Publications by authors named "Nada Hamad"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Myeloid somatic mutation panel testing in myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Pathology 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Working Party, Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group, Melbourne, Vic, Australia; Department of Clinical Haematology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic, Australia.

Myeloproliferative neoplasms are characterised by somatic mutations in pathways that regulate cell proliferation, epigenetic modifications, RNA splicing or DNA repair. Assessment of the mutational profile assists diagnosis and classification, but also aids assessment of prognosis, and may guide the use of emerging targeted therapies. The most practical way to provide information on numerous genetic variants is by using massively parallel sequencing, commonly in the form of disease specific next generation sequencing (NGS) panels. This review summarises the diagnostic and prognostic value of somatic mutation testing in Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms: polycythaemia vera, essential thrombocythaemia, primary myelofibrosis, chronic neutrophilic leukaemia, systemic mastocytosis, and chronic eosinophilic leukaemia. NGS panel testing is increasing in routine practice and promises to improve the accuracy and efficiency of pathological diagnosis and prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pathol.2021.01.003DOI Listing
March 2021

Health-related quality of life and utility outcomes with selinexor in relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Future Oncol 2021 Feb 2. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Servicio de Hematología, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid 28046, Spain.

Evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and health utility impact of single-agent selinexor in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT) - Lymphoma and EuroQoL five-dimensions five-levels data collected in the single-arm Phase IIb trial SADAL (NCT02227251) were analyzed with mixed-effects models. Treatment responders maintained higher FACT - Lymphoma (p ≤ 0.05), FACT - General (p < 0.05) and EuroQoL five-dimensions five-levels index scores (p < 0.001) beginning in cycle 3. The estimated difference in health state utilities for treatment response and progressive disease was both statistically significant and clinically meaningful (mean difference: 0.07; p = 0.001). In patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, objective response to selinexor was associated with HRQoL maintenance, reduction in disease-related HRQoL decrements and higher health utilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-0946DOI Listing
February 2021

Effect of donor age on adult unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplant outcome: the Australian experience.

Intern Med J 2020 Nov 1. Epub 2020 Nov 1.

Integrated Haematology Service, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Background: Results have been varied regarding the effect of donor age on the outcome of unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT).

Aims: This study sought to determine the influence of donor age on adult unrelated donor HCT outcome in Australia.

Methods: Patients were included in the study if they were aged 16 or above and underwent first allogeneic unrelated donor HCT in Australia for the indications of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML), chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) between the years of 2001 and 2014 inclusive. The main outcome measure was overall survival (OS), which was tested against independent variables using univariate Kaplan-Meier methods and multivariate Cox regression.

Results: A total of 1,158 unrelated donor HCT were represented in the data. Cumulative incidences of engraftment, transplant related mortality (TRM), acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), chronic GvHD and relapse were not significantly affected by donor age. OS probability at 5 years post-transplant was 48.3%. In multivariate analysis of OS, year of transplant 2001-2007, recipient age 40 years or greater, poor risk disease, HLA match less than 6/6 and poor performance status at transplant (Karnofsky scale) were independently significant adverse OS risk factors. Donor age was not a significant risk factor for OS in univariate or multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: The conclusion from this study was that donor age (up to 59 years) did not influence post-transplant outcome among adult unrelated donor HCT performed in Australia for hematologic malignancies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imj.15128DOI Listing
November 2020

Variable CD34+ recovery of cryopreserved allogeneic HPC products: transplant implications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blood Adv 2020 09;4(17):4147-4150

St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia.

Donor registries and transplantation societies recommend cryopreservation of unrelated donor hemopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) products before the recipient commences conditioning therapy to mitigate the donor and travel risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, little is known regarding the postthaw quality of such allogeneic products or the effect of precryopreservation storage and processing on these characteristics. We investigated the postthaw CD34+ cell recovery and viability of 305 allogeneic HPC products cryopreserved at 9 laboratories across Australia. Median postthaw CD34+ cell recovery was 76% and ranged from 6% to 122%. Longer transit time before cryopreservation, white cell count (WCC) during storage, and complex product manipulation before cryopreservation were independently associated with inferior postthaw CD34+ cell recovery. Longer precryopreservation transit time and WCC were also associated with inferior postthaw CD34+ cell viability. We conclude that although postthaw CD34+ cell recovery and viability of cryopreserved allogeneic HPC is generally acceptable, there is a significant risk of poor postthaw product quality, associated with prolonged storage time, higher WCC, and complex product manipulation precryopreservation. Awareness of expected postthaw recovery and practices that influence it will assist collection, processing, and transplant centers in optimizing outcomes for transplant recipients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002431DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7479963PMC
September 2020

Australasian Trends in Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation for Myelofibrosis in the Molecular Era: A Retrospective Analysis from the Australasian Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient Registry.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 12 27;26(12):2252-2261. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Department of Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia; University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

To review the updated trends of national practice and outcomes in transplantation to treat myelofibrosis (MF), we retrospectively evaluated 142 patients who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) for primary (n = 94) or secondary (n = 48) MF at an Australian/New Zealand transplantation center between 2006 and 2017. The median duration of follow-up was 51.8 months (range, 3.1 to 148 months). The median age at allo-HSCT was 56 years (range, 26 to 69 years). Fifty-two percent of the patients had HLA-identical sibling donors, and 45% had matched unrelated donors (UD). Conditioning regimens were predominantly reduced intensity (83%). Before transplantation, 16% of the patients had undergone splenectomy or splenic irradiation, and 38% (n = 54) received JAK inhibitor therapy. JAK2 mutation testing was performed in 66.9% of the patients, whereas other mutations (CALR, MPL, ASXL1, SRSF2, U2AF1Q57, EZH2, and IDH1/2) were rarely tested (1.4% to 8.4%). Only 4.2% of patients had next-generation sequencing mutation analysis. The median time to neutrophil engraftment was 19 days (range, 10 to 43 days), and the median time to platelet engraftment was 27 days (range, 13 to 230 days). The cumulative incidence of grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) was 21.4% at 100 days, and that of extensive chronic GVHD (cGVHD) at 5 years was 18.1%. Overall survival (OS) was 67% at 1 year and 57% at 5 years. GVHD-free, relapse-free survival was 54% at 1 year and 42% at 5 years. The cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was 16% at 100 days and 25% at 1 year. In multivariate analysis, age ≥65 years and use of an UD were identified as significant unfavorable risk factors for OS and NRM. Use of an UD increased the incidence of aGVHD, whereas administration of antithymocyte globulin/alemtuzumab lowered the risk of both aGVHD and cGVHD. Pretransplantation splenectomy/splenic irradiation had a positive influence on time to engraftment. There have been no improvements in the outcomes of allo-HSCT for MF in Australasia over the last decade, with a low uptake of molecular genomic technology due to limited access to funding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.08.024DOI Listing
December 2020

Ibrutinib for central nervous system lymphoma: the Australasian Lymphoma Alliance/MD Anderson Cancer Center experience.

Br J Haematol 2020 Jul 16. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Department of Haematology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA, Australia.

Primary and secondary central nervous system lymphomas (PCNSL/SCNSL) are aggressive rare malignancies with dismal outcomes. Encouraging data have emerged from Phase I/II clinical trials treating relapsed/refractory PCNSL/SCNSL with ibrutinib. We analysed 33 patients who received ibrutinib, alone or with other therapies, for PCNSL (n = 9) or SCNSL (n = 24). The objective response rate was 58% (complete response 55%). The median progression-free survival and overall survival for patients with PCNSL were both 3·1 months; for SCNSL, 10·2 and 11·5 months respectively. Only one invasive fungal infection was observed, despite concurrent or recent use of dexamethasone 8-16 mg daily in 14 patients (42%). Ibrutinib has encouraging activity in these aggressive malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16946DOI Listing
July 2020

An integrated electronic health record facilitates a safer and more efficient rural outreach haematology service.

Intern Med J 2020 Jul 16. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Department of Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia.

Background: Rural Australian oncology patients are known to have inferior mortality rates compared to metropolitan patients, possibly related to access to appropriate healthcare services and treatments. Electronic systems improve the safety of chemotherapy administration and allow easily accessible patient information and data collection.

Aim: To integrate the electronic healthcare delivery systems at a metropolitan hospital and a rural outreach haematology clinic to facilitate streamlined and safe outpatient care.

Method: The MOSAIQ v2.64(Elekta) system utilized at St Vincent's Hospital was introduced at a linked rural outreach haematology clinic. The two separate comprehensive practice management systems incorporating all patient information were consolidated into one, becoming accessible from both sites.

Results: The electronic systems were successfully integrated between the two sites in October 2017. Electronic chemotherapy prescribing at the Griffith site is now guided by inbuilt, pharmacist-reviewed protocols thereby improving the safety and flexibility of remote prescribing. The centralised EHR has improved streamlined care during patient transitions between the two hospitals with enhanced continuity of documentation and management. Increases in total clinic patients and appointment numbers are demonstrable since implementation, and sustained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conclusion: Our study provides a novel example of the successful implementation of a centralised electronic healthcare record and chemotherapy prescribing system in a haematology setting shared between a metropolitan service and a rural outreach hospital clinic. This has positive implications for the safety and efficiency of healthcare delivery at the rural site applicable to all linked rural Australian clinics, as well as allowing data collection to assist future planning of the service. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imj.14973DOI Listing
July 2020

Unrelated Donor Transplant Recipients Given Thymoglobuline Have Superior GRFS When Compared to Matched Related Donor Recipients Undergoing Transplantation without ATG.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 10 5;26(10):1868-1875. Epub 2020 Jul 5.

Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia; Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia.

Recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) from unrelated donors (URDs) and mismatched related donors (MMRDs) typically have a higher incidence of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) compared with matched related donors (MRDs). Anti-T-cell globulins (ATGs) are often used to reduce GVHD in these recipients. We report the outcomes of 211 adult peripheral blood stem cell transplant recipients with myeloid malignancies who received a standardized transplant protocol, in which ATG (Thymoglobuline 4.5 mg/kg) was administered to recipients of URD and MMRD (n = 147) but not MRD (n = 64) transplant. For all patients, incidence of acute GVHD grades 2 to 4 was 21.4%, and chronic GVHD was 35.0%. Two-year overall survival was 63.2% (95% confidence interval, 55.8% to 71.5%), relapse-free survival was 55.3% (47.4% to 64.6%), and GVHD-free, relapse-free survival (GRFS) was 30.7% (23.2% to 40.8%). There were no differences between recipients of MRDs and other donors in relapse, nonrelapse mortality, and overall and relapse-free survival. However, compared with MRD, recipients from URDs and MMRDs had reduced moderate to severe chronic GVHD (10.4% versus 30.1%, P= .002), less chronic GVHD requiring systemic therapy (19.4% versus 38.9%, P = .006), and superior 2-year GRFS (35.5% versus 20.0%, P = .003). In this retrospective review of nonrandomized transplant groups, outcomes of HSCT performed using an URD with ATG during conditioning were superior to transplant from an MRD without ATG. The addition of Thymoglobuline to conditioning in HSCT from MRD should be further examined in prospective trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.06.030DOI Listing
October 2020

Selinexor in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (SADAL): a single-arm, multinational, multicentre, open-label, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2020 Jul;7(7):e511-e522

Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive cancer with a median overall survival of less than 6 months. We aimed to assess the response to single-agent selinexor, an oral selective inhibitor of nuclear export, in patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL who had no therapeutic options of potential clinical benefit.

Methods: SADAL was a multicentre, multinational, open-label, phase 2b study done in 59 sites in 19 countries. Patients aged 18 years or older with pathologically confirmed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 2 or less, who had received two to five lines of previous therapies, and progressed after or were not candidates for autologous stem-cell transplantation were enrolled. Germinal centre B-cell or non-germinal centre B-cell tumour subtype and double or triple expressor status were determined by immunohistochemistry and double or triple hit status was determined by cytogenetics. Patients received 60 mg selinexor orally on days 1 and 3 weekly until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The study was initially designed to evaluate both 60 mg and 100 mg twice-weekly doses of selinexor; however, the 100 mg dose was discontinued in the protocol (version 7.0) on March 29, 2017, when an improved therapeutic window was observed at 60 mg. Primary outcome was overall response rate. The primary outcome and safety were assessed in all patients who received 60 mg selinexor under protocol version 6.0, or enrolled under protocol versions 7.0 or higher and received at least one dose of selinexor. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02227251 (active but not enrolling).

Findings: Between Oct 21, 2015, and Nov 2, 2019, 267 patients were randomly assigned, with 175 allocated to the 60 mg group and 92 to the discontinued 100 mg group. 48 patients assigned to the 60 mg group were excluded due to enrolment before version 6.0 of the protocol; the remaining 127 patients received selinexor 60 mg and were included in analyses of primary outcome and safety. The overall response rate was 28% (36/127; 95% CI 20·7-37·0); 15 (12%) achieved a complete response and 21 (17%) a partial response. The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were thrombocytopenia (n=58), neutropenia (n=31), anaemia (n=28), fatigue (n=14), hyponatraemia (n=10), and nausea (n=8). The most common serious adverse events were pyrexia (n=9), pneumonia (n=6), and sepsis (n=6). There were no deaths judged as related to treatment with selinexor.

Interpretation: Single-drug oral selinexor induced durable responses and had a manageable adverse events profile in patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL who received at least two lines of previous chemoimmunotherapy. Selinexor could be considered a new oral, non-cytotoxic treatment option in this setting.

Funding: Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30120-4DOI Listing
July 2020

Australian and New Zealand consensus statement on the management of lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and myeloma during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Intern Med J 2020 06 15;50(6):667-679. Epub 2020 May 15.

Department of Haematology, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a unique challenge to the care of patients with haematological malignancies. Viral pneumonia is known to cause disproportionately severe disease in patients with cancer, and patients with lymphoma, myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia are likely to be at particular risk of severe disease related to COVID-19. This statement has been developed by consensus among authors from Australia and New Zealand. We aim to provide supportive guidance to clinicians making individual patient decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular during periods that access to healthcare resources may be limited. General recommendations include those to minimise patient exposure to COVID-19, including the use of telehealth, avoidance of non-essential visits and minimisation of time spent by patients in infusion suites and other clinical areas. This statement also provides recommendations where appropriate in assessing indications for therapy, reducing therapy-associated immunosuppression and reducing healthcare utilisation in patients with specific haematological malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific decisions regarding therapy of haematological malignancies will need to be individualised, based on disease risk, risks of immunosuppression, rates of community transmission of COVID-19 and available local healthcare resources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imj.14859DOI Listing
June 2020

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients Surviving at Least 2 Years from Transplant Have Survival Rates Approaching Population Levels in the Modern Era of Transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 09 16;26(9):1711-1718. Epub 2020 Mar 16.

Department of Haematology and SCT, St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia. Electronic address:

The health and outcomes of long-term survivors after hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) are areas of evolving interest as short-term transplant outcomes improve. Because recent changes in transplant practice have likely changed the survivor population, we sought to assess the survival of a contemporary cohort of patients who were alive and free of disease 2 years after HCT. Data were extracted from first transplants documented between 2002 and 2011 in the Australasian Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient Registry on patients who received an allogeneic HCT for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and myelodysplastic syndromes or an autologous HCT for myeloma or lymphoma. Patients were included if they had survived at least 2 years without disease relapse or progression. Mortality rates were compared with standard Australian and New Zealand populations using relative-survival analysis. A total of 1562 allogeneic and 3822 autologous HCT patients were included, with a median follow-up of 5.6 years. Compared with a matched group of patients from our previous study from 1992 to 2001, the contemporary cohort of allogeneic HCT recipients was older and more likely to receive peripheral blood stem cells and from unrelated donors. Allogeneic HCT for AML increased, wheresa transplants for CML fell from 32% to 8%. Increasing use of reduced-intensity conditioning and unrelated donors was also seen. Long-term survival after allogeneic and autologous HCT were very similar to the previous 1992 to 2001 cohort despite changes in practice over time. Recipients of autologous HCT for myeloma demonstrated substantially lower overall survival than HCT for other indications with no clear plateau. Annual relative survival for survivors of allogeneic HCT was 96% to 99% of the general population but only 89% to 96% of the general population for recipients of autologous HCT. Late deaths were primarily due to nonrelapse causes after allogeneic HCT, but relapse or disease progression remained prominent for recipients of autologous HCT, particularly for myeloma. The management of late HCT effects is important to improve long-term survival of transplant recipients but should be tailored to the risks specific to the primary disease and transplant type. Future planning should account for the impact of the expected increase in transplant activity and number of survivors on resource utilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.03.005DOI Listing
September 2020

Reproductive outcomes following a stem cell transplant for a haematological malignancy in female cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Support Care Cancer 2019 Dec 21;27(12):4451-4460. Epub 2019 Sep 21.

Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, Sydney, NSW, 2031, Australia.

Purpose: The use of high-dose chemotherapy and radiotherapy combined with haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may negatively affect a woman's reproductive potential. Reproductive outcomes such as infertility are a major concern for women who undergo treatment for a haematological cancer diagnosis.

Objective: This systematic review and meta-analysis explores reproductive outcomes following a haematological cancer requiring HSCT.

Methods: Electronic databases were searched to identify studies that reported on reproductive outcomes after treatment for a haematological cancer diagnosis. Studies were included that reported on pregnancy and reproductive outcomes following HSCT for a haematological malignancy.

Results: The meta-analysis included 14 studies, collectively involving 744 female patients. The subgroup analysis showed an overall pooled estimated pregnancy rate, for autologous or allogeneic HSCT recipients, of 22.7% (n = 438). There were 25% (n = 240) of women who became pregnant after autologous HSCT compared with 22% (n = 198) who subsequently became pregnant following allogeneic HSCT.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis reflects low pregnancy rates for cancer survivors desiring a family. However, live births are improving over time with new technology and novel therapies. Hence, female cancer patients should be offered timely discussions, counselling and education around fertility preservation options prior to starting treatment with gonadotoxic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-019-05020-8DOI Listing
December 2019

HMGCLL1 is a predictive biomarker for deep molecular response to imatinib therapy in chronic myeloid leukemia.

Leukemia 2019 06 16;33(6):1439-1450. Epub 2018 Dec 16.

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

Achieving a deep molecular response (DMR) to tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) remains challenging and at present, there is no biomarker to predict DMR in this setting. Herein, we report that an HMGCLL1 genetic variant located in 6p12.1 can be used as a predictive genetic biomarker for intrinsic sensitivity to imatinib (IM) therapy. We measured DMR rate according to HMGCLL1 variant in a discovery set of CML patients (n = 201) and successfully replicated it in a validation set (n = 270). We also investigated the functional relevance of HMGCLL1 blockade with respect to response to TKI therapy and showed that small interfering RNA mediated blockade of HMGCLL1 isoform 3 results in significant decrease in viability of BCR-ABL1-positive cells including K562, CML-T1 or BaF3 cell lines with or without ABL1 kinase domain mutations such as T315I mutation. Decreased cell viability was also demonstrated in murine CML stem cells and human hematopoietic progenitor cells. RNA sequencing showed that blockade of HMGCLL1 was associated with G0/G1 arrest and the cell cycle. In summary, the HMGCLL1 gene polymorphism is a novel genetic biomarker for intrinsic sensitivity to IM therapy in CML patients that predicts DMR in this setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-018-0321-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6756062PMC
June 2019

Distinctive clinical characteristics and favorable outcomes in patients with large granular lymphocytosis after allo-HCT: 12-year follow-up data.

Eur J Haematol 2017 Aug 30;99(2):160-168. Epub 2017 May 30.

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

An increase in large granular lymphocytes (LGL) is frequently seen in patients following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) and it has been associated with better outcomes in some reports. We assessed 826 consecutive patients at our institution with over 12 years of follow-up for the occurrence of LGL lymphocytosis after allo-HCT. The 3-year cumulative incidence of LGL lymphocytosis was 14.5% with a median duration of over 3.5 years. The development of LGL lymphocytosis was strongly correlated with CMV viremia and GVHD. The clinical course of patients with LGL lymphocytosis after allo-HCT was indolent, with the majority of these patients not displaying any clinical signs or symptoms related to the LGL proliferation. LGL lymphocytosis was associated with better outcomes, including higher overall survival (OS 86.6% vs 44.7% at 3 years), lower non-relapse mortality (NRM 5.5% vs 30.4% at 3 years), and lower risk of relapse (8.9% vs 22.9% at 3 years). A time-dependent multivariable analysis confirmed the favorable impact of LGL lymphocytosis on OS and NRM, but not on the risk of relapse. In multivariable analysis, a longer duration of LGL lymphocytosis was associated with better OS and NRM. Improved immunomodulatory properties of these cells, regulating GVHD and infections, may explain the observed favorable outcomes of patients who developed LGL lymphocytosis following allo-HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12899DOI Listing
August 2017

Improved prognostic stratification power of CIBMTR risk score with the addition of absolute lymphocyte and eosinophil counts at the onset of chronic GVHD.

Ann Hematol 2017 May 18;96(5):805-815. Epub 2017 Feb 18.

Allogeneic Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, 610 University Ave, Toronto, ON, M5G2M9, Canada.

The CIBMTR chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) risk score can be refined and improved for better prognostic stratification. Three hundred and seven consecutive patients diagnosed with cGVHD by the NIH consensus criteria were retrospectively reviewed and had the CIBMTR risk score applied and analyzed. The CIBMTR risk score was successfully validated in our cohort (n = 307). The 3-year overall survival (OS) rates in each risk group (RG) were 82.5 ± 11.3% (RG1), 79.4 ± 3.0% (RG2), 71.8 ± 6.3% (RG3), and 27.3 ± 13.4% (RG4). A significantly lower OS rate and higher non-relapse mortality (NRM) were noted in RG4 compared to the other RGs. However, there were no differences in OS or NRM among RG1 to 3. To improve prognostic stratification power of the CIBMTR risk score, we incorporated the absolute lymphocyte (ALC) and eosinophil count (EC) at time of cGVHD into the CIBMTR risk score. Lower ALC (<1.0 × 10/L, HR 1.94, p = 0.014) and lower EC (<0.5 × 10/L, HR 3.27, p = 0.014) were confirmed as adverse risk factors for OS. Patients were stratified into four revised risk groups (rRG). The 3-year OS rates were 93.3 ± 6.4% (rRG1, score 0-3), 84.9 ± 3.4% (rRG2, score 4-6), 70.9 ± 4.4% (rRG3, score 7-9), and 32.0 ± 1.1% (rRG4, score ≥ 10) (p < 0.001). The 3-year NRM rates were 0.0% (rRG1), 6.7 ± 0.4% (rRG2), 18.4 ± 0.7% (rRG3), and 57.7 ± 5.1% (rRG4) (p < 0.001). The revised CIBMTR risk score was superior to the original CIBMTR risk score for OS (p < 0.001). The revised CIBMTR risk score including ALC and EC at the onset of cGVHD improved the prognostic stratification power of the CIBMTR risk score for long-term outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-017-2939-4DOI Listing
May 2017

Single nucleotide polymorphisms in apoptosis pathway are associated with response to imatinib therapy in chronic myeloid leukemia.

J Transl Med 2016 Mar 24;14:82. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

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

Background: The mechanism of action of imatinib is known to involve the Fas-mediated apoptosis pathway. Consequently inter-individual variations in this apoptosis pathway might be associated with imatinib response or resistance.

Methods: This study attempted to focus on eight genotypes in the apoptosis pathway including FAS (rs1800682, rs2229521, rs2234767 and rs2234978), FASLG (rs763110), CASP10 (rs13006529), and APAF1 (rs1439123, rs2288713) and analyzed their association with treatment outcomes including molecular response with 4.5 log reduction (MR4.5), following imatinib therapy in 187 Korean CML patients.

Results: The GG/GA genotype in FAS (rs2234767) showed a higher rate of MR4.5 than the AA genotype (at 5 years 59.7 vs 37.4 %, p = 0.013). Using a bootstrap procedure for internal validation we confirmed that FAS (rs2234767) correlates with MR4.5 (p = 0.050). Multivariate analysis confirmed that the FAS genotype (rs2234767) is an independent surrogate for MR4.5 (p = 0.019, HR 0.43, 95 % CI [0.22-0.87]).

Conclusions: The Fas/FasL signaling pathway may represent the major pathway that mediates apoptosis in CML treated with imatinib. SNP markers in the apoptosis pathway including FAS genotype (rs2234767) can be potential surrogates for predicting deeper molecular response after imatinib therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-016-0837-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4806489PMC
March 2016

Mycophenolate-based graft versus host disease prophylaxis is not inferior to methotrexate in myeloablative-related donor stem cell transplantation.

Am J Hematol 2015 May 8;90(5):392-9. Epub 2015 Apr 8.

Allogeneic Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Center, University of Toronto, Canada.

We retrospectively reviewed 242 patients who received related donor myeloablative peripheral blood hematopoietic cell transplantation. We compared patients who received mycophenolate (MMF)/cyclosporine (CSA) (n = 71), to historical controls who received methotrexate (MTX)/CSA (n = 172). There were no differences in overall survival, nonrelapse mortality, and relapse. The MMF/CSA group had significantly faster neutrophil and platelet engraftment: medians of 13 versus 18 days and 10 versus 14 days, respectively (P = 0.001). The cumulative incidence of acute graft versus host disease (GVHD) (Grades, 2-4) was significantly lower in the MMF/CSA group (45.1 vs. 74.4%, P < 0.001). The MMF/CSA group showed a lower incidence of skin (51.5 vs. 72.1%, P < 0.001) and liver acute GVHD (11.3 vs. 54.2%, P < 0.001) and a higher incidence of lung (42.2 vs. 19.0%, P = 0.045), eye (59.7 vs. 30.1%, P < 0.001), and mouth (72.8 vs. 56.4%, P = 0.001) chronic GVHD but only eye chronic GVHD was confirmed in propensity score matching (PSM) analysis. The incidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) viremia was higher in the MMF/CSA group (55.8 vs. 39.6%, P < 0.001) but this was not confirmed in PSM analysis. MMF/CSA was identified as an independent favorable factor for acute GVHD (P < 0.001, hazard ratio, 0.41) but as a possible adverse risk factor for CMV viremia as this was not found to be statistically significant in PSM analysis. MMF/CSA in myeloablative matched related donor peripheral blood stem cell transplant is not inferior as GVHD prophylaxis in comparison with MTX/CSA and is associated with faster engraftment but a potentially higher risk of CMV viremia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23955DOI Listing
May 2015

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, monoclonal B-lymphocytosis and pregnancy: five cases, a literature review and discussion of management.

Br J Haematol 2015 Feb 25;168(3):350-60. Epub 2014 Sep 25.

Department of Haematology, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, Sydney, NSW, Australia; Kolling Institute, University of Sydney, St Leonards, Sydney, NSW, Australia; Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia Australian Research Consortium (CLLARC), Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) occurs rarely with pregnancy and monoclonal B-Lymphocytosis (MBL) has not previously been described in this setting. CLL is predominantly a disease of the elderly and affects men twice as often as women and hence only an estimated 2% of patients are females of childbearing age. We identified only five reported cases of CLL in pregnancy in the literature. We describe two additional cases, plus three other women with CLL dealing with pregnancy-related decisions. We review the literature and discuss proposals for management and issues that arise in this relatively uncommon occurrence. In contrast to many other haematological malignancies where longer remissions are typically associated with a lower risk of relapse, most patients with CLL who require treatment will ultimately relapse with current therapy. This complex setting requires careful consideration and well informed patients to assist with decisions related to pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.13134DOI Listing
February 2015

Incidence, risk factors, and long-term outcomes of sclerotic graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Nov 17;20(11):1751-7. Epub 2014 Jul 17.

Allogeneic Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Sclerotic chronic graft-versus-host disease (sclGVHD) is associated with significant morbidity and a poor quality of life. We reviewed 502 patients diagnosed with chronic GVHD and analyzed the incidence and risk factors of sclGVHD and long-term outcomes and immunosuppressive therapy (IST) cessation in patients with sclGVHD. With a median onset at 18 months the cumulative incidence of sclGVHD was estimated at 22.6% at 5 years (95% confidence interval, 18.6% to 26.8%). Univariate and multivariate analysis identified 2 risk factors for sclGVHD: non-T cell depletion (hazard ratio [HR] 9.09, P < .001) and peripheral blood stem cell (HR 3.87, P < .001). Overall survival (OS) at 5 years was significantly better in the sclGVHD group (88.1%) compared with the non-sclGVHD group (62.7%; P < .001), as were nonrelapse mortality (7.3% versus 21.5% at 5 years) and relapse rates (9.1% versus 19.3% at 5 years). There was no difference in the rate of IST cessation at 5 years (44.8% versus 49.9%, P = .312), but there was a trend of longer IST duration in the sclGVHD group compared with the non-sclGVHD group (median 71.6 months versus 62.9 months). In conclusion, T cell depletion and graft source affect the risk of sclGVHD. SclGVHD did not adversely affect long-term outcomes or IST duration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.07.001DOI Listing
November 2014

Outcomes of hematopoietic cell transplantation in adult patients with acquired aplastic anemia using intermediate-dose alemtuzumab-based conditioning.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Nov 10;20(11):1722-8. Epub 2014 Jul 10.

Allogeneic Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Center, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) has no therapeutic benefit after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for patients with acquired aplastic anemia (AA), and its prevention is highly desirable. We designed a conditioning regimen using an intermediate dose of alemtuzumab (50 to 60 mg) and describe our institutional experience of 41 patients who underwent HCT for AA. The median age at HCT was 37 years (range, 17 to 59). The conditioning regimen was high-dose cyclophosphamide (n = 9) or fludarabine based (n = 32). Additional GVHD prophylaxis was with cyclosporine. With a median follow-up of 3.6 years, overall survival at 3 years was 85%. Survival in patients <40 years and ≥40 years was 96% and 67%, respectively (P = .04). Graft failure occurred in 4 (10%) patients; 2 primary and 2 secondary. The cumulative incidences of acute (grades 1 to 2) and chronic GVHD were 27% and 15%, respectively. No patients developed grade 3 to 4 acute GVHD or severe chronic GVHD. The following viral complications were frequent: cytomegalovirus reactivation (79%), herpes simplex (18%), varicella zoster (25%), and BK virus hemorrhagic cystitis (8%). The majority of patients had no significant long-term health issues. This intermediate-dose alemtuzumab-based conditioning regimen results in excellent survival with a favorable impact on GVHD and long-term health outcomes, but close monitoring for viral complications is important.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.06.033DOI Listing
November 2014

Primary Cutaneous Mantle-Cell Lymphoma: A Case Report and Literature Review.

J Clin Oncol 2015 Sep 14;33(26):e104-8. Epub 2014 Apr 14.

Royal North Shore Hospital, Northern Blood Research Centre, Kolling Institute; University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2012.47.2829DOI Listing
September 2015

BCR/ABL level at 6 months identifies good risk CML subgroup after failing early molecular response at 3 months following imatinib therapy for CML in chronic phase.

Am J Hematol 2014 Jun 10;89(6):626-32. Epub 2014 Apr 10.

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

It is unclear if patients with CML treated with imatinib who fail to achieve BCR/ABL transcript levels <10%(IS) at 3 months i.e. an early molecular response (EMR) have a better prognosis if they achieve a response by 6 months. We reviewed 320 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase receiving Imatinib therapy with 3 and 6 month BCR/ABL transcript levels available, and divided them into four groups. Group I (achieved an EMR at 3 months), Group II (did not achieve an EMR at 3 months, but achieved a transcript level of <1% at 6 months), Group III (did not achieve an EMR at 3 months, then at 6 months achieved a level between 1% and 10%) and Group IV (failed to achieve a response at 3 and 6 months). Compared to Group I, Group IV showed significantly worse freedom from treatment failure (FTF; 93.1% vs 69.0%, P < 0.001), progression free survival (97.7% vs 77.3%, P < 0.001) and overall survival (98.3% vs 78.9%, P < 0.001). While, group III showed inferior PFS (98.3% vs 90.4%, P = 0.013) and OS (97.7% vs 90.4%, P = 0.037), but no difference in FTF (93.1% vs 92.0%, P = 0.520). There were no significant differences between Groups I and II. A BCR/ABL transcript level at 6 months can identify a "good-risk" subgroup among patients who fail to achieve an EMR on Imatinib therapy for CML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23707DOI Listing
June 2014

Validation of National Institutes of Health global scoring system for chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) according to overall and GVHD-specific survival.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Apr 18;20(4):556-63. Epub 2014 Jan 18.

Allogeneic Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

A new severity grading system for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus criteria (NCC). However, its prognostic value still needs to be validated. Four hundred twenty-five consecutive patients who survived beyond 100 days after allogeneic stem cell transplantation were reviewed and reclassified using NCC. GVHD-specific survival (GSS) and cumulative incidence of relapse were compared according to the NIH global score at the onset and peak of chronic GVHD (cGVHD). Of 346 patients with cGVHD diagnosed by the Revised Seattle Criteria, 317 patients were reclassified according to the NCC as classic cGVHD (n = 144) and overlap syndrome (n = 173). The NIH global scores at onset were mild (43.2%), moderate (42.3%), and severe (14.5%), whereas more moderate (55.5%) and severe (31.6%) cGVHD was observed at the peak of cGVHD. With a median follow-up duration of 34 months, the 5-year GSS was significantly worse for the severe group than the moderate/mild groups at onset and at peak: 50.9% ± 7.8% versus 89.7% ± 3.2% versus 93.5% ± 2.4% at onset (P < .001) and 69.1% ± 5.2% versus 93.2% ± 2.1% versus 97.3% ± 2.7% at peak (P < .001). Severe NIH global score at onset and peak were confirmed as a poor prognostic factor for GSS in multivariate analysis. The cumulative incidence of relapse did not differ among the severity groups at onset or peak. In conclusion, the new NIH global scoring system was shown to differentiate a high-risk group of patients (with severe grade cGVHD) in terms of long-term transplant outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.01.010DOI Listing
April 2014