W Barr

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States

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Publications (44)296.55 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Non-randomised studies of haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) in systemic sclerosis have shown improvements in lung function and skin flexibility but high treatment-related mortality. We aimed to assess safety and efficacy of autologous non-myeloablative HSCT in a phase 2 trial compared with the standard of care, cyclophosphamide. In our open-label, randomised, controlled phase 2 trial, we consecutively enrolled patients at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago, IL, USA) who were aged younger than 60 years with diffuse systemic sclerosis, modified Rodnan skin scores (mRSS) of more than 14, and internal organ involvement or restricted skin involvement (mRSS <14) but coexistent pulmonary involvement. We randomly allocated patients 1:1 by use of a computer-generated sequence with a mixed block design (blocks of ten and four) to receive HSCT, 200 mg/kg intravenous cyclophosphamide, and 6·5 mg/kg intravenous rabbit antithymocyte globulin or to receive 1·0 g/m(2) intravenous cyclophosphamide once per month for 6 months. The primary outcome for all enrolled patients was improvement at 12 months' follow-up, defined as a decrease in mRSS (>25% for those with initial mRSS >14) or an increase in forced vital capacity by more than 10%. Patients in the control group with disease progression (>25% increase in mRSS or decrease of >10% in forced vital capacity) despite treatment with cyclophosphamide could switch to HSCT 12 months after enrolment. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00278525. Between Jan 18, 2006, and Nov 10, 2009 we enrolled 19 patients. All ten patients randomly allocated to receive HSCT improved at or before 12 months' follow-up, compared with none of nine allocated to cyclophosphamide (odds ratio 110, 95% CI 14·04-∞; p=0·00001). Eight of nine controls had disease progression (without interval improvement) compared with no patients treated by HSCT (p=0·0001), and seven patients switched to HSCT. Compared with baseline, data for 11 patients with follow-up to 2 years after HSCT suggested that improvements in mRSS (p<0·0001) and forced vital capacity (p<0·03) persisted. Non-myeloablative autologous HSCT improves skin and pulmonary function in patients with systemic sclerosis for up to 2 years and is preferable to the current standard of care, but longer follow-up is needed. None.
    The Lancet 08/2011; 378(9790):498-506. · 39.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the role of junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc). Biopsy specimens from proximal and distal arm skin and serum were obtained from patients with SSc and normal volunteers. To determine the expression of JAM-A on SSc dermal fibroblasts and in SSc skin, cell surface ELISAs and immunohistology were performed. An ELISA was designed to determine the amount of soluble JAM-A (sJAM-A) in serum. Myeloid U937 cell-SSc dermal fibroblast and skin adhesion assays were performed to determine the role of JAM-A in myeloid cell adhesion. The stratum granulosum and dermal endothelial cells (ECs) from distal arm SSc skin exhibited significantly decreased expression of JAM-A in comparison with normal volunteers. However, sJAM-A was increased in the serum of patients with SSc compared with normal volunteers. Conversely, JAM-A was increased on the surface of SSc compared with normal dermal fibroblasts. JAM-A accounted for a significant portion of U937 binding to SSc dermal fibroblasts. In addition, JAM-A contributed to U937 adhesion to both distal and proximal SSc skin. JAM-A expression is dysregulated in SSc skin. Decreased expression of JAM-A on SSc ECs may result in a reduced response to proangiogenic basic fibroblast growth factor. Increased JAM-A expression on SSc fibroblasts may serve to retain myeloid cells, which in turn secrete angiogenic factors.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 02/2009; 69(1):249-54. · 8.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For patients with systemic vasculitis (SV) refractory to conventional therapy, new treatment strategies aimed at aggressive induction of remission and relapse prevention are being sought. We herein report our single-centre experience in treating four patients with refractory SV employing non-myeloablative autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Four patients with refractory SV (two with neurovascular Behcet disease, one with neurovascular Sjögren syndrome, and one with Wegener granulomatosis) were involved in an Institutional Review Board (IRB) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved phase I clinical trial of high dose chemotherapy and autologous HSCT. Peripheral blood stem cells were mobilised with cyclophosphamide (Cy) and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). Conditioning regimen consisted of Cy 200 mg/kg and rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin 5.5 mg/kg intravenously (iv). All four patients tolerated HSCT well without transplant related mortality or any significant toxicity. At median follow-up of 28 (range 22-36) months all patients were alive. Three patients (one with Behcet disease, one with Sjögren syndrome, and one with Wegener granulomatosis) entered a sustained remission at 6, 6 and 24 months, respectively, after transplant. They had significant decrease in disease activity and disease or treatment related damage, as measured by the Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score and Vasculitis Damage Index, respectively. All three patients who achieved remission discontinued immunosuppressive therapy at the time of transplant and have not required treatment since. One patient with Behcet disease and positive for human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B51 has not improved after HSCT. We suggest non-myeloablative autologous HSCT is an alternative therapy for select patients with SV refractory to conventional immunosuppressive therapies.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 08/2008; 67(7):991-7. · 8.11 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Autoimmunity. 08/2008; 31(1):90.
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous individuals and institutions throughout the world have contributed to the development of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for autoimmune diseases. In this review, we will summarize what we have learned at our own institution (Northwestern University), and how it has guided our therapy. An emphasis will be placed on both the scientific basis for the development of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and a summary of the data in a variety of human diseases.
    Journal of Autoimmunity 06/2008; 30(3):116-20. · 8.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stem cell therapy is rapidly developing and has generated excitement and promise as well as confusion and at times contradictory results in the lay and scientific literature. Many types of stem cells show great promise, but clinical application has lagged due to ethical concerns or difficulties in harvesting or safely and efficiently expanding sufficient quantities. In contrast, clinical indications for blood-derived (from peripheral or umbilical cord blood) and bone marrow-derived stem cells, which can be easily and safely harvested, are rapidly increasing. To summarize new, nonmalignant, nonhematologic clinical indications for use of blood- and bone marrow-derived stem cells. Search of multiple electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Citation Index), US Food and Drug Administration [FDA] Drug Site, and National Institutes of Health Web site to identify studies published from January 1997 to December 2007 on use of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in autoimmune, cardiac, or vascular diseases. The search was augmented by hand searching of reference lists in clinical trials, review articles, proceedings booklets, FDA reports, and contact with study authors and device and pharmaceutical companies. Of 926 reports identified, 323 were examined for feasibility and toxicity, including those with small numbers of patients, interim or substudy reports, and reports on multiple diseases, treatment of relapse, toxicity, mechanism of action, or stem cell mobilization. Another 69 were evaluated for outcomes. For autoimmune diseases, 26 reports representing 854 patients reported treatment-related mortality of less than 1% (2/220 patients) for nonmyeloablative, less than 2% (3/197) for dose-reduced myeloablative, and 13% (13/100) for intense myeloablative regimens, ie, those including total body irradiation or high-dose busulfan. While all trials performed during the inflammatory stage of autoimmune disease suggested that transplantation of HSCs may have a potent disease-remitting effect, remission duration remains unclear, and no randomized trials have been published. For reports involving cardiovascular diseases, including 17 reports involving 1002 patients with acute myocardial infarction, 16 involving 493 patients with chronic coronary artery disease, and 3 meta-analyses, the evidence suggests that stem cell transplantation performed in patients with coronary artery disease may contribute to modest improvement in cardiac function. Stem cells harvested from blood or marrow, whether administered as purified HSCs or mesenchymal stem cells or as an unmanipulated or unpurified product can, under appropriate conditions in select patients, provide disease-ameliorating effects in some autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular disorders. Clinical trials are needed to determine the most appropriate cell type, dose, method, timing of delivery, and adverse effects of adult HSCs for these and other nonmalignant disorders.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 03/2008; 299(8):925-36. · 29.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) utilizing a myeloablative regimen containing total body irradiation has been performed in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), but with substantial toxicity. We, therefore, conducted a phase I non-myeloablative autologous HSCT study in 10 patients with SSc and poor prognostic features. PBSC were mobilized with CY and G-CSF. The PBSC graft was cryopreserved without manipulation and re-infused after the patient was treated with a non-myeloablative conditioning regimen of 200 mg/kg CY and 7.5 mg/kg rabbit antithymocyte globulin. There was a statistically significant improvement of modified Rodnan skin score whereas cardiac (ejection fraction, pulmonary arterial pressure), pulmonary function (DLCO) and renal function (creatinine) remained stable without significant change. One patient with advanced disease died 2 years after the transplant from progressive disease. After median follow-up of 25.5 months, the overall and progression-free survival rates are 90 and 70% respectively. Autologous HSCT utilizing a non-myeloablative conditioning regimen appears to result in improved skin flexibility similar to a myeloablative TBI containing regimen, but without the toxicity and risks associated with TBI.
    Bone Marrow Transplantation 10/2007; 40(6):549-55. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with cardiac dysfunction may be at increased risk of cardiac toxicity when undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), which may preclude them from receiving this therapy. Cardiac dysfunction is, however, common in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. While autologous HSCT (auto-HSCT) has been performed increasingly for SLE, its impact on cardiac function has not previously been evaluated. We, therefore, performed a retrospective analysis of SLE patients who had undergone auto-HSCT in our center to determine the prevalence of significant cardiac involvement, and the impact of transplantation on this. The records of 55 patients were reviewed, of which 13 were found to have abnormal cardiac findings on pre-transplant two-dimensional echocardiography or multi-gated acquisition scan: impaired left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (n = 6), pulmonary hypertension (n = 5), mitral valve dysfunction (n = 3) and large pericardial effusion (n = 1). At a median follow-up of 24 months (8-105 months), there were no transplant-related or cardiac deaths. With transplant-induced disease remission, all patients with impaired LVEF remained stable or improved; while three with symptomatic mitral valve disease similarly improved. Elevated pulmonary pressures paralleled activity of underlying lupus. These data suggest that auto-HSCT is feasible in selected patients with lupus-related cardiac dysfunction, and with control of disease activity, may improve.
    Bone Marrow Transplantation 08/2007; 40(1):47-53. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    Bone Marrow Transplantation 05/2007; 39(7):435-7. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients undergoing autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HSCT) for autoimmune disease may have an added propensity to develop a second autoimmune disorder, given the genetic predisposition to autoimmunity. Therefore, we undertook a retrospective analysis of all patients who have undergone auto-HSCT for an autoimmune disease in our institution to determine the occurrence of a second autoimmune disorder and possible risk factors. In all, 155 patients underwent auto-HSCT for various autoimmune diseases; of those patients, 6 manifested a distinct secondary autoimmune disease at a median of 8.5 months (range, 2-30 months) after auto-HSCT. There were 2 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, conditioned with a regimen containing antithymocyte globulin (ATG), who developed factor VIII inhibitors with severe bleeding. There were 4 patients (2 with multiple sclerosis, one each with lupus and systemic sclerosis) who received an alemtuzumab-containing conditioning regimen who developed autoimmune cytopenias. Among the 155 patients, the frequency of secondary autoimmune complications was 16.0% with alemtuzumab (4/25), 1.9% for ATG (2/102), and 0% for conditioning regimens without lympho-depleting antibodies (0/28)-a difference that was found to be significantly higher with alemtuzumab exposure (P = .011). In contrast, sex, type of ATG used, and CD34-selection of peripheral blood stem cells were not found to be significantly associated with development of a secondary autoimmune disorder.
    Blood 04/2007; 109(6):2643-548. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    Arthritis & Rheumatology 01/2007; 54(12):3750-60. · 7.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate minimally important differences (MIDs) in scores for the modified Rodnan Skin Score (mRSS) and Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ-DI) in a clinical trial on diffuse systemic sclerosis (SSc). 134 people participated in a 2-year, double-blind, randomised clinical trial comparing efficacy of low-dose and high-dose D-penicillamine in diffuse SSc. At 6, 12, 18 and 24 months, the investigator was asked to rate the change in the patient's health since entering the study: markedly worsened, moderately worsened, slightly worsened, unchanged, slightly improved, moderately improved or markedly improved. Patients who were rated as slightly improved were defined as the minimally changed subgroup and compared with patients rated as moderately or markedly improved. The MID estimates for the mRSS improvement ranged from 3.2 to 5.3 (0.40-0.66 effect size) and for the HAQ-DI from 0.10 to 0.14 (0.15-0.21 effect size). Patients who were rated to improve more than slightly were found to improve by 6.9-14.2 (0.86-1.77 effect size) on the mRSS and 0.21-0.55 (0.32-0.83 effect size) on the HAQ-DI score. MID estimates are provided for improvement in the mRSS and HAQ-DI scores, which can help in interpreting clinical trials on patients with SSc and be used for sample size calculation for future clinical trials on diffuse SSc.
    Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 11/2006; 65(10):1325-9. · 9.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may in most patients be ameliorated with medications that suppress the immune system. Nevertheless, there remains a subset of SLE patients for whom current strategies are insufficient to control disease. To assess the safety of intense immunosuppression and autologous hematopoietic stem cell support in patients with severe and treatment-refractory SLE. A single-arm trial of 50 patients with SLE refractory to standard immunosuppressive therapies and either organ- or life-threatening visceral involvement. Patients were enrolled from April 1997 through January 2005 in an autologous nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) study at a single US medical center. Peripheral blood stem cells were mobilized with cyclophosphamide (2.0 g/m2) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (5 microg/kg per day), enriched ex vivo by CD34+ immunoselection, cryopreserved, and reinfused after treatment with cyclophosphamide (200 mg/kg) and equine antithymocyte globulin (90 mg/kg). The primary end point was survival, both overall and disease-free. Secondary end points included SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI), serology (antinuclear antibody [ANA] and anti-double-stranded (ds) DNA), complement C3 and C4, and changes in renal and pulmonary organ function assessed before treatment and at 6 months, 12 months, and then yearly for 5 years. Fifty patients were enrolled and underwent stem cell mobilization. Two patients died after mobilization, one from disseminated mucormycosis and another from active lupus after postponing the transplantation for 4 months. Forty-eight patients underwent nonmyeloablative HSCT. Treatment-related mortality was 2% (1/50). By intention to treat, treatment-related mortality was 4% (2/50). With a mean follow-up of 29 months (range, 6 months to 7.5 years) for patients undergoing HSCT, overall 5-year survival was 84%, and probability of disease-free survival at 5 years following HSCT was 50%. Secondary analysis demonstrated stabilization of renal function and significant improvement in SLEDAI score, ANA, anti-ds DNA, complement, and carbon monoxide diffusion lung capacity adjusted for hemoglobin. In treatment-refractory SLE, autologous nonmyeloablative HSCT results in amelioration of disease activity, improvement in serologic markers, and either stabilization or reversal of organ dysfunction. These data are nonrandomized and thus preliminary, providing the foundation and justification for a definitive randomized trial. Clinical Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00271934.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 03/2006; 295(5):527-35. · 29.98 Impact Factor
  • Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation - BIOL BLOOD MARROW TRANSPLANT. 01/2006; 12(2):9-9.
  • Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation - BIOL BLOOD MARROW TRANSPLANT. 01/2006; 12(2):90-91.
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    ABSTRACT: To report the prevalence and reversibility of pulmonary function test (PFT) abnormalities among systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, refractory to therapy, undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Thirty-four SLE patients received 200 mg/kg cyclophosphamide and 90 mg/kg equine antithymocyte globulin followed by HSCT. PFTs were performed prior to, at 6 months, and yearly following HSCT. The prevalence of significant PFT abnormalities was high (97%). Low FEV(1) and FVC occurred in 26 of 34 patients (76%). A significant abnormality in diffusion capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (Dlco) occurred in 26 of 32 individuals able to complete Dlco testing (81%). Dlco <or= 50% of predicted occurred in 18 of 32 patients (56%). Of these 18 patients, 4 had no thoracic diagnosis and 7 had no pulmonary diagnosis. For 3 of 11 patients with a Dlco <or= 50% of predicted and a prior pulmonary diagnosis, the only diagnosis had been pleurisy. Ten of the 34 patients (29%) identified the lung as a target organ of the lupus and carried a pulmonary diagnosis, as indicated in Table 1 . Three patients had acute alveolar hemorrhage, four patients had acute lupus pneumonitis, two patients had shrinking lung syndrome (SLS), and one patient had SLE-related pulmonary hypertension. Of these 10 patients, 4 had received prior mechanical ventilation, and 7 had required home supplemental inspired oxygen. Patients have been monitored <or= 77 months, and 28 patients have been monitored > 18 months after HSCT. Five of 28 patients had a normal entry FVC; for each, the FVC remains normal. Of the 23 patients with an abnormal baseline FVC, 18 have improved, 15 completely and 3 partially. Eight of these 18 patients also have improved Dlco. The two patients with a diagnosis of SLS and one patient with SLE-related pulmonary hypertension improved in both parameters. Only 5 of 23 patients with an abnormal FVC did not improve. Each of these five patients retained active lupus in spite of HSCT. The prevalence of lung impairment among SLE patients requiring long-term immune suppression is high. Following HSCT, pulmonary impairments can improve, which is sustained if disease control is sustained.
    Chest 06/2005; 127(5):1680-9. · 7.13 Impact Factor
  • American Journal of Otolaryngology 01/2005; 26(2):146-9. · 1.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This report describes the first allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) performed for the indication of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We used nonmyeloablative allogeneic HSCT to treat a 52-year-old woman who had treatment-refractory RA and a poor prognosis (24 swollen and 38 involved joints). She was treated with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, CAMPATH-1H, and CD34-selected HSCT (8 million CD34+ donor cells/kg); the donor was the patient's HLA-matched, rheumatoid factor-negative sister. One year post-HSCT, the patient has had no infection except dermatomal varicella-zoster virus infection and no acute or chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Her RA has remained in remission with no immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory medications. The patient is a mixed chimera, with 55% donor T (CD3+) cells and 70% donor myeloid (CD33+) cells. This is the first published report of allogeneic HSCT performed for the indication of RA. Mixed chimerism has resulted in marked amelioration of RA, without GVHD.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 09/2004; 50(8):2466-70. · 7.48 Impact Factor
  • Elisa Y Rhew, Walter G Barr
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    ABSTRACT: Scleroderma renal crisis (SRC) was once a uniformly fatal complication of systemic sclerosis (SSc). With the introduction of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors as treatment, outcomes have improved significantly, though 39% to 50% of SSc patients who develop SRC continue to have poor outcomes, including permanent dialysis and death. Early recognition and treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are important in the effective management of SRC, though given the continuing morbidity and mortality caused by SRC, they are clearly not sufficient. Newer therapies based on the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the development and perpetuation of SRC are needed. This article reviews the epidemiology, pathogenesis, risk factors, clinical features, and treatment of SRC, with an emphasis on recent insights and developments.
    Current Rheumatology Reports 05/2004; 6(2):129-36.
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is presumed to be an immune-mediated vasculopathy of unknown etiology. SSc is unresponsive to most immune-modulating therapies except for intravenous cyclophosphamide, which is reported to demonstrate some benefit. We, therefore, dose-escalated cyclophosphamide to 200 mg/kg and added rabbit ATG 7.5 mg/kg along with infusion of unselected hematopoietic stem cells to minimize the cytopenic interval. Engraftment occurred rapidly (day 8) with minimal unexpected toxicity, no infections, and unexpectedly rapid improvement in the modified Rodnan Skin Score.
    Bone Marrow Transplantation 09/2003; 32 Suppl 1:S65-7. · 3.54 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
296.55 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1993–2011
    • Northwestern University
      • • Division of Immunotherapy
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Feinberg School of Medicine
      Evanston, IL, United States
  • 2007
    • The University of Chicago Medical Center
      • Department of Medicine
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 1999–2007
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Massachusetts Medical School
      Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2002
    • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2001
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Department of Medicine
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
    • Virginia Mason Medical Center
      Seattle, Washington, United States
    • University of Nebraska at Omaha
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Omaha, NE, United States