Targeting Immune Dysregulation in Myelodysplastic Syndromes
ABSTRACT Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a heterogeneous group of bone marrow disorders characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and a tendency to develop leukemia. In some patients, laboratory and clinical evidence supports a role for the immune system in the pathogenesis of early MDS. Many younger patients who respond to immunosuppressive therapy with drugs such as antithymocyte globulin and cyclosporine have clonal expansions of cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells that suppress normal hematopoiesis, as well as expansion of CD4(+) helper T-cell subsets that promote and sustain autoimmunity. Immunosuppressive therapy can produce hematologic responses in some patients and may improve survival and halt leukemic progression. In this report, we describe a 56-year-old woman who presented with fatigue and easy bruising, eventually became pancytopenic, and was diagnosed with MDS. After treatment with a clinical protocol using alemtuzumab, an anti-CD52 antibody, her blood cell counts returned to normal and she has remained in complete remission for more than 2 years of follow-up. In this article, we review the pathobiology of immune dysregulation in MDS and summarize the role of immunosuppressive therapy in MDS.
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ABSTRACT: DISEASE OVERVIEW: The myelodysplastic (MDS) are a very heterogeneous group of myeloid disorders characterized by peripheral blood cytopenias and increased risk of transformation to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). MDS occurs more frequently in older male and in individuals with prior exposure to cytotoxic therapy. DIAGNOSIS: Diagnosis of MDS is based on morphological evidence of dysplasia upon visual examination of a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy. Information obtained from additional studies such as karyotype, flow cytometry, or molecular genetics is complementary but not diagnostic. RISK-STRATIFICATION: Prognosis of patients with MDS can be calculated using a number of scoring systems. In general, all these scoring systems include analysis of peripheral cytopenias, percentage of blasts in the bone marrow, and cytogenetic characteristics. The most commonly used system is the International Prognostic Scoring System. This score divides patients into a lower risk subset (low and intermediate-1) and a higher risk subset (int-2 and high). Other more modern systems have been developed that allow more precise risk calculation. RISK-ADAPTED THERAPY: Therapy is selected based on risk, transfusion needs, percent of bone marrow blasts and more recently cytogenetic profile. Goals of therapy are different in lower risk patients than in higher risk. In lower risk, the goal is to decrease transfusion needs and transformation to higher risk disease or AML. In higher risk, the goal is to prolong survival. Current available therapies include growth factor support, lenalidomide, hypomethylating agents, intensive chemotherapy, and allogeneic stem cell transplantation. The use of lenalidomide has significant clinical activity in patients with lower risk disease, anemia, and a chromosome 5 alteration. 5-azacitidine and decitabine have activity in higher risk MDS. 5-azacitidine has been shown to improve survival in higher risk MDS. Additional supportive care measures may include the use of prophylactic antibiotics and iron chelation. MANAGEMENT OF PROGRESSIVE OR REFRACTORY DISEASE: At the present time, there are no approved interventions for patients with progressive or refractory disease particularly after hypomethylating based therapy. Options include cytarabine-based therapy, transplantation, and participation on a clinical trial.American Journal of Hematology 06/2011; 86(6):490-8. DOI:10.1002/ajh.22047 · 3.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: IFNγ and TNFα are potent inhibitors of hematopoiesis and have been implicated in the pathophysiology of bone marrow failure and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). We examined the role of protein kinase R (PKR) in the generation of the inhibitory effects of these myelosuppressive cytokines on hematopoiesis. Our data demonstrate that PKR is rapidly phosphorylated/activated in response to engagement of IFNγ or TNFα receptors in normal human hematopoietic progenitors. Such engagement of PKR is important for the suppressive effects of these cytokines on normal hematopoiesis. Pharmacological targeting of PKR using a specific inhibitor or siRNA-mediated PKR knockdown results in partial reversal of the suppressive effects of IFNγ and TNFα on normal human CD34+-derived myeloid (colony-forming unit-granulocyte-monocytic) and erythroid (burst-forming unit-erythroid) progenitors. Importantly, inhibition of PKR activity or expression increases hematopoietic colony formation from human MDS progenitors, suggesting that drugs that target PKR may provide a novel approach for the treatment of MDS and marrow failure syndromes. Altogether, our data establish that beyond its key role in the induction of IFN-antiviral responses, PKR plays important roles in signaling for IFNγ and other myelosuppressive cytokine receptors as a common mediator of signals for hematopoietic suppression.Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2011; 286(31):27506-14. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M111.238501 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) represent a complex spectrum of clonal hematopoietic stem cell disorders manifested by cytopenias, risk of infection, and variable risk of progression to acute myelogenous leukemia. Several theories of MDS pathogenesis exist, with contributions of genetic, epigenetic, apoptotic, differentiation, and cytokine milieu abnormalities. Immune dysregulation has also been implicated in MDS pathogenesis. In some forms of MDS it is evident that immune dysregulation may be a primary pathophysiologic abnormality, while in others the abnormal immune function may represent only a small part of the pathologic puzzle. We review the current literature regarding natural killer (NK) cell, T cell, and myeloid derived suppressor cell abnormalities in the spectrum of MDS.Leukemia & lymphoma 06/2011; 52(11):2045-9. DOI:10.3109/10428194.2011.584002 · 2.61 Impact Factor