Publications by authors named "Richard E Champlin"

392 Publications

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for patients with blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN).

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 Oct 11. Epub 2021 Oct 11.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA.

Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm (BPDCN) is an aggressive hematological malignancy; however, some patients achieve durable remission with allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). We report on all 17 patients with BPDCN who underwent allo-HCT at our center between 2000 and 2020. The median age was 39 (18-67) years. All (n = 16, 94%), except one patient, had systemic disease involving bone marrow and/or other organs. Ten patients (59%) were in first complete remission (CR1) at allo-HCT. The donor source was matched related or unrelated in ten (59%) and alternate donor in seven (41%) patients. Five (31%) patients developed acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), all grade I-II. The cumulative incidence (CI) of chronic GVHD at five-year was 34%. The CI of non-relapse mortality at one-year was 29%. Progression-free survival (PFS) rates at two-year and five-year were 49% (95% CI = 22-71%) and 39% (95% CI = 14-64%), respectively. The two-year and five-year overall survival (OS) rates were 65% (95% CI = 38-82%) and 40% (95% CI = 12-68%), respectively. The five-year rate for both PFS and OS was 80% in CR1 patients versus 0% in patients not in CR1. In conclusion, allo-HCT provides long-lasting remissions in BPDCN patients, particularly when performed in CR1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01478-5DOI Listing
October 2021

Cardiac Toxicity after Matched Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in the Post-Transplant Cyclophosphamide Era.

Blood Adv 2021 Sep 30. Epub 2021 Sep 30.

The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States.

Graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) is one of the leading causes of non-relapse mortality (NRM) following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT). Post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) has shown promise in managing GVHD. However, cyclophosphamide has known cardiac toxicities and few studies have evaluated the cardiac toxicities that arise following PTCy. Here, we completed a retrospective analysis of matched alloHCT patients at our institution who received PTCy or non-PTCy-based GVHD prophylaxis, with the goal of determining the incidence of cardiac toxicities up to 100 days after alloHCT. We included 585 patients in our analysis and found that 38 patients (6.5%) experienced cardiac toxicities after alloHCT. The toxicities observed included arrhythmias (n=21), heart failure (n=14), pericardial effusions (n=10), and myocardial infarction or ischemia (n=7). Patients who received PTCy had a 7.4% incidence of cardiac toxicities, while non-PTCy patients had an incidence of 5.8% (p=0.4). We found that age > 55 years (p=0.02), history of hypertension (p=0.01), arrhythmia (p=0.003), diabetes (p=0.04), and cardiac comorbidities (p<0.001) were significant predictors of cardiac toxicity, while none of the preparative and GVHD prophylaxis regimens used were predictive of cardiac toxicity. From these findings, we proposed the use of a Cardiac Risk Stratification Score to quantify the risk of cardiac toxicity following alloHCT and found that a higher score correlated with cardiac toxicity incidence. Furthermore, the development of cardiac toxicity was associated with worse 1-yr overall survival (OS) and NRM while the use of PTCy was associated with improvements in 1-year OS and NRM rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004846DOI Listing
September 2021

Feasibility and Implementation of a Multimodal Supportive Care Program to Improve Outcomes in Older Patients Undergoing Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Sep 16. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:

Increasingly, patients age ≥65 years are undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). Although age alone is a well-documented predictor of overall survival (OS) and nonrelapse mortality (NRM), growing evidence suggests that poor functional status and frailty associated with aging may have roles as well. Our goal in the present study was to identify and improve these and other aging-related maladies by developing a multimodal supportive care program for older allo-SCT recipients. We designed and implemented a multimodal supportive care program, Enhanced Recovery in Stem Cell Transplant (ER-SCT), for patients age ≥65 years undergoing allo-SCT. The ER-SCT program consists of evaluation and critical interventions by key health care providers from multiple disciplines starting before hospital admission for transplantation and extending through 100 days post-allo-SCT. We determined the feasibility of implementing this program in a large stem cell transplantation center. After 1 year of ongoing process improvements, multiple evaluations, and enrollment, we found that a dedicated weekly clinic was necessary to coordinate care and evaluate patients early. We successfully enrolled 57 of 64 eligible patients (89%) in the first year. Our data show that a multimodal supportive care program to enhance recovery for older patients undergoing allo-SCT is feasible. © 2021 American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.09.002DOI Listing
September 2021

Bone Marrow versus Peripheral Blood Grafts for Haploidentical Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation with Post-Transplantation Cyclophosphamide.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Sep 16. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

In the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic era, the number of haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantations (HCTs) with peripheral blood (PB) grafts increased significantly compared with HCTs with bone marrow (BM) grafts, which may be associated with adverse outcomes. We compared outcomes of HCT in BM graft and PB graft recipients age ≥18 years with hematologic malignancies who underwent T cell- replete haploidentical HCT and received graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis with post-transplantation cyclophosphamide, tacrolimus, and mycophenolate mofetil. Among the 264 patients, 180 (68%) received a BM graft and 84 (32%) received a PB graft. The median patient age was 50 years in both groups. The majority (n = 199; 75%) received reduced-intensity conditioning. The rate of acute leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome was higher in the BM graft recipients compared with the PB graft recipients (85% [n = 152] versus 55% [n = 46]; P < .01). The median times to neutrophil and platelet engraftment and the incidence of grade II-IV and grade III-IV acute GVHD (aGVHD) were comparable in the 2 groups. Among the patients with grade II-IV aGVHD, the rate of steroid-refractory aGVHD was 9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5% to 18%) in the BM group versus 32% (95% CI, 19% to 54%) in the PB group (hazard ratio [HR], 3.7, 95% CI, 1.5 to 9.3; P = .006). At 1 year post-HCT, the rate of chronic GVHD (cGVHD) was 8% (95% CI, 4% to 13%) in the BM group versus 22% (95% CI, 14% to 36%) in the PB group (HR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.4-6.6; P = .005), and the rate of systemic therapy-requiring cGVHD was 2.5% (95% CI, 1% to 7%) versus 14% (95% CI, 7% to 27%), respectively (HR, 5.6; 95% CI, 1.7 to 18; P = .004). The PB group had a significantly higher risk of bacterial and viral infections, with no appreciable advantage in the duration of hospitalization, immune reconstitution, relapse, nonrelapse mortality, or survival. Our data suggest a benefit of the use of BM grafts over PB grafts for haplo-HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.09.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8504778PMC
September 2021

A Randomized Phase II Trial of Idiotype Vaccination and Adoptive Autologous T-Cell Transfer in Multiple Myeloma patients.

Blood 2021 Sep 14. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

City of Hope, Duarte, California, United States.

We hypothesized that combining adoptively transferred autologous T cells with a cancer vaccine strategy would enhance therapeutic efficacy by adding anti-myeloma idiotype-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (Id-KLH) vaccine to vaccine-specific co-stimulated T cells. In this randomized, phase II trial, eligible patients received either the control (KLH only) or Id-KLH vaccine, an auto-transplant, vaccine-specific co-stimulated T-cells expanded ex-vivo, and two booster doses of the assigned vaccine. In 36 patients (20 in KLH, 16 in Id-KLH) enrolled, no dose-limiting toxicity was seen in either arm. At last evaluation, 6 (30%) and 8 (50%) had achieved complete remission in KLH-only and Id-KLH, respectively (p=0.22) and no difference in 3-year progression-free survival was observed (59% and 56%, respectively; p=0.32). In a 594 Nanostring nCounter gene panel analyzed for immune reconstitution (IR), compared with KLH-only patients, there was a greater change in IR genes in T-cells in Id-KLH patients relative to baseline. Specifically, upregulation of genes associated with activation, induction of effector function, and generation of memory CD8+ T cells after Id-KLH, but not after KLH control vaccination, was observed. Similarly, responding patients across both arms were associated with upregulation of genes associated with T-cell activation. At baseline, all patients had greater expression of CD8+ T-cell exhaustion markers. These changes were associated with functional Id-specific immune responses in a subset of Id-KLH patients analyzed. In conclusion, in this combination immunotherapy approach, we observed a significantly more robust IR in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the Id-KLH arm, supporting further investigation of vaccine and adoptive immunotherapy strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020008493DOI Listing
September 2021

Mismatch in SIRPα, a regulatory protein in innate immunity, is associated with chronic GVHD in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Blood Adv 2021 09;5(17):3407-3417

Division of Pathology/Laboratory Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine.

Recent compelling evidence showed that innate immune effector cells could recognize allogeneic grafts and prime an adaptive immune response. Signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα) is an immunoglobulin superfamily receptor that is expressed on myeloid cells; the interaction between SIRPα and its ubiquitously expressed ligand CD47 elicits an inhibitory signal that suppresses macrophage phagocytic function. Additional studies showed that donor-recipient mismatch in SIRPα variants might activate monocytic allorecognition, possibly as the result of non-self SIRPα-CD47 interaction. However, the frequency of SIRPα variation and its role in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) remains unexplored. We studied 350 patients with acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome who underwent HLA-matched related HSCT and found that SIRPα allelic mismatches were present in 39% of transplantation pairs. SIRPα variant mismatch was associated with a significantly higher rate of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD; hazard ratio [HR], 1.5; P = .03), especially de novo chronic GVHD (HR, 2.0; P = .01), after adjusting for other predictors. Those with mismatched SIRPα had a lower relapse rate (HR, 0.6; P = .05) and significantly longer relapse-free survival (RFS; HR, 0.6; P = .04). Notably, the effect of SIRPα variant mismatch on relapse protection was most pronounced early after HSCT and in patients who were not in remission at HSCT (cumulative incidence, 73% vs 54%; HR, 0.5; P = .01). These findings show that SIRPα variant mismatch is associated with HSCT outcomes, possibly owing to innate allorecognition. SIRPα variant matching could provide valuable information for donor selection and risk stratification in HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004307DOI Listing
September 2021

Serial frailty assessments following allogeneic stem cell transplant in older adults: A pilot study.

J Geriatr Oncol 2021 Sep 4. Epub 2021 Sep 4.

Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX, United States of America.

Introduction: Increasing numbers of older adults undergo allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) as the only chance of meaningful survival for hematologic malignancies. However, toxicities in vulnerable patients may offset the benefits of SCT. Frailty and abnormal geriatric assessment (GA) prior to SCT have been associated with decreased overall survival in persons aged 60 and older. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the prevalence of baseline GA deficits and frailty, the prevalence of frailty or death at three and six months after allogeneic SCT, and associations between baseline assessments and the presence of frailty or death post-SCT.

Methods: We enrolled 50 patients aged 60 years and older and completed a baseline GA including comorbidity, polypharmacy, nutrition, physical performance, functional status, social support, depression and anxiety, and cognition. Frailty was defined as three or more abnormalities of gait speed, grip strength, weight loss, physical activity, and exhaustion, and was assessed at baseline, three months, and six months after SCT. A composite outcome of frailty or death at three months and six months was analyzed.

Results: Frailty was present in 11/50 (22%) of patients at baseline. Ten patients did not complete three- month follow-up, and twelve patients did not complete six-month follow-up. Of those with follow-up data, 22 patients (55%) were frail or deceased three months after SCT, and 27 patients (71%) were frail or deceased six months after SCT. Frailty at baseline was not significantly associated with frailty or death at three or six months after SCT. However, the study's small enrollment limits conclusions on these associations.

Conclusion: GA deficits and frailty are prevalent in older adult SCT recipients at baseline and after transplant. Future studies should aim for larger enrollment in order to validate associations between these deficits and outcomes, especially survival, functional status, and quality of life following SCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2021.08.008DOI Listing
September 2021

Treatment of Allosensitized Patients Receiving Allogeneic Transplantation.

Blood Adv 2021 Sep 2. Epub 2021 Sep 2.

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States.

Donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies (DSA) are a major cause of engraftment failure in patients receiving haploidentical stem cell transplantation (HaploSCT). Effective treatments are needed for these patients who often have no other donor options and/or are in need to proceed urgently to transplantation. We studied a multimodality treatment with alternate day plasma exchange, rituximab, intravenous gamma globulin (IvIg) and an irradiated donor buffy coat for patients with DSA at two institutions. Thirty-seven patients with a median age of 51 years were treated with this desensitization protocol. Treatment outcomes were compared with a control group of HaploSCT patients without DSA (N=345). Majority of patients in the DSA group were females (83.8% vs. 37.1% in controls, p<0.001) and received stem cells from a child as donor (67.6% vs. 44.1%, p=0.002). Mean DSA level before and after desensitization was 10,198 and 5,937 MFI, respectively with mean differences of 4,030 MFI. Fourteen of 30 tested patients (46.7%) had C1q positivity while 8 of 29 tested patients (27.6%) remained positive after desensitization. In multivariable analysis, patients with initial DSA >20,000 MFI and with persistent C1q+ after desensitization had a significantly lower engraftment rate, resulted in a significantly higher non-relapse mortality (NRM) and worse overall survival (OS) than controls whereas graft outcome and survivals of patients with initial DSA <20,000 MFI and those with negative C1q after treatment were comparable with controls. In conclusion, treatment with plasma exchange, rituximab, IvIg and donor buffy coat is effective in promoting engraftment in patients with DSA up to 20,000 MFI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004862DOI Listing
September 2021

Refined HLA-DPB1 mismatch with molecular algorithms predicts outcomes in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Haematologica 2021 Aug 26. Epub 2021 Aug 26.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

HLA-DPB1 mismatches between donor and recipient are commonly seen in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) from an unrelated donor. HLA-DPB1 mismatch, conventionally determined by the similarity of the T-cell epitope (TCE), is associated with an increased risk of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) and a decreased risk of disease relapse. We investigated the clinical impact of HLA-DPB1 molecular mismatch quantified by mismatched eplets (ME) and Predicted Indirectly Recognizable HLA Epitopes score (PS) in a cohort of 1,514 patients receiving HSCT from unrelated donors matched at HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1/3/4/5, and -DQB1 loci. HLA-DPB1 alloimmunity in the GVH direction determined by high GVH ME/PS was associated with a reduced risk of relapse (HR 0.83, P= .05 for ME) and increased risk of grade 2-4 aGVHD (HR 1.44, P< .001 for ME), whereas high HVG ME/PS was only associated with an increased risk of grade 2-4 aGVHD (HR 1.26, P= .004 for ME). Notably, in the permissive mismatch subgroup classified by TCE grouping, high HVG ME/PS was associated with an increased risk of relapse (HR 1.36, P= .026 for ME) and grade 2-4 aGVHD (HR 1.43, P= .003 for PS-II). Decision curve analysis showed GVH ME outperformed other models and provided the best clinical net benefit for the modification of aGVHD prophylaxis regimen in patients with high risk of developing clinically significant aGVHD. In conclusion, molecular assessment of HLA-DPB1 mismatch enables separate prediction of HVG or GVH alloresponse quantitatively and allows further refinement of HLA-DPB1 permissiveness as defined by conventional TCE grouping.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2021.278993DOI Listing
August 2021

Nine-Year Follow-up of Patients with Relapsed Follicular Lymphoma after Nonmyeloablative Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant and Autologous Transplant.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Aug 11. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Purpose: To compare outcomes between patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma who received a nonmyeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplant (alloSCT) and those who received an autologous transplant (autoSCT).

Patients And Methods: We evaluated 194 patients with follicular lymphoma who received an alloSCT ( = 98) or autoSCT ( = 96) at MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX). The transplant type used was based on donor availability and by Medicare reimbursement guidelines. Patients who received an alloSCT were enrolled in four consecutive trials in which they received fludarabine, cyclophosphamide (or bendamustine), and rituximab conditioning. autoSCT patients received R-BEAM (rituximab, carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan).

Results: The median follow-up of survivors was 108 months for the alloSCT group and 102 months for the autoSCT group. Overall survival was significantly better for patients who received an alloSCT compared with those who received an autoSCT (62% vs. 46%; = 0.048). Similarly, progression-free survival rates were 52% in patients who received an alloSCT and 31% in those who received an autoSCT ( < 0.001), and the 8-year relapse rates were 11% and 43%, respectively ( < 0.0001). Only three patients in the alloSCT group relapsed beyond 3.5 years. In the alloSCT group, the rates for grade 2 to 4 acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), grade 3 to 4 acute GVHD, and extensive chronic GVHD were 22%, 9%, and 38%, respectively. In the autoSCT group, the 8-year incidence of secondary myelodysplasia was 11%. Nonrelapse mortality was similar between the two groups (15% vs. 11% at 8 years; = 0.27).

Conclusions: This study shows that alloSCT is curative and confers superior survival compared with autoSCT in patients with follicular lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-1377DOI Listing
August 2021

Myeloablative Fractionated Busulfan With Fludarabine in Older Patients: Long Term Disease-Specific Outcomes of a Prospective Phase II Clinical Trial.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:

Compared to reduced-intensity conditioning regimen, myeloablative conditioning (MAC) for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) reduces relapse but is avoided in older patients because of higher non-relapse mortality (NRM). To meet the need for a myeloablative regimen for older patients, we developed a novel fludarabine and busulfan MAC regimen. We fractionated the dose of busulfan and gave it for 6 days over a 2-week period and demonstrated the feasibility and safety of this approach. However, the disease-specific efficacy of this regimen is not known. The purpose of this study was to estimate the efficacy of fractionated busulfan regimen by estimating diseases specific survival outcomes. The conditioning regimen consisted of busulfan and fludarabine. On days -13 and -12 before HCT, patients received 80 mg/m busulfan intravenously (IV) daily in an outpatient clinic. Additional chemotherapy was administered during inpatient treatment from day -6 through day -3, including fludarabine 40 mg/m and busulfan IV once daily. The dosing of busulfan was determined from pharmacokinetic analyses to achieve for the course a target area under the curve of 20,000 ± 12% μmol/min, which is close to the average exposure of myeloablative dose of busulfan. One hundred fifty patients with high-risk hematological malignancies up to 75 years were enrolled in this prospective phase II study. The objective was to evaluate NRM, relapse, survival, the rates of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and long-term complications. The median age of the patient population was 61 years (interquartile range, 55-67). The most common diagnoses were acute myeloid leukemia (AML; N = 59 [39.3%]), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS; n = 29 [19.3%]), and myelofibrosis (MF; N = 22 [14.7%]). Most had an unrelated donor (n = 93 [62%]) and received peripheral blood graft (n = 110 [73.3%]). Over half had an HCT-specific comorbidity index of ≥3 (n = 79 [52.7%]). The median follow-up among survivors was 43.4 months (interquartile range, 38.9-50.4). In patients with AML in complete remission, MDS, and myelofibrosis, 3-year overall survival was 66.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 50.2-88.5%), 43.6% (95% CI, 28.6-66.4%), and 59.1% (95% CI, 41.7-83.7%) respectively. The cumulative incidence of NRM was 22% (15.3%-28.7%), extensive chronic GVHD was 27% (95% CI, 20-34%), bronchiolitis obliterans was 4.7% (95% CI, 1.3-8.1%), and secondary malignancy was 8.7% (95% CI, 4.1-13.2%) at 3 years. Lengthening the duration of busulfan (fractionation) permits safe delivery of myeloablative conditioning in older patients, leading to prolonged survival. © 2021 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.07.021DOI Listing
July 2021

Decrease post-transplant relapse using donor-derived expanded NK-cells.

Leukemia 2021 Jul 26. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

In this phase I/II clinical trial, we investigated the safety and efficacy of high doses of mb-IL21 ex vivo expanded donor-derived NK cells to decrease relapse in 25 patients with myeloid malignancies receiving haploidentical stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). Three doses of donor NK cells (1 × 10-1 × 10 cells/kg/dose) were administered on days -2, +7, and +28. Results were compared with an independent contemporaneously treated case-matched cohort of 160 patients from the CIBMTR database.After a median follow-up of 24 months, the 2-year relapse rate was 4% vs. 38% (p = 0.014), and disease-free survival (DFS) was 66% vs. 44% (p = 0.1) in the cases and controls, respectively. Only one relapse occurred in the study group, in a patient with the high level of donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies (DSA) presented before transplantation. The 2-year relapse and DFS in patients without DSA was 0% vs. 40% and 72% vs. 44%, respectively with HR for DFS in controls of 2.64 (p = 0.029). NK cells in recipient blood were increased at day +30 in a dose-dependent manner compared with historical controls, and had a proliferating, mature, highly cytotoxic, NKG2C+/KIR+ phenotype.Administration of donor-derived expanded NK cells after haploidentical transplantation was safe, associated with NK cell-dominant immune reconstitution early post-transplant, preserved T-cell reconstitution, and improved relapse and DFS. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01904136 ( https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01904136 ).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01349-4DOI Listing
July 2021

Generation of glucocorticoid-resistant SARS-CoV-2 T cells for adoptive cell therapy.

Cell Rep 2021 07 7;36(3):109432. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Adoptive cell therapy with virus-specific T cells has been used successfully to treat life-threatening viral infections, supporting application of this approach to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We expand severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) T cells from the peripheral blood of COVID-19-recovered donors and non-exposed controls using different culture conditions. We observe that the choice of cytokines modulates the expansion, phenotype, and hierarchy of antigenic recognition by SARS-CoV-2 T cells. Culture with interleukin (IL)-2/4/7, but not under other cytokine-driven conditions, results in more than 1,000-fold expansion in SARS-CoV-2 T cells with a retained phenotype, function, and hierarchy of antigenic recognition compared with baseline (pre-expansion) samples. Expanded cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are directed against structural SARS-CoV-2 proteins, including the receptor-binding domain of Spike. SARS-CoV-2 T cells cannot be expanded efficiently from the peripheral blood of non-exposed controls. Because corticosteroids are used for management of severe COVID-19, we propose an efficient strategy to inactivate the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) in SARS-CoV-2 CTLs using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109432DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8260499PMC
July 2021

CRP and ferritin in addition to the EASIX score predict CAR-T-related toxicity.

Blood Adv 2021 07;5(14):2799-2806

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.

The Endothelial Activation and Stress Index (EASIX) score, defined as [(creatinine × lactate dehydrogenase [LDH])/platelets], is a marker of endothelial activation that has been validated in the allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant setting. Endothelial activation is one of the mechanisms driving immune-mediated toxicities in patients treated with chimeric antigen receptor-T (CAR-T)-cell therapy. This study's objective was to evaluate the association between EASIX and other laboratory parameters collected before lymphodepletion and the subsequent onset of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) those patients. Toxicity data were collected prospectively on 171 patients treated with axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) for large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL). CRS grades 2 to 4 were diagnosed in 81 (47%) patients and ICANS grades 2 to 4 in 84 (49%). EASIX combined with ferritin (EASIX-F) identified 3 risk groups with CRS grades 2 to 4 cumulative incidence of 74% (hazards ratio [HR], 4.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.1-11; P < .001), 49% (HR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.02-5; P = .04), and 23% (reference), respectively. EASIX combined with CRP and ferritin (EASIX-FC) identified 3 risk groups with an ICANS grade 2 to 4 cumulative incidence of 74% (HR, 3.6; 95% CI, 1.9-6.9; P < .001), 51% (HR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.1-3.9; P = .025), and 29% (reference). Our results indicate that common laboratory parameters before lymphodepletion correlate with CAR-T-related toxicities and can help support clinical decisions, such as preemptive toxicity management, hospitalization length, and proper setting for CAR-T administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004575DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8341350PMC
July 2021

Optimal umbilical cord blood collection, processing and cryopreservation methods for sustained public cord blood banking.

Cytotherapy 2021 Jul 8. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy and Cord Blood Bank, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA. Electronic address:

Background Aims: Umbilical cord blood is an established source of stem cells in patients with hematologic malignancies who do not have HLA-compatible matched related or unrelated donors. The success of an umbilical cord blood transplant depends on the dose of total nucleated and CD34+ cells infused. Therefore, collecting, banking and listing high-quality cord blood units with high total nucleated and CD34+ cell dose are essential.

Methods: Here the authors describe their cord blood bank's novel collection technique, which involves both in utero and ex utero collection of a single cord blood unit. The authors also evaluated maternal, neonatal and collection parameters that may impact the cell dose.

Results: Maternal gestational age and race, and neonatal weight and sex correlated with the total nucleated cell dose.

Conclusions: The optimized collection of umbilical cord blood is critical for its use as a source of stem cells for transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcyt.2021.05.004DOI Listing
July 2021

Targeting the αv integrin/TGF-β axis improves natural killer cell function against glioblastoma stem cells.

J Clin Invest 2021 07;131(14)

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive brain cancer, recurs because glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) are resistant to all standard therapies. We showed that GSCs, but not normal astrocytes, are sensitive to lysis by healthy allogeneic natural killer (NK) cells in vitro. Mass cytometry and single-cell RNA sequencing of primary tumor samples revealed that GBM tumor-infiltrating NK cells acquired an altered phenotype associated with impaired lytic function relative to matched peripheral blood NK cells from patients with GBM or healthy donors. We attributed this immune evasion tactic to direct cell-to-cell contact between GSCs and NK cells via αv integrin-mediated TGF-β activation. Treatment of GSC-engrafted mice with allogeneic NK cells in combination with inhibitors of integrin or TGF-β signaling or with TGFBR2 gene-edited allogeneic NK cells prevented GSC-induced NK cell dysfunction and tumor growth. These findings reveal an important mechanism of NK cell immune evasion by GSCs and suggest the αv integrin/TGF-β axis as a potentially useful therapeutic target in GBM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI142116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8279586PMC
July 2021

Hyper-CVAD plus ofatumumab versus hyper-CVAD plus rituximab as frontline therapy in adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A propensity score analysis.

Cancer 2021 Sep 17;127(18):3381-3389. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: The outcome of hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone plus ofatumumab hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab (hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab) has not been compared with the outcome of hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone plus ofatumumab hyper-CVAD plus rituximab (hyper-CVAD + Rituximab) in Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in a randomized clinical trial.

Methods: The authors compared the outcomes of 69 patients treated with hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab and 95 historical-control patients treated with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab. Historical-control patients were treated with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab if they had CD20 expression ≥ 20%. Ofatumumab (day 1 of course 1, 300 mg intravenously; subsequent doses, 2000 mg intravenously) was administered on days 1 and 11 of courses 1 and 3 and on days 1 and 8 of courses 2 and 4 for a total of 8 doses. A propensity score analysis with inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) was performed to adjust for baseline covariates between groups.

Results: The median event-free survival with stem cell transplantation (SCT) censoring was 33 and 65 months with hyper-CVAD + Rituximab and hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab, respectively (crude P = .064; IPTW P = .054). The median overall survival with SCT censoring was 52 months and not reached, respectively (crude P = .087; IPTW P = .097).

Conclusions: Hyper-CVAD + ofatumumab was associated with better outcomes than hyper-CVAD + Rituximab among patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-negative ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33655DOI Listing
September 2021

Donor clonal hematopoiesis increases risk of acute graft versus host disease after matched sibling transplantation.

Leukemia 2021 Jun 16. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Department of Genomics Medicine, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Clonal hematopoiesis (CH) is associated with older age and an increased risk of myeloid malignancies and cardiovascular complications. We analyzed donor DNA samples in patients with AML/MDS who underwent first allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) to investigate the association between donor CH and transplant outcomes. We performed targeted deep sequencing of 300 genes on donor blood samples and identified CH with the minimum variant allele frequency of 2%. Among 363 donors, 65 (18%) had CH. The most frequently mutated genes were DNMT3A (31 of 65; 48%), TET2 (16 of 65; 25%), PPM1D (5 of 65, 8%), and ASXL1 (7 of 65; 11%). Transplant outcomes: time to neutrophil and platelet recovery, relapse incidence, transplant-related mortality and progression-free survival, were comparable by donor CH. However, risk of grade II-IV and III-IV acute graft versus host disease (aGvHD) at 6 months after transplant was higher with donor CH vs. without donor CH (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.4, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.6-3.6, p < 0.001 and HR = 3.8, 95% CI = 1.6-8.9, p = 0.003). In this homogenous population of AML/MDS patients, donor CH was associated with increased risk of grade II-IV and III-IV aGvHD. Further studies to investigate the mechanisms of increased aGvHD and therapeutic interventions to improve aGvHD in the context of donor CH are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01312-3DOI Listing
June 2021

Clonal Dynamics and clinical implications of Post-Remission Clonal Hematopoiesis in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Blood 2021 Jun 3. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States.

While clonal hematopoiesis (CH) can precede the development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), it can also persist after achieving remission. Long-term clonal dynamics and clinical implications of persistent CH are not well understood. Here, we studied the prevalence, dynamics and clinical implications of post-remission CH in 164 AML patients who attained complete remission after induction chemotherapies. Post-remission CH was identified in 79 (49%) patients. Post-remission CH persisted long-term in 91% of the trackable patients despite treatment with various types of consolidation and maintenance therapies. Post-remission CH was eradicated in 20 out of 21 (95%) patients who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplant. While patients with post-remission CH as a group had comparable hematopoiesis with those without it, patients with persistent TET2 mutations showed significant neutropenia long-term. Post-remission CH had little impact on relapse risk, non-relapse mortality, and incidence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, although the clinical impact of post-CR CH was heterogeneous among different mutations. These data suggest that while residual clonal hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are generally resistant to consolidation and maintenance therapies, they retain the ability to maintain normal hematopoiesis and have little impact on clinical outcomes, although larger study is needed to dissect the gene-specific heterogeneity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020010483DOI Listing
June 2021

Post-transplantation donor-derived Sezary syndrome in a patient with A91V PRF1 variant hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

Am J Hematol 2021 09 28;96(9):E350-E353. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Dermatology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26266DOI Listing
September 2021

Combining AFM13, a Bispecific CD30/CD16 Antibody, with Cytokine-Activated Blood and Cord Blood-Derived NK Cells Facilitates CAR-like Responses Against CD30 Malignancies.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jul 13;27(13):3744-3756. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Purpose: Natural killer (NK)-cell recognition and function against NK-resistant cancers remain substantial barriers to the broad application of NK-cell immunotherapy. Potential solutions include bispecific engagers that target NK-cell activity via an NK-activating receptor when simultaneously targeting a tumor-specific antigen, as well as enhancing functionality using IL12/15/18 cytokine pre-activation.

Experimental Design: We assessed single-cell NK-cell responses stimulated by the tetravalent bispecific antibody AFM13 that binds CD30 on leukemia/lymphoma targets and CD16A on various types of NK cells using mass cytometry and cytotoxicity assays. The combination of AFM13 and IL12/15/18 pre-activation of blood and cord blood-derived NK cells was investigated and .

Results: We found heterogeneity within AFM13-directed conventional blood NK cell (cNK) responses, as well as consistent AFM13-directed polyfunctional activation of mature NK cells across donors. NK-cell source also impacted the AFM13 response, with cNK cells from healthy donors exhibiting superior responses to those from patients with Hodgkin lymphoma. IL12/15/18-induced memory-like NK cells from peripheral blood exhibited enhanced killing of CD30 lymphoma targets directed by AFM13, compared with cNK cells. Cord-blood NK cells preactivated with IL12/15/18 and expanded with K562-based feeders also exhibited enhanced killing with AFM13 stimulation via upregulation of signaling pathways related to NK-cell effector function. AFM13-NK complex cells exhibited enhanced responses to CD30 lymphomas and .

Conclusions: We identify AFM13 as a promising combination with cytokine-activated adult blood or cord-blood NK cells to treat CD30 hematologic malignancies, warranting clinical trials with these novel combinations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-0164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254785PMC
July 2021

Impact of Cell of Origin Classification on Survival Outcomes after Autologous Transplantation in Relapsed/Refractory Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 05 12;27(5):404.e1-404.e5. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas; Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:

The cell of origin (COO) classification into germinal center B cell (GCB) and non-GCB types has been shown to predict survival outcomes in newly diagnosed diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). In the relapsed/refractory (R/R) setting, there is building evidence that COO does not predict prognosis after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (auto-SCT). The present analysis aimed to compare survival outcomes based on COO classification in R/R DLBCL patients who underwent auto-SCT. This retrospective study included adult patients with R/R DLBCL who underwent auto-SCT at MD Anderson Cancer Center between January 2007 and December 2016. The Hans algorithm using CD10, BCL6, and MUM1 markers was used to classify patients by COO. A total of 122 patients with DLBCL (71 GCB, 51 non-GCB) were included in the analysis. There were no significant differences in patient characteristics between the 2 groups, except for older median age in the GCB cohort (64 years versus 58 years; P < .004). The median overall survival (OS) time was 68.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 51.3 to not reached) months for the total population, 68.5 (95% CI, 44.8 to not reached) for GCB, and not reached for non-GCB. The 3-year OS rate was 0.659 (95% CI, 0.575 to 0.755) for the total population, 0.653 (95% CI, 0.547 to 0.779) for GCB, and 0.666 (95% CI, 0.537 to 0.824) for non-GCB. When adjusted for age and other factors of interest, no statistically significant associations for OS or progression-free survival were observed between the 2 cohorts. Our results confirm that COO loses its prognostic potential in patients with R/R DLBCL who receive high-dose chemotherapy followed by auto-SCT and both GCB and non-GCB types of DLBCL derive similar benefit from auto-SCT. Younger age, female sex, and pretransplantation disease status were associated with better OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.02.009DOI Listing
May 2021

Third-Party BK Virus-Specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Therapy for Hemorrhagic Cystitis Following Allotransplantation.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Aug 30;39(24):2710-2719. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

Purpose: BK virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis (BKV-HC) is a common complication of allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT), particularly in recipients of alternative donor transplants, which are being performed in increasing numbers. BKV-HC typically results in painful hematuria, urinary obstruction, and renal dysfunction, without a definitive therapeutic option.

Methods: We performed a clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02479698) to assess the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of administering most closely HLA-matched third-party BKV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), generated from 26 healthy donors and banked for off-the-shelf use. The cells were infused into 59 patients who developed BKV-HC following AHSCT. Comprehensive clinical assessments and correlative studies were performed.

Results: Response to BKV-CTL infusion was rapid; the day 14 overall response rate was 67.7% (40 of 59 evaluable patients), which increased to 81.6% among evaluable patients at day 45 (40 of 49 evaluable patients). No patient lost a previously achieved response. There were no cases of de novo grade 3 or 4 graft-versus-host disease, graft failure, or infusion-related toxicities. BKV-CTLs were identified in patient blood samples up to 3 months postinfusion and their in vivo expansion predicted for clinical response. A matched-pair analysis revealed that, compared with standard of care, after accounting for prognostic covariate effects, treatment with BKV-CTLs resulted in higher probabilities of response at all follow-up timepoints as well as significantly lower transfusion requirement.

Conclusion: Off-the-shelf BKV-CTLs are a safe and effective therapy for the management of patients with BKV-HC after AHSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02608DOI Listing
August 2021

Acute graft-versus-host disease is the foremost cause of late nonrelapse mortality.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 08 12;56(8):2005-2012. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Despite low nonrelapse mortality (NRM) at day 100 after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), NRM at 1 year remains substantial. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed 199 patients who were treated on a phase II clinical trial assessing safety and efficacy of myeloablative fractionated busulfan and fludarabine conditioning regimen for hematologic malignancies. The goal of the study was to identify factors associated with NRM occurring between days 101 and 365 post-HCT and generate a hypothesis for future studies to reduce the risk of NRM at 1 year. We found that a vast majority (83%) of patients who experienced NRM between days 101 and 365 had prior grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which was the leading cause of death either by itself (33.3%) or complicated by infections (37.5%). In multivariate analysis, grade II-IV acute GVHD (hazard ratio (HR) 2.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-6.6, p = 0.01) was the only significant predictor of NRM between days 101 and 365. Measures to reduce the risk of acute GVHD could lower the risk of NRM at 1 year and improve overall survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01274-1DOI Listing
August 2021

Prognostic factors for progression in patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia in complete molecular response within 3 months of therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Cancer 2021 Aug 1;127(15):2648-2656. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: The achievement of a 3-month complete molecular response (CMR) is a major prognostic factor for survival in patients with Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). However, 25% of patients relapse during therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).

Methods: The authors reviewed 204 patients with Ph-positive ALL who were treated between January 2001 and December 2018 using the combination of hyper-CVAD (hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone) plus a TKI (imatinib, 44 patients [22%]; dasatinib, 88 patients [43%]; or ponatinib, 72 patients [35%]). Progression-free survival (PFS) was defined as the time from the start date of therapy to the date of relapse, death, or last follow-up. Overall survival (OS) was defined as the time from the start date of therapy to the date of death or last follow-up.

Results: Overall, a 3-month CMR was observed in 57% of patients, including 32% of those who received imatinib, 52% of those who received dasatinib, and 74% of those who received ponatinib. The median follow-up was 74 months (imatinib, 180 months; dasatinib, 106 months; ponatinib, 43 months). Among 84 patients in 3-month CMR, 17 (20%) proceeded to undergo allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT). The 5-year PFS and OS rates were 68% and 72%, respectively. By multivariate analysis, ponatinib therapy was the only significant favorable independent factor predicting for progression (P = .028; hazard ratio, 0.388; 95% CI, 0.166-0.904) and death (P = .042; hazard ratio, 0.379; 95% CI, 0.149-0.966). ASCT was not a prognostic factor for PFS and OS by univariate analysis.

Conclusions: In patients with Ph-positive ALL, ponatinib is superior to other types of TKIs in inducing and maintaining a CMR, thus preventing disease progression. ASCT does not improve outcome once a 3-month CMR is achieved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33529DOI Listing
August 2021

Influence of Overlapping Genetic Abnormalities on Treatment Outcomes of Multiple Myeloma.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 03 20;27(3):243.e1-243.e6. Epub 2020 Dec 20.

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Numerous genetic abnormalities affect treatment outcomes in multiple myeloma. The role of coexistent trisomy or hyperdiploidy and high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities (CGAs) is not well defined. We assessed the influence of overlapping genetic abnormalities in patients who received frontline autologous stem cell transplantation. A total of 491 consecutive patients between January 2009 and January 2016 were identified. High-risk CGAs included del(17p), t(4;14), t(14;16), and gain 1q21 by fluorescence in situ hybridization and del(13) by conventional cytogenetics. Thirty-two percent had a trisomy, 27% had a high-risk CGA, and 11% had both. Among patients with any trisomy, 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 60% and 90%, respectively, compared to 25% and 65%, respectively, for patients with any high-risk CGA. Patients with co-existent trisomy and high-risk CGAs had 3-year PFS and OS of 43% and 89%, respectively, whereas those with isolated high-risk CGAs without trisomy had 3-year PFS and OS of 13% and 49%, respectively. The PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 3.3; P = .02) and OS (HR, 4.5; 95% CI, 1.5 to 13; P = .006) were worse for high-risk CGAs without versus those with concurrent trisomies. Our findings suggest a protective impact of trisomies in patients with high-risk CGAs and a potential need for revised risk stratification assessments to account for overlapping genetic abnormalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.10.021DOI Listing
March 2021

GMP-Compliant Universal Antigen Presenting Cells (uAPC) Promote the Metabolic Fitness and Antitumor Activity of Armored Cord Blood CAR-NK Cells.

Front Immunol 2021 26;12:626098. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, United States.

Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes recognized for their important role against tumor cells. NK cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) have enhanced effector function against various type of cancer and are attractive contenders for the next generation of cancer immunotherapies. However, a number of factors have hindered the application of NK cells for cellular therapy, including their poor growth kinetics and relatively low starting percentages within the mononuclear cell fraction of peripheral blood or cord blood (CB). To overcome these limitations, we genetically-engineered human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A and HLA-B K562 cells to enforce the expression of CD48, 4-1BBL, and membrane-bound IL-21 (mbIL21), creating a universal antigen presenting cell (uAPC) capable of stimulating their cognate receptors on NK cells. We have shown that uAPC can drive the expansion of both non-transduced (NT) and CAR-transduced CB derived NK cells by >900-fold in 2 weeks of co-culture with excellent purity (>99.9%) and without indications of senescence/exhaustion. We confirmed that uAPC-expanded research- and clinical-grade NT and CAR-transduced NK cells have higher metabolic fitness and display enhanced effector function against tumor targets compared to the corresponding cell fractions cultured without uAPCs. This novel approach allowed the expansion of highly pure GMP-grade CAR NK cells at optimal cell numbers to be used for adoptive CAR NK cell-based cancer immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.626098DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7952299PMC
October 2021
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