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      Establishment of a Murine Graft-versus-Myeloma Model Using Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation

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          Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant plasma cell disorder with poor long-term survival and high recurrence rates. Despite evidence of graft-versus-myeloma (GvM) effects, the use of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) remains controversial in MM. In the current study, we investigated the anti-myeloma effects of allo-SCT from B10.D2 mice into MHC-matched myeloma-bearing Balb/cJ mice, with concomitant development of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD).

          Methods and results

          Balb/cJ mice were injected intravenously with luciferase-transfected MOPC315.BM cells, and received an allogeneic (B10.D2 donor) or autologous (Balb/cJ donor) transplant 30 days later. We observed a GvM effect in 94% of the allogeneic transplanted mice, as the luciferase signal completely disappeared after transplantation, whereas all the autologous transplanted mice showed myeloma progression. Lower serum paraprotein levels and lower myeloma infiltration in bone marrow and spleen in the allogeneic setting confirmed the observed GvM effect. In addition, the treated mice also displayed chronic GvHD symptoms. In vivo and in vitro data suggested the involvement of effector memory CD4 and CD8 T cells associated with the GvM response. The essential role of CD8 T cells was demonstrated in vivo where CD8 T-cell depletion of the graft resulted in reduced GvM effects. Finally, TCR Vβ spectratyping analysis identified Vβ families within CD4 and CD8 T cells, which were associated with both GvM effects and GvHD, whereas other Vβ families within CD4 T cells were associated exclusively with either GvM or GvHD responses.


          We successfully established an immunocompetent murine model of graft-versus-myeloma. This is the first murine GvM model using immunocompetent mice that develop MM which closely resembles human MM disease and that are treated after disease establishment with an allo-SCT. Importantly, using TCR Vβ spectratyping, we also demonstrated the presence of GvM unique responses potentially associated with the curative capacity of this immunotherapeutic approach.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Immunobiology of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

          Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has evolved into an effective adoptive cellular immunotherapy for the treatment of a number of cancers. The immunobiology of allogeneic HSCT is unique in transplantation in that it involves potential immune recognition and attack between both donor and host. Much of the immunobiology of allogeneic HSCT has been gleaned from preclinical models and correlation with clinical observations. We review our current understanding of some of the issues that affect the success of this therapy, including host-versus-graft (HVG) reactions, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), graft-versus-tumor (GVT) activity, and restoration of functional immunity to prevent transplant-related opportunistic infections. We also review new strategies to optimize the GVT and improve overall immune function while reducing GVHD and graft rejection.
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            Autologous haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation followed by allogeneic or autologous haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma (BMT CTN 0102): a phase 3 biological assignment trial.

            Autologous haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) improves survival in patients with multiple myeloma, but disease progression remains an issue. Allogeneic HSCT might reduce disease progression, but can be associated with high treatment-related mortality. Thus, we aimed to assess effectiveness of allogeneic HSCT with non-myeloablative conditioning after autologous HSCT compared with tandem autologous HSCT. In our phase 3 biological assignment trial, we enrolled patients with multiple myeloma attending 37 transplant centres in the USA. Patients (<70 years old) with adequate organ function who had completed at least three cycles of systemic antimyeloma therapy within the past 10 months were eligible for inclusion. We assigned patients to receive an autologous HSCT followed by an allogeneic HSCT (auto-allo group) or tandem autologous HSCTs (auto-auto group) on the basis of the availability of an HLA-matched sibling donor. Patients in the auto-auto group subsequently underwent a random allocation (1:1) to maintenance therapy (thalidomide plus dexamethasone) or observation. To avoid enrolment bias, we classified patients as standard risk or high risk on the basis of cytogenetics and β2-microglobulin concentrations. We used the Kaplan-Meier method to estimate differences in 3-year progression-free survival (PFS; primary endpoint) between patients with standard-risk disease in the auto-allo group and the best results from the auto-auto group (maintenance, observation, or pooled). This study is registered with, number NCT00075829. Between Dec 17, 2003, and March 30, 2007, we enrolled 710 patients, of whom 625 had standard-risk disease and received an autologous HSCT. 156 (83%) of 189 patients with standard-risk disease in the auto-allo group and 366 (84%) of 436 in the auto-auto group received a second transplant. 219 patients in the auto-auto group were randomly assigned to observation and 217 to receive maintenance treatment, of whom 168 (77%) completed this treatment. PFS and overall survival did not differ between maintenance and observation groups and pooled data were used. Kaplan-Meier estimates of 3-year PFS were 43% (95% CI 36-51) in the auto-allo group and 46% (42-51) in the auto-auto group (p=0·671); overall survival also did not differ at 3 years (77% [95% CI 72-84] vs 80% [77-84]; p=0·191). Within 3 years, 87 (46%) of 189 patients in the auto-allo group had grade 3-5 adverse events as did 185 (42%) of 436 patients in the auto-auto group. The adverse events that differed most between groups were hyperbilirubinaemia (21 [11%] patients in the auto-allo group vs 14 [3%] in the auto-auto group) and peripheral neuropathy (11 [6%] in the auto-allo group vs 52 [12%] in the auto-auto group). Non-myeloablative allogeneic HSCT after autologous HSCT is not more effective than tandem autologous HSCT for patients with standard-risk multiple myeloma. Further enhancement of the graft versus myeloma effect and reduction in transplant-related mortality are needed to improve the allogeneic HSCT approach. US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Lenalidomide maintenance after nonmyeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma is not feasible: results of the HOVON 76 Trial.

              To improve the outcome of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) in multiple myeloma as part of first-line treatment, we prospectively investigated the feasibility and efficacy of lenalidomide maintenance. Patients started maintenance 1 to 6 months after nonmyeloablative allo-SCT. Lenalidomide was dosed 10 mg on days 1 to 21 of a 28-day schedule for a total of 24 cycles. Peripheral blood samples were taken to evaluate immune modulating effects. Thirty-five eligible patients were enrolled, and 30 started with lenalidomide. After 2 cycles, 14 patients (47%) had to stop treatment, mainly because of the development of acute graft versus host disease (GVHD). In total, 13 patients (43%) stopped treatment because of development of GVHD, 5 patients (17%) because of other adverse events, and 5 patients (17%) because of progression. Responses improved in 37% of patients, and the estimated 1-year progression-free survival from start of maintenance was 69% (90% confidence interval, 53%-81%). Lenalidomide increased the frequency of human leukocyte antigen-DR(+) T cells and regulatory T cells, without correlation with clinical parameters. In conclusion, lenalidomide maintenance 10 mg daily after nonmyeloablative allo-SCT with unmanipulated graft in multiple myeloma patients is not feasible, mainly because of the induction of acute GVHD. This trial was registered at as #NTR1645.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                21 November 2014
                : 9
                : 11
                [1 ]Laboratory of Hematology, GIGA-Research, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
                [2 ]University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
                [3 ]John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, New Jersey, United States of America
                [4 ]Centre for Immune Regulation, Institute of Immunology, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
                [5 ]KG Jebsen centre for research on influenza vaccines, Institute of Immunology, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
                Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: MB LB FB JC. Performed the experiments: MB EO LB. Analyzed the data: YB BB JZ FB JC. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: BB JZ PD. Wrote the paper: YB MH AB RH FB JC.

                ¶ These authors are joint senior authors on this work.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 19
                This work has been supported by grants from the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique Médicale, the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (F.N.R.S., Belgium), and the Fonds spéciaux de la Recherche (University of Liège). FB is a FNRS senior research associate, JC is a post-doctorate clinical specialist funded by the ‘Fondation contre le Cancer,’ and MB, LB, EO and MH are Télévie-FNRS research assistants. MM's research in the Bogen lab is supported by Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the Research Council of Norway, and the Norwegian Cancer Society. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Clinical Immunology
                Cancer Immunotherapy
                Transplantation Immunology
                Tumor Immunology
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Plasma Cell Disorders
                Multiple Myeloma
                Cancer Treatment
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                The authors confirm that all data underlying the findings are fully available without restriction. All relevant data are within the paper.



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