First name
Robert
Middle name
B
Last name
Gerbing

Title

IL-10 and TNFα are associated with decreased survival in low-risk pediatric acute myeloid leukemia; a children's oncology group report.

Year of Publication

2022

Number of Pages

1-12

Date Published

07/2022

ISSN Number

1521-0669

Abstract

Pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a devastating disease with a high risk of relapse. Current risk classification designates patients as high or low risk (LR) based on molecular features and therapy response. However, 30% of LR patients still suffer relapse, indicating a need for improvement in risk stratification. Cytokine levels, such as IL-6 and IL-10, have been shown to be prognostic in adult AML but have not been well studied in children. Previously, we reported elevated IL-6 levels in pediatric AML bone marrow to be associated with inferior prognosis. Here, we expanded our investigation to assess cytokine levels in diagnostic peripheral blood plasma (PBP) of pediatric AML patients and determined correlation with outcome. Diagnostic PBP was obtained from 80 patients with LR AML enrolled on the Children's Oncology Group AAML1031 study and normal PBP from 11 controls. Cytokine levels were measured and correlation with clinical outcome was assessed. IL-6, TNFα, MIP-3a, and IL-1β were significantly higher in AML patients versus controls when corrected by the Bonferroni method. Furthermore, elevated TNFα and IL-10 were significantly associated with inferior outcomes. Our data demonstrate that in diagnostic PBP of LR pediatric AML patients, certain cytokine levels are elevated as compared to healthy controls and that elevated TNFα and IL-10 are associated with inferior outcomes, supporting the idea that an abnormal inflammatory state may predict poor outcomes. Studies are needed to determine the mechanisms by which these cytokines impact survival, and to further evaluate their use as prognostic biomarkers in pediatric AML.

DOI

10.1080/08880018.2022.2089790

Alternate Title

Pediatr Hematol Oncol

PMID

35838057

Title

Morphologic remission status is limited compared to ΔN flow cytometry: a Children's Oncology Group AAML0531 report.

Year of Publication

2020

Number of Pages

5050-5061

Date Published

2020 Oct 27

ISSN Number

2473-9537

Abstract

Risk stratification for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) uses molecular and cytogenetic abnormalities identified at diagnosis. Response to therapy informs risk, and morphology continues to be used more frequently than flow cytometry. Herein, the largest cohort of pediatric patients prospectively assessed for measurable residual disease (MRD) by flow cytometry (N = 784) is reported. The "difference from normal" (ΔN) technique was applied: 31% of all patients tested positive (AML range, 0.02% to 91%) after the first course of treatment on Children's Oncology Group study AAML0531. Detection of MRD following initial chemotherapy proved the strongest predicator of overall survival (OS) in univariable and multivariable analyses, and was predictive of relapse risk, disease-free survival, and treatment-related mortality. Clearance of MRD after a second round of chemotherapy did not improve survival. The morphologic definition of persistent disease (>15% AML) failed 27% of the time; those identified as MRD- had superior outcomes. Similarly, for patients not achieving morphologic remission (>5% blasts), 36% of patients were MRD- and had favorable outcomes compared with those who were MRD+ (P < .001); hence an increase in myeloid progenitor cells can be favorable when ΔN classifies them as phenotypically normal. Furthermore, ΔN reclassified 20% of patients in morphologic remission as having detectable MRD with comparable poor outcomes. Retrospective analysis using the relapse phenotype as a template demonstrated that 96% of MRD- patients had <0.02% of the relapse immunophenotype in their end of induction 1 marrow. Thus, the detection of abnormal myeloid progenitor cells by ΔN is both specific and sensitive, with a high predictive signal identifiable early in treatment. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00372593.

DOI

10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002070

Alternate Title

Blood Adv

PMID

33080007

Title

Bortezomib is significantly beneficial for de novo pediatric AML patients with low phosphorylation of the NF-κB subunit RelA.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

e2100072

Date Published

2021 Nov 01

ISSN Number

1862-8354

Abstract

The addition of the proteasome inhibitor (PI) bortezomib to standard chemotherapy (ADE: cytarabine [Ara-C], daunorubicin and etoposide,) did not improve overall outcome in the Children's Oncology Group AAML1031 phase 3 randomized clinical trial (AAML1031). Bortezomib prevents protein degradation, including RelA via the intracellular NF-kB pathway. In this study, we hypothesized that subgroups of pediatric AML patients benefitting from standard therapy plus bortezomib (ADEB) could be identified based on pre-treatment RelA expression and phosphorylation status. RelA-total and phosphorylation at serine 536 (RelA-pSer ) levels were measured in 483 patient samples using reverse phase protein array technology. In ADEB-treated patients, low-RelA-pSer was favorably prognostic when compared to high-RelA-pSer (3-yr overall survival (OS): 81% vs. 68%, p = 0.032; relapse risk (RR): 30% vs. 49%, p = 0.004). RR in low-RelA-pSer patients significantly decreased in ADEB compared to ADE (RR: 30% vs. 44%, p = 0.035). Correlation between RelA-pSer and 295 other assayed proteins identified a strong correlation with HSF1-pSer , another protein previously identified as modifying ADEB response. The combination of low-RelA-pSer and low-HSF1-pSer was a significant predictor of ADEB response (3-yr OS: 86% vs. 67%, p = 0.013). Thus, bortezomib may improve clinical outcome in a subgroup of AML patients identified by low-RelA-pSer and low-HSF1-pSer . This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

DOI

10.1002/prca.202100072

Alternate Title

Proteomics Clin Appl

PMID

34719869

Title

Blood Count Recovery Following Induction Therapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Children Does Not Predict Survival.

Year of Publication

2022

Date Published

2022 Jan 26

ISSN Number

2072-6694

Abstract

<p>International Working Group (IWG) and European LeukemiaNet (ELN) response definitions are utilized to evaluate the efficacy of new agents for childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML) for regulatory purposes. However, these criteria are not consistent with definitions used in pediatric AML trials or with standard pediatric practice to proceed with subsequent therapy cycles prior to IWG/ELN-defined count recovery. We retrospectively analyzed data from the two most recent Phase 3 pediatric AML clinical trials conducted by the Children's Oncology Group (COG) to assess the incidence, timing, and prognostic significance of count recovery following induction chemotherapy. Of the patients with fewer than 5% bone marrow blasts at the end of first induction, 21.5% of patients proceeded to a second induction cycle prior to achieving ANC ≥ 500 cells/μL and platelets ≥ 50,000 cells/μL, both well below the IWG/ELN thresholds of ANC &gt; 1000 cells/μL and platelets &gt; 100,000 cells/μL. In these two sequential childhood AML Phase 3 trials, neither ANC nor platelet recovery predicted survival. Intensification of treatment through the initiation of subsequent therapy cycles prior to attainment of IWG/ELN-defined CR is common practice in clinical trials for children with AML, suggesting that updated response definitions are needed for pediatric AML.</p>

DOI

10.3390/cancers14030616

Alternate Title

Cancers (Basel)

PMID

35158884

Title

Clinical relevance of proteomic profiling in de novo pediatric acute myeloid leukemia: a Children's Oncology Group study.

Year of Publication

2022

Date Published

2022 Jan 13

ISSN Number

1592-8721

Abstract

<p>Pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains a fatal disease for at least 30% of patients, stressing the need for improved therapies and better risk stratification. As proteins are the unifying feature of (epi)genetic and environmental alterations, and are often targeted by novel chemotherapeutic agents, we studied the proteomic landscape of pediatric AML. Protein expression and activation levels were measured in 500 bulk leukemic patient samples and 30 control CD34+ samples, using the reverse phase protein arrays with 296 strictly validated antibodies. The multi-step "MetaGalaxy" analysis methodology was applied and identified nine protein expression signatures (PrSIG), based on strong recurrent protein expression patterns. PrSIGs were associated with cytogenetics and mutational state, and with both favorable or unfavorable prognosis. Analysis based on treatment (i.e., ADE vs. ADE plus bortezomib (ADEB)) identified three PrSIGs that did better with ADEB vs. ADE. When PrSIGs were studied in the context of genetic subgroups, PrSIGs were independently prognostic after multivariate analysis, suggesting a potential value for proteomics in combination with current classification systems. Proteins with universally increased (n=7) or decreased (n=17) expression were observed across PrSIGs. Expression of certain proteins significantly differentially expressed from normal could be identified, forming a hypothetical platform for personalized medicine.</p>

DOI

10.3324/haematol.2021.279672

Alternate Title

Haematologica

PMID

35021602

Title

CBFB-MYH11 Fusion Transcripts Distinguish Acute Myeloid Leukemias with Distinct Molecular Landscapes and Outcomes.

Year of Publication

2021

Date Published

2021 Sep 21

ISSN Number

2473-9537

Abstract

<p>Patients with inv(16)/CBFB-MYH11 AML are considered favorable risk, however, nearly one-third relapse despite intensive therapy. Despite efforts to define risk groups within this favorable risk cohort, CBFB-MYH11 AML patients continue to be treated as a uniform cohort. Through transcriptome sequencing of 186 patients with inv(16) AML, we demonstrate that fusion junction breakpoints (exon 5-exon 33 versus other) are highly associated with outcome. The presence of exon 17 KIT mutations provides additional prognostic significance. Additionally, we provide insights into the transcriptional landscapes that differentiate these distinct CBFB-MYH11 AML subtypes. Children's Oncology Group trials include CCG-2961 (registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00002798), AAML03P1 (NCT00070174), AAML0531 (NCT00372593), and AAML1031 (NCT01371981).</p>

DOI

10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004965

Alternate Title

Blood Adv

PMID

34547772

Title

Outcomes of intensification of induction chemotherapy for children with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia: A report from the Children's Oncology Group.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

e29281

Date Published

2021 Oct 01

ISSN Number

1545-5017

Abstract

<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>High-risk pediatric acute myeloid leukemia confers a poor prognosis, and alternative strategies are needed to improve outcomes. We hypothesized that intensifying induction on the AAML1031 clinical trial would improve outcomes compared to the predecessor trial AAML0531.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Patients on AAML0531 received cytarabine (1600&nbsp;mg/m )/daunorubicin (150&nbsp;mg/m )/etoposide (ADE) for induction II and patients on AAML1031 received mitoxantrone (48&nbsp;mg/m )/cytarabine (8000&nbsp;mg/m ) (MA). Stem cell transplant (SCT) conditioning included busulfan/cyclophosphamide on AAML0531, whereas AAML1031 used busulfan/fludarabine and liberalized donor eligibility. Patients were included in this analysis if they met high-risk criteria common to the two trials by cytogenics or poor disease response after induction I ADE.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>MA provided no benefit over ADE at: induction II response (complete response [CR]: 64% vs. 62%, p&nbsp;=&nbsp;.87; measurable residual disease [MRD]+: 57% vs. 46%, p&nbsp;=&nbsp;.34); or intensification I response (CR: 79% vs. 94%, p&nbsp;=&nbsp;.27; MRD+: 27% vs. 20%, p&nbsp;=&nbsp;1.0). When considered with altered SCT approach, MA did not improve 5-year disease-free survival (24% ± 9% vs. 18% ± 15%, p&nbsp;=&nbsp;.63) or 5-year overall survival (35% ± 10% vs. 38% ± 18%, p&nbsp;=&nbsp;.66). MA was associated with slower neutrophil recovery (median 34 vs. 27&nbsp;days, p&nbsp;=&nbsp;.007) and platelet recovery (median 29 vs. 24.5&nbsp;days, p&nbsp;=&nbsp;.04) and longer hospital stay (32 vs. 28&nbsp;days, p&nbsp;=&nbsp;.01) during induction II.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Intensification of induction II did not improve treatment response or survival, but did increase toxicity and resource utilization. Alternative strategies are urgently needed to improve outcomes for pediatric patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (trials registered at clinicaltrials.gov NCT01371981, NCT00372593).</p>

DOI

10.1002/pbc.29281

Alternate Title

Pediatr Blood Cancer

PMID

34596937

Title

Cytarabine dose reduction in patients with low-risk acute myeloid leukemia: A report from the Children's Oncology Group.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

e29313

Date Published

2021 Sep 02

ISSN Number

1545-5017

Abstract

<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>The optimal number of chemotherapy courses for low-risk (LR) pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is not known.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>To compare outcomes for four (21.6&nbsp;g/m cytarabine) versus five (45.6&nbsp;g/m cytarabine) chemotherapy courses for LR-AML using data from Children's Oncology Group (COG) AAML0531 and AAML1031.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We compared relapse risk (RR), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS), and the differential impact in LR subgroups for patients receiving four versus five chemotherapy courses. Cox (OS and DFS) and risk (RR) regressions were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) to compare outcomes.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>A total of 923 LR-AML patients were included; 21% received five courses. Overall, LR-AML patients who received four courses had higher RR (40.9% vs. 31.4%; HR&nbsp;=&nbsp;1.40, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.06-1.85), and worse DFS (56.0% vs. 67.0%; HR&nbsp;=&nbsp;1.45, 95% CI: 1.10-1.91). There was a similar decrement in OS though it was not statistically significant (77.0% vs. 83.5%; HR&nbsp;=&nbsp;1.45, 95% CI: 0.97-2.17). Stratified analyses revealed the detrimental effects of cytarabine dose de-escalation to be most pronounced in the LR-AML subgroup with uninformative cytogenetic/molecular features who were minimal residual disease (MRD) negative after the first induction course (EOI1). The absolute decrease in DFS with four courses for patients with favorable cytogenetic/molecular features and positive MRD was similar to that observed for patients with uninformative cytogenetic/molecular features and negative MRD at EOI1, though not statistically significant.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Our results support de-escalation of cytarabine exposure through the elimination of a fifth chemotherapy course only for LR-AML patients who have both favorable cytogenetic/molecular features and negative MRD after the first induction cycle.</p>

DOI

10.1002/pbc.29313

Alternate Title

Pediatr Blood Cancer

PMID

34472213

Title

Survival Following Relapse in Children with Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Report from AML-BFM and COG.

Year of Publication

2021

Date Published

2021 May 12

ISSN Number

2072-6694

Abstract

<p>Post-relapse therapy remains critical for survival in children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We evaluated survival, response and prognostic variables following relapse in independent cooperative group studies conducted by COG and the population-based AML-BFM study group. BFM included 197 patients who relapsed after closure of the last I-BFM relapse trial until 2017, while COG included 852 patients who relapsed on the last Phase 3 trials (AAML0531, AAML1031). Overall survival at 5 years (OS) was 42 ± 4% (BFM) and 35 ± 2% (COG). Initial high-risk features (BFM 32 ± 6%, COG 26 ± 4%) and short time to relapse (BFM 29 ± 4%, COG 25 ± 2%) predicted diminished survival. In the BFM dataset, there was no difference in OS for patients who had a complete remission with full hematopoietic recovery (CR) following post-relapse re-induction compared to those with partial neutrophil and platelet recovery (CRp and CRi) only (52 ± 7% vs. 63 ± 10%, = 0.39). Among 90 patients alive at last follow-up, 87 had received a post-relapse hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). OS for patients with post-relapse HSCT was 54 ± 4%. In conclusion, initial high-risk features and early relapse remain prognostic. Response assessment with full hematopoietic recovery following initial relapse therapy does not predict survival. These data indicate the need for post-relapse risk stratification in future studies of relapse therapies.</p>

DOI

10.3390/cancers13102336

Alternate Title

Cancers (Basel)

PMID

34066095

Title

Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin Improves Event-Free Survival and Reduces Relapse in Pediatric -Rearranged AML: Results From the Phase III Children's Oncology Group Trial AAML0531.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

JCO2003048

Date Published

2021 May 28

ISSN Number

1527-7755

Abstract

<p><strong>PURPOSE: </strong>We investigated the impact of the CD33-targeted agent gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) on survival in pediatric patients with -rearranged (-r) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) enrolled in the Children's Oncology Group trial AAML0531 (NCT01407757).</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Patients with -r AML were identified and clinical characteristics described. Five-year overall survival (OS), event-free survival (EFS), disease-free survival (DFS), and relapse risk (RR) were determined overall and for higher-risk versus not high-risk translocation partners. GO's impact on response was determined and outcomes based on consolidation approach (hematopoietic stem cell transplant [HSCT] chemotherapy) described.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Two hundred fifteen (21%) of 1,022 patients enrolled had -r AML. Five-year EFS and OS from study entry were 38% and 58%, respectively. EFS was superior with GO treatment (EFS 48% with GO 29% without, = .003), although OS was comparable (63% 53%, = .054). For patients with -r AML who achieved complete remission, GO was associated with lower RR (40% GO 66% patients who did not receive GO [No-GO], = .001) and improved 5-year DFS (GO 57% No-GO 33%, = .002). GO benefit was observed in both higher-risk and not high-risk -r subsets. For patients who underwent HSCT, prior GO exposure was associated with decreased relapse (5-year RR: 28% GO and HSCT 73% No-GO and HSCT, = .006). In multivariable analysis, GO was independently associated with improved EFS, improved DFS, and reduced RR.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>GO added to conventional chemotherapy improved outcomes for -r AML; consolidation with HSCT may further enhance outcomes. Future clinical trials should study CD33-targeted agents in combination with HSCT for pediatric r AML.</p>

DOI

10.1200/JCO.20.03048

Alternate Title

J Clin Oncol

PMID

34048275

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