[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia was recently recognised as a distinct leukaemia and reported as associated with poor outcomes. We aimed to assess the outcome of early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in patients from the Italian Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology (AIEOP) centres treated with AIEOP-Berlin-Frankfurt-Münster (AIEOP-BFM) protocols.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
We sought to determine whether cranial radiotherapy (CRT) is necessary to prevent relapse in any subgroup of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Patients and methods:
We obtained aggregate data on relapse and survival outcomes for 16,623 patients age 1 to 18 years old with newly diagnosed ALL treated between 1996 and 2007 by 10 cooperative study groups from around the world. The proportion of patients eligible for prophylactic CRT varied from 0% to 33% by trial and was not related to the proportion eligible for allogeneic stem-cell transplantation in first complete remission. Using a random effects model, with CRT as a dichotomous covariate, we performed a single-arm meta-analysis to compare event-free survival and cumulative incidence of isolated or any CNS relapse and isolated bone marrow relapse in high-risk subgroups of patients who either did or did not receive CRT.
Although there was significant heterogeneity in all outcome end points according to trial, CRT was associated with a reduced risk of relapse only in the small subgroup of patients with overt CNS disease at diagnosis, who had a significantly lower risk of isolated CNS relapse (4% with CRT v 17% without CRT; P = .02) and a trend toward lower risk of any CNS relapse (7% with CRT v 17% without CRT; P = .09). However, this group had a relatively high rate of events regardless of whether or not they received CRT (32% [95% CI, 26% to 39%] v 34% [95% CI, 19% to 54%]; P = .8).
CRT does not have an impact on the risk of relapse in children with ALL treated on contemporary protocols.
No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drug-related toxicities represent an important clinical concern in chemotherapy, genetic variants could help tailoring treatment to patient. A pharmacogenetic multicentric study was performed on 508 pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients treated with AIEOP-BFM 2000 protocol: 28 variants were genotyped by VeraCode and Taqman technologies, deletions of GST-M1 and GST-T1 by multiplex PCR. Toxicities were derived from a central database: 251 patients (49.4%) experienced at least one gastrointestinal (GI) or hepatic (HEP) or neurological (NEU) grade III/IV episode during the remission induction phase: GI occurred in 63 patients (12.4%); HEP in 204 (40.2%) and NEU in 44 (8.7%). Logistic regression model adjusted for sex, risk and treatment phase revealed that ITPA rs1127354 homozygous mutated patients showed an increased risk of severe GI and NEU. ABCC1 rs246240 and ADORA2A rs2236624 homozygous mutated genotypes were associated to NEU and HEP, respectively. These three variants could be putative predictive markers for chemotherapy-related toxicities in AIEOP-BFM protocols.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 8 December 2015; doi:10.1038/tpj.2015.83.
No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · The Pharmacogenomics Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPSs) are a group of lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs). The increasing interest in newborn screening procedures for LSDs underlines the need for alternative cellular and gene therapy approaches to be developed during the perinatal period, supporting the treatment of MPS patients before the onset of clinical signs and symptoms. The rationale for considering these early therapies results from the clinical experience in the treatment of MPSs and other genetic disorders. The normal or gene-corrected hematopoiesis transplanted in patients can produce the missing protein at levels sufficient to improve and/or halt the disease-related abnormalities. However, these current therapies are only partially successful, probably due to the limited efficacy of the protein provided through the hematopoiesis. An alternative explanation is that the time at which the cellular or gene therapy procedures are performed could be too late to prevent pre-existing or progressive organ damage. Considering these aspects, in the last several years, novel cellular and gene therapy approaches have been tested in different animal models at birth, a highly early stage, showing that precocious treatment is critical to prevent long-term pathological consequences. This review provides insights into the state-of-art accomplishments made with neonatal cellular and gene-based therapies and the major barriers that need to be overcome before they can be implemented in the medical community.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methods:
The Consensus Conference method was used, following the Italian National Plan Guidelines. Relevant publications in English were identified through a systematic review of MEDLINE and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from their inception through March 21, 2014.
Basing on literature results, an algorithm was developed, including several possible clinical scenarios. Situations requiring a watchful waiting strategy, those requiring an empiric antibiotic therapy, and those necessitating a prompt diagnostic workup, considering the risk for a severe underling disease, have been identified.
The present algorithm is a practice tool for the management of pediatric cervical lymphadenopathy in the hospital and the ambulatory settings. A multidisciplinary approach is paramount. Further studies are required for its validation in the clinical field.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: According to the European Medicine Agency (EMA) regulatory frameworks, Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) represent a new category of drugs in which the active ingredient consists of cells, genes, or tissues. ATMP-CD133 has been widely investigated in controlled clinical trials for cardiovascular diseases, making CD133
cells one of the most well characterized cell-derived drugs in this field. To ensure high quality and safety standards for clinical use, the manufacturing process must be accomplished in certified facilities following standard operative procedures (SOPs). In the present work, we report the fully compliant GMP-grade production of ATMP-CD133 which aims to address the treatment of chronic refractory ischemic heart failure. Starting from bone marrow (BM), ATMP-CD133 manufacturing output yielded a median of 6.66 × 10
cells (range 2.85 × 10
–30.84 × 10
), with a viability ranged between 96,03% and 99,97% (median 99,87%) and a median purity of CD133
cells of 90,60% (range 81,40%–96,20%). Based on these results we defined our final release criteria for ATMP-CD133: purity ≥ 70%, viability ≥ 80%, cellularity between 1 and 12 × 10
cells, sterile, and endotoxin-free. The abovementioned criteria are currently applied in our Phase I clinical trial (RECARDIO Trial).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose of review:
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is still partially ineffective in curing high-risk hematological malignancies, with estimates of relapse rates ranging from 40 to 50%. The purpose of this review is to discuss the emerging therapeutic options for patients with relapsed disease following HSCT based on adoptive immunotherapy using donor-derived T cells genetically engineered to express CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptors (CARs).
Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) with CAR-modified T cells represents an attractive therapeutic option for further enhancing the graft-versus-leukemia effect. However, CAR-modified T cells are often obtained using apheresis products collected from the patient's own blood, a procedure that has hindered the application of CAR-based therapies into the clinic. Alternative approaches rely on CAR T cells derived from donors rather than the patient's own blood. Therefore, it appears that overcoming the practical limitation of allogeneic T cell-induced graft versus-host-disease is a key to providing access to CAR immunotherapy to all eligible patients.
Donor-derived CD19-CAR T cells may advance the field of CAR immunotherapy by controlling relapse in leukemic patients and improving the range of applications of ACT protocols. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Current opinion in hematology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare life-threatening disease affecting mostly children but also adults and characterized by hyperinflammatory features. A subset of patients, referred to as having familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL), have various underlying genetic abnormalities, the frequencies of which have not been systematically determined previously.
This work aims to further our understanding of the pathogenic bases of this rare condition based on an analysis of our 25 years of experience.
From our registry, we have analyzed a total of 500 unselected patients with HLH.
Biallelic pathogenic mutations defining FHL were found in 171 (34%) patients; the proportion of FHL was much higher (64%) in patients given a diagnosis during the first year of life. Taken together, mutations of the genes PRF1 (FHL2) and UNC13D (FHL3) accounted for 70% of cases of FHL. Overall, a genetic diagnosis was possible in more than 90% of our patients with FHL. Perforin expression and the extent of degranulation have been more useful for diagnosing FHL than hemophagocytosis and the cytotoxicity assay. Of 281 (56%) patients classified as having "sporadic" HLH, 43 had monoallelic mutations in one of the FHL-defining genes. Given this gene dosage effect, FHL is not strictly recessive.
We suggest that the clinical syndrome HLH generally results from the combined effects of an exogenous trigger and genetic predisposition. Within this combination, different weights of exogenous and genetic factors account for the wide disease spectrum that ranges from HLH secondary to severe infection to FHL.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) can promote wound healing in different clinical settings, the underlying mechanism of MSC-mediated tissue repair has yet to be determined. Since a non-redundant role of pentraxin 3 (PTX3) in tissue repair and remodeling has been recently described, here we sought to determine whether MSC-derived PTX3 might play a role in wound healing. Using a murine model of skin repair, we found that Ptx3(-/-) MSCs delayed wound closure and reduced granulation tissue formation compared with wt MSCs. At day 2, confocal microscopy revealed a dramatic reduction of GFP-expressing Ptx3(-/-) MSCs recruited to the wound, where they appeared not only to be poorly organized in bundles but also scattered in the extracellular matrix. These findings were further confirmed by quantitative biochemical analysis of GFP content in wound extracts. Furthermore, Ptx3(-/-) MSC-treated skins displayed increased levels of fibrin and lower levels of D-dimer, suggesting a delayed fibrin-rich matrix remodelling compared to control skins. Consistently, both pericellular fibrinolysis and migration through fibrin were found to be severely affected in Ptx3(-/-) MSCs. Overall, our findings identify an essential role of MSC-derived PTX3 in wound repair underscoring the beneficial potential of MSC-based therapy in the management of intractable wounds.Journal of Investigative Dermatology accepted article preview online, 03 September 2015. doi:10.1038/jid.2015.346.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Investigative Dermatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic variants within components of the cohesin complex (NIPBL, SMC1A, SMC3, RAD21, PDS5, ESCO2, HDAC8) are believed to be responsible for a spectrum of human syndromes known as "cohesinopathies" that includes Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS). CdLS is a multiple malformation syndrome affecting almost any organ and causing severe developmental delay. Cohesinopathies seem to be caused by dysregulation of specific developmental pathways downstream of mutations in cohesin components. However, it is still unclear how mutations in different components of the cohesin complex affect the output of gene regulation. In this study, zebrafish embryos and SMC1A-mutated patient-derived fibroblasts were used to analyze abnormalities induced by SMC1A loss of function. We show that the knockdown of smc1a in zebrafish impairs neural development, increases apoptosis and specifically down-regulates Ccnd1 levels. The same down-regulation of cohesin targets is observed in SMC1A-mutated patient fibroblasts. Previously, we have demonstrated that haploinsufficiency of NIPBL produces similar effects in zebrafish and in patients fibroblasts indicating a possible common feature for neurological defects and mental retardation in cohesinopathies. Interestingly, expression analysis of Smc1a and Nipbl in developing mouse embryos reveals a specific pattern in the hindbrain, suggesting a role for cohesin in neural development in vertebrates. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Germline mutations in genes coding for molecules involved in the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway are the hallmarks of a newly classified family of autosomal dominant syndromes termed RASopathies. Myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs), in particular, juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, can lead to potentially severe complications in children with Noonan syndrome (NS). We studied 27 children with NS or other RASopathies and 35 age-matched children as control subjects. Peripheral blood (PB) cells from these patients were studied for in vitro colony-forming units (CFUs) activity, as well as for intracellular phosphosignaling. Higher spontaneous growth of both burst-forming units-erythroid (BFU-E) and CFU-granulocyte/macrophage (CFU-GM) colonies from RAS-mutated patients were observed as compared with control subjects. We also observed a significantly higher amount of GM-colony-stimulating factor-induced p-ERK in children with RASopathies. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that PB cells isolated from children suffering from NS or other RASopathies without MPD display enhanced BFU-E and CFU-GM colony formation in vitro. The biological significance of these findings clearly awaits further studies. Collectively, our data provide a basis for further investigating of only partially characterized hematological alterations present in children suffering from RASopathies, and may provide new markers for progression toward malignant MPD in these patients.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Blood Cancer Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hunter disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder characterized by progressive storage of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and multi-organ impairment. The central nervous system (CNS) is involved in at least 50% of cases. Since 2006, the enzymatic replacement therapy (ERT) is available but with no effect on the cognitive impairment, as the present formulation does not cross the blood–brain barrier. Here we report the outcome of 17 Hunter patients treated in a single center. Most of them (11) started ERT in 2006, 3 had started it earlier in 2004, enrolled in the phase III trial, and 3 after 2006, as soon as the diagnosis was made. The liver and spleen sizes and urinary GAGs significantly decreased and normalized throughout the treatment. Heart parameters improved, in particular the left ventricular mass index/m2 decreased significantly. Amelioration of hearing was seen in many patients. Joint range of motion improved in all patients. However, no improvement on respiratory function, eye, skeletal and CNS disease was found. The developmental quotient of patients with a CNS involvement showed a fast decline. These patients were no more testable after 6 years of age and, albeit the benefits drawn from ERT, their quality of life worsened throughout the years. The whole group of patients showed a consistent residual disease burden mainly represented by persistent skeletal disease and frequent need of surgery. This study suggests that early diagnosis and treatment and other different therapies which are able to cross the blood–brain barrier, might in the future improve the MPS II outcome.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports