A panel of 4 biomarkers for the early diagnosis and therapeutic efficacy of aGVHD.
ABSTRACT: 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:Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a major life-threatening complication after allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Interleukin-27 receptor alpha (IL-27R?) is a co-receptor of IL-27, an inflammatory cytokine that possesses extensive immunological functions. It has been reported that IL-27R? can exist in its soluble form (sIL-27R?) in human serum and can function as a natural IL-27 antagonist. In this study, we examined serum sIL-27R? levels and evaluated their prognostic value in aGVHD. A total of 152 subjects were prospectively recruited and separated into the training group (n?=?72) and the validation group (n?=?80). Serum sIL-27R? at neutrophil engraftment was measured by ELISA. In the training set, a cut-off value of sIL-27R??=?59.40?ng/ml was identified to predict grade II-IV aGVHD (AUC?=?0.735, 95% CI 0.618-0.853, P?=?0.001). Cumulative incidences of grade II-IV aGVHD (P?=?0.004), relapse rate (P?=?0.008), and non-relapse mortality (P?=?0.008) in patients with low serum sIL-27R? (?59.40?ng/ml) were significantly higher than those of patients with high serum sIL-27R? (<59.40?ng/ml). Multivariate analysis confirmed that low sIL-27R? level (HR?=?2.83 95% CI 1.29-6.19, P?<?0.01) was an independent risk factor for predicting grade II-IV aGVHD. In addition, serum sIL-27R? was positively correlated with IL-27 (R?=?0.27, P?=?0.029), IL-10 (R?=?0.37, P?=?0.0015) and HGF (R?=?0.27, P?=?0.0208), but was negatively correlated with TNFR1 (R?=?-0.365, P?=?0.0022) and ST2 (R?=?-0.334, P?=?0.0041), elafin (R?=?-0.29, P?=?0.0117), and REG3? (R?=?-0.417, P?=?0.0003). More importantly, the threshold value of sIL-27R? was then validated in an independent cohort of 80 patients (AUC?=?0.790, 95% CI 0.688-0.892, P?<?0.001). Taken together, our findings suggested that serum sIL-27R? at neutrophil engraftment maybe a valuable prognostic biomarker in predicting the incidence of moderate-to-severe aGVHD.
Project description:Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are used as salvage therapy to treat steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD). We studied the immunological response to MSC treatment in 16 aGvHD patients by assessing lymphocyte profiles and three proposed aGvHD serum markers during the MSC treatment. Surprisingly, there were no obvious differences in the lymphocyte profiles between the responders and non-responders. The numbers of T, B, and NK cells were below the normal reference interval in all patients. CD4+ T helper (Th) cell levels remained particularly low throughout the follow-up period. The relative proportion of Th1 cells decreased, while regulatory T cells remained unaltered, and only very few Th2 and Th17 cells could be detected. Serum concentrations of regenerating islet-derived protein 3-alpha, cytokeratin-18 fragments (CK18F), and elafin were significantly elevated in patient samples compared with healthy controls, but only CK18F showed any potential in the prediction of patients' response to MSCs. No obvious markers for MSC therapy response were revealed in this study, but the results suggest that allogeneic MSCs do not provoke overt T cell-mediated immune responses at least in immunosuppressed aGvHD patients. The results advocate for the safety of MSC therapy and bring new insights in MSC immunomodulation mechanisms.
Project description:Steroid refractory gastrointestinal (GI) acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a major cause of mortality in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) without immune markers to establish a diagnosis or guide therapy. We found that T-cell receptor ? (TCR?) complementarity-determining region 3 repertoire sequencing reveals patterns that could eventually serve as a disease biomarker of T-cell alloreactivity in aGVHD. We identified T-cell clones in GI biopsies in a heterogeneous group of 15 allogeneic HCT patients with GI aGVHD symptoms. Seven steroid-refractory aGVHD patients showed a more conserved TCR? clonal structure between different biopsy sites in the GI tract than 8 primary therapy-responsive patients. Tracking GI clones identified longitudinally at endoscopy in the blood also revealed an increased clonal expansion in patients with steroid-refractory disease. Immune repertoire sequencing-based methods could enable a novel personalized way to guide diagnosis and therapy in diseases where T-cell activity is a major determinant.
Project description:Steroid-refractory intestinal acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a frequently fatal condition with little known about mechanisms driving failed steroid responses in gut mucosa. To uncover novel molecular insights in steroid-refractory aGVHD, we compared gene expression profiles of rectosigmoid biopsies from patients at diagnosis of clinical stage 3-4 lower intestinal aGVHD (N=22), to repeat biopsies when the patients became steroid refractory (N=22), and normal controls (N=10). We also performed single gene analyses of factors associated with tolerance (programmed death ligand-1 [PDL1], indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase [IDO1], and T cell immunoreceptor with Ig and ITIM domains [TIGIT]) and found that significantly higher expression levels of these aGVHD inhibitory genes (PDL1, IDO1, TIGIT) at aGVHD onset became decreased in the steroid-refractory state. We examined genes triggered by microbial ligands to stimulate gut repair, amphiregulin (AREG) and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), and found that both AREG and AhR gene expression levels were increased at aGVHD onset and remained elevated in steroid-refractory aGVHD. We also identified higher expression levels of metallothioneines, metal-binding enzymes induced in stress responses, and M2 macrophage genes in steroid-refractory aGVHD. We observed no differences in T-cell subsets between onset and steroid-refractory aGVHD. Patients with a rapidly fatal course showed greater DNA damage and a distinct microbial signature at aGVHD onset, whereas patients with more prolonged survival exhibited a gene expression profile consistent with activation of Smoothened. Our results extend the paradigm beyond T cell-centric therapies for steroid-refractory GI aGVHD and highlight new mechanisms for therapeutic exploration.
Project description:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been broadly used experimentally in various clinical contexts. The addition of MSCs to initial steroid therapy for acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) may improve patient outcomes. However, investigations regarding prognostic factors affecting the efficacy of MSC therapy for steroid-refractory aGVHD remain controversial. We thus conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published clinical trials to determine possible prognostic factors affecting the efficacy of MSCs in treating steroid-refractory aGVHD.Clinical trials using MSC therapy for steroid-refractory aGVHD were identified by searching PubMed and EMBASE databases. A total of 6,963 citations were reviewed, and 13 studies met the inclusion criteria. A total of 301 patients from thirteen studies were included. Of these, 136 patients showed a complete response (CR), and 69 patients displayed a partial (PR) or mixed response (MR). In total, 205 patients exhibited overall response (ORR). Patients with skin steroid-refractory aGVHD showed a better clinical response than gastrointestinal (CR: odds ratio [OR] = 1.93, 95% confidence interval [95%CI]: 1.05-3.57, p < 0.05) and liver (CR: OR = 2.30, 95%CI: 1.12-4.69, p < 0.05, and ORR: OR = 2.93, 95%CI: 1.06-8.08, p < 0.05) steroid-refractory aGVHD. Those with grade II steroid-refractory aGVHD exhibited a better clinical response following MSC therapy than recipients with grade III-IV (CR: OR = 3.22, 95%CI: 1.24-8.34, p < 0.05). Completion therapy may improve the CR but reduce ORR compared with induction therapy (CR: OR = 0.20, 95%CI: 0.09-0.44, p < 0.05; ORR: OR = 2.18, 95%CI: 1.17-4.05, p = 0.01). There was also a trend towards a better clinical response in children compared with adults (CR: OR = 2.41, 95%CI: 1.01-5.73, p = 0.05).Age, skin involvement, lower aGVHD grade, and the number of infusions are the main prognostic factors affecting the efficacy of MSC therapy for steroid-refractory aGVHD.
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:BACKGROUND:Skin biopsies are often used in daily practice for the diagnosis of acute (aGvHD) or chronic graft versus host disease (cGvHD). With the latest understanding in pathogenesis and new National Institute of Health (NIH) classifications for aGvHD and cGvHD, there is a need to evaluate the current prognostic value of histological grading cutaneous GvHD and its correlation to the clinical grade. METHODS:In a retrospective study with 120 skin biopsies (all taken for suspected GvHD) from 110 patients (all classified according to the NIH), biopsies were revised and graded, blinded for clinical information, for either acute of chronic features. Morphological grades were compared for concordance with the clinical grade and survival analyses were done for clinical and histological grading. RESULTS:Correlation for histologic vs. clinical grading was (very) poor for aGvHD and cGvHD (weighted κ - 0.038 and 0.0009, respectively). Patients with clinical aGvHD had worse prognosis compared to cGvHD. However, at time of biopsy neither clinical nor histological grading predicted the eventual survival for either aGvHD (p = 0.9739 and p = 0.0744, respectively) or cGvHD (p = 0.2149 and p = 0.4465, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:Confirming the diagnosis of GvHD is still a valuable reason for taking a skin biopsy, but this study shows that histologic grading of GvHD in the skin biopsy has no additional value for clinicians in current practice.
Project description:Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a primary cause of nonrelapse mortality and a major barrier to successful transplant outcomes. Itacitinib is a Janus kinase (JAK)1-selective inhibitor that has demonstrated efficacy in preclinical models of aGVHD. We report results from the first registered study of a JAK inhibitor in patients with aGVHD. This was an open-label phase 1 study enrolling patients aged ?18 years with first HCT from any source who developed grade IIB to IVD aGVHD. Patients with steroid-naive or steroid-refractory aGVHD were randomized 1:1 to itacitinib 200 mg or 300 mg once daily plus corticosteroids. The primary endpoint was safety and tolerability; day 28 overall response rate (ORR) was the main secondary endpoint. Twenty-nine patients (200 mg, n = 14; 300 mg, n = 15) received ?1 dose of itacitinib and were included in safety and efficacy assessments. One dose-limiting toxicity was reported (grade 3 thrombocytopenia attributed to GVHD progression in a patient receiving 300 mg itacitinib with preexisting thrombocytopenia). The most common nonhematologic treatment-emergent adverse event was diarrhea (48.3%, n = 14); anemia occurred in 11 patients (38%). ORR on day 28 for all patients in the 200-mg and 300-mg groups was 78.6% and 66.7%, respectively. Day 28 ORR was 75.0% for patients with treatment-naive aGVHD and 70.6% in those with steroid-refractory aGVHD. All patients receiving itacitinib decreased corticosteroid use over time. In summary, itacitinib was well tolerated and demonstrated encouraging efficacy in patients with steroid-naive or steroid-refractory aGVHD, warranting continued clinical investigations. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02614612.
Project description:We studied the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) 6-month (m) freedom from treatment failure (FFTF) as a predictor of survival for patients with acute GVHD (aGVHD) requiring treatment. Adult patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) from February 2007 to March 2009 who were enrolled in a prospective biomarker clinical trial and developed aGVHD requiring systemic corticosteroids by day +100 were included (N=44). Six-month FFTF was defined as per the ASBMT guidelines (absence of death, malignancy relapse/progression or systemic immunosuppression change within 6 months of starting steroids and before chronic GVHD development). aGVHD was treated with systemic corticosteroids in 44 patients. Day 28 response after steroid initiation (complete response+very good partial response+partial response) occurred in 38 (87%) patients, but only 28 (64%) HCT recipients met the 6-m FFTF end point. Day 28 response predicted 6-m FFTF. Achieving 6-m FFTF was associated with improved 2-year (y) OS (81% vs 48%; P=0.03) and decreased 2-y non-relapse mortality (8% vs 49%; P=0.01). In multivariate analysis, 6-m FFTF continued to predict improved OS (hazard ratio, 0.27; P=0.03). The 6-m FFTF end point measures fixed outcomes, predicts long-term therapeutic success and could be less prone to measurement error than aGVHD clinical response at day 28.
Project description:The prognosis of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is poor, and predictors of response and survival are unclear. In an exploratory analysis of 203 steroid-refractory aGVHD patients with prospectively collected GVHD data who received antithymocyte globulin, etanercept, or mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) as second-line treatment, we determined the predictors of day 28 response, 2-year overall survival, and 2-year nonrelapse mortality (NRM). To minimize the risk of finding false-positive results, we used least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression, aggressively eliminating variables that are unlikely to be associated with outcome. Day 28 response to second-line therapy was 38% (complete response, 23%), with a 2-year overall survival of 25% and a 2-year NRM of 62%. Factors associated with response were GVHD prophylaxis, organ involvement, and initial aGVHD to steroid-refractory aGVHD interval. Specifically, compared with cyclosporine/MMF as GVHD prophylaxis, the odds ratio (OR) for calcineurin inhibitor/methotrexate was .8 and for cyclosporine/prednisone .6. The OR for aGVHD to steroid-refractory aGVHD interval ? 14 versus <14 days was 1.3. The ORs for skin only involvement and gut or liver only involvement when compared with multiorgan involvement were 1.4 and 1.2, respectively. The only variable associated with worse survival was age, with a hazard ratio (HR) per decade of 1.04 for overall mortality. Similarly, age was the only variable associated with NRM (HR per decade, 1.02). When compared with complete response, no response at day 28 increased the risk of death (HR, 2.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.5 to 3.7). In conclusion, by means of an underused statistical technique in the field of transplantation, we identified predictors of response and survival in steroid-refractory aGVHD. Our results highlight the importance of developing novel treatment strategies because current treatments yield poor outcomes.