The American Society of Hematology developed the Clinical Research Training Institute (CRTI) to address the lack of training in patient-oriented research among hematologists. As the program continues, we need to consider metrics for measuring the benefits of such a training program. This article addresses the benefits of clinical research training programs. The fundamental and key components are education and mentorship. However, there are several other benefits including promotion of collaboration, job and advancement opportunities, and promotion of work-life balance. The benefits of clinical research training programs need to be measured so that funders and society can judge if they are worth the investment in time and resources. Identification of elements that are important to program benefit is essential to measuring the benefit of the program as well as program planning. Future work should focus on the constructs which contribute to benefits of clinical research training programs such as CRTI.
Ibrutinib has single agent activity of 22-68% in relapsed B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of ibrutinib combined with rituximab (R) and bendamustine. Patients received R 375 mg/m(2) day 1, bendamustine 90 mg/m(2) days 1 and 2, and ibrutinib (280 or 560 mg) days 1-28 every 28 days for 6 cycles followed by ibrutinib alone until progression. Forty-eight patients enrolled, including 12 patients with follicular lymphoma (FL), 16 with diffuse large cell lymphoma (DLCL), and 17 with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). No dose limiting toxicities were observed. Patients received a median of 8 cycles, with 26 completing 6 cycles and continuing ibrutinib alone in cycles 7-34. The overall response rate (ORR) was 72%, with 52% complete responses (CR). By histology, the ORR was 94% (76% CR) in MCL, 37% (31% CR) in DLCL, and 90% (50% CR) in FL. Grade 3-4 toxicities included lymphopenia (77%), neutropenia (33%), thrombocytopenia (19%), and rash (25%). Median progression-free survival has not been reached (95% CI, 8.7 months - not reached). The recommended phase 2 dose of ibrutinib in combination with R-bendamustine in patients with NHL is 560 mg. The combination has promising efficacy, particularly in MCL and FL.
CD19 is ubiquitously expressed on CLL cells and is therefore an attractive candidate for antibody targeting. XmAb(®)5574 (aka MOR00208) is a novel humanized CD19 monoclonal antibody with an engineered Fc region to enhance Fc gamma receptor binding affinity. Here we report results of a first in human Phase I trial of XmAb5574 in patients with relapsed or refractory CLL. 27 patients were enrolled to 6 escalating dose levels, with expansion at the highest dose level of 12 mg/kg. 9 doses of XmAb5574 were infused over 8 weeks. No maximal tolerated dose was reached, and the drug was generally well tolerated, with infusion reactions of grades 1 and 2 being the most common toxicities. Grade 3 and 4 toxicities occurred in 5 patients and included neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, increased aspartate aminotransferase, febrile neutropenia, and tumor lysis syndrome. XmAb5574 showed preliminary efficacy, with 18 patients (66.7%) responding by physical exam criteria and laboratory studies, and 8 patients (29.6%) responding by CT criteria. Pharmacokinetics showed a half-life of 14 days with clearance that was not dose-dependent. In conclusion, this Phase I trial demonstrates safety and preliminary efficacy of a novel Fc engineered CD19 monoclonal antibody XmAb5574 and justifies movement into the Phase II setting. Trial is registered on clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01161511.
Over the past two decades, slow but deliberate progress has been made in understanding the genetics of CLL and how the surrounding microenvironment influences leukemia cell survival. The complexity of CLL with respect to different chromosomal aberrations, lack of a common aberrant signaling pathway activation, and associated immune suppression of the disease has been seen a major stumbling block for developing a single targeted therapy similar to imatinib used in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The upcoming therapeutic era we are entering with the B-cell receptor (BCR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors ibrutinib and idelalisib, appear to be overcoming this obstacle. Indeed, for the large majority of patients it appears that application of BCR kinase inhibitors can promote durable remissions without the need for chemotherapy. Where other very active targeted agents such as ABT-199, therapeutic antibodies, and chimeric antigen receptor-modified T-cells will be used in CLL also represents a major question that future clinical trials will answer.
Aberrant regulation of endogenous survival pathways plays a major role in progression of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Signaling via conjugation of surface receptors within the tumor environmental niche activates survival and proliferation pathways in CLL. Of these, the PI3K/AKT pathway appears to be pivotal to support CLL pathogenesis, and pharmacologic inhibitors targeting this axis have shown clinical activity. Here we investigate OSU-T315, a compound that disrupts the Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway in a novel manner. Dose-dependent, selective cytotoxicity by OSU-T315 is noted in both CLL-derived cell lines and primary CLL cells relative to normal lymphocytes. In contrast to the highly successful BTK and PI3K inhibitors that inhibit BCR signaling pathway at proximal kinases, OSU-T315 directly abrogates AKT activation by preventing translocation of AKT into lipid rafts without altering the activation of receptor-associated kinases. Through this mechanism, the agent triggers caspase-dependent apoptosis in CLL by suppressing BCR, CD49d, CD40 and TLR9-mediated AKT activation in an ILK-independent manner. In vivo, OSU-T315 attains pharmacologically active drug levels and significantly prolongs survival in the TCL1 mouse model. Together, our findings indicate a novel mechanism of action of OSU-T315 with potential therapeutic application in CLL.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) displays constitutive phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activation due to aberrant regulation of the B cell receptor (BCR) signaling. Previous studies have shown that an oral PI3K p110? inhibitor idelalisib exhibits promising activity in CLL. Here, we demonstrate that a dual PI3K p110? and p110? inhibitor, IPI-145 antagonizes BCR crosslinking activated pro-survival signals in primary CLL cells. IPI-145 causes direct killing in primary CLL cells in a dose- and time- dependent fashion, whereas not generating direct cytotoxicity to normal B cells. However, IPI-145 does reduce the viability of normal T and NK cells and decrease activated T-cell production of various inflammatory and anti-apoptotic cytokines. Furthermore, IPI-145 overcomes the ibrutinib resistance resulting from treatment-induced BTK C481S mutation. Collectively, these studies provide rationale for ongoing clinical evaluation of IPI-145 as a targeted therapy for CLL and related B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) are a heterogeneous group of lymphoproliferative disorders originating in B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, or natural killer cells. Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) accounts for approximately 6% of all newly diagnosed NHL cases. Radiation therapy with or without systemic therapy is a reasonable approach for the few patients who present with early-stage disease. Rituximab-based chemoimmunotherapy followed by high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell rescue (HDT/ASCR) is recommended for patients presenting with advanced-stage disease. Induction therapy followed by rituximab maintenance may provide extended disease control for those who are not candidates for HDT/ASCR. Ibrutinib, a Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor, was recently approved for the treatment of relapsed or refractory disease. This manuscript discusses the recommendations outlined in the NCCN Guidelines for NHL regarding the diagnosis and management of patients with MCL.
DNA methylation is an epigenetic change occurring in genomic CpG sequences that contribute to the regulation of gene transcription both in normal and malignant cells. Next-generation sequencing has been used to characterize DNA methylation status at the genome scale, but suffers from high sequencing cost in the case of whole-genome bisulfite sequencing, or from reduced resolution (inability to precisely define which of the CpGs are methylated) with capture-based techniques.
CD37 is cell surface tetraspanin present on normal and malignant B cells. Otlertuzumab (TRU-016) is a novel humanized anti-CD37 protein therapeutic. Patients with relapsed or refractory follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma (FL), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), or Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia (WM) received otlertuzumab at 20 mg/kg administered intravenously once a week for up to 8 weeks followed by 4 monthly doses. Sixteen patients were treated; median age was 62·5 years (range, 41-81), and median number of prior regimens was 4 (range, 1-7). Twelve patients were refractory to prior treatment, 5 were refractory to rituximab. The mean terminal half-life was 9·5 days. Lymph node reduction of ?50% by computerized tomography scan measurements was seen in 3 of 12 patients, including one FL patient who had a partial response. One WM patient had a minor response. The most frequent adverse events were neutropenia, fatigue, nausea, thrombocytopenia, diarrhoea, and peripheral oedema; most were grade 1/2. Otlertuzumab treatment appears to have been well tolerated by the patients in this study. Clinical activity was observed in this small heterogeneous cohort of highly refractory, heavily pretreated B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients. These data suggest that further clinical investigation in non-Hodgkin lymphoma is warranted.
Lumiliximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody that targets CD23 on the surface of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) B-cells. Early phase clinical studies with lumiliximab alone and in combination with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab (FCR) established its potential efficacy and tolerability. The 152CL201 trial [Lumiliximab with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab (FCR) versus FCR alone in subjects with relapsed CLL; LUCID] was a phase 2/3, randomized (1:1), open-label, multicentre study of lumiliximab in combination with FCR versus FCR alone in patients with relapsed CLL. Six hundred and twenty-seven patients were randomized to either arm. Overall the combination of lumiliximab with FCR was not significantly better than FCR alone (overall response rate 71% vs. 72%, complete response rate 16% vs. 15%, median progression-free survival 24.6 vs. 23.9 months respectively, for FCR with and without lumiliximab). There was a slightly increased incidence of adverse events with lumiliximab but these increases did not appear to lead to differences in eventual outcomes. An interim analysis failed to show sufficient efficacy of the combination of lumiliximab with FCR. The study was therefore stopped early for lack of efficacy. Despite the eventual outcome, the LUCID trial is one of the largest studies that provides valuable insight into the efficacy and tolerability of FCR as a therapeutic option for patients with relapsed CLL.
Chemoimmunotherapy has been the standard of care for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, the introduction of B-cell receptor (BCR) kinase inhibitors such as ibrutinib has the potential to eliminate the role of chemotherapy in the treatment of CLL. How to best incorporate old and new therapies for CLL in this landscape is increasingly complex.
Targeting B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has been successful with durable remissions observed with several targeted therapeutics. Protein kinase C-? (PKC-?) is immediately downstream of BCR and has been shown to be essential to CLL cell survival and proliferation in vivo. We therefore evaluated sotrastaurin (AEB071), an orally administered potent PKC inhibitor, on CLL cell survival both in vitro and in vivo. AEB071 shows selective cytotoxicity against B-CLL cells in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, AEB071 attenuates BCR-mediated survival pathways, inhibits CpG-induced survival and proliferation of CLL cells in vitro, and effectively blocks microenvironment-mediated survival signaling pathways in primary CLL cells. Furthermore, AEB071 alters ?-catenin expression, resulting in decreased downstream transcriptional genes as c-Myc, Cyclin D1, and CD44. Lastly, our preliminary in vivo studies indicate beneficial antitumor properties of AEB071 in CLL. Taken together, our results indicate that targeting PKC-? has the potential to disrupt signaling from the microenvironment contributing to CLL cell survival and potentially drug resistance. Future efforts targeting PKC with the PKC inhibitor AEB071 as monotherapy in clinical trials of relapsed and refractory CLL patients are warranted.
Ibrutinib is an oral Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor, recently approved for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients with at least one prior therapy. We developed a population pharmacokinetic (PK) model for ibrutinib in patients.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs) are a heterogeneous group of lymphoproliferative disorders originating in B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, or natural killer cells. Follicular lymphoma (FL) is the most common subtype of indolent NHL, accounting for approximately 22% of all newly diagnosed cases of NHL. The incorporation of rituximab to chemotherapy regimens has become a widely accepted standard of care for first-line therapy for patients with FL. Maintenance and consolidation therapy with rituximab and radioimmunotherapy have also been associated with improved progression-free survival in patients experiencing response to first-line therapy. Despite therapeutic advances that have improved outcomes, FL is generally considered a chronic disease characterized by multiple recurrences with current therapies. This manuscript discusses the recommendations outlined in the NCCN Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of patients with FL.
In patients with chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), a short duration of response to therapy or adverse cytogenetic abnormalities are associated with a poor outcome. We evaluated the efficacy of ibrutinib, a covalent inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase, in patients at risk for a poor outcome.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most frequently diagnosed hematologic malignancy in the United States. Although several features can be useful in the diagnosis of CLL, the most important is the immunophenotype.Two staging systems--the Binet system and the Rai classification--are used to assess risk. After diagnosis, the first major therapeutic decision is when to initiate therapy, as a watchful waiting approach is often appropriate for patients with asymptomatic disease. Once a patient has met the criteria for treatment, the choice of therapy is the next major decision. Younger patients (<65 years) often receive more aggressive treatment that typically consists of cytotoxic chemotherapy. There is a great unmet need concerning treatment of older patients with CLL, who often present with more comorbid conditions that can decrease their ability to tolerate particular regimens. The current standard of care for older patients with CLL is rituximab plus chlorambucil. The concept of targeted agents is currently an area of intense interest in CLL. The Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib is the targeted agent that is furthest along in clinical development. It is associated with an overall survival rate of 83%. Idelalisib targets the phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase and is under evaluation in pivotal trials. Targeted agents offer much promise in terms of efficacy, toxicity, and oral availability. They will change the management of patients with CLL.
Ibrutinib is an irreversible inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) and is effective in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Resistance to irreversible kinase inhibitors and resistance associated with BTK inhibition have not been characterized. Although only a small proportion of patients have had a relapse during ibrutinib therapy, an understanding of resistance mechanisms is important. We evaluated patients with relapsed disease to identify mutations that may mediate ibrutinib resistance.
ZAP-70 methylation 223 nucleotides downstream of transcription start (CpG+223) predicts outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), but its impact relative to CD38 and ZAP-70 expression or immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region (IGHV) status is uncertain. Additionally, standardizing ZAP-70 expression analysis has been unsuccessful. CpG+223 methylation was quantitatively determined in 295 untreated CLL cases using MassARRAY. Impact on clinical outcome vs CD38 and ZAP-70 expression and IGHV status was evaluated. Cases with low methylation (<20%) had significantly shortened time to first treatment (TT) and overall survival (OS) (P < .0001). For TT, low methylation defined a large subset of ZAP-70 protein-negative cases with significantly shortened TT (median, 8.0 vs 3.9 years for high vs low methylation; hazard ratio [HR] = 0.43; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.25-0.74). Conversely, 16 ZAP-70 protein-positive cases with high methylation had poor outcome (median, 1.1 vs 2.3 years for high vs low methylation; HR = 1.62; 95% CI, 0.87-3.03). For OS, ZAP-70 methylation was the strongest risk factor; CD38 and ZAP-70 expression or IGHV status did not significantly improve OS prediction. A pyrosequencing assay was established that reproduced the MassARRAY data (? coefficient > 0.90). Thus, ZAP-70 CpG+223 methylation represents a superior biomarker for TT and OS that can be feasibly measured, supporting its use in risk-stratifying CLL.
In the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), select genomic studies can assist in risk stratification of newly diagnosed patients. Chemoimmunotherapy targeting CD20 offers a survival advantage in symptomatic patients both with and without these high-risk genetic features, though patients with del(17p13.1) have poor outcomes and require specific intervention. Obinutuzumab plus chlorambucil is a treatment standard for untreated elderly patients and is superior to rituximab plus chlorambucil. In the setting of relapsed CLL, the new kinase inhibitors have the potential to completely change the treatment paradigm of CLL.
The pathogenesis and progression of normal B-cell development to malignant transformation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is still poorly understood and has hampered attempts to develop targeted therapeutics for this disease. The dependence of CLL cells on B-cell receptor signaling has fostered a new area of basic and therapeutic research interest. In particular, identification of the dependence of CLL cells on both phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase delta and Bruton's tyrosine kinase signaling for survival and proliferation has come forth through well-performed preclinical studies and subsequent trials demonstrating dramatic efficacy. This review outlines essential components of B-cell receptor signaling and briefly addresses therapeutics that are emerging to target these in patients with CLL and related lymphoid malignancies.
Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Having shown that germinal center (GC) formation and immunoglobulin deposition are required for multiorgan system cGVHD and associated bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) in a murine model, we hypothesized that T follicular helper (Tfh) cells are necessary for cGVHD by supporting GC formation and maintenance. We show that increased frequency of Tfh cells correlated with increased GC B cells, cGVHD, and BOS. Although administering a highly depletionary anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) to mice with established cGVHD resulted in peripheral B-cell depletion, B cells remained in the lung, and BOS was not reversed. BOS could be treated by eliminating production of interleukin-21 (IL-21) by donor T cells or IL-21 receptor (IL-21R) signaling of donor B cells. Development of BOS was dependent upon T cells expressing the chemokine receptor CXCR5 to facilitate T-cell trafficking to secondary lymphoid organ follicles. Blocking mAbs for IL-21/IL-21R, inducible T-cell costimulator (ICOS)/ICOS ligand, and CD40L/CD40 hindered GC formation and cGVHD. These data provide novel insights into cGVHD pathogenesis, indicate a role for Tfh cells in these processes, and suggest a new line of therapy using mAbs targeting Tfh cells to reverse cGVHD.
Idelalisib, an oral inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase ? (PI3K?), was evaluated in a 48-week phase 1 study (50-350 mg daily or twice daily) enrolling 40 patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Primary outcome was safety and dose-limiting toxicity (DLT). Secondary outcomes were pharmacokinetic parameters, pharmacodynamic effects, overall response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), and duration of response (DOR). Patients without DLT and no evidence of disease progression after 48 weeks enrolled in the extension study. Patients had median age of 69 years (range, 52-83) and received median of 4 prior therapies (1-14); 17 of 40 patients (43%) were refractory to their most recent treatment. Median duration of idelalisib treatment was 3.5 months (range, 0.7-30.7), with 6 (15%) continuing extension treatment. Common grade ?3 adverse events (AEs) included (total%/grade ?3%) diarrhea (40/18), nausea (33/5), pyrexia (28/0), fatigue (25/3), rash (23/3), decreased appetite (20/15), upper respiratory infection (20/0), pneumonia (13/10), and alanine transaminase or aspartate transaminase elevations (60/20). ORR was 16 of 40 patients (40%), with CR in 2 of 40 patients (5%). Median DOR was 2.7 months, median PFS was 3.7 months, and 1-year PFS was 22%. These data provide proof of concept that targeting PI3K? is a viable strategy and worthy of additional study in MCL. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00710528.
In a phase 1 trial, idelalisib (GS-1101, CAL-101), a selective inhibitor of the lipid kinase PI3K?, was evaluated in 54 patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with adverse characteristics including bulky lymphadenopathy (80%), extensive prior therapy (median 5 [range 2-14] prior regimens), treatment-refractory disease (70%), unmutated IGHV (91%), and del17p and/or TP53 mutations (24%). Patients were treated at 6 dose levels of oral idelalisib (range 50-350 mg once or twice daily) and remained on continuous therapy while deriving clinical benefit. Idelalisib-mediated inhibition of PI3K? led to abrogation of Akt phosphorylation in patient CLL cells and significantly reduced serum levels of CLL-related chemokines. The most commonly observed grade ?3 adverse events were pneumonia (20%), neutropenic fever (11%), and diarrhea (6%). Idelalisib treatment resulted in nodal responses in 81% of patients. The overall response rate was 72%, with 39% of patients meeting the criteria for partial response per IWCLL 2008 and 33% meeting the recently updated criteria of PR with treatment-induced lymphocytosis.(1,2) The median progression-free survival for all patients was 15.8 months. This study demonstrates the clinical utility of inhibiting the PI3K? pathway with idelalisib. Our findings support the further development of idelalisib in patients with CLL. These trials were registered at clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00710528 and #NCT01090414.
Idelalisib (GS-1101, CAL-101), an oral inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-?, was evaluated in a phase I study in 64 patients with relapsed indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (iNHL). Patients had a median (range) age of 64 (32-91) years, 34 (53%) had bulky disease (?1 lymph nodes ?5 cm), and 37 (58%) had refractory disease. Patients had received a median (range) of 4 (1-10) prior therapies. Eight dose regimens of idelalisib were evaluated; idelalisib was taken once or twice daily continuously at doses ranging from 50 to 350 mg. After 48 weeks, patients still benefitting (n = 19; 30%) enrolled into an extension study. Adverse events (AEs) occurring in 20% or more patients (total%/grade ?3%) included diarrhea (36/8), fatigue (36/3), nausea (25/3), rash (25/3), pyrexia (20/3), and chills (20/0). Laboratory abnormalities included neutropenia (44/23), anemia (31/5), thrombocytopenia (25/11), and serum transaminase elevations (48/25). Twelve (19%) patients discontinued therapy due to AEs. Idelalisib induced disease regression in 46/54 (85%) of evaluable patients achieving an overall response rate of 30/64 (47%), with 1 patient having a complete response (1.6%). Median duration of response was 18.4 months, median progression-free survival was 7.6 months. Idelalisib is well tolerated and active in heavily pretreated, relapsed/refractory patients with iNHL. These trials were registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00710528 and NCT01090414.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) exhibits high remission rates after initial chemoimmunotherapy, but with relapses with treatment, refractory disease is the most common outcome, especially in CLL with the deletion of chromosome 11q or 17p. In addressing the need of treatments for relapsed disease, we report the identification of an existing U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved small-molecule drug to repurpose for CLL treatment. Auranofin (Ridaura) is approved for use in treating rheumatoid arthritis, but it exhibited preclinical efficacy in CLL cells. By inhibiting thioredoxin reductase activity and increasing intracellular reactive oxygen species levels, auranofin induced a lethal endoplasmic reticulum stress response in cultured and primary CLL cells. In addition, auranofin displayed synergistic lethality with heme oxygenase-1 and glutamate-cysteine ligase inhibitors against CLL cells. Auranofin overcame apoptosis resistance mediated by protective stromal cells, and it also killed primary CLL cells with deletion of chromosome 11q or 17p. In TCL-1 transgenic mice, an in vivo model of CLL, auranofin treatment markedly reduced tumor cell burden and improved mouse survival. Our results provide a rationale to reposition the approved drug auranofin for clinical evaluation in the therapy of CLL.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is common in both developed and developing nations where the need for inexpensive and convenient administration of therapy is apparent. Ocaratuzumab is a novel Fc-engineered humanized IgG1 anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) designed for effective antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) at very low concentrations that may facilitate sub-cutaneous (vs. intravenous) dosing. Here, we report ocaratuzumab's potency against CLL cells. In vitro assessment of ocaratuzumab's direct cytotoxicity (DC), complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP), and ADCC was performed on CLL cells. Ocaratuzumab induced DC, CDC, and ADCP similarly to rituximab or ofatumumab (anti-CD20 mAbs). However, ocaratuzumab showed an advantage in NK cell-mediated ADCC over these antibodies. In allogeneic ADCC, [E:T (effector:target) ratios = 25:1, 12:1, 6:1], ocaratuzumab (10 µg/mL) improved ADCC by ~3-fold compared with rituximab or ofatumumab (P<0.001 all tested E:T ratios). Notably, the superiority of ocaratuzumab-induced ADCC was observed at low concentrations (0.1-10 ug/ml; P<0.03; allogeneic assays). In extended allogeneic ADCC E:T titration, ocaratuzumab (0.1 µg/mL) demonstrated 19.4% more cytotoxicity than rituximab (E:T = 0.38:1; P = 0.0066) and 21.5% more cytotoxicity than ofatumumab (E:T = 1.5:1; P = 0.0015). In autologous ADCC, ocaratuzumab (10 µg/mL) demonstrated ~1.5-fold increase in cytotoxicity compared with rituximab or ofatumumab at all E:T ratios tested (E:Ts = 25:1,12:1,6:1; all P<0.001). Obinutuzumab, a glyco-engineered anti-CD20 mAb, showed no improvement in ADCC activity compared with ocaratuzumab. The enhanced ADCC of ocaratuzumab suggests that it may be effective at low concentrations. If supported by clinical investigation, this feature could potentially allow for subcutaneous dosing at low doses that could expand the potential of administering chemoimmunotherapy in developing countries.
Adequate dosing of lenalidomide in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) remains unclear. This study determined maximum tolerated dose (MTD) in relapsed CLL patients (Cohort A) and patients achieving a partial response (PR) or better to recent therapy (Cohort B). Thirty-seven patients were enrolled. MTD was 2.5mg followed by 5.0mg continuous. In Cohort A, tumor flare grade 1-2 occurred in 15 patients (50%) and grade 3 in 1 patient (3%). Cohort A had 19 of 23 evaluable (83%) patients, 4 PR (17%) and 15 (65%) stable disease (SD), Cohort B had 6 of 7 patients (86%) with SD. Despite overall response rate not being high, many patients remained on therapy several months with SD.
NF-?B is considered a major contributor to tumor development, but how this factor functions in the initial stages of oncogenesis is not clear. In a model of Ras-induced transformation, we probed NF-?B function as preneoplastic cells formed tumors in mice. As previously shown, the p65 subunit of NF-?B acts as a tumor suppressor in normal cells by sustaining senescence following DNA damage. Our current data reveal that, following immortalization, p65 switches to an oncogene by counteracting the surveillance properties of immune cells. NF-?B exerts this effect by protecting transformed cells against macrophage-derived proapoptotic factors, tumor necrosis factor, and nitric oxide. Additionally, NF-?B acts through transforming growth factor beta (TGF-?) to mitigate T cell cytotoxicity and other factors to expand myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Together, these data suggest that NF-?B functions in the early stages of transformation by suppressing immune surveillance of both innate and adaptive immune cells, information that may be useful for targeted immunotherapies.
Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a life-threatening impediment to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and current therapies do not completely prevent and/or treat cGVHD. CD4+ T cells and B cells mediate cGVHD; therefore, targeting these populations may inhibit cGVHD pathogenesis. Ibrutinib is an FDA-approved irreversible inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) and IL-2 inducible T cell kinase (ITK) that targets Th2 cells and B cells and produces durable remissions in B cell malignancies with minimal toxicity. Here, we evaluated whether ibrutinib could reverse established cGVHD in 2 complementary murine models, a model interrogating T cell-driven sclerodermatous cGVHD and an alloantibody-driven multiorgan system cGVHD model that induces bronchiolar obliterans (BO). In the T cell-mediated sclerodermatous cGVHD model, ibrutinib treatment delayed progression, improved survival, and ameliorated clinical and pathological manifestations. In the alloantibody-driven cGVHD model, ibrutinib treatment restored pulmonary function and reduced germinal center reactions and tissue immunoglobulin deposition. Animals lacking BTK and ITK did not develop cGVHD, indicating that these molecules are critical to cGVHD development. Furthermore, ibrutinib treatment reduced activation of T and B cells from patients with active cGVHD. Our data demonstrate that B cells and T cells drive cGVHD and suggest that ibrutinib has potential as a therapeutic agent, warranting consideration for cGVHD clinical trials.
Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive histologic subtype of brain cancer with poor outcomes and limited treatment options. Here, we report the selective overexpression of the protein arginine methyltransferase PRMT5 as a novel candidate theranostic target in this disease. PRMT5 silences the transcription of regulatory genes by catalyzing symmetric dimethylation of arginine residues on histone tails. PRMT5 overexpression in patient-derived primary tumors and cell lines correlated with cell line growth rate and inversely with overall patient survival. Genetic attenuation of PRMT5 led to cell-cycle arrest, apoptosis, and loss of cell migratory activity. Cell death was p53-independent but caspase-dependent and enhanced with temozolomide, a chemotherapeutic agent used as a present standard of care. Global gene profiling and chromatin immunoprecipitation identified the tumor suppressor ST7 as a key gene silenced by PRMT5. Diminished ST7 expression was associated with reduced patient survival. PRMT5 attenuation limited PRMT5 recruitment to the ST7 promoter, led to restored expression of ST7 and cell growth inhibition. Finally, PRMT5 attenuation enhanced glioblastoma cell survival in a mouse xenograft model of aggressive glioblastoma. Together, our findings defined PRMT5 as a candidate prognostic factor and therapeutic target in glioblastoma, offering a preclinical justification for targeting PRMT5-driven oncogenic pathways in this deadly disease.
To improve long-term outcomes for Burkitt leukaemia/lymphoma (BL) or aggressive lymphomas in adults, we assessed the benefit of adding rituximab and filgrastim support to a dose-dense modified chemotherapy regimen from the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) 9251 trial. One hundred and five patients (aged 19-79 years) were enrolled; 27% were >60 years old; 47% had high or high-intermediate risk by International Prognostic Index (IPI) criteria. Common severe toxicities included stomatitis/upper gastrointestinal toxicity (69%), renal insufficiency (10%), neurological events (25%) and pulmonary events (18%). Seven died from treatment-related causes (one central nervous system bleed, four infections, two respiratory failure); five were >60 years old. Results in this adult population are encouraging as complete response (CR) was observed in 83% and 4-year event-free (EFS) and overall survivals (OS) were 74% and 78%, respectively. Results compare favourably to our prior chemotherapy alone study (CALGB 9251) but despite this, high-risk patients still had worse outcomes. In conclusion, short duration, intensive chemo-immunotherapy is feasible and should be considered in adults with BL as it results in high remission rates and durable remissions.
The Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib has outstanding activity in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Most patients experience lymphocytosis, representing lymphocyte egress from nodal compartments. This resolves within 8 months in the majority of patients, but a subgroup has lymphocytosis lasting >12 months. Here we report a detailed characterization of patients with persistent lymphocytosis during ibrutinib therapy. Signaling evaluation showed that while BTK is inhibited, downstream mediators of B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling are activated in persistent lymphocytes. These cells cannot be stimulated through the BCR and do not show evidence of target gene activation. Flow cytometry for ? and ? expression, IGHV sequencing, Zap-70 methylation, and targeted gene sequencing in these patients are identical at baseline and later time points, suggesting that persistent lymphocytes do not represent clonal evolution. In vitro treatment with targeted kinase inhibitors shows that they are not addicted to a single survival pathway. Finally, progression-free survival is not inferior for patients with prolonged lymphocytosis vs those with traditional responses. Thus, prolonged lymphocytosis is common following ibrutinib treatment, likely represents the persistence of a quiescent clone, and does not predict a subgroup of patients likely to relapse early.
OSU-2S is a novel anti-cancer and immune modulatory agent designed specifically to avert the immunosuppressive effects and related toxicities observed in clinical studies with its predecessor analog, FTY720. To characterize its preclinical pharmacokinetics, a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was developed and validated for the quantification of OSU-2S in mouse plasma. Ethyl acetate extraction of samples containing OSU-2S and the internal standard, Sph-17, was followed by separation with a 6min gradient (water/0.1% formic acid and methanol/0.1% formic acid) on a reverse-phase C18 column at room temperature. Selected reaction monitoring was used for detection on a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer with positive ionization. The assay was linear over the concentration range 3-3000ng/mL with accuracy ranging from 103 to 111%, and both within- and between-run precision (CV%) ?11%. All stability samples were within ±15% of nominal values, and replicates were within 15% CV. The assay was successfully applied to a mouse pharmacokinetic study of OSU-2S with intravenous and intraperitoneal administration. OSU-2S non-compartmental pharmacokinetic parameters, area under the concentration-time curve, clearance, and elimination half-life were estimated at 1522h?g/L, 3.06L/h/kg and 15.6h, respectively, for intravenous injection. Systemic availability after intraperitoneal injection was approximately 46%. These data demonstrate the OSU-2S compound displays acceptable pharmacokinetic properties for further in vivo pharmacologic evaluation, which can be facilitated by the validated LC-MS/MS assay.
For many years there has been considerable disassociation between the understood biology of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and the therapeutics used to treat this disease. With the introduction of the first targeted CD20 antibody rituximab and its addition to chemotherapy came the first observation that minimal residual disease-negative (MRD-negative) complete responses (CRs) could be obtained with dramatically improved progression-free survival and overall survival. This advance was soon to be surpassed by the introduction of therapeutics that target B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling. New data show that BCR-inhibiting agents are very active for the treatment of relapsed CLL, despite the lack of MRD-negative CR, with durability of response being considerably more impressive than previously observed with other agents not producing MRD-negative CRs. This perspective provides a view of where these agents may take us in the future as CLL therapy evolves with this exciting new class of drugs.
Otlertuzumab is a novel humanized anti-CD37 protein therapeutic. This study evaluated the safety of otlertuzumab administered intravenously to patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Otlertuzumab was administered weekly for up to 8 weeks followed by 1 dose per month for 4 months ranging from 0.03 to 20 mg/kg in the dose-escalation phase and 10 to 30 mg/kg in the dose-expansion phase. Responses were determined by using the 1996 National Cancer Institute (NCI-96) and 2008 International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (IWCLL) criteria. Fifty-seven patients were treated in the dose-escalation phase and 26 in the dose-expansion phase. A maximum-tolerated dose was not identified. Response occurred in 19 (23%) of 83 treated patients by NCI-96 criteria. All responses were partial and occurred more commonly in patients with symptomatic untreated CLL (6/7) or 1 to 2 prior therapies (12/28) vs 3 or more therapies (1/48). Twenty percent (12/61) with serial computed tomography scan assessment had a response per IWCLL criteria. The most frequent adverse events were infusion reactions, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea and were not dose related. Otlertuzumab was well tolerated, and modest clinical activity was observed. Otlertuzumab warrants further evaluation in combination with other agents for the treatment of CLL. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00614042.
Molecular risk stratification of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is largely based on genetic markers. However, epigenetic changes, including DNA methylation, deregulate gene expression and may also have prognostic impact. We evaluated the clinical relevance of integrating DNA methylation and genetic information in AML.
Although clonal selection by genetic driver aberrations in cancer is well documented, the ability of epigenetic alterations to promote tumor evolution is undefined. We used 450k arrays and next-generation sequencing to evaluate intra-tumor heterogeneity and evolution of DNA methylation and genetic aberrations in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). CLL cases exhibit vast inter-patient differences in intra-tumor methylation heterogeneity, with genetically clonal cases maintaining low methylation heterogeneity and up to 10 percent of total CpGs in a monoallelically methylated state. Increasing methylation heterogeneity correlates with advanced genetic subclonal complexity. Selection of novel DNA methylation patterns is observed only in cases that undergo genetic evolution, and independent genetic evolution is uncommon and is restricted to low-risk alterations. These results reveal that although evolution of DNA methylation occurs in high-risk, clinically-progressive cases, positive selection of novel methylation patterns entail co-evolution of genetic alteration(s) in CLL.
Chemoimmunotherapy has led to improved numbers of patients achieving disease response, and longer overall survival in young patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia; however, its application in elderly patients has been restricted by substantial myelosuppression and infection. We aimed to assess safety and activity of ibrutinib, an orally administered covalent inhibitor of Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK), in treatment-naive patients aged 65 years and older with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) demonstrates variable reactivity of the B cell receptor (BCR) to antigen ligation, but constitutive pathway activation. Brutons Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) shows constitutive activity in CLL, and is the target of irreversible inhibition by ibrutinib, an orally bioavailable kinase inhibitor that has shown outstanding activity in CLL. Early clinical results in CLL with other reversible and irreversible BTK inhibitors have been less promising, however, raising the question of whether BTK kinase activity is an important target of ibrutinib and also in CLL. To determine the role of BTK in CLL, we utilized patient samples and the E?-TCL1 (TCL1) transgenic mouse model of CLL which results in spontaneous leukemia development. Inhibition of BTK in primary human CLL cells by siRNA promotes apoptosis. Inhibition of BTK kinase activity through either targeted genetic inactivation or ibrutinib in the TCL1 mouse significantly delays the development of CLL, demonstrating that BTK is a critical kinase for CLL development and expansion and thus an important target of ibrutinib. Collectively, our data confirm the importance of kinase-functional BTK in CLL.
Noninvasive early detection methods have the potential to reduce mortality rates of both cancer and infectious diseases. Here, we present a novel assay by which tethered cationic lipoplex nanoparticles containing molecular beacons (MBs) can capture cancer cell-derived exosomes or viruses and identify encapsulated RNAs in a single step. A series of ultracentrifugation and Exoquick isolation kit were first used to isolate exosomes from the cell culture medium and human serum, respectively. Cationic lipoplex nanoparticles linked onto the surface of a thin glass plate capture negatively charged viruses or cell-secreted exosomes by electrostatic interactions to form larger nanoscale complexes. Lipoplex/virus or lipoplex/exosome fusion leads to the mixing of viral/exosomal RNAs and MBs within the lipoplexes. After the target RNAs specially bind to the MBs, exosomes enriched in target RNAs are readily identified by the fluorescence signals of MBs. The in situ detection of target extracellular RNAs without diluting the samples leads to high detection sensitivity not achievable by existing methods, e.g., quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Here we demonstrate this concept using lentivirus and serum from lung cancer patients.
We hypothesized that GTI-2040, a 20-mer oligonucleotide complementary to the R2 subunit mRNA of ribonucleotide reductase, combined with high dose cytarabine (HiDAC) would result in enhanced cytotoxicity by favoring Ara-CTP DNA incorporation. In a phase I dose escalation trial, adults (? 60 years) with refractory or relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) received daily HiDAC plus infusional GTI-2040. Using a novel assay, evidence of intracellular drug accumulation and target R2 down-regulation was observed. GTI-2040/HiDAC can be administered safely. However, with no complete remissions observed, alternative doses and schedules may need to be investigated to achieve clinical activity in older patients with AML.
Several methods that have customarily been used in craniofacial identification to describe facial soft tissue depths (FSTDs) implore improvement. They include the calculation of arithmetic means for skewed data, omission of concern for measurement uncertainty, oversight of effect size, and misuse of statistical significance tests (e.g., p-values for strength of association). This paper redresses these limitations using FSTDs from 10 prior studies (N = 516). Measurement uncertainty was large (>20% of the FSTD), skewness (? 0.8) existed at 11 of the 23 FSTD landmarks examined, and sex and age each explained <4% of the total FSTD variance (?(2) calculated as part of MANOVA). These results call for a new and improved conceptualization of FSTDs, which is attained by the replacement of arithmetic means with shorths and 75-shormaxes. The outcomes of this implementation are dramatic reduction in FSTD complexity; improved data accuracy; and new data-driven standards for casework application of methods.
Abstract We previously reported that bortezomib indirectly modulates transcription of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT). We designed a phase I study of azacitidine (a direct DNMT inhibitor) plus bortezomib in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) to determine safety and tolerability. Twenty-three adults with relapsed/refractory AML received azacitidine 75mg/m(2) daily on days 1-7. Bortezomib was dose escalated from 0.7mg/m(2) on days 2 and 5 to 1.3mg/m(2) on days 2, 5, 9, and 12. The target dose was reached without dose limiting toxicities. Infection and/or febrile neutropenia were frequent. Patients received a median of 2 cycles of therapy (range, 1-12+). Five of 23 patients achieved remission including two with morphologic and cytogenetic complete response (CR) and three with CR and incomplete count recovery (CRi). Of CR/CRi responders with cytogenetic abnormalities at baseline, three of four achieved cytogenetic CR. The combination of azacitidine and bortezomib was tolerable and active in this cohort of poor-risk previously-treated AML patients.
Membrane antigens are critical to the pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) as they facilitate microenvironment homing, proliferation, and survival. Targeting the CLL membrane and associated signaling patterns is a current focus of therapeutic development. Many tumor membrane targets are simultaneously targeted by humoral immunity, thus forming recognizable immunoglobulin responses. We sought to use this immune response to identify novel membrane-associated targets for CLL. Using a novel strategy, we interrogated CLL membrane-specific autologous immunoglobulin G reactivity. Our analysis unveiled lymphocyte cytosolic protein 1 (LCP1), a lymphocyte-specific target that is highly expressed in CLL. LCP1 plays a critical role in B-cell biology by crosslinking F-actin filaments, thereby solidifying cytoskeletal structures and providing a scaffold for critical signaling pathways. Small interfering RNA knockdown of LCP1 blocked migration toward CXCL12 in transwell assays and to bone marrow in an in vivo xenotransplant model, confirming a role for LCP1 in leukemia migration. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the Brutons tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib or the PI3K inhibitor idelalisib block B-cell receptor induced activation of LCP1. Our data demonstrate a novel strategy to identify cancer membrane target antigens using humoral anti-tumor immunity. In addition, we identify LCP1 as a membrane-associated target in CLL with confirmed pathogenic significance. This clinical trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov; study ID number: OSU-0025 OSU-0156.
Replication-dependent histones are encoded by multigene families found in several large clusters in the human genome and are thought to be functionally redundant. However, the abundance of specific replication-dependent isoforms of histone H2A is altered in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Similar changes in the abundance of H2A isoforms are also associated with the proliferation and tumorigenicity of bladder cancer cells. To determine whether these H2A isoforms can perform distinct functions, expression of several H2A isoforms was reduced by siRNA knockdown. Reduced expression of the HIST1H2AC locus leads to increased rates of cell proliferation and tumorigenicity. We also observe that regulation of replication-dependent histone H2A expression can occur on a gene-specific level. Specific replication-dependent histone H2A genes are either up- or downregulated in chronic lymphocytic leukemia tumor tissue samples. In addition, discreet elements are identified in the 5 untranslated region of the HIST1H2AC locus that confer translational repression. Taken together, these results indicate that replication-dependent histone isoforms can possess distinct cellular functions and that regulation of these isoforms may play a role in carcinogenesis.
Monocytes/macrophages are potent mediators of antitumor antibody therapy, where they engage target cells via Fc? receptors (Fc?R). Binding of these cells to opsonized tumor targets elicits cytokine production, phagocytosis, and antibody-mediated cellular cytotoxicity. Here we show for the first time that activation of monocyte Fc?R results in the secretion of soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (VEGFR-1/sFlt-1), which serves to antagonize VEGF-mediated angiogenesis and tumor growth. Consistent with this, using a murine solid tumor model of antibody therapy, we show that sFlt-1 is involved in restricting tumor growth. Analyzing the mechanism of induction of sFlt-1, we found that the Erk and PI3K pathways were required for transcription, and NF-?B was required for translation. Upon closer examination of the role of NF-?B, we found that a microRNA, miR181a, negatively regulates Fc?R-mediated sFlt-1 production and that NF-?B serves to antagonize this microRNA. Taken together, these results demonstrate a novel and biologically important function of monocytes and macrophages during antibody therapy.
Abstract As the rational application of targeted therapies in cancer supplants traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy, there is an ever-greater need for a thorough understanding of the complex machinery of the cell and an application of this knowledge to the development of novel therapeutics and combinations of agents. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of the class of targeted agents known as cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors, with a focus on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Flavopiridol (alvocidib) is the best studied of the CDK inhibitors, producing a dramatic cytotoxic effect in vitro and in vivo, with the principal limiting factor of acute tumor lysis. Unfortunately, flavopiridol has a narrow therapeutic window and is relatively non-selective with several off-target (i.e. non-CDK) effects, which prompted development of the second-generation CDK inhibitor dinaciclib. Dinaciclib appears to be both more potent and selective than flavopiridol, with at least an order of magnitude greater therapeutic index, and is currently in phase III clinical trials. In additional to flavopiridol and dinaciclib, we also review the current status of other members of this class, and provide commentary as to the future direction of combination therapy including CDK inhibitors.
Given its critical role in T-cell signaling, interleukin-2-inducible kinase (ITK) is an appealing therapeutic target that can contribute to the pathogenesis of certain infectious, autoimmune, and neoplastic diseases. Ablation of ITK subverts Th2 immunity, thereby potentiating Th1-based immune responses. While small-molecule ITK inhibitors have been identified, none have demonstrated clinical utility. Ibrutinib is a confirmed irreversible inhibitor of Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) with outstanding clinical activity and tolerability in B-cell malignancies. Significant homology between BTK and ITK alongside in silico docking studies support ibrutinib as an immunomodulatory inhibitor of both ITK and BTK. Our comprehensive molecular and phenotypic analysis confirms ITK as an irreversible T-cell target of ibrutinib. Using ibrutinib clinical trial samples along with well-characterized neoplastic (chronic lymphocytic leukemia), parasitic infection (Leishmania major), and infectious disease (Listeria monocytogenes) models, we establish ibrutinib as a clinically relevant and physiologically potent ITK inhibitor with broad therapeutic utility. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01105247 and #NCT01217749.
Analysis of histones, especially histone H1, is severely limited by immunological reagent availability. This paper describes the application of cellular fractionation with LC-MS for profiling histones in the cytosol and upon chromatin. First, we show that linker histones enriched by cellular fractionation gives less nuclear contamination and higher histone content than when prepared by nuclei isolation. Second, we profiled the soluble linker histones throughout the cell cycle revealing phosphorylation increases as cells reach mitosis. Finally, we monitored histone H1.2-H1.5 translocation to the cytosol in response to the CDK inhibitor flavopiridol in primary CLL cells treated ex vivo. Data shows that all H1 variants translocate in response to drug treatment with no specific order to their cytosolic appearance. The results illustrate the utility of cellular fractionation in conjunction with LC-MS for the analysis of histone H1 throughout the cell.
We describe here the development and characterization of the physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties of a novel liposomal formulation for FTY720 delivery, LP-FTY720. The mean diameter of LP-FTY720 was ~157nm, and the FTY720 entrapment efficiency was ~85%. The liposomal formulation protected FTY720 from degradation in aqueous buffer and showed toxicity in CLL patient B cells comparable to that of free FTY720. Following intravenous injection in ICR mice, LP-FTY720 had an increased elimination phase half-life (~28 vs. ~19hr) and decreased clearance (235 vs. 778mL/h/kg) compared to the free drug. Antibodies against CD19, CD20 and CD37 were incorporated into LP-FTY720, which provided targeted delivery to CLL patient B cells and thus achieved higher killing efficacy. The novel liposomal carrier of FTY720 demonstrated improved pharmacokinetic properties, comparable activity, and a potential platform for targeted delivery to CLL by overcoming the limited application of free FTY720 to B malignancy treatment.
The treatment of relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has resulted in few durable remissions. Brutons tyrosine kinase (BTK), an essential component of B-cell-receptor signaling, mediates interactions with the tumor microenvironment and promotes the survival and proliferation of CLL cells.
TRU-016 is a SMIP(TM) (monospecific protein therapeutic) molecule against the tetraspanin transmembrane family protein CD37 that is currently in Phase 2 trials in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). In an attempt to enhance the ADCC function of SMIP-016, the chimeric version of TRU-016, SMIP-016(GV) was engineered with a modification in a glycosylation site in the Fc domain. The wild-type and glycovariant SMIP proteins mediate comparable Type I antibody-like direct cytotoxicity in the presence of anti-human Fc crosslinker and show a similar tyrosine phosphorylation pattern post-treatment. However, NK cells stimulated with the SMIP-016(GV) exhibit enhanced activation and release 3-fold more interferon-? compared with SMIP-016. SMIP-016(GV) shows enhanced ADCC function against cells expressing CD37 with NK cell effectors derived from both normal and CLL-affected individuals. Enhanced ADCC is observed against CLL cells and is sustained at concentrations of SMIP-016(GV) as low at 5E(-6) µg/mL on cells expressing minimal CD37 antigen. In support of the biological relevance of this, SMIP-016(GV) mediates effective ADCC against primary acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells with low surface expression of CD37. Collectively, these data suggest potential use of the novel therapeutic agent SMIP-016(GV) with enhanced effector function for B cell malignancies, including CLL and ALL therapy.
Pomalidomide was recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior therapies. As pomalidomide is increasingly evaluated in other diseases and animal disease models, this paper presents development and validation of a sensitive liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry assay for quantification of pomalidomide in mouse plasma and brain tissue to fill a gap in published preclinical pharmacokinetic and analytical data with this agent. After acetonitrile protein precipitation, pomalidomide and internal standard, hesperitin, were separated with reverse phase chromatography on a C-18 column with a gradient mobile phase of water and acetonitrile with 0.1% fomic acid. Positive atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry with selected reaction monitoring mode was applied to achieve 0.3-3000nM (0.082-819.73ng/mL) linear range in mouse plasma and 0.6-6000pmol/g in brain tissue. The within- and between-batch accuracy and precision were less than 15% for both plasma and brain tissue. The method was applied to measure pomalidomide concentrations in plasma and brain tissue in a pilot mouse pharmacokinetic study with an intravenous dose of 0.5mg/kg. This assay can be applied for thorough characterization of pomalidomide pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution in mice.
A common task in forensic anthropology involves pair-matching of left and right skeletal elements. This can be achieved through visual pair-matching by evaluating similarities in morphology, and through osteometric sorting, a quantitative technique. To simplify the process of osteometric sorting, this article explains the use of a statistic (M), which captures the amount of size variation found between homologous bones from single individuals. A database of skeletal measurements for all major paired postcranial bones is used to calculate values of M from a variety of sources. The maximum value and the 90th and 95th percentiles of M are provided in tabular format, and values of M from forensic cases can be compared to these tables as an objective means for determining whether homologous bones could have originated from the same individual. This simple technique can be combined with visual pair-matching to be particularly effective in cases involving commingling of skeletons.
Alemtuzumab consolidation has been investigated to improve remission duration after fludarabine-based induction for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The impact on genomic high-risk disease remains unknown. Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) 19901 and 10101 enrolled previously untreated patients to receive alemtuzumab consolidation after fludarabine-based induction. Immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (IGVH) mutation status and interphase cytogenetics were assessed retrospectively. Treatment response with these alemtuzumab-containing regimens was similar, regardless of genomic risk, except for patients harboring del(17p), where few complete remissions were observed. Progression-free survival (PFS) was similar between IGVH groups, but overall survival (OS) was inferior in IGVH unmutated patients (p = 0.03). Cytogenetic risk group was associated with PFS and OS (p = 0.01 for both), with similarly short PFS in patients with del(17p) and del(11q) and particularly short OS in patients with del(17p). Cytogenetic risk group remained significantly associated with PFS and OS when controlling for other prognostic factors (PFS: p = 0.009; OS: p = 0.02), as did the negative association of IGVH unmutated disease with OS (p = 0.004). Results were similar when restricting to patients who received at least one dose of alemtuzumab consolidation, demonstrating limited ability to overcome the poor outcome associated with high-risk genetic features.
Numerous studies have described the altered expression and the causal role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in human cancer. However, to date, efforts to modulate miRNA levels for therapeutic purposes have been challenging to implement. Here we find that nucleolin (NCL), a major nucleolar protein, posttranscriptionally regulates the expression of a specific subset of miRNAs, including miR-21, miR-221, miR-222, and miR-103, that are causally involved in breast cancer initiation, progression, and drug resistance. We also show that NCL is commonly overexpressed in human breast tumors and that its expression correlates with that of NCL-dependent miRNAs. Finally, inhibition of NCL using guanosine-rich aptamers reduces the levels of NCL-dependent miRNAs and their target genes, thus reducing breast cancer cell aggressiveness both in vitro and in vivo. These findings illuminate a path to novel therapeutic approaches based on NCL-targeting aptamers for the modulation of miRNA expression in the treatment of breast cancer.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays a vital function in multiple cellular processes. There is a growing interest in developing therapeutic agents that can target the ER in cancer cells, inducing a stress response that leads to cell death. However, ER stress-inducing agents can also induce autophagy, a survival strategy of cancer cells. Therefore, by inhibiting autophagy we can increase the efficacy of the ER stress-inducing agents. Nelfinavir, a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitor with anti-cancer properties, can induce ER stress. Nelfinavirs effects on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are yet to be elucidated. Herein we demonstrate that nelfinavir induces ER morphological changes and stress response, along with an autophagic protective strategy. Our data reveal that chloroquine, an autophagy inhibitor, significantly increases nelfinavir cytotoxicity. These results identify a novel strategy potentially effective in CLL treatment, by repositioning two well-known drugs as a combinatorial therapy with anti-cancer properties.
Flavopiridol is primarily a cyclin-dependent kinase-9 inhibitor, and we performed a dose escalation trial to determine the maximum tolerated dose and safety and generate a pharmacokinetic (PK) profile.
Despite advances in chemo and immunotherapeutic agents for B chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), the undesirable adverse side effects due to non-specific cellular uptake remain to be addressed. We identified anti-CD37 monoclonal antibody immunoliposomes (ILs) as vehicles for targeted delivery to B chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells. To achieve maximal benefits for all patients, a new strategy of dual-ligand immunoliposomes (dILs) was developed. A combinatorial antibody microarray technology was adapted to quickly identify optimal antibody combinations for individual patient cells. For proof-of-concept, a B-cell specific antibody, either anti-CD19 or anti-CD20, was combined with anti-CD37 to construct dILs with enhanced selectivity and efficacy. Consistent with data from the antibody microarray, these dILs provided highly specific targeting to both leukemia cell lines and B-CLL patient cells. Compared with the single antibody ILs, the anti-CD19/CD37 dILs clearly demonstrated superior delivery efficiency and apoptosis induction to B-CLL patient cells, whereas the anti-CD20/anti-CD37 dILs were found to be the most efficient for delivery to leukemia cell lines. In addition, it was observed that anti-CD37 ILs without payload drug mediated effective CD37 cross-linking and induced potent apoptosis induction. The anti-CD19/CD20 dILs showed the improved cell apoptosis induction compared to either anti-CD19 ILs or anti-CD20 ILs. Our findings suggest that the dual-ligand ILs may provide a preferred strategy of personalized nanomedicine for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.
Therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has evolved dramatically throughout the years. In 1997, rituximab (Rituxan), a CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb), became the first mAb approved by the Food and Drug Administration for marketing in the treatment of cancer, specifically targeting B-cell malignancies. Over the last 10 years, rituximab or other mAbs including alemtuzumab and ofatumumab have become an integral part of the standard of care for CLL patients as single agents or in combination with chemotherapy or other immunotherapy. This review discusses the currently approved and novel mAbs for the treatment of CLL.
Autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) is an effective treatment for multiple myeloma (MM). However, the timing of ASCT in the era of novel agents (lenalidomide, thalidomide, bortezomib) is unknown. We retrospectively reviewed the outcome of patients with MM who received novel agent-based induction treatment and received first ASCT within 12 months of diagnosis (early ASCT, n = 102) or at a later date (late ASCT, n = 65). Median time to ASCT was 7.9 months vs. 17.7 months in early vs. late ASCT. The 3- and 5-year overall survival (OS) from diagnosis was 90 and 63% vs. 82 and 63% in early and late ASCT, respectively (p = 0.45). Forty-one and 36 patients in the early and late ASCT groups have relapsed or progressed, with median time to relapse of 28 and 23 months (p = 0.055). On multivariable analysis, factors predictive of increased risk for progression were International Scoring System (ISS) stage III (p = 0.007), and less than a very good partial response (< VGPR) post-ASCT (p < 0.001). A factor predictive of worst outcome for OS was being on hemodialysis (p = 0.037). No superiority of one agent was seen. In summary, early or late ASCT is a viable option for patients with MM receiving induction treatment with novel targeted therapies.
Alvocidib has demonstrated efficacy in high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. In this phase I study, we combined cyclophosphamide, alvocidib and rituximab (CAR) in a schema designed to mitigate tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) seen previously with alvocidib. Nine nucleoside analog-naïve, high-risk patients received escalating doses of CAR therapy. Dose limiting toxicity was not experienced. No instances of TLS were observed. Patient responses included three complete remissions and four partial remissions. CAR was tolerable and active in high-risk CLL patients without TLS toxicity. With continued monitoring of toxicities, a phase Ib/II study of this combination as frontline therapy is warranted.
The proteasome consists of chymotrypsin-like (CT-L), trypsin-like, and caspase-like subunits that cleave substrates preferentially by amino acid sequence. Proteasomes mediate degradation of regulatory proteins of the p53, Bcl-2, and nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) families that are aberrantly active in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). CLL remains an incurable disease, and new treatments are especially needed in the relapsed/refractory setting. We therefore investigated the effects of the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib (CFZ) in CLL cells.
These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize several key updates to the NCCN Guidelines for Non-Hodgkins Lymphomas (NHL) and provide a discussion of the clinical evidence that support the updates. The updates discussed in this article feature recommendations for additional treatment options in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and guidance surrounding the management of hepatitis virus reactivation/infections in high-risk patients with NHL undergoing antitumor therapy.
miR-29b directly or indirectly targets genes involved in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), namely, DNMTs, CDK6, SP1, KIT, and FLT3. Higher miR-29b pretreatment expression is associated with improved response to decitabine and better outcome in AML. Thus, designing a strategy to increase miR-29b levels in AML blasts may be of therapeutic value. However, free synthetic miRs are easily degraded in bio-fluids and have limited cellular uptake. To overcome these limitations, we developed a novel transferrin-conjugated nanoparticle delivery system for synthetic miR-29b (Tf-NP-miR-29b).
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a mature B cell malignancy and is the most prevalent type of leukemia in adults. There is no curative therapy for this disease; however, several new agents have shown very promising results. Autophagy has not been studied in CLL and in this study we first sought to determine if autophagy was functional in CLL with classic inducers, and if this contributes to direct cytotoxicity or protection from cell death. While autophagy is activated with all classic stimuli of this process, only unfolded protein endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated autophagy protects from cell death. Interestingly, select therapeutic agents (fludarabine, GS-1101, flavopiridol), which are active in CLL, also induce autophagy. Of interest, only the broad cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor flavopiridol has improved efficacy when autophagy is antagonized biochemically (chloroquine) or by siRNA. This promoted an investigation which demonstrated unexpectedly that flavopiridol mediates ER stress and downstream activation of MAP3K5/ASK1, which ultimately is responsible for cell death. Similarly, autophagy activated in part via ER stress and also CDK5 inhibition is protective against cell death induced by this process. Collectively, our studies demonstrate that in CLL, autophagy is induced by multiple stimuli but only acts as a mechanism of resistance against ER stress-mediating agents. Similarly, flavopiridol mediates ER stress as a primary mechanism of action in CLL, and autophagy serves as a mechanism of resistance to this agent.
CD20 is a widely validated, B cell-specific target for therapy in B cell malignancies. Rituximab is an anti-CD20 Ab that prolongs survival of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients when combined with chemotherapy. Ofatumumab and GA101 (obinutuzumab) are CD20-directed Abs currently being developed as alternative agents to rituximab in CLL based upon different properties of enhanced direct cell death, NK cell-mediated Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, or complement-dependent cytotoxicity. Despite widespread study, ofatumumab and GA101 have not been compared with each other, nor studied for their interactions with monocytes and macrophages which are critical for the efficacy of anti-CD20 Abs in murine models. In CLL cells, we show that direct cell death and complement-dependent cytotoxicity are greatest with GA101 and ofatumumab, respectively. GA101 promotes enhanced NK cell activation and Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity at high Ab concentrations. Ofatumumab elicits superior Ab-dependent cellular phagocytosis with monocyte-derived macrophages. GA101 demonstrated reduced activation of monocytes with diminished pERK, TNF-? release, and Fc?RIIa recruitment to lipid rafts. These data demonstrate that GA101 and ofatumumab are both superior to rituximab against CLL cells via different mechanisms of potential tumor elimination. These findings bear relevance to potential combination strategies with each of these anti-CD20 Abs in the treatment of CLL.
We previously reported a rare germline variant (c.1-6531) that resulted in allele-specific expression (ASE) of death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) and predisposition to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We investigated a cohort of CLL patients lacking this mutation for the presence of ASE of DAPK1. We developed a novel strategy that combines single-nucleotide primer extension (SNuPE) with MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, and detected germline DAPK1 ASE in 17 out of 120 (14.2%) CLL patients associated with a trend towards younger age at diagnosis. ASE was absent in 63 healthy controls. Germline cells of CLL patients with ASE showed increased levels of DNA methylation in the promoter region, however, neither genetic nor further epigenetic aberrations could be identified in the DAPK1 5 upstream regulatory region, within distinct exons or in the 3-UTR. We identified B-lymphoid malignancy related cell line models harboring allelic imbalance and found that allele-specific methylation in DAPK1 is associated with ASE. Our data indicate that ASE at the DAPK1 gene locus is a recurrent event, mediated by epigenetic mechanisms and potentially predisposing to CLL.
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