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Modified Stem Cell Transplant Procedure to Treat Patients With Blood and Immune System Cancers

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00051311
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 8, 2003
Last Update Posted : November 7, 2019
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Brief Summary:

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.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Hematologic Neoplasms Procedure: Stem cell transplantation Phase 2

Detailed Description:

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.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 62 participants
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 3, 2003
Actual Primary Completion Date : September 25, 2014
Actual Study Completion Date : September 25, 2014

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Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria Patient (Recipient):

Patients with hematologic malignancies, myelodysplasia, or myeloproliferative disorders, as summarized below:

Disease: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia; Disease Status: (a) Relapse post-fludarabine, (b) Non-CR after salvage regimen; Age: 18 to 75.

Disease: Hodgkin s and Non-Hodgkin s Lymphoma (all types, including Mantle Cell Lymphoma); Disease Status: (a) Primary treatment failure, (b) Relapse after autologous SCT, (c) Hepatosplenic gamma/delta T cell lymphoma; Age: 18 to 75.

Disease: Multiple Myeloma; Disease Status: (a) Primary treatment failure, (b) Relapse after autologous SCT, (c) Non-CR after salvage regimen; Age: 18 to 75.

Disease: Acute Myelogenous Leukemia; Disease Status: (a) In Complete Remission #1, with high-risk cytogenetics [abnormalities other than t(8;21), t(15;17), or inv(16)], (b) In Complete Remission #2 or greater; Age: 18 to 75.

Disease: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia; Disease Status: (a) In Complete Remission #1, with high-risk cytogenetics [t(9;22) or bcr-abl rearrangement; t(4;11), 1(1;19), t(8;14)], (b) In Complete Remission #2 or greater; Age: 18 to 75.

Disease: Myelodysplastic Syndrome; Disease Status: (a) RAEB, (b) RAEB-T (if blasts are less than 10% in marrow and blood after induction chemotherapy); Age: 18 to 75.

Disease: Myeloproliferative disorders; Disease Status: (a) Idiopathic myelofibrosis, (b) Polycythemia vera, (c) Essential thrombocytosis, (d) Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia; Age: 18 to 75.

Disease: Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia; Disease Status: (a) Chronic phase CML, (b) Accelerated phase CML; Age 50 to 75; (c) Not eligible for myeloablative allogeneic HSCT; Age: 18 to 50.

Patients 18-75 years of age. Patients older than 75 years of age will be considered on an individual basis.

Consenting first degree relative matched at 6/6 HLA antigens (A, B, and DR).

Patient or legal guardian must be able to give informed consent.

All previous therapy must be completed at least 2 weeks prior to study entry, and any grade 3 or 4 non-hematologic toxicity of previous therapy must be resolved to grade 2 or less, unless specified elsewhere.

ECOG performance status equal to 0 or 1.

Life expectancy of at least 3 months.

Patients with acute leukemia must be in hematologic remission, defined as less than 5% blasts present in blood or bone marrow.

Left ventricular ejection fraction greater than 45% by either MUGA or 2-D echo, obtained within 28 days of enrollment. The cumulative dose of doxorubicin received by patients will not be considered, as the cardiac ejection fraction appears to indicate the safe cumulative doxorubicin dose in the setting of EPOCH-based chemotherapy.

DLCO greater than 50% of the expected value when correlated for Hb, obtained within 28 days of enrollment.

Creatinine less than or equal to 1.5 mg/dl and creatinine clearance greater than or equal to 50 ml/min/1.73 m(2).

Serum total bilirubin less than 2.5 mg/dl, and serum ALT and AST values less than or equal to 2.5 times the upper limit of normal. Values above these levels may be accepted, at the discretion of the PI or study chairman, if such elevations are thought to be due to liver involvement by malignancy. If these values do not normalize during induction chemotherapy, such patients will not be eligible for the transplant phase of the protocol, and will thus be taken off study.

Minimum absolute neutrophil count of 1,000 cells/microliter and minimum platelet count (without transfusion) of 20,000/mm(3).

Inclusion Criteria Donor:

First-degree relative with genotypic identity at 6/6 HLA loci (HLA-A, B and DR).

Ability to give informed consent. For donors under 18 years of age, the donor must complete an assent form, and the donor s legal guardian must complete an informed consent form.

Age 12-75 years. As the potential cerebrovascular and cardiac complications may potentially increase with age, age 75 has been chosen arbitrarily as the upper age limit. However, if it is determined after initial accrual of patients in this upper age range that this procedure is relatively safe, the age range may be extended.

Adequate venous access for peripheral apheresis, or consent to use a temporary central venous catheter for apheresis.

Donors must be HIV negative, hepatitis B surface antigen negative, and hepatitis C antibody negative. This is to prevent the possible transmission of these infections to the recipient.

A donor who is lactating must substitute formula feeding for her infant during the period of cytokine administration. Filgrastim may be secreted in human milk, although its bioavailability from this source is not known. Limited clinical data suggest that short-term administration of filgrastim or sargramostim to neonates is not associated with adverse outcomes.


Exclusion Criteria Patient:

Active infection that is not responding to antimicrobial therapy.

Active CNS involvement by malignancy.

HIV infection. There is theoretical concern that the degree of immune suppression associated with the treatment may result in progression of HIV infection.

Chronic active hepatitis B. Patients may be hepatitis B core antibody positive but must be surface antigen negative and without evidence of active infection.

Hepatitis C infection.

Pregnant or lactating. Patients of childbearing potential must use an effective method of contraception. The effects of chemotherapy, the subsequent transplant and the medications used after the transplant are highly likely to be harmful to a fetus. The effects upon breast milk are also unknown and may be harmful to the infant.

History of psychiatric disorder which may compromise compliance with transplant protocol, or which does not allow for appropriate informed consent (as determined by principal investigator or study chairman).

Exclusion Criteria Donor:

History of psychiatric disorder which may compromise compliance with transplant protocol, or which does not allow for appropriate informed consent.

History of hypertension that is not controlled by medication, stroke, or severe heart disease. Individuals with symptomatic angina will be considered to have severe heart disease will not be eligible to be a donor.

No other medical contraindications to stem cell donation (i.e. severe atherosclerosis, autoimmune disease, cerebrovascular accident, prior malignancy). Patients with a history of coronary artery bypass grafting or angioplasty will receive a cardiology evaluation and be considered on a case-by-case basis. Persons with a history of non-hematologic malignancy must have undergone potentially curative therapy for that malignancy and (1) have had no evidence of that disease for 5 years, and/or (2) be deemed at low risk for recurrence (less than or equal to 20% at 5 years). Such persons will be considered eligible for stem cell donation at the discretion of the principal investigator. Prospective donors with a history of non-hematologic malignancy who have received potentially curative therapy and are in remission, but whose estimated risk of recurrence is greater than 20% at 5 years, will be considered on an individual basis in consultation with the NCI IRB.

Donors must not be pregnant. The effects of cytokine administration on a fetus are unknown. Donors of childbearing potential must use an effective method of contraception.

Anemia (Hb less than 11 gm/dl) or thrombocytopenia (platelets less than 100,000 per microliter).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00051311

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United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Principal Investigator: Daniel H Fowler, M.D. National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00051311    
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT00055744
Other Study ID Numbers: 030077
First Posted: January 8, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: November 7, 2019
Last Verified: September 25, 2014
Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Hodgkin's Disease
Multiple Myeloma
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Hematologic Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Hematologic Diseases