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See detailThinking out of the box - New approaches to controlling GVHD
Baron, Frédéric ULg; Humblet-Baron, Stéphanie; Ehx, Grégory ULg et al

in Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports (2014), 9

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major limitation of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Despite major advances in the understanding of GVHD pathogenesis, standard GVHD ... [more ▼]

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major limitation of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Despite major advances in the understanding of GVHD pathogenesis, standard GVHD prophylaxis regimens continue to bebased on the combination of a calcineurin inhibitor with an antimetabolite, while first line treatmentsstill relies on high-dose corticosteroids. Further, no second line treatment has emerged thus far in acute or chronic GVHD patients who failed on corticosteroids. After briefly reviewing current standards of GVHD prevention and treatment, this article will discuss recent approaches that might change GVHD prophylaxis / treatment in the next decades, with a special focus on recently developed immunoregulatory strategies based on infusion of mesenchymal stromal or regulatory T-cells, or on injection of lowdose interleukin-2. [less ▲]

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See detailGalectin expression in the multiple myeloma microenvironment
Muller, Joséphine ULg; CAERS, Jo ULg; Binsfeld, Marilène ULg et al

in Belgian Journal of Hematology (2014)

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See detailEstablishment of a murine graft-versus-myeloma model using allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Binsfeld, Marilène ULg; BEGUIN, Yves ULg; Belle, Ludovic et al

in Belgian Journal of Hematology (2014)

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See detailMultiple myeloma cells instruct myeloid-derived suppressor cells to release pro-angiogenic cytokines
Binsfeld, Marilène ULg; Heusschen, Roy ULg; Lamour, Virginie et al

in Belgian Journal of Hematology (2014)

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See detailHemolytic crisis induced by rasburicase administration revealing G-6-PD deficiency.
SID, Sélim ULg; Dugauquier, D.; DE PRIJCK, Bernard ULg et al

in Belgian Journal of Hematology (2014)

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See detailAntithymocyte globulin before allogeneic stem cell transplantation for progressive myelodysplastic syndrome : a study from the French Society of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy
Duléry, Rémy; Mohty, Mohamad; Duhamel, Alain et al

in Biology of Blood & Marrow Transplantation (2014), 20

We investigated the impact of rabbit antithymocyte globulins (ATG) on patient outcomes after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) for progressive myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Of the 242 ... [more ▼]

We investigated the impact of rabbit antithymocyte globulins (ATG) on patient outcomes after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) for progressive myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Of the 242 consecutive patients who underwent allo-SCT for progressive MDS between October 1999 and December 2009, 93 received ATG (ATG group) at the median dose of 5 mg/kg, whereas 149 patients did not (no-ATG group). Donors were sibling (n ¼ 153) or HLA-matched unrelated (n ¼ 89). Patients received blood (n ¼ 90) or marrow (n ¼ 152) grafts after either myeloablative (n ¼ 109) or reduced-intensity (n ¼ 133) conditioning. Three-year overall and event-free survival, nonrelapse mortality, relapse, and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) development were not significantly different between the 2 groups. In contrast, acute grade II to IV GVHD occurred more often in the no-ATG group (55% of the patients) than in the ATG group (27%, P < .0001). Similar results were observed with acute grade III to IV GVHD (28% and 14% in the no-ATG group and ATG group, respectively; P ¼ .009). In multivariate analysis, after adjustment with propensity score, the absence of ATG was the strongest parameter associated with an increased risk of acute grade II to IV GVHD (hazard ratio, 2.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.35 to 3.37; P ¼.001]. ATG had no impact on overall and event-free survival or cumulative incidence of the relapse. In conclusion, the addition of ATG to allo-SCT conditioning did not increase the incidence of relapse of patients with progressive MDS. The incidence of acute GVHD was decreased without compromising outcomes. [less ▲]

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See detailAdequate iron chelation therapy for at least six months improves survival in transfusion-dependent patients wih lower risk myelodysplastic syndromes
Delforge, Michel; Selleslag, Dominik; BEGUIN, Yves ULg et al

in Leukemia Research (2014), 38

Background: Most patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) require transfusions at the risk of ironoverload and associated organ damage, and death. Emerging evidence indicates that iron chelation ther ... [more ▼]

Background: Most patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) require transfusions at the risk of ironoverload and associated organ damage, and death. Emerging evidence indicates that iron chelation ther-apy (ICT) could reduce mortality and improve survival in transfusion-dependent MDS patients, especiallythose classified as International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) Low or Intermediate-1 (Low/Int-1).Methods: Follow-up of a retrospective study. Sample included 127 Low/Int-1 MDS patients from 28 centersin Belgium. Statistical analysis stratified by duration (≥6 versus <6 months) and quality of chelation (adequate versus weak). Results: Crude chelation rate was 63% but 88% among patients with serum ferritin ≥1000 g/L. Of the 80chelated patients, 70% were chelated adequately mainly with deferasirox (26%) or deferasirox followingdeferoxamine (39%). Mortality was 70% among non-chelated, 40% among chelated, 32% among patientschelated ≥6 m, and 30% among patients chelated adequately; with a trend toward reduced cardiacmortality in chelated patients. Overall, median overall survival (OS) was 10.2 years for chelated and 3.1years for non-chelated patients (p < 0.001). For patients chelated ≥6 m or patients classified as adequatelychelated, median OS was 10.5 years. Mortality increased as a function of average monthly transfusionintensity (HR = 1.08, p = 0.04) but was lower in patients receiving adequate chelation or chelation ≥6 m(HR = 0.24, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Six or more months of adequate ICT is associated with markedly better overall survival. Thissuggests a possible survival benefit of ICT in transfusion-dependent patients with lower-risk MDS. [less ▲]

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See detailLe myélome multiple asymptomatique : le paysage thérapeutique change
CAERS, Jo ULg; BEGUIN, Yves ULg

in Oncol. Hematol. (2014), 8

Le myélome multiple est le deuxième cancer hématologique en termes de fréquence avec plus de 700 nouveaux cas chaque année en Belgique. Le myélome asymptomatique, ou smoldering mye/omo, est un stade ... [more ▼]

Le myélome multiple est le deuxième cancer hématologique en termes de fréquence avec plus de 700 nouveaux cas chaque année en Belgique. Le myélome asymptomatique, ou smoldering mye/omo, est un stade précurseur du myélome multiple. En moyenne, les patients présentant un myélome asymptomatique ont un risque annuel de progression en myélome déclaré de 10%. Différents facteul"s ont été combinés dans des modélisations pronostiques: le rapport des chaînes légères, les anomalies radiologiques, la présence d'une gammapathie évolutive et l'infiltration médullaire > 60% ont récemment été identifiés comme facteurs prédictifs d'une progression précoce pour lesquels certains auteurs évoquent la mise en roùte d'un traitement anti-myélome. Cette stratégie thérapeutique précoce a démontré son efficacité dans une étude randomisée qui comparait un traitement par lénalidornide et dexaméthasone avec une approche attentiste chez des patients à risque. [less ▲]

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See detailOutcomes of adults with active or progressive hematological malignancies at time of allogeneic stem cell transplantation : a survey from the Société Française de Greffe de Moelle et de Thérapie Cellulaire (SFGM-TC)
Chevallier, P.; Labopin, M.; Milpied, N. et al

in Bone Marrow Transplantation (2014), 49

Previous data suggested that allo-SCT might be an effective therapy in the setting of chemo-refractory/relapsed diseases because of the potent long-term immune-mediated tumor control. This retrospective ... [more ▼]

Previous data suggested that allo-SCT might be an effective therapy in the setting of chemo-refractory/relapsed diseases because of the potent long-term immune-mediated tumor control. This retrospective study aimed to analyze the outcome of adult patients who received allo-SCT in a chemo-refractory/relapsed status. The series included 840 patients with active or progressive disease at the time of transplant. Median age was 50 years. With a median follow-up of 40 months, 3-year OS, disease-free survival (DFS), and non-relapse mortality rates were 29±2, 23±2, and 30±2%, respectively. At the last follow-up, 252 patients (30%) were still alive (of whom 201 were in CR (24%). In a Cox multivariate analysis, the use of a reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) before allo-SCT and use of an HLA-identical sibling donor remained independently associated with a better OS (hazard ratio (HR)¼0.82; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.69–0.98, P¼0.03; and HR¼0.79; 95% CI, 0.66–0.93, P¼0.006, respectively). Also, a diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome/myeloproliferative disorder, Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma compared with acute leukemia had a favorable impact on OS (HR¼0.55; 95% CI, 0.45–0.68, Po0.0001; HR¼0.49; 95% CI, 0.31–0.75, P¼0.001; and HR¼0.47; 95% CI, 0.35–0.63, Po0.0001, respectively). In conclusion, this study suggests that allo-SCT may be of benefit in some subgroups of patients with active or progressive hematological malignancies at the time of allo-SCT. [less ▲]

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See detailComprehensive plasma profiling for the characterization of graft-versus-host disease biomarkers
De Bock, Muriel; BEGUIN, Yves ULg; Leprince, Pierre ULg et al

in Talanta (2014), 125

Acutegraft-versus-hostdisease(aGVHD)remainsalife-threateningcomplicationofhematopoieticstem cell transplantation(HSCT)thereforelimitingitsapplication.TooptimizethemanagementofaGVHDand reduce therapy ... [more ▼]

Acutegraft-versus-hostdisease(aGVHD)remainsalife-threateningcomplicationofhematopoieticstem cell transplantation(HSCT)thereforelimitingitsapplication.TooptimizethemanagementofaGVHDand reduce therapy-relatedtoxicity,earlyspecific markersareneeded.Themainobjectiveofthisstudywas to uncoverdiagnosticbiomarkersbycomparingplasmaproteinprofiles ofpatientsatthetimeofacute GVHDdiagnosiswiththoseofpatientsundergoingHSCTwithoutaGVHD.Additionalanalysisofsamples taken 15daysbeforeaGVHDdiagnosiswasalsoperformedtoevaluatethepotentialofournewly discoveredbiomarkersforearlydiagnosis.Togetcomplementaryinformationfromplasmasamples, we usedthreedifferentproteomicapproaches,namely2D-DIGE,SELDI-TOF-MSand2D-LC-MSE. Weidentified andconfirmed bythemeansofindependenttechniques,thedifferentialexpression of severalproteinsindicatingsignificantly increasedinflammation responseanddisturbanceinthe coagulation cascade.Thevariationoftheseproteinswasalreadyobserved15daysbeforeGVHD diagnosis, suggestingthepotentialearlydetectionofthediseasebeforesymptomsappearance. Finally,logisticregressionanalysisdeterminedacompositebiomarkerpanelcomprising fibrinogen, fragment of fibrinogenbetachain,SAA,prothrombinfragments,apolipoproteinA1andhepcidinthat optimallydiscriminatedpatientswithandwithoutGVHD.Theareaunderthereceiveroperating characteristiccurvedistinguishingthese2groupswas0.95. [less ▲]

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See detailEpidemiological and nonclinical studies investigating effects of iron in carcinogenesis-A critical review
Beguin, Yves ULg; Aapro, M.; Ludwig, H. et al

in Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology (2014), 89

The efficacy and tolerability of intravenous (i.v.) iron in managing cancer-related anemia and iron deficiency has been clinically evaluated and reviewed recently. However, long-term data in cancer ... [more ▼]

The efficacy and tolerability of intravenous (i.v.) iron in managing cancer-related anemia and iron deficiency has been clinically evaluated and reviewed recently. However, long-term data in cancer patients are not available; yet, long-term i.v. iron treatment in hemodialysis patients is not associated with increased cancer risk. This review summarizes epidemiological and nonclinical data on the role of iron in carcinogenesis. In humans, epidemiological data suggest correlations between certain cancers and increased iron exposure or iron overload. Nonclinical models that investigated whether iron can enhance carcinogenesis provide only limited evidence relevant for cancer patients since they were typically based on high iron doses as well as injection routes and iron formulations which are not used in the clinical setting. Nevertheless, in the absence of long-term outcome data from prospectively defined trials in i.v. iron-treated cancer patients, iron supplementation should be limited to periods of concomitant anti-tumor treatment. [less ▲]

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See detailINFUSION OF THIRD-PARTY MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS (MSC) AFTER KIDNEY AND LIVER TRANSPLANTATION: A PHASE I-II, OPEN-LABEL, CLINICAL STUDY (EudraCT 2011-001822-81 & NCT01429038)
DETRY, Olivier ULg; DELBOUILLE, Marie-Hélène ULg; LECHANTEUR, Chantal ULg et al

Poster (2013, May 30)

MSC cells have demonstrated significant immunosuppressive effects in various in vivo and in vitro studies. This study aims to be the first evaluation of the safety and tolerability of third party MSC ... [more ▼]

MSC cells have demonstrated significant immunosuppressive effects in various in vivo and in vitro studies. This study aims to be the first evaluation of the safety and tolerability of third party MSC infusion after cadaveric kidney and liver transplantation in a prospective phase I-II study, taking advantage of our centre expertise and experience in MSC use in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after bone marrow transplantation and using an already functioning GMP-compliant laboratory producing clinical-grade MSC. Secondary end-points will help to evaluate the immunosuppressive potential of MSC after organ transplantation, and the opportunity to develop larger randomised, controlled, phase III trials. After successful transplantation, 10 liver and 10 kidney transplant recipients under standard immunosuppression (tacrolimus, MMF, steroids) will receive an intravenous infusion of 1.5-3x106/kg of third-party MSC on post-operative day 3±2. These patients will be prospectively compared to 10 liver and 10 kidney recipients who meet the inclusion criteria but deny MSC infusion. Safety will be assessed by recording side effects, including opportunistic infections and cancers. Immunosuppressive potential will be evaluated by rejection episode rates, by graft/patient survivals, by immunohistology of 3-months kidney and 6-month liver graft biopsies and by in vitro evaluation of the immunity profile of the recipients. In a second step, reduction (kidney) and progressive weaning (liver) of immunosuppression will be attempted in recipients who received MSC. This ongoing study is supported by research grants from the CHU of Liège, University of Liège, and by the Senior Clinical Research Grant from ESOT. The first patients were included and treated in early 2012, and final results expected in late 2013. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells on experimental xenogeneic graft-versus-host disease
Bruck, France; Belle, Ludovic ULg; LECHANTEUR, Chantal ULg et al

in Cytotherapy (2013), 15(3), 267-279

Background aims. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a life-threatening complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation caused by donor T cells reacting against host tissues. Previous ... [more ▼]

Background aims. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a life-threatening complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation caused by donor T cells reacting against host tissues. Previous studies have suggested that mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) could exert potent immunosuppressive effects. Methods. The ability of human bone marrow derived MSCs to prevent xenogeneic GVHD in non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient (NOD/SCID) mice and in NOD/SCID/interleukin-2Rg(null) (NSG) mice transplanted with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was assessed. Results. Injection of 200 106 human PBMCs intraperitoneally (IP) into sub-lethally (3.0 Gy) irradiated NOD/SCID mice also given anti-asialo GM1 antibodies IP 1 day prior and 8 days after transplantation induced lethal xenogeneic GVHD in all tested mice. Co-injection of 2 106 MSCs IP on day 0 did not prevent lethal xenogeneic GVHD induced by injection of human PBMCs. Similarly, injection of 30 106 human PBMCs IP into sub-lethally (2.5 Gy) irradiated NSG mice induced a lethal xenogeneic GVHD in all tested mice. Injection of 3 106 MSCs IP on days 0, 7, 14 and 21 did not prevent lethal xenogeneic GVHD induced by injection of human PBMCs. Conclusions. Injection of MSCs did not prevent xenogeneic GVHD in these two humanized mice models. [less ▲]

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See detailA novel mutation in the CUB sequence of matriptase-2 (TMPRSS6) is implicated in iron-resistant iron deficiency anaemia (IRIDA).
JASPERS, Aurélie ULg; CAERS, Jo ULg; LE GAC, Gerald et al

in British Journal of Haematology (2013), 160(4), 564-565

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See detailErythropoietin therapy after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation : a prospective randomised trial.
JASPERS, Aurélie ULg; Baron, Frédéric ULg; WILLEMS, Evelyne ULg et al

in Belgian Journal of Hematology (2013, January)

Based on the impairment of erythropoietin production after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), we previously reported in a phase-2 trial that recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO ... [more ▼]

Based on the impairment of erythropoietin production after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), we previously reported in a phase-2 trial that recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) therapy was very efficient when started one month after transplantation. We also demonstrated that anemia after nonmyeloabalative (NM) HCT was less sensitive to rhEPO therapy than after conventional allogeneic HCT. This prompted us to confirm these findings in a prospective randomised trial. One hundred and thirty-one patients were randomised (1:1) between no treatment (arm 1) or erythropoietin (Neorecormon) at the dose of 500 U/kg/week (arm 2). Once the target Hb (13g/dL) has been attained, the dose of rhEPO was reduced by half, while it was withheld when Hb was = 14g/dL. Cohort A included 42 patients on day 28 after myeloablative HCT, cohort B 39 patients on day 28 after NMHCT, and cohort C 50 patients on day 0 of NMHCT. Primary endpoints included proportion of complete correctors (i.e. patients reaching Hb = 13g/dL) and median time to achieve Hb correction in each arm. The proportion of complete correctors before day 126 posttransplant was 0% in group 1A vs 52.4% in group 2A, 0% in group 1B vs 69.5% in group 2B and 19.1% in group 1C vs 70.2% in group 2C. Median time to achieve Hb = 13g/dL was not reached in group 1B vs 49 days in group 2B; 363 and 59 days in groups 1A and 1B respectively and 363 and 87 days in groups 3A and 3B respectively (figure 1). Hb evolution in each group is shown in figure 2. Seventyone patients (47/62 in control groups and 24/57 in treated groups, p=0.0003) required red blood cell transfusions. The difference was most pronounced in cohort B. There was no difference in rates of thrombo-embolic events or other complications between the two arms. In conclusion, this is the first trial to demonstrate that EPO therapy hastens erythroid recovery and decreases transfusion requirements when started one month after allogeneic HCT. [less ▲]

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See detail(111)Indium-oxine labelling for evaluating the homing process of autologous osteoblasts implanted percutaneously in atrophic nonunion fractures.
Hauzeur, Jean-Philippe; Bernard, Claire ULg; Egrise, Dominique et al

in International Orthopaedics (2013), 37(1), 131-6

PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to control the in vivo localisation of implanted cells in cell-based therapies. Labelling cells with (111)indium-oxine is one of the most interesting methods proposed. We ... [more ▼]

PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to control the in vivo localisation of implanted cells in cell-based therapies. Labelling cells with (111)indium-oxine is one of the most interesting methods proposed. We evaluated this method in the setting of autologous osteoblast implantation in nonunion fractures. METHODS: An in vitro study of osteoblasts was conducted after (111)indium-oxine labelling. Radioactivity retention and viability, proliferation and the ability to produce alkaline phosphatase were evaluated in a seven-day culture. In vivo labelling of implanted osteoblastic cells was conducted during a therapeutic trial of atrophic nonunion fractures, with the leakage outside the nonunion site and local uptake evolution at four, 24 and 48 hour being studied. RESULTS: The mean labelling efficiency for osteoprogenitors was 78.8 +/- 4.6 %. The intracellular retention was 89.4 +/- 2.1 % at three hours and 67.3 +/- 4.7 % at 18 hours. The viability assessed at three hours was 93.7 +/- 0.6 %. After seven days of culture, morphology and alkaline phosphatase staining were similar for both labelled and unlabelled control cells, although the proliferation rate was decreased in the labelled cells. Some local intraosseous leakage was observed in four of 17 cases. All patients showed uptake at the injection site, with four having no other uptake. Four patients showed additional uptake in the bladder, liver and spleen, while 11 patients had additional uptake in the lungs in addition to the bladder, liver and spleen. The activity ratios (injection site/body) were 48 +/- 28 % at four hours, 40 +/- 25 % at 24 hours and 35 +/- 25 % at 48 hours. After correcting for decay, the activity within the injection site was 82 +/- 15 % at 24 hours and 69 +/- 11 % at 48 hours compared with the activity measured at four hours. No relationship was found between uptake and radiological bone repair. CONCLUSIONS: The (111)indium-oxine labelling appears to be a good method for monitoring the behaviour of the osteoblastic cells after their implantation in atrophic nonunion fractures. [less ▲]

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