Hematology Institute

Haifa, Israel

Hematology Institute

Haifa, Israel
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Cohen S.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Shoshana O.-Y.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Zelman-Toister E.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Maharshak N.,Weizmann Institute of Science | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Immunology | Year: 2012

Lasting B cell persistence depends on survival signals that are transduced by cell surface receptors. In this study, we describe a novel biological mechanism essential for survival and homeostasis of normal peripheral mature B cells and chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells, regulated by the heparin-binding cytokine, midkine (MK), and its proteoglycan receptor, the receptor-type tyrosine phosphatase ζ (RPTPζ). We demonstrate that MK initiates a signaling cascade leading to B cell survival by binding to RPTPζ. In mice lacking PTPRZ, the proportion and number of the mature B cell population are reduced. Our results emphasize a unique and critical function for MK signaling in the previously described MIF/CD74-induced survival pathway. Stimulation of CD74 with MIF leads to c-Met activation, resulting in elevation of MK expression in both normal mouse splenic B and chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells. Our results indicate that MK and RPTPζ are important regulators of the B cell repertoire. These findings could pave the way toward understanding the mechanisms shaping B cell survival and suggest novel therapeutic strategies based on the blockade of the MK/RPTPζ-dependent survival pathway. Copyright © 2011 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

Palumbo A.,University of Turin | Cavallo F.,University of Turin | Gay F.,University of Turin | Di Raimondo F.,University of Catania | And 22 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: This open-label, randomized, phase 3 study compared melphalan at a dose of 200 mg per square meter of body-surface area plus autologous stem-cell transplantation with melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide (MPR) and compared lenalidomide maintenance therapy with no maintenance therapy in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Methods: We randomly assigned 273 patients 65 years of age or younger to high-dose melphalan plus stem-cell transplantation or MPR consolidation therapy after induction, and 251 patients to lenalidomide maintenance therapy or no maintenance therapy. The primary end point was progression-free survival. Results: The median follow-up period was 51.2 months. Both progression-free and overall survival were significantly longer with high-dose melphalan plus stem-cell transplantation than with MPR (median progression-free survival, 43.0 months vs. 22.4 months; hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.32 to 0.61; P<0.001; and 4-year overall survival, 81.6% vs. 65.3%; hazard ratio for death, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.32 to 0.93; P = 0.02). Median progression-free survival was significantly longer with lenalidomide maintenance than with no maintenance (41.9 months vs. 21.6 months; hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.65; P<0.001), but 3-year overall survival was not significantly prolonged (88.0% vs. 79.2%; hazard ratio for death, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.36 to 1.15; P = 0.14). Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia was significantly more frequent with high-dose melphalan than with MPR (94.3% vs. 51.5%), as were gastrointestinal adverse events (18.4% vs. 0%) and infections (16.3% vs. 0.8%); neutropenia and dermatologic toxic effects were more frequent with lenalidomide maintenance than with no maintenance (23.3% vs. 0% and 4.3% vs. 0%, respectively). Conclusions: Consolidation therapy with high-dose melphalan plus stem-cell transplantation, as compared with MPR, significantly prolonged progression-free and overall survival among patients with multiple myeloma who were 65 years of age or younger. Lenalidomide maintenance, as compared with no maintenance, significantly prolonged progression-free survival. Copyright © 2014 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Haran M.,Hematology Institute | Gross A.,Weizmann Institute of Science
Mitochondrion | Year: 2014

Living organisms require a constant supply of safe and efficient energy to maintain homeostasis and to allow locomotion of single cells, tissues and the entire organism. The source of energy can be glycolysis, a simple series of enzymatic reactions in the cytosol, or a much more complex process in the mitochondria, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). In this review we will examine how does the organism balance its source of energy in two seemingly distinct and unrelated processes: hematopoiesis and exercise. In both processes we will show the importance of the metabolic program and its regulation. We will also discuss the importance of oxygen availability not as a sole determinant, but in the context of the nutrient and cellular state, and address the emerging role of lactate as an energy source and signaling molecule in health and disease. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and Mitochondria Research Society.

Skoda R.C.,University of Basel | Duek A.,Hematology Institute | Grisouard J.,University of Basel
Experimental Hematology | Year: 2015

Major progress has been recently made in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Mutations in one of four genes-. JAK2, MPL, CALR, and CSF3R-can be found in the vast majority of patients with MPN and represent driver mutations that can induce the MPN phenotype. Hyperactive JAK/STAT signaling appears to be the common denominator of MPN, even in patients with CALR mutations and the so-called "triple-negative" MPN, where the driver gene mutation is still unknown. Mutations in epigenetic regulators, transcription factors, and signaling components modify the course of the disease and can contribute to disease initiation and/or progression. The central role of JAK2 in MPN allowed development of small molecular inhibitors that are in clinical use and are active in almost all patients with MPN. Advances in understanding the mechanism of JAK2 activation open new perspectives of developing the next generation of inhibitors that will be selective for the mutated forms of JAK2. © 2015 ISEH - International Society for Experimental Hematology.

Shachar I.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Haran M.,Hematology Institute
Leukemia and Lymphoma | Year: 2011

This review deals with the cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) and its receptor, CD74. MIF and CD74 have been shown to regulate peripheral B cell survival and were associated with tumor progression and metastasis. CD74 expression has been suggested to serve as a prognostic factor in many cancers, with higher relative expression of CD74 behaving as a marker of tumor progression. In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells, binding of MIF to CD74 induces nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation and up-regulation of TAp63 expression, resulting in the secretion of interleukin 8 (IL-8), which in turn promotes cell survival. In addition, TAp63 expression elevates expression of the integrin VLA-4, particularly during the advanced stage of the disease. Blocking of CD74, TAp63, or VLA-4 inhibits the in vivo homing of CLL cells to the BM. Thus, CD74 and its target genes, TAp63 and VLA-4, facilitate migration of CLL cells back to the BM, where they interact with the supportive BM environment that helps rescue them from apoptosis. These results are expected to pave the way toward novel therapeutic strategies aimed at interrupting this survival pathway. One such agent, the monocolonal antibody milatuzumab directed at CD74, is already being studied in early clinical trials. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.

Ellis M.H.,Hematology Institute | Ellis M.H.,Tel Aviv University | Lavi N.,Rambam Health Care Campus | Lavi N.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Thrombosis Research | Year: 2014

The BCR-ABL1 negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are associated with an increased risk of both venous and arterial thromboembolic events. Thromboses may be the presenting clinical feature of an MPN or may occur during the course of the disease. Treatment comprises anticoagulant and antiaggregant agents as in non- MPN thromboses, and treatment of the particular MPN. The duration of anticoagulant treatment that is required for MPN thrombosis is unknown. This study was performed to survey the opinion of hematologists who treat patients with MPN regarding the duration of anticoagulation or antiaggregant therapy in patients in whom thrombosis is the presenting feature of MPN. Five clinical scenarios in which thromboembolism (cerebral vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, cerebrovascular accident, splanchnic vein thrombosis, portal vein thrombosis) was a presenting feature of MPN were created using a web-based tool and were sent by email to hematologists in Israel, Italy and England and to hematologists identified as key opinion leaders in the field of MPN. Physicians were asked to recommend duration of anticoagulation and/or aspirin use choosing from 4 alternatives provided. Seventy-three physicians responded to the survey. 42 physicians considered MPNs to be their main area of clinical interest, and 31 did not. 21 physicians saw more than 20 MPN patients per week, and 50 physicians had been in hematology practice for more than 10 years. Responses regarding the duration of anticoagulation and/or the use of aspirin varied for all of the clinical vignettes. Neither physician area-of-interest, volume of MPN patients treated nor years in practice were related to the responses obtained. This study demonstrates that hematologists, including those specializing in MPNs, lack consensus in their approach to the long-term treatment of thromboses as the presenting feature of an MPN. Controlled clinical studies are needed to inform appropriate decision making in this area. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Katz B.-Z.,Hematology Institute | Katz B.-Z.,Tel Aviv University
Seminars in Cancer Biology | Year: 2010

Multiple myeloma is an incurable hematological malignancy of terminally differentiated immunoglobulin-producing plasma cells. As a common presentation of the disease, the malignant plasma cells accumulate and proliferate in the bone marrow, where they disrupt normal hematopoiesis and bone physiology. Multiple myeloma cells and the bone marrow microenvironment are linked by a composite network of interactions mediated by soluble factors and adhesion molecules. Integrins and syndecan-1/CD138 are the principal multiple myeloma receptor systems of extracellular matrix components, as well as of surface molecules of stromal cells. CD44 and RHAMM are the major hyaluronan receptors of multiple myeloma cells. The SDF-1/CXCR4 axis is a key factor in the homing of multiple myeloma cells to the bone marrow. The levels of expression and activity of these adhesion molecules are controlled by cytoplasmic operating mechanisms, as well as by extracellular factors including enzymes, growth factors and microenvironmental conditions. Several signaling responses are activated by adhesive interactions of multiple myeloma cells, and their outcomes affect the survival, proliferation and migration of these cells, and in many cases generate a drug-resistant phenotype. Hence, the adhesion systems of multiple myeloma cells are attractive potential therapeutic targets. Several approaches are being developed to disrupt the activities of adhesion molecules in multiple myeloma cells, including small antagonist molecules, direct targeting by immunoconjugates, stimulation of immune responses against these molecules, and signal transduction inhibitors. These potential novel therapeutics may be incorporated into current treatment schemes, or directed against minimal residual malignant cells during remission. © 2010.

Abadi U.,Hematology Institute | Koren G.,University of Toronto | Lishner M.,Tel Aviv University | Lishner M.,Meir Medical Center
Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America | Year: 2011

Treatment of pregnant women with chemotherapy may pose a risk to the fetus, raising therapeutic, ethical, moral, and social dilemmas. Publications on this issue are limited to retrospective series and case reports, thus further complicating decision making. Diagnosis and staging are usually performed as in nonpregnant women, but procedures that expose the fetus to radiation are excluded. Chemotherapy is not recommended in the first trimester to avoid fetal malformations. Thus, the option is either treatment delay or pregnancy termination. Later in pregnancy, treatment is often initiated without delay, with no apparent evidence of teratogenicity. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Ellis M.H.,Hematology Institute | Ellis M.H.,Tel Aviv University | Fajer S.,Tel Aviv University | Fajer S.,Vascular Surgery Unit
European Journal of Haematology | Year: 2013

Superficial vein thrombosis (SVT) is an entity commonly encountered in practice. While the clinical diagnosis is reasonably straightforward, care must be taken to exclude concurrent thrombosis of the deep veins, and the possibility of the presence of occult systemic illness such as malignancy should be considered. Recent studies of the epidemiology of SVT demonstrate a high incidence of concurrent deep vein thrombosis emphasizing the need for surveying the deep veins using compression ultrasonography. Treatment decisions are may now be based upon the results of randomized clinical trials and should include a period of anticoagulation using fondaparinux or a low molecular weight heparin. The appropriate doses and duration of therapy are not fully established, and the cost-effectiveness of these drugs for the treatment of SVT needs further evaluation. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Herishanu Y.,Hematology Institute | Katz B.-Z.,Hematology Institute | Lipsky A.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Wiestner A.,U.S. National Institutes of Health
Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America | Year: 2013

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is characterized by the accumulation of mature monoclonal B cells in peripheral blood, bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes. The trafficking, survival, and proliferation of CLL cells is tightly regulated by the surrounding tissue microenvironment and is mediated by antigenic stimulation, close interaction with various accessory cells and exposure to different cytokines, chemokines, and extracellular matrix components. In the last decade there have been major advances in the understanding of the reciprocal interactions between CLL cells and the various microenvironmental compartments. This article discusses the role of the microenvironment in the context of efforts to develop novel therapeutics that target the biology of CLL. © 2013 .

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