Epidemiological and clinical features of adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma in Japan, 2010-2011: A nationwide survey.
ABSTRACT: Adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATL) is a mature T-cell malignancy associated with human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection. Japan is the most endemic country for HTLV-1 and ATL in the world. Recent nationwide studies of Japanese blood donors reported that HTLV-1 carriers spread from endemic areas to non-endemic areas. Therefore, the latest information on nationwide epidemiological and clinical data for ATL is necessary to guide clinical practice. We undertook a multicenter, hospital-based survey of newly diagnosed ATL patients from 2010 to 2011. A total of 996 patients with ATL were registered from 126 hospitals across Japan. Of those, 922 (487 men and 435 women) were included in the analysis. The median age at diagnosis was 68 years (interquartile range, 60-75 years). Overall, 67.2% of ATL was diagnosed in the Kyushu-Okinawa area. The most common subtype was acute (49.5%), followed by lymphoma (25.7%), chronic (14.2%), and smoldering (10.6%). Lymphoma type was more prevalent in men (60%), whereas chronic was more prevalent in women (60%). Half of patients with lymphoma type were aged over 70 years, whereas one-third of patients with the chronic type were aged under 60 years. All of these characteristics were different from those of the previous nationwide surveys in the 1980s and 1990s. This survey clarified that half of current patients with ATL are aged over 68 years who were unable to receive intensive cytotoxic therapies. New less toxic agents for aged patients and further strategies to prevent the development of ATL from HTLV-1 carrier status are needed.
Project description:Some major research and clinical questions about human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection and rheumatic diseases remain: (1) Does HTLV-1 infection cause rheumatic diseases? (2) Do patients with rheumatic diseases display different responses to treatment with anti-rheumatic agents when they are HTLV-1 carriers? (3) Is adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) or HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) more prevalent in HTLV-1 carriers with rheumatic diseases who are treated with anti-rheumatic agents? These questions are important because increasing numbers of patients with rheumatic diseases are currently receiving treatment with aggressive medicines such as immunosuppressants and biologics. Studies on HTLV-1 gene-transgenic mice have shown manifestations resembling rheumatic diseases. Epidemiological studies have shown a high incidence of HTLV-1 infection in patients with rheumatic diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Sjogren's syndrome, and polymyositis. HTLV-1-positive and HTLV-1-negative patients with RA have displayed similar immunological features including the seroprevalence of anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies. Conversely, attenuated effectiveness of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors for HTLV-1-positive patients with RA in Japan has been reported. Therefore, although no direct evidence has shown that HTLV-1 infection alone causes rheumatic diseases, HTLV-1 may affect the inflammation of RA. Although the incidence of ATL or HAM/TSP among patients with rheumatic diseases has not been investigated in large-scale studies, ATL or HAM/TSP has developed among HTLV-1-positive patients with rheumatic diseases. HTLV-1 infection may affect the clinical course of patients with rheumatic diseases, particularly after receiving anti-rheumatic agents. Because studies on these issues are limited, further investigation with large sample sizes is necessary.
Project description:Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), a human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-associated disease, has a highly variable clinical course and four subtypes with therapeutic and prognostic implications. However, there are overlapping features between ATL subtypes and between ATL and nonmalignant (non-ATL) HTLV-1 infection complicating diagnosis and prognostication. To further refine the diagnosis and prognosis of ATL, we characterized the immunophenotype of HTLV-1-infected cells in ATL and non-ATL. A retrospective study of peripheral blood samples from 10 HTLV-1-uninfected subjects (UI), 54 HTLV-1-infected patients with non-ATL, and 22 with ATL was performed using flow cytometry. All patients with ATL had CD4+ CCR4+ CD26- immunophenotype and the frequency of CD4+ CCR4+ CD26- T cells correlated highly significantly with the proviral load in non-ATL suggesting CD4+ CCR4+ CD26- as a marker of HTLV-1-infected cells. Further immunophenotyping of CD4+ CCR4+ CD26- cells revealed that 95% patients with ATL had a CD7- (?30% CD7+ cells), whereas 95% HTLV+ non-ATL had CD7+ (>30% CD7+ cells) immunophenotype. All patients with aggressive ATL had a CCR7+ (?30%), whereas 92% with indolent ATL and 100% non-ATL had a CCR7- (<30%) immunophenotype. Patients with nonprogressing indolent ATL were CD127+ but those with progressive lymphocytosis requiring systemic therapy had a CD127- (?30%) immunophenotype. In summary, HTLV-1-infected cells have a CD4+ CCR4+ CD26- immunophenotype. Within this population, CD7- phenotype suggests a diagnosis of ATL, CCR7+ phenotype identifies aggressive ATL, while CCR7- CD127- phenotype identifies progressive indolent ATL.
Project description:Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is etiologically linked to infection with the human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus type 1 (HTLV-I). ATL is classified into 4 distinct clinical diseases: acute, lymphoma, chronic, and smoldering. Acute ATL is the most aggressive form, representing 60% of cases and has a 4-year survival of < 5%. A frequent complication and cause of death in acute ATL patients is the presence of lytic bone lesions and hypercalcemia. We analyzed the Wnt/?-catenin pathway because of its common role in cancer and bone remodeling. Our study demonstrated that ATL cells do not express high levels of ?-catenin but displayed high levels of LEF-1/TCF genes along with elevated levels of ?-catenin (LEF-1/TCF target genes) responsive genes. By profiling Wnt gene expression, we discovered that ATL patient leukemia cells shifted expression toward the noncanonical Wnt pathway. Interestingly, ATL cells overexpressed the osteolytic-associated genes-Wnt5a, PTHLH, and RANKL. We further show that Wnt5a secreted by ATL cells favors osteoclast differentiation and expression of RANK. Our results suggest that Wnt5a is a major contributing factor to the increase in osteolytic bone lesions and hypercalcemia found in ATL patients. Anti-Wnt5a therapy may prevent or reduce osteolytic lesions found in ATL patients and improve therapy outcome.
Project description:There is growing evidence that CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses can contribute to long-term remission of many malignancies. The etiological agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), human T lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1), contains highly immunogenic CTL epitopes, but ATL patients typically have low frequencies of cytokine-producing HTLV-1-specific CD8+ cells in the circulation. It remains unclear whether patients with ATL possess CTLs that can kill the malignant HTLV-1 infected clone. Here we used flow cytometric staining of TCRV? and cell adhesion molecule-1 (CADM1) to identify monoclonal populations of HTLV-1-infected T cells in the peripheral blood of patients with ATL. Thus, we quantified the rate of CD8+-mediated killing of the putative malignant clone in ex vivo blood samples. We observed that CD8+ cells from ATL patients were unable to lyse autologous ATL clones when tested directly ex vivo. However, short in vitro culture restored the ability of CD8+ cells to kill ex vivo ATL clones in some donors. The capacity of CD8+ cells to lyse HTLV-1 infected cells which expressed the viral sense strand gene products was significantly enhanced after in vitro culture, and donors with an ATL clone that expressed the HTLV-1 Tax gene were most likely to make a detectable lytic CD8+ response to the ATL cells. We conclude that some patients with ATL possess functional tumour-specific CTLs which could be exploited to contribute to control of the disease.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is a mature T-cell neoplasia etiologically linked to HTLV-1. Manifestations of ATL are diverse and different clinical types with different tissue involvement and aggressiveness have been described. The mechanisms that lead to the development of ATL clinical types have not yet been clarified. Considering that in ATL patients HTLV-1 infection generally occurs in childhood, a multistep carcinogenesis model has been proposed. Microsatellite alterations are important genetic events in cancer development and these alterations have been reported in the aggressive types of ATL. Little is known about oncogenesis of the less aggressive types.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>In this study we investigated the role of the microsatellite alterations in the pathogenesis mediated by HTLV-1 in the different types of ATL. We examined the presence of microsatellite instability (MSI) and loss of heterozigosity (LOH) in matched pair samples (tumoral and normal) of 24 patients with less aggressive types (smoldering and chronic) and in aggressive types (acute and lymphoma) of ATL. Four microsatellite markers D10S190, D10S191, D1391 and DCC were analyzed. MSI was found in four patients, three smoldering and one chronic, and LOH in four patients, three smoldering and one acute. None of the smoldering patients with microsatellite alterations progressed to aggressive ATL.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the presence of MSI and LOH in the less aggressive types of ATL. These results indicate that microsatellite alterations may participate in the development of the less aggressive types of ATL.
Project description:Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiological agent of adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), HTLV-1 associated myelopathy (HAM/TSP), and of a number of inflammatory diseases with an estimated 10-20 million infected individuals worldwide. Despite a number of therapeutic approaches, a cure for ATL is still in its infancy. Conventional chemotherapy has short-term efficacy, particularly in the acute subtype. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation offers long-term disease control to around one third of transplanted patients, but few can reach to transplant. This prompted, over the past recent years, the conduction of a number of clinical trials using novel treatments. Meanwhile, new data have been accumulated on biological and molecular bases of HTLV-1 transforming and infecting activity. These data offer new rational for targeted therapies of ATL. Taking into account the double-face of ATL as an hematologic malignancy as well as a viral infectious disease, this Mini-Review seeks to provide an up-to-date overview of recent efforts in the understanding of the mechanisms involved in already used therapeutic regimens showing promising results, and in selecting novel drug targets for ATL.
Project description:Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is a pathogenic retrovirus that is associated with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL). Genetic instability is the hallmark of ATL. Cell cycle progression is needed for virus particle reproduction. HTLV-1 encoded Tax protein ultimately disrupts the mitotic spindle checkpoint, leading to incorrect chromosome segregation, resulting in aneuploidy. Cell cycle abnormalities have been described in T cells transfected with HTLV-1 virus in vitro, but not in HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers. PTTG1 and HTLV-1 viral protein Tax exhibit a cooperative transforming activity. Overexpressed PTTG1 results in chromosome instability and aneuploidy, which has been suggested as a mechanism underlying PTTG1 transforming activity. Here we aimed to investigate cell cycle, DNA ploidy and PTTG1 mRNA expression in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in healthy subjects (HS), HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers and ATL patients. We have identified that HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers have shown DNA aneuploidy and cell cycle arrest at cell cycle phase G0/G1 in CD4+ T cells. CD8+ T cells of HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers also demonstrated DNA aneuploidy but without alteration in cell cycle. In ATL, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells present a higher number of cells in cell cycle S-phase and PTTG1 overexpression. These studies provide insight into malignant transformation of HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers to ATL patients.
Project description:Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is a human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-associated T-cell malignancy with generally poor prognosis. Although only ?5% of HTLV-1 carriers progress to ATL, early diagnosis is challenging because of the lack of ATL biomarkers. In this study, we analyzed blood plasma profiles of asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers (ACs); untreated ATL patients, including acute, lymphoma, smoldering, and chronic types; and ATL patients in remission. Through SOMAscan, expression levels of 1305 plasma proteins were analyzed in 85 samples (AC, n = 40; ATL, n = 40; remission, n = 5). Using gene set enrichment analysis and gene ontology, overrepresented pathways in ATL vs AC included angiogenesis, inflammation by cytokines and chemokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6)/JAK/STAT3, and notch signaling. In selecting candidate biomarkers, we focused on soluble tumor necrosis factor 2 (sTNFR2) because of its active role in enriched pathways, extreme significance (Welch's t test P < .00001), high discrimination capacity (area under the curve >0.90), and novelty in ATL research. Quantification of sTNFR2 in 102 plasma samples (AC, n = 30; ATL, n = 68; remission, n = 4) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed remarkable elevations in acute ATL, at least 10 times those of AC samples, and return of sTNFR2 to AC state levels after achieving remission. Flow cytometry and immunostaining validated the expression of TNFR2 in ATL cells. No correlation between sIL-2 and sTNFR2 levels in acute ATL was found, suggesting the possibility of sTNFR2 as an independent biomarker. Our findings represent the first extensive blood-based proteomic analysis of ATL, suggesting the potential clinical utility of sTNFR2 in diagnosing acute ATL.
Project description:Osteolytic bone lesions and hypercalcemia are common, serious complications in adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), an aggressive T cell malignancy associated with human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection. The HTLV-1 viral oncogene HBZ has been implicated in ATL tumorigenesis and bone loss. In this study, we evaluated the role of HBZ on ATL-associated bone destruction using HTLV-1 infection and disease progression mouse models. Humanized mice infected with HTLV-1 developed lymphoproliferative disease and continuous, progressive osteolytic bone lesions. HTLV-1 lacking HBZ displayed only modest delays to lymphoproliferative disease but significantly decreased disease-associated bone loss compared with HTLV-1-infected mice. Gene expression array of acute ATL patient samples demonstrated increased expression of RANKL, a critical regulator of osteoclasts. We found that HBZ regulated RANKL in a c-Fos-dependent manner. Treatment of HTLV-1-infected humanized mice with denosumab, a monoclonal antibody against human RANKL, alleviated bone loss. Using patient-derived xenografts from primary human ATL cells to induce lymphoproliferative disease, we also observed profound tumor-induced bone destruction and increased c-Fos and RANKL gene expression. Together, these data show the critical role of HBZ in driving ATL-associated bone loss through RANKL and identify denosumab as a potential treatment to prevent bone complications in ATL patients.
Project description:Adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma (ATL) arises from chronic non-malignant human T lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) infection which is characterized by high plasma pro-inflammatory cytokines whereas ATL is characterized by high plasma anti-inflammatory (IL-10) concentrations. The poor prognosis of ATL is partly ascribed to disease-associated immune suppression. ATL cells have a CD4+CCR4+CD26-CD7- immunophenotype but infected cells with this immunophenotype ('ATL-like' cells) are also present in non-malignant HTLV-1 infection. We hypothesized that 'ATL-like' and ATL cells have distinct cytokine producing capacity and a switch in the cytokines produced occurs during leukemogenesis. Seventeen asymptomatic carriers (ACs), 28 patients with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy (HAM) and 28 with ATL were studied. Plasma IL-10 concentration and the absolute frequency of IL-10-producing CD4+ T cells were significantly higher in patients with ATL compared to AC. IL-10-producing ATL cells were significantly more frequent than 'ATL-like' cells. The cytokine-producing cells were only a small fraction of ATL cells. Clonality analysis revealed that even in patients with ATL the ATL cells were composed not only of a single dominant clone (putative ATL cells) but also tens of non-dominant infected clones ('ATL-like' cells). The frequency of cytokine-producing cells showed a strong inverse correlation with the relative abundance of the largest clone in ATL cells suggesting that the putative ATL cells were cytokine non-producing and that the 'ATL-like' cells were the primary cytokine producers. These findings were confirmed by RNAseq with cytokine mRNA expression in ATL cells in patients with ATL (confirmed to be composed of both putative ATL and 'ATL-like' cells by TCR analysis) significantly lower compared to 'ATL-like' cells in patients with non-malignant HTLV-1 infection (confirmed to be composed of hundreds of non-dominant clones by TCR analysis). A significant inverse correlation between the relative abundance of the largest clone and cytokine mRNA expression was also confirmed. Finally, 'ATL-like' cells produced less pro- and more anti-inflammatory cytokines than non 'ATL-like' CD4+ cells (which are predominantly HTLV uninfected). In summary, HTLV-1 infection of CD4+ T cells is associated with a change in cytokine producing capacity and dominant malignant clonal growth is associated with loss of cytokine producing capacity. Non-dominant clones with 'ATL-like' cells contribute to plasma cytokine profile in patients with non-malignant HTLV-1 infection and are also present in patient with ATL.