Publications by authors named "Juliana Schwaab"

42 Publications

Comprehensive characterization of central BCL-2 family members in aberrant eosinophils and their impact on therapeutic strategies.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2021 Oct 15. Epub 2021 Oct 15.

Clinic and Policlinic for Internal Medicine III, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

Purpose: Hypereosinophilia represents a heterogenous group of severe medical conditions characterized by elevated numbers of eosinophil granulocytes in peripheral blood, bone marrow or tissue. Treatment options for hypereosinophilia remain limited despite recent approaches including IL-5-targeted monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Methods: To understand aberrant survival patterns and options for pharmacologic intervention, we characterized BCL-2-regulated apoptosis signaling by testing for BCL-2 family expression levels as well as pharmacologic inhibition using primary patient samples from diverse subtypes of hypereosinophilia (hypereosinophilic syndrome n = 18, chronic eosinophilic leukemia not otherwise specified n = 9, lymphocyte-variant hypereosinophilia n = 2, myeloproliferative neoplasm with eosinophilia n = 2, eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis n = 11, reactive eosinophilia n = 3).

Results: Contrary to published literature, we found no difference in the levels of the lncRNA Morrbid and its target BIM. Yet, we identified a near complete loss of expression of pro-apoptotic PUMA as well as a reduction in anti-apoptotic BCL-2. Accordingly, BCL-2 inhibition using venetoclax failed to achieve cell death induction in eosinophil granulocytes and bone marrow mononuclear cells from patients with hypereosinophilia. In contrast, MCL1 inhibition using S63845 specifically decreased the viability of bone marrow progenitor cells in patients with hypereosinophilia. In patients diagnosed with Chronic Eosinophilic Leukemia (CEL-NOS) or Myeloid and Lymphatic Neoplasia with hypereosinophilia (MLN-Eo) repression of survival was specifically powerful.

Conclusion: Our study shows that MCL1 inhibition might be a promising therapeutic option for hypereosinophilia patients specifically for CEL-NOS and MLN-Eo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-021-03827-9DOI Listing
October 2021

Low risk of contrast media induced hypersensitivity reactions in all subtypes of systemic mastocytosis.

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2021 Oct 9. Epub 2021 Oct 9.

Clinic of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Patients with SM are at increased risk of hypersensitivity reactions. Although hymenoptera venoms are the predominant triggers, cases of CMIHR have also been reported and prophylactic premedication is often performed. However, data from larger series are limited and differences between indolent and advanced systemic mastocytosis have not yet been investigated.

Objective: To determine the incidence and severity of CMIHR in all subtypes of SM.

Methods: We analyzed 162 adult patients with SM (ISM, n=65; advSM, n=97). Firstly, the cumulative incidence of CMIHR was retrospectively assessed in the patient's history. Secondly, at our institution, patients underwent 332 CM-enhanced imagings including 80 CT scans with iodine-based contrast agent and 252 MRI with gadoliniumbased contrast agent and tolerance was assessed.

Results: Previous CMIHRs to CT (vomiting, n=1, erythema, n=1, cardiovascular shock, n=1) and MRI (dyspnea, n=1, cardiovascular shock, n=1) had been reported by 4/162 (2.5%) patients (ISM, n=3; advSM, n=1). In contrast, during or after 332 CM-enhanced CT/MRI examinations at our institution, no CMIHRs were reported. Premedication was solely given to 3 patients prior to CT scans, including one with previous CMIHR, who tolerated the imaging well.

Conclusion: We conclude that i) there is a significant discrepancy between perception and prevalence of hypersensitivity reactions to CM in SM, ii) reactions are scarce in ISM and even rarer in advSM, iii) in SM patients without previous history of CM hypersensitivity, prophylactic premedication prior to CM enhanced-CT/MRI is dispensable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anai.2021.10.004DOI Listing
October 2021

Selecting the Right Criteria and Proper Classification to Diagnose Mast Cell Activation Syndromes: A Critical Review.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2021 Jun 22. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va.

In recent years, knowledge about mechanisms underlying mast cell activation (MCA) and accumulation in various pathologic conditions increased substantially. In addition, criteria and a classification of MCA syndromes (MCASs) have been set forth. MCAS is defined by typical clinical symptoms, a substantial increase in serum tryptase level during an attack over the patient's baseline tryptase, and a response of the symptoms to drugs targeting mast cells, mediator production, and/or mediator effects. Alternative diagnostic criteria of MCAS have also been suggested, but these alternative criteria often lack specificity and validation. In this report, we critically review the contemporary literature relating to MCAS and compare the specificity, sensitivity, and strength of MCAS-related parameters within proposals to diagnose and classify MCAS and its variants. Furthermore, we highlight the need to apply specific consensus criteria in the evaluation and classification of MCAS in individual patients. This is an urgent and important medical necessity because as an increasing number of patients are being given a misdiagnosis of MCAS based on nonspecific criteria, which contributes to confusion and frustration by patients and caregivers and sometimes may delay recognition and treatment of correct medical conditions that often turn out to be unrelated to MCA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2021.06.011DOI Listing
June 2021

Clinical and histopathological features of myeloid neoplasms with concurrent Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) V617F and KIT proto-oncogene, receptor tyrosine kinase (KIT) D816V mutations.

Br J Haematol 2021 Jul 1;194(2):344-354. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Haematology and Oncology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

We report on 45 patients with myeloid neoplasms and concurrent Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) V617F and KIT proto-oncogene, receptor tyrosine kinase (KIT) D816V (JAK2 /KIT ) mutations, which are individually identified in >60% of patients with classical myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) and >90% of patients with systemic mastocytosis (SM) respectively. In SM, the concurrent presence of a clonal non-mast cell neoplasm [SM with associated haematological neoplasm (SM-AHN)] usually constitutes a distinct subtype associated with poor survival. All 45 patients presented with a heterogeneous combination of clinical/morphological features typical of the individual disorders (e.g. leuco-/erythro-/thrombocytosis and elevated lactate dehydrogenase for MPN; elevated serum tryptase and alkaline phosphatase for SM). Overlapping features identified in 70% of patients included splenomegaly, cytopenia(s), bone marrow fibrosis and additional somatic mutations. Molecular dissection revealed discordant development of variant allele frequency for both mutations and absence of concurrently positive single-cell derived colonies, indicating disease evolution in two independent clones rather than monoclonal disease in >60% of patients examined. Overall survival of JAK2 /KIT patients without additional somatic high-risk mutations [HRM, e.g. in serine and arginine-rich splicing factor 2 (SRSF2), additional sex combs like-1 (ASXL1) or Runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1)] at 5 years was 77%, indicating that the mutual impact of JAK2 V617F and KIT D816V on prognosis is fundamentally different from the adverse impact of additional HRM in the individual disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17567DOI Listing
July 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination in Mastocytosis: Recommendations of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM) and American Initiative in Mast Cell Diseases (AIM).

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2021 06 5;9(6):2139-2144. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Hematological Biology, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris Sorbonne University, Paris, France.

Mastocytosis is a neoplasm characterized by an accumulation of mast cells in various organs and increased risk for severe anaphylaxis in patients with concomitant allergies. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic that is associated with a relatively high rate of severe lung disease and mortality. The mortality is particularly high in those with certain comorbidities and increases with age. Recently, several companies have developed an effective vaccination against COVID-19. Although the reported frequency of severe side effects is low, there is an emerging discussion about the safety of COVID-19 vaccination in patients with severe allergies and mastocytosis. However, even in these patients, severe adverse reactions are rare. We therefore recommend the broad use of COVID-19 vaccination in patients with mastocytosis on a global basis. The only well-established exception is a known or suspected allergy against a constituent of the vaccine. Safety measures, including premedication and postvaccination observation, should be considered in all patients with mastocytosis, depending on the individual personal risk and overall situation in each case. The current article provides a summary of published data, observations, and expert opinion that form the basis of these recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2021.03.041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8019658PMC
June 2021

Adverse Prognostic Impact of the D816V Transcriptional Activity in Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Mar 4;22(5). Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.

In systemic mastocytosis (SM), qualitative and serial quantitative assessment of the D816V mutation is of diagnostic and prognostic relevance. We investigated peripheral blood and bone marrow samples of 161 patients (indolent SM (ISM), = 40; advanced SM, AdvSM, = 121) at referral and during follow-up for the D816V variant allele frequency (VAF) at the DNA-level and the D816V expressed allele burden (EAB) at the RNA-level. A round robin test with four participating laboratories revealed an excellent correlation ( > 0.99, > 0.98) between three different DNA-assays. VAF and EAB strongly correlated in ISM ( 0.91, coefficient of determination, 0.84) but only to a lesser extent in AdvSM ( 0.71; = 0.5). However, as compared to an EAB/VAF ratio ≤2 (cohort A, 77/121 patients, 64%) receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis identified an EAB/VAF ratio of >2 (cohort B, 44/121 patients, 36%) as predictive for an advanced phenotype and a significantly inferior median survival (3.3 vs. 11.7 years; = 0.005). In terms of overall survival, Cox-regression analysis was only significant for the EAB/VAF ratio >2 ( = 0.006) but not for VAF or EAB individually. This study demonstrates for the first time that the transcriptional activity of D816V may play an important role in the pathophysiology of SM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052562DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7961551PMC
March 2021

Proposed global prognostic score for systemic mastocytosis: a retrospective prognostic modelling study.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Mar 25;8(3):e194-e204. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Institut Català d'Oncologia, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain; Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Background: Several risk stratification models have been proposed in recent years for systemic mastocytosis but have not been directly compared. Here we designed and validated a risk stratification model for progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in systemic mastocytosis on the basis of all currently available prognostic factors, and compared its predictive capacity for patient outcome with that of other risk scores.

Methods: We did a retrospective prognostic modelling study based on patients diagnosed with systemic mastocytosis between March 1, 1983, and Oct 11, 2019. In a discovery cohort of 422 patients from centres of the Spanish Network on Mastocytosis (REMA), we evaluated previously identified, independent prognostic features for prognostic effect on PFS and OS by multivariable analysis, and designed a global prognostic score for mastocytosis (GPSM) aimed at predicting PFS (GPSM-PFS) and OS (GPSM-OS) by including only those variables that showed independent prognostic value (p<0·05). The GPSM scores were validated in an independent cohort of 853 patients from centres in Europe and the USA, and compared with pre-existing risk models in the total patient series (n=1275), with use of Harrells' concordance index (C-index) as a readout of the ability of each model to risk-stratify patients according to survival outcomes.

Findings: Our GPSM-PFS and GPSM-OS models were based on unique combinations of independent prognostic factors for PFS (platelet count ≤100 × 10 cells per L, serum β2-microglobulin ≥2·5 μg/mL, and serum baseline tryptase ≥125 μg/L) and OS (haemoglobin ≤110 g/L, serum alkaline phosphatase ≥140 IU/L, and at least one mutation in SRSF2, ASXL1, RUNX1, or DNMT3A). The models showed clear discrimination between low-risk and high-risk patients in terms of worse PFS and OS prognoses in the discovery and validation cohorts, and further discrimination of intermediate-risk patients. The GPSM-PFS score was an accurate predictor of PFS in systemic mastocytosis (C-index 0·90 [95% CI 0·87-0·93], vs values ranging from 0·85 to 0·88 for pre-existing models), particularly in non-advanced systemic mastocytosis (C-index 0·85 [0·76-0·92], within the range for pre-existing models of 0·80 to 0·93). Additionally, the GPSM-OS score was able to accurately predict OS in the entire cohort (C-index 0·92 [0·89-0·94], vs 0·67 to 0·90 for pre-existing models), and showed some capacity to predict OS in advanced systemic mastocytosis (C-index 0·72 [0·66-0·78], vs 0·64 to 0·73 for pre-existing models).

Interpretation: All evaluated risk classifications predicted survival outcomes in systemic mastocytosis. The REMA-PFS and GPSM-PFS models for PFS, and the International Prognostic Scoring System for advanced systemic mastocytosis and GPSM-OS model for OS emerged as the most accurate models, indicating that robust prognostication might be prospectively achieved on the basis of biomarkers that are accessible in diagnostic laboratories worldwide.

Funding: Carlos III Health Institute, European Regional Development Fund, Spanish Association of Mastocytosis and Related Diseases, Rare Diseases Strategy of the Spanish National Health System, Junta of Castile and León, Charles and Ann Johnson Foundation, Stanford Cancer Institute Innovation Fund, Austrian Science Fund.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30400-2DOI Listing
March 2021

Clinical Impact of Inherited and Acquired Genetic Variants in Mastocytosis.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Jan 2;22(1). Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Hematology and Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Mastocytosis is a rare and complex disease characterized by expansion of clonal mast cells (MC) in skin and/or various internal organ systems. Involvement of internal organs leads to the diagnosis of systemic mastocytosis (SM). The WHO classification divides SM into indolent SM, smoldering SM and advanced SM variants, including SM with an associated hematologic neoplasm, aggressive SM, and MC leukemia. Historically, genetic analysis of individuals with pure cutaneous mastocytosis (CM) and SM have focused primarily on cohort studies of inherited single nucleotide variants and acquired pathogenic variants. The most prevalent pathogenic variant (mutation) in patients with SM is p.D816V, which is detectable in most adult patients. Other somatic mutations have also been identified-especially in advanced SM-in , , , , and , and shown to impact clinical and cellular phenotypes. Although only small patient cohorts have been analyzed, disease associations have also been identified in several germline variants within genes encoding certain cytokines or their receptors (, , , , ) and toll-like receptors. More recently, an increased prevalence of hereditary alpha-tryptasemia (HαT) caused by increased copy number encoding alpha-tryptase has been described in patients with SM. Whereas HαT is found in 3-6% of general Western populations, it is identified in up to 17% of patients with SM. In the current manuscript we review the prevalence, functional role and clinical impact of various germline and somatic genetic variants in patients with mastocytosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010411DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7795405PMC
January 2021

Cytogenetic and molecular aberrations and worse outcome for male patients in systemic mastocytosis.

Theranostics 2021 1;11(1):292-303. Epub 2021 Jan 1.

Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Allergy Centrr, Kepler University Hospital, Linz, Austria.

In systemic mastocytosis (SM), the clinical features and survival vary greatly. Patient-related factors determining the outcome in SM are largely unknown. We examined the impact of sex on the clinical features, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) in 3403 patients with mastocytosis collected in the registry of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM). The impact of cytogenetic and molecular genetic aberrations on sex differences was analyzed in a subset of patients. Of all patients enrolled, 55.3% were females. However, a male predominance was found in a subset of advanced SM (AdvSM) patients, namely SM with an associated hematologic neoplasm (SM-AHN, 70%; 0.001). Correspondingly, organomegaly (male: 23% female: 13%, 0.007) was more, whereas skin involvement (male: 71% female: 86%, 0.001) was less frequent in males. In all patients together, OS ( 0.0001) was significantly inferior in males, and also within the WHO sub-categories indolent SM, aggressive SM (ASM) and SM-AHN. PFS was significantly ( 0.0002) worse in males when all patients were grouped together; due to low numbers of events, this significance persisted only in the subcategory smoldering SM. Finally, prognostically relevant cytogenetic abnormalities (10% 5%, 0.006) or molecular aberrations (// profile; 63% 40%, 0.003) were more frequently present in males. Male sex has a major impact on clinical features, disease progression, and survival in mastocytosis. Male patients have an inferior survival, which seems related to the fact that they more frequently develop a multi-mutated AdvSM associated with a high-risk molecular background.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.51872DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7681091PMC
August 2021

Risk and management of patients with mastocytosis and MCAS in the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic: Expert opinions.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2020 08 17;146(2):300-306. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Division of Allergy, Department of Dermatology, and Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) pandemic has massively distorted our health care systems and caused catastrophic consequences in our affected communities. The number of victims continues to increase, and patients at risk can only be protected to a degree, because the virulent state may be asymptomatic. Risk factors concerning COVID-19-induced morbidity and mortality include advanced age, an impaired immune system, cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and cancer treated with chemotherapy. Here, we discuss the risk and impact of COVID-19 in patients with mastocytosis and mast cell activation syndromes. Because no published data are yet available, expert opinions are, by necessity, based on case experience and reports from patients. Although the overall risk to acquire the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 may not be elevated in mast cell disease, certain conditions may increase the risk of infected patients to develop severe COVID-19. These factors include certain comorbidities, mast cell activation-related events affecting the cardiovascular or bronchopulmonary system, and chemotherapy or immunosuppressive drugs. Therefore, such treatments should be carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis during a COVID-19 infection. In contrast, other therapies, such as anti-mediator-type drugs, venom immunotherapy, or vitamin D, should be continued. Overall, patients with mast cell disorders should follow the general and local guidelines in the COVID-19 pandemic and advice from their medical provider.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2020.06.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7297685PMC
August 2020

Importance of Adequate Diagnostic Workup for Correct Diagnosis of Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2020 10 15;8(9):3121-3127.e1. Epub 2020 May 15.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Little is known about the epidemiology of advanced systemic mastocytosis (advSM).

Objectives: To investigate epidemiologic features and diagnostic pitfalls of advSM in Germany.

Methods: Therefore, 140 patients from a single German reference center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis between 2003 and 2018 were analyzed.

Results: The patients' median age was 68 years (range, 26-86 years), and male versus female ratio was 2:1. An elevated serum tryptase, a KIT D816 mutation, and additional somatic mutations, for example, in SRSF2, ASXL1, or RUNX1, were identified in 95%, 91%, and 74% of patients, respectively. Median overall survival was 3.5 years (range, 0.03-14.3 years; male vs female 2.6 vs 4.2 years; P = .02). Two categories of misdiagnoses were identified in 51 of 140 (36%) patients: First, systemic mastocytosis (SM) was overlooked in 28 of 140 (20%) patients primarily diagnosed with various subtypes of myeloid neoplasms. Second, 23 of 140 (16%) patients were diagnosed with supposed progression from indolent SM to advSM; however, combination of an elevated KIT D816V variant allele frequency in peripheral blood (n = 22), monocytosis (n = 9), eosinophilia (n = 6), and/or mutations in SRSF2, ASXL1, or RUNX1 (n = 10) suggest that distinct signs of potential advSM were overlooked in virtually all patients. Based on locally diagnosed patients in an area of 2.5 million inhabitants, but obviously without considering more, yet unrecognized cases, the incidence and prevalence of advSM is at least 0.8 and 5.2, respectively, per 1 million inhabitants.

Conclusions: Adequate analyses of tryptase levels, bone marrow morphology, and genetics in patients with myeloid neoplasms or SM would help to prevent the significant underdiagnosis of advSM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2020.05.005DOI Listing
October 2020

Response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in myeloid neoplasms associated with PCM1-JAK2, BCR-JAK2 and ETV6-ABL1 fusion genes.

Am J Hematol 2020 07 28;95(7):824-833. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

We report on 18 patients with myeloid neoplasms and associated tyrosine kinase (TK) fusion genes on treatment with the TK inhibitors (TKI) ruxolitinib (PCM1-JAK2, n = 8; BCR-JAK2, n = 1) and imatinib, nilotinib or dasatinib (ETV6-ABL1, n = 9). On ruxolitinib (median 24 months, range 2-36 months), a complete hematologic response (CHR) and complete cytogenetic response (CCR) was achieved by five of nine and two of nine patients, respectively. However, ruxolitinib was stopped in eight of nine patients because of primary resistance (n = 3), progression (n = 3) or planned allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo SCT, n = 2). At a median of 36 months (range 4-78 months) from diagnosis, five of nine patients are alive: four of six patients after allo SCT and one patient who remains on ruxolitinib. In ETV6-ABL1 positive patients, a durable CHR was achieved by four of nine patients (imatinib with one of five, nilotinib with two of three, dasatinib with one of one). Because of inadequate efficacy (lack of hematological and/or cytogenetic/molecular response), six of nine patients (imatinib, n = 5; nilotinib, n = 1) were switched to nilotinib or dasatinib. At a median of 23 months (range 3-60 months) from diagnosis, five of nine patients are in CCR or complete molecular response (nilotinib, n = 2; dasatinib, n = 2; allo SCT, n = 1) while two of nine patients have died. We conclude that (a) responses on ruxolitinib may only be transient in the majority of JAK2 fusion gene positive patients with allo SCT being an important early treatment option, and (b) nilotinib or dasatinib may be more effective than imatinib to induce durable complete remissions in ETV6-ABL1 positive patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25825DOI Listing
July 2020

Treatment-free remission in FIP1L1-PDGFRA-positive myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia after imatinib discontinuation.

Blood Adv 2020 Feb;4(3):440-443

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

FIP1L1-PDGFRA-positive myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia (MLN-eo) are exquisitely sensitive to imatinib. Almost all patients achieve a complete molecular remission (CMR) by nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, which can be maintained with low-dose imatinib (eg, 3 × 100 mg/wk). Because imatinib can be safely stopped in a substantial proportion of patients with BCR-ABL1-positive CML, we sought to analyze the clinical and molecular follow-up of 12 FIP1L1-PDGFRA-positive patients with MLN-eo in chronic phase who discontinued imatinib after achievement of a CMR. Median time of treatment and median time of CMR before imatinib discontinuation (last dose at 3 × 100 mg/wk, n = 8; or 100 mg/d, n = 4) were 80 (range, 43-175) and 66 (range, 37-174) months, respectively. A molecular relapse was observed in 4 patients after 10, 22 (n = 2), and 24 months. A second CMR was achieved in 3 patients after 3, 4, and 21 months. Eight patients (62%) are in ongoing CMR (median, 17 months; range, 3-71 months). Molecular relapse-free survival was 91% at 12 months and 65% at 24 months. No significant differences (eg, dose and duration of imatinib treatment or duration of CMR before imatinib discontinuation) were identified between patients with and without molecular relapse. Our data demonstrate that imatinib can be safely stopped in FIP1L1-PDGFRA-positive MLN-eo because of a high treatment-free remission at 12 and 24 months and because most patients achieve a rapid second CMR after restart of imatinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019001111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7013256PMC
February 2020

An increased bone mineral density is an adverse prognostic factor in patients with systemic mastocytosis.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2020 Apr 24;146(4):945-951. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Purpose: Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is characterized by the expansion of clonal mast cells that infiltrate various organ systems. The extent of organ infiltration and subsequent organ damage distinguishes between indolent SM (ISM) defined by a nearly normal life expectancy and advanced SM (AdvSM) defined by poor prognosis. In ISM, measurement of the bone mineral density (BMD) frequently reveals osteoporosis. In contrast, the clinical implication of an increased BMD and osteosclerosis remains unclear.

Methods: BMD was evaluated in 61 patients with mastocytosis (ISM, n = 29, 48%; AdvSM, n = 32, 52%). We correlated the prevalence of osteoporosis, increased BMD and osteosclerosis with clinical parameters, disease variant and prognosis.

Results: Osteoporosis was detected in 11/29 (38%) patients with ISM but only in 2/32 (6%) patients with AdvSM (p = 0.004). An increased BMD was detected in 1/29 (3%) patients with ISM and 24/32 (75%) patients with AdvSM (p < 0.001) while osteosclerosis was only detected in AdvSM patients (16/32, 50%). AdvSM patients with increased BMD had higher levels of bone marrow mast cell infiltration, higher serum tryptase and alkaline phosphatase levels compared to ISM as well as higher number of high-molecular risk mutations (p < 0.05). In addition, we found that the prognosis of AdvSM patients with increased BMD is inferior compared to those without increased BMD (median overall survival 3.6 years versus not reached, p = 0.031).

Conclusions: Osteoporosis is a common feature in ISM but not in AdvSM. An increased BMD is frequently present in AdvSM but not in ISM and is associated with more advanced disease and inferior outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-019-03119-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7085471PMC
April 2020

Prognostic impact of eosinophils in mastocytosis: analysis of 2350 patients collected in the ECNM Registry.

Leukemia 2020 04 18;34(4):1090-1101. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

Department Immunol, Genetics and Pathology (MM) and Dept Hematol (MM, HH), Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is frequently associated with eosinophilia. To examine its prevalence and clinical impact in all WHO classification-based subcategories, we analyzed eosinophil counts in 2350 mastocytosis patients using the dataset of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis. Ninety percent of patients had normal eosinophil counts, 6.8% mild eosinophilia (0.5-1.5 × 10/l), and 3.1% hypereosinophilia (HE; >1.5 × 10/l). Eosinophilia/HE were mainly present in patients with advanced SM (17%/19%), and only rarely recorded in patients with indolent and smoldering SM (5%/1%), and some patients with cutaneous mastocytosis. The eosinophil count correlated with organomegaly, dysmyelopoiesis, and the WHO classification, but not with mediator-related symptoms or allergy. Eosinophilia at diagnosis had a strong prognostic impact (p < 0.0001) on overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS), with a 10-year OS of 19% for patients with HE, 70% for those with mild eosinophilia, and 88% for patients with normal eosinophil counts. In 89% of patients with follow-up data (n = 1430, censored at start of cytoreductive therapy), eosinophils remained stable. In those with changing eosinophil counts (increase/decrease or mixed pattern), OS and PFS were inferior compared with patients with stable eosinophil counts. In conclusion, eosinophilia and HE are more prevalent in advanced SM and are predictors of a worse outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-019-0632-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7115841PMC
April 2020

Magnetic resonance imaging reveals distinct bone marrow patterns in indolent and advanced systemic mastocytosis.

Ann Hematol 2019 Dec 5;98(12):2693-2701. Epub 2019 Nov 5.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is broadly subcategorized according to mast cell (MC) burden and organ involvement into indolent (ISM), smoldering (SSM), and advanced SM (AdvSM). However, the pattern and extent of bone involvement remains controversial. In this institutional review board (IRB)-approved study, 115 patients with different forms of SM (ISM (n = 37, 32%), SSM (n = 9, 8%), and AdvSM (n = 69, 60%)) underwent a whole-body magnetic resonance imaging including sagittal and coronal T1 and turbo inversion recovery magnitude (TIRM) sequences of the spine. The evaluation included the pattern and extent of pathologic bone marrow (BM) signals in the spine and extremities, osteolytic lesions, and vertebral fractures. A pathologic BM pattern was observed in 4/37 (11%), 8/9 (89%), and 66/69 (96%); affection of the appendicular skeleton in 3/37 (8%), 8/9 (89%), and 67/69 (97%); and vertebral fractures in 7/37 (19%), 0/9, and 13/69 (19%) patients with ISM, SSM, and AdvSM, respectively. In AdvSM, pathologic BM pattern included activated (62%), diffuse sclerotic (25%), and small-spotted BM (9%), respectively. Only activated/sclerotic BM was associated with significantly higher MC burden, organ damage, and inferior median survival (2.9 years, p = 0.04). Vertebral fractures resembled classical multi-segmental osteoporotic fractures in ISM but not in AdvSM in which they were only found in activated/sclerotic BM. Only one patient with AdvSM had a focal osteolytic lesion in the femur. Activated/sclerotic BM changes of the spine and affection of the appendicular skeleton are indicative for SSM or AdvSM. Osteolytic lesions, which are very rare, and osteoporotic fractures are ineligible for the diagnosis of AdvSM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-019-03826-4DOI Listing
December 2019

MARS: Mutation-Adjusted Risk Score for Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis.

J Clin Oncol 2019 11 11;37(31):2846-2856. Epub 2019 Sep 11.

University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Purpose: To develop a risk score for patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis (AdvSM) that integrates clinical and mutation characteristics.

Patients And Methods: The study included 383 patients with AdvSM from the German Registry on Disorders of Eosinophils and Mast Cells (training set; n = 231) and several centers for mastocytosis in the United States and Europe, all within the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (validation set; n = 152). A Cox multivariable model was used to select variables that were predictive of overall survival (OS).

Results: In multivariable analysis, the following risk factors were identified as being associated with OS: age greater than 60 years, anemia (hemoglobin < 10 g/dL), thrombocytopenia (platelets < 100 × 10/L), presence of one high molecular risk gene mutation (ie, in , , and/or ), and presence of two or more high molecular risk gene mutations. By assigning hazard ratio-weighted points to these variables, the following three risk categories were defined: low risk (median OS, not reached), intermediate risk (median OS, 3.9 years; 95% CI, 2.1 to 5.7 years), and high risk (median OS, 1.9 years; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.6 years; < .001). The mutation-adjusted risk score (MARS) was independent of the WHO classification and was confirmed in the independent validation set. During a median follow-up time of 2.2 years (range, 0 to 23 years), 63 (16%) of 383 patients experienced a leukemic transformation to secondary mast cell leukemia (32%) or secondary acute myeloid leukemia (68%). The MARS was also predictive for leukemia-free survival ( < .001).

Conclusion: The MARS is a validated, five-parameter, WHO-independent prognostic score that defines three risk groups among patients with AdvSM and may improve up-front treatment stratification for these rare hematologic neoplasms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.00640DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823885PMC
November 2019

Identification of a leukemia-initiating stem cell in human mast cell leukemia.

Leukemia 2019 11 5;33(11):2673-2684. Epub 2019 Apr 5.

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Hematology and Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, 1090, Vienna, Austria.

Mast cell leukemia (MCL) is a highly fatal malignancy characterized by devastating expansion of immature mast cells in various organs. Although considered a stem cell disease, little is known about MCL-propagating neoplastic stem cells. We here describe that leukemic stem cells (LSCs) in MCL reside within a CD34/CD38 fraction of the clone. Whereas highly purified CD34/CD38 cells engrafted NSG mice with fully manifesting MCL, no MCL was produced by CD34/CD38 progenitors or the bulk of KIT/CD34 mast cells. CD34/CD38 MCL cells invariably expressed CD13 and CD133, and often also IL-1RAP, but did not express CD25, CD26 or CLL-1. CD34/CD38 MCL cells also displayed several surface targets, including CD33, which was homogenously expressed on MCL LSCs in all cases, and the D816V mutant form of KIT. Although CD34/CD38 cells were resistant against single drugs, exposure to combinations of CD33-targeting and KIT-targeting drugs resulted in LSC-depletion and markedly reduced engraftment in NSG mice. Together, MCL LSCs are CD34/CD38 cells that express distinct profiles of markers and target antigens. Characterization of MCL LSCs should facilitate their purification and should support the development of LSC-eradicating curative treatment approaches in this fatal type of leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-019-0460-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6839966PMC
November 2019

Inhibitory effects of midostaurin and avapritinib on myeloid progenitors derived from patients with KIT D816V positive advanced systemic mastocytosis.

Leukemia 2019 05 25;33(5):1195-1205. Epub 2019 Mar 25.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

Advanced systemic mastocytosis (advSM) is characterized by the presence of an acquired KIT D816V mutation in >90% of patients. In the majority of patients, KIT D816V is not only detected in mast cells but also in other hematopoietic lineages. We sought to investigate the effects of the KIT-inhibitors midostaurin and avapritinib on single-cell-derived myeloid progenitor cells using granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming-units of patients with KIT D816V positive advSM. Colonies obtained prior to treatment were incubated in vitro with midostaurin (n = 10) or avapritinib (n = 11) and showed a marked reduction (≥50%) of KIT D816V positive colonies in 3/10 (30%) and 7/11 (64%) patient samples, respectively. Three of those 7 (43%) avapritinib responders were resistant to midostaurin in both, in vitro and in vivo. Colonies from four patients with high-risk molecular profile and aggressive clinical course were resistant to both drugs. The in vitro activity of midostaurin strongly correlated with clinical and molecular responses, e.g., relative reduction of KIT D816V allele burden and the proportion of KIT D816V positive colonies obtained after six months midostaurin-treatment in vivo. We conclude that the colony inhibition assay provides useful information for prediction of responses on midostaurin and that avapritinib has a superior in vitro activity compared to midostaurin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-019-0450-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6756065PMC
May 2019

KIT D816 mutated/CBF-negative acute myeloid leukemia: a poor-risk subtype associated with systemic mastocytosis.

Leukemia 2019 05 11;33(5):1124-1134. Epub 2019 Jan 11.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

KIT D816 mutations (KIT D816) are strongly associated with systemic mastocytosis (SM) but are also detectable in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), where they represent an adverse prognostic factor in combination with core binding factor (CBF) fusion genes. Here, we evaluated the clinical and molecular features of KIT D816/CBF-negative (CBF) AML, a previously uncharacterized combination. All KIT D816/CBF cases (n = 40) had histologically proven SM with associated AML (SM-AML). Molecular analyses revealed at least one additional somatic mutation (median, n = 3) beside KIT D816 (e.g., SRSF2, 38%; ASXL1, 31%; RUNX1, 34%) in 32/32 (100%) patients. Secondary AML evolved in 29/40 (73%) patients from SM ± associated myeloid neoplasm. Longitudinal molecular and cytogenetic analyses revealed the acquisition of new mutations and/or karyotype evolution in 15/16 (94%) patients at the time of SM-AML. Median overall survival (OS) was 5.4 months. A screen of two independent AML databases (AML) revealed remarkable similarities between KIT D816/CBF SM-AML and KIT D816/CBF AML (n = 69) with regard to KIT D816 variant allele frequency, mutation profile, aberrant karyotype, and OS suggesting underlying SM in a significant proportion of AML patients. Bone marrow histology and reclassification as SM-AML has important clinical implications regarding prognosis and potential inclusion of KIT inhibitors in treatment concepts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-018-0346-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6756067PMC
May 2019

The Data Registry of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM): Set Up, Projects, and Perspectives.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2019 01 8;7(1):81-87. Epub 2018 Nov 8.

Division of Hematology, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Mastocytosis is a unique hematologic neoplasm with complex biology and pathology and a variable clinical course. The disease can essentially be divided into cutaneous mastocytosis (CM) and systemic mastocytosis (SM). In adults, SM is diagnosed in most cases and manifests as either indolent or advanced disease. Patients with advanced SM have an unfavorable prognosis with reduced survival. However, so far, little is known about the prevalence of various categories of SM and about prognostic factors. In an attempt to learn more about the behavior and evolution of various forms of CM and SM, the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM) initiated a mastocytosis registry in 2012. In this article, the set up and start phase of this registry are described. Until 2018, more than 3000 patients from 12 countries and 25 centers have been enrolled. In a majority of all patients, robust follow-up data and relevant clinical end points are available. Using this data set, a series of registry projects have been launched, with the aim to validate previously identified diagnostic and prognostic variables and to identify new disease-related and patient-related parameters in various forms of mastocytosis. Moreover, the core data set of the registry will be useful to establish multiparametric scoring systems through which prognostication and individualized management of patients with mastocytosis should improve in the foreseeable future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2018.09.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7115815PMC
January 2019

Incidence and prognostic impact of cytogenetic aberrations in patients with systemic mastocytosis.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2018 05 19;57(5):252-259. Epub 2018 Feb 19.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany.

The clinical behavior of systemic mastocytosis (SM) is strongly associated with activating mutations in KIT (D816V in >80% of cases), with the severity of the phenotype influenced by additional somatic mutations, for example, in SRSF2, ASXL1, or RUNX1. Complex molecular profiles are frequently associated with the presence of an associated hematologic neoplasm (AHN) and an unfavorable clinical outcome. However, little is known about the incidence and prognostic impact of cytogenetic aberrations. We analyzed cytogenetic and molecular characteristics of 109 patients (KIT D816V+, n = 102, 94%) with indolent (ISM, n = 26) and advanced SM (n = 83) with (n = 73, 88%) or without AHN. An aberrant karyotype was identified in SM-AHN (16/73, 22%) patients only. In patients with an aberrant karyotype, additional somatic mutations were identified in 12/16 (75%) patients. Seven of 10 (70%) patients with a poor-risk karyotype, for example, monosomy 7 or complex karyotype, and 1/6 (17%) patients with a good-risk karyotype progressed to secondary acute myeloid leukemia (n = 7) or mast cell leukemia (n = 1) within a median of 40 months (range 2-190, P = .04). In advanced SM, the median overall survival (OS) of poor-risk karyotype patients was significantly shorter than in good-risk/normal karyotype patients (4 vs 39 months; hazard ratio 11.7, 95% CI 5.0-27.3; P < .0001). Additionally, the shortened OS in patients with poor-risk karyotype was independent from the mutation status. In summary, a poor-risk karyotype is an independent prognostic variable in advanced SM. Cytogenetic and molecular analyses should be routinely performed in all patients with advanced SM ± AHN because these investigations greatly support prognostication and treatment decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22526DOI Listing
May 2018

Imatinib in myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia and rearrangement of PDGFRB in chronic or blast phase.

Ann Hematol 2017 Sep 19;96(9):1463-1470. Epub 2017 Jul 19.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

We evaluated clinical characteristics and outcome on imatinib of 22 patients with myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia and rearrangement of PDGFRB. Median age was 49 years (range 20-80), 91% were male. Fifteen different PDGFRB fusion genes were identified. Eosinophilia was absent in 4/19 (21%) cases and only 11/19 (58%) cases had eosinophils ≥1.5×10/L. On imatinib, 17/17 (100%) patients in chronic phase achieved complete hematologic remission after median 2 months (range 0-13)​. Complete cytogenetic remission and/or complete molecular remission by RT-PCR were achieved in 12/13 (92%) and 12/14 patients (86%) after median 10 (range 3-34) and 19 months (range 7-110), respectively. In patients with blast phase (myeloid, n = 2; lymphoid, n = 3), treatment included combinations of imatinib (n = 5), intensive chemotherapy (n = 3), and/or allogeneic stem cell transplantation (n = 3). All 3 transplanted patients (complex karyotype, n = 2) experienced early relapse. Initially, patients were treated with imatinib 400 mg/day (n = 15) or 100 mg/day (n = 7), the dose was reduced from 400 mg/day to 100 mg/day during follow-up in 9 patients. After a median treatment of 71 months (range 1-135), the 5-year survival rate was 83%; 4/22 (18%) patients died (chronic phase; n = 2; blast phase, n = 2) due to progression (n = 3) or comorbidity while in remission (n = 1). Of note, 3/4 patients had a complex karyotype. In summary, the most important characteristics of myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with rearrangement of PDGFRB include (a) male predominance, (b) frequent lack of hypereosinophilia,
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-017-3067-xDOI Listing
September 2017

Response and progression on midostaurin in advanced systemic mastocytosis: D816V and other molecular markers.

Blood 2017 07 19;130(2):137-145. Epub 2017 Apr 19.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Mannheim University Medical Center, Mannheim, Germany.

In advanced systemic mastocytosis (advSM), disease evolution is often triggered by mutations (D816V in >80% of cases) and by additional mutations (eg, in , , and/or [S/A/R in >60% of cases]). In a recently reported phase 2 study, midostaurin, a multikinase/KIT inhibitor, demonstrated an overall response rate (ORR) of 60% in advSM but biomarkers predictive of response are lacking. We evaluated the impact of molecular markers at baseline and during follow-up in 38 midostaurin-treated advSM patients. The median overall survival (OS) was 30 months (95% confidence interval, 6-54) from start of midostaurin. ORR and OS were significantly different between S/A/R (n = 12) and S/A/R (n = 23) patients (ORR: 75% vs 39%, = .04; OS: = .01, HR 4.5 [1.3-16.2]). Depending on the relative reduction of the D816V expressed allele burden (EAB) at month 6, patients were classified as responders (≥25%, n = 17) or nonresponders (<25%, n = 11). In univariate analyses at month 6, reduction of D816V EAB ≥25%, tryptase ≥50%, and alkaline phosphatase ≥50% were significantly associated with improved OS. In multivariate analysis, only D816V EAB reduction ≥25% remained an independent on-treatment marker for improved OS ( = .004, HR 6.8 [1.8-25.3]). Serial next-generation sequencing analysis of 28 genes in 16 patients revealed acquisition of additional mutations or increasing variant allele frequency in /, , , or associated with progression in 7 patients. In midostaurin-treated advSM patients, the complexity and dynamics of mutational profiles significantly affect response, progression, and prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2017-01-764423DOI Listing
July 2017

The clinical and molecular diversity of mast cell leukemia with or without associated hematologic neoplasm.

Haematologica 2017 06 2;102(6):1035-1043. Epub 2017 Mar 2.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Germany

Mast cell leukemia is a rare variant of advanced systemic mastocytosis characterized by at least 20% of mast cells in a bone marrow smear. We evaluated clinical and molecular characteristics of 28 patients with (n=20, 71%) or without an associated hematologic neoplasm. mast cell leukemia was diagnosed in 16 of 28 (57%) patients and secondary mast cell leukemia evolving from other advanced systemic mastocytosis subtypes in 12 of 28 (43%) patients, of which 7 patients progressed while on cytoreductive treatment. Median bone marrow mast cell infiltration was 65% and median serum tryptase was 520 μg/L. C-findings were identified in 26 of 28 (93%) patients. Mutations in (D816V, n=19; D816H/Y, n=5; F522C, n=1) were detected in 25 of 28 (89%) patients and prognostically relevant additional mutations in , or (S/A/R) in 13 of 25 (52%) patients. Overall response rate in 18 treatment-naïve patients was 5 of 12 (42%) on midostaurin and 1 of 6 (17%) on cladribine, and after switch 1 of 4 (25%) on midostaurin and 0 of 3 on cladribine, respectively. S/A/R adversely affected response to treatment and progression to secondary mast cell leukemia (n=6) or acute myeloid leukemia (n=3) while on treatment (<0.05). The median overall survival from mast cell leukemia diagnosis was 17 months as compared to 44 months in a control group of 124 patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis but without mast cell leukemia (=0.03). In multivariate analyses, S/A/R remained the only independent poor prognostic variable predicting overall survival (=0.007). In conclusion, the molecular signature should be determined in all patients with mast cell leukemia because of its significant clinical and prognostic relevance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2017.163964DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5451335PMC
June 2017

Prognostic Impact of mRNA Expression Levels of HER1-4 (ERBB1-4) in Patients with Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer.

Gastroenterol Res Pract 2016 16;2016:3481578. Epub 2016 Aug 16.

Klinik für Urologie, Universitätsmedizin Mannheim, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.

Background. No predictive or prognostic biomarker is available for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) undergoing perioperative chemoradiotherapy (CRT). Members of the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) family of receptor tyrosine kinases EGFR (HER1, ERBB1), HER2 (ERBB2), HER3 (ERBB3), and HER4 (ERBB4) are therapeutic targets in several cancers. The analysis was performed to assess expression levels and study the potential prognostic impact for disease-free and overall survival in patients with LARC. Patients and Methods. ERBB1-4 mRNA expression and tumor proliferation using Ki-67 (MKI67) mRNA were evaluated using RT-quantitative PCR in paraffin-embedded tumor samples from 86 patients (median age: 63) treated with capecitabine or 5-fluorouracil-based CRT within a phase 3 clinical trial. Results. A positive correlation of HER4 and HER2, HER3 and HER2, and HER4 and HER3 with each other was observed. Patients with high mRNA expression of ERBB1 (EGFR, HER1) had significantly increased risk for recurrence and death. Patients with high mRNA expression of MKI67 had reduced risk for relapse. Conclusion. This analysis suggests a prognostic impact of both ERBB1 and MKi67 mRNA expression in LARC patients treated with capecitabine or fluorouracil-based chemoradiotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/3481578DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5004041PMC
September 2016

Impact of centralized evaluation of bone marrow histology in systemic mastocytosis.

Eur J Clin Invest 2016 May 21;46(5):392-7. Epub 2016 Mar 21.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

Background: Bone marrow (BM) histology/immunohistochemistry, KIT D816V mutation analysis and serum tryptase measurements are mandatory tools for diagnosis of systemic mastocytosis (SM).

Materials And Methods: Within the 'German Registry of Disorders on Eosinophils and Mast Cells', we identified 65 patients with SM who had two consecutive BM biopsies. The first biopsy was evaluated by a local pathologist (LP) and the second biopsy by a reference pathologist (RP) of the 'European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM)'.

Results: Final diagnoses by RP were SM (n = 27), SM or aggressive SM (ASM) with associated clonal haematological non-mast cell lineage disease [(A)SM-AHNMD, n = 34)] or mast cell leukaemia ± AHNMD (n = 4). In 15 of 65 patients (23%), initial diagnoses by LP were incorrect (by overlooking SM), for example primary myelofibrosis (n = 3), myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm unclassified (n = 3) or B-cell lymphoma (n = 2). Fourteen of 15 patients (93%) with incorrect diagnosis had an advanced SM, mostly (A)SM-AHNMD. In the 50 concordantly diagnosed patients, immunohistochemical markers for quantitative assessment of mast cell infiltration, for example CD117 (KIT) or CD25, were applied by LP in only 34 of 50 patients (68%), and mutational analysis for KIT D816V was performed or recommended in only 13 of 50 patients (26%). Finally, the subclassification of SM was discordant because LP did not diagnose AHNMD in nine of 50 (18%) patients.

Conclusions: In summary, adequate diagnosis and subclassification of SM requires an in-depth evaluation of the BM by experienced haematopathologists (preferably in a reference centre) in combination with molecular genetics, serum tryptase level and clinical parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eci.12607DOI Listing
May 2016

Diagnostic challenges in the work up of hypereosinophilia: pitfalls in bone marrow core biopsy interpretation.

Ann Hematol 2016 Mar 22;95(4):557-62. Epub 2016 Jan 22.

III. Medizinische Klinik, Hämatologie und Onkologie, Universitätsmedizin Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

The FIP1L1-PDGFRA (FP) fusion gene is identified in a substantial proportion of patients with eosinophilia-associated myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN-eo) who subsequently achieve rapid and durable remissions on imatinib. In the initial diagnostic work-up of hypereosinophilia (HE), histologic and immunohistochemical evaluation of a bone marrow (BM) core biopsy is considered essential for the differentiation between reactive hypereosinophilia (HER), MPN-eo and hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES). We therefore retrospectively analysed the initial reports of BM core biopsies from 116 patients who were subsequently identified as FP positive (FP+, n = 56) or FP negative/corticosteroid-responsive HER or HES (n = 60). Compared to HER or HES, detection of FP was more frequently associated with increased numbers of blasts (11/56 vs. 2/60, p = 0.007) and mast cells (23/33 vs. 7/23, p = 0.006; with expression of CD25 [11/18 vs. 2/13, p = 0.025]), and/or fibrosis (25/35 vs. 1/23, p < 0.0001). In FP+ patients, HE was correctly associated with an underlying clonal haematologic disorder in only 36/56 (64 %) of cases, but final BM diagnoses included a variety of diagnoses such as MPN-eo (n = 15), acute myeloid leukaemia (n = 8), systemic mastocytosis (n = 6), chronic myeloid leukaemia (n = 5) or unclassified MPN (n = 2). We conclude that the final evaluation of BM core biopsies in the diagnostic work-up of HE should include comprehensive morphologic (stains for myeloid blast cells, mast cells and fibres) and genetic analyses before a final diagnosis is established.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-016-2598-xDOI Listing
March 2016

Identification of the Ki-1 antigen (CD30) as a novel therapeutic target in systemic mastocytosis.

Blood 2015 Dec 20;126(26):2832-41. Epub 2015 Oct 20.

Department of Internal Medicine I, Division of Hematology and Hemostaseology and Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria;

The Ki-1 antigen (CD30) is an established therapeutic target in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. We have recently shown that CD30 is expressed abundantly in the cytoplasm of neoplastic mast cells (MCs) in patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis (SM). In the current study, we asked whether CD30 is expressed on the surface of neoplastic MCs in advanced SM, and whether this surface structure may serve as therapeutic target in SM. As assessed by flow cytometry, CD30 was found to be expressed on the surface of neoplastic MCs in 3 of 25 patients (12%) with indolent SM, 4 of 7 patients (57%) with aggressive SM, and 4 of 7 patients (57%) with MC leukemia. The immature RAS-transformed human MC line MCPV-1.1 also expressed cell surface CD30, whereas the KIT-transformed MC line HMC-1.2 expressed no detectable CD30. The CD30-targeting antibody-conjugate brentuximab-vedotin inhibited proliferation in neoplastic MCs, with lower IC50 values obtained in CD30(+) MCPV-1.1 cells (10 µg/mL) compared with CD30(-) HMC-1.2 cells (>50 µg/mL). In addition, brentuximab-vedotin suppressed the engraftment of MCPV-1.1 cells in NSG mice. Moreover, brentuximab-vedotin produced apoptosis in all CD30(+) MC lines tested as well as in primary neoplastic MCs in patients with CD30(+) SM, but did not induce apoptosis in neoplastic MCs in patients with CD30(-) SM. Furthermore, brentuximab-vedotin was found to downregulate anti-IgE-induced histamine release in CD30(+) MCs. Finally, brentuximab-vedotin and the KIT D816V-targeting drug PKC412 produced synergistic growth-inhibitory effects in MCPV-1.1 cells. Together, CD30 is a promising new drug target for patients with CD30(+) advanced SM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2015-03-637728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4692143PMC
December 2015
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