Publications by authors named "Lia Elena Perez"

4 Publications

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Phase 2 multicenter trial of ofatumumab and prednisone as initial therapy of chronic graft-vs-host disease.

Blood Adv 2021 Oct 14. Epub 2021 Oct 14.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida, United States.

Standard initial therapy of chronic graft vs. host disease (cGVHD) with glucocorticoids results in suboptimal and transient responses in a significant number of patients. Safety and feasibility of anti-CD20 directed B-cell therapy with ofatumumab (1000 mg IV on days 0 and 14) and prednisone (1 mg/kg/day) was previously established in our phase I trial (n=12). We now report the mature results of the phase II expansion of the trial (n=38). The overall NIH severity of cGVHD was moderate (63%) or severe (37%) with 74% of all patients affected by the overlap subtype of cGVHD and 82% by prior acute cGVHD. The combined therapy was generally well tolerated, with some anticipated infusion reactions to ofatumumab, and common toxicities of glucocorticoids. Total B-cell depletion following therapy was profound, with marginal recovery within first 12 months from initial therapy. The observed 6 month clinician-reported and 2014 NIH-defined overall response rates (ORR=complete + partial response[CR/PR]) of 62.5% (1-sided lower 90% confidence interval=51.5%) were not superior to pre-specified historic benchmark of 60%. Post-hoc comparison of 6 month NIH response suggested benefit compared to more contemporaneous NIH-based benchmark of 48.6% with frontline sirolimus/prednisone (CTN 0801 trial). Baseline cGVHD features (organ involvement, severity, initial IS agents) were not significantly associated with 6-month ORR. The median time to initiation of second-line therapy was 5.4 months (range 0.9-15.1 months). Failure-free survival (FFS) was 64.2% (95% CI 46.5-77.4%) at 6 months and 53.1% (95% CI 35.8-67.7%) at 12 months, whereas FFS with CR/PR at 12 months of 33.5% exceeded a benchmark of 15% in post-hoc analysis, and was associated with greater success in steroid discontinuation by 24 months (odds ratio 8 (95% CI 1.21-52.7). This single-arm phase II trial demonstrated acceptable safety and potential efficacy of the upfront use of ofatumumab in combination with prednisone in cGVHD. This trial is registered at as NCT01680965.
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October 2021

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

Blood Adv 2021 03;5(5):1154-1163

Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, and.

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

Outcomes from unrelated donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Lia Elena Perez

Cancer Control 2011 Oct;18(4):216-21

Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

Background: Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) offers a curative treatment option for management of a variety of hematologic malignancies. While sibling donors have been the gold standard for adult patients in need of an HCT, not all patients have a suitable family donor. The availability of unrelated volunteer donor registries and alternative stem cell sources has expanded the wide application of this procedure.

Methods: PubMed and MEDLINE were searched for human trials and the English language from 2001 to 2011. Factors influencing transplantation outcomes involving unrelated donors over the last decade are discussed, and feasible alternative stem cell sources when a matched unrelated donor is not available are reviewed.

Results: HCT using a matched unrelated donor offers outcomes comparable to sibling HCT due to current molecular-based HLA typing and improvements in conditioning regimens and/or supportive care. The primary factor that contributes to improved outcome is the degree of donor-to-recipient HLA matching. The selection of younger unrelated donors has also been associated with improved outcomes in HCT. Evidence supports the universal application of matched unrelated donors even in high-risk leukemia and/or older patients. In adult patients without a matched related donor, other promising options as stem cell source includes mismatched unrelated donors, umbilical cord blood units, and haploidentical donors.

Conclusions: With current methodologies for molecular HLA typing and supportive care tools, outcomes of transplants with matched unrelated donors are comparable to those achieved with sibling donors. Alternative stem cell donors when a matched unrelated donor is not available are feasible expanding the stem cell donor pool.
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October 2011

Bone marrow stroma confers resistance to Apo2 ligand/TRAIL in multiple myeloma in part by regulating c-FLIP.

J Immunol 2008 Feb;180(3):1545-55

Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

Apo2 ligand (Apo2L)/TRAIL induces apoptosis of cancer cells that express the specific receptors while sparing normal cells. Because the tumor microenvironment protects myeloma from chemotherapy, we investigated whether hemopoietic stroma induces resistance to Apo2L/TRAIL apoptosis in this disease. Apo2L/TRAIL-induced death was diminished in myeloma cell lines (RPMI 8226, U266, and MM1s) directly adhered to a human immortalized HS5 stroma cell line but not adhered to fibronectin. In a Transwell assay, with myeloma in the upper well and HS5 cells in the lower well, Apo2L/TRAIL apoptosis was reduced when compared with cells exposed to medium in the lower well. Using HS5 and myeloma patients' stroma-conditioned medium, we determined that soluble factor(s) produced by stroma-myeloma interactions are responsible for a reversible Apo2/TRAIL apoptosis resistance. Soluble factor(s) attenuated procaspase-8, procaspase-3, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage and diminished mitochondrial membrane potential changes without affecting Bcl-2 family proteins and/or Apo2L/TRAIL receptors. Soluble factor(s) increased the baseline levels of the anti-apoptotic protein c-FLIP in all cell lines tested. Inhibition of c-FLIP by means of RNA interference increased Apo2/TRAIL sensitivity in RPMI 8226 cells. Unlike direct adhesion to fibronectin, soluble factor(s) have no impact on c-FLIP redistribution within cellular compartments. Cyclohexamide restored Apo2L/TRAIL sensitivity in association with down-regulation of c-FLIP, suggesting that c-FLIP synthesis, not intracellular traffic, is essential for soluble factor(s) to regulate c-FLIP. Additionally, IL-6 conferred resistance to Apo2L/TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in association with increased c-FLIP levels. In conclusion, the immune cytotoxic effect of Apo2L/TRAIL can be restored at least in part by c-FLIP pathway inhibitors.
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February 2008