[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies and transcriptomics have consistently implicated the interleukin-15 (IL-15) gene in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) biology, including associations with disease susceptibility, resistance to initial therapy and increased risk of mediastinal and central nervous system (CNS) involvement. However, whether pre-B ALL blasts directly respond to IL-15 is currently unknown. Here we show that the majority of pre-B ALL primary samples and cell lines express IL-15 and all 3 components of its heterotrimeric receptor and that primary pre-B ALL cells show increased growth in culture in response to IL-15. Investigation of mechanisms of action using highly IL-15 responsive SD-1 cells shows this growth advantage is maximal under low serum conditions, mimicking those found in cerebrospinal fluid. Addition of IL-15 also up-regulates PSGL-1 and CXCR3, molecules associated with lymph-node and CNS trafficking. Investigation of downstream signalling pathways indicates that IL-15 induces STAT5, ERK1/2 and to a lesser extent PI3K and NFκB phosphorylation. The IL-15 mediated growth advantage is abolished by MEK/ERK, PI3K and NFκB inhibitors, but preserved in the presence of STAT5 inhibition. Together these observations provide a plausible mechanistic link between increased levels of IL-15 expression and leukemogenesis, high-risk disease, mediastinal involvement and CNS relapse and suggest potential therapeutic targets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transient Abnormal Myelopoiesis (TAM), a preleukemic disorder unique to neonates with Down syndrome (DS), may transform to childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia (ML-DS). Acquired GATA1 mutations are present in both TAM and ML-DS. Current definitions of TAM neither specify % blasts nor the role of GATA1 mutation analysis. To define TAM, we prospectively analyzed clinical findings, blood counts and smears and GATA1 mutation status in 200 DS neonates. All DS neonates had multiple blood count and smear abnormalities. Surprisingly, 195/200 (97.5%) had circulating blasts. GATA1 mutations were detected by Sanger sequencing/Denaturing High Performance Liquid Chromatography (Ss/DHPLC) in 17/200 (8.5%); all with blasts >10%. Furthermore low-abundance GATA1 mutant clones were detected by targeted next-generation-resequencing (NGS) in 18/88 (20.4%)(sensitivity ~0.3%) DS neonates without Ss/DHPLC-detectable GATA1 mutations. No clinical or hematologic features distinguished these 18 neonates. We suggest the term Silent TAM for neonates with DS with GATA1 mutations detectable only by NGS. To identify all babies at risk of ML-DS, we suggest GATA1 mutation analysis, blood counts and smears, should be performed in DS neonates. Ss/DPHLC can be used for initial screening but where GATA1 mutations are undetectable by Ss/DHPLC, NGS-based methods can identify neonates with small GATA1 mutant clones.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSETreatment outcomes in younger patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have improved, but optimization and new combinations are needed. We assess three combinations in induction and consolidation. PATIENTS AND METHODS
Younger untreated patients with AML (median age, 49 years; range, 0 to 73 years) were randomly allocated to two induction courses of daunorubicin and cytarabine (DA) with or without etoposide (ADE; n = 1983) or ADE versus fludarabine, cytarabine, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and idarubicin (FLAG-Ida; n = 1268), and to amsacrine, cytarabine, etoposide, and then mitoxantrone/cytarabine (MACE-MidAC) or high-dose cytarabine (n = 1,445) 3 g/m(2) or 1.5 g/m(2) (n = 657) in consolidation, and finally to a fifth course (cytarabine) or not (n = 227).ResultsOverall remission rates were similar for DA versus ADE (84% v 86%; P = .14) and ADE versus FLAG-Ida (86% v 85%; P = .7), with more course 1 remissions after FLAG-Ida (77%) reducing relapse (38% v 55%; P < .001) and improving relapse-free survival (45% v 34%; P = .01), overall and in subgroups, but with increased myelosuppression, reducing participation in the consolidation randomization. Overall outcomes were similar between MACE/MidAc and high-dose cytarabine (1.5/3.0 g/m(2)), but cytarabine required less supportive care. MACE/MidAc was superior for high-risk patients. A fifth course provided no benefit. The outcome for recipients of only two FLAG-Ida courses were not different from that with DA/ADE with consolidation. CONCLUSIONFLAG-Ida is an effective remission induction treatment, with a high complete remission rate after course 1 and reduced relapse. Consolidation with MACE/MidAc is similar overall to high-dose cytarabine, but superior in high-risk patients. Cytarabine at 1.5 g/m(2) is equivalent to a 3 g/m(2) dose. A fifth course is unnecessary. In patients receiving FLAG-Ida (two courses) and cytarabine (two courses), 8-year survival was 63% for patients with intermediate-risk and 95% for those with favorable-risk disease.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 08/2013; · 18.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSESecond malignant neoplasms (SMNs) after diagnosis of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are rare events. PATIENTS AND METHODS
We analyzed data on risk factors and outcomes of 642 children with SMNs occurring after treatment for ALL from 18 collaborative study groups between 1980 and 2007.ResultsAcute myeloid leukemia (AML; n = 186), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS; n = 69), and nonmeningioma brain tumor (n = 116) were the most common types of SMNs and had the poorest outcome (5-year survival rate, 18.1% ± 2.9%, 31.1% ± 6.2%, and 18.3% ± 3.8%, respectively). Five-year survival estimates for AML were 11.2% ± 2.9% for 125 patients diagnosed before 2000 and 34.1% ± 6.3% for 61 patients diagnosed after 2000 (P < .001); 5-year survival estimates for MDS were 17.1% ± 6.4% (n = 36) and 48.2% ± 10.6% (n = 33; P = .005). Allogeneic stem-cell transplantation failed to improve outcome of secondary myeloid malignancies after adjusting for waiting time to transplantation. Five-year survival rates were above 90% for patients with meningioma, Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and parotid gland tumor, and 68.5% ± 6.4% for those with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Eighty-nine percent of patients with brain tumors had received cranial irradiation. Solid tumors were associated with cyclophosphamide exposure, and myeloid malignancy was associated with topoisomerase II inhibitors and starting doses of methotrexate of at least 25 mg/m(2) per week and mercaptopurine of at least 75 mg/m(2) per day. Myeloid malignancies with monosomy 7/5q- were associated with high hyperdiploid ALL karyotypes, whereas 11q23/MLL-rearranged AML or MDS was associated with ALL harboring translocations of t(9;22), t(4;11), t(1;19), and t(12;21) (P = .03). CONCLUSIONSMNs, except for brain tumors, AML, and MDS, have outcomes similar to their primary counterparts.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 05/2013; · 18.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: B-cell precursors (BCP) regeneration in bone marrow (BM) after induction chemotherapy is prognostic for good treatment response in adult acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). We detected BCP regeneration in 81% of 59 paediatric AML patients at first complete remission; this compared to 46% in an adult study. BCP regeneration did not correlate with outcome or minimal residual disease levels. In 36 healthy BM controls, BCP levels were significantly higher in children as compared to adults. Therefore, BCP regeneration does not reflect good response to treatment in paediatric AML, possibly due to the relatively high base-line levels of BCP in children.
British Journal of Haematology 04/2013; · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSEIn pediatric relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML), optimal reinduction therapy is unknown. Studies suggest that liposomal daunorubicin (DNX; DaunoXome; Galen, Craigavon, United Kingdom) is effective and less cardiotoxic, which is important in this setting. These considerations led to a randomized phase III study by the International Berlin-Frankfurt-Münster Study Group. PATIENTS AND METHODS
Patients with relapsed or primary refractory non-French-American-British type M3 AML who were younger than 21 years of age were eligible. Patients were randomly assigned to fludarabine, cytarabine, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (FLAG) or to FLAG plus DNX in the first reinduction course. The primary end point was status of the bone marrow (BM) sampled shortly before the second course of chemotherapy (the day 28 BM). Data are presented according to intention-to-treat for all 394 randomly assigned patients (median follow-up, 4.0 years).ResultsThe complete remission (CR) rate was 64%, and the 4-year probability of survival (pOS) was 38% (SE, 3%). The day 28 BM status (available in 359 patients) was good (≤ 20% leukemic blasts) in 80% of patients randomly assigned to FLAG/DNX and 70% for patients randomly assigned to FLAG (P = .04). Concerning secondary end points, the CR rate was 69% with FLAG/DNX and 59% with FLAG (P = .07), but overall survival was similar. However, core-binding factor (CBF) AML treated with FLAG/DNX resulted in pOS of 82% versus 58% with FLAG (P = .04). Grade 3 to 4 toxicity was essentially similar in both groups. CONCLUSIONDNX added to FLAG improves early treatment response in pediatric relapsed AML. Overall long-term survival was similar, but CBF-AML showed an improved survival with FLAG/DNX. International collaboration proved feasible and resulted in the best outcome for pediatric relapsed AML reported thus far.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 01/2013; · 18.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite major improvements in outcome over the past decades, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains a life-threatening malignancy in children, with current survival rates of ∼ 70%. State-of-the-art recommendations in adult AML have recently been published in this journal by Döhner et al. The primary goal of an international expert panel of the International BFM Study Group AML Committee was to set standards for the management, diagnosis, response assessment, and treatment in childhood AML. This paper aims to discuss differences between childhood and adult AML, and to highlight recommendations that are specific to children. The particular relevance of new diagnostic and prognostic molecular markers in pediatric AML is presented. The general management of pediatric AML, the management of specific pediatric AML cohorts (such as infants) or subtypes of the disease occurring in children (such as Down syndrome related AML), as well as new therapeutic approaches, and the role of supportive care are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although GATA1 is one of the most extensively studied haematopoietic transcription factors little is currently known about the physiological functions of its naturally occurring isoforms GATA1s and GATA1FL in humans-particularly whether the isoforms have distinct roles in different lineages and whether they have non-redundant roles in haematopoietic differentiation. As well as being of general interest to understanding of haematopoiesis, GATA1 isoform biology is important for children with Down syndrome associated acute megakaryoblastic leukaemia (DS-AMKL) where GATA1FL mutations are an essential driver for disease pathogenesis.
Human primary cells and cell lines were analyzed using GATA1 isoform specific PCR. K562 cells expressing GATA1s or GATA1FL transgenes were used to model the effects of the two isoforms on in vitro haematopoietic differentiation.
We found no evidence for lineage specific use of GATA1 isoforms; however GATA1s transcripts, but not GATA1FL transcripts, are down-regulated during in vitro induction of terminal megakaryocytic and erythroid differentiation in the cell line K562. In addition, transgenic K562-GATA1s and K562-GATA1FL cells have distinct gene expression profiles both in steady state and during terminal erythroid differentiation, with GATA1s expression characterised by lack of repression of MYB, CCND2 and SKI.
These findings support the theory that the GATA1s isoform plays a role in the maintenance of proliferative multipotent megakaryocyte-erythroid precursor cells and must be down-regulated prior to terminal differentiation. In addition our data suggest that SKI may be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of children with DS-AMKL.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that children in the UKALL XI ALL trial with HLA-DP 1 and -DP 3 supertypes had significantly worse event-free survival (EFS) than children with other DP supertypes. As DP 1 and DP 3 share two of four key antigen-binding amino-acid polymorphisms (aspartic acid84-lysine69), we asked whether Asp84-Lys69 or Asp84 alone were independent prognostic indicators in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We analysed EFS in 798 UKALL XI patients, stratified by Asp84-Lys69 vs non-Asp84-Lys69, for a median follow-up of 12.5 years. Asp84-Lys69 was associated with a significantly worse EFS than non-Asp84-Lys69 (5-year EFS: Asp84-Lys69: 58.8% (95% CI (confidence of interval): 52.7-64.9%); non-Asp84-Lys69: 67.3% (63.4-71.2%); 2P=0.007). Post-relapse EFS was 10% less in Asp84-Lys69 than non-Asp84-Lys69 patients. EFS was significantly worse (P=0.03) and post-relapse EFS marginally worse (P=0.06) in patients with Asp84 compared with Gly84. These results suggest that Asp84-Lys69 predicted adverse EFS in the context of UKALL XI because of Asp84, and may have influenced post-relapse EFS. We speculate that this may be due to the recruitment of Asp84-Lys69-restricted regulatory T cells in the context of this regimen, leading to the re-emergence of residual disease. However, functional and molecular studies of the prognostic value of this and other HLA molecular signatures in other childhood ALL trials are needed.
Blood Cancer Journal 07/2012; 2(7):e80. · 1.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Medical Research Council Acute Myeloid Leukaemia 12 (MRC AML12) trial (children) addressed the optimal anthracenedione/anthracycline in induction and the optimal number of courses of consolidation chemotherapy. 504 children (<16 years) with AML were randomized between mitoxantrone/cytarabine/etoposide or daunorubicin/cytarabine/etoposide as induction chemotherapy and 270 entered a second randomization between a total of four or five courses of treatment. Ten-year event-free (EFS) and overall survival (OS) was 54% and 63% respectively; the relapse rate was 35%. There was no difference in complete remission rate between the induction regimens, but there was a benefit for mitoxantrone with regard to relapse rate [32% vs. 39%; Hazard ratio (HR) 0·73; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·54, 1·00] and disease-free survival (DFS; 63% vs. 55%; HR 0·72; 95% CI 0·54, 0·96). However, this did not translate into a better EFS or OS (HR 0·84; 95% CI 0·63, 1·12). Results of the second randomization did not show a survival benefit for a fifth course of treatment (HR 1·01; 95% CI 0·63, 1·62), suggesting a ceiling of benefit for conventional chemotherapy and demonstrating the need for new agents. EFS was superior compared to the preceding trial AML10, partly due to fewer deaths in remission, highlighting the importance of supportive care.
British Journal of Haematology 09/2011; 155(3):366 - 376. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously demonstrated that outcome of pediatric 11q23/MLL-rearranged AML depends on the translocation partner (TP). In this multicenter international study on 733 children with 11q23/MLL-rearranged AML, we further analyzed which additional cytogenetic aberrations (ACA) had prognostic significance. ACAs occurred in 344 (47%) of 733 and were associated with unfavorable outcome (5-year overall survival [OS] 47% vs 62%, P < .001). Trisomy 8, the most frequent specific ACA (n = 130/344, 38%), independently predicted favorable outcome within the ACAs group (OS 61% vs 39%, P = .003; Cox model for OS hazard ratio (HR) 0.54, P = .03), on the basis of reduced relapse rate (26% vs 49%, P < .001). Trisomy 19 (n = 37/344, 11%) independently predicted poor prognosis in ACAs cases, which was partly caused by refractory disease (remission rate 74% vs 89%, P = .04; OS 24% vs 50%, P < .001; HR 1.77, P = .01). Structural ACAs had independent adverse prognostic value for event-free survival (HR 1.36, P = .01). Complex karyotype, defined as ≥ 3 abnormalities, was present in 26% (n = 192/733) and showed worse outcome than those without complex karyotype (OS 45% vs 59%, P = .003) in univariate analysis only. In conclusion, like TP, specific ACAs have independent prognostic significance in pediatric 11q23/MLL-rearranged AML, and the mechanism underlying these prognostic differences should be studied.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The MRC UKALLXI trial tested the efficacy of different central nervous system (CNS) directed therapies in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). To evaluate morbidity 555/1826 randomised children underwent prospective psychological evaluations. Full Scale, verbal and performance IQs were measured at 5 months, 3 years and 5 years. Scores were compared in; (1) all patients (n = 555) versus related controls (n = 311), (2) low-risk children (presenting white cell count (WCC) < 50 × 10(9)/l) randomised to intrathecal methotrexate (n = 197) versus intrathecal and high-dose intravenous methotrexate (HDM) (n = 202), and (3) high-risk children (WCC ≥ 50 × 10(9)/l, age ≥ 2 years) randomised to HDM (n = 79) versus cranial irradiation (n = 77).
There were no significant differences in IQ scores between the treatment arms in either low- or high-risk groups. Despite similar scores at baseline, results at 3 and 5 years showed a significant reduction of between 3.6 and 7.3 points in all three IQ scores in all patient groups compared to controls (P < 0.002) with a higher proportion of children with IQs < 80 in the patient groups (13% vs. 5% at 3 years p = 0.003).
Children with ALL are at risk of CNS morbidity, regardless of the mode of CNS-directed therapy. Further work needs to identify individuals at high-risk of adverse CNS outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The acute myeloid leukemias (AML) represent a heterogeneous group of malignancies derived from the pluripotent hematopoietic
stem cell. These leukemias are generally characterized by genetic lesions that result in a combination of defects causing
unregulated proliferation of cells and defects in cellular maturation (Gilliland and Griffin 2002). AML accounts for approximately
15–20% of acute leukemia in children. In contrast to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in childhood, for which an age-related
peak incidence in children is associated with unique genetics, biology, and response to therapy, AML in children is very heterogeneous
with large subsets representing disease that is generally similar to that in adults. Pediatric AML does not exhibit a dramatic
peak in childhood other than for infants with disease involving translocation of the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) gene. In
both children and adults, AML is a relatively drug-resistant disease. Progress in improving outcome over the past 40 years
has been associated with the use of pulses of high-dose, high systemic exposure intensive chemotherapy approaches. Refinements
in chemotherapy regimens and major improvements in supportive care practices have resulted in the ability to achieve complete
remission (CR) in 80–90% of pediatric patients and long-term event free survival (EFS) in 40–60% of patients. While high-dose
chemotherapy Consolidation with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) once represented the predominant treatment
approach, recent studies have revealed that large subgroups of patients characterized by specific cytogenetic and molecular
features do not require transplantation as initial therapy. Conversely, other molecular analyses have identified very high
risk subgroups at the time of initial diagnosis that possess highly resistant stem cell disease and are likely to benefit
from stem cell transplantation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Analysis of minimal residual disease (MRD) in childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML) may predict for clinical outcome. MRD levels were assessed by flowcytometric immunophenotyping in 94 children with AML enrolled into a single trial (United Kingdom Medical Research Council AML12 and similar Dutch Childhood Oncology Group ANLL97). An aberrant immunophenotype could be detected in 94% of patients. MRD levels after the first course of chemotherapy predicted for clinical outcome: 3-year relapse-free survival was 85%+/-8% (s.e.) for MRD-negative patients (MRD<0.1%), 64%+/-10% for MRD-low-positive patients (0.1%<or=MRD<0.5%) and only 14+/-9% for MRD-high-positive patients (MRD>or=0.5%; P<0.001), whereas overall survival was 95%+/-5%, 70%+/-10% and 40%+/-13%, respectively, (P<0.001). Multivariate analysis allowing for age, karyotype, FLT3-internal tandem duplications and white blood cell count at diagnosis showed that MRD after the first course of chemotherapy was an independent prognostic factor. Although comparison of paired diagnosis-relapse samples (n=23) showed immunophenotypic shifts in 91% of cases, this did not hamper MRD analysis. In conclusion, flowcytometric MRD detection is possible in children with AML. The level of MRD after the first course of chemotherapy provides prognostic information that may be used to guide therapy.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 09/2010; 24(9):1599-606. · 10.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Karyotype is an independent indicator of prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that is widely applied to risk-adapted therapy. Because AML is rare in children, the true prognostic significance of individual chromosomal abnormalities in this age group remains unclear.
This cytogenetic study of 729 childhood patients classified them into 22 subgroups and evaluated their incidence and risk.
Rearrangements of 11q23 were the most frequent abnormality found in approximately 16% of patients, with 50% of these in infants. The outcome for all patients with 11q23 abnormalities was intermediate; no difference was observed for those with t(9;11)(p21-22;q23). The core binding factor leukemias with the translocations t(8;21)(q22;q22) and inv(16)(p13q22) occurred at incidences of 14% and 7%, respectively, predominantly in older children, and their prognosis was favorable. An adverse outcome was observed in patients with monosomy 7, abnormalities of 5q, and t(6;9)(p23;q34). Abnormalities of 3q and complex karyotypes, in the absence of favorable-risk features, have been associated with an adverse outcome in adults, but the results were not significant in this childhood series. However, the presence of 12p abnormalities predicted a poor outcome.
Because the spectrum of chromosomal changes and their risk association seem to differ between children and adults with AML, biologic differences are emerging, which will contribute to the redefinition of risk stratification for different age groups in the future.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 06/2010; 28(16):2674-81. · 18.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New treatment strategies to improve the outcome of pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are required as 40% of children diagnosed with AML do not survive. Around 30% of pediatric AML patients harbour a mutation in the tyrosine kinases FLT3 (+/-20%) or KIT (+/-10%). In this study we investigated whether pediatric AML samples (N=61) were sensitive to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor SU11657 (similar to the clinically available drug sunitinib) in vitro, and whether sensitivity was related to expression of, and mutations in, FLT3 and KIT. Overall, SU11657 showed only moderate cytotoxicity. A FLT3 mutation was detected in 35% and a KIT mutation in 8% of the samples. FLT3 and KIT mutated samples were significantly more sensitive to SU11657 than WT KIT and FLT3 samples. Samples without KIT or FLT3 mutations, but with a high wild-type (WT) KIT expression were significantly more sensitive to SU11657 than samples with low KIT expression. Further clinical evaluation of SU11657 and sunitinib combined with chemotherapy would be of interest. Inclusion in clinical trials should not be restricted to patients with FLT3 or KIT mutations.
Leukemia research 04/2010; 34(10):1302-7. · 2.36 Impact Factor