Dr. Matthew Frank, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at Stanford University. Dr. Frank predominantly cares for patients with high-risk lymphoma and other blood cancers. He is a lead investigator of clinical trials evaluating the safety and effectiveness of cancer treatments called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR ) T therapy for patients with lymphomas and leukemias. Dr. Frank’s research focuses on developing methods to identify patients who are at high risk for relapse or developing side-effects after receiving CAR T therapy and to understand why these relapses and side-effects occur.

Clinical Focus

  • Medical Oncology

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Fellowship: Stanford University Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship (2019) CA
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Hematology and Oncology Fellowship (2018) CA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology (2017)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine (2014)
  • Residency: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency (2013) MA
  • Medical Education: UCLA David Geffen School Of Medicine Registrar (2011) CA
  • PhD, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA, Cellular and Molecular Pathology (2009)
  • BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Electrical Engineering (2003)

Clinical Trials

  • Autologous CD22 CAR T Cells in Adults w/ Recurrent or Refractory B Cell Malignancies Recruiting

    The primary purpose of this study is to test whether CD22-CAR T cells can be successfully made from immune cells collected from adults with relapsed/refractory B-cell malignancies (leukemia and lymphoma).

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  • B7-H3 Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells (B7-H3CART) in Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme Recruiting

    This is an open label, non-randomized, single site Phase I study to test the manufacturing feasibility and safety of locoregional (LR) administration of B7-H3CART into the central nervous system of adult subjects with recurrent IDH wild-type GBM using a standard 3+3 dose escalation design.

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  • CD19/CD22 Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cells With or Without NKTR-255 in Adults With Recurrent or Refractory B Cell Malignancies Recruiting

    This phase I trial studies the side effects of CD19/CD22 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells when given together with chemotherapy and NKTR-255, and to see how well they work in treating patients with CD19 positive B acute lymphoblastic leukemia that has come back or does not respond to treatment. A CAR is a genetically-engineered receptor made so that immune cells (T cells) can attack cancer cells by recognizing and responding to the CD19/CD22 proteins. These proteins are commonly found on diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and B acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as cyclophosphamide and fludarabine phosphate, work in different ways to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells, by stopping them from dividing, or by stopping them from spreading. NKTR-255 is an investigational IL-15 receptor agonist designed to boost the immune system's natural ability to fight cancer. Giving CD19/CD22-CAR T cells and chemotherapy in combination with NKTR-255 may work better in treating patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma or B acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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  • Long-term Cognitive, Neuropsychiatric and Functional Outcomes in Adults Who Have Received Chimeric Antigen-Receptor T-Cell (CAR-T) Therapy for Aggressive Lymphoma at Stanford Not Recruiting

    This study aims to assess the feasibility of performing neuropsychological testing to measure the cognitive performance of individuals following Axicabtagene ciloleucel CAR-T therapy at Stanford.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Brian J Scott, MD,

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  • Safety of Myeloablative Conditioning, Orca-T, and Allogeneic, Donor-Derived CD19/CD22-CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) T Cells in Adults With B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Not Recruiting

    To assess the safety of administering allogenic, donor-derived CD19/CD22-CAR T cells that meet established release specifications in adults with B-cell ALL following a myeloablative conditioning regimen and Orca-T to determine if this will augment graft versus leukemia without increasing acute GVHD or graft failure.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Lindsay Danley, 650-721-2372.

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2022-23 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Multifocal demyelinating leukoencephalopathy and oligodendroglial lineage cell loss with immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) following CD19 CAR T-cell therapy for mantle cell lymphoma. Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology Nie, E. H., Ahmadian, S. S., Bharadwaj, S. N., Acosta-Alvarez, L., Threlkeld, Z. D., Frank, M. J., Miklos, D. B., Monje, M., Scott, B. J., Vogel, H. 2023


    Immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) is a prevalent condition seen after treatment with chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy and other cancer cell therapies. The underlying pathophysiology and neuropathology of the clinical syndrome are incompletely understood due to the limited availability of brain tissue evaluation from patient cases, and a lack of high-fidelity preclinical animal models for translational research. Here, we present the cellular and tissue neuropathologic analysis of a patient who experienced grade 4 ICANS after treatment with anti-CD19 CAR T therapy for mantle cell lymphoma. Our pathologic evaluation reveals a pattern of multifocal demyelinating leukoencephalopathy associated with a clinical course of severe ICANS. A focused analysis of glial subtypes further suggests region-specific oligodendrocyte lineage cell loss as a potential cellular and pathophysiologic correlate in severe ICANS. We propose a framework for the continuum of neuropathologic changes thus far reported across ICANS cases. Future elucidation of the mechanistic processes underlying ICANS will be critical in minimizing neurotoxicity following CAR T-cell and related immunotherapy treatments across oncologic and autoimmune diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jnen/nlac121

    View details for PubMedID 36592076

  • Determinants of resistance to engineered T cell therapies targeting CD19 in large B cell lymphomas. Cancer cell Sworder, B. J., Kurtz, D. M., Alig, S. K., Frank, M. J., Shukla, N., Garofalo, A., Macaulay, C. W., Shahrokh Esfahani, M., Olsen, M. N., Hamilton, J., Hosoya, H., Hamilton, M., Spiegel, J. Y., Baird, J. H., Sugio, T., Carleton, M., Craig, A. F., Younes, S. F., Sahaf, B., Sheybani, N. D., Schroers-Martin, J. G., Liu, C. L., Oak, J. S., Jin, M. C., Beygi, S., Hüttmann, A., Hanoun, C., Dührsen, U., Westin, J. R., Khodadoust, M. S., Natkunam, Y., Majzner, R. G., Mackall, C. L., Diehn, M., Miklos, D. B., Alizadeh, A. A. 2022


    Most relapsed/refractory large B cell lymphoma (r/rLBCL) patients receiving anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR19) T cells relapse. To characterize determinants of resistance, we profiled over 700 longitudinal specimens from two independent cohorts (n = 65 and n = 73) of r/rLBCL patients treated with axicabtagene ciloleucel. A method for simultaneous profiling of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), cell-free CAR19 (cfCAR19) retroviral fragments, and cell-free T cell receptor rearrangements (cfTCR) enabled integration of tumor and both engineered and non-engineered T cell effector-mediated factors for assessing treatment failure and predicting outcomes. Alterations in multiple classes of genes are associated with resistance, including B cell identity (PAX5 and IRF8), immune checkpoints (CD274), and those affecting the microenvironment (TMEM30A). Somatic tumor alterations affect CAR19 therapy at multiple levels, including CAR19 T cell expansion, persistence, and tumor microenvironment. Further, CAR19 T cells play a reciprocal role in shaping tumor genotype and phenotype. We envision these findings will facilitate improved chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and personalized therapeutic approaches.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ccell.2022.12.005

    View details for PubMedID 36584673

  • Post-infusion CAR T-Reg cells identify patients resistant to CD19-CAR therapy NATURE MEDICINE Good, Z., Spiegel, J. Y., Sahaf, B., Malipatlolla, M. B., Ehlinger, Z. J., Kurra, S., Desai, M. H., Reynolds, W. D., Lin, A., Vandris, P., Wu, F., Prabhu, S., Hamilton, M. P., Tamaresis, J. S., Hanson, P. J., Patel, S., Feldman, S. A., Frank, M. J., Baird, J. H., Muffly, L., Claire, G. K., Craig, J., Kong, K. A., Wagh, D., Coller, J., Bendall, S. C., Tibshirani, R. J., Plevritis, S. K., Miklos, D. B., Mackall, C. L. 2022


    Approximately 60% of patients with large B cell lymphoma treated with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies targeting CD19 experience disease progression, and neurotoxicity remains a challenge. Biomarkers associated with resistance and toxicity are limited. In this study, single-cell proteomic profiling of circulating CAR T cells in 32 patients treated with CD19-CAR identified that CD4+Helios+ CAR T cells on day 7 after infusion are associated with progressive disease and less severe neurotoxicity. Deep profiling demonstrated that this population is non-clonal and manifests hallmark features of T regulatory (TReg) cells. Validation cohort analysis upheld the link between higher CAR TReg cells with clinical progression and less severe neurotoxicity. A model combining expansion of this subset with lactate dehydrogenase levels, as a surrogate for tumor burden, was superior for predicting durable clinical response compared to models relying on each feature alone. These data credential CAR TReg cell expansion as a novel biomarker of response and toxicity after CAR T cell therapy and raise the prospect that this subset may regulate CAR T cell responses in humans.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41591-022-01960-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000852940800007

    View details for PubMedID 36097223

  • Assessment of Pretreatment and Posttreatment Evolution of Neurofilament Light Chain Levels in Patients Who Develop Immune Effector Cell-Associated Neurotoxicity Syndrome. JAMA oncology Butt, O. H., Zhou, A. Y., Caimi, P. F., Luckett, P. H., Wisch, J. K., Derenoncourt, P., Lee, K., Wu, G. F., de Lima, M. J., Campian, J. L., Frank, M. J., DiPersio, J. F., Ghobadi, A., Ances, B. M. 2022


    Importance: Determining whether neurofilament light chain (NfL) elevations in patients who develop immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) occur before or after infusion of cellular product is important to identify high-risk patients and inform whether neuroaxonal injury is latent or a consequence of treatment.Objective: To quantify serial NfL levels in patients undergoing cellular therapy.Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective 2-center study examined plasma NfL levels in 30 patients with detailed medical and treatment history, including all major pretreatment and posttreatment risk factors. Exclusion criteria included dementia and severe, symptomatic central nervous system (CNS) involvement.Main Outcomes and Measures: Patients' NfL levels were measured at 7 time points: baseline (prelymphodepletion), during lymphodepletion, postinfusion day (D) 1, D3, D7, D14, and D30. Prediction accuracy for the development of ICANS was next modeled using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) classification. Finally, univariate and multivariate modeling examined the association between NfL levels, ICANS, and potential risk factors including demographic (age, sex), oncologic (tumor burden, history of CNS involvement), neurologic (history of nononcologic CNS disease or neuropathy), and neurotoxic exposure histories (vincristine, cytarabine, methotrexate, or CNS radiotherapy).Results: A total of 30 patients (median [range] age, 64 [22-80] years; 12 women [40%] and 18 men [60%]) were included. Individuals who developed ICANS had elevations in NfL prior to lymphodepletion and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell infusion compared with those who did not develop ICANS (no ICANS: 29.4 pg/mL, vs any ICANS: 87.6 pg/mL; P<.001). Baseline NfL levels further predicted ICANS development with high accuracy (area under the ROC curve, 0.96), sensitivity (0.91), and specificity (0.95). Levels of NfL remained elevated across all time points, up to 30 days postinfusion. Baseline NfL levels correlated with ICANS severity but not demographic factors, oncologic history, nononcologic neurologic history, or history of exposure to neurotoxic therapies.Conclusions and Relevance: In a subset of patients in this cross-sectional study, the risk of developing ICANS was associated with preexisting neuroaxonal injury that was quantifiable with plasma NfL level. This latent neuroaxonal injury was present prior to drug administration but was not associated with historic neurotoxic therapies or nononcologic neurologic disease. Preinfusion NfL may further permit early screening and identification of patients most at risk for ICANS. Additional studies are needed to determine NfL's utility as a predictive biomarker for early (preemptive or prophylactic) intervention and to delineate the origin of this underlying neural injury.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamaoncol.2022.3738

    View details for PubMedID 36048456

  • CAR T-cell therapy for mantle cell lymphoma with central nervous system relapse. Blood advances Vu, K., Frank, M. J. 2022

    View details for DOI 10.1182/bloodadvances.2022008031

    View details for PubMedID 35895518

  • Brexucabtagene autoleucel for relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma: Real-world experience from the United States lymphoma CAR T consortium. Jain, P., Wang, Y., Locke, F. L., Munoz, J., Beitinjaneh, A., Frank, M., Dahiya, S., Jacobs, M. T., Hill, B. T., Lekakis, L. J., Miklos, D., Ghobadi, A., Neelapu, S., Lin, Y., Wang, M., Jain, M. D., Maurer, M. J., US Lymphoma CAR T cell Consortium LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2022
  • Multifocal demyelinating leukoencephalopathy and oligodendroglial lineage cell loss with CD19 CAR T-cell lymphoma therapy Nie, E., Ahmadian, S., Bharadwaj, S., Acosta-Alvarez, L., Threlkeld, Z., Frank, M., Miklos, D., Born, D., Scott, B., Monje, M., Vogel, H. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2022: 464
  • Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in the Modern Era. Transplantation and cellular therapy Liang, E. C., Craig, J., Torelli, S., Cunanan, K., Iglesias, M., Arai, S., Frank, M. J., Johnston, L., Lowsky, R., Meyer, E. H., Miklos, D. B., Negrin, R., Rezvani, A., Shiraz, P., Shizuru, J., Sidana, S., Weng, W. K., Bharadwaj, S., Muffly, L. 2022


    Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) remains an important treatment for adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We hypothesized that advances in ALL and transplantation have resulted in improved HCT outcomes in recent years.To evaluate the characteristics and outcomes of adult ALL patients undergoing allogeneic HCT over the last decade.Patients with ALL aged ≥18 years old who underwent allogeneic HCT at Stanford University between 2008 and 2019 were included in this study. Patients were divided into two Eras based on year of HCT: 2008-2013 (Earlier Era) and 2014-2019 (Later Era).A total of 285 patients were included: 119 patients underwent HCT in the Earlier Era and 166 in the Later Era. Patients transplanted in the Later Era were more likely to be Hispanic (38% vs. 21%) and to have HCT-Comorbidity Index of ≥ 3 (31% vs. 18%). Donor source for HCT also differed with an increase in the use of HLA-mismatched donor sources (38% vs. 24%), notably umbilical cord blood (UCB) in the Later Era (16% vs. 0%). Patients in the Later Era were less likely to undergo transplant with active disease (4% vs.16%); pre-HCT rates of measurable residual disease (MRD) were similar across the Eras (38% vs. 40%). In unadjusted analyses, overall survival (OS) improved across Eras, with 2-year estimates for the Later and Earlier Eras of 73% (95% CI, 66%-80%) vs. 55% (95% CI, 46%-64%), respectively. Multivariable analysis confirmed the association between Later Era and OS (HR = 0.52, 95% CI, 0.34-0.78). Finally, among patients relapsing after HCT (25% in Later Era and 33% in Earlier Era), the utilization of novel immunotherapies increased in the Later Era (44% vs. 3%), as did the median OS following post-HCT relapse (16 months vs. 8 months, p < 0.001).OS following HCT for adult ALL has improved in recent years. This is due, in part, to a significant improvement in the ability to effectively salvage adults with ALL relapsing after HCT.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtct.2022.05.010

    View details for PubMedID 35584783

  • Inferring gene expression from cell-free DNA fragmentation profiles. Nature biotechnology Esfahani, M. S., Hamilton, E. G., Mehrmohamadi, M., Nabet, B. Y., Alig, S. K., King, D. A., Steen, C. B., Macaulay, C. W., Schultz, A., Nesselbush, M. C., Soo, J., Schroers-Martin, J. G., Chen, B., Binkley, M. S., Stehr, H., Chabon, J. J., Sworder, B. J., Hui, A. B., Frank, M. J., Moding, E. J., Liu, C. L., Newman, A. M., Isbell, J. M., Rudin, C. M., Li, B. T., Kurtz, D. M., Diehn, M., Alizadeh, A. A. 2022


    Profiling of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in the bloodstream shows promise for noninvasive cancer detection. Chromatin fragmentation features have previously been explored to infer gene expression profiles from cell-free DNA (cfDNA), but current fragmentomic methods require high concentrations of tumor-derived DNA and provide limited resolution. Here we describe promoter fragmentation entropy as an epigenomic cfDNA feature that predicts RNA expression levels at individual genes. We developed 'epigenetic expression inference from cell-free DNA-sequencing' (EPIC-seq), a method that uses targeted sequencing of promoters of genes of interest. Profiling 329 blood samples from 201 patients with cancer and 87 healthy adults, we demonstrate classification of subtypes of lung carcinoma and diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Applying EPIC-seq to serial blood samples from patients treated with PD-(L)1 immune-checkpoint inhibitors, we show that gene expression profiles inferred by EPIC-seq are correlated with clinical response. Our results indicate that EPIC-seq could enable noninvasive, high-throughput tissue-of-origin characterization with diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic potential.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41587-022-01222-4

    View details for PubMedID 35361996

  • Detection of Aberrant CD58 Expression in a Wide Spectrum of Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas: Implications for CAR T Cell Resistance Younes, S., Libert, D., Zhao, S., Johnsrud, A., Bharadwaj, S., Majzner, R., Frank, M., Miklos, D., Natkunam, Y. SPRINGERNATURE. 2022: 1046-1048
  • Detection of Aberrant CD58 Expression in a Wide Spectrum of Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas: Implications for CAR T Cell Resistance Younes, S., Libert, D., Zhao, S., Johnsrud, A., Bharadwaj, S., Majzner, R., Frank, M., Miklos, D., Natkunam, Y. SPRINGERNATURE. 2022: 1046-1048
  • Real-world Experience of Cryopreserved Allogeneic Hematopoietic Grafts in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Single Center Report. Transplantation and cellular therapy Bankova, A. K., Caveney, J., Yao, B., Ramos, T. L., Bogeholz, J., Heydari, K., Diaz, N., Jackson, M. L., Lowsky, R., Brown, J. W., Johnston, L., Rezvani, A. R., Frank, M. J., Muffly, L., Weng, W., Sidana, S., Negrin, R. S., Miklos, D. B., Shiraz, P., Meyer, E. H., Shizuru, J. A., Arai, S. 1800


    BACKGROUND: As a result of the COVID-19 widespread pandemic, cryopreservation of allogeneic donor apheresis products was implemented to mitigate the challenges of donor availability and product transport. Although logistically beneficial, the impact of cryopreservation on clinical outcomes and graft composition remains unclear.OBJECTIVES: To compare the outcomes and graft composition with cryopreserved versus fresh allografts in the setting of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT).STUDY DESIGN: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical outcomes of 30 consecutive patients who received cryopreserved allografts between March and August 2020 as compared to 60 consecutive patients who received fresh allografts prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Primary endpoints were hematopoietic engraftment, graft failure (GF) and secondary outcomes were overall survival (OS), relapse free survival (RFS) and non-relapse mortality (NRM). In addition, extended immunophenotype analysis was performed on cryopreserved versus prospectively collected fresh apheresis samples.RESULTS: Compared to fresh allografts, both neutrophil and platelet recovery were delayed in recipients of cryopreserved reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) allo-HCT with median times to engraftment of 24 days vs 18 days (P = .01) and 27 days vs 18 days (P = .069), respectively. We observed primary GF in 4 of 30 patients in the cryopreserved cohort (13.3%) vs only one of 60 patients (1.7 %) in the fresh cohort (P = .03). Cryopreserved RIC allo-HCT was associated with significantly lower median total, myeloid and T-cell donor chimerism at 1 month. OS and RFS were inferior for cryograft recipients with hazard ratio [HR (95%Cl)]: 2.16 (1.00, 4.67) and 1.90 (0.95, 3.79), respectively. Using an extended immunophenotype analysis we compared 14 samples from the cryopreserved cohort to 6 prospectively collected fresh apheresis donor samples. These analyses showed both decrease in total cell viability and significantly reduced absolute numbers of NK cells (CD3-CD56+) in the cryopreserved apheresis samples.CONCLUSION: In this single institution study we note delayed engraftment and a trend toward clinical inferiority of cryopreserved vs fresh allografts. Further evaluation of the use of cryopreserved allografts and their impact on clinical and laboratory outcomes is warranted.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtct.2022.01.010

    View details for PubMedID 35042013

  • ALPHA Study: ALLO-501 Produced Deep and Durable Responses in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Comparable to Autologous CAR T Neelapu, S. S., Nath, R., Munoz, J., Tees, M., Miklos, D. B., Frank, M. J., Malik, S. A., Stevens, D., Shin, C., Balakumaran, A., Loomis-Navale, L., Goyal, L., Nguyen, A., Locke, F. L. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2021
  • ALPHA2 Study: ALLO-501A Allogeneic CAR T in LBCL, Updated Results Continue to Show Encouraging Safety and Efficacy with Consolidation Dosing Lekakis, L. J., Locke, F. L., Tees, M., Neelapu, S. S., Malik, S. A., Hamadani, M., Frank, M. J., Popplewell, L. L., Abramson, J. S., Vos, S., Munoz, J., Shi, C., Balakumaran, A., Loomis-Navale, L., Goyal, L., Zhou, X., Miklos, D. B. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2021
  • Brexucabtagene Autoleucel for Relapsed/Refractory Mantle Cell Lymphoma: Real World Experience from the US Lymphoma CAR T Consortium Wang, Y., Jain, P., Locke, F. L., Munoz, J., Maurer, M. J., Beitinjaneh, A., Frank, M. J., Dahiya, S., McGuirk, J. P., Jacobs, M. T., Goy, A. H., Vose, J. M., Hill, B. T., Oluwole, O. O., Deol, A., Shah, B. D., Paludo, J., Wang, T., Lekakis, L. J., Miklos, D. B., Rapoport, A. P., Ghobadi, A., Neelapu, S. S., Lin, Y., Wang, M., Jain, M. D. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2021
  • Worsening Financial Toxicity Among Patients Receiving Chimeric Antigen Receptor t-Cell (CAR-T) Therapy: A Mixed Methods Longitudinal Study Cusatis, R., Tan, I., Piehowski, C., Akinola, I., Crawford, E., Craig, J., Thiengmany, A., Frank, M. J., Miklos, D. B., Shah, N. N., D'Souza, A., Knight, J. M., Muffly, L., Flynn, K. E., Sidana, S. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2021
  • Do PROs Tell the Whole Story? Differential Outcomes Based on PatientReported Outcomes (PROs) Versus Performance-Based Metrics (PBM) on Cognition for Patients Receiving Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T Cell Therapy Tan, I., Cusatis, R., Crawford, E., Thiengmany, A., Piehowski, C., Akinola, I., Craig, J., Lahijani, S., Frank, M. J., Shah, N. N., D'Souza, A., Miklos, D. B., Muffly, L., Flynn, K. E., Sidana, S. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2021
  • Therapeutic and Immunologic Responses Elicited By in Situ Vaccination with CpG, Ibrutinib, and Low-Dose Radiation Shree, T., Haebe, S., Czerwinski, D. K., Day, G., Sathe, A., Khodadoust, M. S., Frank, M. J., Beygi, S., Hoppe, R., Long, S. R., Martin, B., Ji, H. P., Levy, R. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2021
  • Mgta-145+Plerixafor Provides GCSFFree Rapid and Reliable Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization for Autologous Stem Cell Transplant in Patients with Multiple Myeloma: A Phase 2 Study Sidana, S., Bankova, A. K., Hosoya, H., Kumar, S., Tamaresis, J., Le, A., Muffly, L., Johnston, L. J., Arai, S., Lowsky, R., Meyer, E. H., Rezvani, A. R., Weng, W., Frank, M. J., Shiraz, P., Girgenti, D., Goncalves, K. A., Schmelmer, V., Davis, J. C., Lu, Y., Shizuru, J. A., Miklos, D. B. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2021
  • Incidence and risk factors associated with bleeding and thrombosis following chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy BLOOD ADVANCES Johnsrud, A., Craig, J., Baird, J., Spiegel, J., Muffly, L., Zehnder, J., Tamaresis, J., Negrin, R., Johnston, L., Arai, S., Shizuru, J., Lowsky, R., Meyer, E., Weng, W., Shiraz, P., Rezvani, A., Latchford, T., Mackall, C., Miklos, D., Frank, M., Sidana, S. 2021; 5 (21): 4465-4475
  • Concordance of peripheral blood and bone marrow measurable residual disease in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood advances Muffly, L., Sundaram, V., Chen, C., Yurkiewicz, I., Kuo, E., Burnash, S., Spiegel, J. Y., Arai, S., Frank, M. J., Johnston, L. J., Lowsky, R., Meyer, E. H., Negrin, R. S., Rezvani, A. R., Sidana, S., Shiraz, P., Shizuru, J. A., Weng, W., Liedtke, M., Vempaty, H. T., Miklos, D. B. 2021; 5 (16): 3147-3151


    Monitoring of measurable residual disease (MRD) is essential to the management of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and is typically performed through repeated bone marrow (BM) assessments. Using a next-generation sequencing (NGS) MRD platform, we performed a prospective observational study evaluating the correlation between peripheral blood (PB) and BM MRD in adults with ALL receiving cellular therapies (hematopoietic cell transplantation [HCT] and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell [CAR-T] therapies). Among the study cohort (N = 69 patients; 126 paired PB/BM samples), we found strong correlation between PB and BM MRD (r = 0.87; P < .001), with a sensitivity and specificity of MRD detection in the PB of 87% and 90%, respectively, relative to MRD in the BM. MRD became detectable in the PB in 100% of patients who subsequently relapsed following HCT, with median time from MRD+ to clinical relapse of 90 days, and in 85% of patients who relapsed following CAR T, with median time from MRD+ to clinical relapse of 60 days. In adult patients with ALL undergoing cellular therapies, we demonstrate strong concordance between NGS-based MRD detected in the PB and BM. Monitoring of ALL MRD in the PB appears to be an adequate alternative to frequent invasive BM evaluations in this clinical setting.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004234

    View details for PubMedID 34424318

  • CAR T cells with dual targeting of CD19 and CD22 in adult patients with recurrent or refractory B cell malignancies: a phase 1 trial. Nature medicine Spiegel, J. Y., Patel, S., Muffly, L., Hossain, N. M., Oak, J., Baird, J. H., Frank, M. J., Shiraz, P., Sahaf, B., Craig, J., Iglesias, M., Younes, S., Natkunam, Y., Ozawa, M. G., Yang, E., Tamaresis, J., Chinnasamy, H., Ehlinger, Z., Reynolds, W., Lynn, R., Rotiroti, M. C., Gkitsas, N., Arai, S., Johnston, L., Lowsky, R., Majzner, R. G., Meyer, E., Negrin, R. S., Rezvani, A. R., Sidana, S., Shizuru, J., Weng, W., Mullins, C., Jacob, A., Kirsch, I., Bazzano, M., Zhou, J., Mackay, S., Bornheimer, S. J., Schultz, L., Ramakrishna, S., Davis, K. L., Kong, K. A., Shah, N. N., Qin, H., Fry, T., Feldman, S., Mackall, C. L., Miklos, D. B. 2021


    Despite impressive progress, more than 50% of patients treated with CD19-targeting chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR19) experience progressive disease. Ten of 16 patients with large B cell lymphoma (LBCL) with progressive disease after CAR19 treatment had absent or low CD19. Lower surface CD19 density pretreatment was associated with progressive disease. To prevent relapse with CD19- or CD19lo disease, we tested a bispecific CAR targeting CD19 and/or CD22 (CD19-22.BB.z-CAR) in a phase I clinical trial ( NCT03233854 ) of adults with relapsed/refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) and LBCL. The primary end points were manufacturing feasibility and safety with a secondary efficacy end point. Primary end points were met; 97% of products met protocol-specified dose and no dose-limiting toxicities occurred during dose escalation. In B-ALL (n=17), 100% of patients responded with 88% minimal residual disease-negative complete remission (CR); in LBCL (n=21), 62% of patients responded with 29% CR. Relapses were CD19-/lo in 50% (5 out of 10) of patients with B-ALL and 29% (4 out of 14) of patients with LBCL but were not associated with CD22-/lo disease. CD19/22-CAR products demonstrated reduced cytokine production when stimulated with CD22 versus CD19. Our results further implicate antigen loss as a major cause of CAR T cell resistance, highlight the challenge of engineering multi-specific CAR T cells with equivalent potency across targets and identify cytokine production as an important quality indicator for CAR T cell potency.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41591-021-01436-0

    View details for PubMedID 34312556

  • Outcomes after delayed and second autologous stem cell transplant in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. Bone marrow transplantation Lemieux, C., Muffly, L. S., Iberri, D. J., Craig, J. K., Johnston, L. J., Lowsky, R., Shiraz, P., Rezvani, A. R., Frank, M. J., Weng, W., Meyer, E., Shizuru, J. A., Arai, S., Liedtke, M., Negrin, R. S., Miklos, D. B., Sidana, S. 2021


    We evaluated the outcomes of 168 patients undergoing delayed or second autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) for relapsed multiple myeloma (MM) from 2010 to 2019. Overall, 21% (n=35) patients had received a prior transplant and 69% (n=116) underwent transplant at first relapse. Overall, 27% patients had high-risk cytogenetics and 15% had ISS stage III disease. Stem cell collection was performed after relapse in 72% and 35% of patients received maintenance therapy. Median PFS from salvage treatment and transplant were 28 and 19 months, respectively. Median OS from salvage treatment and transplant was 69 and 55 months. Multivariate analysis revealed that ASCT in first relapse was associated with superior PFS (HR 0.63, p=0.03) and OS (HR 0.59, p=0.04) compared to later lines of therapy. In addition, PFS of ≥36 months with prior therapy was associated with improved PFS (HR 0.62, p=0.04) and OS (HR 0.41, p=0.01). Ninety-five patients underwent delayed transplant at first relapse, median PFS and OS from start of therapy was 30 and 69 months, and median OS from diagnosis was 106 months. These data may serve as a guide when counseling patients undergoing ASCT for relapsed MM and provide a benchmark in designing clinical trials of transplantation/comparative treatments for relapsed MM.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41409-021-01371-1

    View details for PubMedID 34163014

  • Monitoring of Circulating Tumor DNA Improves Early Relapse Detection After Axicabtagene Ciloleucel Infusion in Large B-Cell Lymphoma: Results of a Prospective Multi-Institutional Trial. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Frank, M. J., Hossain, N. M., Bukhari, A., Dean, E., Spiegel, J. Y., Claire, G. K., Kirsch, I., Jacob, A. P., Mullins, C. D., Lee, L. W., Kong, K. A., Craig, J., Mackall, C. L., Rapoport, A. P., Jain, M. D., Dahiya, S., Locke, F. L., Miklos, D. B. 2021: JCO2100377


    PURPOSE: Although the majority of patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma respond to axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), only a minority of patients have durable remissions. This prospective multicenter study explored the prognostic value of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) before and after standard-of-care axi-cel for predicting patient outcomes.METHODS: Lymphoma-specific variable, diversity, and joining gene segments (VDJ) clonotype ctDNA sequences were frequently monitored via next-generation sequencing from the time of starting lymphodepleting chemotherapy until progression or 1 year after axi-cel infusion. We assessed the prognostic value of ctDNA to predict outcomes and axi-cel-related toxicity.RESULTS: A tumor clonotype was successfully detected in 69 of 72 (96%) enrolled patients. Higher pretreatment ctDNA concentrations were associated with progression after axi-cel infusion and developing cytokine release syndrome and/or immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome. Twenty-three of 33 (70%) durably responding patients versus 4 of 31 (13%) progressing patients demonstrated nondetectable ctDNA 1 week after axi-cel infusion (P < .0001). At day 28, patients with detectable ctDNA compared with those with undetectable ctDNA had a median progression-free survival and OS of 3 months versus not reached (P < .0001) and 19 months versus not reached (P = .0080), respectively. In patients with a radiographic partial response or stable disease on day 28, 1 of 10 patients with concurrently undetectable ctDNA relapsed; by contrast, 15 of 17 patients with concurrently detectable ctDNA relapsed (P = .0001). ctDNA was detected at or before radiographic relapse in 29 of 30 (94%) patients. All durably responding patients had undetectable ctDNA at or before 3 months after axi-cel infusion.CONCLUSION: Noninvasive ctDNA assessments can risk stratify and predict outcomes of patients undergoing axi-cel for the treatment of large B-cell lymphoma. These results provide a rationale for designing ctDNA-based risk-adaptive chimeric antigen receptor T-cell clinical trials.

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.21.00377

    View details for PubMedID 34133196

  • Inferior Clinical Outcomes in Recipients of Cryopreserved Grafts Following Reduced Intensity Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: A Single Center Report Bankova, A., Caveney, J., Ramos, T., Bogeholz, J., Heydari, K., Diaz, N., Jackson, M., Lowsky, R., Brown, J., Johnston, L., Rezvani, A., Frank, M., Muffly, L., Weng, W., Sidana, S., Negrin, R., Miklos, D., Shiraz, P., Meyer, E., Shizuru, J., Arai, S. SPRINGERNATURE. 2021: 181
  • Phase 2 study of MGTA-145+plerixafor for rapid and reliable hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) mobilization for autologous transplant in multiple myeloma. Sidana, S., Bankova, A., Hosoya, H., Muffly, L. S., Kumar, S., Johnston, L. J., Lowsky, R., Meyer, E., Rezvani, A., Weng, W., Arai, S., Frank, M., Shiraz, P., Howell, H., Goncalves, K. A., Schmelmer, V., Davis, J., Shizuru, J., Miklos, D. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2021
  • Stem Cell Mobilization in Multiple Myeloma: Comparing Safety and Efficacy of Cyclophosphamide +/- Plerixafor vs. G-CSF +/- Plerixafor in the Lenalidomide Era. Transplantation and cellular therapy Johnsrud, A., Ladha, A., Muffly, L., Shiraz, P., Goldstein, G., Osgood, V., Shizuru, J. A., Johnston, L., Arai, S., Weng, W., Lowsky, R., Rezvani, A. R., Meyer, E. H., Frank, M. J., Negrin, R. S., Miklos, D. B., Sidana, S. 2021


    Growth factor and chemotherapy-based stem cell mobilization strategies are commonly used for patients with multiple myeloma. We retrospectively compared 398 patients mobilized between 2017-2020 using either cyclophosphamide (4g/m2) plus granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF) or G-CSF alone, with on demand plerixafor (PXF) in both groups. While total CD34+yield was higher after chemo-mobilization compared to GCSF+/-PXF (median 13.6 vs. 4.4 * 106/kg,P< .01), achievement of≥2 * 106CD34+ cells (95% vs 93.7%,P= .61), and rates of mobilization failure (5% vs. 6.3%,P= .61) were similar. Fewer patients required PXF with chemo-mobilization (12.3% vs 49.5%,P< .01), and apheresis sessions were fewer (median: 1, range 1-4 vs. 2, range 1-5). Complications were higher after chemo-mobilization (30% vs. 7.4%,P< .01), including neutropenic fever, ED visits, and hospitalizations. Prior lenalidomide≤6 cycles did not impair cell yield in either group.Median cost of mobilization was 17.4% lower in the GCSF +/- PXF group (P= .01).Differences in time to engraftment were not clinically significant. Given similar rates mobilization success, engraftment time, and less toxicity and lower costs compared to chemo-mobilization, G-CSF with on-demand PXF may be preferable in myeloma patients with adequate disease control and limited lenalidomide exposure.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtct.2021.04.016

    View details for PubMedID 33915323

  • Use of Backup Stem Cells for Stem Cell Boost and Second Transplant in Patients with Multiple Myeloma Undergoing Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation. Transplantation and cellular therapy Liang, E. C., Muffly, L. S., Shiraz, P., Shizuru, J. A., Johnston, L., Arai, S., Frank, M. J., Weng, W., Lowsky, R., Rezvani, A., Meyer, E. H., Negrin, R., Miklos, D. B., Sidana, S. 2021


    Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is a standard treatment for multiple myeloma (MM). Consensus guidelines recommend collecting sufficient stem cells in case there is a need for stem cell boost for delayed/poor engraftment or for future second ASCT. However, collecting and storing backup stem cells in all patients requires significant resources and cost, and the rates of backup stem cell utilization are not well studied. We sought to examine the utilization of backup stem cells (BSCs) in patients with MM undergoing ASCT. Patients with MM aged ≥18 years old who underwent first ASCT at our institution from January 2010 through December 2015 and collected sufficient stem cells for at least 2 transplants were included in this single-center retrospective study. This timeframe was selected to allow for adequate follow-up. A total of 393 patients were included. The median age was 58 years (range, 25-73). After a median follow-up of 6 years, the median progression-free survival (PFS) of the cohort was 3 years. Sixty-one percent (n=240) of patients progressed or relapsed. Chemotherapy-based mobilization was used in almost all patients (98%). The median total CD34+ cells collected was 18.2*106/kg (range, 3.4-112.4). A median of 5.7*106 CD34+ cells/kg (range, 1.8-41.9) was infused during the first ASCT, and a median of 10.1*106 CD34+ cells/kg (range, 1.5-104.5) was cryopreserved for future use. Of the patients, 6.9% (n=27) used backup stem cells, with 2.3% (n=10) using them for stem cell boost, 4.6% (n=18) for a second salvage ASCT, including 1 patient for both stem cell boost and second ASCT. Rates of backup stem cell use among patients aged <60, 60-69, and ≥70 years were 7.8%, 5.7%, and 5.9%, respectively. There was a trend toward higher rates of backup stem cell use for second ASCT in patients who were younger, had suboptimal disease control at time of first ASCT, and longer PFS. The median dose of stem cell boost given was 5.6*106 CD34+ cells/kg (range, 1.9-20). The median time from stem cell boost to neutrophil, hemoglobin, and platelet engraftment was 4 (range, 2-11), 15 (range, 4-34), and 12 (range, 0-34) days, respectively. Lower CD34+ dose and older age at time of ASCT predicted need for stem cell boost. With new salvage therapies for relapsed MM, the rates of second ASCT are very low. The low rates of use suggest that institutional policies regarding universal BSC collection and long-term storage should be reassessed and individualized. However, need for stem cell boost in 2.3% of patients may present a challenge to that.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtct.2021.02.026

    View details for PubMedID 33775587

  • Immune reconstitution and infectious complications following axicabtagene ciloleucel therapy for large B-cell lymphoma. Blood advances Baird, J. H., Epstein, D. J., Tamaresis, J. S., Ehlinger, Z., Spiegel, J. Y., Craig, J., Claire, G. K., Frank, M. J., Muffly, L., Shiraz, P., Meyer, E., Arai, S., Brown, J. W., Johnston, L., Lowsky, R., Negrin, R. S., Rezvani, A. R., Weng, W. K., Latchford, T., Sahaf, B., Mackall, C. L., Miklos, D. B., Sidana, S. 2021; 5 (1): 143-155


    Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy targeting CD19 has significantly improved outcomes in the treatment of refractory or relapsed large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL). We evaluated the long-term course of hematologic recovery, immune reconstitution, and infectious complications in 41 patients with LBCL treated with axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) at a single center. Grade 3+ cytopenias occurred in 97.6% of patients within the first 28 days postinfusion, with most resolved by 6 months. Overall, 63.4% of patients received a red blood cell transfusion, 34.1% of patients received a platelet transfusion, 36.6% of patients received IV immunoglobulin, and 51.2% of patients received growth factor (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor) injections beyond the first 28 days postinfusion. Only 40% of patients had recovered detectable CD19+ B cells by 1 year, and 50% of patients had a CD4+ T-cell count <200 cells per μL by 18 months postinfusion. Patients with durable responses to axi-cel had significantly longer durations of B-cell aplasia, and this duration correlated strongly with the recovery of CD4+ T-cell counts. There were significantly more infections within the first 28 days compared with any other period of follow-up, with the majority being mild-moderate in severity. Receipt of corticosteroids was the only factor that predicted risk of infection in a multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 3.69; 95% confidence interval, 1.18-16.5). Opportunistic infections due to Pneumocystis jirovecii and varicella-zoster virus occurred up to 18 months postinfusion in patients who prematurely discontinued prophylaxis. These results support the use of comprehensive supportive care, including long-term monitoring and antimicrobial prophylaxis, beyond 12 months after axi-cel treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002732

    View details for PubMedID 33570626

  • Immune reconstitution and infectious complications following axicabtagene ciloleucel therapy for large B-cell lymphoma BLOOD ADVANCES Baird, J. H., Epstein, D. J., Tamaresis, J. S., Ehlinger, Z., Spiegel, J. Y., Craig, J., Claire, G. K., Frank, M. J., Muffly, L., Shiraz, P., Meyer, E., Arai, S., Brown, J., Johnston, L., Lowsky, R., Negrin, R. S., Rezvani, A. R., Weng, W., Latchford, T., Sahaf, B., Mackall, C. L., Miklos, D. B., Sidana, S. 2021; 5 (1): 143–55
  • Incidence and Risk Factors Associated with Bleeding and Thrombosis Following Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Therapy. Blood advances Johnsrud, A. J., Craig, J., Baird, J. H., Spiegel, J. Y., Muffly, L., Zehnder, J. L., Tamaresis, J. S., Negrin, R. S., Johnston, L., Arai, S., Shizuru, J. A., Lowsky, R., Meyer, E., Weng, W. K., Shiraz, P., Rezvani, A. R., Latchford, T., Mackall, C. L., Miklos, D. B., Frank, M. J., Sidana, S. 2021


    Bleeding and thrombotic events are an emerging toxicity associated with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapies. To determine their incidence, we retrospectively analyzed consecutive adult patients (n=127) with large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) or B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) treated between 2017-2020 with axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) (N=89) or a bispecific CD19/CD22 CAR (N=38). 12 (9.4%) and 8 (6.3%) patients developed bleeding and thrombosis within first 3 months, respectively. In the axi-cel subgroup, these occurred in 11.2% and 6.7%, respectively. Bleeding occurred between days 8-30 (median 17.5), and thrombosis between days 2-91 (median 29). Bleeding sites included genitourinary (N=6), soft tissue (N=2), intracranial (N=2), gastrointestinal (N=1), pulmonary (N=1), and were associated with features of consumptive coagulopathy. On univariate analysis, patients with bleeding were older (median 72 vs. 60 yrs, P<0.01), had lower baseline platelets (86 vs. 178 K/uL, P<0.01), lower platelet nadir after CAR-T (median 17.5 vs. 48 K/uL; P<0.01), lower fibrinogen nadir (median 122 vs. 340 ug/mL; P<0.01) and elevated LDH (P=0.01). ICANS grade ≥3 was associated with increased bleeding (50% vs. 15%; P=0.01), thrombosis (50% vs. 16%; P=0.04), PT prolongation, hypofibrinogenemia and elevated D-dimer. A paucity of events limited multivariate analysis, however low pre-treatment platelets were associated with bleeding in a multivariate logistic regression model. Patients with thrombocytopenia or severe ICANS are at increased risk of bleeding complications and should be closely monitored particularly within the first month after CAR therapy. Future studies in larger cohorts should assess risk factors for systemic coagulopathies in CAR-T therapy, including their association with neurotoxicity.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004716

    View details for PubMedID 34521106

  • Serial FNA allows direct sampling of malignant and infiltrating immune cells in patients with B-cell lymphoma receiving immunotherapy. Cancer cytopathology Mooney, K. L., Czerwinski, D. K., Shree, T., Frank, M. J., Haebe, S., Martin, B. A., Testa, S., Levy, R., Long, S. R. 2021


    Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) is used to diagnose malignancies, recurrences, and metastases. The procedure is quick and well tolerated and can be facilitated by ultrasound guidance.This article describes the authors' experience in using serial FNA to harvest cellular material during 4 clinical trials of immunotherapy by in situ vaccination in patients with low-grade lymphoma.Two hundred ninety-six FNA samples were collected from 44 patients over a span of approximately 6 weeks for each patient. Samples were sufficient in quantity and quality to be analyzed by flow cytometry and/or single-cell messenger RNA sequencing. FNA samples yielded an average of 12 × 106 cells with a mean cellular viability of 86%. Material collected from the tumor lymph nodes differed significantly in the proportions and phenotypes of cellular populations in comparison with matched peripheral blood samples. A comparison of flow cytometry results obtained by FNA directly from the patient and by FNA performed ex vivo and a dissociation of the same lymph node after surgical excision confirmed that FNA sampling of the patient accurately represented the tumor and the microenvironment. An analysis of the FNA samples from immunotherapy-treated target lymph nodes versus nodes from nontreated tumor sites provided insight into the impact of specific immunotherapy regimens.This is the largest study describing the use of serial FNA sampling to harvest cellular material during immunotherapy clinical trials. The success of this technique opens the door for FNA sampling to expand significantly future investigations of the dynamic effects of investigational agents, be they immunotherapies or targeted therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cncy.22531

    View details for PubMedID 34780125

  • Outcomes with Autologous or Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with Plasma Cell Leukemia in the Era of Novel Agents. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Lemieux, C., Johnston, L. J., Lowsky, R., Muffly, L. S., Craig, J. K., Shiraz, P., Rezvani, A., Frank, M. J., Weng, W., Meyer, E., Shizuru, J., Arai, S., Negrin, R., Miklos, D. B., Sidana, S. 2020


    Plasma cell leukemia (PCL) is a rare and very aggressive plasma cell disorder. The optimal treatment approach, including whether to pursue an autologous (autoSCT) or allogeneic (alloSCT) transplant is not clear as there is lack of clinical trial based evidence. This single center retrospective study describes the outcomes of 16 patients with PCL (N=14 primary PCL) who underwent either autoSCT (N=9) or alloSCT (N=7) for PCL in the era of novel agents, between 2007 and 2019. Median age of the cohort was 58 years. High-risk cytogenetics were seen in 50% of patients. All patients received a proteasome inhibitor (PI) and/or immunomodulatory drug (IMiD) based regimen before transplant. At transplant, 10 (62%) patients obtained at least a very good partial response. Response after autoSCT (3 month) was at least VGPR in 6 (67%, CR=5) patients. All patients undergoing alloSCT achieved CR at 3 months. Maintenance was used in 5 patients (56%) after autoSCT. Median PFS from transplant in the autoSCT vs. alloSCT group was 6 vs. 18 months, p=0.09, while median OS from transplant was 19 vs. 40 months (p=0.41), respectively. The median OS from diagnosis was 27 vs. 49 months, p=0.50, respectively. Of all the deaths, 10 (91%) patients died of relapsed disease. In conclusion, alloSCT was not observed to offer any significant survival advantage over autoSCT in PCL, which is comparable to other recent reports and relapse remains the primary cause of death.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.08.035

    View details for PubMedID 32961371

  • Autologous stem cell transplantation versus no transplant in patients above 70 with multiple myeloma. Lemieux, C., Muffly, L. S., Iberri, D., Rezvani, A., Lowsky, R., Frank, M., Craig, J. K., Liedtke, M., Negrin, R., Weng, W., Meyer, E., Johnston, L. J., Shizuru, J., Shiraz, P., Arai, S., Miklos, D., Sidana, S. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2020
  • Impact of proteasome inhibitor vs. IMiD maintenance therapy on outcomes of patients with high-risk multiple myeloma (HRMM). Tam, E., Iberri, D., Liedtke, M., Muffly, L. S., Shiraz, P., Frank, M., Lowsky, R., Rezvani, A., Negrin, R., Meyer, E., Arai, S., Johnston, L. J., Shizuru, J., Weng, W., Miklos, D., Sidana, S. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2020
  • Autologous tumor cell vaccine induces antitumor T cell immune responses in patients with mantle cell lymphoma: A phase I/II trial. The Journal of experimental medicine Frank, M. J., Khodadoust, M. S., Czerwinski, D. K., Haabeth, O. A., Chu, M. P., Miklos, D. B., Advani, R. H., Alizadeh, A. A., Gupta, N. K., Maeda, L. S., Reddy, S. A., Laport, G. G., Meyer, E. H., Negrin, R. S., Rezvani, A. R., Weng, W. K., Sheehan, K. n., Faham, M. n., Okada, A. n., Moore, A. H., Phillips, D. L., Wapnir, I. L., Brody, J. D., Levy, R. n. 2020; 217 (9)


    Here, we report on the results of a phase I/II trial (NCT00490529) for patients with mantle cell lymphoma who, having achieved remission after immunochemotherapy, were vaccinated with irradiated, CpG-activated tumor cells. Subsequently, vaccine-primed lymphocytes were collected and reinfused after a standard autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). The primary endpoint was detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) within 1 yr after ASCT at the previously validated threshold of ≥1 malignant cell per 10,000 leukocyte equivalents. Of 45 evaluable patients, 40 (89%) were found to be MRD negative, and the MRD-positive patients experienced early subsequent relapse. The vaccination induced antitumor CD8 T cell immune responses in 40% of patients, and these were associated with favorable clinical outcomes. Patients with high tumor PD-L1 expression after in vitro exposure to CpG had inferior outcomes. Vaccination with CpG-stimulated autologous tumor cells followed by the adoptive transfer of vaccine-primed lymphocytes after ASCT is feasible and safe.

    View details for DOI 10.1084/jem.20191712

    View details for PubMedID 32558897

  • A novel antibody-cell conjugation method to enhance and characterize cytokine-induced killer cells. Cytotherapy Frank, M. J., Olsson, N. n., Huang, A. n., Tang, S. W., Negrin, R. S., Elias, J. E., Meyer, E. H. 2020; 22 (3): 135–43


    Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are an ex vivo-expanded cellular therapy product with potent anti-tumor activity in a subset of patients with solid and hematologic malignancies. We hypothesize that directing CIK cells to a specific tumor antigen will enhance CIK cell anti-tumor cytotoxicity.We present a newly developed method for affixing antibodies directly to cell surface proteins. First, we evaluated the anti-tumor potential of CIK cells after affixing tumor-antigen targeting monoclonal antibodies. Second, we evaluated whether this antibody-conjugation method can profile the surface proteome of CIK cells.We demonstrated that affixing rituximab or daratumumab to CIK cells enhances cytotoxic killing of multiple lymphoma cell lines in vitro. These 'armed' CIK cells exhibited enhanced intracellular signaling after engaging tumor targets. Cell surface proteome profiling suggested mechanisms by which antibody-armed CIK cells concurrently activated multiple surface proteins, leading to enhanced cytolytic activity. Our surface proteome analysis indicated that CIK cells display enhanced protein signatures indicative of immune responses, cellular activation and leukocyte migration.Here, we characterize the cell surface proteome of CIK cells using a novel methodology that can be rapidly applied to other cell types. Our study also demonstrates that without genetic modification CIK cells can be rapidly armed with monoclonal antibodies, which endows them with high specificity to kill tumor targets.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jcyt.2020.01.003

    View details for PubMedID 32171435

  • CD22-Directed CAR T-Cell Therapy Induces Complete Remissions in CD19-Directed CAR-Refractory Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Blood Baird, J. H., Frank, M. J., Craig, J. n., Patel, S. n., Spiegel, J. Y., Sahaf, B. n., Oak, J. S., Younes, S. n., Ozawa, M. n., Yang, E. n., Natkunam, Y. n., Tamaresis, J. S., Ehlinger, Z. n., Reynolds, W. D., Arai, S. n., Johnston, L. n., Lowsky, R. n., Meyer, E. n., Negrin, R. S., Rezvani, A. R., Shiraz, P. n., Sidana, S. n., Weng, W. K., Davis, K. L., Ramakrishna, S. n., Schultz, L. n., Mullins, C. D., Jacob, A. P., Kirsch, I. R., Feldman, S. A., Mackall, C. L., Miklos, D. B., Muffly, L. n. 2020


    The prognosis for patients with large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) progressing after treatment with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy targeting CD19 (CAR19) is poor. We report on the first three consecutive patients with autologous CAR19-refractory LBCL treated with a single infusion of autologous 1×106 CAR+ T-cells/kg targeting CD22 (CAR22) as part of a phase I dose escalation study. CAR22 therapy was relatively well tolerated, without any observed non-hematologic adverse events higher than grade 2. Following infusion, all three patients achieved complete remission, with all responses ongoing at the time of last follow up (mean 7.8 months, range 6-9.3). Circulating CAR22 cells demonstrated robust expansion (peak range 85.4-350 cells/µL), and persisted beyond three months in all patients with continued radiographic responses and corresponding decreases in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) beyond six months post-infusion. Further accrual at a higher dose level in this phase 1 dose-escalation study is ongoing and will explore the role of this therapy in patients who have failed prior CAR T-cell therapies. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and others; number, NCT04088890).

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood.2020009432

    View details for PubMedID 33512414

  • Outcomes with autologous stem cell transplant vs. non-transplant therapy in patients 70 years and older with multiple myeloma. Bone marrow transplantation Lemieux, C. n., Muffly, L. S., Rezvani, A. n., Lowsky, R. n., Iberri, D. J., Craig, J. K., Frank, M. J., Johnston, L. J., Liedtke, M. n., Negrin, R. n., Weng, W. K., Meyer, E. n., Shizuru, J. n., Shiraz, P. n., Arai, S. n., Miklos, D. B., Sidana, S. n. 2020


    We evaluated 79 patients with multiple myeloma (MM) ≥70 years referred to our blood and marrow transplant clinic, within 1 year of diagnosis from 2010 to 2019, for consideration of autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). Thirty-eight (48%) of 79 patients underwent ASCT. ASCT was not pursued in 41 (52%) patients due to: patient or physician preference in 80% (n = 33) or ineligibility in 20% (n = 8). Baseline characteristics of patients in the two groups were similar. Median PFS from treatment start amongst patients undergoing ASCT (n = 38) vs. not (n = 41) was 41 months vs. 33 months, p = 0.03. There was no difference in OS, with estimated 5-year OS of 73% vs. 83%, respectively (p = 0.86). Day +100 transplant-related mortality (TRM) was 0%. ASCT was an independent favorable prognostic factor for PFS in multivariate analysis, after accounting for HCT-CI score, performance status, hematologic response, and maintenance. Finally, patients ≥70 years undergoing ASCT had similar PFS compared to a contemporaneous institutional cohort of patients <70 years (n = 631) (median PFS from transplant: 36 vs. 47 months, p = 0.25). In this retrospective analysis, ASCT was associated with low TRM and better PFS in fit older adults with MM compared to non-transplant therapy, with comparable benefits as seen in younger patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41409-020-01026-7

    View details for PubMedID 32782351

  • Interim results of a Phase I/II trial of intratumoral CpG, local low-dose radiation, and oral ibrutinib in patients with low-grade B-cell lymphoma Shree, T., Khodadoust, M. S., Czerwinski, D., Frank, M. J., Hong, W. X., Greenstein, R., Guo, S., Long, S., Martin, B. A., Levy, R. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2019
  • Monitoring ctDNA in r/r DLBCL patients following the CAR T-cell therapy axicabtagene ciloleucel: Day 28 landmark analysis. Frank, M., Hossain, N. M., Bukhari, A., Dean, E., Spiegel, J. Y., Claire, G. K., Kirsch, I., Jacob, A., Mullins, C. D., Lee, L., Kong, K. A., Craig, J. K., Mackall, C., Rapoport, A., Dahiya, S., Locke, F., Miklos, D. AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. 2019
  • Serial Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Allows Direct Sampling of Low-grade Lymphoma Tumor Nodules and Subsequent Analysis of the Tumor and Its Microenvironment in Clinical Trial Patients Receiving Immunotherapy Mooney, K., Long, S., Martin, B., Frank, M., Czerwinski, D., Levy, R., Guo, X., Shree, T., Greenstein, R. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2019
  • Serial Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Allows Direct Sampling of Low-grade Lymphoma Tumor Nodules and Subsequent Analysis of the Tumor and Its Microenvironment in Clinical Trial Patients Receiving Immunotherapy Mooney, K., Long, S., Martin, B., Frank, M., Czerwinski, D., Levy, R., Guo, X., Shree, T., Greenstein, R. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2019
  • Elevated Axicabtagene Ciloleucel (CAR-19) Expansion By Immunophenotyping Is Associated with Toxicity in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Spiegel, J. Y., Sahaf, B., Hossain, N., Frank, M. J., Claire, G., Abramian, M., Latchford, T., Villa, B., Cancilla, J., Oak, J., Natkunam, Y., Long, S. R., Arai, S., Johnston, L. J., Lowsky, R., Meyer, E. H., Muffly, L. S., Negrin, R. S., Rezvani, A. R., Shizuru, J. A., Weng, W., Kong, K. A., Mackall, C. L., Miklos, D. B. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2018
  • Phase I Experience with a Bi-Specific CAR Targeting CD19 and CD22 in Adults with B-Cell Malignancies Hossain, N., Sahaf, B., Abramian, M., Spiegel, J. Y., Kong, K., Kim, S., Mavroukakis, S., Oak, J., Natkunam, Y., Meyer, E. H., Frank, M. J., Feldman, S. A., Long, S. R., Qin, H., Fry, T. J., Muffly, L. S., Mackall, C. L., Miklos, D. B. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2018
  • In Situ Vaccination with a TLR 9 Agonist and Local Low Dose Radiation Induces Systemic Responses in Untreated Indolent Lymphoma. Cancer discovery Frank, M. J., Reagan, P. M., Bartlett, N. L., Gordon, L. I., Friedberg, J. W., Czerwinski, D. K., Long, S. R., Hoppe, R. T., Janssen, R. S., Candia, A. F., Coffman, R. L., Levy, R. 2018


    This multicenter phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluated intratumoral SD-101, a TLR9 agonist, and low-dose radiation in patients with untreated indolent lymphoma. 29 enrolled patients received 4 Gy of radiation followed by five weekly intratumoral injections of SD-101 at a single tumor site. No treatment-related grade 4 or serious adverse events occurred. Nearly all patients had tumor reduction at their treated site. More importantly, 24 patients had tumor reduction at their non-treated sites with 5 patients achieving a partial response and one achieving a complete response. Treatment-related increases of CD8+ and CD4+ effector T-cells and decreases of T Follicular Helper and T regulatory cells (Tregs) were observed in the tumor microenvironment. Low pre-treatment levels of CD4+ Tregs, proliferating CD8+ T-cells, and GranzymeB+ CD8+ T-cells were associated with favorable outcomes. Intratumoral SD-101 in combination with low-dose radiation is well tolerated and results in regression of both treated and untreated sites of disease.

    View details for PubMedID 30154192

  • SD-101, a Novel Class C CpG-Oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) Toll-like Receptor 9 (TLR9) Agonist, Given with Low Dose Radiation for Untreated Low Grade B-Cell Lymphoma: Interim Results of a Phase 1/2 Trial Levy, R., Reagan, P. M., Friedberg, J. W., Bartlett, N. L., Gordon, L. I., Leung, A., Peterkin, J., Xing, B., Coffman, R., Janssen, R., Candia, A., Khodadoust, M., Frank, M. J., Long, S. R., Czerwinski, D. K., Chu, M. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2016
  • Examining the Heterogeneity of Follicular Lymphoma By Multi-Parameter Flow Cyotmetry in Previously Untreated Patients Czerwinski, D. K., Long, S. R., Khodadoust, M., Frank, M. J., Kardosh, A., Okada, A., Robinson, S., Levy, R. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2016
  • Phase I/II Clinical Trial of CpG-Activated Whole Cell Vaccine in Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL): Results in Safety and Efficacy from Planned Interim Analysis Chu, M. P., Brody, J., Kohrt, H. E., Frank, M. J., Khodadoust, M., Reddy, S., Advani, R. H., Gupta, N. K., Laport, G., Maeda, L. S., Meyer, E., Miklos, D. B., Negrin, R., Rezvani, A. R., Weng, W., Sheehan, K., Faham, M., Czerwinski, D. K., Okada, A., Levy, R. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2015
  • Regulatory T Cells Are Depleted in Low-Grade Lymphoma By the Combination of Local Low-Dose Radiation Followed By Intratumoral CpG-ODN Czerwinski, D. K., Long, S. R., Khodadoust, M., Frank, M. J., Chu, M. P., Okada, A., McDonald, K. A., Kohrt, H. E., Bartlett, N. L., Reagan, P. M., Friedberg, J. W., Gordon, L. I., Coffman, R., Janssen, R., Levy, R. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2015
  • Epigenetic silencing of Stk39 in B-cell lymphoma inhibits apoptosis from genotoxic stress. The American journal of pathology Balatoni, C. E., Dawson, D. W., Suh, J., Sherman, M. H., Sanders, G., Hong, J. S., Frank, M. J., Malone, C. S., Said, J. W., Teitell, M. A. 2009; 175 (4): 1653-61


    B-cell lymphomas, the most frequent human immune system malignancies, often contain dysregulated TCL1 oncogene expression. TCL1 transgenic (TCL1-tg) mice develop a spectrum of B-cell malignancies, supporting an oncogenic role for TCL1 in B cells. Our prior global survey of DNA methylation patterns in TCL1-tg B-cell lymphomas identified many lymphoma-specific candidate hypermethylated genes, including Stk39. The Stk39 encoded protein, sterile 20-like-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (SPAK), regulates cell stress responses, and microarray studies identified reduced SPAK expression in metastatic prostate and treatment-resistant breast cancers, suggesting that its loss may have a role in cancer progression. Here we identified DNA hypermethylation and SPAK silencing in TCL1-tg B-cell lymphomas and SPAK silencing without DNA methylation in multiple subtypes of human B-cell lymphomas. SPAK knockdown by shRNA protected B cells from caspase-dependent apoptosis induced by DNA double-strand breaks but not apoptosis in response to osmotic or oxidative cell stressors. Caspase 3 activation by cleavage was impaired with SPAK repression in DNA damaged B cells. Interestingly, c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase is potentially activated by SPAK and pharmacological inhibition of c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase in SPAK-expressing B cells recapitulated the cell-protective phenotype of SPAK knockdown. Taken together, these data indicate that SPAK loss in B-cell lymphomas promotes increased cell survival with DNA damage and provides a potential mechanism for increased resistance to genotoxic stress in cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.2353/ajpath.2009.090091

    View details for PubMedID 19717643

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2751561

  • Expression of sprouty2 inhibits B-cell proliferation and is epigenetically silenced in mouse and human B-cell lymphomas. Blood Frank, M. J., Dawson, D. W., Bensinger, S. J., Hong, J. S., Knosp, W. M., Xu, L., Balatoni, C. E., Allen, E. L., Shen, R. R., Bar-Sagi, D., Martin, G. R., Teitell, M. A. 2009; 113 (11): 2478-87


    B-cell lymphoma is the most common immune system malignancy. TCL1 transgenic mice (TCL1-tg), in which TCL1 is ectopically expressed in mature lymphocytes, develop multiple B- and T-cell leukemia and lymphoma subtypes, supporting an oncogenic role for TCL1 that probably involves AKT and MAPK-ERK signaling pathway augmentation. Additional, largely unknown genetic and epigenetic alterations cooperate with TCL1 during lymphoma progression. We examined DNA methylation patterns in TCL1-tg B-cell tumors to discover tumor-associated epigenetic changes, and identified hypermethylation of sprouty2 (Spry2). Sprouty proteins are context-dependent negative or positive regulators of MAPK-ERK pathway signaling, but their role(s) in B-cell physiology or pathology are unknown. Here we show that repression of Spry2 expression in TCL1-tg mouse and human B-cell lymphomas and cell lines is associated with dense DNA hypermethylation and was reversed by inhibition of DNA methylation. Spry2 expression was induced in normal splenic B cells by CD40/B-cell receptor costimulation and regulated a negative feedback loop that repressed MAPK-ERK signaling and decreased B-cell viability. Conversely, loss of Spry2 function hyperactivated MAPK-ERK signaling and caused increased B-cell proliferation. Combined, these results implicate epigenetic silencing of Spry2 expression in B lymphoma progression and suggest it as a companion lesion to ectopic TCL1 expression in enhancing MAPK-ERK pathway signaling.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2008-05-156943

    View details for PubMedID 19147787

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2656273

  • High throughput cell nanomechanics with mechanical imaging interferometry NANOTECHNOLOGY Reed, J., Frank, M., Troke, J. J., Schmit, J., Han, S., Teitell, M. A., Gimzewski, J. K. 2008; 19 (23)


    The dynamic nanomechanical properties of a large number of cells (up to hundreds), measured in parallel with high throughput, are reported. Using NIH 3T3 and HEK 293T fibroblasts and actin depolymerizing drugs, we use a novel nanotechnology to quantify the local viscoelastic properties with applied forces of 20 pN-20 nN, a spatial resolution of <20 nm, and a mechanical dynamic range of several Pa up to ~200 kPa. Our approach utilizes imaging interferometry in combination with reflective, magnetic probes attached to cells. These results indicate that mechanical imaging interferometry is a sensitive and scalable technology for measuring the nanomechanical properties of large arrays of live cells in fluid.

    View details for DOI 10.1088/0957-4484/19/23/235101

    View details for Web of Science ID 000255662700001

    View details for PubMedID 20737027

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2925287