Publications by authors named "Paul Fields"

105 Publications

T-cell mediated immunity after AZD1222 vaccination: A polyfunctional spike-specific Th1 response with a diverse TCR repertoire.

medRxiv 2021 Jun 23. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

AZD1222 (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19), a replication-deficient simian adenovirus-vectored vaccine, has demonstrated safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in clinical trials and real-world studies. We characterized CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses induced by AZD1222 vaccination in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 280 unique vaccine recipients aged 18-85 years who enrolled in the phase 2/3 COV002 trial. Total spike-specific CD4+ T cell helper type 1 (Th1) and CD8+ T-cell responses were significantly increased in AZD1222-vaccinated adults of all ages following two doses of AZD1222. CD4+ Th2 responses following AZD1222 vaccination were not detected. Furthermore, AZD1222-specific Th1 and CD8+ T cells both displayed a high degree of polyfunctionality in all adult age groups. T-cell receptor (TCR) β sequences from vaccinated participants mapped against TCR sequences known to react to SARS-CoV-2 revealed substantial breadth and depth across the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein for the AZD1222-induced CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses. Overall, AZD1222 vaccination induced a robust, polyfunctional Th1-dominated T-cell response, with broad CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell coverage across the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

One Sentence Summary: Polyfunctional CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses are elicited against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein following vaccination with AZD1222.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.06.17.21259027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8240693PMC
June 2021

Pre-Transplant T-Cell Clonality: An Observational Study of a Biomarker for Prediction of Sepsis in Liver Transplant Recipients.

Ann Surg 2021 Jun 16. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Center for Outcomes Research, Houston Methodist, Houston, TX Department of Surgery, Houston Methodist, Houston, TX Transplant Immunobiology, Houston Methodist, Houston, TX Adaptive Biotechnologies, Seattle, WA Pathology and Genomic Medicine, Houston Methodist, Houston, TX Department of Medicine, Houston Methodist, Houston, TX.

Objective: This study investigated the ability of pre-transplant T-cell clonality to predict sepsis after liver transplant (LT).

Summary Background Data: Sepsis is a leading cause of death in LT recipients. Currently, no biomarkers predict sepsis before clinical symptom manifestation.

Methods: Between December 2013 and March 2018, our institution performed 478 LTs. After exclusions (eg, patients with marginal donor livers, autoimmune disorders, nonabdominal multi-organ, and liver retransplantations), 180 consecutive LT were enrolled. T-cell characterization was assessed within 48 hours before LT (immunoSEQ Assay, Adaptive Biotechnologies, Seattle, WA). Sepsis-2 and Sepsis-3 cases, defined by presence of acute infection plus ≥2 SIRS criteria, or clinical documentation of sepsis, were identified by chart review. Receiver-operating characteristic analyses determined optimal T-cell repertoire clonality for predicting post-LT sepsis. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazard modeling assessed outcome-associated prognostic variables.

Results: Patients with baseline T-cell repertoire clonality ≥0.072 were 3.82 (1.25, 11.40; P = 0.02), and 2.40 (1.00, 5.75; P = 0.049) times more likely to develop sepsis 3 and 12 months post-LT, respectively, when compared to recipients with lower (<0.072) clonality. T-cell repertoire clonality was the only predictor of sepsis 3 months post-LT in multivariate analysis (C-Statistic, 0.75). Adequate treatment resulted in equivalent survival rates between both groups: (93.4% vs 96.2%, respectively, P = 0.41) at 12 months post-LT.

Conclusions: T-cell repertoire clonality is a novel biomarker predictor of sepsis before development of clinical symptoms. Early sepsis monitoring and management may reduce post-LT mortality. These findings have implications for developing sepsis-prevention protocols in transplantation and potentially other populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000004998DOI Listing
June 2021

Immunogenicity of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 variants in humans.

Nature 2021 Jun 9. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Janssen Vaccines & Prevention, Leiden, The Netherlands.

The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine has demonstrated clinical efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19, including against the B.1.351 variant that is partially resistant to neutralizing antibodies. However, the immunogenicity of this vaccine in humans against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern remains unclear. Here we report humoral and cellular immune responses from 20 Ad26.COV2.S vaccinated individuals from the COV1001 phase I-IIa clinical trial against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain WA1/2020 as well as against the B.1.1.7, CAL.20C, P.1 and B.1.351 variants of concern. Ad26.COV2.S induced median pseudovirus neutralizing antibody titres that were 5.0-fold and 3.3-fold lower against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants, respectively, as compared with WA1/2020 on day 71 after vaccination. Median binding antibody titres were 2.9-fold and 2.7-fold lower against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants, respectively, as compared with WA1/2020. Antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis, complement deposition and natural killer cell activation responses were largely preserved against the B.1.351 variant. CD8 and CD4 T cell responses, including central and effector memory responses, were comparable among the WA1/2020, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1 and CAL.20C variants. These data show that neutralizing antibody responses induced by Ad26.COV2.S were reduced against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants, but functional non-neutralizing antibody responses and T cell responses were largely preserved against SARS-CoV-2 variants. These findings have implications for vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03681-2DOI Listing
June 2021

COVID-19 Risk Factors for Cancer Patients: A First Report with Comparator Data from COVID-19 Negative Cancer Patients.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 May 19;13(10). Epub 2021 May 19.

School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences, King's College London, London SE1 9RT, UK.

Very few studies investigating COVID-19 in cancer patients have included cancer patients as controls. We aimed to identify factors associated with the risk of testing positive for SARS CoV2 infection in a cohort of cancer patients. We analyzed data from all cancer patients swabbed for COVID-19 between 1 March and 31 July 2020 at Guy's Cancer Centre. We conducted logistic regression analyses to identify which factors were associated with a positive COVID-19 test. Results: Of the 2152 patients tested for COVID-19, 190 (9%) tested positive. Male sex, black ethnicity, and hematological cancer type were positively associated with risk of COVID-19 (OR = 1.85, 95%CI:1.37-2.51; OR = 1.93, 95%CI:1.31-2.84; OR = 2.29, 95%CI:1.45-3.62, respectively) as compared to females, white ethnicity, or solid cancer type, respectively. Male, Asian ethnicity, and hematological cancer type were associated with an increased risk of severe COVID-19 (OR = 3.12, 95%CI:1.58-6.14; OR = 2.97, 95%CI:1.00-8.93; OR = 2.43, 95%CI:1.00-5.90, respectively). This study is one of the first to compare the risk of COVID-19 incidence and severity in cancer patients when including cancer patients as controls. Results from this study have echoed those of previous reports, that patients who are male, of black or Asian ethnicity, or with a hematological malignancy are at an increased risk of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13102479DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8161328PMC
May 2021

Camidanlumab tesirine in patients with relapsed or refractory lymphoma: a phase 1, open-label, multicentre, dose-escalation, dose-expansion study.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Jun;8(6):e433-e445

Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Novel approaches are required to improve outcomes in relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. We aimed to evaluate camidanlumab tesirine, an anti-CD25 antibody-drug conjugate, in this patient population.

Methods: This was a phase 1, dose-escalation (part 1), dose-expansion (part 2), multicentre trial done in 12 hospital sites (seven in the USA and five in the UK). Adults (≥18 years old) with pathologically confirmed relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-2, who had no therapies available to them with established clinical benefit for their disease stage were enrolled. Camidanlumab tesirine was administered intravenously (3-150 μg/kg) once every 3 weeks. Primary objectives were to assess dose-limiting toxicity, determine maximum tolerated dose and recommended expansion dose(s), and assess safety of camidanlumab tesirine. Safety was assessed in all treated patients; antitumour activity was assessed in patients with one or more valid baseline and post-baseline disease assessment and in those who had disease progression or died after first study-drug dose. This trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02432235.

Findings: Between Oct 5, 2015, and Jun 30, 2019, 133 patients were enrolled (77 [58%] had classical Hodgkin lymphoma and 56 (42%) had non-Hodgkin lymphoma). Median follow-up was 9·2 months (IQR 4·2-14·3). Eight dose-limiting toxicities were reported in five (6%) of 86 patients who were evaluable; the maximum tolerated dose was not reached. The recommended doses for expansion were 30 μg/kg and 45 μg/kg for patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma and 80 μg/kg for patients with T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. No recommended doses for expansion were defined for B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Grade 3 or worse treatment-emergent adverse events (reported by ≥10% of the 133 patients) included increased γ-glutamyltransferase (20 [15%] patients), maculopapular rash (16 [12%]), and anaemia (15 [11%]); 74 (56%) patients had serious treatment-emergent adverse events, most commonly pyrexia (16 [12%]). One (1%) fatal treatment-emergent adverse event and two (2%) deaths outside the reporting period were considered at least possibly study-drug related. Antitumoural activity was seen in classical Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas; notably in all patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma, the overall response was 71% (95% CI 60-81).

Interpretation: These results warrant evaluation of camidanlumab tesirine as a potential treatment option for relapsed or refractory lymphoma, particularly in patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma.

Funding: ADC Therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(21)00103-4DOI Listing
June 2021

Safety and Efficacy of Consolidation Therapy with Ipilimumab Plus Nivolumab after Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 05 30;27(5):391-403. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, New Jersey; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC.

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is a standard-of-care treatment for many hematologic malignancies. Progression of disease after ASCT is the primary cause of treatment failure. In this Phase Ib trial, we studied the safety and clinical effect of combined checkpoint inhibition therapy (CPIT) with ipilimumab and nivolumab as a consolidation strategy after ASCT for patients with high-risk diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), mature T cell lymphoma (TCL), and multiple myeloma (MM). Starting at 14 to 28 days after ASCT, patients received ipilimumab (1 mg/kg i.v. on day 1 of weeks 1, 4, 7, 10, 16, and 22) and nivolumab (3 mg/kg i.v. on day 1 of weeks 1, 4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, and 26). Patients received a median of 5 doses of ipilimumab and 8 doses of nivolumab. Thirty-five patients were included in the intent-to-treat population. Ninety-four percent of the patients experienced immune-related adverse events (irAEs) of any grade. Ninety-seven percent of irAEs resolved spontaneously or after holding study drugs and instituting high-dose corticosteroid therapy. Progression-free and overall survival at 18 months post-ASCT for each disease cohort were 85.7% and 100% for primary refractory DLBCL, 28.6% and 57.1% for relapsed DLBCL, not evaluable and 80% for frontline TCL, 25% and 75% for relapsed TCL, 57.1% and 87% for high-risk transplant-naïve MM, and 40% and 100% for MM relapsed within 3 years of first ASCT. We conclude that combined CPIT appears to be tolerable as a consolidation strategy after ASCT and in addition to the potential clinical efficacy observed in some subsets of disease, T cell receptor repertoire, T regulatory cell phenotype, and gut microbiota profiles provide a biologic rationale warranting further study of this approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.12.026DOI Listing
May 2021

Safety and immunogenicity of one versus two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 for patients with cancer: interim analysis of a prospective observational study.

Lancet Oncol 2021 06 27;22(6):765-778. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Background: The efficacy and safety profiles of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 in patients with cancer is unknown. We aimed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine in patients with cancer.

Methods: For this prospective observational study, we recruited patients with cancer and healthy controls (mostly health-care workers) from three London hospitals between Dec 8, 2020, and Feb 18, 2021. Participants who were vaccinated between Dec 8 and Dec 29, 2020, received two 30 μg doses of BNT162b2 administered intramuscularly 21 days apart; patients vaccinated after this date received only one 30 μg dose with a planned follow-up boost at 12 weeks. Blood samples were taken before vaccination and at 3 weeks and 5 weeks after the first vaccination. Where possible, serial nasopharyngeal real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) swab tests were done every 10 days or in cases of symptomatic COVID-19. The coprimary endpoints were seroconversion to SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein in patients with cancer following the first vaccination with the BNT162b2 vaccine and the effect of vaccine boosting after 21 days on seroconversion. All participants with available data were included in the safety and immunogenicity analyses. Ongoing follow-up is underway for further blood sampling after the delayed (12-week) vaccine boost. This study is registered with the NHS Health Research Authority and Health and Care Research Wales (REC ID 20/HRA/2031).

Findings: 151 patients with cancer (95 patients with solid cancer and 56 patients with haematological cancer) and 54 healthy controls were enrolled. For this interim data analysis of the safety and immunogenicity of vaccinated patients with cancer, samples and data obtained up to March 19, 2021, were analysed. After exclusion of 17 patients who had been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 (detected by either antibody seroconversion or a positive rRT-PCR COVID-19 swab test) from the immunogenicity analysis, the proportion of positive anti-S IgG titres at approximately 21 days following a single vaccine inoculum across the three cohorts were 32 (94%; 95% CI 81-98) of 34 healthy controls; 21 (38%; 26-51) of 56 patients with solid cancer, and eight (18%; 10-32) of 44 patients with haematological cancer. 16 healthy controls, 25 patients with solid cancer, and six patients with haematological cancer received a second dose on day 21. Of the patients with available blood samples 2 weeks following a 21-day vaccine boost, and excluding 17 participants with evidence of previous natural SARS-CoV-2 exposure, 18 (95%; 95% CI 75-99) of 19 patients with solid cancer, 12 (100%; 76-100) of 12 healthy controls, and three (60%; 23-88) of five patients with haematological cancers were seropositive, compared with ten (30%; 17-47) of 33, 18 (86%; 65-95) of 21, and four (11%; 4-25) of 36, respectively, who did not receive a boost. The vaccine was well tolerated; no toxicities were reported in 75 (54%) of 140 patients with cancer following the first dose of BNT162b2, and in 22 (71%) of 31 patients with cancer following the second dose. Similarly, no toxicities were reported in 15 (38%) of 40 healthy controls after the first dose and in five (31%) of 16 after the second dose. Injection-site pain within 7 days following the first dose was the most commonly reported local reaction (23 [35%] of 65 patients with cancer; 12 [48%] of 25 healthy controls). No vaccine-related deaths were reported.

Interpretation: In patients with cancer, one dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine yields poor efficacy. Immunogenicity increased significantly in patients with solid cancer within 2 weeks of a vaccine boost at day 21 after the first dose. These data support prioritisation of patients with cancer for an early (day 21) second dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine.

Funding: King's College London, Cancer Research UK, Wellcome Trust, Rosetrees Trust, and Francis Crick Institute.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00213-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078907PMC
June 2021

Infection-related morbidity and mortality among older patients with DLBCL treated with full- or attenuated-dose R-CHOP.

Blood Adv 2021 04;5(8):2229-2236

Department of Haematology, Churchill Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Infection-related morbidity and mortality are increased in older patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) compared with population-matched controls. Key predictive factors for infection-related hospitalization during treatment with rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) and deaths as a result of infection in older patients during and after treatment with R-CHOP remain incompletely understood. For this study, 690 consecutively treated patients age 70 years or older who received full-dose or attenuated-dose R-CHOP treatment were analyzed for risk of infection-related hospitalization and infection-related death. Median age was 77 years, and 34.4% were 80 years old or older. Median follow-up was 2.8 years (range, 0.4-8.9 years). Patient and baseline disease characteristics were assessed in addition to intended dose intensity (IDI). Of all patients, 72% were not hospitalized with infection. In 331 patients receiving an IDI ≥80%, 33% were hospitalized with ≥1 infections compared with 23.3% of 355 patients receiving an IDI of <80% (odds ratio, 1.61; 95% confidence interval, 1.15-2.25; P = .006). An increased risk of infection-related admission was independently associated with IDI >80% across the whole cohort. Primary quinolone prophylaxis independently reduced infection-related admission. A total of 51 patients died as a result of infection. The 6-month, 12-month, 2-year, and 5-year cumulative incidences of infection-related death were 3.3%, 5.0%, 7.2%, and 11.1%, respectively. Key independent factors associated with infection-related death were an International Prognostic Index (IPI) score of 3 to 5, Cumulative Illness Rating Scale for Geriatrics (CIRS-G) score ≥6, and low albumin, which enabled us to generate a predictive risk score. We defined a smaller group (15%) of patients (IPI score of 0-2, albumin >36 g/L, CIRS-G score <6) in which no cases of infection-related deaths occurred at 5 years of follow-up. Whether patients at higher risk of infection-related death could be targeted with enhanced antimicrobial prophylaxis remains unknown and will require a randomized trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004286DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8095135PMC
April 2021

Acute Immune Signatures and Their Legacies in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 Infected Cancer Patients.

Cancer Cell 2021 02 5;39(2):257-275.e6. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Targeted Therapy Team, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.

Given the immune system's importance for cancer surveillance and treatment, we have investigated how it may be affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection of cancer patients. Across some heterogeneity in tumor type, stage, and treatment, virus-exposed solid cancer patients display a dominant impact of SARS-CoV-2, apparent from the resemblance of their immune signatures to those for COVID-19 non-cancer patients. This is not the case for hematological malignancies, with virus-exposed patients collectively displaying heterogeneous humoral responses, an exhausted T cell phenotype and a high prevalence of prolonged virus shedding. Furthermore, while recovered solid cancer patients' immunophenotypes resemble those of non-virus-exposed cancer patients, recovered hematological cancer patients display distinct, lingering immunological legacies. Thus, while solid cancer patients, including those with advanced disease, seem no more at risk of SARS-CoV-2-associated immune dysregulation than the general population, hematological cancer patients show complex immunological consequences of SARS-CoV-2 exposure that might usefully inform their care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2021.01.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7833668PMC
February 2021

Molecular analysis of primary melanoma T cells identifies patients at risk for metastatic recurrence.

Nat Cancer 2020 Feb 20;1(2):197-209. Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Dermatology and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Primary melanomas >1 mm thickness are potentially curable by resection, but can recur metastatically. We assessed the prognostic value of T cell fraction (TCFr) and repertoire T cell clonality, measured by high-throughput-sequencing of the T cell receptor beta chain (TRB) in T2-T4 primary melanomas (n=199). TCFr accurately predicted progression-free survival (PFS) and was independent of thickness, ulceration, mitotic rate, or age. TCFr was second only to tumor thickness in its predictive value, using a gradient boosted model. For accurate PFS prediction, adding TCFr to tumor thickness was superior to adding any other histopathological variable. Furthermore, a TCFr >20% was protective regardless of tumor ulceration status, mitotic rate or presence of nodal disease. TCFr is a quantitative molecular assessment that predicts metastatic recurrence in primary melanoma patients whose disease has been resected surgically. This study suggests that a successful T cell-mediated antitumor response can be present in primary melanomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43018-019-0019-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7725220PMC
February 2020

Real-world Outcomes With Rituximab-based Therapy for Posttransplant Lymphoproliferative Disease Arising After Solid Organ Transplant.

Transplantation 2020 12;104(12):2582-2590

Centre for Clinical Haematology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Background: Optimal upfront therapy for posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) arising after solid organ transplant remains contentious. Rituximab monotherapy (R-Mono) in unselected patients has shown a lack of durable remissions. Cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone (CHOP)-based chemotherapy confers improved response rates, although concerns exist about toxicity.

Methods: This multicenter retrospective study reports outcomes for adults with biopsy-proven B-cell PTLD treated initially with R-Mono or Rituximab plus CHOP (R-CHOP). Selection of therapy was made according to physician preference.

Results: Among 101 patients, 41 received R-Mono and 60 had R-CHOP. Most (93%) had undergone renal or liver transplantation. R-CHOP showed a trend toward improved complete (53% versus 71%; P = 0.066) and overall (75% versus 90%; P = 0.054) response rates. In the R-Mono group, 13 of 41 (32%) subsequently received chemotherapy, while 25 of 41 (61%) remained progression-free without further therapy. With median follow-up of 47 months, overall survival (OS) was similar for R-Mono and R-CHOP, with 3-year OS of 71% and 63%, respectively (P = 0.722). Non-PTLD mortality was 3 of 41 (7%) and 4 of 60 (7%) within 12 months of R-Mono or R-CHOP, respectively. The International Prognostic Index was statistically significant, with low- (0-2 points) and high-risk (≥3 points) groups exhibiting 3-year OS of 78% and 54%, respectively (P = 0.0003). In low-risk PTLD, outcomes were similar between therapies. However, in high-risk disease R-Mono conferred an inferior complete response rate (21% versus 68%; P = 0.006), albeit with no impact on survival.

Conclusions: Our data support R-Mono as initial therapy for PTLD arising after renal or liver transplantation. However, upfront R-CHOP may benefit selected high-risk cases in whom rapid attainment of response is desirable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000003183DOI Listing
December 2020

Attractiveness of Male and Female Adults of Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Laemophloeidae) to Conspecifics With and Without Grain.

Environ Entomol 2020 12;49(6):1282-1289

Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

Whether stored-grain insects can communicate with each other inside stored-grain bulks is an important question for the development of pest management programs. Movements of the individual adults of Cryptolestes ferrugineus towards caged adult(s), in the presence or absence of wheat, were studied inside an apparatus (10 cm length), using an infrared camera. The numbers of the caged adults were 1, 20, or 50 of females or males, and 100 or 200 mixed-sex adults. Without grain, both males and females moved towards the caged single male, but not the caged single female. With grain, neither males nor females moved towards the caged single male or female. When 50 males were added to the cage, females did move significantly towards the caged males. There were trends for introduced males and females to move towards caged males at higher densities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvaa121DOI Listing
December 2020

Impact of age on the toxicity of immune checkpoint inhibition.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 10;8(2)

Guy's Cancer Centre, Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, London, UK

Indications for immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy are increasing. As the population ages, many patients receiving such drugs will be older adults. Such patients are under-represented in clinical trials, and therefore the safety of immune checkpoint inhibitors in this population has not been adequately assessed. A retrospective multicenter analysis of toxicities was performed in patients with advanced or metastatic solid cancers receiving anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (anti-PD-1) and/or anti-CTLA4 antibodies across three age cohorts (<65 years, 65-74 years and ≥75 years) using univariable and multivariable analyzes. Eligible patients (n=448) were divided into age cohorts: <65 years (n=185), 65-74 years (n=154) and ≥75 years (n=109). Fewer patients in the oldest cohort (7.3%) received an anti-CTLA4 antibody containing regimen compared with the younger cohorts (21.1% and 17.5%). There was no significant difference overall in all grade or ≥G3 toxicities between age cohorts. Significantly fewer patients in the older (65-74 years and ≥75 years) age cohorts discontinued treatment because of toxicity (10.1% and 7.4%) compared with in the <65 years cohort (20.5%; p=0.006). Using logistic regression, only treatment type (ipilimumab containing) was significantly associated with all grade toxicity. However, there was a significantly lower incidence of all-grade endocrine toxicity in the oldest cohort (11.0%) compared with the youngest cohort (22.7%, p=0.02; OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.87), while all-grade dermatological toxicity showed the reverse trend (28.4% vs 18.9%; OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.04 to 3.30). Results were corroborated in the sensitivity analysis using only data from patients who received PD-1 inhibitor monotherapy. This multicenter, real-world cohort demonstrates that immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy is safe and well tolerated regardless of age, with no appreciable increase in adverse events in older adult patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-000871DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7545628PMC
October 2020

Lymphocytic infiltration in stage II microsatellite stable colorectal tumors: A retrospective prognosis biomarker analysis.

PLoS Med 2020 09 24;17(9):e1003292. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Identifying stage II patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) at higher risk of progression is a clinical priority in order to optimize the advantages of adjuvant chemotherapy while avoiding unnecessary toxicity. Recently, the intensity and the quality of the host immune response in the tumor microenvironment have been reported to have an important role in tumorigenesis and an inverse association with tumor progression. This association is well established in microsatellite instable CRC. In this work, we aim to assess the usefulness of measures of T-cell infiltration as prognostic biomarkers in 640 stage II, CRC tumors, 582 of them confirmed microsatellite stable.

Methods And Findings: We measured both the quantity and clonality index of T cells by means of T-cell receptor (TCR) immunosequencing in a discovery dataset (95 patients with colon cancer diagnosed at stage II and microsatellite stable, median age 67, 30% women) and replicated the results in 3 additional series of stage II patients from 2 countries. Series 1 and 2 were recruited in Barcelona, Spain and included 112 fresh frozen (FF, median age 69, 44% women) and 163 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE, median age 67, 39% women) samples, respectively. Series 3 included 270 FFPE samples from patients recruited in Haifa, Northern Israel, as part of a large case-control study of CRC (median age 73, 46% women). Median follow-up time was 81.1 months. Cox regression models were fitted to evaluate the prognostic value of T-cell abundance and Simpson clonality of TCR variants adjusting by sex, age, tumor location, and stage (IIA and IIB). In the discovery dataset, higher TCR abundance was associated with better prognosis (hazard ratio [HR] for ≥Q1 = 0.25, 95% CI 0.10-0.63, P = 0.003). A functional analysis of gene expression on these tumors revealed enrichment in pathways related to immune response. Higher values of clonality index (lower diversity) were not associated with worse disease-free survival, though the HR for ≥Q3 was 2.32 (95% CI 0.90-5.97, P = 0.08). These results were replicated in an independent FF dataset (TCR abundance: HR = 0.30, 95% CI 0.12-0.72, P = 0.007; clonality: HR = 3.32, 95% CI 1.38-7.94, P = 0.007). Also, the association with prognosis was tested in 2 independent FFPE datasets. The same association was observed with TCR abundance (HR = 0.41, 95% CI 0.18-0.93, P = 0.03 and HR = 0.56, 95% CI 0.31-1, P = 0.042, respectively, for each FFPE dataset). However, the clonality index was associated with prognosis only in the FFPE dataset from Israel (HR = 2.45, 95% CI 1.39-4.32, P = 0.002). Finally, a combined analysis combining all microsatellite stable (MSS) samples demonstrated a clear prognosis value both for TCR abundance (HR = 0.39, 95% CI 0.26-0.57, P = 1.3e-06) and the clonality index (HR = 2.13, 95% CI 1.44-3.15, P = 0.0002). These associations were also observed when variables were considered continuous in the models (HR per log2 of TCR abundance = 0.85, 95% CI 0.78-0.93, P = 0.0002; HR per log2 or clonality index = 1.16, 95% CI 1.03-1.31, P = 0.016).

Limitations: This is a retrospective study, and samples had been preserved with different methods. Validation series lack complete information about microsatellite instability (MSI) status and pathology assessment. The Molecular Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer (MECC) study had information about overall survival instead of progression-free survival.

Conclusion: Results from this study demonstrate that tumor lymphocytes, assessed by TCR repertoire quantification based on a sequencing method, are an independent prognostic factor in microsatellite stable stage II CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003292DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7514069PMC
September 2020

Results of a UK National Cancer Research Institute Phase II study of brentuximab vedotin using a response-adapted design in the first-line treatment of patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma unsuitable for chemotherapy due to age, frailty or comorbidity (BREVITY).

Br J Haematol 2021 04 14;193(1):63-71. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Manchester Clinical Research Facility, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK.

Standard treatment for classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) is poorly tolerated in older patients and results disappointing. We assessed safety and efficacy of brentuximab vedotin (BV), in previously untreated patients with cHL unfit for standard treatment due to age, frailty or comorbidity. The primary outcome was complete metabolic response (CMR) by positron emission tomography/computed tomography after four BV cycles (PET4). The secondary outcomes included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and toxicity. In all, 35 patients with a median age of 77 years and median total Cumulative Illness Rating Scale for Geriatrics (CIRS-G) score of 6 were evaluable for toxicity and 31 for response. A median of four cycles were given (range one-16). In all, 14 patients required dose reduction due to toxicity and 11 patients stopped treatment due to adverse events (AEs). A total of 716 AEs were reported, of which 626 (88%) were Grade 1/2 and 27 (77%) patients had at least one AE Grade ≥3. At PET4, CMR was 25·8% [95% confidence interval (CI) 13·7-42.2%] and objective response rate 83·9% (95% CI 63·7-90·8%). Median PFS was 7·3 months (95% CI 5·2-9·0), and OS 19·5 months. Our results suggest that BV monotherapy is tolerable but suboptimal in the front-line therapy of elderly or comorbid patients with cHL. Combining BV with other agents may be more effective. Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02567851.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17073DOI Listing
April 2021

Fractures are common within 18 months following first-line R-CHOP in older patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Blood Adv 2020 09;4(18):4337-4346

Department of Haematology, Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and osteoporotic fracture are both more common in older patients. Exposure to R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone) is likely to increase the risk of fracture, but evidence is lacking to define fracture incidence in this group. Data on consecutive patients with DLBCL aged ≥70 years treated with 1 to 8 cycles of full or attenuated R-CHOP were retrospectively collected across 10 UK centers (2009-2019). Patients were followed up from starting R-CHOP for a minimum of 6 months and censored at 18 months; at last follow-up if <18 months; or at progression or death. Of 877 patients identified, 148 were excluded: 121 had progression or died before 6 months; 23 had follow-up <6 months. Across 729 remaining patients, the median age was 77 years, and 68% had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 1. Eighty-one fractures occurred within 18 months of follow-up; 42 were symptomatic, including 30 requiring hospital attendance or admission. The cumulative fracture incidence was 6.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.7-8.2) at 6 months; 9.7% (95% CI, 7.8-12.1) at 12 months; and 11.4% (95% CI, 9.3-14.0) at 18 months. Multivariate analysis identified a predisposing history (osteoporosis, osteopenia, prior fracture, and rheumatoid arthritis [RhA]), DLBCL bone involvement at baseline, and receipt of prephase steroids as independent risk factors for fracture. There is a clinically relevant fracture risk and significant associated morbidity in older patients receiving R-CHOP. Careful attention to bone health is warranted in older patients receiving R-CHOP. Randomized studies are required to better define the most effective strategies to reduce fracture risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002553DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7509870PMC
September 2020

Factors Affecting COVID-19 Outcomes in Cancer Patients: A First Report From Guy's Cancer Center in London.

Front Oncol 2020 22;10:1279. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Haematology Department, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT), London, United Kingdom.

There is insufficient evidence to support clinical decision-making for cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19 due to the lack of large studies. We used data from a single large UK Cancer Center to assess the demographic/clinical characteristics of 156 cancer patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis between 29 February and 12 May 2020. Logistic/Cox proportional hazards models were used to identify which demographic and/or clinical characteristics were associated with COVID-19 severity/death. 128 (82%) presented with mild/moderate COVID-19 and 28 (18%) with a severe case of the disease. An initial cancer diagnosis >24 months before COVID-19 [OR: 1.74 (95% CI: 0.71-4.26)], presenting with fever [6.21 (1.76-21.99)], dyspnea [2.60 (1.00-6.76)], gastro-intestinal symptoms [7.38 (2.71-20.16)], or higher levels of C-reactive protein [9.43 (0.73-121.12)] were linked with greater COVID-19 severity. During a median follow-up of 37 days, 34 patients had died of COVID-19 (22%). Being of Asian ethnicity [3.73 (1.28-10.91)], receiving palliative treatment [5.74 (1.15-28.79)], having an initial cancer diagnosis >24 months before [2.14 (1.04-4.44)], dyspnea [4.94 (1.99-12.25)], and increased CRP levels [10.35 (1.05-52.21)] were positively associated with COVID-19 death. An inverse association was observed with increased levels of albumin [0.04 (0.01-0.04)]. A longer-established diagnosis of cancer was associated with increased severity of infection as well as COVID-19 death, possibly reflecting the effects a more advanced malignant disease has on this infection. Asian ethnicity and palliative treatment were also associated with COVID-19 death in cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.01279DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7396540PMC
July 2020

Magnitude and Dynamics of the T-Cell Response to SARS-CoV-2 Infection at Both Individual and Population Levels.

medRxiv 2020 Aug 4. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Immunotherapy, Cell Therapy and Biobank (ITCB), Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Meldola, FC, Italy.

T cells are involved in the early identification and clearance of viral infections and also support the development of antibodies by B cells. This central role for T cells makes them a desirable target for assessing the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we combined two high-throughput immune profiling methods to create a quantitative picture of the T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2. First, at the individual level, we deeply characterized 3 acutely infected and 58 recovered COVID-19 subjects by experimentally mapping their CD8 T-cell response through antigen stimulation to 545 Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) class I presented viral peptides (class II data in a forthcoming study). Then, at the population level, we performed T-cell repertoire sequencing on 1,015 samples (from 827 COVID-19 subjects) as well as 3,500 controls to identify shared "public" T-cell receptors (TCRs) associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection from both CD8 and CD4 T cells. Collectively, our data reveal that CD8 T-cell responses are often driven by a few immunodominant, HLA-restricted epitopes. As expected, the T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 peaks about one to two weeks after infection and is detectable for several months after recovery. As an application of these data, we trained a classifier to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection based solely on TCR sequencing from blood samples, and observed, at 99.8% specificity, high early sensitivity soon after diagnosis (Day 3-7 = 83.8% [95% CI = 77.6-89.4]; Day 8-14 = 92.4% [87.6-96.6]) as well as lasting sensitivity after recovery (Day 29+/convalescent = 96.7% [93.0-99.2]). These results demonstrate an approach to reliably assess the adaptive immune response both soon after viral antigenic exposure (before antibodies are typically detectable) as well as at later time points. This blood-based molecular approach to characterizing the cellular immune response has applications in vaccine development as well as clinical diagnostics and monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.31.20165647DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7418734PMC
August 2020

T cell fraction impacts oncologic outcomes in human papillomavirus associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

Oral Oncol 2020 12 23;111:104894. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Background: We investigated T cell clonality (TCC) and T cell fraction (TCF) in human papilloma virus associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HPV(+)OPSCC) progressors [cases] vs. non-progressors [controls].

Methods: This nested case-control study included patients undergoing intent-to-cure surgery ± adjuvant therapy from 6/1/2007-10/3/2016. Patients experiencing local/regional/distant disease (progressors), and a consecutive sample of non-progressors were matched (2 controls: 1 case) on tumor subsite, T-stage and number of metastatic lymph nodes. We performed imunosequencing of the CDR3 regions of human TCRβ chains.

Results: 34 progressors and 65 non-progressors were included. There was no statistically significant difference in baseline TCF (range: 0.039-1.084) and TCC (range: 0.007-0.240) (p > 0.05). Female sex was associated with higher TCF (p = 0.03), while extranodal extension (ENE) was associated with lower TCF (p = 0.01). There was a positive correlation between tumor size and clonality (R = 0.34, p < 0.01). The strongest predictor of progression-free survival (PFS) was TCF (HR 0.80, 95%CI 0.66-0.96, p = 0.02). The strongest predictors of cancer specific survival (CSS) were TCF (HR0.69, 95%CI 0.47-1.00, p < 0.05) and Adult Comorbidity Evaluation-27 (ACE-27) score (p < 0.05). Similarly, the strongest predictors of overall survival (OS) were TCF (HR 0.62, 95%CI 0.43-0.91, p = 0.01) and ACE-27 score (p = 0.03). On multivariable modeling, TCF ≥ 0.4 was independently associated with PFS (HR 0.34, 95%CI 0.14-0.85, p = 0.02) while an ACE-27 score of ≥ 2 independently predicted CSS (HR 3.85, 95%CI 1.07-13.85, p = 0.04) and OS (HR 3.51, 95%CI 1.10-11.20, p = 0.03).

Conclusions: In patients with HPV(+)OPSCC, TCF was higher in female patients and those without ENE, suggesting differential immune responses. Lower TCF was significantly and independently associated with disease progression. Better ACE-27 scores appear to predict improved oncologic control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oraloncology.2020.104894DOI Listing
December 2020

Primary Isolated Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma (LPL) of the Stomach: A Case Report.

Am J Case Rep 2020 Jul 20;21:e921840. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Department of Clinical Oncology, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom.

BACKGROUND Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL) is a mature B cell lymphoma that mostly involves the bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes. Involvement of extramedullary sites is very rare and has not been reported as the primary site before. CASE REPORT A 47-year-old man presented with reflux symptoms. Gastroscopy revealed a 1.5-cm gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) polyp and oesophageal ulcer. A biopsy was performed and histopathology showed active chronic inflammation with focal intestinal metaplasia and reactive epithelial changes. A CT abdomen showed eccentric thickening of the lower oesophagus and GEJ, with periesophageal, gastro-hepatic ligament, and coeliac lymph node (LN) enlargement. A laparoscopic biopsy showed no peritoneal disease. EUS showed a large ulcerated lesion in the GEJ and proximal stomach. Both were biopsied, showing squamous-columnar mucosa with edema and a population of plasma cells, small lymphocytes, and histiocytes. These expressed CD20, PAX5, CD79a, IgM, and were lambda light chain-restricted. Lymphocytes were negative for CD3, IgG, IgA, and IgD. The MIB-1 index was low. LPL was diagnosed. PET showed an increased uptake of the gastric cardia and GEJ. LNs were not metabolically active. Bone marrow was negative. Evaluation of MYD 88 mutational status failed. Serum immunofixation showed no paraprotein. These results led to a diagnosis of primary isolated LPL of the stomach. CONCLUSIONS Primary lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma may present as an isolated gastric tumor. This can be unassociated with a paraprotein in serum and increased lymphocyte/plasma cell populations within the bone marrow. Gastric LPL is rare. Physicians and pathologists need to be aware of this rare presentation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12659/AJCR.921840DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7394558PMC
July 2020

Clostridioides difficile infection in US hospitals: a national inpatient sample study.

Int J Colorectal Dis 2020 Oct 17;35(10):1929-1935. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Division of Critical Care Medicine, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA.

Background: Hypervirulent strains of Clostridioides difficile have altered the landscape of hospital and community outbreaks. We aim to examine and compare spatiotemporal trends, incidence, hospital teaching status, mortality, and cost associated with hospital-acquired Clostridioides difficile infection (HCDI) and community-acquired Clostridioides difficile infection (CCDI).

Methods: Retrospective cohorts were studied using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) from 2006 to 2015.

Results: A total of 76,124 cases of HCDI and 190,641 cases of CCDI were identified within the study period. The incidence of HCDI decreased from 8555 in 2006 to 7191 in 2015. Mortality also decreased during the same period (5.9% in 2006 to 1.4% 2015, p < 0.0001). Conversely, CCDI cases increased from 13,823 in 2006 to 20,637 in 2015. CCDI mortality decreased during the same period (4.3% in 2006 to 1.9% 2015, p < 0.0001). Rural hospital centers experienced the sharpest decline in HCDI mortality compared to urban and urban teaching centers (3.8%, p < 0.0001 vs 2.8%, p < 0.0001 vs 2.1%, p < 0.0001). Multivariate logistic regression indicated that increasing age (p = 0.0001), increasing hospital length of stay (p = 0.0001), and Medicare insurance (p = 0.002) were significant predictors of mortality for CDI mortality. Geospatial mapping of CCDI and HCDI revealed that the Eastern and Southern US experienced the largest incidence of CDI over 10 years.

Conclusion: The incidence of HCDI has decreased in the past decade while the incidence of CCDI hospitalization is sharply on the rise. While hospital length of stay and mortality has decreased over time, the cost of treating CDI remains high.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00384-020-03646-3DOI Listing
October 2020

Multiple mutations at exon 2 of RHOA detected in plasma from patients with peripheral T-cell lymphoma.

Blood Adv 2020 06;4(11):2392-2403

Leicester Cancer Research Centre and.

The mutational landscape of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) is being revealed through sequencing of lymph node samples, but there has been little work on the mutational load that is present in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from plasma. We report targeted sequencing of cfDNA from PTCL patients to demonstrate c.50G>T (p.Gly17Val) in RHOA as previously described in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) and a group of PTCL not otherwise specified (NOS) but also detect novel mutations at c.73A>G (p.Phe25Leu) and c.48A>T (p.Cys16*) of exon 2, which were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. In a group of AITL and PTCL-NOS analyzed by droplet digital polymerase chain reaction, 63% (12/19) showed c.50G>T (p.Gly17Val), 53% (10/19) c.73A>G (p.Phe25Leu), and 37% (7/19) c.48A>T (pCys16*). Sequencing of lymph node tissue in 3 out of 9 cases confirmed the presence of c.73A>G (p.Phe25Leu). Inspection of individual sequencing reads from individual patients showed that a single RHOA allele could contain >1 mutation, suggesting haplotypes of mutations at RHOA. Serial sampling showed changes to RHOA mutational frequency with treatment and the apparent occurrence of clones bearing specific haplotypes associated with relapse. Therefore, sequencing of RHOA from cfDNA has revealed new mutations and haplotypes. The clinical significance of these findings will need to be explored in clinical trials, but liquid biopsy might have potential for guiding treatment decisions in PTCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019001075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7284097PMC
June 2020

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) with Colonoscopy Is Superior to Enema and Nasogastric Tube While Comparable to Capsule for the Treatment of Recurrent Clostridioides difficile Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Dig Dis Sci 2021 02 12;66(2):369-380. Epub 2020 Mar 12.

Division of Gastroenterology, NYU Langone Health, 40 East 38th Street, 23rd Floor, New York, NY, 10016, USA.

Background: Several routes of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) administration are available for treating recurrent Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI), the most recent of which are capsules.

Aim: To assess the efficacy of colonoscopy, capsule, enema, and nasogastric tube (NGT) FMT for the treatment of recurrent CDI.

Methods: We reported clinical outcomes of colonoscopy, capsule, enema, and NGT FMT for the treatment of recurrent CDI according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. During January 2000 to January 2018, three databases were searched: PubMed, EMBASE, and CINAHL. Primary outcome was overall cure rate which was assessed using a random effects model; secondary outcomes included adverse effects as well as subgroup analyses comparing donor relationship, sample preparation, and study design.

Results: Twenty-six studies (1309 patients) were included in the study. FMT was administered using colonoscopy in 16 studies (483 patients), NGT in five studies (149 patients), enema in four studies (360 patients), and capsules in four studies (301 patients). The random effects of pooled FMT cure rates were colonoscopy 94.8% (CI 92.4-96.8%; I 15.6%), capsule 92.1% (CI 88.6-95.0%; I 7.1%), enema 87.2% (CI 83.4-90.5%; I 0%), and NGT/NDT 78.1% (CI 71.6-84.1%; I 0%). On subgroup analysis of colonoscopy FMT, sample preparation methods had comparable cure rates: fresh 94.9% compared to 94.5%. Similarly, cure rates were unaffected by donor relationship: mixed 94.5% compared to unrelated donor 95.7%.

Conclusion: CDI cure rates with FMT performed with colonoscopy are superior to enema and NGT FMT, while those with FMT with colonoscopy and capsule are comparable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10620-020-06185-7DOI Listing
February 2021

Evolution of retrovirus-infected premalignant T-cell clones prior to adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma diagnosis.

Blood 2020 06;135(23):2023-2032

Section of Virology, Department of Infectious Disease, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is an aggressive hematological malignancy caused by human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1). ATL is preceded by decades of chronic HTLV-1 infection, and the tumors carry both somatic mutations and proviral DNA integrated into the tumor genome. In order to gain insight into the oncogenic process, we used targeted sequencing to track the evolution of the malignant clone in 6 individuals, 2 to 10 years before the diagnosis of ATL. Clones of premalignant HTLV-1-infected cells bearing known driver mutations were detected in the blood up to 10 years before individuals developed acute and lymphoma subtype ATL. Six months before diagnosis, the total number and variant allele fraction of mutations increased in the blood. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from premalignant cases (1 year prediagnosis) had significantly higher mutational burden in genes frequently mutated in ATL than did high-risk, age-matched HTLV-1 carriers who remained ATL-free after a median of 10 years of follow-up. These data show that HTLV-1-infected T-cell clones carrying key oncogenic driver mutations can be detected in cases of ATL years before the onset of symptoms. Early detection of such mutations may enable earlier and more effective intervention to prevent the development of ATL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019002665DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7381760PMC
June 2020

Antimicrobial resistance patterns of commensal isolated from feces of non-diarrheic dogs in Grenada, West Indies.

Vet World 2019 Dec 27;12(12):2070-2075. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, St. George's University, St. George's, Grenada, West Indies.

Background And Aim: There is currently no published information on the prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of commensal in dogs of Grenada origin. Monitoring antimicrobial resistance helps in the empirical selection of antibiotics. This study determined the occurrence of including the O157:H7 serotype in feces of non-diarrheic dogs of Grenada origin and the antibiotic resistance pattern of the isolates.

Materials And Methods: Fecal samples from 142 of the 144 (98.6%) dogs were culture positive for . Selection of up to three colonies from each of the 142 -positive samples yielded a total of 402 isolates, which were analyzed for the presence of non-sorbitol fermenting colonies, and O157-agglutination.

Results: Of the 402 isolates, 30 (7.5%) were non-sorbitol fermenters. However, none of the 402 isolates gave a positive reaction (O157:H7) to the O157:H7 latex kit. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests against 12 antibiotics revealed low resistance rates to all the tested antibiotics except for tetracycline (Te) (23.4%), cephalothin (CF) (13.2%), and ampicillin (AM) (7.7%). Thirty-nine out of the 402 (9.7%), isolates were resistant to two or more antibiotics of different classes.

Conclusion: This is the first report of isolation and antimicrobial susceptibilities of commensal from non-diarrheic dogs in Grenada. Some of the isolates (39/402 isolates, 9.7%) were resistant to multiple antibiotics. This study showed that presently, dogs in Grenada should not be considered a reservoir for the O157:H7 serotype and for multiple antibiotic-resistant strains. Among the 402 isolates, the resistance rate to drugs other than Te, CF, and AM was very low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14202/vetworld.2019.2070-2075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6989324PMC
December 2019

Auricular Acupuncture Associated with Reduced Waist Circumference in Overweight Women-A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2019 18;2019:6471560. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

Office of Research, St. George's University, True Blue, Grenada.

Obesity and subsequent ill health have reached epidemic proportions in developed countries, and many developing countries are on the same trajectory. Weight loss and sustaining a healthy weight have posed a significant challenge for individuals, patients, health-care providers, and public health experts. The literature suggests that dietary advice and lifestyle changes alone have limited sustainable impact for those who are seeking to achieve a healthy weight. Supplementary techniques to control weight, such as acupuncture and auricular acupuncture (AA), have shown mixed results and failed to clearly demonstrate a conclusive impact. This study aimed to provide clarity about the impact of AA on weight loss via a randomized controlled trial. Data were collected from patients to identify measurable girth reduction, weight loss, dietary choices, and mood changes over seven weekly sessions of AA ( = 30) versus sham needle as control ( = 28). Results demonstrated a large and highly significant AA treatment effect for reduced waist circumference over the course of the seven-week intervention. While the treatment effect for weight loss and BMI was not significant, this negative result may have been mediated by the relatively short duration of the study. Results also demonstrated a significant mood improvement across participants in both the AA intervention and control group as the intervention progressed. Further studies are required to determine if the reduction in waist circumference is driven specifically by the AA alone or in conjunction with improved mood. The results also have potentially significant implications for healthcare delivery in the fight against overweight and obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/6471560DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6935794PMC
December 2019

Cross-tolerance to Desiccation and Cold in Khapra Beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae).

J Econ Entomol 2020 04;113(2):695-699

Morden Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

Khapra beetle, Trogoderma granarium Everts, is unusual in two key respects. First, they are among the most cold hardy of stored-product insect pests even though they originate in hot and dry regions of the Indian subcontinent. Second, their larvae can enter into diapause to survive harsh environmental conditions. In the present study, we examined whether these two phenomena are related, i.e., due to cross-tolerance. Cross-tolerance is the tolerance to one ecological stress when induced by a separate stress. To investigate this, khapra beetle larvae were reared at different relative humidities (3, 28, 49, and 79%) in either nondiapausing or diapausing conditions. Then the cold tolerance of larvae was estimated by measuring mortality after different durations at -10°C. For nondiapausing larvae, relative humidity had little effect on cold tolerance with the lethal time to 50% mortality (LT50) occurring between 2 and 4 d. For diapausing larvae, cold tolerance increased with greater desiccation stress with LT50's of 5, 7, 10, and 18 d at 79, 49, 28, and 3% RH, respectively. This suggests that the physiological mechanisms that protect diapausing larvae from desiccation may also increase cold tolerance, even though these insects may rarely be exposed to low temperatures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jee/toz316DOI Listing
April 2020

The Utility of T-Cell Clonality in Differential Diagnostics of Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease from Drug Hypersensitivity Reaction.

J Invest Dermatol 2020 06 2;140(6):1282-1285. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Department of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2019.11.009DOI Listing
June 2020

Pembrolizumab in Combination with the Oncolytic Virus Pelareorep and Chemotherapy in Patients with Advanced Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: A Phase Ib Study.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 01 6;26(1):71-81. Epub 2019 Nov 6.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York.

Purpose: Pelareorep is an intravenously delivered oncolytic reovirus that can induce a T-cell-inflamed phenotype in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Tumor tissues from patients treated with pelareorep have shown reovirus replication, T-cell infiltration, and upregulation of PD-L1. We hypothesized that pelareorep in combination with pembrolizumab and chemotherapy in patients with PDAC would be safe and effective.

Patients And Methods: A phase Ib single-arm study enrolled patients with PDAC who progressed after first-line treatment. Patients received pelareorep, pembrolizumab, and either 5-fluorouracil, gemcitabine, or irinotecan until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Study objectives included safety and dose-limiting toxicities, tumor response, evaluation for reovirus replication, and immune analysis in peripheral blood and tumor biopsies.

Results: Eleven patients were enrolled. Disease control was achieved in three of the 10 efficacy-evaluable patients. One patient achieved partial response for 17.4 months. Two additional patients achieved stable disease, lasting 9 and 4 months, respectively. Treatment was well tolerated, with mostly grade 1 or 2 treatment-related adverse events, including flu-like symptoms. Viral replication was observed in on-treatment tumor biopsies. T-cell receptor sequencing from peripheral blood revealed the creation of new T-cell clones during treatment. High peripheral clonality and changes in the expression of immune genes were observed in patients with clinical benefit.

Conclusions: Pelareorep and pembrolizumab added to chemotherapy did not add significant toxicity and showed encouraging efficacy. Further evaluation of pelareorep and anti-PD-1 therapy is ongoing in follow-up studies. This research highlights the potential utility of several pretreatment and on-treatment biomarkers for pelareorep therapy warranting further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-2078DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6942612PMC
January 2020

The impact of CTLA-4 blockade and interferon-α on clonality of T-cell repertoire in the tumor microenvironment and peripheral blood of metastatic melanoma patients.

Oncoimmunology 2019;8(11):e1652538. Epub 2019 Aug 20.

Department of Cutaneous Oncology, Moffitt Comprehensive Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, USA.

Patients with metastatic melanoma were treated with tremelimumab and interferon-α (IFN) in a previously reported clinical trial [NCT00610857]. Responses were assessed by RECIST criteria as complete (CR) or partial (PR), stable disease (SD) or progressive disease (PD). In this study, T-cell receptor (TCR) beta-chain repertoire was immunosequenced in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) specimens (N = 33) and tumor samples (N = 18) utilizing the immunoSEQ® Assay to determine repertoire clonality and T cell fractions at pre-treatment (tumor and PBMC), one month (PBMC) and 3 months (PBMC) time points and evaluate its association with clinical outcomes. In the pretreatment tumor microenvironment (TME), T cell clonality was significantly ( = .035) different and greater in patients who achieved disease control (CR, PR, SD) versus those with non-disease control (PD) as best response to treatment. Further, there was significantly ( = .001) increased TCR fraction in tissue of responders (CR, PR) versus non-responders (PD, SD). In examining T cell clonality in the circulation (PBMC), no significant associations were found in the pretreatment samples. However, early on-treatment (4 weeks) there was a significant decrease in T cell clonality that was associated with improved overall survival ( = .01) and progression-free survival ( = .04). In addition, analysis of temporal changes in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and peripheral TCR repertoire revealed that responders had significantly higher clonal expansion of TIL in the circulation at 4 weeks than non-responders ( = .036). Our study provided interesting mechanistic data related to CTLA-4 Blockade and IFN and potential biomarkers of immunotherapeutic benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2162402X.2019.1652538DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6791420PMC
August 2019