Publications by authors named "Seth E Karol"

37 Publications

Class II Human Leukocyte Antigen Variants Associate With Risk of Pegaspargase Hypersensitivity.

Clin Pharmacol Ther 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

We conducted the first human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele and genome-wide association study to identify loci associated with hypersensitivity reactions exclusively to the PEGylated preparation of asparaginase (pegaspargase) in racially diverse cohorts of pediatric leukemia patients: St Jude Children's Research Hospital's Total XVI (TXVI, n = 598) and Children's Oncology Group AALL0232 (n = 2,472) and AALL0434 (n = 1,189). Germline DNA was genotyped using arrays. Genetic variants not genotyped directly were imputed. HLA alleles were imputed using SNP2HLA or inferred using BWAkit. Analyses between genetic variants and hypersensitivity were performed in each cohort first using cohort-specific covariates and then combined using meta-analyses. Nongenetic risk factors included fewer intrathecal injections (P = 2.7 × 10 in TXVI) and male sex (P = 0.025 in AALL0232). HLA alleles DQB1*02:02, DRB1*07:01, and DQA1*02:01 had the strongest associations with pegaspargase hypersensitivity (P < 5.0 × 10 ) in patients with primarily European ancestry (EA), with the three alleles associating in a single haplotype. The top allele HLA-DQB1*02:02 was tagged by HLA-DQB1 rs1694129 in EAs (r  = 0.96) and less so in non-EAs. All single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with pegaspargase hypersensitivity reaching genome-wide significance in EAs were in class II HLA loci, and were partially replicated in non-EAs, as is true for other HLA associations. The rs9958628 variant, in ARHGAP28 (previously linked to immune response in children) had the strongest genetic association (P = 8.9 × 10 ) in non-EAs. The HLA-DQB1*02:02-DRB1*07:01-DQA1*02:01 associated with hypersensitivity reactions to pegaspargase is the same haplotype associated with reactions to non-PEGylated asparaginase, even though the antigens differ between the two preparations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpt.2241DOI Listing
March 2021

Epidural blood patch for post-dural puncture headaches in adult and paediatric patients with malignancies: a review.

Br J Anaesth 2021 Feb 18. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Oncology, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

Many anaesthetists are hesitant to perform epidural blood patch in patients with cancer because of the potential risk of seeding the CNS with malignant cells. Recent evidence suggests that anaesthetists may view malignancy as a relative contraindication to epidural blood patch rather than an absolute contraindication. This review article summarises the clinical dilemma, reviews the existing literature, and proposes a treatment algorithm that includes the utilisation of for the management of postdural puncture headache in the oncology population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bja.2020.11.041DOI Listing
February 2021

Pharmacogenomics and ALL treatment: How to optimize therapy.

Semin Hematol 2020 07 20;57(3):130-136. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.

Inherited genetic variations may alter drug sensitivity in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, predisposing to adverse treatment side effects. In this review, we discuss evidence from children and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia to review the available pharmacogenomic data with an emphasis on clinically actionable and emerging discoveries, for example, genetic variants in thiopurine methyltransferase and NUDT15 that alter 6-mercaptopurine dosing. We also highlight the need for ongoing pharmacogenomic research to validate the significance of recent findings. Further research in young adults, as well as with novel therapeutics, is needed to provide optimal therapy in future trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.seminhematol.2020.10.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7708673PMC
July 2020

Ultrasound has limited diagnostic utility in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia developing pancreatitis.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2021 01 27;68(1):e28730. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Purpose: Acute pancreatitis (AP) due to chemotherapy-induced pancreatic injury is a common side effect of treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood malignancy. The American College of Radiology recommends ultrasound (US) for initial imaging of AP in all populations to assess for ductal obstruction. However, US may be insensitive to diagnose and assess chemotherapy-associated AP.

Methods And Materials: The institutional review board approved this retrospective study. Patients with ALL and AP were identified from protocol databases, using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) version 3. Chemotherapy dosing, amylase/lipase levels, clinical symptoms, and US/computed tomography (CT) reports within 10 days of diagnosis were recorded. All CT images were reviewed for revised Atlanta classification and CT severity index (CTSI).

Results: Sixty-nine patients, aged 2-21 years, experienced 88 episodes of AP, undergoing 98 US and 44 CT. Seventy-two events (82%) occurred within 30 days of asparaginase administration. Sixty-nine episodes (78%) were initially diagnosed by the presence of abdominal pain and pancreatic enzyme elevation. Overall sensitivities for AP detection were 47% using US and 98% for CT. US sensitivity was greatest in CTCAE grade 4 (86%) and necrotizing pancreatitis (67%).

Conclusions: Most cases of AP in children with ALL can be diagnosed with clinical history and labs. US has limited sensitivity in detecting pancreatitis in this population. Imaging to diagnose AP in this patient population could be limited to clinically equivocal cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28730DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7931369PMC
January 2021

Integrative genomic analyses reveal mechanisms of glucocorticoid resistance in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Nat Cancer 2020 Mar 9;1(3):329-344. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Division of Hematology and Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic., Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Identification of genomic and epigenomic determinants of drug resistance provides important insights for improving cancer treatment. Using agnostic genome-wide interrogation of mRNA and miRNA expression, DNA methylation, SNPs, CNAs and SNVs/Indels in primary human acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells, we identified 463 genomic features associated with glucocorticoid resistance. Gene-level aggregation identified 118 overlapping genes, 15 of which were confirmed by genome-wide CRISPR screen. Collectively, this identified 30 of 38 (79%) known glucocorticoid-resistance genes/miRNAs and all 38 known resistance pathways, while revealing 14 genes not previously associated with glucocorticoid-resistance. Single cell RNAseq and network-based transcriptomic modelling corroborated the top previously undiscovered gene, CELSR2. Manipulation of CELSR2 recapitulated glucocorticoid resistance in human leukemia cell lines and revealed a synergistic drug combination (prednisolone and venetoclax) that mitigated resistance in mouse xenograft models. These findings illustrate the power of an integrative genomic strategy for elucidating genes and pathways conferring drug resistance in cancer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43018-020-0037-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7467080PMC
March 2020

Team approach: Management of osteonecrosis in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 11 29;67(11):e28509. Epub 2020 Aug 29.

Division of Orthopaedic Oncology, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

With current treatments for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the overall prognosis for survival is favorable. Increasing emphasis is placed on recognizing and managing the long-term consequences of ALL and its treatment, particularly involving osteonecrosis. Early osteonecrosis diagnosis and management may improve outcomes and is best accomplished through coordinated teams that may include hematologic oncologists, radiologists, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and the patient and their family. Magnetic resonance imaging is the "gold standard" for diagnosis of early-stage and/or multifocal osteonecrosis. Treatments for osteonecrosis in ALL patients are risk stratified and may include observation, corticosteroid or chemotherapy adjustment, and pharmaceutical or surgical approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28509DOI Listing
November 2020

Safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of panobinostat in children, adolescents, and young adults with relapsed acute myeloid leukemia.

Cancer 2020 Nov 18;126(21):4800-4805. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Background: Novel therapies are urgently needed for pediatric patients with relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Methods: To determine whether the histone deacetylase inhibitor panobinostat could be safely given in combination with intensive chemotherapy, a phase 1 trial was performed in which 17 pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory AML received panobinostat (10, 15, or 20 mg/m ) before and in combination with fludarabine and cytarabine.

Results: All dose levels were tolerated, with no dose-limiting toxicities observed at any dose level. Pharmacokinetic studies demonstrated that exposure to panobinostat was proportional to the dose given, with no associations between pharmacokinetic parameters and age, weight, or body surface area. Among the 9 patients who had sufficient (>2%) circulating blasts on which histone acetylation studies could be performed, 7 demonstrated at least 1.5-fold increases in acetylation. Although no patients had a decrease in circulating blasts after single-agent panobinostat, 8 of the 17 patients (47%), including 5 of the 6 patients treated at dose level 3, achieved complete remission. Among the 8 complete responders, 6 (75%) attained negative minimal residual disease status.

Conclusions: Panobinostat can be safely administered with chemotherapy and results in increased blast histone acetylation. This suggests that it should be further studied in AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33156DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722063PMC
November 2020

Fluoroquinolone prophylaxis does not increase risk of neuropathy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Cancer Med 2020 09 25;9(18):6550-6555. Epub 2020 Jul 25.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA.

Background: Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are frequently utilized in pediatric oncology patients as prophylaxis or step-down therapy following broad spectrum beta-lactam therapy for febrile neutropenia. Concerns regarding neurotoxicity limit the use of these agents. No studies have evaluated the association between fluoroquinolone use and neurotoxicity in pediatric oncology patients receiving other neurotoxic agents such as vincristine.

Methods: An observational cohort study comprising patients aged 0-18 at diagnosis enrolled on a prospective study for treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at a pediatric comprehensive cancer center between October 2007 and November 2018. Data for neuropathic pain and sensory or motor neuropathy were collected prospectively, and a Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to evaluate associations between administration of fluoroquinolone antibiotics during induction therapy and subsequent development of vincristine-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (VIPN).

Results: A total of 598 participants were enrolled, including 338 (57%) who received fluoroquinolones during induction therapy; of these 470 (79%) were diagnosed with VIPN and 139 (23%) were diagnosed with high-grade (Grade 3+) VIPN. On unadjusted analyses, and analyses adjusted for age and race, there was no evidence of an association between fluoroquinolone exposure and subsequent VIPN (hazard ratio [HR] 0.8, 95% CI 0.5-1.04, P = .08) or high-grade VIPN (HR 1.1, 95% CI 0.4-2.2, P = .87).

Conclusions: The results of this observational study do not show an association between exposure to fluoroquinolone antibiotics during induction therapy for ALL and subsequent development of vincristine-induced peripheral neuropathies, and suggest that a large increase in VIPN is unlikely.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3249DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7520302PMC
September 2020

Fenofibrate reduces osteonecrosis without affecting antileukemic efficacy in dexamethasone treated mice.

Haematologica 2020 07 16. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Department of Pathology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA

Recent clinical trials in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) indicate that severe hypertriglyceridemia (> 1000 mg/dL) during therapy is associated with increased frequency of symptomatic osteonecrosis. Interventions to lower triglycerides have been considered, but there have been no pre-clinical studies investigating impact of lowering triglycerides on osteonecrosis risk, nor whether such interventions interfere with the antileukemic efficacy of ALL treatment. We utilized our clinically relevant mouse model of dexamethasone-induced osteonecrosis to determine if fenofibrate decreased osteonecrosis. To test whether fenofibrate affected the antileukemic efficacy of dexamethasone, we utilized a BCR-ABL+ model of ALL. Serum triglycerides were reduced with fenofibrate throughout treatment, with the most pronounced 4.5-fold decrease at week 3 (p<1x10-6). Both frequency (33% versus 74%, p=0.006) and severity (median necrosis score of 0 versus 75; p=6x10-5) of osteonecrosis were reduced with fenofibrate. Fenofibrate had no impact on BCR-ABL+ ALL survival (p=0.65) nor on the antileukemic properties of dexamethasone (p=0.49). These data suggest that lowering triglycerides with fenofibrate reduces dexamethasone-induced osteonecrosis while maintaining antileukemic efficacy, and thus may be considered for clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2020.252767DOI Listing
July 2020

Personalized therapy in pediatric high-risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Ther Adv Hematol 2020 2;11:2040620720927575. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

Although cure rates for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have now risen to more than 90%, subsets of patients with high-risk features continue to experience high rates of treatment failure and relapse. Recent work in minimal residual disease stratification and leukemia genomics have increased the ability to identify and classify these high-risk patients. In this review, we discuss this work to identify and classify patients with high-risk ALL. Novel therapeutics, which may have the potential to improve outcomes for these patients, are also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2040620720927575DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7268159PMC
June 2020

Whole-joint magnetic resonance imaging to assess osteonecrosis in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic lymphoma.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 08 30;67(8):e28336. Epub 2020 May 30.

Department of Oncology, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Background: Osteonecrosis is a debilitating complication in children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia or acute lymphoblastic lymphoma (LLy). An objective screening test to identify patients at risk for symptomatic, extensive joint involvement will help manage osteonecrosis.

Methods: We performed a prospective, longitudinal pilot study with whole-joint magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, and hindfeet to evaluate the incidence and timing of osteonecrosis involving multiple joints in 15 patients with LLy aged 9-21 years at diagnosis.

Results: Osteonecrosis affecting ≥30% of the epiphysis occurred in eight of 15 patients, with a high prevalence in hips (12 of 26 examined [46%]) and knees (10 of 26 [38%]) post reinduction I and in shoulders (seven of 20 [35%]) post reinduction II. Most osteonecrotic hips and knees with ≥30% epiphyseal involvement became symptomatic and/or underwent surgery (100% and 82%, respectively). All eight patients with ≥30% epiphyseal involvement had multijoint involvement. Seven of these patients had hip or knee osteonecrosis by the end of remission induction, and only these patients developed osteonecrosis that became symptomatic and/or underwent surgery in their hips, knees, shoulders, ankles, and/or feet; all of these joints were associated with epiphyseal abnormalities on post reinduction I imaging.

Conclusions: MRI screening in adolescent patients with LLy revealed osteonecrosis in multiple joints. Initial screening with hip and knee MRI at the end of induction may identify susceptible patients who could benefit from referrals to subspecialties, more extensive follow-up imaging of other joints, and early medical and surgical interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28336DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7391358PMC
August 2020

Higher plasma asparaginase activity after intramuscular than intravenous Erwinia asparaginase.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 07 23;67(7):e28244. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

It is unclear if dosing intervals for Erwinase can be extended with intramuscular (i.m.) versus intravenous (i.v.) dosing. Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia received Erwinase at 30 000-42 000 IU/m i.v. or i.m. I.m. Erwinase (n = 22) achieved activity above 0.1 IU/mL for longer than i.v. Erwinase (n = 33) (3.4 vs 2.9 days, P = 0.0007). With 30 000 IU/m Monday, Wednesday, Friday, more patients achieved adequate concentrations over the weekend with i.m. vs i.v. dosing (P = 5 × 10 ). A schedule with i.v. doses on Monday and Wednesday and i.m. doses on Friday of 30 000 IU/m maintained activity > 0.1 IU/mL over the weekend in 80% of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28244DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7253324PMC
July 2020

Venetoclax in combination with cytarabine with or without idarubicin in children with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukaemia: a phase 1, dose-escalation study.

Lancet Oncol 2020 04 11;21(4):551-560. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Department of Oncology, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Outcomes for children with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukaemia remain poor. The BCL-2 inhibitor, venetoclax, has shown promising activity in combination with hypomethylating agents and low-dose cytarabine in older adults for whom chemotherapy is not suitable with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia. We aimed to determine the safety and explore the activity of venetoclax in combination with standard and high-dose chemotherapy in paediatric patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukaemia.

Methods: We did a phase 1, dose-escalation study at three research hospitals in the USA. Eligible patients were aged 2-22 years with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukaemia or acute leukaemia of ambiguous lineage with adequate organ function and performance status. During dose escalation, participants received venetoclax orally once per day in continuous 28-day cycles at either 240 mg/m or 360 mg/m, in combination with cytarabine received intravenously every 12 h at either 100 mg/m for 20 doses or 1000 mg/m for eight doses, with or without intravenous idarubicin (12 mg/m) as a single dose, using a rolling-6 accrual strategy. The primary endpoint was the recommended phase 2 dose of venetoclax plus chemotherapy and the secondary endpoint was the proportion of patients treated at the recommended phase 2 dose who achieved complete remission or complete remission with incomplete haematological recovery. Analyses were done on patients who received combination therapy. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03194932) and is now enrolling to address secondary and exploratory objectives.

Findings: Between July 1, 2017, and July 2, 2019, 38 patients were enrolled (aged 3-22 years; median 10 [IQR 7-13]), 36 of whom received combination therapy with dose escalation, with a median follow-up of 7·1 months (IQR 5·1-11·2). The recommended phase 2 dose of venetoclax was found to be 360 mg/m (maximum 600 mg) combined with cytarabine (1000 mg/m per dose for eight doses), with or without idarubicin (12 mg/m as a single dose). Overall responses were observed in 24 (69%) of the 35 patients who were evaluable after cycle 1. Among the 20 patients treated at the recommended phase 2 dose, 14 (70%, 95% CI 46-88) showed complete response with or without complete haematological recovery, and two (10%) showed partial response. The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were febrile neutropenia (22 [66%]), bloodstream infections (six [16%]), and invasive fungal infections (six [16%]). Treatment-related death occurred in one patient due to colitis and sepsis.

Interpretation: The safety and activity of venetoclax plus chemotherapy in paediatric patients with heavily relapsed and refractory acute myeloid leukaemia suggests that this combination should be tested in newly diagnosed paediatric patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukaemia.

Funding: US National Institutes of Health, American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities, AbbVie, and Gateway for Cancer Research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30060-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7153631PMC
April 2020

Long-Term Functional Outcomes Among Childhood Survivors of Cancer Who Have a History of Osteonecrosis.

Phys Ther 2020 03;100(3):509-522

Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control and Department of Pediatric Medicine, St Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Background: Glucocorticoids used to treat childhood leukemia and lymphoma can result in osteonecrosis, leading to physical dysfunction and pain. Improving survival rates warrants research into long-term outcomes among this population.

Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the physical function and quality of life (QOL) of survivors of childhood cancer who had an osteonecrosis history with that of survivors who had no osteonecrosis history and with that of people who were healthy (controls).

Design: This was a cross-sectional study.

Methods: This study included St Jude Lifetime Cohort Study participants who were ≥ 10 years from the diagnosis of childhood leukemia or lymphoma and ≥ 18 years old; 135 had osteonecrosis (52.5% men; mean age = 27.7 [SD = 6.08] years) and 1560 had no osteonecrosis history (52.4% men; mean age = 33.3 [SD = 8.54] years). This study also included 272 people who were from the community and who were healthy (community controls) (47.7% men; mean age = 35.1 [SD = 10.46] years). The participants completed functional assessments and questionnaires about QOL.

Results: Survivors with osteonecrosis scored lower than other survivors and controls for dorsiflexion strength (mean score = 16.50 [SD = 7.91] vs 24.17 [SD = 8.61] N·m/kg) and scored lower than controls for flexibility with the sit-and-reach test (20.61 [SD = 9.70] vs 23.96 [SD = 10.73] cm), function on the Physical Performance Test (mean score = 22.73 [SD = 2.05] vs 23.58 [SD = 0.88]), and mobility on the Timed "Up & Go" Test (5.66 [SD = 2.25] vs 5.12 [SD = 1.28] seconds). Survivors with hip osteonecrosis requiring surgery scored lower than survivors without osteonecrosis for dorsiflexion strength (13.75 [SD = 8.82] vs 18.48 [SD = 9.04] N·m/kg), flexibility (15.79 [SD = 8.93] vs 20.37 [SD = 10.14] cm), and endurance on the 6-minute walk test (523.50 [SD = 103.00] vs 572.10 [SD = 102.40] m).

Limitations: Because some eligible survivors declined to participate, possible selection bias was a limitation of this study.

Conclusions: Survivors of childhood leukemia and lymphoma with and without osteonecrosis demonstrated impaired physical performance and reported reduced QOL compared with controls, with those requiring surgery for osteonecrosis most at risk for impairments. It may be beneficial to provide strengthening, flexibility, and endurance interventions for patients who have pediatric cancer and osteonecrosis for long-term function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzz176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7246066PMC
March 2020

Diabetes mellitus among adult survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A report from the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study.

Cancer 2020 02 12;126(4):870-878. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Background: Greater than one-half of children who are treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) develop ≥1 treatment-related medical conditions in their lifetime, many of which are known risk factors for diabetes mellitus. In the current study, the authors evaluated the prevalence and risk factors of diabetes mellitus among clinically assessed adult survivors of childhood ALL METHODS: The authors performed a retrospective evaluation of data from survivors of ALL and community controls who were enrolled in the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study between October 1, 2007, and June 30, 2016. Participants were adults with ≥10 years of survival of childhood ALL and community controls who completed clinical and laboratory evaluations. Data for the current analysis were abstracted from medical records. Exposures evaluated herein included chemotherapy and radiation exposures and medical history, including drug-induced diabetes mellitus.

Results: Of 1360 eligible adults who were ≥10-year survivors of childhood ALL, a total of 1044 completed the evaluations; these individuals had a mean age of 33.97±9.14 years and 50.86% were male. The 368 controls, 45.65% of whom were male, had a mean age of 35.33±10.21 years. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) was found in approximately 7.47% of survivors and 3.80% of controls (odds ratio [OR], 2.07; 95% CI, 1.11-3.87). In adjusted models, among survivors, older age (OR, 1.05 for each additional year; 95% CI, 1.02-1.08), body mass index ≥30 kg/m (OR, 7.40; 95% CI, 2.61-20.97), and drug-induced diabetes mellitus occurring during ALL therapy (OR, 4.67; 95% CI, 2.53-8.61) were found to be associated with T2DM.

Conclusions: Adult survivors of childhood ALL are at an increased risk of T2DM. Adult survivors of childhood ALL who are of older age, with an overweight or obese body mass index, and/or who developed drug-induced diabetes mellitus during treatment should be closely monitored for T2DM during long-term follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32596DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6992468PMC
February 2020

Asparaginase formulation impacts hypertriglyceridemia during therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 01 14;67(1):e28040. Epub 2019 Oct 14.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Background: Glucocorticoids and asparaginase, used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), can cause hypertriglyceridemia. We compared triglyceride levels, risk factors, and associated toxicities in two ALL trials at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with identical glucocorticoid regimens, but different asparaginase formulations. In Total XV (TXV), native Escherichia coli l-asparaginase was front-line therapy versus the pegylated formulation (PEG-asparaginase) in Total XVI (TXVI).

Procedure: Patients enrolled on TXV (n = 498) and TXVI (n = 598) were assigned to low-risk (LR) or standard/high-risk (SHR) treatment arms (ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: NCT00137111 and NCT00549848). Triglycerides were measured four times and were evaluable in 925 patients (TXV: n = 362; TXVI: n = 563). The genetic contribution was assessed using a triglyceride polygenic risk score (triglyceride-PRS). Osteonecrosis, thrombosis, and pancreatitis were prospectively graded.

Results: The largest increase in triglycerides occurred in TXVI SHR patients treated with dexamethasone and PEG-asparaginase (4.5-fold increase; P <1 × 10 ). SHR patients treated with PEG-asparaginase (TXVI) had more severe hypertriglyceridemia (>1000 mg/dL) compared to native l-asparaginase (TXV): 10.5% versus 5.5%, respectively (P = .007). At week 7, triglycerides did not increase with dexamethasone treatment alone (LR patients) but did increase with dexamethasone plus asparaginase (SHR patients). The variability in triglycerides explained by the triglyceride-PRS was highest at baseline and declined with therapy. Hypertriglyceridemia was associated with osteonecrosis (P = .0006) and thrombosis (P = .005), but not pancreatitis (P = .4).

Conclusion: Triglycerides were affected more by PEG-asparaginase than native l-asparaginase, by asparaginase more than dexamethasone, and by drug effects more than genetics. It is not clear whether triglycerides contribute to thrombosis and osteonecrosis or are biomarkers of the toxicities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6868303PMC
January 2020

Antibodies Predict Pegaspargase Allergic Reactions and Failure of Rechallenge.

J Clin Oncol 2019 08 12;37(23):2051-2061. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

1St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.

Purpose: Pegaspargase (PEG-ASP) has largely replaced native asparaginase (L-ASP) in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia because of its longer half-life and lower immunogenicity. Risk factors for allergic reactions to PEG-ASP remain unclear. Here, we identify risk factors for reactions in a front-line acute lymphoblastic leukemia trial and assess the usefulness of serum antibodies for diagnosing allergy and predicting rechallenge outcome.

Patients And Methods: PEG-ASP was administered to 598 patients in St Jude's Total XVI study. Results were compared with Total XV study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: NCT00549848 and NCT00137111), which used native L-ASP. Serum samples (n = 5,369) were analyzed for anti-PEG-ASP immunoglobulin G by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Positive samples were tested for anti-polyethylene glycol (PEG) and anti-L-ASP. We analyzed potential risk factors for reactions and associations between antibodies and reactions, rechallenge outcomes, and PEG-ASP pharmacokinetics.

Results: Grade 2 to 4 reactions were less common in the Total XVI study with PEG-ASP (81 [13.5%] of 598) than in the Total XV study with L-ASP (169 [41.2%] of 410; = 1.4 × 10). For Total XVI, anti-PEG, not anti-L-ASP, was the predominant component of anti-PEG-ASP antibodies (96%). In a multivariable analysis, more intrathecal therapy (IT) predicted fewer reactions ( = 2.4 × 10), which is consistent with an immunosuppressant contribution of IT. Anti-PEG-ASP was associated with accelerated drug clearance ( = 5.0 × 10). Failure of rechallenge after initial reactions was associated with anti-PEG-ASP ( = .0078) and was predicted by the occurrence of angioedema with first reaction ( = .01).

Conclusion: Less IT therapy was the only independent clinical risk factor for reactions to PEG-ASP. PEG, and not L-ASP, is the major antigen that causes allergic reactions. Anti-PEG-ASP has utility in predicting and confirming clinical reactions to PEG-ASP as well as in identifying patients who are most likely to experience failure with rechallenge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.18.02439DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6804844PMC
August 2019

Asparaginase combined with discontinuous dexamethasone improves antileukemic efficacy without increasing osteonecrosis in preclinical models.

PLoS One 2019 6;14(5):e0216328. Epub 2019 May 6.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America.

Introduction: Combination therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is highly effective but results in significant toxicity including osteonecrosis. Asparaginase is known to potentiate both the antileukemic and osteonecrosis-inducing effects of dexamethasone. The schedule of dexamethasone alters osteonecrosis risk. However, the effects of the interaction with asparaginase are unknown when dexamethasone is given on a discontinuous schedule.

Methods: Using the murine model of osteonecrosis, we compared the frequency of osteonecrosis in mice receiving discontinuous dexamethasone (3.5 days/ week) with mice receiving asparaginase and discontinuous dexamethasone. We then tested the effect on antileukemic efficacy using six pediatric ALL xenografts.

Results: The addition of asparaginase to discontinuous dexamethasone did not alter the rate of osteonecrosis compared to dexamethasone alone (7/35 in dexamethasone with asparaginase combination vs. 10/36 in dexamethasone alone, p = 0.62) despite increasing steady-state plasma dexamethasone levels (103.9 nM vs. 33.4 nM, p = 9.2x10-7). Combination therapy with asparaginase and dexamethasone demonstrated synergistic antileukemic effects across all six xenografts studied.

Conclusions: When discontinuous dexamethasone was given, its anti-leukemic activity synergized with asparaginase but the osteonecrosis-worsening effects of asparaginase (above dexamethasone alone) were not observed. Thus, there is a favorable drug interaction (unchanged toxicity, synergistic efficacy) between discontinuous dexamethasone and asparaginase.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0216328PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6502315PMC
January 2020

No evidence that G6PD deficiency affects the efficacy or safety of daunorubicin in acute lymphoblastic leukemia induction therapy.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2019 06 7;66(6):e27681. Epub 2019 Mar 7.

Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Background/objectives: Anthracyclines are used in induction therapy of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and are known to generate oxidative stress; whether this translates into enhanced antileukemic activity or hemolytic effects in patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is unknown.

Design/methods: Among 726 pediatric patients with newly diagnosed ALL treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 22 had deficient G6PD activity. We compared the prevalence of positive minimal residual disease (MRD) ≥1% at Day 15/Day 19 of induction or ≥0.01% at Day 42/Day 46 (end of induction) and the number of red blood cell (RBC) transfusions after daunorubicin in induction between patients with or without G6PD deficiency, adjusting for ALL risk group, treatment protocol, age, and gender.

Results: There was no difference in Day 15/19 (P = 1) or end of induction MRD (P = 0.76) nor in the number of RBC transfusions (P = 0.73); the lack of association with MRD was confirmed in a dataset of 1192 newly diagnosed male patients enrolled in a Children's Oncology Group trial (P = 0.78).

Conclusion: We found no evidence that G6PD deficiency affects daunorubicin activity during induction treatment for ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.27681DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6518412PMC
June 2019

Bloodstream infections exacerbate incidence and severity of symptomatic glucocorticoid-induced osteonecrosis.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2019 06 13;66(6):e27669. Epub 2019 Feb 13.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Background: Osteonecrosis is a common toxicity associated with glucocorticoid (e.g., dexamethasone and prednisone) treatment of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but risk factors are incompletely defined. Infections are also a common complication of ALL therapy. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is used experimentally to mimic infection-related systemic effects. To our knowledge, the contribution of systemic infections to the risk of glucocorticoid-induced osteonecrosis has not been investigated.

Procedure: Patients with ALL on St. Jude Total Therapy XV (n = 365) were assessed for documented bacteremia prior to development of osteonecrosis, which was confirmed by MRI, and graded using the National Cancer Institute's Common Terminology for Adverse Events (version 3.0). In a preclinical model, Balb/cJ mice treated with dexamethasone plus or minus LPS were assessed for frequency and severity of osteonecrosis and arteriopathy.

Results: We found that patients with ALL who experienced bacteremia had a higher frequency of symptomatic osteonecrosis (≥grade 2) than those who did not (OR: 1.88; 95% CI, 1.03-3.41, P = 0.038). LPS exacerbated experimental dexamethasone-induced osteonecrosis. Mice treated with dexamethasone plus LPS had a higher incidence of osteonecrosis (P = 0.00086) and arteriopathy (P = 0.0047) than did those treated with dexamethasone alone, and the severity of osteonecrosis (P = 0.00045) and arteriopathy (P = 0.0048) was also more pronounced with the addition of LPS treatment. The increase in osteonecrosis was not explained by any alteration of dexamethasone pharmacokinetics by LPS.

Conclusions: These data identify systemic infection during ALL therapy as a novel risk factor in the development of glucocorticoid-induced osteonecrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.27669DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6472979PMC
June 2019

A quality improvement project to improve pediatric medical provider sleep and communication during night shifts.

Int J Qual Health Care 2019 Oct;31(8):633-638

Department of Psychology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, MS-101, Memphis, TN, USA.

Quality Problem Or Issue: Night-shift medical providers frequently experience limited sleep resulting in fatigue, often because of paging activity. Streamlined medical-specific communication interventions are known to improve sleep and communication among these providers.

Initial Assessment: We found that non-urgent paging communication occurred frequently during night-shifts, leading to provider sleep disturbances within our institution. We tested a quality improvement (QI) intervention to improve paging practices and determined its effect on provider sleep.

Choice Of Solution: We used a Plan-Do-Study-Act QI model aimed at improving clinician sleep and paging communications.

Implementation: We initially conducted focus groups of nurses and physician trainees to inform the creation of a standardized paging intervention. We collected actigraphy and sleep log data from physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician trainees and performed electronic collection of paging frequency data.

Evaluation: Data were collected between December 2015 and March 2017 from pediatric residents, pediatric hematology/oncology (PHO) fellows, hospitalist medicine nocturnists and nurses working during night-shift hours in PHO inpatient units. We collected baseline data before implementation of the QI intervention and at 1 month post-implementation. Although objective measures and provider reports demonstrated improved medical-specific communication paging practices, provider sleep was not affected.

Lessons Learned: Provider-based standardization of paging communication was associated with improved medical-specific communication between nurses and providers; however, provider sleep was not affected. The strategies used in this intervention may be transferable to other clinics and institutions to streamline medical-specific communication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzy221DOI Listing
October 2019

Genetics of pleiotropic effects of dexamethasone.

Pharmacogenet Genomics 2017 08;27(8):294-302

Departments of aPharmaceutical Sciences bBiostatistics cOncology dComprehensive Cancer Center, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

Objectives: Glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone have pleiotropic effects, including desired antileukemic, anti-inflammatory, or immunosuppressive effects, and undesired metabolic or toxic effects. The most serious adverse effects of dexamethasone among patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia are osteonecrosis and thrombosis. To identify inherited genomic variation involved in these severe adverse effects, we carried out genome-wide association studies (GWAS) by analyzing 14 pleiotropic glucocorticoid phenotypes in 391 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Patients And Methods: We used the Projection Onto the Most Interesting Statistical Evidence integrative analysis technique to identify genetic variants associated with pleiotropic dexamethasone phenotypes, stratifying for age, sex, race, and treatment, and compared the results with conventional single-phenotype GWAS. The phenotypes were osteonecrosis, central nervous system toxicity, hyperglycemia, hypokalemia, thrombosis, dexamethasone exposure, BMI, growth trajectory, and levels of cortisol, albumin, and asparaginase antibodies, and changes in cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoproteins after dexamethasone.

Results: The integrative analysis identified more pleiotropic single nucleotide polymorphism variants (P=1.46×10(-215), and these variants were more likely to be in gene-regulatory regions (P=1.22×10(-6)) than traditional single-phenotype GWAS. The integrative analysis yielded genomic variants (rs2243057 and rs6453253) in F2RL1, a receptor that functions in hemostasis, thrombosis, and inflammation, which were associated with pleiotropic effects, including osteonecrosis and thrombosis, and were in regulatory gene regions.

Conclusion: The integrative pleiotropic analysis identified risk variants for osteonecrosis and thrombosis not identified by single-phenotype analysis that may have importance for patients with underlying sensitivity to multiple dexamethasone adverse effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/FPC.0000000000000293DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5523978PMC
August 2017

Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome following treatment with high-dose methotrexate or high-dose cytarabine.

Cancer 2017 Sep 11;123(18):3602-3608. Epub 2017 May 11.

Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Background: Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (PPES) is an uncommon side effect of high-dose cytarabine or methotrexate. Prior case reports of PPES have been limited, and the predisposing factors for the development of PPES remain unknown.

Methods: A review of databases identified 22 patients (1.3%) who developed 39 episodes of PPES among 1720 patients after treatment with high-dose cytarabine or methotrexate.

Results: Symptoms lasted a mean of 6.4 days. Hands and feet were both involved in 68% of the initial episodes. Parenteral opioids were required for pain control by 27% of the patients. In comparison with the 1698 children treated with similar therapy, the children who developed PPES were older (mean age at diagnosis, 14.3 vs 7.7 years; P = 7.5 × 10 ). The frequency of PPES was less common in patients receiving methotrexate alone (7 of 946 or 0.7%) versus cytarabine (7 of 205 or 3.4%; P = .005) but was not different for those receiving both high-dose methotrexate and cytarabine (8 of 569 or 1.4%; P = .32). Prolonged infusions of methotrexate were associated with less frequent PPES in comparison with rapid infusions (P = 1.5 × 10 ), as was the co-administration of dexamethasone with cytarabine (P = 2.5 × 10 ). Self-described race and sex were not associated with PPES. In a multivariate analysis, older age and high-dose cytarabine administration without dexamethasone remained associated with PPES (P = 1.1 × 10 and P = .038, respectively). A genome-wide association study did not identify any associations with PPES meeting the genome-wide significance threshold, but top variants were enriched for skin expression quantitative trait loci, including rs11764092 in AUTS2 (P = 6.45 × 10 ).

Conclusions: These data provide new insight into the incidence of PPES as well as its risk factors. Cancer 2017;123:3602-8. © 2017 American Cancer Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.30762DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5589497PMC
September 2017

Osteonecrosis is unrelated to hip anatomy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2017 Jul 30;64(7). Epub 2016 Dec 30.

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Osteonecrosis is a debilitating toxicity associated with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment. A recent report associated interindividual differences in hip anatomy with the development of idiopathic osteonecrosis in adults. To evaluate the impact of hip anatomy on the development of therapy-related osteonecrosis, we retrospectively evaluated the femoral neck-shaft angle, femoral neck offset, and lateral center-edge angle using x-rays of 18 osteonecrosis cases and 46 control children treated for newly diagnosed ALL on a single protocol. Despite adequate statistical power, we found no association between hip anatomy and osteonecrosis. Investigation of other factors contributing to ALL-associated osteonecrosis is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.26407DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5596390PMC
July 2017

Genetic risk factors for the development of osteonecrosis in children under age 10 treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Blood 2016 Feb 20;127(5):558-64. Epub 2015 Nov 20.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN;

Osteonecrosis is a dose-limiting toxicity in the treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Prior studies on the genetics of osteonecrosis have focused on patients ≥10 years of age, leaving the genetic risk factors for the larger group of children <10 years incompletely understood. Here, we perform the first evaluation of genetic risk factors for osteonecrosis in children <10 years. The discovery cohort comprised 82 cases of osteonecrosis and 287 controls treated on Children's Oncology Group (COG) standard-risk ALL protocol AALL0331 (NCT00103285, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00103285), with results tested for replication in 817 children <10 years treated on COG protocol AALL0232 (NCT00075725, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00075725). The top replicated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were near bone morphogenic protein 7 [BMP7: rs75161997, P = 5.34 × 10(-8) (odds ratio [OR] 15.0) and P = .0498 (OR 8.44) in the discovery and replication cohorts, respectively] and PROX1-antisense RNA1 (PROX1-AS1: rs1891059, P = 2.28 × 10(-7) [OR 6.48] and P = .0077 [OR 3.78] for the discovery and replication cohorts, respectively). The top replicated nonsynonymous SNP, rs34144324, was in a glutamate receptor gene (GRID2, P = 8.65 × 10(-6) [OR 3.46] and P = .0136 [OR 10.8] in the discovery and replication cohorts, respectively). In a meta-analysis, the BMP7 and PROX1-AS1 variants (rs75161997 and rs1891059, respectively) met the significance threshold of <5 × 10(-8). Top replicated SNPs were enriched in enhancers active in mesenchymal stem cells, and analysis of annotated genes demonstrated enrichment in glutamate receptor and adipogenesis pathways. These data may provide new insights into the pathophysiology of osteonecrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2015-10-673848DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4742546PMC
February 2016