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Published By American Society Of Hematology

1528-0020, 0006-4971
Updated Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Blood ◽  
2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Lauren R. Schaff ◽  
Christian Grommes

Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) is a rare and aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affects the brain, eyes, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or spinal cord without systemic involvement. Here, we review the clinical presentation, diagnostic work-up, novel pathophysiologic insights, and treatment of immunocompetent PCNSL patients. Diagnosis of PCNSL requires a high level of suspicion as clinical signs and deficits can vary depending upon the involved CNS compartments. Rapid initiation of therapy is essential for good neurologic recovery and disease control. In general, the prognosis of PCNSL has improved significantly over the past few decades, largely due to the introduction and wide-spread use of high-dose methotrexate (MTX) chemotherapy, considered the backbone of first-line polychemotherapy treatment. Upon completion of MTX-based treatment, a consolidation strategy is often required and can consist of non-myeloablative or myeloablative chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplant, radiation, maintenance therapy, or observation. Unfortunately, relapse is common and 5-year survival rates stand at only 30-40%. Novel insights into the pathophysiology of PCNSL have identified key mechanisms in tumor pathogenesis including activation of the B-cell receptor pathway, a suppressed tumor immune microenvironment, and immune evasion. These insights have led to the identification of novel small molecules and agents targeting these aberrant pathways. Agents such as the Bruton Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib or immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) like lenalidomide or pomalidomide have shown promising response rates in the clinical trial setting for recurrent/refractory PCNSL and are increasingly being adopted in clinical use.


Blood ◽  
2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Ebba Sohlberg ◽  
Aline Pfefferle ◽  
Eivind Heggernes Ask ◽  
Astrid Tschan-Plessl ◽  
Benedikt Jacobs ◽  
...  

Neutrophils have been suggested to play a critical role in terminal differentiation of NK cells. Whether this is a direct effect or a consequence of global immune changes with effects on NK cell homeostasis remains unknown. Here, we used high-resolution flow- and mass cytometry to examine NK cell repertoires in 64 patients with neutropenia and 27 healthy age- and gender-matched donors. A subgroup of patients with chronic neutropenia showed severely disrupted NK cell homeostasis manifested as increased frequencies of CD56bright NK cells and a lack of mature CD56dim NK cells. These immature NK cell repertoires were characterized by expression of proliferation/exhaustion markers Ki-67, Tim-3 and TIGIT and displayed blunted tumor target cell responses. Systems-level immune mapping revealed that the changes in immunophenotypes were confined to NK cells, leaving T cell differentiation intact. RNA sequencing of NK cells from these patients showed upregulation of a network of genes, including TNFSF9, CENPF, MKI67 and TOP2A, associated with apoptosis and the cell cycle, different from conventional CD56bright signatures. Profiling of 249 plasma proteins showed a coordinated enrichment of pathways related to apoptosis and cell turnover, which correlated with immature NK cell repertoires. Notably, most of these patients exhibited severe-grade neutropenia, suggesting that the profoundly altered NK cell homeostasis was connected to the severity of their underlying etiology. Hence, although our data suggests that neutrophils are dispensable for NK cell development and differentiation, some patients displayed a specific gap in the NK repertoire, associated with poor cytotoxic function and more severe disease manifestations.


Blood ◽  
2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Tanya Siddiqi ◽  
Jacob D Soumerai ◽  
Kathleen A Dorritie ◽  
Deborah M. Stephens ◽  
Peter A Riedell ◽  
...  

Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors (BTKi) and venetoclax are currently used to treat newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). However, most patients eventually develop resistance to these therapies, underscoring the need for effective new therapies. We report results of the phase 1 dose-escalation portion of the multicenter, open-label, phase 1/2 TRANSCEND CLL 004 (NCT03331198) study of lisocabtagene maraleucel (liso-cel), an autologous CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, in patients with relapsed/refractory CLL/SLL. Patients with standard- or high-risk features treated with ≥3 or ≥2 prior therapies, respectively, including a BTKi, received liso-cel at 1 of 2 dose levels (50×106 or 100×106 CAR+ T cells). Primary objectives included safety and determining recommended dose; antitumor activity by 2018 International Workshop on CLL guidelines was exploratory. Minimal residual disease (MRD) was assessed in blood and marrow. Twenty-three of 25 enrolled patients received liso-cel and were evaluable for safety. Patients had a median of 4 (range, 2‒11) prior therapies (100% had ibrutinib; 65% had venetoclax) and 83% had high-risk features including mutated TP53 and del(17p). Seventy-four percent of patients had cytokine release syndrome (9% grade 3) and 39% had neurological events (22% grade 3/4). Of 22 efficacy-evaluable patients, 82% and 45% achieved overall and complete responses, respectively. Of 20 MRD-evaluable patients, 75% and 65% achieved undetectable MRD in blood and marrow, respectively. Safety and efficacy were similar between dose levels. The phase 2 portion of the study is ongoing at 100×106 CAR+ T cells.


Blood ◽  
2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Xiaona You ◽  
Fabao Liu ◽  
Moritz Binder ◽  
Alexis Vedder ◽  
Terra L Lasho ◽  
...  

Mutations in chromatin regulator ASXL1 are frequently identified in myeloid malignancies, in particular ~40% in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). ASXL1 mutations associate with poor prognosis in CMML and significantly co-occur with NRAS mutations. Here, we show that concurrent ASXL1 and NRAS mutations defined a population of CMML patients with shorter leukemia-free survival than those with ASXL1 mutation only. Corroborating this human data, Asxl1-/- accelerated CMML progression and promoted CMML transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in NrasG12D/+ mice. NrasG12D/+; Asxl1-/- (NA) leukemia cells displayed hyperactivation of MEK/ERK signaling, increased global level of H3K27ac, and Flt3 upregulation. Moreover, we find that NA-AML cells overexpressed all the major inhibitory immune checkpoint ligands, PD-L1/L2, CD155, and CD80/86. Among them, overexpression of PD-L1 and CD86 correlated with upregulation of AP-1 transcription factors (TFs) in NA-AML cells. An AP-1 inhibitor or shRNAs against AP-1 TF Jun decreased PD-L1 and CD86 expression in NA-AML cells. Once NA-AML cells were transplanted into syngeneic recipients, NA-derived T cells were not detectable. Host-derived wildtype T cells overexpressed PD-1 and TIGIT receptors, leading to a predominant exhausted T cell phenotype. Combined inhibition of MEK and BET led to downregulation of Flt3 and AP-1 expression, partial restoration of the immune microenvironment, enhancement of CD8+ T cell cytotoxicity, and prolonged survival in NA-AML mice. Our study suggests that combined targeted therapy and immunotherapy may be beneficial for treating secondary AML with concurrent ASXL1 and NRAS mutations.


Blood ◽  
2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Sophie Louise Gibbings ◽  
Kelsey Haist ◽  
Heidi J Nick ◽  
S Courtney Frasch ◽  
Teagan H Glass ◽  
...  

Loss of NADPH oxidase activity leads to altered phagocyte responses and exaggerated inflammation in Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD). We sought to assess the effects of Nox2 absence on monocyte-derived macrophages (MoMacs) in gp91phox-/y mice during zymosan-induced peritonitis. MoMacs from CGD and wild type (WT) peritonea were characterized over time after zymosan injection. Though numbers lavaged from both genotypes were virtually identical, there were marked differences in maturation: newly recruited WT MoMacs rapidly enlarged and matured, losing Ly6C and gaining MHCII, CD206 and CD36, while CGD MoMacs remained small and were mostly Ly6C+MHCII-. RNAseq analyses showed few intrinsic differences between genotypes in newly recruited MoMacs but significant differences with time. WT MoMacs demonstrated changes in metabolism, adhesion and reparative functions, while CGD MoMacs remained inflammatory. PKH dye labeling demonstrated that while WT MoMacs were mostly recruited within the first 24h and remained in the peritoneum while maturing and enlarging, CGD monocytes streamed into the peritoneum for days with many migrating to the diaphragm where they were found in fibrin(ogen) clots surrounding clusters of neutrophils in nascent pyogranulomata. Importantly, these observations appeared to be driven by milieu: adoptive transfer of CGD MoMacs into inflamed peritonea of WT mice resulted in immunophenotypic maturation and normal behavior, whereas altered maturation/behavior of WT MoMacs resulted from transfer into inflamed peritonea of CGD mice. Additionally, Nox2-deficient MoMacs behaved similarly to their Nox2-sufficient counterparts within the largely WT milieu of mixed bone marrow chimeras. These data demonstrate persistent recruitment with fundamental failure of MoMac maturation in CGD.


Blood ◽  
2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Yasunori Kogure ◽  
Takuro Kameda ◽  
Junji Koya ◽  
Makoto Yoshimitsu ◽  
Kisato Nosaka ◽  
...  

Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is an aggressive neoplasm immunophenotypically resembling regulatory T cells, associated with human T-cell leukemia virus type-1. Here we performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of 150 ATL cases to reveal the overarching landscape of genetic alterations in ATL. We discovered frequent (33%) loss-of-function alterations preferentially targeting the CIC long isoform, which were overlooked by previous exome-centric studies of various cancer types. Long but not short isoform-specific inactivation of Cic selectively increased CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells in vivo. We also found recurrent (13%) 3′-truncations of REL, which induce transcriptional upregulation and generate gain-of-function proteins. More importantly, REL truncations are also common in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, especially in germinal center B-cell-like subtype (12%). In the non-coding genome, we identified recurrent mutations in regulatory elements, particularly splice sites, of several driver genes. In addition, we characterized the different mutational processes operative in clustered hypermutation sites within and outside immunoglobulin/T-cell receptor genes and identified the mutational enrichment at the binding sites of host and viral transcription factors suggesting their activities in ATL. By combining the analyses for coding and non-coding mutations, structural variations, and copy number alterations, we discovered 56 recurrently altered driver genes, including 11 novel ones. Finally, ATL cases were classified into two molecular groups with distinct clinical and genetic characteristics based on the driver alteration profile. Our findings not only help to improve diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in ATL, but also provide insights into T-cell biology and have implications for genome-wide cancer driver discovery.


Blood ◽  
2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Aaron Tobian ◽  
Claudia S Cohn ◽  
Beth Shaz

As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic led to a global health crisis, there were limited treatment options and no prophylactic therapies for those exposed to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Convalescent plasma is quick to implement, potentially provides benefits, and has a good safety profile. The therapeutic potential of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) is likely mediated by antibodies through direct viral neutralization and Fc-dependent functions such as a phagocytosis, complement activation, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. In the United States, CCP became one of the most common treatments with over half million units transfused despite limited efficacy data. More than a dozen randomized trials now demonstrate that CCP does not provide benefit for those with moderate to severe disease. However, similar to other passive antibody therapies, CCP is beneficial for early disease, when provided to elderly outpatients within 72 hours after symptom onset. Only high-titer CCP should be transfused. CCP should also be considered for immunosuppressed COVID-19 patients. CCP collected in proximity, by time and location, to the patient may be more beneficial due to SARS-CoV-2 variants. Additional randomized trial data are still accruing and should be incorporated with other trial data to optimize CCP indications.


Blood ◽  
2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Tina M. Schnoeder ◽  
Adrian Schwarzer ◽  
Ashok Kumar Jayavelu ◽  
Chen-Jen Hsu ◽  
Joanna Kirkpatrick ◽  
...  

In an effort to identify novel drugs targeting fusion-oncogene induced acute myeloid leukemia (AML), we performed high-resolution proteomic analysis. In AML1-ETO (AE) driven AML we uncovered a de-regulation of phospholipase C (PLC) signaling. We identified PLCgamma 1 (PLCG1) as a specific target of the AE fusion protein which is induced after AE binding to intergenic regulatory DNA elements. Genetic inactivation of PLCG1 in murine and human AML inhibited AML1-ETO dependent self-renewal programs, leukemic proliferation, and leukemia maintenance in vivo. In contrast, PLCG1 was dispensable for normal hematopoietic stem- and progenitor cell function. These findings are extended to and confirmed by pharmacologic perturbation of Ca++-signaling in AML1-ETO AML cells, indicating that the PLCG1 pathway poses an important therapeutic target for AML1-ETO positive leukemic stem cells.


Blood ◽  
2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Takahiko Yasuda ◽  
Masashi Sanada ◽  
Masahito Kawazu ◽  
Shinya Kojima ◽  
Shinobu Tsuzuki ◽  
...  

The genetic basis of leukemogenesis in adults with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) is largely unclear and its clinical outcome remains unsatisfactory. This study aimed to advance the understanding of biological characteristics, improve disease stratification, and identify molecular targets of adult B-ALL. Adolescents and young adults (AYA; 15-39 years old, n = 193) and adults (40-64 years old, n = 161) with Philadelphia chromosome-negative B-ALL were included in this study. Integrated transcriptomic and genetic analyses were used to classify the cohort into defined subtypes. Of the 323 cases included in the RNA sequencing analysis, 278 (86.1%) were classified into 18 subtypes. The ZNF384 subtype (22.6%) was the most prevalent, with two novel subtypes (CDX2-high and IDH1/2-mut) identified among cases not assigned to the established subtypes. The CDX2-high subtype (3.4%) was characterized by high expression of CDX2 and recurrent gain of chromosome 1q. The IDH1/2-mut subtype (1.9%) was defined by IDH1 R132C or IDH2 R140Q mutations with specific transcriptional and high-methylation profiles. Both subtypes showed poor prognosis and were considered inferior prognostic factors independent of clinical parameters. Comparison with a previously reported pediatric B-ALL cohort (n = 1003) showed that the frequencies of these subtypes were significantly higher in AYA/adults than in children. We delineated the genetic and transcriptomic landscape of adult B-ALL and identified two novel subtypes that predict poor disease outcomes. Our findings highlight the age-dependent distribution of subtypes, which partially accounts for the prognostic differences between adult and pediatric B-ALL.


Blood ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 138 (16) ◽  
pp. 1382-1384
Author(s):  
Goichi Tatsumi ◽  
Ulrich Steidl

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