Stefanie Buchholz

Hannover Medical School, Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany

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Publications (38)162.79 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical effect of platelet concentrate (PC) transfusions after PC storage time reduction to 4 days. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a single-centre cohort study comparing two 3-month periods of time, before and after the reduction of PC storage time from 5 to 4 days. Seventy-seven consecutive patients with PC transfusions were enrolled after blood stem cell transplantation. Corrected platelet count increment (CCI) on the morning after transfusion, time to next platelet transfusion, need for red blood cell (RBC) transfusion and clinical bleeding symptoms were compared. RESULTS: Platelet concentrate storage time was reduced between period 1 (storage for up to 5 days, median storage time 78 h, range 11-136 h) and period 2 (storage for up to 4 days, median storage time 53 h, range 11-112 h). Patients were comparable for age, weight, body surface area, underlying disorder, type of transplantation and transfused platelet dose. The CCI increased from a median of 4 (range 0-20) to 8 (0-68) × 10(9) /l per 10(11) platelets/m(2) (P < 0·0001). Time to next PC transfusion increased from 1·1 to 2·0 days (P < 0·0001). Any bleeding symptom was noted in 20 of 36 patients (56%) vs. 9/41 patients (22%, P < 0·01). Nose bleeds, haematuria and bleeding at more than one site were significantly reduced. Frequency of RBC transfusion within 5 days after PC transfusion was reduced from 74 to 58% (P < 0·0001). CONCLUSION: Platelet concentrate storage time shortening was associated with highly significant CCI increase, reduced RC needs and lower patient numbers with bleeding events.
    Vox Sanguinis 03/2013; · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD) remains the leading cause of mortality in lung transplant recipients after the first year. Treatment remains limited and unpredictable. Existing data suggests extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) may be beneficial. This study aimed to identify factors predicting treatment response and the prognostic implications. A single center retrospective analysis of all patients commencing ECP for CLAD between November 1, 2007 and September 1, 2011 was performed. In total 65 patients were included, 64 of whom had deteriorated under azithromycin. Median follow-up after commencing ECP was 503 days. Upon commencing ECP, all patients were classified using proposed criteria for emerging clinical phenotypes, including "restrictive allograft syndrome (RAS)", "neutrophilic CLAD (nCLAD)" and "rapid decliners". At follow-up, 8 patients demonstrated ≥10% improvement in FEV(1) , 27 patients had stabilized and 30 patients exhibited ≥10% decline in FEV(1) . Patients fulfilling criteria for "rapid decliners" (n = 21, p = 0.005), RAS (n = 22, p = 0.002) and those not exhibiting neutrophilia in bronchoalveolar lavage (n = 44, p = 0.01) exhibited poorer outcomes. ECP appears an effective second line treatment in CLAD patients progressing under azithromycin. ECP responders demonstrated improved progression-free survival (median 401 vs. 133 days). Proposed CLAD phenotypes require refinement, but appear to predict the likelihood of ECP response.
    American Journal of Transplantation 02/2013; · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In experimental and clinical settings Tregs prevent graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) by inhibiting the proliferation and function of conventional T cells (Tconv). The suppressive potency of Tregs might also lead to the inhibition of protective antiviral T cell responses. As the control of CMV reactivation is important to improve the clinical outcome in allogeneic HSCT, we analyzed the Treg reconstitution in CMV reactivating patients with and without GvHD (n=47) in the first 6 months following transplantation. Most importantly, CMV reactivation does not correlate with the numerical reconstitution of CD4(+)CD25(high)CD127(-) Tregs. During CMV reactivation the proportion of Tregs within the CD4(+) T cell population decreased significantly independent of GvHD manifestation. A comprehensive FACS analysis was performed in order to characterize the phenotype of Tregs and Tconv cells in greater detail for activation, co-stimulation, proliferation, suppressive function and migratory capability. Interestingly, Tregs of patients with CMV reactivation showed a significantly higher CXCR3 expression. CD4(+) Tconv cells expressed significantly higher protein levels of the proliferation marker Ki67 correlating with a numerical increase of CD4(+) T cells. Our results indicate that Tregs are not inhibiting pathogen clearance by Tconv following HSCT, which is of high relevance for future Treg cell-based clinical trials in allogeneic HSCT.
    Immunological Investigations 10/2012; · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Based on molecular aberrations, in particular the NPM1 mutation (NPM1mut) and the FLT3 internal tandem duplication (Flt3-ITD), prognostic subgroups have been defined among patients with acute myeloid leukemia with normal karyotype. Whereas these subgroups are known to play an important role for outcome in first complete remission, and also for the indication for allogeneic stem cell transplantation, there is limited data on their role after transplantation in advanced disease. Design and Methods. To evaluate the role of molecular subgroups of acute myeloid leukemia with normal karyotype after allogeneic stem cell transplantation beyond first complete remission, we analyzed the data from 141 consecutive adults (median age: 51.0, range:18.4-69.3 years), who had received an allogeneic transplant either in primary induction failure or beyond first complete remission. A sequential regimen, comprising cytoreductive chemotherapy (Fludarabine, high-dose AraC, Amsacrine), followed by reduced intensity conditioning (FLAMSA-RIC), was uniformly used for conditioning. Results. After a median follow-up of three years, overall survival from transplantation was 64+/-4%, 53±4% and 44±5% at one, two and four years. Forty patients transplanted in primary induction failure achieved an encouraging 2-year survival of 69%. Among 101 patients transplanted beyond first complete remission, 2-year survival was 81% among patients with the NPM1mut/FLT3wt genotype, in contrast to 43% in other genotypes. Higher numbers of transfused CD34+ cells (hazard ratio: 2,155, 95% confidence interval: 0,263-0,964, p=0.039) and favorable genotype (hazard ratio: 0,142, 95% confidence interval: 0,19-0,898, p=0.048) were associated with superior overall survival in multivariate analysis. Conclusions. Patients with acute myeloid leukaemia with normal karyotype can frequently be rescued after primary induction failure by allogeneic transplantation following FLAMSA-RIC. The prognostic role of NPM1mut/FLT3-ITD based subgroups carried through after allogeneic stem cell transplantation beyond first complete remission.
    Haematologica 09/2012; · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reduced-intensity conditioning regimens have been developed to minimise early toxic effects and deaths after allogeneic haemopoietic cell transplantation. However, the efficacy of these regimens before this procedure has not been investigated in a randomised trial. In this prospective, open-label randomised phase 3 trial we compared a reduced-intensity fludarabine-based conditioning regimen with a standard regimen in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia in first complete remission. Patients were aged 18-60 years and had intermediate-risk or high-risk acute myeloid leukaemia (defined by cytogenetics) in first complete remission; an available HLA-matched sibling donor or an unrelated donor with at least nine of ten HLA alleles; and adequate renal, cardiac, pulmonary, and neurological function. Between Nov 15, 2004, and Dec 31, 2009, patients were randomly assigned (1:1, by a computer-based minimisation procedure that balanced patients for age, cytogenetic risk, induction therapy, and donor type) to receive either reduced-intensity conditioning of four doses of 2 Gy of total-body irradiation and 150 mg/m(2) fludarabine or standard conditioning of six doses of 2 Gy of total-body irradiation and 120 mg/kg cyclophosphamide. All patients were given ciclosporin and methotrexate as prophylaxis against graft-versus-host disease. Neither investigators nor patients were blinded to study treatment. Our primary endpoint was the incidence of non-relapse mortality, analysed in the intention-to-treat population. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00150878. The trial was stopped early on Dec 31, 2009, because of slow accrual of patients. 99 patients were randomly assigned to receive reduced-intensity conditioning and 96 to receive standard conditioning. The incidence of non-relapse mortality did not differ between the reduced-intensity and standard conditioning groups (cumulative incidence at 3 years 13% [95% CI 6-21] vs 18% [10-26]; HR 0·62 [95% CI 0·30-1·31]). Relapse incidence (cumulative incidence 3 years 28% [95% CI 19-38] vs 26% [17-36]; HR 1·10 [95% CI 0·63-1·90]), disease-free survival (3 year disease-free survival 58% [95% CI 49-70] vs 56% [46-67]; HR 0·85 [95% CI 0·55-1·32]), and overall survival (3 year overall survival 61% [95% CI 50-74] vs 58% [47-70]; HR 0·77 [95% CI 0·48-1·25]) did not differ significantly between groups. Grade 3-4 of oral mucositis was less common in the reduced-intensity group than in the standard conditioning group (50 patients in the reduced-intensity conditioning group vs 73 patients in the standard conditioning group); the frequency of other side-effects such as graft-versus-host disease and increased concentrations of bilirubin and creatinine did not differ significantly between groups. Reduced-intensity conditioning results in a similar incidence of non-relapse mortality and reduced toxic effects compared with standard conditioning without affecting survival outcomes, and thus could be preferentially used in patients younger than 60 years with acute myeloid leukaemia transplanted in first complete remission. Medical Faculty of Dresden University.
    The Lancet Oncology 09/2012; 13(10):1035-44. · 25.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite improvements in the prevention and treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) this allogeneic immune response is still one of major complications following allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Identification of patients at risk for the development of acute and chronic GvHD would facilitate early intervention and thus improve overall survival. Diagnostic biomarkers identified in plasma are largely associated with T cell immune responses. Whereas donor effector T cells promote allogeneic immune responses, regulatory T cells (Tregs) may prevent GvHD by suppression of these alloreactive donor T cells. Therefore, we analyzed molecules associated with Tregs with respect to their potential predictive and prognostic impact on the development of acute and chronic GvHD. For this purpose, the Treg transcriptomes of patients with and without acute/chronic GvHD resulting from dynamical whole genome profiles of CD4(+)CD25(hi)CD127(lo/-) Tregs have been studied for potential GvHD biomarkers. We could identify potential biomarkers for acute/chronic GvHD like the activation marker phosphatidyl-5-kinase-gamma PIP5Kγ, FAS, CD44, CD69, and cell cycle regulators like cyclin A2, B1 and E2. Most importantly, the IKAROS transcription factor Eos, relevant for suppressive Treg function, might be relevant for the prediction of GvHD development. In addition markers like ANK3 (ankyrin), S100A8 and VCAN are indicative for acute GvHD, while IFIT3, IFI44 and IFIT1 are potential biomarkers for chronic GvHD. The identified markers have to be validated prospectively and might help to monitor and guide preventive immune intervention studies, especially adoptive donor Treg cell transfer.
    Transplant Immunology 08/2012; · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The European LeukemiaNet classification combines a heterogeneous group of aberrations as adverse-risk abnormalities. Our goal was to investigate the outcomes associated with distinct high-risk chromosomal abnormalities in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We performed a retrospective cohort analysis in patients with high-risk AML who received first, HLA-compatible, allogeneic HSCT between January 2005 and December 2008. Data from 236 patients with a median age of 55 years were included. Because complex karyotype (CK), -5/5q-, and abnl(17p) are overlapping categories, a hierarchical classification system based on the presence or absence of abnl(17p) and -5/5q- was developed. Patients with abnl(17p) had a 2-year event-free survival (EFS) of 11% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0%-25%), patients with -5/5q- but no abnl(17p) a 2-year EFS of 29% (95% CI, 14%-44%), and patients with adverse-risk AML but neither of the 2 marker lesions a 2-year EFS of 49% (95% CI, 39%-59%). Notably, complex and monosomal karyotypes lost their prognostic value when these marker lesions were excluded. In conclusion, hierarchical classification of adverse-risk karyotypes by 2 marker lesions, abnl(17p) and -5/5q-, is effective in prognostication of the outcome of allogeneic HSCT in AML.
    Blood 07/2012; 120(12):2521-2528. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clofarabine (CLO), a second-generation purine analogue, has demonstrated an efficient anti-leukemia activity while showing a favorable toxicity profile. This retrospective multicenter report assessed the outcome of 90 patients who received a CLO-containing conditioning regimen before allo-SCT for AML (n = 69) or ALL (n = 21). Median age was 42 yr at transplant. The majority of cases (n = 66) presented with an active disease at transplant while 38 patients had received previous transplantation(s). A total of 88 and two patients received a reduced-intensity conditioning or a myeloablative regimen, respectively. Engraftment was achieved in 97% of evaluable patients. With a median follow-up of 14 months (range, 1-45), the 2-year OS, LFS, relapse, and NRM rates were 28 ± 5%, 23 ± 5%, 41 ± 6%, and 35 ± 5%, respectively. When comparing AML and ALL patients, OS and LFS were significantly higher for AML (OS, 35 ± 6% vs. 0%, P < 0.0001); LFS: 30 ± 6% vs. 0%, P < 0.0001). In a Cox multivariate analysis, an AML diagnosis was the only factor associated with a better LFS (HR = 0.37; 95%CI, 0.21-0.66; P = 0.001). We conclude that a CLO-containing conditioning regimen prior to allo-SCT might be an effective treatment. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate the potential role of CLO as part of conditioning regimens in acute leukemias.
    European Journal Of Haematology 06/2012; 89(3):214-9. · 2.55 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 04/2012; · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The multifunctional protein semaphorin 7A (Sema7A) may have regulatory effects on blood cell differentiation via its receptors β1-integrin and plexin C1. As thrombocytopenia can be treated with transfusion of ex vivo CD34(+) cell-derived megakaryocytes, we investigated the effect of Sema7A on differentiation of CD34(+) progenitor cells into megakaryocytes and platelets. Megakaryocytes and platelets were differentiated with a specific cytokine cocktail (CC) from CD34(+) progenitor cells in the presence or absence of Sema7A. Expression of cell markers CD41, CD42a and CD61 or detection of the activation of the signal mediator focal adhesion kinase (FAK) was performed by flow cytometry, cytokine secretion by Luminex technology, and megakaryocyte cell density and morphology by microscopic studies. Sema7A levels in vivo were assessed by real-time PCR and ELISA in hematological patients undergoing chemotherapy. CD34(+) progenitor cells expressed the receptors for Sema7A. Expression of CD41, CD42a and CD61 was markedly reduced in the presence of Sema7A, after CC-dependent platelet production from CD34(+) progenitor cells. As revealed by microscopic analysis, megakaryocyte cell density was significantly lower in the presence of Sema7A as compared with controls. Blocking of CD29 abrogated the Sema7A-mediated inhibition. Sema7A activated FAK in CD34(+) progenitor cells and significantly increased secretion of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-8 and GM-CSF. Finally, Sema7A levels were up-regulated in 50% of patients after chemotherapy. Sema7A markedly reduces the production rates of megakaryocytes and platelets from CD34(+) progenitor cells. Hence, up-regulation of Sema7A may be a major risk factor for a reduced platelet repopulation after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 03/2012; 10(6):1100-8. · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Valganciclovir (VGC), an oral prodrug of ganciclovir (GCV), has been shown to clear cytomegalovirus (CMV) viremia in preemptive treatment of patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT), apparently without significant toxicity. Since VGC obviates hospitalization, it is increasingly being adopted, although not approved, in alloHSCT. When we retrospectively evaluated preemptive treatment with VGC versus GCV, foscarnet or cidofovir, in all 312 consecutive CMV viremias of 169 patients allotransplanted at our institution between 1996 and 2006, we found VGC more efficacious (79%) than non-VGC therapies (69%). The advantage of outpatient VGC, however, was outbalanced by more profound neutropenias (including two cases of agranulocytosis, one with graft loss) requiring subsequent prolonged rehospitalization. Thus, in a second, prospective cohort from 2007 to 2011 (all 202 consecutive CMV viremias of 118 yet older and sicker patients), we implemented twice weekly neutrophil monitoring during outpatient VGC treatment and avoided VGC maintenance therapy. While conserving efficacy (VGC 71%, non-VGC 72%), we could now demonstrate a reduced mean duration of hospitalization with VGC (9 days (0-66)) compared to non-VGC (25 days (0-115)), without any agranulocytosis episodes. We conclude that safe outpatient VGC therapy is possible in alloHSCT recipients, but requires frequent monitoring to prevent severe myelotoxicity.
    Bone marrow research. 01/2012; 2012:874601.
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    ABSTRACT: Cases of chronic hepatitis E have been described in patients after kidney and liver transplantation. In addition, hepatitis E virus (HEV) reactivation was reported after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We here evaluated if HEV infection might explain elevated liver enzymes in a well selected cohort of allogeneic HSCT patients with biochemical evidence of hepatitis (n = 52). Of note, none of the subjects tested positive for HEV RNA, including 2 HSCT patients who had been infected with HEV already before transplantation. Thus, both chronic courses of HEV infections and HEV reactivations seem to be rather rare events in HSCT patients in a non-endemic country.
    Transplant Infectious Disease 12/2011; 14(1):103-6. · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human adenoviruses (HAdV) can cause disseminated disease as a severe complication after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT) and may originate from the reactivation of latent infections. However, data about the clinical relevance of HAdV DNAaemia and disease in adults are scarce. To retrospectively analyse the outcome of adult allogeneic SCT recipients with high HAdV loads in peripheral blood. Our diagnostic database was screened for allogeneic SCT recipients with peak HAdV DNAaemia above 1.0×10(4)copies/ml (tested by quantitative real-time PCR) and medical records were reviewed retrospectively. From 1674 adult allogeneic SCT recipients 539 (32.2%) received HAdV DNAaemia testing. In twenty-seven of these HAdV blood loads above 1.0×10(4) (range: 1.6×10(4)-1.8×10(9))copies/ml were observed. Seven of these 27 succumbed to HAdV disease and their median peak HAdV DNAaemia was significantly higher than in patients without HAdV-associated death (1.0×10(8) vs. 3×10(5)copies/ml, p<0.001). T-cell depletion was a risk factor for fatal HAdV disease. HAdV of species C predominated (66.7%) and were of high virulence (6 of 7 fatal cases). HAdV of species B were observed more frequently (n=6) in our study than reported for paediatrics, indicating a different pattern of HAdV reactivation in adults. The presence of several HAdV-associated deaths in adult SCT recipients with high-level HAdV DNAaemia confirmed the clinical relevance of HAdV DNAaemia testing in adults. Quantitative HAdV DNAaemia testing is a promising tool to predict the outcome of HAdV disease.
    Journal of clinical virology: the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology 09/2011; 52(1):55-9. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The combination of cytoreductive chemotherapy with reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) is a highly effective antileukemic therapy. Purpose of this retrospective analysis was to evaluate the antileukemic efficacy and toxicity of clofarabine-based chemotherapy followed by RIC and allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) for high-risk, relapsed, or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). From May 2007 until October 2009, a total of 27 patients underwent allogeneic SCT after treatment with clofarabine and ara-C for 5d and RIC (4Gy TBI/cyclophosphamide/ATG). Prophylaxis of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) consisted of cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil. Unmanipulated G-CSF mobilized PBSC (n=26) or bone marrow cells (n=1) were transplanted from unrelated (n=21) or matched related (n=6) donors. Non-hematological toxicities of this regimen mainly affected liver and skin and were all reversible. Seven patients relapsed within a median time of 5.7 months. The overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival rates were 56% and 52% at 2 yr, respectively. In this cohort of patients, cytoreduction with clofarabine/ara-C (ClAraC) followed by RIC allogeneic SCT was well tolerated and showed good antileukemic efficacy even in patients with high-risk AML or MDS, with engraftment and GvHD-incidence comparable to other RIC regimens.
    European Journal Of Haematology 08/2011; 88(1):52-60. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: P-selectin and its receptor P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1) mediate adhesion between leukocytes, tumor cells (including leukemias and lymphomas), and platelets, and play an important role in hematopoiesis, T cell activation, and cancer growth and metastasis. As microparticles (MPs) are released from activated or apoptotic cells, there should be significant numbers of circulating PSGL-1-bearing MPs in the blood of patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). We enumerated PSGL-1-expressing MPs in plasma samples from 30 consecutive patients with hematologic disorders at different time points during the course of alloSCT by flow cytometry and analyzed their relation to cell counts, patient characteristics, and clinical outcome. Median follow-up time of surviving patients was 1,772 days (range 1272-1981 days). Nineteen patients (63.3%) died, 10 due to progression of disease (33.3%). The PSGL-1 MPs significantly declined during conditioning therapy but increased again after transfusion of donor cells and even more at the time of engraftment. Numbers >250/μL after graft transfusion were associated with a shorter time to engraftment for patients receiving fresh peripheral stem cell grafts (median, 15 vs. 21 days; p = 0.049). Furthermore, low PSGL-1 MP values at those two time points were associated with a higher risk of progress/relapse in univariate analysis (p = 0.008-0.014; hazard ratio [HR] = 15.0-42.0) with cumulative incidences at 5 years of 81.8% versus 28.6% and 85.7% versus 20.0%, respectively. In conclusion, PSGL-1 microparticles show a characteristic course during alloSCT and their possible association with relapse/progress requires further evaluation of the PSGL-1/P-selectin interaction in leukemias and lymphomas.
    Experimental hematology 08/2011; 39(11):1047-55. · 3.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: GVHD is still one of the major complications after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Whereas murine data have clearly shown the beneficial effects of regulatory T cells (Tregs) on the prevention of GVHD, data from the human system are rare. Here, we present a comparative dynamic analysis of CD4(+)CD25(hi)CD127(lo/-) Tregs from patients with and without GVHD analyzing the whole genome profile over the first 6 months after stem cell transplantation, representing the most sensitive time window for tolerance induction. The Treg transcriptome showed a high stability. However, the comparison of Treg transcriptomes from patients with and without GVHD uncovered regulated gene transcripts highly relevant for Treg cell function. The confirmative protein analyses demonstrated a significantly higher expression of granzyme A, CXCR3, and CCR5 in Tregs of immune tolerant patients. These results point to a reduced suppressive function of Tregs from GVHD patients with diminished migration capacity to the target organs.
    Blood 07/2011; 118(13):e82-92. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is compelling evidence that blood-borne tissue factor that is predominantly found on circulating microparticles (MPs) plays an important role in both, cancer biology and organ and stem-cell transplantation (SCT). Therefore, we hypothesized that numbers of tissue factor bearing MPs might be associated with complications and outcome in allogeneic SCT (allo-SCT). In a prospective study, we enumerated total, platelet, endothelial, and tissue factor bearing MPs in plasma samples obtained from up to 60 patients with hematologic diseases at different time-points during the course of allo-SCT by flow cytometry. Patient- and transplant-related risk factors were included in statistical analysis. Mean follow-up time was 968 days (0-1981 days). Thirty-four (56.7%) patients died, 17 due to transplant-related mortality (28.3%). High numbers of tissue factor positive MPs more than 500/μL before conditioning were predictive for shorter overall survival (P=0.017, hazard ratio=4.5) in multivariate analysis. This was mainly caused by an increase in transplant-related mortality (P=0.010, hazard ratio=11.0) with cumulative incidences at 1 year of 68.8% compared with patients with lower values (20.1%; P=0.002). Tissue factor bearing MPs might be useful biomarkers for risk stratification in allo-SCT patients and further studies should investigate their origin, functional properties, and optimal cut-off values.
    Transplantation 06/2011; 92(3):351-8. · 3.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reactivation of cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a major cause of morbidity after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). In healthy individuals, virus-specific T cells (CMV-CTL) control the reactivation of latent CMV. The monitoring of virus-epitope-binding CD8(+) T cells using major histocompatibility complex-I-peptide complexes (tetramers) has recently been established, allowing assessment of the reconstitution of CMV-CTL post HSCT. In order to study immune reconstitution and reactivation control through CMV-CTL, we regularly monitored all patients undergoing allogeneic HSCT in our department for 2 years, who matched at least 1 of 6 commercially available tetramers for common human leukocyte antigen (HLA) types. To verify risk factors for CMV reactivations in our cohorts, clinical characteristics of all patients transplanted within the last 10 years were included in statistical analyses determining the relative risk for single and recurrent CMV reactivations. As expected, CMV serostatus, HLA match, and donor source significantly influenced the risk of recurrent CMV reactivation. Applying CMV-CTL tetramer monitoring for 2 years allowed the monitoring of 114 (85%) of 134 patients, by testing a set of tetramers representing 6 epitopes from 3 different CMV proteins. The presence of CMV-CTL before day + 50 and their expansion post reactivation seem to protect against recurrent CMV reactivations. The mean number of CMV-CTL by day +100 was >5-fold higher in the recipient CMV-positive/donor-positive (R +/D +) group (91/μL) compared with the R +/ D- (13/μL) and the R -/D +(2/μL) group. Seventy-nine percent of patients from the R +/D + setting recovered >10 CMV-CTL per μL by day + 100, while almost 50% of the other groups failed to mount a CMV-specific response by that time (R +/D -: 58%; R -/D +: 43%). Tetramer monitoring can help to predict (recurrent) CMV reactivation and is a useful approach to monitor individual patients with increased risk for recurrent reactivation post HSCT; thus, it could help to identify patients in need of adoptive transfer of CMV-CTL or to optimize the use of antiviral drugs.
    Transplant Infectious Disease 06/2011; 13(3):222-36. · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Supportive therapy plays a central role in the management of cutaneous and musculoskeletal manifestations of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), either alone or in combination with systemic approaches. We present results from the German-Austrian-Swiss Consensus Conference on clinical practice in cGVHD, held in Regensburg, Germany, in November 2009. The intention was to achieve a consensus on current evidence-based treatment options as well as to provide guidelines for daily clinical practice. Skin is the most common organ involved in cGVHD. Its clinical presentation varies considerably. Patients may have pruritus, rash, pain, dyspigmentation and fibrotic or sclerodermatous lesions, often leading to contractures. Treatment options for supportive therapy in cutaneous cGVHD include topical therapies such as topical steroids and topical calcineurin inhibitors, as well as phototherapy and physiotherapy. The most relevant manifestation in musculoskeletal cGVHD is fasciitis which must be distinguished from sclerodermatous skin cGVHD. Physiotherapy is the mainstay of supportive treatment in fasciitis in cGVHD. Successful therapy of cutaneous and musculoskeletal cGVHD depends on interdisciplinary management to improve patients' quality of life.
    British Journal of Dermatology 04/2011; 165(1):18-29. · 3.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prognosis of elderly patients with AML after chemotherapy is poor. Allo-SCT is feasible in these patients, but data on prognostic factors and outcome are limited. We analyzed all 102 AML patients ≥55 years, who underwent allo-SCT at our institution from 1997 to 2008. OS and relapse-free survival (RFS) rates at 3 years are 39 and 37%, respectively. Multivariate analysis for OS revealed age ≥60 years and active (refractory or untreated before allo-SCT) or advanced (>CR1) disease as adverse prognostic factors. Patients transplanted in CR1 had a 3-year OS of 67 vs 27% for patients with active/advanced disease. Multivariate analysis for RFS revealed active/advanced disease as the only adverse factor. Patients transplanted in CR1 had a 3-year RFS of 70 vs 22% for patients with active/advanced disease. In all, 17% of patients suffered from acute GVHD ≥grade II. The risk for severe acute GVHD was increased after allo-SCT from mismatched donors. Nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was 23% at 1 year. The only risk factor for NRM was active/advanced disease. In conclusion, allo-SCT from related or unrelated donors yields very good results in elderly AML patients transplanted in CR1. Disease status at transplantation is the most important prognostic factor for transplantation success.
    Bone marrow transplantation 04/2011; 46(4):545-51. · 3.00 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

325 Citations
162.79 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2011
    • Hannover Medical School
      • • Clinic for Hematology, Hemostasis, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation
      • • Centre for Internal Medicine
      Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany