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
Pneumothorax is very rare after early phase of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and usually accompanied with pulmonary chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), such as bronchiolitis obliterans and bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia. The present study describes the case of a seventeen-year-old male diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia who underwent allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Pneumothorax occurred at day 43 after BMT. Pneumothorax occurred in early phase of HSCT is extremely rare. The early onset of acute GVHD and the entity of cytomegalovirus might worsen the pulmonary tissue damages for the onset of pneumothorax, indicating that we should be aware of the possibility to occur pneumothorax even in the early period after allogeneic HSCT.
pneumothorax; air-leak syndrome; allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
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.
Infection with and reactivation of human cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and adenovirus (ADV) are frequent and severe complications in immunocompromised recipients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or solid organ transplantation (SOT). These serious adverse events are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs) are often used to treat both viral infections and leukemia relapses after transplantation but are associated with potentially life-threatening graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Adoptive immunotherapy with virus-specific cytotoxic effector T cells (CTLs) derived from seropositive donors can rapidly reconstitute antiviral immunity after HSCT and organ transplantation. Therefore, it can effectively prevent the clinical manifestation of these viruses with no significant acute toxicity or increased risk of GvHD. In conditions, where patients receiving an allogeneic cord blood (CB) transplant or a transplant from a virus-seronegative donor and since donor blood is generally not available for solid organ recipients, allogeneic third party T-cell donors would offer an alternative option. Recent studies showed that during granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) mobilization, the functional activity of antiviral memory T cells is impaired for a long period. This finding suggests that even stem cell donors may not be the best source of T cells. Under these circumstances, partially human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched virus-specific CTLs from healthy seropositive individuals may be a promising option. Therefore, frequency assessments of virus-specific memory T cells in HLA-typed healthy donors as well as in HSCT/SOT donors using a high throughput T-cell assay were performed over a period of 4 years at Hannover Medical School. This chapter will address the relevance and potential of a third-party T-cell donor registry and will discuss its clinical implication for adoptive T-cell immunotherapy.
adoptive immunotherapy; T-cell therapy; antiviral T lymphocytes; cytomegalovirus; Epstein–Barr virus; adenovirus
Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Post-transplant immunosuppressive drugs incompletely control GvHD and increase susceptibility to opportunistic infections. In this study we used flagellin, a TLR5 agonist protein (~50 kDa) extracted from bacterial flagella, as a novel experimental treatment strategy to reduce both acute and chronic GvHD in allogeneic HSCT recipient. Based upon the radio-protective effects of flagellin, we hypothesized that flagellin could ameliorate GvHD in lethally irradiated murine models of allogeneic HSCT. Two doses of highly purified flagellin (administered 3 hrs. before irradiation and 24 hrs. after HSCT) reduced GvHD and led to better survival in both H-2b → CB6F1 and H-2k → B6 allogeneic HSCT models while preserving over 99% donor T cells chimerism. Flagellin treatment preserved long-term post-transplant immune reconstitution characterized by more donor thymic-derived CD4+CD25+foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) and significantly enhanced anti-viral immunity following murine cytomegalovirus (mCMV) infection model. The proliferation index and activation status of donor spleen-derived T cells, and serum concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines in flagellin-treated recipients were reduced significantly within 4 days post-transplant compared with the PBS-treated control recipients. Allogeneic transplantation of radiation chimeras previously engrafted with TLR5 knockout hematopoietic cells showed that interactions between flagellin and TLR5 expressed on both donor hematopoietic and host non-hematopoietic cells were required to reduce GvHD. Thus, the peri-transplant administration of flagellin is a novel therapeutic approach control GvHD while preserving post-transplant donor immunity.
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is still a major complication following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT). Recent data indicates that transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-β1) may play a role in development of GVH reaction.
Forty patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) were included. Quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was performed to assess the expression of mRNA TGF-β1. TGF-β1 serum concentration was assessed using a commercial ELISA.
In all patients, a prompt decrease in TGF-β1 mRNA expression and its serum concentration was demonstrated after conditioning. In patients with acute GVHD, TGF-β1 mRNA expression and its serum concentration remained low until day +30 after transplant as compared to the day of transplant (p<0.03 and p<0.006, respectively). TGF-β1 mRNA expression and its serum concentration significantly increased on day +100 in patients who developed chronic GVHD as compared to the day of transplant (p<0.0009 and p<0.02, respectively).
TGF-β1 seems to be an additional regulator of donor engraftment; its low levels probably being one of the factors contributing to the development of acute GVHD. On the other hand, chronic GVHD symptoms seem to correlate with high TGF-β1 mRNA expression and its serum concentration in patients who underwent bone marrow transplantation for myeloid leukemias. Nevertheless, further studies with greater numbers of patients are needed to establish the role of TGF-β1 in graft-versus-host disease pathophysiology.
transforming-growth-factor beta1; myeloid leukemia; allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; graft-versus-host disease
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) is the most effective approach for many patients with hematologic malignancies. Unfortunately, relapse remains the most common cause of death after allogeneic HSCT, and the prognosis of relapsed disease is poor for most patients. Induction of a graft-versus-leukemia (GVL), or graft-versus-tumor, effect through the use of donor leukocyte infusion (DLI), or donor lymphocyte infusion, has been remarkably successful for relapsed chronic myelogenous leukemia. Unfortunately, response to DLI in other hematologic malignancies is much less common and depends on many factors including histology, pace and extent of relapse, and time from HSCT to relapse. Furthermore, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is common after DLI and often limits successful immunotherapy. Ultimately, manipulations to minimize GVHD while preserving or enhancing GVL are necessary to improve outcomes for relapse after allogeneic HSCT.
allogeneic; donor leukocyte infusion; graft-versus-leukemia effect; hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation; relapse
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
Although allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) has become a valuable strategy for some intractable diseases, a number of problems remain to be resolved. We have developed a new HSCT method, HSCT + thymus transplantation (TT) from the same donor, which induces elevated T cell function with mild graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in comparison to conventional HSCT alone and HSCT + donor lymphocyte infusion (HSCT + DLI). This new method is effective in the treatment of several intractable diseases and conditions, such as autoimmune diseases in aging, advanced malignant tumors, exposure to supralethal irradiation, multiple organ transplantation from different donors, and type 2 diabetes mellitus, for which conventional methods are ineffective. Our findings suggest that allo-HSCT + TT is preferable to conventional allo-HSCT alone or allo-HSCT + DLI. This method may become a valuable next-generation HSCT technique.
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is used effectively to treat a number of hematological malignancies. Its beneficial effects rely on donor-derived T cell–targeted leukemic cells, the so-called graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect. Induction of GVL is usually associated with concomitant development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a major complication of allogeneic HSCT. The T cells that mediate GVL and GVHD are activated by alloantigen presented on host antigen-presenting cells of hematopoietic origin, and it is not well understood how alloantigen expression on non-hematopoietic cells affects GVL activity. Here we show, in mouse models of MHC-matched, minor histocompatibility antigen–mismatched bone marrow transplantation, that alloantigen expression on host epithelium drives donor T cells into apoptosis and dysfunction during GVHD, resulting in a loss of GVL activity. During GVHD, programmed death–1 (PD-1) and PD ligand–1 (PD-L1), molecules implicated in inducing T cell exhaustion, were upregulated on activated T cells and the target tissue, respectively, suggesting that the T cell defects driven by host epithelial alloantigen expression might be mediated by the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway. Consistent with this, blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 interactions partially restored T cell effector functions and improved GVL. These results elucidate a previously unrecognized significance of alloantigen expression on non-hematopoietic cells in GVL and suggest that separation of GVL from GVHD for more effective HSCT may be possible in human patients.
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.
The survival rate for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has improved significantly. However, overall prognosis for the 20 to 25% of patients who relapse is poor, and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) offers the best chance for cure. In this study, we identified significant prognostic variables by analyzing the outcomes of allogeneic HSCT in ALL patients in second complete remission (CR).
Fifty-three ALL patients (42 men, 79%) who received HSCT in second CR from August 1991 to February 2009 were included (26 sibling donor HSCTs, 49%; 42 bone marrow transplantations, 79%). Study endpoints included cumulative incidence of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), relapse, 1-year transplant-related mortality (TRM), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS).
Cumulative incidences of acute GVHD (grade 2 or above) and chronic GVHD were 45.3% and 28.5%, respectively. The estimated 5-year DFS and OS for the cohort was 45.2±6.8% and 48.3±7%, respectively. Only donor type, i.e., sibling versus unrelated, showed significant correlation with DFS in multivariate analysis (P=0.010). The rates of relapse and 1 year TRM were 28.9±6.4% and 26.4±6.1%, respectively, and unrelated donor HSCT (P=0.002) and HLA mismatch (P=0.022) were significantly correlated with increased TRM in univariate analysis.
In this single institution study spanning more than 17 years, sibling donor HSCT was the only factor predicting a favorable result in multivariate analysis, possibly due to increased TRM resulting from unrelated donor HSCT.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Child; Second complete remission; Transplantation
The limiting factor for successful hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), a post-transplant disorder that results from immune-mediated attack of recipient tissue by donor T cells contained in the transplant. Mouse models of GvHD have provided important insights into the pathophysiology of this disease, which have helped to improve the success rate of HSCT in humans. The kinetics with which GvHD develops distinguishes acute from chronic GvHD, and it is clear from studies of mouse models of GvHD (and studies of human HSCT) that the pathophysiology of these two forms is also distinct. Mouse models also further the basic understanding of the immunological responses involved in GvHD pathology, such as antigen recognition and presentation, the involvement of the thymus and immune reconstitution after transplantation. In this Perspective, we provide an overview of currently available mouse models of acute and chronic GvHD, highlighting their benefits and limitations, and discuss research and clinical opportunities for the future.
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
Knowledge of the roles of tacrolimus and minidose methotrexate (MTX) in the prevention of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) in pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is limited. We retrospectively evaluated the engraftment status, incidence of aGVHD and chronic GVHD (cGVHD), and toxicities of tacrolimus and minidose MTX in aGVHD prophylaxis in children undergoing allogeneic HSCT.
Seventeen children, who underwent allogeneic HSCT and received tacrolimus and minidose MTX as GVHD prophylaxis from March 2003 to February 2011, were reviewed retrospectively. All the patients received tacrolimus since the day before transplantation at a dose of 0.03 mg/kg/day and MTX at a dose of 5 mg/m2 on days 1, 3, 6, and 11.
Of the 17 patients, 9 received human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched related donor transplants, and 8 received HLA-matched, or partially mismatched unrelated donor transplants. The median time for follow-up was 55 months. The incidence of aGVHD in the related and unrelated donor groups was 22.2% and 42.9%, respectively. cGVHD was not observed. To maintain therapeutic blood levels of tacrolimus, the younger group (<8 years of age) required an increased mean dose compared to the older group (≥8 years) (P=0.0075). The adverse events commonly associated with tacrolimus included hypomagnesemia (88%), nephrotoxicity (23%), and hyperglycemia (23%).
Tacrolimus and minidose MTX were well tolerated and effective in GVHD prophylaxis in pediatric patients undergoing allogeneic HSCT. Children <8 years of age undergoing HSCT required increased doses of tacrolimus to achieve therapeutic levels.
Tacrolimus; Methotrexate; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Acute graft-versus-host disease; Children
Thrombotic events are common and potentially fatal complications in patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Early diagnosis is crucial but remains controversial. In this study, we investigated the early alterations of hemostatic parameters in allogeneic HSCT recipients and determined their potential diagnostic values in transplantation-related thrombotic complications and other post-HSCT events. Results from 107 patients with allogeneic HSCT showed higher levels of plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), fibrinogen, and tissue-plasminogen activator (t-PA) and a lower level of plasma protein C after transplantation. No change was found for prothrombin time, antithrombin III, d-dimer, and activated partial thromboplastin time following HSCT. Transplantation-related complications (TRCs) in HSCT patients were defined as thrombotic (n = 8), acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD, n = 45), and infectious (n = 38). All patients with TRCs, especially the patients with thrombotic complications, presented significant increases in the mean and maximum levels of PAI-1 during the observation period. Similarly, a high maximum t-PA level was found in the thrombotic group. In contrast, apparent lower levels of mean and minimum protein C were observed in the TRC patients, especially in the aGVHD group. Therefore, the hemostatic imbalance in the early phase of HSCT, reflecting prothrombotic state and endothelial injury due to the conditioning therapy or TRCs, might be useful in the differential diagnosis of the thrombotic complication from other TRCs.
Thrombotic complication; Transplantation-related complications (TRCs); Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1); Protein C (PC); Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT)
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
Recent studies suggest that donor B cells as well as T cells contribute to immune pathology in patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). B-cell activating factor (BAFF) promotes survival and differentiation of activated B cells. Thus, we tested whether BAFF correlated with chronic GVHD disease activity and time of onset after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
Patients who had undergone allogeneic HSCT between 1994 and 2005 for hematologic malignancies were studied. ELISA was used to measure plasma BAFF levels and flow cytometry was used to assess BAFF receptor expression on B cells in patients with or without chronic GVHD.
In 104 patients, BAFF levels were significantly higher in patients with active chronic GVHD compared with those without disease (P = 0.02 and 0.0004, respectively).Treatment with high-dose prednisone (≥30 mg/d) was associated with reduced BAFF levels in patients with active chronic GVHD (P = 0.0005). Serial studies in 24 patients showed that BAFF levels were high in the first 3 months after HSCT but subsequently decreased in13 patients who never developed chronic GVHD. In contrast, BAFF levels remained elevated in 11 patients who developed chronic GVHD. Six-month BAFF levels ≥10 ng/mL were strongly associated with subsequent development of chronic GVHD (P < 0.0001). Following transplant, plasma BAFF levels correlated inversely with BAFF receptor expression on B cells (P = 0.01), suggesting that soluble BAFF affected B cells through this receptor.
These results suggest that elevated BAFF levels contribute to B-cell activation in patients with active chronic GVHD.
Clostridium difficile is a major early infectious complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Infections are related to antimicrobial use, underlying host variables, and acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). C. difficile infection is associated with gastrointestinal GVHD after allogeneic HSCT.
Background. Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of infectious diarrhea among hospitalized patients and is a major concern for patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Risk factors and the natural history of C. difficile infection (CDI) are poorly understood in this population.
Methods. We performed a retrospective nested case-control study to describe the epidemiology, timing, and risk factors for CDI among adult patients who received HSCTs at our center from January 2003 through December 2008.
Results. The overall 1-year incidence of CDI was 9.2% among HSCTs performed (n = 999). The median time to diagnosis of CDI was short among both autologous and allogeneic HSCT recipients (6.5 days and 33 days, respectively). Risk factors for CDI in allogeneic HSCT recipients included receipt of chemotherapy prior to conditioning for HSCT, broad-spectrum antimicrobial use, and acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD; adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 4.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.54–12.84; P = .006). There was a strong relationship between early CDI and subsequent development of gastrointestinal tract GVHD in the year following allogeneic HSCT (P < .001). Gastrointestinal GVHD was also strongly associated with an increased risk for recurrent CDI (AOR, 4.23 [95% CI, 1.20–14.86]; P = .02).
Conclusions. These results highlight the high incidence and early timing of CDI after HSCT. Early timing, coupled with the noted risk of pretransplant chemotherapy, suggests that the natural history of disease in some patients may involve colonization prior to HSCT. A potentially important interplay between CDI and GVHD involving the gastrointestinal tract was observed.
Routine methods to maximize the graft-versus-leukemia (GvL) activity of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) without the detrimental effects of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) are lacking. Depletion or inhibition of alloreactive T cells is partially effective in preventing GvHD, but usually leads to decreased GvL activity. The current model for the pathophysiology of acute GvHD describes a series of immune pathways that lead to activation of donor T cells and inflammatory cytokines responsible for tissue damage in acute GvHD. This model does not account for how allotransplant can lead to GvL effects without GvHD, or how the initial activation of donor immune cells may lead to counter-regulatory effects that limit GvHD. In this review, we will summarize new findings that support a more complex model for the initiation of GvHD and GvL activities in allogeneic HSCT, and discuss the potential of novel strategies to enhance GvL activity of the transplant.
allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; cytokine; dendritic cell; donor lymphocyte infusion; graft-versus-host disease; graft-versus-leukemia; immunosuppressant; natural killer cell
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been widely used for the treatment of hematologic malignant and non-malignant hematologic diseases and other diseases. However, acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a life-threatening complication of allogeneic transplantation. Acute GVHD may occur in 30% of transplant recipients, which is a syndrome of erythematous skin eruption, cholestatic liver disease and intestinal dysfunction, resulting from the activation of donor T lymphocytes by host antigen-presenting cells, resulting in an immune-mediated inflammatory response. Recent scientific advances in the understanding of the pathogenesis involved in the development of acute GVHD and clinical investigation have provided more effective therapeutic strategies for acute GVHD. This review focuses on major scientific and clinical advances in the treatment of acute GVHD.
Acute graft-versus-host disease; stem cell transplantation; hydrogen; treatment
Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) occurs after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant and is a reaction of donor immune cells against host tissues. Activated donor T cells damage host epithelial cells after an inflammatory cascade that begins with the preparative regimen. About 35%–50% of hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients will develop acute GVHD. The exact risk is dependent on the stem cell source, age of the patient, conditioning, and GVHD prophylaxis used. Given the number of transplants performed, we can expect about 5500 patients/year to develop acute GVHD. Patients can have involvement of three organs: skin (rash/dermatitis), liver (hepatitis/jaundice), and gastrointestinal tract (abdominal pain/diarrhea). One or more organs may be involved. GVHD is a clinical diagnosis that may be supported with appropriate biopsies. The reason to pursue a tissue biopsy is to help differentiate from other diagnoses which may mimic GVHD, such as viral infection (hepatitis, colitis) or drug reaction (causing skin rash). Acute GVHD is staged and graded (grade 0-IV) by the number and extent of organ involvement. Patients with grade III/IV acute GVHD tend to have a poor outcome. Generally the patient is treated by optimizing their immunosuppression and adding methylprednisolone. About 50% of patients will have a solid response to methylprednisolone. If patients progress after 3 days or are not improved after 7 days, they will get salvage (second-line) immunosuppressive therapy for which there is currently no standard-of-care. Well-organized clinical trials are imperative to better define second-line therapies for this disease. Additional management issues are attention to wound infections in skin GVHD and fluid/nutrition management in gastrointestinal GVHD. About 50% of patients with acute GVHD will eventually have manifestations of chronic GVHD.
Several studies in HLA-matched sibling hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) have reported an association between mismatches in minor histocompatibility antigens (mHAg) and outcomes. We assessed whether single and multiple minor mHAg mismatches are associated with outcomes in 730 unrelated donor, HLA-A, B, C, DRB1, and DQB1 allele-matched hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) facilitated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) between 1996 and 2003. Patients had acute and chronic leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome, received myeloablative conditioning regimens and calcineurin inhibitor-based graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) prophylaxis, and most received bone marrow (85%). Donor and recipient DNA samples were genotyped for mHAg including: HA-1, HA-2, HA-3, HA-8, HB-1, CD31125/563. Primary outcomes included grades III–IV acute GvHD and survival; secondary outcomes included chronic GvHD, engraftment, and relapse. Single disparities at HA-1, HA-2, HA-3, HA-8, and HB-1 were not significantly associated with any of the outcomes analyzed. In HLA-A2 positive individuals, single CD31563 or multiple mHAg mismatches in the HvG vector were associated with lower risk of grades III–IV acute GVHD. Based on these data, we conclude that mHAg incompatibility at HA-1, HA-2, HA-3, HA-8, HB-1 and CD31 has no detectable effect on the outcome of HLA matched unrelated donor HSCT.
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
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.