Alternative donor transplantation for myelodysplastic syndromes: haploidentical relative and matched unrelated donors
Blood advances. 2021;5(4):975-983
We compared outcomes in 603 patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) after HLA-haploidentical relative (n = 176) and HLA-matched unrelated (n = 427) donor hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) from 2012 to 2017, using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research database. All transplantations used reduced-intensity conditioning regimens. Total-body irradiation plus cyclophosphamide and fludarabine was the predominant regimen for HLA-haploidentical relative donor HCT, and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis was uniformly posttransplantation cyclophosphamide, calcineurin inhibitor, and mycophenolate. Fludarabine with busulfan or melphalan was the predominant regimen for HLA-matched unrelated donor HCT, and GVHD prophylaxis was calcineurin inhibitor with mycophenolate or methotrexate. Results of multivariate analysis revealed higher relapse (hazard ratio [HR], 1.56; P = .0055; 2-year relapse rate, 48% vs 33%) and lower disease-free survival (DFS) rates after HLA-haploidentical relative donor HCT (HR, 1.29; P = .042; 2-year DFS, 29% vs 36%). However, overall survival (OS) rates did not differ between donor type (HR, 0.94; P = .65; 2-year OS, 46% for HLA-haploidentical and 44% for HLA-matched unrelated donor HCT) because of mortality associated with chronic GVHD. Acute grade 2 to 4 GVHD (HR, 0.44; P < .0001) and chronic GVHD (HR, 0.36; P < .0001) were lower after HLA-haploidentical relative donor HCT. By 2 years, probability of death resulting from chronic GVHD was lower after HLA-haploidentical relative compared with HLA-matched unrelated donor HCT (6% vs 21%), negating any potential survival advantage from better relapse control. Both donor types extend access to transplantation for patients with MDS; strategies for better relapse control are desirable for HLA-haploidentical relative donor HCT, and effective GVHD prophylaxis regimens are needed for unrelated donor HCT.
The Transplant Evaluation Rating Scale predicts overall survival after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Blood advances. 2020;4(19):4812-4821
To evaluate the impact of psychosocial risks on post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) outcomes, we prospectively conducted psychosocial assessment of 556 consecutive allogeneic HSCT patients who received their first allogeneic transplant at our center between 2003 and 2017. The Transplant Evaluation Rating Scale (TERS) score was prospectively assessed by a psychologist before transplantation, and patients were categorized as low, intermediate, or high risk based on their TERS score. Patients in the high-risk TERS group had significantly longer hospital stays during the first 180 days and 1 year post-allogeneic HSCT compared with the low-risk group (16 vs 13 and 21 vs 16 days; P = .05 and .02, respectively). The survival estimates for low-, intermediate-, and high-risk TERS groups at 3 year were as follows: overall survival (OS), 73%, 60%, and 65%; disease-free survival (DFS), 63%, 55%, and 60%; nonrelapse mortality (NRM), 11%, 20%, and 17%; and relapse, 26%, 25%, and 23%, respectively. In a multivariable analysis, intermediate- and high-risk TERS scores predicted for inferior OS, similar DFS, and higher NRM compared with low-risk TERS score. In a subset analysis of patients with low/intermediate risk per Disease Risk Index, multivariable analysis showed that high- and intermediate-risk TERS scores predicted for significantly worse OS, worse DFS, higher NRM, and similar relapse rates compared with low-risk TERS score. Our findings show that psychosocial factors as measured by TERS score are strong predictors of morbidity and mortality after HSCT among patients with low/intermediate disease risk.
Class II HLA mismatch improves outcomes following haploidentical transplantation with posttransplant cyclophosphamide
Blood advances. 2020;4(20):5311-5321
HLA disparity is the major predictor of outcome following unrelated donor (UD) transplantation, where a single mismatch (mm) at the HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, or HLA-DRB1 locus leads to increased mortality, and mismatching at multiple loci compounds this effect. In contrast, HLA disparity has not been shown to increase mortality in the context of haploidentical transplant using posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy). To better define the consequences of loci-specific HLA mm, we analyzed 208 consecutive patients undergoing haploidentical transplantation for hematologic malignancy using PTCy at our institution (median age, 52 years [range, 19-75 years]; peripheral blood stem cell, 66%; reduced-intensity conditioning, 59%). Median follow-up was 65.4 months (range, 34.3-157.2 months). In univariate analysis, a single class II HLA mm at HLA-DR, HLA-DQ or a nonpermissive (np) HLA-DP mm had a protective effect on disease-free and overall survival (OS), primarily a result of reduced relapse risk. Furthermore, this survival effect was cumulative, so that patients with 3 class II mm (HLA-DR, HLA-DQ, and np HLA-DP) had the best OS. In multivariate analysis, HLA-DR mm and np HLA-DP mm were both independently associated with improved OS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.43; P =.001; and HR, 0.47; P =.011, respectively). In contrast, single or multiple mm at HLA-A, HLA-B, or HLA-C loci had no effect on acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse, or survival, although the presence of an HLA-A mm was associated with increased chronic GVHD incidence. The association of class II mm with lower relapse occurred without a corresponding increase in NRM or acute or chronic GVHD. These findings will require validation in larger registry studies.
Optimal donor for African Americans with hematologic malignancy: HLA-haploidentical relative or umbilical cord blood transplant
Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. 2020
While hematopoietic cell transplant from an HLA-matched unrelated donor is potentially curative for hematologic malignancy, survival is lower for African Americans compared to Caucasians. As only about 20% of African Americans will have an HLA-matched unrelated donor many of these patients undergo HLA-haploidentical relative or umbilical cord blood transplantation. Thus, the current analyses studied transplant-outcomes after HLA-haploidentical relative (n=249) and umbilical cord blood (n=118) transplants for African Americans with hematologic malignancy between 2008 and 2016. The predominant disease was acute myeloid leukemia for both donor types. Grade II-IV and III-IV acute graft versus host disease was higher after umbilical cord blood (56% and 29%, respectively) compared to HLA-haploidentical relative transplantation (33% and 11%), p<0.0001. The 2-year incidence of transplant-related mortality adjusted for age and conditioning regimen intensity was higher after umbilical cord blood compared to HLA-haploidentical relative transplantation (31% versus 18%, p=0.008). However, there were no differences in the 2-year adjusted incidence of relapse (30% versus 34%, p=0.51), overall survival (54% versus 57%, p=0.66), or disease-free survival (43% versus 47%, p=0.46). HLA-haploidentical and umbilical cord blood extend access to transplantation with comparable leukemia-free and overall survival for African Americans with hematologic malignancy.
Risk Factors for Graft-versus-Host Disease in Haploidentical Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Using Post-Transplant Cyclophosphamide
Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. 2020
Post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) has significantly increased the successful use of haploidentical donors with relatively low incidence of GVHD. Given its increasing use, we sought to determine risk factors for GVHD after haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantation (haploHCT) using PTCy. Data from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research on adult patients with AML, ALL, MDS, or CML who underwent PTCy-based haploHCT (2013-2016) were analyzed and categorized into 4 groups based on myeloablative (MA) or reduced intensity (RIC) conditioning and bone marrow (BM) or peripheral blood (PB) graft source. 646 patients were identified (MA-BM=79, MA-PB=183, RIC-BM=192, RIC-PB=192). The incidence of grade 2-4 aGVHD at 6 months was highest in MA-PB (44%), followed by RIC-PB (36%), MA-BM (36%), and RIC-BM (30%) (p=0.002). The incidence of chronic GVHD at 1 year was 40%, 34%, 24%, and 20%, respectively (p<0.001). In multivariable analysis, there was no impact of stem cell source or conditioning regimen on grade 2-4 acute GVHD; however, older donor age (30-49 versus <29 years) was significantly associated with higher rates of grade 2-4 acute GVHD (HR 1.53, 95% CI 1.11-2.12, p=0.01). In contrast, PB compared to BM as a stem cell source was a significant risk factor for the development of chronic GVHD (HR 1.70, 95% CI 1.11-2.62, p=0.01) in the RIC setting. There were no differences in relapse or overall survival between groups. Donor age and graft source are risk factors for acute and chronic GVHD, respectively, after PTCy-based haploHCT. Our results indicate that in RIC haploHCT, the risk of chronic GVHD is higher with PB stem cells, without any difference in relapse or overall survival.
Adult patients with AML, ALL, MDS, or CML who underwent PTCy-based haploHCT (n=646)
Myeloablative conditioning with a bone marrow graft source (MA-BM, n=79), Myeloablative conditioning with a peripheral blood graft source (MA-PB, n=183)
Reduced intensity conditioning with a bone marrow graft source, (RIC-BM, n=192) Reduced intensity conditioning with a peripheral blood graft source, (RIC-PB, n=192).
The incidence of grade 2-4 aGVHD at 6 months was highest in MA-PB (44%), followed by RIC-PB (36%), MA-BM (36%), and RIC-BM (30%). The incidence of chronic GVHD at 1 year was 40%, 34%, 24%, and 20%, respectively. In multivariable analysis, there was no impact of stem cell source or conditioning regimen on grade 2-4 acute GVHD; however, older donor age (30-49 versus <29 years) was significantly associated with higher rates of grade 2-4 acute GVHD. In contrast, PB compared to BM as a stem cell source was a significant risk factor for the development of chronic GVHD in the RIC setting. There were no differences in relapse or overall survival between groups.
Differences in GVHD Characteristics Between Haploidentical Transplantation Using Post-Transplant Cyclophosphamide and Matched Unrelated Donor Transplantation Using Calcineurin Inhibitors
Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. 2020
We assessed differences in presentation and response to therapy in 394 consecutive patients who developed acute or chronic GVHD after receiving their first allogeneic transplantation (HSCT) from a 10/10 HLA allele matched-unrelated donor (MUD, n=179) using calcineurin inhibitors or a T-replete haploidentical donor (haplo, n=215) using post-transplant cyclophosphamide at our center between 2005 and 2017. Median follow up for survivors was 52.5 months. The cumulative incidences for grade II-IV and III-IV aGVHD at day 180 post HCT were similar at 39% and 14% for haplo compared to 50% and 16% for MUD (p=NS). Haplo patients had lower cumulative incidence of mod-severe cGVHD at 22% (severe 19%) versus 31% for MUD (severe 29%) (p=0.026). Time to onset of moderate-severe cGVHD was faster for haplo at 213 vs 280 days (p=0.011) for MUD. Among patients with grade II-IV acute GVHD, there was no significant difference in organ involvement between haplo and MUD with skin being most affected (75% haplo vs 70% MUD), gastro-intestinal tract (71% haplo vs 69% MUD) and liver (14% haplo vs 17% MUD). For cGVHD, haplo patients had less involvement of the eyes (46% vs 75% for MUD, p<0.001) and of the joints/fascia (12% vs 36%, p=0.001).Also for cGVHD patients, haplo recipients had similar all-cause mortality (22% vs 18%, p=0.89) but were more likely to be off immunosuppression at 2 years post HCT (63% vs 43% p=0.03) compared to MUD.
Consecutive patients who developed acute or chronic GVHD after receiving their first allogeneic transplantation (n=394)
Allogeneic transplantation from a 10/10 HLA allele matched-unrelated donor using calcineurin inhibitors (MUD, n=179)
T-replete haploidentical transplantation using post-transplant cyclophosphamide (haplo, n=215)
Median follow up for survivors was 52.5 months. The cumulative incidences for grade II-IV and III-IV aGVHD at day 180 post HCT were similar at 39% and 14% for haplo compared to 50% and 16% for MUD. Haplo patients had lower cumulative incidence of mod-severe cGVHD at 22% (severe 19%) versus 31% for MUD (severe 29%). Time to onset of moderate-severe cGVHD was faster for haplo at 213 vs 280 days for MUD. Among patients with grade II-IV acute GVHD, there was no significant difference in organ involvement between haplo and MUD with skin being most affected (75% haplo vs 70% MUD), gastro-intestinal tract (71% haplo vs 69% MUD) and liver (14% haplo vs 17% MUD). For cGVHD, haplo patients had less involvement of the eyes (46% vs 75% for MUD) and of the joints/fascia (12% vs 36%).Also for cGVHD patients, haplo recipients had similar all-cause mortality (22% vs 18%) but were more likely to be off immunosuppression at 2 years post HCT (63% vs 43%) compared to MUD.
A multicenter, phase I study of nivolumab for relapsed hematologic malignancies after allogeneic transplantation
CTLA-4 blockade augments the graft-vs-tumor effect in relapsed hematologic malignancies (HMs) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT). PD-1/PDL-1 interactions also contribute to functional T cell impairment, but retrospective studies of anti-PD-1 therapy following alloHCT reported substantial toxicity from GVHD. Here, we report the results of a prospective clinical trial of PD-1 blockade for relapsed HMs after alloHCT (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01822509). The primary objectives in this phase I multicenter, investigator-initiated study were to determine maximum tolerated dose and safety. Secondary objectives were to assess efficacy and immunologic activity. Patients with relapsed HMs following alloHCT were eligible. Nivolumab was administered every 2 weeks until progression or unacceptable toxicity, starting with a 1 mg/kg cohort, with planned de-escalation based on toxicity to a 0.5 mg/kg cohort. Twenty-eight patients were treated (n=19 myeloid, n=9 lymphoid). Median age was 57 (range 27-76), and median time from alloHCT to enrollment was 21 months (range 5.6-108.5). Two of six patients treated at 1 mg/kg experienced dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) from immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Twenty-two patients were treated at 0.5 mg/kg, and 4 DLTs occurred, including 2 irAEs and 2 with fatal GVHD. The overall response rate in efficacy evaluable patients was 32% (8/25). With a median follow-up of 11 months, the 1-year PFS and OS were 23% and 56%, respectively. In this first prospective clinical trial of an anti-PD-1 antibody for post-alloHCT relapse, GVHD and irAEs occurred, requiring dose de-escalation, with only modest anti-tumor activity. Further studies of anti-PD-1 therapy post alloHCT may require specific toxicity mitigation strategies.
Survival following allogeneic transplant in patients with myelofibrosis
Blood advances. 2020;4(9):1965-1973
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is the only curative therapy for myelofibrosis (MF). In this large multicenter retrospective study, overall survival (OS) in MF patients treated with allogeneic HCT (551 patients) and without HCT (non-HCT) (1377 patients) was analyzed with Cox proportional hazards model. Survival analysis stratified by the Dynamic International Prognostic Scoring System (DIPSS) revealed that the first year of treatment arm assignment, due to upfront risk of transplant-related mortality (TRM), HCT was associated with inferior OS compared with non-HCT (non-HCT vs HCT: DIPSS intermediate 1 [Int-1]: hazard ratio [HR] = 0.26, P < .0001; DIPSS-Int-2 and higher: HR, 0.39, P < .0001). Similarly, in the DIPSS low-risk MF group, due to upfront TRM risk, OS was superior with non-HCT therapies compared with HCT in the first-year post treatment arm assignment (HR, 0.16, P = .006). However, after 1 year, OS was not significantly different (HR, 1.38, P = .451). Beyond 1 year of treatment arm assignment, an OS advantage with HCT therapy in Int-1 and higher DIPSS score patients was observed (non-HCT vs HCT: DIPSS-Int-1: HR, 2.64, P < .0001; DIPSS-Int-2 and higher: HR, 2.55, P < .0001). In conclusion, long-term OS advantage with HCT was observed for patients with Int-1 or higher risk MF, but at the cost of early TRM. The magnitude of OS benefit with HCT increased as DIPSS risk score increased and became apparent with longer follow-up.
Comparing transplant outcomes in ALL patients after haploidentical with PTCy or matched unrelated donor transplantation
Blood advances. 2020;4(9):2073-2083
We compared outcomes of 1461 adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) receiving hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) from a haploidentical (n = 487) or matched unrelated donor (MUD; n = 974) between January 2005 and June 2018. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis was posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy), calcineurin inhibitor (CNI), and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) for haploidentical, and CNI with MMF or methotrexate with/without antithymoglobulin for MUDs. Haploidentical recipients were matched (1:2 ratio) with MUD controls for sex, conditioning intensity, disease stage, Philadelphia-chromosome status, and cytogenetic risk. In the myeloablative setting, day +28 neutrophil recovery was similar between haploidentical (87%) and MUD (88%) (P = .11). Corresponding rates after reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) were 84% and 88% (P = .47). The 3-month incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD (aGVHD) and 3-year chronic GVHD (cGVHD) was similar after haploidentical compared with MUD: myeloablative conditioning, 33% vs 34% (P = .46) for aGVHD and 29% vs 31% for cGVHD (P = .58); RIC, 31% vs 30% (P = .06) for aGVHD and 24% vs 29% for cGVHD (P = .86). Among patients receiving myeloablative regimens, 3-year probabilities of overall survival were 44% and 51% with haploidentical and MUD (P = .56). Corresponding rates after RIC were 43% and 42% (P = .6). In this large multicenter case-matched retrospective analysis, despite the limitations of a registry-based study (ie, unavailability of key elements such as minimal residual disease testing), our analysis indicated that outcomes of patients with ALL undergoing HCT from a haploidentical donor were comparable with 8 of 8 MUD transplantations.
What is known?
Allogeneic stem cell transplant is a potentially curative treatment option for adults with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Transplant outcomes are, amongst other factors, dependent on optimal donor selection; despite a plethora of recent advances, donor availability is an area of unmet need for many patients. A fully HLA matched sibling donor is the preferred donor choice but is available in <30% of patients. Several studies have shown that comparable results can be achieved with a fully matched unrelated donor (MUD), but availability can be as low as 20% in non-Caucasian individuals. Haploidentical donor options are available for the vast majority of patients but historically their utility was limited by high rates of GvHD, treatment related morbidity and mortality and graft rejection. The addition of post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PtCy), calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) and mycofenolate mofetil (MMF) as GvHD prophylaxis has reduced these risks and is now a frequently employed approach for haploidentical haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HaploSCT) making it an attractive alternative to conventional donor transplant.
Several recent studies have compared MUD alloSCT and HaploSCT approaches in ALL in recent years. Most notably this has included an analysis of the European Bone Marrow Transplant (EBMT) group registry which included 1234 patients with ALL and shows comparable outcomes between HaploSCT and MUD alloSCT.
What did this paper set out to examine?
This retrospective multicentre cohort study aims to compare outcomes of HaploSCT & PtCy with MUD alloSCT in ALL in terms of engraftment, acute and chronic graft versus host disease (GvHD) incidence and severity, relapse free survival (RFS), non-relapse mortality (NRM) and overall survival (OS).
It is the first study to explicitly compare haploidentical allogeneic stem cell transplant (HaploSCT) with matched unrelated donor allogeneic stem cell transplant (MUD alloSCT) in terms of conditioning intensity, Philadelphia chromosome status and graft source. It also provides additional extensive, multinational data with matched pair analysis on outcomes of patients in both groups.
What did they show?
The authors compared data from 1461 adult patients (HaploSCT = 487 vs MUD = 974). Data from two separate registries was used: the EBMT registry alone was used for MUD alloSCT while the Haploidentical Transplant and Cellular Therapy Research Consortium (TCT-RC) was used in combination with Acute Leukaemia Working Party subgroup of the EBMT registry data for assessment of HaploSCT. The reason for using two databases is not explicitly stated although it is believed that this was done to increase sample size in the HaploSCT cohort.
Patients >18 years old with ALL over a 13.5-year period from January 2005 to June 2018 receiving their first alloSCT were included in the analysis. Exclusion criteria were fairly selected. GvHD prophylaxis was with PtCy, CNI and MMF in the HaploSCT group and with CNI and methotrexate or MMF in the MUD group. 64% of MUD patients also received ATG. Cohorts were matched at 1:2 (HaploSCT : MUD) for sex, cytogenetic risk, Philadelphia chromosome status, disease stage and intensity of conditioning (reduced intensity vs myeloablative). Statistical analysis was appropriate for the question to be answered.
RESULTS: HaploSCT and MUD alloSCT were comparable in terms of neutrophil engraftment, RFS and OS regardless of conditioning intensity, Philadelphia chromosome status and graft source. 3-year OS was 44% in the HaploSCT group vs 51% in the MUD group using myeloablative conditioning (p=5.56) with rates of 43% (HaploSCT) and 42% (MUD) for reduced intensity conditioning (p=5.6).
The overall incidence of acute and chronic GvHD was similar between the groups but there was an increased incidence in grade III-IV GvHD in HaploSCT when peripheral blood stem cells were used. Additionally, mortality form GvHD was higher in the MUD group. This is in keeping with results reported in the literature.
What are the implications for practice and for future work?
HaploSCT is becoming an increasingly attractive option for patients without matched sibling transplant. The comparable overall survival and now much more manageable GvHD risk will afford a previously difficult to manage cohort of patients a further option of curative treatment.
This study adds to the growing evidence base but did have some limitations. Firstly, the study is retrospective and uses registry-based data. While the registries used are of high quality, there are inherent concerns about missing data points and differences between the two databases used. The authors agreed that the variability of the condition regimes used added a further layer of complexity.
Prospective data with intention to treat analysis is required to further assess the comparability of HaploSCT and MUD for ALL patients.
Adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (n=1461)
HSCT from a haploidentical donor (n = 487)
HSCT from a matched unrelated donor (n = 974)
In the myeloablative setting, day +28 neutrophil recovery was similar between haploidentical (87%) and MUD (88%). Corresponding rates after reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) were 84% and 88%. The 3-month incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD (aGVHD) and 3-year chronic GVHD (cGVHD) was similar after haploidentical compared with MUD: myeloablative conditioning, 33% vs 34% for aGVHD and 29% vs 31% for cGVHD; RIC, 31% vs 30% for aGVHD and 24% vs 29% for cGVHD. Among patients receiving myeloablative regimens, 3-year probabilities of overall survival were 44% and 51% with haploidentical and MUD. Corresponding rates after RIC were 43% and 42%.
Hematopoietic cell transplantation utilization and outcomes for primary plasma cell leukemia in the current era
The outcomes of patients with primary plasma cell leukemia (pPCL) after undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in the novel agent era are unknown. We report outcomes of 348 patients with pPCL receiving autologous (auto-) HCT (n = 277) and allogeneic (allo-) HCT (n = 71) between 2008 and 2015. Median age was 60 years and 56 years for auto- and allo-HCT respectively. For auto-HCT, the 4-year outcomes were: non-relapse mortality (NRM) 7% (4-11%), relapse (REL) 76% (69-82%), progression-free survival (PFS) 17% (13-23%), and overall survival (OS) 28% (22-35%). Karnofsky performance status (KPS) > 90 and ≥very good partial response (VGPR) predicted superior OS in multi-variate analysis for auto-HCT. For allo-HCT, the 4-year outcomes were: NRM 12% (5-21%), REL 69% (56-81%), PFS 19% (10-31%), and OS 31% (19-44%). Compared with prior CIBMTR pPCL patients (1995-2006), inferior survival was noted in the current cohort (3-year OS, 39% vs. 38% in allo-HCT, and 62% vs. 35% in auto-HCT) respectively. However, we noted an increased HCT utilization, from 12% (7-21%) in 1995 to 46% (34-64%) in 2009 using SEER data (available till 2009). Despite modern induction translating to higher proportion receiving HCT, the outcomes remain poor in pPCL patients, mainly derived by high relapse rates post-HCT.