Publications by authors named "Saurabh Chhabra"

148 Publications

Updated Trends in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in the United States with an Additional Focus on Adolescent and Young Adult Transplantation Activity and Outcomes.

Transplant Cell Ther 2022 Apr 18. Epub 2022 Apr 18.

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

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) has been successfully utilized as treatment for many malignant and non-malignant conditions. As supportive care, donor selection, and treatment modalities evolve, documenting HCT trends and outcomes is critical. This report from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) provides an update to current transplantation activity and survival rates in the United States. Additional data on the use and outcomes of HCT in the adolescent and young adult (AYA) population are included. AYA patients more frequently receive peripheral blood stem cell grafts than pediatric patients, which may reflect differences in practice in pediatric vs adult treatment centers. The proportions of donor types also differ from adult and pediatric populations. Outcomes for patients in the AYA age range are similar to pediatric patients for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but worse than pediatric patients for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Outcomes for both leukemias are better in AYA patients than in older adults. When comparing the time period of 2000-2009 to 2010-2019, improvements in overall survival were significant across the age spectrum, but greatest in the AYA age group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2022.04.012DOI Listing
April 2022

Monoclonal gammopathy of renal significance (MGRS): Real-world data on outcomes and prognostic factors.

Am J Hematol 2022 Apr 7. Epub 2022 Apr 7.

Department of Hematology, Fundeni Clinical Institute, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Carol Davila", Bucharest, Romania.

Monoclonal gammopathy of renal significance (MGRS) is a recognized clinical entity. Literature regarding treatment and its outcomes in MGRS is sparse due to the rarity and misdiagnosis of MGRS. We retrospectively analyzed 280 adults with an MGRS diagnosis from 2003 to 2020 across 19 clinical centers from 12 countries. All cases required renal biopsy for the pathological diagnosis of MGRS. Amyloidosis-related to MGRS (MGRS-A) was present in 180 patients; nonamyloidosis MGRS (MGRS-NA), including a broad spectrum of renal pathologies, was diagnosed in 100 patients. The median overall survival in the studied cohort was 121.0 months (95% CI: 105.0-121.0). Patients with MGRS-A had a shorter overall survival than patients with MGRS-NA (HR = 0.41, 95%CI: 0.25-0.69; p = 0.0007). Both hematologic and renal responses were associated with longer survival. Achievement of ≥VGPR was generally predictive of a renal response (OR = 8.03 95%CI: 4.04-115.96; p < 0.0001), one-fourth of patients with ≥VGPR were renal nonresponders. In MGRS-A, factors associated with poor prognosis included elevated levels of creatinine, beta-2-microglobulin, and hemodialysis at diagnosis. In MGRS-NA, only age >65 years was associated with increased risk of death. Treatments provided similar hematologic response rates in both types of MGRS. Autologous stem cell transplantation led to better response than other treatments. This multicenter and international effort is currently the largest report on MGRS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26566DOI Listing
April 2022

Rap1A, Rap1B, and β-Adrenergic Signaling in Autologous HCT: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Propranolol.

Yale J Biol Med 2022 Mar 31;95(1):45-56. Epub 2022 Mar 31.

Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Successful hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) depends on rapid engraftment of the progenitor and stem cells that will reestablish hematopoiesis. Rap1A and Rap1B are two closely related small GTPases that may affect platelet and neutrophil engraftment during HCT through their roles in cell adhesion and migration. β-adrenergic signaling may regulate the participation of Rap1A and Rap1B in engraftment through their inhibition or activation. We conducted a correlative study of a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effects of the nonselective β-antagonist propranolol on expression and prenylation of Rap1A and Rap1B during neutrophil and platelet engraftment in 25 individuals receiving an autologous HCT for multiple myeloma. Propranolol was administered for 1 week prior to and 4 weeks following HCT. Blood was collected 7 days (baseline) and 2 days (Day -2) before HCT, and 28 days after HCT (Day +28). Circulating polymorphonuclear cells (PMNC) were isolated and analyzed via immunoblotting to determine levels of prenylated and total Rap1A versus Rap1B. Twelve participants were randomized to the intervention and 13 to the control. Rap1A expression significantly correlated with Rap1B expression. Rap1B expression significantly correlated with slower platelet engraftment; however, this association was not observed in the propranolol-treated group. There were no significant associations between neutrophil engraftment and Rap1A or Rap1B expression. Post hoc exploratory analyses did not reveal an association between social health variables and Rap1A or Rap1B expression. This study identifies a greater regulatory role for Rap1B than Rap1A in platelet engraftment and suggests a possible role for β-adrenergic signaling in modulating Rap1B function during HCT.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8961707PMC
March 2022

Age is no barrier for adults undergoing HCT for AML in CR1: contemporary CIBMTR analysis.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2022 Apr 2. Epub 2022 Apr 2.

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

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) has a median age at diagnosis of 67 years. The most common curative therapy remains an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), yet it is complicated by treatment-related mortality (TRM) and ongoing morbidity including graft versus host disease (GVHD) that may impact survival, particularly in older patients. We examined the outcomes and predictors of success in 1321 patients aged 60 years and older receiving a HCT for AML in first complete remission (CR1) from 2007-2017 and reported to the CIBMTR. Outcomes were compared in three age cohorts (60-64; 65-69; 70+). With median follow-up of nearly 3 years, patients aged 60-64 had modestly, though significantly better OS, DFS and lower TRM than those either 65-69 or 70+; cohorts with similar outcomes. Three-year OS for the 3 cohorts was 49.4%, 42.3%, and 44.7% respectively (p = 0.026). TRM was higher with increasing age, cord blood as graft source and HCT-CI score of ≥3. Conditioning intensity was not a significant predictor of OS in the 60-69 cohort with 3-year OS of 46% for RIC and 49% for MAC (p = 0.38); MAC was rarely used over age 70. There was no difference in the relapse rate, incidence of Grade III/IV acute GVHD, or moderate-severe chronic GVHD across the age cohorts. After adjusting for other predictors, age had a small effect on OS and TRM. High-risk features including poor cytogenetics and measurable residual disease (MRD) prior to HCT were each significantly associated with relapse and accounted for most of the adverse impact on OS and DFS. Age did not influence the incidence of either acute or chronic GVHD; while graft type and associated GVHD prophylaxis were most important. These data suggest that age alone is not a barrier to successful HCT for AML in CR1 and should not exclude patients from HCT. Efforts should focus on minimizing residual disease and better donor selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-022-01650-5DOI Listing
April 2022

Noninfectious Pulmonary Toxicity after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2022 Mar 18. Epub 2022 Mar 18.

Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Electronic address:

Noninfectious pulmonary toxicity (NPT), a significant complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT), includes idiopathic pneumonia syndrome (IPS), diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH), and cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP), with an overall incidence ranging from 1% to 15% in different case series and a variable mortality rate. A registry study of the epidemiology and outcomes of NPT after alloHCT has not been conducted to date. The primary objective of the present study was to assess the incidence of and risk factors for IPS, DAH, and COP; the secondary objective was to assess overall survival (OS) in patients developing NPT. This retrospective study included adult patients who underwent alloHCT between 2008 and 2017 and reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were developed to identify the risk factors for development of NPT and for OS, by including pretransplantation clinical variables and time-dependent variables of neutrophil and platelet recovery, and acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) post-transplantation. This study included 21,574 adult patients, with a median age of 55 years. According to the HCT Comorbidity Index (HCT-CI), 24% of the patients had moderate pulmonary comorbidity and 15% had severe pulmonary comorbidity. The cumulative incidence of NPT at 1 year was 8.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.7% to 8.5%). Individually, the 1-year cumulative incidences of IPS, DAH, and COP were 4.9% (95% CI, 4.7% to 5.2%), 2.1% (95% CI, 1.9% to 2.3%), and .7% (95% CI, .6% to .8%), respectively. Multivariable analysis showed that severe pulmonary comorbidity, grade II-IV acute GVHD, mismatched unrelated donor and cord blood transplantation, and HCT-CI score ≥1 significantly increased the risk of NPT. In contrast, alloHCT performed in 2014 or later, non-total body irradiation (TBI)- and TBI-based nonmyeloablative conditioning and platelet recovery were associated with a decreased risk. In a landmark analysis at day+100 post-transplantation, the risk of DAH was significantly lower in patients who had platelet recovery by day +100. Multivariable analysis for OS demonstrated that NPT significantly increased the mortality risk (hazard ratio, 4.2; P < .0001).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2022.03.015DOI Listing
March 2022

Does recipient body mass index inform donor selection for allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation?

Br J Haematol 2022 May 14;197(3):326-338. Epub 2022 Mar 14.

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

It is not known whether obesity has a differential effect on allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation outcomes with alternative donor types. We report the results of a retrospective registry study examining the effect of obesity [body mass index (BMI) > 30] on outcomes with alternative donors (haploidentical related donor with two or more mismatches and receiving post-transplant cyclophosphamide [haplo] and cord blood (CBU)] versus matched unrelated donor (MUD). Adult patients receiving haematopoietic cell transplantation for haematologic malignancy (2013-2017) (N = 16 182) using MUD (n = 11 801), haplo (n = 2894) and CBU (n = 1487) were included. The primary outcome was non-relapse mortality (NRM). The analysis demonstrated a significant, non-linear interaction between pretransplant BMI and the three donor groups for NRM: NRM risk was significantly higher with CBU compared to haplo at BMI 25-30 [hazard ratio (HR) 1.66-1.71, p < 0.05] and MUD transplants at a BMI of 25-45 (HR, 1.61-3.47, p < 0.05). The results demonstrated that NRM and survival outcomes are worse in overweight and obese transplant recipients (BMI ≥ 25) with one alternative donor type over MUD, although obesity does not appear to confer a uniform differential mortality risk with one donor type over the other. BMI may serve as a criterion for selecting a donor among the three (MUD, haplo and CBU) options, if matched sibling donor is not available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.18108DOI Listing
May 2022

Efficacy of a third SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine dose among hematopoietic cell transplantation, CAR T cell, and BiTE recipients.

Cancer Cell 2022 Apr 23;40(4):340-342. Epub 2022 Feb 23.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA; Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2022.02.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8864440PMC
April 2022

A Review of Propylene Glycol-free Melphalan Conditioning for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Multiple Myeloma and Light Chain Amyloidosis.

Transplant Cell Ther 2022 May 20;28(5):242-247. Epub 2022 Feb 20.

Division of Hematology Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Electronic address:

Autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT) remains a standard therapeutic option for patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Outcomes have improved for this patient group after first AHCT, with the use of novel agents in induction, as well as post-transplantation maintenance. High-dose melphalan remains the gold standard as the conditioning regimen for MM. Traditional melphalan is a lyophilized formulation that after reconstitution has insufficient chemical stability and water solubility, thus requiring the addition of propylene glycol to act as a cosolvent to improve these characteristics. After the reconstitution of melphalan with propylene glycol-containing solution, impurities can develop within 30 minutes, and if further dilution occurs, the potency of melphalan diminishes. Propylene glycol is associated with a spectrum of toxicities that can be dose limiting. Evomela is a propylene glycol-free melphalan (PGF-Mel) that at a high dose of 200 mg/ (100 mg/m/d for 2 days) is approved for conditioning before AHCT in MM patients. Once reconstituted by directly dissolving in saline solution, PGF-Mel solution can be stored in the vial for up to 1 hour at room temperature or for up to 24 hours at refrigerated temperature (2° to 8°C) with no significant degradation. The demonstrated stability, up to 24 hours at room temperature, results in reduced handling requirements and increased convenience and flexibility of administration. Since its approval, Evomela has been the subject of several retrospective and investigator-initiated studies. This review summarizes the prospective and real-world evidence on practical aspects of PGF-Mel and critically appraises the available data and its clinical implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2022.02.014DOI Listing
May 2022

Outcomes of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in T Cell Prolymphocytic Leukemia: A Contemporary Analysis from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.

Transplant Cell Ther 2022 04 23;28(4):187.e1-187.e10. Epub 2022 Jan 23.

Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; Department of Medicine, Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

T cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) is a rare, aggressive malignancy with limited treatment options and poor long-term survival. Previous studies of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) for T-PLL are limited by small numbers, and descriptions of patient and transplantation characteristics and outcomes after alloHCT are sparse. In this study, we evaluated outcomes of alloHCT in patients with T-PLL and attempted to identify predictors of post-transplantation relapse and survival. We conducted an analysis of data using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research database on 266 patients with T-PLL who underwent alloHCT between 2008 and 2018. The 4-year rates of overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), relapse, and treatment-related mortality (TRM) were 30.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 23.8% to 36.5%), 25.7% (95% CI, 20% to 32%), 41.9% (95% CI, 35.5% to 48.4%), and 32.4% (95% CI, 26.4% to 38.6%), respectively. In multivariable analyses, 3 variables were associated with inferior OS: receipt of a myeloablative conditioning (MAC) regimen (hazard ratio [HR], 2.18; P < .0001), age >60 years (HR, 1.61; P = .0053), and suboptimal performance status, defined by Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) <90 (HR, 1.53; P = .0073). Receipt of an MAC regimen also was associated with increased TRM (HR, 3.31; P < .0001), an elevated cumulative incidence of grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (HR, 2.94; P = .0011), and inferior DFS (HR, 1.86; P = .0004). Conditioning intensity was not associated with relapse; however, stable disease/progression was correlated with increased risk of relapse (HR, 2.13; P = .0072). Both in vivo T cell depletion (TCD) as part of conditioning and KPS <90 were associated with worse TRM and inferior DFS. Receipt of total body irradiation had no significant effect on OS, DFS, or TRM. Our data show that reduced-intensity conditioning without in vivo TCD (ie, without antithymocyte globulin or alemtuzumab) before alloHCT was associated with long-term DFS in patients with T-PLL who were age ≤60 years or who had a KPS >90 or chemosensitive disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2022.01.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8977261PMC
April 2022

Daratumumab, Carfilzomib, Lenalidomide, and Dexamethasone With Minimal Residual Disease Response-Adapted Therapy in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Dec 13:JCO2101935. Epub 2021 Dec 13.

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.

Purpose: The MASTER trial combined daratumumab, carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (Dara-KRd) in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM), using minimal residual disease (MRD) by next-generation sequencing (NGS) to inform the use and duration of Dara-KRd post-autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT) and treatment cessation in patients with two consecutive MRD-negative assessments.

Methods: This multicenter, single-arm, phase II trial enrolled patients with NDMM with planed enrichment for high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities (HRCAs). Patients received Dara-KRd induction, AHCT, and Dara-KRd consolidation, according to MRD status. MRD was evaluated by NGS at the end of induction, post-AHCT, and every four cycles (maximum of eight cycles) of consolidation. Primary end point was achievement of MRD negativity (< 10). Patients with two consecutive MRD-negative assessments entered treatment-free MRD surveillance.

Results: Among 123 participants, 43% had none, 37% had 1, and 20% had 2+ HRCA. Median age was 60 years (range, 36-79 years), and 96% had MRD trackable by NGS. Median follow-up was 25.1 months. Overall, 80% of patients reached MRD negativity (78%, 82%, and 79% for patients with 0, 1, and 2+ HRCA, respectively), 66% reached MRD < 10, and 71% reached two consecutive MRD-negative assessments during therapy, entering treatment-free surveillance. Two-year progression-free survival was 87% (91%, 97%, and 58% for patients with 0, 1, and 2+ HRCA, respectively). Cumulative incidence of MRD resurgence or progression 12 months after cessation of therapy was 4%, 0%, and 27% for patients with 0, 1, or 2+ HRCA, respectively. Most common serious adverse events were pneumonia (6%) and venous thromboembolism (3%).

Conclusion: Dara-KRd, AHCT, and MRD response-adapted consolidation leads to high rate of MRD negativity in NDMM. For patients with 0 or 1 HRCA, this strategy creates the opportunity of MRD surveillance as an alternative to indefinite maintenance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.01935DOI Listing
December 2021

Comparison of Cilta-cel, an Anti-BCMA CAR-T Cell Therapy, Versus Conventional Treatment in Patients With Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2022 05 30;22(5):326-335. Epub 2021 Oct 30.

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.

Background: In the single-arm, phase 1b/2 CARTITUDE-1 study, ciltacabtagene autoleucel (cilta-cel), an anti-B-cell maturation antigen chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy, showed encouraging efficacy in US patients with multiple myeloma (MM) who previously received an immunomodulatory drug, proteasome inhibitor, and anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody (triple-class exposed).

Patients And Methods: A dataset of US patients refractory to an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody (MAMMOTH) was used to identify patients who would meet eligibility for CARTITUDE-1 and received subsequent non-CAR-T therapy. The intent-to-treat (ITT) population in CARTITUDE-1 included patients who underwent apheresis (N = 113); the modified ITT (mITT) population was the subset who received cilta-cel (n = 97). Corresponding populations were identified from the MAMMOTH dataset: ITT population (n = 190) and mITT population of patients without progression/death within 47 days (median apheresis-to-cilta-cel infusion time) from onset of therapy (n = 122). Using 1:1 nearest neighbor propensity score matching to control for selected baseline covariates, 95 and 69 patients in CARTITUDE-1 ITT and mITT populations, respectively, were matched to MAMMOTH patients.

Results: In ITT cohorts of CARTITUDE-1 vs. MAMMOTH, improved overall response rate (ORR; 84% vs. 28% [P < .001]) and longer progression-free survival (PFS; hazard ratio [HR], 0.11 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.05-0.22]) and overall survival (OS; HR, 0.20 [95% CI, 0.10-0.39]) were observed. Similar results were seen in mITT cohorts of CARTITUDE-1 vs. MAMMOTH (ORR: 96% vs. 30% [P < .001]; PFS: HR, 0.02 [95% CI, 0.01-0.14]; OS: HR, 0.05 [95% CI, 0.01-0.22]) and with alternative matching methods.

Conclusion: Cilta-cel yielded significantly improved outcomes versus real-world therapies in triple-class exposed patients with relapsed/refractory MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2021.10.013DOI Listing
May 2022

Impact of Induction Therapy with VRD versus VCD on Outcomes in Patients with Multiple Myeloma in Partial Response or Better Undergoing Upfront Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2022 02 12;28(2):83.e1-83.e9. Epub 2021 Nov 12.

Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Electronic address:

Bortezomib-based triplet regimens-specifically bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (VRD) and bortezomib, cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone (VCD)-are the 2 most common induction regimens used in transplantation-eligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM), with conflicting data on comparative efficacy and outcomes in this population. We compared long-term outcomes of patients with NDMM receiving VRD induction and those receiving VCD induction prior to autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Patients registered with the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Registry were included if they had undergone ASCT for MM within 6 months of diagnosis between January 2013 and December 2018, received VRD or VCD induction, and achieved a pretransplantation partial or better response. Of 1135 patients, 914 received VRD and 221 received VCD. The patients receiving VCD were more likely to have renal impairment and International Staging System (ISS) stage III disease and less likely to receive full-dose melphalan (200 mg/m) conditioning (69% versus 80%; P < .001). Very good partial response rates pretransplantation, post-transplantation, and at best response were not significantly different in the 2 groups. Maintenance use was more common after VRD induction (88% versus 76%; P < .001), with lenalidomide the most common agent (80% versus 63%). Patients in the VRD group had a higher rate of renal recovery (74% versus 43%; P < .001), possibly due to a rapid reduction of light chains in the VRD group or improvement in renal function with VCD, which allowed a switch over to VRD, as patients who switched were classified in the VRD group. Patients receiving VRD had better survival on univariate analysis, with a median progression-free survival (PFS) from transplantation of 44.6 months versus 34.1 months (P = .004) and median 5-year overall survival (OS) of 79% versus 60% (P < .001). Multivariate analysis showed no significant survival difference, with a hazard ratio for VCD versus VRD induction of 1.22 (95% CI, 0.96 to 1.55; P = .10) for PFS and 1.33 (95% CI, 0.93 to 1.92, P = .12) for OS. Maintenance use was independently associated with superior PFS and OS, along with ISS stage, cytogenetics, and pretransplantation response (PFS only). In patients with MM undergoing upfront ASCT after VRD or VCD induction, no independent survival difference was seen based on the induction therapy received after adjusting for other prognostic factors. The use of maintenance treatment was uniformly associated with superior outcomes. © 2021 American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.10.022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8900987PMC
February 2022

Promise and pitfalls of allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor therapy in plasma cell and lymphoid malignancies.

Br J Haematol 2022 04 21;197(1):28-40. Epub 2021 Oct 21.

Blood & Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a promising immunotherapy in haematological malignancies. However, the currently approved products are generated from autologous T cells that require orchestration of several logistically complex steps, which include patient eligibility, apheresis capability, complex manufacturing processes and shipping logistics. Use of third-party donor-derived (allogeneic) effector cells that allows the generation of 'off-the-shelf" CAR T cells (allo-CAR) could circumvent many of the problems associated with autologous CAR T-cell therapy. Several allogeneic products are entering clinical trials, and though early, the results look promising. The recognised potential benefits of allo-CAR do not come without significant challenges, that must be overcome for their widespread use. Alloreactivity, i.e. graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and rejection of donor T cells is one of the major barriers, while other potential barriers include immunogenicity, unknown in vivo persistence, and CAR T-cell yield. In the present review, we provide a comprehensive review of the challenges associated with autologous CAR, the benefits and potential challenges associated with allo-CAR. Finally, we review the available platforms for allo-CAR for B-cell and plasma cell malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17904DOI Listing
April 2022

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

Blood Adv 2022 01;6(3):828-847

UT Southwestern Medical Center, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Dallas, TX.

Little is known about whether risk classification at diagnosis predicts post-hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) outcomes in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We evaluated 8709 patients with AML from the CIBMTR database, and after selection and manual curation of the cytogenetics data, 3779 patients in first complete remission were included in the final analysis: 2384 with intermediate-risk, 969 with adverse-risk, and 426 with KMT2A-rearranged disease. An adjusted multivariable analysis detected an increased risk of relapse for patients with KMT2A-rearranged or adverse-risk AML as compared to those with intermediate-risk disease (hazards ratio [HR], 1.27; P = .01; HR, 1.71; P < .001, respectively). Leukemia-free survival was similar for patients with KMT2A rearrangement or adverse risk (HR, 1.26; P = .002, and HR, 1.47; P < .001), as was overall survival (HR, 1.32; P < .001, and HR, 1.45; P < .001). No differences in outcome were detected when patients were stratified by KMT2A fusion partner. This study is the largest conducted to date on post-HCT outcomes in AML, with manually curated cytogenetics used for risk stratification. Our work demonstrates that risk classification at diagnosis remains predictive of post-HCT outcomes in AML. It also highlights the critical need to develop novel treatment strategies for patients with KMT2A-rearranged and adverse-risk disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004881DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8945306PMC
January 2022

Haploidentical vs sibling, unrelated, or cord blood hematopoietic cell transplantation for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Blood Adv 2022 01;6(1):339-357

Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA.

The role of haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) using posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is being defined. We performed a retrospective, multivariable analysis comparing outcomes of HCT approaches by donor for adults with ALL in remission. The primary objective was to compare overall survival (OS) among haploidentical HCTs using PTCy and HLA-matched sibling donor (MSD), 8/8 HLA-matched unrelated donor (MUD), 7 /8 HLA-MUD, or umbilical cord blood (UCB) HCT. Comparing haploidentical HCT to MSD HCT, we found that OS, leukemia-free survival (LFS), nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse, and acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) were not different but chronic GVHD (cGVHD) was higher in MSD HCT. Compared with MUD HCT, OS, LFS, and relapse were not different, but MUD HCT had increased NRM (hazard ratio [HR], 1.42; P = .02), grade 3 to 4 aGVHD (HR, 1.59; P = .005), and cGVHD. Compared with 7/8 UD HCT, LFS and relapse were not different, but 7/8 UD HCT had worse OS (HR, 1.38; P = .01) and increased NRM (HR, 2.13; P ≤ .001), grade 3 to 4 aGVHD (HR, 1.86; P = .003), and cGVHD (HR, 1.72; P ≤ .001). Compared with UCB HCT, late OS, late LFS, relapse, and cGVHD were not different but UCB HCT had worse early OS (≤18 months; HR, 1.93; P < .001), worse early LFS (HR, 1.40; P = .007) and increased incidences of NRM (HR, 2.08; P < .001) and grade 3 to 4 aGVHD (HR, 1.97; P < .001). Haploidentical HCT using PTCy showed no difference in survival but less GVHD compared with traditional MSD and MUD HCT and is the preferred alternative donor HCT option for adults with ALL in complete remission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004916DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8753217PMC
January 2022

Fludarabine and Melphalan Compared with Reduced Doses of Busulfan and Fludarabine Improve Transplantation Outcomes in Older Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 11 14;27(11):921.e1-921.e10. Epub 2021 Aug 14.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, Hospital Infantil Universitario Nino Jesus, Madrid, Spain.

Reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens developed to extend the use of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) to older patients have resulted in encouraging outcomes. We aimed to compare the 2 most commonly used RIC regimens, i.v. fludarabine with busulfan (FluBu) and fludarabine with melphalan (FluMel), in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Through the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), we identified 1045 MDS patients age ≥60 years who underwent first HSCT with a matched related or matched (8/8) unrelated donor using an RIC regimen. The CIBMTR's definition of RIC was used: a regimen that incorporated an i.v. busulfan total dose ≤7.2 mg/kg or a low-dose melphalan total dose ≤150 mg/m. The 2 groups, recipients of FluBu (n = 697) and recipients of FluMel (n = 448), were comparable in terms of disease- and transplantation-related characteristics except for the more frequent use of antithymocyte globulin or alemtuzumab in the FluBu group (39% versus 31%). The median age was 67 years in both groups. FluMel was associated with a reduced relapse incidence (RI) compared with FluBu, with a 1-year adjusted incidence of 26% versus 44% (P ≤ .0001). Transplantation-related mortality (TRM) was higher in the FluMel group (26% versus 16%; P ≤ .0001). Because the magnitude of improvement with FluMel in RI was greater than the improvement in TRM with FluBu, disease-free survival (DFS) was better at 1 year and beyond with FluMel compared with FluBu (48% versus 40% at 1 year [P = .02] and 35% versus 27% at 3 years [P = .01]). Overall survival was comparable in the 2 groups at 1 year (63% versus 61%; P = .4) but was significantly improved with FluMel compared with FluBu at 3 years (46% versus 39%; P = .03). Our results suggest that FluMel is associated with superior DFS compared with FluBu owing to reduced RI in older patients with MDS patients. © 2021 American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.08.007DOI Listing
November 2021

HLA-haploidentical vs matched unrelated donor transplants with posttransplant cyclophosphamide-based prophylaxis.

Blood 2021 07;138(3):273-282

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

Posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis has enabled haploidentical (Haplo) transplantation to be performed with results similar to those after matched unrelated donor (MUD) transplantation with traditional prophylaxis. The relative value of transplantation with MUD vs Haplo donors when both groups receive PTCy/calcineurin inhibitor/mycophenolate GVHD prophylaxis is not known. We compared outcomes after 2036 Haplo and 284 MUD transplantations with PTCy GVHD prophylaxis for acute leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome in adults from 2011 through 2018. Cox regression models were built to compare outcomes between donor types. Recipients of myeloablative and reduced-intensity regimens were analyzed separately. Among recipients of reduced-intensity regimens, 2-year graft failure (3% vs 11%), acute grades 2 to 4 GVHD (hazards ratio [HR], 0.70; P = .022), acute grades 3 and 4 GVHD (HR, 0.41; P = .016), and nonrelapse mortality (HR, 0.43; P = .0008) were lower after MUD than with Haplo donor transplantation. Consequently, disease-free (HR, 0.74; P = .008; 55% vs 41%) and overall (HR, 0.65; P = .001; 67% vs 54%) survival were higher with MUD than with Haplo transplants. Among recipients of myeloablative regimens, day-100 platelet recovery (95% vs 88%) was higher and grades 3 and 4 acute (HR, 0.39; P = .07) and chronic GVHD (HR, 0.66; P = .05) were lower after MUD than with Haplo donor transplantation. There were no differences in graft failure, relapse, nonrelapse mortality, and disease-free and overall survival between donor types with myeloablative conditioning regimens. These data extend and confirm the importance of donor-recipient HLA matching for allogeneic transplantation. A MUD is the preferred donor, especially for transplantations with reduced-intensity conditioning regimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2021011281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8310426PMC
July 2021

Cytokine release syndrome after haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantation: an international multicenter analysis.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 11 14;56(11):2763-2770. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

BMT and Cellular Therapy Program, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Haploidentical related donor transplantation (haplo-HCT) is associated with cytokine release syndrome (CRS). We conducted a multicenter retrospective study to analyze risk factors for CRS and outcomes after haplo-HCT. We included 451 patients from four academic centers receiving both peripheral blood and bone marrow grafts. Severe CRS was more common with PB vs. BM grafts (19.5% vs 4.9%, OR 2.9, p = 0.05). Multivariable analysis identified recipient CMV sero-positivity, prior transplant, HCT-CI score and donor-recipient sex mismatch as risk factors for severe CRS. Outcomes were analyzed with no CRS as the comparison group. Overall survival (OS) was superior with mild CRS (HR 0.64, p = 0.05) and worst with severe CRS (HR 2.12, p = 0.0038). Relapse risk was significantly decreased in both mild CRS (HR 0.38, p < 0.0001) and severe CRS (HR 0.17, p < 0.0001) groups. The risk of non-relapse mortality was notably higher in severe CRS group (HR 8.0, p < 0.0001), but not in mild CRS group. Acute GVHD was similar among groups. Chronic GVHD at 1 year was 18.5% for no CRS, 23% for mild CRS, and 4.3% for severe CRS (p = 0.0023), with the competing risk of early mortality and short follow up of surviving patients contributing to the low chronic GVHD rates in the severe CRS group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01403-wDOI Listing
November 2021

Budesonide Prophylaxis Reduces the Risk of Engraftment Syndrome After Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in Multiple Myeloma.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2021 10 18;21(10):e775-e781. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Division of BMT & Cellular Therapy, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.

Background: Engraftment syndrome (ES) after autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT) in multiple myeloma (MM) encompasses a continuum of periengraftment complications characterized by noninfectious fever, rash, diarrhea, and capillary leak features.

Patients And Methods: We analyzed the ES outcomes in 257 consecutive patients MM patients who underwent AHCT at our institution from 12/2017 to 11/2019 with budesonide prophylaxis (3 mg PO daily at day +5 post-AHCT till the time of discharge) (N = 109) and no prophylaxis (N = 148).

Results: The rates of ES were significantly higher in the no prophylaxis group versus prophylaxis group [69 (46%) vs. 23 (21%); P< .001]. There was no significant difference in length of stay (LOS) [mean 15 (±3.2) vs. 16 (±2.8); P = .27] and 30-day readmission [9 (6%) vs. 8 (7%); P = .81] between the no prophylaxis and prophylaxis groups, respectively. On adjusted analysis, budesonide prophylaxis was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing ES [odds ratio (OR) 0.29 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.16-0.51); P< .0001]. There was no difference in the 30-day readmission rates [OR 1.12 (95% CI, 0.41-3.03); P = .81], but a trend for shorter LOS in the prophylaxis group [7.3% reduction in LOS (95% CI, -14.4% to 0%); P = .06].

Conclusion: Budesonide prophylaxis significantly reduces the risk of ES in MM patients undergoing AHCT. These promising results suggest the need for a randomized study investigate the role of budesonide for ES prophylaxis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2021.06.004DOI Listing
October 2021

Laboratory Mice - A Driving Force in Immunopathology and Immunotherapy Studies of Human Multiple Myeloma.

Front Immunol 2021 2;12:667054. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States.

Mouse models of human cancer provide an important research tool for elucidating the natural history of neoplastic growth and developing new treatment and prevention approaches. This is particularly true for multiple myeloma (MM), a common and largely incurable neoplasm of post-germinal center, immunoglobulin-producing B lymphocytes, called plasma cells, that reside in the hematopoietic bone marrow (BM) and cause osteolytic lesions and kidney failure among other forms of end-organ damage. The most widely used mouse models used to aid drug and immunotherapy development rely on propagation of human myeloma cells in immunodeficient hosts (xenografting) or myeloma-like mouse plasma cells in immunocompetent hosts (autografting). Both strategies have made and continue to make valuable contributions to preclinical myeloma, including immune research, yet are ill-suited for studies on tumor development (oncogenesis). Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs), such as the widely known Vκ*MYC, may overcome this shortcoming because plasma cell tumors (PCTs) develop (spontaneously) in a highly predictable fashion and accurately recapitulate many hallmarks of human myeloma. Moreover, PCTs arise in an intact organism able to mount a complete innate and adaptive immune response and tumor development reproduces the natural course of human myelomagenesis, beginning with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), progressing to smoldering myeloma (SMM), and eventually transitioning to frank neoplasia. Here we review the utility of transplantation-based and transgenic mouse models of human MM for research on immunopathology and -therapy of plasma cell malignancies, discuss strengths and weaknesses of different experimental approaches, and outline opportunities for closing knowledge gaps, improving the outcome of patients with myeloma, and working towards a cure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.667054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8206561PMC
October 2021

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

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

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

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