Publications by authors named "Marina Konopleva"

486 Publications

Single-cell Polyfunctional Proteomics of CD4 Cells from Patients with AML Predicts Responses to Anti-PD-1-based therapy.

Blood Adv 2021 Sep 23. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains a difficult disease to treat disease. In a phase 2 clinical trial in patients with relapsed/refractory AML, combining the hypomethylating agent, azacitidine, with the PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, nivolumab, demonstrated encouraging response rates (33%), median event-free and overall survival, compared with a historical cohort of contemporary patients treated with azacitidine-based therapies, with an acceptable safety profile. Biomarkers of response are yet to be determined. In this study, we leveraged a multiplexed immune assay to assess the functional states of CD4+ and CD8+ cells at a single-cell level in pretherapy bone marrows in 16 patients with R/R AML treated with azacitidine/nivolumab. Effector CD4+ but not CD8+ cells had distinct polyfunctional groups and were associated with responses and better outcomes. Further evaluation of the polyfunctional strength index composition across cell types revealed that IFN-g and TNF-a were the major drivers of enhanced polyfunctionality index of pretherapy CD4+ subset, while Granzyme B, IFN-g, MIP-1b and TNF-a drove the non-significantly enhanced pretreatment PSI of CD8+ subset in the responders. Single cell polyfunctional assays were predictive of response in AML and may have a potential role as a biomarker in the wider sphere of immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004583DOI Listing
September 2021

BCL-W expression associates with poor outcome in patients with peripheral T-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified.

Blood Cancer J 2021 Sep 16;11(9):153. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Department of Translational Molecular Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00549-6DOI Listing
September 2021

Outcomes of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with KMT2A (MLL) rearrangement - The MD Anderson Experience.

Blood Adv 2021 Sep 15. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with t(4;11)(q21;q23) - KMT2A-AFF1 is associated with a poor prognosis. The impact of KMT2A rearrangements other than t(4;11) is uncertain and the benefit of allogeneic stem cell transplant (HSCT) is unclear. We reviewed adult patients with ALL treated at our institution from 1984 to 2019 and identified 50/1102 (5%) with KMT2A rearrangement: 42 (84%) with t(4;11)/KMT2A-AFF1 and 8 (16%) with other gene partners. The median age was 45 years old (range, 18 - 78 years); median white blood cell count was 109.0 x 109/L (range, 0.5 - 1573.0). The complete remission (CR) rate was 88% and the rate of measurable residual disease negativity by flow cytometry at CR was 41% (76% overall during follow-up). At the last follow-up, 14 patients were alive. The 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was 18% (95% CI, 9 - 35%) with no difference between t(4;11) and other KMT2A rearrangements (p=0.87). In a 4-month landmark analysis, the 5-year OS rate was 32% (95% CI, 14 - 70%) in patients who underwent HSCT versus 11% (95% CI, 3 - 39) in others (p=0.10). Our study confirms the poor prognosis of ALL with any KMT2A rearrangement and the role of HSCT in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004580DOI Listing
September 2021

Exogenous mitochondrial transfer and endogenous mitochondrial fission facilitate AML resistance to OxPhos inhibition.

Blood Adv 2021 Sep 10. Epub 2021 Sep 10.

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells are highly dependent on oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) for survival and continually adapt to fluctuations in nutrient and oxygen availability in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment. We investigated how the BM microenvironment affects the response to OxPhos inhibition in AML by using a novel complex I OxPhos inhibitor, IACS-010759. Cellular adhesion, growth, and apoptosis assays, along with measurements of mtDNA expression and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation, indicated that direct interactions with BM stromal cells triggered compensatory activation of mitochondrial respiration and resistance to OxPhos inhibition in AML cells. Mechanistically, OxPhos inhibition induced (1) transfer of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived mitochondria to AML cells via tunneling nanotubes under direct-contact coculture conditions, and (2) mitochondrial fission with an increase in functional mitochondria and mitophagy in AML cells. Mitochondrial fission is known to enhance cell migration, and we observed mitochondrial transport to the leading edge of protrusions of migrating AML cells toward MSCs by electron microscopy analysis. We further demonstrated that cytarabine, a commonly used antileukemia agent, increased OxPhos inhibition-triggered mitochondrial transfer from MSCs to AML cells. Our findings indicate an important role of exogenous mitochondrial trafficking from BM stromal cells to AML cells as well as endogenous mitochondrial fission and mitophagy in the compensatory adaptation of leukemia cells to energetic stress in the BM microenvironment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003661DOI Listing
September 2021

The Combined Treatment With the FLT3-Inhibitor AC220 and the Complex I Inhibitor IACS-010759 Synergistically Depletes Wt- and FLT3-Mutated Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells.

Front Oncol 2021 20;11:686765. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Department of Nutritional Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive hematologic malignancy with a high mortality rate and relapse risk. Although progress on the genetic and molecular understanding of this disease has been made, the standard of care has changed minimally for the past 40 years and the five-year survival rate remains poor, warranting new treatment strategies. Here, we applied a two-step screening platform consisting of a primary cell viability screening and a secondary metabolomics-based phenotypic screening to find synergistic drug combinations to treat AML. A novel synergy between the oxidative phosphorylation inhibitor IACS-010759 and the FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) inhibitor AC220 (quizartinib) was discovered in AML and then validated by ATP bioluminescence and apoptosis assays. In-depth stable isotope tracer metabolic flux analysis revealed that IACS-010759 and AC220 synergistically reduced glucose and glutamine enrichment in glycolysis and the TCA cycle, leading to impaired energy production and nucleotide biosynthesis. In summary, we identified a novel drug combination, AC220 and IACS-010759, which synergistically inhibits cell growth in AML cells due to a major disruption of cell metabolism, regardless of FLT3 mutation status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.686765DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8417744PMC
August 2021

CD303 (BDCA-2) - a potential novel target for therapy in hematologic malignancies.

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 Sep 6:1-12. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) serve as immunoregulatory antigen-presenting cells that play a role in various inflammatory, viral, and malignant conditions. Malignant proliferation of pDCs is implicated in the pathogenesis of certain hematologic cancers, specifically blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) and acute myelogenous leukemia with clonal expansion of pDC (pDC-AML). In recent years, BPDCN and pDC-AML have been successfully treated with targeted therapy of pDC-specific surface marker, CD123. However, relapsed and refractory BPDCN remains an elusive cancer, with limited therapeutic options. CD303 is another specific surface marker of human pDCs, centrally involved in antigen presentation and immune tolerance. Monoclonal antibodies directed against CD303 have been studied in preclinical models and have achieved disease control in patients with cutaneous lupus erythematosus. We performed a comprehensive review of benign and malignant disorders in which CD303 have been studied, as there may be a potential future CD303-directed therapy for many of these conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2021.1975192DOI Listing
September 2021

Final results of a phase 2 clinical trial of LCL161, an oral SMAC mimetic for patients with myelofibrosis.

Blood Adv 2021 08;5(16):3163-3173

Department of Leukemia.

Outcomes in patients with high-risk and treatment-resistant myelofibrosis (MF) post-JAK inhibitor therapy remain poor, with no approved drug therapies beyond the JAK inhibitor class. In certain clinical situations, such as severe thrombocytopenia, administration of most JAK inhibitors are contraindicated. Thus, there is an unmet medical need for the development of novel agents for patients with MF. SMAC mimetics [or inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) antagonists] induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Because these agents are hypothesized to have increased activity in a tumor necrosis factor-α cytokine-rich microenvironment, as is the case with MF, we conducted a single-center, investigator-initiated phase 2 clinical trial, with a monovalent SMAC mimetic LCL161 (oral, starting dose, 1500 mg per week) in patients with intermediate to high-risk MF. In an older group, 66% with ≥2 prior therapies and a median baseline platelet count of 52 × 103/μL and 28% with ASXL1 mutations, we observed a 30% objective response by Revised International Working Group-Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Research and Treatment (IWG-MRT) 2013 criteria. Notably, 6 responding patients achieved clinical improvement of anemia: 4, hemoglobin response; 2, transfusion independence. Median OS was 34 months (range, 2.2-60.1+). Reductions of cIAPs were observed in all responders. The most common toxicity was nausea/vomiting (N/V) in 64% (mostly grade 1/2); fatigue in 46%; and dizziness/vertigo in 30%. There were 4 grade 3/4 adverse events (2, syncope; 1, N/V; 1, skin eruption/pruritis). There were 2 deaths during the study period, both unrelated to the study drug. SMAC mimetics may represent an option for older patients with thrombocytopenia or for those in whom prior JAK inhibitors has failed. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02098161.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003829DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8405193PMC
August 2021

Decoupling Lineage-Associated Genes in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Reveals Inflammatory and Metabolic Signatures Associated With Outcomes.

Front Oncol 2021 4;11:705627. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, United States.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous disease with variable responses to therapy. Cytogenetic and genomic features are used to classify AML patients into prognostic and treatment groups. However, these molecular characteristics harbor significant patient-to-patient variability and do not fully account for AML heterogeneity. RNA-based classifications have also been applied in AML as an alternative approach, but transcriptomic grouping is strongly associated with AML morphologic lineages. We used a training cohort of newly diagnosed AML patients and conducted unsupervised RNA-based classification after excluding lineage-associated genes. We identified three AML patient groups that have distinct biological pathways associated with outcomes. Enrichment of inflammatory pathways and downregulation of pathways were associated with improved outcomes, and this was validated in 2 independent cohorts. We also identified a group of AML patients who harbored high metabolic and mTOR pathway activity, and this was associated with worse clinical outcomes. Using a comprehensive reverse phase protein array, we identified higher mTOR protein expression in the highly metabolic group. We also identified a positive correlation between degree of resistance to venetoclax and mTOR activation in myeloid and lymphoid cell lines. Our approach of integrating RNA, protein, and genomic data uncovered lineage-independent AML patient groups that share biologic mechanisms and can inform outcomes independent of commonly used clinical and demographic variables; these groups could be used to guide therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.705627DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8372368PMC
August 2021

Clinical and molecular characterization of myeloid sarcoma without medullary leukemia.

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 Aug 12:1-9. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Department of Leukemia, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Myeloid sarcoma (MS) in the setting of concomitant medullary AML is relatively well described, while much less is known about patients presenting with MS with <20% bone marrow blasts. We conducted a retrospective analysis of 56 patients with MS with <20% marrow blasts seen at MD Anderson between 2005 and 2020. The prevalence of MS without medullary AML was 1.4% among all newly diagnosed AML patients. The majority (75%) of patients had a single known anatomic site involved, with the skin (34%) being the most frequent. The most common histologic subtype was monocytic, and 11% of patients had a known history of an antecedent hematologic disorder. The majority of patients (70%) received frontline intensive chemotherapy induction, with 75% of those evaluable attaining complete or partial responses. The median overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were 3.41 and 3.07 years, respectively. Patients with bone marrow blasts of ≥5% or medullary relapse had inferior outcomes, while age (>60 years) was not associated with outcomes. There was a suggestion that patients with isolated leukemia cutis may have had better outcomes compared to patients with other organ involvement, but this did not reach statistical significance. Most patients who had cytogenetic analysis had a diploid karyotype within their MS and bone marrow pathway mutations were enriched in MS at diagnosis, and at time of medullary relapse. Our study provides a large dataset summarizing the clinical and molecular analysis of patients with MS with <20% BM blasts and suggests that monitoring for medullary leukemia is important for early detection of relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2021.1961235DOI Listing
August 2021

Development of TP53 mutations over the course of therapy for acute myeloid leukemia.

Am J Hematol 2021 Aug 5. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

The Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

TP53 mutations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are associated with resistance to standard treatments and dismal outcomes. The incidence and prognostic impact of the emergence of newly detectable TP53 mutations over the course of AML therapy has not been well described. We retrospectively analyzed 200 patients with newly diagnosed TP53 wild type AML who relapsed after or were refractory to frontline therapy. Twenty-nine patients (15%) developed a newly detectable TP53 mutation in the context of relapsed/refractory disease. The median variant allelic frequency (VAF) was 15% (range, 1.1%-95.6%). TP53 mutations were more common after intensive therapy versus lower-intensity therapy (23% vs. 10%, respectively; p = 0.02) and in patients who had undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplant versus those who had not (36% vs. 12%, respectively; p = 0.005). Lower TP53 VAF was associated with an increased likelihood of complete remission (CR) or CR with incomplete hematologic recovery (CRi) compared to higher TP53 VAF (CR/CRi rate of 41% for VAF < 20% vs. 13% for VAF ≥ 20%, respectively). The median overall survival (OS) after acquisition of TP53 mutation was 4.6 months, with a 1-year OS rate of 19%. TP53 VAF at relapse was significantly associated with OS; the median OS of patients with TP53 VAF ≥ 20% was 3.5 months versus 6.1 months for those with TP53 VAF < 20% (p < 0.05). In summary, new TP53 mutations may be acquired throughout the course of AML therapy. Sequential monitoring for TP53 mutations is likely to be increasingly relevant in the era of emerging TP53-targeting therapies for AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26314DOI Listing
August 2021

Ten-day decitabine with venetoclax versus intensive chemotherapy in relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia: A propensity score-matched analysis.

Cancer 2021 Aug 3. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: Relapsed/refractory (R/R) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has poor outcomes. Although lower-intensity venetoclax-containing regimens are standard for older/unfit patients with newly diagnosed AML, it is unknown how such regimens compare with intensive chemotherapy (IC) for R/R AML.

Methods: Outcomes of R/R AML treated with 10-day decitabine and venetoclax (DEC10-VEN) were compared with IC-based regimens including idarubicin with cytarabine, with or without cladribine, clofarabine, or fludarabine, with or without additional agents. Propensity scores derived from patient baseline characteristics were used to match DEC10-VEN and IC patients to minimize bias.

Results: Sixty-five patients in the DEC10-VEN cohort were matched to 130 IC recipients. The median ages for the DEC10-VEN and IC groups were 64 and 58 years, respectively, and baseline characteristics were balanced between the 2 cohorts. DEC10-VEN conferred significantly higher responses compared with IC including higher overall response rate (60% vs 36%; odds ratio [OR], 3.28; P < .001), complete remission with incomplete hematologic recovery (CRi, 19% vs 6%; OR, 3.56; P = .012), minimal residual disease negativity by flow cytometry (28% vs 13%; OR, 2.48; P = .017), and lower rates of refractory disease. DEC10-VEN led to significantly longer median event-free survival compared with IC (5.7 vs 1.5 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.46; 95% CI, 0.30-0.70; P < .001), as well as median overall survival (OS; 6.8 vs 4.7 months; HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.37-0.86; P = .008). DEC10-VEN was independently associated with improved OS compared with IC in multivariate analysis. Exploratory analysis for OS in 27 subgroups showed that DEC10-VEN was comparable with IC as salvage therapy for R/R AML.

Conclusion: DEC10-VEN represents an appropriate salvage therapy and may offer better responses and survival compared with IC in adults with R/R AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33814DOI Listing
August 2021

Venetoclax plus intensive chemotherapy with cladribine, idarubicin, and cytarabine in patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome: a cohort from a single-centre, single-arm, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Aug;8(8):e552-e561

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Addition of the BCL2 inhibitor venetoclax to lower intensity therapy has been shown to improve overall survival in older (aged 75 years or older) and unfit patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia. The aim of this study was to investigate the activity of venetoclax combined with intensive chemotherapy in patients aged 65 years or younger with acute myeloid leukaemia.

Methods: This cohort study was done at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in the USA, as part of the single-centre, single arm, phase 2, CLIA trial. Here we report on the independent cohort investigating the safety and activity of venetoclax added to intensive chemotherapy (the CLIA regimen [cladribine, high-dose cytarabine, idarubicin]). Eligible patients were aged 18-65 years with a new diagnosis of acute myeloid leukaemia, mixed phenotype acute leukaemia, or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (≥10% blasts or International Prognostic Scoring System ≥2 [intermediate]), who received no previous potentially curative therapy for leukaemia. Patients received cladribine (5 mg/m) and cytarabine (1·5 g/m for patients aged <60 years, 1 g/m for patients aged ≥60 years) intravenously on days 1-5 and idarubicin (10 mg/m) intravenously on days 1-3. Consolidation was cladribine (5 mg/m) and cytarabine (1 g/m for patients aged <60 years and 0·75 g/m for patients aged ≥60 years) on days 1-3 and idarubicin (8 mg/m) on days 1-2. Venetoclax (400 mg) was given on days 2-8 with each course. Patients with a known FLT3-ITD or FLT3-TKD mutation received midostaurin or gilteritinib. The primary outcome was composite complete response (complete response plus complete response with incomplete blood count recovery). Secondary outcomes were overall response, duration of response, event-free survival, overall survival, and safety. This trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02115295.

Findings: Between Feb 25, 2019, and March 23, 2021, 77 patients were assessed for eligibility, 50 of whom were enrolled. Median age was 48 years (IQR 37-56). 47 (94% [95% CI 83-98]) patients had composite complete response, with the same proportion also having an overall response; two (4% [1-14]) patients did not respond, and one (2% [0-11]) patient died during induction. 37 (82% [95% CI 68-92]) of 45 patients had undetectable measurable residual disease (MRD). At a median follow-up of 13·5 months (IQR 6·4-19·5), the median duration of response, event-free survival, and overall survival were not reached. At 12 months, the estimated duration of response was 74% (95% CI 60-92), event-free survival was 68% (54-85), and overall survival was 85% (75-97). The most common adverse events of grade 3 or worse were febrile neutropenia (42 [84%] patients), infection (six [12%]), and alanine aminotransferase elevations (six [12%]). There was one death during induction in a patient treated with CLIA-venetoclax plus a FLT3 inhibitor. Two patients died of infectious complications while in complete response in consolidation cycles, both of whom had FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukaemia and were receiving combined therapy with a FLT3 inhibitor. No deaths were deemed to be treatment related.

Interpretation: Venetoclax added to CLIA was safe and active in patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome, producing high rates of durable MRD-negative remissions and encouraging event-free survival and overall survival.

Funding: MD Anderson Cancer Center.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(21)00192-7DOI Listing
August 2021

Overexpression of CD200 is a Stem Cell-Specific Mechanism of Immune Evasion in AML.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Jul;9(7)

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) stem cells (LSCs) are capable of surviving current standard chemotherapy and are the likely source of deadly, relapsed disease. While stem cell transplant serves as proof-of-principle that AML LSCs can be eliminated by the immune system, the translation of existing immunotherapies to AML has been met with limited success. Consequently, understanding and exploiting the unique immune-evasive mechanisms of AML LSCs is critical.

Methods: Analysis of stem cell datasets and primary patient samples revealed CD200 as a putative stem cell-specific immune checkpoint overexpressed in AML LSCs. Isogenic cell line models of CD200 expression were employed to characterize the interaction of CD200 AML with various immune cell subsets both in vitro and in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-humanized mouse models. CyTOF and RNA-sequencing were performed on humanized mice to identify novel mechanisms of CD200-mediated immunosuppression. To clinically translate these findings, we developed a fully humanized CD200 antibody (IgG1) that removed the immunosuppressive signal by blocking interaction with the CD200 receptor while also inducing a potent Fc-mediated response. Therapeutic efficacy of the CD200 antibody was evaluated using both humanized mice and patient-derived xenograft models.

Results: Our results demonstrate that CD200 is selectively overexpressed in AML LSCs and is broadly immunosuppressive by impairing cytokine secretion in both innate and adaptive immune cell subsets. In a PBMC-humanized mouse model, CD200 leukemia progressed rapidly, escaping elimination by T cells, compared with CD200 AML. T cells from mice with CD200 AML were characterized by an abundance of metabolically quiescent CD8 central and effector memory cells. Mechanistically, CD200 expression on AML cells significantly impaired OXPHOS metabolic activity in T cells from healthy donors. Importantly, CD200 antibody therapy could eliminate disease in the presence of graft-versus-leukemia in immune competent mice and could significantly improve the efficacy of low-intensity azacitidine/venetoclax chemotherapy in immunodeficient hosts.

Conclusions: Overexpression of CD200 is a stem cell-specific marker that contributes to immunosuppression in AML by impairing effector cell metabolism and function. CD200 antibody therapy is capable of simultaneously reducing CD200-mediated suppression while also engaging macrophage activity. This study lays the groundwork for CD200-targeted therapeutic strategies to eliminate LSCs and prevent AML relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002968DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8323398PMC
July 2021

Venetoclax enhances T cell-mediated antileukemic activity by increasing ROS production.

Blood 2021 07;138(3):234-245

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Venetoclax, a Bcl-2 inhibitor, in combination with the hypomethylating agent azacytidine, achieves complete remission with or without count recovery in ∼70% of treatment-naive elderly patients unfit for conventional intensive chemotherapy. However, the mechanism of action of this drug combination is not fully understood. We discovered that venetoclax directly activated T cells to increase their cytotoxicity against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in vitro and in vivo. Venetoclax enhanced T-cell effector function by increasing reactive oxygen species generation through inhibition of respiratory chain supercomplexes formation. In addition, azacytidine induced a viral mimicry response in AML cells by activating the STING/cGAS pathway, thereby rendering the AML cells more susceptible to T cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Similar findings were seen in patients treated with venetoclax, as this treatment increased reactive oxygen species generation and activated T cells. Collectively, this study presents a new immune-mediated mechanism of action for venetoclax and azacytidine in the treatment of AML and highlights a potential combination of venetoclax and adoptive cell therapy for patients with AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020009081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8310428PMC
July 2021

DYRK1a mediates BAFF-induced noncanonical NF-kB activation to promote autoimmunity and B cell leukemogenesis.

Blood 2021 Jul 13. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States.

B cell-activating factor (BAFF) mediates B cell survival and, when deregulated, also contributes to autoimmune diseases and B cell malignancies. The mechanism connecting BAFF receptor (BAFFR) signal to downstream pathways and pathophysiological functions is not well understood. Here we identified DYRK1a as a kinase that responds to BAFF stimulation and mediates BAFF-induced B cell survival. B cell-specific DYRK1a deficiency causes peripheral B cell reduction and ameliorates autoimmunity in a mouse model of lupus. An unbiased screen identified DYRK1a as a protein that interacts with TRAF3, a ubiquitin ligase component mediating degradation of the noncanonical NF-kB-inducing kinase (NIK). DYRK1a phosphorylates TRAF3 at serine-29 to interfere with its function in mediating NIK degradation, thereby facilitating BAFF-induced NIK accumulation and noncanonical NF-kB activation. Interestingly, B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) cells express high levels of BAFFR and respond to BAFF for noncanonical NF-kB activation and survival in a DYRK1a-dependent manner. Furthermore, DYRK1a promotes a mouse model of B-ALL through activation of the noncanonical NF-kB pathway. These results establish DYRK1a as a critical BAFFR signaling mediator and provide novel insight into B-ALL pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2021011247DOI Listing
July 2021

Outcomes of TP53-mutant acute myeloid leukemia with decitabine and venetoclax.

Cancer 2021 Jul 13. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: TP53 mutation (TP53 ) confers an adverse prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Venetoclax with hypomethylating agents is a current standard for older patients; however, recent reports suggest that TP53 confers resistance to venetoclax. The authors investigated the outcomes of patients with TP53 AML who were treated with a 10-day decitabine and venetoclax (DEC10-VEN) (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT03404193).

Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed AML received decitabine 20 mg/m for 10 days every 4 to 6 weeks for induction, followed by decitabine for 5 days after response. The venetoclax dose was 400 mg daily. TP53 was identified in bone marrow samples using next-generation sequencing, with sensitivity of 5%. Outcomes were analyzed according to European LeukemiaNet 2017 guidelines.

Results: Among 118 patients (median age, 72 years; age range, 49-89 years), 63 (53%) had secondary AML, 39 (33%) had AML with complex karyotype, and 35 (30%) had TP53 AML. The median TP53 variant allele frequency was 32% (interquartile range, 16%-65%), 8 patients (23%) had only a single TP53 mutation, 15 (43%) had multiple mutations, and 12 (34%) had mutation and deletion. Outcomes were significantly worse in patients who had TP53 AML compared with those who had wild-type TP53 AML, with an overall response rate of 66% vs 89% (P = .002), a complete response/complete response with incomplete hematologic recovery rate of 57% vs 77% (P = .029), and a 60-day mortality of 26% vs 4% (P < .001), respectively. Patients with TP53 versus wild-type TP53 had shorter overall survival at 5.2 versus 19.4 months, respectively (hazard ratio, 4.67; 95% CI, 2.44-8.93; P < .0001), and shorter relapse-free survival at 3.4 versus 18.9 months (hazard ratio, 4.80; 95% CI, 1.97-11.69; P < .0001), respectively. Outcomes with DEC10-VEN in patients with TP53 AML were comparable to historical results with 10-day decitabine alone.

Conclusions: Patients with TP53 AML have lower response rates and shorter survival with DEC10-VEN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33689DOI Listing
July 2021

Selective Inhibition of the Second Bromodomain of BET Family Proteins Results in Robust Antitumor Activity in Preclinical Models of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Mol Cancer Ther 2021 Jul 12. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Dual bromodomain BET inhibitors that bind with similar affinities to the first and second bromodomains across BRD2, BRD3, BRD4, and BRDT have displayed modest activity as monotherapy in clinical trials. Thrombocytopenia, closely followed by symptoms characteristic of gastrointestinal toxicity, have presented as dose-limiting adverse events that may have prevented escalation to higher dose levels required for more robust efficacy. ABBV-744 is a highly selective inhibitor for the second bromodomain of the four BET family proteins. In contrast to the broad antiproliferative activities observed with dual bromodomain BET inhibitors, ABBV-744 displayed significant antiproliferative activities largely although not exclusively in cancer cell lines derived from acute myeloid leukemia and androgen receptor positive prostate cancer. Studies in acute myeloid leukemia xenograft models demonstrated antitumor efficacy for ABBV-744 that was comparable with the pan-BET inhibitor ABBV-075 but with an improved therapeutic index. Enhanced antitumor efficacy was also observed with the combination of ABBV-744 and the BCL-2 inhibitor, venetoclax compared with monotherapies of either agent alone. These results collectively support the clinical evaluation of ABBV-744 in AML (Clinical Trials.gov identifier: NCT03360006).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-21-0029DOI Listing
July 2021

Novel Therapeutic Approaches in Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm (BPDCN): Era of Targeted Therapy.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2021 Jun 10. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Electronic address:

Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is a rare hematologic malignancy arising from the aberrant transformation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) and involving skin, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and central nervous system. Characteristically unique from other myeloid neoplasms, BPDCN cells express CD4, CD56, and CD123 as well as TCL-1 and TCF4 in almost all cases. Historically, this malignancy has exhibited a poor prognosis, with median survival of less than 2 years. Traditional treatment approaches have involved conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy followed by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; however, patients frequently relapse with chemotherapy-resistant disease. We have recently entered a modern era of therapy with targeting of CD123, with first-in-class agent tagraxofusp, a CD123- targeted agent approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for therapy of patients with BPDCN ages 2 and older. Relapsed and refractory BPDCN remains an elusive therapeutic challenge, but better understanding of the underlying pathophysiology has led to the development of other CD123-targeted agents and combination therapy, as well as agents targeting beyond CD123. Specifically, the use of venetoclax in targeting BCL2 has been promising in BPDCN treatment. This review will focus on the underlying diagnostic markers of BPDCN which have led to novel targeted treatment strategies, as well as future directions in therapy we can expect in coming years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2021.05.018DOI Listing
June 2021

Potential Biomarkers for Treatment Response to the BCL-2 Inhibitor Venetoclax: State of the Art and Future Directions.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jun 14;13(12). Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Department of Hematopathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Intrinsic apoptotic pathway dysregulation plays an essential role in all cancers, particularly hematologic malignancies. This role has led to the development of multiple therapeutic agents targeting this pathway. Venetoclax is a selective BCL-2 inhibitor that has been approved for the treatment of chronic lymphoid leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia. Given the reported resistance to venetoclax, understanding the mechanisms of resistance and the potential biomarkers of response is crucial to ensure optimal drug usage and improved patient outcomes. Mechanisms of resistance to venetoclax include alterations involving the BH3-binding groove, gene mutations affecting venetoclax binding, and activation of alternative anti-apoptotic pathways. Moreover, various potential genetic biomarkers of venetoclax resistance have been proposed, including chromosome 17p deletion, trisomy 12, and loss or mutation. This manuscript provides an overview of biomarkers that could predict treatment response to venetoclax.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13122974DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8231978PMC
June 2021

Therapeutic potential of ruxolitinib and ponatinib in patients with -rearranged Philadelphia chromosome-like acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Haematologica 2021 Jul 1. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Division of Oncology and Center for Childhood Cancer Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA; Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA; Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2021.278697DOI Listing
July 2021

Outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed TP53-mutated acute myeloid leukemia with or without venetoclax-based therapy.

Cancer 2021 Oct 28;127(19):3541-3551. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: Venetoclax (VEN) in combination with a hypomethylating agent (HMA) has become the standard of care for patients aged >75 years and for those not eligible for intensive chemotherapy who have newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The benefit of VEN-based therapy in patients who have newly diagnosed AML with mutations in the TP53 gene (TP53 ) over standard therapy is undefined.

Methods: In this single-institutional, retrospective analysis, the authors assessed the clinical outcomes of 238 patients with newly diagnosed TP53 AML and compared the clinical characteristics, response to different therapies, and outcomes of those who received VEN-based (n = 58) and non-VEN-based (n = 180) regimens.

Results: Patients who received VEN-based regimens were older (aged >65 years: 81% vs 65%; P = .02) and had higher response rates (complete remission, 43% vs 32%; P = .06) than those who received non-VEN-based regimens. Compared with patients who received non-VEN-based regimens, no difference in overall survival (median, 6.6 vs 5.7 months; P = .4) or relapse-free survival (median, 4.7 vs 3.5 months; P = .43) was observed in those who received VEN-based regimens, regardless of age or intensity of treatment.

Conclusions: The addition of VEN to standard treatment regimens did not improve outcomes in younger or older patients who had TP53 AML. These data highlight the need for novel therapies beyond VEN to improve the outcome of patients with TP53 AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33675DOI Listing
October 2021

A phase 1b/2 study of azacitidine with PD-L1 antibody avelumab in relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia.

Cancer 2021 Jun 25. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: Patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have limited treatment options. In preclinical models of AML, inhibition of the PD-1/PD-L1 axis demonstrated antileukemic activity. Avelumab is an anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) approved in multiple solid tumors. The authors conducted a phase 1b/2 clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of azacitidine with avelumab in patients with R/R AML.

Methods: Patients aged ≥18 years who had R/R AML received azacitidine 75 mg/m on days 1 through 7 and avelumab on days 1 and 14 of 28-day cycles.

Results: Nineteen patients were treated. The median age was 66 years (range, 22-83 years), 100% had European LeukemiaNet 2017 adverse-risk disease, and 63% had prior exposure to a hypomethylating agent. Avelumab was dosed at 3 mg/kg for the first 7 patients and at 10 mg/kg for the subsequent 12 patients. The most common grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events were neutropenia and anemia in 2 patients each. Two patients experienced immune-related adverse events of grade 2 and grade 3 pneumonitis, respectively. The overall complete remission rate was 10.5%, and both were complete remission with residual thrombocytopenia. The median overall survival was 4.8 months. Bone marrow blasts were analyzed for immune-related markers by mass cytometry and demonstrated significantly higher expression of PD-L2 compared with PD-L1 both pretherapy and at all time points during therapy, with increasing PD-L2 expression on therapy.

Conclusions: Although the combination of azacitidine and avelumab was well tolerated, clinical activity was limited. High expression of PD-L2 on bone marrow blasts may be an important mechanism of resistance to anti-PD-L1 therapy in AML.

Lay Summary: This report describes the results of a phase 1b/2 study of azacitidine with the anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor avelumab for patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The clinical activity of the combination therapy was modest, with an overall response rate of 10.5%. However, mass cytometry analysis revealed significantly higher expression of PD-L2 compared with PD-L1 on AML blasts from all patients who were analyzed at all time points. These data suggest a novel potential role for PD-L2 as a means of AML immune escape.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33690DOI Listing
June 2021

Break the lifeline of AML cells.

Blood 2021 Jun;137(25):3465-3467

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2021011475DOI Listing
June 2021

Network-based systems pharmacology reveals heterogeneity in LCK and BCL2 signaling and therapeutic sensitivity of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Nat Cancer 2021 Mar 21;2(3):284-299. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Computational Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematological malignancy, and novel therapeutics are much needed. Profiling patient leukemia' drug sensitivities , we discovered that 44.4% of childhood and 16.7% of adult T-ALL cases exquisitely respond to dasatinib. Applying network-based systems pharmacology analyses to examine signal circuitry, we identified preTCR-LCK activation as the driver of dasatinib sensitivity, and T-ALL-specific LCK dependency was confirmed in genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screens. Dasatinib-sensitive T-ALLs exhibited high BCL-XL and low BCL2 activity and venetoclax resistance. Discordant sensitivity of T-ALL to dasatinib and venetoclax is strongly correlated with T-cell differentiation, particularly with the dynamic shift in LCK vs. BCL2 activation. Finally, single-cell analysis identified leukemia heterogeneity in LCK and BCL2 signaling and T-cell maturation stage, consistent with dasatinib response. In conclusion, our results indicate that developmental arrest in T-ALL drives differential activation of preTCR-LCK and BCL2 signaling in this leukemia, providing unique opportunities for targeted therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43018-020-00167-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8208590PMC
March 2021

Hyper-CVAD plus ofatumumab versus hyper-CVAD plus rituximab as frontline therapy in adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A propensity score analysis.

Cancer 2021 Sep 17;127(18):3381-3389. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: The outcome of hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone plus ofatumumab hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab (hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab) has not been compared with the outcome of hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone plus ofatumumab hyper-CVAD plus rituximab (hyper-CVAD + Rituximab) in Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in a randomized clinical trial.

Methods: The authors compared the outcomes of 69 patients treated with hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab and 95 historical-control patients treated with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab. Historical-control patients were treated with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab if they had CD20 expression ≥ 20%. Ofatumumab (day 1 of course 1, 300 mg intravenously; subsequent doses, 2000 mg intravenously) was administered on days 1 and 11 of courses 1 and 3 and on days 1 and 8 of courses 2 and 4 for a total of 8 doses. A propensity score analysis with inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) was performed to adjust for baseline covariates between groups.

Results: The median event-free survival with stem cell transplantation (SCT) censoring was 33 and 65 months with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab and hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab, respectively (crude P = .064; IPTW P = .054). The median overall survival with SCT censoring was 52 months and not reached, respectively (crude P = .087; IPTW P = .097).

Conclusions: Hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab was associated with better outcomes than hyper-CVAD + Rituximab among patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-negative ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33655DOI Listing
September 2021

Impact of frontline treatment approach on outcomes of myeloid blast phase CML.

J Hematol Oncol 2021 06 15;14(1):94. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 0428, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Background: The natural course of untreated chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is progression to an aggressive blast phase. Even in the current era of BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), the outcomes of blast phase CML remain poor with no consensus frontline treatment approach.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the response rates and survival outcomes of 104 consecutive patients with myeloid blast phase CML (CML-MBP) treated from 2000 to 2019 based on 4 different frontline treatment approaches: intensive chemotherapy (IC) + TKI (n = 20), hypomethylating agent (HMA) + TKI (n = 20), TKI alone (n = 56), or IC alone (n = 8). We also evaluated the impact of TKI selection and subsequent allogeneic stem cell transplant (ASCT) on patient outcomes.

Results: Response rates were similar between patients treated with IC + TKI and HMA + TKI. Compared to treatment with TKI alone, treatment with IC/HMA + TKI resulted in a higher rate of complete remission (CR) or CR with incomplete count recovery (CRi) (57.5% vs 33.9%, p < 0.05), a higher complete cytogenetic response rate (45% vs 10.7%, p < 0.001), and more patients proceeding to ASCT (32.5% vs 10.7%, p < 0.01). With a median follow-up of 6.7 years, long-term outcomes were similar between the IC + TKI and HMA + TKI groups. Combination therapy with IC/HMA + TKI was superior to therapy with TKI alone, including when analysis was limited to those treated with a 2nd/3rd-generation TKI. When using a 2nd/3rd-generation TKI, IC/HMA + TKI led to lower 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR; 44% vs 86%, p < 0.05) and superior 5-year event-free survival (EFS; 28% vs 0%, p < 0.05) and overall survival (OS; 34% vs 8%, p = 0.23) compared to TKI alone. Among patients who received IC/HMA + TKI, EFS and OS was superior for patients who received a 2nd/3rd generation TKI compared to those who received imatinib-based therapy. In a landmark analysis, 5-year OS was higher for patients who proceeded to ASCT (58% vs 22%, p = 0.12).

Conclusions: Compared to patients treated with TKI alone for CML-MBP, treatment with IC + TKI or HMA + TKI led to improved response rates, CIR, EFS, and OS, particularly for patients who received a 2nd/3rd-generation TKI. Combination therapy with IC + TKI or HMA + TKI, rather than a TKI alone, should be considered the optimal treatment strategy for patients with CML-MBP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-021-01106-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8204504PMC
June 2021

Clonal Dynamics and clinical implications of Post-Remission Clonal Hematopoiesis in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Blood 2021 Jun 3. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States.

While clonal hematopoiesis (CH) can precede the development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), it can also persist after achieving remission. Long-term clonal dynamics and clinical implications of persistent CH are not well understood. Here, we studied the prevalence, dynamics and clinical implications of post-remission CH in 164 AML patients who attained complete remission after induction chemotherapies. Post-remission CH was identified in 79 (49%) patients. Post-remission CH persisted long-term in 91% of the trackable patients despite treatment with various types of consolidation and maintenance therapies. Post-remission CH was eradicated in 20 out of 21 (95%) patients who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplant. While patients with post-remission CH as a group had comparable hematopoiesis with those without it, patients with persistent TET2 mutations showed significant neutropenia long-term. Post-remission CH had little impact on relapse risk, non-relapse mortality, and incidence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, although the clinical impact of post-CR CH was heterogeneous among different mutations. These data suggest that while residual clonal hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are generally resistant to consolidation and maintenance therapies, they retain the ability to maintain normal hematopoiesis and have little impact on clinical outcomes, although larger study is needed to dissect the gene-specific heterogeneity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020010483DOI Listing
June 2021

Ibrutinib Plus Venetoclax for First-line Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: A Nonrandomized Phase 2 Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Aug;7(8):1213-1219

Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

Importance: Oral targeted therapies have advanced the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). These therapies include Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors, used as monotherapy, and the Bcl-2 inhibitor venetoclax, typically combined with the CD20 monoclonal antibody. Preclinical studies have shown synergy between Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors and the Bcl-2 inhibitor venetoclax.

Objective: To examine the rate of complete remission, complete remission with incomplete count recovery, and bone marrow-undetectable measurable residual disease (U-MRD) after treatment with the combination of ibrutinib and venetoclax.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A single-center, phase 2 nonrandomized trial enrolled patients from August 17, 2016, to June 5, 2018. Participants included previously untreated patients with CLL who met International Workshop on CLL 2008 criteria for treatment indication. Patients were required to have at least 1 of the following features: del(17p), TP53-mutated CLL, del(11q), unmutated immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable gene, or age 65 years or older.

Interventions: Therapy consisted of ibrutinib, 420 mg/d, monotherapy for 3 cycles, thereafter combined with venetoclax (standard weekly dose ramp-up to 400 mg/d) for a total of 24 cycles of combination treatment. Responses were assessed at serial points according to International Workshop on CLL 2008 criteria. Measurable residual disease (MRD) was assessed by multicolor flow cytometry with a sensitivity of 10-4.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Outcomes included complete remission, complete remission with incomplete count recovery, and bone marrow U-MRD rate.

Results: Eighty patients (57 [71%] men) were treated; median age was 65 years (range, 26-83 years). The median follow-up for all 80 patients was 38.5 months (range, 5.6-51.1 months). Five patients discontinued the study during the ibrutinib monotherapy phase; the remaining 75 patients received combination therapy. On an intent-to-treat analysis of combined treatment, 45 (56%) patients achieved bone marrow U-MRD remission at 12 cycles and 53 (66%) patients achieved bone marrow U-MRD remission at 24 cycles. Overall, 60 (75%) patients achieved bone marrow U-MRD remission as their best response. Responses were seen across all high-risk subgroups, independent of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable gene mutation status, fluorescence in situ hybridization category, or TP53 mutation. The 3-year progression-free survival was 93%, and 3-year overall survival was 96%. No patient had CLL progression; 2 patients developed Richter transformation.

Conclusions And Relevance: The findings of this study suggest that combination therapy with ibrutinib and venetoclax might be beneficial for previously untreated patients with CLL. Remissions appeared to be durable during a follow-up of more than 3 years, with activity seen across high-risk disease subgroups, including those with del(17p)/TP53-mutated CLL.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02756897.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.1649DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8193546PMC
August 2021
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