Modified Stem Cell Transplant Procedure to Treat Patients With Blood and Immune System Cancers
This study will investigate the safety and effectiveness of a modified stem cell transplant procedure for treating cancers of the blood and immune system. Patients with cancers and pre-cancerous conditions originating in blood or immune system cells can sometimes benefit greatly from, and even be cured by, transplants of stem cells (cells produced by the bone marrow that mature into blood cells). In addition to producing new bone marrow and restoring normal blood production and immunity, the donated cells fight any residual tumor cells that might have remained in the body, in what is called a graft-versus-tumor effect.
However, severe problems, and sometimes death, may follow these transplants as a result of the high-dose chemotherapy and radiation that accompany the procedure. Also, donated immune system cells called T cells sometimes attack healthy tissues in a reaction called graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), damaging organs such as the liver, intestines and skin. This study will use the following strategies to try to reduce these risks:
- induction chemotherapy to reduce patients' immunity in an attempt to prevent rejection of the donated stem cells;
- reduced-intensity conditioning chemotherapy that is easier for the body to tolerate and involves a shorter period of complete immune suppression;
- donation of immune cells called Th2 cells instead of T cells to try to reduce the risk of serious GVHD;
- treatment with methotrexate and cyclosporine to try to reduce the risk of serious GVHD.
Patients between 12 and 75 years of age with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, myelodysplasia, idiopathic myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, or chronic myelomonocytic leukemia may be eligible for this study. Candidates will have a medical history, physical and dental examinations, blood and urine tests (including a blood test for genetic match with the donor), lung and heart function tests, and X-ray studies. A bone marrow biopsy may be done to evaluate disease status. Patients with lymphoma may have a nuclear medicine test called a positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
Participants will have a central venous line (large plastic tube) placed into a major vein. This tube can stay in the body and be used during the entire treatment period to deliver the donated stem cells and give medications, including chemotherapy and other drugs, antibiotics and blood transfusions, and to withdraw blood samples. Treatment will start with induction chemotherapy, which will include the drugs fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, etoposide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone. Some patients may also receive an antibody called rituximab. Patients will receive one to three cycles of this treatment, depending on their response to the drugs. (One cycle consists of 5 days on drug therapy followed by a 16-day rest period.) Several days before the transplant procedure, patients will start conditioning chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide and fludarabine. Three days after the conditioning therapy is completed, the stem cells will be infused. To help prevent GVHD, patients will take four doses of methotrexate (by vein) shortly after the transplant, and cyclosporine (by mouth or by vein) for about 6 months after the transplant.
The average hospital stay for stem cell transplantation is 3 to 4 weeks. After discharge, patients will return for frequent follow-up visits for 3 months. Monthly visits will be scheduled for the next 3 months, then every 3 months for the next 18 months, and less frequently for a total of at least 5 years post-transplant. These visits will include bone marrow aspirates and biopsies, blood draws, and other tests to monitor disease status.
|Study Design:||Primary Purpose: Treatment|
|Official Title:||A Pilot Study of EPOCH-F/R Induction Chemotherapy and Reduced-Intensity, HLA-Matched, Related Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, With Cyclosporine & Methotrexate GVHD Prophylaxis for Refractory or Relapsed Hematologic Malignancies|
|Study Start Date:||January 2003|
Procedure: Stem cell transplantation
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is potentially curative for refractory hematologic malignancies, but its application has been limited historically by morbidity and mortality from conventional transplant preparative regimens and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Donor T cells mediate GVHD and also help to eradicate malignancies through an immune-dependent graft-versus-tumor effect. Efforts to decrease preparative regimen toxicity have led to reduced-intensity or 'nonmyeloablative' regimens, facilitating the study of allogeneic HSCT in a broader population. As a promising strategy for reducing GVHD, donor Th2 cells were shown to abrogate Th1-mediated GVHD without impairing engraftment in murine models of allogeneic HSCT. These findings led to a phase I/II clinical study of donor Th2 cells for the prevention of GVHD during reduced-intensity allogeneic HSCT (CC 99-C-0143); preliminary results suggest that a randomized trial will be necessary to evaluate donor Th2 cells further.
In CC 99-C-0143, a novel induction chemotherapy regimen, EPOCH-Fludarabine (EPOCH-F), was well tolerated and effective for sequential host immune depletion. However, a significant proportion of patients failed to achieve satisfactory disease control before transplant, providing a basis for intensifying this induction regimen. Furthermore, the initial 20 patients treated on this study experienced relatively high rates of acute GVHD and considerable morbidity associated with cyclosporine monotherapy for GVHD prevention, indicating that future studies should use more aggressive prophylaxis. These observations warrant modifying our approach to allogeneic HSCT before undertaking a randomized study of donor Th2 cells.
We now propose a pilot study of HLA-matched, related, reduced-intensity allogeneic HSCT in refractory hematologic malignancies, using an intensified EPOCH-F induction chemotherapy regimen with rituximab added for patients with CD20+ malignancies (EPOCH-F/R). This regimen will be evaluated for toxicity and disease control before transplantation. GVHD prophylaxis will consist of a standard dual-agent regimen, cyclosporine/methotrexate; the impact of this change on hematopoietic recovery, donor/recipient chimerism, and the incidence of acute GVHD will be assessed.
Immune reconstitution following allogeneic HSCT is an important research interest among Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch Investigators. Current evidence suggests a critical role for interleukin-7 (IL-7) in CD4+ T cell homeostasis, and interleukin-15 (IL-15) appears crucial to CD8+ T cell and NK cell homeostasis. The relationships between these cytokines and lymphocyte subpopulations have not been studied in the setting of allogeneic HSCT; such analysis may enhance our understanding of engraftment kinetics, graft-versus-host disease, and immune reconstitution. We will correlate serum IL-7 and IL-15 levels with changes in circulating T-cell and NK-cell subpopulations during EPOCH-F/R induction chemotherapy, after transplantation, and with the development of GVHD.
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|
|Principal Investigator:||Daniel H Fowler, M.D.||National Cancer Institute (NCI)|