elotuzumab to an intensified treatment concept with high dose melphalan chemotherapy plus autologous stem cell transplantation and induction, consolidation and maintenance treatment with bortezomib and lenalidomide is able to improve PFS compared to the same concept without elotuzumab.

Trial Registration: NCT02495922 on June 24th, 2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-019-5600-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6537200PMC
May 2019

Longitudinal fluorescence hybridization reveals cytogenetic evolution in myeloma relapsing after autologous transplantation.

Haematologica 2017 08 11;102(8):1432-1438. Epub 2017 May 11.

Medizinische Klinik V, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

To investigate cytogenetic evolution after upfront autologous stem cell transplantation for newly diagnosed myeloma we retrospectively analyzed fluorescence hybridization results of 128 patients with paired bone marrow samples from the time of primary diagnosis and at relapse. High-risk cytogenetic abnormalities (deletion 17p and/or gain 1q21) occurred more frequently after relapse (odds ratio: 6.33; 95% confidence interval: 1.86-33.42; <0.001). No significant changes were observed for defined translocations [t(4;14); t(11;14); t(14;16)] or hyperdiploid karyotypes between primary diagnosis and relapse. translocations with unknown partners occurred more frequently at relapse. New deletion 17p and/or gain 1q21 were associated with cytogenetic heterogeneity, since some lesions with different copy numbers were present only in subclones. No distinct baseline characteristics were associated with the occurrence of new high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities after progression. Patients who relapsed after novel agent-based induction therapy had an increased risk of developing high-risk aberrations (odds ratio 10.82; 95% confidence interval: 1.65-127.66; =0.03) compared to those who were treated with conventional chemotherapy. Survival analysis revealed dismal outcomes regardless of whether high-risk aberrations were present at baseline (hazard ratio, 3.53; 95% confidence interval: 1.53-8.14; =0.003) or developed at relapse only (hazard ratio, 3.06; 95% confidence interval: 1.09-8.59; =0.03). Our results demonstrate cytogenetic evolution towards high-risk disease after autologous transplantation and underline the importance of repeated genetic testing in relapsed myeloma (EudraCT number of the HD4 trial: 2004-000944-26).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2017.168005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5541876PMC
August 2017

Lichtheimia Infection in a Lymphoma Patient: Case Report and a Brief Review of the Available Diagnostic Tools.

Mycopathologia 2016 Aug 26;181(7-8):561-6. Epub 2016 Apr 26.

Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090, Vienna, Austria.

We describe the case of a patient with a T-lymphoblastic lymphoma whose disseminated mucormycosis was diagnosed with delay, and we address the diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making process and review the diagnostic workup of patients with potential IFD. The diagnosis was delayed despite a suggestive radiological presentation of the patient's pulmonary lesion. The uncommon risk profile (T-lymphoblastic lymphoma, short neutropenic phases) wrongly led to a low level of suspicion. The diagnosis was also hampered by the lack of indirect markers for infections caused by Mucorales, the low sensitivity of both fungal culture and panfungal PCR, and the limited availability of species-specific PCR. A high level of suspicion of IFD is needed, and aggressive diagnostic procedures should be promptly initiated even in apparently low-risk patients with uncommon presentations. The extent of the analytical workup should be decided on a case-by-case base. Diagnostic tests such as the galactomannan and β-D-glucan test and/or PCR on biological material followed by sequencing should be chosen according to their availability and after evaluation of their specificity and sensitivity. In high-risk patients, preemptive therapy with a broad-spectrum mould-active antifungal agent should be started before definitive diagnostic findings become available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11046-016-0010-yDOI Listing
August 2016

Subcutaneous versus intravenous bortezomib in two different induction therapies for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: an interim analysis from the prospective GMMG-MM5 trial.

Haematologica 2015 Jul 3;100(7):964-9. Epub 2015 Apr 3.

University Hospital, Heidelberg; Germany National Center for Tumor Diseases, Heidelberg; Germany

We investigated the impact of subcutaneous versus intravenous bortezomib in the MM5 trial of the German-Speaking Myeloma Multicenter Group which compared bortezomib, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone with bortezomib, cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone induction therapy in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Based on data from relapsed myeloma, the route of administration for bortezomib was changed from intravenous to subcutaneous after 314 of 604 patients had been enrolled. We analyzed 598 patients who received at least one dose of trial medication. Adverse events were reported more frequently in patients treated with intravenous bortezomib (intravenous=65%; subcutaneous=56%, P=0.02). Rates of grade 2 or more peripheral neuropathy were higher in patients treated with intravenous bortezomib during the third cycle (intravenous=8%; subcutaneous=2%, P=0.001). Overall response rates were similar in patients treated intravenously or subcutaneously. The presence of International Staging System stage III disease, renal impairment or adverse cytogenetic abnormalities did not have a negative impact on overall response rates in either group. To our knowledge this is the largest study to present data comparing subcutaneous with intravenous bortezomib in newly diagnosed myeloma. We show better tolerance and similar overall response rates for subcutaneous compared to intravenous bortezomib. The clinical trial is registered at eudract.ema.europa.eu as n. 2010-019173-16.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2015.124347DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486231PMC
July 2015

Association between low uric acid levels and acute graft-versus-host disease.

Ann Hematol 2015 Jan 31;94(1):139-44. Epub 2014 Aug 31.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Tumor Immunology, Charité University Medicine, Campus Virchow Klinikum, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353, Berlin, Germany.

Endogenous danger signals are increasingly recognized in the pathogenesis of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Uric acid (UA) is a known danger signal and is released from injured cells during conditioning for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), but its role in GVHD is unclear. Here, we retrospectively analyze 228 consecutive patients with malignant diseases undergoing HSCT from 10/10-HLA-matched donors. Low UA levels at the time of HSCT (day 0) were significantly associated with acute GVHD grades II-IV in univariate (HR 0.836, p = 0.0072) and multivariate analyses (HR 0.815, p = 0.0047). There was no significant association between UA levels and overall survival, non-relapse mortality, and relapse. This is the first report demonstrating a negative association between UA levels and acute GVHD. Due to the easy assessment and established pharmaceutical modification of UA, our findings are potentially clinically relevant. Confirmation in independent cohorts and further investigations into underlying mechanisms, such as reduced antioxidative capacity in hypouricemia, are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-014-2180-3DOI Listing
January 2015

CMV serostatus still has an important prognostic impact in de novo acute leukemia patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: a report from the Acute Leukemia Working Party of EBMT.

Blood 2013 Nov 13;122(19):3359-64. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

HELIOS Clinic Berlin Buch, Clinic for Hematology, Oncology and Tumorimmunology, Berlin, Germany;

We analyzed the prognostic impact of donor and recipient cytomegalovirus (CMV) serostatus in 16,628 de novo acute leukemia patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). Compared with CMV-seronegative recipients who underwent allograft from a CMV-seronegative donor, cases of CMV seropositivity of the donor and/or the recipient showed a significantly decreased 2-year leukemia-free survival (44% vs 49%, P < .001) and overall survival (50% vs 56%, P < .001), and increased nonrelapse mortality (23% vs 20%, P < .001). Both groups showed a comparable relapse incidence and 2-year probability of graft-versus-host disease. The negative prognostic effects of CMV seropositivity of the donor and/or the recipient (vs CMV seronegativity of both) were significantly stronger for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) than for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), resulting in a markedly reduced 2-year overall survival (46% vs 55% for ALL compared with 52% vs 56% for AML). The important prognostic impact of donor/recipient CMV serostatus remained in a multivariate Cox regression analysis including the other prognostic variables. We conclude that donor and/or recipient CMV seropositivity is still associated with an adverse prognosis in de novo acute leukemia patients after allo-SCT despite the implementation of sophisticated strategies for prophylaxis, monitoring, and (preemptive) treatment of CMV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2013-05-499830DOI Listing
November 2013

Molecular cytogenetic monitoring from CD34+ peripheral blood cells in myelodysplastic syndromes: first results from a prospective multicenter German diagnostic study.

Leuk Res 2013 Aug 25;37(8):900-6. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University of Goettingen, Germany.

The gold standard of cytogenetic analysis in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is conventional chromosome banding (CCB) analysis of bone marrow (BM) metaphases. Most aberrations can also be detected by fluorescence-in situ-hybridization (FISH). For this prospective multicenter German diagnostic study (www.clinicaltrials.gov: #NCT01355913) 360 patients, as yet, were followed up to 3 years by sequential FISH analyses of immunomagnetically enriched CD34+ peripheral blood (PB) cells using comprehensive FISH probe panels, resulting in a total number of 19,516 FISH analyses. We demonstrate that CD34+ PB FISH correlates significantly with CCB analysis and represents a feasible method for a reliable non-invasive cytogenetic monitoring from PB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2013.03.019DOI Listing
August 2013

A prospective, international phase 2 study of bortezomib retreatment in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma.

Br J Haematol 2013 Mar 7;160(5):649-59. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

Department of Cellular Biotechnology and Haematology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Multiple myeloma (MM) typically follows a relapsing course with many patients requiring multiple therapies. This single-arm phase 2 study prospectively evaluated the efficacy and safety of bortezomib retreatment in MM patients who had relapsed after achieving at least a partial response (≥ PR) to prior bortezomib-based therapy. Patients aged ≥ 18 years, with measurable, secretory MM, who relapsed ≥ 6 months after prior bortezomib treatment were eligible. Patients received up to eight cycles of bortezomib (± dexamethasone). The primary endpoint was best confirmed response at retreatment; secondary endpoints included duration of response (DOR), time to progression (TTP), and safety. Adverse events (AEs) were graded by National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0. A total of 130 patients (median of two prior lines of therapy) were enrolled and received retreatment. At retreatment, 28% and 72% of patients received bortezomib and bortezomib-dexamethasone, respectively. Overall response rate was 40%. In patients who achieved ≥ PR, median DOR and TTP were 6.5 and 8.4 months, respectively. Thrombocytopenia was the most common grade ≥ 3 AE (35%). Forty percent of patients experienced neuropathy events, which improved and resolved in a median of 1.5 and 8.9 months, respectively. In conclusion, bortezomib retreatment was effective and tolerable in relapsed MM patients, with no evidence of cumulative toxicities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.12198DOI Listing
March 2013

Bortezomib induction and maintenance treatment in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: results of the randomized phase III HOVON-65/ GMMG-HD4 trial.

J Clin Oncol 2012 Aug 16;30(24):2946-55. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Purpose: We investigated whether bortezomib during induction and maintenance improves survival in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM).

Patients And Methods: In all, 827 eligible patients with newly diagnosed symptomatic MM were randomly assigned to receive induction therapy with vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone (VAD) or bortezomib, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone (PAD) followed by high-dose melphalan and autologous stem-cell transplantation. Maintenance consisted of thalidomide 50 mg (VAD) once per day or bortezomib 1.3 mg/m(2) (PAD) once every 2 weeks for 2 years. The primary analysis was progression-free survival (PFS) adjusted for International Staging System (ISS) stage.

Results: Complete response (CR), including near CR, was superior after PAD induction (15% v 31%; P < .001) and bortezomib maintenance (34% v 49%; P < .001). After a median follow-up of 41 months, PFS was superior in the PAD arm (median of 28 months v 35 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.75; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.90; P = .002). In multivariate analysis, overall survival (OS) was better in the PAD arm (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.60 to 1.00; P = .049). In high-risk patients presenting with increased creatinine more than 2 mg/dL, bortezomib significantly improved PFS from a median of 13 months to 30 months (HR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.78; P = .004) and OS from a median of 21 months to 54 months (HR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.16 to 0.65; P < .001). A benefit was also observed in patients with deletion 17p13 (median PFS, 12 v 22 months; HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.86; P = .01; median OS, 24 months v not reached at 54 months; HR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.18 to 0.74; P = .003).

Conclusion: Bortezomib during induction and maintenance improves CR and achieves superior PFS and OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2011.39.6820DOI Listing
August 2012

Administration of bortezomib before and after autologous stem cell transplantation improves outcome in multiple myeloma patients with deletion 17p.

Blood 2012 Jan 8;119(4):940-8. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Department of Internal Medicine V, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 410, Heidelberg, Germany.

In patients with multiple myeloma (MM), risk stratification by chromosomal abnormalities may enable a more rational selection of therapeutic approaches. In the present study, we analyzed the prognostic value of 12 chromosomal abnormalities in a series of 354 MM patients treated within the HOVON-65/GMMG-HD4 trial. Because of the 2-arm design of the study, we were able to analyze the effect of a bortezomib-based treatment before and after autologous stem cell transplantation (arm B) compared with standard treatment without bortezomib (arm A). For allanalyzed chromosomal aberrations, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were at least equal or superior in the bortezomib arm compared with the standard arm. Strikingly, patients with del(17p13) benefited the most from the bortezomib-containing treatment: the median PFS in arm A was 12.0 months and in arm B it was 26.2 months (P = .024); the 3 year-OS for arm A was 17% and for arm B it was 69% (P = .028). After multivariate analysis, del(17p13) was an independent predictor for PFS (P < .0001) and OS (P < .0001) in arm A, whereas no statistically significant effect on PFS (P = .28) or OS (P = .12) was seen in arm B. In conclusion, the adverse impact of del(17p13) on PFS and OS could be significantly reduced by bortezomib-based treatment, suggesting that long-term administration of bortezomib should be recommended for patients carrying del(17p13).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2011-09-379164DOI Listing
January 2012

Reduced-toxicity conditioning with treosulfan and fludarabine in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for myelodysplastic syndromes: final results of an international prospective phase II trial.

Haematologica 2011 Sep 9;96(9):1344-50. Epub 2011 Jun 9.

Department of Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: An alternative reduced-toxicity conditioning regimen for allogeneic transplantation, based on treosulfan and fludarabine, has recently been identified. The rationale for this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of this regimen prospectively in patients with a primary myelodysplastic syndrome.

Design And Methods: A total of 45 patients with primary myelodysplastic syndromes were conditioned with 3×14 g/m(2) treosulfan and 5×30 mg/m(2) fludarabine followed by allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Subtypes of myelodysplastic syndromes were refractory anemia with excess blasts-2 (44%), refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia (27%), refractory anemia (9%), refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts (4%), refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia and ringed sideroblasts (4%), refractory anemia with excess blasts-1 (2%), and myelodysplastic syndrome with isolated del (5q) (2%). The myelodysplastic syndrome was unclassified in 7% of the patients. Forty-seven percent of the patients had a favorable karyotype, 29% an unfavorable one, and 18% an intermediate karyotype. Patients were evaluated for engraftment, adverse events, graft-versus-host disease, non-relapse mortality, relapse incidence, overall survival and disease-free survival.

Results: All but one patient showed primary engraftment of neutrophils after a median of 17 days. Non-hematologic adverse events of grade III-IV in severity included mainly infections and gastrointestinal symptoms (80% and 22% of the patients, respectively). Acute graft-versus-host disease grade II-IV developed in 24%, and extensive chronic graft-versus-host disease in 28% of the patients. After a median follow-up of 780 days, the 2-year overall and disease-free survival estimates were 71% and 67%, respectively. The 2-year cumulative incidences of non-relapse mortality and relapse were 17% and 16%, respectively.

Conclusions: Our safety and efficacy data suggest that treosulfan-based conditioning therapy is a promising treatment option for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01062490.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2011.043810DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166105PMC
September 2011

Intrathecal application of donor lymphocytes in leukemic meningeosis after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Ann Hematol 2011 Aug 12;90(8):911-6. Epub 2011 Feb 12.

Campus Benjamin Franklin, Department of Hematology and Oncology, Charité, University Hospital Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Extramedullary relapses after allogeneic stem cell transplantation, especially within the central nervous system (CNS), are not only difficult to treat but also associated with poor outcome. Although the graft-versus-leukemia (GvL) effect is nowadays accepted and well documented, it remains controversial whether one can make use of GvL effects in immunological-restricted areas ("sanctuary sites") like the central nervous system. Here, we present data of three hematological patients suffering from isolated CNS relapse of CML or AML after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Patients received in addition to chemotherapy intrathecal infusions of donor lymphocytes by CD14 depletion of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from the correspondent allogeneic donor. Referring to an observation period of maximum 17 months no immediate or delayed side effects could be detected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-011-1171-xDOI Listing
August 2011

In vitro cytotoxicity of the novel antimyeloma agents perifosine, bortezomib and lenalidomide against different cell lines.

Invest New Drugs 2012 Apr 16;30(2):480-9. Epub 2010 Nov 16.

Medizinische Klinik III, Hämatologie, Onkologie und Transfusionsmedizin, Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12200 Berlin, Germany.

The novel AKT inhibitor perifosine, a synthetic alkylphospholipid, is currently being investigated in clinical trials for the treatment of different hematological and oncological malignancies. The in vitro cytotoxicity of perifosine, bortezomib and lenalidomide against 6 cell lines derived from hematological malignancies was investigated using trypan blue staining, flow cytometry-based detection of activated caspases, Annexin V assays, immunohistochemistry studies (KI-67 and caspase-3 staining) and the immature-myeloid-information (IMI) technique. Perifosine and bortezomib induced concentration- and time-dependent cytotoxicity in all cell lines tested. Perifosine together with bortezomib largely exerted additive or synergistic effects with combination indices ranging from 1.13 to 0.22 for combined efficacies of 25% to 75% after 24-hour incubation. Lenalidomide-triggered cytotoxicity was low in all cell lines tested with any assay (less than 10% compared to the negative control). Finally, perifosine, but not bortezomib or lenalidomide, significantly increased the number of cells detected in the IMI channel. Perifosine and bortezomib- but not lenalidomide- trigger substantial cytotoxicity by caspase activation and mainly act additively or synergistically. The IMI technique might be a useful tool for studying cytotoxicity of agents like perifosine that interact mainly with the cellular membrane.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-010-9576-2DOI Listing
April 2012

Viral encephalitis after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: a rare complication with distinct characteristics of different causative agents.

Haematologica 2011 Jan 17;96(1):142-9. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Medizinische Klinik III (Hämatologie, Onkologie and Transfusionsmedizin), Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Limited data are available on characteristics of viral encephalitis in patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Design And Methods: We analyzed 2,628 patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation to identify risk factors and characteristics of viral encephalitis.

Results: Viral encephalitis occurred in 32 patients (1.2%, 95% confidence interval 0.8%-1.6%) and was associated with the use of OKT-3 or alemtuzumab for T-cell depletion (P < 0.001) and an increased mortality (P = 0.011) in comparison to patients without viral encephalitis. Detected viruses included human herpesvirus-6 (28%), Epstein-Barr virus (19%), herpes simplex virus (13%), JC virus (9%), varicella zoster virus (6%), cytomegalovirus (6%) and adenovirus (3%). More than one virus was identified in 16% of the patients. The median onset time was 106 days after allogeneic stem cell transplantation for the total group of 32 patients, but onset times were shortest in those with human herpesvirus-6 encephalitis and longest in those with JC virus-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. The probability of a sustained response to treatment was 63% (95% confidence interval 44%-82%) with a median survival of 94 (95% confidence interval 36-152) days after onset, but significant variation was found when considering different causative viruses. Patients with herpes simplex virus encephalitis had the most favorable outcome with no encephalitis-related deaths.

Conclusions: The use of OKT-3 or alemtuzumab for in vivo T-cell depletion is associated with an increased risk of viral encephalitis after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Different viruses are frequently associated with distinct characteristics such as onset time, response to treatment and outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2010.029876DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3012778PMC
January 2011