Sexual dimorphism in various bone phenotypes, including bone mineral density (BMD), is widely observed; however the extent to which genes explain these sex differences is unclear. To identify variants with different effects by sex, we examined gene-by-sex autosomal interactions genome-wide, and performed eQTL analysis and bioinformatics network analysis.
We conducted an autosomal genome-wide meta-analysis of gene-by-sex interaction on lumbar spine (LS-) and femoral neck (FN-) BMD, in 25,353 individuals from eight cohorts. In a second stage, we followed up the 12 top SNPs (P<1×10−5) in an additional set of 24,763 individuals. Gene-by-sex interaction and sex-specific effects were examined in these 12 SNPs.
We detected one novel genome-wide significant interaction associated with LS-BMD at the Chr3p26.1-p25.1 locus, near the GRM7 gene (male effect = 0.02 & p-value = 3.0×10−5; female effect = −0.007 & p-value=3.3×10−2) and eleven suggestive loci associated with either FN- or LS-BMD in discovery cohorts. However, there was no evidence for genome-wide significant (P<5×10−8) gene-by-sex interaction in the joint analysis of discovery and replication cohorts.
Despite the large collaborative effort, no genome-wide significant evidence for gene-by-sex interaction was found influencing BMD variation in this screen of autosomal markers. If they exist, gene-by-sex interactions for BMD probably have weak effects, accounting for less than 0.08% of the variation in these traits per implicated SNP.
gene-by-sex; interaction; BMD; association; aging
Huntington’s disease (HD) patients and mouse models show learning and memory impairment associated with hippocampal dysfunction. The neuronal nitric oxide synthase/3',5'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (nNOS/cGMP) pathway is implicated in synaptic plasticity, and in learning and memory processes. Here, we examined the nNOS/cGMP pathway in the hippocampus of HD mice to determine whether it can be a good therapeutic target for cognitive improvement in HD. We analyzed hippocampal nNOS and phosphodiesterase (PDE) 5 and 9 levels in R6/1 mice, and cGMP levels in the hippocampus of R6/1, R6/2 and HdhQ7/Q111 mice, and of HD patients. We also investigated whether sildenafil, a PDE5 inhibitor, could improve cognitive deficits in R6/1 mice. We found that hippocampal cGMP levels were 3-fold lower in 12-week-old R6/1 mice, when they show deficits in object recognition memory and in passive avoidance learning. Consistent with hippocampal cGMP levels, nNOS levels were down-regulated, while there were no changes in the levels of PDE5 and PDE9 in R6/1 mice. A single intraperitoneal injection of sildenafil (3 mg/Kg) immediately after training increased cGMP levels, and improved memory in R6/1 mice, as assessed by using the novel object recognition and the passive avoidance test. Importantly, cGMP levels were also reduced in R6/2 mouse and human HD hippocampus. Therefore, the regulation of hippocampal cGMP levels can be a suitable treatment for cognitive impairment in HD.
Data are lacking on whether lenalidomide maintenance therapy prolongs the time to disease progression after autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma.
Between April 2005 and July 2009, we randomly assigned 460 patients who were younger than 71 years of age and had stable disease or a marginal, partial, or complete response 100 days after undergoing stem-cell transplantation to lenalidomide or placebo, which was administered until disease progression. The starting dose of lenalidomide was 10 mg per day (range, 5 to 15).
The study-drug assignments were unblinded in 2009, when a planned interim analysis showed a significantly longer time to disease progression in the lenalidomide group. At unblinding, 20% of patients who received lenalidomide and 44% of patients who received placebo had progressive disease or had died (P<0.001); of the remaining 128 patients who received placebo and who did not have progressive disease, 86 crossed over to lenalidomide. At a median follow-up of 34 months, 86 of 231 patients who received lenalidomide (37%) and 132 of 229 patients who received placebo (58%) had disease progression or had died. The median time to progression was 46 months in the lenalidomide group and 27 months in the placebo group (P<0.001). A total of 35 patients who received lenalidomide (15%) and 53 patients who received placebo (23%) died (P=0.03). More grade 3 or 4 hematologic adverse events and grade 3 non-hematologic adverse events occurred in patients who received lenalidomide (P<0.001 for both comparisons). Second primary cancers occurred in 18 patients who received lenalidomide (8%) and 6 patients who received placebo (3%).
Lenalidomide maintenance therapy, initiated at day 100 after hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation, was associated with more toxicity and second cancers but a significantly longer time to disease progression and significantly improved overall survival among patients with myeloma. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00114101.)
Hematopoietic malignant relapse still remains the major cause of death following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Although there has been a large focus on the immunologic mechanisms responsible for the graft-versus-tumor (GVT) effect or lack thereof, there has been little attention paid to investigating the biologic basis of hematologic malignant disease relapse following allogeneic HSCT. There are a large number of factors that are responsible for the biologic resistance of hematopoietic tumors following allogeneic HSCT. We have focused on 5 major areas including clonal evolution of cancer drug resistance, cancer radiation resistance, genomic basis of leukemia resistance, cancer epigenetics, and resistant leukemia stem cells. We recommend increased funding to pursue 3 broad areas that will significantly enhance our understanding of the biologic basis of malignant relapse after allogeneic HSCT, including: (1) genomic and epigenetic alterations, (2) cancer stem cell biology, and (3) clonal cancer drug and radiation resistance.
Relapse; Allogeneic stem cell transplant; Biology; Resistance; Cancer stem cells
To expose the unusual nature of a coincident sex chromosomal aneuploidy in a patient and his father. Molecular mechanisms involved probably are based on the sperm chromosome of paternal origin, which determine the mode of formation. Conventional cytogenetics techniques and multiple Quantitative Fluorescent PCR of STR markers in sexual chromosomes in the patient and his parents.
48,XXYY and 47,XYY aneuploidies in the patient and his father, respectively, were identified. The additional X and Y chromosomes showed parental origin.
An infrequent origin of the 48,XXYY syndrome was demonstrated. Mostly, it is thought to result from an aneuploid sperm produced through two consecutive non disjunction events in both meiosis I and II in a chromosomally normal father, but in our father’s patient a 47,XYY was discovered. It is suggested that a higher incidence of 24,XY and 24,YY sperm may be possible in 47,XYY individuals andan increased risk for aneuploidy pregnancies may exist. Although 48,XXYY patients and Klinefelter syndrome are often compared, recently they are regarded as a distinct genetic and clinical entity.
48,XXYY; 47,XYY; Mechanism origin; Paternal; Spermatogenesis
Patients with painful vertebral compression fractures produced by multiple myeloma (MM) often experience reduction in pain after spinal augmentation with kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. Previous studies have shown pain reduction and improvement in functional status after augmentation, but no studies have examined the effect of augmentation on other cancer-related symptoms. We hypothesized that reduction in pain severity would be significantly associated with improvement in other reported symptoms. We retrospectively studied 79 patients who rated pain and symptom severity both before and after kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. Pain was significantly reduced after spinal augmentation (1.3 on a 0 to 10 scale; effect size [ES] = .59; P < .001), as were anxiety (1.3; ES = .47), drowsiness (1.3; ES = .39), fatigue (1.1; ES = .32), depression (0.7; ES = .28), and difficulty thinking clearly (0.7; ES = .26) (all P < .05). Greater reduction in pain was associated with a greater number of symptoms being reduced. Interestingly, insomnia worsened regardless of any amount of improvement in pain. Because appropriate symptom control contributes to the overall well-being of cancer patients, future studies of pain reduction procedures should include measures of other symptoms to fully characterize the potential benefit of treating pain.
spine; augmentation; vertebroplasty; kyphoplasty; symptoms; Brief Pain Inventory
In DNA methylation, methyl groups are covalently bound to CpG dinucleotides. However, the assumption that methyl groups are not lost during routine DNA extraction has not been empirically tested. To avoid nonbiological associations in DNA methylation studies, it is essential to account for potential batch effect bias in the assessment of this epigenetic mechanism. Our purpose was to determine if the DNA isolation method is an independent source of variability in methylation status. We quantified Global DNA Methylation (GDM) by luminometric methylation assay (LUMA), comparing the results from 3 different DNA isolation methods. In the controlled analysis (n = 9), GDM differed slightly for the same individual depending on extraction method. In the population analysis (n = 580) there were significant differences in GDM between the 3 DNA isolation methods (medians, 78.1%, 76.5% and 75.1%; p<0.001). A systematic review of published data from LUMA GDM studies that specify DNA extraction methods is concordant with our findings. DNA isolation method is a source of GDM variability measured with LUMA. To avoid possible bias, the method used should be reported and taken into account in future DNA methylation studies.
The inability to obtain additional stem cells is a disadvantage of unrelated donor cord blood (CB) transplantation (CBT). Moreover, in the event of problems with unit shipment, compromised unit quality, thaw mishaps, or graft failure, the time to secure a back-up graft could be unacceptable. Emergent shipment of 1-2 back-up units that have been previously typed and reserved could overcome this limitation. However, the advantages of this approach are not established. Therefore, we present our use of back-up units over a 5.5-year period. Six of 121 (5%) CBT recipients required back-up unit infusion. Indications included shipment mishaps (n = 2), poor unit viability (n = 2), significant infusion reaction (n = 1), and graft failure (n = 1). Lack of back-up units would have caused transplantation delay or infusion of inferior quality units. Five of the six patients achieved sustained donor engraftment. We demonstrate that back-up units are emergently required in a significant minority of patients supporting the incorporation of at least one back-up unit in CB selection algorithms to enhance CBT safety.
Autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) improves survival in patients with multiple myeloma, but disease progression remains a challenge. Allogeneic HCT (alloHCT) has the potential to reduce disease progression through graft-versus-myeloma effects. The aim of the BMT CTN 0102 trial was to compare outcomes of autologous HCT (autoHCT) followed by alloHCT with non-myeloablative conditioning (auto-allo) to tandem autoHCT (auto-auto) in patients with standard risk myeloma. Patients in the auto-auto arm were randomized to one year of thalidomide and dexamethasone (Thal-Dex) maintenance therapy or observation (Obs).
Patients with multiple myeloma within 10 months from initiation of induction therapy were classified as standard (SRD) or high risk (HRD) disease based on cytogenetics and beta-2-microglobulin levels. Assignment to auto-allo HCT was based on availability of an HLA-matched sibling donor. Primary endpoint was three-year progression-free survival (PFS) according to intent-to-treat analysis.
710 patients were enrolled completed a minimum of 3-year follow up. Among 625 SRD patients, 189 and 436 were assigned to auto-allo and auto-auto, respectively. Seventeen percent (33/189) of SR patients in the auto-allo arm and 16% (70/436) in the auto-auto arm did not receive a second transplant. Thal-Dex was not completed in 77% (168/217) of assigned patients. PFS and overall survival (OS) did not differ between the Thal-Dex (49%, 80%) and Obs (41%, 81%) cohorts and these two arms were pooled for analysis. Three year PFS was 43% and 46% (p=0·671) and three-year OS was 77% and 80 % (p=0·191) with auto-allo and auto-auto, respectively. Corresponding progression/relapse rates were 46% and 50% (p=0·402); treatment-related mortality rates were 11% and 4% (p<0·001), respectively. Auto/allo patients with chronic graft-vs-host disease had a decreased risk of relapse. Most common grade 3 to 5 adverse events in auto-allo was hypebilirubenemia (21/189) and in the auto-auto was peripheral neuropathy (52/436). Among 85 HRD patients (37 auto-allo), three PFS was 40% and 33% (p=0·743) and three-year OS was 59% and 67% (p=0·460) with auto-allo and auto-auto, respectively.
Thal-Dex maintenance was associated with poor compliance and did not improve PFS or OS. At three years there was no improvement in PFS or OS with auto-allo compared to auto-auto transplantation in patients with standard risk myeloma. Decisions to proceed with alloHCT after an autoHCT in patients with standard risk myeloma should take into consideration results of the current trial. Future investigation of alloHCT in myeloma should focus to minimize TRM and maximize graft-versus myeloma effects. This trial was registered in Clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00075829) and was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and National Cancer Institute.
Fragment-based drug discovery is widely applied both in industrial and in academic screening programs. Several screening techniques rely on NMR to detect binding of a fragment to a target. NMR-based methods are among the most sensitive techniques and have the further advantage of yielding a low rate of false positives and negatives. However, NMR is intrinsically slower than other screening techniques; thus, to increase throughput in NMR-based screening, researchers often assay mixtures of fragments, rather than single fragments. Herein we present a fast and straightforward computer-aided method to design mixtures of fragments taken from a library that have minimized NMR signal overlap. This approach enables direct identification of one or several active fragments without the need for deconvolution. Our approach entails encoding of NMR spectra into a computer-readable format that we call a fingerprint, and minimizing the global signal overlap through a Monte Carlo algorithm. The scoring function used favors a homogenous distribution of the global signal overlap. The method does not require additional experimental work: the only data required are NMR spectra, which are generally recorded for each compound as a quality control measure before its insertion into the library.
Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is widely used in first-line treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). However, most patients eventually have relapse or progression of disease (R/POD). While precise knowledge of R/POD patterns would be important to generate evidence-based surveillance recommendations after ASCT, such data is limited in the literature, especially after introduction of the free light chain assay (FLCA). This retrospective study examined the patterns of R/POD after first-line ASCT in 273 patients, using established criteria. At time of R/POD, only 2% of patients had no associated serologic evidence of R/POD. Eighty five percent had asymptomatic R/POD first detected by serologic testing, while 15% had symptomatic R/POD with aggressive disease, early R/POD, and short survival, with poor cytogenetics and younger age identified as risk factors. While occult skeletal lesions were found in 40% of asymptomatic patients tested following serologic R/POD, yearly skeletal surveys and urine testing were poor at heralding R/POD. We found a consistent association between paraprotein types at diagnosis and R/POD allowing informed recommendations for appropriate serologic monitoring and propose a new needed criterion using FLCA for patients relapsing by FLC only. Our findings provide important evidence-based recommendations that strengthen current monitoring guidelines after first-line ASCT in MM.
Multiple Myeloma; Autologous Transplantation; Relapse; Free Light Chain Assay
Failure of locoregional control is the main cause of recurrence in advanced head and neck cancer. This multi-center trial aims to improve outcome in two ways. Firstly, by redistribution of the radiation dose to the metabolically most FDG-PET avid part of the tumour. Hereby, a biologically more effective dose distribution might be achieved while simultaneously sparing normal tissues. Secondly, by improving patient selection. Both cisplatin and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) antibodies like Cetuximab in combination with Radiotherapy (RT) are effective in enhancing tumour response. However, it is unknown which patients will benefit from either agent in combination with irradiation. We will analyze the predictive value of biological markers and 89Zr-Cetuximab uptake for treatment outcome of chemoradiation with Cetuximab or cisplatin to improve patient selection.
ARTFORCE is a randomized phase II trial for 268 patients with a factorial 2 by 2 design: cisplatin versus Cetuximab and standard RT versus redistributed RT. Cisplatin is dosed weekly 40 mg/m2 for 6 weeks. Cetuximab is dosed 250mg/m2 weekly (loading dose 400 mg/m2) for 6 weeks. The standard RT regimen consists of elective RT up to 54.25 Gy with a simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) to 70 Gy in 35 fractions in 6 weeks. Redistributed adaptive RT consists of elective RT up to 54.25 Gy with a SIB between 64-80 Gy in 35 fractions in 6 weeks with redistributed dose to the gross tumour volume (GTV) and clinical target volume (CTV), and adaptation of treatment for anatomical changes in the third week of treatment.
Patients with locally advanced, biopsy confirmed squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, oral cavity or hypopharynx are eligible.
Primary endpoints are: locoregional recurrence free survival at 2 years, correlation of the median 89Zr-cetuximab uptake and biological markers with treatment specific outcome, and toxicity. Secondary endpoints are quality of life, swallowing function preservation, progression free and overall survival.
The objective of the ARTFORCE Head and Neck trial is to determine the predictive value of biological markers and 89Zr-Cetuximab uptake, as it is unknown how to select patients for the appropriate concurrent agent. Also we will determine if adaptive RT and dose redistribution improve locoregional control without increasing toxicity.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01504815
Head and neck; Squamous cell carcinoma; Adaptive radiotherapy; Dose painting; Zirconium; Cetuximab; Cisplatin
Rilpivirine is a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) recently developed as a drug of choice for initial antiretroviral treatment of HIV-1 infection. Disturbances in lipid metabolism and, ultimately, in adipose tissue distribution and function are common concerns as secondary effects of antiretroviral treatment. Efavirenz, the most commonly used NNRTI, causes mild dyslipidemic effects in patients and strongly impaired adipocyte differentiation in vitro. In this study, we provide the first demonstration of the effects of rilpivirine on human adipocyte differentiation, gene expression, and release of regulatory proteins (adipokines and cytokines) and compare them with those caused by efavirenz. Rilpivirine caused a repression of adipocyte differentiation that was associated with impaired expression of the master adipogenesis regulators peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), CCAAT enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBPα), and sterol regulatory element binding transcription factor 1 (SREBP-1) and their target genes encoding lipoprotein lipase and the adipokines leptin and adiponectin. Rilpivirine also repressed adiponectin release by adipocytes, but only at high concentrations, and did not alter leptin release. Rilpivirine induced the release of proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6 and -8, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 [MCP-1], plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 [PAI-1]) only at very high concentrations (10 μM). A comparison of the effects of rilpivirine and efavirenz at the same concentration (4 μM) or even at lower concentrations of efavirenz (2 μM) showed that rilpivirine-induced impairment of adipogenesis and induction of proinflammatory cytokine expression and release were systematically milder than those of efavirenz. It is concluded that rilpivirine causes an antiadipogenic and proinflammatory response pattern, but only at high concentrations, whereas efavirenz causes similar effects at lower concentrations.
Bone mineral density (BMD) is the most important predictor of fracture risk. We performed the largest meta-analysis to date on lumbar spine and femoral neck BMD, including 17 genome-wide association studies and 32,961 individuals of European and East Asian ancestry. We tested the top-associated BMD markers for replication in 50,933 independent subjects and for risk of low-trauma fracture in 31,016 cases and 102,444 controls. We identified 56 loci (32 novel)associated with BMD atgenome-wide significant level (P<5×10−8). Several of these factors cluster within the RANK-RANKL-OPG, mesenchymal-stem-cell differentiation, endochondral ossification and the Wnt signalling pathways. However, we also discovered loci containing genes not known to play a role in bone biology. Fourteen BMD loci were also associated with fracture risk (P<5×10−4, Bonferroni corrected), of which six reached P<5×10−8 including: 18p11.21 (C18orf19), 7q21.3 (SLC25A13), 11q13.2 (LRP5), 4q22.1 (MEPE), 2p16.2 (SPTBN1) and 10q21.1 (DKK1). These findings shed light on the genetic architecture and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying BMD variation and fracture susceptibility.
STriatal-Enriched protein tyrosine Phosphatase (STEP) is highly expressed in striatal projection neurons, the neuronal population most affected in Huntington's disease. Here, we examined STEP expression and phosphorylation, which regulates its activity, in N-terminal exon-1 and full-length mutant huntingtin mouse models. R6/1 mice displayed reduced STEP protein levels in the striatum and cortex whereas its phosphorylation was increased in the striatum, cortex and hippocampus. The early increase in striatal STEP phosphorylation levels correlated with a deregulation of the protein kinase A pathway, and decreased calcineurin activity at later stages further contributes to an enhancement of STEP phosphorylation and inactivation. Accordingly, we detected an accumulation of phosphorylated ERK2 and p38, two targets of STEP, in R6/1 mice striatum at advanced stages of the disease. Activation of STEP participates in excitotoxic-induced cell death. Since Huntington's disease mouse models develop resistance to excitotoxicity, we analyzed whether decreased STEP activity was involved in this process. After intrastriatal quinolinic acid (QUIN) injection, we detected higher phosphorylated STEP levels in R6/1 than in wild-type mice suggesting that STEP inactivation could mediate neuroprotection in R6/1 striatum. In agreement, intrastriatal injection of TAT-STEP increased QUIN-induced cell death. R6/2, Tet/HD94 and HdhQ7/Q111 mice striatum also displayed decreased STEP protein and increased phosphorylation levels. In Tet/HD94 mice striatum mutant huntingtin transgene shut-down reestablished STEP expression. In conclusion, the STEP pathway is severely down-regulated in the presence of mutant huntingtin and may participate in compensatory mechanisms activated by striatal neurons that lead to the resistance to excitotoxicity.
calcineurin; phosphodiesterase; PKA; striatum; TAT-STEP
Factors contributing to infection risk following cord blood transplantation (CBT) include the use of anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG), prolonged neutropenia, and failure to transfer immunity. To potentially reduce the infection risk we have investigated double unit CBT without ATG, and have evaluated the nature of serious infections in the first year after CBT using this approach. Seventy-two predominantly adult patients were transplanted for hematologic malignancies; 52 patients received myeloablative and 20 had non-myeloablative conditioning. The peak incidence of bacterial infections, fungal infections, or bacterial/ fungal pneumonias was in the first 30 days post-transplant and affected 32%, 14%, and 10% of patients, respectively. Three such infections contributed to early mortality. The peak incidence of viral infections was 31-60 days post-transplant affecting 30% of patients. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) was the most common viral infection. CMV infections prior to day 120 (n = 23) had no relationship with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), whereas CMV infections after day 120 (n = 5), and all Epstein-Barr virus viremia (EBV, n = 5) and adeno-viral enteritis (n = 2) occurred exclusively in the context of GVHD therapy or corticosteroid use for another indication. Viral infections had the highest lethality: 2 were a direct cause of death and 3 contributed to death. Patients exhibited steady immune recovery achieving a median CD3+4+ T-cell count > 200 cells/microL by day 120, and after day 120 there were no infection-related deaths. Our results suggest that double unit CBT without ATG is associated with prompt T-cell recovery, and unlike CBT incorporating ATG, infection is rarely a primary cause of death. However, CBT without ATG is associated with a significant risk of GVHD and serious infections remain a burden, especially in the setting of GVHD. New strategies are required to further reduce infectious complications after CBT and will require earlier neutrophil recovery and more effective prevention of GVHD, ideally without the profound T-cell depletion associated with ATG.
Heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) composed of three subunits α, β, γ mediate activation of multiple intracellular signaling cascades initiated by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Previously our laboratory identified small molecules that bind to Gβγ and interfere with or enhance binding of select effectors with Gβγ. To understand the molecular mechanisms of selectivity and assess binding of compounds to Gβγ, we used biophysical and biochemical approaches to directly monitor small molecule binding to Gβγ. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis indicated that multiple compounds bound directly to Gβγ with affinities in the high nanomolar to low micromolar range but with surprisingly slow on and off rate kinetics. While the koff was slow for most of the compounds in physiological buffers, they could be removed from Gβγ with mild chaotropic salts or mildly dissociating collision energy in a mass-spectrometer indicating that compound-Gβγ interactions were non-covalent. Finally, at concentrations used to observe maximal biological effects the stoichiometry of binding was 1:1. The results from this study show that small molecule modulation of Gβγ-effector interactions is by specific direct non-covalent and reversible binding of small molecules to Gβγ. This is highly relevant to development of Gβγ targeting as a therapeutic approach since reversible, direct binding is a prerequisite for drug development and important for specificity.
G protein; Surface Plasmon Resonance; Protein-ligand interactions; non-covalent binding
Cord blood transplantation (CB-T) is increasingly used as a treatment alternative for hematologic malignancies. However, how CB-T compares to related (RD-T) and unrelated donor transplantation (URD-T) is not established. We compared survival of 75 double unit CB-T, 108 RD-T, and 184 URD-T recipients transplanted over the same period for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. Patients had similar ages and disease-risk, and a similar percentage had acute leukemia. The incidence of day 180 transplant-related mortality (TRM) of 21% (95%CI:12-31) after CB-T was higher than that of RD-T recipients. However, this was compensated for by a low risk of TRM after day 180, and a relatively low incidence of relapse. Hence, the 2 year progression-free survival (PFS) of 55% (95%CI:45-68) after CB-T was similar to that after RD-T or URD-T (p = 0.573). In multivariate analysis, donor source had no influence on PFS, with the only significant factors being recipient age and disease-risk. In a sub-analysis of 201 patients with acute leukemia, CB-T, RD-T and URD-T recipients also had similar 2 year disease-free survival (p = 0.482). These data provide strong support for the further investigation of double unit CB grafts as an alternative hematopoietic stem cell source.
Light-chain amyloidosis (AL) is a plasma cell dyscrasia closely related to multiple myeloma. In multiple myeloma, the cancer-testis antigens (CTAs) CT7 (MAGE-C1), CT10 (MAGE-C2) and MAGE-A CTAs are expressed in up to 80% of cases. In this study, we investigated the expression and immunogenicity of several CTAs in patients with AL amyloidosis in a total of 38 bone marrow specimens by employing standard immunohistochemistry techniques on paraffin-embedded archival tissues. Plasma samples from 35 patients (27 with matched bone marrow samples) were also analyzed by ELISA for sero reactivity to a group of full-length CTA proteins. CT7 was present in 25/38 (66%) while CT10 was demonstrated in 3/38 and GAGE in 1/38 AL amyloid cases. The expression pattern was mostly focal. There were no significant differences with regard to organ involvement, response to treatment, or prognosis in CTA positive compared to negative cases. None of the specimens showed spontaneous humoral immunity to CT7, but sero reactivity was observed in individual patients to other CTAs. This study identifies CT7 as the prevalent CTA in plasma cells of patients with AL amyloidosis. Further analyses determining the biology of CTAs in AL amyloidosis and their value as potential targets for immunotherapy are warranted.
AL amyloidosis; cancer-testis antigens; stem cell transplantation
Although reduced intensity (RIC) and nonmyeloablative (NMA) conditioning regimens have been used for over a decade, their relative efficacy versus myeloablative (MA) approaches to allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and myelodysplasia (MDS) is unknown. We compared disease status, donor, graft and recipient characteristics with outcomes of 3731 MA with 1448 RIC/NMA procedures performed at 217 centers between 1997 and 2004. Five year univariate probabilities and multivariate relative risk (RR) outcomes of relapse, transplant related mortality (TRM), disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) are reported. Adjusted OS at 5 years was 34%, 33%, and 26% for MA, RIC and NMA transplants, respectively. NMA conditioning resulted in inferior DFS and OS but there was no difference in DFS and OS between RIC and MA regimens. Late TRM negates early decreases in toxicity with RIC and NMA regimens. Our data suggest higher regimen intensity may contribute to optimal survival in patients with AML/MDS, suggesting roles for both regimen intensity and graft vs. leukemia in these diseases. Prospective studies comparing regimens are needed to confirm this finding and determine the optimal approach to patients who are eligible for either MA or RIC/NMA conditioning.
allogeneic transplant; reduced intensity; AML
Caveolins (CAV) are essential components of caveolae; plasma membrane invaginations with reduced fluidity, reflecting cholesterol accumulation . CAV proteins bind cholesterol, and CAV’s ability to move between cellular compartments helps control intracellular cholesterol fluxes [1–3]. In humans, CAV1 mutations result in lipodystrophy, cell transformation, and cancer [4–7]. CAV1 gene-disrupted mice exhibit cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis, and pulmonary fibrosis [8, 9]. The mechanism(s) underlying these disparate effects are unknown, but our past work suggested CAV1 deficiency might alter metabolism: CAV1−/− mice exhibit impaired liver regeneration unless supplemented with glucose, suggesting systemic inefficiencies requiring additional metabolic intermediates . Establishing a functional link between CAV1 and metabolism would provide a unifying theme to explain these myriad pathologies . Here, we demonstrate that impaired proliferation and low survival with glucose restriction is a shortcoming of CAV1 deficient cells, caused by impaired mitochondrial function. Without CAV1, free cholesterol accumulates in mitochondrial membranes, increasing membrane condensation and reducing efficiency of the respiratory chain and intrinsic anti-oxidant defence. Upon activation of oxidative phosphorylation, this promotes accumulation of reactive oxygen species resulting in cell death. We confirm that this mitochondrial dysfunction predisposes CAV1 deficient animals to mitochondrial related diseases such as steatohepatitis and neurodegeneration.
Hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD), also known as sinusoidal obstruction syndrome, is a potentially life-threatening complication of chemotherapeutic conditioning used in preparation for hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (SCT). VOD may occur in up to 62% of patients undergoing SCT, with onset generally within the first month after SCT. In severe cases, 100-day mortality is in excess of 80%. Current management consists of best supportive care, with no agents to date approved for treatment in the USA or the EU. Defibrotide, a polydisperse oligonucleotide, has been shown in phase II and III trials to improve complete response and survival in patients undergoing SCT with severe VOD. This article reviews our current understanding of VOD, and examines recent clinical findings on defibrotide for the treatment and prophylaxis of VOD.
defibrotide; sinusoidal obstruction syndrome; veno-occlusive disease
Despite recent advances, multiple myeloma remains incurable and most patients eventually develop progressive disease. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo HCT) offers a potentially curative option in 10–20% of patients with relapsed or refractory disease. We evaluated the outcome of patients undergoing allo HCT with reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) for relapsed and/or refractory myeloma at our institution.
Fifty-one patients with heavily pretreated, relapsed myeloma, who received RIC allo HCT between 1996 and 2006, were included in this analysis.
Median time from diagnosis to allo HCT was 34 months. Median follow-up in surviving patients was 27 months (3–98). Cumulative transplant-related mortality (TRM) at 1 year was 25%. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) at 2 years were 19% and 32%, respectively. The incidence of grade II-IV acute or chronic graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) was 27% and 47%, respectively. At the time of this analysis, 12 patients (24%) were alive 7 of whom (14%) were in remission for up to 6 years after allo SCT. A lower β2 microglobulin (<3.3) and a prior autotransplant predicted a lower NRM, longer PFS and OS.
Allo HCT with RIC regimens is associated with acceptable toxicity and durable remission and survival in relapsed or refractory myeloma. Use of RIC allo HCT earlier in the course of the disease may offer greater benefit.