Background: Sepsis is a complex clinical syndrome with substantial heterogeneity. We sought to identify patterns of serum biomarkers of endothelial activation and dysfunction in individuals with sepsis and evaluate subgroup-specific differences in mortality. Methods: Adult patients with sepsis (n=426) were consecutively recruited from two hospitals in Uganda. Clinical information was collected and serum concentrations of eleven biomarkers involved in the endothelial response to infection were measured in samples from 315 patients. Latent variable models were fit to evaluate whether the endothelial response to sepsis consists of one unified biological process or multiple processes and to identify subgroups of patients with distinct host-response profiles. Differences in survival at day 28 were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier survival curves. Results: We identified three patient subgroups characterized by unique host endothelial response profiles. Patients fitting Profile 2 had significantly worse survival (log-rank p<0.001). Four latent factors (Factor 1-4) were identified, each potentially representing distinct biological processes for the endothelial response to sepsis: Factor 1 (CHI3L1, sTREM1, sFLT1); Factor 2 (ANGPT1, PF4, VEGF); Factor 3 (CXCL10, VWF, sICAM1); and Factor 4 (ANGPT2, sTEK). Conclusion: Patient profiles based on patterns of circulating biomarkers of endothelial responses may provide a clinically meaningful way to categorize patients into homogeneous subgroups and may identify patients with a high risk of mortality. Profile 2 may represent dysfunction of the endothelial response to infection. Funding: Primary funding: Investigator-Initiated Award provided by Pfizer, Inc (WMS, STJ). Additional support: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Foundation grant (KCK; FDN-148439) and the Canada Research Chair program (KCK).
Danielle V. Clark, Patrick Banura, Karen Bandeen-Roche, W. Conrad Liles, Kevin C. Kain, W. Michael Scheld, William J. Moss, Shevin T. Jacob
Background: Current dosing of intrapleural fibrinolytic therapy (IPFT) in adults with complicated parapneumonic effusion (CPE) / empyema is empiric, as dose-escalation trials have not previously been conducted. We hypothesized that LTI-01 (scuPA), which is relatively resistant to PA inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), would be well-tolerated. Methods: This was an open-label, dose-escalation trial of LTI-01 IPFT at 50,000-800,000 IU daily for up to 3 days in adults with loculated CPE/empyema and failed pleural drainage. The primary objective was to evaluate safety and tolerability, and secondary objectives included assessments of processing and bioactivity of scuPA in blood and pleural fluid (PF), and early efficacy. Results: LTI-01 was well tolerated with no bleeding, treatment-emergent adverse events or surgical referrals (n=14 subjects). uPA antigen increased in PFs at 3 hours after LTI-01 (p<0.01) but not in plasma. PF saturated active PAI-1, generated PAI-1-resistant bioactive complexes, increased PA and fibrinolytic activities and D-dimers. There was no systemic fibrinogenolysis, nor increments in plasma D-dimer. Decreased pleural opacities occurred in all but one subject. Both subjects receiving 800,000 IU required two doses to relieve pleural sepsis, with two other subjects similarly responding at lower doses. Conclusion: LTI-01 IPFT was well-tolerated at these doses with no safety concerns. Bioactivity of LTI-01 IPFT was confirmed, limited to PFs where its processing simulated that previously reported in preclinical studies. Preliminary efficacy signals including reduction of pleural opacity were observed.
Lutz Beckert, Ben Brockway, Graham Simpson, Anne Marie Southcott, Y.C. Gary Lee, Najib Rahman, Richard W. Light, Steven Shoemaker, John Gillies, Andrey A. Komissarov, Galina Florova, Timothy Ochran, William Bradley, Harrison Ndetan, Karan P. Singh, Krishna Sarva, Steven Idell
BACKGROUND. Subgroups of patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) exhibit suboptimal outcomes after standard therapies, including oral kinase inhibitors. We and others have previously reported on safety and efficacy of autologous CD19-targeted CAR T-cells for these patients; here we report safety and long-term follow-up of CAR T-cell therapy with or without conditioning chemotherapy for patients with R/R CLL and indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). METHODS. We conducted a phase 1 clinical trial investigating CD19-targeted CAR T-cells incorporating a CD28 costimulatory domain (19-28z). Seventeen of 20 patients received conditioning chemotherapy prior to CAR T-cell infusion. Five patients with CLL received ibrutinib at the time of autologous T-cell collection and/or CAR T-cell administration. RESULTS. This analysis included 16 patients with R/R CLL and 4 patients with R/R indolent B-NHL. Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) was observed in all 20 patients but grades 3 and 4 CRS and neurological events were uncommon (10% for each). Ex vivo expansion of T-cells and proportions of CD4+/CD8+ CAR T-cells with CD62L+CD127+ immunophenotype were significantly greater in patients on ibrutinib at leukapheresis. Three of 12 evaluable CLL patients receiving conditioning chemotherapy achieved CR (two had minimal residual disease–negative CR). All patients achieving CR remained progression-free at median follow-up of 53 months. CONCLUSION. Conditioning chemotherapy and 19-28z CAR T-cells were acceptably tolerated across investigated dose levels in heavily pretreated patients with R/R CLL and indolent B-NHL, and a subgroup of patients achieved durable CR. Ibrutinib therapy may modulate autologous T-cell phenotype. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00466531. FUNDING. Juno Therapeutics.
Mark B. Geyer, Isabelle Rivière, Brigitte Sénéchal, Xiuyan Wang, Yongzeng Wang, Terence J. Purdon, Meier Hsu, Sean M. Devlin, M. Lia Palomba, Elizabeth Halton, Yvette Bernal, Michel Sadelain, Jae H. Park, Renier J. Brentjens
Background: Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) is a thiol isomerase secreted by vascular cells that is required for thrombus formation. Quercetin flavonoids inhibit PDI activity and block platelet accumulation and fibrin generation at the site of a vascular injury in mouse models but the clinical effect of targeting extracellular PDI in humans has not been studied. Methods: We conducted a multi-center phase 2 trial of sequential dosing cohorts to evaluate the efficacy of targeting PDI with isoquercetin to reduce hypercoagulability in cancer patients at high risk for thrombosis. Patients received isoquercetin at 500 mg (cohort A, N=28) or 1000 mg (cohort B, N=29) daily for 56 days with laboratory assays performed at baseline and end-of-study, along with bilateral lower extremity compression ultrasound. The primary efficacy endpoint was a reduction in D-dimer and the primary clinical endpoint included pulmonary embolism or proximal deep vein thrombosis. Results: The administration of isoquercetin 1000 mg decreased D-dimer plasma concentrations by a median of -21.9% (P=0.0002). There were no primary VTE events or major hemorrhages observed in either cohort. Isoquercetin increased PDI inhibitory activity in plasma (37.0% in cohort A, N=25, P<0.001; 73.3% in cohort B, N=22, P<0.001, respectively). Corroborating the antithrombotic efficacy, we also observed a significant decrease in platelet-dependent thrombin generation (cohort A median decrease -31.1%, P=0.007; cohort B median decrease -57.2%, P=0.004) and circulating soluble P-selectin at the 1000 mg isoquercetin dose (median decrease -57.9%, P<0.0001). Conclusions: Isoquercetin represents first-in-class inhibitor of PDI demonstrating efficacy in improving markers of coagulation in advanced cancer patients. Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02195232
Jeffrey I. Zwicker, Benjamin L. Schlechter, Jack D. Stopa, Howard Liebman, Anita Aggarwal, Maneka Puligandla, Thomas Caughey, Kenneth A. Bauer, Nancy Kuemmerle, Ellice Wong, Ted Wun, Marilyn McLaughlin, Manuel Hidalgo, Donna Neuberg, Bruce Furie, Robert Flaumenhaft
BACKGROUND. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a prevalent disease with significant mortality for which no effective pharmacologic therapy exists. Low-dose inhaled carbon monoxide (iCO) confers cytoprotection in preclinical models of sepsis and ARDS. METHODS. We conducted a phase I dose escalation trial to assess feasibility and safety of low-dose iCO administration in patients with sepsis-induced ARDS. Twelve participants were randomized to iCO or placebo air 2:1 in two cohorts. Four subjects each were administered iCO (100 ppm in cohort 1 or 200 ppm in cohort 2) or placebo for 90 minutes for up to 5 consecutive days. Primary outcomes included the incidence of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) level ≥10%, prespecified administration-associated adverse events (AEs), and severe adverse events (SAEs). Secondary endpoints included the accuracy of the Coburn-Forster-Kane (CFK) equation to predict COHb levels, biomarker levels, and clinical outcomes. RESULTS. No participants exceeded a COHb level of 10%, and there were no administration-associated AEs or study-related SAEs. CO-treated participants had a significant increase in COHb (3.48% ± 0.7% [cohort 1]; 4.9% ± 0.28% [cohort 2]) compared with placebo-treated subjects (1.97% ± 0.39%). The CFK equation was highly accurate at predicting COHb levels, particularly in cohort 2 (R2 = 0.9205; P < 0.0001). Circulating mitochondrial DNA levels were reduced in iCO-treated participants compared with placebo-treated subjects. CONCLUSION. Precise administration of low-dose iCO is feasible, well-tolerated, and appears to be safe in patients with sepsis-induced ARDS. Excellent agreement between predicted and observed COHb should ensure that COHb levels remain in the target range during future efficacy trials. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02425579. FUNDING. NIH grants P01HL108801, KL2TR002385, K08HL130557, and K08GM102695.
Laura E. Fredenburgh, Mark A. Perrella, Diana Barragan-Bradford, Dean R. Hess, Elizabeth Peters, Karen E. Welty-Wolf, Bryan D. Kraft, R. Scott Harris, Rie Maurer, Kiichi Nakahira, Clara Oromendia, John D. Davies, Angelica Higuera, Kristen T. Schiffer, Joshua A. Englert, Paul B. Dieffenbach, David A. Berlin, Susan Lagambina, Mark Bouthot, Andrew I. Sullivan, Paul F. Nuccio, Mamary T. Kone, Mona J. Malik, Maria Angelica Pabon Porras, Eli Finkelsztein, Tilo Winkler, Shelley Hurwitz, Charles N. Serhan, Claude A. Piantadosi, Rebecca M. Baron, B. Taylor Thompson, Augustine M.K. Choi
BACKGROUND. Increasing evidence indicates a role for EBV in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). EBV-infected autoreactive B cells might accumulate in the CNS because of defective cytotoxic CD8+ T cell immunity. We sought to determine the feasibility and safety of treating progressive MS patients with autologous EBV-specific T cell therapy. METHODS. An open-label phase I trial was designed to treat 5 patients with secondary progressive MS and 5 patients with primary progressive MS with 4 escalating doses of in vitro–expanded autologous EBV-specific T cells targeting EBV nuclear antigen 1, latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), and LMP2A. Following adoptive immunotherapy, we monitored the patients for safety and clinical responses. RESULTS. Of the 13 recruited participants, 10 received the full course of T cell therapy. There were no serious adverse events. Seven patients showed improvement, with 6 experiencing both symptomatic and objective neurological improvement, together with a reduction in fatigue, improved quality of life, and, in 3 patients, reduced intrathecal IgG production. All 6 patients receiving T cells with strong EBV reactivity showed clinical improvement, whereas only 1 of the 4 patients receiving T cells with weak EBV reactivity showed improvement (P = 0.033, Fisher’s exact test). CONCLUSION. EBV-specific adoptive T cell therapy was well tolerated. Clinical improvement following treatment was associated with the potency of EBV-specific reactivity of the administered T cells. Further clinical trials are warranted to determine the efficacy of EBV-specific T cell therapy in MS. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12615000422527. FUNDING. MS Queensland, MS Research Australia, Perpetual Trustee Company Ltd., and donations from private individuals who wish to remain anonymous.
Michael P. Pender, Peter A. Csurhes, Corey Smith, Nanette L. Douglas, Michelle A. Neller, Katherine K. Matthews, Leone Beagley, Sweera Rehan, Pauline Crooks, Tracey J. Hopkins, Stefan Blum, Kerryn A. Green, Zara A. Ioannides, Andrew Swayne, Blake T. Aftab, Kaye D. Hooper, Scott R. Burrows, Kate M. Thompson, Alan Coulthard, Rajiv Khanna
BACKGROUND. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) results from loss of immune regulation, leading to the development of autoimmunity to pancreatic β cells, involving autoreactive T effector cells (Teffs). Tregs, which prevent autoimmunity, require IL-2 for maintenance of immunosuppressive functions. Using a response-adaptive design, we aimed to determine the optimal regimen of aldesleukin (recombinant human IL-2) to physiologically enhance Tregs while limiting expansion of Teffs. METHODS. DILfrequency is a nonrandomized, open-label, response-adaptive study of participants, aged 18–70 years, with T1D. The initial learning phase allocated 12 participants to 6 different predefined regimens. Then, 3 cohorts of 8 participants were sequentially allocated dose frequencies, based on repeated interim analyses of all accumulated trial data. The coprimary endpoints were percentage change in Tregs and Teffs and CD25 (α subunit of the IL-2 receptor) expression by Tregs, from baseline to steady state. RESULTS. Thirty-eight participants were enrolled, with thirty-six completing treatment. The optimal regimen to maintain a steady-state increase in Tregs of 30% and CD25 expression of 25% without Teff expansion is 0.26 × 106 IU/m2 (95% CI –0.007 to 0.485) every 3 days. Tregs and CD25 were dose-frequency responsive, Teffs were not. The commonest adverse event was injection site reaction (464 of 694 events). CONCLUSIONS. Using a response-adaptive design, aldesleukin treatment can be optimized. Our methodology can generally be employed to immediately access proof of mechanism, thereby leading to more efficient and safe drug development. TRIAL REGISTRATION. International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register, ISRCTN40319192; ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02265809. FUNDING. Sir Jules Thorn Trust, the Swiss National Science Foundation, Wellcome, JDRF, and NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.
Eleonora Seelig, James Howlett, Linsey Porter, Lucy Truman, James Heywood, Jane Kennet, Emma L. Arbon, Katerina Anselmiova, Neil M. Walker, Ravinder Atkar, Marcin L. Pekalski, Ed Rytina, Mark Evans, Linda S. Wicker, John A. Todd, Adrian P. Mander, Simon Bond, Frank Waldron-Lynch
During the last half-century, numerous antiinflammatory agents were tested in dozens of clinical trials and have proven ineffective for treating septic shock. The observation in multiple studies that cell-free hemoglobin (CFH) levels are elevated during clinical sepsis and that the degree of increase correlates with higher mortality suggests an alternative approach. Human haptoglobin binds CFH with high affinity and, therefore, can potentially reduce iron availability and oxidative activity. CFH levels are elevated over approximately 24–48 hours in our antibiotic-treated canine model of S. aureus pneumonia that simulates the cardiovascular abnormalities of human septic shock. In this 96-hour model, resuscitative treatments, mechanical ventilation, sedation, and continuous care are translatable to management in human intensive care units. We found, in this S. aureus pneumonia model inducing septic shock, that commercial human haptoglobin concentrate infusions over 48-hours bind canine CFH, increase CFH clearance, and lower circulating iron. Over the 96-hour study, this treatment was associated with an improved metabolic profile (pH, lactate), less lung injury, reversal of shock, and increased survival. Haptoglobin binding compartmentalized CFH to the intravascular space. This observation, in combination with increasing CFHs clearance, reduced available iron as a potential source of bacterial nutrition while decreasing the ability for CFH and iron to cause extravascular oxidative tissue injury. In contrast, haptoglobin therapy had no measurable antiinflammatory effect on elevations in proinflammatory C-reactive protein and cytokine levels. Haptoglobin therapy enhances normal host defense mechanisms in contrast to previously studied antiinflammatory sepsis therapies, making it a biologically plausible novel approach to treat septic shock.
Kenneth E. Remy, Irene Cortés-Puch, Steven B. Solomon, Junfeng Sun, Benjamin M. Pockros, Jing Feng, Juan J. Lertora, Roy R. Hantgan, Xiaohua Liu, Andreas Perlegas, H. Shaw Warren, Mark T. Gladwin, Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro, Harvey G. Klein, Charles Natanson
BACKGROUND. The induction of beige adipocytes in s.c. white adipose tissue (WAT) depots of humans is postulated to improve glucose and lipid metabolism in obesity. The ability of obese, insulin-resistant humans to induce beige adipose tissue is unknown. METHODS. We exposed lean and obese research participants to cold (30-minute ice pack application each day for 10 days of the upper thigh) or treated them with the β3 agonist mirabegron. We determined beige adipose marker expression by IHC and quantitative PCR, and we analyzed mitochondrial bioenergetics and UCP activity with an Oxytherm system. RESULTS. Cold significantly induced UCP1 and TMEM26 protein in both lean and obese subjects, and this response was not associated with age. Interestingly, these proteins increased to the same extent in s.c. WAT of the noniced contralateral leg, indicating a crossover effect. We further analyzed the bioenergetics of purified mitochondria from the abdominal s.c. WAT of cold-treated subjects and determined that repeat ice application significantly increased uncoupled respiration, consistent with the UCP1 protein induction and subsequent activation. Cold also increased State 3 and maximal respiration, and this effect on mitochondrial bioenergetics was stronger in summer than winter. Chronic treatment (10 weeks; 50 mg/day) with the β3 receptor agonist mirabegron induces UCP1, TMEM26, CIDEA, and phosphorylation of HSL on serine660 in obese subjects. CONCLUSION. Cold or β3 agonists cause the induction of beige adipose tissue in human s.c. WAT; this phenomenon may be exploited to increase beige adipose in older, insulin-resistant, obese individuals. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02596776, NCT02919176. FUNDING. NIH (DK107646, DK112282, P20GM103527, and by CTSA grant UL1TR001998).
Brian S. Finlin, Hasiyet Memetimin, Amy L. Confides, Ildiko Kasza, Beibei Zhu, Hemendra J. Vekaria, Brianna Harfmann, Kelly A. Jones, Zachary R. Johnson, Philip M. Westgate, Caroline M. Alexander, Patrick G. Sullivan, Esther E. Dupont-Versteegden, Philip A. Kern
BACKGROUND. Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder of life-threatening hyperphagia, obesity, intellectual deficits, compulsivity, and other behavioral problems. The efficacy and safety of i.n. carbetocin, an oxytocin analog, was evaluated in a prospective, randomized, double-blinded trial in adolescents with PWS. METHODS. Eligible patients aged 10–18 years with genetically confirmed PWS were randomized (1:1) to i.n. carbetocin or placebo 3 times daily for 14 days. The primary efficacy endpoint was change in parent/caregiver-rated Hyperphagia in PWS Questionnaire–Responsiveness (HPWSQ-R) total score. Secondary efficacy endpoints included HPWSQ-R behavior, drive, and severity domains; clinician-rated HPWSQ; Children’s Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Severity Scale; food domain of the Reiss Profile; and Clinical Global Impression–Improvement scale. Endpoints were assessed using analysis of covariance. Relationship between primary and secondary endpoints was assessed using Pearson correlation coefficients. Safety was assessed throughout the study. RESULTS. Demographics and clinical characteristics were similar between treatment groups (carbetocin, n = 17; placebo, n = 20). Patients receiving carbetocin had statistically significant reductions in HPWSQ-R total score at study end (–15.6) versus patients receiving placebo (–8.9; P = 0.029); several secondary efficacy endpoints also demonstrated significant differences (P < 0.05). Treatment effects for the primary and secondary endpoints were highly correlated (P ≤ 0.0001). Incidence of adverse events (AEs) was similar between treatment groups. CONCLUSION. I.n. carbetocin was well tolerated and improved hyperphagia and behavioral symptoms of PWS. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01968187 FUNDING. The study was funded by Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Recruitment was aided by ongoing work in PWS performed through Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant U54 HD083211.
Elisabeth M. Dykens, Jennifer Miller, Moris Angulo, Elizabeth Roof, Michael Reidy, Hind T. Hatoum, Richard Willey, Guy Bolton, Paul Korner
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