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BACKGROUND - Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is a fatal, myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm of early childhood. Patients with JMML have mutually exclusive genetic abnormalities in granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) receptor (GMR, CD116) signaling pathway. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is currently the only curative treatment option for JMML; however, disease recurrence is a major cause of treatment failure. We investigated adoptive immunotherapy using GMR-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) for JMML.
METHODS - We constructed a novel CAR capable of binding to GMR via its ligand, GM-CSF, and generated piggyBac transposon-based GMR CAR-modified T cells from three healthy donors and two patients with JMML. We further evaluated the anti-proliferative potential of GMR CAR T cells on leukemic CD34(+) cells from six patients with JMML (two NRAS mutations, three PTPN11 mutations, and one monosomy 7), and normal CD34(+) cells.
RESULTS - GMR CAR T cells from healthy donors suppressed the cytokine-dependent growth of MO7e cells, but not the growth of K562 and Daudi cells. Co-culture of healthy GMR CAR T cells with CD34(+) cells of five patients with JMML at effector to target ratios of 1:1 and 1:4 for 2 days significantly decreased total colony growth, regardless of genetic abnormality. Furthermore, GMR CAR T cells from a non-transplanted patient and a transplanted patient inhibited the proliferation of respective JMML CD34(+) cells at onset to a degree comparable to healthy GMR CAR T cells. Seven-day co-culture of GMR CAR T cells resulted in a marked suppression of JMML CD34(+) cell proliferation, particularly CD34(+)CD38(-) cell proliferation stimulated with stem cell factor and thrombopoietin on AGM-S3 cells. Meanwhile, GMR CAR T cells exerted no effects on normal CD34(+) cell colony growth.
CONCLUSIONS - Ligand-based GMR CAR T cells may have anti-proliferative effects on stem and progenitor cells in JMML.
BACKGROUND - Treatment of chronic severe pediatric ITP is not well studied. In a phase 1/2 12-16-week study, 15/17 romiplostim-treated patients achieved platelet counts ≥50 × 10 /L, and romiplostim treatment was well tolerated. In a subsequent open-label extension (≤109 weeks), 20/22 patients received romiplostim; all achieved platelet counts >50 × 10 /L. Twelve patients continued in a second extension (≤127 weeks). Longitudinal data from start of romiplostim treatment through the two extensions were evaluated to investigate the safety and efficacy of long-term romiplostim treatment in chronic severe pediatric ITP.
PROCEDURE - Patients received weekly subcutaneous romiplostim, adjusted by 1 µg/kg/week to maintain platelet counts (50-200 × 10 /L, maximum dose 10 µg/kg). Bone marrow examinations were not required.
RESULTS - At baseline, patients were median age 10.0 years; median ITP duration 2.4 years; median platelet count 13 × 10 /L; 73% were male; and 36% had prior splenectomy. Median romiplostim treatment duration was 167 weeks (Q1, Q3: 78,227 weeks), and median average weekly dose was 5.4 µg/kg (Q1, Q3: 4.3, 8.0 µg/kg). Seven patients discontinued treatment: four withdrew consent, two were noncompliant, and one received alternative therapy. None withdrew because of adverse events (AEs). After the first 12 weeks, median platelet counts remained >50 × 10 /L. Eight (36.4%) patients received rescue medication, and 14 (63.6%) used concurrent ITP therapy. Seven patients (31.8%) reported serious AEs, and two (9.1%) reported life-threatening AEs (both thrombocytopenia); there were no serious AEs attributed to treatment and no fatalities.
CONCLUSIONS - Long-term romiplostim treatment in this small cohort increased and maintained platelet counts for over 4 years in children with ITP with good tolerability and without significant toxicity. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2015;62:208-213. © 2014. The Authors. Pediatr Blood & Cancer published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
© 2014 The Authors. Pediatric Blood & Cancer published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
OBJECTIVE - To genetically and functionally characterize mutations of c-Mpl that lead to thrombocytopenia in a child with congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We identified two c-Mpl mutations in a child with clinical features of congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia, one a previously described mutation in the extracellular domain (R102P) and the other a novel mutation leading to truncation of the receptor after the box 1 homology domain (541Stop). Cell line models were created to examine the ability of the mutant receptors to signal in response to thrombopoietin and thrombopoietin-like agonists.
RESULTS - Data from cell-line models indicate that c-Mpl R102P does not support significant signaling in response to thrombopoietin due to impaired trafficking of the mutant receptor to the cell surface. Alternative thrombopoietic agents do not circumvent this block to signaling, likely due to the inaccessibility of the receptor. In addition, previous data indicate that c-Mpl 541Stop does not support intracellular signaling due to the loss of critical intracellular domains.
CONCLUSIONS - This case demonstrates two different mechanisms by which c-Mpl mutations can impair thrombopoietin signaling, and suggests that mutations in the extracellular domain will not be rescued by c-Mpl agonists if they interfere with normal receptor expression.