Publications by authors named "Lia Perez"

46 Publications

Impact of Total Body Irradiation-Based Myeloablative Conditioning Regimens in Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Mar 30. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Internal Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is a curative treatment option for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Both total body irradiation (TBI)-based and chemotherapy only-based myeloablative transplantation conditioning regimens have been applied, but the optimal regimen remains unclear. We performed a systematic review to assess the efficacy of TBI-based versus chemotherapy only-based myeloablative conditioning regimens. We searched PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases and meeting abstracts for all studies comparing TBI-based and chemotherapy only-based conditioning regimens in patients who underwent allo-HCT for ALL. Two authors independently reviewed all studies for inclusion and extracted data related to overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse, and acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Eight studies were included in the final analysis. The overall methodological quality of the included studies was optimal. TBI-based regimens showed evidence of benefit compared with chemotherapy only-based conditioning regimens in terms of relapse (relative risk [RR], 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 0.94; 6 studies, 5091 patients), OS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.76; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.89; 7 studies, 4727 patients), and PFS (HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.85; 7 studies, 4727 patients). The TBI-based regimen did not increase the likelihood of grade II-IV acute GVHD (RR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.36; 5 studies, 4996 patients) or chronic GVHD (RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.21; 5 studies, 4490 patients), or NRM (RR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.69 to 1.28; 6 studies, 4522 patients). However, TBI-based regimens were associated with an increased risk of grade III-IV acute GVHD (RR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.63; 3 studies, 3675 patients). A subgroup comparison of patients age ≥16 years showed similar results. This systematic review represents evidence supporting the use of TBI-based conditioning regimen in patients undergoing allo-HCT for ALL who are candidates for myeloablative conditioning, as it offers better OS, PFS, and less relapse with acceptable NRM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.03.026DOI Listing
March 2021

ELN 2017 Genetic Risk Stratification Predicts Survival of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients Receiving Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Mar 2;27(3):256.e1-256.e7. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida. Electronic address:

European LeukemiaNet (ELN) 2017 risk stratification by genetics is prognostic of outcomes in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the prognostic impact of the 2017 ELN genetic risk stratification after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) is not well established. We examined the effect of 2017 ELN genetic risk stratification on alloHCT outcomes of AML. We included 500 adult (≥18 years) AML patients in first (n = 370) or second (n = 130) complete remission receiving alloHCT from 2005 to 2016. Patients were classified into favorable (12%), intermediate (57%), and adverse (32%) 2017 ELN risk groups. The Cox proportional hazard model was used to conduct the multivariable analyses of leukemia-free survival (LFS) and overall survival (OS). Relapse and nonrelapse mortality were analyzed by the Fine-Gray regression model. OS at 2 years was 72% in the favorable versus 60% in the intermediate versus 45% in the adverse risk groups (P < .001). In multivariable analyses, the 2017 ELN classifier was an independent predictor of OS after alloHCT with significantly higher overall mortality in the intermediate (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.68, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-2.68; P = .03) and adverse (HR = 2.50, 95% CI, 1.54-4.06; P < .001) risk groups compared to the favorable risk group. Similarly, LFS was worse in the intermediate (HR = 1.63, 95%, CI 1.06-2.53; P = .03) and adverse (HR 2.23, 95% CI, 1.41-3.54; P < .001) risk groups while relapse was higher in the adverse risk group (HR = 2.36, 95% CI, 1.28-4.35; P = .006) as compared to the favorable risk group. These data highlight the prognostic impact of the 2017 ELN genetic risk stratification on the survival of AML patients after alloHCT. Patients in the adverse risk group had the highest risk of relapse and worst survival. Thus the 2017 ELN prognostic system can help identify AML patients who may benefit from clinical trials offering relapse mitigation strategies to improve transplant outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.12.021DOI Listing
March 2021

Pacritinib Combined with Sirolimus and Low-Dose Tacrolimus for GVHD Prevention after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Preclinical and Phase I Trial Results.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 May 22;27(10):2712-2722. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, Department of Medicine, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Purpose: In this first-in-human, phase I, GVHD prevention trial (NCT02891603), we combine pacritinib (PAC), a JAK2 inhibitor, with sirolimus to concurrently reduce T-cell costimulation via mTOR and IL6 activity. We evaluate the safety of pacritinib when administered with sirolimus plus low-dose tacrolimus (PAC/SIR/TAC) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Patients And Methods: The preclinical efficacy and immune modulation of PAC/SIR were investigated in xenogeneic GVHD. Our phase I trial followed a 3+3 dose-escalation design, including dose level 1 (pacritinib 100 mg daily), level 2 (pacritinib 100 mg twice daily), and level 3 (pacritinib 200 mg twice daily). The primary endpoint was to identify the lowest biologically active and safe dose of pacritinib with SIR/TAC ( = 12). Acute GVHD was scored through day +100. Allografts included 8/8 HLA-matched related or unrelated donor peripheral blood stem cells.

Results: In mice, we show that dual JAK2/mTOR inhibition significantly reduces xenogeneic GVHD and increases peripheral regulatory T cell (Treg) potency as well as Treg induction from conventional CD4 T cells. Pacritinib 100 mg twice a day was identified as the minimum biologically active and safe dose for further study. JAK2/mTOR inhibition suppresses pathogenic Th1 and Th17 cells, spares Tregs and antileukemia effector cells, and exhibits preliminary activity in preventing GVHD. PAC/SIR/TAC preserves donor cytomegalovirus (CMV) immunity and permits timely engraftment without cytopenias.

Conclusions: We demonstrate that PAC/SIR/TAC is safe and preliminarily limits acute GVHD, preserves donor CMV immunity, and permits timely engraftment. The efficacy of PAC/SIR/TAC will be tested in our ongoing phase II GVHD prevention trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-4725DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8127396PMC
May 2021

Impact of infused CD34+ stem cell dosing for allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation with post-transplant cyclophosphamide.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

Higher infused total nucleated cell dose (TNC) in allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) with post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) is associated with improved overall survival. As many centers prefer peripheral blood stem cell grafts (PBSCT) with PTCy, the effect of cell dose on outcomes with this platform also requires elucidation. We retrospectively evaluated 144 consecutive adult patients who received allogeneic T-cell replete PBSCT with PTCy-based graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis for a hematologic malignancy from 2012-2018. The infused CD34+ cell dose was stratified into low (<5 × 10/kg), intermediate (5-10 × 10/kg) and high (>10 × 10/kg) dose level groups. In multivariate analysis, the low CD34+ cell dose group had worse non-relapse mortality (HR = 4.51, 95% CI: 1.92-10.58, p < 0.001), progression- free survival (HR = 4.11, 95% CI: 2.07-8.15, p < 0.001), and overall survival (HR = 4.06, 95% CI: 2.00-8.25, p ≤ 0.001) compared to the intermediate group. Clinical outcomes between the intermediate and high CD34+ cell dose groups were similar. TNC and CD3+ cell dose had no significant impacts on outcomes. These findings suggest that, in patients receiving allogeneic PBSCT with PTCy, infused CD34+ cell doses >5 × 10 cells/kg may result in improved survival. Thus, this study supports targeting a CD34+ cell dose of >5 × 10 cells/kg for allogeneic PBSCT with PTCy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01219-8DOI Listing
March 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 www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT03018223.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003779DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7948297PMC
March 2021

Considerations for Use of Hematopoietic Growth Factors in Patients With Cancer Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2020 Sep 1:1-4. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

2Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, Washington.

Hematopoietic growth factors, including erythrocyte stimulating agents (ESAs), granulocyte colony-stimulating factors, and thrombopoietin mimetics, can mitigate anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia resulting from chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. In the context of pandemic SARS-CoV-2 infection, patients with cancer have been identified as a group at high risk of morbidity and mortality from this infection. Our subcommittee of the NCCN Hematopoietic Growth Factors Panel convened a voluntary group to review the potential value of expanded use of such growth factors in the current high-risk environment. Although recommendations are available on the NCCN website in the COVID-19 Resources Section (https://www.nccn.org/covid-19/), these suggestions are provided without substantial context or reference. Herein we review the rationale and data underlying the suggested alterations to the use of hematopoietic growth factors for patients with cancer in the COVID-19 era.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.7610DOI Listing
September 2020

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

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

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

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

A pharmacodynamic model of clinical synergy in multiple myeloma.

EBioMedicine 2020 Apr 5;54:102716. Epub 2020 Apr 5.

Department of Cancer Physiology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, 12902 Magnolia Dr, SRB 4th 24011, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Multiagent therapies, due to their ability to delay or overcome resistance, are a hallmark of treatment in multiple myeloma (MM). The growing number of therapeutic options in MM requires high-throughput combination screening tools to better allocate treatment, and facilitate personalized therapy.

Methods: A second-order drug response model was employed to fit patient-specific ex vivo responses of 203 MM patients to single-agent models. A novel pharmacodynamic model, developed to account for two-way combination effects, was tested with 130 two-drug combinations. We have demonstrated that this model is sufficiently parameterized by single-agent and fixed-ratio combination responses, by validating model estimates with ex vivo combination responses for different concentration ratios, using a checkerboard assay. This new model reconciles ex vivo observations from both Loewe and BLISS synergy models, by accounting for the dimension of time, as opposed to focusing on arbitrary time-points or drug effect. Clinical outcomes of patients were simulated by coupling patient-specific drug combination models with pharmacokinetic data.

Findings: Combination screening showed 1 in 5 combinations (21.43% by LD50, 18.42% by AUC) were synergistic ex vivo with statistical significance (P < 0.05), but clinical synergy was predicted for only 1 in 10 combinations (8.69%), which was attributed to the role of pharmacokinetics and dosing schedules.

Interpretation: The proposed framework can inform clinical decisions from ex vivo observations, thus providing a path toward personalized therapy using combination regimens.

Funding: This research was funded by the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center Physical Sciences in Oncology (PSOC) Grant (1U54CA193489-01A1) and by H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center's Team Science Grant. This work has been supported in part by the PSOC Pilot Project Award (5U54CA193489-04), the Translational Research Core Facility at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center (P30-CA076292), the Pentecost Family Foundation, and Miles for Moffitt Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.102716DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7136599PMC
April 2020

Reduced-intensity fludarabine/melphalan confers similar survival to busulfan/fludarabine myeloablative regimens for patients with acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplasia.

Leuk Lymphoma 2020 07 5;61(7):1678-1687. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

Optimal conditioning chemotherapy for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) remains uncertain. Myeloablative regimens such as fludarabine/busulfan are favored over reduced-intensity fludarabine/melphalan (Flu/Mel); however, it is not known if Flu/Mel is inferior. We analyzed hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients with AML and MDS who received fludarabine with once-daily intravenous busulfan targeted to either area under the curve (AUC) 5300 µM*L/min (Flu/Bu 5300) ( = 246) or AUC 3500 µM*L/min (Flu/Bu 3500) ( = 81), or Flu/Mel ( = 69). Flu/Bu regimens were compared separately to Flu/Mel. After 2-year follow-up, no differences in overall or relapse-free survival were found between Flu/Bu 5300 or 3500 versus Flu/Mel though relapse rates were significantly higher; 33.1% ( = 0.024), 44.6% ( = 0.002), versus 19.4%, respectively. Flu/Bu 5300 ( = 0.008) and Flu/Bu 3500 ( < 0.001) groups were prognostic for relapse compared to Flu/Mel. Flu/Mel yields lower relapse rates and similar survival benefit when compared to Flu/Bu 3500 or 5300 µM*L/min.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1731498DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7771324PMC
July 2020

NCCN Guidelines Insights: Hematopoietic Growth Factors, Version 1.2020.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2020 01;18(1):12-22

Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine; and.

Management of febrile neutropenia (FN) is an integral part of supportive care for patients undergoing cancer treatment. The NCCN Guidelines for Hematopoietic Growth Factors provide suggestions for appropriate evaluation, risk determination, prophylaxis, and management of FN. These NCCN Guidelines are intended to guide clinicians in the appropriate use of growth factors for select patients undergoing treatment of nonmyeloid malignancies. These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight important updates to the NCCN Guidelines regarding the incorporation of newly FDA-approved granulocyte-colony stimulating factor biosimilars for the prevention and treatment of FN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.0002DOI Listing
January 2020

Transformation of T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma to Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma: A Report of Two Cases.

Case Rep Hematol 2018 28;2018:9191582. Epub 2018 Feb 28.

Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

Nonhepatosplenic/noncutaneous peripheral T-cell lymphoma (NHNC PTCL) represents a miscellaneous group of unrelated T-cell lymphomas of which only isolated cases have been reported. We describe two cases of transformation from T-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma to NHNC PTCL. Transformation into more aggressive disease is a rare event in T-cell lineage-derived hematologic malignancies compared to B-cell neoplasms. Nevertheless, both of our cases involved relapse as PTCL manifested with skin involvement and an overt shift from blastic morphology to large granular leukemia-like mature T cells. Among other notable molecular characteristics, expression of immature markers such as TdT was lost in both cases. Based on cytogenetics, phenotype, and morphology, both patients represent a novel phenomenon of clonal transformation from T-ALL to PTCL which has rarely been reported in the literature. Such transformation may carry important diagnostic and biological implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2018/9191582DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5850893PMC
February 2018

Phase I trial of histone deacetylase inhibitor panobinostat in addition to glucocorticoids for primary therapy of acute graft-versus-host disease.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2018 11 18;53(11):1434-1444. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Blood & Marrow Transplant & Cellular Immunotherapy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA.

Glucocorticoids for primary therapy of acute GVHD have limited responses. A phase I/II trial tested 4 weeks of deacetylase inhibitor panobinostat started within 48 h of glucocorticoids (1 mg/kg/day prednisone or equivalent) as primary treatment for patients with either classic acute GVHD (n = 16) or acute GVHD overlapping with chronic (n = 6). Four patients received 2.5 mg/m IV three times a week (TIW). Subsequent to discontinuation of IV panobinostat, patients received oral doses (PO). Two patients treated with 10 mg TIW (PO level 1) had progressive GVHD, after which patients were treated with 5 mg TIW (PO level -1; n = 16); 31/41 adverse events were possibly related, including thrombocytopenia (n = 13), leukopenia (n = 7), hypercholesterolemia (n = 3), hypertriglyceridemia (n = 5), anemia (n = 1), fatigue (n = 1), and hepatobiliary disorder (n = 1). GVHD responses were complete (n = 12) or partial (n = 3), with 1 progression at PO level -1. T-regulatory cells increased at day 8, CD4/CD8 and monocytes exhibited enhanced H3 acetylation, and CD4 or CD8 numbers remained unchanged with a decreased interleukin 12p40 plasma level. Panobinostat in combination with prednisone is safe and warrants further testing in GVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-018-0163-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7771280PMC
November 2018

Hypoalbuminaemia segregates different prognostic subgroups within the refined standard risk acute graft-versus-host disease score.

Br J Haematol 2018 03 18;180(6):854-862. Epub 2018 Jan 18.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

Hypoalbuminaemia has been previously described to predict worse non-relapse mortality (NRM) and inferior overall survival (OS) in allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplant (allo-HCT) recipients. Here, we evaluate the role of hypoalbuminaemia (<35 g/l) at time of onset of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) when incorporated into the refined aGVHD score. The study population consisted of 522 patients, median age 53 (18-75) years, who underwent an allo-HCT mostly for haematological malignancies. Standard risk (SR) aGVHD comprised 467 patients (89%) and the number of high risk (HR) cases was 55 (11%). Median follow-up for all surviving patients was 26 (3-55) months. Two-year OS was significantly better in patients with SR aGVHD with a serum albumin ≥35 g/l compared to SR with albumin <35 g/l [70% (95% CI = 64-76%) vs. 49% (95% CI = 42-56%), P < 0·0001]. Also, patients with SR aGVHD and a serum albumin level of ≥35 g/l had a significantly lower NRM at 1-year post-transplantation [6% (95% CI = 3-10%) vs. 25% (95% CI = 20-32%), P < 0·0001]. After our findings are validated in a large cohort of patients, we propose that hypoalbuminaemia should be incorporated into the refined aGVHD risk score to further its ability to predict outcomes within this group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.15105DOI Listing
March 2018

IL-12/IL-23p40 neutralization blocks Th1/Th17 response after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Haematologica 2018 03 14;103(3):531-539. Epub 2017 Dec 14.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

T-helper 1 and T-helper 17 lymphocytes mediate acute graft--host disease (GvHD). Interleukin 12 is critical for T-helper 1 differentiation and interleukin 23 for T-helper 17 maintenance. Interleukin 12 and 23 are heterodimeric cytokines that share the p40 subunit (IL-12/IL-23p40). In a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial, we examined the biological impact and clinical outcomes following IL-12/IL-23p40 neutralization using ustekinumab. Thirty patients received peripheral blood mobilized hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) from HLA-matched sibling or unrelated donors, received sirolimus plus tacrolimus as GvHD prophylaxis, and were randomized to ustekinumab placebo with 1:1 allocation after stratification by donor type. The primary end point of the trial was the mean percentage (%) T-regulatory (Treg) cells on day 30 post HCT. Ustekinumab was delivered by subcutaneous injection on day -1 and day +20 after transplantation. On day 30 post transplant, no significant difference in % Treg was observed. Ustekinumab suppressed serum IL-12/IL-23p40 levels. Host-reactive donor alloresponse at days 30 and 90 after transplantation was polarized with significant reduction in IL-17 and IFN-α production and increase in IL-4. No toxicity attributed to ustekinumab was observed. Overall survival and National Institute of Health moderate/severe chronic GvHD-free, relapse-free survival were significantly improved among ustekinumab-treated patients. No significant improvements were observed in acute or chronic GvHD, relapse, or non-relapse mortality. These data provide first evidence that IL-12/IL-23p40 neutralization can polarize donor anti-host alloresponse and provide initial clinical efficacy evidence to be tested in subsequent trials. (Trial registered at ).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2017.171199DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5830373PMC
March 2018

Myeloid Growth Factors, Version 2.2017, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2017 12;15(12):1520-1541

Myeloid growth factors (MGFs) are given as supportive care to patients receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy to reduce the incidence of neutropenia. This selection from the NCCN Guidelines for MGFs focuses on the evaluation of regimen- and patient-specific risk factors for the development of febrile neutropenia (FN), the prophylactic use of MGFs for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced FN, and assessing the risks and benefits of MGF use in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2017.0175DOI Listing
December 2017

Hypoalbuminemia at Day +90 Is Associated with Inferior Nonrelapse Mortality and Overall Survival in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Recipients: A Confirmatory Study.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 02 13;24(2):400-405. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida; Department of Oncologic Sciences, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Electronic address:

Prognostic biomarkers in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) are needed to improve risk assessment and help guide therapeutic and surveillance strategies to mitigate the risk of death from the procedure. We previously identified hypoalbuminemia at day +90 post-transplantation as an independent predictor of increased nonrelapse mortality (NRM) and inferior overall survival (OS) in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome who were treated with an allo-HCT. Here, we aim to confirm the prognostic significance of day +90 hypoalbuminemia in 783 patients, median age 52 years (range, 18 to 76), who received an allo-HCT for various hematologic malignancies and bone marrow failure syndromes. Multivariate analysis for NRM demonstrated a negative effect of low serum albumin levels (<3.0 versus 3.0 to 3.5 versus >3.5 g/dL) at day +90 post-transplantation (hazard ratios, 8.03 [95% CI, 3.59 to 17.97] versus 2.84 [95% CI, 1.59 to 5.08] versus reference; P < .0001). This was also the case for OS (hazard ratios, 6.86 [95% CI, 4.24 to 11.10] versus 1.52 [95% CI, 1.05 to 2.20] versus reference; P < .0001). Patients with hypoalbuminemia at day +90 post-transplantation are more likely to die from causes other than relapse, particularly infections. This large study confirms the ability of day +90 serum hypoalbuminemia to predict worse NRM and inferior OS. Presence of hypoalbuminemia at day +90 should drive a more rigorous real-time surveillance strategy considering the anticipated high-risk of NRM and poor survival in these patients. Future studies should consider incorporating day +90 serum albumin levels in prognostic models of NRM and OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.09.022DOI Listing
February 2018

An Platform for the Prediction of Clinical Response in Multiple Myeloma.

Cancer Res 2017 06 11;77(12):3336-3351. Epub 2017 Apr 11.

Department of Malignant Hematology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida.

Multiple myeloma remains treatable but incurable. Despite a growing armamentarium of effective agents, choice of therapy, especially in relapse, still relies almost exclusively on clinical acumen. We have developed a system, Mathematical Myeloma Advisor (EMMA), consisting of patient-specific mathematical models parameterized by an assay that reverse engineers the intensity and heterogeneity of chemosensitivity of primary cells from multiple myeloma patients, allowing us to predict clinical response to up to 31 drugs within 5 days after bone marrow biopsy. From a cohort of 52 multiple myeloma patients, EMMA correctly classified 96% as responders/nonresponders and correctly classified 79% according to International Myeloma Working Group stratification of level of response. We also observed a significant correlation between predicted and actual tumor burden measurements (Pearson = 0.5658, < 0.0001). Preliminary estimates indicate that, among the patients enrolled in this study, 60% were treated with at least one ineffective agent from their therapy combination regimen, whereas 30% would have responded better if treated with another available drug or combination. Two clinical trials with experimental agents ricolinostat and venetoclax, in a cohort of 19 multiple myeloma patient samples, yielded consistent results with recent phase I/II trials, suggesting that EMMA is a feasible platform for estimating clinical efficacy of drugs and inclusion criteria screening. This unique platform, specifically designed to predict therapeutic response in multiple myeloma patients within a clinically actionable time frame, has shown high predictive accuracy in patients treated with combinations of different classes of drugs. The accuracy, reproducibility, short turnaround time, and high-throughput potential of this platform demonstrate EMMA's promise as a decision support system for therapeutic management of multiple myeloma. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-0502DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7819642PMC
June 2017

IL-2 promotes early Treg reconstitution after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Haematologica 2017 05 19;102(5):948-957. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

Graft--host disease (GvHD) remains a major cause of transplant-related mortality. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) plus sirolimus (SIR) synergistically reduces acute GvHD in rodents and promotes regulatory T cells. This phase II trial tested the hypothesis that IL-2 would facilitate STAT5 phosphorylation in donor T cells, expand regulatory T cells, and ameliorate GvHD. Between 16 April 2014 and 19 December 2015, 20 patients received IL-2 (200,000 IU/m thrice weekly, days 0 to +90) with SIR (5-14 ng/mL) and tacrolimus (TAC) (3-7 ng/mL) after HLA-matched related or unrelated allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). The study was designed to capture an increase in regulatory T cells from 16.0% to more than 23.2% at day +30. IL-2/SIR/TAC significantly increased regulatory T cells at day +30 compared to our published data with SIR/TAC (23.8% 16.0%, =0.0016; 0.052 k/uL 0.037 k/uL, =0.0163), achieving the primary study end point. However, adding IL-2 to SIR/TAC led to a fall in regulatory T cells by day +90 and did not reduce acute or chronic GvHD. Patients who discontinued IL-2 before day +100 showed a suggested trend toward less grade II-IV acute GvHD (16.7% 50%, =0.1475). We surmise that the reported accumulation of IL-2 receptors in circulation over time may neutralize IL-2, lead to progressive loss of regulatory T cells, and offset its clinical efficacy. The amount of phospho-STAT3 CD4 T cells correlated with donor T-cell activation and acute GvHD incidence despite early T-cell STAT5 phosphorylation by IL-2. Optimizing IL-2 dosing and overcoming cytokine sequestration by soluble IL-2 receptor may sustain lasting regulatory T cells after transplantation. However, an approach to target STAT3 is needed to enhance GvHD prevention. ().
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2016.153072DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5477614PMC
May 2017

Evaluation of the psychometric properties of the PROMIS Cancer Fatigue Short Form with cancer patients.

J Psychosom Res 2016 Feb 11;81:9-13. Epub 2015 Dec 11.

Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612, United States.

Objective: Fatigue is common among cancer patients and adversely impacts quality of life. As such, it is important to measure fatigue accurately in a way that is not burdensome to patients. The 7-item Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Cancer Fatigue Short Form scale was recently developed using item response theory (IRT). The current study evaluated the psychometric properties of this scale in two samples of cancer patients using classical test theory (CTT).

Methods: Two samples were used: 121 men with prostate cancer and 136 patients scheduled to undergo hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for hematologic cancer. All participants completed the PROMIS Cancer Fatigue Short Form as well as validated measures of fatigue, vitality, and depression. HCT patients also completed measures of anxiety, perceived stress, and a clinical interview designed to identify cases of cancer-related fatigue.

Results: PROMIS Cancer Fatigue Short Form items loaded on a single factor (CFI=0.948) and the scale demonstrated good internal consistency reliability in both samples (Cronbach's alphas>0.86). Correlations with psychosocial measures were significant (p values<.0001) and in the expected direction, offering evidence for convergent and concurrent validity. PROMIS Fatigue scores were significantly higher in patients who met case definition criteria for cancer-related fatigue (p<.0001), demonstrating criterion validity.

Conclusion: The current study provides evidence that the PROMIS Cancer Fatigue Short Form is a reliable and valid measure of fatigue in cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2015.12.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4822706PMC
February 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pretransplantation 5-azacitidine in high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Jun 15;20(6):776-80. Epub 2014 Feb 15.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida. Electronic address:

We prospectively evaluated the allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) outcomes in high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients who received pretransplantation 5-azacitidine. Twenty-five patients evaluated for allogeneic HCT consult and considered medically eligible for a donor search were enrolled. Azacitidine was administered at 75 mg/m(2) for 5 to 7 days every 4 weeks until a suitable donor was found. A median of 3 (range, 0 to 6) cycles of 5-azacitidine were administered. Preallogeneic HCT responses to 5-azacitidine, based on the International Working Group criteria, were 48% partial response, 33% stable disease, and 19% progressive disease. Four patients did not proceed to allogeneic HCT. Twenty-one patients, a median age of 55 (range, 25 to 67) years, received allogeneic HCT after myeloablative pharmacokinetically targeted i.v. busulfan and fludarabine conditioning regimen. Donors were either HLA-matched related or unrelated, except for 1 mismatch unrelated donor. With a median follow-up of 30 months, 1-year relapse-free and overall survivals were 52% (95% confidence interval [CI], 30% to 71%) and 62% (95% CI, 38% to 79%), respectively. Preallogeneic HCT 5-azacitidine administration was well tolerated and provided reasonable disease control before allogeneic HCT. (Registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT00660400).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.02.008DOI Listing
June 2014

A preclinical assay for chemosensitivity in multiple myeloma.

Cancer Res 2014 Jan 5;74(1):56-67. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

Authors' Affiliations: Departments of Cancer Imaging and Metabolism, Molecular Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplantation, and Department of Hematologic Malignancies, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida.

Accurate preclinical predictions of the clinical efficacy of experimental cancer drugs are highly desired but often haphazard. Such predictions might be improved by incorporating elements of the tumor microenvironment in preclinical models by providing a more physiological setting. In generating improved xenograft models, it is generally accepted that the use of primary tumors from patients are preferable to clonal tumor cell lines. Here we describe an interdisciplinary platform to study drug response in multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the bone marrow. This platform uses microfluidic technology to minimize the number of cells per experiment, while incorporating three-dimensional extracellular matrix and mesenchymal cells derived from the tumor microenvironment. We used sequential imaging and a novel digital imaging analysis algorithm to quantify changes in cell viability. Computational models were used to convert experimental data into dose-exposure-response "surfaces," which offered predictive utility. Using this platform, we predicted chemosensitivity to bortezomib and melphalan, two clinical multiple myeloma treatments, in three multiple myeloma cell lines and seven patient-derived primary multiple myeloma cell populations. We also demonstrated how this system could be used to investigate environment-mediated drug resistance and drug combinations that target it. This interdisciplinary preclinical assay is capable of generating quantitative data that can be used in computational models of clinical response, demonstrating its utility as a tool to contribute to personalized oncology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-2397DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3915502PMC
January 2014

Phase II study of CD4+-guided pentostatin lymphodepletion and pharmacokinetically targeted busulfan as conditioning for hematopoietic cell allografting.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2013 Jul 28;19(7):1087-93. Epub 2013 Apr 28.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

One limitation of reduced-intensity preparative regimens is potential for graft failure. We have developed a regimen that targets CD4(+) lymphodepletion to ensure early and durable engraftment. The primary endpoint was achievement of ≥50% CD3(+) donor chimerism by day +28. Forty-two patients (median age, 53 years; range, 29 to 73 years) received pentostatin 4 mg/m(2) i.v. on days -28, -21, and -14 when the CD4(+) cell count was >100 cells/μL and on days -4 and -3 regardless of CD4(+) level. Rituximab 375 mg/m(2) was administered to patients with CD20(+) malignancies on days -21, -14, -7, +1, and +8. Busulfan 200 mg/m(2) i.v. was administered on days -4 and -2 at a dose to target a cumulative AUC dose of 16,000 (±10%) μmol·min/L. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis consisted of tacrolimus plus methotrexate in 86% of patients. Donors were matched-related (47%), matched unrelated (43%), or mismatched unrelated (10%). Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (45%) and follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma (14%) were the most common diagnoses. Disease status at initiation of the preparative regimen was complete remission in 22%, partial response in 55%, and stable/progression in 24%. The median percent CD4(+) cell count decrease from baseline (day -28) was 52% to day -21, 66% to day -14, 62% to day -7, and 91% to day 0. At day +28, all 42 patients (100%) had ≥50% CD3(+) donor chimerism. No patient experienced graft failure. Overall response rate was 82% (complete remisson, 67%). The day +100 cumulative incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD was 59% (grade III-IV acute GVHD, 19%), and the 2 year cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was 69% (moderate/severe, 58%). Nonrelapse mortality was 2% at day +100 and 17% at 2 years. Two-year PFS was 55%, and OS was 68%. This regimen ensures durable engraftment, is effective against persistent disease, and results in relatively low mortality from causes other than relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.04.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4667782PMC
July 2013

Stemness of B-cell progenitors in multiple myeloma bone marrow.

Clin Cancer Res 2012 Nov 17;18(22):6155-68. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida 33612-9497, USA.

Purpose: In myeloma, B cells and plasma cells show a clonal relationship. Clonotypic B cells may represent a tumor-initiating compartment or cancer stem cell responsible for minimal residual disease in myeloma.

Experimental Design: We report a study of 58 patients with myeloma at time of diagnosis or relapse. B cells in bone marrow were evaluated by multicolor flow cytometry and sorting. Clonality was determined by light chain and/or immunoglobulin chain gene rearrangement PCR. We also determined aldehyde dehydrogenase activity and colony formation growth. Drug sensitivity was tested with conventional and novel agents.

Results: Marrow CD19+ cells express a light chain identical to plasma cells and are therefore termed light chain restricted (LCR). The LCR B-cell mass is small in both newly diagnosed and relapsed patients (≤ 1%). Few marrow LCR B cells (~10%) are CD19+/CD34+, with the rest being more differentiated CD19+/CD34- B cells. Marrow LCR CD19+ B cells exhibit enhanced aldehyde dehydrogenase activity versus healthy controls. Both CD19+/CD34+ and CD19+/CD34- cells showed colony formation activity, with colony growth efficiency optimized when stroma-conditioned medium was used. B-cell progenitors showed resistance to melphalan, lenalidomide, and bortezomib. Panobinostat, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, induced apoptosis of LCR B cells and CD138+ cells. LCR B cells are CD117, survivin, and Notch positive.

Conclusions: We propose that antigen-independent B-cell differentiation stages are involved in disease origination and progression in myeloma. Furthermore, investigations of myeloma putative stem cell progenitors may lead to novel treatments to eradicate the potential reservoir of minimal residual disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-0531DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3500436PMC
November 2012

A randomized phase II study to evaluate tacrolimus in combination with sirolimus or methotrexate after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Haematologica 2012 Dec 11;97(12):1882-9. Epub 2012 Jun 11.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 Magnolia Drive, FOB 3308, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

Background: There is evidence suggesting that sirolimus, in combination with tacrolimus, is active in the prevention of graft-versus-host disease. Sirolimus-based immune suppression may suppress alloreactive T cells, while sparing the survival and function of regulatory T cells.

Design And Methods: We conducted a randomized trial to compare the impact of sirolimus/tacrolimus against that of methotrexate/tacrolimus on the prevention of graft-versus-host disease and regulatory T-cell reconstitution.

Results: Seventy-four patients were randomized 1:1 to sirolimus/tacrolimus or methotrexate/tacrolimus, stratified for type of donor (sibling or unrelated) and the patients' age. The rate of grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease at 100 days was 43% (95% CI: 27-59%) in the sirolimus/tacrolimus group and 89% (95% CI: 72-96%) in the methotrexate/tacrolimus group (P<0.001). The rate of moderate/severe chronic graft-versus-host disease was 24% (95% CI: 7-47%) in the sirolimus/tacrolimus group and 64% (95% CI: 41-79%) in the methotrexate/tacrolimus group (P=0.008). Overall survival and patient-reported quality of life did not differ between the two groups. On days 30 and 90 post-transplant, sirolimus-treated patients had a significantly greater proportion of regulatory T cells among the CD4(+) cells in the peripheral blood, and isolated regulatory T cells were functional.

Conclusions: These data demonstrate that sirolimus/tacrolimus prevents grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease and moderate-severe chronic graft-versus-host disease more effectively than does methotrexate/tacrolimus, and supports regulatory T-cell reconstitution following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2012.067140DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3590095PMC
December 2012

Bortezomib salvage followed by a Phase I/II study of bortezomib plus high-dose melphalan and tandem autologous transplantation for patients with primary resistant myeloma.

Br J Haematol 2012 Jun 26;157(5):553-63. Epub 2012 Mar 26.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA.

We conducted a Phase 1/2 study of bortezomib administered in combination with high-dose melphalan followed by tandem autologous transplants in patients with primary resistant multiple myeloma. Thirty patients received two cycles of salvage bortezomib followed by stem cell mobilization with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and harvest. Melphalan 100 mg/m(2) per day on two consecutive days was administered, immediately followed by one dose of bortezomib (dose escalation) and stem cell infusion. The median beta 2-microglobulin was 4·35 mg/l (range: 1·8-11·4); albumin was 37 g/l (range: 3·1-4·9); high-risk karyotypes were noted in 45% of patients. The maximum planned dose of bortezomib at 1·3 mg/m(2) was well tolerated and a formal maximum tolerated dose was not determined. The peak of best overall response (≥partial response) and complete response rates after tandem transplants were 84% and 36%, respectively. With a median follow-up of 48 months, the median progression-free survival was 15 [95% confidence interval (CI): 11-21] months and the median overall survival was 35 (95% CI: 22-43) months. Correlative studies demonstrated decreased expression of BRCA2 (P = 0·0072) and FANCF (P = 0·0458) mRNA following bortezomib treatment. Bortezomib combined with high-dose melphalan is a well-tolerated conditioning with some activity in patients with resistant myeloma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2012.09099.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4030553PMC
June 2012

Maximally tolerated busulfan systemic exposure in combination with fludarabine as conditioning before allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2012 Jul 23;18(7):1099-107. Epub 2011 Dec 23.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 USF Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

Systemic exposure to high-dose busulfan has been correlated with efficacy and toxicity after hematopoietic cell transplantation for malignancy. We used the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) to prospectively determine the maximally tolerated systemic exposure to i.v. busulfan when given once daily after fludarabine administered at 40 mg/m(2) for 4 days. Three target AUC levels were planned: 6,000, 7,500, and 9,000 μM-min. Included were patients 16 to 65 years old, with a hematologic malignancy, an HLA A, B, or C, DRB1 8/8 or 7/8 matched donor, Karnofsky performance status ≥70%, and adequate organ function. For level 1 patients, i.v. busulfan doses 1 and 2 were 170 mg/m(2)/day, then doses 3 and 4 were adjusted based on first-dose pharmacokinetic modeling to achieve an average daily AUC of 6,000 μM-min. Doses 1 and 2 for the subsequent cohorts were based on the level 1 data: 180 mg/m(2)/day for AUC 7,500 μM-min (level 2) and 220 mg/m(2)/day for AUC 9,000 μM-min (level 3), with pharmacokinetic targeting for doses 3 and 4. Pharmacokinetic analysis after the last dose showed that 88% of the patients had been exposed to a mean AUC within 10% of the target. Forty patients were treated at level 1, 29 patients at level 2, and three patients at level 3. DLT was veno-occlusive disease of the liver, which occurred in none of 40 patients (0%) at level 1, two of 29 patients (7%) at level 2, and three of three patients (100%) at level 3. Dermatitis (P < .01) and pulmonary toxicity (P = .01) were also increased at higher AUC levels. Level 2 (7,500 μM-min × 4 days) was the maximally tolerated AUC. Within the confines of the trial's small sample size, there was no suggestion that escalating busulfan AUC from 6,000 to 7,500 μM-min × 4 days increased nonrelapse mortality. Assessment of the higher busulfan AUC on relapse prevention requires trials in patients with a homogeneous risk of relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2011.12.584DOI Listing
July 2012

Outcomes from unrelated donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Authors:
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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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/107327481101800402DOI Listing
October 2011

Have we improved in preventing and treating acute graft-versus-host disease?

Curr Opin Hematol 2011 Nov;18(6):408-13

Department of Oncological Sciences, University of South Florida, Florida, USA.

Purpose Of Review: Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a considerable source of morbidity and mortality following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Accordingly, progress in the prevention and primary therapy of this complication is needed to improve patient outcomes.

Recent Findings: Guided by insights into acute GVHD pathogenesis, investigators have explored novel cellular and pharmacologic approaches to acute GVHD prevention that demonstrates promise. Although pan-T-cell depletion has reduced GVHD, novel strategies that selectively deplete alloreactive T cells or modulate the balance of effector T cells and regulatory T cells offer promise to selectively abrogate acute GVHD while retaining protection from primary disease relapse and infectious complications.

Summary: Divergent approaches in the primary therapy of acute GVHD have explored both combination approaches with standard dose glucocorticoids and additional immunosuppressive agents and conversely steroid-sparing approaches including topical agents such as beclomethasone or sirolimus as a steroid-free approach to acute GVHD therapy. Mature results of high-quality clinical trials are needed to determine the optimal therapy that results in effective control of the syndrome and limited toxicity. These complementary outcomes represent the therapeutic goal for future investigation in acute GVHD therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MOH.0b013e32834b6196DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3432261PMC
November 2011