Publications by authors named "Zinaida Peric"

46 Publications

Improved outcome of patients with graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for hematologic malignancies over time: an EBMT mega-file study.

Haematologica 2021 Jun 24. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg.

Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD) remains a major threat to successful outcome after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Advances in prophylaxis and supportive care have taken place over the years. The aim of this study is to test whether incidence and mortality of aGvHD have been reduced over time. 102 557 patients with a median age of 47.6 years with malignancies after first allogeneic sibling or unrelated donor (URD) transplant were studied in the following periods: 1990-1995, 1996-2000, 2001-2005, 2006-2010, 2011-2015. Findings: 100-day-incidences of aGvHD grades II-IV decreased from 40%, to 38%, 32%, 29% and 28% over calendar time (p.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2020.265769DOI Listing
June 2021

B regulatory cells and monocyte subpopulations in patients with chronic graft-vs-host disease.

Croat Med J 2021 Apr;62(2):154-164

Antonija Babić, Department of Laboratory Diagnostics, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Kišpatićeva 12, 10000 Zagreb,

Aim: To assess the correlations of B regulatory cells (Bregs) and monocyte subsets in peripheral blood with the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-consensus-defined clinical manifestations of chronic graft-vs-host disease (cGvHD), in an attempt to establish their role as cellular biomarkers.

Methods: This multidisciplinary prospective study enrolled adult cGVHD patients treated in the University Hospital Center Zagreb and University of Zagreb School of Medicine. Immunophenotypic subpopulations of CD24highCD38high Bregs (CD27-, CD27+, and total) and monocyte (classical, intermediate, and non-classical) counts were correlated with demographic, transplant, and cGVHD-related data. Bivariate correlation analysis was performed to evaluate the correlations between Bregs and monocytes subsets and cGVHD organ involvement, as well as cGVHD severity and immunosuppression intensity.

Results: Twenty-two adult patients (54.5% female) with cGVHD were enrolled. The median (range) age was 44.5 years (24-65). All patients were transplanted for hematologic malignancies and 40.9% had severe NIH cGVHD global score. The median time from cGVHD diagnosis to the analysis was 16.6 months (0-176). The organ most frequently affected with cGVHD were the eyes (68.2%), skin (45.5%), lungs (45.5%), and liver (40.9%). Lower total and CD27-Bregs counts were correlated with worse cGVHD severity, higher immunosuppression intensity, and lung cGVHD, in terms of cell count, but also with skin cGVHD, in terms of percentages. Patients with liver and joint/fascia cGVHD had a lower percentage of non-classical monocytes and patients with more severe global NIH score had a higher classical monocytes count.

Conclusion: Different organs affected by cGVHD are differently associated with different subpopulations of Bregs and monocytes.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8107991PMC
April 2021

Outcome of T-cell-replete haploidentical stem cell transplantation improves with time in adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A study from the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Cancer 2021 Jul 19;127(14):2507-2514. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Acute Leukemia Working Party, St Anthony Hospital, Paris, France.

Background: The use of haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantation (haplo-HCT) with posttransplantation cyclophosphamide prophylaxis is gaining traction in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Methods: The Acute Leukemia Working Party/European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation registry was used to evaluate the outcomes of adult patients with ALL who underwent haplo-HCT during 2011 through 2015 and compared them with the outcomes of those who underwent transplantation during 2016 through 2018.

Results: The analysis consisted of 195 patients, including 79 who underwent transplantation during 2011 through 2015 and 116 who underwent transplantation during 2016 through 2018. Overall, the 2-year leukemia-free survival and relapse incidence rates were 56.5% and 21%, respectively. The 100-day incidence of grade 2 through 4 acute graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) was 34.5%. The rates of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) and overall survival (OS) were 22.5% and 64.7%, respectively. Patients who underwent transplantation during 2016 through 2018 experienced improved rates of leukemia-free survival (64.9% vs 47.3%; P = .019) and OS (75.5% vs 53.5%; P = .006). Patients who underwent transplantation during 2016 through 2018 developed more grade 2 through 4 acute GVHD (42% vs 26.4%; P = .047). The incidence of relapse, GVHD-free/relapse-free survival, grade 3 and 4 acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, and extensive chronic GVHD did not differ significantly between groups. In multivariate analysis, more recently transplanted patients had a significantly reduced risk of NRM (hazard ratio, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.22-0.89; P = .022) and improved OS (hazard ratio, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.26-0.86; P = .014). A comparable analysis of patients who had acute myeloid leukemia during the same timeframes did not reveal any statistically significant differences in any outcomes.

Conclusions: The outcome of adult patients with ALL who receive posttransplant cyclophosphamide has improved over time, with an impressive 2-year OS of 75% and, most recently, an NRM rate of only 17%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33522DOI Listing
July 2021

Development and validation of a disease risk stratification system for patients with haematological malignancies: a retrospective cohort study of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation registry.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Mar;8(3):e205-e215

Hematology Division, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Gan, Israel.

Background: Diagnosis and remission status at the time of allogeneic haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) are the principal determinants of overall survival following transplantation. We sought to develop a contemporary disease-risk stratification system (DRSS) that accounts for heterogeneous transplantation indications.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study we included 55 histology and remission status combinations across haematological malignancies, including acute leukaemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and myeloproliferative and myelodysplastic disorders. A total of 47 265 adult patients (aged ≥18 years) who received an allogeneic HSCT between Jan 1, 2012, and Dec 31, 2016, and were reported to the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation registry were included. We divided EBMT patients into derivation (n=25 534), tuning (n=18 365), and geographical validation (n=3366) cohorts. Disease combinations were ranked in a multivariable Cox regression for overall survival in the derivation cohort, cutoff for risk groups were evaluated for the tuning cohort, and the selected system was tested on the geographical validation cohort. An independent single-centre US cohort of 660 patients transplanted between Jan 1, 2010, and Dec 31, 2015 was used to externally validate the results.

Findings: The DRSS model stratified patients in the derivation cohort (median follow-up was 2·1 years [IQR 1·0-3·2]) into five risk groups with increasing mortality risk: low risk (reference group), intermediate-1 (hazard ratio for overall survival 1·26 [95% CI 1·17-1·36], p<0·0001), intermediate-2 (1·53 [1·42-1·66], p<0·0001), high (2·03 [1·86-2·22], p<0·0001), and very high (2·87 [2·63-3·13], p<0·0001). DRSS levels were also associated with a stepwise increase in risk across the tuning and geographical validation cohort. In the external validation cohort (median follow-up was 5·7 years [IQR 4·5-7·1]), the DRSS scheme separated patients into 4 risk groups associated with increasing risk of mortality: intermediate-2 risk (hazard ratio [HR] 1·34 [95% CI 1·04-1·74], p=0·025), high risk (HR 2·03 [95% CI 1·39-2·95], p=0·00023) and very-high risk (HR 2·26 [95% CI 1·62-3·15], p<0·0001) patients compared with the low risk and intermediate-1 risk group (reference group). Across all cohorts, between 64% and 65% of patients were categorised as having intermediate-risk disease by a previous prognostic system (ie, the disease-risk index [DRI]). The DRSS reclassified these intermediate-risk DRI patients, with 855 (6%) low risk, 7111 (51%) intermediate-1 risk, 5700 (41%) intermediate-2 risk, and 375 (3%) high risk or very high risk of 14 041 patients in a subanalysis combining the tuning and internal geographic validation cohorts. The DRI projected 2-year overall survival was 62·1% (95% CI 61·2-62·9) for these 14 041 patients, while the DRSS reclassified them into finer prognostic groups with overall survival ranging from 45·7% (37·4-54·0; very high risk patients) to 73·1% (70·1-76·2; low risk patients).

Interpretation: The DRSS is a novel risk stratification tool including disease features related to histology, genetic profile, and treatment response. The model should serve as a benchmark for future studies. This system facilitates the interpretation and analysis of studies with heterogeneous cohorts, promoting trial-design with more inclusive populations.

Funding: The Varda and Boaz Dotan Research Center for Hemato-Oncology Research, Tel Aviv University.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30394-XDOI Listing
March 2021

Addition of Rituximab in Reduced Intensity Conditioning Regimens for B-Cell Malignancies Does Not Influence Transplant Outcomes: EBMT Registry Analyses Following Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation for B-Cell Malignancies.

Front Immunol 2020 2;11:613954. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

Rituximab (R) is increasingly incorporated in reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) in patients with B-cell malignancies, not only to improve disease control, but also to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). There are no randomized prospective data to validate this practice, although single center data and the CIBMTR analysis have shown promising results. We aimed at validation of these findings in a large registry study. We conducted a retrospective analysis using the EBMT registry of 3,803 adult patients with B-cell malignancies undergoing alloHCT (2001-2013) with either rituximab (R-RIC-9%) or non-rituximab (RIC-91%) reduced intensity regimens respectively. Median age and median follow up were 55 years (range 19.1-77.3) and 43.2 months (range 0.3-179.8), respectively. There was no difference in transplant outcomes (R-RIC vs RIC), including 1-year overall survival (69.9% vs 70.7%), 1-year disease-free survival (64.4% vs 62.2%), 1-year non-relapse mortality (21% vs 22%), and day-100 incidence of acute GVHD 2-4° (12% vs 12%). In summary, we found that addition of rituximab in RIC regimens for B-cell malignancies had no significant impact on major transplant outcome variables. Of note, data on chronic GVHD was not available, limiting the conclusions that can be drawn from the present study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.613954DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884746PMC
June 2021

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for adult patients with t(4;11)(q21;q23) KMT2A/AFF1 B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia in first complete remission: impact of pretransplant measurable residual disease (MRD) status. An analysis from the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the EBMT.

Leukemia 2021 08 4;35(8):2232-2242. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

EBMT Paris Study Office, Department of Hematology and Cell Therapy, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris, France.

Adult B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) with t(4;11)(q21;q23);KMT2A/AFF1 is a poor-prognosis entity. This registry-based study was aimed to analyze outcome of patients with t(4;11) BCP-ALL treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) in first complete remission (CR1) between 2000 and 2017, focusing on the impact of measurable residual disease (MRD) at the time of transplant. Among 151 patients (median age, 38) allotransplanted from either HLA-matched siblings or unrelated donors, leukemia-free survival (LFS) and overall survival (OS) at 2 years were 51% and 60%, whereas relapse incidence (RI) and non-relapse mortality (NRM) were 30% and 20%, respectively. These results were comparable to a cohort of contemporary patients with diploid normal karyotype (NK) BCP-ALL with equivalent inclusion criteria (n = 567). Among patients with evaluable MRD pre-alloHSCT, a negative status was the strongest beneficial factor influencing LFS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.2, p < 0.001), OS (HR = 0.14, p < 0.001), RI (HR = 0.23, p = 0.001), and NRM (HR = 0.16, p = 0.002), with a similar outcome to MRD-negative NK BCP-ALL patients. In contrast, among patients with detectable pretransplant MRD, outcome in t(4;11) BCP-ALL was inferior to NK BCP-ALL (LFS: 27% vs. 50%, p = 0.02). These results support indication of alloHSCT in CR1 for t(4;11) BCP-ALL patients, provided a negative MRD status is achieved. Conversely, pre-alloHSCT additional therapy is warranted in MRD-positive patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01135-2DOI Listing
August 2021

How much has allogeneic stem cell transplant-related mortality improved since the 1980s? A retrospective analysis from the EBMT.

Blood Adv 2020 12;4(24):6283-6290

European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) Transplant Complications Working Party, Paris, France.

We performed a study to find out how advances in modern medicine have improved the mortality risk of allogeneic stem cell transplantation. We analyzed major transplantation outcome parameters in adult patients on the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) registry who had hematologic malignancies and had received transplants from matched sibling donors. We performed multivariate analyses using the Cox proportional-hazards model including known risk factors for nonrelapse mortality and a matched-pairs analysis. We identified 38 800 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Considerable changes in patient characteristics have occurred in the past decades, such as older age, different underlying diseases, and a higher proportion of patients with advanced disease. Major reasons for transplantation-related death in the 1980s were infectious complications and graft-versus-host disease. Nonrelapse mortality, measured at 1 year after transplantation, has decreased over time: 29.7% from 1980 through 1989, 24.4% from 1990 through 1999, 14.8% from 2000 through 2009, and 12.2% from 2010 through 2016. On multivariate analysis, the year of transplantation was associated with reduced nonrelapse mortality (P < .0001; hazard ratio [HR] [95% confidence interval (CI)], 0.8 [0.79-0.82], for 5-year intervals) and decreased overall mortality (P < .0001; HR [95% CI], 0.87 [0.86-0.88]. In the matched-pairs analysis of 3718 patients in each group, nonrelapse mortality at 1 year was 24.4% in the 1990s and 9.5% from 2013 through 2016 (P < .0001; HR [95% CI], 0.39 [0.34-0.43]). Transplantation-related mortality has decreased significantly in the past 40 years. These favorable data facilitate evidence-based treatment decisions on transplantation indications in the context of the availability of novel immunotherapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003418DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7756984PMC
December 2020

Underdiagnosed veno-occlusive disease/sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (VOD/SOS) as a major cause of multi-organ failure in acute leukemia transplant patients: an analysis from the EBMT Acute Leukemia Working Party.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 04 18;56(4):917-927. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Sorbonne University, Department of Clinical Hematology and Cellular Therapy, Saint Antoine Hospital, INSERM UMR 938, Paris, France.

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) is a complex, potentially fatal therapy featuring a myriad of complications. Triggering event(s) of such complications vary significantly, but often a so-called "multi-organ failure" (MOF) is reported as the leading cause of death. The identification of the exact trigger of MOF is critical towards early and disease-specific intervention to improve outcome. We examined data from 202 alloHCT patients reported to have died of MOF from the EBMT registry aiming to determine their exact cause of death focusing on veno-occlusive disease/sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (VOD/SOS) due to its life-threatening, often difficult to capture yet preventable nature. We identified a total of 70 patients (35%) for whom VOD/SOS could be considered as trigger for MOF and leading cause of death, among which 48 (69%) were previously undiagnosed. Multivariate analysis highlighted history of hepatic comorbidity or gentuzumab use and disease status beyond CR1 as the only significant factors predictive of VOD/SOS incidence (OR = 6.6; p = 0.001 and OR = 3.3; p = 0.004 respectively). VOD/SOS-related MOF was widely under-reported, accounting for 27% of deaths attributed to MOF of unknown origin without a previous VOD/SOS diagnosis. Our results suggest most missed cases developed late VOD/SOS beyond 21 days post-alloHCT, highlighting the importance of the newly revised EBMT criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-01135-3DOI Listing
April 2021

Reduced Calcium Signaling Is Associated With Severe Graft-Versus-Host Disease: Results From Preclinical Models and From a Prospective EBMT Study.

Front Immunol 2020 11;11:1983. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Department of Hematology, Oncology, and Tumor Immunology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Despite its involvement in various immune functions, including the allogeneic activation of T-lymphocytes, the relevance of calcium (Ca) for GVHD pathobiology is largely unknown. To elucidate a potential association between Caand GVHD, we analyzed Ca-sensing G-protein coupled receptor 6a (GPRC6a) signaling in preclinical GVHD models and conducted a prospective EBMT study on Ca serum levels prior alloSCT including 363 matched sibling allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantations (alloSCTs). In experimental models, we found decreased expression during intestinal GVHD. GPRC6a deficient alloSCT recipients had higher clinical and histopathological GVHD scores leading to increased mortality. As possible underlying mechanism, we found increased antigen presentation potential in GPRC6a alloSCT recipients demonstrated by higher proliferation rates of T-lymphocytes. In patients with low Ca serum levels (≤median 2.2 mmol/l) before alloSCT, we found a higher incidence of acute GVHD grades II-IV (HR = 2.3 Cl = 1.45-3.85 = 0.0006), severe acute GVHD grades III-IV (HR = 3.3 CI = 1.59-7.14, = 0.002) and extensive chronic GVHD (HR = 2.0 Cl = 1.04-3.85 = 0.04). In conclusion, experimental and clinical data suggest an association of reduced Ca signaling with increased severity of GVHD. Future areas of interest include the in depth analysis of involved molecular pathways and the investigation of Ca signaling as a therapeutic target during GVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01983DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7431962PMC
April 2021

Measurable residual disease (MRD) testing for acute leukemia in EBMT transplant centers: a survey on behalf of the ALWP of the EBMT.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 01 28;56(1):218-224. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

EBMT Paris Study Office/CEREST-TC, Paris, France.

Detectable measurable residual disease (MRD) is a key prognostic factor in both acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. Thus, we conducted a survey in EBMT transplant centers focusing on pre- and post-allo-HCT MRD. One hundred and six centers from 29 countries responded. One hundred had a formal strategy for routine MRD assessment, 91 for both ALL and AML. For ALL (n = 95), assessing MRD has been routine practice starting from 2010 (range, 1990-2019). Techniques used for MRD assessment consisted of PCR techniques alone (n = 27), multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC, n = 16), both techniques (n = 43), next-generation sequencing (NGS) + PCR (n = 2), or PCR + MFC + NGS (n = 7). The majority of centers assessed MRD every 2-3 months for 2 (range, 1-until relapse) years. For AML, assessing MRD was routine in 92 centers starting in 2010 (range 1990-2019). Assessment of MRD was by PCR (n = 23), MFC (n = 13), both PCR and MFC (n = 39), both PCR and NGS (n = 3), and by all three techniques (n = 14). The majority assesses MRD for AML every 2-3 months for 2 (range, 1-until relapse) years. This survey is the first step in the aim to include MRD status as a routine registry capture parameter in acute leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-01005-yDOI Listing
January 2021

Sarcopenia among patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and the impact of chronic graft-versus-host disease.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2020 Nov 7;146(11):2967-2978. Epub 2020 Jun 7.

Clinical Unit of Clinical Nutrition, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.

Purpose: This study investigated the frequency and characteristics of sarcopenia among patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) with a specific focus on the chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) population and its association with malnutrition, vitamin D and clinical characteristics.

Methods: We assessed sarcopenia, vitamin D levels, and nutritional status in 73 patients who underwent allo-HSCT, of which 45 were diagnosed with cGVHD. Sarcopenia was diagnosed according to the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) criteria.

Results: Sarcopenia was diagnosed in 19.2% of patients after allo-HSCT with statistically no significant difference between cGVHD and non-cGVHD patients. The risk factor for sarcopenia was the male gender. Sarcopenia in allo-HSCT patients correlated strongly with malnutrition and with current corticosteroid treatment (p < 0.005). Among cGVHD patients sarcopenia additionally correlated strongly with the number of prior systemic immunosuppressive therapy lines (p < 0.005) and moderately with the intensity of immunosuppression, cGVHD severity global rating assessed by both the health care provider and the patient and joint and fascia cGVHD involvement (p < 0.05). Vitamin D deficiency was found in more than 54.8% of patients, but the correlation to sarcopenia was not found.

Conclusion: Sarcopenia was found to be common in long term survivors of allo-HSCT independently of the cGVHD diagnosis. Prospective longitudinal studies are needed for a better understanding of factors affecting the development of sarcopenia after allo-HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-020-03280-0DOI Listing
November 2020

Bone marrow versus mobilized peripheral blood stem cell graft in T-cell-replete haploidentical transplantation in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Leukemia 2020 10 11;34(10):2766-2775. Epub 2020 May 11.

EBMT ALWP Office, Saint Antoine Hospital, Paris, France.

The ideal stem cell graft source remains unknown in haploidentical haematopietic cell transplantation (haplo-HCT) with posttransplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy). This study compared outcomes of bone marrow (BM) versus peripheral blood (PB) stem cell graft for haplo-HCT in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). A total of 314 patients with ALL (BM-157; PB-157) were included in this study. The cumulative incidence of engraftment at day 30 was higher in the PB group compared with BM (93% vs. 88%, p < 0.01). The incidences of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and chronic GVHD were not significantly different between the study cohorts. In the multivariate analysis, there were tendencies toward a higher incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.52, p = 0.07), chronic GVHD (HR = 1.58, p = 0.05), and nonrelapse mortality (NRM) (HR = 1.66, p = 0.06) in patients receiving PB versus BM graft, respectively. The use of PB grafts was associated with lower leukemia-free survival (LFS) (HR = 1.43, p = 0.05), overall survival (OS) (HR = 1.59, p = 0.02), and GVHD-free, relapse-free survival (GRFS) (HR = 1.42, p = 0.03) compared with BM grafts. There was no difference in relapse incidence (HR = 1.23, p = 0.41) between the study groups. In conclusion, use of BM graft results in better survival after haplo-HCT with PTCy in patients with ALL, compared with PB stem cell graft.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-0850-9DOI Listing
October 2020

Comparison of reduced-intensity conditioning regimens in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia >45 years undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation-a retrospective study by the Acute Leukemia Working Party of EBMT.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 08 2;55(8):1560-1569. Epub 2020 May 2.

Saint Antoine Hospital, University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.

The optimal reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) remains unclear. We retrospectively analyzed 417 patients > 45 years with ALL in first complete remission who underwent a matched sibling or unrelated allo-HSCT and compared outcomes between fludarabine/busulfan (FLUBU, n = 127), fludarabine/melphalan (FLUMEL, n = 190), and fludarabine-TBI (FLUTBI, n = 100) conditioning. At 2 years, there were no differences between the groups in terms of cumulative incidence (CI) of relapse (40% for FLUBU vs 36% for FLUMEL vs 41% for FLUTBI, p = 0.21); transplant-related mortality (TRM) (18% for FLUBU, 22% for FLUMEL, 14% for FLUTBI, p = 0.09); overall survival (55% for FLUBU, 50% for FLUMEL, 60% for FLUTBI, p = 0.62) or leukemia-free survival (43% for FLUBU, 42% for FLUMEL, 45% for FLUTBI, p = 0.99), but GVHD-relapse-free survival was significantly lower in the FLUTBI group than FLUBU and FLUMEL group (18% vs 35% vs 28%, p = 0.02). However, this difference was lost in the multivariate analysis when adjusted for the in vivo T-cell depletion. Finally, the FLUMEL regimen was shown to be an independent risk factor for a higher TRM (HR 1.97, 95% CI 1.05-3.72, p = 0.04). We conclude that the three most popular RIC regimens yield similar transplant outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0878-5DOI Listing
August 2020

Post-transplant cyclophosphamide versus anti-thymocyte globulin for graft-versus-host disease prevention in haploidentical transplantation for adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Haematologica 2021 06 1;106(6):1591-1598. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Saint Antoine Hospital and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis for unmanipulated haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantation (haplo-HCT) include post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) and anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG). Utilizing EBMT registry, we compared ATG versus PTCy based GVHD prophylaxis in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients undergoing haplo-HCT. Included were 434 patients; ATG (n=98) and PTCy (n=336). Median follow-up was ~2 years. Baseline characteristics were similar between the groups except that the ATG-group was more likely to have relapsed/refractory ALL (P=0.008), non-TBI conditioning (P<0.001), peripheral blood graft source (P=<0.001) and transplanted at an earlier time-period (median year of HCT 2011 vs. 2015). The 100-day grade II-IV and III-IV acute-GVHD was similar between ATG and PTCy, as was 2-year chronic-GVHD. On multivariate analysis (MVA), leukemia-free survival (LFS) and overall survival (OS) was better with PTCy compared to ATG prophylaxis. Relapse incidence (RI) was lower in the PTCy group (P=0.03), while non-relapse mortality (NRM) was not different. Advanced disease and lower performance score were associated with poorer LFS and OS and advanced disease with inferior GVHD-free/relapse-free survival (GRFS). Peripheral grafts were associated with higher GVHD compared to bone marrow grafts. In ALL patients undergoing unmanipulated haplo-HCT, PTCy for GVHD prevention resulted in lower RI and improved LFS and OS compared to ATG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2020.247296DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168508PMC
June 2021

Diagnosis and Management of Secondary HLH/MAS Following HSCT and CAR-T Cell Therapy in Adults; A Review of the Literature and a Survey of Practice Within EBMT Centres on Behalf of the Autoimmune Diseases Working Party (ADWP) and Transplant Complications Working Party (TCWP).

Front Immunol 2020 31;11:524. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Department of Haematology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Secondary haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH) or Macrophage Activation Syndrome (MAS) is a life-threatening hyperinflammatory syndrome that can occur in patients with severe infections, malignancy or autoimmune diseases. It is also a rare complication of haematopoetic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), with a high mortality. It may be associated with graft vs. host disease in the allogeneic HSCT setting. It is also reported following CAR-T cell therapy, but differentiation from cytokine release syndrome (CRS) is challenging. Here, we summarise the literature and present results of a survey of current awareness and practice in EBMT-affiliated centres of sHLH/MAS following HSCT and CAR-T cell therapy. An online questionnaire was sent to the principal investigators of all EBMT member transplant centres treating adult patients (18 years and over) inviting them to provide information regarding: number of cases of sHLH/MAS seen in their centre over 3 years (2016-2018 inclusive); screening strategies and use of existing diagnostic/classification criteria and treatment protocols. 114/472 centres from 24 different countries responded (24%). We report estimated rates of sHLH/MAS of 1.09% (95% CI = 0.89-1.30) following allogeneic HSCT, 0.15% (95% CI = 0.09-5.89) following autologous HSCT and 3.48% (95% CI = 0.95-6.01) following CAR-T cell therapy. A majority of centres (70%) did not use a standard screening protocol. Serum ferritin was the most commonly used screening marker at 78% of centres, followed by soluble IL-2 receptor (24%), triglycerides (15%), and fibrinogen (11%). There was significant variation in definition of "clinically significant" serum ferritin levels ranging from 500 to 10,000 μg/mL. The most commonly used criteria to support diagnosis were HLH-2004 (43%) and the H score (15%). Eighty percent of responders reported using no standard management protocol, but reported using combinations of corticosteroids, chemotherapeutic agents, cytokine blockade, and monoclonal antibodies. There is a remarkable lack of consistency between EBMT centres in the approach to screening, diagnosis and management. Further research in this field is needed to raise awareness of and inform harmonised, evidence-based approaches to the recognition and treatment of sHLH/MAS following HSCT/CAR-T cell therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7137396PMC
March 2021

Clinical practice recommendation on hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia patients with -internal tandem duplication: a position statement from the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Haematologica 2020 06 2;105(6):1507-1516. Epub 2020 Apr 2.

Department of Hematology-Oncology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

The () gene is mutated in 25-30% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Because of the poor prognosis associated with -internal tandem duplication mutated AML, allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (SCT) was commonly performed in first complete remission. Remarkable progress has been made in frontline treatments with the incorporation of FLT3 inhibitors and the development of highly sensitive minimal/measurable residual disease assays. Similarly, recent progress in allogeneic hematopoietic SCT includes improvement of transplant techniques, the use of haploidentical donors in patients lacking an HLA matched donor, and the introduction of FLT3 inhibitors as post-transplant maintenance therapy. Nevertheless, current transplant strategies vary between centers and differ in terms of transplant indications based on the internal tandem duplication allelic ratio and concomitant nucleophos-min-1 mutation, as well as in terms of post-transplant maintenance/consolidation. This review generated by international leukemia or transplant experts, mostly from the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, attempts to develop a position statement on best approaches for allogeneic hematopoietic SCT for AML with -internal tandem duplication including indications for and modalities of such transplants and on the potential optimization of post-transplant maintenance with FLT inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.243410DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7271578PMC
June 2020

Redefining and measuring transplant conditioning intensity in current era: a study in acute myeloid leukemia patients.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 06 29;55(6):1114-1125. Epub 2020 Jan 29.

Department of Hematology, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway.

To address limitations of the currently used reduced-intensity/myeloablative conditioning (RIC/MAC) classification scheme we aimed to develop a tool that can capture more standardized the conditioning intensity of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We assigned intensity weight scores for frequently used conditioning regimen components and used their sum to generate the transplant conditioning intensity (TCI) score. We retrospectively tested the impact of TCI on 8255 adult (45-65 years) acute myeloid leukemia patients who underwent HCT in first complete remission. A Cox model for early nonrelapse mortality (NRM) yielded a 3-group TCI risk scheme (low, intermediate, high) with respective TCI scores of [1-2], [2.5-3.5] and [4-6]. On multivariate modeling, TCI grouping was highly and better predictive for early (day 100 and 180) NRM, 2-year NRM and relapse (REL) as compared with the RIC/MAC classification. Validation was done on 200 bootstrap samples. Moreover, TCI scoring enabled the identification of a distinct subgroup of RIC and MAC conditioning regimens with an intermediate TCI [2.5-3.5] score that had identical outcomes and which are frequently referred as "reduced toxicity conditioning". TCI scheme provides an improvement of the RIC/MAC classification. We propose TCI as a new tool to define and measure the conditioning regimen intensity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0803-yDOI Listing
June 2020

Thiotepa and antithymocyte globulin-based conditioning prior to haploidentical transplantation with posttransplant cyclophosphamide in high-risk hematological malignancies.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 04 31;55(4):763-772. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Department of Hematology and Cellular Therapy, Saint Antoine Hospital, AP-HP, Paris, France.

We report results of a thiotepa-based conditioning in haploidentical stem cell transplantation (haplo-SCT) with posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PT-CY) and antithymocyte globulin (ATG), for unmanipulated peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) transplants, in 80 patients with hematological malignancies. Patients in complete remission (CR) received a thiotepa-busulfan-fludarabine (TBF) regimen, while patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) malignancies received a sequential regimen consisting of thiotepa-etoposide-cyclophosphamide (TEC) and reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC). The median age was 52 (range, 17-72) years, 44% patients had R/R disease at transplant, and the median follow-up was 417 (range, 180-1595) days. The median days to neutrophil engraftment was 17 (range, 12-34). The cumulative incidences (CI) of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) grade III to IV, severe chronic GVHD, nonrelapse mortality (NRM), and relapse were 16%, 16%, 26, and 26%, respectively. The 2-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were 53% and 47%, respectively. There were no significant differences between the patients in CR and R/R patients in terms of engraftment, GVHD, NRM, relapse, OS, or DFS. We conclude that thiotepa-based regimen with PT-CY can be modified with PBSC and ATG, still providing low toxicity, protection against GVHD, and low relapse incidence. Particularly encouraging are the results with the modification to sequential regimen in R/R patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-019-0726-7DOI Listing
April 2020

Measurable residual disease at myeloablative allogeneic transplantation in adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a retrospective registry study on 2780 patients from the acute leukemia working party of the EBMT.

J Hematol Oncol 2019 10 23;12(1):108. Epub 2019 Oct 23.

Department of Haematology, EBMT Paris Study Office/CEREST-TC/Saint Antoine Hospital, Paris, France.

Background: Assessment of measurable residual disease (MRD) is rapidly transforming the therapeutic and prognostic landscape of a wide range of hematological malignancies. Its prognostic value in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has been established and MRD measured at the end of induction is increasingly used to guide further therapy. Although MRD detectable immediately before allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is known to be associated with poor outcomes, it is unclear if or to what extent this differs with different types of conditioning.

Methods: In this retrospective registry study, we explored whether measurable residual disease (MRD) before allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia is associated with different outcomes in recipients of myeloablative total body irradiation (TBI)-based versus chemotherapy-based conditioning. We analyzed outcomes of 2780 patients (median age 38 years, range 18-72) who underwent first HCT in complete remission between 2000 and 2017 using sibling or unrelated donors.

Results: In 1816 of patients, no disease was detectable, and in 964 patients, MRD was positive. Conditioning was TBI-based in 2122 (76%) transplants. In the whole cohort MRD positivity was a significant independent factor for lower overall survival (OS) and leukemia-free survival (LFS), and for higher relapse incidence (RI), with respective hazard ratios (HR, 95% confidence intervals) of 1.19 (1.02-1.39), 1.26 (1.1-1.44), and 1.51 (1.26-1.8). TBI was associated with a higher OS, LFS, and lower RI with HR of 0.75 (0.62-0.90), 0.70 (0.60-0.82), and 0.60 (0.49-0.74), respectively. No significant interaction was found between MRD status and conditioning. When investigating the impact of MRD separately in the TBI and chemotherapy-based conditioning cohorts by multivariate analysis, we found MRD positivity to be associated with lower OS and LFS and higher RI in the TBI group, and with higher RI in the chemotherapy group. TBI-based conditioning was associated with improved outcomes in both MRD-negative and MRD-positive patients.

Conclusions: In this large study, we confirmed that patients who are MRD-negative prior to HCT achieve superior outcomes. This is particularly apparent if TBI conditioning is used. All patients with ALL irrespective of MRD status benefit from TBI-based conditioning in the myeloablative setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-019-0790-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6813121PMC
October 2019

Haploidentical vs. unrelated allogeneic stem cell transplantation for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in first complete remission: on behalf of the ALWP of the EBMT.

Leukemia 2020 01 19;34(1):283-292. Epub 2019 Aug 19.

Division of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Unmanipulated haploidentical allogeneic stem cell transplantation (Allo-SCT) has become an attractive alternative for patients lacking HLA-matched sibling or unrelated donors. However, data of outcome in ALL is still scarce. The outcomes of 1234 adult patients with ALL in first complete remission (CR1) who underwent Allo-SCT between 2007 and 2016 were analyzed. Comparison was done between haploidentical donor (Haplo) (136 patients), matched unrelated donor (MUD 10/10) (809 patients), and mismatched unrelated donor (MMUD 9/10) (289 patients). Univariate analysis showed similar outcomes in Haplo, MUD, and MMUD, including OS, LFS, RI, NRM, AGVHD, and CGVHD. In multivariate analysis, Haplo was not associated with worse outcomes compared to MUD 10/10 and MMUD 9/10. Indeed, compared to Haplo, the hazard ratio (HR) for LFS, OS, RI, NRM, AGVHD, and CGVHD were 1.1 (p = 0.7), 0.9 (p = 0.4), 1.35 (p = 0.2), 0.7 (p = 0.2), 1.1 (p = 0.8), and 0.8 (p = 0.2) for MUD, respectively, and 1.1 (p = 0.8), 1.0 (p = 1.0), 1.2 (p = 0.3), 0.8 (p = 0.4), 1.2 (p = 0.3), and 0.9 (p = 0.6) for MMUD, respectively. In conclusion, outcomes of adult patients with ALL in CR1 receiving Haplo Allo-SCT are comparable to MUD or MMUD transplants. Haplo should be considered as a clinically relevant option for patients lacking a matched sibling donor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-019-0544-3DOI Listing
January 2020

Use of busulfan in conditioning for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in adults: a survey by the Transplant Complications Working Party of the EBMT.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2019 12 3;54(12):2013-2019. Epub 2019 Jun 3.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Internal Medicine, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.

A survey was carried out among EBMT centers about the use of busulfan for conditioning in allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Of 109 responding centers, 106 used busulfan for conditioning, 102 in conventional myeloablative doses, and 93 in reduced doses (RIC). The route of administration was mostly intravenous, but ~10% of the centers gave the drug orally. The number of doses in i.v. administration varied and was in myeloablative conditioning mostly one (50 centers) or four (43 centers) doses a day. Seventeen of the 106 centers used pharmacokinetics for dose adjustment in myeloablative conditioning, nine in RIC. The details of pharmacokinetic monitoring varied markedly. Three quarters of the centers reported adjusting the dose based on obesity in myeloablative conditioning and about 60% in RIC. The most common method for dose calculation was ideal body weight + 0.25 × (actual body weight - ideal body weight). In conclusion, the present survey showed marked heterogeneity in the current practices of busulfan administration for conditioning. The impact of the heterogeneity is not well known. Due to this and the scarcity of support from controlled clinical studies, no clear guidelines can be presented, but some prevailing policies to be recommended were identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-019-0579-0DOI Listing
December 2019

Role of Physical Therapy before and after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: White Paper Report.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2019 06 15;25(6):e191-e198. Epub 2019 Jan 15.

Physical Therapy Association for Graft Versus Host Disease, Swindon, United Kingdom; Oncology Centre, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) patients can suffer from various musculoskeletal problems resulting in long-term functional incapacity. Physical therapy (PT), as a part of the healthcare team, has been historically advocated for regaining functional capacity and improving quality of life post-HSCT. Because of the nature of this condition and the burden of post-transplant complications, this patient group requires a unique approach toward their rehabilitation that takes into account their complex musculoskeletal presentation ranging from fascia, muscle, tendons, bones, and ligaments. However, to our knowledge there is no universal standardized PT protocol or pathway to help guide rehab specialists to achieve optimal gains for this patient group, and anecdotal evidence suggests that these patients do not always receive the PT care they require. Hence, in collaboration with the Transplant Complications Working Party of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, the Survivorship Special Interest Group of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and the Quality of Life Committee of the Eastern Mediterranean Blood and Marrow Transplantation, herein the Physical Therapy Association for Graft Versus Host Disease provides a brief review on role of PT in mitigating musculoskeletal complications in HSCT patients and makes evidence-based recommendations for incorporation of PT into routine HSCT care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.01.018DOI Listing
June 2019

Clinical and morphological practices in the diagnosis of transplant-associated microangiopathy: a study on behalf of Transplant Complications Working Party of the EBMT.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2019 07 25;54(7):1022-1028. Epub 2018 Oct 25.

Department of Hematology, Military Institute of Medicine, Warsaw, Poland.

Transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy (TA-TMA) is a life-threatening complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). This study evaluated clinical and morphological practices of TA-TMA diagnosis in EBMT centers. Two questionnaires, one for transplant physician and one for morphologist, and also a set of electronic blood slides from 10 patients with TA-TMA and 10 control patients with various erythrocyte abnormalities, were implemented for evaluation. Seventeen EBMT centers participated in the study. Regarding criteria used for TA-TMA diagnosis, centers reported as follows: 41% of centers used the International Working Group (IWG) criteria, 41% used "overall TA-TMA" criteria and 18% used physician's decision. The threshold of schistocytes to establish TA-TMA diagnosis in the participating centers was significantly associated with morphological results of test cases evaluations (p = 0.002). The mean number of schistocytes reported from blood slide analyses were 4.3 ± 4.5% for TA-TMA cases (range 0-19.6%, coefficient of variation (CV) 0.7) and 1.3 ± 1.6% for control cases (range 0-8.3%, CV 0.8). Half of the centers reported schistocyte levels below 4% for 7/10 TA-TMA cases. The intracenter variability was low, indicating differences in the institutional practices of morphological evaluation. In conclusion, the survey identified the need for the standardization of TA-TMA morphological diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-018-0374-3DOI Listing
July 2019

Author reply.

Intern Med J 2018 06;48(6):748-749

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imj.13822DOI Listing
June 2018

Early human cytomegalovirus reactivation is associated with lower incidence of relapse of myeloproliferative disorders after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2018 11 16;53(11):1450-1456. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

Department of Hematology, University Hospital Centre, Zagreb, Croatia.

Conflicting results have been reported regarding the association between early cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation and relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). This prompted us to evaluate the impact of CMV reactivation on outcomes of 155 consecutive adult patients transplanted in our institution. In our study, CMV reactivation did not affect cumulative incidence (CI) of relapse in patients with lymphoproliferative disorders. However, the CI of relapse in patients with myeloproliferative disorders (AML and MPN) was 37% (95% CI, 21-53) in patients without CMV reactivation as opposed to 17% (95% CI, 9-28) in patients with CMV reactivation (p = 0.03). An important correlation between CMV reactivation and relapse was found in patients with MPN; the CI of relapse was 50% (95% CI, 12-80) in patients without CMV reactivation as opposed to only 7% (95% CI, 0-27) in patients with CMV reactivation (p = 0.02). A substantial reduction of relapse in myeloproliferative disorders associated with CMV reactivation was confirmed by multivariate analysis (HR 2.73; 95% CI, 1.09-6.82, p = 0.03) using time-dependent covariates for high-risk disease, older age, RIC conditioning, ATG, grade II-IV acute, and chronic GVHD. To our knowledge, we are the first to show an association of CMV reactivation with relapse reduction in MPN patients. This putative virus vs myeloproliferation effect warrants further research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-018-0172-yDOI Listing
November 2018
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