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The application of machine learning in medicine has been productive in multiple fields, but has not previously been applied to analyze the complexity of organ involvement by chronic graft--host disease. Chronic graft--host disease is classified by an overall composite score as mild, moderate or severe, which may overlook clinically relevant patterns in organ involvement. Here we applied a novel computational approach to chronic graft--host disease with the goal of identifying phenotypic groups based on the subcomponents of the National Institutes of Health Consensus Criteria. Computational analysis revealed seven distinct groups of patients with contrasting clinical risks. The high-risk group had an inferior overall survival compared to the low-risk group (hazard ratio 2.24; 95% confidence interval: 1.36-3.68), an effect that was independent of graft--host disease severity as measured by the National Institutes of Health criteria. To test clinical applicability, knowledge was translated into a simplified clinical prognostic decision tree. Groups identified by the decision tree also stratified outcomes and closely matched those from the original analysis. Patients in the high- and intermediate-risk decision-tree groups had significantly shorter overall survival than those in the low-risk group (hazard ratio 2.79; 95% confidence interval: 1.58-4.91 and hazard ratio 1.78; 95% confidence interval: 1.06-3.01, respectively). Machine learning and other computational analyses may better reveal biomarkers and stratify risk than the current approach based on cumulative severity. This approach could now be explored in other disease models with complex clinical phenotypes. External validation must be completed prior to clinical application. Ultimately, this approach has the potential to reveal distinct pathophysiological mechanisms that may underlie clusters. .
Copyright© 2019 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) has been used increasingly for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation to minimize transplant-related mortality while maintaining the graft-versus-tumor effect. In B cell lymphoid malignancies, reduced-intensity regimens containing rituximab, an antiCD20 antibody, have been associated with favorable survival; however, the long-term outcomes of rituximab-containing versus nonrituximab-containing regimens for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in B cell lymphoid malignancies remain to be determined. We retrospectively analyzed 94 patients who received an allogeneic transplant for a B cell lymphoid malignancy. Of these, 33 received RIC with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis with a calcineurin inhibitor and mini-methotrexate, and 61 received RIC with fludarabine and busulfan (FluBu) and GVHD prophylaxis with a calcineurin inhibitor and mycophenolate mofetil. The 2-year overall survival was superior in patients who received FCR versus FluBu (72.7% versus 54.1%, P = .031), and in multivariable analysis adjusted for Disease Risk Index and donor type, only the conditioning regimen (FluBu versus FCR: HR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.04 to 4.08; P = .037) and Disease Risk Index (low versus intermediate/high: HR, .38; 95% CI, .17 to .86; P = .02) were independent predictors of overall survival. The 2-year cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was lower in patients who received FCR versus FluBu (24.2% versus 51.7%, P = .01). There was no difference in rate of relapse/progression or acute GVHD. Our results demonstrate that the use of RIC with FCR and GVHD prophylaxis with a calcineurin inhibitor and mini-methotrexate is associated with decreased chronic GVHD and improved overall survival.
Copyright © 2016 The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is an increasingly recognized problem in the post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) setting, with a lack of high-quality evidence-based data to recommend best practices. Few patients with hematologic malignancies and even fewer post-HSCT patients were included in randomized trials of VTE prophylaxis and treatment. Prior VTE, GVHD, infections and indwelling venous catheters are risk factors for thrombosis. The increasing use of post-transplant maintenance therapy with lenalidomide in patients with multiple myeloma adds to this risk after autologous HSCT. These patients are also at high risk of bleeding complications because of prolonged thrombocytopenia and managing the competing risks of bleeding and thrombosis can be challenging. This review aims to provide a practical, clinician-focused approach to the prevention and treatment of VTE in the post-HSCT setting.
Obliterative bronchiolitis is a potentially life-threatening noninfectious pulmonary complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and the only pathognomonic manifestation of pulmonary chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). In the current study, we identified a novel effect of IL-26 on transplant-related obliterative bronchiolitis. Sublethally irradiated NOD/Shi-scidIL2rγ(null) mice transplanted with human umbilical cord blood (HuCB mice) gradually developed clinical signs of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) such as loss of weight, ruffled fur, and alopecia. Histologically, lung of HuCB mice exhibited obliterative bronchiolitis with increased collagen deposition and predominant infiltration with human IL-26(+)CD26(+)CD4 T cells. Concomitantly, skin manifested fat loss and sclerosis of the reticular dermis in the presence of apoptosis of the basilar keratinocytes, whereas the liver exhibited portal fibrosis and cholestasis. Moreover, although IL-26 is absent from rodents, we showed that IL-26 increased collagen synthesis in fibroblasts and promoted lung fibrosis in a murine GVHD model using IL-26 transgenic mice. In vitro analysis demonstrated a significant increase in IL-26 production by HuCB CD4 T cells following CD26 costimulation, whereas Ig Fc domain fused with the N-terminal of caveolin-1 (Cav-Ig), the ligand for CD26, effectively inhibited production of IL-26. Administration of Cav-Ig before or after onset of GVHD impeded the development of clinical and histologic features of GVHD without interrupting engraftment of donor-derived human cells, with preservation of the graft-versus-leukemia effect. These results therefore provide proof of principle that cGVHD of the lungs is caused in part by IL-26(+)CD26(+)CD4 T cells, and that treatment with Cav-Ig could be beneficial for cGVHD prevention and therapy.
Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
The 2005 National Institute of Health (NIH) Consensus Conference outlined histopathological diagnostic criteria for the major organ systems affected by both acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). The 2014 Consensus Conference led to this updated document with new information from histopathological studies of GVHD in the gut, liver, skin, and oral mucosa and an expanded discussion of GVHD in the lungs and kidneys. The recommendations for final histological diagnostic categories have been simplified from 4 categories to 3: no GVHD, possible GVHD, and likely GVHD, based on better reproducibility achieved by combining the previous categories of "consistent with GVHD" and "definite GVHD" into the single category of "likely GVHD." Issues remain in the histopathological characterization of GVHD, particularly with respect to the threshold of histological changes required for diagnostic certainty. Guidance is provided for the incorporation of biopsy information into prospective clinical studies of GVHD, particularly with respect to biomarker validation.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
Second-line therapy for corticosteroid-refractory or -dependent acute graft-versus-host disease remains ill-defined, due to limited efficacy of drugs and evolving clinical trial endpoints. Six-month freedom from treatment failure has been proposed as a novel clinical trial endpoint and is defined by the absence of death, malignancy relapse/progression, or addition of a next line of systemic immunosuppressive therapy within 6 months of intervention and prior to diagnosis of chronic graft-versus-host disease. We analyzed the 6-month freedom from treatment failure endpoint in 128 patients enrolled from three centers who were treated with extracorporeal photopheresis as second-line therapy for acute graft-versus-host disease. The incidence of 6-month freedom from treatment failure was 77.3% with a 2-year survival rate of 56%. Corticosteroid dose or response status at onset of second-line therapy did not influence outcome. Higher grade of acute graft-versus-host disease (grade 2 versus grades 3-4) at onset of photopheresis predicted for poor outcome as measured by survival (hazard ratio 2.78, P<0.001), non-relapse mortality (hazard ratio 2.78, P=0.001) and 6-month freedom from treatment failure (hazard ratio 3.05, P<0.001). For the 91 patients who achieved 6-month freedom from treatment failure, 1-year, 2-year and 3-year survival rates were 78.9%, 70.8% and 69.5%, respectively. Six-month freedom from treatment failure is a reasonable early surrogate for outcome and should be considered as a clinical trial endpoint. This study demonstrates the durable effect of photopheresis as second-line therapy for corticosteroid-refractory or -dependent acute graft-versus-host disease using 6-month freedom from treatment failure as the primary endpoint.
Copyright© Ferrata Storti Foundation.
FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) internal tandem duplication (ITD) is a somatic mutation associated with poor outcome when treated with chemotherapy alone. In children, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is recommended, but very limited data on outcome are reported. We determined the outcome of 29 children with FLT3/ITD-positive acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) who underwent allogeneic HSCT in 4 pediatric centers. Eleven patients (38%) received matched related donor hematopoietic stem cells and 18 (62%) received alternative donors. Eighteen patients (62%) received total body irradiation (TBI)-based regimens. No patients experienced transplantation-related mortality. Eleven patients (38%) experienced relapsed disease. The cumulative incidence of relapse at 2 years was 34.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 20.4% to 54.9%). Two-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were 65.3% (95% CI, 45.1% to 79.6%) and 82.2% (95% CI, 58.5% to 91.3%), respectively. There was no difference in the DFS of patients who received transplants from related donors versus the DFS of those who received transplants from alternative donors (hazard ratio [HR], 2.64; 95% CI, .79 to 8.76; P = .10), using univariate analysis. Patients with higher FLT3/ITD ratio at diagnosis had significantly worse DFS (HR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.93; P = .03). The use of TBI in the preparative regimen was associated with superior DFS (HR, .29; 95% CI, .08 to .99; P = .04) and OS (HR, .07; 95% CI, .01 to .62; P = .002). We conclude that allogeneic HSCT improves DFS and OS in children with FLT3/ITD-positive AML compared with what has been reported in those treated with chemotherapy alone.
Copyright © 2015 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Although B cells have emerged as important contributors to chronic graft-versus-host-disease (cGVHD) pathogenesis, the mechanisms responsible for their sustained activation remain unknown. We previously showed that patients with cGVHD have significantly increased B cell-activating factor (BAFF) levels and that their B cells are activated and resistant to apoptosis. Exogenous BAFF confers a state of immediate responsiveness to antigen stimulation in normal murine B cells. To address this in cGVHD, we studied B-cell receptor (BCR) responsiveness in 48 patients who were >1 year out from allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We found that B cells from cGVHD patients had significantly increased proliferative responses to BCR stimulation along with elevated basal levels of the proximal BCR signaling components B cell linker protein (BLNK) and Syk. After initiation of BCR signaling, cGVHD B cells exhibited increased BLNK and Syk phosphorylation compared with B cells from patients without cGVHD. Blocking Syk kinase activity prevented relative post-HSCT BCR hyper-responsiveness of cGVHD B cells. These data suggest that a lowered BCR signaling threshold in cGVHD associates with increased B-cell proliferation and activation in response to antigen. We reveal a mechanism underpinning aberrant B-cell activation in cGVHD and suggest that therapeutic inhibition of the involved kinases may benefit these patients.
The 2005 National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus criteria for chronic GVHD have set standards for reporting. Many questions, however, have arisen regarding their implementation and utilization. To identify perceived areas of controversy, we conducted an international survey on diagnosis and scoring of chronic GVHD. Agreement was observed for 50-83% of the 72 questions in 7 topic areas. There was agreement on the need for modifying criteria in six situations: two or more distinctive manifestations should be enough to diagnose chronic GVHD; symptoms that are not due to chronic GVHD should be scored differently; active disease and fixed deficits should be distinguished; a minimum threshold body surface area of hidebound skin involvement should be required for a skin score of 3; asymptomatic oral lichenoid changes should be considered a score 1; and lung biopsy should be unnecessary to diagnose chronic GVHD in a patient with bronchiolitis obliterans as the only manifestation. The survey also identified 26 points of controversy. Whenever possible, studies should be conducted to confirm the appropriateness of any revisions. In cases where data are not available, clarification of the NIH recommendations by consensus is necessary. This survey should inform future research in the field and revisions of the current consensus criteria.
We conducted a nested case-control study within a cohort of 6244 patients to assess risk factors for avascular necrosis (AVN) of bone in children and adolescents after allogeneic transplantation. Eligible patients were ≤21 years of age, received their first allogeneic transplant between 1990 and 2008 in the United States, and had survived ≥ 6 months from transplantation. Overall, 160 patients with AVN and 478 control subjects matched by year of transplant, length of follow-up and transplant center were identified. Patients and control subjects were confirmed via central review of radiology, pathology, and/or surgical procedure reports. Median time from transplant to diagnosis of AVN was 14 months. On conditional logistic regression, increasing age at transplant (≥5 years), female gender, and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) were significantly associated with increased risks of AVN. Compared with patients receiving myeloablative regimens for malignant diseases, lower risks of AVN were seen in patients with nonmalignant diseases and those who had received reduced-intensity conditioning regimens for malignant diseases. Children at high risk for AVN include those within the age group where rapid bone growth occurs as well as those who experience exposure to myeloablative conditioning regimens and immunosuppression after hematopoietic cell transplantation for the treatment of GVHD. More research is needed to determine whether screening strategies specifically for patients at high risk for developing AVN with early interventions may mitigate the morbidity associated with this complication.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.