[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adoptive immunotherapy against viral infections is a promising treatment option for patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. However, the generation of virus-specific T cells is either cost-intensive or time-consuming. We developed the first GMP-compliant protocol to generate donor-derived adenovirus (HAdV), cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr virus-specific T-cell lines (TCLs) within 12 days by the use of overlapping polypeptides derived from different viruses in combination with IL-15. Two patients after undergoing haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation with HAdV viremia displaying rising viral loads despite treatment with cidofovir received 1×10 donor-derived short-term expanded HAdV-specific TCLs per kg body weight. In both patients, HAdV-specific T cells could be detected by IFN-γ-ELISpot 30 and 22 days postinfusion, and resulted in complete clearance or >1.5 log reduction of viral load within 15 and 18 days, respectively. This protocol facilitates rapid and cost-effective generation of virus-specific TCLs, which appear to provide an effective treatment option.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, efficacy and safety of a new recombinant E.coli-asparaginase preparation was evaluated in infants (< 1 year of age) with de novo acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Twelve patients were treated according to the INTERFANT-06 protocol and received up to 10,000 U/m2; recombinant asparaginase as intravenous infusion on days 15, 18, 22, 25, 29 and 33 of remission induction treatment. The asparaginase dose was individually adjusted by protocol to 67% of the calculated dose for infants < 6 months, and to 75% of the calculated dose for infants aged 6-12 months. The trough serum asparaginase activities observed were above 20, 50, or 100 U/L in 86%, 71%, and 51% of measured samples, respectively. Looking only at the data assessed 3 days after asparaginase infusion these percentages were 91%, 84%, and 74% respectively. Asparagine was completely depleted in serum in all but one patient who was the youngest in the study. No anti-asparaginase-antibodies were detected during this treatment phase. Observed adverse reactions are known as possible and labeled side effects of asparaginase treatment and chemotherapy. We conclude that the asparaginase dose regimen used in infants is safe and provides complete asparagine depletion for the desired time period in nearly all patients. Measured asparaginase trough serum levels justify the higher doses used in infants compared to older children and show that the 3 days intervals are preferred over 4 days intervals. (This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu as EudraCT number 2008-006300-27).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on the results from the AML-BFM 98 trial, hematopoietic SCT (HSCT) is recommended for children with AML in second CR only. Here, we retrospectively analyze interphase data of children who underwent HSCT after myeloablative conditioning with BU, CY, and melphalan (BuCyMel) for AML in second remission (CR2) between 1998 and 2009. Out of 152 children, transplant data were available on 109 individuals. Sixty out of 109 children (55%) received BuCyMel. Median age at HSCT was 12.2 years (range 3.0; 18.3). GVHD prophylaxis mostly consisted of CsA and short term MTX with or without antithymocyte globulin. Matched-sibling donors were used for 6/60 analyzed recipients, the remainder either received grafts from matched unrelated (30/60) or mismatched donors. OS after 5 years was 62% (s.e. 6%), relapse incidence 35% (18/60 children) and treatment-related mortality accounted for 12% (7/60) of fatal events. In conclusion, even taking into account possible selection bias in this retrospective analysis, HSCT in CR2 using BuCyMel resulted in a respectable OS. Based on this data the prospective, controlled and centrally monitored AML SCT-BFM 2007 trial has started to recruit patients in January 2010 aiming to generate valid outcome data for further strategy decisions.Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 29 October 2012; doi:10.1038/bmt.2012.204.
Bone Marrow Transplantation 05/2013; 48(5):651-6. · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the long-term follow-up of children transplanted with Treosulfan (TREO)-based conditioning in Germany and Austria. Nine centres reported a total of 109 transplantations. Patients were stratified according to the paediatric TRM risk score derived from the paediatric BMT registry (PRST) and compared with the historical transplant population of this registry. Underlying diseases were malignancies, immunodeficiencies, and haematologic and metabolic disorders. TREO total dose ranged from 21-42 g/m(2). Additional conditioning drugs included fludarabine, thiotepa, melphalan, CY and/or TBI. EFS at 3 years for non-malignant and malignant diseases was 88% and 49%, respectively. Leukaemia patients in remission had a survival of 51% at 3 years; nonremission patients relapsed and died within 18 months. TRM and OS in the low-risk groups 0 and 1 were similar to PRST controls. TRM in the high-risk groups 2 and 3 was markedly lower (9% vs 28% and 13% vs 53%, respectively) than in the PRST group, but OS was similar. In conclusion, TREO-based conditioning regimens in children resulted in excellent engraftment and long-term survival in nonmalignant disease. In high-risk malignancy, low acute toxicity was followed by low TRM but it did not translate into increased survival.Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 22 October 2012; doi:10.1038/bmt.2012.188.
Bone Marrow Transplantation 04/2013; 48(4):491-501. · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary B cell disorders comprise a heterogeneous group of inherited immunodeficiencies, often associated with autoimmunity causing significant morbidity. The underlying genetic etiology remains elusive in the majority of patients. In this study, we investigated a patient from a consanguineous family, suffering from recurrent infections and severe lupus-like autoimmunity. Immunophenotyping revealed progressive decrease of CD19(+) B cells, defective class switch indicated by low numbers of IgM- and IgG-memory B cells as well as increased numbers of CD21(low) B cells. Combined homozygosity mapping and exome sequencing identified a biallelic splice-site mutation in protein C kinase delta (PRKCD), causing absence of the corresponding protein product. Consequently, phosphorylation of myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS) was decreased and mRNA levels of nuclear factor interleukin-6 (NF-IL6) and IL6 were increased. Our study uncovers human PRKCD deficiency as a novel cause of common variable immunodeficiency-like B cell deficiency with severe autoimmunity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The overall outcome for children with nephroblastomas is excellent when treated according to protocols that include surgery, chemotherapy, and, in selected cases, radiotherapy. This study was conducted to provide population-based data on Austrian children who had been treated in neoadjuvant nephroblastoma trials between October 1988 and July 2001. One hundred and forty-eight children with newly diagnosed untreated renal tumors were registered in the Austrian–Hungarian Wilms Tumor Study (AHWTS) 1989 (N = 63) and the SIOP 93-01/GPOH Study (N = 85). After a median follow-up of 11.8 years from diagnosis, 130 patients have been reported to be alive; 18 patients have died. Three patients had carcinoma and three had nephroblastomatosis; the 5-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) rates for the remaining 142 patients were 83 ± 3 % and 91 ± 2 %, respectively (SIOP 93-01/GPOH trial, 5-year EFS 85 ± 4 %, OS 95 ± 2 %; AHWTS 1989 trial, 5-year EFS 79 ± 5 %, OS 86 ± 5 %). Outcome was better for low-risk pathology (N = 14; 5-year EFS 92 ± 8 %, OS 100 %) than for intermediate-risk (N = 106; 5-year EFS 89 ± 3 %, OS 94 ± 2 %) and high-risk pathology (N = 22; 5-year EFS 50 ± 11 %, OS 68 ± 10 %; P < 0.001). The stage of the disease was correlated with outcome; stages I–III (N = 102; 5-year EFS 90 ± 3 %, OS 95 ± 2 %), stage IV (N = 25; 5-year EFS 56 ± 10 %, OS 76 ± 9 %), and stage V (N = 15; 5-year EFS 80 ± 10 %, OS 87 ± 9 %; P = 0.008). On the basis of the expected incidence for renal tumors in childhood, these data provide evidence that almost all children with these diseases in Austria had been recruited in the respective treatment trials (mean: 12 patients/year); and the outcomes are comparable to international results.
memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology 12/2012; 5(4).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:: Kabuki syndrome is a rare condition characterized by distinct dysmorphic features and a broad spectrum of organ anomalies. Differentiating it from other syndromes can be difficult, particularly in patients with incomplete phenotypic manifestation. Recently, MLL2 gene mutations were identified as the underlying genetic cause of Kabuki syndrome in the majority of cases. OBSERVATIONS:: We report the case of an adolescent with an uncommon combination of manifestations, including hypogammaglobulinemia and severe chronic thrombopenia associated with a novel MLL2 mutation. CONCLUSIONS:: This report adds to the growing knowledge on the mutational and phenotypic spectrum of Kabuki syndrome.
Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 10/2012; · 0.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is extremely rarely seen in young patients.A 16 year-old girl presented with appendicitis-like acute abdominal pain. Intra-operatively, multiple confluent peritoneal nodules were seen on the entire greater omentum and in the pelvis infiltrating the uterus and both ovaries. Biopsies were obtained and interpreted as serous ovarian carcinoma. Radical surgical resection and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy -(HIPEC) with carboplatin was performed and followed by 2 cycles of carboplatin/paclitaxel. Histological reevaluation showed characteristic features of epithelioid peritoneal mesothelioma and ruled out serous ovarian cancer. Therapy was continued with 6 cycles of pemetrexed/cisplatin.3 months after end of chemotherapy vital tumor tissue was found in the recess behind the liver, which could be resected completely. The patient is currently disease-free 17 months after initial diagnosis.Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma in young female patients might be under-recognized and possibly misdiagnosed as ovarian serous carcinoma in some cases. International and interdisciplinary cooperation is necessary in order to provide evidence based guidelines for diagnosis and treatment in the future.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The life span of dendritic cells (DCs) is determined by the balance of pro- and antiapoptotic proteins. In this study, we report that serum-free cultured human monocyte-derived DCs after TLR stimulation with polyinosinic acid-polycytidylic acid or LPS underwent apoptosis, which was correlated with low TNF production. Apoptosis was prevented by the addition of exogenous TNF or by concomitant stimulation with R-848, which strongly amplified endogenous TNF production. Neutralization of TNF confirmed that DC survival was mediated by autocrine TNF induced either by stimulation with R-848 or by ligation of CD40. DCs stimulated by polyinosinic acid-polycytidylic acid or IFN-β, another known inducer of DC apoptosis, were characterized by high levels and activation of the proapoptotic protein BAK. The ratio of antiapoptotic BCL-2 to BAK correlated best with the survival of activated DCs. Addition of TNF increased this ratio but had little effect on BAX and XIAP. Knockdown experiments using small interfering RNAs confirmed that the survival of activated and also of immature DCs was regulated by BAK and showed that TNF was protective only in the presence of FLIP(L). Together, our data demonstrate that the survival of DCs during differentiation and activation depends on autocrine TNF and that the inhibition of BAK plays an important role in this process.
The Journal of Immunology 04/2012; 188(10):4810-8. · 5.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We explored the possibility to target Ewing's sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT) by redirecting T cells. To this aim, we considered NKG2D-ligands (NKG2D-Ls) as possible target antigens. Detailed analysis of the expression of MICA, MICB, ULBP-1, -2, and -3 in fourteen ESFT cell lines revealed consistent expression of at least one NKG2D-L. Thus, for redirecting T cells, we fused a CD3ζ/CD28-derived signaling domain to the ectodomain of NKG2D, however, opposite transmembrane orientation of this signaling domain and NKG2D required inverse orientation fusion of either of them. We hypothesized that the particularly located C-terminus of the NKG2D ectodomain should allow reengineering of the membrane anchoring from a native N-terminal to an artificial C-terminal linkage. Indeed, the resulting chimeric NKG2D receptor (chNKG2D) was functional and efficiently mediated ESFT cell death triggered by activated T cells. Notably, ESFT cells with even low NKG2D-L expression were killed by CD8(pos) and also CD4(pos) cells. Both, mRNA transfection and lentiviral transduction resulted in high level surface expression of chNKG2D. However, upon target-cell recognition receptor surface levels were maintained by tranfected RNA only during the first couple of hours after transfection. Later, target-cell contact resulted in strong and irreversible receptor down-modulation, whereas lentivirally mediated expression of chNKG2D remained constant under these conditions. Together, our study defines NKG2D-Ls as targets for a CAR-mediated T cell based immunotherapy of ESFT. A comparison of two different methods of gene transfer reveals strong differences in the susceptibility to ligand-induced receptor down-modulation with possible implications for the applicability of RNA transfection.
PLoS ONE 02/2012; 7(2):e31210. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who developed mixed chimerism (MC) were at high risk for relapse after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (allo-SCT). We investigated the feasibility of intensified preemptive immunotherapy in children receiving allo-SCT for AML. Eighty-four children were registered in our trial from May 2005 to April 2009; of these, 71 fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were treated according to the study protocol. Serial and semiquantitative analyses of posttransplantation chimerism were performed. Defined immunotherapy approaches were considered in MC patients. Continuous complete chimerism (CC) was observed in 51 of 71 patients. MC was detected in 20 patients and was followed by immunotherapy in 13. Six of 13 MC patients returned to CC without toxicity and remained in long-term remission. Overall, the probability of event-free survival (pEFS) was 66% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 53%-76%) for all patients and 46% (95% CI = 19%-70%) in MC patients with intervention; however, this number increased to 71% (95% CI = 26%-92%) in 7 of 13 MC patients on immunotherapy who were in remission at the time of transplantation. All MC patients without intervention relapsed. These results suggest that MC is a prognostic factor for impending relapse in childhood AML, and that preemptive immunotherapy may improve the outcome in defined high-risk patients after transplantation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) constitute <2% of soft tissue neoplasms in children and display a wide histologic spectrum including low-grade and epithelioid variants, although most are high-grade spindle cell sarcomas. Here, we describe an unusual case of a large retroperitoneal epithelioid MPNST diagnosed in a 7-year-old girl without family history or clinical features of neurofibromatosis type 1. The patient was treated by repeated surgical interventions, polychemotherapy, autologous stem cell transplantation, and irradiation therapy. Over the years, she developed multiple disseminated abdominal recurrences but is currently alive with very slowly progressing disseminated intra-abdominal disease 18 years from initial diagnosis. Histologically, the tumor was composed of medium-sized polygonal and ovoid-to-spindled cells set within a copious myxoid matrix with a prominent reticular and microcystic pattern reminiscent of the recently described reticular/microcystic schwannoma. Immunohistochemistry revealed strong and diffuse expression of S100, CD56, CD57, collagen IV, and neuron-specific enolase, with negativity for perineurial cell markers (claudin-1, epithelial membrane antigen, and glucose transporter-1) and other lineage-specific mesenchymal and epithelial antigens. This unusual variant of low-grade MPNST must be differentiated from a variety of other entities, in particular benign perineurioma, myxoid neurofibroma, and benign reticular/microcystic schwannoma. Confinement of the recurrent disease to the abdominal cavity emphasizes the necessity of primary curative wide excision of this highly recurring but nonmetastasizing low-grade neoplasm.
Applied immunohistochemistry & molecular morphology: AIMM / official publication of the Society for Applied Immunohistochemistry 07/2011; · 1.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infertility is a major late effect in patients receiving haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of patients having fertility impairment after allogeneic HSCT in childhood/adolescence and to identify the potential risk factors. Treatment and fertility data of paediatric patients with malignant and non-malignant diseases treated with allogeneic HSCT between 2000 and 2005 were collected from seven European centres. Data were obtained for 138 female and 206 male patients after a median follow-up of 6 years (range 3-12). The patients' median age was 13 years (range 4-28) at the time of HSCT and 19 (range 12-35) years at the time of the enquiry. Seven children were born to the overall group, all at term and healthy. Fertility impairment was suspected in 69% males and 83% females. Start of treatment at age 13 years was a risk factor in females (odds ratio (OR) 4.7; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.5 to 14.9), whereas pre-pubertal therapy was a risk factor in males (OR 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2 to 0.8). The major treatment-related risk factors were BU in females (OR 47.4; 95% CI, 5.4 to 418.1) and TBI in males (OR 7.7; 95% CI, 2.3 to 25.4). In light of the significant proportion of HSCT patients reviewed with impaired fertility, fertility conservation procedures should be considered for all patients undergoing HSCT, particularly those receiving TBI or BU-based preparative regimens.
Bone marrow transplantation 04/2011; 47(2):271-6. · 3.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 12-year-old girl presented with recurrent gross hematuria over 3 months and regular findings in sonography of the urogenital tract. The first suspected diagnosis of familial IgA glomerulonephritis was excluded by kidney biopsy. After a further episode of gross hematuria leading to vesical tamponade, the patient received magnetic resonance imaging with angiography and urography, which was suspicious for a renal tumor. Consecutively, unilateral nephrectomy was performed and a nephroblastoma was diagnosed. This case demonstrates that even in grossly normal renal ultrasound, relapsing episodes of gross hematuria can be caused by renal tumor, and therefore in unclear situations, further diagnostic is necessary.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To establish a safe dose of subcutaneous (SC) recombinant interleukin 2 (rIL-2) in an outpatient setting for children with stage 4 neuroblastoma after megatherapy (MGT) and autologous stem-cell reinfusion (ASCR) that is able to sustain an increase of natural-killer cells (NKCs) above the level previously reported for immunomodulatory potency.
Between August 1997 and November 2000, 33 patients with stage 4 neuroblastoma entered the study from six countries after receiving MGT/ASCR according to national protocols. Dose levels of 3, 6, and 9 × 10(6) U rIL-2/m(2) were given SC in six 5-day cycles every 2 weeks.
Median age at registration was 4.1 years (range, 1.8 to 7.4). Median observation time was 5 years (range, 4 to 9.8). Increase of NKCs was achieved in 89% of courses, with more than 100% increase over baseline and/or more than 1,000 NKCs/μL in 58%. On the basis of outpatient dose-limiting toxicity at dose level 3, dose level 2 was chosen for the confirmation stage. At dose level 2, the median increase in absolute NKCs was 1,180 cells/μL for all 83 cycles, corresponding to a median relative NKC increase over baseline of 711%. Fever was frequent but controllable with adequate supportive care; 6.5% of patients were hospitalized. Localized pain was moderate and acceptable. Event-free and overall survival rates at 5 years were 45% (± 9 standard deviation [SD]) and 48% (± 9 SD), respectively.
The low toxicity profile and ability to sustain an increase in NKCs of IL-2 at 6 × 10(6) U/m(2) SC allows its integration in an outpatient setting.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 02/2011; 29(4):441-8. · 17.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) is associated with morbidity and mortality. Adoptive T cell immunotherapy has been used to treat viral reactivation but is hardly feasible in high-risk constellations of CMV-positive HSCT patients and CMV-negative stem cell donors. We endowed human effector T cells with a chimeric immunoreceptor (cIR) directed against CMV glycoprotein B. These cIR-engineered primary T cells mediated antiviral effector functions such as cytokine production and cytolysis. This first description of cIR-redirected CMV-specific T cells opens up a new perspective for HLA-independent immunotherapy of CMV infection in high-risk patients.
Journal of Virology 02/2010; 84(8):4083-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor