Concept: Graft-versus-host disease
Graft-versus-host disease is one of the major transplant-related complications in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Continued efforts have been made to prevent the occurrence of severe graft-versus-host disease by eliminating or suppressing donor-derived effector T cells. Conventional immunosuppression does not adequately prevent graft-versus-host disease, especially in mismatched transplants. Unfortunately, elimination of donor-derived T cells impairs stem cell engraftment, and delays immunologic reconstitution, rendering the recipient susceptible to post-transplant infections and disease relapse, with potentially lethal consequences. In this review, we discuss the role of dynamic immune regulation in controlling graft-versus-host disease, and how cell-based therapies are being developed using regulatory T cells and other tolerogenic cells for the prevention and treatment of graft-versus-host disease. In addition, advances in the design of cytoreductive conditioning regimens to selectively target graft-versus-host disease-inducing donor-derived T cells that have improved the safety of allogeneic stem cell transplantation are reviewed. Finally, we discuss advances in our understanding of the tolerogenic facilitating cell population, a phenotypically and functionally distinct population of bone marrow-derived cells which promote hematopoietic stem cell engraftment while reducing the risk of graft-versus-host disease.
Allogeneic blood or bone-marrow transplantation (alloBMT) is a potentially curative treatment for a variety of haematological malignancies and nonmalignant diseases. Historically, human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched siblings have been the preferred source of donor cells owing to superior outcomes compared with alloBMT using other donors. Although only approximately one-third of patients have an HLA-matched sibling, nearly all patients have HLA-haploidentical related donors. Early studies using HLA-haploidentical alloBMT resulted in unacceptably high rates of graft rejection and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), leading to high nonrelapse mortality and consequently poor survival. Several novel approaches to HLA-haploidentical alloBMT have yielded encouraging results with high rates of successful engraftment, effective GVHD control and favourable outcomes. In fact, outcomes of several retrospective comparative studies seem similar to those seen using other allograft sources, including those of HLA-matched-sibling alloBMT. In this Review, we provide an overview of the three most-developed approaches to HLA-haploidentical alloBMT: T-cell depletion with ‘megadose’ CD34(+) cells; granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-primed allografts combined with intensive pharmacological immunosuppression, including antithymocyte globulin; and high-dose, post-transplantation cyclophosphamide. We review the preclinical and biological data supporting each approach, results from major clinical studies, and completed or ongoing clinical studies comparing these approaches with other alloBMT platforms.
We previously reported that bone marrow grafts from matched sibling donors resulted in best graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival at 1-year post allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. However, pediatric patients comprised the majority of bone marrow graft recipients in that study. To better define this outcome in adults and pediatric patients at 1- and 2-years post- allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation, we pooled data from University of Minnesota and Hopital Saint-Louis in Paris, France (n=1901). Graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival was defined as absence of grade III-IV acute graft-versus-host disease, chronic graft-versus-host disease (requiring systemic therapy or extensive stage), relapse and death. In adults, bone marrow from matched sibling donors (n=123) had best graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival at 1- and 2-years, compared with peripheral blood stem cell from matched sibling donors (n=540) or other graft/donor types. In multivariate analysis, peripheral blood stem cell from matched sibling donors resulted in a 50% increased risk of events contributing to graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival at 1- and 2-years than bone marrow from matched sibling donors. With limited numbers of peripheral blood stem cell grafts in pediatric patients (n=12), graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival did not differ between bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell graft from any donor. While not all patients have a matched sibling donor, graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival may be improved by preferential use of bone marrow for adults with malignant diseases. Alternatively, novel graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis regimens are needed to substantially impact graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival with the use of peripheral blood stem cell.
Patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) can experience a severe disease course, with progressive destructive polyarthritis refractory to conventional therapy with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs including biologics, as well as life-threatening complications including macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is a potentially curative immunomodulatory strategy for patients with such refractory disease. We treated 16 patients in 5 transplant centers between 2007 and 2016: 11 children with systemic JIA and 5 with rheumatoid factor-negative polyarticular JIA; all were either refractory to standard therapy, had developed secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/MAS poorly responsive to treatment, or had failed autologous HSCT. All children received reduced toxicity fludarabine-based conditioning regimens and serotherapy with alemtuzumab. Fourteen of 16 patients are alive with a median follow-up of 29 months (range, 2.8-96 months). All patients had hematological recovery. Three patients had grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease. The incidence of viral infections after HSCT was high, likely due to the use of alemtuzumab in already heavily immunosuppressed patients. All patients had significant improvement of arthritis, resolution of MAS, and improved quality of life early following allo-HSCT; most importantly, 11 children achieved complete drug-free remission at the last follow-up. Allo-HSCT using alemtuzumab and reduced toxicity conditioning is a promising therapeutic option for patients with JIA refractory to conventional therapy and/or complicated by MAS. Long-term follow-up is required to ascertain whether disease control following HSCT continues indefinitely.
Murine models showed that CD8+CD44himemory T ™ cells could eradicate malignant cells without inducing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). We evaluated the feasibility and safety of infusing freshly isolated and purified donor-derived phenotypic CD8+TMcells into adults with disease relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Phenotypic CD8 TMcells were isolated after unmobilized donor apheresis using a tandem immunomagnetic selection strategy of CD45RA depletion followed by CD8+enrichment. Fifteen patients received CD8+TMcells at escalating doses (1 × 106, 5 × 106, or 10 × 106cells per kg). Thirteen received cytoreduction before CD8+TMcell infusion, and 9 had active disease at the time of infusion. Mean yield and purity of the CD8+TMinfusion were 38.1% and 92.8%, respectively; >90% had CD8+T effector memory phenotype, cytokine expression, and secretion profile. No adverse infusional events or dose-limiting toxicities occurred; GVHD developed in 1 patient (grade 2 liver). Ten patients (67%) maintained or achieved response (7 complete response, 1 partial response, 2 stable disease) for at least 3 months after infusion; 4 of the responders had active disease at the time of infusion. With a median follow-up from infusion of 328 days (range, 118-1328 days), median event-free survival and overall survival were 4.9 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 1-19.3 months) and 19.6 months (95% CI, 5.6 months to not reached), respectively. Collection and enrichment of phenotypic CD8+TMcells is feasible, well tolerated, and associated with a low incidence of GVHD when administered as a manipulated infusion of donor lymphocytes in patients who have relapsed after HCT. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01523223.
Background Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is the leading cause of later illness and death after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. We hypothesized that the inclusion of antihuman T-lymphocyte immune globulin (ATG) in a myeloablative conditioning regimen for patients with acute leukemia would result in a significant reduction in chronic GVHD 2 years after allogeneic peripheral-blood stem-cell transplantation from an HLA-identical sibling. Methods We conducted a prospective, multicenter, open-label, randomized phase 3 study of ATG as part of a conditioning regimen. A total of 168 patients were enrolled at 27 centers. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive ATG or not receive ATG, with stratification according to center and risk of disease. Results After a median follow-up of 24 months, the cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was 32.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 22.1 to 46.7) in the ATG group and 68.7% (95% CI, 58.4 to 80.7) in the non-ATG group (P<0.001). The rate of 2-year relapse-free survival was similar in the ATG group and the non-ATG group (59.4% [95% CI, 47.8 to 69.2] and 64.6% [95% CI, 50.9 to 75.3], respectively; P=0.21), as was the rate of overall survival (74.1% [95% CI, 62.7 to 82.5] and 77.9% [95% CI, 66.1 to 86.1], respectively; P=0.46). There were no significant between-group differences in the rates of relapse, infectious complications, acute GVHD, or adverse events. The rate of a composite end point of chronic GVHD-free and relapse-free survival at 2 years was significantly higher in the ATG group than in the non-ATG group (36.6% vs. 16.8%, P=0.005). Conclusions The inclusion of ATG resulted in a significantly lower rate of chronic GVHD after allogeneic transplantation than the rate without ATG. The survival rate was similar in the two groups, but the rate of a composite end point of chronic GVHD-free survival and relapse-free survival was higher with ATG. (Funded by the Neovii Biotech and the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00678275 .).
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a critically important therapy for hematological malignancies, inborn errors of metabolism, and immunodeficiency disorders, yet complications such as graft-vs.-host disease (GvHD) limit survival. Development of anti-GvHD therapies that do not adversely affect susceptibility to infection or graft-vs.-tumor immunity are hampered by the lack of a physiologically relevant, preclinical model of allogeneic HSCT. Here we show a spectrum of diverse clinical HSCT outcomes including primary and secondary graft failure, lethal GvHD, and stable, disease-free full donor engraftment using reduced intensity conditioning and mobilized peripheral blood HSCT in unrelated, fully MHC-matched Mauritian-origin cynomolgus macaques. Anti-GvHD prophylaxis of tacrolimus, post-transplant cyclophosphamide, and CD28 blockade induces multi-lineage, full donor chimerism and recipient-specific tolerance while maintaining pathogen-specific immunity. These results establish a new preclinical allogeneic HSCT model for evaluation of GvHD prophylaxis and next-generation HSCT-mediated therapies for solid organ tolerance, cure of non-malignant hematological disease, and HIV reservoir clearance.
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major barrier to successful allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). The chemokine receptor CCR5 appears to play a role in alloreactivity. We tested whether CCR5 blockade would be safe and limit GVHD in humans.
Programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) interacts with programmed death-1 (PD-1) and the immunostimulatory molecule CD80 and functions as a checkpoint to regulate immune responses. The interaction of PD-L1 with CD80 alone has been shown to exacerbate the severity of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), whereas costimulation of CD80 and PD-1 ameliorates GVHD. Here we have demonstrated that temporary depletion of donor CD4+ T cells early after hematopoietic cell transplantation effectively prevents GVHD while preserving strong graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effects in allogeneic and xenogeneic murine GVHD models. Depletion of donor CD4+ T cells increased serum IFN-γ but reduced IL-2 concentrations, leading to upregulation of PD-L1 expression by recipient tissues and donor CD8+ T cells. In GVHD target tissues, the interactions of PD-L1 with PD-1 on donor CD8+ T cells cause anergy, exhaustion, and apoptosis, thereby preventing GVHD. In lymphoid tissues, the interactions of PD-L1 with CD80 augment CD8+ T cell expansion without increasing anergy, exhaustion, or apoptosis, resulting in strong GVL effects. These results indicate that the outcome of PD-L1-mediated signaling in CD8+ T cells depends on the presence or absence of CD4+ T cells, the nature of the interacting receptor expressed by CD8+ T cells, and the tissue environment in which the signaling occurs.
BACKGROUND: The impact of obesity on hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) outcome remains controversial and has been considered a relative contraindication for the procedure. We investigated the influence of Body Mass Index (BMI) on the clinical course of adults undergoing an ambulatory HSCT after a non-myeloablative conditioning regimen. METHODS: Adults with hematologic diseases undergoing an autologous or allogeneic HSCT after reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) and supported exclusively with enteral nutrition (EN) were studied. BMI and body fat were sequentially determined. Patients were divided into three BMI subgroups: underweight; normal, and overweight/obese. RESULTS: Seventy-seven patients with a median follow-up of 21months were evaluated. Fourteen (18.2%) were underweight, 21 (27.3%) had a normal weight, and 42 (54.5%) were overweight/obese. A significant weight loss was observed among all three weight groups after HSCT (P=0.014). No correlation was found between time to engraftment and BMI (P=0.91), serum albumin (P=0.387), and fasting glucose (P=0.64), nor between BMI and acute (P=0.456) or chronic (P=0.209) graft versus host disease (GVHD). On multivariate analysis a higher overall survival (OS) was documented for obese patients (P=0.037). DISCUSSION: A BMI >30/kg/m(2) was independently associated with a higher survival rate after HSCT. Obese patients should not be excluded as transplant candidates based only on this parameter.