Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality after matched unrelated, related, or mismatched related donor hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). Improved GVHD prevention methods are needed. Pentostatin, an adenosine deaminase inhibitor, leads to lymphocyte depletion with low risk of myelosuppression. We hypothesized that addition of pentostatin to GVHD prophylaxis with tacrolimus and mini-methotrexate may improve outcomes, and we conducted a Bayesian adaptively randomized, controlled, dose-finding study, taking into account toxicity and efficacy.
Patients and Methods
Success was defined as the patient being alive, engrafted, in remission, without GVHD 100 days post-HSCT and no grade ≥ 3 GVHD at any time. Patients were randomly assigned to pentostatin doses of 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 mg/m2 with drug administered on HSCT days 8, 15, 22, and 30. Eligible patients were recipients of mismatched related (n = 10) or unrelated (n = 137) donor HSCT.
Median age was 47 years. Thirty-seven, 10, 29, 61, and 10 patients were assigned to the control and four treatment groups, respectively, with comparable baseline characteristics. Pentostatin doses of 1.0 and 1.5 mg/m2 had the highest success rates (69.0% and 70.5%) versus control (54.1%). The posterior probabilities that the success rates were greater with 1.5 mg/m2 or 1.0 mg/m2 versus control are 0.944 and 0.821, respectively. Hepatic aGVHD rates were 0%, 17.2%, and 11.1%, respectively, for 1.5 mg/m2, 1.0 mg/m2, and control groups. No grades 3 to 4 aGVHD occurred in 11 HLA-mismatched recipients in the 1.5 mg/m2 group.
Pentostatin increased the likelihood of success as defined here, and should be further investigated in larger randomized, confirmatory studies.
Chronic graft-versus-host-disease (cGVHD) is a major barrier of successful allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), with highly variable clinical presentations. The pathophysiology of cGVHD remains relatively poorly understood. The utilization of murine models to study cGVHD encompasses experimental challenges distinct from those that have been successfully used to study acute GVHD (aGVHD). Nevertheless, despite these challenges, murine models of cGVHD have contributed to the understanding of cGVHD, and highlight its mechanistic complexity. In this article, insights into the pathophysiology of cGVHD obtained from murine studies are summarized in the context of their relevancy to clinical cGVHD. Despite experimental limitations, current and future models of murine cGVHD will continue to provide insights into the understanding of clinical cGVHD and provide information for new therapeutic interventions.
Autoimmune cytopenias are a recognized complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), and are considered to be a feature of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). We report on a cohort of very young infants (≤3 months of age) receiving HSCT from unrelated donor umbilical cord blood for genetic disorders who developed posttransplant autoimmune cytopenias at an increased rate compared to older aged controls. These infants received a conditioning regimen consisting of busulfan, cyclophosphamide, and antithymocyte globulin (ATG). All infants received HLA mismatched unrelated umbilical cord blood as graft source. GVHD prophylaxis was either cyclosporine + methylprednisolone (n = 16) or cyclosporine + mycophenolate mofetil (n =3). Engraftment, acute GVHD (aGVHD) and cGVHD, survival, treatment-related mortality (TRM), and deaths were evaluated. Ten patients developed cGVHD manifesting as autoimmune cytopenias at a median 247 days posttransplant with a cumulative incidence of 44% (95% confidence interval [CI] 21%–68%) and 56% (95% CI 32%–80%) at 1 and 2 years, respectively. In 6 of 10 patients developing autoimmune cytopenias, cGVHD presented as autoimmune cytopenia de novo. The cytopenias observed included anemia (n =4), thrombocytopenia (n =1), anemia with thrombocytopenia (n =3), and pancytopenia (n =2). No graft factors were identified as being significant to development of cGVHD. All patients responded to treatment with methylprednisolone, azithioprine ± rituximab. One patient required splenectomy. We hypothesize that posttransplant immunosuppression interferes with normal immune ontogeny creating immune dysregulation and graft directed cell destruction. Alternative strategies to prevent GVHD should be considered for this unique patient population.
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia; Unrelated umbilical cord blood transplantation; Chronic graft versus host disease
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. We prospectively evaluated the efficacy of intermediate-dose rabbit antithymocyte globulin (Thymoglobulin® a total of 4.5 mg/kg given over days −3, −2, and −1) in combination with tacrolimus and sirolimus for the prevention of aGVHD. We enrolled 47 recipients who underwent unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Patients received daily granulocyte colony-stimulating factor starting on day +6 until neutrophil engraftment (median duration, 11 days; range, 9-15 days). Twenty-two patients received HLA 8/8 and 25 received 7/8 matched grafts, respectively. The median follow-up duration was 23.6 months (range, 18.8-27.9 months). The cumulative incidence of grade II to IV aGVHD was 23.4% (95% confidence interval, 12.4-36.3). At 2-year follow-up, the cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality was 31.9%, cumulative incidence of relapse was 24.6%, and cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was 33%. Progression-free survival at 1 year was 54%, with a median of 17.7 months. Overall survival at 1 year was 65%, with no median reached. These results suggest that the combination of Thymoglobulin, tacrolimus, and sirolimus in patients undergoing unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is well tolerated and associated with a low incidence and severity of aGVHD and chronic graft-versus-host disease.
aGVHD; Unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Antithymocyte globulin; Tacrolimus; Sirolimus
The efficacy and the safety of the administration of multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MMSCs) for acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) prophylaxis following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HSCT) were studied. This prospective clinical trial was based on the random patient allocation to the following two groups receiving (1) standard GVHD prophylaxis and (2) standard GVHD prophylaxis combined with MMSCs infusion. Bone marrow MMSCs from hematopoietic stem cell donors were cultured and administered to the recipients at doses of 0.9–1.3 × 106/kg when the blood counts indicated recovery. aGVHD of stage II–IV developed in 38.9% and 5.3% of patients in group 1 and group 2, respectively, (P = 0.002). There were no differences in the graft rejection rates, chronic GVHD development, or infectious complications. Overall mortality was 16.7% for patients in group 1 and 5.3% for patients in group 2. The efficacy and the safety of MMSC administration for aGVHD prophylaxis were demonstrated in this study.
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a major complication after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The pathophysiology of aGVHD involves priming of naïve donor T cells in host secondary lymphoid tissue, followed by migration of effector T cells to target organs. Mediators of lymphocyte trafficking are believed to play a significant role in this migration. In this retrospective case-controlled study, we analyzed the expression of α4β7 integrin and CCR9, 2 surface T cell molecules specific for intestinal trafficking, from blood samples collected previously from 59 patients after HSCT (20 without aGVHD, 20 with skin aGVHD, and 19 with intestinal aGVHD). All samples had been obtained before the onset of aGVHD symptoms (with 1 sample collected on the day of symptom onset). Analysis by flow cytometry demonstrated that α4β7 integrin was significantly increased on both naïve and memory T cells in patients who subsequently developed intestinal aGVHD, with the most significant differences observed in memory subsets. Immunohistochemical staining on rectal biopsy specimens from patients with intestinal aGVHD showed that expression of α4β7 integrin was concentrated on mononuclear cells in blood vessels within the intestinal mucosa. These results suggest that α4β7 integrin likely is involved in lymphocyte trafficking in intestinal aGVHD and may have potential clinical use as a correlative biomarker or as a target for the treatment and prophylaxis of intestinal aGVHD after HSCT.
GVHD; α4β7 integrin; Lymphocyte trafficking
We assessed the combination of sirolimus, tacrolimus and low-dose methotrexate as acute graft versus host disease prophylaxis after reduced intensity conditioning allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation from matched related (MRD, n=46) and unrelated (URD, n=45) donors. All patients received fludarabine and intravenous busulfan conditioning followed by transplantation of mobilized peripheral blood stem cells. The median time to neutrophil engraftment was 13 days. The cumulative incidence of grade II–IV and III–IV acute GVHD were 16% and 7%, respectively. There was no difference in the incidence of acute GVHD between MRD and URD cohorts. Two year cumulative incidence of extensive chronic GVHD was 40%. Relapse-free survival at two years was 34%: 21% in MRD and 45% in URD. Overall survival at two years was 59%: 47% in MRD and 67% in URD. High levels (>90%) of donor derived hematopoiesis were achieved in 59% of patients early after transplantation. The addition of sirolimus to tacrolimus and low-dose methotrexate as GVHD prophylaxis following reduced intensity conditioning with fludarabine and low dose intravenous busulfan is associated with rapid engraftment, low rates of acute GVHD, and achievement of high levels of donor chimerism.
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) using reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens is a potentially curative treatment for patients (patients) with myelofibrosis (MF), as we (1) and others have reported. Non-relapse mortality (NRM) from Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) and other complications has limited the success of this approach. As part of an ongoing prospective research study at City of Hope, a combination of tacrolimus/sirolimus +/− methotrexate (MTX) for GVHD prophylaxis has become the standard treatment for our allogeneic HCT patients. In this report, we present results for 23 consecutive patients, including extended follow up for 9 patients previously reported who received cyclosporine (CSA)/mycophenolate (MMF) +/− MTX, and the current series of 14 patients who received tacrolimus/sirolimus +/− MTX, and evaluate the impact of the GVHD prophylaxis regimen on the outcomes. Median follow up for alive patients was 29.0 months (9.5–97.0). The estimated 2 yr overall survival (OS) for the CSA/MMF cohort was 55.6 % (confidence interval 36.0, 71.3), and for the tacrolimus/sirolimus cohort it was 92.9% (63.3, 98.8) (p=0.047). The probability of grade III or IV acute GVHD was 60% for the CSA/MMF patients, and 10% for the tacrolimus/sirolimus group (p=0.0102). No significant differences were seen for grade II to IV acute GVHD in the two groups. We conclude that the combination of tacrolimus/sirolimus +/− MTX for GVHD prophylaxis in the setting of RIC HCT for MF appears to reduce the incidence of severe acute GVHD and NRM, and leads to improved OS compared to CSA/MMF +/− MTX.
Myelofibrosis; reduced intensity conditioning; allogeneic transplantation; tacrolimus/sirolimus
Clinical diagnosis of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) mainly depends on clinical manifestation and tissue biopsies, leading to a delayed diagnosis and treatment for aGVHD patients when the early symptom is insignificant. Our objective was to investigate the possibility of prewarning the risk of aGVHD before and after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) by serum protein profiling combined with serum ferritin. The difference in polypeptide expression before and after transplantation had been compared by using CLINPROT technology, and serum ferritin levels have been analyzed simultaneously. Through combining serum ferritin and MS spectral data, the diagnosis sensitivity and specificity of our model for prewarning severe aGVHD (III~IV°aGVHD) before transplant all increased to 90.0%, while after transplant, the sensitivity and specificity are 78.3% and 86.4%. Our joint prewarning model could predict the risk of aGVHD, especially severe aGVHD before and after transplant, which also provides a reliable method to the continuous monitoring of the condition of patients.
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) results from a robust response of donor T cells transferred during hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) to allogeneic peptide–major histocompatibility complex antigens. Previous investigations have not identified T cell subsets that selectively mediate either protective immunity or pathogenic alloreactivity. We demonstrate that the small subset of peripheral T cells that naturally express two T cell receptors (TCRs) on the cell surface contributes disproportionately to aGVHD in patients after allogeneic HSCT. Dual TCR T cells from patients with aGVHD demonstrate an activated phenotype and produce pathogenic cytokines ex vivo. Dual receptor clones from a patient with symptomatic aGVHD responded specifically to mismatched recipient human leukocyte antigens (HLAs), demonstrating pathologic alloreactivity. Human dual TCR T cells are strongly activated and expanded by allogeneic stimulation in vitro, and disproportionately contribute to the repertoire of T cells recognizing both major (HLA) and minor histocompatibility antigens, providing a mechanism for their observed activity in vivo in patients with aGVHD. These results identify dual TCR T cells as a target for focused analysis of a T cell subset mediating GVHD and as a potential prognostic indicator.
Background. The therapeutic efficacy of allogeneic hemopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) largely relies on the graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect. Uncontrolled graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a feared complication of HSCT. Regulatory T cells (Treg) are a subset of CD4+ T-helper cells believed to maintain tolerance after HSCT. It remains unclear whether low peripheral blood Treg have an impact on the risk for acute (aGVHD) and chronic GVHD (cGVHD). Methods. In this paper we enumerated the CD4+CD25highCD127low Treg in the peripheral blood of 84 patients after at least 150 days from HSCT and in 20 healthy age-matched controls. Results. Although similar mean lymphocyte counts were found in patients and controls, CD3+CD4+ T-cell counts were significantly lower in patients. Patients also had significantly lower Treg percentages among lymphocytes as compared to controls. Patients with cGVHD had even higher percentages of Treg if compared to patients without cGVHD. In multivariate analysis, Treg percentages were not an independent factor for cGVHD. Conclusions. This paper did not show a relation between deficient peripheral blood Treg and cGVHD, therefore cGVHD does not seem to occur as a result of peripheral Treg paucity.
The use of cyclosporine and mini-dose methotrexate (MTX) is a common strategy for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis in allogeneic transplants. We investigated whether patients who receive fewer than the planned MTX doses are at increased risk for GVHD.
The study cohort included 103 patients who received allogeneic transplants at the Department of Pediatrics of The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, from January 2010 to December 2011. MTX was administered on days 1, 3, 6, and 11 after transplant at a dose of 5 mg/m2 each. Within the cohort, 76 patients (74%) received all 4 doses of MTX [MTX(4) group], while 27 patients (26%) received 0-3 doses [MTX(0-3) group].
Although there was no difference in neutrophil engraftment between the 2 groups, platelet engraftment was significantly faster in the MTX(4) group (median, 15 days), compared to the MTX(0-3) group (median, 25 days; P=0.034). The incidence of grades II-IV acute GVHD was not different between the MTX(4) and MTX(0-3) groups (P=0.417). In the multivariate study, human leukocyte antigen mismatch was the most significant factor causing grades II-IV acute GVHD (P=0.002), followed by female donor to male recipient transplant (P=0.034). No difference was found between the MTX(4) and MTX (0-3) groups regarding grades III-IV acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, and disease-free survival.
Our results indicate that deviations from the full dose schedule of MTX for GVHD prophylaxis do not lead to increased incidence of either acute or chronic GVHD.
Methotrexate; Graft-versus-host disease; Prophylaxis
Suppressor of cytokine signaling genes (SOCS) are regarded as pivotal negative feedback regulators of cytokine signals, including the interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, and interleukin families, released by T cells. A detailed understanding of the involvement of SOCS genes in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is critical to effectively manage GVHD, yet their expression patterns among recipients remain largely unexplored.
Expression levels of SOCS1 and SOCS3 were determined by real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) in patients with acute GVHD (aGVHD) and chronic GVHD (cGVHD), in a severity-dependent manner, after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). A total of 71 recipients with AML (N=40), ALL (N=12), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS; N=10), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML; N=2), severe aplastic anemia (SAA; N=5), or others (N=2), who received allogeneic HSCT from human leukocyte antigen-identical siblings or unrelated donors between 2009 and 2011, were included in the present study.
Overall, the expression levels of SOCS1 decreased in recipients with grade II to IV aGVHD and cGVHD when compared to normal donors and non-GVHD recipients. Interestingly, the expressions of SOCS1 decreased significantly more in cGVHD than in aGVHD recipients (P=0.0091). In contrast, SOCS3 expressions were similarly reduced in all the recipients.
This is the first study to show that SOCS1 and SOCS3 are differentially expressed in recipients following allogeneic HSCT, suggesting a prognostic correlation between SOCS genes and the development of GVHD. This result provides a new platform to study GVHD immunobiology and potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets for GVHD.
Suppressor of cytokine signaling proteins; Graft vs. host disease; Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction; Allogeneic transplantation
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in children. Although 30–50% of children respond to corticosteroids as initial therapy, the optimal initial or second-line therapies have not yet been determined. Newer approaches with combination therapy, novel agents, monoclonal antibodies and/or cellular therapies show some promise but require prospective well-designed trials to establish their efficacy, and should include children. This chapter reviews the clinical presentation and treatment of aGVHD, as well as practical management guidelines for children with aGVHD.
acute; GVHD; children; management
This retrospective study was carried out to compare results with tacrolimus versus cyclosporine in combination with methotrexate for immunosuppression after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-mobilized blood cells. The cohort included 456 consecutive patients who received first allogeneic T-cell replete HCT with mobilized blood cells from related or unrelated donors after high-intensity conditioning for treatment of hematological malignancies. Study endpoints included grades II–IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), grades III–IV acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, end of treatment for chronic GVHD, overall mortality, disease-free survival, recurrent malignancy and nonrelapse mortality. Adjusted multivariate Cox regression analysis showed no statistically significant differences between tacrolimus and cyclosporine for any of the endpoints tested. Although the size of the cohort is not sufficient to exclude clinically meaningful differences in outcomes, these results support the continued use of cyclosporine at centers that have not adopted tacrolimus as the standard of care after HCT with mobilized blood cells after high-intensity conditioning regimens. A larger registry study should be carried out to provide more definitive information comparing outcomes with the two calcineurin inhibitors.
allogeneic; hematopoietic cell transplantation; graft-versus-host disease; immunosuppressants; cyclosporine; tacrolimus
Graft-versus-host disease, or GVHD, is a major complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. Here, we describe a novel method for preventing GVHD after alloHSCT using high-dose, post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (Cy). Post-transplantation Cy promotes tolerance in alloreactive host and donor T cells, leading to suppression of both graft rejection and GVHD after alloHSCT. High-dose, post-transplantation Cy facilitates partially HLA-mismatched HSCT without severe GVHD and is effective as sole prophylaxis of GVHD after HLA-matched alloHSCT. By reducing the morbidity and mortality of alloHSCT, post-transplantation Cy may expand the applications of this therapy to the treatment of autoimmune diseases and non-malignant hematologic disorders such as sickle cell disease.
Bone marrow transplantation; Graft-versus-host disease; Graft-versus-leukemia effect; Cyclophosphamide; Human leukocyte antigens; T lymphocytes
The HLA class II DRB1 antigen DR15 is an important prognostic marker in immune-mediated marrow failure states. DR15 has also been associated with favorable outcomes (reduced acute graft-versus-host disease [aGVHD] and relapse) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant. To elucidate the impact of DR15 on transplantation outcomes, we conducted a retrospective study of 2891 recipients of first allogeneic stem cell transplant from HLA-matched sibling donors for the treatment of acute leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) between 1990 and 2007. All patients received conventional myeloablative conditioning, T-replete grafts, and cyclosporine plus methotrexate-based GVHD prophylaxis. DNA-based HLA typing allowed categorization of 732 patients (25.3%) as positive and 2159 patients (74.7%) as negative for DRB1*15:01 or *15:02 (DR15). There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the HLA DR15 positive and negative groups. In univariate analysis, HLA-DR15 status had no impact on neutrophil engraftment, aGVHD, chronic GVHD (cGVHD), treatment-related mortality, relapse, disease-free survival, or overall survival (OS). In multivariate analysis, DR15 status showed no significant difference in aGVHD, cGVHD, OS, or relapse. In conclusion, DR15 status had no impact on major HLA-matched sibling donor hematopoietic cell transplant outcomes in this large and homogenous cohort of patients with leukemia and MDS.
DR15; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT); GVHD; Survival; graft-versus-lymphoma
Previous studies have shown that the addition of sirolimus to tacrolimus/mini-methotrexate (tac/sir/mtx) as GVHD prophylaxis produces low rates of acute GVHD after reduced intensity (RIC) allogeneic SCT. To assess whether the post transplant methotrexate can be safely eliminated altogether, we conducted a prospective clinical trial testing the combination of tacrolimus and silrolimus (tac/sir) alone as GVHD prophylaxis after RIC SCT from matched related donors. We compare the results with patients who received tac/sir/mtx as GVHD prophylaxis after RIC SCT from matched related donors in a previous prospective study. Patients on both trials received fludarabine 30 mg/m2/d IV and intravenous busulfan 0.8 mg/kg/d IV from day −5 through day −2 as conditioning, followed by transplantation of unmanipulated filgrastim mobilized peripheral blood stem cells. Both cohorts received tacrolimus and sirolimus orally starting on day-3, with doses adjusted to achieve trough serum levels of 5–10 ng/ml and 3–12 ng/ml, respectively. The tac/sir/mtx cohort received additional mini-methotrexate (5 mg/m2 IV) on day +1,3,6. Filgrastim 5 mcg/kg SC QD was started on day +1 until neutrophil engraftment. Twenty nine patients were transplanted on tac/sir, and 46 were transplanted on tac/sir/mtx. The two groups were balanced in age, gender, and disease characteristics. Engraftment was brisk and donor chimerism after transplant was robust in both groups. The cumulative incidence of grade II–IV acute GVHD were similar, 17% vs 11% for the tac/sir and tac/sir/mtx cohorts, respectively (p=0.46). There was also no difference in cumulative incidence of extensive chronic GVHD, treatment related mortality, disease relapse, or survival. The GVHD prophylaxis combination of tacrolimus and sirolimus is well tolerated, and is associated with a low incidence of acute GVHD in matched related donor RIC transplantation. The omission of mini-methotrexate from the tacrolimus and sirolimus GVHD prophylaxis combination does not appear to impact adversely on the development of acute GVHD.
GVHD; Sirolimus; Rapamycin; Tacrolimus; Methotrexate; Transplantation
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) poses a major limitation for broader therapeutic application of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Early diagnosis of aGVHD remains difficult and is based on clinical symptoms and histopathological evaluation of tissue biopsies. Thus, current aGVHD diagnosis is limited to patients with established disease manifestation. Therefore, for improved disease prevention it is important to develop predictive assays to identify patients at risk of developing aGVHD. Here we address whether insights into the timing of the aGVHD initiation and effector phases could allow for the detection of migrating alloreactive T cells before clinical aGVHD onset to permit for efficient therapeutic intervention.
Murine major histocompatibility complex (MHC) mismatched and minor histocompatibility antigen (miHAg) mismatched allo-HCT models were employed to assess the spatiotemporal distribution of donor T cells with flow cytometry and in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI). Daily flow cytometry analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells allowed us to identify migrating alloreactive T cells based on homing receptor expression profiles.
We identified a time period of 2 weeks of massive alloreactive donor T cell migration in the blood after miHAg mismatch allo-HCT before clinical aGVHD symptoms appeared. Alloreactive T cells upregulated α4β7 integrin and P-selectin ligand during this migration phase. Consequently, targeted preemptive treatment with rapamycin, starting at the earliest detection time of alloreactive donor T cells in the peripheral blood, prevented lethal aGVHD.
Based on this data we propose a critical time frame prior to the onset of aGVHD symptoms to identify alloreactive T cells in the peripheral blood for timely and effective therapeutic intervention.
Allogeneic stem cell transplantation; Graft-versus-host disease; Minor histocompatibility antigen mismatch transplantation
The purposes of this study were to assess the efficacy of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for acute leukemia (AL) and analyze the factors affecting the prognosis of these patients.
The clinical and follow-up data of 93 AL patients (median age, 30 years) undergoing allogeneic HSCT in Xiangya Hospital over the past 12 years were collected, and the potential factors affecting the efficacy and prognosis of allogeneic HSCT patients were determined.
Hematopoietic reconstitution was achieved in 90 patients. At the last follow-up, the incidences of severe acute graft versus host disease (aGvHD) and extensive chronic GvHD (cGvHD) were 14.0% and 20.0%, the 3-year cumulative incidence of transplantation related mortality (TRM) and relapse rate were 16.8%±6.1% and 21.3%±6.7%, and the estimated 3-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) of the patients were 64.6%±5.4% and 56.5%±5.5%, respectively. Univariate analysis indicated that age older than 40 years, HLA mismatch, and severe lung infection within the first 100 days after transplantation were risk factors for severe aGvHD, age older than 40 years, HLA mismatch, severe lung infection within the first 100 days after transplantation, and severe aGvHD were risk factors for TRM, high-risk AL and lack of cGvHD were risk factors for relapse (all P<0.05). Survival estimation showed that HLA mismatch, severe lung infection occurring within the first 100 days post-transplantation, high-risk AL severe aGvHD and lack of cGvHD were risk factors associated with poor prognosis (all P<0.05). Further multivariate analyses revealed that severe lung infection within the first 100 days post-transplantation, severe aGvHD and lack of cGvHD were independent risk factors for unfavorable outcomes (all P<0.05).
Allogeneic HSCT can improve the DFS of AL patients, and severe lung infection within the first 100 days post-transplantation, severe aGvHD and lack of cGvHD are independent risk factors affecting the prognosis.
Leukemia; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT); graft-versus-leukemia effect
HLA-mismatched unrelated donor (MMUD) hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) is associated with increased graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and impaired survival. In reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC), neither ex vivo nor in vivo T-cell depletion (eg, antithymocyte globulin) convincingly improved outcomes. The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib has immunomodulatory properties potentially beneficial for control of GVHD in T-cell-replete HLA-mismatched transplantation.
Patients and Methods
We conducted a prospective phase I/II trial of a GVHD prophylaxis regimen of short-course bortezomib, administered once per day on days +1, +4, and +7 after peripheral blood stem-cell infusion plus standard tacrolimus and methotrexate in patients with hematologic malignancies undergoing MMUD RIC HSCT. We report outcomes for 45 study patients: 40 (89%) 1-locus and five (11%) 2-loci mismatches (HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, or -DQB1), with a median of 36.5 months (range, 17.4 to 59.6 months) follow-up.
The 180-day cumulative incidence of grade 2 to 4 acute GVHD was 22% (95% CI, 11% to 35%). One-year cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was 29% (95% CI, 16% to 43%). Two-year cumulative incidences of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) and relapse were 11% (95% CI, 4% to 22%) and 38% (95% CI, 24% to 52%), respectively. Two-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 51% (95% CI, 36% to 64%) and 64% (95% CI, 49% to 76%), respectively. Bortezomib-treated HLA-mismatched patients experienced rates of NRM, acute and chronic GVHD, and survival similar to those of contemporaneous HLA-matched RIC HSCT at our institution. Immune recovery, including CD8+ T-cell and natural killer cell reconstitution, was enhanced with bortezomib.
A novel short-course, bortezomib-based GVHD regimen can abrogate the survival impairment of MMUD RIC HSCT, can enhance early immune reconstitution, and appears to be suitable for prospective randomized evaluation.
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is an effective treatment for severe aplastic anemia (SAA). However, graft failure and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) are major causes of the early morbidity in Allo-HSCT.
To reduce graft failure and GVHD, we treated fifteen patients with SAA using high- dose of HSCT with both G-CSF mobilized PB and BMSCs from HLA-identical siblings to treat patients with SAA.
All patients had successful bone marrow engraftment. Only one patient had late rejection. Median time to ANC greater than 0.5 × 109/L and platelet counts greater than 20 × 109/L was 12 and 16.5 days, respectively. No acute GVHD was observed. The incidence of chronic GVHD was 6.67%. The total three-year probability of disease-free survival was 79.8%.
HSCT with both G-CSF mobilized PB and BMSCs is a promising approach for heavily transfused and/or allo-immunized patients with SAA.
Allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been widely used for the treatment of haematological malignant and non-malignant haematologic diseases. However, acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a kind of severe complication of HSCT limiting its application. Cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), IL-6 play an extremely important role in the formation and development of aGVHD. Besides, the oxidation phenomena and/or the formation of free radicals have been suggested to be causally related to various haematological disorders including aGVHD. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydroxyl radicals, play an important role in the formation and development of aGVHD. Hydrogen has been reported to have the ability to inhibit levels of cytokines such as TNF, IL-6 in vivo. Our recent studies provided evidence that hydrogen inhalation can selectively reduce cytotoxic oxygen radicals and exert antioxidant effects. Therefore, we suggested that hydrogen may have therapeutic effects on aGVHD. This hypothesis entails many experimentally testable predictions. We propose the experimental study by detecting complete blood counts (CBC) and Clinic signs of aGVHD mice. We also propose to detect the levels of TNF-α, IL-2, IL-1β, IL-6 which play important roles in the pathogenesis of aGVHD. To discover potential mechanisms of the therapeutic effects of hydrogen on the aGVHD model, we will examine gene-expression profiles. This study will open a new therapeutic avenue combining the field of therapeutic medical gases and aGVHD. This theory is original and probably of importance, because therapeutic medical gases have never been used for aGVHD previously.
Hydrogen; graft-versus-host disease; antioxidant; cytokine
Morbidity from acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) limits the success of allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) to treat malignancy. Interleukin-7 (IL-7), the principal homeostatic cytokine for T cells, is required for acute GVHD in murine models. In contrast to inflammatory cytokines (eg, IL-2, tumor necrosis factor α), IL-7 has not been studied extensively in the clinical transplant setting relative to its relationship with acute GVHD.
Patients and Methods
We evaluated the association of serum IL-7 levels with acute GVHD in 31 patients who were uniformly treated in a prospective clinical trial with reduced-intensity allogeneic HSCT from human leukocyte antigen–identical siblings. GVHD prophylaxis consisted of cyclosporine and methotrexate. Serum IL-7 levels and lymphocyte populations were determined at enrollment, the day of transplantation before the allograft infusion, and at specified intervals through 12 months post-transplantation.
As expected, IL-7 levels were inversely correlated with T-cell populations (P < .00001). Acute GVHD was significantly associated with higher IL-7 levels at day +7 (P = .01) and day +14 (P = .00003) post-transplantation as well as with the allograft CD34+ cell dose (P = .01). IL-7 levels at day +14 also correlated with the severity of acute GVHD (P < .0001). In logistic regression models, these factors were highly sensitive (up to 86%) and specific (100%) for classifying whether patients developed acute GVHD.
These data support preclinical observations that IL-7 plays a critical role in inducing acute GVHD and provide a rational basis for novel approaches to prevent and treat acute GVHD through modulation of the IL-7 pathway.
Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a severe immunological complication that occurs after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Although oral cGVHD occurs in >25 % of cGVHD patients and leads to decreased quality of life, its etiology is poorly understood. The present retrospective cross-sectional analysis of oral cGVHD patients sought to (1) test the feasibility of liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to identify protein biomarkers of oral cGVHD and (2) to gain a clearer understanding of salivary proteins impacted by oral cGVHD.
Using unstimulated whole saliva, we compared pooled saliva from five patients with a diagnosis of moderate or severe oral cGVHD, with a gender-and age- matched pool of five cGVHD patients with no oral mucosal findings. LC-MS/MS was used to identify salivary proteins, followed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Selected mass spectrometric findings, including lactotransferrin, lactoperoxidase, and albumin, were confirmed by targeted label-free quantification.
LC-MS/MS led to confident identification of 180 proteins. Of these proteins, 102 changed in abundance at least 2 fold, including 12 proteins identified only in the No oral cGVHD group. Downregulation of ~0.4 fold was confirmed for both lactotransferrin and lactoperoxidase in Oral cGVHD saliva using targeted label-free quantification. IPA analysis implicated pathways involved in cellular metabolism and immunoregulation.
Reduction of salivary lactoperoxidase, lactotransferrin, and several cysteine proteinase inhibitor family proteins suggests impaired oral antimicrobial host immunity in cGVHD patients. This shotgun proteomic analysis of oral cGVHD saliva using targeted label-free quantification of select proteins supports the use of mass spectrometry for future validation in a large patient population as noninvasive tests for screening, early detection, and monitoring of cGVHD.
Saliva; oral; GVHD; biomarker; proteomics; label-free quantitation; transplant; graft versus host