BACKGROUND. Noroviruses are the leading cause of epidemic acute gastroenteritis and foodborne diarrheal disease in humans. However, there are no approved vaccines for noroviruses. Potential correlates of protection identified through human challenge studies include mucosal IgA, memory B cells, and serum-blocking antibody titers (BT50). METHODS. We conducted a single-site, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of an oral norovirus vaccine to determine safety and immunogenicity. This tablet vaccine is comprised of a nonreplicating adenovirus-based vector expressing the VP1 gene from the GI.1 norovirus strain and a double-stranded RNA adjuvant. Sixty-six adult subjects meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria were randomized 2:1 to receive a single vaccine dose or placebo, respectively. Immunogenicity was primarily assessed by serum BT50. Additional outcomes included serum ELISA titers, fecal and saliva antibody titers, memory and antibody-secreting cell (ASC) frequency, and B cell phenotyping. RESULTS. The vaccine was well-tolerated, with no dose-limiting toxicities. Adverse events were mild or moderate. The primary immunological endpoint (increase in BT50 titers) was met in the high-dose group (P = 0.0003), with 78% showing a ≥2-fold rise in titers after a single immunization. Vaccine recipients also developed mucosally primed VP1-specific circulating ASCs, IgA+ memory B cells expressing gut-homing receptor (α4β7), and fecal IgA, indicating substantial and local responses potentially relevant to prevent norovirus infection. CONCLUSION. This oral norovirus vaccine was well-tolerated and generated substantial immune responses, including systemic and mucosal antibodies as well as memory IgA/IgG. These results are a major step forward for the development of a safe and immunogenic oral norovirus vaccine. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02868073. FUNDING. Vaxart.
Leesun Kim, David Liebowitz, Karen Lin, Kassandra Kasparek, Marcela F. Pasetti, Shaily J. Garg, Keith Gottlieb, George Trager, Sean N. Tucker
BACKGROUND. The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing worldwide. The identification of factors contributing to its progression is important for designing preventive measures. Previous studies have suggested that chronically high vasopressin is deleterious to renal function. Here, we evaluated the association of plasma copeptin, a surrogate of vasopressin, with the incidence of CKD in the general population. METHODS. We studied 3 European cohorts: DESIR (n = 5,047; France), MDCS-CC (n = 3,643; Sweden), and PREVEND (n = 7,684; the Netherlands). Median follow-up was 8.5, 16.5, and 11.3 years, respectively. Pooled data were analyzed at an individual level for 4 endpoints during follow-up: incidence of stage 3 CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2); the KDIGO criterion “certain drop in eGFR”; rapid kidney function decline (eGFR slope steeper than –3 ml/min/1.73 m2/yr); and incidence of microalbuminuria. RESULTS. The upper tertile of plasma copeptin was significantly and independently associated with a 49% higher risk for stage 3 CKD (P < 0.0001); a 64% higher risk for kidney function decline, as defined by the KDIGO criterion (P < 0.0001); a 79% higher risk for rapid kidney function decline (P < 0.0001); and a 24% higher risk for microalbuminuria (P = 0.008). CONCLUSIONS. High copeptin levels are associated with the development and the progression of CKD in the general population. Intervention studies are needed to assess the potential beneficial effect on kidney health in the general population of reducing vasopressin secretion or action. FUNDING. INSERM and Danone Research Centre for Specialized Nutrition.
Ray El Boustany, Irina Tasevska, Esther Meijer, Lyanne M. Kieneker, Sofia Enhörning, Guillaume Lefèvre, Kamel Mohammedi, Michel Marre, Frédéric Fumeron, Beverley Balkau, Nadine Bouby, Lise Bankir, Stephan J.L. Bakker, Ronan Roussel, Olle Melander, Ron T. Gansevoort, Gilberto Velho
BACKGROUND. Immune checkpoint inhibitors provide significant clinical benefit to a subset of patients, but novel prognostic markers are needed to predict which patients will respond. This study was initiated to determine if features of patient T cell repertoires could provide insights into the mechanisms of immunotherapy, while also predicting outcomes. METHODS. We examined T cell receptor (TCR) repertoires in peripheral blood of 25 metastatic pancreatic cancer patients treated with ipilimumab with or without GVAX (a pancreatic cancer vaccine), as well as peripheral blood and tumor biopsies from 32 patients treated with GVAX and mesothelin-expressing Listeria monocytogenes with or without nivolumab. Statistics from these repertoires were then tested for their association with clinical response and treatment group. RESULTS. We demonstrate that, first, the majority of patients receiving these treatments experience a net diversification of their peripheral TCR repertoires. Second, patients receiving ipilimumab experienced larger changes in their repertoires, especially in combination with GVAX. Finally, both a low baseline clonality and a high number of expanded clones following treatment were associated with significantly longer survival in patients who received ipilimumab but not in patients receiving nivolumab. CONCLUSIONS. We show that these therapies have measurably different effects on the peripheral repertoire, consistent with their mechanisms of action, and demonstrate the potential for TCR repertoire profiling to serve as a biomarker of clinical response in pancreatic cancer patients receiving immunotherapy. In addition, our results suggest testing sequential administration of anti–CTLA-4 and anti–PD-1 antibodies to achieve optimal therapeutic benefit. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Samples used in this study were collected from the NCT00836407 and NCT02243371 clinical trials. FUNDING. Research supported by a Stand Up To Cancer Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Dream Team Translational Research grant (SU2C-AACR-DT14-14). Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation administered by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Additional clinical trial funding was provided by AACR-Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Research Acceleration Network grant (14-90-25-LE), NCI SPORE in GI Cancer (CA062924), Quick-Trials for Novel Cancer Therapies: Exploratory Grants (R21CA126058-01A2), and the US Food and Drug Administration (R01FD004819). Research collaboration and financial support were provided by Adaptive Biotechnologies.
Alexander C. Hopkins, Mark Yarchoan, Jennifer N. Durham, Erik C. Yusko, Julie A. Rytlewski, Harlan S. Robins, Daniel A. Laheru, Dung T. Le, Eric R. Lutz, Elizabeth M. Jaffee
BACKGROUND. Necroptosis is a form of programmed necrotic cell death that is rapidly emerging as an important pathophysiological pathway in numerous disease states. Necroptosis is dependent on receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (RIPK3), a protein shown to play an important role in experimental models of critical illness. However, there is limited clinical evidence regarding the role of extracellular RIPK3 in human critical illness. METHODS. Plasma RIPK3 levels were measured in 953 patients prospectively enrolled in 5 ongoing intensive care unit (ICU) cohorts in both the USA and Korea. RIPK3 concentrations among groups were compared using prospectively collected phenotypic and outcomes data. RESULTS. In all 5 cohorts, extracellular RIPK3 levels in the plasma were higher in patients who died in the hospital compared with those who survived to discharge. In a combined analysis, increasing RIPK3 levels were associated with elevated odds of in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR] 1.7 for each log10-unit increase in RIPK3 level, P < 0.0001). When adjusted for baseline severity of illness, the OR for in-hospital mortality remained statistically significant (OR 1.33, P = 0.007). Higher RIPK3 levels were also associated with more severe organ failure. CONCLUSIONS. Our findings suggest that elevated levels of RIPK3 in the plasma of patients admitted to the ICU are associated with in-hospital mortality and organ failure. FUNDING. Supported by NIH grants P01 HL108801, R01 HL079904, R01 HL055330, R01 HL060234, K99 HL125899, and KL2TR000458-10. Supported by Samsung Medical Center grant SMX1161431.
Kevin C. Ma, Edward J. Schenck, Ilias I. Siempos, Suzanne M. Cloonan, Eli J. Finkelzstein, Maria A. Pabon, Clara Oromendia, Karla V. Ballman, Rebecca M. Baron, Laura E. Fredenburgh, Angelica Higuera, Jin Young Lee, Chi Ryang Chung, Kyeongman Jeon, Jeong Hoon Yang, Judie A. Howrylak, Jin-Won Huh, Gee Young Suh, Augustine M.K. Choi
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
BACKGROUND. Heat shock protein peptide complex-96 (HSPPC-96) triggers adaptive and innate antitumor immune responses. The safety and efficacy of HSPPC-96 vaccination was examined in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). METHODS. In this open-label, single-arm, phase I study, adult patients were vaccinated with HSPPC-96 in combination with the standard treatment for newly diagnosed GBM after surgical resection. Primary endpoints were frequency of adverse events and progression-free survival (PFS) at 6 months. Secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS), PFS, and tumor-specific immune response (TSIR). RESULTS. A total of 20 patients with newly diagnosed GBM were enrolled from September 2013 to February 2015. No grade 3 or 4 vaccine-related adverse events were noted. After a median follow-up of 42.3 months, PFS was 89.5% (95% CI, 66.9%–98.7%) at 6 months, median PFS was 11.0 months (95% CI, 8.2–13.8), and median OS was 31.4 months (95% CI, 14.9–47.9). TSIR was significantly increased by 2.3-fold (95% CI, 1.7–3.2) after vaccination. Median OS for patients with high TSIR after vaccination was >40.5 months (95% CI, incalculable) as compared with 14.6 months (95% CI, 7.0–22.2) for patients with low TSIR after vaccination (hazard ratio, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.071–0.90; P = 0.034). A multivariate Cox regression model revealed TSIR after vaccination as a primary independent predicator for survival. CONCLUSION. The HSPPC-96 vaccination, combined with the standard therapy, is a safe and effective strategy for treatment of newly diagnosed GBM patients. TSIR after vaccination would be a good indicator predicting the vaccine efficacy. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02122822. FUNDING. National Key Technology Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2014BAI04B01, 2014BAI04B02), Beijing Natural Science Foundation (7164253), Beijing Talents Fund (2014000021469G257), and Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Committee (JSGG20170413151359491).
Nan Ji, Yang Zhang, Yunpeng Liu, Jian Xie, Yi Wang, Shuyu Hao, Zhixian Gao
BACKGROUND. Cardiac positron emission testing (PET) is more accurate than single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) at identifying coronary artery disease (CAD); however, the 2 modalities have not been thoroughly compared in a real-world setting. We conducted a retrospective analysis of 60-day catheterization outcomes and 1-year major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) after the transition from a SPECT- to a PET-based myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) program. METHODS. MPI patients at Intermountain Medical Center from January 2011–December 2012 (the SPECT era, n = 6,777) and January 2014–December 2015 (the PET era, n = 7,817) were studied. Outcomes studied were 60-day coronary angiography, high-grade obstructive CAD, left main/severe 3-vessel disease, revascularization, and 1-year MACE-revascularization (MACE-revasc; death, myocardial infarction [MI], or revascularization >60 days). RESULTS. Patients were 64 ± 13 years old; 54% were male and 90% were of European descent; and 57% represented a screening population (no prior MI, revascularization, or CAD). During the PET era, compared with the SPECT era, a higher percentage of patients underwent coronary angiography (13.2% vs. 9.7%, P < 0.0001), had high-grade obstructive CAD (10.5% vs. 6.9%, P < 0.0001), had left main or severe 3-vessel disease (3.0% vs. 2.3%, P = 0.012), and had coronary revascularization (56.7% vs. 47.1%, P = 0.0001). Similar catheterization outcomes were seen when restricted to the screening population. There was no difference in 1-year MACE-revasc (PET [5.8%] vs. SPECT [5.3%], P = 0.31). CONCLUSIONS. The PET-based MPI program resulted in improved identification of patients with high-grade obstructive CAD, as well as a larger percentage of revascularization, thus resulting in fewer patients undergoing coronary angiography without revascularization. FUNDING. This observational study was funded using internal departmental funds.
Stacey Knight, David B. Min, Viet T. Le, Kent G. Meredith, Ritesh Dhar, Santanu Biswas, Kurt R. Jensen, Steven M. Mason, Jon-David Ethington, Donald L. Lappe, Joseph B. Muhlestein, Jeffrey L. Anderson, Kirk U. Knowlton
BACKGROUND. Optimal management of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) requires monitoring of treatment response, but minimal residual disease (MRD) may escape detection. We sought to identify distinctive features of AML cells for universal MRD monitoring. METHODS. We compared genome-wide gene expression of AML cells from 157 patients with that of normal myeloblasts. Markers encoded by aberrantly expressed genes, including some previously associated with leukemia stem cells, were studied by flow cytometry in 240 patients with AML and in nonleukemic myeloblasts from 63 bone marrow samples. RESULTS. Twenty-two (CD9, CD18, CD25, CD32, CD44, CD47, CD52, CD54, CD59, CD64, CD68, CD86, CD93, CD96, CD97, CD99, CD123, CD200, CD300a/c, CD366, CD371, and CX3CR1) markers were aberrantly expressed in AML. Leukemia-associated profiles defined by these markers extended to immature CD34+CD38– AML cells; expression remained stable during treatment. The markers yielded MRD measurements matching those of standard methods in 208 samples from 52 patients undergoing chemotherapy and revealed otherwise undetectable MRD. They allowed MRD monitoring in 129 consecutive patients, yielding prognostically significant results. Using a machine-learning algorithm to reduce high-dimensional data sets to 2-dimensional data, the markers allowed a clear visualization of MRD and could detect 1 leukemic cell among more than 100,000 normal cells. CONCLUSION. The markers uncovered in this study allow universal and sensitive monitoring of MRD in AML. In combination with contemporary analytical tools, the markers improve the discrimination between leukemic and normal cells, thus facilitating data interpretation and, hence, the reliability of MRD results. FUNDING. National Cancer Institute (CA60419 and CA21765); American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities; National Medical Research Council of Singapore (1299/2011); Viva Foundation for Children with Cancer, Children’s Cancer Foundation, Tote Board & Turf Club, and Lee Foundation of Singapore.
Elaine Coustan-Smith, Guangchun Song, Sheila Shurtleff, Allen Eng-Juh Yeoh, Wee Joo Chng, Siew Peng Chen, Jeffrey E. Rubnitz, Ching-Hon Pui, James R. Downing, Dario Campana
BACKGROUND. There are very few studies investigating metabolic biomarkers to predict acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Metabolic models can provide a framework for analyzing the information-rich omics data sets in this setting. METHODS. Four hundred and fifty-six samples from one hundred and fourteen consecutive patients who underwent HSCT from January 2012 to May 2014 were collected for this study. The changes in serum metabolite levels were investigated using a gas chromatography–mass spectrometry–based metabolomics approach and underwent statistical analysis. RESULTS. Significant metabolic changes were observed on day 7. The stearic acid/palmitic acid (SA/PA) ratio was effective in the diagnosis of grade II–IV aGVHD. Multivariate analysis showed that patients with high SA/PA ratios on day 7 after HSCT were less likely to develop II–IV aGVHD than patients with low SA/PA ratios (odds ratio [OR] = 0.06, 95% CI 0.02–0.18, P < 0.001). After the adjustment for clinical characteristics, the SA/PA ratio had no significant effect on overall survival (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.95, 95% CI 0.92–4.14, P = 0.08), and patients in the high SA/PA ratio group were significantly more likely to relapse than those in the low ratio group (HR = 2.26, 95% CI 1.04–4.91, P = 0.04). CONCLUSION. Our findings suggest that the SA/PA ratio on day 7 after HSCT is an excellent biomarker to predict both aGVHD and relapse. The serum SA/PA ratio measured on day 7 after transplantation may improve risk stratification for aGVHD and relapse after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. FUNDING. National Natural Science Foundation of China (81470346, 81773361), Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, Jiangsu Natural Science Foundation (BK20161204), Innovation Capability Development Project of Jiangsu Province (BM2015004), Jiangsu Medical Junior Talent Person award (QNRC2016707), and NIH (AI129582 and NS106170).
Xiaojin Wu, Yiyu Xie, Chang Wang, Yue Han, Xiebing Bao, Shoubao Ma, Ahmet Yilmaz, Bingyu Yang, Yuhan Ji, Jinge Xu, Hong Liu, Suning Chen, Jianying Zhang, Jianhua Yu, Depei Wu
BACKGROUND. Multiple myeloma is usually fatal due to serial relapses that become progressively refractory to therapy. CD19 is typically absent on the dominant multiple myeloma cell population but may be present on minor subsets with unique myeloma-propagating properties. To target myeloma-propagating cells, we clinically evaluated autologous T cells transduced with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) against CD19 (CTL019). METHODS. Subjects received CTL019 following salvage high-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). All subjects had relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and had previously undergone ASCT with less than 1 year progression-free survival (PFS). RESULTS. ASCT + CTL019 was safe and feasible, with most toxicity attributable to ASCT and no severe cytokine release syndrome. Two of 10 subjects exhibited significantly longer PFS after ASCT + CTL019 compared with prior ASCT (479 vs. 181 days; 249 vs. 127 days). Correlates of favorable clinical outcome included peak CTL019 frequency in bone marrow and emergence of humoral and cellular immune responses against the stem-cell antigen Sox2. Ex vivo treatment of primary myeloma samples with a combination of CTL019 and CAR T cells against the plasma cell antigen BCMA reliably inhibited myeloma colony formation in vitro, whereas treatment with either CAR alone inhibited colony formation inconsistently. CONCLUSION. CTL019 may improve duration of response to standard multiple myeloma therapies by targeting and precipitating secondary immune responses against myeloma-propagating cells. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02135406. FUNDING. Novartis, NIH, Conquer Cancer Foundation.
Alfred L. Garfall, Edward A. Stadtmauer, Wei-Ting Hwang, Simon F. Lacey, Jan Joseph Melenhorst, Maria Krevvata, Martin P. Carroll, William H. Matsui, Qiuju Wang, Madhav V. Dhodapkar, Kavita Dhodapkar, Rituparna Das, Dan T. Vogl, Brendan M. Weiss, Adam D. Cohen, Patricia A. Mangan, Emily C. Ayers, Selene Nunez-Cruz, Irina Kulikovskaya, Megan M. Davis, Anne Lamontagne, Karen Dengel, Naseem D.S. Kerr, Regina M. Young, Donald L. Siegel, Bruce L. Levine, Michael C. Milone, Marcela V. Maus, Carl H. June
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