Publications by authors named "Lothar Huebsch"

43 Publications

Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Liver Transplant Recipients With Recurrent Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis: A Pilot Study.

Transplantation 2021 May 25. Epub 2021 May 25.

Multi Organ Transplant Program, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada. Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Department of Medical Imaging, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada. Ottawa Stem Cell Program, Canadian Blood Services, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Background: Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is an indication for liver transplantation, but recurrence after liver transplantation is associated with poor outcomes often requiring repeat transplantation. We investigated whether autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) could be used to stop progression of recurrent PSC and promote operational tolerance.

Methods: Twelve patients with recurrent PSC were fully evaluated and 5 were selected for aHSCT. Autologous hematopoietic stem cells were collected, purified by CD34 immunomagnetic selection and cryopreserved. Immunoablation using busulfan, cyclophosphamide and rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin was followed by aHSCT. The primary endpoint of the study was the establishment of operational tolerance defined as lack of biochemical, histologic and clinical evidence of rejection while off immunosuppression at 2 years post-aHSCT.

Results: Two of the 5 patients achieved operational tolerance with no clinical or histological evidence of PSC progression or allo-rejection. A third patient developed sinusoidal obstruction syndrome following aHSCT requiring repeat liver transplantation but has no evidence of PSC recurrence while on sirolimus monotherapy now more than 3 years after aHSCT. A fourth patient was weaned off immunosuppression but died 212 days after aHSCT from pericardial constriction. A fifth patient died from multiorgan failure. Immunosuppression-free allograft acceptance was associated with deletion of T cell clones, loss of autoantibodies and increases in regulatory T cells, transitional B cells, and programmed cell death protein-1 expressing CD8+ T cells in the 2 long-term survivors.

Conclusions: Although operational tolerance occurred following aHSCT, the high morbidity and mortality observed renders this specific protocol unsuitable for clinical adoption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000003829DOI Listing
May 2021

Early Warning of Infection in Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Using Heart Rate Variability and Serum Biomarkers.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Departments of Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Early warning of infection is critical to reduce the risk of deterioration and mortality, especially in neutropenic patients following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT). Given that heart rate variability (HRV) is a sensitive and early marker for infection, and that serum inflammatory biomarkers can have high specificity for infection, we hypothesized their combination may be useful for accurate early warning of infection. In this study, we developed and evaluated a composite predictive model using continuous HRV with daily serum biomarker measurements to provide risk stratification of future deterioration in HCT recipients. A total of 116 ambulatory outpatients about to undergo HCT consented to collection of prospective demographic, clinical (daily vital signs), HRV (continuous electrocardiography [ECG] monitoring, laboratory [daily serum samples frozen at -80 °C]), and infection outcome variables (defined as the time of escalation of antibiotics), all from 24 hours pre-HCT to the onset of infection or 14 days post-HCT. Indications for antibiotic escalation were adjudicated as "true infection" or not by 2 blinded HCT clinicians. A composite time series of 8 HRV metrics was created for each patient, and the probability of deterioration within the next 72 hours was estimated using logistic regression modeling of composite HRV and serum biomarkers using a rule-based naïve Bayes model if the HRV-based probability exceeded a median threshold. Thirty-five patients (30%) withdrew within <24 hours owing to intolerability of ECG monitoring, leaving 81 patients, of whom 48 (59%) had antibiotic escalation adjudicated as true infection. The combined HRV and biomarker (TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-7) predictive model began increasing at ∼48 hours on average before the diagnosis of infection, could distinguish between high risk of impending infection (>90% incidence of subsequent infection within 72 hours), average risk (∼50%), and low risk (<10%), with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.87. However, given that prophylactic predictive ECG monitoring and daily serum collection proved challenging for many patients, further refinement in measurement is necessary for further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.04.023DOI Listing
May 2021

Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy.

Can J Neurol Sci 2021 Feb 26:1-7. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Division of Neurology, The Ottawa Hospital, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.

Background: Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) refractory to conventional therapy can lead to marked disability and represents a therapeutic challenge.

Objective: To report five cases of treatment-refractory disabling CIDP treated with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT).

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study from a tertiary care referral center for both neuromuscular disease and AHSCT. Patients with CIDP treated with AHSCT between 2008 and 2020 were included. All patients had major persistent and disabling neuropathic deficits despite combinations of intensive immunosuppressive therapy. The primary outcome measures were: Medical Research Council sum score, Overall Neuropathy Limitations Scale and requirement for ongoing CIDP immunotherapy after transplantation. We also analyzed safety outcomes by documenting all severe AHSCT-related complications.

Results: Five patients with refractory CIDP underwent AHSCT. Three were classified as manifesting a typical syndrome, two were classified as the multifocal Lewis Sumner variant. The mean age at time of CIDP diagnosis was 33.4 years (range 24-46 years), with a median delay of 46 months (range 21-135 months) between diagnosis and AHSCT. The median follow-up period was 41 months. All five patients were able to wean off CIDP-related immunotherapy. Marked improvements in Medical Research Council scale and overall Neuropathy Limitations Scale were noted in 4/5 patients. One patient with longstanding neurogenic atrophy showed no improvement in disability scales. There were no treatment-related deaths or critical illnesses.

Conclusions: AHSCT can achieve marked sustained clinical improvement of refractory CIDP and may allow for weaning off long-term complex immunotherapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/cjn.2021.30DOI Listing
February 2021

Does Up-front Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation at First Relapse Improve Outcome in Transplant-Eligible Follicular Lymphoma Patients Whose Disease Relapses Within 24 Months?

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2021 Apr 6;21(4):e423-e427. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Background: In Canadian adults, follicular lymphoma (FL) is the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Approximately 20% of patients with FL experience progression of disease within 2 years of first-line chemoimmunotherapy. Those patients have an expected overall survival of less than 5 years. The optimal second-line treatment for these high-risk patients is unclear.

Patients And Methods: We analyzed data from the Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation Center at Ottawa Hospital to determine whether autologous stem-cell transplantation as up-front therapy for first relapse can improve outcomes in this high-risk FL subgroup. We identified 17 patients who underwent up-front autologous stem-cell transplantation between February 2012 and February 2019.

Results: The disease of all patients had relapsed within 24 months after receipt of their first rituximab-based chemotherapy. Overall survival at 2 and 5 years was 86.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 55-96) and 71.8% (95% CI, 31-91), respectively. The progression-free survival at 2 and 5 years was 62.6% (95% CI, 35-81) and 53.6% (95% CI, 25-75), respectively.

Conclusion: Overall survival is improved when receiving autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation as up-front therapy at first relapse in transplant-eligible FL whose disease relapses within 24 months of first-line therapy. Data from our single center look promising, but the data need to be replicated with a larger sample size.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2020.12.011DOI Listing
April 2021

To Treat or Not? Remission Induction of Acquired von Willebrand Syndrome Secondary to Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: A Case Report.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2021 Jun 13;21(6):e493-e496. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Department of Medicine (Hematology) and The Ottawa Hospital, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2021.01.007DOI Listing
June 2021

Does Lymphocyte Count Impact Dosing of Anti-Thymocyte Globulin in Unrelated Donor Stem Cell Transplantation?

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 07 9;26(7):1298-1302. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Division of Hematology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada. Electronic address:

Anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) is used to reduce the incidence and severity of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) with hematopoietic cell transplantation, yet optimum dosing has yet to be determined. We have previously demonstrated that 2.5 mg/kg ATG in conditioning can reduce the incidence of GVHD in unrelated donor transplants. Recent literature has suggested that ATG dosing based on absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) could lead to more optimum exposure of the drug. We sought to determine if ALC at the time of transplant could impact clinical outcomes. We conducted a retrospective single-center study analyzing all consecutive patients at The Ottawa Hospital who received a matched unrelated donor stem cell transplant with ATG between 2009 and 2014. Patients received rabbit ATG (thymoglobulin) at 0.5 mg/kg on day -2 and 2.0 mg/kg on day -1. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine if any patient- or transplant-related factors, including weight, ALC, and total ATG dose given, impacted GVHD, relapse, or mortality. In total, 111 patients met inclusion, with a median age of 50 years (range, 19 to 70). The most common diagnoses were acute myelogenous leukemia (43%), Myelodysplasia/myeloproliferative neoplasms (13%), and lymphoma (12%). The median weight at time of conditioning was 80.3 kg (range, 45 to 216). The median ALC on the first day of ATG administration was 0.1 × 10/L (range, 0 to 190). The median total dose of ATG received was 201 mg (range, 112 to 540 mg). The incidence of acute and chronic GVHD was 35.1% and 21.6%, respectively. In the multivariate model, the actual dose of ATG given to patients was not associated with GVHD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99 to 1.25; P = .07), relapse (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.98 to 1.30; P = .1), or mortality (HR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.28; P = .32). Similarly, the pretransplant ALC was not associated with GVHD (HR, 1; P = .82), relapse (HR, 1; P = .90), or mortality (HR, 1; P = .39). If patients had received ALC-based dosing according to previously published work (Admiraal et al., Lancet Haematol 2017), the mean total dose of ATG received would have been 1205 mg, more than 5 times the mean dose that was actually given based on weight. With GVHD outcomes being similar to that published by Admiraal et al. and ALC not independently associated with outcomes in our study, further studies are still needed to compare standard weight-based dosing to ALC-based dosing of ATG in matched unrelated donor stem cell transplant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.02.026DOI Listing
July 2020

Are We Choosing Wisely With Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Screening? The Utility of Pulmonary Function Testing Prior to Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2019 02 12;19(2):68-72. Epub 2018 Nov 12.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; The Ottawa Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Introduction: Despite the risk of morbidity and mortality associated with autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (ASCT), there are no clear guidelines as to how to screen for these risks. This study sought to determine the utility of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) prior to ASCT on predicting posttransplant clinical outcomes.

Patients And Methods: Patients undergoing ASCT between 2010 and 2012 at the Ottawa Hospital (n = 172) were reviewed. PFT results prior to ASCT were retrieved. The primary outcomes were incidence of intensive care unit (ICU) admission, Seattle Criteria for pulmonary toxicities, and transplant-related mortality (TRM).

Results: PFTs were performed for 91 (53%) patients prior to ASCT. There were more smokers in the PFT cohort than the non-PFT cohort (41.8% vs. 19.8%, respectively; P < .0001). Pulmonary toxicity as measured by the Seattle Criteria did not correlate with PFT results (normal vs. abnormal, 8.1% and 6.1%, respectively; P = 1.00). There were no differences in incidence of ICU admission by PFT result (normal vs. abnormal, 2.7% vs. 8.2%, respectively; P = .61) and no difference in TRM by PFT result (normal vs. abnormal, 0% vs. 2.0%, respectively; P = 1.00).

Conclusion: Despite testing patients deemed higher risk for pulmonary toxicity, abnormal PFTs did not predict for an increased risk of pulmonary toxicity, ICU admission, or TRM at our center.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2018.11.002DOI Listing
February 2019

Canadian chronic myeloid leukemia outcomes post-transplant in the tyrosine kinase inhibitor era.

Leuk Res 2018 10 5;73:67-75. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The majority of patients with TKI failure respond to HCT. However, the relapse risk remains high. This study has evaluated transplant outcomes in 223 CML patients with TKI failure due to resistance (n = 132) or intolerance (n = 29), as well as those that were TKI naïve/responding with advanced disease (n = 35) or with chronic phase (CP, n = 27). We studied outcomes according to post-transplant BCR-ABL transcript level within 3 months. With respect to transplant outcomes according to the post-transplant BCR/ABLtranscript level within 3 months, the group failing to achieve a 1.3 log reduction (n = 14, 12.4%) showed the highest relapse rate of 78.6% at 5 years, compared to 26.2% and 24.1% in the groups achieving 1.3-4.0 log reduction (n = 45, 39.8%), and ≥4.1 log reduction (n = 54, 47.8%) respectively (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis confirmed that the group failing to achieve a 1.3 log reduction had a 2.3-fold higher risk of death and 6.6 times higher risk of relapse. Poor overall survival after HCT was associated with advanced disease at diagnosis, but not disease status prior to HCT. Of 61 patients who relapsed after HCT, 47 were treated with post-transplant TKI therapy; those receiving TKI after loss of MR2 or MMR showed higher rates of response and survival compared to those receiving TKI after hematologic relapse (p < 0.001). QPCR log reduction level within 3 months post transplantation is prognostic in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2018.08.021DOI Listing
October 2018

Effect of Donor Age and Donor Relatedness on Time to Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in Acute Leukemia.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 12 21;24(12):2466-2470. Epub 2018 Jul 21.

Department of Medicine (Hematology), University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; OneMatch Stem Cell & Marrow Network, Canadian Blood Services, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for acute leukemia can be reduced when pursued early after first complete remission. The impact of donor age and donor relatedness on the time from diagnosis to transplant in patients with acute leukemia was examined to clarify the design of future prospective studies that can address optimal donor choice. Files of 100 consecutive patients undergoing transplantation for leukemia were reviewed. Recipients of related donors (RDs) and unrelated donors (UDs) were not significantly different in terms of recipient gender, age, underlying diagnosis, disease risk index, graft source, or donor HLA match. UDs were significantly younger than RDs (median age, 29 versus 51, P < .001). Multivariate linear regression revealed that when controlling for age of donor and recipient, the time from diagnosis to transplant was 35% longer with UDs compared with RDs (P = .018). No significant correlation was observed between donor and recipient age on length of time to transplant (P = .134 and P = .850, respectively), when controlling for other variables. The steps in UD procurement that contribute most to the longer time to transplant relate to activating the donor workup and scheduling the donor workup before cell collection. Understanding sources of delay in the transplant process will help transplant centers and UD registries reduce the time to transplant for patients with acute leukemia and will provide necessary insight for the design of prospective controlled studies that can address optimal donor choice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.07.022DOI Listing
December 2018

Low-Dose Antithymocyte Globulin for Graft-versus-Host-Disease Prophylaxis in Matched Unrelated Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2017 Dec 15;23(12):2096-2101. Epub 2017 Aug 15.

Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Department of Medicine, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; The Ottawa Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant Programme, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHCT). Prophylactic in vivo T cell depletion with antithymocyte globulin (ATG) has been associated with decreased GVHD rates in many alloHCT settings. Despite decades of clinical study, optimal ATG dosing has not been established. Understanding that higher rates of GVHD are observed with matched unrelated donor (MUD) versus matched related donor (MRD) alloHCT, at our institution MUD alloHCT recipients have historically had low-dose Thymoglobulin (total dose, 2.5 mg/kg; Genzyme-Sanofi, Cambridge, MA) added to our standard MRD GVHD prophylaxis regimen. In this retrospective cohort study we assessed post-HCT the effectiveness of our uniquely low-dose ATG strategy by comparing ATG exposed (MUD) and unexposed (MRD) alloHCT recipients for GVHD and other clinical HCT outcomes. This retrospective single-center study included all HCT patients transplanted for any malignant indication at The Ottawa Hospital from 2009 to 2014. MUD patients received rabbit ATG (Thymoglobulin) at a total dose of 2.5 mg/kg given over 2 days (.5 mg/kg on day -2; 2.0 mg/kg on day -1 before stem cell infusion) in addition to standard GVHD prophylaxis. Primary outcomes assessed were incidence of acute and chronic GVHD, defined as new-onset GVHD requiring systemic immunosuppressive therapy at less or more than 100 days, respectively. Secondary outcomes included disease relapse and survival. There were 110 and 77 patients in the ATG exposed (MUD) and unexposed (MRD) cohorts, respectively. At baseline there were no significant differences in median age at transplant, sex, disease indication or risk index, graft source, conditioning regimen, or intensity between cohorts. A higher proportion of 7/8 mismatched donor transplants (13% versus 3%, P = .02) and a higher median CD34 dose (7.9 versus 4.9 × 10 cells; P < .01) was observed in the ATG exposed cohort. No differences were noted in platelet engraftment. ATG exposed patients had significantly shorter time to neutrophil engraftment than the unexposed cohort (16 versus 19 days, respectively; P < .01). ATG exposed patients had significantly lower rates of GVHD than ATG unexposed patients (57% versus 79%; P = .01), with differences predominantly in rates of chronic GVHD (18% versus 44%, P < .01). At median follow-up of 28 (range, 3 to 69) and 25 (range, 2 to 73) months for survivors in ATG exposed and unexposed cohorts, respectively, no significant differences in overall survival (median overall survival not met for either cohort), relapse incidence (26% versus 29%, P = .73), or relapse-free survival (RFS) (not met in ATG exposed and 26 months in ATG unexposed, P = .22) were observed between groups. The ATG exposed cohort had significantly higher GVHD-free RFS (GRFS) with a 2-year GRFS of 23% versus 3% (P = .003). There were no significant differences between cohorts in proportion of patientswith post-HCT infectious episodes or intensive care unit admissions. Here we report significantly lower rates of chronic GVHD and significant improvement in GRFS in an ATG exposed MUD alloHCT cohort compared with an ATG unexposed MRD cohort. These findings were observed without differences in relapse, survival, infectious complications, or intensive care unit admissions. Our findings highlight the association of unconventionally low-dose ATG with improved GVHD outcomes and suggest a need for prospective study of ATG use in lower doses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.08.007DOI Listing
December 2017

Outcomes in a nurse-led peripherally inserted central catheter program: a retrospective cohort study.

CMAJ Open 2017 Jun;5(3):E535-E539

Affiliations: The Ottawa Hospital (McDiarmid), Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (McDiarmid, Scrivens, Sabri); Department of Medicine (Carrier), Ottawa Hospital Research Institute at the University of Ottawa; Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Toye), University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital; Department of Medicine (Huebsch), University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital; Clinical Epidemiology Program (Fergusson), Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Department of Medicine (Fergusson), University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont.

Background: Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) provide enormous benefit to patients. However, recent publications have highlighted relatively high PICC-associated complication rates. We report on patient and device outcomes from a nurse-led program.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of a prospective cohort of consecutive patients undergoing PICC insertion at The Ottawa Hospital between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2014. Of the 8314 BioFlo PASV PICCs inserted, we randomly selected a sample of 700 and obtained a complete data set for 656. We measured the cumulative incidence of major complications (catheter-related bloodstream infections and deep vein thrombosis) and use of a thrombolytic to alleviate occlusions.

Results: The total number of catheter days was 58 486, and the median dwell time 45 days. We observed 4 cases of catheter-related bloodstream infection (0.6% [95% CI 0.17%-1.55%]) (0.07/1000 catheter days). Ten patients (1.5% [95% CI 0.83%-2.78%]) (0.17/1000 catheter days) had catheter-related deep venous thrombosis. At least 1 dose of thrombolytic was required in 75 catheters (11.4% [95% CI 8.61%-13.39]), 31 (7.1%) of the 436 single-lumen catheters and 113 (25.7%) of the 440 lumina of dual-lumen catheters ( < 0.001).

Interpretation: We attribute our low rates of major complications to a nurse-led expert insertion team, standardized care and maintenance protocols, high insertion volumes, novel catheter material and continuous quality-improvement initiatives that are implemented and evaluated regularly. We conclude that the considerable benefits PICCs provide to patients are attained with a low risk of major complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20170010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5621949PMC
June 2017

Total Body Irradiation without Chemotherapy as Conditioning for an Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Case Rep Hematol 2016 13;2016:1257679. Epub 2016 Nov 13.

Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Current therapies for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), failing induction, are rarely effective. We report our experience in 4 patients with AML who received 16 Gy TBI prior to allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT), between June 2010 and May 2011. Patients were 20 to 55 years of age, 2 with relapsed disease and 2 with AML failing induction. An HLA-matched graft from related or unrelated donor was infused on day 0. All but one, who received a CD34-selected graft, received methotrexate and tacrolimus +/- antithymocyte globulin, as GVHD prophylaxis. The other patient received tacrolimus alone. Neutrophil and platelet engraftment occurred at a median of 18 and 14 days, respectively. Patients were discharged at a median of 28 days. There were no unexpected toxicities in the first 30 days. One patient had cytomegalovirus (CMV) viremia and anorexia, at two months. One patient had grade 2 acute GVHD of the skin. One patient developed chronic GVHD of the eyes, mouth, skin, joints, and lung at 4 months. Two patients died from relapse of their leukemia at days 65 and 125. Two patients remain in remission beyond day 1500. 16 Gy TBI followed by an alloHCT for AML, failing induction, is feasible and tolerable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1257679DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5124456PMC
November 2016

Balancing give and take between patients and their spousal caregivers in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Psychooncology 2017 Dec 2;26(12):2224-2231. Epub 2017 Feb 2.

Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Alberta Health Services, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Objective: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a demanding treatment. Spouses of HSCT patients assume caregiving responsibilities that can induce feelings of burden and disrupt relationship equity. On the basis of equity theory, we propose a conceptual framework examining the individual and dyadic experience of HSCT patients and their caregivers. The model includes feelings of inequity, patient self-perceived burden, caregiver burden, and distress.

Methods: The HSCT patients and their spousal caregivers were recruited prior to HSCT between March 2011 and September 2012. Each member of the dyad self-administered a questionnaire package.

Results: Seventy-two dyads were included in the path analyses. Our model demonstrated an inadequate statistical fit; however, with one modification, an adequate to good fit was obtained: χ (df) = 6.01(5), normed χ  = 1.20, standardized root mean square residual = 0.048, comparative fit index = 0.99, Tucker-Lewis index = 0.96, and root-mean-square error of approximation = 0.05 (90% CI, 0.00-0.18). As hypothesized, pre-HSCT caregiver burden mediates the relationship between caregiver underbenefit and caregiver distress. However, patient self-perceived burden was not associated with patient distress; rather, patient perception of overbenefit was related to patient distress. In our modified model, the results demonstrate that patient overbenefit influenced caregiver burden; however, there was not a reciprocal influence, because caregiver variables did not affect patient variables.

Conclusions: Our proposed theoretical framework describes patients' and caregivers' individual experience of distress before HSCT but does not as clearly encompass the dyadic experience. Addressing perceived imbalances and providing psycho-education on role changes within HSCT dyads before transplantation may be a useful prehabilitation strategy for preventing distress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pon.4340DOI Listing
December 2017

Immunoablation and autologous haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation for aggressive multiple sclerosis: a multicentre single-group phase 2 trial.

Lancet 2016 Aug 9;388(10044):576-85. Epub 2016 Jun 9.

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada; Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada; The Ottawa Hospital MS Clinic, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Background: Strong immunosuppression, including chemotherapy and immune-depleting antibodies followed by autologous haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation (aHSCT), has been used to treat patients with multiple sclerosis, improving control of relapsing disease. We addressed whether near-complete immunoablation followed by immune cell depleted aHSCT would result in long-term control of multiple sclerosis.

Methods: We did this phase 2 single-arm trial at three hospitals in Canada. We enrolled patients with multiple sclerosis, aged 18-50 years with poor prognosis, ongoing disease activity, and an Expanded Disability Status Scale of 3.0-6.0. Autologous CD34 selected haemopoietic stem-cell grafts were collected after mobilisation with cyclophosphamide and filgrastim. Immunoablation with busulfan, cyclophosphamide, and rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin was followed by aHSCT. The primary outcome was multiple sclerosis activity-free survival (events were clinical relapse, appearance of a new or Gd-enhancing lesion on MRI, and sustained progression of Expanded Disability Status Scale score). This study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01099930.

Findings: Between diagnosis and aHSCT, 24 patients had 167 clinical relapses over 140 patient-years with 188 Gd-enhancing lesions on 48 pre-aHSCT MRI scans. Median follow-up was 6.7 years (range 3.9-12.7). The primary outcome, multiple sclerosis activity-free survival at 3 years after transplantation was 69.6% (95% CI 46.6-84.2). With up to 13 years of follow-up after aHSCT, no relapses occurred and no Gd enhancing lesions or new T2 lesions were seen on 314 MRI sequential scans. The rate of brain atrophy decreased to that expected for healthy controls. One of 24 patients died of transplantation-related complications. 35% of patients had a sustained improvement in their Expanded Disability Status Scale score.

Interpretation: We describe the first treatment to fully halt all detectable CNS inflammatory activity in patients with multiple sclerosis for a prolonged period in the absence of any ongoing disease-modifying drugs. Furthermore, many of the patients had substantial recovery of neurological function despite their disease's aggressive nature.

Funding: Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Research Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30169-6DOI Listing
August 2016

Filgrastim-Stimulated Bone Marrow Compared with Filgrastim-Mobilized Peripheral Blood in Myeloablative Sibling Allografting for Patients with Hematologic Malignancies: A Randomized Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group Study.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2016 08 3;22(8):1410-1415. Epub 2016 May 3.

Department of Pediatrics, British Columbia Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

In adult hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), filgrastim-mobilized peripheral blood (G-PB) has largely replaced unstimulated marrow for allografting. Although the use of G-PB results in faster hematopoietic recovery, it is also associated with more chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). A potential alternative allograft is filgrastim-stimulated marrow (G-BM), which we hypothesized may be associated with prompt hematopoietic recovery but with less cGVHD. We conducted a phase 3, open-label, multicenter randomized trial of 230 adults with hematologic malignancies receiving allografts from siblings after myeloablative conditioning to compare G-PB with G-BM. The primary endpoint was time to treatment failure, defined as a composite of extensive cGVHD, relapse/disease progression, and death. With a median follow-up of 36 months (range, 9.6 to 48), comparing G-BM with G-PB, there was no difference between the 2 arms with respect to the primary outcome of this study (hazard ratio [HR], .91; 95% confidence interval [CI], .68 to 1.22; P = .52). However, the cumulative incidence of overall cGVHD was lower with G-BM (HR, .66; 95% CI, .46 to .95; P = .007) and there was no difference in the risk of relapse or progression (P = .35). The median times to neutrophil recovery (P = .0004) and platelet recovery (P = .012) were 3 days shorter for recipients allocated to G-PB compared with those allocated to G-BM, but there were no differences in secondary engraftment-related outcomes, such as time to first hospital discharge (P = .17). In addition, there were no graft failures in either arm. This trial demonstrates that, compared with G-PB, the use of G-BM allografts leads to a significantly lower rate of overall cGVHD without a loss of the graft-versus-tumor effect and comparable overall survival. Our findings suggest that further study of this type of allograft is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2016.04.017DOI Listing
August 2016

Myasthenia Gravis Treated With Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

JAMA Neurol 2016 06;73(6):652-8

Division of Hematology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada2The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada3The Bone Marrow Transplant Programme, University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Importance: Some patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) do not respond to conventional treatment and have severe or life-threatening symptoms. Alternate and emerging therapies have not yet proved consistently or durably effective. Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) has been effective in treating other severe autoimmune neurologic conditions and may have similar application in MG.

Objective: To report 7 cases of severe MG treated with autologous HSCT in which consistent, durable, symptom-free, and treatment-free remission was achieved.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This retrospective cohort study reports outcomes at The Ottawa Hospital, a large, Canadian, tertiary care referral center with expertise in neurology and HSCT, from January 1, 2001, through December 31, 2014, with a median follow-up of 40 months (range, 29-149 months). Data collection and analysis were performed from February 1 through August 31, 2015. All patients with MG treated with autologous HSCT at The Ottawa Hospital were included. All had persistent severe or life-threatening MG-related symptoms despite continued use of intensive immunosuppressive therapies.

Interventions: Autologous hematopoietic stem cell grafts were mobilized with cyclophosphamide and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, collected by peripheral blood leukapheresis, and purified away from contaminating lymphocytes using CD34 immunomagnetic selection. Patients were treated with intensive conditioning chemotherapy regimens to destroy the autoreactive immune system followed by graft reinfusion for blood and immune reconstitution.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was MG disease activity after autologous HSCT measured by frequency of emergency department visits and hospitalizations and Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) clinical classification, MGFA therapy status, and MGFA postintervention status. Safety outcomes included all severe autologous HSCT-related complications.

Results: Seven patients underwent autologous HSCT, 6 for MG and 1 for follicular lymphoma with coincident active MG. Mean (SD) ages at MG diagnosis and at autologous HSCT were 37 (11) and 44 (10) years, respectively. Five patients (71%) had concurrent autoimmune or lymphoproliferative illnesses related to immune dysregulation. All patients had distinct clinical and electromyographic evidence of MG (MGFA clinical classification IIIb-V). All patients achieved durable MGFA complete stable remission with no residual MG symptoms and freedom from any ongoing MG therapy (MGFA postintervention status of complete stable remission). Three patients (43%) experienced transient viral reactivations, and 1 (14%) developed a secondary autoimmune disease after autologous HSCT, all of which resolved or stabilized with treatment. There were no treatment- or MG-related deaths.

Conclusions And Relevance: Autologous HSCT results in long-term symptom- and treatment-free remission in patients with severe MG. The application of autologous HSCT for this and other autoimmune neurologic conditions warrants prospective study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.0113DOI Listing
June 2016

A relapsed aggressive NK-cell leukemia with CNS involvement diagnosed by cerebrospinal fluid examination.

Diagn Cytopathol 2016 Apr 18;44(4):314-6. Epub 2016 Feb 18.

Division of Haematology, Department of Medicine, the Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L6, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dc.23454DOI Listing
April 2016

Improved Prediction of CD34+ Cell Yield before Peripheral Blood Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Collection Using a Modified Target Value-Tailored Approach.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2016 Apr 28;22(4):763-767. Epub 2015 Nov 28.

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.

The most commonly used stem cell source for both autologous and allogeneic transplantation is mobilized peripheral blood hematopoietic progenitor cells collected by apheresis. In the 1990s, an Italian group used the correlation between the preapheresis peripheral blood CD34+ cell count and the final number of CD34+ cells collected to devise a formula for "target value-tailored" (TVT) apheresis. Using local patient data, the Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Laboratory created a similar model to determine the blood volume to process during apheresis collection. The objectives of this study were to determine the correlation between the number of CD34+ cells predicted by the TVT formula and the actual number of CD34+ cells collected and to determine whether the TVT formula remains predictive when applied to an external data set. All apheresis collections performed at the Ottawa Hospital between January 1, 2003 and October 2, 2013 were reviewed. The primary outcome was the correlation between the number of CD34+ cells predicted by the TVT formula and the actual number of CD34+ cells collected on day 1 of apheresis. For the external data set, all autologous collections performed at the London Health Sciences Centre between December 1, 2008 and December 1, 2013 were reviewed. The external data set was divided into test and validation sets to determine whether a model could be created to predict the final number of CD34+ cells collected on day 1 based on the preapheresis CD34+ count. A total of 1252 collections were included in the analysis. The Ottawa data set included 1012 collections, 836 of which were autologous and 176 of which were from donors. Of the autologous collections in Ottawa, 764 (92.5%) were first collections. In 759 (91%) collections, chemotherapy plus granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) was used as the mobilization regimen. In 747 collections (89%), only 1 collection day was required to achieve the desired number of CD34+ cells. The TVT estimate was highly predictive of the number of CD34+ cells × 10(6)/kg actually collected on apheresis day 1 (r = .90, P < .0001). The London data set included 240 autologous collections. All mobilizations were with G-CSF alone. For the test set, the precollection CD34+ count was highly predictive of the number of CD34+ cells × 10(6)/kg collected on day 1 of apheresis. Applying this model to the validation set, the correlation between the predicted and final and day 1 CD34+ cells × 10(6)/kg count was .9186 (P < .0001). Using a modified TVT approach, the preapheresis CD34+ count can be used to accurately predict the number of CD34+ cells × 10(6)/kg collected on day 1. This approach can be applied at other centers and for different diseases and mobilization regimens. This method can be used to individualize the blood volume processed and, thus, optimize resource utilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.11.016DOI Listing
April 2016

Outcomes of both abbreviated hyper-CVAD induction followed by autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation and conventional chemotherapy for mantle cell lymphoma: a 10-year single-centre experience with literature review.

Cancer Med 2015 Dec 3;4(12):1817-27. Epub 2015 Oct 3.

Ottawa Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

We retrospectively evaluated consecutive patients diagnosed with Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) between 01 January 2000 and 31 December 2009. Eighty eight patients with MCL were included in the analysis of whom 46 (52%) received abbreviated Hyper-CVAD (a total of two cycles; with addition of Rituximab since 2005) with an intention of proceeding to autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (auto-HCT), with a median age of 58 years. Response rate to induction at auto-HCT time was 89% and complete response was 61%. Forty four patients received an auto-HCT with a 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 31.2% and 62.5%, respectively. There were 42 nontransplant eligible patients with a median age of 72 years, and 5-year PFS and OS were 0.0% and 39.9%, respectively. The median survival and PFS in the auto-HCT eligible group were 68 and 33 months, compared to 32 and 12 months in nontransplant eligible group, without a plateauing of the survival curves in either group. Treatment-related mortality in the auto-HCT eligible group was 10.9% (n = 5); two patients died during R-Hyper-CVAD and 3 (6.8%) experienced transplant-related mortality. An abbreviated R-Hyper-CVAD-based induction strategy followed by consolidative auto-HCT is feasible and provides moderate potential of long-term survival. Further research to define risk-adapted strategies; to optimize disease control, is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.543DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5123787PMC
December 2015

Disseminated histoplasmosis associated with acquired hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

Clin Case Rep 2015 Mar 4;3(3):195-6. Epub 2014 Dec 4.

Division of Hematopathology, The Ottawa Hospital Ottawa, Ontario, Canada ; Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a potentially life-threatening clinical syndrome caused by uncontrolled activation of lymphocytes and histiocytes resulting in high levels of cytokines. Acquired HLH occurs in autoimmune, inflammatory, infectious, and immunosuppressive disorders. Prompt identification and treatment of an underlying triggering cause improves clinical outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ccr3.179DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377254PMC
March 2015

Autologous stem cell transplantation for stiff person syndrome: two cases from the Ottawa blood and marrow transplant program.

JAMA Neurol 2014 Oct;71(10):1296-9

Ottawa Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada3Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Importance: Stiff person syndrome (SPS) is a rare neurological disease causing significant functional disability for patients and presenting a therapeutic challenge for clinicians. Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HSCT) has been used successfully to remit autoimmune-mediated neurological diseases. We report 2 cases of severe SPS treated with auto-HSCT, a novel therapy for this disease.

Observations: Two anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody-positive patients with SPS had an autologous hematopoietic stem cell graft collected and stored. Subsequently, the patients underwent auto-HSCT. Both patients achieved clinical remission with sustained, marked improvement in symptoms and a return to premorbid functioning, now more than 2.5 and 4.5 years after the procedure.

Conclusions And Relevance: Stiff person syndrome represents a novel indication for auto-HSCT. The resolution of clinical manifestations of SPS despite the persistence of anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies following auto-HSCT suggests that the antibody does not play a direct role in pathogenesis of SPS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.1297DOI Listing
October 2014

Impact of platelet transfusion on toxicity and mortality after hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation.

Transfusion 2015 Feb 15;55(2):253-8. Epub 2014 Aug 15.

Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Background: Thrombocytopenia occurs commonly after hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation (HPCT) and is associated with potential morbidity and mortality. Few studies have examined the impact of platelet (PLT) transfusion on clinical outcomes in HPCT while optimal PLT transfusion strategies after HSCT remain uncertain.

Study Design And Methods: A retrospective single-center cohort study was conducted on 522 patients undergoing HPCT between January 2002 and December 2007. Associations between PLT transfusion events and clinical characteristics with transplant-related outcomes were assessed using univariate and multivariate analysis.

Results: Mean number of PLT transfusion events before Day +60 posttransplant was 7.5 (95% confidence interval, 6.7-8.4) with greater number of events after allogeneic compared with autologous HPCT (p < 0.01). Univariate and multivariate analysis confirmed that the number of PLT transfusion events was associated with increased 100-day nonrelapse mortality (p < 0.01), posttransplant length of hospital stay (p < 0.01), need for intensive care unit admission (p < 0.01), and number of organs affected by severe toxicity (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: HPCT-related toxicity and mortality are associated with increased PLT transfusion events. Alternative strategies to reduce PLT transfusions after HPCT may warrant future study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.12817DOI Listing
February 2015

A single-institution analysis of the utility of pre-induction ejection fraction measurement in patients newly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

Leuk Lymphoma 2015 Jan 17;56(1):135-40. Epub 2014 Jul 17.

The Ottawa Hospital and Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa , Ottawa, ON , Canada.

Anthracyclines, a standard component of induction therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are known to be cardiotoxic. Existing evidence supporting routine baseline pre-induction cardiac function testing is limited. We conducted a retrospective analysis of 119 consecutive patients diagnosed with AML at our center from 2009 to 2012. In the 76 patients for whom induction chemotherapy was planned, baseline ejection fraction measurements were rarely abnormal (four cases), and in none of these abnormal cases did the result change management decisions. Awaiting LVEF evaluation results led to a delay in chemotherapy administration by a mean of approximately 2 days at significant additional costs to the healthcare system. Routine baseline ejection fraction measurement should be abandoned as it does not change management, results in treatment delay and unnecessary healthcare expenditures. More selective baseline testing, preferentially in patients in whom there is a clinical reason of cardiac disease, should be pursued.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2014.883072DOI Listing
January 2015

What is the optimal approach to major ABO-incompatible allogeneic stem cell transplantation?

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2013 Dec 8;19(12):1760. Epub 2013 Oct 8.

Department of Haematology, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.09.019DOI Listing
December 2013

Is cytomegalovirus testing of blood products still needed for hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients in the era of universal leukoreduction?

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2013 Dec 5;19(12):1719-24. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients are a high-risk, immunocompromised group of patients who receive frequent transfusions after transplantation. Transfusion of cytomegalovirus (CMV)-negative blood products has long been the standard of care to prevent transfusion-transmitted CMV in this patient population. Leukoreduction of blood products before transfusion has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted CMV. In the era of universal leukoreduction in Canada, the need for CMV testing of blood products remains unclear. We sought to identify whether there is a difference in transfusion-transmitted CMV viremia in patients receiving only leukoreduced versus CMV-negative and leukoreduced blood products in HSCT recipients. Patients who were CMV negative and received an allogeneic HSCT from a CMV-negative donor between October 1, 1999 and June 30, 2012 were included in the analysis. Transfusion data were collected from The Ottawa Hospital Blood Bank and Canadian Blood Services. CMV viremia was defined as PCR positivity. One hundred sixty-six patients were identified who met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 89 patients received an HSCT before January 2007, during the time when patients received leukoreduced and CMV-negative blood products. Seventy-seven patients received an HSCT after this time, receiving only leukoreduced blood products. The 2 groups did not differ in terms of age, gender, diagnosis, graft type, graft source, conditioning regimen, or ABO compatibility (P > .05). CMV viremia was detected in 3 patients who received CMV-negative leukoreduced blood products (3.37%) and in 1 patient who received only leukoreduced blood products (1.30%, P = .6244). Of the patients who developed CMV viremia, 2 developed suspected CMV disease. Both of these patients were transfused with CMV-negative blood products. Secondary outcomes, including total length of stay in hospital, admission to the intensive care unit, acute and chronic graft versus host disease, and 100-day nonrelapse mortality, did not differ between the groups. In the era of universal leukoreduction of blood products, this study demonstrates that testing for CMV-negative blood products is not needed for HSCT recipients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.09.013DOI Listing
December 2013

The use of intravenous antibiotics at the onset of neutropenia in patients receiving outpatient-based hematopoietic stem cell transplants.

PLoS One 2012 28;7(9):e46220. Epub 2012 Sep 28.

The Ottawa Hospital Blood and Marrow Programme, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Empirical antibiotics at the onset of febrile neutropenia are one of several strategies for management of bacterial infections in patients undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) (empiric strategy). Our HSCT program aims to perform HSCT in an outpatient setting, where an empiric antibiotic strategy was employed. HSCT recipients began receiving intravenous antibiotics at the onset of neutropenia in the absence of fever as part of our institutional policy from 01 Jan 2009; intravenous Prophylactic strategy. A prospective study was conducted to compare two consecutive cohorts [Year 2008 (Empiric strategy) vs. Year 2009 (Prophylactic strategy)] of patients receiving HSCT. There were 238 HSCTs performed between 01 Jan 2008 and 31 Dec 2009 with 127 and 111 in the earlier and later cohorts respectively. Infection-related mortality pre- engraftment was similar with a prophylactic compared to an empiric strategy (3.6% vs. 7.1%; p = 0.24), but reduced among recipients of autologous HSCT (0% vs. 6.8%; p = 0.03). Microbiologically documented, blood stream infections and clinically documented infections pre-engraftment were reduced in those receiving a prophylactic compared to an empiric strategy, (11.7% vs. 28.3%; p = 0.001), (9.9% vs. 24.4%; p = 0.003) and (18.2% vs. 33.9% p = 0.007) respectively. The prophylactic use of intravenous once-daily ceftriaxone in patients receiving outpatient based HSCT is safe and may be particularly effective in patients receiving autologous HSCT. Further studies are warranted to study the impact of this Prophylactic strategy in an outpatient based HSCT program.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0046220PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3460853PMC
February 2013

Vascular access devices in leukemia: a retrospective review amongst patients treated at the Ottawa Hospital with induction chemotherapy for acute leukemia.

Leuk Lymphoma 2012 Jun 13;53(6):1090-5. Epub 2011 Dec 13.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Patients with acute leukemia require reliable central vascular access to ensure delivery of intravenous therapy. Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) and Hickman(®) catheters are two commonly inserted central vascular catheters (CVCs), providing access to the central vascular space. While there have been reports describing individual center experiences, no one has compared the two devices, retrospectively or prospectively. We analyzed patients diagnosed with acute leukemia between September 1996 and April 2009, who had a PICC or Hickman®, received induction chemotherapy and survived at least 20 days. Prior to 1 January 2007, PICCs were inserted by palpation (PICC-palp) and Hickman(®) catheters were inserted surgically (H-Surg). After this date, PICCs were inserted by ultrasound (PICC-U/S) and Hickman(") catheters were inserted by interventional radiology (H-IR). Fifty-five patients had a Hickman(®) catheter (18 H-Surg, 37 H-IR) and 92 patients had a PICC (69 PICC-palp, 23 PICC-U/S). Significant improvements from H-Surg to H-IR catheters include the reduction in exit-site inflammation and infection (27.8% to 5.4%) and in bacteremic episodes (72.2% to 27.0%). Compared to PICC-U/S, H-IR had fewer cases of thrombophlebitis (0.0% vs. 8.7%); H-IR also required fewer instillations of a thrombolytic agent than the PICC-U/S (8.1% vs. 69.6%). Both CVCs have shown improvements from pre- to post-2007 insertion methods. Our data suggest that there were fewer complications with post-2007 Hickman(®) catheters compared to PICCs, suggesting that Hickman® catheters provide a more reliable central vascular access in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2011.639879DOI Listing
June 2012