[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The class I receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) HER2 is an oncoprotein that is frequently involved in the pathogenesis of tumors of epithelial origin. Here we report mRNA expression in peripheral blood and bone marrow cells from healthy donors in hematopoietic cell lines and leukemic blasts from patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML), chronic lymphoblastic leukemia (CLL), and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, cell surface expression of HER2 protein (p185HER2) was found exclusively on a subset of leukemic cells of the B-lymphoblastic lineage. p185HER2 expression was found on blasts in 2 of 15 samples from infants, 9 of 19 samples from adult patients with C-ALL (CD19+CD10+), and 1 of 2 samples from patients with pro-B ALL (CD19+CD10-), whereas none of the leukemic cells from patients with AML (0/30), T-ALL (0/7), CLL (0/5) (CD19+CD5+), or CML in chronic and accelerated phase (0/5) or in blast crisis with myeloid differentiation (0/14) were positive for p185HER2. However, cells from 3 of 4 patients with CML in B-lymphoid blast crisis (CD19+CD10+) expressed high levels of p185HER2, which was also found on the surface of the CML-derived B-cell lines BV-173 and Nalm-1. Our study shows p185HER2 expression on malignant cells of hematopoietic origin for the first time. Aberrant expression of this oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinase in hematopoietic cell types may be an oncogenic event contributing to the development of a subset of B-lymphoblastic leukemias.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute graft-versus host disease (GVHD), one of the major complications of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT), occurs in 30-50% of all patients transplanted from HLA-identical sibling donors and in 50-80% of all patients transplanted from an unrelated or HLA-mismatched family donor, despite GVHD prophylaxis with methotrexate and cyclosporin. We report our experience with OKT3/BMA031 treatment in 14 patients with severe steroid-resistant GVHD following allogeneic BMT. Three of 5 patients treated in the early post-transplant period with OKT3 remitted and 2 of 3 became long-term survivors. Two patients treated for extensive chronic GVHD showed only minor responses. Five of 7 patients treated with BMA031 showed a partial remission; no complete remission was seen after treatment with this antibody. Shortly after the introduction of OKT3 or BMA031 therapy a rapid decline of the lymphocyte count, especially the CD3+ subset, was observed coinciding with a relative increase of CD56+ lymphocytes and of gamma/delta TCR+ T cells. Increasing numbers of CD3+ lymphocytes preceded recurrence of acute GVHD in three patients. In contrast, persisting CD3-lymphocytopenia was associated with complete clearance of acute GVHD. The incidence of infectious complications following OKT3 or BMA031 therapy was high (42%). Thus, to improve treatment results of severe acute GVHD, prophylactic or pre-emptive strategies are required to reduce the rate of fatal viral and fungal infections.
Bone Marrow Transplantation 07/1995; 15(6):891-4. · 3.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interactions between hematopoietic cells and the stromal microenvironment are mediated by membrane-bound adhesion molecules. As the expression patterns of these molecules may alter the adhesive qualities of leukemic blasts, leukemic samples were investigated for the expression of beta 1-, beta 2-, beta 3-integrins, CD44, the three selectins and several members of the immunoglobulin family. CD44 (167/169), LFA-3 (158/169), the beta 1-integrins VLA-4 (120/123) and VLA-5 (45/51) and the beta 2-integrin LFA-1 (149/157) were found on > 70% of blasts in most cases of leukemias. Other molecules were restricted to specific differentiation stages and lineage. The beta 2-integrins Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18) and gp 150,95 (CD11c/CD18) were preferentially expressed on M4 and M5 subtypes, and NCAM (CD56) was only found on a subset of acute myeloid leukemias (17/113). Unexpectedly, the beta 1-integrins VLA-1 (1/51), VLA-2 (18/123), VLA-3 (5/43), VLA-6 (15/29) and the E-selectin (2/47) were expressed on > 70% blasts on a subset of leukemias of varied phenotype. These molecules were absent on normal CD34+ bone marrow precursors. The simultaneous analysis generally revealed a higher percentage of positive blasts in the blood than in bone marrow. Our observations therefore suggest that in leukemia these antigens are displayed on a non-adherent population that is defective and is unable to convert to an adherent, functionally active conformational state.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because the cells previously designated plasmacytoid T cells share major immunophenotypic features with cells of the mononuclear-phagocyte system, they have been re-named and are now known as plasmacytoid monocytes (PM). We describe a unique case of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia with circulating PM. The patient, a 48-year-old man, presented initially with refractory anemia. Four years later his general condition deteriorated, accompanied by an increase in leukocytes to 200,000/microliters blood. The bone marrow histology was interpreted as compatible with a diagnosis of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. Two months before he died, the patient developed generalized lymphadenopathy clinically simulating malignant lymphoma. Histologic examination of an axillary lymph node revealed diffuse infiltration by PM. The PM in the lymph node and some circulating cells closely resembling PM expressed L-selectin, a finding that could be interpreted as a morphologic correlate of their marked lymphotropism. The detection of large numbers of CD56/CD33 double-positive circulating blast cells by FACS analysis strongly supported the diagnosis of a leukemia of myelogenous origin. The patient died of tumor cachexia. Autopsy revealed widespread leukemic infiltrates (always containing clusters of PM) in bone marrow, spleen, liver, lymph nodes, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue of the oropharynx. The final diagnosis was one of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia with marked lymphotropism and partial differentiation towards PM. We consider that the rare instances of a hematologic tumor with differentiation towards PM should be classified amongst the myelogenous leukemias.
European Journal Of Haematology 05/1995; 54(4):209-16. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0609.1995.tb00674.x · 2.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intestinal biopsy samples derived from 22 consecutive patients with severe diarrhoea (> 1.5 1/day for 3 or more consecutive days) following allogeneic BMT were analysed for the local presence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) and histological and immunohistological alterations described as typical for acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Seventeen patients showed extensive histopathological lesions typical for acute intestinal GVHD grade > I, 14 marked GVHD-related immunohistological alterations. In intestinal biopsies from 10 of these 22 patients CMV-DNA was detected using PCR- and in situ hybridisation techniques. In 7 of these 10 CMV-DNA positive samples CMV protein expression and in 5 cytomegalic cells were demonstrated. CMV could predominantly be shown in biopsies obtained from the ascending colon and/or the terminal ileum. All 10 patients with local CMV infection showed severe histopathological and immunohistological alterations described as typical for acute intestinal GVHD. Five of seven patients with a CMV-positive intestinal biopsy showed marked improvement of lower gastrointestinal tract disease on antiviral therapy. Five of seven patients lacking local presence of CMV but with severe histopathological lesions responded to therapy with high-dose steroids. Thus, PCR screening for CMV and histopathological analysis may help to treat lower intestinal disease in the marrow transplant recipient early and effectively.
Bone Marrow Transplantation 01/1995; 14(6):955-63. · 3.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 56-year-old apparently healthy man was on routine examination found to have a paraproteinaemia, classified as an IgG-lambda plasmocytoma in stage 1 on the basis of a raised IgG level (1950 mg/dl) and partly binuclear plasma cells in bone marrow. When 5 months later the IgG concentration had increased to 2980 mg/dl and the proportion of plasma cells in bone marrow to 15%, treatment was begun with melphalan (0.25 mg/kg) and prednisolone (2 mg/kg), both on 4 successive days every 6 weeks. The patient's general condition rapidly worsened after 6 months. The extent of osteolysis increased, necessitating radiotherapy of the vertebrae as well as a change in treatment to vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and prednisolone. At that time renal failure set in. But the prophylactically placed Cimino shunt had become infiltrated with plasma cells causing shunt stenosis and soft-tissue swelling. The infiltration was reduced by irradiation with 18 Gy. Numerous bluish skin discolorations now appeared and plasma cell infiltrates were shown in lung and pleura, as well as in the abdomen. The patient died 15 months after the diagnosis had been made.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sweet's syndrome (SS) is characterized by the clinical features of fever, leucocytosis, neutrophilia and the sudden onset of asymmetric, often very painful skin lesions and dense dermal infiltrates of mature neutrophils without signs of vasculitis. Apart from idiopathic cases the disease is frequently associated with hematological malignancies, but it may also be observed in patients with solid tumors, mainly tumors of the genito-urinary tract. In the past, numerous theories have been proposed to explain the pathogenesis of this rare disease. SS has been interpreted as a direct response to mechanical and chemical irritants, an infectious disease or a disorder of neutrophilic chemotaxis and/or phagocytosis, but most often it has been described as a hypersensitivity reaction. Each of these theories can account for particular symptoms, but none of them reconciles the dominating clinical and laboratory features of the disease. Furthermore recently published casuistic observations suggest the involvement of certain cytokines in particular G-CSF and Il-6 in the pathogenesis of the disease, which might explain many of the observed clinical and laboratory findings. The following article summarizes these data and gives a review of the current literature.
Leukemia and Lymphoma 11/1994; 15(3-4):261-4. DOI:10.3109/10428199409049722 · 2.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a retrospective analysis liver biopsy specimens obtained from 44 marrow transplant recipients were studied to evaluate the frequency of local presence of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) and graft-versus-host disease (GvHD)-like histological and immunohistological alterations in patients with and without liver dysfunction following bone marrow transplantation (BMT). In 22 of 28 patients with marked liver dysfunction after BMT and histopathological alterations described as typical for acute GvHD CMV could be detected in the liver biopsy specimen. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique revealed the highest sensitivity for CMV detection in liver biopsy samples, but in 20 of 22 PCR-positive specimens CMV infection could be confirmed by at least one additional technique. All the liver biopsies obtained from 16 patients with normal liver function lacking histopathological signs of GvHD were CMV negative. In all 3 patients with CMV-positive liver biopsy started on antiviral therapy liver function improved and no generalized CMV disease occurred. All the 4 patients without local presence of CMV started on severe immunosuppressive therapy showed an improvement of liver dysfunction without occurrence of CMV infection. Local CMV infection of the liver could not be differentiated from hepatic GvHD by clinical and histopathological features, nor by immunohistological analysis of the bile duct epithelium. In contrast, only in liver biopsy with local viral presence could an increase in HLA class II- and ICAM-1 expression be demonstrated on hepatocytes. Thus, especially the high negative predictive value of the PCR technique helps to manage the patient with liver dysfunction after BMT.
Medical Microbiology and Immunology 10/1994; 183(4):205-16. DOI:10.1007/BF00194173 · 3.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two women with lymphoplasmocytoid immunocytoma (Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia) have been followed up, one for 23 years and the other for 18. In the first patient the disease presented at the age of 40 years with lassitude and paraesthesiae. Investigation revealed monoclonal IgM-lambda with a serum IgM of 3350 mg/dl and marrow infiltration by lymphoplasmocytoid cells. As there were no symptoms, apart from migraine attacks which responded well to plasmapherese, and because haemopoiesis was unaffected and the lymph nodes were not enlarged, no cytostatic has so far been given. The proportion of lymphoplasmoid cells in the marrow is at present 50%. In the second patient the disease presented at the age of 33 with involvement of stomach and lung, and a conglomerate tumour in the upper abdomen. The serum showed an M-gradient together with raised IgM (3056 mg/dl). Chemotherapy (COPP protocol) and local irradiation of the stomach achieved full remission. At intervals of several years there have been histologically confirmed recurrences in the hypophyarynx, ovaries, hilum of left lung and, most recently, in the upper abdomen once more. These have been successfully treated by resection and local radiotherapy (hypopharynx), operation followed by chemotherapy (COP protocol) (ovaries, upper abdomen) or by radiotherapy alone (hilum of lung-50 Gy).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sixty-three recipients of an allogeneic marrow transplant were screened for the occurrence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and clinical parameters possibly predicting the development of CMV disease in a retrospective study. Blood and urine samples obtained from these patients were screened weekly after bone marrow transplantation (BMT) for the presence of CMV by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and virus culture technique. Forty-six of the 63 patients studied were found to be CMV-positive by PCR technique in blood and urine samples at a median of 29 days after BMT. In 33 of these 46 patients, CMV could be cultured from urine samples and 16 of the 46 had culture-positive viremia. Twenty-eight of these 46 PCR-positive patients developed CMV disease. Whereas PCR assays showed an optimal negative predictive value and sensitivity for the development of CMV disease, their positive predictive value was 61% and could not be remarkably increased when culture-proven viruria (64%) and viremia (69%) were considered. Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) grade 2 to 4 (P < .05), but not underlying disease, conditioning therapy, or GVHD prophylaxis, was associated with CMV infection. On day +49, a remarkable decrease (P < .001) in the lymphocyte count, as well as in the absolute number of CD4+, CD8+, and CD56+ lymphocytes, occurred only among the patients who later developed CMV disease. The decrease of all of these cell counts, but predominantly the CD4+ T cells, to less than 100/microL on day +49 after BMT showed a very high positive predictive value (100%) for the development of CMV disease in patients with PCR-proven viremia. Persisting CD4 lymphopenia after antiviral therapy was only observed in patients who finally died of CMV disease. Thus, immunophenotyping of the patients after BMT in addition to a highly sensitive virus detection assay might help to identify patients at high risk to develop CMV disease and indicate the need for additional adoptive immunotherapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The clinical course of a 56-year-old female patient with Sweet's syndrome (SS) preceded by a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is described. During the acute phase of the disease with high remittent fever, painful skin lesions and maximal leucocytosis IL-6 and G-CSF serum levels were extremely high, while TNF-alpha was only slightly elevated and gamma-interferon and IL1-β were not increased. On clinical improvement IL-6 serum levels rapidly fell, whereas G-CSF values already slightly elevated before the manifestation of the disease slowly declined.
High G-CSF levels triggered by a yet unknown factor could explain the leucocytosis, neutrophilic dermatosis and skin lesions in SS, while IL-6 probably induced the associated clinical symptoms of fever and pain.
British Journal of Haematology 07/1993; 84(2):356-8. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2141.1993.tb03083.x · 4.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The controlled clinical trial reported here is part of a multicenter clinical and basic research project, sponsored by the German Federal Minister of Science and Technology, directed by a standing commission of the president of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, and coordinated by the Max-Planck-Institut fr Biochemie, Mnchen. Overall, 249 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were enrolled by 16 participating hospitals. In addition to NSAID treatment, patients were randomly given either interferon gamma (IFN-) or placebo. In the IFN- group, 107 patients were evaluated and in the control group, 116 patients were evaluated. The response rate after 3 months of treatment, according to joint pain indexes, was significantly higher in the IFN- group with an error probability of 1%. IFN- was able to reduce the quantity of corticosteroids administered. Compared with the control group, the IFN- group benefited considering all parameters measured. Most important side effects were transient fever and transient influenza-like symptoms; all other adverse events were comparable in both groups.
Rheumatology International 10/1992; 12(5):175-185. DOI:10.1007/BF00302149 · 1.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The precise phenotype and clinical course are described of a subgroup of acute nonlymphoblastic leukemias (ANLL) expressing the NK-cell differentiation antigen CD56. As previously reported, CD56+ leukemias occurred in a frequency of about 20% of ANLL cases showing clinical and immunophenotypical heterogeneity. Carrying various myelomonocytic markers, all cases were diagnosed to be of nonlymphoid origin. Positive or negative expression of CD34 allowed us to distinguish two major subtypes of CD56+ leukemias representing immature and more differentiated cells carrying further differentiation antigens (CD14 and/or CD15) of the myelomonocytic lineages. These phenotypes correlated with the M0, M2, M4, and M5 leukemias of the FAB classification.
Annals of Hematology 03/1992; 64(2):78-82. DOI:10.1007/BF01715349 · 2.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A sensitive and specific method to monitor suppression of cytomegalovirus (CMV) replication is essential in patients treated with ganciclovir after allogeneic bone-marrow transplantation. In this study, antiviral therapy of eighteen episodes of symptomatic CMV infection in 15 such patients were followed up clinically and by virus culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Clinical improvement, culture, and PCR were assessed for their ability to predict the efficacy of ganciclovir therapy in each patient. In eleven successfully treated episodes of CMV disease (disappearance of symptoms and improvement in biochemical variables) clinical improvement was associated with an effective suppression of virus replication as shown by negative culture and PCR assays of blood and urine specimens obtained after antiviral therapy. 1 patient who did not improve clinically when receiving antiviral therapy remained both culture positive and PCR positive for CMV. 6 patients with early relapse of CMV disease or who died after an initial clinical improvement were PCR positive but culture negative after termination of therapy. Demonstration of CMV in blood and urine by PCR after stopping antiviral therapy (even when culture is negative) points to incomplete suppression of virus replication. The findings show that PCR is a better predictor of the efficacy of antiviral therapy than are culture or clinical assessment.
The Lancet 12/1991; 338(8776):1170-2. · 45.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recurring paroxysmal abdominal pain developed in a 19-year old woman suffering from acute lymphatic T-cell leukaemia, during induction chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, cytarabine and mercaptopurine. Both the plain radiograph and CT of the abdomen showed pathognomonic intramural gas accumulations and free air below the right diaphragm, pointing to pneumatosis coli. There was marked pancytopenia (leucocytes 800/microliters,haemoglobin 7.6 g/dl, thrombocytes 10,000/microliters). Whereas the abdominal pain subsided rapidly under oxygen therapy and liquid nourishment, the radiological changes receded gradually. However, fever and diarrhoeas occurred subsequently. Fever persisted for 3 weeks despite treatment with antibiotics (three times 60 mg/d gentamicin, three times 2 g/d mefoxitin and three times 500 mg/d metronidazole, and later 30 mg/d amphotericin B) and subsided only after completion of the induction chemotherapy and an increase of leucocyte count.