[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone is a reference treatment for relapsed multiple myeloma. The combination of the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib with lenalidomide and dexamethasone has shown efficacy in a phase 1 and 2 study in relapsed multiple myeloma. Methods We randomly assigned 792 patients with relapsed multiple myeloma to carfilzomib with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (carfilzomib group) or lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone (control group). The primary end point was progression-free survival. Results Progression-free survival was significantly improved with carfilzomib (median, 26.3 months, vs. 17.6 months in the control group; hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57 to 0.83; P=0.0001). The median overall survival was not reached in either group at the interim analysis. The Kaplan-Meier 24-month overall survival rates were 73.3% and 65.0% in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively (hazard ratio for death, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.99; P=0.04). The rates of overall response (partial response or better) were 87.1% and 66.7% in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively (P<0.001; 31.8% and 9.3% of patients in the respective groups had a complete response or better; 14.1% and 4.3% had a stringent complete response). Adverse events of grade 3 or higher were reported in 83.7% and 80.7% of patients in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively; 15.3% and 17.7% of patients discontinued treatment owing to adverse events. Patients in the carfilzomib group reported superior health-related quality of life. Conclusions In patients with relapsed multiple myeloma, the addition of carfilzomib to lenalidomide and dexamethasone resulted in significantly improved progression-free survival at the interim analysis and had a favorable risk-benefit profile. (Funded by Onyx Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01080391 .).
New England Journal of Medicine 12/2014; 372(2). DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1411321 · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular and genetic evidence suggests that DNA repair pathways may contribute to lymphoma susceptibility. Several studies have examined the association of DNA repair genes with lymphoma risk, but the findings from these reports have been inconsistent. Here we provide the results of a focused analysis of genetic variation in DNA repair genes and their association with the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). With a population of 1,297 NHL cases and 1,946 controls, we have performed a two-stage case/control association analysis of 446 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tagging the genetic variation in 81 DNA repair genes. We found the most significant association with NHL risk in the ATM locus for rs227060 (OR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.13-1.43, p = 6.77×10-5), which remained significant after adjustment for multiple testing. In a subtype-specific analysis, associations were also observed for the ATM locus among both diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) and small lymphocytic lymphomas (SLL), however there was no association observed among follicular lymphomas (FL). In addition, our study provides suggestive evidence of an interaction between SNPs in MRE11A and NBS1 associated with NHL risk (OR = 0.51, 95% CI: 0.34-0.77, p = 0.0002). Finally, an imputation analysis using the 1,000 Genomes Project data combined with a functional prediction analysis revealed the presence of biologically relevant variants that correlate with the observed association signals. While the findings generated here warrant independent validation, the results of our large study suggest that ATM may be a novel locus associated with the risk of multiple subtypes of NHL.
PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e101685. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0101685 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Livin is a member of the Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) protein family that inhibits apoptosis triggered by a variety of stimuli. We previously demonstrated that while Livin inhibits caspase activity, caspases can cleave Livin to produce a truncated protein, tLivin and that this newly formed tLivin paradoxically induces cell death. However to date, the mechanism of tLivin-induced cell death is not fully understood. In this study, we set out to characterize the form of cell death mediated by tLivin. Here we demonstrate that, unlike most death-promoting proteins, tLivin is a flexible inducer of cell death capable of promoting necrosis or apoptosis in different cell lines. The unusual flexibility of tLivin is displayed by its ability to activate an alternative form of cell death when apoptosis is inhibited. Thus, tLivin can promote more than one form of cell death in the same cell type. Interestingly, in cells where tLivin induces necrosis, deletion of the caspase binding BIR domain results in tLivin-induced apoptosis, suggesting the BIR domain can potentially hamper the ability of tLivin to induce apoptosis. We further elucidate that tLivin activates the JNK pathway and both tLivin-induced apoptosis and necrosis are partially mediated by JNK activity. Acquired resistance to apoptosis, common in many tumors, impinges on the efficiency of conventional anti-cancer agents that function primarily by inducing apoptosis. The ability of tLivin to induce death of apoptosis-compromised cells makes it an attractive candidate for targeted cancer therapy.
PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e101075. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0101075 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract The optimal tyrosine kinase inhibitor for any individual patient with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is not predictable. Pharmacogenetic parameters and trough levels of imatinib (IM) have each been independently correlated with response. We therefore studied hOCT1 and MDR1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and correlated these with IM levels and MMR (3 log reduction) in 84 CML patients, the first such study performed in Caucasians. We studied MDR1 G2677T and C3435T and for hOCT1, C480G and A1222G. IM levels significantly varied with dose (< or >400mg/day) (p=0.038) and were significantly lower in 20 patients who lost MMR (p=0.042). Adjusting for dose, trough IM levels were not significantly correlated with SNPs. Patients with MDR1 3435 TT had significantly longer times to MMR compared to CC/CT genotypes (p=0.047). Genotypes did not predict treatment failure when controlling for IM levels. We conclude that IM levels, but not the SNPs studied here, determine IM failure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PML-RARA and AML1-ETO are important oncogenic fusion proteins that play a central role in transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Whether these fusion proteins render the tumor cells with immune evasion properties is unknown. Here we show that both oncogenic proteins specifically downregulate the expression of CD48, a ligand of the natural killer (NK) cell activating receptor 2B4, thereby leading to decreased killing by NK cells. We demonstrate that this process is histone deacetylase (HDAC)-dependent, that it is mediated through the downregulation of CD48 mRNA and that treatment with HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) restores the expression of CD48. Furthermore, by using chromatin immuoprecepitation (ChIP) experiments we show that AML1-ETO directly interacts with CD48. Finally, we show that AML patients carrying these specific translocations have low expression of CD48.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Livin is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAP) family of intracellular antiapoptotic proteins that act by binding and inhibiting caspases. Upon strong apoptotic stimuli, it is then specifically cleaved by caspases to produce a truncated protein (tLivin) with a paradoxical proapoptotic activity. Intriguingly, we have detected robust protein levels of Livin in normal mature bone marrow megakaryocyte (MK) and platelets. To evaluate the potential role of Livin in thrombopoiesis, we used the human BCR-ABL+ cell line, LAMA-84, and cord blood CD34+ cells to induce differentiation toward MKs. Upon differentiation, induced by phorbol myristate acetate and concurrent with increase in Livin protein expression, LAMA-84 cells formed functional platelet-like particles. Livin overexpression in CD34+ progenitor cells induced higher endoreplication in the MKs generated. Furthermore, overexpression of Livin increased the ability of both primary MKs and differentiated LAMA-84 cells to produce functional platelets. In the differentiated LAMA-84 cells, we observed accumulation of proapoptotic tLivin concomitant with increased caspase-3 activity. Downregulation of Livin with small interfering RNA in both leukemic and primary MK cells decreased their ability to produce functional platelets. We suggest that Livin has a role in thrombopoiesis by regulating the apoptotic and antiapoptotic balance in MK endoreplication and platelet production.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss of nerve growth factor-mediated neuronal survival has
recently been proposed as a candidate mechanism underlying
bortezomib-induced peripheral neuropathy (BIPN) (Broyl
et al, 2010). However the literature does not reveal any data
from patients that can support this hypothesis. Brain-derived
neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neuronal growth factor that
is crucial for neuronal survival and repair (Hofer & Barde,
1988). We report on alterations in BDNF peripheral blood
levels and the development of BIPN in patients with multiple
British Journal of Haematology 10/2013; DOI:10.1111/bjh.12624 · 4.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent developments have led to remarkable improvements in the assessment and treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). New technologies have become available to precisely evaluate the biology and extent of the disease, including information about cytogenetics and genetic abnormalities, extramedullary manifestations and minimal residual disease. New, more effective drugs have been introduced into clinical practice, which enable clinicians to significantly improve the outcome of patients but also pose new challenges for the prevention and management of their specific side effects. Given these various new options and challenges, it is important to identify the minimal requirements for diagnosis and treatment of patients, as access to the most sophisticated advances may vary depending on local circumstances. Here, we propose the minimal requirements and possible options for diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of patients with multiple myeloma.Leukemia advance online publication, 1 November 2013; doi:10.1038/leu.2013.293.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 10/2013; 28(5). DOI:10.1038/leu.2013.293 · 9.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immune hemolytic anemia (IHA) may complicate the course of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), especially in patients with advanced disease, and as a complication of treatment with chlorambucil or fludarabine. Bendamustine, a novel agent with both alkylating and purine-analog properties, was approved in the USA for use in CLL in 2008. Since then, clinical data on its adverse events are accumulating. IHA related to bendamustine was seldom described and is thus reported and reviewed.
We assessed five cases of CLL patients complicated by IHA, out of 31 treated with bendamustine for a relapse of their disease. Also reviewed are previous case reports in the literature.
Bendamustine-related IHA is more common than suspected (16 %). No such cases were found in non-CLL patients. Personal history of fludarabine-triggered AIHA may be a risk factor for this complication (recorded in 4/5 patients, 80 %). The mechanism is thought to be related to the loss of T cell regulatory control as described for other agents. Physicians using bendamustine for the treatment for CLL should be aware of this complication.
Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 08/2013; 72. DOI:10.1007/s00280-013-2243-5 · 2.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genetics of lymphoma susceptibility reflect the marked heterogeneity of diseases that comprise this broad phenotype. However, multiple subtypes of lymphoma are observed in some families, suggesting shared pathways of genetic predisposition to these pathologically distinct entities. Using a two-stage GWAS, we tested 530,583 SNPs in 944 cases of lymphoma, including 282 familial cases, and 4,044 public shared controls, followed by genotyping of 50 SNPs in 1,245 cases and 2,596 controls. A novel region on 11q12.1 showed association with combined lymphoma (LYM) subtypes. SNPs in this region included rs12289961 near LPXN, (P(LYM) = 3.89×10(-8), OR = 1.29) and rs948562 (P(LYM) = 5.85×10(-7), OR = 1.29). A SNP in a novel non-HLA region on 6p23 (rs707824, P(NHL) = 5.72×10(-7)) was suggestive of an association conferring susceptibility to lymphoma. Four SNPs, all in a previously reported HLA region, 6p21.32, showed genome-wide significant associations with follicular lymphoma. The most significant association with follicular lymphoma was for rs4530903 (P(FL) = 2.69×10(-12), OR = 1.93). Three novel SNPs near the HLA locus, rs9268853, rs2647046, and rs2621416, demonstrated additional variation contributing toward genetic susceptibility to FL associated with this region. Genes implicated by GWAS were also found to be cis-eQTLs in lymphoblastoid cell lines; candidate genes in these regions have been implicated in hematopoiesis and immune function. These results, showing novel susceptibility regions and allelic heterogeneity, point to the existence of pathways of susceptibility to both shared as well as specific subtypes of lymphoid malignancy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Advanced melanoma cells, characterized by resistance to chemotherapy, have been shown to be highly sensitive to oncolysis by Newcastle disease virus (NDV). In the present study, we investigated the capacity of NDV to specifically infect and spread into solid tissues of human melanoma and lung carcinoma, in vivo and ex vivo. For this purpose a new model of SCID-beige mice implanted with human melanoma was developed. Surprisingly, the replication competent NDV-MTH and the attenuated, single-cycle replication NDV-HUJ strains, demonstrated a similar oncolytic activity in the melanoma-implanted mice. Further, ex vivo analysis, using organ cultures derived from the melanoma tissues indicated a limited spread of the two NDV strains in the tissue. Extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, notably heparin sulfate and collagen, were found to limit viral spread in the tissue. This observation was validated with yet another solid tumour of human lung carcinoma. Taken together, the results indicate that the ECM acts as a barrier to virus spread within solid tumour tissues and that this restriction must be overcome to achieve effective oncolysis with NDV.
Journal of General Virology 05/2012; 93(Pt 8):1664-72. DOI:10.1099/vir.0.043281-0 · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) livin is frequently overexpressed in melanoma. Livin binds caspases and thereby inhibits apoptosis. We found that caspases cleave livin to produce a truncated form with a paradoxical proapoptotic activity.
We assessed the correlation of livin expression with survival among 114 melanoma patients treated with an autologous melanoma vaccine. In 52 patients, resection resulted in no evidence of disease (NED) and 62 remained with active disease (WAD). Protein levels were assessed using Western blot.
We found livin protein expression in 44/114 samples (38.4%). Median overall survival was 1.4 years in NED patients with high levels of livin protein, 8.4 years in those with low-intermediate levels and not reached in patients who did not express livin (p = 0.025). The corresponding overall survival was 2.3 years among WAD patients with high levels of livin protein, 11.3 years in those with low-intermediate levels and, paradoxically, only 4.0 years in patients who did not express livin (p = 0.012).
Livin protein expression may play a role in the progression of melanoma and correlates with survival. A high level of the protein is associated with a poor prognosis. However, in WAD patients low to intermediate level of livin, rather than absence of the protein, is associated with a favorable prognosis. This is probably due to the paradoxical proapoptotic activity of this important regulator of apoptosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this retrospective study, we aim to analyze the characteristics, treatments, and overall survival of all patients presenting with isolated myeloid sarcoma (MS) or MS with concomitant acute myeloid leukemia (AML) compared with all patients with AML, treated during the same period. We identified patients with AML with or without MS at diagnosis, presenting to our medical center between the years 1990 and 2005. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups regarding gender, age, cytogenetic risk groups, rate of complete remission, number of cycles of chemotherapy needed to achieve complete remission, and rate of first relapse. The time to death in the MS group was not significantly different (p = 0.60) from the AML group, and radiotherapy did not affect the median time to death. Transplantation prolonged survival in both groups (p = 0.018 and p < 0.0001, respectively). Patients with MS at diagnosis might benefit from upfront aggressive treatment with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The JAK2 V617F mutation is responsible for the constitutive activation of the erythropoietin receptor signaling pathway in most cases of polycythemia vera (PV). The mutation has also been described in healthy people. As smoking may result in secondary polycythemia, the goal of this trial was to examine the effect of smoking on the prevalence of the JAK2 mutation and its correlation to erythrocytosis. The study was case-control. Hospitalized smokers (n = 81) and nonsmokers (n = 61) were recruited. Serum was drawn for complete blood count, erythropoietin, ferritin and venous blood gases. JAK2 mutation was analyzed by highly sensitive allele-specific Quantitative Real Time PCR. The JAK2 mutation was found in 29/81 (35.8%) of smokers in comparison to only 9/61 (14.8%) of the control group (P = 0.007). The frequency of the mutation among smokers who were positive for the JAK2 mutation had a mean of 6.78 × 10(-4) ± 1.08 × 10(-3) vs. 1.51 × 10(-4) ± 2.04 × 10(-4) among nonsmokers (P = 0.027). Both frequencies are much lower than those found in PV. There was a medium correlation between older age and mutation frequency in nonsmokers (r= 0.67, P = 0.043). Hematocrit was higher in smokers (47.8 ± 6 vs. 41.7 ± 4.7, P < 0.0001), but no correlation was found to JAK2 mutation. In a cohort of hospitalized smokers and nonsmokers, JAK2 mutation was more prevalent and found in higher frequencies among smokers than nonsmokers. We suggest that accelerated erythropoiesis renders the cells susceptible to JAK2 mutation.
American Journal of Hematology 01/2012; 87(1):5-8. DOI:10.1002/ajh.22180 · 3.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment of hairy cell leukemia (HCL) with cladribine induces durable remissions. Common toxicities are myelosuppression and immunosuppression with low counts of CD4 + T cells. Skin rash (SR) is seldom described. We collected clinical and laboratory data of 35 patients with HCL treated in Hadassah between January 1999 and February 2010, in order to evaluate the frequency and characteristics of SR after treatment with cladribine. We found a high frequency of SR in our group of patients (18/35 patients, 51%), mostly related to febrile neutropenia and concomitant treatment with penicillins/trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ). The lymphocyte count was low in all patients with SR. We conclude that patients with HCL treated with cladribine have an increased rate of drug hypersensitivity, possibly due to T-cell imbalance induced by cladribine. Since TMP-SMZ and penicillins are related to SR in most cases and are important in the management of patients with HCL, a desensitization protocol should be considered. Rechallenge may be safe after immune reconstitution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Promising new drugs are being evaluated for treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), but their impact should be measured against the expected outcome in patients failing current therapies. However, the natural history of relapsed disease in the current era remains unclear. We studied 286 patients with relapsed MM, who were refractory to bortezomib and were relapsed following, refractory to or ineligible to receive, an IMiD (immunomodulatory drug), had measurable disease, and ECOG PS of 0, 1 or 2. The date patients satisfied the entry criteria was defined as time zero (T0). The median age at diagnosis was 58 years, and time from diagnosis to T0 was 3.3 years. Following T0, 213 (74%) patients had a treatment recorded with one or more regimens (median=1; range 0–8). The first regimen contained bortezomib in 55 (26%) patients and an IMiD in 70 (33%). A minor response or better was seen to at least one therapy after T0 in 94 patients (44%) including partial response in 69 (32%). The median overall survival and event-free survival from T0 were 9 and 5 months, respectively. This study confirms the poor outcome, once patients become refractory to current treatments. The results provide context for interpreting ongoing trials of new drugs.Keywords: multiple myeloma; relapse; natural history; survival
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lenalidomide has raised concerns regarding its potential impact on the ability to collect stem cells for autologous stem cell transplantation, especially after prolonged exposure. The use of cyclophosphamide plus granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to mobilize peripheral blood stem cells may overcome this concern. In newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) patients, we investigated the influence of lenalidomide on stem cell collection. In a prospective study, 346 patients received four cycles of lenalidomide-dexamethasone (Rd). Stem cells were mobilized with cyclophosphamide and G-CSF. Patients failing to collect a minimum of 4 × 10(6) CD34(+)/kg cells received a second mobilization course. After mobilization, a median yield of 8.7 × 10(6) CD34(+)/kg was obtained from patients receiving Rd induction. After first mobilization, inadequate yield was observed in 21% of patients, whereas only 9% of patients failed to collect the target yield after the second mobilization attempt. In conclusion, we confirm that a short induction with lenalidomide allowed sufficient stem cells collection to perform autologous transplantation in 91% of newly diagnosed patients.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 06/2011; 25(10):1627-31. DOI:10.1038/leu.2011.131 · 9.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a case of a 52-year-old male who was evaluated due to anorexia, persistent diarrhea, weight loss, and liver enzyme elevations, with no hematologic laboratory abnormalities. Imaging modalities revealed several tissue lesions involving the pancreas, the right kidney, and an axillary lymph node. Diagnosis of Castleman disease was reached only due to the tissue obtained from the lymph node. Chemotherapy and immunosuppression led to a short remission. The patient underwent autologous stem cell transplantation, and has since been in remission. This case demonstrates the cryptogenic and chameleon-like nature of Castleman disease. Challenges in treating Castleman disease patients reflect current limitations and the need for a greater understanding of disease pathogenesis.
International journal of hematology 03/2011; 93(5):677-80. DOI:10.1007/s12185-011-0812-0 · 1.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurolymphomatosis (NL) is a rare clinical entity. The International Primary CNS Lymphoma Collaborative Group retrospectively analyzed 50 patients assembled from 12 centers in 5 countries over a 16-year period. NL was related to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 90% and to acute leukemia in 10%. It occurred as the initial manifestation of malignancy in 26% of cases. The affected neural structures included peripheral nerves (60%), spinal nerve roots (48%), cranial nerves (46%), and plexus (40%) with multiple site involvement in 58%. Imaging studies often suggested the diagnosis with 77% positive magnetic resonance imaging, and 84% (16 of 19) positive computed tomography-positron emission tomography studies. Cerebrospinal fluid cytology was positive in 40%, and nerve biopsy confirmed the diagnosis in 23 of 26 (88%). Treatment in 47 patients included systemic chemotherapy (70%), intra-cerebrospinal fluid chemotherapy (49%), and radiotherapy (34%). Response to treatment was observed in 46%. The median overall survival was 10 months, with 12- and 36-month survival proportions of 46% and 24%, respectively. NL is a challenging diagnosis, but contemporary imaging techniques frequently detect the relevant neural invasion. An aggressive multimodality therapy can prevent neurologic deterioration and is associated with a prolonged survival in a subset of patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with advanced melanoma usually do not benefit from conventional chemotherapy treatment. There is therefore a true need for a new kind of therapy for melanoma. One factor responsible for the poor prognosis of melanoma is the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family member Livin. In this study, we applied a novel approach for the treatment of melanoma, using a unique strain of the oncolytic Newcastle disease virus (NDV-HUJ). We found that, unlike chemotherapeutic drugs, NDV-HUJ, a one-cycle replicating virus, overcomes the resistance to apoptosis of melanoma primary cultures that over express the Livin protein. In contrast, melanoma tumor cells that do not express Livin are relatively resistant to NDV-HUJ treatment. Furthermore, we show that NDV-HUJ-induced oncolysis is attributed to the dual function of Livin: although Livin inhibits apoptosis through the inhibition of caspases, under the robust apoptotic stimulation of NDV-HUJ, caspases can cleave Livin to create a truncated protein with a paradoxical proapoptotic activity. Thus, NDV-HUJ is a potent inducer of apoptosis that can overcome the antiapoptotic effect of Livin and allow cleavage of Livin into the proapoptotic tLivin protein. Moreover, the results indicate that the interferon system, which is functional in melanoma, is not involved in NDV-induced oncolysis. Taken together, our data offer the possibility of a new viral oncolytic treatment for chemoresistant melanoma.
Journal of Virology 10/2009; 84(1):639-46. DOI:10.1128/JVI.00401-09 · 4.65 Impact Factor