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2.  Ofatumumab-based chemoimmunotherapy is effective and well tolerated in patients with previously untreated CLL 
Cancer  2013;119(21):3788-3796.
Purpose
Although rituximab-based chemoimmunotherapy (CIT) has substantially improved clinical outcomes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), only 40-50% of patients achieve a complete remission (CR). There remains interest in identifying new approaches to improve the effectiveness of CIT. Ofatumumab is a fully human anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody with greater apparent single agent activity than rituximab in CLL patients.
Methods
Previously untreated CLL patients in need of therapy received 6 cycles of CIT induction with pentostatin, cyclophosphamide and ofatumumab (PCO) followed by response assessment.
Results
Of the 48 patients enrolled, 77% completed PCO induction. Adverse events during induction included grade 3+ hematologic toxicity (27%) and grade 3+ non-hematologic toxicity (23%). Median CD4 count post induction and 6 months later were 186 ×106/L and 272 ×106/L. The overall response rate was 96% (46/48) and the CR rate was 46% (22/48). Among the 38 patients who underwent minimal residual disease (MRD) evaluation, 7 (18%) were MRD negative. After median follow-up of 24 months, 10 (21%) patients have progressed and 8 (17%) have required retreatment. The efficacy and toxicity of ofatumumab-based CIT compare favorably to our historical trials of rituximab-based CIT using an identical chemotherapy backbone (n=64). Time to retreatment also appeared longer for ofatumumab-based CIT (free of retreatment at 24 months: 86% [95%CI: 75-99] vs 68% [95% CI: 56-81]).
Conclusion
Ofatumumab-based CIT is well tolerated in patients with previously untreated CLL. The efficacy of ofatumumab-based CIT compares favorably to historical trials of rituximab-based CIT suggesting randomized trials comparing ofatumumab-based CIT and rituximab-based CIT should be considered.
doi:10.1002/cncr.28292
PMCID: PMC3894149  PMID: 23922059
chronic lymphocytic leukemia(CLL; small lymphocytic lymphoma(SLL); treatment; ofatumumab; chemoimmunotherapy
3.  Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (Richter Syndrome) in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia: A Cohort Study of Newly Diagnosed Patients 
British journal of haematology  2013;162(6):774-782.
Summary
Nearly all information about patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) who develop diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (Richter syndrome [RS]) is derived from retrospective case series or patients treated on clinical trials. We used the Mayo Clinic CLL Database to identify patients with newly diagnosed CLL (1/2000–7/2011). Individuals who developed biopsy-proven RS during follow-up were identified. After median follow-up of 4 years, 37/1641 (2.3%) CLL patients developed RS. The rate of RS was approximately 0.5%/year. Risk of RS was associated with advanced Rai stage at diagnosis (p<0.001), high-risk FISH (p<0.0001), unmutated IGHV (p=0.003), and expression of ZAP-70 (p=0.02) and CD38 (p=0.001). The rate of RS doubled in patients treated for CLL (1%/year). Stereotyped B-cell receptors (odds-ratio=4.2; p=0.01) but not VH4–39 was associated with increased risk of RS. Treatment with combination of purine analogues and alkylating agents increased the risk of RS 3-fold (odds-ratio= 3.26, p=0.0003). Median survival after RS diagnosis was 2.1 years. The RS prognosis score stratified patients into three risk groups with median survivals of 0.5 years, 2.1 years and not reached. Both underlying characteristics of the CLL clone and subsequent CLL therapy influence the risk of RS. Survival after RS remains poor and new therapies are needed.
doi:10.1111/bjh.12458
PMCID: PMC4098845  PMID: 23841899
transformation; aggressive lymphoma; stem cell transplantation; purine analogues; RS survival score
4.  Mapping of the IRF8 gene identifies a 3’ UTR variant associated with risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia but not other common non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes 
Background
Our genome-wide association study (GWAS) of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) identified 4 highly-correlated intronic variants within the IRF8 gene that were associated with CLL. These results were further supported by a recent meta-analysis of our GWAS with two other GWAS of CLL, supporting the IRF8 gene as a strong candidate for CLL risk.
Methods
To refine the genetic association of CLL risk, we performed Sanger sequencing of IRF8 in 94 CLL cases and 96 controls. We then performed fine-mapping by genotyping 39 variants (of which 10 were identified from sequencing) in 745 CLL cases and 1521 controls. We also assessed these associations with risk of other non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes.
Results
The strongest association with CLL risk was observed with a common SNP located within the 3’ UTR of IRF8 (rs1044873, log additive odds ratio = 0.7, P=1.81×10−6). This SNP was not associated with the other NHL subtypes (all P>0.05).
Conclusions
We provide evidence that rs1044873 in the IRF8 gene accounts for the initial GWAS signal for CLL risk. This association appears to be unique to CLL with little support for association with other common NHL subtypes. Future work is needed to assess functional role of IRF8 in CLL etiology.
Impact
These data provide support that a functional variant within the 3’ UTR of IRF8 may be driving the GWAS signal seen on 16q24.1 for CLL risk.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-1217
PMCID: PMC3596428  PMID: 23307532
CLL; NHL; SNPs; IRF8; risk locus
5.  Genome-wide Association Study Identifies Multiple Risk Loci for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia 
Berndt, Sonja I. | Skibola, Christine F. | Joseph, Vijai | Camp, Nicola J. | Nieters, Alexandra | Wang, Zhaoming | Cozen, Wendy | Monnereau, Alain | Wang, Sophia S. | Kelly, Rachel S. | Lan, Qing | Teras, Lauren R. | Chatterjee, Nilanjan | Chung, Charles C. | Yeager, Meredith | Brooks-Wilson, Angela R. | Hartge, Patricia | Purdue, Mark P. | Birmann, Brenda M. | Armstrong, Bruce K. | Cocco, Pierluigi | Zhang, Yawei | Severi, Gianluca | Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne | Lawrence, Charles | Burdette, Laurie | Yuenger, Jeffrey | Hutchinson, Amy | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Call, Timothy G. | Shanafelt, Tait D. | Novak, Anne J. | Kay, Neil E. | Liebow, Mark | Wang, Alice H. | Smedby, Karin E | Adami, Hans-Olov | Melbye, Mads | Glimelius, Bengt | Chang, Ellen T. | Glenn, Martha | Curtin, Karen | Cannon-Albright, Lisa A. | Jones, Brandt | Diver, W. Ryan | Link, Brian K. | Weiner, George J. | Conde, Lucia | Bracci, Paige M. | Riby, Jacques | Holly, Elizabeth A. | Smith, Martyn T. | Jackson, Rebecca D. | Tinker, Lesley F. | Benavente, Yolanda | Becker, Nikolaus | Boffetta, Paolo | Brennan, Paul | Foretova, Lenka | Maynadie, Marc | McKay, James | Staines, Anthony | Rabe, Kari G. | Achenbach, Sara J. | Vachon, Celine M. | Goldin, Lynn R | Strom, Sara S. | Lanasa, Mark C. | Spector, Logan G. | Leis, Jose F. | Cunningham, Julie M. | Weinberg, J. Brice | Morrison, Vicki A. | Caporaso, Neil E. | Norman, Aaron D. | Linet, Martha S. | De Roos, Anneclaire J. | Morton, Lindsay M. | Severson, Richard K. | Riboli, Elio | Vineis, Paolo | Kaaks, Rudolph | Trichopoulos, Dimitrios | Masala, Giovanna | Weiderpass, Elisabete | Chirlaque, María-Dolores | Vermeulen, Roel C H | Travis, Ruth C. | Giles, Graham G. | Albanes, Demetrius | Virtamo, Jarmo | Weinstein, Stephanie | Clavel, Jacqueline | Zheng, Tongzhang | Holford, Theodore R | Offit, Kenneth | Zelenetz, Andrew | Klein, Robert J. | Spinelli, John J. | Bertrand, Kimberly A. | Laden, Francine | Giovannucci, Edward | Kraft, Peter | Kricker, Anne | Turner, Jenny | Vajdic, Claire M. | Ennas, Maria Grazia | Ferri, Giovanni M. | Miligi, Lucia | Liang, Liming | Sampson, Joshua | Crouch, Simon | Park, Ju-hyun | North, Kari E. | Cox, Angela | Snowden, John A. | Wright, Josh | Carracedo, Angel | Lopez-Otin, Carlos | Bea, Silvia | Salaverria, Itziar | Martin, David | Campo, Elias | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | de Sanjose, Silvia | Hjalgrim, Henrik | Cerhan, James R. | Chanock, Stephen J. | Rothman, Nathaniel | Slager, Susan L.
Nature genetics  2013;45(8):868-876.
doi:10.1038/ng.2652
PMCID: PMC3729927  PMID: 23770605
6.  Phase 2 Trial of Daily, Oral Polyphenon E in Patients with Asymptomatic, Rai Stage 0-II Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia(CLL) 
Cancer  2012;119(2):363-370.
OBJECTIVES
To follow-up the results of phase I testing by evaluating the clinical efficacy of the green tea extract Polyphenon E for patients with early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia(CLL).
METHODS
Previously untreated patients with asymptomatic, Rai stage 0-II CLL and an absolute lymphocyte count(ALC) ≥10 ×109/L were eligible for this phase II trial. Polyphenon E with a standardized dose of epigallocatechin-3-gallate(2000 mg per dose) was administered twice daily.
RESULTS
Forty-two patients received Polyphenon E 2000 mg twice daily for up to 6 months. Among these, 29 (69%) had Rai stage I-II disease. Patients received a median of 6 cycles of treatment(range: 1-6). The most common grade 3 side effects were transaminitis (n=1), abdominal pain(n=1) and fatigue(n=1). Clinical activity was observed with 13(31%) patients experiencing a sustained ≥20% reduction in ALC and 20 of 29(69%) patients with palpable adenopathy experiencing at least a 50% reduction in the sum of the products of all nodal areas. EGCG plasma levels after 1 month of therapy correlated with reductions in lymphadenopathy (correlation 0.44; p=0.02). Overall, 29(69%) patients fulfilled the criteria for a biologic response with either a sustained ≥20% decline in ALC and/or a ≥30% reduction in the sum of the products of all nodal areas at some point during the 6 months of active treatment.
CONCLUSION
Daily oral EGCG in the Polyphenon E preparation was well tolerated by CLL patients in this phase II trial. Durable declines in ALC and/or lymphadenopathy were observed in the majority of patients.
doi:10.1002/cncr.27719
PMCID: PMC3902473  PMID: 22760587
7.  Hematologist/Oncologist Disease-Specific Expertise and Survival: Lessons from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma(CLL) 
Cancer  2011;118(7):1827-1837.
Background
The impact of physicians’ disease-specific expertise on patient outcome is unknown. While previous studies suggest a survival advantage for cancer patients cared for at high volume centers, these observations may simply reflect referral bias or better access to advanced technologies, clinical trials, and multidisciplinary support at large centers.
Methods
We evaluated time to first treatment(TTFT) and overall survival(OS) of patients with newly diagnosed chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma(CLL) at a single academic center based on whether they were cared for by a hematologist/oncologist who sub-specializes in CLL(CLL hematologist) or a hematologist/oncologist with expertise in other areas(non-CLL hematologist).
Results
Among 1309 newly diagnosed patients with CLL cared for between 1999–2009, 773(59%) were cared for by CLL hematologists and 536 were cared for by non-CLL hematologists. Among early stage patients(Rai 0-I), median TTFT(9.2 vs. 6.1 years; p<0.001) and OS(10.5 years vs. 8.8 years; p<0.001) were superior for patients cared for by CLL hematologists. For all patients, OS was superior for patients cared for by CLL hematologists(10.5 years vs. 8.4 years; p=0.001). Physician’s disease-specific expertise remained an independent predictor of OS after adjusting for age, stage, sex, and lymphocyte count. Patients seen by a CLL hematologist were also more likely participate in clinical trials(48% vs. 16%; p<0.001).
Conclusion
Physician disease-specific expertise appears to influence outcome in patients with CLL. To the greatest extent possible, patients should be cared for by a hematologist/oncologist expert in the care of their specific malignancy. When not possible, practice guidelines developed by disease-specific experts should be followed.
doi:10.1002/cncr.26474
PMCID: PMC3893049  PMID: 22009554
chronic lymphocytic lymphoma(CLL); small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL); prognosis; physician expertise
8.  Common variants within 6p21.31 locus are associated with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and potentially other non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes 
British journal of haematology  2012;159(5):572-576.
Summary
A recent meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) identified two common variants at the 6p21.31 locus that are associated with CLL risk. To verify and further explore the association of these variants with other non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes, we genotyped 1196 CLL cases, 1699 NHL cases, and 2410 controls. We found significant associations between the 6p21.31 variants and CLL risk (rs210134: P=0.01; rs210142: P=6.8×10−3). These variants also showed a trend towards association with some of the other NHL subtypes. Our results validate the prior work and support specific genetic pathways for risk among NHL subtypes.
doi:10.1111/bjh.12070
PMCID: PMC3614403  PMID: 23025533
CLL; NHL; SNPs; BAK1; risk locus
9.  Immnuophenotypic and Gene Expression Analysis of Monoclonal B Cell Lymphocytosis Shows Biologic Characteristics Associated With Good Prognosis CLL 
Monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is a hematologic condition wherein small B cell clones can be detected in the blood of asymptomatic individuals. Most MBL have an immunophenotype similar to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and “CLL-like” MBL is a precursor to CLL. We used flow cytometry to identify MBL from unaffected members of CLL kindreds. We identified 101 MBL cases from 622 study subjects; of these, 82 individuals with MBL were further characterized. Ninety-one unique MBL clones were detected: 73 CLL-like MBL (CD5+CD20dimsIgdim), 11 atypical MBL (CD5+CD20+sIg+), and 7 CD5neg MBL (CD5negCD20+sIgneg). Extended immunophenotypic characterization of these MBL subtypes was performed, and significant differences in cell surface expression of CD23, CD49d, CD79b, and FMC-7 were observed among the groups. Markers of risk in CLL such as CD38, ZAP70, and CD49d were infrequently expressed in CLL-like MBL, but were expressed in the majority of atypical MBL. Interphase cytogenetics was performed in 35 MBL cases, and del 13q14 was most common (22/30 CLL-like MBL cases). Gene expression analysis using oligonucleotide arrays was performed on 7 CLL-like MBL, and showed activation of B cell receptor associated pathways. Our findings underscore the diversity of MBL subtypes and further clarify the relationship between MBL and other lymphoproliferative disorders.
doi:10.1038/leu.2011.117
PMCID: PMC3164475  PMID: 21617698
10.  Common Occurrence of Monoclonal B-cell Lymphocytosis Among Members of High-Risk CLL Families 
British journal of haematology  2010;151(2):152-158.
Summary
Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is an asymptomatic haematological condition characterized by low absolute levels of B-cell clones with a surface immunophenotype similar to that of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). In the general population, MBL increases with age with a prevalence of 5–9% in individuals over age 60 years. It has been reported to be higher among first-degree relatives from CLL families. We report results of multi-parameter flow cytometry among 505 first-degree relatives with no personal history of lymphoproliferative disease from 140 families having at least two cases of CLL. Seventeen percent of relatives had MBL. Age was the most important determinant where the probability for developing MBL by age 90 years was 61%. MBL clustered in certain families but clustering was independent of the number of known CLL cases in a family. As is the case with CLL, males had a significantly higher risk for MBL than did females (p=0.04). MBL patients had significantly higher mean absolute lymphocyte counts (2.4 × 109/l) and B-cell counts (0.53 × 109/l) than those with a normal B-cell immunophenotype. Our findings show that MBL occurs at a very high rate in high risk CLL families. Both the age and gender distribution of MBL are parallel to CLL, implying a shared inherited risk.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2010.08339.x
PMCID: PMC2966536  PMID: 20738309
chronic lymphocytic leukaemia; high risk families; monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis; flow cytometry
11.  Genetic susceptibility variants for chronic lymphocytic leukemia 
Background
There is strong and consistent evidence that a genetic component contributes to the etiology of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) of CLL identified 7 genetic variants that increased the risk of CLL within a European population.
Methods
We evaluated the association of these variants, or variants in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with these variants, with CLL risk in an independent sample of 438 CLL cases and 328 controls.
Results
Of these 7 SNPs, 6 had p-trend < 0.05 and had estimated odds ratios (ORs) that were strikingly comparable to those of the previous study. Associations were seen for rs9378805 (OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.19, 1.80, p-trend = 0.0003) near IRF4 and rs735665 near GRAMD1B (OR= 1.47; 95% CI: 1.14, 1.89; p-trend = 0.003). However, no associations (P> 0.05) were found for rs11083846, nor were any found for any SNPs in LD with rs11083846.
Conclusions
Our results confirm the previous findings and further support the role of a genetic basis in the etiology of CLL; however, more research is needed to elucidate the causal SNP(s) and the potential manner in which these SNPs or linked SNPs function in CLL pathogenesis.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-1217
PMCID: PMC2852480  PMID: 20332261
IRF4; CLL; genetic association
12.  Genome-wide association study of follicular lymphoma identifies a risk locus at 6p21.32 
Nature genetics  2010;42(8):661-664.
To identify susceptibility loci for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes, we conducted a three-stage genome-wide association study. We identified two variants associated with follicular lymphoma (FL) in 1,465 FL cases/6,958 controls at 6p21.32 (rs10484561, rs7755224, r2=1.0; combined p-values=1.12×10-29, 2.00×10-19), providing further support that MHC genetic variation influences FL susceptibility. Confirmatory evidence of a previously reported association was also found between chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma and rs735665 (combined p-value=4.24×10-9).
doi:10.1038/ng.626
PMCID: PMC2913472  PMID: 20639881
13.  Cyclophosphamide, bortezomib and dexamethasone (CyBorD) induction for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: High response rates in a phase II clinical trial 
We have studied a three drug combination with bortezomib, cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone (CyBorD) on a 28 day cycle in the treatment of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients to assess response and toxicity. The primary endpoint of response was evaluated after four cycles. Thirty-three newly diagnosed, symptomatic patients with multiple myeloma received bortezomib 1.3 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, 11, cyclophosphamide 300 mg/m2 orally days 1, 8, 15, 22 and dexamethasone 40 mg orally days 1-4, 9-12, 17-20 on a 28 day cycle for four cycles. Responses were rapid with a mean 80% decline in the sentinel monoclonal protein at the end of two cycles. The overall intent to treat response rate (≥ partial response) was 88% with 61% ≥VGPR and 39% CR/nCR. For the 28 patients that completed all 4 cycles of therapy the CR/nCR rate was 46% and ≥VGPR rate 71%. All patients undergoing stem cell harvest had a successful collection. Twenty three patients underwent SCT and are evaluable through day 100 with CR/nCR documented in 70% and ≥VGPR in 74%. In conclusion, CyBorD produces a rapid and profound response in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma with manageable toxicity.
doi:10.1038/leu.2009.26
PMCID: PMC2711213  PMID: 19225538
cyclophosphamide; bortezomib; myeloma; clinical trial

Results 1-13 (13)