Publications by authors named "Mitchell Sabloff"

55 Publications

Patient-reported fatigue refines prognosis in higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS): a MDS-CAN study.

Br J Haematol 2021 Jul 31;194(2):319-324. Epub 2021 May 31.

Haematology/Oncology, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

The incorporation of patient-reported outcomes with traditional disease risk classification was found to strengthen survival prediction in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). In the present Canadian MDS registry analysis, we validate a recently reported prognostic model, the Fatigue-International Prognostic Scoring System among higher-risk patients [FA-IPSS(h)], which incorporates patients' reported fatigue, assessed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life-Core 30 (QLQ-C30), with a threshold of ≥45 points, in higher IPSS score, stratifying them into distinct subgroups with different survival outcomes. We further validated this concept, using the Revised IPSS >3·5 as cut-off for the definition of higher-risk MDS, and patients' reported fatigue according to Edmonton Symptom Self-Assessment Scale (ESAS) Global Fatigue Scale (GFS), a single-item fatigue rating scale, which is easier to deploy. This emphasises the power of self-reported fatigue at refining overall survival predictions in higher-risk MDS and further bolsters the importance of considering patient-related outcomes in global assessments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17537DOI Listing
July 2021

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

Breaking the Age Barrier: Physicians' Perceptions of Candidacy for Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in Older Adults.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 07 6;27(7):617.e1-617.e7. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

City of Hope, Duarte, California.

Despite continuing increases in the use of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) in older adults, no standardized geriatric assessment (GA) has been established to risk stratify for transplantation-related morbidity. We conducted a survey of transplant physicians to determine perceptions of the impact of older age (≥60 years) on alloHCT candidacy, and utilization of tools to gauge candidacy. This 23-item online cross-sectional survey was distributed to HCT physicians caring for adults in the United States between May and July 2019. Of the 770 invited HCT physicians, 175 (22.7%) completed the survey. The majority of respondents were age 41 to 60 years and male and practiced in a higher-volume teaching hospital. When considering regimen intensity, 29 physicians (17%) stated they would consider a myeloablative regimen for patients age ≥70 years, and 141 (82%) would consider reduced-intensity/nonmyeloablative conditioning for patients age ≥70 years. Almost all (90%) endorsed the need for a specialized assessment of pre-HCT vulnerabilities to guide candidacy decisions for older adults. Most physicians reported that their centers rarely (33%) or never (46%) use a dedicated geriatrician/geriatric-oncologist to assess alloHCT candidates age ≥60 years. Common barriers to performing a GA included uncertainty about which tools to use, lack of knowledge and training, and lack of appropriate clinical support staff. Many alloHCT physicians will consider alloHCT in patients up to age 75 years and not uncommonly in patients older than that. However, the application of tools and domains to assess candidacy in older adults varies widely. Incorporation of a standardized pretransplantation health assessment tool for risk stratification is a significant unmet need.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.03.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254775PMC
July 2021

Total Body Irradiation for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: What Can We Agree on?

Curr Oncol 2021 02 14;28(1):903-917. Epub 2021 Feb 14.

Division of Radiation Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L6, Canada.

Total body irradiation (TBI), used as part of the conditioning regimen prior to allogeneic and autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation, is the delivery of a relatively homogeneous dose of radiation to the entire body. TBI has a dual role, being cytotoxic and immunosuppressive. This allows it to eliminate disease and create "space" in the marrow while also impairing the immune system from rejecting the foreign donor cells being transplanted. Advantages that TBI may have over chemotherapy alone are that it may achieve greater tumour cytotoxicity and better tissue penetration than chemotherapy as its delivery is independent of vascular supply and physiologic barriers such as renal and hepatic function. Therefore, the so-called "sanctuary" sites such as the central nervous system (CNS), testes, and orbits or other sites with limited blood supply are not off-limits to radiation. Nevertheless, TBI is hampered by challenging logistics of administration, coordination between hematology and radiation oncology departments, increased rates of acute treatment-related morbidity and mortality along with late toxicity to other tissues. Newer technologies and a better understanding of the biology and physics of TBI has allowed the field to develop novel delivery systems which may help to deliver radiation more safely while maintaining its efficacy. However, continued research and collaboration are needed to determine the best approaches for the use of TBI in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28010089DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985756PMC
February 2021

Plerixafor in combination with chemotherapy and/or hematopoietic cell transplantation to treat acute leukemia: A systematic review and metanalysis of preclinical and clinical studies.

Leuk Res 2020 10 27;97:106442. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada; Department of Medicine (Hematology), Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada. Electronic address:

Leukemia-initiating cells localize to bone marrow niches via cell surface CXCR4 binding to stromal-derived factor 1 (SDF-1). Plerixafor, a CXCR4 antagonist, can mobilize and sensitize leukemia cells to cytotoxic therapy, and/or enhance the engraftment of healthy donor stem cells in the context of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). A systematic review of preclinical and clinical studies was performed (updated May 1, 2020) to inform the design of definitive clinical trials and identified 19 studies. Pooled data from 10 preclinical in-vivo studies of AML and ALL in mouse models of leukemia revealed significant mobilization of leukemia cells into the peripheral circulation, decreased total blast burden and increased survival with plerixafor in addition to cytotoxic treatment compared to control animals. Two of 9 clinical studies compared outcomes to a control group. Plerixafor appears well tolerated and safe and can mobilize leukemia cells into the peripheral circulation. In patients with AML undergoing HCT, plerixafor given with the conditioning regimen appears safe and well tolerated. Engraftment, relapse and survival were not different from controls after limited follow-up. Studies in high risk patients with AML with longer follow-up are needed to understand the influence on relapse following treatment and on donor cell engraftment following HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2020.106442DOI Listing
October 2020

A Personalized Prediction Model for Outcomes after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplant in Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 11 8;26(11):2139-2146. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

Blood & Marrow Transplant Program, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, Ohio.

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) remains the only potentially curative option for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Mortality after HCT is high, with deaths related to relapse or transplant-related complications. Thus, identifying patients who may or may not benefit from HCT is clinically important. We identified 1514 patients with MDS enrolled in the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research Registry and had their peripheral blood samples sequenced for the presence of 129 commonly mutated genes in myeloid malignancies. A random survival forest algorithm was used to build the model, and the accuracy of the proposed model was assessed by concordance index. The median age of the entire cohort was 59 years. The most commonly mutated genes were ASXL1(20%), TP53 (19%), DNMT3A (15%), and TET2 (12%). The algorithm identified the following variables prior to HCT that impacted overall survival: age, TP53 mutations, absolute neutrophils count, cytogenetics per International Prognostic Scoring System-Revised, Karnofsky performance status, conditioning regimen, donor age, WBC count, hemoglobin, diagnosis of therapy-related MDS, peripheral blast percentage, mutations in RAS pathway, JAK2 mutation, number of mutations/sample, ZRSR2, and CUX1 mutations. Different variables impacted the risk of relapse post-transplant. The new model can provide survival probability at different time points that are specific (personalized) for a given patient based on the clinical and mutational variables that are listed above. The outcomes' probability at different time points may aid physicians and patients in their decision regarding HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.08.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7609542PMC
November 2020

Selecting the optimal targeted therapy for relapsed B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Leuk Lymphoma 2020 09 19;61(9):2271-2273. Epub 2020 May 19.

Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa and Ottawa Health Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1761965DOI Listing
September 2020

Comparison of High Doses of Total Body Irradiation in Myeloablative Conditioning before Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2019 12 29;25(12):2398-2407. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Blood & Marrow Transplantation Program, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland.

Malignancy relapse is the most common cause of treatment failure among recipients of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Conditioning dose intensity can reduce disease relapse but is offset by toxicities. Improvements in radiotherapy techniques and supportive care may translate to better outcomes with higher irradiation doses in the modern era. This study compares outcomes of recipients of increasing doses of high-dose total body irradiation (TBI) divided into intermediate high dose (IH; 13-13.75 Gy) and high dose (HD; 14 Gy) with standard dose (SD; 12 Gy) with cyclophosphamide. A total of 2721 patients ages 18 to 60 years with hematologic malignancies receiving HCT from 2001 to 2013 were included. Cumulative incidences of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) at 5 years were 28% (95% confidence interval [CI], 25% to 30%), 32% (95% CI, 29% to 36%), and 34% (95% CI, 28% to 39%) for SD, IH, and HD, respectively (P = .02). Patients receiving IH-TBI had a 25% higher risk of NRM compared with those receiving SD-TBI (12 Gy) (P = .007). Corresponding cumulative incidences of relapse were 36% (95% CI, 34% to 38%), 32% (95% CI, 29% to 36%), and 26% (95% CI, 21% to 31%; P = .001). Hazard ratios for mortality compared with SD were 1.06 (95% CI, .94 to 1.19; P = .36) for IH and .89 (95% CI, .76 to 1.05; P = .17) for HD. The study demonstrates that despite improvements in supportive care, myeloablative conditioning using higher doses of TBI (with cyclophosphamide) leads to worse NRM and offers no survival benefit over SD, despite reducing disease relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.08.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7304318PMC
December 2019

Targeting the MTF2-MDM2 Axis Sensitizes Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia to Chemotherapy.

Cancer Discov 2018 11 16;8(11):1376-1389. Epub 2018 Aug 16.

The Sprott Center for Stem Cell Research, Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Deep sequencing has revealed that epigenetic modifiers are the most mutated genes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Thus, elucidating epigenetic dysregulation in AML is crucial to understand disease mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate that metal response element binding transcription factor 2/polycomblike 2 (MTF2/PCL2) plays a fundamental role in the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) and that its loss elicits an altered epigenetic state underlying refractory AML. Unbiased systems analyses identified the loss of MTF2-PRC2 repression of MDM2 as central to, and therefore a biomarker for, refractory AML. Thus, immature MTF2-deficient CD34CD38 cells overexpress MDM2, thereby inhibiting p53 that leads to chemoresistance due to defects in cell-cycle regulation and apoptosis. Targeting this dysregulated signaling pathway by MTF2 overexpression or MDM2 inhibitors sensitized refractory patient leukemic cells to induction chemotherapeutics and prevented relapse in AML patient-derived xenograft mice. Therefore, we have uncovered a direct epigenetic mechanism by which MTF2 functions as a tumor suppressor required for AML chemotherapeutic sensitivity and identified a potential therapeutic strategy to treat refractory AML. MTF2 deficiency predicts refractory AML at diagnosis. MTF2 represses MDM2 in hematopoietic cells and its loss in AML results in chemoresistance. Inhibiting p53 degradation by overexpressing MTF2 or by using MDM2 inhibitors sensitizes MTF2-deficient refractory AML cells to a standard induction-chemotherapy regimen. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-17-0841DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7200079PMC
November 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

Acute myeloid leukaemia disrupts endogenous myelo-erythropoiesis by compromising the adipocyte bone marrow niche.

Nat Cell Biol 2017 Nov 16;19(11):1336-1347. Epub 2017 Oct 16.

Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3Z5, Canada.

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is distinguished by the generation of dysfunctional leukaemic blasts, and patients characteristically suffer from fatal infections and anaemia due to insufficient normal myelo-erythropoiesis. Direct physical crowding of bone marrow (BM) by accumulating leukaemic cells does not fully account for this haematopoietic failure. Here, analyses from AML patients were applied to both in vitro co-culture platforms and in vivo xenograft modelling, revealing that human AML disease specifically disrupts the adipocytic niche in BM. Leukaemic suppression of BM adipocytes led to imbalanced regulation of endogenous haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, resulting in impaired myelo-erythroid maturation. In vivo administration of PPARγ agonists induced BM adipogenesis, which rescued healthy haematopoietic maturation while repressing leukaemic growth. Our study identifies a previously unappreciated axis between BM adipogenesis and normal myelo-erythroid maturation that is therapeutically accessible to improve symptoms of BM failure in AML via non-cell autonomous targeting of the niche.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncb3625DOI Listing
November 2017

A predictive model of response to erythropoietin stimulating agents in myelodysplastic syndrome: from the Canadian MDS patient registry.

Ann Hematol 2017 Dec 3;96(12):2025-2029. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4N 3M5, Canada.

Prediction of response to erythropoietin stimulating agents (ESAs) in anemic MDS patients is often based on the Nordic score. We wished to validate the Nordic score (IWG 2006 response criteria) in a larger cohort and determine if other variables such as IPSS/IPSS-R, ferritin, LDH, and a novel European ESA response score (Santini 2013) were of prognostic importance. We analyzed 208 ESA-treated MDS patients (WHO 2008 criteria) from a prospective registry. Ninety-four and 93% had lower risk scores by IPSS (low/int - 1) and IPSS-R (low/very low), respectively. Erythroid response was achieved in 94 patients (47%); responses were similar with erythropoietin (50%) and darbepoetin (39%; p = 0.2). The Nordic and European scores were both validated on univariate analysis. Variables independently predictive of response in multivariate analysis were low-risk IPSS score (OR 0.1, p = 0.0016) and serum EPO level < 100 mIU/mL (OR 8.7, p < 0.0001). We propose a new ESA response score, consisting of (a) IPSS low score (1 point) and (b) serum EPO levels < 100 mIU/ml (2 points), yielding scores ranging from 0 to 3, with response rates varying from 17 to 81%. The Nordic score has validity but we observed lower than the expected response rates in the best risk group. Our proposed scoring system appears more discriminating but needs validation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-017-3137-0DOI Listing
December 2017

Micro-RNA Profiling of Exosomes from Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Implications in Leukemogenesis.

Stem Cell Rev Rep 2017 Dec;13(6):817-825

Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Gene regulatory networks in AML may be influenced by microRNAs (miRs) contained in exosomes derived from bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). We sequenced miRs from exosomes isolated from marrow-derived MSCs from patients with AML (n = 3) and from healthy controls (n = 3; not age-matched). Known targets of mIRs that were significantly different in AML-derived MSC exosomes compared to controls were identified. Of the five candidate miRs identified by differential packaging in exosomes, only miR-26a-5p and miR-101-3p were significantly increased in AML-derived samples while miR-23b-5p, miR-339-3p and miR-425-5p were significantly decreased. Validation of the predicted change in gene expression of the potential targets was investigated by interrogating gene expression levels from public datasets of marrow-derived CD34-selected cells from patients with AML (n = 69) and healthy donors (n = 40). Two molecules with decreased gene expression in AML (EZH2 and GSK3β) were predicted by the miR profiling and have been previously implicated in AML while three molecules were increased in AML-derived cells and have not been previously associated with leukemogenesis (KRBA2, RRBP1 and HIST2H 2BE). In summary, profiling miRs in exosomes from AML-derived MSCs allowed us to identify candidate miRs with potential relevance in AML that could yield new insights regarding leukemogenesis or new treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12015-017-9762-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5730624PMC
December 2017

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

Treatment of older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML): revised Canadian consensus guidelines.

Am J Blood Res 2017 25;7(4):30-40. Epub 2017 Jul 25.

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of TorontoToronto, ON, Canada.

The treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in older patients is undergoing rapid changes, with a number of important publications in the past five years. Because of this, a group of Canadian leukemia experts has produced an update to the Canadian Consensus Guidelines that were published in 2013, with several new agents recommended, subject to availability. Recent studies have supported the survival benefit of induction chemotherapy for patients under age 80, except those with major co-morbidities or those with adverse risk cytogenetics who are not candidates for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Midostaurin should be added to induction therapy for patients up to age 70 with a FLT3 mutation, and gemtuzumab ozogamicin for de novo AML up to age 70 with favorable or intermediate risk cytogenetics. Daunorubicin 60 mg/m is the recommended dose for 3+7 induction therapy. Acute promyelocytic leukemia should be treated with arsenic trioxide plus all-trans retinoic acid, regardless of age, with cytotoxic therapy added upfront only for those with initial white blood count > 10. HSCT may be considered for selected suitable patients up to age 70-75. Haploidentical donor transplants may be considered for older patients. For non-induction candidates, azacitidine is recommended for those with adverse risk cytogenetics, while either a hypomethylating agent (HMA) or low-dose cytarabine can be used for others. HMA may also be used for relapsed/refractory disease after chemotherapy. For patients with secondary AML, CPX-351 is recommended for fit patients age 60-75.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5545212PMC
July 2017

Overall survival in lower IPSS risk MDS by receipt of iron chelation therapy, adjusting for patient-related factors and measuring from time of first red blood cell transfusion dependence: an MDS-CAN analysis.

Br J Haematol 2017 10 5;179(1):83-97. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Analyses suggest iron overload in red blood cell (RBC) transfusion-dependent (TD) patients with myleodysplastic syndrome (MDS) portends inferior overall survival (OS) that is attenuated by iron chelation therapy (ICT) but may be biassed by unbalanced patient-related factors. The Canadian MDS Registry prospectively measures frailty, comorbidity and disability. We analysed OS by receipt of ICT, adjusting for these patient-related factors. TD International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) low and intermediate-1 risk MDS, at RBC TD, were included. Predictive factors for OS were determined. A matched pair analysis considering age, revised IPSS, TD severity, time from MDS diagnosis to TD, and receipt of disease-modifying agents was conducted. Of 239 patients, 83 received ICT; frailty, comorbidity and disability did not differ from non-ICT patients. Median OS from TD was superior in ICT patients (5·2 vs. 2·1 years; P < 0·0001). By multivariate analysis, not receiving ICT independently predicted inferior OS, (hazard ratio for death 2·0, P = 0·03). In matched pair analysis, OS remained superior for ICT patients (P = 0·02). In this prospective, non-randomized analysis, receiving ICT was associated with superior OS in lower IPSS risk MDS, adjusting for age, frailty, comorbidity, disability, revised IPSS, TD severity, time to TD and receiving disease-modifying agents. This provides additional evidence that ICT may confer clinical benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.14825DOI Listing
October 2017

ITACA: A new validated international erythropoietic stimulating agent-response score that further refines the predictive power of previous scoring systems.

Am J Hematol 2017 Oct 29;92(10):1037-1046. Epub 2017 Jul 29.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences, 2075 Bayview Ave, Toronto, Ontario, 4N3M5, Canada.

Background: In 'real-life', the Nordic score guides Erythropoietic stimulating agent (ESA) use in lower-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with predicted response rates of 25% or 74%. As new treatments emerge, a more discriminating score is needed.

Objectives: To validate existing ESA predictive scores and develop a new score that identifies non-responders.

Methods: ESA-treated patients were identified in 3 MDS registries in Italy and Canada (FISM 555, GROM 233, and MDS-CAN 208). Clinical and disease-related variables were captured. Nordic, MDS-CAN, and IPSS-R-based ESA scores were calculated and documented ESA responses compared.

Results: 996 ESA-treated patients were identified. Overall response rate (ORR) was 59%. The database was randomly divided into balanced derivation (n = 463) and validation (n = 462) cohorts. By multivariate analysis, transfusion independence, erythropoietin (EPO) level <100 IU/L, and IPSS low-risk were independently predictive of response. Assigning a score of 1 to each resulted in a scoring system of 0-3 with response rates of 23%, 43%, 67%, and 85%. ORR was concordant in the validation cohort. The 'ITACA' score had the highest discriminating power of response.

Conclusion: ITACA is an internally-validated predictive SS of ESA response in real-life 'good risk' MDS patients derived from a large international dataset that surpasses others. The incorporation of biologic markers to better identify non-responders is still needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.24842DOI Listing
October 2017

Increasing use of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in patients aged 70 years and older in the United States.

Blood 2017 08 3;130(9):1156-1164. Epub 2017 Jul 3.

Seidman Cancer Center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.

In this study, we evaluated trends and outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in adults ≥70 years with hematologic malignancies across the United States. Adults ≥70 years with a hematologic malignancy undergoing first allogeneic HCT in the United States between 2000 and 2013 and reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research were eligible. Transplant utilization and transplant outcomes, including overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and transplant-related mortality (TRM) were studied. One thousand one hundred and six patients ≥70 years underwent HCT across 103 transplant centers. The number and proportion of allografts performed in this population rose markedly over the past decade, accounting for 0.1% of transplants in 2000 to 3.85% (N = 298) in 2013. Acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes represented the most common disease indications. Two-year OS and PFS significantly improved over time (OS: 26% [95% confidence interval (CI), 21% to 33%] in 2000-2007 to 39% [95% CI, 35% to 42%] in 2008-2013, < .001; PFS: 22% [16% to 28%] in 2000-2007 to 32% [95% CI, 29% to 36%] in 2008-2013, = .003). Two-year TRM ranged from 33% to 35% and was unchanged over time ( = .54). Multivariable analysis of OS in the modern era of 2008-2013 revealed higher comorbidity by HCT comorbidity index ≥3 (hazard ratio [HR], 1.27; = .006), umbilical cord blood graft (HR, 1.97; = .0002), and myeloablative conditioning (HR, 1.61; = .0002) as adverse factors. Over the past decade, utilization and survival after allogeneic transplant have increased in patients ≥70 years. Select adults ≥70 years with hematologic malignancies should be considered for transplant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2017-03-772368DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5580273PMC
August 2017

Outcomes Associated with Reducing the Urine Alkalinization Threshold in Patients Receiving High-Dose Methotrexate.

Pharmacotherapy 2017 Jun 12;37(6):684-691. Epub 2017 May 12.

Pharmacy Department, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Study Objectives: Urine alkalinization increases methotrexate (MTX) solubility and reduces the risk of nephrotoxicity. The objectives of this study were to determine whether a reduction in the urine pH threshold from 8 to 7 in patients receiving high-dose methotrexate (HDMTX) results in a shorter length of hospital stay, delayed MTX clearance, or higher rates of nephrotoxicity; and to determine whether specific factors were associated with prolonged MTX clearance.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Hematology service of a large university-affiliated teaching hospital in Ottawa, Canada.

Patients: Sixty-five adults with 150 HDMTX exposures who had elective admissions for HDMTX between September 1, 2014, and December 18, 2015, were included. Thirty-four patients (with 79 HDMTX exposures) had their urine alkalinized to a pH of 8 or higher, and 31 patients (with 71 HDMTX exposures) had their urine alkalinized to a pH of 7 or higher, after an institutional change in the urine pH threshold from 8 to 7 was implemented on May 1, 2015.

Measurements And Main Results: Data related to patient demographics, urine alkalinization, MTX serum concentration monitoring, hospital length of stay, and renal function were collected retrospectively from patients' electronic health records. Lowering the urine pH threshold from 8 to 7 did not significantly affect hospital length of stay (absolute difference 3.5 hrs, 95% confidence interval -4.0 to 10.9) or clearance of MTX (elimination rate constant 0.058 in the pH of 7 or higher group vs 0.064 in the pH of 8 or higher group, p=0.233). Nephrotoxicity rates were similar between groups (15.5% in the pH of 7 or higher group vs 10.1% in the pH of 8 or higher group, p=0.34). Higher MTX dose and interacting medications (e.g., proton pump inhibitors and sulfonamide antibiotics) were significantly associated with delayed MTX elimination.

Conclusion: No significant differences in HDMTX-associated hospital length of stay, MTX clearance, or rates of nephrotoxicity were noted between patients in the urine pH of 7 or higher and 8 or higher groups. Interacting medications and higher MTX dose were associated with delayed MTX elimination, suggesting that a closer review of interacting medications before HDMTX administration may be warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/phar.1935DOI Listing
June 2017

Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Adult Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2017 May 20;23(5):767-775. Epub 2017 Jan 20.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is potentially curative for patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML); however, few data exist regarding prognostic factors and transplantation outcomes. We performed this retrospective study to identify prognostic factors for post-transplantation outcomes. The CMML-specific prognostic scoring system (CPSS) has been validated in subjects receiving nontransplantation therapy and was included in our study. From 2001 to 2012, 209 adult subjects who received HCT for CMML were reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. The median age at transplantation was 57 years (range, 23 to 74). Median follow-up was 51 months (range, 3 to 122). On multivariate analyses, CPSS scores, Karnofsky performance status (KPS), and graft source were significant predictors of survival (P = .004, P = .01, P = .01, respectively). Higher CPSS scores were not associated with disease-free survival, relapse, or transplantation-related mortality. In a restricted analysis of subjects with relapse after HCT, those with intermediate-2/high risk had a nearly 2-fold increased risk of death after relapse compared to those with low/intermediate-1 CPSS scores. Respective 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year survival rates for low/intermediate-1 risk subjects were 61% (95% confidence interval [CI], 52% to 72%), 48% (95% CI, 37% to 59%), and 44% (95% CI, 33% to 55%), and for intermediate-2/high risk subjects were 38% (95% CI, 28% to 49%), 32% (95% CI, 21% to 42%), and 19% (95% CI, 8% to 29%). We conclude that higher CPSS score at time of transplantation, lower KPS, and a bone marrow graft are associated with inferior survival after HCT. Further investigation of CMML disease-related biology may provide insights into other risk factors predictive of post-transplantation outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.01.078DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5590102PMC
May 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

Rationale and design of platelet transfusions in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation: the PATH pilot study.

BMJ Open 2016 10 24;6(10):e013483. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

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

Introduction: In patients with transient thrombocytopenia being treated with high-dose chemotherapy followed by stem cell rescue-haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), prophylactic transfusions are standard therapy to prevent bleeding. However, a recent multicentre trial suggests that prophylactic platelet transfusions in HSCT may not be necessary. Additionally, the potential overuse of platelet products places a burden on a scarce healthcare resource. Moreover, the benefit of prophylactic platelet transfusions to prevent clinically relevant haemorrhage is debatable. Current randomised data compare different thresholds for administering prophylactic platelets or prophylactic versus therapeutic platelet transfusions. An alternative strategy involves prescribing prophylactic antifibrinolytic agents such as tranexamic acid to prevent bleeding.

Methods And Analysis: This report describes the design of an open-labelled randomised pilot study comparing the prophylactic use of oral tranexamic acid with platelet transfusions in the setting of autologous HSCT. In 3-5 centres, 100 patients undergoing autologous HSCT will be randomly assigned to either a prophylactic tranexamic acid or prophylactic platelets bleeding prevention strategy-based daily platelet values up to 30 days post-transplant. The study will be stratified by centre and type of transplant. The primary goal is to demonstrate study feasibility while collecting clinical outcomes on (1) WHO and Bleeding Severity Measurement Scale (BSMS), (2) transplant-related mortality, (3) quality of life, (4) length of hospital stay, (5) intensive care unit admission rates, (6) Bearman toxicity scores, (7) incidence of infections, (8) transfusion requirements, (9) adverse reactions and (10) economic analyses.

Ethics And Dissemination: This study is funded by a peer-reviewed grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (201 503) and is registered on Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02650791. It has been approved by the Ottawa Health Science Network Research Ethics Board. Study results will presented at national and international conferences. Importantly, the results of this trial will inform the feasibility and conduct of a larger study.

Trial Registration Number: NCT02650791; Pre-results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013483DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5093651PMC
October 2016

Does FLT3 mutation impact survival after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia? A Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) analysis.

Cancer 2016 10 17;122(19):3005-3014. Epub 2016 Jun 17.

Department of Hematology, Academische Ziekenhuis, Maastricht, Netherlands.

Background: Patients with FMS like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3)-mutated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have a poor prognosis and are referred for early allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT).

Methods: Data from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) were used to evaluate 511 adult patients with de novo AML who underwent HCT during 2008 through 2011 to determine whether FLT3 mutations had an impact on HCT outcomes.

Results: In total, 158 patients (31%) had FLT3 mutations. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed an increased risk of relapse at 3 years in the FLT3 mutated group compared with the wild-type (WT) group (38% [95% confidence interval (CI), 30%-45%] vs 28% [95% CI, 24%-33%]; P = .04; relative risk, 1.60 [95% CI, 1.15-2.22]; P = .0048). However, FLT3 mutation status was not significantly associated with nonrelapse mortality, leukemia-free survival, or overall survival. Although more patients in the FLT3 mutated group died from relapsed primary disease compared with those in the WT group (60% vs 46%), the 3-year overall survival rate was comparable for the 2 groups (mutated group: 49%; 95% CI, 40%-57%; WT group: 55%, 95% CI, 50%-60%; P = .20).

Conclusions: The current data indicate that FLT3 mutation status did not adversely impact overall survival after HCT, and about 50% of patients with this mutation who underwent HCT were long-term survivors. Cancer 2016;122:3005-3014. © 2016 American Cancer Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.30140DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5030151PMC
October 2016

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

Scoring System Prognostic of Outcome in Patients Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Myelodysplastic Syndrome.

J Clin Oncol 2016 06 4;34(16):1864-71. Epub 2016 Apr 4.

Brian C. Shaffer and Martin Tallman, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Adriana K. Malone, Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Ran Reshef, Columbia University Medical Center, New York; Mark Litzow, Mayo Clinic Rochester; Jane Liesveld, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester; Peter H. Wiernik, Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, Bronx, NY; Kwang Woo Ahn, Zhen-Huan Hu, and Wael Saber, Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; Taiga Nishihori and Mohamed A. Kharfan-Dabaja, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL; David Valcárcel, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain; Michael R. Grunwald, Omotayo Fasan, and Edward Copelan, Levine Cancer Institute, Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte; William Allen Wood, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill; David A. Rizzieri, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; Ulrike Bacher, University of Medicine Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany; Betty Hamilton and Aaron Gerds, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute; Matt Kalaycio and Ron Sobecks, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland; Basem William, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH; Ayman Saad and Luciano J. Costa, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; Corey Cutler and Edwin Alyea, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; Erica Warlick and Celalettin Ustun, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN; Baldeep Mona Wirk, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; Mitchell Sabloff, University of Ottawa and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario; Andrew Daly, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; David Marks, University Hospitals Bristol National Health Service Trust, Bristol; Robert Peter Gale, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; Richard Olsson, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Alan M. Miller, Baylor University Medical Center; Rammurti Kamble

Purpose: To develop a system prognostic of outcome in those undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo HCT) for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

Patients And Methods: We examined 2,133 patients with MDS undergoing HLA-matched (n = 1,728) or -mismatched (n = 405) allo HCT from 2000 to 2012. We used a Cox multivariable model to identify factors prognostic of mortality in a training subset (n = 1,151) of the HLA-matched cohort. A weighted score using these factors was assigned to the remaining patients undergoing HLA-matched allo HCT (validation cohort; n = 577) as well as to patients undergoing HLA-mismatched allo HCT.

Results: Blood blasts greater than 3% (hazard ratio [HR], 1.41; 95% CI, 1.08 to 1.85), platelets 50 × 10(9)/L or less at transplantation (HR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.18 to 1.61), Karnofsky performance status less than 90% (HR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.28), comprehensive cytogenetic risk score of poor or very poor (HR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.14 to 1.80), and age 30 to 49 years (HR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.09 to 2.35) were associated with increased hazard of death and assigned 1 point in the scoring system. Monosomal karyotype (HR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.65 to 2.45) and age 50 years or older (HR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.36 to 2.83) were assigned 2 points. The 3-year overall survival after transplantation in patients with low (0 to 1 points), intermediate (2 to 3), high (4 to 5) and very high (≥ 6) scores was 71% (95% CI, 58% to 85%), 49% (95% CI, 42% to 56%), 41% (95% CI, 31% to 51%), and 25% (95% CI, 4% to 46%), respectively (P < .001). Increasing score was predictive of increased relapse (P < .001) and treatment-related mortality (P < .001) in the HLA-matched set and relapse (P < .001) in the HLA-mismatched cohort.

Conclusion: The proposed system is prognostic of outcome in patients undergoing HLA-matched and -mismatched allo HCT for MDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2015.65.0515DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4966345PMC
June 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
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