Phase II study of immunomodulation with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interleukin-2, and rituximab following autologous stem cell transplant in patients with relapsed or refractory lymphomas
Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. Leukemia & lymphoma
(Impact Factor: 2.89).
07/2010; 51(7):1241-50. DOI: 10.3109/10428194.2010.486876
High-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) leads to durable remissions in approximately half of patients with chemosensitive relapsed or refractory aggressive lymphomas; however, many will relapse despite ASCT secondary to persistent minimal residual disease (MRD) or malignant graft contamination. Post-transplant rituximab may eradicate MRD. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) might enhance the efficacy of rituximab by augmenting antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). We hypothesized that given together, rituximab, GM-CSF, and IL-2 might eradicate MRD and improve event-free survival following ASCT. Forty-six patients with relapsed non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) or Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) were enrolled. Stem cells were mobilized with G-CSF and GM-CSF following chemotherapy. Following BEAM conditioning, patients received GM-CSF until neutrophil engraftment. Between days + 30 and + 120, patients received one dose of rituximab 375 mg/m(2) (cycle 1), followed by three cycles of GM-CSF 250 microg/m(2)/day SQ days 1-5, IL-2 1.5 x 10(6) IU/m(2)/day SQ days 6-12, and rituximab 375 mg/m(2) IV day 9, repeated every 21 days. Thirty-eight patients were eligible for post-ASCT immunotherapy. Nine patients completed 1-2 cycles and 21 completed 3-4 cycles; eight patients did not receive post-ASCT immunotherapy. Grade 3-4 neutropenia and grade 3 thrombocytopenia were observed. With a median follow-up of 30 months, the estimated 5-year OS and EFS for all patients eligible for immunotherapy are 65% and 45%, respectively. Post-ASCT immunomodulation with rituximab, IL-2, and GM-CSF was feasible and safe, but not all patients were able to continue on to post-ASCT immunotherapy.
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ABSTRACT: The introduction of purine nucleoside analogs, later in combination with alkylating moieties and anti-CD20 immunotherapy, has profoundly improved the response rate and response duration in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The quality of clinical response following treatment may be improved to a level where residual leukemic cells become undetectable. As patients with this type of response appear to have extended survival rates, minimal residual disease (MRD) eradication is considered a new objective in CLL treatment with the aim of improving progression-free survival (PFS) and potentially overall survival (OS). This review therefore aims to overview the prognostic value of MRD eradication in CLL, the role of post-remission intervention with "passive" immunotherapy (alemtuzumab or rituximab) so as to eliminate persistent MRD or prevent MRD relapse, the impact of these strategies on disease-free survival and their possible adverse consequences. The data indicate a potential for post-remission alemtuzumab or rituximab to prolong PFS in CLL, although more investigations and longer follow-up are required before MRD-guided strategies can be recommended outside of clinical trials.
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ABSTRACT: Chemoimmunotherapy with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab is increasingly used for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Antibody-dependent cytotoxicity (ADCC) is one of the most important mechanisms of action of rituximab against B-cell malignancies. We studied ways to increase the cytotoxic effect of rituximab on CLL cells by enhancing ADCC. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) or purified natural killer (NK) cells from healthy donors were activated with interleukin-15 (IL-15) and cultured with rituximab-coated CLL cells, and ADCC was evaluated using a (51)chromium release assay. The IL-15 significantly enhanced in vitro ADCC against CLL cells, and this effect was mainly mediated by NK cells. The IL-15 treated effector cells with the low affinity FcγRIIIA receptor (158FF) had an ADCC comparable to those with the high affinity FcγRIIIA form (158VF). In addition, IL-15 enhanced rituximab-mediated ADCC of CLL cells in the presence of transforming growth factor-beta. The IL-15 increases rituximab-mediated ADCC against CLL, and supports the use of such agents with the goal of improving clinical response to chemoimmunotherapy in patients with CLL.
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