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1.  Increasing the Clinical Efficacy of NK and Antibody-Mediated Cancer Immunotherapy: Potential Predictors of Successful Clinical Outcome Based on Observations in High-Risk Neuroblastoma 
Disease recurrence is frequent in high-risk neuroblastoma (NBL) patients even after multi-modality aggressive treatment [a combination of chemotherapy, surgical resection, local radiation therapy, autologous stem cell transplantation, and cis-retinoic acid (CRA)]. Recent clinical studies have explored the use of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that bind to disialoganglioside (GD2), highly expressed in NBL, as a means to enable immune effector cells to destroy NBL cells via antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). Preclinical data indicate that ADCC can be more effective when appropriate effector cells are activated by cytokines. Clinical studies have pursued this by administering anti-GD2 mAb in combination with ADCC-enhancing cytokines (IL2 and GM-CSF), a regimen that has demonstrated improved cancer-free survival. More recently, early clinical studies have used a fusion protein that consists of the anti-GD2 mAb directly linked to IL2, and anti-tumor responses were seen in the Phase II setting. Analyses of genes that code for receptors that influence ADCC activity and natural killer (NK) cell function [Fc receptor (FcR), killer immunoglublin-like receptor (KIR), and KIR-ligand (KIR-L)] suggest patients with anti-tumor activity are more likely to have certain genotype profiles. Further analyses will need to be conducted to determine whether these genotypes can be used as predictive markers for favorable therapeutic outcome. In this review, we discuss factors that affect response to mAb-based tumor therapies such as hu14.18-IL2. Many of our observations have been made in the context of NBL; however, we will also include some observations made with mAbs targeting other tumor types that are consistent with results in NBL. Therefore, we hypothesize that the NBL observations discussed here may also be relevant to mAb therapy for other cancers, in which ADCC is known to play a role.
PMCID: PMC3353262  PMID: 22623917
ADCC; KIR; FcR; neuroblastoma; immunocytokine; mAb; IL2
2.  Evolving role of high dose stem cell therapy in multiple myeloma 
Conventional chemotherapy has been used in the treatment of multiple myeloma. However the development of autologous stem cell transplant represented a major advance in its therapy. Complete response (CR) rates to the tune of 40-45% were seen and this translated into improvements in progression-free survival and also overall survival in some studies. As a result the autologous stem cell transplants (ASCT) is the standard of care in eligible patients and can be carried out with low treatment-related mortality. Allogenic transplant carries the potential for cure but the high mortality associated with the myeloablative transplant has made it unpopular. Reduced Intensity Stem Cell Transplants (RIST) have been tried with varying success but with a high degree of morbidity as compared to the ASCT. Introduction of newer agents like thalidomide, lenalidomide, bortezomib and liposomal doxorubicin into the induction regimens has resulted in higher CR and very good partial response rates (VGPR) as well as improvement in ease of administration. These drugs have also proved useful in patients with adverse cytogenetics. Recent trials suggest that this has translated into improvements in response rates post-ASCT. There is a suggestion that patients achieving CR/nCR or VGPR after induction therapy should be placed on maintenance and ASCT then could be used as a treatment strategy at relapse. All these trends however await confirmation from further trials. Tandem transplants have been used to augment the results obtained with ASCT and have demonstrated their utility in patients who achieved only a partial response or stable disease in response to the first transplant as well as patients with adverse cytogenetics. Incorporation of bortezomib along with melphalan into the conditioning regimen has also been tried. RIST following ASCT has been tried with varying success but does not offer any major advantage over ASCT and is associated with higher morbidity. It is hoped that recent advances in therapy will contribute greatly to improved survival.
PMCID: PMC3124984  PMID: 21731211
Conventional chemotherapy; high dose stem cell therapy; multiple myeloma
3.  IgD multiple myeloma a descriptive report of 17 cases: survival and response to therapy 
Immunoglobulin D multiple myeloma (MM) is rare and has a poorer prognosis than other MM isotypes.
Design and methods
Seventeen patients (pts) diagnosed from 1993 to 2009 with IgD MM were selected from six institutions of Multiple Myeloma Latium-Region GIMEMA Working Group.
Median age was 55 years, 14 patients had bone lesions, eight had renal impairment with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) < 50 ml/min, one serum calcium ≥ 12 mg/dl, 11 had lambda light chains, five stage III of ISS, six with chromosomal abnormalities. Six pts received conventional chemotherapy (CT): five melphalan + steroids based regimens. Eleven underwent high-doses of chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (HDT/ASCT), five single and six tandem ASCT: six received bortezomib and/or thalidomide as induction therapy and five VAD. Thalidomide maintenance was used in two pts: one in HDT/ASCT and one in CT group; bortezomib was used in one patient after HDT/ASCT. At a median follow up of 38 (range 19-60) and 50 months (range 17-148) for pts treated with CT and HDT/ASCT, respectively, the overall response rate (ORR) was 83% and 90%. In the group of patients treated with CT, median overall survival (OS) was 34 months (95% CI 15- 54 months), median progression free survival (PFS) was 18 months (95% CI 3-33 months) and median duration of response (DOR) was 7 months (95% CI 5-9 months). Median OS, PFS and DOR were not reached at the time of this analysis in the HDT/ASCT group of patients. Death was observed in 27.3% of pts treated with HDT/ASCT and in 66.7% undergone CT.
Despite the retrospective analysis and the small number of pts our study showed that the use of HDT/ASCT seems to improve also the prognosis of IgD MM patients. Treatment options including new drugs, before and after stem cell transplantation, may further improve the outcomes of these patients.
PMCID: PMC3349499  PMID: 22381082
4.  Predictive Value of Post-Transplant Bone Marrow Plasma Cell Percent in Multiple Myeloma Patients Undergone Autologous Transplantation 
Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) has become the treatment of choice for patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Studies have shown that maintenance treatment with interferon-alpha is associated with improved survival rates following ASCT. However, despite these recent advances in regimes, relapses are inevitable; thus, the prediction of relapse following ASCT requires assessment.
We retrospectively analyzed 39 patients who received ASCT between 2003 and 2008. All patients received chemotherapy with vincristine, adriamycin, and dexamethasone (VAD), and ASCT was performed following high-dose melphalan conditioning therapy. We evaluated the influence of the post-transplant day +14 (D+14) bone marrow plasma cell percent (BMPCp) (≥ 2 vs. < 2%), international scoring system (ISS) stage (II vs. III), response after 3 cycles of VAD therapy (complete response [CR] vs. non-CR), deletion of chromosome 13q (del[13q]) (presence of the abnormality vs. absence), and BMPCp at diagnosis (≥ 50 vs. < 50%) on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
During the median follow-up of 28.0 months, the median PFS and OS were 29.1 and 42.1 months, respectively. By univariate analysis, ISS stage III at diagnosis, BMPCp ≥ 50% at diagnosis, CR after 3 cycles of VAD therapy, del (13q) by fluorescence in situ hybridization, and BMPCp ≥ 2% at post-transplant D+14 were correlated with PFS and OS. A multivariate analysis revealed that a post-transplant D+14 BMPCp ≥ 2% (PFS, hazard ratio [HR] = 4.426, p = 0.008; OS, HR = 3.545, p = 0.038) and CR after 3 cycles of VAD therapy (PFS, HR = 0.072, p = 0.014; OS, HR = 0.055, p = 0.015) were independent prognostic parameters.
Post-transplant D+14 BMPCp is a useful parameter for predicting the outcome for patients with MM receiving ASCT.
PMCID: PMC3056259  PMID: 21437166
Multiple myeloma; Stem cell transplantation; Bone marrow; Plasma cell
Bone marrow transplantation  2008;41(10):867-872.
The aim of this study was to identify risk factors associated with progression-free survival in patients with Ewing sarcoma undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT); 116 patients underwent ASCT in 1989-2000 and reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. Eighty patients (69%) received ASCT as first-line therapy and 36 (31%), for recurrent disease. Risk factors affecting ASCT were analyzed with use of the Cox regression method. Metastatic disease at diagnosis, recurrence prior to ASCT and performance score <90 were associated with higher rates of disease recurrence/progression. Five-year probabilities of progression-free survival in patients with localized and metastatic disease at diagnosis who received ASCT as first-line therapy were 49% (95% CI 30 – 69) and 34% (95% CI 22 – 47) respectively. The 5-year probability of progression-free survival in patients with localized disease at diagnosis, and received ASCT after recurrence was 14% (95% CI 3 – 30). Progression-free survival rates after ASCT are comparable to published rates in patients with similar disease characteristics treated with conventional chemotherapy, surgery and irradiation suggesting a limited role for ASCT in these patients. Therefore, ASCT if considered should be for high-risk patients in the setting of carefully controlled clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC3164955  PMID: 18246113
Autologous transplant; Ewing sarcoma; Progression-free survival
6.  Can BuCyE conditioning regimen be an alternative treatment to BEAM at autologous transplantation in malignant lymphoma patients?: a single center experience 
High-dose chemotherapy (HDC) applied together with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is a commonly used treatment modality in patients with malignant lymphoma. At present, there is a limited number of studies which compare toxicity and efficacy of various high-dose regimens applied in the treatment of malignant lymphoma. For this reason, the aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and toxicity of BuCyE (busulfan, cyclophosphamide and etoposide) and BEAM (carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine and melphalan) preparative regimens in the patients with malignant lymphoma scheduled for autologous stem cell transplantation. Between November, 2010 and April, 2015, 42 patients with relapsed or refractory malignant lymphoma who underwent autologous stem cell transplantation following BEAM (n=11) and BuCyE (n=31) preparative regimens were analyzed at Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit of TurgutOzal Medicine Center in Turkey. The groups were compared in terms of patient characteristics, hematopoietic engraftment time, toxicity profiles and survival. No significant differences were detected between the groups with regard to age, gender distribution, international prognostic index, ASCT indications, disease status at the time of ASCT and type of lymphoma (P>0.05). Median number of infused CD34+ cells/kg, neutrophil and platelet engraftment statuses of BuCyE and BEAM groups were found to be similar (P>0.05). More patients in BuCyE group developed mucositis and nausea, but this difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05). A similar statistically insignificant difference was seen in that infectious complications occurred more commonly in BEAM group (P>0.05). Overall survival and event-free survival rates were not significantly different between the groups (P>0.05). BuCyE is a conditioning regimen which can be effectively used as an alternative to BEAM in the patients with malignant lymphoma undergoing ASCT. Moreover, toxicity rates of both regimens are similar. In order to comprehend the effect of each HDC regimen, further evidence-based data obtained from the studies involving larger sample sizes are required.
PMCID: PMC4659037  PMID: 26629149
BuCyE; BEAM; autologous transplantation; lymphoma
7.  The impact of novel therapeutic agents before and after frontline autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma 
Blood research  2013;48(3):198-205.
Novel agents (NAs) such as thalidomide and bortezomib have been administered in combination with autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) to effectively treat multiple myeloma (MM). However, whether NAs perform better as induction treatments prior to transplantation, or as post-transplant maintenance therapies remains unclear.
We retrospectively analyzed 106 consecutive patients with MM who underwent ASCT within 1 year of diagnosis as first-line therapy.
Eighty-seven (82.1%) patients received NAs before ASCT, whereas 68 (64.2%) received NAs after ASCT. NAs were administered to each patient as follows: before ASCT alone (N=29, 27.4%), after ASCT alone (N=10, 9.4%) or both before and after ASCT (N=58, 54.7%). High-quality rates before and after ASCT were significantly higher for patients who received NAs as induction treatment compared to those who did not receive pre-transplant NAs. At a median follow-up of 37.9 months, the 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 42.8% and 70.2%, respectively. The PFS and OS were significantly higher in patients with NAs as post-transplant maintenance treatment (P=0.03 and P=0.04, respectively), but not in those with NAs as pre-transplant induction treatment. The PFS of patients with NAs before and after ASCT was higher than that of the patients with NAs as induction therapy alone (P=0.05). Age, serum β2-microglobulin level, complete response after ASCT, and NA use post-ASCT independently predicted survival outcomes.
These findings suggest that integration of NAs post-ASCT could benefit patients with MM undergoing ASCT. Induction therapy using NAs also improves high-quality response rates before and after ASCT.
PMCID: PMC3786280  PMID: 24086940
Multiple myeloma; Novel agents; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Induction and maintenance treatment
8.  Salvage bortezomib–dexamethasone and high-dose melphalan (HDM) and autologous stem cell support (ASCT) in myeloma patients at first relapse after HDM with ASCT. A phase-2 trial 
Bone Marrow Transplantation  2015;50(10):1306-1311.
Until recently, only retrospective studies had been published on salvage high-dose melphalan (HDM) with autologous stem cell ‘transplantation' (ASCT). In a prospective, nonrandomized phase-2 study, we treated 53 bortezomib-naïve patients with bortezomib–dexamethasone as induction and bortezomib included in the conditioning regimen along with the HDM. Median progression-free survival (PFS), time to next treatment (TNT) and overall survival (OS) after start of reinduction therapy were 21.6, 22.8 and 46.6 months, respectively. For 49 patients who completed salvage bortezomib–HDM(II) with ASCT, there was no significant difference of PFS and TNT after HDM (II) compared with after the initial HDM(I), and thus patients were their own controls (PFS (I: 20.1 vs II: 19.3 months (P=0.8)) or TNT (I: 24.4 vs II: 20.7 months (P=0.8)). No significant differences in the response rates after salvage ASCT compared with the initial ASCT. Bortezomib–HDM conditioning combo was feasible, and toxicity was as expected for patients treated with bortezomib and ASCT. In conclusion, in bortezomib-naïve patients treated at first relapse with salvage ASCT including bortezomib, PSF and TNT did not differ significantly from initial ASCT and median OS was almost 5.5 years with acceptable toxicity. A recent prospective randomized study confirms salvage ASCT to be an effective treatment.
PMCID: PMC4598614  PMID: 26121108
9.  Second malignancies after autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation following modified BEAM conditioning regimen in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma – characteristics and risk factor analysis 
Contemporary Oncology  2013;17(2):200-204.
Aim of the study
The aim of the study was to determine the incidence of second malignancies among patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) treated with autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) following a modified BEAM (BCNU, etoposide, cytarabine, melphalan, dexamethasone) regimen between 1992 and 2012 at our department. We also intended to define the risk factors for the occurrence of second neoplasm after ASCT.
Material and methods
The long-term outcomes after transplant were evaluated in 170 patients, median age 31 years (range 17–61), who received a median of two pre-transplant chemotherapy lines (range 1–5).
MOPP (mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, prednisone) or MOPP-type regimens were given to 12% of patients prior to ASCT. The median follow-up of the survivors was 73 (12–242) months. The 7-year overall survival and progression-free survival were 75% and 64%, respectively. Second malignancies occurred in 7 of the 170 patients, including 5 haematological malignancies, and 2 solid tumors. They developed at a median of 8 years (range 0.4–13.5) from ASCT. The 10-year and 15-year cumulative incidence of developing a second malignancy were 7% and 13%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, age ≥ 40 years at transplant (HR = 8.8; p = 0.008) and pre-transplant MOPP-type chemotherapy (HR = 5.6; p = 0.030) were the only factors significant for developing a second malignancy.
Our results indicate that age of patient and the type of pre-transplant chemotherapy contribute to the risk of the development of a second neoplasm after ASCT in patients with HL. We believe that better characterization of second malignancies and associated risk factors may be useful for clinicians who care for these patients.
PMCID: PMC3685379  PMID: 23788991
Hodgkin lymphoma; autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation; BEAM; second malignancy
10.  Bortezomib and melphalan as a conditioning regimen for autologous stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(3):183-187.
High-dose melphalan (200 mg/m2) with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is the standard treatment for young patients with multiple myeloma (MM). However, the response rates after ASCT are often unsatisfactory. We performed a pilot study by using bortezomib-melphalan as conditioning regimen for ASCT in Korean patients with MM.
The conditioning regimen consisted of administration of intravenous infusion of bortezomib 1.0 mg/m2 on days -4 and -1 and melphalan 50 mg/m2 (day -4) and 150 mg/m2 (day -1). In this study, we enrolled 6 newly diagnosed patients and 2 patients with relapse.
The disease status of the 6 newly diagnosed patients at ASCT was as follows: 1 complete remission (CR), 1 very good partial remission (VGPR), and 4 partial remissions (PRs). The disease status of the 2 relapsed patients at ASCT was PR. All patients except 1 showed adequate hematologic recovery after ASCT. The median time for the absolute neutrophil counts to increase over 500/mm3 was 13 days (range, 10-19 days). Six patients with VGPR or PR at the time of transplantation showed an improvement in response to CR after ASCT. The patients were followed up without any maintenance treatment after ASCT except 1 patient who died during ASCT. During the follow-up period, CR was maintained in 3 newly diagnosed patients, but the other 4 patients, including 2 newly diagnosed patients, relapsed.
Conditioning regimen consisting of bortezomib and melphalan may be effective for ASCT in MM; however, the feasibility of this regimen should be further evaluated in large study populations.
PMCID: PMC2983035  PMID: 21120207
Multiple myeloma; Bortezomib; Melphalan
11.  Double Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Multiple Myeloma: A Korean Single Center Study 
Although high dose chemotherapy coupled with an autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is widely accepted as effective therapy for multiple myeloma (MM), few reports are available in Korea, especially in the area of double ASCT. We present the results of an institutional retrospective study of 12 patients with MM treated by double ASCT.
Eligible patients received induction therapy using vincristine, adriamycin, dexamethasone (VAD), and mobilization was performed using cyclophosphamide plus lenograstim. High-dose melphalan (total 200 mg/m2) was used to condition the ASCT.
The median interval from diagnosis to ASCT was 6 months (range, 1.8-15.3 months). The median interval between the 1st and 2nd ASCT was 4.4 months (range 2.1-48.7 months). The median follow up was 18.3 months (range 8.1-50.5 months) for the nine surviving patients. No therapy-related mortality occurred. Following induction chemotherapy, two patients experienced CR. Following double ASCT, eight patients experienced CR. The 5 year OS was 59%. The median duration of event free survival was 2.13 years (95% CI, 0.84-3.42).
Although the results of study did not demonstrate the advantage of double ASCT, this is the first report to outline the outcome of double ASCT for Korean MM patients.
PMCID: PMC3891159  PMID: 16295783
Multiple myeloma; Autologous; Stem cell transplantation
12.  High dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplant in older adults with multiple myeloma 
Bone marrow transplantation  2015;50(8):1075-1082.
Randomized trials showing that high dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) improved overall survival in multiple myeloma (MM) excluded patients over age 65. To compare outcomes of older adults with MM who underwent ASCT with non-transplant strategies, we identified 146 patients age 65 – 77 with newly diagnosed MM seen Washington University School of Medicine from 2000–2010. Survival among patients who did (N=62) versus did not (N=84) undergo ASCT was compared using Cox proportional hazards modeling, controlling for comorbidities, ECOG performance status (PS) and propensity to undergo ASCT. Median age was 68 (range 65–77). PS and comorbidities did not differ significantly between those who did vs. did not undergo ASCT. Median overall survival was significantly longer in patients who underwent ASCT than those who did not [median 56.0 months (95% confidence intervals 49.1–65.4) vs. 33.1 months (24.3–43.1), p=0.004]. Adjusting for PS, comorbidities, Durie-Salmon stage and propensity to undergo ASCT, ASCT was associated with superior overall survival [HR for mortality 0.52 (95% CI 0.30–0.91), p=0.02]. In a cohort of older adults with MM, undergoing ASCT was associated with a nearly 50% lower mortality, after controlling for PS, comorbidities, stage and propensity to undergo ASCT.
PMCID: PMC4526374  PMID: 25961765
13.  Rituximab Maintenance Therapy After Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation in Patients With Relapsed CD20+ Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma: Final Analysis of the Collaborative Trial in Relapsed Aggressive Lymphoma 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2012;30(36):4462-4469.
The standard treatment for relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is salvage chemotherapy followed by high-dose therapy and autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT). The impact of maintenance rituximab after ASCT is not known.
Patients and Methods
In total, 477 patients with CD20+ DLBCL who were in their first relapse or refractory to initial therapy were randomly assigned to one of two salvage regimens. After three cycles of salvage chemotherapy, the responding patients received high-dose chemotherapy followed by ASCT. Then, 242 patients were randomly assigned to either rituximab every 2 months for 1 year or observation.
After ASCT, 122 patients received rituximab, and 120 patients were observed only. The median follow-up time was 44 months. The 4-year event-free survival (EFS) rates after ASCT were 52% and 53% for the rituximab and observation groups, respectively (P = .7). Treatment with rituximab was associated with a 15% attributable risk of serious adverse events after day 100, with more deaths (six deaths v three deaths in the observation arm). Several factors affected EFS after ASCT (P < .05), including relapsed disease within 12 months (EFS: 46% v 56% for relapsed disease after 12 months), secondary age-adjusted International Prognostic Index (saaIPI) more than 1 (EFS: 37% v 61% for saaIPI < 1), and prior treatment with rituximab (EFS: 47% v 59% for no prior rituximab). A significant difference in EFS between women (63%) and men (46%) was also observed in the rituximab group. In the Cox model for maintenance, the saaIPI was a significant prognostic factor (P < .001), as was male sex (P = .01).
In relapsed DLBCL, we observed no difference between the control group and the rituximab maintenance group and do not recommend rituximab after ASCT.
PMCID: PMC3646314  PMID: 23091101
14.  Determining the optimal time for bortezomib-based induction chemotherapy followed by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant in the treatment of multiple myeloma 
In our study, we determined the efficacy of bortezomib-based induction therapy followed by autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) in newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory (R/R) multiple myeloma (MM) patients and compared the advantages of early versus late transplant. We used a retrospective analysis to examine 62 patients, including 46 cases of newly diagnosed MM (early transplant group) and 16 cases of relapsed/refractory MM (late transplant group). All of these patients received bortezomib-based induction therapy followed by ASCT. The efficacy and side effects of the treatment regimen were analyzed. Patients’ overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) times were determined. The ratio of complete remission to near-complete remission (CR/nCR) was 69.5% versus 56.2% (P=0.361), respectively, for the early transplant group versus the late transplant group, respectively, after receiving bortezomib-based induction therapy; the overall response rates of the two group were 91.3% and 81.2%, respectively (P=0.369). After receiving ASCT, the CR/nCR of the two groups increased to 84.8% and 81.3%, respectively. The median time required for neutrophil engraftment of the early transplant group and the late transplant group was 11 and 14.5 days, respectively (P=0.003); the median time required for platelet engraftment was 13 and 21.5 days (P=0.031), respectively. There were no significant differences in the toxic side effects observed during induction therapy and ASCT between the two groups. The OS of the two groups was not statistically different (P=0.058). The PFS of the early transplant group and the late transplant group was 41.6 and 26.5 months, respectively (P=0.008). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the time of receiving ASCT, the types of M protein, and the International Staging System (ISS) stage were all independent factors that influenced PFS. In conclusion, patients in a suitable condition for ASCT should be recommended to have an early ASCT immediately after diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3626983  PMID: 23592897
Multiple myeloma; autologous stem cell transplant; bortezomib; International Staging System stage
15.  Maintenance Therapy with Immunomodulatory Drugs after Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with Multiple Myeloma: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72635.
Although high-dose therapy (HDT) with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) has been confirmed to result in longer remission time than conventional chemotherapy, multiple myeloma (MM) remains incurable. Post-ASCT maintenance is considered as a strategy for obtaining durable remissions and preventing tumor progression. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) studying maintenance therapy with immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) after ASCT have shown some valuable survival improvements. This meta-analysis of RCTs therefore assesses the effect of post-ASCT IMiDs maintenance on MM patients.
We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the impact of IMiDs (thalidomide or lenalidomide) as post-ASCT maintenance therapy on the survival of newly diagnosed MM patients. The outcomes for this meta-analysis were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
Eight RCTs enrolling 3514 patients were included for analysis. An obvious improvement in Os (hazard ratio [HR] 0.75) and a significant PFS advantage (HR 0.58) with post-ASCT IMiDs maintenance was revealed. Thalidomide maintenance after ASCT can result in significant benefit in Os (HR 0.72), particularly combined with corticosteroids (HR 0.66).
MM patients after ASCT have a significant overall survival benefit with IMiDs maintenance. IMiDs maintenance was justified for MM patients who received HDT with ASCT.
PMCID: PMC3747129  PMID: 23977334
16.  Autologous stem cell transplantation for mantle cell lymphoma – single centre experience 
Contemporary Oncology  2013;17(5):456-459.
Aim of the study
Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a B-cell neoplasm showing resistance to conventional chemotherapy. High-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) may result in higher progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) when used as a consolidation for younger and fit patients.
Material and methods
We retrospectively evaluated the results of ASCT for MCL. Patients were transplanted after achieving first or subsequent complete or partial response after conventional chemotherapy.
Twenty patients (7 male and 13 female) at median age of 59 years (range 41–68) were included. 90% of transplanted patients had stage III/IV disease at diagnosis and low, intermediate and high MIPI scores occurred in 5, 9 and 6 patients respectively. Induction chemotherapy consisted of the R-CHOP regimen in all patients except one who received R-CVAD. The disease status at transplant was as follows: first complete response (n = 13); second complete response (n = 4) and partial response (n = 3). The conditioning regimen prior to ASCT consisted of CBV and BEAM for 18 and 2 patients, respectively. The transplant-related mortality was 0% at day 100. Median OS and PFS were 48 and 29.8 months, respectively. The estimated 5-year OS and PFS were found to be 52% and 35%, respectively. After median follow-up after ASCT of 36 months (range 11–73), 10 patients were alive with 8 remaining in complete remission (CR) whereas 2 relapsed and received salvage chemotherapy. Ten patients died from disease recurrence and subsequent chemoresistance.
ASCT as a consolidation for MCL patients is found to be an effective and safe procedure.
PMCID: PMC3934030  PMID: 24596536
mantle cell lymphoma; autologous stem cell transplantation; results
17.  Current Status of Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Relapsed and Refractory Hodgkin's Lymphoma 
The Oncologist  2011;17(1):80-90.
New developments in the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation are summarized including modern prognostic markers, the role of functional imaging, the role of newer drugs, different conditioning regimens, and maintenance therapy.
Despite the relatively high long-term disease-free survival (DFS) rate for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) with modern combination chemotherapy or combined modality regimens, ∼20% of patients die from progressive or relapsed disease. The standard treatment for relapsed and primary refractory HL is salvage chemotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), which has shown a 5-year progression-free survival rate of ∼50%–60%. Recent developments in a number of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities have begun to improve these results. Functional imaging, refinement of clinical prognostic factors, and development of novel biomarkers have improved the predictive algorithms, allowing better patient selection and timing for ASCT. In addition, these algorithms have begun to identify a group of patients who are candidates for more aggressive treatment beyond standard ASCT. Novel salvage regimens may potentially improve the rate of complete remission prior to ASCT, and the use of maintenance therapy after ASCT has become a subject of current investigation. We present a summary of developments in each of these areas.
PMCID: PMC3267827  PMID: 22210089
Autologous stem cell transplant; Hodgkin's lymphoma; High-dose chemotherapy
18.  Retrospective Analysis of Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation for the Treatment of High-Risk Neuroblastoma 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2007;22(Suppl):S66-S72.
Disease relapse after autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (APBSCT) is the main cause of treatment failure in high-risk neuroblastoma (NBL). To reduce relapse, various efforts have been made such as CD34+ selection and double APBSCT. Here the authors reviewed the clinical features and outcomes of high-risk NBL patients and analyzed their survival. The medical records of 36 patients with stage III or IV NBL who underwent APBSCT at Seoul National University Children's Hospital between May 1996 and May 2004 were reviewed. Total 46 APBSCTs were performed in 36 patients. Disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival of all patients were 47.7% and 68.8%, respectively. The patients were allocated to three groups according to the APBSCT type. The DFS of CD34+ non-selected single APBSCT patients (N=13), CD34+ selected single APBSCT patients (N=14), and CD34+ selected double APBSCT patients (N=9) were 55.6%, 40.6%, and 50.0%, respectively, which were not significantly different. Thus the survival was not found to be affected by CD34+ selection or transplantation number. To improve long-term survival, various efforts should be made such as chemotherapy dose intensification, more effective tumor purging, and control of minimal residual disease via the use of differentiating and immune-modulating agents.
PMCID: PMC2694391  PMID: 17923758
Neuroblastoma; Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation; Autologous Transplantation
19.  Effect of Remission Status and Induction Chemotherapy Regimen on Outcome of Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Mantle Cell Lymphoma 
Leukemia & lymphoma  2008;49(6):1062-1073.
We analyzed the outcomes of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) following high-dose therapy with respect to remission status at the time of transplantation and induction regimen used in 56 consecutive patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Twenty-one patients received induction chemotherapy with HyperCVAD with or without rituximab (±R) followed by ASCT in first complete or partial remission (CR1/PR1), 15 received CHOP (±R) followed by ASCT in CR1/PR1, and 20 received ASCT following disease progression. Estimates of overall and progression-free survival (PFS) at three years among patients transplanted in CR1/PR1 were 93% and 63% compared with 46% and 36% for patients transplanted with relapsed/refractory disease, respectively. The hazard of mortality among patients transplanted with relapsed/refractory disease was 6.09 times that of patients transplanted in CR1/PR1 (P=.006). Patients in the CHOP (±R) group had a higher risk of failure for PFS compared to patients in the HyperCVAD (±R) group, though the difference did not reach statistical significance (hazard ratio 3.67, P=.11). These results suggest that ASCT in CR1/PR1 leads to improved survival outcomes for patients with MCL compared to ASCT with relapsed/refractory disease, and a HyperCVAD (±R) induction regimen may be associated with an improved PFS among patients transplanted in CR1/PR1.
PMCID: PMC2769072  PMID: 18452065
Mantle cell lymphoma; Autologous stem cell transplantation; HyperCVAD; CHOP; Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
20.  Mantle Cell Lymphoma International Prognostic Index but Not Pretransplantation Induction Regimen Predicts Survival for Patients With Mantle-Cell Lymphoma Receiving High-Dose Therapy and Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2011;29(22):3023-3029.
High-dose therapy (HDT) and autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) are frequently used in an attempt to improve outcome in patients with mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL); however, the importance of intensive induction regimens before transplantation is unknown.
Patients and Methods
To address this question, we evaluated baseline characteristics, time to treatment, induction regimen, disease status at the time of transplantation, and MIPI score at diagnosis and their associations with survival in 118 consecutive patients with MCL who received HDT and ASCT at our centers.
The MIPI was independently associated with survival after transplantation in all 118 patients (hazard ratio [HR], 3.5; P < .001) and in the 85 patients who underwent ASCT as initial consolidation (HR, 7.2; P < .001). Overall survival rates were 93%, 60%, and 32% at 2.5 years from ASCT for all patients with low-, intermediate-, and high-risk MIPI, respectively. Low-risk MIPI scores were more common in the intensive induction group than the standard induction group in all patients (64% v 46%, respectively; P = .03) and in the initial consolidation group (66% v 45%, respectively; P = .03). After adjustment for the MIPI, an intensive induction regimen was not associated with improved survival after transplantation in all patients (HR, 0.5; P = .10), the initial consolidation group (HR, 1.1; P = .86), or patients ≤ 60 years old (HR, 0.6; P = .50). Observation of more than 3 months before initiating therapy did not yield inferior survival (HR, 2.1; P = .12) after adjustment for the MIPI in patients receiving ASCT.
An intensive induction regimen before HDT and ASCT was not associated with improved survival after adjusting for differences in MIPI scores at diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3157964  PMID: 21730271
21.  Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Aggressive Lymphomas 
The role of high-dose therapy (HDT) followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in the treatment armamentarium of aggressive B- and T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is still a matter of debate. In the pre-Rituximab era, the PARMA study demonstrated the superiority of HDT/ASCT over conventional salvage chemotherapy in chemosensitive, relapsed patients. Subsequently, HDT/ASCT has become a standard approach for relapsed NHL. With the advent of Rituximab in the landscape of NHL, transplantation as part of first-line therapy has been challenged. However, no benefit in terms of disease-free or overall survival of HDT/ASCT over standard therapy was shown when Rituximab was added to both arms. Moreover, the superiority of HDT/ASCT over conventional salvage therapy in patients relapsing from first-line therapy including Rituximab was not confirmed. From these disappointing results, novel strategies, which can enhance the anti-lymphoma effect, at the same time reducing toxicity have been developed, with the aim of improving the outcome of HDT/ASCT in aggressive NHL. In T-cell lymphoma, few publications demonstrated that consolidation of complete remission with HDT/ASCT is safe and feasible. However, up to one-third of patients may never receive transplant, mostly due to progressive disease, and relapse still remains a major concern even after transplant.
PMCID: PMC3507533  PMID: 23205263
22.  Immunochemotherapy and Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation for Untreated Patients With Mantle-Cell Lymphoma: CALGB 59909 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2009;27(36):6101-6108.
Mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with a poor prognosis. We explored the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of an aggressive immunochemotherapy treatment program that included autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) for patients up to age 69 years with newly diagnosed MCL.
Patients and Methods
The primary end point was 2-year progression-free survival (PFS). A successful trial would yield a 2-year PFS of at least 50% and an event rate (early progression plus nonrelapse mortality) less than 20% at day +100 following ASCT. Seventy-eight patients were treated with two or three cycles of rituximab combined with methotrexate and augmented CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone). This treatment was followed by intensification with high doses of cytarabine and etoposide combined with rituximab and filgrastim to mobilize autologous peripheral-blood stem cells. Patients then received high doses of carmustine, etoposide, and cyclophosphamide followed by ASCT and two doses of rituximab.
There were two nonrelapse mortalities, neither during ASCT. With a median follow-up of 4.7 years, the 2-year PFS was 76% (95% CI, 64% to 85%), and the 5-year PFS was 56% (95% CI, 43% to 68%). The 5-year overall survival was 64% (95% CI, 50% to 75%). The event rate by day +100 of ASCT was 5.1%.
The Cancer and Leukemia Group B 59909 regimen is feasible, safe, and effective in patients with newly diagnosed MCL. The incorporation of rituximab with aggressive chemotherapy and ASCT may be responsible for the encouraging outcomes demonstrated in this study, which produced results comparable to similar treatment regimens.
PMCID: PMC2793032  PMID: 19917845
23.  Controversies in the Treatment of Lymphoma with Autologous Transplantation 
The Oncologist  2009;14(9):921-929.
High dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplant (HDT-ASCT) is the standard of care for relapsed and refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma, however the role for HDT-ASCT in the treatment of follicular lymphoma (FL), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), and peripheral T cell lymphoma (PTCL) is controversial. In FL, phase II and randomized data support the use of HDT-ASCT in the relapsed setting and incorporation of rituximab into mobilization regimens and post transplant maintenance appears to prolong remission durations. Allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) remains the only curative treatment option and is appropriate for patients with high bone marrow disease burdens and refractory disease. In MCL, HDT-ASCT is most often administered upfront and phase II studies using intense immunochemotherapy followed by HDT-ASCT in first complete response (CR) have shown the most impressive outcomes. Complicating the situation, however, is data supporting upfront intensive immunochemotherapy without HDT-ASCT consolidation as well as a “watch and wait” strategy for selected patients. Finally, in PTCL, phase II data supports treatment with HDT-ASCT in first CR and it is rarely appropriate in the relapsed setting. Furthermore, disease status at the time of transplant likely impacts outcome, however this needs to be evaluated further. Overall, HDT-ASCT is an important element of the treatment of relapsed FL and untreated MCL and PTCL, however large prospective studies are needed to confirm its role and identify the most optimal induction, mobilization, and maintenance regimens for each disease.
PMCID: PMC3278670  PMID: 19737999
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation; Follicular lymphoma; Mantle cell lymphoma; Peripheral T cell lymphoma
24.  Therapeutic effects of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma patients 
The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) on the response and outcome of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and to analyze the factors influencing the prognosis of the disease. Retrospective analysis was performed in 27 patients with MM who had been treated by ASCT (ASCT group) and 28 patients treated with combined chemotherapy only (non-ASCT group) from May 2004 to August 2011. The impact on the depth of response, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) times, as well as associated prognostic factors of patients with MM, were analyzed. All patients successfully underwent hematopoietic reconstruction without transplantation-related mortality. The complete remission (CR) rate of patients in the ASCT group significantly increased from 25.9% (7/27) before ASCT to 70.4% (19/27) following ASCT (P<0.01). The probability of OS for 5 years was 52.2% for the patients in the ASCT group and 33.1% for those in the non-ASCT group (P>0.05). Univariate analysis in the ASCT group demonstrated that maintenance and consolidation therapies were associated with significant increases in PFS (P=0.01) and OS (P<0.01) times. The present study demonstrated that ASCT further increases the CR rate, prolongs PFS time and potentially increases the OS time. Incorporation of these novel agents, including the protea-some inhibitor bortezomib and the immunomodulatory drugs thalidomide and lenalidomide, into the induction, consolidation and maintenance phases has optimized the anti-myeloma activity of ASCT.
PMCID: PMC3797248  PMID: 24137301
multiple myeloma; autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; prognosis
25.  Outcomes after 90Yttrium-ibritumomab tiuxetan-BEAM in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: a meta-analysis 
Cancer Medicine  2014;3(4):927-938.
High-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is a standard therapy in patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who are chemosensitive. The combination of carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan (BEAM) is commonly used as a conditioning regimen. The addition of yttrium-90 (90Y)-ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin®) to BEAM (Z-BEAM) is increasingly being used to improve outcomes and overcome refractory disease. We conducted a literature review and meta-analysis in order to evaluate the clinical effects of Z-BEAM followed by ASCT in patients with DLBCL. A literature search was conducted for randomized controlled trials and observational studies of Z-BEAM as a conditioning regimen for ASCT in adult patients with DLBCL. Extracted data included baseline patient demographics, overall response (ORR), complete response (CR), overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), nonrelapse mortality (NRM), median time to ANC and platelet engraftment, and rate of myelodysplastic syndrome. Mixed-effects models were used to determine estimates. Ten studies (N = 328) were included in the meta-analysis. The 2-year OS and PFS were 84.5% (n = 328) and 67.2% (n = 285), respectively. Outcomes were superior in patients with nontransformed lymphoma. Posttransplant, ORR and CR rates were 72.6% and 68.5%, respectively. The NRM rate was 6.3% and the incidence rate of myelodysplastic syndrome was 2.5%. Two-year OS was significantly associated with pretransplant ORR (P = 0.008, τ2 = 0). There was no significant association between PFS and pretransplant response. Z-BEAM is safe and effective as a conditioning regimen in relapsed/refractory DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC4303160  PMID: 24740968
90Y-Ibritumomab tiuxetan; autologous transplantation; DLBCL; meta-analysis; radioimmunotherapy; Z-BEAM

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