International Center for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy

Tel Aviv, Israel

International Center for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy

Tel Aviv, Israel

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Gesundheit B.,International Center for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy | Parkin P.,Hospital for Sick Children | Senger C.,Hospital for Sick Children | Kapelushnik J.,Hospital for Sick Children | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology | Year: 2010

PURPOSE: The role of angiogenesis in the transformation of peripheral neurofibroma (PNF) to malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) remains elusive and forms the objective of this study. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Archival tissue from 5 children with NF1 and PNF, who developed MPNST between the ages of 8 and 15 years were analyzed for differences in microvasculature. The role of proangiogenic growth factors such as Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), and its receptors Flk-1 and Flt-1, and vessel maturity, defined as von Willebrand factor (vWf), α-smooth muscle actin (SMA), were evaluated by immuno-histochemistry. RESULTS: A qualitative evaluation of the vasculature showed predominantly α-SMA+/vWf+ more stable vessels in PNF, and an irregular meshwork of α-SMA-/vWf+ endothelial cells structures in MPNST. In NF and PNF tumor cells were VEGF, in contrast to VEGF tumor cells in MPNST. If present, the VEGF stain was confined mainly to the perivascular spaces in PNF, unlike the mainly stromal VEGF stain in MPNST. VEGF receptors also manifested a tumor stage-specific pattern. Flk-1 and Flt-1 were restricted to the mature, well-formed vasculature in PNF, but exhibited a diffuse pattern in MPNST. CONCLUSION: Our study provides a rare opportunity to document consistent and histologically detectable differences in the vascular organization of PNF and MPNST. It permits a pair-wise evaluation of the malignant conversion of benign PNF into its malignant counterpart, in the same patients. The phenotypic variations and characteristics of the vessels in these tumors are consistent with the idea that a strong proangiogenic drive contributes to the progressive growth in MPNST. Copyright © 2010 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Yarkoni S.,GASR Biotechnology | Prigozhina T.B.,Hadassah University Hospital | Slavin S.,International Center for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation | Year: 2012

T cell depletion prevents graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) but also removes T cell-mediated support of hematopoietic cell engraftment. A chimeric molecule composed of IL-2 and caspase-3 (IL2-cas) has been evaluated as a therapeutic modality for GVHD and selective ex vivo depletion of host-reactive T cells. IL2-cas does not affect hematopoietic cell engraftment and significantly reduces the clinical and histological severity of GVHD. Early administration of IL2-cas reduced the lethal outcome of haploidentical transplants, and survivor mice displayed markedly elevated levels of X-linked forkhead/winged helix (FoxP3+; 50%) and CD25+FoxP3+ T cells (35%) in the lymph nodes. The chimeric molecule induces in vitro apoptosis in both CD4+CD25- and CD4+CD25+ subsets of lymphocytes from alloimmunized mice, and stimulates proliferation of cells with highest levels of CD25 expression. Adoptive transfer of IL2-cas-pretreated viable splenocytes into sublethally irradiated haploidentical recipients resulted in 60% survival after a lethal challenge with lipopolysaccharide, which is associated with elevated fractions of CD25highFoxP3+ T cells in the lymph nodes of survivors. These data demonstrate that ex vivo purging of host-presensitized lymphocytes is effectively achieved with IL2-cas, and that IL-2-targeted apoptotic therapy reduces GVHD severity in vivo. Both approaches promote survival in lethal models of haploidentical GVHD. The mechanism of protection includes direct killing of GVHD effectors, prevention of transition to effector/memory T cells, and induction of regulatory T cell proliferation, which becomes the dominant subset under conditions of homeostatic expansion. © 2012 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Hale G.A.,All Childrens Hospital | Shrestha S.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Le-Rademacher J.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Burns L.J.,University of Minnesota | And 13 more authors.
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation | Year: 2012

We analyzed the outcomes of 248 (61% male) adult recipients of HLA-matched unrelated and HLA-mismatched related donor hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) after reduced or lower intensity conditioning (RIC), reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) from 1997 to 2004. Median age was 52 (range: 18-72 years); 31% had a Karnofsky performance score <90. Follicular NHL (43%) was the major histology. Incidence of grades II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) was 43% at 100 days; and chronic GVHD (cGVHD) was 44% at 3 years. Treatment-related mortality (TRM) at 100 days was 24%. Three-year overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 41% and 32%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, use of antithymocyte globulin (ATG) and HLA mismatch were associated with increased TRM. High-grade histology, ATG use, and chemotherapy resistance were associated with lower PFS. Older age, shorter interval from diagnosis to HCT, non-total body irridiation (TBI) conditioning regimens, ex vivo T cell depletion, and HLA-mismatched unrelated donors were associated with mortality. GVHD did not influence relapse or PFS. Older age, aggressive histology, and chemotherapy resistance correlated with poorer survival. For selected patients with NHL, lack of an available sibling donor should not be a barrier to allogeneic HCT. © 2012 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Bacher U.,University of Hamburg | Bacher U.,MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory | Klyuchnikov E.,University of Hamburg | Le-Rademacher J.,Medical College of Wisconsin | And 21 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2012

The best conditioning regimen before allogeneic transplantation for high-risk diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) remains to be clarified. We analyzed data from 396 recipients of allotransplants for DLBCL receiving myeloablative (MAC; n = 165), reduced intensity (RIC; n = 143), or nonmyeloablative conditioning (NMAC; n = 88) regimens. Acute and chronic GVHD rates were similar across the groups. Five-year nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was higher in MAC than RIC and NMAC (56% vs 47% vs 36%; P = .007). Five-year relapse/progression was lower in MAC than in RIC/NMAC (26% vs 38% vs 40%; P = .031). Five-year progression-free survival (15%-25%) and overall survival (18%-26%) did not differ significantly between the cohorts. In multivariate analysis, NMAC and more recent transplant year were associated with lower NRM, whereas a lower Karnofsky performance score (< 90), prior relapse resistant to therapy, and use of unrelated donors were associated with higher NRM. NMAC transplants, no prior use of rituximab, and prior relapse resistant to therapy were associated with a greater risk of relapse/progression. In conclusion, allotransplantation with RIC or NMAC induces long-term progressionfree survival in selected DLBCL patients with a lower risk of NRM but with higher risk of lymphoma progression or relapse.

Morecki S.,Hadassah University Hospital | Gelfand Y.,Hadassah University Hospital | Yacovlev E.,Hadassah University Hospital | Eizik O.,Hadassah University Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Bone Marrow Transplantation | Year: 2012

Selective elimination of alloreactive cells was carried out in the set-up of T-cell-mediated immunotherapy in an effort to gain the benefits of hematopoietic allogeneic transplantation while reducing the risk of GVHD. Low MW chemical compounds were screened for their effect on T-cell-mediated immune responses of murine- and human-derived lymphocytes. Selected compounds were further tested in secondary MLR assays in which sensitization to alloantigens was carried out in vitro, in the presence or absence of a given compound, followed by exposure to related and unrelated alloantigens or T-cell mitogenic stimulation. At a low concentration of <1 μM, a quinazoline derivative named AO#349 2-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)-N-p-tolylquinazolin-4-amine, was able to induce 78-90% inhibition of a selective allogeneic response while retaining >92% immune reactivity to unrelated alloantigens and mitogenic stimuli in vitro. Following allogeneic sensitization in the presence of AO#349, elimination of alloreactivity to the priming alloantigens was also proved in a murine model of GVHD: 10 out of 15 sub-lethally irradiated mice inoculated with these sensitized cells were GVHD-free for >200 days. AO#349 was efficient in induction of a selective elimination of alloreactivity and should be considered for clinical application in allogeneic cell-mediated immunotherapy. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Slavin S.,International Center for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy | Slavin S.,Hadassah University Hospital | Ackerstein A.,Hadassah University Hospital | Or R.,Hadassah University Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy | Year: 2010

The feasibility and safety of immunotherapy mediated by intentionally mismatched rIL-2 activated killer lymphocytes (IMAK) with no prior stem cell engraftment was investigated in patients with advanced chemotherapy-resistant hematological malignancies and metastatic solid tumors. Our goals were to maximize anti-cancer activity by using intentionally mismatched donor lymphocytes; amplify killing of target cancer cells by rIL-2 activation of killer cells in vitro and in vivo, and avoid the risk of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) by anticipated rejection of alloreactive donor lymphocytes. Conditioning consisted of 5 days of fludarabine 25 mg/m2 or a single dose of cyclophosphamide 1,000 mg/m2, 2 subcutaneous injections of alpha interferon (IFN) 3 × 106 and COX2 inhibitors, followed by administration of IMAK (65 ± 5 CD3+CD56-; 17 ± 5 CD3-CD56+) in conjunction with low dose subcutaneous rIL-2 (6 × 106 IU/m2/day) for 5 days for continuous activation of alloreactive donor lymphocytes prior to their anticipated rejection. Here, we present our phase 1 clinical study data in a cohort of 40 high-risk patients with metastatic solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Treatment was accompanied by some malaise and occasional self-limited fever but otherwise well tolerated on an outpatient basis. Transient engraftment of donor cells was documented in two patients and only one developed self-limited grade 1 GVHD. Among patients with chemotherapy-resistant disease, long-term progression-free survival was recorded in 5 of 21 evaluable patients with metastatic solid tumors and in four of five patients with hematological malignancies. We conclude that the proposed procedure is feasible, safe, and potentially effective, with some otherwise resistant cancer patients long-term disease-free, thus justifying larger Phase II studies in patients with hematological malignancies and metastatic solid tumors, preferably at a stage of minimal residual disease with the goal in mind to eradicate all malignant cells at an early stage of the disease. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Kurkalli B.G.S.,International Center for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy | Gurevitch O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Sosnik A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Cohn D.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Slavin S.,International Center for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy
Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy | Year: 2010

We present a novel, reverse thermo-responsive (RTR) polymeric osteogenic composite comprising demineralized bone matrix (DBM) and unmanipulated bone marrow cells (BMC) for repair of bone defects. The polymers investigated were low viscosity aqueous solutions at ambient temperature, which gel once they heat up and reach body temperature. Our goal to supplement DBM-BMC composite with RTR polymers displaying superior rheological properties, was to improve graft integrity and stability, during tissue regeneration. The osteogenic composite when implanted under kidney capsule of mice, proved to be biocompatible and biodegradable, with no residual polymer detected in the newly formed osteohematopoietic site. Implantation of the osteogenic composite into a large area of missing area of parietal bone of the skull of rats, resulted in an extensive remodeling of DBM particles, fully reconstituted hematopoietic microenvironment and well integrated normal flat bone within thirty days. The quality and shape of the newly created bone were comparable to the original bone and neither local or systemic inflammatory reactions nor fibrosis at the junction of the new and old calvarium could be documented. Furthermore, combined laser capture microdissection (LCM) technique and PCR analysis of male BMC in female rats confirmed the presence of male derived cells captured from the repaired/ regenerated flat bone defect. The use of active self sufficient osteogenic DBM-BMC composite supported by a viscous polymeric scaffold for purposive local hard tissue formation, may have a significant potential in enhancement of bone regeneration and repair following trauma, degenerative or inflamatory lesion, iatrogenic interventions and cosmetic indications. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Kahraman S.,Istanbul Memorial Hospital | Beyazyurek C.,Istanbul Memorial Hospital | Yesilipek M.A.,Akdeniz University | Ozturk G.,Istanbul University | And 11 more authors.
Reproductive BioMedicine Online | Year: 2014

Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) remains the best therapeutic option for many acquired and inherited paediatric haematological disorders. Unfortunately, the probability of finding an HLA matched donor is limited. An alternative technique is PGD combined with HLA matching, which offers the possibility of selecting unaffected embryos that are HLA compatible with the sick child, with the aim of possible use of stem cells from the resulting baby in future. Since the first successful report for Fanconi anaemia a decade ago, the therapeutic success of this technique was reported in a few cases and for a limited number of disorders. Here, we report full recovery of 44 sick children who received HSCT from healthy infants conceived after pre-implantation HLA matching for the following 10 indications; beta-thalassaemia, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, Fanconi anaemia, sickle cell anaemia, acute myeloid leukaemia, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Glanzmann's thrombasthaenia, Diamond-Blackfan anaemia, X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy and mucopolysaccharidosis type I. No serious complications were observed among recipients and donors. Graft failure occurred in four children with beta-thalassaemia where a second HSCT was planned. Preimplantation HLA matching is a reliable technique and provides a realistic option for couples seeking treatment for an affected child when no HLA-matched donor is available. © 2014 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lee H.K.,Ford Motor Company | Bier A.,Bar - Ilan University | Cazacu S.,Ford Motor Company | Finniss S.,Ford Motor Company | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Glioblastomas (GBM), the most common and aggressive type of malignant glioma, are characterized by increased invasion into the surrounding brain tissues. Despite intensive therapeutic strategies, the median survival of GBM patients has remained dismal over the last decades. In this study we examined the expression of miR-145 in glial tumors and its function in glioma cells. Using TCGA analysis and real-time PCR we found that the expression of miR-145/143 cluster was downregulated in astrocytic tumors compared to normal brain specimens and in glioma cells and glioma stem cells (GSCs) compared to normal astrocytes and neural stem cells. Moreover, the low expression of both miR-145 and miR-143 in GBM was correlated with poor patient prognosis. Transfection of glioma cells with miR-145 mimic or transduction with a lentivirus vector expressing pre-miR 145 significantly decreased the migration and invasion of glioma cells. We identified connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) as a novel target of miR-145 in glioma cells; transfection of the cells with this miRNA decreased the expression of CTGF as determined by Western blot analysis and the expression of its 3′-UTR fused to luciferase. Overexpression of a CTGF plasmid lacking the 3′-UTR and administration of recombinant CTGF protein abrogated the inhibitory effect of miR-145 on glioma cell migration. Similarly, we found that silencing of CTGF decreased the migration of glioma cells. CTGF silencing also decreased the expression of SPARC, phospho-FAK and FAK and overexpression of SPARC abrogated the inhibitory effect of CTGF silencing on cell migration. These results demonstrate that miR-145 is downregulated in glial tumors and its low expression in GBM predicts poor patient prognosis. In addition miR-145 regulates glioma cell migration by targeting CTGF which downregulates SPARC expression. Therefore, miR-145 is an attractive therapeutic target for anti-invasive treatment of astrocytic tumors. © 2013 Lee et al.

PubMed | International Center for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Cancer Decisions
Type: | Journal: Pharmacological research | Year: 2014

In this perspective article, we address the controversy regarding the safety-efficacy issue in ipilimumab trials. While the CTLA-4 blockade interrupted T-cell pathways responsible for immune down-regulation and mediated regression of established malignant tumors in a minority of patients, this has to be weighed against the immune related adverse events (irAEs) suffered by the majority. Based on two groundbreaking but neglected proof-of-principle papers that demonstrated augmented graft-vs.-malignancy (GVM) effect that reversed the relapse of malignancy without worsening the graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD) by a CTLA-4 blockade, here we suggest a therapeutic paradigm shift, which may help break the impasse and resolve this timely issue in oncology.

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