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Birmingham, United Kingdom

Craddock C.,Center for Clinical Haematology | Labopin M.,EBMT ALWP Office | Pillai S.,Center for Clinical Haematology | Finke J.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | And 15 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2011

Treatment options for adults with primary refractory acute myeloid leukaemia (PREF AML) are extremely limited. Although sibling allogeneic stem cell transplantation can result in long-term survival, most patients lack a matched family donor and are destined to die of refractory disease. Greater availability of unrelated donors and improvements in supportive care have increased the proportion of patients with PREF AML in whom allografting is technically feasible, but the outcome of unrelated donor transplantation in this population has not been studied. We therefore analysed overall survival in 168 patients with PREF AML, who underwent unrelated donor transplantation between 1994 and 2006. The 5-year overall survival for the whole group was 22%. In multivariate analysis, fewer than three courses of induction chemotherapy, a lower percentage of bone marrow blasts at transplant and patient cytomegalovirus seropositivity were associated with improved survival. This allowed the development of a scoring system that identified four groups with survival rates between 4411% and 0%. This study demonstrates an important role for unrelated donor transplantation in the management of selected patients with PREF AML and confirms the importance of initiating an urgent unrelated donor search in patients with no matched sibling donor, who fail to respond to induction chemotherapy. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Malottki K.,University of Birmingham | Biswas M.,University of Bristol | Deeks J.J.,University of Birmingham | Riley R.D.,University of Birmingham | And 3 more authors.
BMJ Open | Year: 2014

Objectives: Stratified medicine is often heralded as the future of clinical practice. Key part of stratified medicine is the use of predictive biomarkers, which identify patient subgroups most likely to benefit (or least likely to experience harm) from an intervention. We investigated how many and what predictive biomarkers are currently included in European Medicines Agency (EMA) licensing. Setting: EMA licensing. Participants: Indications and contraindications of all drugs considered by the EMA and published in 883 European Public Assessment Reports and Pending Decisions. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Data were collected on: the type of the biomarker, whether itselected a subgroup of patients based on efficacy or toxicity, therapeutic area, marketing status, date of licensing decision, date of inclusion of the biomarker in the indication or contraindication and on orphan designation. Results: 49 biomarker-indication-drug (B-I-D) combinations were identified over 16 years, which included 37 biomarkers and 41 different drugs. All identified biomarkers were molecular. Six drugs (relating to 10 B-I-D combinations) had an orphan designation at the time of licensing. The identified B-ID combinations were mainly used in cancer and HIV treatment, and also in hepatitis C and three other indications (cystic fibrosis, hyperlipoproteinaemia type I and methemoglobinaemia). In 45 B-I-D combinations, biomarkers were used as predictive of drug efficacy and in four of drug toxicity. It appeared that there was an increase in the number of B-I-D combinationsintroduced each year; however, the numbers were too small to identify any trends. Conclusions: Given the large body of literature documenting research into potential predictive biomarkers and extensive investment into stratified medicine, we identified relatively few predictive biomarkers included in licensing. These were also limited to a small number of clinical areas. This might suggest a need for improvement in methods of translation from laboratory findings to clinical practice.

Hill V.K.,University of Birmingham | Dunwell T.,University of Birmingham | Catchpoole D.,The Childrens Hospital at Westmead | Krex D.,TU Dresden | And 5 more authors.
Epigenetics | Year: 2011

The WW-domain containing protein KIBRA has recently been identified as a new member of the Salvador/Warts/Hippo (SWH) pathway in Drosophila and is shown to act as a tumor suppressor gene in Drosophila. This pathway is conserved in humans and members of the pathway have been shown to act as tumor suppressor genes in mammalian systems. We determined the methylation status of the 5' CpG island associated with the KIBRA gene in human cancers. In a large panel of cancer cell lines representing common epithelial cancers KIBRA was unmethylated. But in pediatric acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) cell lines KIBRA showed frequent hypermethylation and silencing of gene expression, which could be reversed by treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. In ALL patient samples KIBRA was methylated in 70% B-ALL but was methylated in <20% T-ALL leukemia (p = 0.0019). In B-ALL KIBRA methylation was associated with ETV6/RUNX1 [t(12;21) (p13;q22)] chromosomal translocation (p = 0.0082) phenotype, suggesting that KIBRA may play an important role in t(12;21) leukemogenesis. In ALL paired samples at diagnosis and remission KIBRA methylation was seen in diagnostic but not in any of the remission samples accompanied by loss of KIBRA expression in disease state compared to patients in remission. Hence KIBRA methylation occurs frequently in B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia but not in epithelial cancers and is linked to specific genetic event in B-ALL. © 2011 Landes Bioscience.

Spanswick V.J.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Lowe H.L.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Newton C.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Bingham J.P.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | And 6 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2012

Background: DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs) are critical lesions produced by several cancer chemotherapy agents including platinum drugs and nitrogen mustards. We have previously shown in haematological (multiple myeloma) and solid tumours (ovarian cancer) that clinical sensitivity to such agents can result from a defect in DNA ICL processing leading to their persistence. Conversely, enhanced repair can result in clinical acquired resistance following chemotherapy. The repair of ICLs is complex but it is assumed that the 'unhooking' step is common to all ICLs.Methods: Using a modification of the single cell gel electrophoresis (Comet) assay we measured the formation and unhooking of melphalan and cisplatin-induced ICLs in cell lines and clinical samples. DNA damage response in the form of γ-H2AX foci formation and the formation of RAD51 foci as a marker of homologous recombination were also determined. Real-time PCR of 84 genes involved in DNA damage signalling pathways was also examined pre- and post-treatment.Results: Plasma cells from multiple myeloma patients known to be clinically resistant to melphalan showed significant unhooking of melphalan-induced ICLs at 48 hours, but did not unhook cisplatin-induced ICLs. In ovarian cancer cells obtained from patients following platinum-based chemotherapy, unhooking of cisplatin-induced ICLs was observed at 48 hours, but no unhooking of melphalan-induced ICLs. In vitro, A549 cells were proficient at unhooking both melphalan and cisplatin-induced ICLs. γ-H2AX foci formation closely followed the formation of ICLs for both drugs, and rapidly declined following the peak of formation. RPMI8226 cells unhooked melphalan, but not cisplatin-induced ICLs. In these cells, although cross-links form with cisplatin, the γ-H2AX response is weak. In A549 cells, addition of 3nM gemcitabine resulted in complete inhibition of cisplatin-induced ICL unhooking but no effect on repair of melphalan ICLs. The RAD51 foci response was both drug and cell line specific. Real time PCR studies highlighted differences in the damage response to melphalan and cisplatin following equi-ICL forming doses.Conclusions: These data suggest that the mechanisms by which melphalan and cisplatin-induced ICLs are 'unhooked' in vitro are distinct, and the mechanisms of clinical acquired resistance involving repair of ICLs, are drug specific. © 2012 Spanswick et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Cobbold M.,University of Virginia | Cobbold M.,University of Birmingham | De La Pena H.,University of Birmingham | Norris A.,University of Virginia | And 20 more authors.
Science Translational Medicine | Year: 2013

Deregulation of signaling pathways is a hallmark of malignant transformation. Signaling-associated phosphoproteins can be degraded to generate cancer-specific phosphopeptides that are presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and II molecules and recognized by T cells; however, the contribution of these phosphoprotein-specific T cells to immune surveillance is unclear. We identified 95 phosphopeptides presented on the surface of primary hematological tumors and normal tissues, including 61 that were tumorspecific. Phosphopeptides were more prevalent on more aggressive and malignant samples. CD8+ T cell lines specific for these phosphopeptides recognized and killed both leukemia cell lines and human leukocyte antigen-matched primary leukemia cells ex vivo. Notably, healthy individuals showed robust CD8 + T cell responses against many of these phosphopeptides within the circulating memory compartment. This immunity was significantly reduced or absent in some leukemia patients. This reduction correlated with clinical outcome; however, immunity was restored after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. These results suggest that phosphopeptides may be targets of cancer immune surveillance in humans, and point to their importance for development of vaccine-based and T cell adoptive transfer immunotherapies.

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