[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A complex aberrant karyotype consisting of multiple unrelated cytogenetic abnormalities is associated with poor prognosis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The European Leukemia Net classification and the UK Medical Research Council recommendation provide prognostic categories that differ in the definition of unbalanced aberrations as well as the number of single aberrations. The aim of this study on 3526 AML patients was to redefine and validate a cutoff for karyotype complexity in AML with regard to adverse prognosis. Our study demonstrated that (1) patients with a pure hyperdiploid karyotype have an adverse risk irrespective of the number of chromosomal gains, (2) patients with translocation t(9;11)(p21∼22;q23) have an intermediate risk independent of the number of additional aberrations, (3) patients with ⩾4 abnormalities have an adverse risk per se and (4) patients with three aberrations in the absence of abnormalities of strong influence (hyperdiploid karyotype, t(9;11)(p21∼22;q23), CBF-AML, unique adverse-risk aberrations) have borderline intermediate/adverse risk with a reduced overall survival compared with patients with a normal karyotype.
Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Blood Cancer Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The de novo DNA methyltransferases Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b are of crucial importance in hematopoietic stem cells. Dnmt3b has recently been shown to play a role in genic methylation. To investigate how Dnmt3b-mediated DNA methylation affects leukemogenesis, we analyzed leukemia development under conditions of high and physiological methylation levels in a tetracycline-inducible knock-in mouse model. High expression of Dnmt3b slowed leukemia development in serial transplantations and impaired leukemia stem cell (LSC) function. Forced Dnmt3b expression induced widespread DNA hypermethylation in Myc-Bcl2 induced leukemias, preferentially at gene bodies. MLL-AF9 induced leukemogenesis showed much less pronounced DNA hypermethylation upon Dnmt3b expression. Nonetheless, leukemogenesis was delayed in both models with a shared core set of DNA hypermethylated regions and suppression of stem cell-related genes. AML patients with high expression of Dnmt3b target genes showed inferior survival. Together, these findings indicate a critical role for Dnmt3b-mediated DNA methylation in leukemia development and maintenance of LSC function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term outcome of acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL) patients without Down’s syndrome remains poor. Founding mutations and chimeric oncogenes characterize various AMKL subtypes. However, for around one third of all cases the underlying mechanisms of AMKL leukemogenesis are still largely unknown. Recently, an in-frame fusion of meningeoma 1–friend leukemia virus integration 1 (MN1–Fli1) gene was detected in a child with AMKL. We intended to investigate the potential role of this oncofusion in leukemogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia. Strikingly, expression of MN1–Fli1 in murine hematopoietic progenitor cells was sufficient to induce leukemic transformation generating immature myeloid cells with cytomorphology and expression of surface markers typical for AMKL. Systematic structure function analyses revealed FLS and 3′ETS domains of Fli1 as decisive domains for the AMKL phenotype. Our data highlight an important role of MN1–Fli1 in AMKL leukemogenesis and provide a basis for research assessing the value of this oncofusion as a future diagnostic marker and/or therapeutic target in AMKL patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcription factor Myb plays a key role in the hematopoietic system and has been implicated in the development of leukemia and other human cancers. Inhibition of Myb is therefore emerging as a potential therapeutic strategy for these diseases. However, due to lack of suitable inhibitors the feasibility of therapeutic approaches based on Myb inhibition has not been explored. We have identified the triterpenoid Celastrol as a potent low-molecular weight inhibitor of the interaction of Myb with its cooperation partner p300. We demonstrate that Celastrol suppresses the proliferative potential of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells while not affecting normal hematopoietic progenitor cells. Furthermore, Celastrol prolongs the survival of mice in a model of an aggressive AML. Overall, our work demonstrates the therapeutic potential of a small-molecule inhibitor of the Myb/p300 interaction for the treatment of AML and provides a starting point for the further development of Myb-inhibitory compounds for the treatment of leukemia and, possibly, other tumors driven by deregulated Myb.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Knockdown of genes by RNA interference (RNAi) in vitro requires methods of transfection or transduction, both of which have limited impact in vivo. As a virus-free approach, we chemically coupled cell surface receptors internalizing antibodies to the short interfering RNA (siRNA) carrier peptide protamine using the bispecific cross-linker sulfo-SMCC (sulfosuccinimidyl 4-(N-maleimidomethyl)cyclohexane-1-carboxylate). First, protamine was conjugated amino-terminally to sulfo-SMCC, and then this conjugate was coupled via cysteine residues to the IgG backbone to carry siRNA. This complex can efficiently find, bind and internalize into receptor-positive cells in vitro and in vivo, which can be checked by flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy and western blotting. This method obtains results similar to those of siRNA targeting molecules engineered by genetic fusions between receptor-binding and siRNA carrier units, with the advantage of using readily available purified proteins without the need for engineering, expression and purification of respective constructs. The procedure for coupling the complex takes ∼2 d, and the functional assays take ∼2 weeks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Preclinical data and results from non-randomised trials suggest that the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib might be an effective drug for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia. We investigated the efficacy and tolerability of sorafenib versus placebo in addition to standard chemotherapy in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia aged 60 years or younger.
This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial was done at 25 sites in Germany. We enrolled patients aged 18-60 years with newly diagnosed, previously untreated acute myeloid leukaemia who had a WHO clinical performance score 0-2, adequate renal and liver function, no cardiac comorbidities, and no recent trauma or operation. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive two cycles of induction therapy with daunorubicin (60 mg/m(2) on days 3-5) plus cytarabine (100 mg/m(2) on days 1-7), followed by three cycles of high-dose cytarabine consolidation therapy (3 g/m(2) twice daily on days 1, 3, and 5) plus either sorafenib (400 mg twice daily) or placebo on days 10-19 of induction cycles 1 and 2, from day 8 of each consolidation, and as maintenance for 12 months. Allogeneic stem-cell transplantation was scheduled for all intermediate-risk patients with a sibling donor and for all high-risk patients with a matched donor in first remission. Computer-generated randomisation was done in blocks. The primary endpoint was event-free survival, with an event defined as either primary treatment failure or relapse or death, assessed in all randomised patients who received at least one dose of study treatment. We report the final analysis. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00893373, and the EU Clinical Trials Register (2008-004968-40).
Between March 27, 2009, and Nov 28, 2011, 276 patients were enrolled and randomised, of whom nine did not receive study medication. 267 patients were included in the primary analysis (placebo, n=133; sorafenib, n=134). With a median follow-up of 36 months (IQR 35·5-38·1), median event-free survival was 9 months (95% CI 4-15) in the placebo group versus 21 months (9-32) in the sorafenib group, corresponding to a 3-year event-free survival of 22% (95% CI 13-32) in the placebo group versus 40% (29-51) in the sorafenib group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·64, 95% CI; 0·45-0·91; p=0·013). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events in both groups were fever (71 [53%] in the placebo group vs 73 [54%] in the sorafenib group), infections (55 [41%] vs 46 [34%]), pneumonia (21 [16%] vs 20 [14%]), and pain (13 [10%] vs 15 [11%]). Grade 3 or worse adverse events that were significantly more common in the sorafenib group than the placebo group were fever (relative risk [RR] 1·54, 95% CI 1·04-2·28), diarrhoea (RR 7·89, 2·94-25·2), bleeding (RR 3·75, 1·5-10·0), cardiac events (RR 3·46, 1·15-11·8), hand-foot-skin reaction (only in sorafenib group), and rash (RR 4·06, 1·25-15·7).
In patients with acute myeloid leukaemia aged 60 years or younger, the addition of sorafenib to standard chemotherapy has antileukaemic efficacy but also increased toxicity. Our findings suggest that kinase inhibitors could be a useful addition to curative treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia. Overall survival after long-term follow-up and strategies to reduce toxicity are needed to determine the future role of sorafenib in treatment of this disease.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · The Lancet Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allogeneic transplantation (alloHCT) as post-remission therapy in patients with FLT3-ITD-positive intermediate-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains controversial. FLT3-ITD mutations are heterogeneous with respect to allelic ratio, location and length of the insertion, with a high mutant-to-wildtype ratio being consistently associated with inferior prognosis. We retrospectively analyzed the role of alloHCT in first remission in relationship to the allelic ratio and presence or absence of nucleophosmin 1 mutations (NPM1) in the SAL-AML2003 trial. FLT3-ITD mutations were detected in 209 patients and concomitant NPM1-mutations in 148 patients. Applying a pre-defined cutoff ratio of 0.8, AML was grouped into high- and low-ratio FLT3-ITD AML (HR(FLT3-ITD) and LR(FLT3-ITD)). Sixty-one patients (29%) were transplanted in first remission. Overall survival (OS) (HR 0.3, 95%CI 0.16 to 0.7, p=.004) and event-free survival (EFS) (HR 0.4, 95%CI 0.16 to 0.9, p=.02) were significantly increased in patients with HR(FLT3-ITD) AML who received alloHCT as consolidation treatment compared to patients who received consolidation chemotherapy. Patients with LR(FLT3-ITD) AML and wildtype NPM1 who received alloHCT in first remission had increased OS (HR 0.3; 95%CI 0.1 - 0.8, p=.02) and EFS (HR 0.2; 95%CI 0.1 - 0.8, p=.02) while alloHCT in first remission did not have a significant impact on OS and EFS in patients with LR(FLT3-ITD) AML and concomitant NPM1-mutation. In conclusion, our results provide additional evidence that alloHCT in first remission improves EFS and OS in patients with HR(FLT3-ITD) AML and in patients with LR(FLT3-ITD) AML and wildtype NPM .
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Biology of blood and marrow transplantation: journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA methylation changes are a constant feature of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Hypomethylating drugs such as azacitidine are active in AML as monotherapy. Azacitidine monotherapy is not curative. The AML-AZA trial tested the hypothesis that DNA methyltransferase inhibitors such as azacitidine can improve chemotherapy outcome in AML. This randomized, controlled trial compared the efficacy of azacitidine applied before each cycle of intensive chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone in older patients with untreated AML. Event free survival (EFS) was the primary endpoint. In total, 214 patients with a median age of 70 years were randomized to azacitidine/chemotherapy (arm-A) or chemotherapy (arm-B). More arm-A patients (39/105; 37%) than arm-B (25/109; 23%) showed adverse cytogenetics (P=0.057). Adverse events were more frequent in arm-A (15.44) versus 13.52 in arm-B, (P=0.26), but early death rates did not differ significantly (30-day mortality 6 versus 5%, P=0.76). Median EFS was 6 months in both arms (P=0.96). Median OS was 15 months for patients in arm-A compared to 21 months in arm-B (P=0.35). Azacitidine added to standard chemotherapy increases toxicity in older patients with AML, but provides no additional benefit for unselected patients.Leukemia accepted article preview online, 02 November 2015. doi:10.1038/leu.2015.306.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several blood group-related carbohydrate antigens are prognosis-relevant markers of tumor tissues. A type 3 (repetitive A) is a blood group antigen specific for A1 erythrocytes. Its potential expression in tumor tissues has so far not been examined.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Signaling through the IL-1-receptor type 1 (IL-1R1), IL-1 is required for initiation and maintenance of diverse activities of the immune system. A second receptor, IL-1R2, blocks IL-1 signal transduction. We studied expression of IL-1beta, IL-1R1, and IL-1R2 in 17 Hodgkin lymphomas (HL) by in situ hybridization (ISH). IL-1beta expressing cells, morphologically consistent with endothelial cells and fibroblasts, occurred in all HL tissues with elevated transcript levels in areas of active fibrosis. Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells of all cases expressed low IL-1R1 transcript levels in some tumor cells, and high levels of IL-1R2 in large proportions of HRS cells. Only few bystander cells showed low levels of IL-1R1 and IL-1R2 RNA. Supernatants of 4 out of 7 HL-derived cell lines contained soluble IL-1R2 protein at high levels. HL patient sera carried variably amounts of IL-1R2 protein with significantly increased titers in patients with active disease compared to patients in complete remission and control individuals without HL. Western blots and co-immunoprecipitations showed binding of the IL-1R2 to the intracellular IL-1R-accessory protein (IL-1IRAcP). These data suggest functions of the IL-1R2 as a "decoy-receptor" sequestrating paracrine IL-1 extracellularly and intracellularly by engaging IL-1IRAcP, thus depriving IL1-R1 molecules of their extracellular and intracellular ligands. Expression of IL1-R2 by HRS cells seems to contribute to local and systemic modulation of immune function in HL.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Major route additional cytogenetic aberrations (ACA) at diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) indicate an increased risk of progression and shorter survival. Since major route ACA are almost always unbalanced, it is unclear whether other unbalanced ACA at diagnosis also confer an unfavourable prognosis. On the basis of 1348 Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic phase patients of the randomized CML study IV, we examined the impact of unbalanced minor route ACA at diagnosis versus major route ACA on prognosis. At diagnosis, 1175 patients (87.2 %) had a translocation t(9;22)(q34;q11) and 74 (5.5 %) a variant translocation t(v;22) only, while a loss of the Y chromosome (-Y) was present in addition in 44 (3.3 %), balanced or unbalanced minor route ACA each in 17 (1.3 %) and major route ACA in 21 (1.6 %) cases. Patients with unbalanced minor route ACA had no significantly different cumulative incidences of complete cytogenetic remission or major molecular remission and no significantly different progression-free survival (PFS) or overall survival (OS) than patients with t(9;22), t(v;22), -Y and balanced minor route karyotypes. In contrast, patients with major route ACA had a shorter OS and PFS than all other groups (all pairwise comparisons to each of the other groups: p ≤ 0.015). Five-year survival probabilities were for t(9;22) 91.4 % (95 % CI 89.5-93.1), t(v; 22) 87 % (77.2-94.3), -Y 89.0 % (76.7-97.0), balanced 100 %, unbalanced minor route 92.3 % (72.4-100) and major route 52.2 % (28.2-75.5). We conclude that only major route, but not balanced or unbalanced minor route ACA at diagnosis, has a negative impact on prognosis of CML.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Annals of Hematology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immune checkpoint molecules are highly relevant as potential prognostic markers and therapeutic targets in malignant diseases. HVEM belongs to the TNF receptor family and provides stimulatory as well as inhibitory signals depending on the ligand. Abnormal HVEM expression has been described in various malignancies, but the role in AML is unknown. Here we report extensive data on HVEM surface protein expression analyzed by flow cytometry on bone marrow leukemic cells of 169 AML patients at diagnosis. An independent cohort of 512 AML patients was analyzed for HVEM mRNA expression in bone marrow samples by Affymetrix microarrays. Consistently for both cohorts and methods, we show that HVEM was differentially expressed and that expression levels were associated with defined genetic markers. HVEM expression was lower in cases with FLT3-ITD (p = 0.001, p < 0.001), with mutations in NPM1 (p = 0.001, p < 0.001) or with the combination of NPM1 mutation and FLT3 wild type (p = 0.049, p = 0.050), while a biallelic mutation in CEBPA correlated positively with higher HVEM expression (p = 0.015, p < 0.001). In a differential gene expression analysis, we found 13 genes including HOXA9, MEIS1 and MN1 that were closely associated with HVEM expression. Besides, four gene sets closely linked to immunity were enriched in HVEM (high) samples. Finally, high expression of HVEM was associated with a trend toward longer relapse-free survival. The results of this study provide new information on the potential significance of HVEM in AML.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Immunotherapy can become a crucial therapeutic option to improve prognosis for lung cancer patients. First clinical trials with therapies targeting the programmed cell death receptor PD-1 and its ligand PD-L1 have shown promising results in several solid tumors. However, in lung cancer the diagnostic, prognostic and predictive value of these immunologic factors remains unclear.
The impact of both factors was evaluated in a study collective of 321 clinically well-annotated patients with non-small lung cancer (NSCLC) using immunohistochemistry.
PD-1 expression by tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) was found in 22%, whereas tumor cell associated PD-L1 expression was observed in 24% of the NSCLC tumors. In Fisher's exact test a positive correlation was found for PD-L1 and Bcl-xl protein expression (p = 0.013). Interestingly, PD-L1 expression on tumor cells was associated with improved overall survival in pulmonary squamous cell carcinomas (SCC, p = 0.042, log rank test), with adjuvant therapy (p = 0.017), with increased tumor size (pT2-4, p = 0.039) and with positive lymph node status (pN1-3, p = 0.010). These observations were confirmed by multivariate cox regression models.
One major finding of our study is the identification of a prognostic implication of PD-L1 in subsets of NSCLC patients with pulmonary SCC, with increased tumor size, with a positive lymph node status and NSCLC patients who received adjuvant therapies. This study provides first data for immune-context related risk stratification of NSCLC patients. Further studies are necessary both to confirm this observation and to evaluate the predictive value of PD-1 and PD-L1 in NSCLC in the context of PD-1 inhibition.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: tTF-NGR retargets the extracellular domain of tissue factor via a C-terminal peptide GNGRAHA, a ligand of the surface protein aminopeptidase N (CD13) and upon deamidation of integrin αvβ3, to tumor vasculature. tTF-NGR induces tumor vascular infarction with consecutive antitumor activity against xenografts and selectively inhibits tumor blood flow in cancer patients. Since random PEGylation resulted in favourable pharmacodynamics of tTF-NGR, we performed site-directed PEGylation of PEG units to the N-terminus of tTF-NGR to further improve the antitumor profile of the molecule. Mono-PEGylation to the N-terminus did not change the pro-coagulatory activity of the tTF-NGR molecule as measured by Factor X activation. Experiments to characterize pharmacokinetics in mice showed a more than 1-log step higher mean area under the curve of PEG20k-tTF-NGR over tTF-NGR. Acute (24h) tolerability upon intravenous application for the mono-PEGylated versus non-PEGylated tTF-NGR compounds was comparable. PEG20k-tTF-NGR showed clear antitumor efficacy in vivo against human tumor xenografts when systemically applied. However, site-directed mono-PEGylation to the N-terminus does not unequivocally improve the therapeutic profile of tTF-NGR.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Molecular Pharmaceutics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overweight and obese patients have an increased risk to develop several malignancies and, additionally, body mass index (BMI) impacts on outcome in several solid tumors. However, little is known for AML. We analyzed a cohort of 3526 AML patients treated in three prospective multicenter trials within the German Study Alliance Leukemia. In multivariate analysis, we identified BMI as an independent risk factor for both DFS (HR 1.014, p=0.0217) and OS (HR 1.015, p<0.0036). Interestingly, overweight and obesity seemed to be a risk factor predominantly in patients with de novo AML younger than 65 years with intermediate risk and adverse cytogenetics. Overweight with a BMI ≥25kg/m² best discriminated worse outcome and led to an absolute reduction of long term survival of 5-7% in the group of all younger patients (3-year OS 39.9% vs. 47.3%; 10-year OS 28.7% vs. 33.8%, p=0.0002). Additionally, response to induction therapy was significantly reduced in these patients (76.9% vs. 82.8%, p<0.0001). Thus, in younger patients with de novo AML, overweight and obesity are risk factors for impaired response to induction therapy, DFS and OS. This effect is, in part but not fully, explained by dose reduction such as dose capping at a body surface area of 2m². This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · European Journal Of Haematology