Publications by authors named "Vesna Najfeld"

58 Publications

Phase 2 study of ruxolitinib and decitabine in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasm in accelerated and blast phase.

Blood Adv 2020 10;4(20):5246-5256

Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) that have evolved into accelerated or blast phase disease (MPN-AP/BP) have poor outcomes with limited treatment options and therefore represent an urgent unmet need. We have previously demonstrated in a multicenter, phase 1 trial conducted through the Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Research Consortium that the combination of ruxolitinib and decitabine is safe and tolerable and is associated with a favorable overall survival (OS). In this phase 2 trial, 25 patients with MPN-AP/BP were treated at the recommended phase 2 dose of ruxolitinib 25 mg twice daily for the induction cycle followed by 10 mg twice daily for subsequent cycles in combination with decitabine 20 mg/m2 for 5 consecutive days in a 28-day cycle. Nineteen patients died during the study follow-up. The median OS for all patients on study was 9.5 months (95% confidence interval, 4.3-12.0). Overall response rate (complete remission + incomplete platelet recovery + partial remission) was 11/25 (44%) and response was not associated with improved survival. We conclude that the combination of decitabine and ruxolitinib was well tolerated, demonstrated favorable OS, and represents a therapeutic option for this high-risk patient population. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02076191.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002119DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7594401PMC
October 2020

Clinical Benefit Derived from Decitabine Therapy for Advanced Phases of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms.

Acta Haematol 2021 11;144(1):48-57. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA,

Treatment options are limited for patients with advanced forms of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) including blast-phase disease (MPN-BP). Decitabine has frequently been deployed but its efficacy and safety profile are not well described in this population. We retrospectively reviewed 42 patients treated with decitabine either alone or in combination with ruxolitinib at our institution: 16 with MPN-BP, 14 with MPN accelerated-phase (MPN-AP), and 12 with myelofibrosis with high-risk features (MF-HR). The median overall survival (OS) for the MPN-BP patients was 2.6 months, and for those who received ≥2 cycles of decitabine therapy, it was 6.7 months (3.8-29.8). MPN-BP patients with a poor performance status and who required hospitalization at the time of the initiation of decitabine had a dismal prognosis. After a median follow-up of 12.4 months for MPN-AP patients, and 38.7 months for MF-HR patients, the median OS was not reached for either cohort, with 1 and 2 patients alive at 60 months, respectively. The probability of spleen length reduction and transfusion independence within 12 months of initiating decitabine was 28.6 and 23.5%, respectively. The combination of decitabine and ruxolitinib appeared to improve overall survival versus single-agent decitabine (21 and 12.9 months, respectively). Decitabine, alone or in combination with ruxolitinib, appears to have clinical benefit for patients with advanced phases of MPN when initiated early in the disease course prior to the development of MPN-BP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000506146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7773003PMC
March 2021

Pegylated interferon alfa-2a for polycythemia vera or essential thrombocythemia resistant or intolerant to hydroxyurea.

Blood 2019 10;134(18):1498-1509

Department of Population Health and.

Prior studies have reported high response rates with recombinant interferon-α (rIFN-α) therapy in patients with essential thrombocythemia (ET) and polycythemia vera (PV). To further define the role of rIFN-α, we investigated the outcomes of pegylated-rIFN-α2a (PEG) therapy in ET and PV patients previously treated with hydroxyurea (HU). The Myeloproliferative Disorders Research Consortium (MPD-RC)-111 study was an investigator-initiated, international, multicenter, phase 2 trial evaluating the ability of PEG therapy to induce complete (CR) and partial (PR) hematologic responses in patients with high-risk ET or PV who were either refractory or intolerant to HU. The study included 65 patients with ET and 50 patients with PV. The overall response rates (ORRs; CR/PR) at 12 months were 69.2% (43.1% and 26.2%) in ET patients and 60% (22% and 38%) in PV patients. CR rates were higher in CALR-mutated ET patients (56.5% vs 28.0%; P = .01), compared with those in subjects lacking a CALR mutation. The median absolute reduction in JAK2V617F variant allele fraction was -6% (range, -84% to 47%) in patients achieving a CR vs +4% (range, -18% to 56%) in patients with PR or nonresponse (NR). Therapy was associated with a significant rate of adverse events (AEs); most were manageable, and PEG discontinuation related to AEs occurred in only 13.9% of subjects. We conclude that PEG is an effective therapy for patients with ET or PV who were previously refractory and/or intolerant of HU. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01259856.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019000428DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6839950PMC
October 2019

Macrocystic (Mammary Analogue) Secretory Carcinoma: An Unusual Variant and a Pitfall in the Differential Diagnosis of Cystic Lesions in the Head and Neck.

Am J Surg Pathol 2019 11;43(11):1483-1492

Department of Pathology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL.

Mammary analogue secretory carcinoma (MASC) is a relatively recently described salivary gland adenocarcinoma characterized by ETV6-NTRK3 gene fusion and in most cases indolent clinical behavior. The majority of tumors show an admixture of microcystic, solid, and tubular growth patterns but only a few cases with dominant macrocystic growth have been reported. We report 15 cases of macrocystic MASC. There were 11 men and 4 women (17 to 88 y age range, average 47 y). The patients presented with a painless cystic mass, the majority in the region of the parotid gland (n=13), as well as in submandibular gland (n=1) and the neck (n=1). All tumors were circumscribed measuring 1.0 to 4.0 cm in greatest diameter (mean: 1.75 cm). Twelve tumors were unilocular, while 3 were multilocular. The cystic spaces were predominantly lined by a single epithelial cell layer with focal areas in which the epithelium was multilayered with papillary and hobnail features. In 3 of the cases there were more solid foci of intracystic tumor characterized by papillary and/or microcystic growth. The neoplastic cells were round to oval with hyperchromatic to vesicular nuclei with centrally located nucleoli and eosinophilic or vacuolated cytoplasm. Tumor cells showed strong positivity for S100 protein and mammaglobin, while DOG1 was uniformly negative. A minority of cases showed focal p63 reactivity predominantly limited to the periphery of the cystic lining. ETV6 gene rearrangement was identified in 9 cases. Macrocystic MASC can simulate benign and malignant salivary gland lesions and needs to be included in the differential diagnosis of cystic lesions in the head and neck. To the best of our knowledge, our report represents the first series of macrocystic MASCs wholly focusing on this unusual variant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAS.0000000000001309DOI Listing
November 2019

Oral idasanutlin in patients with polycythemia vera.

Blood 2019 08 5;134(6):525-533. Epub 2019 Jun 5.

Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

A limited number of drugs are available to treat patients with polycythemia vera (PV) and essential thrombocythemia (ET). We attempted to identify alternative agents that may target abnormalities within malignant hematopoietic stem (HSCs) and progenitor cells (HPCs). Previously, MDM2 protein levels were shown to be upregulated in PV/ET CD34 cells, and exposure to a nutlin, an MDM2 antagonist, induced activation of the pathway and selective depletion of PV HPCs/HSCs. This anticlonal activity was mediated by upregulation of p53 and potentiated by the addition of interferon-α2a (IFN-α2a). Therefore, we performed an investigator-initiated phase 1 trial of the oral MDM2 antagonist idasanutlin (RG7388; Roche) in patients with high-risk PV/ET for whom at least 1 prior therapy had failed. Patients not attaining at least a partial response by European LeukemiaNet criteria after 6 cycles were then allowed to receive combination therapy with low-dose pegylated IFN-α2a. Thirteen patients with V617F PV/ET were enrolled, and 12 (PV, n = 11; ET, n = 1) were treated with idasanutlin at 100 and 150 mg daily, respectively, for 5 consecutive days of a 28-day cycle. Idasanutlin was well tolerated; no dose-limiting toxicity was observed, but low-grade gastrointestinal toxicity was common. Overall response rate after 6 cycles was 58% (7 of 12) with idasanutlin monotherapy and 50% (2 of 4) with combination therapy. Median duration of response was 16.8 months (range, 3.5-26.7). Hematologic, symptomatic, pathologic, and molecular responses were observed. These data indicate that idasanutlin is a promising novel agent for PV; it is currently being evaluated in a global phase 2 trial. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02407080.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2018893545DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6688433PMC
August 2019

Multipotent fetal-derived Cdx2 cells from placenta regenerate the heart.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 06 20;116(24):11786-11795. Epub 2019 May 20.

Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029;

The extremely limited regenerative potential of adult mammalian hearts has prompted the need for novel cell-based therapies that can restore contractile function in heart disease. We have previously shown the regenerative potential of mixed fetal cells that were naturally found migrating to the injured maternal heart. Exploiting this intrinsic mechanism led to the current hypothesis that Caudal-type homeobox-2 (Cdx2) cells in placenta may represent a novel cell type for cardiac regeneration. Using a lineage-tracing strategy, we specifically labeled fetal-derived Cdx2 cells with enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). Cdx2-eGFP cells from end-gestation placenta were assayed for cardiac differentiation in vitro and in vivo using a mouse model of myocardial infarction. We observed that these cells differentiated into spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes (CMs) and vascular cells in vitro, indicating multipotentiality. When administered via tail vein to infarcted wild-type male mice, they selectively and robustly homed to the heart and differentiated to CMs and blood vessels, resulting in significant improvement in contractility as noted by MRI. Proteomics and immune transcriptomics studies of Cdx2-eGFP cells compared with embryonic stem (ES) cells reveal that they appear to retain "stem"-related functions of ES cells but exhibit unique signatures supporting roles in homing and survival, with an ability to evade immune surveillance, which is critical for cell-based therapy. Cdx2-eGFP cells may potentially represent a therapeutic advance in allogeneic cell therapy for cardiac repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1811827116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6576083PMC
June 2019

A Novel t(1;9)(p36;p24.1) JAK2 Translocation and Review of the Literature.

Acta Haematol 2019 7;142(2):105-112. Epub 2019 May 7.

Departments of Medicine and Pathology, Tumor Cytogenomics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, New York, USA,

The JAK2V617F point mutation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of the vast majority of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), but translocations involving JAK2 have increasingly been identified in patients with JAK2V617F-negativeMPNs. Here, we present a case of a patient diagnosed with JAK2V617F-negativepolycythemia vera (PV) that transformed to the MPN-blast phase. Cytogenetic and FISH analysis revealed a novel translocation of t(1;9)(p36;p24.1), causing a PEX14-JAK2 gene fusion product. The t(1;9)(p36;p24.1) represents a new addition to the list of known translocations involving JAK2that have been identified in hematologic malignancies. Although the prognostic and treatment implications of JAK2 translocations in MPNs have not been elucidated, positive outcomes have been described in case reports describing the use of JAK inhibitors in these patients. Further research into the role of JAK2 translocations in the pathogenesis and outcomes of hematologic malignancies is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000498945DOI Listing
February 2020

Comparing the epidemiology, clinical characteristics and prognostic factors of acute myeloid leukemia with and without acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Carcinogenesis 2019 07;40(5):651-660

The Tisch Cancer Institute, New York, NY, USA.

Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a particularly aggressive subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), with high rates of early death. It is important to examine how epidemiological characteristics, clinical and treatment factors, cytogenetic and genetic data affect survival and differ between APL and non-APL AML patients. We analyzed population data from the New York State Cancer Registry to characterize AML including APL incidence rates by demographics. APL incidence rates were higher among Hispanics than non-Hispanics [incidence rate ratio = 1.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02-1.43]; and among foreign-born than USA-born persons. APL incidence rates increased more rapidly through 1995-2014 than non-APL AML; and its frequency increased faster among foreign-born persons. In a hospital cohort of 390 AML patients, the risk of death was significantly higher among APL patients with FLT3-internal tandem duplications than those without [hazard ratio (HR) = 11.74; 95% CI = 1.03-134.5]; and among APL patients with secondary versus de novo disease (HR = 17.32; 95% CI = 1.56-192.1). Among non-APL AML patients, risk of death was significantly associated with prior chemotherapy with antitubulin agents after adjusting for age, gender and ethnicity (adjusted HR = 3.30; 95% CI = 1.49-7.32); and separately with older age, unfavorable cytogenetics and complex karyotype. This study highlights FLT3-internal tandem duplications as a prognostic factor in APL and proposes consideration of prior antitubulin therapy as a prognostic factor in non-APL AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgz014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6610162PMC
July 2019

Impact of High-Molecular-Risk Mutations on Transplantation Outcomes in Patients with Myelofibrosis.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2019 06 6;25(6):1142-1151. Epub 2019 Jan 6.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York. Electronic address:

Mutational profiling has demonstrated utility in predicting the likelihood of disease progression in patients with myelofibrosis (MF). However, there is limited data regarding the prognostic utility of genetic profiling in MF patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT). We performed high-throughput sequencing of 585 genes on pre-transplant samples from 101 patients with MF who underwent allo-HCT and evaluated the association of mutations and clinical variables with transplantation outcomes. Overall survival (OS) at 5 years post-transplantation was 52%, and relapse-free survival (RFS) was 51.1 % for this cohort. Nonrelapse mortality (NRM) accounted for most deaths. Patient's age, donor's age, donor type, and Dynamic International Prognostic Scoring System score at diagnosis did not predict for outcomes. Mutations known to be associated with increased risk of disease progression, such as ASXL1, SRSF2, IDH1/2, EZH2, and TP53, did not impact OS or RFS. The presence of U2AF1 (P = .007) or DNMT3A (P = .034) mutations was associated with worse OS. A Mutation-Enhanced International Prognostic Scoring System 70 score was available for 80 patients (79%), and there were no differences in outcomes between patients with high risk scores and those with intermediate and low risk scores. Collectively, these data identify mutational predictors of outcome in MF patients undergoing allo-HCT. These genetic biomarkers in conjunction with clinical variables may have important utility in guiding transplantation decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.01.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6918823PMC
June 2019

Differences in the clinical and genetic profile of Hispanic and non-Hispanic acute myeloid leukemia patients.

Leuk Res 2019 02 19;77:1-4. Epub 2018 Dec 19.

Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA; Institute for Translational Epidemiology and Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2018.12.006DOI Listing
February 2019

Advanced forms of MPNs are accompanied by chromosomal abnormalities that lead to dysregulation of TP53.

Blood Adv 2018 12;2(24):3581-3589

Tisch Cancer Institute, Division of Hematology/Oncology, and.

The Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), including polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and the prefibrotic form of primary myelofibrosis (PMF), frequently progress to more overt forms of MF and a type of acute leukemia termed MPN-accelerated phase/blast phase (MPN-AP/BP). Recent evidence indicates that dysregulation of the tumor suppressor tumor protein p53 (TP53) commonly occurs in the MPNs. The proteins MDM2 and MDM4 alter the cellular levels of TP53. We investigated in 1,294 patients whether abnormalities involving chromosomes 1 and 12, which harbor the genes for and , respectively, and chromosome 17, where the gene for is located, are associated with MPN disease progression. Gain of 1q occurred not only in individuals with MPN-BP but also in patients with PV and ET, who, with further follow-up, eventually evolve to either MF and/or MPN-BP. These gains of 1q were most prevalent in patients with a history of PV and those who possessed the V617F driver mutation. The gains of 1q were accompanied by increased transcript levels of In contrast, 12q chromosomal abnormalities were exclusively detected in patients who presented with MF or MPN-BP, but were not accompanied by further increases in / transcript levels. Furthermore, all patients with a loss of 17p13, which leads to a deletion of , had either MF or MPN-AP/BP. These findings suggest that gain of 1q, as well as deletions of 17p, are associated with perturbations of the TP53 pathway, which contribute to MPN disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2018024018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6306879PMC
December 2018

Safety and efficacy of combined ruxolitinib and decitabine in accelerated and blast-phase myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Blood Adv 2018 12;2(24):3572-3580

Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), including polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and primary myelofibrosis, have a propensity to evolve into accelerated and blast-phase disease (MPN-AP/BP), carrying a dismal prognosis. Conventional antileukemia therapy has limited efficacy in this setting. Thus, MPN-AP/BP is an urgent unmet clinical need. Modest responses to hypomethylating agents and single-agent ruxolitinib have been reported. More recently, combination of ruxolitinib and decitabine has demonstrated synergistic in vitro activity in human and murine systems. These observations led us to conduct a phase 1 study to explore the safety of combined decitabine and dose-escalated ruxolitinib in patients with MPN-AP/BP. A total of 21 patients were accrued to this multicenter study. Ruxolitinib was administered at doses of 10, 15, 25, or 50 mg twice daily in combination with decitabine (20 mg/m per day for 5 days) in 28-day cycles. The maximum tolerated dose was not reached. The most common reasons for study discontinuation were toxicity/adverse events (37%) and disease progression (21%). Fourteen patients died during study treatment period or follow-up. The median overall survival for patients on study was 7.9 months (95% confidence interval, 4.1-not reached). Among evaluable patients, the overall response rate by protocol-defined criteria (complete remission with incomplete count recovery + partial remission) was 9/17 (53%) and by intention-to-treat analysis was 9/21 (42.9%). The combination of decitabine and ruxolitinib was generally well tolerated by patients with MPN-AP/BP and demonstrates potentially promising clinical activity. A phase 2 trial evaluating the efficacy of this combination regimen is ongoing within the Myeloproliferative Disorder Research Consortium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2018019661DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6306885PMC
December 2018

Genomic characterization of spleens in patients with myelofibrosis.

Haematologica 2018 10 10;103(10):e446-e449. Epub 2018 May 10.

Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Research Program, Department of Hematology and Oncology, Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2018.193763DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165826PMC
October 2018

Myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with FGFR1 rearrangement.

Leuk Lymphoma 2018 07 9;59(7):1672-1676. Epub 2017 Nov 9.

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

Myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with FGFR1 rearrangement are a rare entity. We present a multicenter experience of 17 patients with FISH-confirmed FGFR1 rearrangement. The clinical presentation at diagnosis included myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) in 4 (24%) patients, acute leukemia (AL) in 7 (41%), and concomitant MPN with AL in 6 (35%). The two most frequently observed cytogenetic abnormalities were t(8;13)(p11.2;q12)(partner gene ZMYM2) and t(8;22)(p11.2; q11.2)(BCR). Seventy-eight percent of tested patients had a RUNX1 mutation, of whom all had AL. Overall response rate to frontline therapy was 69%, and 76% of patients subsequently received allogeneic stem cell transplant (ASCT). After a median follow-up of 11 months, median progression-free survival was 15 months and median overall survival was not reached. In conclusion, FGFR1-rearranged hematologic malignancies present with features of MPN and/or AL. FGFR1 and RUNX1 are therapeutic targets for ongoing and future clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2017.1397663DOI Listing
July 2018

A phase II study of panobinostat in patients with primary myelofibrosis (PMF) and post-polycythemia vera/essential thrombocythemia myelofibrosis (post-PV/ET MF).

Leuk Res 2017 02 30;53:13-19. Epub 2016 Nov 30.

Tisch Cancer Institute, Division of Hemato and Oncologylogy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, United States.

Myelofibrosis is a chronic and progressive myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by anemia, splenomegaly, debilitating symptoms and leukemic transformation. Ruxolitinib, an oral JAK1/2 inhibitor, is highly effective in ameliorating systemic symptoms and reducing splenomegaly. Current clinical research is focused on the evaluation of agents based on pre-clinical rationale that can result in disease course modification. Panobinostat is a pan-histone deacetylase inhibitor that has demonstrated clinical activity as a single agent in early phase trials of myelofibrosis. We previously conducted a phase I trial of panobinostat monotherapy in patients with myelofibrosis and determined 25mg thrice weekly as the recommended phase II dose. We then completed an investigator initiated, Simon 2-stage, phase II trial of 22 myelofibrosis patients at our single institution. After 6 cycles of therapy, the overall response rate by IWG-MRT criteria was 36% (8/22; 95% CI: 16-56%). The median percent reduction in spleen volume was 34% (range, 1.6%-73%) in eight evaluable patients. The average reduction in JAK2V617F allele burden was 6.8% (Range; -4.0% to 20.2%) and one patient obtained a complete molecular response. Six patients remained on therapy in the extension phase for a median of 18 months (range, 7-44). Treatment discontinuation was frequent due to patient/physician perception of therapy ineffectiveness. The optimal dosing of panobinostat for the treatment of MF remains somewhat ill-defined but appears to be most effective and better tolerated when administered at lower doses over a prolonged duration of therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2016.11.015DOI Listing
February 2017

Reappraising hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma: A population-based study with molecular confirmation.

Head Neck 2017 03 29;39(3):503-511. Epub 2016 Nov 29.

Department of Pathology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.

Background: Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma (HCCC) is a rare malignancy, characterized by EWSR1-ATF1 gene fusion, whose behavior is poorly understood, as it was for many years considered a diagnosis of exclusion.

Methods: All available salivary gland carcinomas (n = 594) from our institution were reviewed. Diagnosis of HCCC was confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for EWSR1. Literature review was performed.

Results: We found 15 patients with HCCCs (10 women, 5 men), 13 with EWSR1 rearrangement. Median age at diagnosis was 57 years (range, 31-87 years). Oral cavity (n = 9) and base of tongue (n = 4) were the most frequent primary sites. Combining our cases with those identified in literature review, the 10-year risk of local recurrence and locoregional nodal metastasis were 49% and 15%, respectively.

Conclusion: Molecularly confirmed HCCC accounted for 2.5% of salivary gland malignancies at our institution. HCCCs are indolent tumors with a propensity for locoregional recurrence. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 39: 503-511, 2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hed.24637DOI Listing
March 2017

Outcome of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Patients with Chronic and Advanced Phase Myelofibrosis.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2016 12 3;22(12):2180-2186. Epub 2016 Sep 3.

Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York. Electronic address:

Myelofibrosis (MF) is a chronic progressive hematologic malignancy with a median overall survival (OS) of approximately 6 years. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the sole treatment approach that offers curative potential. The use of reduced-intensity conditioning regimens has expanded the application of HSCT to patients with MF up to age 70 years. Recent retrospective and prospective reports have suggested worse HSCT outcomes for patients with MF receiving an unrelated donor graft compared with those receiving a related donor graft. To identify patient- and HSCT-specific variables influencing outcomes, we conducted a retrospective analysis of 42 patients with chronic and advanced-phase MF who underwent HSCT at our institution. For this cohort, at a median follow-up of 43 months, progression-free survival (PFS) was 15 months and OS was 25 months. In multivariable analysis, the sole clinical variable that negatively influenced outcome was the use of an unrelated donor, with a median PFS and OS both of 11 months versus not yet reached in patients receiving a related donor graft. At 2 years, OS was 38% (95% confidence interval [CI], 20%-56%) and nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was 53% (95% CI, 36%-78%) in the unrelated donor graft group, compared with 75% (95% CI, 46%-90%) and 21% (95% CI, 9%-47%) in the related donor graft group. There was no difference in the rates of grade III-IV acute graft-versus-host disease between the unrelated and related donor groups (38% versus 38%). Despite a more aggressive disease state, 2-year PFS and OS were both 42% (95% CI, 15%-67%) in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasm-blast phase undergoing HSCT. Graft failure rate was higher in patients receiving a mismatched donor graft compared with those receiving a matched donor graft (60% versus 13%; P = .0398). Retransplantation of patients with graft failure resulted in long-term survival. Baseline splenomegaly did not affect transplantation outcomes. Given the particularly poor outcomes seen in the unrelated donor cohort here and elsewhere, a formal exploration of alternative hematopoietic stem cell sources is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2016.08.029DOI Listing
December 2016

Analysis of ALK gene in 133 patients with breast cancer revealed polysomy of chromosome 2 and no ALK amplification.

Springerplus 2015 21;4:439. Epub 2015 Aug 21.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The Mount Sinai Hospital and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1194, New York, NY 10029 USA.

ALK has emerged as a novel tumorigenic factor in several epithelial human cancers. Crizotinib, an ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is currently approved to treat lung cancer patients exhibiting ALK gene rearrangements. Our goal was to determine the incidence of ALK aberrations in relation to different breast cancer types. Tissue micro-arrays were constructed of ER+/PR±/HER2- (n = 37), ER-/PR-/HER2+ (n = 15), ER-/PR-/HER2- (n = 61) and ER+/PR+/HER2+ (n = 20) breast cancers; including 13 inflammatory breast carcinomas. FISH was performed using ALK break-apart and chromosome 2 centromere enumeration probes (CEP2). Neither ALK rearrangements nor amplification were identified in the 133 breast cancer cases evaluated. However, copy number gains (CNG) of ALK were identified in 82 of 133 patients (62 %). The CEP2 analysis revealed polysomy of chromosome 2 in all HCNG and LCNG cases, indicating the CNG of ALK are due to polysomy of chromosome 2, rather than true amplification of ALK. To conclude, we observed CNG of ALK secondary to chromosome 2 polysomy in a significant percentage of breast cancer cases, a phenomenon similar to polysomy 17. This study is one of the largest studies to have investigated ALK aberrations in breast cancer and the only study to include all subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40064-015-1235-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4544610PMC
August 2015

Double minute amplification of mutant PDGF receptor α in a mouse glioma model.

Sci Rep 2015 Feb 16;5:8468. Epub 2015 Feb 16.

1] Fishberg Department of Neuroscience, Friedman Brain Institute [2] Department of Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029 [3] Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029.

In primary brain tumors, oncogenes are frequently amplified and maintained on extrachromosomal DNA as double minutes (DM), but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We have generated a mouse model of malignant glioma based on knock-in of a mutant PDGF receptor α (PDGFRα) that is expressed in oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) after activation by a Cre recombinase. In the tumor suppressor INK4/Arf(-/-) background, mutant animals frequently developed brain tumors resembling anaplastic human gliomas (WHO grade III). Besides brain tumors, most animals also developed aggressive fibrosarcomas, likely triggered by Cre activation of mutant PDGFRα in fibroblastic cell lineages. Importantly, in the brain tumors and cell lines derived from brain tumor tissues, we identified a high prevalence of DM Pdgfra gene amplification, suggesting its occurrence as an early mutational event contributing to the malignant transformation of OPCs. Amplicons extended beyond the Pdgfra locus and included in some cases neighboring genes Kit and Kdr. Our genetically defined mouse brain tumor model therefore supports OPC as a cell of origin for malignant glioma and offers an example of a defined temporal sequence of mutational events, thus providing an entry point for a mechanistic understanding of DM gene amplification and its functionality in gliomagenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep08468DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4329559PMC
February 2015

Phase I dose escalation study of lestaurtinib in patients with myelofibrosis.

Leuk Lymphoma 2015 20;56(9):2543-51. Epub 2015 Feb 20.

b Tisch Cancer Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai , New York , NY , USA.

We performed a multicenter, investigator initiated, phase I dose escalation study of the oral multi-kinase inhibitor lestaurtinib in patients with JAK2V617F positive myelofibrosis, irrespective of baseline platelet count. A total of 34 patients were enrolled. Dose-limiting toxicities were observed in three patients overall, at the 100 mg (n = 1) and 160 mg (n = 2) twice-daily dose levels. The maximum tolerated dose was 140 mg twice daily. Gastrointestinal toxicity was the most common adverse event. Sixteen patients were evaluable for response at 12 weeks. Seven patients had clinical improvement by International Working Group - Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Research and Treatment criteria. Meaningful reductions in JAK2V617F allele burden were not observed. To measure JAK2 inhibition in vivo, plasma from treated patients was assayed for its ability to inhibit phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5): doses lower than 140 mg had variable and incomplete inhibition. In this phase I study, although gastrointestinal adverse events were common, significant clinical activity with lestaurtinib was observed (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00668421).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2014.1001986DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5665563PMC
August 2016

JAK2 inhibitors do not affect stem cells present in the spleens of patients with myelofibrosis.

Blood 2014 Nov 5;124(19):2987-95. Epub 2014 Sep 5.

Division of Hematology/Oncology/Pathology, The Tisch Cancer Institute, Department of Medicine, Myeloproliferative Disorders Research Consortium, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY; and.

Dysregulation of Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling is central to the pathogenesis of myelofibrosis (MF). JAK2 inhibitor therapy in MF patients results in a rapid reduction of the degree of splenomegaly, yet the mechanism underlying this effect remains unknown. The in vitro treatment of splenic and peripheral blood MF CD34(+) cells with the JAK1/2/3 inhibitor, AZD1480, reduced the absolute number of CD34(+), CD34(+)CD90(+), and CD34(+)CXCR4(+) cells as well as assayable hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) irrespective of the JAK2 and calreticulin mutational status. Furthermore, AZD1480 treatment resulted in only a modest reduction in the proportion of HPCs that were JAK2V617F(+) or had a chromosomal abnormality. To study the effect of the drug on MF stem cells (MF-SCs), splenic CD34(+) cells were treated with AZD1480 and transplanted into immunodeficient mice. JAK2 inhibitor therapy did not affect the degree of human cell chimerism or the proportion of malignant donor cells. These data indicate that JAK2 inhibitor treatment affects a subpopulation of MF-HPCs, while sparing another HPC subpopulation as well as MF-SCs. This pattern of activity might account for the reduction in spleen size observed with JAK2 inhibitor therapy as well as the rapid increase in spleen size observed frequently with its discontinuation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2014-02-558015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4224194PMC
November 2014

Cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia with a novel KIT mutation in exon 11 G565V developing a sole trisomy 13 at relapse: a clinical dilemma.

Acta Haematol 2015 21;133(1):1-5. Epub 2014 Jun 21.

Department of Medicine, Tisch Cancer Institute, Ichan School of Medicine at The Mount Sinai, New York, N.Y., USA.

We describe a patient with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who had a normal karyotype at diagnosis and was negative for NPM1 and FLT3 mutations, but had a KIT G565V mutation in exon 11. This has not been described previously in AML. The patient received induction and consolidation chemotherapy and was in hematologic remission for 351 days when deletion 7q was cytogenetically detected in 8% of the bone marrow cells. After an initial treatment of azacitidine followed by decitabine, an unrelated trisomy 13 clone was identified, followed by subclonal rearrangement of ETV6. The patient underwent reinduction with high-dose cytarabine and mitoxantrone followed by voluntary-unrelated-donor allogeneic stem cell transplantation with a reduced-intensity conditioning. As of writing, the patient is in complete hematologic and cytogenetic remission with 100% donor cell engraftment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000360389DOI Listing
February 2015

MPD-RC 101 prospective study of reduced-intensity allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with myelofibrosis.

Blood 2014 Aug 24;124(7):1183-91. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

Myeloproliferative Disorders Research Consortium, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY; Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY;

From 2007 to 2011, 66 patients with primary myelofibrosis or myelofibrosis (MF) preceded by essential thrombocythemia or polycythemia vera were enrolled into a prospective phase 2 clinical trial of reduced-intensity allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT), Myeloproliferative Disorder Research Consortium 101 trial. The study included patients with sibling donors (n = 32) receiving fludarabine/melphalan (FluMel) as a preparative regimen and patients with unrelated donors (n = 34) receiving conditioning with FluMel plus anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG). Patient characteristics in the 2 cohorts were similar. Engraftment occurred in 97% of siblings and 76% of unrelated transplants, whereas secondary graft failure occurred in 3% and 12%, respectively. With a median follow-up of 25 months for patients alive, the overall survival (OS) was 75% in the sibling group (median not reached) and 32% in the unrelated group (median OS: 6 months, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3, 25) (hazard ratio 3.9, 95% CI: 1.8,8.9) (P < .001). Nonrelapse mortality was 22% in sibling and 59% in unrelated AHSCT. Survival correlated with type of donor, but not with the degree of histocompatibility match, age, or JAK2(V617F) status. In patients with MF with sibling donors, AHSCT is an effective therapy, whereas AHSCT from unrelated donors with FluMel/ATG conditioning led to a high rate of graft failure and limited survival. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00572897.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2014-04-572545DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4133490PMC
August 2014

A phase I study of panobinostat (LBH589) in patients with primary myelofibrosis (PMF) and post-polycythaemia vera/essential thrombocythaemia myelofibrosis (post-PV/ET MF).

Br J Haematol 2013 Apr 21;161(1):68-75. Epub 2013 Jan 21.

Division of Hematology, Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Panobinostat (LBH589), a novel histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), was evaluated in a phase I study of patients with primary myelofibrosis (PMF) and post-essential thrombocythaemia/polycythaemia vera-related myelofibrosis (Post-ET/PV MF). Eighteen patients (PMF 56%; Post-PV MF 28%; Post-ET MF 17%) were treated in three cohorts at oral doses of (i) 20, (ii) 30, and (iii) 25 mg three times weekly consecutively. Reversible thrombocytopenia was the dose-limiting toxicity. Five patients (two in Dose Cohort 1, one in Dose Cohort 2 and two in Dose Cohort 3) received six or more cycles and were evaluable for response assessment. After the sixth cycle, three of these five patients achieved clinical improvement (CI) with 100% reduction in palpable splenomegaly from baseline, and two patients experienced stable disease. Panobinostat therapy was also associated with improvement in the degree of anaemia in two of the five patients. Of the three patients who achieved CI after six cycles, one patient achieved a near complete remission after 15 cycles of treatment and another patient had resolution of marrow fibrosis after 16 cycles. We conclude that panobinostat is a well-tolerated, clinically active treatment for MF patients, regardless of JAK2 V617F status, and most effective when given at low doses over long periods of time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.12220DOI Listing
April 2013

A case report of chronic myelogenous leukemia in a patient with multiple myeloma and a review of the literature.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2013 Apr 15;13(2):175-9. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2012.09.010DOI Listing
April 2013

Spleens of myelofibrosis patients contain malignant hematopoietic stem cells.

J Clin Invest 2012 Nov;122(11):3888-99

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Pathology and Surgery, Tisch Cancer Institute, Myeloproliferative Disorders Research Consortium, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.

Cancer stem cell behavior is thought to be largely determined by intrinsic properties and by regulatory signals provided by the microenvironment. Myelofibrosis (MF) is characterized by hematopoiesis occurring not only in the marrow but also in extramedullary sites such as the spleen. In order to study the effects of these different microenvironments on primitive malignant hematopoietic cells, we phenotypically and functionally characterized splenic and peripheral blood (PB) MF CD34+ cells from patients with MF. MF spleens contained greater numbers of malignant primitive HPCs than PB. Transplantation of PB MF CD34+ cells into immunodeficient (NOD/SCID/IL2Rγ(null)) mice resulted in a limited degree of donor cell chimerism and a differentiation program skewed toward myeloid lineages. By contrast, transplanted splenic MF CD34+ cells achieved a higher level of chimerism and generated both myeloid and lymphoid cells that contained molecular or cytogenetic abnormalities indicating their malignant nature. Only splenic MF CD34+ cells were able to sustain hematopoiesis for prolonged periods (9 months) and were able to engraft secondary recipients. These data document the existence of MF stem cells (MF-SCs) that reside in the spleens of MF patients and demonstrate that these MF-SCs retain a differentiation program identical to that of normal hematopoietic stem cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI64397DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3484080PMC
November 2012

Proposed criteria for response assessment in patients treated in clinical trials for myeloproliferative neoplasms in blast phase (MPN-BP): formal recommendations from the post-myeloproliferative neoplasm acute myeloid leukemia consortium.

Leuk Res 2012 Dec 28;36(12):1500-4. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Leukemic transformation (LT) of a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) is associated with a dismal prognosis and no medical therapies have shown a survival improvement in patients with MPN in blast phase (MPN-BP). Effective therapies for the treatment of MPN-BP are a serious unmet need. Consensus response criteria do not exist for the treatment of patients with MPN-BP and this is necessary for the uniformed reporting of treatment response in clinical trials. We have identified relevant MPN and MPN-BP features in order to define treatment response categories that reflect hematological, clinical, pathological, cytogenetic and molecular changes after therapeutic intervention. We plan to validate these proposed response criteria within multi-centered clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2012.08.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4114151PMC
December 2012

Combination treatment in vitro with Nutlin, a small-molecule antagonist of MDM2, and pegylated interferon-α 2a specifically targets JAK2V617F-positive polycythemia vera cells.

Blood 2012 Oct 7;120(15):3098-105. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Tisch Cancer Institute and Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Interferon (IFN-α) is effective therapy for polycythemia vera (PV) patients, but it is frequently interrupted because of adverse events. To permit the long-term use of IFN, we propose combining low doses of IFN with Nutlin-3, an antagonist of MDM2, which is also capable of promoting PV CD34(+) cell apoptosis. Combination treatment with subtherapeutic doses of Peg IFN-α 2a and Nutlin-3 inhibited PV CD34(+) cell proliferation by 50% while inhibiting normal CD34(+) cells by 30%. Combination treatment with Nutlin-3 and Peg IFN-α 2a inhibited PV colony formation by 55%-90% while inhibiting normal colony formation by 22%-30%. The combination of these agents also decreased the proportion of JAK2V617F-positive hematopoietic progenitor cells in 6 PV patients studied. Treatment with low doses of Peg IFN-α 2a combined with Nutlin-3 increased phospho-p53 and p21 protein levels in PV CD34(+) cells and increased the degree of apoptosis. These 2 reagents affect the tumor suppressor p53 through different pathways with Peg IFN-α 2a activating p38 MAP kinase and STAT1, leading to increased p53 transcription, whereas Nutlin-3 prevents the degradation of p53. These data suggest that treatment with low doses of both Nutlin-3 combined with Peg IFN-α 2a can target PV hematopoietic progenitor cells, eliminating the numbers of malignant hematopoietic progenitor cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2012-02-410712DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3471518PMC
October 2012

An unusual case of donor-derived myelodysplastic syndrome following double-unit umbilical cord blood transplantation in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Am J Hematol 2012 Sep 22;87(9):931-3. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Division of Hematology-Oncology, The Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Umbilical cord-blood transplantation is considered an effective treatment strategy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched donor is unavailable. The use of a second unit helps ensure engraftment in larger adults and those with comorbidities, even though only one unit engrafts in most patients. Herein, we present the clinical and laboratory characteristics of a patient who developed donor-derived myelodysplastic syndrome (ddMDS) after double umbilical cord-blood transplantation (dUCB HSCT). To our knowledge, no cases of ddMDS have been described in a patient with a history of ALL in molecular remission after receiving a dUCB HSCT. Current molecular techniques, including analysis of short tandem repeats (STR) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) allowed us to firmly establish donor origin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23260DOI Listing
September 2012
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