Publications by authors named "Nelli Bejanyan"

70 Publications

Cytokine Release Syndrome Following Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Haploidentical HCT with Post-Transplant Cyclophosphamide: CRS post haploidentical HCT with PTCy.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Nov 26. Epub 2021 Nov 26.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL.

Background: Post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) is a safe and efficacious graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) prophylaxis following hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) from haploidentical (haplo) donors. Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) is a common complication of this platform. Early fever post-haplo HCT using bone marrow grafts is associated with higher CD3+ cell dose and CRS. However, the impact of CD3+ and CD34+ cell dose on CRS post-haplo HCT using peripheral blood stem cell (PBSCT) grafts is unknown.

Objective: Our goals were to evaluate the incidence of CRS following PBSCT and to identify factors that can be modified to prevent the development of severe CRS in this setting.

Study Design: In 271 patients, we investigated factors associated with development of CRS following haplo PBSCT and examined the impact of CRS on clinical outcomes.

Results: Ninety-three percent of patients developed CRS of any grade post-haplo PBSCT. In multivariate analysis, severe CRS (grade 3-4 vs. grade 0-1) was associated with higher non-relapse mortality (HR=6.42; 95% CI: 2.68-15.39; p<0.001), worse 1-year overall survival (HR=3.40; 95% CI: 1.63-7.08; p=0.005), and disease-free survival (HR=4.02, 95% CI: 1.99-8.08; p<0.001). Moderate to severe CRS (grade 2-4) did not impact 1-year relapse and acute GvHD (grade II-IV and III-IV) at 100 days (p=0.71 and p=0.19, respectively). Importantly, higher CD3+ cell dose but not CD34+ cell dose predicted higher incidence of CRS grades 2-4 (HR=1.20, 95% CI:1.07-1.36; p 0.003) and grades 3-4 (HR=1.40, 95% CI:1.05-1.86; p=0.022). Older age (HR=8.57, 95% CI: 1.73-42.36; p<0.001) and non-radiation-based RIC (fludarabine/melphalan; HR=15.38, 955 CI: 2.06-114.67; p<0.001) were both predictors of CRS grade 3-4.

Conclusions: Overall, we observed that severe CRS (grade 3-4) negatively affected transplant outcome and that higher CD3 cell dose was associated with development of any grade and severe CRS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.11.012DOI Listing
November 2021

Phase 2 multicenter trial of ofatumumab and prednisone as initial therapy of chronic graft-vs-host disease.

Blood Adv 2021 Oct 14. Epub 2021 Oct 14.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida, United States.

Standard initial therapy of chronic graft vs. host disease (cGVHD) with glucocorticoids results in suboptimal and transient responses in a significant number of patients. Safety and feasibility of anti-CD20 directed B-cell therapy with ofatumumab (1000 mg IV on days 0 and 14) and prednisone (1 mg/kg/day) was previously established in our phase I trial (n=12). We now report the mature results of the phase II expansion of the trial (n=38). The overall NIH severity of cGVHD was moderate (63%) or severe (37%) with 74% of all patients affected by the overlap subtype of cGVHD and 82% by prior acute cGVHD. The combined therapy was generally well tolerated, with some anticipated infusion reactions to ofatumumab, and common toxicities of glucocorticoids. Total B-cell depletion following therapy was profound, with marginal recovery within first 12 months from initial therapy. The observed 6 month clinician-reported and 2014 NIH-defined overall response rates (ORR=complete + partial response[CR/PR]) of 62.5% (1-sided lower 90% confidence interval=51.5%) were not superior to pre-specified historic benchmark of 60%. Post-hoc comparison of 6 month NIH response suggested benefit compared to more contemporaneous NIH-based benchmark of 48.6% with frontline sirolimus/prednisone (CTN 0801 trial). Baseline cGVHD features (organ involvement, severity, initial IS agents) were not significantly associated with 6-month ORR. The median time to initiation of second-line therapy was 5.4 months (range 0.9-15.1 months). Failure-free survival (FFS) was 64.2% (95% CI 46.5-77.4%) at 6 months and 53.1% (95% CI 35.8-67.7%) at 12 months, whereas FFS with CR/PR at 12 months of 33.5% exceeded a benchmark of 15% in post-hoc analysis, and was associated with greater success in steroid discontinuation by 24 months (odds ratio 8 (95% CI 1.21-52.7). This single-arm phase II trial demonstrated acceptable safety and potential efficacy of the upfront use of ofatumumab in combination with prednisone in cGVHD. This trial is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01680965.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021005552DOI Listing
October 2021

Expansion and Enrichment of Gamma-Delta (γδ) T Cells from Apheresed Human Product.

J Vis Exp 2021 09 22(175). Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Cell Therapy Facility, Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute; Department of Immunology, Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.

Although Vγ9Vδ2 T cells are a minor subset of T lymphocytes, this population is sought after for its ability to recognize antigens in a major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-independent manner and develop strong cytolytic effector function that makes it an ideal candidate for cancer immunotherapy. Due to the low frequency of Gamma-Delta (γδ) T cells in the peripheral blood, we developed an effective protocol to greatly expand a highly pure γδ T cells drug product for first-in-human use of allogeneic γδ T cells in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Using healthy donor apheresis as an allogenic cell source, the lymphocytes are isolated using a validated device for a counterflow centrifugation method of separating cells by size and density. The lymphocyte-rich fraction is utilized, and the γδ T cells are preferentially activated with zoledronic acid (FDA-approved) and interleukin (IL)-2 for 7 days. Following the preferential expansion of γδ T cells, a clinical-grade magnetic cell-separation device and TCRαβ beads are used to deplete contaminating T-cell receptor (TCR)αβ T cells. The highly enriched γδ T cells then undergo a second expansion using engineered artificial antigen-presenting cells (aAPCs) derived from K562 cells-genetically engineered to express single-chain variable fragment (scFv) for CD3 and CD28, 41BBL (CD137L) and IL15-RA-together with zoledronic acid and IL-2. Seeding all day-7 enriched γδ T cells in co-culture with the aAPCs facilitates the manufacture of highly pure γδ T cells with an average fold expansion of >229,000-fold from healthy donor blood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/62622DOI Listing
September 2021

An adapted European LeukemiaNet genetic risk stratification for acute myeloid leukemia patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant. A CIBMTR analysis.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 Dec 28;56(12):3068-3077. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Division of Hematology/BMT, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Cytogenetic and molecular abnormalities are known to influence post-transplant outcomes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) but data assessing the prognostic value of combined genetic models in the HCT setting are limited. We developed an adapted European LeukemiaNet (aELN) risk classification based on available genetic data reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, to predict post-transplant outcomes in 2289 adult AML patients transplanted in first remission, between 2013 and 2017. Patients were stratified according to aELN into three groups: favorable (Fav, N = 181), intermediate (IM, N = 1185), and adverse (Adv, N = 923). Univariate analysis demonstrated significant differences in 2-year overall survival (OS) (Fav: 67.7%, IM: 64.9% and Adv: 53.9%; p < 0.001); disease-free survival (DFS) (Fav: 57.8%, IM: 55.5% and Adv: 45.3; p < 0.001) and relapse (Fav: 28%, IM: 27.5% and Adv: 37.5%; p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis (MVA) revealed no differences in outcomes between the Fav and IM groups, thus they were combined. On MVA, patients in the Adv risk group had the highest risk of relapse (HR 1.47 p ≤ 0.001) and inferior DFS (HR 1.35 p < 0.001) and OS (HR 1.39 p < 0.001), even using myeloablative conditioning or in those without the pre-HCT measurable-residual disease. Novel approaches to mitigate relapse in this high-risk group are urgently needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01450-3DOI Listing
December 2021

Risk classification at diagnosis predicts post-HCT outcomes in intermediate-, adverse-risk, and KMT2A-rearranged AML.

Blood Adv 2021 Sep 22. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, United States.

Little is known about whether risk classification at diagnosis predicts post-hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) outcomes for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. We evaluated 8709 AML patients from the CIBMTR database and, after selection and manual curation of cytogenetics data, 3779 patients in CR1 were included in the final analysis: 2384 with intermediate-risk, 969 with adverse-risk, and 426 with KMT2A-rearranged disease. An adjusted multivariable analysis compared to intermediate-risk patients detected an increased risk of relapse for KMT2A-rearranged and adverse-risk patients (HR 1.27, p = 0.01 and HR 1.71, p < 0.001, respectively). Leukemia-free survival (LFS) was similar for KMT2A and adverse-risk patients (HR 1.26, p = 0.002 and HR 1.47, p < 0.001), as was overall survival (OS) (HR 1.32, p < 0.001 and HR 1.45, p < 0.001). No differences in outcome could be detected when patients were stratified by KMT2A fusion partner. This is the largest study conducted to date on post-HCT outcomes in AML using manually curated cytogenetics for risk stratification. Our work demonstrates that risk classification at diagnosis remains predictive of post-HCT outcomes in AML. It also highlights the critical need to develop novel treatment strategies for patients with KMT2A rearrangements and adverse-risk disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004881DOI Listing
September 2021

Allogeneic Transplantation to Treat Therapy-Related Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in Adults.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Nov 21;27(11):923.e1-923.e12. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

Section of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cell Therapy, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.

Patients who develop therapy-related myeloid neoplasm, either myelodysplastic syndrome (t-MDS) or acute myelogenous leukemia (t-AML), have a poor prognosis. An earlier Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) analysis of 868 allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantations (allo-HCTs) performed between 1990 and 2004 showed a 5-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) of 22% and 21%, respectively. Modern supportive care, graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis, and reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens have led to improved outcomes. Therefore, the CIBMTR analyzed 1531 allo-HCTs performed in adults with t-MDS (n = 759) or t-AML (n = 772) between and 2000 and 2014. The median age was 59 years (range, 18 to 74 years) for the patients with t-MDS and 52 years (range, 18 to 77 years) for those with t-AML. Twenty-four percent of patients with t-MDS and 11% of those with t-AML had undergone a previous autologous (auto-) HCT. A myeloablative conditioning (MAC) regimen was used in 49% of patients with t-MDS and 61% of patients with t-AML. Nonrelapse mortality at 5 years was 34% (95% confidence interval [CI], 30% to 37%) for patients with t-MDS and 34% (95% CI, 30% to 37%) for those with t-AML. Relapse rates at 5 years in the 2 groups were 46% (95% CI, 43% to 50%) and 43% (95% CI, 40% to 47%). Five-year OS and DFS were 27% (95% CI, 23% to 31%) and 19% (95% CI, 16% to 23%), respectively, for patients with t-MDS and 25% (95% CI, 22% to 28%) and 23% (95% CI, 20% to 26%), respectively, for those with t-AML. In multivariate analysis, OS and DFS were significantly better in young patients with low-risk t-MDS and those with t-AML undergoing HCT with MAC while in first complete remission, but worse for those with previous auto-HCT, higher-risk cytogenetics or Revised International Prognostic Scoring System score, and a partially matched unrelated donor. Relapse remains the major cause of treatment failure, with little improvement seen over the past 2 decades. These data mandate caution when recommending allo-HCT in these conditions and indicate the need for more effective antineoplastic approaches before and after allo-HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.08.010DOI Listing
November 2021

Increased Infections and Delayed CD4 T Cell but Faster B Cell Immune Reconstitution after Post-Transplantation Cyclophosphamide Compared to Conventional GVHD Prophylaxis in Allogeneic Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Nov 28;27(11):940-948. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida.

Post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) is being increasingly used for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) across various donor types. However, immune reconstitution and infection incidence after PTCy-based versus conventional GVHD prophylaxis has not been well studied. We evaluated the infection density and immune reconstitution (ie, absolute CD4 T cell, CD8 T cell, natural killer cell, and B cell counts) at 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year post-HCT in 583 consecutive adult patients undergoing allo-HCT with myeloablative (n = 223) or reduced-intensity (n = 360) conditioning between 2012 and 2018. Haploidentical (haplo; n = 75) and 8/8 HLA-matched unrelated (MUD; n = 08) donor types were included. GVHD prophylaxis was PTCy-based in all haplo (n = 75) and in 38 MUD allo-HCT recipients, whereas tacrolimus/methotrexate (Tac/MTX) was used in 89 and Tac/Sirolimus (Tac/Sir) was used in 381 MUD allo-HCT recipients. Clinical outcomes, including infections, nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse, and overall survival (OS), were compared across the 4 treatment groups. The recovery of absolute total CD4 T-cell count was significantly lower in the haplo-PTCy and MUD-PTCy groups compared with the Tac/MTX and Tac/Sir groups throughout 1 year post-allo-HCT (P = .025). In contrast, CD19 B-cell counts at 6 months and thereafter were higher in the haplo-PTCy and MUD-PTCy groups compared with the Tac/MTX and Tac/Sir groups (P < .001). Total CD8 T cell and NK cell recovery was not significantly different among the groups. Infection density analysis showed a significantly higher frequency of total infections in the haplo-PTCy and MUD-PTCy groups compared with the Tac/MTX and Tac/Sir groups (5.0 and 5.0 vs 1.8 and 2.6 per 1000-person days; P < .01) within 1 year of allo-HCT. The cumulative incidence of cytomegalovirus reactivation/infection at 1 year post-allo-HCT was higher in the haplo-PTCy group (51%) compared with the MUD-PTCy (26%), Tac/MTX (26%), or Tac/Sir (13%) groups (P < .001). The incidence of BK, human herpesvirus 6, and other viruses were also higher in the PTCy-based groups. Overall, the treatment groups had similar 2 year NRM (P = .27) and OS (P = .78) outcomes. Our data show that PTCy-based GVHD prophylaxis is associated with delayed CD4 T cell but faster B cell immune reconstitution and a higher frequency of infections compared with conventional GVHD prophylaxis but has no impact on nonrelapse mortality or overall survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.07.023DOI Listing
November 2021

Return to Work Among Young Adult Survivors of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in the United States.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 08 22;27(8):679.e1-679.e8. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research), National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Young adult (YA) survivors of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) are at risk for late psychosocial challenges, including the inability to return to work post-HCT. Work-related outcomes in this population remain understudied, however. We conducted this study to assess the post-HCT work status of survivors of allogeneic HCT who underwent HCT as YAs and to analyze the patient-, disease-, and HCT-related factors associated with their work status at 1 year post-HCT. Using Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research data, we evaluated the post-HCT work status (full-time, part-time work, unemployed, or medical disability) of 1365 YA HCT survivors who underwent HCT between 2008 and 2015. Percentages of work status categories were reported at 4 time points: 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years post-HCT. Percentages of post-HCT work status categories at the 1-year time point were also described in relation to survivors' pre-HCT work status categories. Factors associated with 1-year post-HCT work status (full-time or part-time work) were examined using logistic regression. From 6 months to 3 years post-HCT, the percentage of survivors working full-time increased from 18.3% to 50.7% and the percentage working part-time increased from 6.9% to 10.5%. Of patients in full-time work pre-HCT, 50% were unemployed or on medical disability at 1 year post-HCT. Female sex (odds ratio [OR], 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.40 to 0.77), HCT Comorbidity Index score ≥3 (OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.39 to 0.82), pre-HCT unemployment (OR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.56), medical disability (OR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.28 to 0.70), development of grade III-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.80), and relapse within 1 year post-HCT (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.56) were associated with a lower likelihood of employment at 1 year post-HCT. Compared with myeloablative conditioning (MAC) with total body irradiation (TBI), MAC without TBI (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.16 to 2.53) was associated with a greater likelihood of employment at 1 year post-HCT. Graduate school-level education (OR, 2.47; 95% CI, 1.49 to 4.10) was also associated with a greater likelihood of employment at 1 year post-HCT. Although the work status among YA HCT survivors continued to improve over time, a substantial subset became or remained unemployed or on medical disability. These findings underscore the need for effective interventions to support return to work in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.04.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8425287PMC
August 2021

Impact of depth of clinical response on outcomes of acute myeloid leukemia patients in first complete remission who undergo allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 09 16;56(9):2108-2117. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Haematology Research Centre, Department of Immunology and Inflammation, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients often undergo allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) in first complete remission (CR). We examined the effect of depth of clinical response, including incomplete count recovery (CRi) and/or measurable residual disease (MRD), in patients from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplantation Research (CIBMTR) registry. We identified 2492 adult patients (1799 CR and 693 CRi) who underwent alloHCT between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2015. The primary outcome was overall survival (OS). Multivariable analysis was performed to adjust for patient-, disease-, and transplant-related factors. Baseline characteristics were similar. Patients in CRi compared to those in CR had an increased likelihood of death (HR: 1.27; 95% confidence interval: 1.13-1.43). Compared to CR, CRi was significantly associated with increased non-relapse mortality (NRM), shorter disease-free survival (DFS), and a trend toward increased relapse. Detectable MRD was associated with shorter OS, shorter DFS, higher NRM, and increased relapse compared to absence of MRD. The deleterious effects of CRi and MRD were independent. In this large CIBMTR cohort, survival outcomes differ among AML patients based on depth of CR and presence of MRD at the time of alloHCT. Further studies should focus on optimizing post-alloHCT outcomes for patients with responses less than CR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01261-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8425595PMC
September 2021

Impact of Total Body Irradiation-Based Myeloablative Conditioning Regimens in Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 07 30;27(7):620.e1-620.e9. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Internal Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is a curative treatment option for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Both total body irradiation (TBI)-based and chemotherapy only-based myeloablative transplantation conditioning regimens have been applied, but the optimal regimen remains unclear. We performed a systematic review to assess the efficacy of TBI-based versus chemotherapy only-based myeloablative conditioning regimens. We searched PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases and meeting abstracts for all studies comparing TBI-based and chemotherapy only-based conditioning regimens in patients who underwent allo-HCT for ALL. Two authors independently reviewed all studies for inclusion and extracted data related to overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse, and acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Eight studies were included in the final analysis. The overall methodological quality of the included studies was optimal. TBI-based regimens showed evidence of benefit compared with chemotherapy only-based conditioning regimens in terms of relapse (relative risk [RR], 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 0.94; 6 studies, 5091 patients), OS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.76; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.89; 7 studies, 4727 patients), and PFS (HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.85; 7 studies, 4727 patients). The TBI-based regimen did not increase the likelihood of grade II-IV acute GVHD (RR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.36; 5 studies, 4996 patients) or chronic GVHD (RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.21; 5 studies, 4490 patients), or NRM (RR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.69 to 1.28; 6 studies, 4522 patients). However, TBI-based regimens were associated with an increased risk of grade III-IV acute GVHD (RR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.63; 3 studies, 3675 patients). A subgroup comparison of patients age ≥16 years showed similar results. This systematic review represents evidence supporting the use of TBI-based conditioning regimen in patients undergoing allo-HCT for ALL who are candidates for myeloablative conditioning, as it offers better OS, PFS, and less relapse with acceptable NRM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.03.026DOI Listing
July 2021

Phase I Dose-Finding, Safety, and Tolerability Trial of Romiplostim to Improve Platelet Recovery After UCB Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 06 2;27(6):497.e1-497.e6. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Division of Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapy, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Electronic address:

Platelet recovery is delayed after umbilical cord blood transplant (UCBT). Romiplostim is a thrombopoietin receptor agonist that has the potential to improve platelet engraftment after UCBT. The purpose of this study was to determine the safety profile and maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of romiplostim and to investigate whether romiplostim accelerates platelet recovery post-UCBT. It was a single-center, dose-finding, safety and tolerability phase I trial of weekly romiplostim in 20 adult patients who failed to achieve an un-transfused platelet count of 20 × 10/L by day +28 post-UCBT. Romiplostim was administered at the assigned dose as 6 weekly injections beginning by day +42 post-UCBT. Four dose levels (4, 6, 8, and 10 µg/kg per dose) were evaluated. The MTD of romiplostim was determined by the continual reassessment method, with a goal to identify a dose level with desired toxicity rate of ≤20%. Median age of the patients was 59.5 years, and 60% were female. Eleven patients received nonmyeloablative (NMA) double UCBT, seven patients received myeloablative single UCBT, and two patients received NMA single UCBT. Two patients received 4 µg/kg per dose, two received 6 µg/kg per dose, four received 8 µg/kg per dose, and the remaining 12 received 10 µg/kg per dose. Only five patients completed the full six doses of treatment. Of the 15 patients who received fewer than six doses, 12 were due to a platelet count of >100 × 10/L, two were due to platelet count of >400 × 10/L, and one was due to right upper extremity edema without thrombosis. All romiplostim-treated patients achieved platelet engraftment to 20 × 10/L at a median of 45 days post-UCBT compared to 90% of controls at a median of 45 days (P = .08). Similarly, 90% of romiplostim-treated patients achieved platelet engraftment to 50 × 10/L at a median of 48 days compared to 75% of controls at a median of 52 days (P = .09). All dose levels were effective with low toxicity; therefore, the MTD of romiplostim was 10 µg/kg per dose, and romiplostim is a safe and potentially effective therapy to counter delayed platelet recovery post-UCBT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.02.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8217114PMC
June 2021

ELN 2017 Genetic Risk Stratification Predicts Survival of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients Receiving Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 03 2;27(3):256.e1-256.e7. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida. Electronic address:

European LeukemiaNet (ELN) 2017 risk stratification by genetics is prognostic of outcomes in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the prognostic impact of the 2017 ELN genetic risk stratification after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) is not well established. We examined the effect of 2017 ELN genetic risk stratification on alloHCT outcomes of AML. We included 500 adult (≥18 years) AML patients in first (n = 370) or second (n = 130) complete remission receiving alloHCT from 2005 to 2016. Patients were classified into favorable (12%), intermediate (57%), and adverse (32%) 2017 ELN risk groups. The Cox proportional hazard model was used to conduct the multivariable analyses of leukemia-free survival (LFS) and overall survival (OS). Relapse and nonrelapse mortality were analyzed by the Fine-Gray regression model. OS at 2 years was 72% in the favorable versus 60% in the intermediate versus 45% in the adverse risk groups (P < .001). In multivariable analyses, the 2017 ELN classifier was an independent predictor of OS after alloHCT with significantly higher overall mortality in the intermediate (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.68, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-2.68; P = .03) and adverse (HR = 2.50, 95% CI, 1.54-4.06; P < .001) risk groups compared to the favorable risk group. Similarly, LFS was worse in the intermediate (HR = 1.63, 95%, CI 1.06-2.53; P = .03) and adverse (HR 2.23, 95% CI, 1.41-3.54; P < .001) risk groups while relapse was higher in the adverse risk group (HR = 2.36, 95% CI, 1.28-4.35; P = .006) as compared to the favorable risk group. These data highlight the prognostic impact of the 2017 ELN genetic risk stratification on the survival of AML patients after alloHCT. Patients in the adverse risk group had the highest risk of relapse and worst survival. Thus the 2017 ELN prognostic system can help identify AML patients who may benefit from clinical trials offering relapse mitigation strategies to improve transplant outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.12.021DOI Listing
March 2021

Pacritinib Combined with Sirolimus and Low-Dose Tacrolimus for GVHD Prevention after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Preclinical and Phase I Trial Results.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 May 22;27(10):2712-2722. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, Department of Medicine, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Purpose: In this first-in-human, phase I, GVHD prevention trial (NCT02891603), we combine pacritinib (PAC), a JAK2 inhibitor, with sirolimus to concurrently reduce T-cell costimulation via mTOR and IL6 activity. We evaluate the safety of pacritinib when administered with sirolimus plus low-dose tacrolimus (PAC/SIR/TAC) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Patients And Methods: The preclinical efficacy and immune modulation of PAC/SIR were investigated in xenogeneic GVHD. Our phase I trial followed a 3+3 dose-escalation design, including dose level 1 (pacritinib 100 mg daily), level 2 (pacritinib 100 mg twice daily), and level 3 (pacritinib 200 mg twice daily). The primary endpoint was to identify the lowest biologically active and safe dose of pacritinib with SIR/TAC ( = 12). Acute GVHD was scored through day +100. Allografts included 8/8 HLA-matched related or unrelated donor peripheral blood stem cells.

Results: In mice, we show that dual JAK2/mTOR inhibition significantly reduces xenogeneic GVHD and increases peripheral regulatory T cell (Treg) potency as well as Treg induction from conventional CD4 T cells. Pacritinib 100 mg twice a day was identified as the minimum biologically active and safe dose for further study. JAK2/mTOR inhibition suppresses pathogenic Th1 and Th17 cells, spares Tregs and antileukemia effector cells, and exhibits preliminary activity in preventing GVHD. PAC/SIR/TAC preserves donor cytomegalovirus (CMV) immunity and permits timely engraftment without cytopenias.

Conclusions: We demonstrate that PAC/SIR/TAC is safe and preliminarily limits acute GVHD, preserves donor CMV immunity, and permits timely engraftment. The efficacy of PAC/SIR/TAC will be tested in our ongoing phase II GVHD prevention trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-4725DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8127396PMC
May 2021

Impact of infused CD34+ stem cell dosing for allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation with post-transplant cyclophosphamide.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 07 3;56(7):1683-1690. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

Higher infused total nucleated cell dose (TNC) in allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) with post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) is associated with improved overall survival. As many centers prefer peripheral blood stem cell grafts (PBSCT) with PTCy, the effect of cell dose on outcomes with this platform also requires elucidation. We retrospectively evaluated 144 consecutive adult patients who received allogeneic T-cell replete PBSCT with PTCy-based graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis for a hematologic malignancy from 2012-2018. The infused CD34+ cell dose was stratified into low (<5 × 10/kg), intermediate (5-10 × 10/kg) and high (>10 × 10/kg) dose level groups. In multivariate analysis, the low CD34+ cell dose group had worse non-relapse mortality (HR = 4.51, 95% CI: 1.92-10.58, p < 0.001), progression- free survival (HR = 4.11, 95% CI: 2.07-8.15, p < 0.001), and overall survival (HR = 4.06, 95% CI: 2.00-8.25, p ≤ 0.001) compared to the intermediate group. Clinical outcomes between the intermediate and high CD34+ cell dose groups were similar. TNC and CD3+ cell dose had no significant impacts on outcomes. These findings suggest that, in patients receiving allogeneic PBSCT with PTCy, infused CD34+ cell doses >5 × 10 cells/kg may result in improved survival. Thus, this study supports targeting a CD34+ cell dose of >5 × 10 cells/kg for allogeneic PBSCT with PTCy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01219-8DOI Listing
July 2021

A phase 2 trial of GVHD prophylaxis with PTCy, sirolimus, and MMF after peripheral blood haploidentical transplantation.

Blood Adv 2021 03;5(5):1154-1163

Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, and.

The introduction of posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) made performing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) from HLA haplotype-incompatible donors possible. In a setting of PTCy and tacrolimus/mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) as a graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, a peripheral blood (PB) graft source as compared with bone marrow reduces the relapse rate but increases acute GVHD (aGVHD) and chronic GVHD (cGVHD). This phase 2 trial assessed sirolimus and MMF efficacy following PTCy as a GVHD prophylaxis after PB haploidentical HCT (haplo-HCT). With 32 evaluable patients (≥18 years) enrolled, this study had 90% power to demonstrate a reduction in 100-day grade II-IV aGVHD to 20% from the historical benchmark of 40% after haplo-HCT using PTCy/tacrolimus/MMF. At a median follow-up of 16.1 months, the primary end point of the trial was met with a day-100 grade II-IV aGVHD cumulative incidence of 18.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.5% to 34.0%). There were no graft-failure events and the 1-year probability of National Institutes of Health (NIH) moderate/severe cGVHD was 18.8% (95% CI, 7.4% to 34.0%), nonrelapse mortality was 18.8% (95% CI, 7.4% to 34.0%), relapse was 22.2% (95% CI, 9.6% to 38.2%), disease-free survival was 59.0% (95% CI, 44.1% to 79.0%), GVHD-free relapse-free survival was 49.6% (95% CI, 34.9% to 70.5%), and overall survival was 71.7% (95% CI, 57.7% to 89.2%) for the entire cohort. These data demonstrate that GVHD prophylaxis with sirolimus/MMF following PTCy effectively prevents grade II-IV aGVHD after PB haplo-HCT, warranting prospective comparison of sirolimus vs tacrolimus in combination with MMF following PTCy as GVHD prophylaxis after PB HCT. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT03018223.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003779DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7948297PMC
March 2021

Immune Reconstitution after Haploidentical Donor and Umbilical Cord Blood Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

Life (Basel) 2021 Jan 29;11(2). Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is the only potentially curative therapy for a variety of hematologic diseases. However, this therapeutic platform is limited by an initial period when patients are profoundly immunocompromised. There is gradual immune recovery over time, that varies by transplant platform. Here, we review immune reconstitution after allogeneic HCT with a specific focus on two alternative donor platforms that have dramatically improved access to allogeneic HCT for patients who lack an HLA-matched related or unrelated donor: haploidentical and umbilical cord blood HCT. Despite challenges, interventions are available to mitigate the risks during the immunocompromised period including antimicrobial prophylaxis, modified immune suppression strategies, graft manipulation, and emerging adoptive cell therapies. Such interventions can improve the potential for long-term overall survival after allogeneic HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/life11020102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911120PMC
January 2021

First-line hypomethylating agents for patients with high risk chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia.

Lancet Haematol 2021 02;8(2):e99-e101

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy, H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30401-4DOI Listing
February 2021

Prognostic factors for clinical outcomes of patients with central nervous system leukemia.

Hematol Oncol Stem Cell Ther 2021 Sep 24;14(3):240-245. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA. Electronic address:

Prognostic factors associated with clinical outcomes of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with central nervous system (CNS) involvement are unknown. We retrospectively studied the characteristics and outcomes of 66 (18 pediatric and 48 adult) patients with CNS leukemia with ALL (n = 41) or AML (n = 25). The median age of patients at diagnosis of CNS leukemia was 30 (range, 1-69) years. Nearly two-third patients had CNS involvement at the initial diagnosis of leukemia. Complete remission of CNS leukemia was attained in 58 (88%) patients, and probability of overall survival at 36 months after the diagnosis of CNS leukemia was 43% for the entire cohort. We identified that achieving remission of systemic leukemia and having CNS leukemia diagnosed and treated before allogeneic transplantation were the factors associated with CNS leukemia remission. Prognostic factors associated with better overall survival in patients with CNS leukemia included pediatric age, diagnosis of CNS leukemia before receiving allogenic transplantation, achieving clearance of systemic or CNS leukemia, receiving no cranial radiation in conjunction with intrathecal chemotherapy (IT), and receiving IT consolidation after achieving remission of CNS leukemia. Our findings show that patients with CNS leukemia are at considerable risk of mortality. Awareness of modifiable prognostic factors such as avoidance of cranial radiation whenever possible and use of IT consolidation can result in improved outcomes in subset of patients with CNS leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hemonc.2020.11.004DOI Listing
September 2021

Weight-based mycophenolate mofetil dosing predicts acute GVHD and relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Eur J Haematol 2021 Feb 9;106(2):205-212. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Objectives: Higher MMF dose can reduce acute GVHD risk after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We examined the effect of MMF dose, relative to patient actual body weight (mg/kg/day), on outcomes of 680 adults after HCT.

Methods: MMF was combined with cyclosporine (n = 599) or sirolimus (n = 81). We divided MMF dose/kg/day in quartiles.

Results: The median time to grade II-IV acute GVHD was 32 days. The incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD at day 30 was 30% in 1st (<29), 20% in 2nd (29-34), 16% in 3rd (35-41), and 19% in 4th (≥42) quartile (P < .01). Corresponding relapse incidence at 1 year was 16%, 25%, 27%, and 31%, respectively (P = .01). In multivariate analysis, as compared to 1st quartile, higher dose of weight-based MMF reduced grade II-IV acute GVHD (HR = 0.64 for 2nd, HR = 0.48 for 3rd, and HR = 0.55 for 4th quartile), but increased the risk of relapse (HR = 1.63 for 2nd, HR = 1.75 for 3rd, and HR = 2.31 for 4th quartile).

Conclusions: Weight-based MMF dose had no significant impact on engraftment, chronic GVHD, or survival. These data suggest that higher weight-based MMF dose reduces the risk of acute GVHD at the expense of increased relapse and supports conducting prospective studies to optimize MMF dosing after HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13537DOI Listing
February 2021

Prophylactic Foscarnet for Human Herpesvirus 6: Effect on Hematopoietic Engraftment after Reduced-Intensity Conditioning Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 01 11;27(1):84.e1-84.e5. Epub 2020 Oct 11.

Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The high incidence of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) reactivation, potentially interfering with engraftment after umbilical cord blood (UCB) hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), remains a major challenge. To potentially address this problem, we evaluated the effect of prophylactic foscarnet administered twice daily beginning on day +7 and continuing through engraftment in 25 patients. To determine the impact of foscarnet on HHV-6, engraftment, and other transplantation outcomes, we compared results in 61 identically treated patients with hematologic malignancies. Treatment and control groups underwent reduced-intensity conditioning UCB HCT with a conditioning regimen of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and total body irradiation 200 cGy with or without antithymocyte globulin (ATG), using sirolimus plus mycophenolate mofetil immune suppression. The treatment and control groups were similar in terms of age, disease risk, use of ATG, Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Comorbidity Index, and graft CD34 cell dose; however, foscarnet-treated patients were less likely to receive a double UCB graft and to be treated more recently (2016 to 2018). The cumulative incidence of HHV-6 reactivation by day +100 was 63% for all patients (95% confidence interval [CI], 51% to 75%) and was not significantly different between the 2 groups. HHV-6 reactivation occurred at a median of 34 days in the foscarnet group and 25.5 days in the control group. The incidence of neutrophil engraftment at day 42 was higher in the foscarnet group compared with the control group (96%; [95% CI, 83% to 100%] versus 75% [95% CI, 64% to 85%]; P< .01). The cumulative incidence of platelet engraftment by 6 months was 92% (95% CI, 69% to 100%) for the foscarnet group versus 75% (95% CI, 60% to 90%) for the control group (P= .08), and multivariate analysis identified the use of foscarnet as an independent predictor of better platelet engraftment. No patients died as a result of graft failure in recipients of foscarnet, whereas 5 patients died from graft failure in the control group. Six-month overall survival (OS) and nonrelapse mortality (NRM) were better in the foscarnet group (96% versus 72% [P= .02] and 4% versus 18% [P= .07], respectively). Even though foscarnet prophylaxis did not prevent HHV-6 viremia, we observed a delay in time to HHV-6 reactivation, a trend toward differences in engraftment, NRM, and OS compared with historical controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.10.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8569886PMC
January 2021

Myeloablative Conditioning for Allogeneic Transplantation Results in Superior Disease-Free Survival for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndromes with Low/Intermediate but not High Disease Risk Index: A Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research Study.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 01 1;27(1):68.e1-68.e9. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Division of Medical Oncology, Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky School of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky.

Compared with reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC), myeloablative conditioning (MAC) is generally associated with lower relapse risk after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). However, disease-specific risk factors in AML/MDS can further inform when MAC and RIC may yield differential outcomes. We analyzed HCT outcomes stratified by the Disease Risk Index (DRI) in 4387 adults (age 40 to 65 years) to identify the impact of conditioning intensity. In the low/intermediate-risk DRI cohort, RIC was associated with lower nonrelapse mortality (NRM) (hazard ratio [HR], .74; 95% confidence interval [CI], .62 to .88; P < .001) but significantly greater relapse risk (HR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.35 to 1.76; P < .001) and thus inferior disease-free survival (DFS) (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.33; P = .001). In the high/very high-risk DRI cohort, RIC was associated with marginally lower NRM (HR, .83; 95% CI, .68 to 1.00; P = .051) and significantly higher relapse risk (HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.08 to 1.41; P = .002), leading to similar DFS using either RIC or MAC. These data support MAC over RIC as the preferred conditioning intensity for patients with AML/MDS with low/intermediate-risk DRI, but with a similar benefit as RIC in high/very high-risk DRI. Novel MAC regimens with less toxicity could benefit all patients, but more potent antineoplastic approaches are needed for the high/very-high risk DRI group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.09.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8015679PMC
January 2021

Comparing transplant outcomes in ALL patients after haploidentical with PTCy or matched unrelated donor transplantation.

Blood Adv 2020 05;4(9):2073-2083

Department of Hematology, European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) Paris Study Office/Centros de Referência em Saúde do Trabalhador, Hôpital Saint Antoine, INSERM, Paris, France.

We compared outcomes of 1461 adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) receiving hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) from a haploidentical (n = 487) or matched unrelated donor (MUD; n = 974) between January 2005 and June 2018. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis was posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy), calcineurin inhibitor (CNI), and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) for haploidentical, and CNI with MMF or methotrexate with/without antithymoglobulin for MUDs. Haploidentical recipients were matched (1:2 ratio) with MUD controls for sex, conditioning intensity, disease stage, Philadelphia-chromosome status, and cytogenetic risk. In the myeloablative setting, day +28 neutrophil recovery was similar between haploidentical (87%) and MUD (88%) (P = .11). Corresponding rates after reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) were 84% and 88% (P = .47). The 3-month incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD (aGVHD) and 3-year chronic GVHD (cGVHD) was similar after haploidentical compared with MUD: myeloablative conditioning, 33% vs 34% (P = .46) for aGVHD and 29% vs 31% for cGVHD (P = .58); RIC, 31% vs 30% (P = .06) for aGVHD and 24% vs 29% for cGVHD (P = .86). Among patients receiving myeloablative regimens, 3-year probabilities of overall survival were 44% and 51% with haploidentical and MUD (P = .56). Corresponding rates after RIC were 43% and 42% (P = .6). In this large multicenter case-matched retrospective analysis, despite the limitations of a registry-based study (ie, unavailability of key elements such as minimal residual disease testing), our analysis indicated that outcomes of patients with ALL undergoing HCT from a haploidentical donor were comparable with 8 of 8 MUD transplantations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001499DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7218425PMC
May 2020

Impact of type of reduced-intensity conditioning regimen on the outcomes of allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation in classical Hodgkin lymphoma.

Br J Haematol 2020 08 21;190(4):573-582. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Department of Medicine, CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research), Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is a curative option for select relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients; however, there are sparse data to support superiority of any particular conditioning regimen. We analyzed 492 adult patients undergoing human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-matched sibling or unrelated donor allo-HCT for HL between 2008 and 2016, utilizing RIC with either fludarabine/busulfan (Flu/Bu), fludarabine/melphalan (Flu/Mel140) or fludarabine/cyclophosphamide (Flu/Cy). Multivariable regression analysis was performed using a significance level of <0·01. There were no significant differences between regimens in risk for non-relapse mortality (NRM) (P = 0·54), relapse/progression (P = 0·02) or progression-free survival (PFS) (P = 0·14). Flu/Cy conditioning was associated with decreased risk of mortality in the first 11 months after allo-HCT (HR = 0·28; 95% CI = 0·10-0·73; P = 0·009), but beyond 11 months post allo-HCT it was associated with a significantly higher risk of mortality, (HR = 2·46; 95% CI = 0·1.32-4·61; P = 0·005). Four-year adjusted overall survival (OS) was similar across regimens at 62% for Flu/Bu, 59% for Flu/Mel140 and 55% for Flu/Cy (P = 0·64), respectively. These data confirm the choice of RIC for allo-HCT in HL does not influence risk of relapse, NRM or PFS. Although no OS benefit was seen between Flu/Bu and Flu/Mel 140; Flu/Cy was associated with a significantly higher risk of mortality beyond 11 months from allo-HCT (possibly due to late NRM events).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16664DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7575614PMC
August 2020

Outcomes of rituximab-BEAM versus BEAM conditioning regimen in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma undergoing autologous transplantation.

Cancer 2020 05 12;126(10):2279-2287. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Although rituximab-based high-dose therapy is frequently used in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients undergoing autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (auto-HCT), data supporting the benefits are not available. Herein, we report the impact of rituximab-based conditioning on auto-HCT outcomes in patients who have DLBCL.

Methods: Using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) registry, 862 adult DLBCL patients undergoing auto-HCT between 2003 and 2017 using BEAM (BCNU, etoposide, cytarabine, melphalan) conditioning regimen were included. All patients received frontline rituximab-containing chemoimmunotherapy and had chemosensitive disease pre-HCT. Early chemoimmunotherapy failure was defined as not achieving complete remission (CR) after frontline chemoimmunotherapy or relapse within 1 year of initial diagnosis. The primary outcome was overall survival (OS).

Results: The study cohort was divided into 2 groups: BEAM (n = 667) and R-BEAM (n = 195). On multivariate analysis, no significant difference was seen in OS (P = .83) or progression-free survival (PFS) (P = .61) across the 2 cohorts. No significant association between the use of rituximab and risk of relapse (P = .15) or nonrelapse mortality (P = .12) was observed. Variables independently associated with lower OS included older age at auto-HCT (P < .001), absence of CR at auto-HCT (P < .001) and early chemoimmunotherapy failure (P < .001). Older age (P < .0002) and non-CR pre-HCT (P < .0001) were also associated with inferior PFS. There was no significant difference in early infectious complications between the 2 cohorts.

Conclusion: In this large registry analysis of DLBCL patients undergoing auto-HCT, the addition of rituximab to the BEAM conditioning regimen had no impact on transplantation outcomes. Older age, absence of CR pre auto-HCT, and early chemoimmunotherapy failure were associated with inferior survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32752DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7190439PMC
May 2020

Choice of conditioning regimens for bone marrow transplantation in severe aplastic anemia.

Blood Adv 2019 10;3(20):3123-3131

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

Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is curative therapy for the treatment of patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA). However, several conditioning regimens can be used for BMT. We evaluated transplant conditioning regimens for BMT in SAA after HLA-matched sibling and unrelated donor BMT. For recipients of HLA-matched sibling donor transplantation (n = 955), fludarabine (Flu)/cyclophosphamide (Cy)/antithymocyte globulin (ATG) or Cy/ATG led to the best survival. The 5-year probabilities of survival with Flu/Cy/ATG, Cy/ATG, Cy ± Flu, and busulfan/Cy were 91%, 91%, 80%, and 84%, respectively (P = .001). For recipients of 8/8 and 7/8 HLA allele-matched unrelated donor transplantation (n = 409), there were no differences in survival between regimens. The 5-year probabilities of survival with Cy/ATG/total body irradiation 200 cGy, Flu/Cy/ATG/total body irradiation 200 cGy, Flu/Cy/ATG, and Cy/ATG were 77%, 80%, 75%, and 72%, respectively (P = .61). Rabbit-derived ATG compared with equine-derived ATG was associated with a lower risk of grade II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (hazard ratio [HR], 0.39; P < .001) but not chronic GVHD. Independent of conditioning regimen, survival was lower in patients aged >30 years after HLA-matched sibling (HR, 2.74; P < .001) or unrelated donor (HR, 1.98; P = .001) transplantation. These data support Flu/Cy/ATG and Cy/ATG as optimal regimens for HLA-matched sibling BMT. Although survival after an unrelated donor BMT did not differ between regimens, use of rabbit-derived ATG may be preferred because of lower risks of acute GVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000722DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6849938PMC
October 2019

Myeloablative vs reduced intensity T-cell-replete haploidentical transplantation for hematologic malignancy.

Blood Adv 2019 10;3(19):2836-2844

Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, and.

In the absence of prospective studies that examine the effect of conditioning regimen intensity after T-cell-replete haploidentical transplant for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a retrospective cohort analysis was performed. Of the 1325 eligible patients (AML, n = 818; ALL, n = 286; and MDS, n = 221), 526 patients received a myeloablative regimen and 799 received a reduced-intensity regimen. Graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis was uniform with posttransplant cyclophosphamide, a calcineurin inhibitor, and mycophenolate mofetil. The primary end point was disease-free survival. Cox regression models were built to study the effect of conditioning regimen intensity on transplant outcomes. For patients aged 18 to 54 years, disease-free survival was lower (hazard ratio [HR], 1.34; 42% vs 51%; = .007) and relapse was higher (HR, 1.51; 44% vs 33%; = .001) with a reduced-intensity regimen compared with a myeloablative regimen. Nonrelapse mortality did not differ according to regimen intensity. For patients aged 55 to 70 years, disease-free survival (HR, 0.97; 37% vs 43%; = .83) and relapse (HR, 1.32; 42% vs 31%; = .11) did not differ according to regimen intensity. Nonrelapse mortality was lower with reduced-intensity regimens (HR, 0.64; 20% vs 31%; = .02). Myeloablative regimens are preferred for AML, ALL, and MDS; reduced-intensity regimens should be reserved for those unable to tolerate myeloablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000627DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6784523PMC
October 2019

Impact of cytogenetic abnormalities on outcomes of adult Philadelphia-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a study by the Acute Leukemia Working Committee of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.

Haematologica 2020 05 26;105(5):1329-1338. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

Oncology Center, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Cytogenetic risk stratification at diagnosis has long been one of the most useful tools to assess prognosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). To examine the prognostic impact of cytogenetic abnormalities on outcomes after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation, we studied 1731 adults with Philadelphia-negative ALL in complete remission who underwent myeloablative or reduced intensity/non-myeloablative conditioning transplant from unrelated or matched sibling donors reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. A total of 632 patients had abnormal conventional metaphase cytogenetics. The leukemia-free survival and overall survival rates at 5 years after transplantation in patients with abnormal cytogenetics were 40% and 42%, respectively, which were similar to those in patients with a normal karyotype. Of the previously established cytogenetic risk classifications, modified Medical Research Council-Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group score was the only independent prognosticator of leukemia-free survival (=0.03). In the multivariable analysis, monosomy 7 predicted post-transplant relapse [hazard ratio (HR)=2.11; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.04-4.27] and treatment failure (HR=1.97; 95% CI: 1.20-3.24). Complex karyotype was prognostic for relapse (HR=1.69; 95% CI: 1.06-2.69), whereas t(8;14) predicted treatment failure (HR=2.85; 95% CI: 1.35-6.02) and overall mortality (HR=3.03; 95% CI: 1.44-6.41). This large study suggested a novel transplant-specific cytogenetic scheme with adverse [monosomy 7, complex karyotype, del(7q), t(8;14), t(11;19), del(11q), tetraploidy/near triploidy], intermediate (normal karyotype and all other abnormalities), and favorable (high hyperdiploidy) risks to prognosticate leukemia-free survival (=0.02). Although some previously established high-risk Philadelphia-negative cytogenetic abnormalities in ALL can be overcome by transplantation, monosomy 7, complex karyotype, and t(8;14) continue to pose significant risks and yield inferior outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.220756DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7193485PMC
May 2020

Outcomes of haploidentical vs matched sibling transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia in first complete remission.

Blood Adv 2019 06;3(12):1826-1836

The Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Northside Hospital, Atlanta, GA.

HLA-haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantation (Haplo-HCT) using posttransplantation cyclophosphamide (PT-Cy) has improved donor availability. However, a matched sibling donor (MSD) is still considered the optimal donor. Using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research database, we compared outcomes after Haplo-HCT vs MSD in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in first complete remission (CR1). Data from 1205 adult CR1 AML patients (2008-2015) were analyzed. A total of 336 patients underwent PT-Cy-based Haplo-HCT and 869 underwent MSD using calcineurin inhibitor-based graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis. The Haplo-HCT group included more reduced-intensity conditioning (65% vs 30%) and bone marrow grafts (62% vs 7%), consistent with current practice. In multivariable analysis, Haplo-HCT and MSD groups were not different with regard to overall survival ( = .15), leukemia-free survival ( = .50), nonrelapse mortality ( = .16), relapse ( = .90), or grade II-IV acute GVHD ( = .98). However, the Haplo-HCT group had a significantly lower rate of chronic GVHD (hazard ratio, 0.38; 95% confidence interval, 0.30-0.48; < .001). Results of subgroup analyses by conditioning intensity and graft source suggested that the reduced incidence of chronic GVHD in Haplo-HCT is not limited to a specific graft source or conditioning intensity. Center effect and minimal residual disease-donor type interaction were not predictors of outcome. Our results indicate a lower rate of chronic GVHD after PT-Cy-based Haplo-HCT vs MSD using calcineurin inhibitor-based GVHD prophylaxis, but similar other outcomes, in patients with AML in CR1. Haplo-HCT is a viable alternative to MSD in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000050DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6595262PMC
June 2019
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