Circulating vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and selectins were prospectively measured in 145 newly-diagnosed patients with symptomatic myeloma (NDMM), 61 patients with asymptomatic/smoldering myeloma (SMM), 47 with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and 87 multiple myeloma (MM) patients at first relapse who received lenalidomide- or bortezomib-based treatment (RD, n = 47; or VD, n = 40). Patients with NDMM had increased VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 compared with MGUS and SMM patients. Elevated VCAM-1 correlated with ISS-3 and was independently associated with inferior overall survival (OS) (45 months for patients with VCAM-1 > median vs 75 months, P = 0.001). MM patients at first relapse had increased levels of ICAM-1 and L-selectin, even compared with NDMM patients and had increased levels of VCAM-1 compared with MGUS and SMM. Both VD and RD reduced dramatically serum VCAM-1 after four cycles of therapy, but only VD reduced serum ICAM-1, irrespective of response to therapy. The reduction of VCAM-1 was more pronounced after RD than after VD. Our study provides evidence for the prognostic value of VCAM-1 in myeloma patients, suggesting that VCAM-1 could be a suitable target for the development of anti-myeloma therapies. Furthermore, the reduction of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 by RD and VD supports the inhibitory effect of these drugs on the adhesion of MM cells to stromal cells.
KIT exon 17 mutation is a poor prognostic factor in core-binding factor acute myeloid leukemia. However, the mutation detection method used for risk assessment is not assigned. It is necessary to verify the analytical and clinical performance before applying new methods. Herein, we firstly applied a highly sensitive allele-specific, real-time quantitative PCR (AS-qPCR) assay to analyze KIT mutations, which demonstrated excellent sensitivity and specificity. Much higher incidence of KIT mutations (62.2%, 69/111) and prevalence of multiple mutations (43.5%, 30/69) were observed using AS-qPCR, which meant the existence of multiple KIT mutant subclones. The relative KIT mutant level was variable (median, 0.3 per control allele 100 copies, 0.002-532.7) and was divided into two groups: high (>= 10, n = 26) and low (<10) mutant level. Interestingly, rather than mutation positivity, mutant level was found to be associated with clinical outcome. High mutant level showed significantly inferior overall survival (P = 0.005) and event-free survival (P = 0.03), whereas low level did not influence the prognosis. The follow-up data showed that the mutant level were along with fusion transcripts in the majority (n = 29), but moved separately in some cases, including the loss of mutations (n = 5) and selective proliferation of minor clones (n = 2) at relapse. This study highlighted that the KIT mutation should be analyzed using sensitive and quantitative techniques and set a cutoff level for identifying the risk group.
Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM) is a low-grade incurable immunoglobulin M+ (IgM(+)) lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma for which a genetically engineered mouse model of de novo tumor development is lacking. On the basis of evidence that the proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin 6 (IL6), and the survival-enhancing oncoprotein, B cell leukemia 2 (BCL2), have critical roles in the natural history of WM, we hypothesized that the enforced expression of IL6 and BCL2 in mice unable to perform immunoglobulin class switch recombination may result in a lymphoproliferative disease that mimics WM. To evaluate this possibility, we generated compound transgenic BALB/c mice that harbored the human BCL2 and IL6 transgenes, E mu SV-BCL2-22 and H2-L-d-hIL6, on the genetic background of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) deficiency. We designated these mice BCL2(+) IL6(+) AID(-) and found that they developed-with full genetic penetrance (100% incidence) and suitably short latency (93 days median survival)-a severe IgM(+) lymphoproliferative disorder that recapitulated important features of human WM. However, the BCL2(+) IL6(+) AID(-) model also exhibited shortcomings, such as low serum IgM levels and histopathological changes not seen in patients with WM, collectively indicating that further refinements of the model are required to achieve better correlations with disease characteristics of WM.
Recent studies suggest that multiple myeloma is an immunogenic disease, which might be effectively targeted by antigen-specific T-cell immunotherapy. As standard of care in myeloma includes proteasome inhibitor therapy, it is of great importance to characterize the effects of this treatment on HLA-restricted antigen presentation and implement only robustly presented targets for immunotherapeutic intervention. Here, we present a study that longitudinally and semi-quantitatively maps the effects of the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib on HLA-restricted antigen presentation. The relative presentation levels of 4780 different HLA ligands were quantified in an in vitro model employing carfilzomib treatment of MM.1S and U266 myeloma cells, which revealed significant modulation of a substantial fraction of the HLA-presented peptidome. Strikingly, we detected selective down-modulation of HLA ligands with aromatic C-terminal anchor amino acids. This particularly manifested as a marked reduction in the presentation of HLA ligands through the HLA allotypes A*23:01 and A*24:02 on MM.1S cells. These findings implicate that carfilzomib mediates a direct, peptide motif-specific inhibitory effect on HLA ligand processing and presentation. As a substantial proportion of HLA allotypes present peptides with aromatic C-termini, our results may have broad implications for the implementation of antigen-specific treatment approaches in patients undergoing carfilzomib treatment.
Deletion of the short-arm of chromosome 17 (17p-) is one of the most critical genetic alterations used in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) risk stratification. The tumor suppressor TP53 maps to this region, and its loss or mutation accelerates CLL progression, hampers response to chemotherapy and shortens survival. Although florescent in situ hybridization analyses for 17p deletions are routinely performed during clinical diagnoses, p53 mutational status is often unexamined. Given the limited clinical data that exists for frontline treatment of patients with CLL harboring TP53 mutations, there is a need to understand the biology of CLL with TP53 mutations and identify treatment strategies for this subset of patients. Herein, we used a CLL mouse model (Eμ-TCL1) harboring one of the most common TP53 hot-spot mutations observed in CLL (p53(R172H), corresponding to p53(R175H) in humans) to evaluate its impact on disease progression, survival, response to therapy and loss of the remaining wild-type Trp53 allele following ibrutinib treatment. We show that ibrutinib was effective in increasing survival, activating cellular programs outside the p53 pathway and did not place selective pressure on the remaining wild-type Trp53 allele. These data provide evidence that ibrutinib acts as an effective treatment for aggressive forms of CLL with TP53 mutations.
Multiple myeloma (myeloma in short) is an incurable cancer of antibody-producing plasma cells that comprise 13% of all hematological malignancies. The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib has improved treatment significantly, but inherent and acquired resistance to the drug remains a problem. We here show that bortezomib-induced cytotoxicity was completely dampened when cells were supplemented with cysteine or its derivative, glutathione (GSH) in ANBL-6 and INA-6 myeloma cell lines. GSH is a major component of the antioxidative defense in eukaryotic cells. Increasing intracellular GSH levels fully abolished bortezomib-induced cytotoxicity and transcriptional changes. Elevated intracellular GSH levels blocked bortezomib-induced nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NFE2L2, NRF2)-associated stress responses, including upregulation of the xCT subunit of the Xc- cystine-glutamate antiporter. INA-6 cells conditioned to increasing bortezomib doses displayed reduced bortezomib sensitivity and elevated xCT levels. Inhibiting Xc- activity potentiated bortezomib-induced cytotoxicity in myeloma cell lines and primary cells, and re-established sensitivity to bortezomib in bortezomib-conditioned cells. We propose that intracellular GSH level is the main determinant of bortezomib-induced cytotoxicity in a subset of myeloma cells, and that combined targeting of the proteasome and the Xc- cystine-glutamate antiporter can circumvent bortezomib resistance.