[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 receptor (FLT3) internal tandem duplication (ITD) mutations result in constitutive activation of this receptor and have been shown to increase the risk of relapse in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML); however, substantial heterogeneity in clinical outcomes still exists within both the ITD mutated and unmutated AML subgroups, suggesting alternative mechanisms of disease relapse not accounted by FLT3 mutational status. Single cell network profiling (SCNP) is a multiparametric flow cytometry based assay that simultaneously measures, in a quantitative fashion and at the single cell level, both extracellular surface marker levels and changes in intracellular signaling proteins in response to extracellular modulators. We previously reported an initial characterization of FLT3 ITD-mediated signaling using SCNP. Herein SCNP was applied sequentially to two separate cohorts of samples collected from elderly AML patients at diagnosis. In the first (training) study, AML samples carrying unmutated, wild-type FLT3 (FLT3 WT) displayed a wide range of induced signaling, with a fraction having signaling profiles comparable to FLT3 ITD AML samples. Conversely, the FLT3 ITD AML samples displayed more homogeneous induced signaling, with the exception of patients with low (<40%) mutational load, which had profiles comparable to FLT3 WT AML samples. This observation was then confirmed in an independent (verification) cohort. Data from the second cohort were also used to assess the association between SCNP data and disease-free survival (DFS) in the context of FLT3 and nucleophosmin (NPM1) mutational status among patients who achieved complete remission (CR) to induction chemotherapy. The combination of SCNP read outs together with FLT3 and NPM1 molecular status improved the DFS prediction accuracy of the latter. Taken together, these results emphasize the value of comprehensive functional assessment of biologically relevant signaling pathways in AML as a basis for the development of highly predictive tests for guidance of post-remission therapy.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e56714. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cellular and interpatient heterogeneity and the involvement of different stem and progenitor compartments in leukemogenesis are challenges for the identification of common pathways contributing to the initiation and maintenance of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Here we used a strategy of parallel transcriptional analysis of phenotypic long-term hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), short-term HSCs, and granulocyte-monocyte progenitors from individuals with high-risk (-7/7q-) AML and compared them with the corresponding cell populations from healthy controls. This analysis revealed dysregulated expression of 11 genes, including IL-1 receptor accessory protein (IL1RAP), in all leukemic stem and progenitor cell compartments. IL1RAP protein was found to be overexpressed on the surface of HSCs of AML patients, and marked cells with the -7/7q- anomaly. IL1RAP was also overexpressed on HSCs of patients with normal karyotype AML and high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome, suggesting a pervasive role in different disease subtypes. High IL1RAP expression was independently associated with poor overall survival in 3 independent cohorts of AML patients (P = 2.2 × 10(-7)). Knockdown of IL1RAP decreased clonogenicity and increased cell death of AML cells. Our study identified genes dysregulated in stem and progenitor cells in -7/7q- AML, and suggests that IL1RAP may be a promising therapeutic and prognostic target in AML and high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Single cell network profiling (SCNP) is used to simultaneously measure the effects of modulators on signaling networks at the single cell level. SCNP-based biomarker assays predictive of response to induction therapy and relapse risk in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients are being developed. Such assays have typically used bone marrow (BM) as the sample source of blasts. Because circulating peripheral blasts are detectable in ∼65% of AML patients and peripheral blood (PB) sampling is less invasive than BM sampling, this study was performed to assess the effect of sample source on AML blasts signaling as measured in SCNP assay.
SCNP using multiparametric flow cytometry was used to evaluate the activation state of intracellular signaling molecules in leukemic blasts under basal conditions and after treatment with modulators in 46 pairs of BM mononuclear cells/PB mononuclear cells. The relationship between readouts of modulated intracellular proteins ("nodes") was measured using linear regression, Bland-Altman method, and Lin's concordance correlation coefficient.
The majority (156/161) of signaling nodes show strong correlations between paired PB and BM samples independently from the statistical method used. Notable exceptions were two PB samples with almost undetectable levels of circulating blasts compared with paired BM samples.
Our results demonstrate that specimen source (BM or PB) does not significantly affect proteomic signaling in patients with AML and circulating blasts. The ability to use PB as a sample source will facilitate the monitoring of cellular signaling effects following administration of targeted therapies and at time points when BM aspirates are not clinically justifiable.
Cytometry Part B Clinical Cytometry 02/2012; 82(3):158-72. · 2.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oncologists avoid prognostic discussions due to concerns about increasing patients' anxiety or depression. We sought to determine if perceived prognosis or extent of prognostic discussions predicted anxiety or depression and whether prognostic discussions moderated the relationship between prognosis and anxiety or depression.
Men with advanced cancer and their oncologists estimated the likelihood of survival at 6 months and reported extent of prognostic discussions. Anxiety and depression were measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).
Men who died within 6 months reported higher scores on depression but not anxiety. Men who estimated a lower (10%-75%) likelihood of surviving at least 6 months were more depressed and anxious than men who estimated a higher (>90%) likelihood of survival. A similar relationship was seen with oncologists' prognostications. Men who reported having had full prognostic discussions with their oncologist had less depression compared with men who reported having had brief or no discussions. Men for whom the oncologists reported a full discussion had greater anxiety. The relationships between patient-perceived prognosis and depression or anxiety were moderated by extent of prognostic discussions as reported by the patient or oncologist, respectively.
Full prognostic discussions are associated with less depression among men who perceive a poor prognosis. Anxiety is increased in men if the oncologists report a full discussion. Oncologists should engage in prognostic discussions but assess for increased anxiety to facilitate coping with advanced cancer.
Journal of palliative medicine 01/2012; 15(1):99-105. · 1.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1), a tumor suppressor, is a rate-limiting effector in an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-dependent apoptotic pathway. Its expression is epigenetically suppressed in several tumors. A mechanistic basis for epigenetic/transcriptional repression of DAPK1 was investigated in certain forms of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with poor prognosis, which lacked ER stress-induced apoptosis.
Heterogeneous primary AMLs were screened to identify a subgroup with Flt3ITD in which repression of DAPK1, among NF-κB-and c-Jun-responsive genes, was studied. RNA interference knockdown studies were carried out in an Flt3ITD(+) cell line, MV-4-11, to establish genetic epistasis in the pathway Flt3ITD-TAK1-DAPK1 repression, and chromatin immunoprecipitations were carried out to identify proximate effector proteins, including TAK1-activated p52NF-κB, at the DAPK1 locus.
AMLs characterized by normal karyotype with Flt3ITD were found to have 10- to 100-fold lower DAPK1 transcripts normalized to the expression of c-Jun, a transcriptional activator of DAPK1, as compared with a heterogeneous cytogenetic category. In addition, Meis1, a c-Jun-responsive adverse AML prognostic gene signature was measured as control. These Flt3ITD(+) AMLs overexpress relB, a transcriptional repressor, which forms active heterodimers with p52NF-κB. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays identified p52NF-κB binding to the DAPK1 promoter together with histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) and HDAC6 in the Flt3ITD(+) human AML cell line MV-4-11. Knockdown of p52NF-κB or its upstream regulator, NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK), de-repressed DAPK1. DAPK1-repressed primary Flt3ITD(+) AMLs had selective nuclear activation of p52NF-κB.
Flt3ITD promotes a noncanonical pathway via TAK1 and p52NF-κB to suppress DAPK1 in association with HDACs, which explains DAPK1 repression in Flt3ITD(+) AML.
Clinical Cancer Research 11/2011; 18(2):360-9. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients experience diverse psychological responses to cancer. Appraisals and coping have been shown to predict psychological responses to stressors. For men with advanced cancer, appraisal of cancer's impact on their lives (illness appraisal) and religious coping may be particularly important predictors of psychological responses. We examined the relationships among illness appraisal, religious coping, and positive and negative psychological responses while controlling for disease and patient characteristics.
Eighty-six men with advanced cancer completed measures, including constructed Meaning of Illness Scale, Brief Religious Coping Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, mini-Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale, and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Treating oncologists completed questions about disease status and estimated the chances of the patient surviving 6 months.
Psychological distress was predicted by prognosis (β = -0.20), illness appraisal (β = -0.48), and negative religious coping (β = 0.24). Negative mental adjustment was predicted by prognosis (β = -0.23) and illness appraisal (β = -0.57). Positive mental adjustment was predicted by illness appraisal (β = 0.46) and positive religious coping (β = 0.29). Posttraumatic growth was predicted by positive religious coping (β = 0.49).
Illness appraisal was more consistently associated with psychological responses to advanced cancer than patient or disease characteristics. Consequently, helping patients with their illness appraisals may be effective for improving patient psychological well-being.
Supportive Care in Cancer 09/2011; 20(8):1719-28. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study of vosaroxin evaluated dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), pharmacokinetics (PK), clinical activity and pharmacodynamics in relapsed/refractory leukemia. Dosing was weekly (days 1, 8 and 15) or twice weekly (days 1, 4, 8 and 11). Seventy-three treated patients had a median age of 65 years, 85% had acute myeloid leukemia and 78% had refractory disease. Weekly schedule: 42 patients received 18-90 mg/m(2); MTD was 72 mg/m(2). Twice-weekly schedule: 31 patients received 9-50 mg/m(2); MTD was 40 mg/m(2). DLT was stomatitis; primary non-hematologic toxicity was reversible gastrointestinal symptoms and febrile neutropenia. Thirty-day all-cause mortality was 11%. Five patients had complete or incomplete remissions; median duration was 3.1 months. A morphologic leukemia-free state (bone marrow blast reduction to <5%) occurred in 11 additional patients. Antileukemic activity was associated with total dose or weekly time above 1 μmol/l plasma vosaroxin concentration (P<0.05). Vosaroxin exposure was dose proportional over 9-90 mg/m(2). The average terminal half-life was ~25 h and clearance was non-renal. No induction or inhibition of vosaroxin metabolism was evident. Vosaroxin-induced DNA damage was detected as increased intracellular γH2AX. Vosaroxin had an acceptable safety profile, linear PK and encouraging clinical activity in relapsed/refractory leukemia.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 07/2011; 25(12):1808-14. · 10.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prolonged administration of methyl transferase inhibitors may increase response rates in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Fourteen MDS patients with anemia and less than 10% marrow blasts received azacitidine 50 mg/m(2) thrice weekly for 2 weeks every 4 weeks; 7 also received weekly erythropoietin. The response rate of 43% did not improve the rates reported with other azacitidine administration schedules, so the study was closed. A decreased apoptosis of primitive erythroid progenitors and increased expression of BclX(L) was observed with treatment in responding patients compared to non-responders. Azacitidine may modulate BclX(L) and improve erythropoiesis through reduction of apoptosis in primitive erythroid progenitor population in MDS.
Leukemia research 03/2011; 35(8):1108-10. · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a randomized trial of therapy for FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3) mutant acute myeloid leukemia in first relapse, 224 patients received chemotherapy alone or followed by 80 mg of the FLT3 inhibitor lestaurtinib twice daily. Endpoints included complete remission or complete remission with incomplete platelet recovery (CR/CRp), overall survival, safety, and tolerability. Correlative studies included pharmacokinetics and analysis of in vivo FLT3 inhibition. There were 29 patients with CR/CRp in the lestaurtinib arm and 23 in the control arm (26% vs 21%; P = .35), and no difference in overall survival between the 2 arms. There was evidence of toxicity in the lestaurtinib-treated patients, particularly those with plasma levels in excess of 20 μM. In the lestaurtinib arm, FLT3 inhibition was highly correlated with remission rate, but target inhibition on day 15 was achieved in only 58% of patients receiving lestaurtinib. Given that such a small proportion of patients on this trial achieved sustained FLT3 inhibition in vivo, any conclusions regarding the efficacy of combining FLT3 inhibition with chemotherapy are limited. Overall, lestaurtinib treatment after chemotherapy did not increase response rates or prolong survival of patients with FLT3 mutant acute myeloid leukemia in first relapse. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00079482.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A multicenter Eastern Cooperative Group (ECOG) phase 2 trial assessed whether adding prednisone to lenalidomide would improve previously reported responses in persons with myelofibrosis (MF). Forty-eight subjects with anemia (42 evaluable) received lenalidomide, 10 mg/d, with a 3-month low-dose prednisone taper. Ten subjects received 3 months, and 25 received 6 months of therapy. Myelosuppression was the main toxicity with 88% with ≥ grade 3 hematologic toxicity and 45% ≥ grade 3 nonhematologic toxicity. There were responses in 10 subjects (23%) using the International Working Group for Myelofibrosis Research and Treatment (IWG-MRT)-defined clinical improvement of anemia in 8 (19%) and/or decreased spleen size in 4 (10%). Serial bone marrow analysis showed no resolution of disease-related fibrosis or angiogenesis. With a median follow-up of 2.3 years, 23 subjects are alive. Lenali-domide and prednisone for myelofibro-sis evaluated through a multicentered-cooperative group mechanism is only modestly active and myelosuppre-sive. This study was registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00227591.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Zosuquidar, which modulates P-glycoprotein (P-gp) with minimal delay of anthracycline clearance, may reverse P-gp-mediated resistance in acute myeloid leukemia without increased toxicity. A total of 449 adults older than 60 years with acute myeloid leukemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome enrolled in a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind trial (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group 3999). Overall survival was compared between patients receiving conventional-dose cytarabine and daunorubicin and either zosuquidar (550 mg; 212 patients) or placebo (221 patients). Median and 2-year overall survival values were 7.2 months and 20% on zosuquidar and 9.4 months and 23% on placebo, respectively (P = .281). Remission rate was 51.9% on zosuquidar and 48.9% on placebo. All cause mortality to day 42 was not different (zosuquidar 22.2% vs placebo 16.3%; P = .158). In vitro modulation of P-gp activity by zosuquidar and expression of P-gp, multidrug resistance-related protein 1, lung resistance protein, and breast cancer resistance protein, were comparable in the 2 arms. Poor-risk cytogenetics were more common in P-gp(+) patients. P-gp expression and cytogenetics were correlated, though independent prognostic factors. We conclude that zosuquidar did not improve outcome in older acute myeloid leukemia, in part, because of the presence P-gp independent mechanisms of resistance. This trial is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00046930.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A total of 50 consecutive patients (median age, 57.5 years) with AML (n=30) or myelodysplasia (MDS, n=20) underwent HLA matched related donor (MRD, n=27) or unrelated donor (MUD, n=23) peripheral blood hematopoietic cell transplantation after nonmyeloablative CY/fludarabine (Flu) conditioning. GVHD prophylaxis included CsA (n=19)+/-mycophenolate mofetil (n=31). At a median follow-up of 59 months, 21 patients (42%) were alive without evidence of disease. By Kaplan-Meier analysis, year 1-4 disease-free survival (DFS) and OS estimates were 0.50/0.58, 0.40/0.46, 0.37/0.43 and 0.37/0.41. MUD recipients were engrafted quickly (13.5 days) compared to MRD recipients (16 days) and relapsed/progressed less frequently (P=0.005). Overall grade 3/4 acute GVHD (aGVHD) occurred in 26% in the absence of antecedent mucositis and was associated with chronic GVHD (cGVHD) and poor OS. Extensive cGVHD developed in 51.2% of 100 day survivors. Rates of aGVHD, cGVHD and survival were similar between MRD and MUD recipients. Of 14 survivors with cGVHD, 5 (35.7%) experienced resolution off immunosuppression, suggesting that tolerance with HLA matched grafts is possible at an advanced age by this method. This study provides further evidence for prolonged DFS after CY/Flu MRD allotransplantation for AML/MDS, and extends the findings to older patients and those with unrelated donors.
Bone marrow transplantation 08/2010; 45(8):1300-8. · 3.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The treatment of relapsed acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) remains unsatisfactory. We conducted a phase II randomized trial where patients received intermediate-dose cytarabine for 4 d followed by gemtuzumab ozogamicin on day 5 (Arm A), or combined with liposomal daunorubicin for 3 d (Arm B), or cytarabine given for 5 d combined with cyclophosphamide for 3 d and topotecan by continuous infusion for 5 d (Arm C). Eligible patients had primary refractory AML, a first relapse after a remission of <1 year, or a second or greater relapse. The primary objective of this trial was attainment of a conventional complete remission (CR) or a CR without platelet recovery (CRp) in at least 40% of patients. The CR/CRp rates for the 82 eligible patients were 3/26 (12%) in Arm A, 2/29 (7%) in Arm B, and 1/27 (4%) in Arm C. No patients who had relapsed within 6 months of initial CR or who had suffered multiple relapses responded. More than 95% of patients subsequently died of AML. No unexpected toxicities were encountered. We conclude that none of these three regimens were effective enough in the treatment of high-risk relapsed or refractory AML to warrant further study. This trial was registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00005962.
British Journal of Haematology 10/2009; 148(2):217-25. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a few moments Dawn (not her real name) would tell me her decision. Meanwhile the intern recited Dawn's vital signs, the list of her current medications, and her laboratory test results. I cut short the discussion about further tests, yet another modification of the antibiotic regimen, or seeking additional advice from our consultants. I was anxious to see Dawn. “Let's go in,” I said, waving the residents toward the door. “If she is going home we’ve a lot to arrange. Snow is predicted up north.” I slowly followed them into the room.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 06/2009; 301(17):1747-8. · 29.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients receiving intensive chemotherapy can experience increased distressed related to both the cancer diagnosis and treatment isolation. If not addressed, distress can lead to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and possible benefits of a music imagery intervention for patients hospitalized in a protective environment for the treatment of acute leukemia or high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Adults receiving intensive myelosuppressive chemotherapy in a protective environment were randomized to standard care or standard care plus music imagery. The music imagery sessions occurred twice weekly for up to eight sessions. Patients were encouraged to use the music imagery daily.
The principal criteria of feasibility were rate of consent, rate of completion of scheduled sessions, and rate of questionnaire completion. Forty-nine out of 78 patients consented, a 63% consent rate. Seventy-two percent of all scheduled music imagery sessions were completed. The rate of questionnaire completion was 60% with missing data because of illness severity and early discharge. The principal outcomes of benefit (e.g., efficacy) were positive and negative affects, fatigue, and anxiety. Both groups improved over time on all outcomes (all p < 0.001). However, a subgroup of individuals with low baseline negative affect who received the intervention reported significantly less anxiety at discharge than individuals with low baseline negative affect who did not receive the intervention.
Music imagery is feasible for adults with acute leukemia in protected environments. Patients with lower initial distress may benefit from a music imagery program in terms of reduced anxiety at discharge.
Supportive Care Cancer 05/2008; 16(5):507-13. · 2.65 Impact Factor