Adult human mesenchymal stromal cells and the treatment of graft versus host disease.
ABSTRACT: Graft versus host disease is a difficult and potentially lethal complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. It occurs with minor human leucocyte antigen (HLA) mismatch and is normally treated with corticosteroid and other immunosuppressive therapy. When it is refractory to steroid therapy, mortality approaches 80%. Mesenchymal stromal cells are rare cells found in bone marrow and other tissues. They can be expanded in culture and possess complex and diverse immunomodulatory activity. Moreover, human mesenchymal stromal cells carry low levels of class 1 and no class 2 HLA antigens, making them immunoprivileged and able to be used without HLA matching. Their use in steroid-refractory graft versus host disease was first described in 2004. Subsequently, they have been used in a number of Phase I and II trials in acute and chronic graft versus host disease trials with success. We discuss their mode of action, the results, their production, and potential dangers with a view to future application.
Project description:Steroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease is a life-threatening complication after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Evidence is accumulating that steroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease is associated with endothelial distress. Endothelial cell homeostasis is regulated by nitric oxide, and serum nitrates are derived from nitric oxide synthase activity or dietary sources. In this retrospective study based on 417 patients allografted at our institution we investigated whether quantification of serum nitrates could predict steroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease. Elevated pre-transplant levels of serum nitrates (>26.5 ?M) predicted steroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease (P=0.026) and non-relapse mortality (P=0.028), particularly in combination with high pre-transplant angiopoietin-2 levels (P=0.0007 and P=0.021, respectively). Multivariate analyses confirmed serum nitrates as independent predictors of steroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease and non-relapse mortality. Differences in serum nitrate levels did not correlate with serum levels of tumor necrosis factor or C-reactive protein or expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase in blood cells. Patients with high pre-transplant nitrate levels had significantly reduced rates of refractory graft-versus-host disease (P=0.031) when pravastatin was taken. In summary, patients at high risk of developing steroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease could be identified prior to transplantation by serum markers linked to endothelial cell function. Retrospectively, statin medication was associated with a reduced incidence of refractory graft-versus-host disease in this endothelial high-risk cohort.
Project description:BACKGROUNDCytokine biomarkers have already been used to predict acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) onset, nonrelapse mortality, and overall survival in human and mouse models, but the consistency of the consequences between patients and mice has not been evaluated. Furthermore, no study about any biomarker or biomarker panel for aGVHD grading or steroid sensitivity of aGVHD patients simultaneously has been reported.METHODSHere we established an aGVHD mouse model and explored the relation between aGVHD onset and variations of some cytokines. Based on the results and latest progress, we selected 16 cytokines and compared their serum variations in aGVHD patients and non-aGVHD patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Using protein microarray, we explored the relation between the cytokine levels and aGVHD-related events (onset, grading, and steroid sensitivity).RESULTSThe increase of chemokine levels in murine aGVHD was very consistent with that of patients. We found obviously higher levels of IL-2, IL-4, Elafin, sST2, TLR4, and TNF-α, and lower levels of TGF-β in both aGVHD mouse models and aGVHD patients. In addition, patients with severe aGVHD showed increased IL-6, TLR4, TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1), and Elafin and decreased TGF-β. TLR4 and TNFR1 were significantly increased in steroid-refractory aGVHD patients compared with steroid-effective patients (P < 0.05).CONCLUSIONA combination of TLR4, TNFR1, TGF-β, and Elafin could be a new 4-biomarker panel to assist aGVHD diagnosis, grading, and evaluation of steroid sensitivity for clinical aGVHD patients.TRIAL REGISTRATIONChiCTR1900022292 "Clinical Research of Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in the Prophylaxis of Graft-Versus-Host Disease After HLA-Haploidentical Stem-Cell Transplantation."FUNDINGNational Key Research Program, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Chongqing Social Career and People's Livelihood Security Science and Technology Innovation Project, Fundamental and Frontier Research Program of Chongqing, and Foundation of Xinqiao Hospital.
Project description:Severe acute graft versus host disease (GvHD) is a life-threatening complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) play an important role in endogenous tissue repair and possess strong immune-modulatory properties making them a promising tool for the treatment of steroid-refractory GvHD. To date, a few reports exist on the use of MSCs in treatment of GvHD in children indicating that children tend to respond better than adults, albeit with heterogeneous results.We here present a review of the literature and the clinical course of two instructive pediatric patients with acute steroid-refractory GvHD after haploidentical stem cell transplantation, which exemplify the beneficial effects of third-party transplanted MSCs in treatment of acute steroid-refractory GvHD. Moreover, we provide a meta-analysis of clinical studies addressing the outcome of patients with steroid-refractory GvHD and treatment with MSCs in adults and in children (n = 183; 122 adults, 61 children). Our meta-analysis demonstrates that the overall response-rate is high (73.8%) and confirms, for the first time, that children indeed respond better to treatment of GvHD with MSCs than adults (complete response 57.4% vs. 45.1%, respectively).These data emphasize the significance of this therapeutic approach especially in children and indicate that future prospective studies are needed to assess the reasons for the observed differential response-rates in pediatric and adult patients.
Project description:This trial evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of the infusion of mesenchymal stem cells expanded using human serum for the treatment of refractory acute or chronic graft-versus-host disease. Twenty-eight expansions were started. In 22, a minimum of more than 1 x 10⁶ mesenchymal stem cells/kg were obtained after a median of 26 days; this threshold was not obtained in the remaining cases. Ten patients received cells for the treatment of refractory or relapsed acute graft-versus-host disease and 8 for chronic disease. One patient treated for acute graft-versus-host disease obtained a complete response, 6 had a partial response and 3 did not respond. One of the chronic patients achieved complete remision, 3 a partial response, and 4 did not respond. The current study supports the use of this approach in less heavily treated patients for both acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease. The trial has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov: identifier NCT00447460.
Project description:Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (bone marrow transplantation [BMT]) is the only curative treatment of severe aplastic anemia. BMT from an human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched sibling donor is the standard of care for young patients; immunosuppressive therapy is used for older patients or those lacking matched sibling donors. Patients with refractory or relapsed disease are increasingly treated with HLA haploidentical BMT. Historically, haploidentical BMT led to high rates of graft rejection and graft-versus-host disease. High-dose post transplant cyclophosphamide, which mitigates the risk of graft-versus-host disease, is a major advance. This article provides an overview of the haploidentical BMT approach in severe aplastic anemia.
Project description:(1) Background: Refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (R-aGvHD) remains a leading cause of death after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Survival rates of 15% after four years are currently achieved; deaths are only in part due to aGvHD itself, but mostly due to adverse effects of R-aGvHD treatment with immunosuppressive agents as these predispose patients to opportunistic infections and loss of graft-versus-leukemia surveillance resulting in relapse. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) from different tissues and those generated by various protocols have been proposed as a remedy for R-aGvHD but the enthusiasm raised by initial reports has not been ubiquitously reproduced. (2) Methods: We previously reported on a unique MSC product, which was generated from pooled bone marrow mononuclear cells of multiple third-party donors. The products showed dose-to-dose equipotency and greater immunosuppressive capacity than individually expanded MSCs from the same donors. This product, MSC-FFM, has entered clinical routine in Germany where it is licensed with a national hospital exemption authorization. We previously reported satisfying initial clinical outcomes, which we are now updating. The data were collected in our post-approval pharmacovigilance program, i.e., this is not a clinical study and the data is high-level and non-monitored. (3) Results: Follow-up for 92 recipients of MSC-FFM was reported, 88 with GvHD ?°III, one-third only steroid-refractory and two-thirds therapy resistant (refractory to steroids plus ?2 additional lines of treatment). A median of three doses of MSC-FFM was administered without apparent toxicity. Overall response rates were 82% and 81% at the first and last evaluation, respectively. At six months, the estimated overall survival was 64%, while the cumulative incidence of death from underlying disease was 3%. (4) Conclusions: MSC-FFM promises to be a safe and efficient treatment for severe R-aGvHD.
Project description:Beneficial effects of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in patients with severe steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD) have been reported. However, controversy exists about the effect of MSCs on virus-specific T cells. We evaluated 56 patients with grade II-IV aGvHD who responded to steroids (n = 21) or were steroid refractory receiving either MSCs (n = 22) or other second-line therapy (n = 13). Although the overall incidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus, and human adenovirus (HAdV) infections was not significantly increased, HAdV infection was associated with decreased survival in children treated with MSCs. Thus, we investigated in vitro the effects of MSCs on virus-specific T cells. Both CMV-specific and, to a lesser extent, HAdV-specific T-cell activation and proliferation were negatively affected by MSCs either after induction of a response in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) or after restimulation of virus-specific T-cell lines. In patient-derived PBMCs, CMV-specific proliferative responses were greatly decreased on first-line treatment of aGvHD with systemic steroids and slowly recovered after MSC administration and tapering of steroids. HAdV-specific T-cell proliferation could not be detected. In contrast, the proportion of CMV- and HAdV-specific effector T cells, measured as interferon-?-secreting cells, remained stable or increased after treatment with MSCs. In conclusion, although in vitro experimental conditions indicated a negative impact of MSCs on CMV- and HAdV-specific T-cell responses, no solid evidence was obtained to support such an effect of MSCs on T-cell responses in vivo. Still, the susceptibility of steroid-refractory severe aGvHD patients to viral reactivation warrants critical viral monitoring during randomized controlled trials on second-line treatment including MSCs.
Project description:Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a common complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHCT) and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Systemic steroid therapy is the first-line treatment for aGVHD, although about half of patients will become refractory to treatment. As the number of patients undergoing alloHCT increases, developing safe and effective treatments for aGVHD will become increasingly important, especially for those whose disease becomes refractory to systemic steroid therapy. This paper reviews current treatment options for patients with steroid-refractory aGVHD and discusses data from recently published clinical studies to outline emerging therapeutic strategies.
Project description:Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs) have been used to treat acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and other complications following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT). We conducted a phase I trial using third party, early passage BMSCs for patients with steroid-refractory GVHD, tissue injury, or marrow failure following SCT to investigate safety and efficacy. To identify mechanisms of BMSC immunomodulation and tissue repair, patients were serially monitored for plasma GVHD biomarkers, cytokines, and lymphocyte phenotype. Ten subjects were infused a fixed dose of 2 × 10(6) BMSCs/kg intravenously weekly for three doses. There was no treatment-related toxicity (primary endpoint). Eight subjects were evaluable for response at 4 weeks after the last infusion. Five of the seven patients with steroid-refractory acute GVHD achieved a complete response, two of two patients with tissue injury (pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax) achieved resolution but there was no response in two subjects with delayed marrow failure. Rapid reductions in inflammatory cytokines were observed. Clinical responses correlated with a fall in biomarkers (Reg 3?, CK18, and Elafin) relevant for the site of GVHD or tissue injury. The GVHD complete responders survived significantly longer and had higher baseline absolute lymphocyte and central memory CD4 and CD8 counts. Cytokine changes also segregated with survival. These results confirm that BMSCs are associated with rapid clinical and biomarker responses in GVHD and tissue injury. However, BMSCs were ineffective in patients with prolonged GVHD with lower lymphocyte counts, which suggest that effective GVHD control by BMSCs requires a relatively intact immune system.
Project description:The prognosis of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) remains poor and better treatments are urgently needed. Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC)-based therapy emerged as a promising approach but response rates were highly variable across studies. We conducted a multicenter prospective study assessing the efficacy of 1-2 infusion(s) of cryopreserved, third-party donor bone marrow-derived MSCs for treating grade II-IV steroid-refractory or -dependent aGVHD in a series of 33 patients. MSCs were produced centrally and distributed to 8 hospitals throughout Belgium to be infused in 2 consecutive cohorts of patients receiving 1-2 or 3-4 × 106 MSCs/kg per dose, respectively. All patients received MSCs as the first rescue therapy after corticosteroids, with the exception for one patient who received prior treatment with mycophenolate mofetil (that was still ongoing by the time of MSC therapy). In these conditions, MSC therapy resulted in at least a partial response in 13 patients (40.6%) at day 30 and in 15 patients (46%) within 90 days after first MSC infusion. The corresponding complete response rates were 21.6% (7 patients) and 30% (10 patients), respectively. Only 5 patients achieved a sustained complete response, lasting for at least 1 month. The 1-year overall survival was 18.2% (95% CI: 8.82-37.5%). Higher response and survival rates were observed among patients receiving 3-4 × 106 MSCs/kg for first infusion, as compared with patients receiving 1-2 × 106 MSCs/ kg. Response and survival with MSC therapy for SR/SD-aGVHD remains to be optimized.