[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oral antifungal prophylaxis with extended-spectra azoles is widely used in pediatric patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), while controlled studies for oral antifungal prophylaxis after bone marrow transplantation in children are not available. This survey analyzed patients who had received either itraconazole, voriconazole, or posaconazole. We focused on the safety, feasibility, and initial data of efficacy in a cohort of pediatric patients and adolescents after high-dose chemotherapy and HSCT. Fifty consecutive pediatric patients received itraconazole, 50 received voriconazole, and 50 pediatric patients received posaconazole after HSCT as oral antifungal prophylaxis. The observation period lasted from the start of oral prophylactic treatment with itraconazole, voriconazole, or posaconazole until two weeks after terminating the oral antifungal prophylaxis. No incidences of proven or probable invasive mycosis were observed during itraconazole, voriconazole, or posaconazole treatment. A total of five possible invasive fungal infections occurred, two in the itraconazole group (4 %) and three in the voriconazole group (6 %). The percentage of patients with adverse events potentially related to clinical drugs were 14 % in the voriconazole group, 12 % in the itraconazole group, and 8 % in the posaconazole group. Itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole showed comparable efficacy as antifungal prophylaxis in pediatric patients after allogeneic HSCT.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 10/2013; · 3.02 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The CliniMACS device (Miltenyi Biotec, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany) was used for depletion of T-cell receptor alpha/beta positive (TCRαβ(+)) and CD19 positive (CD19(+)) cells from apheresis products.
Investigators performed 102 separations. Apheresis products with a median 5.8 (minimum to maximum, 1.2-10.4) × 10(10) mononuclear cells were used with a median 358 (92-1432) × 10(6) CD34(+) cells. There were 24.8% (6.1-45.7%) median TCRαβ(+) cells and 4.4% (1.2-11.7%) median B cells in the apheresis product.
After depletion, a median 0.00097% (0.00025-0.0048%) of TCRαβ(+) cells could be detected, and B cells, as determined as CD20(+) cells, were reduced to 0.0072% (0.0008-0.072%). TCRαβ(+) cells were depleted by log 4.7 (3.8-5.5), and B cells were depleted by log 4.1 (3.0-4.7). Recovery of mononuclear cells was 55% (33-77%), and recovery of CD34(+) cells was 73% (43-98%). Recovery of CD56(+)/3(-) natural killer cells was 80% (35-142%), recovery of TCR gamma/delta positive (TCRγδ(+)) T cells was 83% (39-173%) and recovery of CD14(+) cells was 79% (22-141%). Viability of cells was 98% (93-99%) after separation (all values median).
Profound depletion of TCRαβ(+) T cells can be achieved with the CliniMACS system. Recovery of CD34(+) stem cells is in the same range than after CD34(+) enrichment and CD3/CD19 depletion. Transplantation with >4 × 10(6) CD34(+) cells/kg can be performed for every patient with 1-5 × 10(4) TCRαβ(+) cells/kg and about 5-10 × 10(6) TCRγδ(+) cells/kg with two rounds of apheresis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neonates show an impaired antimicrobial host defense, but the underlying immune mechanisms are not fully understood. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) represent an innate immune cell subset characterized by their capacity to suppress T cell immunity. Here we demonstrate that a distinct MDSC subset with a neutrophilic / granulocytic phenotype (Gr-MDSCs) is highly increased in cord blood compared to peripheral blood of children and adults. Functionally, cord blood isolated Gr-MDSCs efficiently suppressed T cell proliferation as well as Th1, Th2 and Th17 cytokine secretion. Beyond T cells, cord blood Gr-MDSCs controlled NK cell cytotoxicity in a cell-contact dependent manner. These studies establish neutrophilic Gr-MDSCs as novel immunosuppressive cell subset that controls innate (NK) and adaptive (T cell) immune responses in neonates. Increased MDSC activity in cord blood may serve as key fetomaternal immunosuppressive mechanism impairing neonatal host defense. Gr-MDSCs in cord blood might therefore represent a therapeutic target in neonatal infections.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a heterogeneous group of inherited diseases characterized by the formation of blisters in the skin and mucosa. There is no cure or effective treatment for these potentially severe and fatal diseases. Over the past few years, several reports have proposed different molecular strategies as new therapeutic options for the management of EB. From classical vector-based gene therapy to cell-based strategies such as systemic application of bone marrow stem cells or local application of fibroblasts, a broad range of molecular approaches have been explored. This array also includes novel methods, such as protein replacement therapy, gene silencing and the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPCs). In this review, we summarize current concepts of how inherited blistering diseases might be treated in the future and discuss the opportunities, promises, concerns and risks of these innovative approaches.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The T cell subsets involved in inflammatory reactions are mainly the IFN-γ secreting Th1 cells and IL17-producing Th17 cells. Although Th17 cells are primed in the thymus, there is evidence that Th17 cells can be generated from effector memory CD4+ T cells. Cytokines as IL-6, TGF-β, IL-21 and IL-23 involved in development of Th17 cells are well described. Here we analyzed the impact of a mutation in the IFN-γ receptor 2 (IFN-γR2) on the induction of Th17 cells. By isolation of T cells and monocytes of a patient with this mutation we could demonstrate an inhibitory role of IFN-γ signaling as IFN-γR2-deficient monocytes induce a higher percentage of IL-17+ cells from both healthy and IFN-γR2-deficient CD4+ T cells. This data confirm the interference of these two T helper subsets and points to a balance of Th1 and Th17 cells obtained by their own cytokine production and their interplay with APCs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer control by adaptive immunity involves a number of defined death and clearance mechanisms. However, efficient inhibition of exponential cancer growth by T cells and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) requires additional undefined mechanisms that arrest cancer cell proliferation. Here we show that the combined action of the T-helper-1-cell cytokines IFN-γ and tumour necrosis factor (TNF) directly induces permanent growth arrest in cancers. To safely separate senescence induced by tumour immunity from oncogene-induced senescence, we used a mouse model in which the Simian virus 40 large T antigen (Tag) expressed under the control of the rat insulin promoter creates tumours by attenuating p53- and Rb-mediated cell cycle control. When combined, IFN-γ and TNF drive Tag-expressing cancers into senescence by inducing permanent growth arrest in G1/G0, activation of p16INK4a (also known as CDKN2A), and downstream Rb hypophosphorylation at serine 795. This cytokine-induced senescence strictly requires STAT1 and TNFR1 (also known as TNFRSF1A) signalling in addition to p16INK4a. In vivo, Tag-specific T-helper 1 cells permanently arrest Tag-expressing cancers by inducing IFN-γ- and TNFR1-dependent senescence. Conversely, Tnfr1(-/- )Tag-expressing cancers resist cytokine-induced senescence and grow aggressively, even in TNFR1-expressing hosts. Finally, as IFN-γ and TNF induce senescence in numerous murine and human cancers, this may be a general mechanism for arresting cancer progression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The oncolytic potential of measles vaccine virus (MeV) has been demonstrated in several tumor entities. Here, we investigated the susceptibility of eight sarcoma cell lines to MeV-mediated oncolysis and found five to be susceptible whereas three proved to be resistant. In the MeV resistant cell lines, we often observed an inhibition of viral replication going along with a strong upregulation of the intracellular virus sensing molecule RIG-I and of the interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene IFIT1. Not only expression of IFIT1 but also phosphorylation of IFN-stimulated Stat1 took place rapidly and were found to be persistent over time. In contrast, susceptible cell lines showed a much weaker, delayed or completely missing expression of IFIT1 as well as a delayed or only transient phosphorylation of Stat1, whereas exogenic stimulation with interferon beta (IFN-β) resulted in a comparable profound activation of Stat1 and expression of IFIT1 in all cell lines. Pretreatment with IFN-β rendered three of the susceptible cell lines more resistant to MeV-mediated oncolysis. These data suggest that differences in the innate immune defense often account for different degrees of susceptibility of sarcoma cell lines to MeV-mediated oncolysis. In a therapeutic perspective, we were able to overcome resistance to MeV by increasing the multiplicity of infection (MOI) and by addition of the prodrug 5-fluorocytosine (FC) thereby exploiting the suicide gene function of virotherapeutic vector MeV-SCD armed with the SCD fusion protein consisting of yeast cytosine deaminase and yeast uracil phosphoribosyltransferase.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epigenetic drugs like histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) and DNA-methyltransferase inhibitors (DNMTi) have been shown to be effective against a variety of tumor entities. Among different molecular anticancer activities of epigenetic active substances, up-regulation of natural killer (NK) cell ligands was described to contribute to an enhanced NK cell-mediated killing of tumor cell lines. So far, no data is available on this effect in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We investigated the effect of two HDACi [vorinostat, valproic acid (VPA)] and two DNMTi (azacytidine, decitabine) on the viability, expression of NK ligands, and NK susceptibility of the pre-B-cell-ALL cell line MHH-CALL-4. Whereas vorinostat, azacytidine, and decitabine directly reduced viability of the cell line, VPA had no direct cytotoxic effect. NKG2D-ligands were expressed only at very low levels and not affected by epigenetic treatment. Higher expression was found for the DNAM-1 ligands with significant up regulation of CD112 after treatment with VPA (p = 0.02). No significant increase in lysis mediated by resting NK cells could be observed, whereas incubation of target cells with decitabine resulted in a significant increase in lysis mediated by IL-2 activated NK cells (p = 0.0051, p = 0.06 for azacytidine). Vorinostat and VPA could increase the lysis by expanded NK cells which was statistically not significant due to high inter-individual variability. Furthermore, HDACi but not DNMTi reduced the NK-mediated lysis of MHH-CALL-4 after incubation of effector cells. In conclusion, there is a synergistic effect between epigenetic drugs and NK cells against MHH-CALL-4 which is not as strong as in other tumor entities. In situations where NK-mediated control of leukemia is assumed or wanted, a sophisticated combination of single epigenetic drugs and ex vivo expanded NK cells is needed to maximize the synergistic effect of both treatment strategies and DNMTIs may be preferred based on the direct inhibitory effect of HDACi on NK cell cytotoxicity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lifelong hematopoiesis is sustained by a very small number of hematopoietic stem cells capable of self-renewal and differentiation into multiple hematopoietic lineages. The sialomucin CD34 has been, and is currently, used for the identification and purification of primitive hematopoietic progenitors. Depending on the source of stem cells, CD34 may not be expressed on all progenitor cells. An alternative stem cell marker is prominin-1 (CD133), which is expressed on a subpopulation of CD34(+) cells as well as on CD34(-) progenitor cells derived from various sources including fetal liver and bone marrow, adult bone marrow, cord blood, and mobilized peripheral blood. CD133(+) stem cells can reconstitute myelo- and lymphopoiesis of lethally irradiated mice, and the characterization of the CD133 expression on stem cells provides some insights into the biology of the hierarchy and functional organization of human hematopoiesis. The availability of methods for clinical large-scale isolation of CD133(+) cells facilitates their use in autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and possibly in other fields of regenerative medicine.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology 01/2013; 777:99-111. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pseudomonas aeruginosa persists in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and drives CF lung disease progression. P. aeruginosa potently activates the innate immune system, mainly mediated through pathogen-associated molecular patterns, such as flagellin. However, the host is unable to eradicate this flagellated bacterium efficiently. The underlying immunological mechanisms are incompletely understood. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are innate immune cells generated in cancer and proinflammatory microenvironments and are capable of suppressing T cell responses. We hypothesized that P. aeruginosa induces MDSCs to escape T cell immunity. In this article, we demonstrate that granulocytic MDSCs accumulate in CF patients chronically infected with P. aeruginosa and correlate with CF lung disease activity. Flagellated P. aeruginosa culture supernatants induced the generation of MDSCs, an effect that was 1) dose-dependently mimicked by purified flagellin protein, 2) significantly reduced using flagellin-deficient P. aeruginosa bacteria, and 3) corresponded to TLR5 expression on MDSCs in vitro and in vivo. Both purified flagellin and flagellated P. aeruginosa induced an MDSC phenotype distinct from that of the previously described MDSC-inducing cytokine GM-CSF, characterized by an upregulation of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 on the surface of MDSCs. Functionally, P. aeruginosa-infected CF patient ex vivo-isolated as well as flagellin or P. aeruginosa in vitro-generated MDSCs efficiently suppressed polyclonal T cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner and modulated Th17 responses. These studies demonstrate that flagellin induces the generation of MDSCs and suggest that P. aeruginosa uses this mechanism to undermine T cell-mediated host defense in CF and other P. aeruginosa-associated chronic lung diseases.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2012; · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polymorphonuclear neutrophil granulocytes (neutrophils) are tightly controlled by an incompletely understood homeostatic feedback loop adjusting the marrow's supply to peripheral needs. While it has long been known that marrow cellularity is inversely correlated with G-CSF levels, the mechanism linking peripheral clearance to production remains unknown. Herein, the feedback response to antibody induced neutropenia is characterized to consist of G-CSF dependent shifts of marrow hematopoietic progenitor populations including expansion of the lin(-)/Sca-1(+)/c-kit(+) (LSK) and granulocyte macrophage progenitor (GMP) compartments at the expense of thrombopoietic and red cell precursors. Evidence is provided that positive feedback regulation is independent from commensal germs as well as T-, B- and NK-cells. However, in vivo feedback is impaired in TLR4(-/-) and TRIF(-/-), but not MyD88(-/-) animals. In conclusion, steady-state neutrophil homeostasis is G-CSF dependent and regulated through pattern-recognition receptors, thereby directly linking TLR-triggering to granulopoiesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSEReactivation of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (SCT) can lead to severe life-threatening infections and trigger post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD). Since EBV-specific T cells could prevent PTLD, cellular immunotherapy has been a promising treatment option. However, generation of antigen-specific T-cell populations has been difficult within a short time frame. PATIENTS AND METHODS
To improve availability in urgent clinical conditions, we developed a rapid protocol for isolation of polyclonal EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1) -specific T cells by using an interferon gamma (IFN-γ) capture technique.ResultsWe report on the use of adoptive transfer of EBNA-1-specific T cells in 10 pediatric and adult patients with EBV viremia and/or PTLD after SCT. No acute toxicity or graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) of more than grade 2 occurred as a result of adoptive T-cell transfer. In vivo expansion of transferred EBNA-1-specific T cells was observed in eight of 10 patients after a median of 16 days following adoptive transfer that was associated with clinical and virologic response in seven of them (70%). None of the responders had EBV-associated mortality. Within clinical responders, three patients were disease free by the day of last follow-up (2 to 36 months), three patients died of other infectious complications, and one patient died as a result of relapse of malignancy. EBV-related mortality was observed in two of 10 patients, and another patient had ongoing viremia without clinical symptoms at last follow-up. CONCLUSION
Adoptive ex vivo transfer of EBNA-1-specific T cells is a feasible and well-tolerated therapeutic option, representing a fast and efficient procedure to achieve reconstitution of antiviral T-cell immunity after SCT.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 11/2012; · 18.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viral infections with cytomegalovirus (CMV) or human adenovirus (HAdV) after stem cell transplantation are still associated with a high morbidity and mortality. Transfer of T-cell immunity from a healthy individual to a stem cell transplant recipient, known as adoptive T-cell transfer, has been shown to be effective to prevent viral complications. Treatment efficacy will depend on the availability of functional T-cell lines with a strong Thelper1 response. Ex vivo isolation of antigen-specific T cells could be performed on the basis of the cytokine capture technique or antigen-induced expression of activation markers. In this study, we compare the specificity, expansion/differentiation potential, and Thelper1 response against CMV and HAdV after different isolation strategies. Antigen-specific T cells from healthy donors were isolated by antigen-induced expression of IFN-γ and/or CD137 after stimulation with the viral antigens hexon (HAdV) or pp65 (CMV). Isolation of antigen-specific T cells based on the expression of activation markers is feasible and less time consuming, but in contrast to isolation based on IFN-γ secretion, it leads to a reduction of Thelper1 cells. Both isolated CD137 and isolated IFN-γ T cells mainly consist of CD4 TCentralMemory and TEffectorMemory cells with high expansion potential and effective cytokine production. CD154 is mainly expressed on CD4 T cells and shows coexpression with IFN-γ on activated T cells, which cannot be found for CD137 cells. In conclusion, T-cell lines could be easily generated on the basis of IFN-γ and/or expression of the activation marker CD137 but both approaches result in different T-cell populations, which may lead to divergent T-cell responses in vivo.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on the results from the AML-BFM 98 trial, hematopoietic SCT (HSCT) is recommended for children with AML in second CR only. Here, we retrospectively analyze interphase data of children who underwent HSCT after myeloablative conditioning with BU, CY, and melphalan (BuCyMel) for AML in second remission (CR2) between 1998 and 2009. Out of 152 children, transplant data were available on 109 individuals. Sixty out of 109 children (55%) received BuCyMel. Median age at HSCT was 12.2 years (range 3.0; 18.3). GVHD prophylaxis mostly consisted of CsA and short term MTX with or without antithymocyte globulin. Matched-sibling donors were used for 6/60 analyzed recipients, the remainder either received grafts from matched unrelated (30/60) or mismatched donors. OS after 5 years was 62% (s.e. 6%), relapse incidence 35% (18/60 children) and treatment-related mortality accounted for 12% (7/60) of fatal events. In conclusion, even taking into account possible selection bias in this retrospective analysis, HSCT in CR2 using BuCyMel resulted in a respectable OS. Based on this data the prospective, controlled and centrally monitored AML SCT-BFM 2007 trial has started to recruit patients in January 2010 aiming to generate valid outcome data for further strategy decisions.Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 29 October 2012; doi:10.1038/bmt.2012.204.
Bone marrow transplantation 10/2012; · 3.00 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Pediatric patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are at high risk of acquiring fungal infections. Antifungal prophylaxis shortly after transplantation is therefore indicated, but data for pediatric patients under 12 years of age are scarce. To address this issue, we retrospectively assessed the safety, feasibility, and initial efficacy of prophylactic posaconazole in children. METHODS: 60 consecutive pediatric patients with a median age of 6.0 years who underwent allogeneic HSCT between August 2007 and July 2010 received antifungal prophylaxis with posaconazole in the outpatient setting. 28 pediatric patients received an oral suspension at 5 mg/kg body weight b.i.d., and 32 pediatric patients received the suspension at 4 mg/kg body weight t.i.d. . The observation period lasted from start of treatment with posaconazole until its termination (maximum of 200 days post-transplant). RESULTS: Pediatric patients who received posaconazole at 4 mg/kg body weight t.i.d. had a median trough level of 383 mug/L. Patients who received posaconazole at 5 mg/kg body weight b.i.d. had a median trough level of 134 mug/L. Both regimens were well tolerated without severe side effects. In addition, no proven or probable invasive mycosis was observed. CONCLUSION: Posaconazole was a well-tolerated, safe, and effective oral antifungal prophylaxis in pediatric patients who underwent high-dose chemotherapy and HSCT. Posaconazole at a dosage of 12 mg/kg body weight divided in three doses produced consistently higher morning trough levels than in patients who received posaconazole 5 mg/kg body weight b.i.d. . Larger prospective trials are needed to obtain reliable guidelines for antifungal prophylaxis in children after HSCT.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) is a rare inborn error of metabolism leading to severe neurological symptoms and early death. Hematopoietic SCT (HSCT) is considered a treatment option, but results are inconsistent and comparison with natural history is practically missing. We compare a girl with juvenile MLD 10 years after allogeneic HSCT not only with her untreated sister, but also with a large cohort of untreated patients. The girl received HSCT at the age of 5 years when first motor signs appeared. Over 10 years she was stable with respect to her clinical course and gained cognitive abilities. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed clear regression of white matter changes and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) demonstrated a reversal of the initial choline increase and N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) decrease. Only axonal demyelinating neuropathy showed some progression. Her gross motor function and MRI-scores were clearly better compared with her sister and the cohort of untreated patients. Difference to her sister became apparent only 4 years after HSCT. We conclude that HSCT, early in the course of disease, can lead to stabilization of juvenile MLD with a course clearly different from the natural history. HSCT may prevent disease progression, if performed sufficient time before loss of walking, which typically initiates rapid deterioration.Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 3 September 2012; doi:10.1038/bmt.2012.155.
Bone marrow transplantation 09/2012; · 3.00 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a curative alternative option for patients without an otherwise suitable stem cell donor. In order to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), different in vitro and in vivo T cell-depletion strategies have been developed. A delayed immune reconstitution is common to all these strategies, and an impaired immune function after haploidentical transplantation with subsequent infections is a major cause of deaths in these patients. In addition to in vitro and in vivo T cell-depletion methods, posttransplant strategies to rapidly rebuild the immune system have been introduced in order to improve the outcome. Advances in in vitro and in vivo T cell-depletion methods, and adoptive transfer of immune cells of the innate and specific immune system, will contribute to reduce the risk of GvHD, lethal infections, and the risk of relapse of the underlying malignant disease.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 08/2012; 1266:161-70. · 4.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcriptional regulator ecotropic viral integration site-1 (EVI-1) has mainly been studied for its role in myeloid malignancies, in which high EVI-1 levels are associated with particularly aggressive disease. The role of EVI-1 in lymphoid cells, however, is largely unknown. Here we show that EVI-1 is indeed expressed in lymphoid malignancies such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and a subset of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Expression data from pediatric ALL further suggest that high EVI-1 levels are associated with poor prognosis. Suppression of EVI-1 expression by RNA interference reduces cell growth and enhances apoptosis sensitivity in response to various stimuli in lymphoblastic leukemia cells. At the molecular level, EVI-1 modulates expression of several apoptosis-related genes (such as BCL2, BCL-x, XIAP, NOXA, PUMA, TRAIL-R1). Furthermore, EVI-1 knockdown strongly impairs in vivo engraftment of lymphoblastic leukemia cells upon transplantation in immune-permissive NOD/SCID/IL2Rγ(null) mice, conferring a survival benefit when compared with mice transplanted with control cells. Thus, our data show that EVI-1 is expressed not only in myeloid but also in lymphoid leukemias, and contributes to the leukemogenic potential and apoptosis resistance of ALL cells.Leukemia advance online publication, 21 August 2012; doi:10.1038/leu.2012.211.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 07/2012; · 8.30 Impact Factor