Publications by authors named "Yago Nieto"

174 Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eltrombopag for Post-Transplantation Thrombocytopenia: Results of Phase II Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 05 6;27(5):430.e1-430.e7. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

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

Prolonged thrombocytopenia occurs in up to 37% of patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and is associated with adverse prognosis and increased risk of bleeding. Eltrombopag, a thrombopoietin receptor agonist, can increase platelet counts in thrombocytopenic patients. We conducted a phase II study, adaptively randomizing patients at ≥35 days post-HSCT to receive placebo or eltrombopag at a platelet count ≤20,000/µL for 7 days or platelet transfusion-dependent and a neutrophil count ≥1500/µL. Sixty patients were randomized to eltrombopag (n = 42) or placebo (n = 18) and received at least 1 dose. Fifteen patients (36%) in the eltrombopag arm achieved a platelet count of ≥30,000/µL, compared with 5 patients (28%) in the placebo arm, with a posterior probability of 0.75. (The protocol required this probability to be >0.975 to declare a winner; thus, the results are inconclusive.) However, 9 patients (21%) in the eltrombopag arm achieved a platelet count of ≥50,000/µL, compared with no patients in the placebo arm (P = .046). The overall survival, progression-free survival, relapse rate, and nonrelapse mortality were similar in the 2 arms. In conclusion, compared with placebo, treatment with eltrombopag led to a higher percentage of patients achieving a platelet count of ≥50,000/µL in patients with persistent thrombocytopenia after HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.02.004DOI Listing
May 2021

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

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

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

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

Outcomes Associated With Thiotepa-Based Conditioning in Patients With Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma After Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplant.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Jul;7(7):993-1003

Division of Blood & Marrow Transplantation, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Importance: Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) requires induction and consolidation to achieve potential cure. High-dose therapy and autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (AHCT) is an accepted and effective consolidation strategy for PCNSL, but no consensus exists on the optimal conditioning regimens.

Objective: To assess the outcomes in patients with PCNSL undergoing AHCT with the 3 most commonly used conditioning regimens: thiotepa/busulfan/cyclophosphamide (TBC), thiotepa/carmustine (TT-BCNU), and carmustine/etoposide/cytarabine/melphalan (BEAM).

Design, Setting, And Participants: This observational cohort study used registry data from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research registry. The Center is a working group of more than 380 transplantation centers worldwide that contributed detailed data on HCT to a statistical center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The participant data were from 603 adult patients with PCNSL who underwent AHCT as initial, or subsequent, consolidation between January 2010 and December 2018. Patients were excluded if they had a non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtype other than diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, systemic non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or HIV; received an uncommon conditioning regimen; or were not in partial remission or complete remission prior to AHCT. Statistical analysis was performed from July 5, 2020, to March 1, 2021.

Interventions: Patients received 1 of 3 conditioning regimens: TBC (n = 263), TT-BCNU (n = 275), and BEAM (n = 65).

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was progression-free survival. Secondary outcomes included hematopoietic recovery, incidence of relapse, nonrelapse mortality, and overall survival.

Results: Of 603 patients, the mean age was 57 (range, 19-77) years and 318 (53%) were male. The 3-year adjusted progression-free survival rates were higher in the TBC cohort (75%) and TT-BCNU cohort (76%) compared with the BEAM cohort (58%) (P = .03) owing to a higher relapse risk in the BEAM cohort (hazard ratio [HR], 4.34; 95% CI, 2.45-7.70; P < .001). In a multivariable regression analysis, compared with the TBC cohort, patients who received TT-BCNU had a higher relapse risk (HR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.07-2.98; P = .03), lower risk of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) (HR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.29-0.87; P = .01), and similar risk of all-cause mortality more than 6 months after HCT (HR, 1.54; 95% CI, 0.93-2.55; P = .10). Age of 60 years or older, Karnofsky performance status less than 90, and an HCT-comorbidity index greater than or equal to 3 were associated with lower rates of survival across all 3 cohorts. Subgroup analyses demonstrated that patients aged 60 years and older had considerably higher NRM with TBC.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study, thiotepa-based conditioning regimen was associated with higher rates of survival compared with BEAM, despite higher rates of early toxic effects and NRM; these findings may assist clinicians in choosing between TBC or TT-BCNU based on patient and disease characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.1074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8283558PMC
July 2021

Improved outcomes of high-risk relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma patients after high-dose chemotherapy: a 15-year analysis.

Haematologica 2021 May 6. Epub 2021 May 6.

Nuclear Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem-cell transplant (HDC/ASCT) is standard treatment of chemosensitive relapsed classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), although outcomes of high-risk relapse (HRR) patients remain suboptimal. We retrospectively analyzed all HRR cHL patients treated with HDC/ASCT at our institution between 01/01/2005-12/31/2019. HRR criteria included primary refractory disease/relapse within 1 year, extranodal extension, B symptoms, requiring > 1 salvage line, or PET+ disease at ASCT. All patients met the same ASCT eligibility criteria. We treated 501 patients with BEAM (N=146), BuMel (N=38), GemBuMel (N=189) and vorinostat/GemBuMel (N=128). The GemBuMel and vorinostat/GemBuMel cohorts had more HRR criteria and more patients with PET+ disease at ASCT. Pre-ASCT BV, anti-PD1, PET-negative disease at ASCT, and maintenance BV increased over time. BEAM and BuMel predominated in earlier years (2005-2007), GemBuMel and BEAM in middle years (2008-2015), and vorinostat/GemBuMel and BEAM in later years (2016-2019). Median follow-up is 50 months (6-186). Outcomes improved over time, with 2-year PFS/OS rates of 58%/82% (2005-2007), 59%/83% (2008-2011), 71%/94% (2012-2015) and 86%/99% (2016-2019) (P.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2021.278311DOI Listing
May 2021

Prognostic value of disease distribution in secondary central nervous system diffuse large B cell lymphoma treated with radiation therapy.

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 May 4:1-8. Epub 2021 May 4.

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

This study aimed to assess the prognostic value of baseline disease distribution for patients with the secondary central nervous system (CNS) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) treated with chemotherapy and radiation (RT). 44 patients with secondary CNS DLBCL were reviewed. Twenty patients had leptomeningeal disease (LMD), and 24 had localized/targetable disease (LTD). Of 8 patients who received stem cell transplantation (SCT) after RT, 6 had LTD with a complete or partial response after RT. Median time to CNS relapse after RT was 10.1 months; 3/24 patients with LTD and 5/15 with LMD had CNS relapse. The median overall survival (OS) was 8 and 20 months for patients with LMD and LTD, respectively ( = 0.20). On multivariable analysis, LTD, receipt of SCT, and response after RT were associated with better OS and CNS-disease-free survival. Patients with localized secondary CNS DLBCL may benefit from RT serving as a bridge to SCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2021.1919656DOI Listing
May 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vedolizumab for Steroid Refractory Lower Gastrointestinal Tract Graft-Versus-Host Disease.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 03 16;27(3):272.e1-272.e5. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

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

Steroid-refractory (SR) lower gastrointestinal (LGI) acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) has poor prognosis, and novel drugs are needed. We describe outcomes of patients with SR-LGI aGVHD treated with vedolizumab. The primary objective was to determine overall response rate (ORR) at days 14, 28, and 56. Secondary outcomes included overall survival (OS), non-relapse mortality and toxicities. Twenty patients, median age 46 years (range, 23-71), were included. All but 2 patients (90%) had grade 3 to 4 aGVHD (45% stage 4, 40% stage 3 LGI). Median time to vedolizumab was 21 days (range, 5-1031) and 13 days (range, 0-533) after diagnosis of LGI aGVHD and SR-LGI aGVHD, respectively. It was given as ≥3rd line (median 3; range 2-6) in 75% after failure of steroids, and additional treatments including ruxolitinib (n = 12) and others. Median follow-up was 17 months (range, 10-34). The days 14, 28 and 56 ORRs were 45% (9/20; complete response [CR] 25%), 35% (7/20; CR 20%), and 25% (5/20; CR 20%), respectively. Among ruxolitinib failures, it was 50% (6/12; CR 25%), 50% (6/12; CR 25%) and 25% (3/12; CR 16.7%), respectively. Fifteen patients died (14 GVHD, 1 leukemia relapse). The actuarial 6-month OS was 35% (95% confidence interval 16-55). No progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy or infusion reaction occurred. Forty-four infection events (22 viral, 18 bacterial, and 4 fungal) were noted in 16 patients. Vedolizumab was well tolerated and demonstrated potential efficacy even after ruxolitinib failure for SR-LGI aGVHD. Yet the responses were suboptimal, and its use requires further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.12.011DOI Listing
March 2021

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

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

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

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

Autologous stem cell transplantation after anti-PD-1 therapy for multiply relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma.

Blood Adv 2021 03;5(6):1648-1659

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ.

Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) can be curative for patients with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Based on studies suggesting that anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) can sensitize patients to subsequent chemotherapy, we hypothesized that anti-PD-1 therapy before ASCT would result in acceptable outcomes among high-risk patients who progressed on or responded insufficiently to ≥1 salvage regimen, including chemorefractory patients who are traditionally considered poor ASCT candidates. We retrospectively identified 78 HL patients who underwent ASCT after receiving an anti-PD-1 mAb (alone or in combination) as third-line or later therapy across 22 centers. Chemorefractory disease was common, including 42 patients (54%) refractory to ≥2 consecutive systemic therapies immediately before anti-PD-1 treatment. Fifty-eight (74%) patients underwent ASCT after anti-PD-1 treatment, while 20 patients (26%) received additional therapy after PD-1 blockade and before ASCT. Patients received a median of 4 systemic therapies (range, 3-7) before ASCT, and 31 patients (41%) had a positive pre-ASCT positron emission tomography (PET) result. After a median post-ASCT follow-up of 19.6 months, the 18-month progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival were 81% (95% CI, 69-89) and 96% (95% confidence interval [CI], 87-99), respectively. Favorable outcomes were observed for patients who were refractory to 2 consecutive therapies immediately before PD-1 blockade (18-month PFS, 78%), had a positive pre-ASCT PET (18-month PFS, 75%), or received ≥4 systemic therapies before ASCT (18-month PFS, 73%), while PD-1 nonresponders had inferior outcomes (18-month PFS, 51%). In this high-risk cohort, ASCT after anti-PD-1 therapy was associated with excellent outcomes, even among heavily pretreated, previously chemorefractory patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003556DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7993097PMC
March 2021

Allogeneic transplantation after PD-1 blockade for classic Hodgkin lymphoma.

Leukemia 2021 09 3;35(9):2672-2683. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies yield high response rates in patients with relapsed/refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), but most patients will eventually progress. Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) after PD-1 blockade may be associated with increased toxicity, raising challenging questions about the role, timing, and optimal method of transplantation in this setting. To address these questions, we assembled a retrospective cohort of 209 cHL patients who underwent alloHCT after PD-1 blockade. With a median follow-up among survivors of 24 months, the 2-year cumulative incidences (CIs) of non-relapse mortality and relapse were 14 and 18%, respectively; the 2-year graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and relapse-free survival (GRFS), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival were 47%, 69%, and 82%, respectively. The 180-day CI of grade 3-4 acute GVHD was 15%, while the 2-year CI of chronic GVHD was 34%. In multivariable analyses, a longer interval from PD-1 to alloHCT was associated with less frequent severe acute GVHD, while additional treatment between PD-1 and alloHCT was associated with a higher risk of relapse. Notably, post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy)-based GVHD prophylaxis was associated with significant improvements in PFS and GRFS. While awaiting prospective clinical trials, PTCy-based GVHD prophylaxis may be considered the optimal transplantation strategy for this patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01193-6DOI Listing
September 2021

Outcome of relapsed and refractory nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma: a North American analysis.

Br J Haematol 2021 02;192(3):560-567

BC Cancer Centre for Lymphoid Cancer and Department of Medical Oncology, BC Cancer, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) is a rare entity, with limited data on the outcome in the relapsed/refractory setting. We evaluated the outcome of all patients diagnosed between 04/1979 and 01/2019 with relapsed or progressive NLPHL after initial active therapy at two institutions, refractory disease being defined as lack of response to treatment and/or relapse within three months of treatment. NLPHL patients with histological evidence of transformation at time of first relapse or progression were excluded. In total, 69 patients with recurrent NLPHL were included in the study. After a median follow-up after initial diagnosis of 14 years (range, 0·5-46 years), median progression-free survival after front-line treatment (PFS-1) was four years. Second-line therapy included chemotherapy in 28 (41%) patients, biological therapy (rituximab, lenalidomide or brentuximab vedotin) in 14 (20%), high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplant in 14 (20%) and radiation therapy (RT) alone in 10 (15%). The five-year PFS after second-line therapy (PFS-2) was 68% [95% confidence interval (CI), 54-79%] but the five-year overall survival (OS) after second-line therapy (OS-2) remained excellent, at 94% (95% CI, 85-99%). Due to excellent outcome in case of recurrence, studies aimed at characterizing its biology to guide therapy de-escalation are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17281DOI Listing
February 2021

African Americans with translocation t(11;14) have superior survival after autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation for multiple myeloma in comparison with Whites in the United States.

Cancer 2020 01 23;127(1):82-92. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Division of Hematological Malignancy and Cellular Therapeutics, University of Kansas Health System, Kansas City, Kansas.

Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) with the translocation t(11;14) may have inferior outcomes in comparison with other standard-risk MM, and it has been suggested to portend a worse prognosis in African Americans in comparison with Whites. This study used the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) database to examine the impact of t(11;14) on the clinical outcomes of patients with MM of African American and White descent.

Methods: This study evaluated 3538 patients who underwent autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (autoHCT) for MM from 2008 to 2016 and were reported to the CIBMTR. Patients were analyzed in 4 groups: African Americans with t(11;14) (n = 117), African Americans without t(11;14) (n = 968), Whites with t(11;14) (n = 266), and Whites without t(11;14) (n = 2187).

Results: African Americans with t(11;14) were younger, had lower Karnofsky scores, and had more advanced stage MM with a higher Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation-Comorbidity Index (HCT-CI). Fewer African Americans with t(11;14) (21%) had a coexistent high-risk marker in comparison with Whites with t(11;14) (27%). In a multivariate analysis, race and t(11;14) had no association with progression-free survival. However, overall survival was superior among African Americans with t(11;14) in comparison with Whites with t(11;14) (hazard ratio, 0.53; 95% confidence interval, 0.30-0.93; P = .03). Survival was also associated with female sex, stage, time from diagnosis to transplant, a low HCT-CI, and receipt of maintenance.

Conclusions: Race may have a differential impact on the survival of patients with t(11;14) MM who undergo autoHCT and needs to be further studied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33208DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7736245PMC
January 2020

Cytogenetics and Blast Count Determine Transplant Outcomes in Patients with Active Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Acta Haematol 2021 30;144(1):74-81. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

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

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients not in remission and beyond first or second complete remission are considered allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) candidates. We present 361 patients who underwent SCT from matched related or unrelated donors between 2005 and 2013. The purpose was to identify a subgroup of patients with active disease at the time of transplant that benefit. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used for univariate and multivariate analyses to predict overall survival (OS). Variables considered were age, sex, SWOG cytogenetic risk group, bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB) blast percentage, regimen intensity, and type of AML. At a median of 26 months after transplantation, OS, progression-free survival (PFS), non-relapse mortality, and relapse rates were 26, 24, 23, and 48%, respectively. In a univariate analysis, risk cytogenetics (p < 0.001) and BM blasts >4% (p = 0.006) or any blasts in PB (p < 0.001) indicated worse OS. In a multivariate analysis, patients with <5% BM blasts or absence of circulating blasts and good or intermediate risk cytogenetics had significantly superior OS (46%), PFS (44%), and disease progression at 3 years. Based on these findings, patients not in remission with good or intermediate risk cytogenetics and low blast counts should be considered for SCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000507012DOI Listing
March 2021

Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, Version 2.2020, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2020 05;18(5):599-634

National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) involves the infusion of hematopoietic progenitor cells into patients with hematologic disorders with the goal of re-establishing normal hematopoietic and immune function. HCT is classified as autologous or allogeneic based on the origin of hematopoietic cells. Autologous HCT uses the patient's own cells while allogeneic HCT uses hematopoietic cells from a human leukocyte antigen-compatible donor. Allogeneic HCT is a potentially curative treatment option for patients with certain types of hematologic malignancies, and autologous HCT is primarily used to support patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy. Advances in HCT methods and supportive care in recent decades have led to improved survival after HCT; however, disease relapse and posttransplant complications still commonly occur in both autologous and allogeneic HCT recipients. Allogeneic HCT recipients may also develop acute and/or chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which results in immune-mediated cellular injury of several organs. The NCCN Guidelines for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation focus on recommendations for pretransplant recipient evaluation and the management of GVHD in adult patients with malignant disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.0021DOI Listing
May 2020

Optimizing the Conditioning Regimen for Hematopoietic Cell Transplant in Myelofibrosis: Long-Term Results of a Prospective Phase II Clinical Trial.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 08 11;26(8):1439-1445. Epub 2020 May 11.

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

Optimal conditioning regimens for older patients with myelofibrosis undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant are not known. Likewise, the role of dose intensity is not clear. We conducted a nonrandomized, prospective, phase II trial using low-dose, later escalated to high-dose (myeloablative conditioning), busulfan with fludarabine (Bu-Flu) in myelofibrosis patients up to age 74 years. The first 15 patients received i.v. busulfan 130 mg/m/day on days -3 and -2 ("low dose"); 31 patients received high-dose conditioning, either 100 mg/m/day (days -5 to -2; n = 4) or pharmacokinetic-guided area under the curve of 4000 μmol/min (days -5 to -2; n = 27). The primary endpoint was day 100 nonrelapse mortality (NRM). Median age was 58 years (interquartile range [IQR], 53-63). Dynamic international prognostic scoring system-plus was intermediate (n = 28) or high (n = 18). Donors were related (n = 19) or unrelated (n = 27). Cumulative incidence of NRM was 9.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0-20.3) at day 100 and at 3 years in the high-dose group and 0% in the low-dose group at day 100, which increased to 20% (95% CI, 0-41.9) at 3 years. With a median follow-up of 5.1 years (IQR, 3.8-6), 3-year relapse was 32.3% (95% CI, 15.4-49.1) in high dose versus 53.3% (95% CI, 26.6-80.1) in low dose. Event-free survival was 58% (95% CI, 43-78) versus 27% (95% CI, 12-62), and overall survival was 74% (95% CI, 60-91) versus 60% (95% CI, 40-91). In multivariate analysis, high-dose busulfan had a trend toward lower relapse (hazard ratio, .44; 95% CI, .18-1.07; P = .07), with no impact on NRM. Intensifying the Bu-Flu regimen using pharmacokinetic-monitoring appears to be promising in reducing relapse without increasing NRM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.03.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7547798PMC
August 2020

Letter to the Editor Regarding "Harmonization of Busulfan Plasma Exposure Unit (BPEU): A Community-Initiated Consensus Statement".

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 09 11;26(9):e232-e234. Epub 2020 May 11.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.03.022DOI Listing
September 2020

Hematopoietic cell transplantation utilization and outcomes for primary plasma cell leukemia in the current era.

Leukemia 2020 12 20;34(12):3338-3347. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

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

The outcomes of patients with primary plasma cell leukemia (pPCL) after undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in the novel agent era are unknown. We report outcomes of 348 patients with pPCL receiving autologous (auto-) HCT (n = 277) and allogeneic (allo-) HCT (n = 71) between 2008 and 2015. Median age was 60 years and 56 years for auto- and allo-HCT respectively. For auto-HCT, the 4-year outcomes were: non-relapse mortality (NRM) 7% (4-11%), relapse (REL) 76% (69-82%), progression-free survival (PFS) 17% (13-23%), and overall survival (OS) 28% (22-35%). Karnofsky performance status (KPS) > 90 and ≥very good partial response (VGPR) predicted superior OS in multi-variate analysis for auto-HCT. For allo-HCT, the 4-year outcomes were: NRM 12% (5-21%), REL 69% (56-81%), PFS 19% (10-31%), and OS 31% (19-44%). Compared with prior CIBMTR pPCL patients (1995-2006), inferior survival was noted in the current cohort (3-year OS, 39% vs. 38% in allo-HCT, and 62% vs. 35% in auto-HCT) respectively. However, we noted an increased HCT utilization, from 12% (7-21%) in 1995 to 46% (34-64%) in 2009 using SEER data (available till 2009). Despite modern induction translating to higher proportion receiving HCT, the outcomes remain poor in pPCL patients, mainly derived by high relapse rates post-HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-0830-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7572530PMC
December 2020

Idiopathic refractory ascites after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: a previously unrecognized entity.

Blood Adv 2020 04;4(7):1296-1306

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

At our center, we observed a series of patients who developed transudative refractory ascites secondary to noncirrhotic, non-veno-occlusive disease (VOD)-related portal hypertension after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Patients were considered to have idiopathic portal hypertension-related refractory ascites (IRA) if they developed ascites secondary to intrahepatic portal hypertension (serum ascites albumin gradient ≥1.1 g/dL or hepatic venous pressure gradient [HVPG] >5 mm Hg), but did not meet the clinical criteria for classical VOD/sinusoidal obstructive syndrome (SOS) and did not have any alternate etiology of portal hypertension. From our institutional database, we identified 40 patients who developed IRA after allo-HSCT between 2004 and 2018. The patients' median age at the time of allo-HSCT was 54 years (range, 21-73 years). The median time to development of IRA after allo-HSCT was 80 days (range, 16-576 days). The median number of paracentesis was 3 (range, 1-11), and 15 (38%) patients had an intraperitoneal catheter placed for continued drainage of the rapidly accumulating ascites. Portal pressures were measured in 19 patients; 6 (15%) had moderate portal hypertension (HVPG 6-9 mm Hg), and 13 (33%) had severe portal hypertension (HVPG ≥ 10 mm Hg). Liver biopsy was performed in 24 patients. None of the patients met the criteria for classical VOD/SOS (clinical/histological) or cirrhosis (histological). The cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality was 63%, and the median survival duration after the development of the IRA was 7 months (range, 0.8-125.6 months). IRA is a poorly understood and often fatal complication of allo-HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000638DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7160275PMC
April 2020
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