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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
MiR-146a regulates the TRAF6/TNF-axis in donor T cells during GVHD.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 09-09-2014
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Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) limits the success of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT); therefore, a better understanding of its biology may improve therapeutic options. We observed miR-146a up-regulation in T cells of mice developing acute GVHD compared with untreated mice. Transplanting miR-146a(-/-) T cells caused increased GVHD severity, elevated tumor necrosis factor (TNF) serum levels, and reduced survival. TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), a verified target of miR-146a, was up-regulated in miR-146a(-/-) T cells following alloantigen stimulation. Higher TRAF6 levels translated into increased nuclear factor-?B activity and TNF production in miR-146a(-/-) T cells. Conversely, the detrimental effect of miR-146a deficiency in T cells was antagonized by TNF blockade, whereas phytochemical induction of miR-146a or its overexpression using a miR-146a mimic reduced GVHD severity. In humans, the minor genotype of the single nucleotide polymorphism rs2910164 in HCT donors, which reduces expression of miR-146a, was associated with severe acute GVHD (grade III/IV). We show that miR-146a functions as a negative regulator of donor T cells in GVHD by targeting TRAF6, leading to reduced TNF transcription. Because miR-146a expression can be exogenously enhanced, our results provide a novel targeted molecular approach to mitigate GVHD.
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Impact of the International Prognostic Scoring System cytogenetic risk groups on the outcome of patients with primary myelodysplastic syndromes undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation from human leukocyte antigen-identical siblings: a retrospective analysis of t
Haematologica
PUBLISHED: 08-01-2014
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Acquired chromosomal abnormalities are important prognostic factors in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes treated with supportive care and with disease-modifying therapeutic interventions, including allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. To assess the prognostic impact of cytogenetic characteristics after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation accurately, we investigated a homogeneous group of 523 patients with primary myelodysplastic syndromes who have received stem cells from human leukocyte antigen-identical siblings. Overall survival at five years from transplantation in good, intermediate, and poor cytogenetic risk groups according to the International Prognostic Scoring System was 48%, 45% and 30%, respectively (P<0.01). Both the disease status (complete remission vs. not in complete remission) and the morphological classification at transplant in the untreated patients were significantly associated with probability of overall survival and relapse-free survival (P<0.01). The cytogenetic risk groups have no prognostic impact in untreated patients with refractory anemia ± ringed sideroblasts (P=0.90). However, combining the good and intermediate cytogenetic risk groups and comparing them to the poor-risk group showed within the other three disease-status-at-transplant groups a hazard ratio of 1.86 (95%CI: 1.41-2.45). In conclusion, this study shows that, in a large series of patients with primary myelodysplastic syndromes, poor-risk cytogenetics as defined by the standard International Prognostic Scoring System is associated with a relatively poor survival after allogeneic stem cell transplantation from human leukocyte antigen-identical siblings except in patients who are transplanted in refractory anemia/refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts stage before progression to higher myelodysplastic syndrome stages.
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Early administration of donor lymphocyte infusions upon molecular relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for chronic myeloid leukemia: a study by the Chronic Malignancies Working Party of the EBMT.
Haematologica
PUBLISHED: 07-04-2014
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Patients with chronic myeloid leukemia relapsing after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation may be treated by tyrosine kinase inhibitors and/or by donor lymphocyte infusions. The best strategies and timing of administration of lymphocytes are unclear. We analyzed 155 patients who relapsed after allogeneic stem cell transplantation with disease detectable only by molecular methods and who subsequently received lymphocytes. Transplants were performed in first chronic phase (n=125) or in advanced disease (n=29) from identical siblings (n=84) or unrelated donors (n=71) between 1986 and 2003. They received lymphocytes either during molecular relapse (n=85) or upon progression to more advanced disease (1993 to 2004). The median interval from relapse to lymphocyte infusion was 210 (0-1673) days. The median follow up after it was 46 (3-135) months. Overall survival was 76±4% at five years after lymphocyte infusions (89±8% with sibling donors and 63±13% with unrelated donors (P=0.003)). Survival was 69±14% when lymphocytes were given within six months of the detection of molecular relapse and 81±10% (P=0.061) when given later; 81±11% if given at molecular relapse versus 71±12% (P=0.26) with more advanced disease. In multivariate analysis survival was worse if the donor was unrelated (HR 2.54 (95% CI: 1.15-5.53), P=0.021) and better with lymphocyte infusions beyond six months from molecular relapse (HR 0.4 (95%CI: 0.19-0.84), P=0.018). These data confirm the remarkable efficacy of lymphocyte infusions for this disease. There appears to be no advantage from administering it early upon detection of molecular relapse in patients who received allogeneic stem cell transplantation for chronic myeloid leukemia.
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Escherichia coli O104:H4 outbreak in Germany--clarification of the origin of the epidemic.
Eur J Public Health
PUBLISHED: 04-17-2014
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In 2011, Germany was hit by one of its largest outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis and haemolytic uraemic syndrome caused by a new emerging enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O104:H4 strain. The German Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome/Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (GHUSEC) outbreak had unusual microbiological, infectiological and epidemiological features and its origin is still only partially solved. The aim of this article is to contribute to the clarification of the origin of the epidemic.
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Activity of therapeutic JAK 1/2 blockade in graft-versus-host disease.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 04-07-2014
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Graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) is a severe complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) characterized by the production of high levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Activated Janus kinases (JAKs) are required for T-effector cell responses in different inflammatory diseases, and their blockade could potently reduce acute GVHD. We observed that inhibition of JAK1/2 signaling resulted in reduced proliferation of effector T cells and suppression of proinflammatory cytokine production in response to alloantigen in mice. In vivo JAK 1/2 inhibition improved survival of mice developing acute GVHD and reduced histopathological GVHD grading, serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines, and expansion of alloreactive luc-transgenic T cells. Mechanistically, we could show that ruxolitinib impaired differentiation of CD4(+) T cells into IFN-?- and IL17A-producing cells, and that both T-cell phenotypes are linked to GVHD. Conversely, ruxolitinib treatment in allo-HCT recipients increased FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells, which are linked to immunologic tolerance. Based on these results, we treated 6 patients with steroid-refractory GVHD with ruxolitinib. All patients responded with respect to clinical GVHD symptoms and serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines. In summary, ruxolitinib represents a novel targeted approach in GVHD by suppression of proinflammatory signaling that mediates tissue damage and by promotion of tolerogenic Treg cells.
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Neutrophil granulocytes recruited upon translocation of intestinal bacteria enhance graft-versus-host disease via tissue damage.
Nat. Med.
PUBLISHED: 03-03-2014
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Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) considerably limits wider usage of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Antigen-presenting cells and T cells are populations customarily associated with GVHD pathogenesis. Of note, neutrophils are the largest human white blood cell population. The cells cleave chemokines and produce reactive oxygen species, thereby promoting T cell activation. Therefore, during an allogeneic immune response, neutrophils could amplify tissue damage caused by conditioning regimens. We analyzed neutrophil infiltration of the mouse ileum after allo-HCT by in vivo myeloperoxidase imaging and found that infiltration levels were dependent on the local microbial flora and were not detectable under germ-free conditions. Physical or genetic depletion of neutrophils reduced GVHD-related mortality. The contribution of neutrophils to GVHD severity required reactive oxygen species (ROS) because selective Cybb (encoding cytochrome b-245, beta polypeptide, also known as NOX2) deficiency in neutrophils impairing ROS production led to lower levels of tissue damage, GVHD-related mortality and effector phenotype T cells. Enhanced survival of Bcl-xL transgenic neutrophils increased GVHD severity. In contrast, when we transferred neutrophils lacking Toll-like receptor-2 (TLR2), TLR3, TLR4, TLR7 and TLR9, which are normally less strongly activated by translocating bacteria, into wild-type C57BL/6 mice, GVHD severity was reduced. In humans, severity of intestinal GVHD strongly correlated with levels of neutrophils present in GVHD lesions. This study describes a new potential role for neutrophils in the pathogenesis of GVHD in both mice and humans.
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Rabbit anti-T-lymphocyte globulin (ATG) persists with differential reactivity in patients' sera after full hematopoetic regeneration from allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Transpl. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 01-27-2014
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Rabbit polyclonal anti-T-lymphocyte Globulin (ATG-F®, Fresenius) is widely used for GvHD prophylaxis in allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). ATG has a wide epitope spectrum and has been shown to react with all compartments of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNCs). ATG induces apoptosis in all cellular compartments. In this study we investigated the binding of ATG in sera from ten patients treated with rabbit ATG to PBMNCs and subcellular compartments after full hematopoetic regeneration on day 21 post SCT.
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Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with polycythemia vera or essential thrombocythemia transformed to myelofibrosis or acute myeloid leukemia: a report from the MPN Subcommittee of the Chronic Malignancies Working Party of the European Group
Haematologica
PUBLISHED: 01-03-2014
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The clinical course of polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia is potentially associated with long-term severe complications, such as evolution to myelofibrosis or acute myeloid leukemia. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is currently the only potentially curative treatment for advanced polycythemia vera or essential thrombocythemia. We analyzed 250 consecutive patients with an initial diagnosis of polycythemia vera (n=120) or essential thrombocythemia (n=130), who underwent transplantation due to progression to myelofibrosis (n=193) or acute myeloid leukemia (n=57) and who were reported to the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation registry between 1994 and 2010. Their median age was 56 years (range, 22-75) and in 52% of cases the interval between diagnosis and transplantation was 10 years or more. With a median follow-up from transplantation of 13 months, the 3-year overall survival rate and relapse incidence were 55% and 32%, respectively. In univariate analysis, the main parameters that negatively affected post-transplantation outcomes were older age (>55 years), a diagnosis at transplant of acute myeloid leukemia and the use of an unrelated donor. The overall 3-year cumulative incidence of non-relapse mortality was 28%, but was significantly higher in older patients than in younger ones (>55 years, 35% versus 20%, P=0.032), in those transplanted from an unrelated donor rather than a related donor (34% versus 18%, P=0.034) and in patients with a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia compared to myelofibrosis (29% versus 27%, P=0.045). This large retrospective study confirms that transplantation is potentially curative for patients with end-stage polycythemia vera/essential thrombocythemia progressing to myelofibrosis or acute myeloid leukemia. Relapse and non-relapse mortality remain unsolved problems for which innovative treatment approaches need to be assessed.
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CMV serostatus still has an important prognostic impact in de novo acute leukemia patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: a report from the Acute Leukemia Working Party of EBMT.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 09-13-2013
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We analyzed the prognostic impact of donor and recipient cytomegalovirus (CMV) serostatus in 16,628 de novo acute leukemia patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). Compared with CMV-seronegative recipients who underwent allograft from a CMV-seronegative donor, cases of CMV seropositivity of the donor and/or the recipient showed a significantly decreased 2-year leukemia-free survival (44% vs 49%, P < .001) and overall survival (50% vs 56%, P < .001), and increased nonrelapse mortality (23% vs 20%, P < .001). Both groups showed a comparable relapse incidence and 2-year probability of graft-versus-host disease. The negative prognostic effects of CMV seropositivity of the donor and/or the recipient (vs CMV seronegativity of both) were significantly stronger for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) than for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), resulting in a markedly reduced 2-year overall survival (46% vs 55% for ALL compared with 52% vs 56% for AML). The important prognostic impact of donor/recipient CMV serostatus remained in a multivariate Cox regression analysis including the other prognostic variables. We conclude that donor and/or recipient CMV seropositivity is still associated with an adverse prognosis in de novo acute leukemia patients after allo-SCT despite the implementation of sophisticated strategies for prophylaxis, monitoring, and (preemptive) treatment of CMV.
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The Nlrp3 inflammasome regulates acute graft-versus-host disease.
J. Exp. Med.
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2013
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The success of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is limited by acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), a severe complication accompanied by high mortality rates. Yet, the molecular mechanisms initiating this disease remain poorly defined. In this study, we show that, after conditioning therapy, intestinal commensal bacteria and the damage-associated molecular pattern uric acid contribute to Nlrp3 inflammasome-mediated IL-1? production and that gastrointestinal decontamination and uric acid depletion reduced GvHD severity. Early blockade of IL-1? or genetic deficiency of the IL-1 receptor in dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells improved survival. The Nlrp3 inflammasome components Nlrp3 and Asc, which are required for pro-IL-1? cleavage, were critical for the full manifestation of GvHD. In transplanted mice, IL-1? originated from multiple intestinal cell compartments and exerted its effects on DCs and T cells, the latter being preferentially skewed toward Th17. Compatible with these mouse data, increased levels of active caspase-1 and IL-1? were found in circulating leukocytes and intestinal GvHD lesions of patients. Thus, the identification of a crucial role for the Nlrp3 inflammasome sheds new light on the pathogenesis of GvHD and opens a potential new avenue for the targeted therapy of this severe complication.
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Alternative donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for mature lymphoid malignancies after reduced-intensity conditioning regimen: similar outcomes with umbilical cord blood and unrelated donor peripheral blood.
Haematologica
PUBLISHED: 08-09-2013
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We have reported encouraging results of unrelated cord blood transplantation for patients with lymphoid malignancies. Whether those outcomes are comparable to matched unrelated donor transplants remains to be defined. We studied 645 adult patients with mature lymphoid malignancies who received an allogeneic unrelated donor transplant using umbilical cord blood (n=104) or mobilized peripheral blood stem cells (n=541) after a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen. Unrelated cord blood recipients had more refractory disease. Median follow-up time was 30 months. Neutrophil engraftment (81% vs. 97%, respectively, p<0.0001) and chronic graft versus host disease (26% vs. 52%, P=0.0005) were less frequent after unrelated cord blood than after matched unrelated donor, whereas no differences were observed in grade II-IV acute graft versus host disease (29% vs. 32%), non-relapse mortality (29% vs. 28%), and relapse or progression (28% vs. 35%) at 36 months. There were also no significant differences in two-year progression-free survival (43% vs. 58%, respectively) and overall survival (36% vs. 51%) at 36 months. In a multivariate analysis, no differences were observed in the outcomes between the two stem cell sources except for a higher risk of neutrophil engraftment (hazard ratio = 2.12, p= p<0.0001) and chronic graft versus host disease (hazard ratio: 2.10, p=0.0002) after matched unrelated donor transplant. In conclusion, final outcomes after transplantation were not different between umbilical cord blood and matched unrelated donor transplant. Umbilical cord blood is a valuable alternative for patients with lymphoid malignancies lacking an HLA-matched donor, being associated with lower risk of chronic graft versus host disease.
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Second allograft for hematologic relapse of acute leukemia after first allogeneic stem-cell transplantation from related and unrelated donors: the role of donor change.
J. Clin. Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 08-05-2013
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To evaluate the role of a second allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT2) given for relapsed acute leukemia (AL) after related or unrelated first hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT1) and to analyze the role of donor change for HSCT2 in both settings.
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Lowering the alemtuzumab dose in reduced intensity conditioning allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is associated with a favorable early intense natural killer cell recovery.
Cytotherapy
PUBLISHED: 04-14-2013
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The anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab is employed in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) for the prevention of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). However, its optimal dosing in this setting has not been determined yet. We compared three different alemtuzumab dose levels in reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) alloHCT with respect to lymphocyte recovery and outcome.
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Suppression of granzyme B activity and caspase-3 activation in leukaemia cells constitutively expressing the protease inhibitor 9.
Ann. Hematol.
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2013
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Immune surveillance against malignant cells is mediated by cytotoxic T-lymphocytes and NK-cells (CTL/NK) that induce apoptosis through the granzyme-B-dependent pathway. The serine protease inhibitor serpinB9/protease inhibitor-9 (PI-9) is a known inhibitor of granzyme B. Ectopic expression of PI-9 in tumour cells has been reported. However, the impact of PI-9 on granzyme-B-induced apoptosis in tumour cells remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of constitutive PI-9 expression in leukaemia cell lines on the activity of granzyme B and apoptosis induction. PI-9 negative (lymphoblastic Jurkat cells; myeloblastic U937 cells) and PI-9-expressing cell lines (myeloblastic K562 cells, EBV-transformed LCL-1 and LCL-2 B-cells, lymphoblastic Daudi cells, AML-R cells f leukaemia and the U937 subclone U937PI-9(+)). For accurate granzyme B activity determination a quantitative substrate (Ac-IEPD-pNA) cleavage assay was established and caspase-3 activation measured for apoptosis assessment. Cells were treated with a cytotoxic granule isolate that has previously been shown to induce apoptosis through granzyme B signalling. We found a robust correlation between constitutive PI-9 expression levels and the suppression of granzyme B activity. Further, inhibition of granzyme B translated into reduced caspase-3 activation. We conclude, suppression of granzyme B initiated apoptosis in PI-9-expressing cells could contribute to immune evasion and the measurement of granzyme B activity with our assay might be a useful predictive marker in immune-therapeutic approaches against cancer.
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Autologous stem cell transplantation for enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma: a retrospective study by the EBMT.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2013
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Enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL) is a rare subtype of peripheral T-cell lymphomas with a poor prognosis. Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) was retrospectively evaluated as a consolidation or salvage strategy for EATL. The analysis included 44 patients who received ASCT for EATL between 2000 and 2010. Thirty-one patients (70%) were in first complete or partial remission at the time of the ASCT. With a median follow-up of 46 months, relapse incidence, progression-free survival, and overall survival were 39%, 54%, and 59% at 4 years, respectively, with only one relapse occurring beyond 18 months posttransplant. There was a trend for better survival in patients transplanted in first complete or partial remission at 4 years (66% vs 36%; P = .062). ASCT is feasible in selected patients with EATL and can yield durable disease control in a significant proportion of the patients.
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Inflammatory neovascularization during graft-versus-host disease is regulated by ?v integrin and miR-100.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 01-17-2013
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Acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a complex process involving endothelial damage and neovascularization. Better understanding of the pathophysiology of neovascularization during GvHD could help to target this process while leaving T-cell function intact. Under ischemic conditions, neovascularization is regulated by different micro RNAs (miRs), which potentially play a role in inflamed hypoxic GvHD target organs. We observed strong neovascularization in the murine inflamed intestinal tract (IT) during GvHD. Positron emission tomography imaging demonstrated abundant ?v?3 integrin expression within intestinal neovascularization areas. To interfere with neovascularization, we targeted ?v integrin-expressing endothelial cells, which blocked their accumulation in the IT and reduced GvHD severity independent of immune reconstitution and graft-versus-tumor effects. Additionally, enhanced neovascularization and ?v integrin expression correlated with GvHD severity in humans. Expression analysis of miRs in the inflamed IT of mice developing GvHD identified miR-100 as significantly downregulated. Inactivation of miR-100 enhanced GvHD indicating a protective role for miR-100 via blocking inflammatory neovascularization. Our data from the mouse model and patients indicate that inflammatory neovascularization is a central event during intestinal GvHD that can be inhibited by targeting ?v integrin. We identify negative regulation of GvHD-related neovascularization by miR-100, which indicates common pathomechanistic features of GvHD and ischemia.
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Prognosis of patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma after high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation.
Haematologica
PUBLISHED: 01-08-2013
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High-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation has been shown to be feasible and highly effective in newly diagnosed primary central nervous system lymphoma. In this retrospective multicenter study, we investigated prognosis and baseline risk factors in patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma who underwent this treatment approach. We retrospectively analyzed 105 immunocompetent patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma who underwent high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation with or without whole brain radiotherapy as first-line consolidation treated at 12 German centers between 1997 and 2011. We estimated survival rates and investigated the impact of age, performance status, serum lactate dehydrogenase level, and deep brain involvement on overall and progression-free survival. Patients were additionally categorized into three prognostic groups according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center prognostic model. After a median follow up of 47 months, median progression-free survival and overall survival was reached after 85 and 121 months; 2- and 5-year survival rates were 82% and 79%, respectively. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center prognostic model did not predict survival. Only age revealed some evidence of prognostic relevance. Overall response rate was 95%; of those patients with progressive disease before high-dose chemotherapy, 7 of 20 achieved ongoing complete remission after therapy without whole brain radiation therapy. Transplantation-associated mortality was 2.8%. High-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation is a highly effective and safe treatment modality for selected primary central nervous system lymphoma patients. Superiority compared to standard chemotherapy still warrants further investigation.
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Comparison of allogeneic stem cell transplantation and non-transplant approaches in elderly patients with advanced myelodysplastic syndrome: optimal statistical approaches and a critical appraisal of clinical results using non-randomized data.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) from related or unrelated donors may cure patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a heterogeneous group of clonal stem cell disorders. We analysed 384 elderly patients (55-69 years) with advanced MDS who received either ASCT (n=247) and were reported to The European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) or a non -transplant approach (n=137) reported to the Düsseldorf registry. Besides an attempt to answer the question of "comparison", the purpose of this work is to explain the difficulties in comparing a non-transplant with a transplant cohort, when death before transplant is likely but unknown and the selection of patients for transplant is based on assumptions. It shows which methods are almost always biased and that even the most sophisticated approaches crucially rely on clinical assumptions. Using the most appropriate model for our data, we derive an overall univariate non-significant survival disadvantage for the transplant cohort (HR: 1.29, p = 0.11). We show that such an "average" hazard ratio is however misleading due to non-proportionality of the hazards reflecting early treatment related mortality, the occurring of which is logically correlated with the interval between diagnosis and transplant creating a disproportional drop in the (reconstructed) survival curve of the transplanted patients. Also in multivariate analysis (correcting for age > 60 (HR: 1.4, p = 0.02) and abnormal cytogenetics (HR: 1.46, p = 0.01)), transplantation seems to be worse (HR: 1.39, p = 0.05) but only in the (incorrect but commonly applied) model without time varying covariates. The long term (time depending) hazard ratio is shown to be virtually 1 and overall survival is virtually identical in both groups. Nonetheless no conclusion can be reached from a clinical point of view without assumptions which are by their very nature untestable unless all patients would be followed from diagnosis.
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Marrow versus blood-derived stem cell grafts for allogeneic transplantation from unrelated donors in patients with active myeloid leukemia or myelodysplasia.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 07-07-2011
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Peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) are increasingly used as the graft source in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. We compared long-term outcome after unrelated donor transplantation of 85 consecutive patients with acute myelogenous leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome regarding disease status (early disease [CR1, refractory anemia); n = 25 and advanced/active disease [>CR1, >refractory anemia]; n = 60) who were treated with conventional conditioning regimens followed by bone marrow (BM) or PBSC grafts. Graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis consisted mainly of cyclosporine A, short-course methotrexate, and anti-T-lymphocyte globulin. After a median follow-up of 118 months (68-174), the 10-year event-free survival rate after peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT) was 54.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 39.7%-69.8%), and after bone marrow transplantation (BMT), it was 27.9% (14.5%-41.3%; P < .004). In the advanced/active disease group, the 10-year event-free survival rate after PBSCT was 50% (30.8%-69.2%), and after BMT, it was 23.5% (9.3%-37.8%; P < .007). Non relapse mortality was less after PBSCT than BMT (14.3% vs 30.2%), respectively. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, PBSCT showed a better overall survival (OS; hazard ratio [HR], 0.43; 95% CI, 0.23-0.79; P = .007) compared to BMT; unfavorable/unknown prognostic impact cytogenetic abnormalities were an adverse factor for all patients (HR, 2.202; 95% CI, 1.19-4.06; P = .011). In patients with advanced disease, the use of PBSCs showed a significant favorable outcome via multivariate analysis (HR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.24-0.99; P = .046). Outcome of acute myelogenous leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome after unrelated hematopoietic cell transplantation is adversely affected by cytogenetic abnormalities and state of remission at hematopoietic cell transplantation. PBSC as a graft source has a significant favorable influence on survival.
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Diagnostic utility of a soluble cytokeratin 18 assay for gastrointestinal graft-vs.-host disease detection.
Clin. Chem. Lab. Med.
PUBLISHED: 06-17-2011
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Gastrointestinal/liver graft-vs.-host disease is a frequent complication after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Endoscopic biopsies are needed to confirm clinical diagnosis, but this is not always feasible due to concurrent complications after transplantation. Cytokeratin 18 is expressed in epithelial colon cells and hepatocytes. Apoptosis, a hallmark of graft-vs.-host disease, results in the cleavage of cytokeratin 18 and the resulting fragments are released into the circulation.
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Genome-wide profiling in AML patients relapsing after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 05-30-2011
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Molecular pathogenesis of relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is poorly understood. Data regarding relapse mechanisms after transplantation is scarcely available. We investigated genomic aberrations (GAs) in 21 patients undergoing related and unrelated HLA-matched transplantation in leukemic blasts before transplant and at relapse after transplantation. We found a higher number of GAs after transplantation, suggesting increased genomic instability during relapse. Two of 21 patients showed a large homozygous region spanning the whole HLA-locus on chromosome 6p in the relapse sample. In both patients sequence-based HLA typing of the blasts revealed a loss of the patient-specific allele at the mismatched locus leading to homozygosity for the HLA haplotype shared by the patient and the donor. In addition, GAs were found in critical regions such as 12p13, 13q12.2, and 17p13. Our results suggest that escape from immunologic surveillance may be a relevant mechanism of relapse after transplantation in patients with GAs on chromosome 6p. A combination of continuous immunologic pressure mediated by donor T cells and clonal evolution of myeloid leukemia may result in acquired GAs after transplantation.
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Classifying cytogenetics in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia in complete remission undergoing allogeneic transplantation: a Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research study.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 05-26-2011
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Cytogenetics play a major role in determining the prognosis of patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). However, existing cytogenetics classifications were developed in chemotherapy-treated patients and might not be optimal for patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We studied 821 adult patients reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) who underwent HCT for AML in first or second complete remission between 1999 and 2004. We compared the ability of the 6 existing classifications to stratify patients by overall survival. We then defined a new scheme specifically applicable to patients undergoing HCT using this patient cohort. Under this scheme, inv(16) is favorable, a complex karyotype (4 or more abnormalities) is adverse, and all other classified abnormalities are intermediate in predicting survival after HCT (5-year overall survival, 64%, 18%, and 50%, respectively; P = .0001). This scheme stratifies patients into 3 groups with similar nonrelapse mortality, but significantly different incidences of relapse, overall and leukemia-free survival. It applies to patients regardless of disease status (first or second complete remission), donor type (matched related or unrelated), or conditioning intensity (myeloablative or reduced intensity). This transplantation-specific classification could be adopted for prognostication purposes and to stratify patients with AML and karyotypic abnormalities entering HCT clinical trials.
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Chronic graft-versus-host disease: long-term results from a randomized trial on graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis with or without anti-T-cell globulin ATG-Fresenius.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 04-05-2011
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Previous randomized graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)-prophylaxis trials have failed to demonstrate reduced incidence and severity of chronic GVHD (cGVHD). Here we reanalyzed and updated a randomized phase 3 trial comparing standard GVHD prophylaxis with or without pretransplantation ATG-Fresenius (ATG-F) in 201 adult patients receiving myeloablative conditioning before transplantation from unrelated donors. The cumulative incidence of extensive cGVHD after 3 years was 12.2% in the ATG-F group versus 45.0% in the control group (P < .0001). The 3-year cumulative incidence of relapse and of nonrelapse mortality was 32.6% and 19.4% in the ATG-F group and 28.2% and 33.5% in the control group (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.21, P = .47, and HR = 0.68, P = .18), respectively. This nonsignificant reduction in nonrelapse mortality without increased relapse risk led to an overall survival rate after 3 years of 55.2% in the ATG-F group and 43.3% in the control group (HR = 0.84, P = .39, nonsignificant). The HR for receiving immunosuppressive therapy (IST) was 0.31 after ATG-F (P < .0001), and the 3-year probability of survival free of IST was 52.9% and 16.9% in the ATG-F versus control, respectively. The addition of ATG-F to standard cyclosporine, methotrexate GVHD prophylaxis lowers the incidence and severity of cGVHD, and the risk of receiving IST without raising the relapse rate. ATG-F prophylaxis reduces cGVHD morbidity.
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Improvement in oral chronic graft-versus-host disease with the administration of effervescent tablets of topical budesonide-an open, randomized, multicenter study.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 01-06-2011
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Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) frequently involves oral tissues. Although the mucosal changes may be painful and impair oral function, there is currently no topical therapy available for oral cGVHD that has been proven to work in an evidence-based manner. The aims of this study were to (1) assess the response of patients with oral cGVHD to various doses of a new topical budesonide formulation; (2) evaluate the efficacy and safety of the new topical budesonide formulation in these patients. An open, randomized, multicenter phase II pilot study with 4 treatment arms differing in application frequency and duration was performed. Response to treatment was scored by the clinician and patient using several scales. Oral cGVHD improved in all patients, with a median reduction of 70%. Pain reduction was similar in all study arms. The rate of objective improvement (defined as ?50%) was not significantly different among the 4 study arms. The safety profile was satisfactory. Topical budesonide mouthwash (3 mg/10 mL) improved oral cGVHD in all patients when applied for 5 or 10 minutes, 2 or 3 times daily. The response was similar in all treatment arms. Safety analysis supported a dosing schedule of 3 mg of budesonide 3 times a day for 10 minutes.
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CXCL12 mediates immunosuppression in the lymphoma microenvironment after allogeneic transplantation of hematopoietic cells.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 12-17-2010
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Clinical studies indicate a role of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) for patients with refractory or recurrent B-cell lymphoma (BCL) indicative of a graft-versus-tumor effect. However, the relevance of local immunosuppression in the BCL microenvironment by donor-derived regulatory T cells (Treg) after alloHCT is unclear. Therefore, we studied Treg recruitment after alloHCT in different murine BCL models and the impact of lymphoma-derived chemoattractive signals. Luciferase transgenic Tregs accumulated in murine BCL microenvironment and microarray-based analysis of BCL tissues revealed increased expression of CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL12. In vivo blocking identified the CXCR4/CXCL12 axis as being critical for Treg attraction toward BCL. In contrast to Tregs, effector T cells displayed low levels of CXCR4 and were not affected by the pharmacologic blockade. Most important, blocking CXCR4 not only reduced Treg migration toward tumor tissue but also enhanced antitumor responses after alloHCT. CXCL12 production was dependent on antigen-presenting cells (APC) located in the lymphoma microenvironment, and their diphtheria-toxin receptor (DTR)-based depletion in CD11c.DTR-Tg mice significantly reduced Treg accumulation within BCL tissue. CXCL12 was also detected in human diffuse, large BCL tissues indicative of its potential clinical relevance. In conclusion, we demonstrate that Tregs are recruited toward BCL after alloHCT by infiltrating host APCs in a CXCL12-dependent fashion. Blocking CXCR4 enhanced antitumor effects and prolonged survival of tumor-bearing mice by reducing local Treg accumulation, indicating that CXCR4 is a potential target to interfere with tumor escape after alloHCT.
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Graft-versus-host disease is enhanced by extracellular ATP activating P2X7R.
Nat. Med.
PUBLISHED: 09-10-2010
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Danger signals released upon cell damage can cause excessive immune-mediated tissue destruction such as that found in acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), allograft rejection and systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Given that ATP is found in small concentrations in the extracellular space under physiological conditions, and its receptor P2X(7)R is expressed on several immune cell types, ATP could function as a danger signal when released from dying cells. We observed increased ATP concentrations in the peritoneal fluid after total body irradiation, and during the development of GVHD in mice and in humans. Stimulation of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) with ATP led to increased expression of CD80 and CD86 in vitro and in vivo and actuated a cascade of proinflammatory events, including signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 (STAT1) phosphorylation, interferon-? (IFN-?) production and donor T cell expansion, whereas regulatory T cell numbers were reduced. P2X(7)R expression increased when GVHD evolved, rendering APCs more responsive to the detrimental effects of ATP, thereby providing positive feedback signals. ATP neutralization, early P2X(7)R blockade or genetic deficiency of P2X(7)R during GVHD development improved survival without immune paralysis. These data have major implications for transplantation medicine, as pharmacological interference with danger signals that act via P2X(7)R could lead to the development of tolerance without the need for intensive immunosuppression.
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Horizontal DNA transfer from donor to host cells as an alternative mechanism of epithelial chimerism after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 03-20-2010
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Animal and human studies have shown that after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation, epithelial cells containing donor-derived genome emerge. The mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are still unclear. We hypothesized that horizontal transfer of the hematopoietic donor-DNA to the host epithelium confers a possible operating mechanism. In an in vitro model mimicking the lymphocyte-epithelial interaction, we cocultivated keratinocyte HaCaT cells (Y-chromosome negative) with nonapoptotic or apoptotic, CMFDA, or BrdU-labeled hematopoietic Jurkat cells (Y+) and looked for the emergence of HaCaT cells bearing Jurkat genome. We found that DNA can be horizontally transferred from hematopoietic to epithelial cell lines through phagocytosis of apoptotic bodies. The ingested genomic material was also found within the nuclear compartment and in isolated chromosomes obtained from HaCaT metaphases. Both lysosomal inhibition in HaCaT cells and repetitive load of HaCaT cells with apoptotic bodies increased the intercellular and intranuclear DNA delivery. Although recipient cells remained viable and showed to express the foreign DNA, this expression was transient. Taking into consideration these findings of horizontal DNA transfer between hematopoietic and epithelial cells, we evaluated by quantitative microsatellite analysis the amount of donor DNA in 176 buccal swabs obtained from 71 patients after allogeneic transplantation. We found a high amount of donor-DNA (mean 26.6%) in the majority (89.7%) of them, although no donor hematopoietic cells were evident in the samples by immunofluorescence. We propose that the incessant charge of the transplant recipient with donor-DNA and its "inappropriate" intranuclear delivery in host epithelium may explain the emergence of epithelial cells with donor-derived genome.
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Prognostic factor and quality of life analysis in 160 patients aged > or =60 years with hematologic neoplasias treated with allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2010
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Toxicity-reduced conditioning is a curative treatment option for medically compromised or elderly patients ineligible for myeloablative hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). The aim of this study was to detect prognostic factors for overall survival (OS) and to evaluate quality of life (QOL) in a large homogeneous cohort of 160 consecutive patients aged > or =60 years treated with allogeneic HCT. We evaluated age, sex, performance status, comorbidities, pulmonary function, lactic dehydrogenase concentration, type of donor, disease status, CD34(+) cells transplanted, cytomegalovirus status, time from diagnosis to HCT, and the development of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). All patients who survived for > or =6 months (n = 79) were asked to complete a QOL survey. All patients (median age, 64.7 years; range, 60.1-76 years) received pretransplantation conditioning with fludarabine, BCNU, and melphalan. With a median follow-up of 35 months, the 1-year OS was 62.4% and 3-year OS was 47.4%. Multivariate analysis revealed compromised performance status as the most significant negative prognostic parameter for OS (P < .003), whereas male donor (P = .008) and chronic GVHD (P = .024) were associated with better OS. The 89% of survivors who returned the QOL questionnaire rated their global QOL as good-to-excellent despite impaired functional capabilities and such symptoms as fatigue, dyspnea, and loss of appetite. The main prognostic factor was performance status, not age. Our data suggest that toxicity-reduced conditioning offers a chance for enhanced OS with an adequate QOL.
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Allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation for patients 50 years or older with myelodysplastic syndromes or secondary acute myeloid leukemia.
J. Clin. Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 12-14-2009
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This study was performed to examine the characteristics of transplant activity for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) older than 50 years within the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and to evaluate the factors predicting outcome within this group of patients.
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Matched unrelated donor stem cell transplant in 131 patients with follicular lymphoma: an analysis from the Lymphoma Working Party of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
Br. J. Haematol.
PUBLISHED: 09-30-2009
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Matched unrelated donor stem cell transplantation (MUD-SCT) provides the only curative option for patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) who fail conventional therapies and do not have a sibling donor. The purpose of this study was to analyse the outcome of patients with FL treated with MUD-SCT included in the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation registry. 131 patients treated with reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC, n = 87) or conventional myeloablative (CONV, n = 44) MUD-SCT between 2000 and 2005 were included. Median time from diagnosis to MUD-SCT was 47 months and the median number of previous therapeutic regimens was 4 (previous autograft: 47%). RIC recipients were significantly older, with a longer interval from diagnosis to MUD-SCT and had failed a previous autograft more frequently than CONV recipients. Non-relapse mortality (NRM) was 24% and 30% at 100-d and 1-year, respectively. After a median follow-up of 36 months, 17% of the patients developed disease progression, the 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) being 47%. Three-year overall survival (OS) for the whole series was 51%. On multivariate analysis, RIC regimens were associated with at lower NRM and a significantly longer PFS and OS. This retrospective study demonstrated that MUD-SCT results, even in heavily pre-treated populations, in a meaningful PFS and OS.
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Standard graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis with or without anti-T-cell globulin in haematopoietic cell transplantation from matched unrelated donors: a randomised, open-label, multicentre phase 3 trial.
Lancet Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 08-18-2009
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Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation from unrelated donors. Anti-T-cell globulins (ATGs) might lower the incidence of GVHD. We did a prospective, randomised, multicentre, open-label, phase 3 trial to compare standard GVHD prophylaxis with ciclosporin and methotrexate with or without anti-Jurkat ATG-Fresenius (ATG-F).
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Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is able to induce long-term remissions in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma: a retrospective study from the lymphoma working party of the European group for blood and marrow transplantation.
J. Clin. Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 07-20-2009
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To analyze the long-term outcome in terms of nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse rate (RR), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) in patients with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) treated with allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (alloSCT).
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Allogeneic stem cell transplantation for patients with refractory anaemia with matched related and unrelated donors: delay of the transplant is associated with inferior survival.
Br. J. Haematol.
PUBLISHED: 07-14-2009
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Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) for patients with refractory anaemia may result in a 50% event-free survival, but the high non-relapse mortality (NRM) precludes a general application of this therapeutic modality. This study evaluated the impact of various pre-transplant variables, including disease duration, intensity of the conditioning regimen, type of donor and year of transplantation on outcome. The study population consisted of 374 patients; 244 were transplanted from human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-identical siblings and 130 patients from matched unrelated donors. The median age was 39 years. One hundred and two patients were transplanted after reduced intensity conditioning (RIC). The overall 4-year survival was 52%. The 4-year survival of patients transplanted with HLA-identical sibling donors and matched unrelated donors was 52% and 50%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed an improved survival (P = 0.05) and a lower NRM (P = 0.02) when the transplantation was performed in recent years. Increasing age, and disease duration of >12 months were associated with inferior survival. RIC resulted in a similar survival despite an increased relapse risk (P = 0.02). This improved outcome permits alloSCT in patients older than 50 years of age, even with the use of matched unrelated donors. AlloSCT should be preferentially performed early after diagnosis after careful analysis of prognostic variables.
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Subcutaneous alemtuzumab in fludarabine-refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia: clinical results and prognostic marker analyses from the CLL2H study of the German Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Study Group.
J. Clin. Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 07-13-2009
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The phase II CLL2H trial evaluated safety and efficacy of subcutaneous alemtuzumab in patients with fludarabine-refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Clinical and biologic markers were evaluated for their impacts on outcome.
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A novel GVHD-prophylaxis with low-dose alemtuzumab in allogeneic sibling or unrelated donor hematopoetic cell transplantation: the feasibility of deescalation.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 05-08-2009
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Prophylaxis of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD), while maintaining the graft-versus-leukemia (GVL)/lymphoma effect and preventing severe infectious diseases, remains the main challenge in allogeneic hematopoetic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). To evaluate this, we examined the feasibility of deescalating the dose of alemtuzumab (MabCampath) in combination with cyclosporine (CsA) as the sole GVHD-prophylaxis in patients after fludarabine (Flu)-based reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) in an observational cohort study. We included 127 consecutive patients (median age 63 years) with an unrelated (UD; n=69) or related donor (SIB; n=58) after their first transplantation, mostly presenting with advanced disease. The first 30 patients received 20 mg/day on day -2 and -1 (40 mg), the following 48 patients 10 mg/day on day -2 and -1 (20 mg), and the last 49 patients 10 mg on day -1 (10 mg) alemtuzumab intravenous (i.v.) prior to transplant. We observed no statistical differences comparing the 40 mg, 20 mg, or 10 mg dose groups, in terms of cumulative incidences of aGVHD grade III-IV 7% (confidence interval [CI] 95%; 1-51), 12% (1-40), 6% (1-40), extensive chronic GVHD (cGVHD) 24.4% (3.3-55.8), 17% (2.5-42), and 14.2% (1.5-41.5) and of aGVHD grade II-IV 7 % (0-51.5), 29% (11.9-49.1), 21% (15.3-43.1), respectively. The difference between the 20-mg and 40-mg groups was significant for aGVHD grade II-IV(P < .05). In conclusion, we demonstrate the feasibility of reducing the dose of alemtuzumab as GVHD-prophylaxis to 10 mg absolute in combination with CsA only for UD transplantation in particular.
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Horizontal DNA and mRNA transfer between donor and recipient cells after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation?
Front Biosci (Landmark Ed)
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2009
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Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in humans results in true biological chimeras. There is now accumulating evidence that besides Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD), there are also other consequences in the co-existence of two genetically distinct populations in the transplant recipient. First, epithelial cells with donor-derived genotype emerge. Second, epithelial tissues of the host acquire genomic alterations. The current review discusses existing data on these recently discovered phenomena and focuses on horizontal gene transfer between donor and recipient cells as a possible mechanism explaining and linking these phenomena.
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Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic action of budesonide after buccal administration in healthy subjects and patients with oral chronic graft-versus-host disease.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2009
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Buccal administration of budesonide (mouthwash) may be effective as a topical add-on therapy in patients with oral chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Safety of approved oral budesonide is based on high intestinal and hepatic extraction by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) enzymes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the presystemic extraction and pharmacodynamic action of buccal budesonide. Oral budesonide (3 mg) was taken as reference to which various single and multiple dose regimens of buccal budesonide were compared. Budesonide and the 2 main CYP3A-dependent metabolites (6beta-hydroxybudesonide, 16alpha-hydroxyprednisolone) were analyzed in blood and urine along with the drugs effect on endogenous cortisol in 12 healthy subjects and 7 patients with oral cGVHD. We assessed CYP3A-dependent metabolites in both healthy subjects and patients after buccal budesonide. Whereas systemic exposure to budesonide was markedly lower in healthy subjects after the mouthwash compared to oral dosing (mean relative bioavailability 18%-36%), the systemic concentrations thereafter in patients were as high as those after the identical dose of oral budesonide. Reduced buccal CYP3A activity (lower inactivation of budesonide) in patients contributed to this remarkable difference. Endogenous cortisol was suppressed in some patients during 1 week of continuous treatment with buccal budesonide (3 x 3 mg per day). We are the first to report the biotransformation of budesonide via CYP3A enzymes after buccal drug administration. Only 2% of a buccal dose of budesonide achieves systemic circulation in healthy individuals; that fraction is 10% in patients with oral cGVHD, probably because of alterations in drug uptake and metabolization.
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Rabbit anti T-lymphocyte globulin induces apoptosis in peripheral blood mononuclear cell compartments and leukemia cells, while hematopoetic stem cells are apoptosis resistant.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 01-27-2009
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Polyclonal anti-T-lymphocyte globulins (ATG) are used in allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) for the prophylaxis of graft versus host disease (GVHD) by in vivo T cell depletion. In this study we investigated the complement independent induction of apoptosis by rabbit ATG in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMNC) compartments and hematopoetic stem cells (HSC). We also detected antileukemic activity of ATG by measuring apoptosis in myeloid and lymphatic leukemia cell lines and primary leukemia cells. We found ATG to induce apoptosis in T-lymphocytes (CD4(+), CD8+), B-lymphocytes (CD20+), natural killer (NK)-cells (CD56(+)), and monocytes (CD14(+)). HSC, in contrast, were apoptosis resistant and could be growth stimulated by low-dose ATG in the presence of bystander cells. The human leukemia cell lines Jurkat, Daudi, DG-75 (lymphoblastic), and K562, HL-60, KG1, and U937 (myeloblastic) underwent ATG-induced apoptosis, whereas the NK-cell line YT was resistant. Primary leukemia cells from 6 investigated patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 9 of 10 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and 4 of 8 patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia underwent ATG-induced apoptosis. We conclude apoptosis induction in all PBMNC compartments contributes to GVHD prophylaxis. ATG might support engraftment. Finally, antileukemic activity of ATG could positively influence the transplantation outcome.
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Successful treatment of severe acute intestinal graft-versus-host resistant to systemic and topical steroids with alemtuzumab.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2009
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Development of severe steroid-resistant acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is associated with poor outcome. The humanized monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab was shown to be effective in GVHD prophylaxis in conditioning regimens before allogeneic HCT. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of alemtuzumab in 20 patients with histologically confirmed steroid refractory grade III and IV intestinal GVHD after related and unrelated HCT. Overall response rate was 70%, with complete response in 35%. Despite the severe grade of GVHD in our patients, the median survival of 280 days and 1-year overall survival (OS) of 50% were superior or comparable to those associated with other treatment options. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation, bacterial infection, and invasive aspergillosis were frequent complications; however, infection was not a significant predictor for survival. These data suggest that treatment with alemtuzumab has favorable activity in severe intestinal GVHD after allogeneic HCT, but emphasize the importance of careful monitoring and anti-infectious supportive care.
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18F-FDG PET is an independent outcome predictor in primary central nervous system lymphoma.
J. Nucl. Med.
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Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma is an aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma with poor prognosis. We evaluated pretreatment (18)F-FDG PET as a prognostic marker in primary CNS lymphoma.
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Competing risks and multistate models.
Clin. Cancer Res.
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Complex clinical endpoints are present in studies in cancer. Especially in studies on hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT), various risks exist after HSCT. Patients can experience acute and chronic graft versus host disease (GVHD) or need to undergo immunosuppressive therapy (IST), a relapse can occur, or patients can die after relapse or without former relapse (nonrelapse mortality, NRM). Sometimes, endpoints can be reasonably combined in a composite endpoint, as, for example, relapse and NRM are combined into disease-free survival (DFS). In this case, standard survival techniques, as Kaplan-Meier estimation of the DFS probability, can be applied. Often, interest focuses on endpoints for which competing risks are present, as, for example, GVHD, with death without prior GVHD as competing risk. This results in a competing risks model, a special case of a multistate model. A more complex multistate model is required when the effects of events occurring in the course of the study on further disease process shall be investigated, as, for example, the effect of GVHD on relapse and NRM. Another endpoint of interest is time under IST. As patients usually experience multiple episodes of IST, thus switching back and forth between "IST" and "no IST" during follow-up, the multistate model used for analysis must be adapted for this event structure. The aim of this nontechnical report is to explain use and interpretation of Cox-type regression models suitable for the different situations in a randomized trial on the effects of anti-T-cell globulin as GVHD prophylaxis.
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NT-pro-BNP: not the prognostic all-rounder in elderly patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Ann. Hematol.
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Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a curative approach for several diseases predominantly affecting elderly patients. Overall survival is compromised by treatment-related mortality (TRM), GvHD, and relapse. Pretransplant clinical risk indicators in elderly patients qualifying for HCT are highly desirable. Pro-BNP is known as a predictor of death in patients with an increasing variety of clinical conditions and frequently used as a routine parameter for organ complications in the allogeneic transplant setting without well-established scientific evidence. Our hypothesis was that pre-HCT NT-pro-BNP could aid in identifying elderly patients at risk for early mortality. We retrospectively evaluated NT-pro-BNP values in 177 consecutive patients of ?60 years HCT (2005-2010). In 29.4 % of cases, NT-pro-BNP values were within our institutes normal range (<125 pg/ml). Analysis of different NT-pro-BNP cutoff points by receiver operating characteristics curve for mortality at day +100 revealed no single cutoff value with satisfying specificity and sensitivity. The individual outcome of patients with extremely high NT-pro-BNP values was not associated with an increase in mortality or cardiovascular morbidity. NT-pro-BNP values of patients succumbing to TRM did not differ significantly from those alive or having died of relapse-median 276 vs. 217 pg/ml. In conclusion, pre-HCT NT-pro-BNP was of no convincing prognostic relevance for day 100 mortality.
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Inhibition of protein geranylgeranylation and farnesylation protects against graft-versus-host disease via effects on CD4 effector T cells.
Haematologica
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Despite advances in immunosuppressive regimens, acute graft-versus-host disease remains a frequent complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Pathogenic donor T cells are dependent on correct attachment of small GTPases to the cell membrane, mediated by farnesyl- or geranylgeranyl residues, which, therefore, constitute potential targets for graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis. A mouse model was used to study the impact of a farnesyl-transferase inhibitor and a geranylgeranyl-transferase inhibitor on acute graft-versus-host disease, anti-cytomegalovirus T-cell responses and graft-versus-leukemia activity. Treatment of mice undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation with farnesyl-transferase inhibitor and geranylgeranyl-transferase inhibitor reduced the histological severity of graft-versus-host disease and prolonged survival significantly. Mechanistically, farnesyl-transferase inhibitor and geranylgeranyl-transferase inhibitor treatment resulted in reduced alloantigen-driven expansion of CD4 T cells. In vivo treatment led to increased thymic cellularity and polyclonality of the T-cell receptor repertoire by reducing thymic graft-versus-host disease. These effects were absent when squalene production was blocked. The farnesyl-transferase inhibitor and geranylgeranyl-transferase inhibitor did not compromise CD8 function against leukemia cells or reconstitution of T cells that were subsequently responsible for anti-murine cytomegalovirus responses. In summary, we observed an immunomodulatory effect of inhibitors of farnesyl-transferase and geranylgeranyl-transferase on graft-versus-host disease, with enhanced functional immune reconstitution. In the light of the modest toxicity of farnesyl-transferase inhibitors such as tipifarnib in patients and the potent reduction of graft-versus-host disease in mice, farnesyl-transferase and geranylgeranyl-transferase inhibitors could help to reduce graft-versus-host disease significantly without having a negative impact on immune reconstitution.
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Prognostic factors affecting outcome after allogeneic transplantation for hematological malignancies from unrelated donors: results from a randomized trial.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
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Several prognostic factors for the outcome after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplant (HSCT) from matched unrelated donors have been postulated from registry data; however, data from randomized trials are lacking. We present analyses on the effects of patient-related, donor-related, and treatment-related prognostic factors on acute GVHD (aGVHD), chronic GVHD (cGVHD), relapse, nonrelapse mortality (NRM), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) in a randomized, multicenter, open-label, phase III trial comparing standard graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) prophylaxis with and without pretransplantation ATG-Fresenius (ATG-F) in 201 adult patients receiving myeloablative conditioning before HSCT from HLA-A, HLA-B antigen, HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQB1 allele matched unrelated donors. High-resolution testing (allele) of HLA-A, HLA-B, and HLA-C were obtained after study closure, and the impact of an HLA 10/10 4-digit mismatch on outcome and on the treatment effect of ATG-F versus control investigated. Advanced disease was a negative factor for relapse, DFS, and OS. Donor age ?40 adversely affected the risk of aGVHD III-IV, extensive cGVHD, and OS. Younger donors are to be preferred in unrelated donor transplantation. Advanced disease patients need special precautions to improve outcome. The degree of mismatch had no major influence on the positive effect of ATG-F on the reduction of aGVHD and cGVHD.
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Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in patients age 60-70 years with de novo high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome or secondary acute myelogenous leukemia: comparison with patients lacking donors who received azacitidine.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
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Standard first-line therapy for older patients with high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) includes hypomethylating agents, such as azacitidine (AZA). However, the only approach with curative potential remains allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). To date, no direct comparison of both strategies has been reported. The outcomes of 2 well-balanced cohorts of patients with high-risk MDS defined by age (60-70 years), performance status (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group score ?2), and donor availability (yes/no) were compared, including 103 patients undergoing HCT and 75 patients without this option who received AZA. The estimated 2-year overall survival after the start of treatment was 39% (95% confidence interval, 30%-50%) for the patients undergoing HCT and 23% (95% confidence interval, 14%-40%) for the patients receiving AZA therapy. In a multivariate Cox regression analysis of all patients (n = 178), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group score (0 versus 1 versus 2; hazard ratio [HR], 2.9/3.9; P <  .001), cytogenetics (good versus intermediate versus poor; HR, 1.2/1.7; P = .026), and treatment (HCT versus AZA; HR, 0.3; P = .007) were associated with overall survival. This retrospective cohort analysis suggests a survival advantage for allogeneic HCT compared with AZA therapy in medically fit patients with high-risk MDS age 60-70 years. Prospective controlled studies are warranted.
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Uptake routes of tumor-antigen MAGE-A3 by dendritic cells determine priming of naïve T-cell subtypes.
Cancer Immunol. Immunother.
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Induction of tumor-antigen-specific T cells in active cancer immunotherapy is generally difficult due to the very low anti-tumoral precursor cytotoxic T cells. By improving tumor-antigen uptake and presentation by dendritic cells (DCs), this problem can be overcome. Focusing on MAGE-A3 protein, frequently expressed in many types of tumors, we analyzed different DC-uptake routes after additional coating the recombinant MAGE-A3 protein with either a specific monoclonal antibody or an immune complex formulation. Opsonization of the protein with antibody resulted in increased DC-uptake compared to the uncoated rhMAGE-A3 protein. This was partly due to Fc? receptor-dependent internalization. However, unspecific antigen internalization via macropinocytosis also played a role. When analyzing DC-uptake of MAGE-A3 antigen expressed in multiple myeloma cell line U266, pretreatment with proteasome inhibitor bortezomib resulted in increased apoptosis compared to ?-irradiation. Bortezomib-mediated immunogenic apoptosis, characterized by elevated surface expression of hsp90, triggered higher phagocytosis of U266 cells by DCs involving specific DC-derived receptors. We further investigated the impact of antigen delivery on T-cell priming. Induction of CD8(+) T-cell response was favored by stimulating naïve T cells with either antibody-opsonized MAGE-A3 protein or with the bortezomib-pretreated U266 cells, indicating that receptor-mediated uptake favors cross-presentation of antigens. In contrast, CD4(+) T cells were preferentially induced after stimulation with the uncoated protein or protein in the immune complex, both antigen formulations were preferentially internalized by DCs via macropinocytosis. In summary, receptor-mediated DC-uptake mechanisms favored the induction of CD8(+) T cells, relevant for clinical anti-tumor response.
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The prognostic value of serum methotrexate area under curve in elderly primary CNS lymphoma patients.
Ann. Hematol.
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Studies on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of high-dose methotrexate chemotherapy (HD-MTX) in elderly primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) patients are rare. MTX exposure time has recently been proposed as an outcome determining factor in PCNSL. We investigated 49 immunocompetent PCNSL patients (female N=30, male N=19, median age 73 years) who were treated according to HD-MTX-based protocols. A two-compartment pharmacokinetic model was used to describe the MTX clearance. Response to treatment was assessed by MRI. We used multivariable models to investigate the association between MTX exposure and tumor response as well as survival. Dose normalized MTX peak serum levels [C (max), ?mol/L g] and dose normalized area under the curve [AUC(dn), ?mol h/L g] were higher in females than in males, respectively [59.4 (f) vs. 48.1 (m), P<0.001; 373.2 (f) vs. 271.9 (m), P=0.008]. Increasing AUC was inversely correlated with tumor response. AUC values above 2,126 h??mol/L were independently associated with shorter overall and progression-free survival [hazard ratio (HR), 4.56, 95 % CI 1.74-11.94; HR 2.87, 95 % CI 1.18-7.00]. Exceedingly high MTX AUC levels can have a negative impact on progression-free and overall survivals in elderly PCNSL patients.
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Radiation-free allogeneic conditioning with fludarabine, carmustine, and thiotepa for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and other hematologic malignancies necessitating enhanced central nervous system activity.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
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Total body irradiation has been the mainstay of conditioning since the inception of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation, but toxicity often precludes its use. For less-fit patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and other hematologic malignancies frequently affecting the central nervous system, we designed a radiation-free regimen with fludarabine (25 mg/m2/day on days -6 to -4), carmustine (400 mg/m2 on day -6), and thiotepa (5 mg/kg twice daily on days -5 and -4), all of which readily penetrate the blood-brain barrier and have potent antileukemic and lymphotoxic activity. Here we present a series of 30 consecutive patients with high-risk or relapsed disease who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation with this protocol. The median patient age was 60 years (range, 42-70 years), and the median follow-up was 968 days (range, 58-1989 days). Graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis consisted of cyclosporine A and alemtuzumab (10-20 mg). At 2 years, overall survival was 52% (95% confidence interval [CI], 34%-71%), event-free survival was 39% (95% CI, 22%-57%), cumulative incidence of relapse/progression was 30% (95% CI, 17%-52%), and treatment-related mortality was 31% (95% CI, 18%-53%). Neurologic toxicity is a concern, especially in older and heavily pretreated patients. Our experience indicates the feasibility of this regimen as an alternative to total body irradiation and a potentially curative option for less-fit patients who need a highly central nervous system-active conditioning.
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