Publications by authors named "Montserrat Rovira"

147 Publications

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation for AML patients with RUNX1 mutation in first complete remission: a study on behalf of the acute leukemia working party of the EBMT.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 May 31. Epub 2021 May 31.

EBMT Paris Study Office, Saint Antoine Hospital, Paris, France.

Acute myeloid leukemia with runt-related transcription factor 1 gene mutation (RUNX1+ AML) is associated with inferior response rates and outcome after conventional chemotherapy. We performed a retrospective, registry-based analysis to elucidate the prognostic value of RUNX1 mutation after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). All consecutive adults undergoing alloSCT for AML in first complete remission (CR1) between 2013 and 2019 with complete information on conventional cytogenetics and RUNX1 mutational status were included. Endpoints of interest were cumulative relapse incidence, non-relapse mortality, overall and leukemia-free survival (OS/LFS), and GvHD-free/relapse-free survival. A total of 674 patients (183 RUNX1+, 491 RUNX1-) were identified, with >85% presenting as de novo AML. Median follow-up was 16.4 (RUNX1+) and 21.9 (RUNX1-) months. Survival rates showed no difference between RUNX1+ and RUNX1- patients either in univariate or multivariate analysis (2-year OS: 67.7 vs. 66.1%, p = 0.7; 2-year LFS: 61.1 vs. 60.8%, p = 0.62). Multivariate analysis identified age, donor type and poor cytogenetics as risk factors for inferior outcome. Among patients with RUNX+ AML, older age, reduced intensity conditioning and minimal residual disease at alloSCT predicted inferior outcome. Our data provide evidence that the negative influence of RUNX1 mutations in patients with AML can be overcome by transplantation in CR1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01322-wDOI Listing
May 2021

Post-transplant cyclophosphamide containing regimens after matched sibling, matched unrelated and haploidentical donor transplants in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in first complete remission, a comparative study of the ALWP of the EBMT.

J Hematol Oncol 2021 May 28;14(1):84. Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Hematology, and INSERM UMRs 938, Hopital Saint Antoine, Sorbonne University, Paris, France.

Background: There is no information on the impact of donor type in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) using homogeneous graft-versus-host (GVHD) prophylaxis with post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed outcomes of adult patients with ALL in CR1 that had received HCT with PTCy as GVHD prophylaxis from HLA-matched sibling (MSD) (n = 78), matched unrelated (MUD) (n = 94) and haploidentical family (Haplo) (n = 297) donors registered in the EBMT database between 2010 and 2018. The median follow-up period of the entire cohort was 2.2 years.

Results: Median age of patients was 38 years (range 18-76). Compared to MSD and MUD, Haplo patients received peripheral blood less frequently. For Haplo, MUD, and MSD, the cumulative incidence of 100-day acute GVHD grade II-IV and III-IV, and 2-year chronic and extensive chronic GVHD were 32%, 41%, and 34% (p = 0.4); 13%, 15%, and 15% (p = 0.8); 35%, 50%, and 42% (p = 0.01); and 11%, 17%, and 21% (p = 0.2), respectively. At 2 years, the cumulative incidence of relapse and non-relapse mortality was 20%, 20%, and 28% (p = 0.8); and 21%, 18%, and 21% (p = 0.8) for Haplo, MUD, and MSD, respectively. The leukemia-free survival, overall survival and GVHD-free, relapse-free survival for Haplo, MUD, and MSD was 59%, 62%, and 51% (p = 0.8); 66%, 69%, and 62% (p = 0.8); and 46%, 44%, and 35% (p = 0.9), respectively. On multivariable analysis, transplant outcomes did not differ significantly between donor types. TBI-based conditioning was associated with better LFS.

Conclusions: Donor type did not significantly affect transplant outcome in patient with ALL receiving SCT with PTCy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-021-01094-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8161915PMC
May 2021

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for autoimmune diseases in the time of COVID-19: EBMT guidelines and recommendations.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 07 24;56(7):1493-1508. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Haematology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK.

Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), represents one of the biggest challenges of 21st century, threatening public health around the globe. Increasing age and presence of co-morbidities are reported risk factors for severe disease and mortality, along with autoimmune diseases (ADs) and immunosuppressive treatments such as haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), which are also associated with adverse outcomes. We review the impact of the pandemic on specific groups of patients with neurological, rheumatological, and gastroenterological indications, along with the challenges delivering HSCT in adult and pediatric populations. Moving forward, we developed consensus-based guidelines and recommendations for best practice and quality of patient care in order to support clinicians, scientists, and their multidisciplinary teams, as well as patients and their carers. These guidelines aim to support national and international organizations related to autoimmune diseases and local clinical teams delivering HSCT. Areas of unmet need and future research questions are also highlighted. The waves of the COVID-19 pandemic are predicted to be followed by an "endemic" phase and therefore an ongoing risk within a "new normality". These recommendations reflect currently available evidence, coupled with expert opinion, and will be revised according to necessary modifications in practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01326-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8143059PMC
July 2021

Assessment of the association between cytomegalovirus DNAemia and subsequent acute graft-versus-host disease in allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation: A multicenter study from the Spanish hematopoietic transplantation and cell therapy group.

Transpl Infect Dis 2021 Apr 28:e13627. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Microbiology Service, Hospital Clínico Universitario, INCLIVA Research Institute, Valencia, Spain.

The potential role of active CMV infection in promoting acute Graft-versus-Host Disease (aGvHD) in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) remains a matter of debate. We further addressed this issue conducting a retrospective, observational, multicenter study of 632 patients subjected to allogeneic peripheral blood HSCT at 20 Spanish centers. Monitoring of CMV DNA load in plasma or whole blood was performed by real-time PCR assays. Cumulative incidence of CMV DNAemia was 48.9% (95% CI, 45%-52.9%), of any grade aGvHD, 45.6; 95% (CI, 41.3%-50.1%), and of grade II-IV aGvHD, 30.7 (95% CI, 24.9%-36.4%). Overall, development of CMV DNAemia at any level resulted in an increased risk of subsequent all grade (HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.08 - 1.76; P = .009) or grade II-IV (HR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.22 - 2.06; P = .001) aGvHD. The increased risk of aGvHD linked to prior occurrence of CMV DNAemia was similar to the above when only clinically significant episodes were considered for the analyses (HR for all grade aGvHD, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.13 - 1.91; P = .041, and HR for grade II-IV aGvHD, 1.53; 95% CI. 1.13-1.81; P = .04). The CMV DNA doubling time in blood was comparable overall in episodes of CMV DNAemia whether followed by aGvHD or not. Whether CMV replication is a surrogate risk marker of aGvHD or it is causally involved is an important question to be addressed in future experimental research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tid.13627DOI Listing
April 2021

High-Dose Cyclophosphamide and Tacrolimus as Graft-versus-Host Disease Prophylaxis for Matched and Mismatched Unrelated Donor Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 07 25;27(7):619.e1-619.e8. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Unit, Hematology Department, Institute of Hematology and Oncology, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain; August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute-IDIBAPS, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain; Institute Josep Carreras, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

The optimal prophylaxis regimen for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in the setting of single-locus mismatched unrelated donor (MMUD) allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) is unclear. The use of high-dose post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) after haploidentical transplantation is effective at overcoming the negative impact of HLA disparity on survival. Limited information is available regarding the efficacy of this strategy in alloHSCT from MMUDs. Most of the published studies have used the triple immunosuppressant model of haploidentical transplant combining PTCy with calcineurin inhibitors and mycophenolate mofetil or methotrexate. In our study, we propose the use of a simpler GVHD prophylaxis protocol comprising PTCy in combination with tacrolimus for MMUD and matched unrelated donor (MUD) alloHSCT. We performed a retrospective analysis of 109 consecutive recipients of alloHSCT from unrelated donors (MMUD, n = 55; MUD, n = 54) in a single center. Graft source was primarily peripheral blood (98%). No differences were observed between the MMUD and MUD groups with respect to 100-day cumulative incidence of grade II to IV acute GVHD (aGVHD; 31% versus 32%, respectively, P = .9), grade III to IV aGVHD (9% versus 7%, P = .7), and moderate/severe chronic GVHD (cGVHD) at 2 years (18% versus 14%, P = .6). Both groups showed similar cumulative incidence of 1 year nonrelapse mortality (13% versus 9%; P = .5) and 3-year relapse rates (24% versus 25%, P = .7). Progression-free survival and overall survival at 3 years for MMUD and MUD were 56% and 57% (P = .9) and 64% and 65% (P = .6), respectively. The 3-year probability of survival free of moderate/severe cGVHD and relapse was 56% and 55%, respectively. GVHD prophylaxis with PTCy and tacrolimus achieves low rates of severe aGVHD and cGVHD, as well as good survival outcomes, in recipients of both MMUD and MUD peripheral blood alloHSCT. This strategy overcomes the negative impact of single-locus HLA disparity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.03.022DOI Listing
July 2021

Risk Factors for Mortality in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Recipients with Bloodstream Infection: Points To Be Addressed by Future Guidelines.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 06 23;27(6):501.e1-501.e6. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Infectious Disease Department, Hospital Clinic-IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain; University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

In recent years, important epidemiologic changes have been described in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients with bloodstream infection (BSI), with increases in gram-negative bacilli and multidrug resistant (MDR) gram-negative bacilli. These changes have been linked to a worrisome increase in mortality. We aimed to define the risk factors for mortality of HSCT patients experiencing BSI. All episodes of BSI in patients with HSCT between 2008 and 2017 were prospectively collected. Multivariate analyses were performed. A total of 402 BSI episodes were documented in 293 patients who had undergone HSCT (75.4% allogenic, 32.3% autologous, 19.3% second HSCT). The median time from HSCT to BSI was 62 days (interquartile range, 9 to 182 days). Gram-positive cocci accounted for 56.7% of the episodes; gram-negative bacilli, for 42%. The most common microorganisms were coagulase-negative staphylococci (30.6%) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (15.9%). MDR gram-negative bacilli caused 11.9% of all episodes. Clinical characteristics, source of BSI, etiology, and outcomes changed depending on time since HSCT. Globally, 26.6% of episodes were treated with inappropriate empiric antibiotic therapy, more frequently in BSI episodes caused by P. aeruginosa, MDR P. aeruginosa, and MDR gram-negative bacilli. The 30-day mortality was 19.2%. Independent risk factors for mortality were BSI occurring ≥30 days after HSCT (odds ratio [OR], 11.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.63 to 27.19), shock (OR, 7.10; 95% CI, 2.98 to 16.94), BSI caused by MDR P. aeruginosa (OR, 4.45; 95% CI, 1.12 to 17.72), and inappropriate empiric antibiotic therapy for gram-negative bacilli or Candida spp. (OR, 3.73; 95% CI, 1.27 to 10.89). HSCT recipients experiencing BSI have high mortality related to host and procedure factors, causative microorganism, and empiric antibiotic therapy. Strategies to identify HSCT recipients at risk of MDR P. aeruginosa and reducing inappropriate empiric antibiotic therapy are paramount to reduce mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.03.017DOI Listing
June 2021

Progressive endothelial cell damage in correlation with sepsis severity. Defibrotide as a contender.

J Thromb Haemost 2021 Apr 19. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Medical Intensive Care Unit, Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: The vascular endothelium plays a key role in sepsis pathophysiology and the associated organ dysfunction.

Methods: We evaluated endothelial function in an experimental in vitro model of sepsis, using endothelial cells grown in the presence of serum from patients with septic syndromes (sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock), noninfectious systemic inflammatory response syndrome (NI-SIRS) and healthy volunteers. Experiments were performed in the absence and presence of defibrotide (DF) (100 µg/ml) to evaluate its potential protective effect.

Results: After exposure to patients' sera, there was a progressive endothelial cell activation in correlation with sepsis severity, with a proinflammatory and prothrombotic phenotype, exhibiting significantly increased expression of adhesion receptors at the surface (intercellular adhesion molecule-1, p < .05 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, p < .05); higher production and release to the extracellular matrix (ECM) of von Willebrand factor (p < .001); augmented thrombogenicity of the ECM toward platelets (p < .001); and increased phosphorylation of intracellular p38MAPK. DF prevented these changes in all groups.

Conclusions: Markers of endothelial damage increased progressively in association with the severity of septic syndromes. The endothelium is therefore an important therapeutic target to prevent complications of sepsis. DF shows promising potential to modulate the endothelial damage associated with sepsis and may constitute a pharmacological tool to decrease its sequelae including multiorgan failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jth.15343DOI Listing
April 2021

Machine Learning to Assess the Risk of Multidrug-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacilli Infections in Febrile Neutropenic Hematological Patients.

Infect Dis Ther 2021 Jun 16;10(2):971-983. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Infectious Diseases Department, Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.

Introduction: We aimed to assess risk factors for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacilli (MDR-GNB) from a large amount of data retrieved from electronic health records (EHRs) and determine whether machine learning (ML) may be useful in assessing the risk of MDR-GNB infection at febrile neutropenia (FN) onset.

Methods: Retrospective study of almost 7 million pieces of structured data from all consecutive episodes of FN in hematological patients in a tertiary hospital in Barcelona (January 2008-December 2017). Conventional multivariate analysis and ML algorithms (random forest, gradient boosting machine, XGBoost, and GLM) were done.

Results: A total of 3235 episodes of FN in 349 patients were documented; MDR-GNB caused 180 (5.6%) infections in 132 patients. The most frequent MDR-GNBs were MDR-Pseudomonas aeruginosa (53%) and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacterales (46%). According to conventional logistic regression analysis, independent factors associated with MDR-GNB infection were age older than 45 years (OR 2.07; 95% CI 1.31-3.24), prior antibiotics (2.62; 1.39-4.92), first-ever FN in this hospitalization (2.94; 1.33-6.52), prior hospitalizations for FN (1.72; 1.02-2.89); at least 15 prior hospital visits (2.65; 1.31-5.33), high-risk hematological diseases (3.62; 1.12-11.67), and hospitalization in a room formerly occupied by patients with MDR-GNB isolation (1.69; 1.20-2.38). ML algorithms achieved the following AUC and F1 score for MDR-GNB prediction: random forest, 0.79-0.9711; GMB, 0.79-0.9705; XGBoost, 0.79-0.9670; and GLM, 0.78-0.9716.

Conclusion: Data generated in EHRs proved useful in assessing risk factors for MDR-GNB infections in patients with FN. The great number of analyzed variables allowed us to identify new factors related to MDR infection, as well as to train ML algorithms for infection predictions. This information may be used by clinicians to make better clinical decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40121-021-00438-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8116385PMC
June 2021

Clinical Characteristics and Outcome of Bloodstream Infections in HIV-Infected Patients with Cancer and Febrile Neutropenia: A Case-Control Study.

Infect Dis Ther 2021 Jun 11;10(2):955-970. Epub 2021 Apr 11.

Infectious Diseases Department, Hospital Clinic-IDIBAPS, Carrer de Villarroel 170, 08036, Barcelona, Spain.

Introduction: We aimed to compare the clinical characteristics and outcomes of bloodstream infections (BSI) in cancer patients presenting febrile neutropenia with and without HIV infection, and analyze the prognostic factors for mortality.

Methods: BSI episodes in febrile neutropenic patients following chemotherapy were prospectively collected (1997-2018). A case (HIV-infected)-control (non-HIV-infected) sub-analysis was performed (1:2 ratio), matching patients by age, gender, baseline disease, and etiological microorganism.

Results: From 1755 BSI episodes in neutropenic cancer patients, 60 (3.4%) occurred in those with HIV. HIV characteristics: 51.7% were men who have sex with men; 58.3% had < 200 CD4; 51.7% had a detectable HIV-1 RNA viral load before the BSI episode; 70.0% met AIDS-defining criteria; and 93.3% were on antiretroviral therapy, with a protease inhibitor-based regimen being the most common (53.0%). HIV-infected patients were younger, more frequently male and more commonly presenting chronic liver disease (p < 0.001 for all). BSI due to Enterococcus spp. was significantly more frequent among patients with HIV (p = 0.017) with no differences in other pathogens. HIV-infected patients with cancer presented with shock more frequently (p = 0.014) and had higher mortality (31.7% vs. 18.1%, p = 0.008). In the case-control analysis, cases (HIV-infected) had chronic liver disease (p = 0.003) more frequently, whereas acute leukemia (p = 0.013) and hematopoietic stem-cell transplant (p = 0.023) were more common among controls. There was a non-significant trend for cases to have higher mortality (p = 0.084). However, in multivariate analysis, HIV infection was not associated with mortality (p = 0.196).

Conclusion: HIV-infected patients with cancer developing febrile neutropenia and BSI have different epidemiological and clinical profiles, and experience higher mortality. However, HIV infection by itself was not associated with mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40121-021-00445-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8116456PMC
June 2021

Addition of plerixafor to G-CSF in poor mobilizing healthy related donors overcame mobilization failure: An observational case series on behalf of the Grupo Español de Trasplante Hematopoyético (GETH).

Transfus Apher Sci 2021 Apr 12;60(2):103052. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Apheresis & Cellular Therapy Unit, Department of Hemotherapy and Hemostasis, ICMHO, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, UB, Barcelona, Spain.

Plerixafor (Mozobil, Sanofi) is approved for using in patients with lymphoma and multiple myeloma when steady-state mobilization strategies fail. Although off-label use of plerixafor in healthy related donors (HRD) is known, limited data are available and no recommendations exist to guide its use in this setting. With the aim of collecting data from HRDs who received plerixafor in our country, we designed an observational case series study within the Spanish Group of Hematopoietic Transplant and Cell Therapy (GETH). Plerixafor was administered subcutaneously to 30 HRDs at a median dose of 0.24 mg/Kg (interquartile range (IQR): 0.23-0.25) because mobilization failure after using mobilization with G-CSF (mobilization failure was defined as collection of <4.0 × 10 CD34+ cells/Kg recipient). All HRDs received G-CSF at a median dose of 11 μg/Kg/day (IQR: 10-12) for 4-5 days. Leukocytapheresis after G-CSF mobilization was performed in 23 (77 %) HRDs collecting a median of 1.6 × 10 CD34+ cells/Kg recipient weight (IQR: 0.9-2.5). Addition of plerixafor allowed the collection of a higher median number of CD34 cells (4.98 × 10 CD34+ cells/Kg recipient weight (IQR: 3.5-5.8)) when compared with the collection of CD34+ cells with G-CSF alone (p < 0.01). The final median total number of CD34+ cells collected was 6.1 × 10/Kg recipient weight (IQR: 4.8-7.3). Mild adverse events related with plerixafor administration were reported in 8 (27 %) donors. In conclusion, addition of plerixafor after G-CSF mobilization failure in HRDs allowed collecting higher number of CD34+ cells in comparison with steady-state mobilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.transci.2021.103052DOI Listing
April 2021

Phenotype and genotype study of novel C480F maribavir-ganciclovir cross-resistance mutation detected in hematopoietic stem cell and solid organ transplanted patients.

J Infect Dis 2021 Jan 21. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Microbiology Department, Hospital Clinic I Provincial de Barcelona. Institut of Global Health of Barcelona (ISGlobal), Barcelona, Spain.

Two kidney and hematopoietic stem-cell transplant recipients received maribavir (MBV) after cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection clinically resistant to standard therapy. Both patients achieved CMV-DNA clearance within 30 and 18 days, however, the UL97 C480F variant emerged causing recurrent CMV infection after cumulative 2 months of MBV and 15 or 4 weeks of valganciclovir/gangciclovir treatment, respectively. C480F was not detected under ganciclovir before MBV treatment. Recombinant phenotyping showed C480F conferred the highest level of MBV resistance and ganciclovir cross-resistance, with impaired viral growth. Clinical follow-up, genotypic and phenotypic studies are essential for the assessment and optimization of patients with suspected MBV resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiab029DOI Listing
January 2021

Assessment of Sclerodermoid Chronic Graft-versus-host Disease with Colour Doppler Ultrasound.

Acta Derm Venereol 2021 Feb 16;101(2):adv00395. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Dermatology, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona, Villarroel 170, ES-08036 Barcelona, Spain. E-mail:

Sclerodermoid chronic graft-versus-host disease (scGVHD) is a severe complication of allogeneic haema-- topoietic stem cell transplantation. The aim of this study was to investigate the usefulness of high-frequency ultrasound of the skin in assessing the inflammatory patterns and prognosis of patients with scGVHD. A prospective study was carried out with patients who developed scGVHD in the period June 2016 to April 2018. Clinical and ultrasound examinations were performed on the first visit and at 6-month follow-up. A total of 24 patients were included in the study. A 6-month follow-up high-frequency ultrasound of the skin was performed on 20 of the 24 patients. Abnormal B-mode findings in high-frequency ultrasound of the skin consisted of hypoechogenic dermis, hypoechogenicity of septa and hyperechogenicity of lobules in hypodermis. No differences were observed in these basal parameters between treatment progressive/non-responding and inactive/responding scGVHD groups of patients. Basal Doppler showing increased vascular flow with a systolic peak ≥10 cm/s and a vascular resistance index ≥ 0.70 was observed only in those patients who developed progressive/non-responding scGVHD (62.5% vs 0% p = 0.006). In conclusion, Doppler ultrasound is a useful tool to assess the inflammatory activity and outcome of scGVHD. These findings could enhance patient management and help to guide treatment decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2340/00015555-3747DOI Listing
February 2021

Clinical outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients developing Cytomegalovirus DNAemia prior to engraftment.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 06 15;56(6):1281-1290. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Microbiology Service, Hospital Clínico Universitario, INCLIVA Research Institute, Valencia, Spain.

There is limited information on the impact of CMV DNAemia episodes developing prior to engraftment (pre-CMV DNAemia) on clinical outcomes following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). This issue was addressed in the current retrospective multicenter study including 878 patients. All participant centers used preemptive antiviral therapy strategies for prevention of CMV disease. CMV DNA load in blood was monitored by real-time PCR assays. A total of 144 patients (cumulative incidence 16.5%, 95% CI, 14%-19%) had an episode of pre-CMV DNAemia at a median of 10 days after allo-HSCT. Patients who developed pre-CMV DNAemia had a significantly higher (P = < 0.001) probability of recurrent episodes (50%) than those who experienced post-CMV DNAemia (32.9%); Nevertheless, the incidence of CMV disease was comparable (P = 0.52). Cumulative incidences of overall mortality (OM) and non-relapse mortality (NRM) at 1-year after allo-HSCT were 32% (95% CI, 29-35%) and 23% (95% CI 20-26%), respectively. The risk of OM and NRM in adjusted models appeared comparable in patients developing a single episode of CMV DNAemia, regardless of whether it occurred before or after engraftment, in patients with pre- and post-engraftment CMV DNAemia episodes or in those without CMV DNAemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-01157-xDOI Listing
June 2021

Underdiagnosed veno-occlusive disease/sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (VOD/SOS) as a major cause of multi-organ failure in acute leukemia transplant patients: an analysis from the EBMT Acute Leukemia Working Party.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 04 18;56(4):917-927. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Sorbonne University, Department of Clinical Hematology and Cellular Therapy, Saint Antoine Hospital, INSERM UMR 938, Paris, France.

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) is a complex, potentially fatal therapy featuring a myriad of complications. Triggering event(s) of such complications vary significantly, but often a so-called "multi-organ failure" (MOF) is reported as the leading cause of death. The identification of the exact trigger of MOF is critical towards early and disease-specific intervention to improve outcome. We examined data from 202 alloHCT patients reported to have died of MOF from the EBMT registry aiming to determine their exact cause of death focusing on veno-occlusive disease/sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (VOD/SOS) due to its life-threatening, often difficult to capture yet preventable nature. We identified a total of 70 patients (35%) for whom VOD/SOS could be considered as trigger for MOF and leading cause of death, among which 48 (69%) were previously undiagnosed. Multivariate analysis highlighted history of hepatic comorbidity or gentuzumab use and disease status beyond CR1 as the only significant factors predictive of VOD/SOS incidence (OR = 6.6; p = 0.001 and OR = 3.3; p = 0.004 respectively). VOD/SOS-related MOF was widely under-reported, accounting for 27% of deaths attributed to MOF of unknown origin without a previous VOD/SOS diagnosis. Our results suggest most missed cases developed late VOD/SOS beyond 21 days post-alloHCT, highlighting the importance of the newly revised EBMT criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-01135-3DOI Listing
April 2021

The avoidance of G-CSF and the addition of prophylactic corticosteroids after autologous stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma patients appeal for the at-home setting to reduce readmission for neutropenic fever.

PLoS One 2020 4;15(11):e0241778. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Hematology, Home Care and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) remains the standard of care for young multiple myeloma (MM) patients; indeed, at-home ASCT has been positioned as an appropriate therapeutic strategy. However, despite the use of prophylactic antibiotics, neutropenic fever (NF) and hospital readmissions continue to pose as the most important limitations in the outpatient setting. It is possible that the febrile episodes may have a non-infectious etiology, and engraftment syndrome could play a more significant role. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of both G-CSF withdrawal and the addition of primary prophylaxis with corticosteroids after ASCT.

Methods: Between January 2002 and August 2018, 111 MM patients conditioned with melphalan were managed at-home beginning +1 day after ASCT. Three groups were established: Group A (n = 33) received standard G-CSF post-ASCT; group B (n = 32) avoided G-CSF post-ASCT; group C (n = 46) avoided G-CSF yet added corticosteroid prophylaxis post-ASCT.

Results: The incidence of NF among the groups was reduced (64%, 44%, and 24%; P<0.001), with a non-significant decrease in hospital readmissions as well (12%, 6%, and 2%; P = 0.07). The most important variables identified for NF were: HCT-CI >2 (OR 6.1; P = 0.002) and G-CSF avoidance plus corticosteroids (OR 0.1; P<0.001); and for hospital readmission: age ≥60 years (OR 14.6; P = 0.04) and G-CSF avoidance plus corticosteroids (OR 0.07; P = 0.05).

Conclusions: G-CSF avoidance and corticosteroid prophylaxis post ASCT minimize the incidence of NF in MM patients undergoing at-home ASCT. This approach should be explored in a prospective randomized clinical trial.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241778PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7641449PMC
December 2020

[Crohn's disease and autologous hemapoietic cell transplantation: Guidelines from the Francophone Society of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (SFGM-TC)].

Bull Cancer 2020 Dec 14;107(12S):S140-S150. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Centre de référence des maladies auto-immunes systémiques rares d'Île-de-France, hôpital St-Louis (AP-HP), unité de médecine interne : maladies auto-immunes et pathologie vasculaire (UF 04), 1, avenue Claude-Vellefaux, 75010 Paris, France; Université Paris-Denis-Diderot, institut de recherche Saint-Louis, EA 3518, Sorbonne Paris Cité, France; McGill University, department of internal medicine, Montreal, Canada. Electronic address:

Crohn's Disease (CD) is an auto-inflammatory disease, which may involve the entire gastro-intestinal tract. CD is diagnosed on several clinical, biological, endoscopic and histological criteria. First line therapy is based on oral or iv steroids. In case of steroids dependence or resistance, several types of immunosuppressive or immunomodulating therapies are available: classical antimetabolites (thiopurines or methotrexate) or monoclonal antibodies against TNFα, against interleukin 12/23 or against integrin. Nonetheless, Crohn's disease may remain active despite the use of several lines of therapy. In such cases, autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT) is an effective therapeutic option in highly selected CD patients with specific criteria. The MATHEC-SFGM-TC Good Clinical Practice Guidelines (GCPG) were developed by a multidisciplinary group of experts including gastroenterologists, hematologists and members of the reference center for stem cell therapy in auto-immune diseases (MATHEC), including members of the French groupe d'étude thérapeutique des affections inflammatoires du tube digestif(GETAID) under the auspices of the French speaking Society of bone marrow transplantation and cellular therapy (SFGM-TC). The aim of the present guidelines is to define the eligibility criteria for CD patients when candidates to AHCT, the procedures for mobilization of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC), conditioning regimen and standardized follow-up after AHCT including monitoring of gastroenterological treatments during AHCT and thereafter throughout all follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bulcan.2020.08.009DOI Listing
December 2020

Total body irradiation + fludarabine compared to busulfan + fludarabine as "reduced-toxicity conditioning" for patients with acute myeloid leukemia treated with allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in first complete remission: a study by the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the EBMT.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 02 5;56(2):481-491. Epub 2020 Sep 5.

Department of Hematology, Hospital Saint Antoine, Paris, France.

The optimal conditioning for patients with acute myeloid leukemia in first complete remission treated with allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) has not been defined so far. In this retrospective study, we compared two "reduced-toxicity" regimens: intravenous busulfan at a total dose of 9.6 mg/kg (3 days) + fludarabine (Bu3/Flu) and total body irradiation at a dose of 8 Gy + fludarabine (TBI8Gy/Flu). In the entire study cohort (n = 518), the probabilities of overall survival (OS), leukemia-free survival (LFS), relapse and non-relapse mortality (NRM) at 2 years for Bu3/Flu and TBI8Gy/Flu were 62% vs. 72.5% (p = 0.051), 59.5% vs. 65% (p = 0.15), 30% vs. 20% (p = 0.01), and 10% vs. 14% (p = 0.18), respectively. In multivariate model for patients <50 years old, TBI8Gy/Flu was associated with improved LFS (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.5, p = 0.04), OS (HR = 0.31, p = 0.004), and survival free from both graft-versus-host disease and relapse (HR = 0.55, p = 0.03), as well as tendency to reduced risk of relapse (HR = 0.53, p = 0.08). Among patients aged 50 years or older the use of TBI8Gy/Flu was associated with increased incidence of NRM (HR = 3.9, p = 0.0009), with no significant impact on other outcome measures. We conclude that the use of TBI8Gy/Flu as "reduced-toxicity" regimen may be advised in younger patients with AML referred for allo-HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-01050-7DOI Listing
February 2021

Cytomegalovirus DNAemia and risk of mortality in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: Analysis from the Spanish Hematopoietic Transplantation and Cell Therapy Group.

Am J Transplant 2021 01 15;21(1):258-271. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Microbiology Service, Hospital Clínico Universitario, INCLIVA Research Institute, Valencia, Spain.

The net impact of cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNAemia on overall mortality (OM) and nonrelapse mortality (NRM) following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) remains a matter of debate. This was a retrospective, multicenter, noninterventional study finally including 749 patients. CMV DNA monitoring was conducted by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Clinical outcomes of interest were OM and NRM through day 365 after allo-HSCT. The cumulative incidence of CMV DNAemia in this cohort was 52.6%. A total of 306 out of 382 patients with CMV DNAemia received preemptive antiviral therapy (PET). PET use for CMV DNAemia, but not the occurrence of CMV DNAemia, taken as a qualitative variable, was associated with increased OM and NRM in univariate but not in adjusted models. A subcohort analysis including patients monitored by the COBAS Ampliprep/COBAS Taqman CMV Test showed that OM and NRM were comparable in patients in whom either low or high plasma CMV DNA threshold (<500 vs ≥500 IU/mL) was used for PET initiation. In conclusion, CMV DNAemia was not associated with increased OM and NRM in allo-HSCT recipients. The potential impact of PET use on mortality was not proven but merits further research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajt.16147DOI Listing
January 2021

Timing of Post-Transplantation Cyclophosphamide Administration in Haploidentical Transplantation: A Comparative Study on Behalf of the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 10 6;26(10):1915-1922. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Hematology Department, Service d'Hématologie et Thérapie Cellulaire, Hôpital Saint Antoine, Paris, France; Sorbonne Universités, INSERM, Centre de Recherche Saint-Antoine, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Paris, France; European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Paris, France.

The timing of immunosuppressive therapy used in combination with post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCY) in haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplant (haplo-HSCT) is not standardized. We evaluated the schedules of immunosuppression therapy after haplo-HSCT in 509 patients with acute leukemia receiving PTCY on days +3 and +4 along with tacrolimus (group 1; n = 215), with cyclosporine A (CSA) and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) from day +5 (group 2; n = 170), or CSA + MMF from day 0 or 1 with PTCY on days +3 and +5 (group 3; n = 124). Compared with the other 2 groups, patients in group 3 were younger (median age, 46 years; P = .02) and more often received bone marrow (77%; P < .01) and a regimen containing thiotepa, fludarabine, and busulfan (84%; P< .01). At 2 years, overall survival was 44% was in group 1, 48% in group 2, and 59% in group 3 (P= .15); leukemia-free survival (LFS) was 43%, 46%, and 53% (P= .05); and refined graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival (rGRFS) was 33%, 39%, and 36% (P = .02). The incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD was 25% in group 1, 39% in group 2, and 18% in group 3 (P< .01); incidence of chronic GVHD was 25%, 21%, and 24% (P= .50); relapse incidence was 36%, 37%, and 26% (P= .02); and nonrelapse mortality was 26%, 20%, and 21% (P= .35). On multivariate analysis, early start of immunosuppression therapy at day +1 followed by PTCY was associated with a better LFS (hazard ratio [HR], .58; P= .02) and improved rGRFS (HR, .62; P = .02). In this study, the timing of immunosuppression influenced the outcomes of haplo-HSCT with PTCY. An early start of CSA + MMF with PTCY administered on days +3 and +5 improves LFS and rGRFS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.06.026DOI Listing
October 2020

Predicting Mortality after Autologous Transplant: Development of a Novel Risk Score.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 10 5;26(10):1828-1832. Epub 2020 Jul 5.

Hematology Transplant Unit, Hospital Universitario Austral, Derqui, Argentina.

There have been several efforts to predict mortality after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), such as the hematopoietic cell transplant-comorbidity index (HCT-CI), described for allogeneic stem cell transplantation and validated for ASCT, but there is no composite score in the setting of ASCT combining comorbidities with other clinical characteristics. Our aim is to describe a comprehensive score combining comorbidities with other clinical factors and to analyze the impact of this score on nonrelapse mortality (NRM), overall survival (OS), and early morbidity endpoints (mechanical ventilation, shock or dialysis) after ASCT. For the training cohort, we retrospectively reviewed data of 2068 adult patients who received an ASCT in Argentina (October 2002 to June 2017) for multiple myeloma or lymphoma. For the validation cohort, we analyzed 2168 ASCTs performed in the Medical College of Wisconsin and Spanish stem cell transplant group (Grupo Español de Trasplante Hematopoyético (GETH)) (January 2012 to December 2018). We first performed a multivariate analysis for NRM in order to select and assign weight to the risk factors included in the score (male patients, aged 55 to 64 and ≥65 years, HCT-CI ≥3, Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma). The hazard ratio for NRM increased proportionally with the score. Patients were grouped as low risk (LR) with a score of 0 to 1 (686, 33%), intermediate risk (IR) with a score of 2 to 3 (1109, 53%), high risk (HR) with a score of 4 (198, 10%), and very high risk (VHR) with a score of ≥5 (75, 4%). The score was associated with a progressive increase in all the early morbidity endpoints. Moreover, the score was significantly associated with early NRM (day 100: 1.5% versus 2.4% versus 7.6% versus 17.6%) as well as long term (1 to 3 years; 1.8% to 2.3% versus 3.8% to 4.9% versus 11.7% to 14.5% versus 25.0% to 27.4%, respectively; P< .0001) and OS (1 to 5 years; 94% to 73% versus 89% to 75% versus 76% to 47% versus 65% to 52% respectively; P < .0001). The score was validated in an independent cohort (N = 2168) and was significantly associated with early and late events. In conclusion, we developed and validated a novel score predicting NRM and OS in 2 large cohorts of more than 2000 autologous transplant patients. This tool can be useful for tailoring conditioning regimens or defining risk for transplant program decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.06.028DOI Listing
October 2020

Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Susac Syndrome.

Ann Intern Med 2020 08 7;173(4):315-317. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de León, León, Spain (S.C., N.D.).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/L20-0055DOI Listing
August 2020

Post-transplant cyclophosphamide versus antithymocyte globulin in patients with acute myeloid leukemia in first complete remission undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation from 10/10 HLA-matched unrelated donors.

J Hematol Oncol 2020 07 3;13(1):87. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Sorbonne Université, AP-HP, INSERM UMRs938, Paris, France.

Background: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major contributor to mortality and morbidity after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). The updated recommendations suggest that rabbit antithymocyte globulin or anti-T-lymphocyte globulin (ATG) should be used for GVHD prophylaxis in patients undergoing matched-unrelated donor (MUD) allo-HSCT. More recently, using post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCY) in the haploidentical setting has resulted in low incidences of both acute (aGVHD) and chronic GVHD (cGVHD). Therefore, the aim of our study was to compare GVHD prophylaxis using either PTCY or ATG in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who underwent allo-HSCT in first remission (CR1) from a 10/10 HLA-MUD.

Methods: Overall, 174 and 1452 patients from the EBMT registry receiving PTCY and ATG were included. Cumulative incidence of aGVHD and cGVHD, leukemia-free survival, overall survival, non-relapse mortality, cumulative incidence of relapse, and refined GVHD-free, relapse-free survival were compared between the 2 groups. Propensity score matching was also performed in order to confirm the results of the main analysis RESULTS: No statistical difference between the PTCY and ATG groups was observed for the incidence of grade II-IV aGVHD. The same held true for the incidence of cGVHD and for extensive cGVHD. In univariate and multivariate analyses, no statistical differences were observed for all other transplant outcomes. These results were also confirmed using matched-pair analysis.

Conclusion: These results highlight that, in the10/10 HLA-MUD setting, the use of PTCY for GVHD prophylaxis may provide similar outcomes to those obtained with ATG in patients with AML in CR1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-020-00923-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7333262PMC
July 2020

The induction strategies administered in the treatment of multiple myeloma exhibit a deleterious effect on the endothelium.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 12 13;55(12):2270-2278. Epub 2020 May 13.

Hematopathology, Department of Pathology, Centre de Diagnostic Biomedic (CDB), Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, Institut d'Investigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Multiple myeloma induction treatment includes proteasome inhibitors (PI) and immunomodulatory agents at present. The incidence of engraftment syndrome, a transplant complication potentially related to endothelium, has increased in the last years. Our aim was to investigate whether bortezomib (Velcade, V), thalidomide (T), and dexamethasone (D) affect the endothelium, and explore defibrotide (DF) as protective agent. Endothelial cells (ECs) in culture were exposed to the compounds separately or in combination, without (VTD) and with DF (VTD + DF). Changes in markers of: (i) inflammation (ICAM-1 expression and leukocyte adhesion), (ii) VWF production, (iii) cell permeability (VE-cadherin expression and cell monolayer integrity), and (iv) oxidative stress (ROS production and eNOS expression) were measured. ICAM-1 and VWF expression increased significantly in VTD but were similar to controls in VTD + DF. Separately, bortezomib was the main deleterious agent whereas dexamethasone showed no harmful effect. Leukocyte adhesion showed similar trends. VE-cadherin expression was lower in VTD and normalized in VTD + DF. EC permeability increased only with bortezomib. No changes were observed in oxidative stress markers. Our results demonstrate that bortezomib damages the endothelium, and DF prevents this effect. A better knowledge of the induction drugs impact will allow the design of measures to protect the endothelium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0947-9DOI Listing
December 2020

Post-transplant cyclophosphamide after matched sibling, unrelated and haploidentical donor transplants in patients with acute myeloid leukemia: a comparative study of the ALWP EBMT.

J Hematol Oncol 2020 05 6;13(1):46. Epub 2020 May 6.

Department of Hematology, Hopital Saint Antoine, Sorbonne University, Paris, France.

Background: The use of post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) is highly effective in preventing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in the haploidentical (Haplo) transplant setting and is being increasingly used in matched sibling (MSD) and matched unrelated (MUD) transplants. There is no information on the impact of donor types using homogeneous prophylaxis with PTCy.

Methods: We retrospectively compared outcomes of adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in first complete remission (CR1) who received a first allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) with PTCy as GVHD prophylaxis from MSD (n = 215), MUD (n = 235), and Haplo (n = 789) donors registered in the EBMT database between 2010 and 2017.

Results: The median follow-up was 2 years. Haplo-SCT carried a significantly increased risk of acute grade II-IV GVHD (HR 1.6; 95% CI 1.1-2.4) and NRM (HR 2.6; 95% CI 1.5-4.5) but a lower risk of relapse (HR 0.7; 95% CI 0.5-0.9) that translated to no differences in LFS (HR 1.1; 95% CI 0.8-1.4) or GVHD/relapse-free survival (HR 1; 95% CI 0.8-1.3). Interestingly, the use of peripheral blood was associated with an increased risk of acute (HR 1.9; 95% CI 1.4-2.6) and chronic GVHD (HR 1.7; 95% CI 1.2-2.4) but a lower risk of relapse (HR 0.7; 95% CI 0.5-0.9).

Conclusions: The use of PTCy in patients with AML in CR1 receiving SCT from MSD, MUD, and Haplo is safe and effective. Haplo-SCT had increased risk of acute GVHD and NRM and lower relapse incidence but no significant difference in survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-020-00882-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7201995PMC
May 2020

Comparison of reduced-intensity conditioning regimens in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia >45 years undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation-a retrospective study by the Acute Leukemia Working Party of EBMT.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 08 2;55(8):1560-1569. Epub 2020 May 2.

Saint Antoine Hospital, University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.

The optimal reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) remains unclear. We retrospectively analyzed 417 patients > 45 years with ALL in first complete remission who underwent a matched sibling or unrelated allo-HSCT and compared outcomes between fludarabine/busulfan (FLUBU, n = 127), fludarabine/melphalan (FLUMEL, n = 190), and fludarabine-TBI (FLUTBI, n = 100) conditioning. At 2 years, there were no differences between the groups in terms of cumulative incidence (CI) of relapse (40% for FLUBU vs 36% for FLUMEL vs 41% for FLUTBI, p = 0.21); transplant-related mortality (TRM) (18% for FLUBU, 22% for FLUMEL, 14% for FLUTBI, p = 0.09); overall survival (55% for FLUBU, 50% for FLUMEL, 60% for FLUTBI, p = 0.62) or leukemia-free survival (43% for FLUBU, 42% for FLUMEL, 45% for FLUTBI, p = 0.99), but GVHD-relapse-free survival was significantly lower in the FLUTBI group than FLUBU and FLUMEL group (18% vs 35% vs 28%, p = 0.02). However, this difference was lost in the multivariate analysis when adjusted for the in vivo T-cell depletion. Finally, the FLUMEL regimen was shown to be an independent risk factor for a higher TRM (HR 1.97, 95% CI 1.05-3.72, p = 0.04). We conclude that the three most popular RIC regimens yield similar transplant outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0878-5DOI Listing
August 2020

Association of Serum Ferritin Levels Before Start of Conditioning With Mortality After alloSCT - A Prospective, Non-interventional Study of the EBMT Transplant Complications Working Party.

Front Immunol 2020 15;11:586. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.

Elevated serum ferritin levels occur due to iron overload or during inflammation and macrophage activation. A correlation of high serum ferritin levels with increased mortality after alloSCT has been suggested by several retrospective analyses as well as by two smaller prospective studies. This prospective multicentric study aimed to study the association of ferritin serum levels before start of conditioning with alloSCT outcome. Patients with acute leukemia, lymphoma or MDS receiving a matched sibling alloSCT for the first time were considered for inclusion, regardless of conditioning. A comparison of outcomes between patients with high and low ferritin level was performed using univariate analysis and multivariate analysis using cause-specific Cox model. Twenty centers reported data on 298 alloSCT recipients. The ferritin cut off point was determined at 1500 μg/l (median of measured ferritin levels). In alloSCT recipients with ferritin levels above cut off measured before the start of conditioning, overall survival (HR = 2.5, CI = 1.5-4.1, = 0.0005) and progression-free survival (HR = 2.4, CI = 1.6-3.8, < 0.0001) were inferior. Excess mortality in the high ferritin group was due to both higher relapse incidence (HR = 2.2, CI = 1.2-3.8, = 0.007) and increased non-relapse mortality (NRM) (HR = 3.1, CI = 1.5-6.4, = 0.002). NRM was driven by significantly higher infection-related mortality in the high ferritin group (HR = 3.9, CI = 1.6-9.7, = 0.003). Acute and chronic GVHD incidence or severity were not associated to serum ferritin levels. We conclude that ferritin levels can serve as routine laboratory biomarker for mortality risk assessment before alloSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7174614PMC
March 2021

Diagnosis and Management of Secondary HLH/MAS Following HSCT and CAR-T Cell Therapy in Adults; A Review of the Literature and a Survey of Practice Within EBMT Centres on Behalf of the Autoimmune Diseases Working Party (ADWP) and Transplant Complications Working Party (TCWP).

Front Immunol 2020 31;11:524. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Department of Haematology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Secondary haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH) or Macrophage Activation Syndrome (MAS) is a life-threatening hyperinflammatory syndrome that can occur in patients with severe infections, malignancy or autoimmune diseases. It is also a rare complication of haematopoetic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), with a high mortality. It may be associated with graft vs. host disease in the allogeneic HSCT setting. It is also reported following CAR-T cell therapy, but differentiation from cytokine release syndrome (CRS) is challenging. Here, we summarise the literature and present results of a survey of current awareness and practice in EBMT-affiliated centres of sHLH/MAS following HSCT and CAR-T cell therapy. An online questionnaire was sent to the principal investigators of all EBMT member transplant centres treating adult patients (18 years and over) inviting them to provide information regarding: number of cases of sHLH/MAS seen in their centre over 3 years (2016-2018 inclusive); screening strategies and use of existing diagnostic/classification criteria and treatment protocols. 114/472 centres from 24 different countries responded (24%). We report estimated rates of sHLH/MAS of 1.09% (95% CI = 0.89-1.30) following allogeneic HSCT, 0.15% (95% CI = 0.09-5.89) following autologous HSCT and 3.48% (95% CI = 0.95-6.01) following CAR-T cell therapy. A majority of centres (70%) did not use a standard screening protocol. Serum ferritin was the most commonly used screening marker at 78% of centres, followed by soluble IL-2 receptor (24%), triglycerides (15%), and fibrinogen (11%). There was significant variation in definition of "clinically significant" serum ferritin levels ranging from 500 to 10,000 μg/mL. The most commonly used criteria to support diagnosis were HLH-2004 (43%) and the H score (15%). Eighty percent of responders reported using no standard management protocol, but reported using combinations of corticosteroids, chemotherapeutic agents, cytokine blockade, and monoclonal antibodies. There is a remarkable lack of consistency between EBMT centres in the approach to screening, diagnosis and management. Further research in this field is needed to raise awareness of and inform harmonised, evidence-based approaches to the recognition and treatment of sHLH/MAS following HSCT/CAR-T cell therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7137396PMC
March 2021

Impact of intensifying primary antibiotic prophylaxis in at-home autologous stem cell transplantation program for lymphoma patients.

Leuk Lymphoma 2020 07 25;61(7):1565-1574. Epub 2020 Mar 25.

Department of Hematology, Home Care and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Despite the use of fluoroquinolone (FQ) prophylaxis, neutropenic fever (NF) is the most frequent cause of hospital readmission in ambulatory care programs for patients treated with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). We analyzed the impact of intensifying primary prophylaxis with the addition of piperacillin/tazobactam (PT) to FQ. Between January 2002 and August 2018, 154 lymphoma patients conditioned with BEAM were included (40% received ceftriaxone (Ct) plus FQ and 60% PT plus FQ). NF and hospital readmission were required in 84 vs. 41% ( < .0001) and 12 vs. 1% ( = .007) of patients within the Ct and PT groups, respectively. The multivariate analysis showed that PT plus FQ retained its independent protective factor for NF (odds ratio (OR): 0.13;  < .001) and for hospital readmission (OR: 0.07;  = .01). The use of PT and FQ prophylaxis may effectively prevent episodes of NF and hospitalizations in lymphoma patients managed in our at-home ASCT care model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1742901DOI Listing
July 2020

Impact of severe acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease on allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant recipients: a retrospective single center analysis.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 07 26;55(7):1264-1271. Epub 2020 Feb 26.

University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) increases early mortality in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (allo-HCT) recipients and may accelerate chronic kidney disease (CKD) development. We analyzed prospective variables related to AKI and CKD in 422 allo-HCT recipients to establish risk factors of severe acute renal failure and CKD. Renal function and creatinine were periodically assessed from baseline till the last follow-up. Sixty-three patients (14%) developed severe AKI (AKI-3) at 100 days post transplant and 15% at 12 months. Variables associated with AKI-3 were age above 55 years [hazard ratio (HR): 2.4; p = 0.019], total body irradiation (TBI) (HR: 1.8; p = 0.044), high-risk cytomegalovirus reactivation (HR: 1.8; p = 0.041), and methotrexate as GVHD prophylaxis (HR: 2.1; p = 0.024). AKI-3 increased the mortality risk (HR: 2.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.9-3.4). The CKD prevalence in 161 living patients was 10.2% at the last follow-up and in most, CKD developed 1 year post HCT, independent of AKI. The CKD at 1 year post HCT was associated with increased mortality (HR: 3.54; p < 0.001). Interestingly, pretransplant CKD was associated with early mortality (HR: 5.6; p < 0.001). In fact, pre- and posttransplant CKD had independent unfavorable long-term outcomes. These pretransplant factors can potentially be targeted to improve allo-HCT outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0843-3DOI Listing
July 2020
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