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)

2021-22 Courses

All Publications

  • 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., 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
  • 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. n., Spiegel, J. Y., Craig, J. n., Claire, G. K., Frank, M. J., Muffly, L. n., Shiraz, P. n., Meyer, E. n., Arai, S. n., Brown, J. W., Johnston, L. n., Lowsky, R. n., Negrin, R. S., Rezvani, A. R., Weng, W. K., Latchford, T. n., Sahaf, B. n., Mackall, C. L., Miklos, D. B., Sidana, S. n. 2021; 5 (1): 143–55


    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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
  • 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. n., Balatoni, C. E., Allen, E. L., Shen, R. R., Bar-Sagi, D. n., 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

  • 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. n., Sherman, M. H., Sanders, G. n., 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

  • 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