Feasibility and Efficacy of Partially Replacing Post-Transplantation Cyclophosphamide with Bendamustine in Pediatric and Young Adult Patients Undergoing Haploidentical Bone Marrow Transplantation

Emmanuel Katsanis, Baldassarre Stea, Kristen Kovacs, Laurel Truscott, Muhammad Husnain, Sharad Khurana, Denise J. Roe, Richard J. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PT-CY) is the most widely applied graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis regimen in T-cell replete haploidentical bone marrow transplantation (haplo-BMT). Although PT-CY has met with great success in the haplo-BMT arena by suppressing GVHD, patients without acute GVHD have high relapse rates. One strategy to reduce relapse rates being explored by others is a dosage reduction of PT-CY. We have taken a different approach in evaluating whether partially replacing PT-CY with post-transplantation bendamustine (PT-BEN) would be advantageous, an idea based on our preclinical research identifying several beneficial immunomodulatory properties of BEN. We therefore initiated and completed a Phase Ia trial to evaluate the progressive substitution of PT-CY with PT-BEN (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT02996773). We compared outcomes between 13 patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies who received PT-CY/BEN and 31 contemporaneous haplo-BMT recipients treated with the same myeloablative conditioning regimens but receiving only PT-CY. We found that partial replacement of PT-CY with PT-BEN (PT-CY/BEN) on day +4 was well tolerated and associated with significantly earlier trilineage engraftment. We also report favorable trends toward significant improvements on univariate and multivariate analyses with PT-CY/BEN compared with PT-CY with respect to rates of chronic GVHD (hazard ratio [HR], .08; 95% confidence interval [CI], .005 to 1.11; P = .06), and GVHD-free relapse-free survival (GRFS) (HR, .22; 95% CI, .05 to .86; P = .039). Our human trial has now transitioned to Phase Ib, which will further evaluate the safety and potential benefits of PT-CY/BEN. Herein we also expand our pediatric, adolescent, and young adult experience to 31 patients, demonstrating overall survival, progression-free survival, and GRFS at 3 years of 85.6%, 76.1%, and 58.2%, respectively, in a largely racial/ethnic minority cohort. PT-CY/BEN appears to be a promising treatment option that requires further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390.e1-390.e10
JournalTransplantation and Cellular Therapy
Volume28
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Haploidentical BMT
  • Myeloablative
  • Post-transplantation cyclophosphamide/bendamustine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation

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