Publications by authors named "Zachariah DeFilipp"

86 Publications

Male-specific late effects in adult hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients: a systematic review from the Late Effects and Quality of Life Working Committee of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research and Transplant Complications Working Party of the European Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Oct 29. Epub 2021 Oct 29.

Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN;; Department of Medicine, Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Background: Male-specific late effects after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) include genital chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), hypogonadism, sexual dysfunction, infertility, and subsequent malignancies, such as prostate, penile, and testicular cancer. They may be closely intertwined and cause prolonged morbidity and decreased quality of life after HCT.

Objective: Here, we provide a systematic review of male-specific late effects in a collaboration between transplant physicians, endocrinologists, urologists, dermatologists, and sexual health professionals through the Late Effects and Quality of Life Working Committee of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, and the Transplant Complications Working Party of the European Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Study Design: We utilized systematic review methodology to summarize incidence, risk factors, screening, prevention and treatment of these complications and provide consensus evidence-based recommendations for clinical practice and future research.

Results: Most of the evidence regarding male GvHD is still based on limited data, precluding strong therapeutic recommendations. We therefore recommend to systematically screen for male genital GvHD regularly and report it to large registries to allow for a better understanding. Future research should also address treatment since little published evidence is available to date. Male-specific endocrine consequences of HCT include hypogonadism which may also affect bone health. Since the evidence is scarce, current recommendations for hormone substitution and/or bone health treatment are based on similar principles as for the general population. Following HCT, sexual health decreases and this topic should be addressed at regular intervals. Future studies should focus on interventional strategies to address sexual dysfunction. Infertility remains prevalent in patients having undergone myeloablative conditioning, which warrants offering sperm preservation in all HCT candidates. Most studies on fertility rely on descriptive registry analysis and surveys, hence the importance of reporting post-HCT conception data to large registries. Although the quality of evidence is low, the development of cancer in male genital organs does not seem more prevalent than in the general population; however, subsequent malignancies in general seem to be more prevalent in males than females, and special attention should be given to skin and oral mucosa.

Conclusion: Male-specific late effects, probably more under-reported than female-specific complications, should be systematically considered during the regular follow-up visits of male survivors who have undergone HCT. Care of patients with male-specific late effects warrants close collaboration between transplant physicians and specialists from other involved disciplines. Future research should be directed towards better data collection on male-specific late effects and on studies about the interrelationship between these late effects, to allow the development of evidence based effective management practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.10.013DOI Listing
October 2021

Emerging approaches to improve allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation outcomes for non-malignant diseases.

Blood 2021 Oct 6. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.

Many congenital or acquired non-malignant diseases (NMD) of the hematopoietic system can be potentially cured by allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) with varying types of donor grafts, degrees of HLA matching, and intensity of conditioning regimens. Unique features that distinguish the use of allogeneic HCT in this population include higher rates of graft failure, immune-mediated cytopenias, and the potential to achieve long-term disease-free survival in a mixed chimerism state. Additionally, in contrast to patients with hematologic malignancies, a priority is to completely avoid graft-versus-host disease in patients with NMD, as there is no theoretical beneficial graft-versus-leukemia effect that can accompany graft-versus-host responses. In this review, we discuss the current approach to each of these clinical issues and how emerging novel therapeutics hold promise to advance transplant care for patients with NMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020009014DOI Listing
October 2021

An adapted European LeukemiaNet genetic risk stratification for acute myeloid leukemia patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant. A CIBMTR analysis.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 Sep 28. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Division of Hematology/BMT, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Cytogenetic and molecular abnormalities are known to influence post-transplant outcomes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) but data assessing the prognostic value of combined genetic models in the HCT setting are limited. We developed an adapted European LeukemiaNet (aELN) risk classification based on available genetic data reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, to predict post-transplant outcomes in 2289 adult AML patients transplanted in first remission, between 2013 and 2017. Patients were stratified according to aELN into three groups: favorable (Fav, N = 181), intermediate (IM, N = 1185), and adverse (Adv, N = 923). Univariate analysis demonstrated significant differences in 2-year overall survival (OS) (Fav: 67.7%, IM: 64.9% and Adv: 53.9%; p < 0.001); disease-free survival (DFS) (Fav: 57.8%, IM: 55.5% and Adv: 45.3; p < 0.001) and relapse (Fav: 28%, IM: 27.5% and Adv: 37.5%; p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis (MVA) revealed no differences in outcomes between the Fav and IM groups, thus they were combined. On MVA, patients in the Adv risk group had the highest risk of relapse (HR 1.47 p ≤ 0.001) and inferior DFS (HR 1.35 p < 0.001) and OS (HR 1.39 p < 0.001), even using myeloablative conditioning or in those without the pre-HCT measurable-residual disease. Novel approaches to mitigate relapse in this high-risk group are urgently needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01450-3DOI Listing
September 2021

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

Blood Adv 2021 Sep 22. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, United States.

Little is known about whether risk classification at diagnosis predicts post-hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) outcomes for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. We evaluated 8709 AML patients from the CIBMTR database and, after selection and manual curation of cytogenetics data, 3779 patients in CR1 were included in the final analysis: 2384 with intermediate-risk, 969 with adverse-risk, and 426 with KMT2A-rearranged disease. An adjusted multivariable analysis compared to intermediate-risk patients detected an increased risk of relapse for KMT2A-rearranged and adverse-risk patients (HR 1.27, p = 0.01 and HR 1.71, p < 0.001, respectively). Leukemia-free survival (LFS) was similar for KMT2A and adverse-risk patients (HR 1.26, p = 0.002 and HR 1.47, p < 0.001), as was overall survival (OS) (HR 1.32, p < 0.001 and HR 1.45, p < 0.001). No differences in outcome could be detected when patients were stratified by KMT2A fusion partner. This is the largest study conducted to date on post-HCT outcomes in AML using manually curated cytogenetics for risk stratification. Our work demonstrates that risk classification at diagnosis remains predictive of post-HCT outcomes in AML. It also highlights the critical need to develop novel treatment strategies for patients with KMT2A rearrangements and adverse-risk disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004881DOI Listing
September 2021

Distress in a Pandemic: Association of the Coronavirus Disease-2019 Pandemic with Distress and Quality of Life in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Sep 15. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has drastically disrupted cancer care, potentially exacerbating patients' distress levels. Patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may be especially vulnerable to this pandemic stress. However, the associations of the COVID-19 pandemic with distress, fatigue, and quality of life (QoL) are not well understood in this population. In a cross-sectional analysis of data from 205 patients undergoing HSCT enrolled in a supportive care trial, we compared baseline pre-HSCT distress symptoms (depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD]), fatigue, and QoL between enrollees before (ie, March 2019-January 2020) and during (ie, March 2020-January 2021) the COVID-19 pandemic. We used linear regression models adjusting for sociodemographics and cancer diagnosis to examine the associations between enrollment period and patient-reported outcomes. We used semistructured qualitative interviews in 20 allogeneic HSCT recipients who were ≥3-months post-HSCT to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their recovery post-HSCT. One hundred twenty-four participants enrolled before COVID-19, and 81 participants enrolled during the pandemic. The 2 cohorts had similar baseline demographics and disease risk factors. In multivariate regression models, enrollment during COVID-19 was not associated with pre-HSCT symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, fatigue, or QoL impairment. COVID-19-era participants reported themes of negative (eg, increased isolation) and positive (eg, engagement with meaningful activities) implications of the pandemic on HSCT recovery. We found no differences in pre-HSCT distress, fatigue, or QoL in patients undergoing HSCT before or during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, patients in early recovery post-HSCT report both negative and positive implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in their lives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.09.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8442257PMC
September 2021

Nonrelapse mortality among patients diagnosed with chronic GVHD: an updated analysis from the Chronic GVHD Consortium.

Blood Adv 2021 10;5(20):4278-4284

Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is the leading cause of late morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. To better understand patients at highest risk for nonrelapse mortality (NRM), we analyzed patient-, transplant-, and cGVHD-related variables, risk factors, and causes of nonrelapse deaths in an updated cohort of 937 patients enrolled on 2 prospective, longitudinal observational studies through the Chronic GVHD Consortium. The median follow-up of survivors was 4 years (range, 0.1 months to 12.5 years). Relapse accounted for 25% of the 333 deaths. The cumulative incidence of NRM was 22% at 5 years, and it increased over time at a projected 40% (95% confidence interval, 30%-50%) at 12 years. Centers reported that cGVHD (37.8%) was the most common cause of NRM and was associated with organ failure, infection, or additional causes not otherwise specified. The next most frequent causes without mention of cGVHD were infection (17%) and respiratory failure (10%). In multivariable analysis, an increased risk for NRM was significantly associated with the use of reduced intensity conditioning, higher total bilirubin, National Institutes of Health (NIH) skin score of 2 to 3, NIH lung score of 1 to 3, worse modified Human Activity Profile adjusted activity score, and decreased distance on walk test. To summarize, cGVHD NRM does not plateau but increases over time and is most commonly attributed to GVHD or infection, presumably associated with immunocompromised status. Severe skin and lung cGVHD remain challenging manifestations associated with increased NRM, for which novel therapeutic options that do not predispose patients to infections are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004941DOI Listing
October 2021

Autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma-type Richter syndrome.

Blood Adv 2021 09;5(18):3528-3539

Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, Department of Medicine, and.

Richter syndrome (RS) represents a transformation from chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) to aggressive lymphoma, most commonly diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), which is associated with a dismal prognosis. Patients with DLBCL-RS have poor outcomes with DLBCL-directed therapy; thus, consolidation with hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) has been used, with durable remissions observed. Studies reporting HCT outcomes in patients with DLBCL-RS have been small, have not evaluated the prognostic impact of cytogenetic risk factors, and were conducted prior to the era of novel targeted therapy of CLL/SLL. We performed a Center for International Blood and Transplant Research registry study evaluating outcomes after autologous HCT (auto-HCT; n = 53) and allogeneic HCT (allo-HCT; n = 118) in patients with DLBCL-RS treated in the modern era. More auto-HCT recipients were in complete response (CR) at HCT relative to allo-HCT recipients (66% vs 34%), whereas a higher proportion of allo-HCT recipients had 17p deletion (33% vs 7%) and had previously received novel agents (39% vs 10%). In the auto-HCT cohort, the 3-year relapse incidence, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were 37%, 48%, and 57%, respectively. Among allo-HCT recipients, the 3-year relapse incidence, PFS, and OS were 30%, 43%, and 52%, respectively. In the allo-HCT cohort, deeper response at HCT was associated with outcomes (3-year PFS/OS, 66%/77% CR vs 43%/57% partial response vs 5%/15% resistant; P < .0001 for both), whereas cytogenetic abnormalities and prior novel therapy did not impact outcomes. In our study, HCT resulted in durable remissions in therapy-sensitive patients with DLBCL-RS treated in the era of targeted CLL/SLL therapy, including patients with high-risk features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004865DOI Listing
September 2021

Evaluation of Elafin as a Prognostic Biomarker in Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Aug 30. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

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

Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major cause of mortality in patients undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for hematologic malignancies. The skin is the most commonly involved organ in GVHD. Elafin, a protease inhibitor overexpressed in inflamed epidermis, was previously identified as a diagnostic biomarker of skin GVHD; however, this finding was restricted to a subset of patients with isolated skin GVHD. The main driver of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) in HCT recipients is gastrointestinal (GI) GVHD. Two biomarkers, Regenerating islet-derived 3a (REG3α) and Suppressor of tumorigenesis 2 (ST2), have been validated as biomarkers of GI GVHD that predict long-term outcomes in patients treated for GVHD. We undertook this study to determine the utility of elafin as a prognostic biomarker in the general population of acute GVHD patients in whom GVHD may develop in multiple organs. We analyzed serum elafin concentrations as a predictive biomarker of acute GVHD outcomes and compared it with ST2 and REG3α in a large group of patients treated at multiple centers. A total of 526 patients from the Mount Sinai Acute GVHD International Consortium (MAGIC) who had received corticosteroid treatment for skin GVHD and who had not been previously studied were analyzed. Serum concentrations of elafin, ST2, and REG3α were measured by ELISA in all patients. The patients were divided at random into equal training and validation sets, and a competing-risk regression model was developed to model 6-month NRM using elafin concentration in the training set. Additional models were developed using concentrations of ST2 and REG3α or the combination of all 3 biomarkers as predictors. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed using the validation set to evaluate the predictive accuracy of each model and to stratify patients into high- and low-risk biomarker groups. The cumulative incidence of 6-month NRM, overall survival (OS), and 4-week treatment response were compared between the risk groups. Unexpectedly, patients in the low-risk elafin group demonstrated a higher incidence of 6-month NRM, although the difference was not statistically significant (17% versus 11%; P = .19). OS at 6 months (68% versus 68%; P > .99) and 4-week response (78% versus 78%; P = .98) were similar in the low-risk and high-risk elafin groups. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) was 0.55 for elafin and 0.75 for the combination of ST2 and REG3α. The addition of elafin to the other 2 biomarkers did not improve the AUC. Our data indicate that serum elafin concentrations measured at the initiation of systemic treatment for acute GVHD did not predict 6-month NRM, OS, or treatment response in a multicenter population of patients treated systemically for acute GVHD. As seen in previous studies, serum concentrations of the GI GVHD biomarkers ST2 and REG3α were significant predictors of NRM, and the addition of elafin levels did not improve their accuracy. These results underscore the importance of GI disease in driving NRM in patients who develop acute GVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.08.021DOI Listing
August 2021

Allogeneic Transplantation to Treat Therapy-Related Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in Adults.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Nov 21;27(11):923.e1-923.e12. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

Section of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cell Therapy, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.

Patients who develop therapy-related myeloid neoplasm, either myelodysplastic syndrome (t-MDS) or acute myelogenous leukemia (t-AML), have a poor prognosis. An earlier Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) analysis of 868 allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantations (allo-HCTs) performed between 1990 and 2004 showed a 5-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) of 22% and 21%, respectively. Modern supportive care, graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis, and reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens have led to improved outcomes. Therefore, the CIBMTR analyzed 1531 allo-HCTs performed in adults with t-MDS (n = 759) or t-AML (n = 772) between and 2000 and 2014. The median age was 59 years (range, 18 to 74 years) for the patients with t-MDS and 52 years (range, 18 to 77 years) for those with t-AML. Twenty-four percent of patients with t-MDS and 11% of those with t-AML had undergone a previous autologous (auto-) HCT. A myeloablative conditioning (MAC) regimen was used in 49% of patients with t-MDS and 61% of patients with t-AML. Nonrelapse mortality at 5 years was 34% (95% confidence interval [CI], 30% to 37%) for patients with t-MDS and 34% (95% CI, 30% to 37%) for those with t-AML. Relapse rates at 5 years in the 2 groups were 46% (95% CI, 43% to 50%) and 43% (95% CI, 40% to 47%). Five-year OS and DFS were 27% (95% CI, 23% to 31%) and 19% (95% CI, 16% to 23%), respectively, for patients with t-MDS and 25% (95% CI, 22% to 28%) and 23% (95% CI, 20% to 26%), respectively, for those with t-AML. In multivariate analysis, OS and DFS were significantly better in young patients with low-risk t-MDS and those with t-AML undergoing HCT with MAC while in first complete remission, but worse for those with previous auto-HCT, higher-risk cytogenetics or Revised International Prognostic Scoring System score, and a partially matched unrelated donor. Relapse remains the major cause of treatment failure, with little improvement seen over the past 2 decades. These data mandate caution when recommending allo-HCT in these conditions and indicate the need for more effective antineoplastic approaches before and after allo-HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.08.010DOI Listing
November 2021

Standardizing Definitions of Hematopoietic Recovery, Graft Rejection, Graft Failure, Poor Graft Function, and Donor Chimerism in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: A Report on Behalf of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 08;27(8):642-649

West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is potentially curative for certain hematologic malignancies and nonmalignant diseases. The field of allo-HCT has witnessed significant advances, including broadening indications for transplantation, availability of alternative donor sources, less toxic preparative regimens, new cell manipulation techniques, and novel GVHD prevention methods, all of which have expanded the applicability of the procedure. These advances have led to clinical practice conundrums when applying traditional definitions of hematopoietic recovery, graft rejection, graft failure, poor graft function, and donor chimerism, because these may vary based on donor type, cell source, cell dose, primary disease, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, and conditioning intensity, among other variables. To address these contemporary challenges, we surveyed a panel of allo-HCT experts in an attempt to standardize these definitions. We analyzed survey responses from adult and pediatric transplantation physicians separately. Consensus was achieved for definitions of neutrophil and platelet recovery, graft rejection, graft failure, poor graft function, and donor chimerism, but not for delayed engraftment. Here we highlight the complexities associated with the management of mixed donor chimerism in malignant and nonmalignant hematologic diseases, which remains an area for future research. We recognize that there are multiple other specific, and at times complex, clinical scenarios for which clinical management must be individualized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.04.007DOI Listing
August 2021

Hypoxemic Respiratory Failure Following Ruxolitinib Discontinuation in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Recipients.

Oncologist 2021 Nov 30;26(11):e2082-e2085. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Hematopoietic Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Ruxolitinib, a selective inhibitor of Janus kinases 1 and 2, is increasingly being used in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) recipients following its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease. Although there is extensive experience using ruxolitinib for patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms, the biologic effects and clinical implications of its dosing, tapering, and discontinuation for allogeneic HCT recipients are incompletely characterized. We describe three allogeneic HCT recipients who developed acute hypoxemic respiratory failure within 3 months of ruxolitinib discontinuation. Radiographic findings included marked bilateral ground-glass opacities. Systemic corticosteroids and reinitiation of ruxolitinib resulted in rapid clinical improvement in all three patients. All three patients achieved a significant clinical response, with decrease in oxygen requirement and improvement in radiographic changes. Given the increasing use of ruxolitinib in allogeneic HCT recipients, there is significant impetus to characterize the biologic and clinical effects resulting from discontinuation of ruxolitinib, to better tailor treatment plans and prevent potential adverse effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/onco.13903DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8571747PMC
November 2021

Belumosudil for Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease (cGVHD) After 2 or More Prior Lines of Therapy: The ROCKstar Study.

Blood 2021 Jul 15. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Kadmon Corporation, West Chicago, Illinois, United States.

Belumosudil, an investigational oral selective inhibitor of rho-associated coiled-coil-containing protein kinase-2 (ROCK2), reduces type 17 and follicular helper T cells via downregulation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and enhances regulatory T cells via upregulation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5). Belumosudil may effectively treat patients with cGVHD, a major cause of morbidity and late nonrelapse mortality after an allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant. This phase 2, randomized, multicenter registration study evaluated belumosudil 200 mg QD (n=66) and 200 mg BID (n=66) in subjects with cGVHD who had received 2 to 5 prior lines of therapy. The primary end point was best overall response rate (ORR). Duration of response (DOR), changes in Lee Symptom Scale score, failure-free survival, corticosteroid dose reductions and overall survival were also evaluated. Overall median follow-up was 14 months. The best ORR (95% CI) of belumosudil 200 mg QD and 200 mg BID was 74% (62%-84%) and 77% (65%-87%), respectively, with high response rates observed in all subgroups. All affected organs demonstrated complete responses. The median DOR was 54 weeks; 44% of subjects have remained on therapy for ≥1 year. Symptom reduction with belumosudil 200 mg QD and 200 mg BID was reported in 59% and 62% of subjects, respectively. Adverse events (AEs) were consistent with those expected in patients with cGVHD receiving corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants. Sixteen subjects (12%) discontinued belumosudil due to possible drug-related AEs. Belumosudil, a promising therapy for cGVHD, was well tolerated with clinically meaningful responses. (Funded by Kadmon Corporation, LLC; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03640481.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2021012021DOI Listing
July 2021

Ruxolitinib resistance or intolerance in steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease - a real-world outcomes analysis.

Br J Haematol 2021 Nov 12;195(3):429-432. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

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

Ruxolitinib for steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD) results in resistance or intolerance in 1/5 of patients. Outcomes of such patients are undefined. We identified these patients in a multicentre review and reported outcomes. Ruxolitinib-resistant aGVHD was identified in 48/307 patients. Among patients receiving additional therapy, the overall response rate to next therapy was 36%. Median survival was 21 days. Ruxolitinib intolerance led to treatment discontinuation in 16/307 patients. Ten intolerant patients received additional therapy with 50% experiencing continued improvement of aGVHD. Median survival was 50 days in these patients. These data serve as a baseline for future SR-aGVHD studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17700DOI Listing
November 2021

National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Project on Criteria for Clinical Trials in Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease: III. The 2020 Treatment of Chronic GVHD Report.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 09 11;27(9):729-737. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Clinical Division of Hematology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Positive results from recent clinical trials have significantly expanded current therapeutic options for patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). However, new insights into the associations between clinical characteristics of chronic GVHD, pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease, and the clinical and biological effects of novel therapeutic agents are required to allow for a more individualized approach to treatment. The current report is focused on setting research priorities and direction in the treatment of chronic GVHD. Detailed correlative scientific studies should be conducted in the context of clinical trials to evaluate associations between clinical outcomes and the biological effect of systemic therapeutics. For patients who require systemic therapy but not urgent initiation of glucocorticoids, clinical trials for initial systemic treatment of chronic GVHD should investigate novel agents as monotherapy without concurrently starting glucocorticoids, to avoid confounding biological, pathological, and clinical assessments. Clinical trials for treatment-refractory disease should specifically target patients with incomplete or suboptimal responses to most recent therapy who are early in their disease course. Close collaboration between academic medical centers, medical societies, and industry is needed to support an individualized, biology-based strategic approach to chronic GVHD therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.05.004DOI Listing
September 2021

Erythroid nuclear dysplasia is associated with inferior outcomes for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Leuk Res 2021 10 18;109:106625. Epub 2021 May 18.

Hematopoietic Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Disease burden prior to hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is difficult to assess in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), particularly in patients without excess blasts. We assessed whether morphologic dysplasia at the time of transplant can be a metric of disease burden that is associated with post-transplant outcomes in MDS patients. We identified 84 MDS patients undergoing allogeneic HCT at our institution between 2010 and 2017 who received a bone marrow evaluation immediately prior to HCT. Dysplasia was independently determined by two hematopathologists blinded to existing pathology reports. Erythroid nuclear dysplasia, but not megakaryocytic or myeloid, was associated with post-HCT outcomes. Presence compared to absence of erythroid nuclear dysplasia was associated with lower 2-year progression-free survival (PFS; 34 % vs 62 %, p = 0.0495) and 2-year overall survival (OS; 34 % vs 62 %, p = 0.042). In a multivariate analysis including age, IPSS-R at the time of transplant, pre-HCT therapy, and donor type as covariates, erythroid nuclear dysplasia remained associated with lower PFS (HR 2.6, p = 0.036) and OS (HR 2.7, p = 0.028). Dysplasia assessment prior to transplant may serve as an estimate of disease burden in MDS and identify high-risk patients who merit additional therapies pre- or post-transplant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2021.106625DOI Listing
October 2021

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

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

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

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

Outcomes for Patients With IDH-Mutated Acute Myeloid Leukemia Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 06 25;27(6):479.e1-479.e7. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Center for Leukemia, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address:

Disease relapse after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a major cause of treatment failure for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Maintenance therapy after HCT for patients with targetable mutations such as mutated IDH1 or IDH2 may improve outcomes, and clinical trials evaluating this strategy are ongoing. However, clinical outcomes of IDH1- and IDH2-mutated AML patients after HCT have not been well described. The primary objective of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics and post-HCT outcomes of IDH-mutated AML patients. Survival outcomes included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, and cumulative incidences of relapse and nonrelapse mortality. In this multicenter retrospective analysis, 112 adult patients with IDH1- or IDH2-mutated AML who underwent HCT and did not receive an IDH inhibitor as maintenance therapy after HCT were identified at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Ohio State University. Mutation testing was performed using next-generation sequencing panels. Patient characteristics were collected retrospectively, and their survival outcomes were analyzed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. The median patient age was 64.1 years. The median follow-up was 27.5 months. Among patients, 78.5% had intermediate- or adverse-risk disease by European LeukemiaNET criteria. Fifty-eight percent of patients received intensive induction chemotherapy, 82% of patients underwent HCT during first complete remission (CR) or CR with incomplete hematologic recovery (CRi), and 34% of patients received myeloablative conditioning. Frequently detected co-mutations were DNMT3A (35.7%), NPM1 (33.1%), and FLT3-ITD (13.4%); TP53 mutations were detected in 3.6% of patients. For IDH1-mutated patients transplanted during first CR/CRi, the 1- and 2-year PFS was 75% and 58%, respectively. For IDH2-mutated patients transplanted in first CR/CRi, the 1- and 2-year PFS was 64% and 58%, respectively. The 2-year cumulative incidence of relapse was 31% and 25% for IDH1- and IDH2-mutated cohorts, respectively. Multivariable analysis suggested first CR/CRi and age ≤60 was associated with improved outcomes for IDH2-mutated patients. To date, this is the largest multicenter study of outcomes of IDH-mutated AML patients after HCT. Our analysis provides important benchmarks for analysis and interpretation of results emerging from clinical trials evaluating maintenance IDH1 and IDH2 inhibitor therapy for AML patients after HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.02.028DOI Listing
June 2021

Association Between Baseline Patient-Reported Outcomes and Complications of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 06 25;27(6):496.e1-496.e5. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology & Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; Harvard Medical School, Boston Massachusetts.

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a potentially curative therapy for hematologic malignancies, but it often results in significant toxicities and impaired quality of life (QOL). Although the value of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is increasingly recognized in HCT, data are limited regarding the relationship between PROs and HCT complications. We conducted a secondary data analysis of 250 patients who were hospitalized for autologous or allogeneic HCT at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2011 through 2016. We assessed QOL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General), mood (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and fatigue (FACT-Fatigue) at baseline. We abstracted from the Electronic Health Record (1) hospitalization during the first 100 days after HCT, (2) days alive and out of the hospital in the first 100 days after HCT, and (3) cumulative incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) among allogeneic HCT recipients. We assessed the association of baseline PROs with HCT complications using multivariable models adjusting for patient and transplant characteristics. Overall, 44.4% (111/250) of patients underwent an autologous HCT, 25.2% (63/250) received a myeloablative allogeneic HCT, and 30.4% (76/250) underwent a reduced-intensity allogeneic HCT. In multivariable logistic regression, higher anxiety (odds ratio [OR] = 1.14, P = .004) was associated with higher likelihood of rehospitalization within 100 days after HCT. In multivariable Poisson regression, lower fatigue (β = 0.003, P = .015) was associated with increased days alive and out of the hospital in the first 100 days post-HCT. In multivariable logistic regression, lower baseline QOL (OR = 0.97, P = .034), higher fatigue (OR = 0.95, P = .004), and higher depression (OR = 1.15, P = .020) were associated with increased likelihood of acute GVHD. Baseline PROs are associated with health care utilization after HCT and risk of acute GVHD in allogeneic HCT recipients. These findings underscore the potential utility of pretransplantation PROs as important prognostic factors for HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.02.029DOI Listing
June 2021

Sharing and caring: The impact of social support on quality of life and health outcomes in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Cancer 2021 04 17;127(8):1260-1265. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Social support is crucial for successful recovery after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and has the potential to affect patient quality of life (QOL) and health outcomes. However, there are limited data on the relationship between a patient's perception of his or her social support and these outcomes.

Methods: The authors conducted a secondary analysis of 250 autologous and allogeneic HSCT recipients enrolled in 2 supportive care trials at Massachusetts General Hospital from April 2011 through February 2016. They assessed social support as a patient's perception of his or her social well-being via the social well-being subscale of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy. The authors used multivariate regression analyses to examine the relationship between pretransplant social well-being and QOL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Treatment Outcome Index), psychological distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] symptoms (PTSD Checklist), fatigue (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue), and health care utilization (hospitalizations and days alive and out of the hospital) 6 months after HSCT.

Results: Participants were on average 56.4 years old (SD, 13.3 years); 44% (n = 110) and 56% (n = 140) received autologous and allogeneic HSCT, respectively. Greater pre-HSCT social well-being was associated with higher QOL (B = 0.10; 95% CI, 0.06-0.13; P < .001), lower psychological distress (B = -0.21; 95% CI, -0.29 to -0.12; P < .001), and lower PTSD symptoms (B = -0.12; 95% CI, -0.19 to -0.06; P < .001). Pre-HSCT social well-being was not significantly associated with fatigue or health care utilization 6 months after HSCT.

Conclusions: Patients with higher pre-HSCT perceptions of their social support reported better QOL and lower psychological distress 6 months after HSCT. These findings underscore the potential for social support as a modifiable target for future supportive care interventions to improve the QOL and care of HSCT recipients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33455DOI Listing
April 2021

Biomarker-guided preemption of steroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease with α-1-antitrypsin.

Blood Adv 2020 12;4(24):6098-6105

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

Steroid-refractory (SR) acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major cause of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), but its occurrence is not accurately predicted by pre-HCT clinical risk factors. The Mount Sinai Acute GVHD International Consortium (MAGIC) algorithm probability (MAP) identifies patients who are at high risk for developing SR GVHD as early as 7 days after HCT based on the extent of intestinal crypt damage as measured by the concentrations of 2 serum biomarkers, suppressor of tumorigenesis 2 and regenerating islet-derived 3α. We conducted a multicenter proof-of-concept "preemptive" treatment trial of α-1-antitrypsin (AAT), a serine protease inhibitor with demonstrated activity against GVHD, in patients at high risk for developing SR GVHD. Patients were eligible if they possessed a high-risk MAP on day 7 after HCT or, if initially low risk, became high risk on repeat testing at day 14. Thirty high-risk patients were treated with twice-weekly infusions of AAT for a total of 16 doses, and their outcomes were compared with 90 high-risk near-contemporaneous MAGIC control patients. AAT treatment was well tolerated with few toxicities, but it did not lower the incidence of SR GVHD compared with controls (20% vs 14%, P = .56). We conclude that real-time biomarker-based risk assignment is feasible early after allogeneic HCT but that this dose and schedule of AAT did not change the incidence of SR acute GVHD. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT03459040.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003336DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7756981PMC
December 2020

Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in the Treatment of Newly Diagnosed Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia: An Evidence-Based Review from the American Society of Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 01 20;27(1):6-20. Epub 2020 Sep 20.

EBMT Paris Study Office, Paris, France; Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.

The role of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in the management of newly diagnosed adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is reviewed and critically evaluated in this evidence-based review. An AML expert panel, consisting of both transplant and nontransplant experts, was invited to develop clinically relevant frequently asked questions covering disease- and HCT-related topics. A systematic literature review was conducted to generate core recommendations that were graded based on the quality and strength of underlying evidence based on the standardized criteria established by the American Society of Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Steering Committee for evidence-based reviews. Allogeneic HCT offers a survival benefit in patients with intermediate- and high-risk AML and is currently a part of standard clinical care. We recommend the preferential use of myeloablative conditioning in eligible patients. A haploidentical related donor marrow graft is preferred over a cord blood unit in the absence of a fully HLA-matched donor. The evolving role of allogeneic HCT in the context of measurable residual disease monitoring and recent therapeutic advances in AML with regards to maintenance therapy after HCT are also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.09.020DOI Listing
January 2021

A New Standard in Graft-versus-Host Disease Prophylaxis? An Introduction to Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network 1703.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 12 10;26(12):e305-e308. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Phoenix, Arizona. Electronic address:

Effective immunosuppressive regimens to prevent the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) are essential to the success of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). After revolutionizing haploidentical transplantation, post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) is now being evaluated for HCT performed from related and unrelated donors. In this setting, 2 recent randomized studies have demonstrated lower rates of GVHD and superior GVHD-free, relapse-free survival with PTCy compared with conventional GVHD prophylaxis. The Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN) is currently conducting a large, randomized phase III, multicenter trial (BMT CTN 1703) comparing PTCy/tacrolimus/mycophenolate mofetil to tacrolimus/methotrexate as GVHD prophylaxis regimens in reduced-intensity allogeneic HCT. Here we review the ongoing study, highlight its importance to the field, and explore the possible implications of its results on clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.08.029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7735536PMC
December 2020

Phase II trial of natalizumab with corticosteroids as initial treatment of gastrointestinal acute graft-versus-host disease.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 05 8;56(5):1006-1012. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Division of Hematologic Malignancies, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

The α4ß7 integrin is upregulated on naive and memory T cell subsets in patients who subsequently develop gastrointestinal (GI) acute GVHD. Natalizumab (Tysabri, Biogen Inc.) acts against the α4 subunit that mediates homing of lymphocytes to the GI tract. We initiated a phase II study of natalizumab with corticosteroids for initial treatment of acute GI GVHD. In total, 300 mg IV of natalizumab was given, with steroids initiated up to 3 days prior. Twenty-one subjects were treated, median age was 63 years (range 38-74), and 15 (71%) were male. Eighteen (86%) underwent RIC, 15 (71%) received MUD, and all received PBSCs. Overall GVHD at enrollment was grade II in 4 and grade III in 17. The primary endpoint, day 56 GVHD-free survival rate, was attained in 33.3%. The overall response rate at day 28 and 56 was 57% and 52%, respectively. Six of eight CRs were durable for 1 year. Five experienced toxicity possibly related to natalizumab and ten had infections before day 100. 2-year OS was 43% (95% CI 22-62%) and 2-year NRM was 52% (95% CI 29-71%). Natalizumab with corticosteroids as initial treatment of acute GI GVHD is safe, effective, and durable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-01049-0DOI Listing
May 2021

A Personalized Prediction Model for Outcomes after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplant in Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 11 8;26(11):2139-2146. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

Blood & Marrow Transplant Program, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, Ohio.

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) remains the only potentially curative option for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Mortality after HCT is high, with deaths related to relapse or transplant-related complications. Thus, identifying patients who may or may not benefit from HCT is clinically important. We identified 1514 patients with MDS enrolled in the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research Registry and had their peripheral blood samples sequenced for the presence of 129 commonly mutated genes in myeloid malignancies. A random survival forest algorithm was used to build the model, and the accuracy of the proposed model was assessed by concordance index. The median age of the entire cohort was 59 years. The most commonly mutated genes were ASXL1(20%), TP53 (19%), DNMT3A (15%), and TET2 (12%). The algorithm identified the following variables prior to HCT that impacted overall survival: age, TP53 mutations, absolute neutrophils count, cytogenetics per International Prognostic Scoring System-Revised, Karnofsky performance status, conditioning regimen, donor age, WBC count, hemoglobin, diagnosis of therapy-related MDS, peripheral blast percentage, mutations in RAS pathway, JAK2 mutation, number of mutations/sample, ZRSR2, and CUX1 mutations. Different variables impacted the risk of relapse post-transplant. The new model can provide survival probability at different time points that are specific (personalized) for a given patient based on the clinical and mutational variables that are listed above. The outcomes' probability at different time points may aid physicians and patients in their decision regarding HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.08.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7609542PMC
November 2020

Reduced intensity conditioning for acute myeloid leukemia using melphalan- vs busulfan-based regimens: a CIBMTR report.

Blood Adv 2020 07;4(13):3180-3190

Texas Transplant Institute, San Antonio, TX.

There is a lack of large comparative study on the outcomes of reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) transplantation using fludarabine/busulfan (FB) and fludarabine/melphalan (FM) regimens. Adult AML patients from Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research who received first RIC allo-transplant between 2001 and 2015 were studied. Patients were excluded if they received cord blood or identical twin transplant, total body irradiation in conditioning, or graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis with in vitro T-cell depletion. Primary outcome was overall survival (OS), secondary end points were leukemia-free survival (LFS), nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse, and GVHD. Multivariate survival model was used with adjustment for patient, leukemia, and transplant-related factors. A total of 622 patients received FM and 791 received FB RIC. Compared with FB, the FM group had fewer transplant in complete remission (CR), fewer matched sibling donors, and less usage of anti-thymocyte globulin or alemtuzumab. More patients in the FM group received marrow grafts and had transplantation before 2005. OS was significantly lower within the first 3 months posttransplant in the FM group (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.82, P < .001), but was marginally superior beyond 3 months (HR = 0.87, P = .05). LFS was better with FM compared with FB (HR = 0.89, P = .05). NRM was significantly increased in the FM group during the first 3 months of posttransplant (HR = 3.85, P < .001). Long-term relapse was lower with FM (HR = 0.65, P < .001). Analysis restricted to patients with CR showed comparable results. In conclusion, compared with FB, the FM RIC showed a marginally superior long-term OS and LFS and a lower relapse rate. A lower OS early posttransplant within 3 months was largely the result of a higher early NRM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019001266DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7362362PMC
July 2020

Timing of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients.

Leuk Lymphoma 2020 12 14;61(12):2811-2820. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

While TKI are the preferred first-line treatment for chronic phase (CP) CML, alloHCT remains an important consideration. The aim is to estimate residual life expectancy (RLE) for patients initially diagnosed with CP CML based on timing of alloHCT or continuation of TKI in various settings: CP1 CML, CP2 + [after transformation to accelerated phase (AP) or blast phase (BP)], AP, or BP. Non-transplant cohort included single-institution patients initiating TKI and switched TKI due to failure. CIBMTR transplant cohort included CML patients who underwent HLA sibling matched (MRD) or unrelated donor (MUD) alloHCT. AlloHCT appeared to shorten survival in CP1 CML with overall mortality hazard ratio (HR) for alloHCT of 2.4 (95% CI 1.2-4.9;  = .02). In BP CML, there was a trend toward higher survival with alloHCT; HR = 0.7 (0.5-1.1;  = .099). AlloHCT in CP2 + [HR = 2.0 (0.8-4.9),  = .13] and AP [HR = 1.1 (0.6-2.1);  = .80] is less clear and should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1783444DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8424781PMC
December 2020
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