Diagnosis, grading and management of toxicities from immunotherapies in children, adolescents and young adults with cancer
Nature reviews. Clinical oncology. 2021
Cancer immunotherapies are associated with remarkable therapeutic response rates but also with unique and severe toxicities, which potentially result in rapid deterioration in health. The number of clinical applications for novel immune effector-cell therapies, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-expressing cells, and other immunotherapies, such as immune-checkpoint inhibitors, is increasing. In this Consensus Statement, members of the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Investigators (PALISI) Network Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation-Cancer Immunotherapy (HCT-CI) Subgroup, Paediatric Diseases Working Party (PDWP) of the European Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT), Supportive Care Committee of the Pediatric Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Consortium (PTCTC) and MD Anderson Cancer Center CAR T Cell Therapy-Associated Toxicity (CARTOX) Program collaborated to provide updated comprehensive recommendations for the care of children, adolescents and young adults receiving cancer immunotherapies. With these recommendations, we address emerging toxicity mitigation strategies, we advocate for the characterization of baseline organ function according to age and discipline-specific criteria, we recommend early critical care assessment when indicated, with consideration of reversibility of underlying pathology (instead of organ failure scores) to guide critical care interventions, and we call for researchers, regulatory agencies and sponsors to support and facilitate early inclusion of young patients with cancer in well-designed clinical trials.
Randomized phase II trial of extracorporeal phototherapy and steroids vs. steroids alone for newly diagnosed acute GVHD
Bone marrow transplantation. 2021
Steroids remain the initial therapy for acute graft-vs.-host disease (AGVHD). Strategies to improve response and minimize steroid exposure are needed. We report results of a randomized, adaptive, Bayesian-designed, phase II trial of prednisone with or without extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) as an initial therapy for patients with newly diagnosed AGVHD. The primary endpoint was success at day 56 defined as: alive, in remission, achieving AGVHD response without additional therapy, and on <1?mg/kg at day 28 and <0.5?mg/kg on day 56 of steroids. Eighty-one patients were randomized to the ECP arm (n?=?51) or steroids alone (n?=?30). Median age was 54 years (range: 17-75); 90% had grade II AGVHD and 10% had grades III and IV AGVHD, with skin (85%), upper (22%)/lower (22%) gastrointestinal, and liver (10%) involvement. The ECP arm had a higher probability of success (0.815) and exceeded the predefined threshold for determining the investigational arm promising. ECP was potentially more beneficial than steroids-alone in skin-only AGVHD (response rate: 72% vs. 57%, respectively) than for visceral-organ AGVHD (47% vs. 43%, respectively). The addition of ECP to steroids may result in higher GVHD response as initial therapy for AGVHD, especially for patients with skin-only involvement.
Patients with newly-diagnosed acute graft-versus-host disease (AGVHD, n=81)
Prednisone with extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP, n=51)
Prednisone alone (n=30)
The ECP arm had a higher probability of success (0.815) and exceeded the predefined threshold for determining the investigational arm promising. ECP was potentially more beneficial than steroids-alone in skin-only AGVHD (response rate: 72% vs. 57%, respectively) than for visceral-organ AGVHD (47% vs. 43%, respectively).
Busulfan and melphalan conditioning is superior to melphalan alone in autologous stem cell transplantation for high-risk MM
Blood advances. 2020;4(19):4834-4837
Myeloablative Conditioning for Allogeneic Transplantation Results in Superior Disease-Free Survival for Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndromes with Low/Intermediate, but not High Disease Risk Index: A CIBMTR Study: Superior DFS with MAC compared to RIC HCT in AML/MDS with low/intermediate risk DRI
Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. 2020
Myeloablative (MAC) as compared to reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) is generally associated with lower relapse risk after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). However, disease specific risk factors in AML/MDS can further inform when MAC vs. RIC may yield differential outcomes. We analyzed HCT outcomes stratified by the disease risk index (DRI) in 4387 adults (age 40-65 years) to identify the impact of conditioning intensity. In the low/intermediate risk DRI cohort, RIC was associated with lower non-relapse mortality (NRM) (HR=0.74, 95% CI 0.62-0.88; p<0.001), but significantly higher relapse risk (HR=1.54, 95% CI 1.35-1.76; p<0.001) and thus inferior disease-free survival (DFS) (HR=1.19, 95% CI 1.07-1.33; p=0.001). In the high/very high risk DRI cohort, RIC resulted in marginally lower NRM (HR=0.83, 95% CI 0.68-1.00; p=0.051), and significantly higher relapse risk (HR=1.23, 95% CI 1.08-1.41; p=0.002) leading to similar DFS using either RIC or MAC. These data support MAC over RIC as the preferred conditioning intensity for AML/MDS with low/intermediate risk DRI, but similar benefit to RIC in high/very high risk DRI. Novel MAC regimens with less toxicity could benefit all, but more potent anti-neoplastic approaches are needed for the high/very high risk DRI group.
Adult patients aged 40-65 years with acute myeloid leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndrome (AML/MDS) (n=4387)
Reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) and low/intermediate risk (n=999), RIC and high/very high risk (n=728)
Myeloablative conditioning (MAC) and low/intermediate risk (n=1539), MAC and high/very high risk (n=1121)
In the low/intermediate risk disease risk index (DRI) cohort, RIC was associated with lower non-relapse mortality (NRM) , but significantly higher relapse risk and thus inferior disease-free survival (DFS). In the high/very high risk DRI cohort, RIC resulted in marginally lower NRM, and significantly higher relapse risk leading to similar DFS using either RIC or MAC.
Optimizing the Conditioning Regimen for HCT in Myelofibrosis: Long-term Results of a Prospective Phase II Clinical Trial
Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. 2020
BACKGROUND Optimal conditioning regimen for older patients with myelofibrosis undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is not known. Likewise, role of dose intensity is not clear. METHODS We conducted a non-randomized prospective phase II trial using low-dose, later escalated to high-dose (MAC) busulfan with fludarabine (Bu-Flu) in myelofibrosis patients up to 74 years. First 15 patients received intravenous busulfan 130 mg/m(2)/day on days -3 and -2 ("low dose"); 31 received high dose - either 100 mg/m(2)/day (days -5 to -2; n=4) or pharmacokinetic-guided area under the curve of 4,000 mumol.min (days -5 to -2; n=27). Primary endpoint was day 100 non-relapse mortality (NRM). FINDINGS Median age was 58 years (interquartile range (IQR) 53-63). Dynamic international prognostic scoring system (DIPSS)-plus was intermediate (n=28) or high (n=18). Donors were related (n=19) or unrelated (n=27). Cumulative incidence of NRM was 9.7% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0-20.3) at day 100 and at 3 years in the high dose, while it was 0% in the low dose group at day 100, and increased to 20% (95% CI 0-41.9) at 3 years. With a median follow up of 5.1 years (IQR 3.8-6), 3-year relapse was 32.3% (95% CI 15.4-49.1) in high dose versus 53.3% (95% CI 26.6-80.1) in low dose; event-free survival was 58% (95% CI 43-78%) versus 27% (95% CI 12-62%), and overall survival was 74% (95% CI 60-91%) versus 60% (95% CI 40-91%) respectively. In multivariate analysis, high dose busulfan had a trend towards lower relapse (Hazard ratio (HR) 0.44, 95% CI, 0.18-1.07, p=0.07), with no impact on NRM. INTERPRETATION Intensifying Bu-Flu regimen using pharmacokinetic-monitoring appears promising in reducing relapse without increasing non-relapse mortality. FUNDING The study was supported partly by Otsuka pharmaceutical and partly by the Cancer Center Support Grant (NCI Grant P30 CA016672).
Reduced intensity conditioning for acute myeloid leukemia using melphalan- vs busulfan-based regimens: a CIBMTR report
Blood advances. 2020;4(13):3180-3190
There is a lack of large comparative study on the outcomes of reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) transplantation using fludarabine/busulfan (FB) and fludarabine/melphalan (FM) regimens. Adult AML patients from Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research who received first RIC allo-transplant between 2001 and 2015 were studied. Patients were excluded if they received cord blood or identical twin transplant, total body irradiation in conditioning, or graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis with in vitro T-cell depletion. Primary outcome was overall survival (OS), secondary end points were leukemia-free survival (LFS), nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse, and GVHD. Multivariate survival model was used with adjustment for patient, leukemia, and transplant-related factors. A total of 622 patients received FM and 791 received FB RIC. Compared with FB, the FM group had fewer transplant in complete remission (CR), fewer matched sibling donors, and less usage of anti-thymocyte globulin or alemtuzumab. More patients in the FM group received marrow grafts and had transplantation before 2005. OS was significantly lower within the first 3 months posttransplant in the FM group (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.82, P < .001), but was marginally superior beyond 3 months (HR = 0.87, P = .05). LFS was better with FM compared with FB (HR = 0.89, P = .05). NRM was significantly increased in the FM group during the first 3 months of posttransplant (HR = 3.85, P < .001). Long-term relapse was lower with FM (HR = 0.65, P < .001). Analysis restricted to patients with CR showed comparable results. In conclusion, compared with FB, the FM RIC showed a marginally superior long-term OS and LFS and a lower relapse rate. A lower OS early posttransplant within 3 months was largely the result of a higher early NRM.
Adult AML patients from Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research who received first RIC allo-transplant between 2001 and 2015 (n=1413)
Fludarabine/busulfan reduced intensity conditioning regimen (FB, n=791)
Fludarabine/melphalan reduced intensity conditioning regimen (FM, n=622)
Compared with FB, the FM group had fewer transplant in complete remission (CR), fewer matched sibling donors, and less usage of anti-thymocyte globulin or alemtuzumab. More patients in the FM group received marrow grafts and had transplantation before 2005. OS was significantly lower within the first 3 months posttransplant in the FM group (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.82), but was marginally superior beyond 3 months (HR = 0.87). LFS was better with FM compared with FB (HR = 0.89). NRM was significantly increased in the FM group during the first 3 months of posttransplant (HR = 3.85). Long-term relapse was lower with FM (HR = 0.65). Analysis restricted to patients with CR showed comparable results.
Improved detection of sinusoidal obstructive syndrome using pediatric-AYA diagnostic criteria and severity grading
Bone marrow transplantation. 2020
New diagnostic criteria and severity grading for sinusoidal obstructive syndrome (SOS) among pediatric and adolescent young adult (AYA) patients have been recently endorsed by international consensus. The extent to which these have been adopted in the US remains unclear. We sought to assess the potential impact via retrospective application of these criteria among patients treated at a large academic center in the United States. This is a single center retrospective study of pediatric-AYA patients who underwent hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) between July 2009 and 2019. The incidence of SOS was assessed using historic Baltimore and Seattle diagnostic criteria and compared with more recent guidelines (pEBMT) as proposed by the Paediatric Diseases Working Party of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Among 226 patients, application of the pEBMT diagnostic criteria was associated with a higher incidence (15.9%) and earlier time to diagnosis of SOS (by 2.5-3 days) compared with the modified Seattle (12.3%), and Baltimore (6.6%) criteria, respectively. The pEBMT criteria were sensitive and highly specific. Refractory thrombocytopenia was present in 75% of patients at diagnosis. Approximately 61% of patients with SOS were anicteric at diagnosis, though the majority (94.4%) developed hyperbilirubinemia as SOS progressed over a median time of 4 (1-57) days. Application of pEBMT criteria may have resulted in earlier indication for definitive treatment by 3 days. Timely diagnosis and administration of definitive treatment of SOS has been associated with improved outcomes. Prospective studies may better characterize the risk factors and natural course of SOS using pEBMT criteria.
Haploidentical Transplants for Patients with Graft Failure After the First Allograft
American journal of hematology. 2020
Cytogenetics and Blast Count Determine Transplant Outcomes in Patients with Active Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Acta haematologica. 2020;:1-8
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients not in remission and beyond first or second complete remission are considered allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) candidates. We present 361 patients who underwent SCT from matched related or unrelated donors between 2005 and 2013. The purpose was to identify a subgroup of patients with active disease at the time of transplant that benefit. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used for univariate and multivariate analyses to predict overall survival (OS). Variables considered were age, sex, SWOG cytogenetic risk group, bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB) blast percentage, regimen intensity, and type of AML. At a median of 26 months after transplantation, OS, progression-free survival (PFS), non-relapse mortality, and relapse rates were 26, 24, 23, and 48%, respectively. In a univariate analysis, risk cytogenetics (p < 0.001) and BM blasts >4% (p = 0.006) or any blasts in PB (p < 0.001) indicated worse OS. In a multivariate analysis, patients with <5% BM blasts or absence of circulating blasts and good or intermediate risk cytogenetics had significantly superior OS (46%), PFS (44%), and disease progression at 3 years. Based on these findings, patients not in remission with good or intermediate risk cytogenetics and low blast counts should be considered for SCT.
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%.