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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
HLA-C expression levels define permissible mismatches in hematopoietic cell transplantation.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 10-18-2014
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Life-threatening GVHD limits the use of HLA-C-mismatched unrelated donors in transplantation. Clinicians lack criteria for donor selection when HLA-C mismatched donors are a patient's only option for cure. We examined the role for HLA-C expression levels to identify permissible HLA-C mismatches. The median fluorescence intensity (MFI), a proxy of HLA-C expression, was assigned to each HLA-C allotype in 1975 patients and their HLA-C-mismatched unrelated transplant donors. The association of outcome with the level of expression of patients' and donors' HLA-C allotypes was evaluated in multivariable models. Increasing expression level of the patient's mismatched HLA-C allotype was associated with increased risks of grades III-IV acute GVHD [odds ratio (OR), 1.34; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.10-1.62; P = .003], non-relapse mortality [hazard ratio (HR), 1.22; 95% CI, 1.06-1.39; P = .005) and mortality (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.03-1.27; P = .009). Increasing expression level among HLA-C mismatches with residue 116 or residues 77/80 mismatching was associated with increased non-relapse mortality (HR, 1.31 and 1.38, respectively; 95% CI, 1.09-1.58 and 1.14-1.67, respectively; P = .004 and .0009, respectively). The immunogenicity of HLA-C mismatches in unrelated donor transplantation is influenced by the expression level of the patient's mismatched HLA-C allotype. HLA-C expression levels, provide new information on mismatches that should be avoided, and extend understanding of HLA-C-mediated immune responses in human disease.
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Treatment of Severe Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease with Decidual Stromal Cells and Tracing with (111)Indium Radiolabeling.
Stem Cells Dev.
PUBLISHED: 09-26-2014
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Decidual stromal cells (DSCs) isolated from fetal membranes of term placentas are easily expanded and are highly immunosuppressive in vitro. These cells express high levels of integrins that are of importance in homing to inflamed tissues. In this study, we investigated DSCs as a cellular therapy for chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGvHD), a severe complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Subsequent to transplantation, three patients developed severe extensive cGvHD and were treated with DSCs (1-2.8×10(6) cells/kg). One-third of the DSCs administered to two patients were labeled with (111)Indium, and the in vivo distribution was tracked for 48?h. The (111)In-labeled DSCs were initially located in the lungs, followed by dissemination to the liver and spleen. The DSCs induced a partial response in two of the patients. Blood samples from the patients were extensively evaluated by flow cytometry, luminex, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The nonresponder had the highest proportion of T-cells with Th17 and Th2 phenotypes and the highest median plasma concentrations of IL-17 and IL-4. The same patient also had high frequencies of HLA-DR(+) T-cells and regulatory T-cells. To conclude, DSCs are safe to infuse with no adverse effects. We determined how stromal cells are distributed in vivo after infusion in a cGvHD setting. The methods established for analysis of blood samples will be useful in determining the effect of DSCs in a study comprising a larger patient material. This pilot study may provide a basis for further controlled investigations with DSCs in a clinical setting.
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TCR+CD4-CD8- T cells in antigen-specific MHC class I-restricted T-cell responses after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
J. Immunother.
PUBLISHED: 09-09-2014
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Human TCR??(+) CD4(-)CD8(-) double-negative (DN) T cells represent a minor subset in peripheral blood, yet are important in infectious diseases and autoimmune responses. We examined the frequency of DN T cells in 17 patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) at 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12 months post-aHSCT and show that these cells increase early after aHSCT and decrease with time after aHSCT. DN T cells reside in the terminally differentiated effector (CD45RA(+)CCR7(-)) T-cell population and are polyclonal, determined by T-cell receptor V? CDR3 analysis. Gene expression analysis of ex vivo sorted DN T cells showed a distinct set of gene expression, including interleukin-8, as compared with CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells. DN T cells contributed to MHC class I-restricted EBV-directed immune responses, defined by antigen-specific cytokine production and by detection of HLA-A*02:01-restricted EBV BMLF-1 (GLCTLVAML), LMP-2A (CLGGLLTMV), and HLA-A*24:02-restricted EBV BRLF-1 (DYCNVLNKEF) and EBNA3 (RYSIFFDY)-specific T cells. We created retroviral-transfected Jurkat cell lines with a Melan-A/MART-1-specific TCR(+) and the CD8? chain to study TCR(+) DN T cells in response to their nominal MHC class I/peptide ligand. We show that DN T cells exhibit increased TCR? chain phosphorylation as compared with the TCR(+)CD8(+) transgenic T-cell line. DN T cells contribute to antigen-specific T-cell responses and represent an effector T-cell population that may be explored in immunotherapeutic approaches against viral infections or transformed cells.
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Second solid cancers after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation using reduced-intensity conditioning.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 06-12-2014
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We examined risk of second solid cancers after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT) using reduced-intensity/nonmyeloablative conditioning (RIC/NMC). RIC/NMC recipients with leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) (n = 2833) and lymphoma (n = 1436) between 1995 and 2006 were included. In addition, RIC/NMC recipients 40 to 60 years of age (n = 2138) were compared with patients of the same age receiving myeloablative conditioning (MAC, n = 6428). The cumulative incidence of solid cancers was 3.35% at 10 years. There was no increase in overall cancer risk compared with the general population (leukemia/MDS: standardized incidence ratio [SIR] .99, P = 1.00; lymphoma: SIR .92, P = .75). However, risks were significantly increased in leukemia/MDS patients for cancers of lip (SIR 14.28), tonsil (SIR 8.66), oropharynx (SIR 46.70), bone (SIR 23.53), soft tissue (SIR 12.92), and vulva (SIR 18.55) and skin melanoma (SIR 3.04). Lymphoma patients had significantly higher risks of oropharyngeal cancer (SIR 67.35) and skin melanoma (SIR 3.52). Among RIC/NMC recipients, age >50 years was the only independent risk factor for solid cancers (hazard ratio [HR] 3.02, P < .001). Among patients ages 40 to 60 years, when adjusted for other factors, there was no difference in cancer risks between RIC/NMC and MAC in leukemia/MDS patients (HR .98, P = .905). In lymphoma patients, risks were lower after RIC/NMC (HR .51, P = .047). In conclusion, the overall risks of second solid cancers in RIC/NMC recipients are similar to the general population, although there is an increased risk of cancer at some sites. Studies with longer follow-up are needed to realize the complete risks of solid cancers after RIC/NMC AHCT.
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Posaconazole concentrations in human tissues after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.
PUBLISHED: 06-02-2014
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Few data have been published regarding posaconazole tissue concentrations in humans. We analyzed tissue concentrations in biopsy specimens taken at autopsy from seven patients who received posaconazole prophylaxis because of graft-versus-host disease. The results were compared to plasma concentrations collected before death. Tissue concentrations suggestive of an accumulation of posaconazole were found in the heart, lung, liver, and kidney but not in the brain.
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Reduced plasma levels of soluble interleukin-7 receptor during graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in children and adults.
BMC Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 05-09-2014
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Interleukin 7 (IL-7) signals via the IL-7 receptor (IL-7R) and drives homeostatic T-cell proliferation in patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT).
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Who is the best hematopoietic stem-cell donor for a male patient with acute leukemia?
Transplantation
PUBLISHED: 05-07-2014
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Female donors for male recipients worsen the outcome of allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. We wanted to find out whether a male human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched unrelated donor (MUD, 8/8, n=2,014) might be an alternative to a female HLA-identical sibling donor (n=2,656) for male patients with acute leukemia.
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Low CD34 dose is associated with poor survival after reduced-intensity conditioning allogeneic transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 04-25-2014
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Reduced-intensity conditioning/nonmyeloablative conditioning regimens are increasingly used in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Reports have shown CD34(+) dose to be important for transplantation outcome using myeloablative conditioning. The role of CD34(+) dose of peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC) has not been previously analyzed in a large population undergoing reduced-intensity conditioning/nonmyeloablative HCT. We studied 1054 patients, ages 45 to 75 years, with acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome who underwent transplantation between 2002 and 2011. Results of multivariate analysis showed that PBPC from HLA-matched siblings containing <4 × 10(6) CD34(+)/kg was associated with higher nonrelapse mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 2.03; P = .001), overall mortality (HR, 1.48; P = .008), and lower neutrophil (odds ratio [OR], .76; P = .03) and platelet (OR, .76; P = .03) recovery. PBPC from unrelated donors with CD34(+) dose < 6 × 10(6) CD34(+)/kg was also associated with higher nonrelapse (HR, 1.38; P = .02) and overall mortality (HR, 1.20; P = .05). In contrast to reports after myeloablative HCT, CD34(+) dose did not affect relapse or graft-versus-host disease with either donor type. An upper cell dose limit was not associated with adverse outcomes. These data suggest that PBPC CD34(+) doses >4 × 10(6) CD34(+)/kg and >6 × 10(6) CD34(+)/kg are optimal for HLA-matched sibling and unrelated donor HCT, respectively.
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Reduced intensity conditioning and oral care measures prevent oral mucositis and reduces days of hospitalization in allogeneic stem cell transplantation recipients.
Support Care Cancer
PUBLISHED: 03-02-2014
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Oral mucositis (OM) is a side effect of intensive chemotherapy and radiation and has been reported to affect 75-100% of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients. The purpose of this study was to compare the incidence of OM in patients conditioned with myeloablative conditioning (MAC) to reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) and to determine the effect of a new oral care protocol.
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Home care during neutropenia after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children and adolescents is safe and may be more advantageous than isolation in hospital.
Pediatr Transplant
PUBLISHED: 02-26-2014
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After ASCT, children are isolated in hospital to prevent neutropenic infections. Patients living within two-h drive from the hospital were given the option of treatment at home after ASCT. Daily visits by an experienced nurse and phone calls from a physician from the unit were included in the protocol. We compared 29 children and adolescents treated at home with 58 matched hospital controls. The children spent a median time of 13 days at home (range 2-24 days) and 6 (0-35) days in hospital. The cumulative incidence of acute GVHD grades II-IV was 21% in the home-care children and 39% in the controls (p = 0.1). Chronic GVHD and probability of relapse were similar in the two groups. TRM at five yr was 11% in the home-care patients and 18% in the controls. Overall survival at three yr was 77% and 62%, respectively (p = 0.33). None of the patients died at home. Median costs were 38,748 euros in the home-care patients and 49,282 euros in those treated in the hospital (p = 0.2). We conclude that it is safe for children and adolescents to be treated at home during the pancytopenic phase after ASCT.
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Risk factors for Epstein Barr virus related post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Haematologica
PUBLISHED: 09-20-2013
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Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a successful treatment strategy for hematologic malignancies and a variety of genetic and metabolic disorders. In the post-stem cell transplantation period the immune compromised milieu allows opportunistic pathogens to thrive. Epstein-Barr virus associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease can be a life-threatening complication for transplanted patients due to suppressed T-cell mediated immunity. We analyzed possible risk factors associated with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease in a cohort of over thousand patients. The incidence of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease was 4%. Significant risk factors identified by multivariate analysis were; Human Leukocyte Antigen-mismatch (p<0,001), serological Epstein-Barr virus mismatch Recipient-/Donor+ (p<0,001), use of reduced intensity conditioning (p=0.002), acute Graft vs. Host Disease grade II to IV (p=0.006), splenectomy pre-transplant (p=0.008) and infusion of mesenchymal stromal cells (0=0.015). The risk of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease has increased in more recent years, from less than 2% before 1998 to more than 6% after 2011. Additionally, we show that long term survival of patients with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease is poor despite initial successful treatment. Three-year survival among the 40 patients with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease was 20% as opposed to 62% among patients without post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (p<0.001). The study identifies patients at risk for post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease after transplantation in need of preemptive measures.
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Amino acid substitution at peptide-binding pockets of HLA class I molecules increases risk of severe acute GVHD and mortality.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 08-27-2013
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HLA disparity has a negative impact on the outcomes of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We studied the independent impact of amino acid substitution (AAS) at peptide-binding positions 9, 99, 116, and 156, and killer immunoglobulin-like receptor binding position 77 of HLA-A, B, or C, on the risks for grade 3-4 acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), chronic GVHD, treatment-related mortality (TRM), relapse, and overall survival. In multivariate analysis, a mismatch at HLA-C position 116 was associated with increased risk for severe acute GVHD (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.15-1.82, P = .0016). Mismatch at HLA-C position 99 was associated with increased transplant-related mortality (HR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.1-1.69, P = .0038). Mismatch at HLA-B position 9 was associated with increased chronic GVHD (HR = 2.28, 95% CI = 1.36-3.82, P = .0018). No AAS were significantly associated with outcome at HLA-A. Specific AAS pair combinations with a frequency >30 were tested for association with HCT outcomes. Cysteine to tyrosine substitution at position 99 of HLA-C was associated with increased TRM (HR = 1.78, 95% = CI 1.27-2.51, P = .0009). These results demonstrate that donor-recipient mismatch for certain peptide-binding residues of the HLA class I molecule is associated with increased risk for acute and chronic GVHD and death.
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Effect of Postremission Therapy before Reduced-Intensity Conditioning Allogeneic Transplantation for Acute Myeloid Leukemia in First Complete Remission.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 08-19-2013
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The impact of pretransplant (hematopoietic cell transplantation [HCT]) cytarabine consolidation therapy on post-HCT outcomes has yet to be evaluated after reduced-intensity or nonmyeloablative conditioning. We analyzed 604 adults with acute myeloid leukemia in first complete remission (CR1) reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research who received a reduced-intensity or nonmyeloablative conditioning HCT from an HLA-identical sibling, HLA-matched unrelated donor, or umbilical cord blood donor from 2000 to 2010. We compared transplant outcomes based on exposure to cytarabine postremission consolidation. Three-year survival rates were 36% (95% confidence interval [CI], 29% to 43%) in the no consolidation arm and 42% (95% CI, 37% to 47%) in the cytarabine consolidation arm (P = .16). Disease-free survival was 34% (95% CI, 27% to 41%) and 41% (95% CI, 35% to 46%; P = .15), respectively. Three-year cumulative incidences of relapse were 37% (95% CI, 30% to 44%) and 38% (95% CI, 33% to 43%), respectively (P = .80). Multivariate regression confirmed no effect of consolidation on relapse, disease-free survival, and survival. Before reduced-intensity or nonmyeloablative conditioning HCT, these data suggest pre-HCT consolidation cytarabine does not significantly alter outcomes and support prompt transition to transplant as soon as morphologic CR1 is attained. If HCT is delayed while identifying a donor, our data suggest that consolidation does not increase transplant treatment-related mortality and is reasonable if required.
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Decidual stromal cells promote regulatory T cells and suppress alloreactivity in a cell contact-dependent manner.
Stem Cells Dev.
PUBLISHED: 07-02-2013
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Acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a severe adverse event after stem cell transplantation. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) have been used to treat GvHD, but decidual stromal cells (DSCs) isolated from term fetal membrane have advantages compared with BM-MSCs, including increased allosuppression, unlimited supply, and high expression of integrins. We introduced the use of DSCs in patients with steroid refractory aGvHD. In this study, we investigated factors of importance in the reduction of alloreactivity by DSCs. We found that DSCs need to have cell-cell contact in order to mediate suppression in mixed lymphocyte reactions (MLRs). This contact dependency is consistent with an increased frequency of CD4(+)CD25(high)FOXP3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) and an augmented intensity of CD25 expression in CD4(+) T cells. Blocking of the activity of indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), prostaglandin E2, PD-L1, and IFN-? impaired the antiproliferative ability of the DSCs in MLRs. Neutralization of IDO also reduced the frequency of Tregs. In contrast to BM-MSCs, pretreatment of DSCs with high concentrations of IFN-? (100 U/mL) reduced their ability to suppress alloreactivity, but stimulation of DSCs with MLR supernatants containing low levels of IFN-? had no effect on the suppressive capacity in MLR. To conclude, DSCs differ in several aspects from MSCs and need to be close to alloreactive lymphocytes to mediate a suppressive effect and increase the frequency of Tregs. Thus, DSCs may not only use paracrine factors for systemic immunosuppression, but also more specifically target T cells locally in affected tissues.
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Improved survival with ursodeoxycholic Acid prophylaxis in allogeneic stem cell transplantation: long-term follow-up of a randomized study.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 06-23-2013
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We report the long-term results of a prospective randomized study on the use of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) for prevention of hepatic complications after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Two hundred forty-two patients, 232 with malignant disease, were randomized to receive (n = 123) or not to receive (n = 119) UDCA from the beginning of the conditioning until 90 days post-transplantation. The results were reported after 1-year follow-up. UDCA administration reduced significantly the proportion of patients developing high serum bilirubin levels as well as the incidence of severe acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), liver GVHD, and intestinal GVHD. In the UDCA prophylaxis group, nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was lower and overall survival better than in the control group. After a 10-year follow-up, the difference in the survival and NRM in favor of the UDCA-treated group, seen at 1 year, was maintained (survival 48% versus 38%, P = .037; NRM 28% versus 41%, P = .01). A landmark analysis in patients surviving at 1 year post-transplantation showed no significant differences between the study groups in the long-term follow-up in chronic GVHD, relapse rate, NRM, disease-free survival, or overall survival. These long-term results continue to support the useful role of UDCA in the prevention of transplant-related complications in allogeneic transplantation.
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Analysis of Donor and Recipient ABO Incompatibility and Antibody-Associated Complications after Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation with Reduced-Intensity Conditioning.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 05-30-2013
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Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) can be performed across the ABO blood group barrier. The impact of ABO incompatibility on clinical outcome is controversial. A retrospective analysis of 310 patients who underwent ASCT with reduced-intensity conditioning between 1998 and 2011 was performed to investigate the frequency and clinical implications of anti-RBC antibodies in passenger lymphocyte syndrome (PLS) after minor ABO mismatch (mm), persistent or recurring recipient type ABO antibodies (PRABO) after major ABO mm ASCT, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA). Transplantation characteristics and clinical outcome were analyzed by univariate and multivariate analysis for groups with or without anti-RBC antibodies. ABO blood group incompatibility did not affect clinical outcome despite an increased requirement of blood transfusion. Twelve patients with AIHA, 6 patients with PLS, and 12 patients with PRABO post-ASCT were identified. AIHA did not affect overall survival (OS) or transplant-related mortality (TRM), but patients with AIHA had a lower incidence of grades II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (P = .05). OS in the PLS group was 0% compared with 61% in the whole group receiving minor ABO mm transplants (P < .001). Comparing PRABO patients with those receiving a major ABO mm ASCT, the OS was 17% versus 73% (P = .002) and TRM was 50% versus 21% (P = .03). At our center, PLS after minor ABO mm and PRABO antibodies after major ABO mm ASCT are significant risk factors for decreased OS and TRM. Our results suggest that occurrence of unexpected ABO antibodies after ASCT warrant a wider investigation individual to find the underlying cause.
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A high antithymocyte globulin dose increases the risk of relapse after reduced intensity conditioning HSCT with unrelated donors.
Clin Transplant
PUBLISHED: 05-22-2013
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The study included 110 consecutive patients with hematological malignancies receiving fludarabine-based reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) from matched unrelated donors. The median age was 55 yr (range 11-68) and all but 15 patients received peripheral blood stem cell grafts. Antithymocyte globulin (ATG) (Thymoglobulin, Genzyme) at a total dose of 6 mg/kg (n = 66) or 8 mg/kg (n = 44) was given to all patients according to protocol. The ATG dose did not affect time-to-neutrophil or platelet engraftment. The incidences of acute GVHD grades II-IV were 34% and 18% (p = 0.11) and of chronic GVHD were 40% and 26% (p = 0.46) in patients receiving 6 and 8 mg/kg of ATG, respectively. The five-yr relapse-free survival (RFS) was 61% and 36% (p = 0.14) in patients, given low and high ATG dose, respectively. In patients given low-dose ATG, the incidence of relapse was lower compared to those given high-dose ATG, 19% vs. 41% (p = 0.04). In multivariate analysis, age >50 yr (p < 0.001), absence of acute (p < 0.001) and chronic GVHD (p = 0.001) were correlated to relapse, and low-dose ATG was associated with improved RFS (p < 0.05). A high dose (8 mg/kg) of ATG in RIC HSCT with unrelated donors increased the risk for relapse and reduced the RFS.
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Chronic granulomatous disease - haematopoietic stem cell transplantation versus conventional treatment.
Acta Paediatr.
PUBLISHED: 05-08-2013
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Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a rare X-linked or autosomal recessive primary immune deficiency characterized by recurrent, life-threatening bacterial and fungal infections. Mortality rates are high with conventional treatment. However, haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) offers cure. Here, we compare the outcome of HSCT in 14 Swedish patients with CGD to that in 27 patients with CGD who were given conventional treatment.
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Alterations in the cellular immune compartment of patients treated with third-party mesenchymal stromal cells following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Stem Cells
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2013
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Adoptive transfer of third-party mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) has emerged as a promising tool for the treatment of steroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Despite numerous in vitro studies and preclinical models, little is known about their effects on the patients immune system. We assessed immune alterations in the T-cell, B-cell, natural killer cell, dendritic cell, and monocytic compartments of steroid-refractory GVHD patients 30, 90, and 180 days after MSC (n = 6) or placebo (n = 5) infusion, respectively. Infused MSCs were bioactive as suggested by the significant reduction in epithelial cell death, which represents a biomarker for acute GVHD. There were several indications that MSCs shift the patients immune system toward a more tolerogenic profile. Most importantly, infusion of MSCs was associated with increased levels of regulatory (forkhead box P3 (FOXP3)(+) and interleukin (IL)-10(+) ) T-cells, reduced pro-inflammatory IL-17(+) T(Th17)-cells, and skewing toward type-2 T-helper cell responses. Furthermore, IL-2, which has been recently shown to exert a positive immune modulating effect in GVHD patients, was higher in the MSC patients at all evaluated time points during 6 months after MSC-infusion. Overall, our findings will contribute to the refinement of monitoring tools, for assessing MSC treatment-efficacy and increase our understanding regarding the MSCs in vivo effects.
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Fetal membrane cells for treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease.
Stem Cells
PUBLISHED: 01-12-2013
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The placenta protects the fetus from the mothers immune system. We have previously found that fetal membrane cells (FMCs) isolated from term placenta prevent alloreactivity in vitro. FMCs share many features with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), which we previously introduced to treat severe acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Here, we tested FMCs for treatment of steroid-refractory acute GVHD. After two passages in culture, approximately 10(9) FMCs were obtained from one single placenta, although not all cells from passage 0 and passage 1 were used for expansion. The FMCs were positive for CD29, CD44, CD73, CD90, CD105, and CD49d but were negative for hematopoietic, endothelial, and epithelial markers. Microsatellite polymorphism analysis showed that FMCs were of maternal origin. All FMCs used showed normal karyotype. Nine patients who had undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and who had developed steroid-refractory grade III-IV acute GVHD were given 0.9-2.8 × 10(6) FMCs per kg at 15 infusions. Median age was 57 years. There was no toxicity from infusion of FMCs in eight patients. One patient had seizures after infusion. Two of eight evaluable patients had a complete response and four had a partial response, giving an overall response rate of 75%. Two patients showed no response at all. Three patients are alive from 6 to 21 months after HSCT. One patient is well and two have chronic GVHD. Thus, FMCs may be successfully used for immune modulation and tissue repair.
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Mesenchymal stem cells inhibit thymic reconstitution after allogeneic cord blood transplantation.
Stem Cells Dev.
PUBLISHED: 10-12-2011
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Cord blood (CB) as a source of stem cells has been a successful addition to the field of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT). The increased human leukocyte antigen (HLA) permissiveness of CB grafts has made it possible for more patients to undergo treatment. The drawback is that patients suffer from a longer period of compromised immunity. We analyzed T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs), immunoglobulin G (IgG), and immunoglobulin M (IgM) levels after cord blood transplantation (CBT) in 50 patients transplanted at our center. These immunological parameters were compared retrospectively with clinical factors and complications. We found that TREC levels after CBT were lower in adults, patients with myeloablative conditioning, and in patients with a lower nucleated cell dose in the graft. In addition mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) as co-infusion at the time of CBT had a negative effect on TREC reconstitution. This was found to be associated with decreased overall survival for this patient category. Reduced IgM and IgG levels post-CBT were associated with a major AB0 mismatch, and infusion of MSCs. Our results highlight the importance of close monitoring of the immune reconstitution after CBT. In addition it shows a potentially new suppressive effect of MSCs on the immune system.
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Sirolimus and tacrolimus as immune prophylaxis compared to cyclosporine with or without methotrexate in patients undergoing allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for non-malignant disorders.
Eur. J. Haematol.
PUBLISHED: 10-02-2011
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For prevention of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), treatment of 24 haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) patients with sirolimus and tacrolimus was compared to treatment of matched controls with cyclosporine-based regimens. The patients mainly had non-malignant disorders. Two-thirds of the donors were unrelated, and bone marrow was the most common source of stem cells. Rejection occurred in four patients in the sirolimus group and three in the control group. Donor chimerism for CD3, CD19 and CD33 was similar in the two groups. The cumulative incidence of grade II acute GVHD was 22% in the sirolimus patients and 17% in the controls (P=0.78). No patients developed acute GVHD of grades III-IV. The cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was 25% and 37% in the two groups, respectively (P=0.40). Two patients in the sirolimus group developed Epstein-Barr virus lymphoma, and none in the controls. Side effects and toxicity were similar in the two groups. There was no transplant-related mortality at 5 yr in the sirolimus group, as opposed to 8% in the controls (P=0.47). Survival at 5 yr was 95% and 92%. Thus, sirolimus combined with tacrolimus is a promising immunosuppressive regimen in HSCT, also for non-malignancies, and its efficacy should be confirmed in prospective clinical trials.
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Xerostomia in children and adolescents after stem cell transplantation conditioned with total body irradiation or busulfan.
Oral Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 05-04-2011
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To study salivary secretion rates and symptoms of xerostomia in children and adolescents conditioned with either radiation therapy or with chemotherapy only in the setting of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Thirty patients conditioned with 10 Gy single dose TBI (sTBI) and cyclophosphamide (Cy) 60 mg/kg for two days and 35 conditioned busulfan (Bu) and Cy as part of the preparative regimen were included in the study. All patients were treated before 13 years of age, and had survived 2-16 years after HSCT. All patients were interviewed according to a standard questionnaire on symptoms of xerostomia and the unstimulated and stimulated whole salivary secretion rate was determined. The stimulated salivary secretion rates were 0.8±0.5 ml/min in sTBI/Cy group compared to 1.1±0.6 ml/min in the Bu/Cy group (p=0.01). Dysfunction of either unstimulated or stimulated salivary secretion rates were found in 18/30 (60%) in sTBI/Cy group and 9/35 (26%) in Bu/Cy group (p<0.01). There were no differences regarding the number of xerostomia related symptoms in children conditioned with either sTBI/Cy or Bu/Cy. Both unstimulated and stimulated salivary secretion rates were inversely correlated to the total number of complaints of xerostomia. This study shows that children exhibit xerostomia after HSCT irrespective of conditioning with busulfan or sTBI. It is of importance that salivary function is evaluated and that both salivary function as well as the subjective feeling of mouth dryness is evaluated.
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Immune modulation to prevent antibody-mediated rejection after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Transpl. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 05-04-2011
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It has been shown that antibodies to donor CD34+/VEGFR-2+ stem cells or antibodies against mismatched HLA are associated with graft rejection after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). CD34/VEGFR-2 positive stem cells have been implicated to play a major role in engraftment after HSCT. In this study we treated four patients with an imminent risk of antibody-mediated rejection with immune modulation, i.e. plasma exchange, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), and rituximab before HSCT. Three of the patients had been previously transplanted and rejected their initial grafts after 12 months, 1 month, and less than 1 month, respectively. The fourth patient was not transplanted previously but had HLA directed antibodies present against the graft. During the immune modulatory treatment we followed the pattern of antibodies in sera using FACS and microcytotoxicity assay. We could show that two patients had antibodies against donor CD34+/VEGFR-2+ cells while the other two had antibodies directed against HLA. All four patients tolerated the immune modulatory regimen without any side effects. In this preliminary study we show that immune modulatory treatment may be used to reduce antibody levels and to prevent rejection after HSCT. In two of the three patients which experienced previous rejections and had detectable anti-HLA or anti-CD34+/VEGFR-2+ antibodies, immune modulation resulted in engraftment. In the fourth patient with known anti-HLA-class I antibodies, the treatment also resulted in engraftment. Our results encourage further studies regarding this treatment regimen.
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Long-term complications, immunologic effects, and role of passage for outcome in mesenchymal stromal cell therapy.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 03-18-2011
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Thirty-one patients treated with mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) for acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) or hemorrhagic cystitis between 2002 and 2007 were followed to investigate predictors of outcome, immunologic effects in vivo, and long-term survival. There was no correlation between in vitro suppression by MSCs in mixed lymphocyte cultures and outcome. Soluble IL-2 receptors were measured in blood before and after MSC infusion and declined significantly during the first week after MSC infusion (P = .03). Levels of interleukin-6 and HLA-G were unaffected. Infectious complications occurred several years after recovery from aGVHD. Cytomegalovirus viral load was high, and cytomegalovirus disease was common. Among patients recovering from aGVHD, 54% died of late infections, between 4 months and 2 years after MSC treatment. No increase in leukemia relapse or graft rejection was found. Children had a better survival rate than adults (P = .005). In GVHD patients, 1-year survival was 75% in patients who received early-passage MSCs (from passages 1-2) in contrast to 21% using later passage MSCs (from passages 3-4) (P < .01). We conclude that treatment with early-passage MSCs improved survival in patients with therapy-resistant GVHD. Death from infection was common in MSC-treated patients, but there was no increase in leukemia relapse.
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Comparison of reduced-intensity hematopoietic cell transplantation with chemotherapy in patients age 60-70 years with acute myelogenous leukemia in first remission.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2011
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We compared the outcomes of patients age 60-70 years with acute myelogenous leukemia receiving reduced-intensity allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in first remission (CR1) reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Research (n = 94) with the outcomes in patients treated with induction and postremission chemotherapy on Cancer and Leukemia Group B protocols (n = 96). All patients included had been in CR1 for at least 4 months. The HCT recipients were slightly younger than the chemotherapy patients (median age, 63 years vs 65 years; P < .001), but there were no significant between-group differences in the proportion with therapy-related leukemia or in different cytogenetic risk groups. Time from diagnosis to CR1 was longer for the HCT recipients (median, 44 days vs 38 days; P = .031). Allogeneic HCT was associated with significantly lower risk of relapse (32% vs 81% at 3 years; P < .001), higher nonrelapse mortality (36% vs 4% at 3 years; P < .001), and longer leukemia-free survival (32% vs 15% at 3 years; P = .001). Although overall survival was longer for HCT recipients, the difference was not statistically significant (37% vs 25% at 3 years; P = .08). Our findings suggest that reduced-intensity conditioning allogeneic HCT in patients age 60-70 with acute myelogenous leukemia in CR1 reduces relapse and improves leukemia-free survival. Strategies that reduce nonrelapse mortality may yield significant improvements in overall survival.
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Mesenchymal stromal cells engage complement and complement receptor bearing innate effector cells to modulate immune responses.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 03-09-2011
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Infusion of human third-party mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) appears to be a promising therapy for acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD). To date, little is known about how MSCs interact with the bodys innate immune system after clinical infusion. This study shows, that exposure of MSCs to blood type ABO-matched human blood activates the complement system, which triggers complement-mediated lymphoid and myeloid effector cell activation in blood. We found deposition of complement component C3-derived fragments iC3b and C3dg on MSCs and fluid-phase generation of the chemotactic anaphylatoxins C3a and C5a. MSCs bound low amounts of immunoglobulins and lacked expression of complement regulatory proteins MCP (CD46) and DAF (CD55), but were protected from complement lysis via expression of protectin (CD59). Cell-surface-opsonization and anaphylatoxin-formation triggered complement receptor 3 (CD11b/CD18)-mediated effector cell activation in blood. The complement-activating properties of individual MSCs were furthermore correlated with their potency to inhibit PBMC-proliferation in vitro, and both effector cell activation and the immunosuppressive effect could be blocked either by using complement inhibitor Compstatin or by depletion of CD14/CD11b-high myeloid effector cells from mixed lymphocyte reactions. Our study demonstrates for the first time a major role of the complement system in governing the immunomodulatory activity of MSCs and elucidates how complement activation mediates the interaction with other immune cells.
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Improved survival after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in recent years. A single-center study.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2011
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We analyzed the outcome of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) over the past 2 decades. Between 1992 and 2009, 953 patients were treated with HSCT, mainly for a hematologic malignancy. They were divided according to 4 different time periods of treatment: 1992 to 1995, 1996 to 2000, 2001 to 2005, and 2006 to 2009. Over the years, many factors have changed considerably regarding patient age, diagnosis, disease stage, type of donor, stem cell source, genomic HLA typing, cell dose, type of conditioning, treatment of infections, use of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), use of mesenchymal stem cells, use of cytotoxic T cells, and home care. When we compared the last period (2006-2009) with earlier periods, we found slower neutrophil engraftment, a higher incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) of grades II-IV, and less chronic GVHD (cGHVD). The incidence of relapse was unchanged over the 4 periods (22%-25%). Overall survival (OS) and transplant-related mortality (TRM) improved significantly in the more recent periods, with the best results during the last period (2006-2009) and a 100-day TRM of 5.5%. This improvement was also apparent in a multivariate analysis. When correcting for differences between the 4 groups, the hazard ratio for mortality in the last period was 0.59 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.44-0.79; P < .001) and for TRM it was 0.63 (CI: 0.43-0.92; P = .02). This study shows that the combined efforts to improve outcome after HSCT have been very effective. Even though we now treat older patients with more advanced disease and use more alternative HLA nonidentical donors, OS and TRM have improved. The problem of relapse still has to be remedied. Thus, several different developments together have resulted in significantly lower TRM and improved survival after HSCT over the last few years.
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N-acetyl-L-cysteine increases acute graft-versus-host disease and promotes T-cell-mediated immunity in vitro.
Eur. J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 01-13-2011
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N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is a thiol antioxidant that stimulates glutathione synthesis in cells. Several studies indicate that NAC possesses immunomodulatory properties in vitro, but both inhibitory and activating effects on immunity have been reported. We observed that allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) patients who were randomized to receive NAC 100? mg/kg/day (n=73) had an increased prevalence of grade II-V acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) compared to patients who did not receive NAC (n=87), indicating that NAC has an immunostimulatory effect in vivo. When studying the effect of NAC on T-cell-mediated immunity in vitro, we found that moderate levels of NAC (0.4-3.2 ?mM) increased alloantigen-induced proliferation, expression of activation markers CD25 and CD71 on T cells, and production of IFN-? and IL-10. In contrast, high concentrations of NAC (12.5-50? mM) were suppressive, which may explain previously conflicting data. NAC did not cause an increase in expression of CD86, CD80, and CD83 on mature DCs at any concentration, whereas high concentrations suppressed DC maturation. Furthermore, T cells exposed to suppressive concentrations of NAC in a primary stimulation were highly responsive when re-stimulated in the absence of NAC. To conclude, NAC appears to increase acute GvHD and has an immunostimulatory effect on alloantigen-specific T cells.
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Second allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a treatment for graft failure.
Clin Transplant
PUBLISHED: 10-14-2010
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We evaluated the results in 20 recent patients treated with a second hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) after graft failure (GF). There were 10 children <18 yr of age. Ten patients had a non-malignant disease, and the other 10 had a malignant disease. In most of the transplantations, fludarabine-based reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) was given. Bone marrow was given to 11 patients, peripheral blood system cell (PBSC) in seven and cord blood to two patients. For the second transplantation (n = 20), a new donor was used in nine cases, while the initial donor was used in 11 transplants. Eight patients (40%) suffered from a second GF. Five of these patients were treated with a third HSCT. The probability of survival was 65% one yr and 60% three yr after the second HSCT. No difference in survival was found between patients transplanted with a new donor (56%) compared to those using the original donor (64%). The three-yr survival was 70% for children compared to 50% for adults (p = ns). Patients with a non-malignant disorder showed a three-yr survival of 90% compared to 20% in patients with a malignant disease (p = 0.005). We concluded that re-transplantation using RIC is a valid option for GF, especially in patients with non-malignant disorders.
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Impact of age on outcomes after bone marrow transplantation for acquired aplastic anemia using HLA-matched sibling donors.
Haematologica
PUBLISHED: 09-17-2010
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Transplantation from an HLA-matched sibling is the treatment of choice for young patients with acquired severe aplastic anemia. For older patients, the acceptable upper age limit for transplantation as first-line treatment varies. The current analysis, therefore, sought to identify age or ages at transplantation at which survival differed.
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Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor induced acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease.
Transplantation
PUBLISHED: 09-04-2010
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A recent experimental study in mice shed new light on the controversy as to whether granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) increases graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Total body irradiation and bone marrow were found to be prerequisites for acute GVHD. This study encouraged us to perform a retrospective clinical study.
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Outcomes of pediatric bone marrow transplantation for leukemia and myelodysplasia using matched sibling, mismatched related, or matched unrelated donors.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 07-29-2010
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Although some trials have allowed matched or single human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-mismatched related donors (mmRDs) along with HLA-matched sibling donors (MSDs) for pediatric bone marrow transplantation in early-stage hematologic malignancies, whether mmRD grafts lead to similar outcomes is not known. We compared patients < 18 years old reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research with acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndrome undergoing allogeneic T-replete, myeloablative bone marrow transplantation between 1993 and 2006. In total, patients receiving bone marrow from 1208 MSDs, 266 8/8 allelic-matched unrelated donors (URDs), and 151 0-1 HLA-antigen mmRDs were studied. Multivariate analysis showed that recipients of MSD transplants had less transplantation-related mortality, acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and chronic GVHD, along with better disease-free and overall survival than the URD and mmRD groups. No differences were observed in transplant-related mortality, acute and chronic GVHD, relapse, disease-free survival, or overall survival between the mmRD and URD groups. These data show that mmRD and 8/8 URD outcomes are similar, whereas MSD outcomes are superior to the other 2 sources. Whether allele level typing could identify mmRD recipients with better outcomes will not be known unless centers alter practice and type mmRD at the allele level.
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Advancement of mesenchymal stem cell therapy in solid organ transplantation (MISOT).
Transplantation
PUBLISHED: 07-08-2010
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There is evolving interest in the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in solid organ transplantation. Pre-clinical transplantation models show efficacy of MSC in prolonging graft survival and a number of clinical studies are planned or underway. At a recent meeting of the MISOT consortium (MSC In Solid Organ Transplantation) the advances of these studies were evaluated and mechanisms underlying the potential effects of MSC discussed. Continued discussion is required for definition of safety and eventually efficacy endpoints for MSC therapy in solid organ transplantation.
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HLA-C antigen mismatch is associated with worse outcome in unrelated donor peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 06-25-2010
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The association between HLA matching and outcome in unrelated-donor peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) transplantation has not yet been established. In the present study, a total of 1933 unrelated donor-recipient pairs who underwent PBSC transplantation between 1999 and 2006 for acute myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, or chronic myelogenous leukemia and received high-resolution HLA typing for HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, -DQA1, and -DQB1 were included in the analysis. Outcomes were compared between HLA-matched and HLA-mismatched pairs, adjusting for patient and transplant characteristics. Matching for HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1 alleles (8/8 match) was associated with better survival at 1 year compared with 7/8 HLA-matched pairs (56% vs 47%). Using 8/8 HLA-matched patients as the baseline (n = 1243), HLA-C antigen mismatches (n = 189) were statistically significantly associated with lower leukemia-free survival (relative risk [RR], 1.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13-1.64; P = .0010), and increased risk for mortality (RR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.16-1.70; P = .0005), treatment-related mortality (RR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.25-2.08; P = .0002), and grade III-IV graft-versus-host disease (RR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.50-2.62; P < .0001). HLA-B antigen or allele mismatching was associated with an increased risk for acute GVHD grade III-IV. No statistically significant differences in outcome were observed for HLA-C allele (n = 61), HLA-A antigen/allele (n = 136), HLA-DRB1 allele (n = 39), or HLA-DQ antigen/allele (n = 114) mismatches compared with 8/8 HLA-matched pairs. HLA mismatch was not associated with relapse or chronic GVHD. HLA-C antigen-mismatched unrelated PBSC donors were associated with worse outcomes compared with 8/8 HLA-matched donors. The studys limited power due to small sample size precludes conclusions about other mismatches.
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One-antigen mismatched related versus HLA-matched unrelated donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in adults with acute leukemia: Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research results in the era of molecular HLA typing.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 06-07-2010
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Approximately 13% of patients lacking an HLA-identical sibling have a one-antigen-mismatched related donor (MMRD). Historically, outcomes from the use of a one-antigen MMRD were considered equivalent to those from the use of a matched unrelated donor (UD). Recent improvements in UD stem cell transplantation (SCT) resulting from better molecular HLA matching justifies investigating whether UD should be preferred over MMRD in adult patients with acute leukemia. Here, we compared the outcomes of MMRD (n = 89) and HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1 allele-matched UD (n = 700) SCT reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research between 1995 and 2005. The patients underwent transplantation for acute myelogenous leukemia or acute lymphoblastic leukemia in first or second complete remission. Donor type was not associated with hematologic recovery. Univariate and multivariate comparisons of MMRD versus HLA-matched UD transplants showed no statistically significant differences in overall survival, disease-free survival, treatment-related mortality, relapse, or 100-day grade III-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). MMRD SCT was associated with a lower rate of chronic GVHD at 1 year (35% vs 47%; P = .03), which was confirmed by multivariate analysis (relative risk, 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.39-0.85; P < .01). According to our data, HLA-matched UD and MMRD SCT are associated with comparable survival. Given that less chronic GVHD was observed in the MMRD transplantations, this option, when available, remains the first choice in patients with acute leukemia without an HLA-identical sibling in need of allogeneic SCT.
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NK cells expressing inhibitory KIR for non-self-ligands remain tolerant in HLA-matched sibling stem cell transplantation.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 01-22-2010
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Natural killer (NK)-cell alloreactivity in recipients of hematopoietic stem cell grafts from HLA-identical siblings is intriguing and has suggested breaking of NK-cell tolerance during the posttransplantation period. To examine this possibility, we analyzed clinical outcomes in a cohort of 105 patients with myeloid malignancies who received T cell-replete grafts from HLA-matched sibling donors. Presence of inhibitory killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) for nonself HLA class I ligands had no effect on disease-free survival, incidence of relapse, or graft-versus-host disease. A longitudinal analysis of the NK-cell repertoire and function revealed a global hyporesponsiveness of NK cells early after transplantation. Functional responses recovered at approximately 6 months after transplantation. Importantly, NKG2A(-) NK cells expressing KIRs for nonself HLA class I ligands remained tolerant at all time points. Furthermore, a direct comparison of NK-cell reconstitution in T cell-replete and T cell-depleted HLA-matched sibling stem cell transplantation (SCT) revealed that NKG2A(+) NK cells dominated the functional repertoire early after transplantation, with intact tolerance of NKG2A(-) NK cells expressing KIRs for nonself ligands in both settings. Our results provide evidence against the emergence of alloreactive NK cells in HLA-identical allogeneic SCT.
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Leukemia lineage-specific chimerism analysis and molecular monitoring improve outcome of donor lymphocyte infusions.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2010
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A retrospective analysis was performed of 118 patients with hematologic malignancies who received donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs) after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Treatment was either given because of hematologic relapse (n = 44), molecular/cytogenetic relapse (n = 52), or other causes (n = 22). Molecular relapse was in most cases based on leukemia lineage-specific chimerism analysis. Patients with acute leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome showed a 3-year survival of 42% if DLI treatment was given because of molecular relapse, compared to 16% in hematologic relapse (P < .006). In multivariate analysis, there was a correlation between response to DLI and nonhematologic relapse (risk ratio [RR] 3.36, P = .001), chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) (RR = 1.51, P = .005), and late relapse (RR = 2.06, P = .017). The overall incidences of acute GVHD (aGVHD) grades I-II and grades III-IV aGVHD were 33% and 8.5%, respectively. Probability of cGVHD was 33%. The development of aGVHD or cGVHD did not significantly influence the response of DLI in patients with molecular/cytogenetic relapse. However, the development of cGVHD was significantly associated with a better response in patients with hematologic relapse because only 4 of 29 patients without cGVHD responded compared to 7 of 12 with cGVHD (P = .007). The development of cGVHD increased significantly if DLI was given >12 months after ASCT (46% versus 27%, P = .04). In contrast, time between ASCT and start of DLI treatment had no significant influence on the risk of developing aGVHD. To conclude, monitoring of leukemia lineage-specific chimerism is of utmost importance for DLI response after ASCT.
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GVHD prophylaxis using low-dose cyclosporine improves survival in leukaemic recipients of HLA-identical sibling transplants.
Eur. J. Haematol.
PUBLISHED: 11-30-2009
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Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis of short duration (6 months) with low-dose cyclosporine A (CsA) starting at 1 mg/kg per day i.v. and four doses of methotrexate (MTX) were given to 171 consecutive leukaemic recipients of HLA-identical sibling transplants. In contrast, apart from MTX, retrospective controls received high-dose CsA, starting at 5-7.5 mg/kg per day i.v. and discontinued 1 yr post-transplant. In the low-dose CsA group, the probability of acute GVHD grades I-II (70% vs. 53%, P < 0.01), and chronic GVHD were increased (58% vs. 25%, P < 0.01), whereas the incidences of acute GVHD grades III-IV (9% vs. 5%, P = 0.62), and non-relapse mortality (20% vs. 22%, P = 0.58) were similar. Moreover, the probability of relapse was decreased (31% vs. 54%, P < 0.01), and both relapse-free (56% vs. 38%, P = 0.04) and overall survival (61% vs. 40%, P = 0.04) were markedly improved using the low-dose CsA regimen. In multivariate analyses, low-dose CsA was strongly associated with chronic GVHD [relative hazard (RH) 2.56, P < 0.01], which decreased the risk of relapse (RH 0.46, P < 0.01) and improved the probability of survival (RH 1.84, P < 0.01). In conclusion, a low-dose CsA regimen in leukaemic recipients of HLA-identical sibling transplants increases the rate of chronic GVHD, which seems to attenuate the risk of relapse, thereby improving patient survival owing to enhanced graft-versus-leukaemia effect.
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The allogeneic graft-versus-cancer effect.
Br. J. Haematol.
PUBLISHED: 09-04-2009
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Allogeneic haematological stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has developed into immunotherapy. Donor CD4+, CD8+ and natural killer (NK) cells have been reported to mediate graft-versus-leukaemia (GVL) effects, using Fas-dependent killing and perforin degranulation to eradicate malignant cells. Cytokines, such as interleukin-2, interferon-gamma and tumour necrosis factor-alpha potentiate the GVL effect. Post-transplant adoptive therapy of cytotoxic T-cells (CTL) against leukaemia-specific antigens, minor histocompatibility antigens, or T-cell receptor genes may constitute successful approaches to induce anti-tumour effects. Clinically, a significant GVL effect is induced by chronic rather than acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). An anti-tumour effect has also been reported for myeloma, lymphoma and solid tumours. Reduced intensity conditioning enables HSCT in older and disabled patients and relies on the graft-versus-tumour effect. Donor lymphocyte infusions promote the GVL effect and can be given as escalating doses with response monitored by minimal residual disease. A high CD34+ cell dose of peripheral blood stem cells increases GVL. There is a balance between effective immunosuppression, low incidence of GVHD and relapse. For instance, T-cell depletion of the graft increases the risk of relapse. This paper reviews the current knowledge in graft-versus-cancer effects. Future directions, such as immunotherapy using leukaemia-specific CTLs, allo-depleted T-cells and suicide gene manipulated T-cells, are presented.
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Reduced intensity conditioning compared with myeloablative conditioning using unrelated donor transplants in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
J. Clin. Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 08-03-2009
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Reduced intensity conditioning regimen (RIC) is increasingly used in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Unrelated donor (UD) transplants have more complications. We wanted to examine if RIC is a valid treatment option using UD in acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML).
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HSCT recipients have specific tolerance to MSC but not to the MSC donor.
J. Immunother.
PUBLISHED: 06-30-2009
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Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are increasingly used to treat refractory graft-versus-host-disease and other complications after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We evaluated immunogenicity of HLA-mismatched MSC infused posttransplant to HSCT recipients. Recipient lymphocyte response to MSC and peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from the MSC or third party donors was measured before and after infusion. In vitro primary and rechallenge lymphocyte responses of healthy individuals to MSC and to PBL from the MSC donor were similarly studied. HSCT recipients given MSC responded to third party allostimuli, but showed no response to infused MSC before and upto 6 months after infusion, whereas maintaining an alloresponse to the MSC donor. This indicates immune unresponsiveness restricted to MSC, as the HSCT recipient was not tolerized to the MSC donor. In vitro, we confirmed that MSC failed to prime responder lymphocytes to rechallenge with PBL from the MSC donor, and lymphocytes primed with MSC donor and rechallenged with MSC only showed weak responses at high stimulator-responder ratios. Although MSC up-regulated lymphocyte gene expression of CD25, IFN-gamma, FoxP3, CTLA-4, and IL-10, they failed in both unprimed and primed responders to induce CD25+ (activated) or CD57+ (effector) CD4+ or CD8+ T-lymphocyte subsets and only inconsistently induced FoxP3+ regulatory T-lymphocytes. These results show for the first time that infused MSC are only weakly immunogenic in humans and validate the clinical use of MSC from HLA-mismatched donors.
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Safety analysis of ex vivo-expanded NK and NK-like T cells administered to cancer patients: a phase I clinical study.
Immunotherapy
PUBLISHED: 05-24-2009
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The chimeric state after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation provides a platform for adoptive immunotherapy using donor-derived immune cells. The major risk with donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs) is the development of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Development of new DLI products with antitumor reactivity and reduced GvHD risk represents a challenging task in cancer immunotherapy. Although natural killer (NK) and NK-like T cells are promising owing to their antitumor activity, their low concentrations in peripheral blood mononuclear cells reduces their utility in DLIs. We have recently developed a system that allows expansion of clinical-grade NK and NK-like T cells in large numbers. In this study, the safety of donor-derived long-term ex vivo-expanded human NK and NK-like T cells given as DLIs was investigated as immunotherapy for cancer in five patients following allogeneic stem cell infusion. Infusion of the cells was safe whether administered alone or with IL-2 subcutaneously. No signs of acute GvHD were observed. One patient with hepatocellular carcinoma showed markedly decreased serum alpha-fetoprotein levels following cell infusions. These findings suggest that the use of ex vivo-expanded NK and NK-like T cells is safe and appears an attractive approach for further clinical evaluation in cancer patients.
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The graft-versus-leukemia effect using matched unrelated donors is not superior to HLA-identical siblings for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 05-02-2009
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Do some patients benefit from an unrelated donor (URD) transplant because of a stronger graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect? We analyzed 4099 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) undergoing a myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) from an URD (8/8 human leukocyte antigen [HLA]-matched, n=941) or HLA-identical sibling donor (n=3158) between 1995 and 2004 reported to the CIBMTR. In the Cox regression model, acute and chronic GVHD were added as time-dependent variables. In multivariate analysis, URD transplant recipients had a higher risk for transplantation-related mortality (TRM; relative risk [RR], 2.76; P< .001) and relapse (RR, 1.50; P< .002) in patients with AML, but not ALL or CML. Chronic GVHD was associated with a lower relapse risk in all diagnoses. Leukemia-free survival (LFS) was decreased in patients with AML without acute GVHD receiving a URD transplant (RR, 2.02; P< .001) but was comparable to those receiving HLA-identical sibling transplants in patients with ALL and CML. In patients without GVHD, multivariate analysis showed similar risk of relapse but decreased LFS for URD transplants for all 3 diagnoses. In conclusion, risk of relapse was the same (ALL, CML) or worse (AML) in URD transplant recipients compared with HLA-identical sibling transplant recipients, suggesting a similar GVL effect.
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Prior rituximab correlates with less acute graft-versus-host disease and better survival in B-cell lymphoma patients who received allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.
Br. J. Haematol.
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2009
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Prior therapy with rituximab might attenuate disparate histocompatibility antigen presentation by B cells, thus decreased the risk of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and improved survival. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the outcomes of 435 B-cell lymphoma patients who received allogeneic transplantation from 1999 to 2004 in the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research database: 179 subjects who received rituximab within 6 months prior to transplantation (RTX cohort) and 256 subjects who did not receive RTX within 6 months prior to transplantation (No-RTX cohort). The RTX cohort had a significantly lower incidence of treatment-related mortality (TRM) [relative risk (RR) = 0.68; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.47-1.0; P = 0.05], lower acute grade II-IV (RR = 0.72; 95% CI, 0.53-0.97; P = 0.03) and III-IV GVHD (RR = 0.55; 95% CI, 0.34-0.91; P = 0.02). There was no difference in the risk of chronic GVHD, disease progression or relapse. Progression-free survival (PFS) (RR = 0.68; 95% CI 0.50-0.92; P = 0.01) and overall survival (OS) (RR = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.46-0.86; P = 0.004) were significantly better in the RTX cohort. Prior RTX therapy correlated with less acute GVHD, similar chronic GVHD, less TRM, better PFS and OS.
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Increased frequency and responsiveness of PSA-specific T cells after allogeneic hematopoetic stem-cell transplantation.
Transplantation
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2009
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Therapies for localized prostate cancer include curative surgery and radiotherapy while treatment of metastatic disease is often inefficient. Graft-versus-tumor effects of allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) have been described for several types of solid tumors but have not been reported for prostate cancer. We, therefore, investigated the potential of ASCT as treatment for noncurable prostate cancer.
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The effect of smoking on allogeneic transplant outcomes.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2009
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Using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) data, we compared the transplant outcomes of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) who were nonsmokers (NS) and past or current smokers (PCS). There were 2193 NS and 625 PCS who received matched sibling and unrelated donor allografts for CML in first chronic phase. We looked for dose effects and identified low and high dose smoking groups (>10 pack years, >1 pack per day). Outcomes were adjusted for known prognostic variables including the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplant (EBMT) risk score. In multivariate analyses of sibling allograft recipients, relapse risk (RR) was higher (RR=1.67, P=.003) in smokers than NS, but the dose effects were not consistent. High-dose smokers experienced a 50% treatment-related mortality (TRM) versus 28% in the NS group at 5 years on univariate analysis, and the RR was 1.57 (P=.005) on multivariate analysis. Overall survival (OS) at 5 years was 68% in NS versus 62% in the low-dose smoking group versus 50% in the high-dose smoking group (P < .001). Smoking did not significantly affect outcomes in unrelated donor recipients, but numbers were smaller. High-dose smoking is associated with a reduction in OS in patients having sibling allografts for CML. A prospective study with detailed demographic, pulmonary function, and quality-of-life data would improve our understanding of this issue.
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Lymphocyte recovery is a major determinant of outcome after matched unrelated myeloablative transplantation for myelogenous malignancies.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 02-19-2009
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A higher absolute lymphocyte count 1 month (LC30) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is associated with better outcome in patients transplanted from a matched sibling. We studied 102 SCT patients with unrelated donor and matched unrelated donors and the relationship between LC30 and outcome in patients with myelogenous leukemia. Conditioning was myeloablative using cyclophosphamide (Cy) with busulfan (Bu; n=61) or total body irradiation (TBI; n=41). LC30 was low (<0.2x10(9)/L) in 18 patients, intermediate (0.2-1.0x10(9)L) in 67, and high (>1.0x10(9)/L) in 17 patients. In multivariate analysis, independent factors associated with high relapse-free survival (RFS) were high LC30, high CD34 cell-dose, and absence of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) grades II-IV. When analyzed as a continuous variable in multivariate analysis, a higher LC30 was associated with a lower transplant-related mortality (TRM; relative hazard [RH]=0.87, P < .05), higher relapse-free survival (RH=3.42, P=.036), and improved survival (RH=4.53, P=.016, excluding GVHD). In patients with high, intermediate, and low LC30, overall survival (OS) was 91% versus 60%, versus 36% (P=.02 and .001, respectively). This significant relationship was maintained in patients who did not develop GVHD by day 30. Significant risk factors to develop low LC30 was chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML; hazard ratio [HR] 0.73, P=.001), prophylaxis with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF; HR 0.81, P=.02) and aGVHD (HR 0.84, P=.05). These results indicate that LC30 is an independent prognostic factor for transplant outcome in matched unrelated SCT for myelogenous malignancies.
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Recent decrease in acute graft-versus-host disease in children with leukemia receiving unrelated donor bone marrow transplants.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2009
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Unrelated donor (URD) bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is an effective treatment for leukemia in children, but its success is threatened by graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and relapse. In this report, we describe the incidence of and risk factors for GVHD over time in children receiving URD BMT. We analyzed outcomes of 638 myeloablative URD BMTs performed between 1990 and 2003 to treat acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), chronic myelogenous leukemia, or myelodysplastic syndrome MDS, using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) database. All recipients were under age 18 years and had available high-resolution HLA typing for HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1. Overall, 27% of the recipients developed acute GVHD (aGVHD) grade III-IV; the risk was significantly higher in children receiving T cell-replete grafts compared with those receiving T cell-depleted grafts (odds ratio [OR] = 3.12; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.02 to 4.83; P < .0001). Acute GVHD significantly reduced the risk of relapse in children with ALL (OR = 0.34; 95% CI = 0.13 to 0.86; P = .0052), but not in those with AML (OR = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.22 to 2.98; P = .26). The risk of aGVHD was higher in children undergoing transplantation in 1990-1998 (n = 365) compared with those doing so in 1999-2003 (OR = 1.93; 95% CI = 1.27 to 2.91; P = .002). We conclude that outcomes have changed significantly over time, with a reduced risk of aGVHD associated with the more recent transplantations.
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Reduced-intensity allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in metastatic colorectal cancer as a novel adoptive cell therapy approach. The European group for blood and marrow transplantation experience.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2009
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Reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) allowed the existence of an allogeneic cell-mediated antitumor effect in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) to be explored. We report on 39 patients with progressing mCRC treated with different RIC regimens in a multicenter clinical trial of the European Bone Marrow Transplantation Group. Disease status at transplant was progressive disease (PD) in 31 patients (80%), stable disease (SD) in 6 (15%), and partial response (PR) in 2 (5%). All patients engrafted (median donor T cell chimerism of 90% at day +60). Transplant-related morbidities were limited. Grades II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) occurred in 14 patients (35%) and chronic GVHD (cGVHD) in 9 patients (23%). Transplant-related mortality occurred in 4 patients (10%). The best tumor responses were: 1 complete response (CR) (2%), 7 PR (18 %), and 10 SD (26%), giving an overall disease control in 18 of 39 patients (46%). Allogeneic HCT after RIC is feasible; the collected results compared favorably in terms of tumor response with those observed using conventional approaches beyond second-line therapies. The study of an allogeneic cell based therapy in less advanced patients is warranted.
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Many days at home during neutropenia after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation correlates with low incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
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Patients are isolated in the hospital during the neutropenic phase after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. We challenged this by allowing patients to be treated at home. A nurse from the unit visited and checked the patient. One hundred forty-six patients treated at home were compared with matched hospital control subjects. Oral intake was intensified from September 2006 and improved (P = .002). We compared 4 groups: home care and control subjects before and after September 2006. The cumulative incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) of grades II to IV was 15% in the "old" home care group, which was significantly lower than that of 32% to 44% in the other groups (P < .03). Transplantation-related mortality, chronic GVHD, and relapse were similar in the groups. The "new" home care patients spent fewer days at home (P = .002). In multivariate analysis, GVHD of grades 0 to I was associated with home care (hazard ratio [HR], 2.46; P = .02) and with days spent at home (HR, .92; P = .005) but not with oral nutrition (HR, .98; P = .13). Five-year survival was 61% in the home care group as compared with 49% in the control subjects (P = .07). Home care is safe. Home care and many days spent at home were correlated with a low risk of acute GVHD.
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Factors with an impact on chimerism development and long-term survival after umbilical cord blood transplantation.
Transplantation
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Umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT) is increasingly used and produces similar results to matched unrelated donor transplantation.
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Treatment with mesenchymal stromal cells is a risk factor for pneumonia-related death after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Eur. J. Haematol.
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We performed a retrospective cohort study to find out whether the use of reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) might reduce the risk of early death from pneumonia. Pneumonia-associated deaths were evaluated in 691 hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) patients. The majority had a hematological malignancy (n = 504) and an HLA-matched donor (n = 584). RIC was given to 336 patients and myeloablative conditioning (MAC) to 355. Data concerning radiology, culture and autopsy results were evaluated together with risk factors for death related to pneumonia within or after 100 d after HSCT (early and overall pneumonia). In 60 patients, pneumonia contributed to death (early n = 17). The cumulative incidence of early pneumonia-related death was 2.8% and 2.1% in MAC and RIC patients, respectively. The cumulative incidence of overall pneumonia-related death was 8.2% and 10.5%, respectively. In 40 patients, (67%) an etiology could be established, with 19 patients having proven or probable mold infection. In the multivariate analyses, acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) grades II-IV, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and having received mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) were factors associated with overall pneumonia-related death. Bacteremia and a previous HSCT were associated with early pneumonia-related death. RIC did not reduce the incidence of early death associated with pneumonia. Acute GVHD II-IV, CMV infection and MSC treatment were factors associated with pneumonia-related death. Mold infection was the most common contributor to pneumonia-related death in HSCT patients.
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Are therapeutic human mesenchymal stromal cells compatible with human blood?
Stem Cells
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Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are tested in numerous clinical trials. Questions have been raised concerning fate and function of these therapeutic cells after systemic infusion. We therefore asked whether culture-expanded human MSCs elicit an innate immune attack, termed instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction (IBMIR), which has previously been shown to compromise the survival and function of systemically infused islet cells and hepatocytes. We found that MSCs expressed hemostatic regulators similar to those produced by endothelial cells but displayed higher amounts of prothrombotic tissue/stromal factors on their surface, which triggered the IBMIR after blood exposure, as characterized by formation of blood activation markers. This process was dependent on the cell dose, the choice of MSC donor, and particularly the cell-passage number. Short-term expanded MSCs triggered only weak blood responses in vitro, whereas extended culture and coculture with activated lymphocytes increased their prothrombotic properties. After systemic infusion to patients, we found increased formation of blood activation markers, but no formation of hyperfibrinolysis marker D-dimer or acute-phase reactants with the currently applied dose of 1.0-3.0 × 10(6) cells per kilogram. Culture-expanded MSCs trigger the IBMIR in vitro and in vivo. Induction of IBMIR is dose-dependent and increases after prolonged ex vivo expansion. Currently applied doses of low-passage clinical-grade MSCs elicit only minor systemic effects, but higher cell doses and particularly higher passage cells should be handled with care. This deleterious reaction can compromise the survival, engraftment, and function of these therapeutic cells.
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Long-term survival and late deaths after hematopoietic cell transplantation for primary immunodeficiency diseases and inborn errors of metabolism.
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
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It is uncertain whether late mortality rates after hematopoietic cell transplantation for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), non-SCID primary immunodeficiency diseases (non-SCID PIDD), and inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) return to rates observed in the general population, matched for age, sex, and nationality. We studied patients with SCID (n = 201), non-SCID PIDD (n = 405), and IEM (n = 348) who survived for at least 2 years after transplantation with normal T cell function (SCID) or >95% donor chimerism (non-SCID PIDD and IEM). Importantly, mortality rate was significantly higher in these patients compared with the general population for several years after transplantation. The rate decreased toward the normal rate in patients with SCID and non-SCID PIDD beyond 6 years after transplantation, but not in patients with IEM. Active chronic graft-versus-host disease at 2 years was associated with increased risk of late mortality for all diseases (hazard ratio [HR], 1.87; P = .05). In addition, late mortality was higher in patients with non-SCID PIDD who received T cell-depleted grafts (HR 4.16; P = .007) and in patients with IEM who received unrelated donor grafts (HR, 2.72; P = .03) or mismatched related donor grafts (HR, 3.76; P = .01). The finding of higher mortality rates in these long-term survivors for many years after transplantation confirms the need for long-term surveillance.
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Evaluation of prognostic factors among patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease.
Haematologica
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Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a major complication after allogeneic stem cell transplantation with an adverse effect on both mortality and morbidity. In 2005, the National Institute of Health proposed new criteria for diagnosis and classification of chronic graft-versus-host disease for clinical trials. New sub-categories were recognized such as late onset acute graft-versus-host disease and overlap syndrome.
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Effect of T-cell-epitope matching at HLA-DPB1 in recipients of unrelated-donor haemopoietic-cell transplantation: a retrospective study.
Lancet Oncol.
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The risks after unrelated-donor haemopoietic-cell transplantation with matched HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQB1 alleles between donor and recipient (10/10 matched) can be decreased by selection of unrelated donors who also match for HLA-DPB1; however, such donors are difficult to find. Classification of HLA-DPB1 mismatches based on T-cell-epitope groups could identify mismatches that might be tolerated (permissive) and those that would increase risks (non-permissive) after transplantation. We did a retrospective study to compare outcomes between permissive and non-permissive HLA-DPB1 mismatches in unrelated-donor haemopoietic-cell transplantation.
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Growth factor-associated graft-versus-host disease and mortality 10 years after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.
Br. J. Haematol.
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This study analysed the effects of growth factor on outcome after haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) with >9 years follow-up. Of 1887 adult patients with acute leukaemia who received bone marrow from human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-identical siblings and were treated with myeloablative conditioning, 459 (24%) were treated with growth factor. Growth factor hastened engraftment of neutrophils (P < 0·0001), but reduced platelet counts (P = 0·0002). Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)-free survival (no acute GVHD grade II-IV or chronic GVHD) at 10 years was 12 ± 2% (±SE) in the growth factor group, as opposed to 17 ± 2% in the controls [hazard ratio (HR) 0·81, P = 0·001]. Similar differences in GVHD-free survival were seen in patients with or without conditioning with total body irradiation (TBI). Non-relapse mortality (NRM) was higher in the growth factor group irrespective of whether or not TBI conditioning was included [HR = 1·48; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1·15-1·9; P = 0·002; HR = 1·59; 95% CI: 1·07-2·37; P = 0·02, respectively]. Both groups had similar probabilities of leukaemic relapse (HR = 0·96; 95% CI: 0·78-1·18; P = 0·71). Leukaemia-free survival (LFS) at 10 years was 35 ± 2% in those receiving growth factor prophylaxis, as opposed to 44 ± 1% in the controls (HR = 0·70; 95% CI: 0·60-0·82; P = 0·00001). Prophylaxis with growth factor increases the risk of GVHD, does not affect relapse, increases NRM and reduces LFS > 10 years after HSCT, regardless of conditioning with TBI.
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