Bio

Clinical Focus


  • Blood and Marrow Transplantation
  • Hematology
  • Cancer > Hematology
  • Cancer > Blood and Marrow Transplant

Academic Appointments


Professional Education


  • Fellowship:Toronto General Hospital (1993) Canada
  • Internship:Toronto General Hospital (1989) Canada
  • Residency:Toronto General Hospital (1991) Canada
  • Board Certification: Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (1992)
  • Medical Education:McGill University (1988) Canada
  • FRCP, Coll of Physicians/Surgs Canada, Hematology (1993)
  • FRCP, Coll of Physicians/Surgs Canada, Internal Medicine (1991)
  • MD, McGill University, Medicine (1988)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Dr. Lowsky's research is focused on understanding the role of regulatory T cells in the prevention of GVHD and in promoting immune tolerance following organ transplantation.

Clinical Trials


  • Protocol For A Research Database For Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Other Cellular Therapies and Marrow Toxic Injuries Recruiting

    The primary purpose of the Research Database is to have a comprehensive source of observational data that can be used to study HSC transplantation. A secondary purpose of the Research Database is to have a comprehensive source of data to study marrow toxic injuries. Objectives: To learn more about what makes stem cell transplants work well, such as determining the following: - how well recipients recover from their transplant - how recovery after a transplant can be improved - how access to transplant for different groups of patients can be improved - how well donors recover from the collection procedures

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  • Sirolimus/Tacrolimus Versus Tacrolimus/Methotrexate for Preventing Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD) Not Recruiting

    The study is designed as a phase III, randomized, open label, multicenter, prospective, comparative trial of sirolimus and tacrolimus versus tacrolimus and methotrexate as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis after human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched, related, peripheral blood stem cell transplantation in individuals with hematologic cancer. Participants will be stratified by transplant center and will be randomly assigned to the sirolimus/tacrolimus or tacrolimus/methotrexate arms at a 1:1 ratio.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Fluticasone Propionate, Azithromycin, and Montelukast Sodium in Treating Patients With Bronchiolitis Obliterans Who Previously Underwent Stem Cell Transplant Not Recruiting

    This phase II trial studies how well giving fluticasone propionate, azithromycin, and montelukast sodium (FAM) together works in treating patients with bronchiolitis obliterans who previously underwent stem cell transplant. FAM may be an effective treatment for bronchiolitis obliterans

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Physician Referrals, 650-723-0822.

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  • Prophylactic Use of Maribavir for the Prevention of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Disease in Stem Cell Transplant Recipients Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this research study is to investigate whether or not maribavir is safe and effective for preventing CMV disease when taken by mouth for up to 12 weeks in patients who have had a stem cell transplant.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Janice Brown, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Post T-plant Infusion of Allogeneic Cytokine Induced Killer Cells as Consolidative Therapy in Myelodysplastic Syndromes/Myeloproliferative Disorders Recruiting

    This study examines CIK (Cytokine Induced Killer Cells) as Consolidative Therapy after Non-Myeloablative Allogeneic Transplantation.

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  • Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease Treatment (BMT CTN 0802) Not Recruiting

    The study is a Phase III, randomized double blind, placebo controlled, and trial evaluating the addition of MMF vs. placebo to systemic corticosteroids as initial therapy for acute GVHD. The primary endpoint will be GVHD free survival at Day 56 post randomization.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Nilotinib and Imatinib Mesylate After Donor Stem Cell Transplant in Treating Patients With Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia or Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Not Recruiting

    This phase I/II trial is studying the side effects and best way to give nilotinib when given together with imatinib mesylate after donor stem cell transplant in treating patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia or chronic myelogenous leukemia. Nilotinib and imatinib mesylate may stop the growth of cancer cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Physician Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Haploid Allogeneic Transplant Using the CliniMACS System Not Recruiting

    To assess the proportion of patients with donor neutrophil engraftment on or before day 30 post transplant. To assess the incidence of acute GvHD during the first 100 days after transplantation.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • TLI & ATG for Non-Myeloablative Allogeneic Transplantation for MDS and MPD Not Recruiting

    To evaluate the feasibility and safety of TLI/ATG conditioning for allogeneic HCT for elderly patients with advanced stage MDS and MPD.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Physician Referrals, 650-723-0822.

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  • Phase II Poor Risk Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) of Total Lymphoid Irradiation (TLI) and Antithymocyte Globulin (ATG) Followed by Matched Allogeneic Hematopoietic Transplantation as Consolidation to Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (AHCT) Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to develop an alternative treatment for patients with relapsed diffuse large B cell lymphoma who are not likely to be cured by the conventional transplantation regimen.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Allo BMT in Advanced Leukemia or High Grade Lymphoma Not Recruiting

    To evaluate the role of ablative allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in the treatment of advanced leukemia or lymphoma.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Cyclosporine Eye Drops in Preventing Graft-Versus-Host Disease of the Eye in Patients Who Have Undergone Donor Stem Cell Transplant for Hematologic Cancer or Bone Marrow Failure Disorder Not Recruiting

    RATIONALE: Cyclosporine eye drops may prevent graft-versus-host disease of the eye in patients who have undergone donor stem cell transplant for hematologic cancer or bone marrow failure disorder. PURPOSE: This randomized phase I trial is studying how well cyclosporine eye drops work in preventing graft-versus-host disease of the eye in patients who have undergone donor stem cell transplant for hematologic cancer or bone marrow failure disorder.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Joanne Otani, (650) 721 - 2372.

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  • A Phase 3 Study of Brentuximab Vedotin (SGN-35) in Patients at High Risk of Residual Hodgkin Lymphoma Following Stem Cell Transplant (The AETHERA Trial) Not Recruiting

    This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter phase 3 trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of brentuximab vedotin (SGN-35) and best supportive care (BSC) compared to placebo and BSC in treatment of residual Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) following autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT).

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Sarah Robeson, (650) 725 - 1647.

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  • Post-transplant Autologous Cytokine-induced Killer (CIK) Cells for Treatment of High Risk Hematologic Malignancies Not Recruiting

    The purpose of the study is to conduct a phase I study of adoptive immunotherapy with autologous, ex-vivo expanded cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells to reduce the relapse rate in autologous stem cell transplant patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Sherry Moore, (650) 725 - 7951.

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  • Allogeneic HCT Using Nonmyeloablative Host Conditioning With TLI & ATG vs SOC in AML Not Recruiting

    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the bone marrow that mostly affects older adults. Even with the best chemotherapy, two-year disease-free survival is achieved in a minority of patients. Bone marrow transplantation from a sibling donor may improve cure rates; however, patients over 50 years of age have a high risk of complications and therefore generally are excluded from this treatment option. Recently our group developed a transplantation strategy for older cancer patients that protects against transplant-associated complications, yet does not interfere with the ability of the transplanted donor cells to destroy cancer cells. With this new method, we can now safely evaluate transplantation as a curative therapy for AML patients over the age of 50. We have assembled clinical and scientific researchers throughout the state of California to study and compare bone marrow transplantation using our new approach with the best standard of care chemotherapy in AML patients over the age of 50. The results of this study have the potential to establish a new treatment standard that will improve survival of older AML patients.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, 650-725-1647.

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  • Allogeneic Transplantation From Related Haploidentical Donors in Older Patients With Indolent Hematologic Malignancies Not Recruiting

    The purpose of the study is to evaluate the feasibility and safety of transplanting CD34+ selected hematopoietic cells from a haploidentical related donor following a nonmyeloablative regimen of total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) and antithymocyte globulin (ATG).

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Immunostimulatory CpG SD-101 + RT in Recurrent/Progressive Lymphoma After Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) Recruiting

    Direct intratumoral injection of SD-101 with local radiation is safe in patients with relapsed or refractory lymphoma after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant.

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  • 90Y-IBRITUMOMAB Tiuxetan and AHCI With HD Chemotherapy and Autologous Transplantation for Relapsed or Resistant NHL Not Recruiting

    To test a new way to approach hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for Relapsed or Resistant Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Vaccine Therapy for Multiple Myeloma Utilizing Idiotype-Pulsed Allogeneic Dendritic Cells Not Recruiting

    Patients with Multiple myeloma who have undergone non-myeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplant will receive 6 vaccinations of donor derived dendritic cells combined with specific protein produced by multiple myeloma.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Intravenous Administration of RGI-2001 in Patient Undergoing Allogenic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (AHSCT) Recruiting

    The clinical trial is a Phase 1/2a, open-label, multi-center, dose-escalation study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile of RGI-2001 in patients undergoing AHSCT, with radiation or non-radiation myeloablative preparative treatment. The study will be separated into two parts; a dose escalation phase to assess safety, followed by a large expansion phase to further evaluate the pharmacologic effects of either a Maximum Tolerated Dose, Maximum Feasible Dose or optimal pharmacologically active dose of RGI-2001. The initial dose escalation safety portion of the study (Part 1) will include higher risk patients and limit the unrelated donor transplants. After safety is established in part 1 of the study, the second portion of the study will expand the enrollment criteria and allow transplantation by either related or unrelated donors. This study will endeavor to identify the dose range at which RGI-2001 has an acceptable safety profile, at which biologic activity is observed, and to guide possible dose levels to utilize in later phase studies based on biological activity.

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  • Phase I/II MAHCT w/ TCell Depleted Graft w/ Simultaneous Infusion Conventional and Regulatory T Cell Recruiting

    For patients with hematologic malignancies undergoing allogeneic myeloablative (MA) HCT with a T cell depleted graft, the infusion of naturally occurring regulatory T cells with conventional T cells (T cell addback) in pre-defined doses and ratios will reduce the incidence of acute graft vs host disease while augmenting the graft vs leukemia effect and improving immune reconstitution.

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  • Donor Peripheral Stem Cell Transplant in Treating Patients With Hematolymphoid Malignancies Recruiting

    This phase I trial studies the side effects and the best dose of donor CD8+ memory T-cells in treating patients with hematolymphoid malignancies. Giving low dose of chemotherapy before a donor peripheral blood stem cell transplant helps stop the growth of cancer cells. It may also stop the patient's immune system from rejecting the donor's stem cells. The donated stem cells may replace the patient's immune cells and help destroy any remaining cancer cells (graft-versus-cancer effects). Giving an infusion of the donor's T cells (donor lymphocyte infusion) after the transplant may help increase this effect

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  • Mixed Chimera Allogeneic Transplantation From Matched Unrelated Donors For The Treatment Of Multiple Myeloma Not Recruiting

    The purpose of the study is to determine the toxicity and feasibility of non-myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplants for multiple myeloma from unrelated donors.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Sirolimus and Mycophenolate Mofetil as Graft Versus Host Disease Prophylaxis in Myeloablative Matched Related Donor Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Not Recruiting

    To evaluate the incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD with sirolimus and mycophenolate mofetil GVHD prophylaxis.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • A Phase II Trial of Rituximab and Corticosteroid Therapy for Newly Diagnosed Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease Not Recruiting

    We hypothesize the addition of rituximab to prednisone for the initial treatment of chronic GVHD will increase the overall response rate, and enable a more rapid and effective steroid taper.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Double Cord Versus Haploidentical (Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network #1101) Recruiting

    Hematopoietic cell transplants (HCT)are one treatment option for people with leukemia or lymphoma. Family members,unrelated donors or banked umbilical cordblood units with similar tissue type can be used for HCT. This study will compare the effectiveness of two new types of bone marrow transplants in people with leukemia or lymphoma: one that uses bone marrow donated from family members with only partially matched bone marrow; and, one that uses two partially matched cord blood units.

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  • Defibrotide for Patients With Hepatic Veno-occlusive Disease: A Treatment IND Study Recruiting

    Single arm, open-label study to provide Defibrotide to patients diagnosed with VOD. Defibrotide is no longer available though the Emergency Use IND mechanism (also known as compassionate use, or single patient named use). This protocol is the only mechanism by which Defibrotide can be made available to patients in the U.S.

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  • Defibrotide for the Treatment of Severe Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease in Hematopoetic Stem Cell Transplant Patients Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to (1) demonstrate the efficacy and safety (toxicity) of 25 mg/kg/day of Defibrotide in patients with severe veno-occlusive disease (sVOD) and (2) evaluate serum and endothelial markers of VOD through the analysis of blood samples.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Combined Blood Stem Cell and Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Haplotype Match Living Donor Kidney Transplantation Recruiting

    The Stanford Medical Center Program in Multi-Organ Transplantation and the Division of Bone marrow Transplantation are enrolling patients into a research study to determine if donor stem cells given after a living related one Haplotype match kidney transplantation will change the immune system such that immunosuppressive drugs can be completely withdrawn.

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  • Stem Cell Transplant With Lenalidomide Maintenance in Patients With Multiple Myeloma (BMT CTN 0702) Not Recruiting

    The study is designed as a Phase III, multicenter trial of tandem autologous transplants plus maintenance therapy versus the strategy of single autologous transplant plus consolidation therapy with lenalidomide, bortezomib and dexamethasone (RVD) followed by maintenance therapy or single autologous transplant plus maintenance therapy as part of upfront treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). Lenalidomide will be used as maintenance therapy for three years in all arms.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Physician Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Phase II Trial of Prophylactic Rituximab Therapy for Prevention of CGVHD Not Recruiting

    To determine if Rituximab administered after allogeneic transplantation decreases the incidence of chronic GvHD

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Kate Tierney, (650) 725 - 7063.

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  • Autologous Followed by Non-myeloablative Allogeneic Transplantation for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Recruiting

    The purpose of this trial is to develop an alternative treatment for patients with poor risk non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This trial uses a combination of high dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant using the patient's own cells. This is followed with non-myeloablative transplant using stem cells from a related or unrelated donor to try and generate an anti-lymphoma response from the new immune system.

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  • High Dose Chemotherapy and Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplant for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Not Recruiting

    To evaluate the role of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in the treatment of NHL.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • A Pilot Study of Imatinib Mesylate in Steroid Refractory Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease Not Recruiting

    To determine if subjects with steroid refractory cGVHD can tolerate imatinib mesylate and whether their cGVHD responds to imatinib mesylate.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Joanne Otani, (650) 721 - 2372.

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  • Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease Treatment (BMT CTN 0801) Not Recruiting

    This study is designed as a combined Phase II/III, randomized, open label, multicenter, prospective comparative study of sirolimus plus prednisone versus sirolimus/calcineurin-inhibitor plus prednisone for the treatment of chronic GVHD. Patients will be stratified by transplant center and will be randomized to an experimental arm of one of the two pre-specified experimental arms (sirolimus + prednisone or the comparator arm of sirolimus + calcineurin inhibitor + prednisone) in a 1:1 ratio.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Physician Referrals, 650-723-0822.

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  • Allogeneic Transplantation for Patients With Acute Leukemia or Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) Not Recruiting

    The purpose of the study is to evaluate the overall and disease free survival of recipients who have received G-CSF mobilized stem cells from HLA matched sibling donors.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial to Evaluate Palifermin (rHuKGF) in the Reduction of Acute Graft Versus Host Disease in Subjects With Hematologic Malignancies Undergoing Allogeneic Marrow/PBPC Transplantation Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to reduce the incidence of grade 2-4 GVHD and WHO grades 3-4 Oral Mucositis.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Sirolimus & Mycophenolate Mofetil as GVHD Prophylaxis in Myeloablative, Matched Related Donor HCT Not Recruiting

    GVHD prophylaxis of sirolimus and mycophenolate mofetil for patients undergoing matched related allogeneic transplant for acute and chronic leukemia, MDS, high risk NHL and HL

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Ph II of Autologous Followed by Nonmyeloablative Allogeneic Transplantation Using TLI & ATG Not Recruiting

    To evaluate the toxicity and tolerability of this tandem autologous/allogeneic transplant approach for patients with advanced stage multiple myeloma.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Autologous Stem Cell Rescue for Primary Amyloidosis Not Recruiting

    To evaluate the role of high dose therapy and autologous hematopoietic cell transplant for amyloidosis.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • High -Dose Sequential Therapy and Single Autologous Transplantation for Multiple Myeloma Not Recruiting

    This study uses a sequence of high-dose chemotherapy drugs and a stem cell transplant to treat multiple myeloma. The study is being performed to evaluate the efficacy and side effects of treatment. Specifically, the study is designed to reduce the risk of interstitial pneumonitis.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Comparing Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation Versus Bone Marrow Transplantation in Individuals With Hematologic Cancers Not Recruiting

    The study is designed as a Phase III, randomized, open label, multicenter, prospective, comparative trial of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF)-mobilized peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) versus marrow from unrelated donors for transplantation in patients with hematologic malignancies. Recipients will be stratified by transplant center and disease risk and will be randomized to either the PBSC or marrow arm in a 1:1 ratio.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Kate Tierney, (650) 725 - 7063.

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  • Sirolimus as Treatment of Steroid-Refractory or Steroid-Dependent Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease Not Recruiting

    To study the effectiveness of an immunosuppressive drug, sirolimus in the treatment of chronic graft versus host disease in combination with prednisone.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Allogeneic Transplantation Using TL1 & ATG for Older Patients With Hematologic Malignancies Not Recruiting

    To measure how frequently and to what degree a complication of transplant cell acute graft versus host disease (GV/HD) occurs.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Physician Referrals, 650-723-0822.

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  • Mixed Chimera Allo Transplantation in Multiple Myeloma Not Recruiting

    To determine toxicity and feasibility of mixed chimera allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplants for multiple myeloma; prepare and vaccinate patients with allogenic dendritic cell vaccinations following mixed chimera allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplants

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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  • Ph II of Non-myeloablative Allogeneic Transplantation Using TLI & ATG In Patients w/ Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma Recruiting

    Non-myeloablative approach for allogeneic transplant is a reasonable option, especially given that the median age at diagnosis is 55-60 years and frequently present compromised skin in these patients, which increases the risk of infection. Therefore, we propose a clinical study with allogeneic HSCT using a unique non-myeloablative preparative regimen, TLI/ATG, to treat advanced MF/SS.

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  • Gemcitabine and Hodgkin's Disease Chemotherapy Followed by Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Rescue for Hodgkin's Disease Not Recruiting

    Phase II Gemcitabine + HD Chemotherapy Followed by PBSC Rescue for HD

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact BMT Referrals, (650) 723 - 0822.

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Publications

Journal Articles


  • Identification of gene microarray expression profiles in patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Clinical immunology Kohrt, H. E., Tian, L., Li, L., Alizadeh, A. A., Hsieh, S., Tibshirani, R. J., Strober, S., Sarwal, M., Lowsky, R. 2013; 148 (1): 124-135

    Abstract

    Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) results in significant morbidity and mortality, limiting the benefit of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Peripheral blood gene expression profiling of the donor immune repertoire following HCT may provide associated genes and pathways thereby improving the pathophysiologic understanding of chronic GVHD. We profiled 70 patients and identified candidate genes that provided mechanistic insight in the biologic pathways that underlie chronic GVHD. Our data revealed that the dominant gene signature in patients with chronic GVHD represented compensatory responses that control inflammation and included the interleukin-1 decoy receptor, IL-1 receptor type II, and genes that were profibrotic and associated with the IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10 signaling pathways. In addition, we identified three genes that were important regulators of extracellular matrix. Validation of this discovery phase study will determine if the identified genes have diagnostic, prognostic or therapeutic implications.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.clim.2013.04.013

    View details for PubMedID 23685278

  • Prophylactic rituximab after allogeneic transplantation decreases B-cell alloimmunity with low chronic GVHD incidence BLOOD Arai, S., Sahaf, B., Narasimhan, B., Chen, G. L., Jones, C. D., Lowsky, R., Shizuru, J. A., Johnston, L. J., Laport, G. G., Weng, W., Benjamin, J. E., Schaenman, J., Brown, J., Ramirez, J., Zehnder, J. L., Negrin, R. S., Miklos, D. B. 2012; 119 (25): 6145-6154

    Abstract

    B cells are involved in the pathogenesis of chronic GVHD (cGVHD). We hypothesized that prophylactic anti-B-cell therapy delivered 2 months after transplantation would decrease allogeneic donor B-cell immunity and possibly the incidence of cGVHD. Therefore, in the present study, patients with high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (n = 22) and mantle-cell lymphoma (n = 13) received a total lymphoid irradiation of 80 cGy for 10 days and antithymocyte globulin 1.5 mg/kg/d for 5 days. Rituximab (375 mg/m(2)) was infused weekly on days 56, 63, 70, and 77 after transplantation. The incidence of acute GVHD was 6%. The cumulative incidence of cGVHD was 20%. Nonrelapse mortality was 3%. Rituximab treatment after allogeneic transplantation significantly reduced B-cell allogeneic immunity, with complete prevention of alloreactive H-Y Ab development in male patients with female donors (P = .01). Overall survival and freedom from progression at 4 years for chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients were 73% and 47%, respectively; for mantle-cell lymphoma patients, they were 69% and 53%, respectively.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2011-12-395970

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307398700030

    View details for PubMedID 22563089

  • Rare cells predict GVHD. Blood Strober, S., Lowsky, R. 2012; 119 (21): 4820-4821

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2012-04-417311

    View details for PubMedID 22627595

  • Tolerance and Withdrawal of Immunosuppressive Drugs in Patients Given Kidney and Hematopoietic Cell Transplants AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TRANSPLANTATION Scandling, J. D., Busque, S., Dejbakhsh-Jones, S., Benike, C., Sarwal, M., Millan, M. T., Shizuru, J. A., Lowsky, R., Engleman, E. G., Strober, S. 2012; 12 (5): 1133-1145

    Abstract

    Sixteen patients conditioned with total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) and antithymocyte globulin (ATG) were given kidney transplants and an injection of CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells and T cells from HLA-matched donors in a tolerance induction protocol. Blood cell monitoring included changes in chimerism, balance of T-cell subsets and responses to donor alloantigens. Fifteen patients developed multilineage chimerism without graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and eight with chimerism for at least 6 months were withdrawn from antirejection medications for 1-3 years (mean, 28 months) without subsequent rejection episodes. Four chimeric patients have just completed or are in the midst of drug withdrawal, and four patients were not withdrawn due to return of underlying disease or rejection episodes. Blood cells from all patients showed early high ratios of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells and NKT cells versus conventional naive CD4+ T cells, and those off drugs showed specific unresponsiveness to donor alloantigens. In conclusion, TLI and ATG promoted the development of persistent chimerism and tolerance in a cohort of patients given kidney transplants and hematopoietic donor cell infusions. All 16 patients had excellent graft function at the last observation point with or without maintenance drugs.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2012.03992.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000303235100012

    View details for PubMedID 22405058

  • Tandem chemo-mobilization followed by high-dose melphalan and carmustine with single autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation for multiple myeloma BONE MARROW TRANSPLANTATION Chen, A. I., Negrin, R. S., McMillan, A., Shizuru, J. A., JOHNSTON, L. J., Lowsky, R., Miklos, D. B., Arai, S., Weng, W., Laport, G. G., Stockerl-Goldstein, K. 2012; 47 (4): 516-521

    Abstract

    Single autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (AHCT) with high-dose melphalan prolongs survival in patients with multiple myeloma but is not curative. We conducted a study of intensive single AHCT using tandem chemo-mobilization with CY and etoposide followed by high-dose conditioning with melphalan 200 mg/m(2) plus carmustine 15 mg/kg. One hundred and eighteen patients in first consolidation (CON1) and 58 patients in relapse (REL) were transplanted using this intensified approach. Disease response improved from 32% very good PR (VGPR)+CR pre-mobilization to 76% VGPR+CR post transplant in CON1. With a median follow-up of 4.7 years, the median EFS was 2.8 years, and the median OS was 5.1 years in CON1. OS from time of transplant was significantly shorter for REL (3.4 years) compared with CON1 (5.1 years; P=0.02). However, OS from time of diagnosis was similar in REL (6.1 years) and CON1 (6.0 years; P=0.80). The 100-day non-relapse mortality in the CON1 and REL groups was 0% and 7%, respectively. In summary, intensified single AHCT with tandem chemo-mobilization and augmented high-dose therapy is feasible in multiple myeloma and leads to high-quality response rates.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/bmt.2011.106

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302576700008

    View details for PubMedID 21602899

  • Sirolimus and mycophenolate mofetil as GVHD prophylaxis in myeloablative, matched-related donor hematopoietic cell transplantation BONE MARROW TRANSPLANTATION Johnston, L., Florek, M., Armstrong, R., McCune, J. S., Arai, S., Brown, J., Laport, G., Lowsky, R., Miklos, D., Shizuru, J., Sheehan, K., Lavori, P., Negrin, R. 2012; 47 (4): 581-588

    Abstract

    We investigated sirolimus and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) as GVHD prophylaxis in patients with advanced hematological malignancies receiving myeloablative hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) from HLA-identical sibling donors. On the basis of pre-study stopping rules, the trial was closed to accrual after enrollment of 11 adult patients. In all, 7 of the 11 patients received BU-containing preparative regimens. Sirolimus was discontinued in three patients because of the toxicity-related events of severe sinusoidal obstructive syndrome, portal vein thrombosis, altered mental status and in one patient because of the risk of poor wound healing. In all, 6 of the 11 patients developed grade II-IV acute GVHD (AGVHD) a median of 15.5 days post HCT. Two of three patients with grade IV AGVHD had sirolimus discontinued by 9 days post HCT. All patients responded to AGVHD therapy without GVHD-related deaths. There were two non-relapse- and two relapse-related deaths. At a median follow-up of 38 months (2-47 months), 7 of 11 patients were alive without disease. MMF and sirolimus GVHD prophylaxis did not reduce the risk of AGVHD, however, there were no GVHD-related deaths. The severe toxicities in the patients receiving the BU-containing preparative regimens limited the continued use of sirolimus and MMF for the prevention of AGVHD.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/bmt.2011.104

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302576700018

    View details for PubMedID 21552302

  • Donor immunization with WT1 peptide augments antileukemic activity after MHC-matched bone marrow transplantation BLOOD Kohrt, H. E., Mueller, A., Baker, J., Goldstein, M. J., Newell, E., Dutt, S., Czerwinski, D., Lowsky, R., Strober, S. 2011; 118 (19): 5319-5329

    Abstract

    The curative potential of MHC-matched allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is in part because of immunologic graft-versus-tumor (GvT) reactions mediated by donor T cells that recognize host minor histocompatibility antigens. Immunization with leukemia-associated antigens, such as Wilms Tumor 1 (WT1) peptides, induces a T-cell population that is tumor antigen specific. We determined whether allogeneic BMT combined with immunotherapy using WT1 peptide vaccination of donors induced more potent antitumor activity than either therapy alone. WT1 peptide vaccinations of healthy donor mice induced CD8(+) T cells that were specifically reactive to WT1-expressing FBL3 leukemia cells. We found that peptide immunization was effective as a prophylactic vaccination before tumor challenge, yet was ineffective as a therapeutic vaccination in tumor-bearing mice. BMT from vaccinated healthy MHC-matched donors, but not syngeneic donors, into recipient tumor-bearing mice was effective as a therapeutic maneuver and resulted in eradication of FBL3 leukemia. The transfer of total CD8(+) T cells from immunized donors was more effective than the transfer of WT1-tetramer(+)CD8(+) T cells and both required CD4(+) T-cell help for maximal antitumor activity. These findings show that WT1 peptide vaccination of donor mice can dramatically enhance GvT activity after MHC-matched allogeneic BMT.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2011-05-356238

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296867100035

  • Adoptive Immunotherapy with Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells for Patients with Relapsed Hematologic Malignancies after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation BIOLOGY OF BLOOD AND MARROW TRANSPLANTATION Laport, G. G., Sheehan, K., Baker, J., Armstrong, R., Wong, R. M., Lowsky, R., Johnston, L. J., Shizuru, J. A., Miklos, D., Arai, S., Benjamin, J. E., Weng, W., Negrin, R. S. 2011; 17 (11): 1679-1687

    Abstract

    Donor leukocyte infusions induce remissions in some patients with hematologic malignancies who relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT); however, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains the major complication of this strategy. Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are a unique population of cytotoxic T lymphocytes that express the CD3(+)CD56(+) phenotype and show marked up-regulation of the natural killer cell receptor NKG2D (CD314). CIK cells are non-major histocompatibility complex-restricted and NKG2D-dependent in target recognition and cytotoxicity. We explored the feasibility of ex vivo expansion of allogeneic CIK cells in patients with relapsed hematologic malignancies after allogeneic HCT. Eighteen patients (median age, 53 years; range, 20-69 years) received CIK cell infusions at escalating doses of 1 × 10(7) CD3(+) cells/kg (n = 4), 5 × 10(7) CD3(+) cells/kg (n = 6), and 1 × 10(8) CD3(+) cells/kg (n = 8). The median expansion of CD3(+) cells was 12-fold (range, 4- to 91-fold). CD3(+)CD56(+) cells represented a median of 11% (range, 4%-44%) of the harvested cells, with a median 31-fold (range, 7- to 515-fold) expansion. Median CD3(+)CD314(+) cell expression was 53% (range, 32%-78%) of harvested cells. Significant cytotoxicity was demonstrated in vitro against a panel of human tumor cell lines. Acute GVHD grade I-II was seen in 2 patients, and 1 patient had limited chronic GVHD. After a median follow-up of 20 months (range, 1-69 months) from CIK infusion, the median overall survival was 28 months, and the median event-free survival was 4 months. All deaths were due to relapsed disease; however, 5 patients had longer remissions after infusion of CIK cells than from allogeneic HCT to relapse. Our findings indicate that this form of adoptive immunotherapy is well tolerated and induces a low incidence of GVHD, supporting further investigation as an upfront modality to enhance graft-versus-tumor responses in high-risk patient populations.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbmt.2011.05.012

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296829000016

    View details for PubMedID 21664472

  • Translational studies in hematopoietic cell transplantation: Treatment of hematologic malignancies as a stepping stone to tolerance induction SEMINARS IN IMMUNOLOGY Strober, S., Spitzer, T. R., Lowsky, R., Sykes, M. 2011; 23 (4): 273-281

    Abstract

    Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) has most commonly been used to treat hematologic malignancies, where it is often the only potentially curative option available. The success of HCT has been limited by transplant-associated toxicities related to the conditioning regimens used and to the common immunologic consequence of donor T cell recognition of recipient alloantigens, graft-vs-host disease (GVHD). The frequency and severity of GVHD observed when extensive HLA barriers are transgressed has essentially precluded the routine use of extensively HLA-mismatched HCT. Allogeneic HCT also has potential as an approach to organ allograft tolerance induction, but this potential has not been previously realized because of the toxicity associated with traditional conditioning. In this paper we review two approaches to HCT involving reduced intensity conditioning regimens that have been associated with improvements in safety in patients with hematologic malignancies, even in the HLA-mismatched transplant setting. These strategies have been applied in the first successful pilot studies for the induction of organ allograft tolerance in humans. Thus, we summarize an example of vertical translational research between animal models and humans and horizontal translation between two separate goals that culminated in the use of HCT to achieve allograft tolerance in humans.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.smim.2011.05.001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296403800006

    View details for PubMedID 21705229

  • Long-term outcomes in patients with high-risk myeloid malignancies following matched related donor hematopoietic cell transplantation with myeloablative conditioning of BU, etoposide and CY BONE MARROW TRANSPLANTATION Naik, S., Wong, R., Arai, S., Brown, J., Laport, G., Lowsky, R., Miklos, D., Shizuru, J., Blume, K., Negrin, R., Johnston, L. 2011; 46 (2): 192-199

    Abstract

    Patients with high-risk or advanced myeloid malignancies have limited effective treatment options. These include high-dose therapy followed by allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We report a single-institution, long-term follow-up of 96 patients, median age 50 (range, 20-60) years, who received HLA-matched related HCT between 1992 and 2007. All patients were treated with a uniform preparatory regimen intended to enhance the widely used regimen of BU and CY that included: BU 16.0?mg/kg (days -8 to -5), etoposide 60?mg/kg (day -4), CY 60?mg/kg (day -2) with GVHD prophylaxis of CsA or FK506 and prednisone. Disease status at transplantation was high-risk AML (n=41), CML in second chronic phase or blast crisis (n=8), myelofibrosis and myeloproliferative disorders (n=8), and myelodysplasia (n=39). Thirty-six percent (n=35) of patients received BM whereas 64% (n=61) received G-CSF-mobilized PBPC. With a median follow-up of 5.6 years (range, 1.6-14.6 years) actuarial 5-year OS was 32% (95% CI 22-42) and 5-year EFS was 31% (95% CI 21-41). Relapse rate was 24% (95% CI 15-33) at 2 and 5 years. Nonrelapse mortality was 29% (95% CI 20-38) at day 100 and 38% (95% CI 29-47) at 1 year. Cumulative incidence of acute (grade II-IV) and extensive chronic GVHD was 27% (95% CI 18-36) and 29% (95% CI 18-40), respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in OS (31 vs 32%, P=0.89) or relapse rates (17 vs 28%, P=0.22) for recipients of BM vs PBPC, respectively. These results confirm that patients with high-risk or advanced myeloid malignancies can achieve long-term survival following myeloablative allogeneic HCT with aggressive conditioning.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/bmt.2010.114

    View details for Web of Science ID 000287190700004

    View details for PubMedID 20498648

  • Complete donor T-cell engraftment 30 days after allogeneic transplantation predicts molecular remission in high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukaemia BRITISH JOURNAL OF HAEMATOLOGY Jones, C. D., Arai, S., Lowsky, R., Tyan, D. B., Zehnder, J. L., Miklos, D. B. 2010; 150 (5): 637-639
  • Phase I/II Trial of GN-BVC, a Gemcitabine and Vinorelbine-Containing Conditioning Regimen for Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in Recurrent and Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma BIOLOGY OF BLOOD AND MARROW TRANSPLANTATION Arai, S., Letsinger, R., Wong, R. M., Johnston, L. J., Laport, G. G., Lowsky, R., Miklos, D. B., Shizuru, J. A., Weng, W., Lavori, P. W., Blume, K. G., Negrin, R. S., Horning, S. J. 2010; 16 (8): 1145-1154

    Abstract

    Autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation with augmented BCNU regimens is effective treatment for recurrent or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma (HL); however, BCNU-related toxicity and disease recurrence remain challenges. We designed a conditioning regimen with gemcitabine in combination with vinorelbine in an effort to reduce the BCNU dose and toxicity without compromising efficacy. In this phase I/II dose escalation study, the gemcitabine maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was determined at 1250 mg/m(2), and a total of 92 patients were treated at this dose to establish safety and efficacy. The primary endpoint was the incidence of BCNU-related toxicity. Secondary endpoints included 2-year freedom from progression (FFP), event-free survival (EFS), and overall survival (OS). Sixty-eight patients (74%) had 1 or more previously defined adverse risk factors for transplant (stage IV at relapse, B symptoms at relapse, greater than minimal disease pretransplant). The incidence of BCNU-related toxicity was 15% (95% confidence interval, 9%-24%). Only 2% of patients had a documented reduction in diffusing capacity of 20% or greater. With a median follow-up of 29 months, the FFP at 2 years was 71% and the OS at 2 years was 83%. Two-year FFP was 96%, 72%, 67%, and 14% for patients with 0 (n = 24), 1 (n = 37), 2 (n = 23), or 3 (n = 8) risk factors, respectively. Regression analysis identified PET status pretransplant and B symptoms at relapse as significant prognostic factors for FFP. This new transplant regimen for HL resulted in decreased BCNU toxicity with encouraging FFP and OS. A prospective, risk-modeled comparison of this new combination with other conditioning regimens is warranted.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbmt.2010.02.022

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280137800013

    View details for PubMedID 20197102

  • NKT cells, Treg, and their interactions in bone marrow transplantation EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Kohrt, H. E., Pillai, A. B., Lowsky, R., Strober, S. 2010; 40 (7): 1862-1869

    Abstract

    Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is a potentially curative treatment for patients with leukemia and lymphoma. Tumor eradication is promoted by the anti-tumor activity of donor T cells contained in the transplant; however, donor T cells also mediate the serious side effect of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Separation of GVHD from graft anti-tumor activity is an important goal of research in improving transplant outcome. One approach is to take advantage of the immunomodulatory activity of regulatory NKT cells and CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg of host and/or donor origin. Both host and donor NKT cells and donor Treg are able to prevent GVHD in murine models. In this review, we summarize the mechanisms of NKT cell- and Treg-mediated protection against GVHD in mice while maintaining graft anti-tumor activity. In addition, we also examine the interactions between NKT cells and Treg in the context of BMT, and integrate the data from murine experimental models with the observations made in humans.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/eji.201040394

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280220600014

    View details for PubMedID 20583031

  • Long-term follow-up of patients with diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma receiving purged autografts after induction failure BONE MARROW TRANSPLANTATION Benjamin, J. E., Chen, G. L., Cao, T. M., Cao, P. D., Wong, R. M., Sheehan, K., Shizuru, J. A., JOHNSTON, L. J., Negrin, R. S., Lowsky, R., Laport, G. G. 2010; 45 (2): 303-309

    Abstract

    Patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who do not achieve a complete response to front-line combination chemotherapy are often offered high-dose therapy and autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT). However, the efficacy of this therapy in this patient population has been addressed in only a few published reports. We retrospectively analyzed the outcomes of patients with a diagnosis of de novo DLBCL who underwent AHCT at our center between 1988 and 2002, and identified 43 consecutive patients who had not achieved a CR before AHCT, although most showed at least a partial response (PR) to either induction or subsequent salvage chemotherapy. A total of 15 patients received a conditioning regimen that included high-dose chemotherapy with fractionated TBI (FTBI), whereas 28 patients received high-dose chemotherapy only. All autografts were treated ex vivo with MoAbs and complement in an effort to remove any residual malignant B cells. A total of 33 (77%) patients achieved a CR after AHCT. With a median follow-up of 7.3 years, the 5-year OS was 69% and EFS was 59%. Four patients died from non-relapse mortality. By univariate analyses, the following characteristics did not significantly impact OS: disease stage at diagnosis, age-adjusted IPI (International Prognostic Index) score, age > or =40 years, earlier radiotherapy and the use of FTBI in the conditioning regimen. These results confirm the long-term efficacy of AHCT for patients with DLBCL after induction failure.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/bmt.2009.152

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274397400013

    View details for PubMedID 19597427

  • Nonmyeloablative conditioning with total lymphoid irradiation and antithymocyte globulin: an update CURRENT OPINION IN HEMATOLOGY Kohrt, H., Lowsky, R. 2009; 16 (6): 460-465

    Abstract

    The immune modulatory effects of total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) protection and transplantation tolerance following allogeneic bone marrow and organ transplantation have been studied for years in animal models. In preclinical models nonmyeloablative TLI conditioning alters residual host T cell subsets to favor regulatory natural killer T cells that suppress GVHD and prevent organ allograft rejection. These preclinical models have been recently adapted to human transplantation.Patients receiving allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for hematological malignancies conditioned with TLI and depletive T cell antibodies showed sustained donor chimerism, a reduced incidence of acute GVHD yet retained graft antitumor activity. As in the preclinical models, nonmyeloablative TLI conditioning significantly altered residual host T cell subsets favoring natural killer T cells, and the low incidence of GVHD was associated with increased IL-4 secretion by chimeric donor T cells. The TLI regimen used in cancer patients was modified to determine conditions for stable mixed chimerism and tolerance induction following combined hematopoietic cell and kidney transplantation.This review summarizes the evolution of the preclinical TLI protocols and their recent translation to clinical trials, and discusses the mechanisms involved in protection from GVHD and the induction of tolerance following mixed chimerism.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MOH.0b013e3283319e8f

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271559200007

    View details for PubMedID 19812489

  • TLI and ATG conditioning with low risk of graft-versus-host disease retains antitumor reactions after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation from related and unrelated donors BLOOD Kohrt, H. E., Turnbull, B. B., Heydari, K., Shizuru, J. A., Laport, G. G., Miklos, D. B., Johnston, L. J., Arai, S., Weng, W., Hoppe, R. T., Lavori, P. W., Blume, K. G., Negrin, R. S., Strober, S., Lowsky, R. 2009; 114 (5): 1099-1109

    Abstract

    A hematopoietic cell transplantation regimen was adapted from a preclinical model that used reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) and protected against graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) by skewing residual host T-cell subsets to favor regulatory natural killer T cells. One hundred eleven patients with lymphoid (64) and myeloid (47) malignancies received RIC using total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) and antithymocyte globulin (ATG) followed by the infusion of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-mobilized grafts. Included were 34 patients at least 60 years of age, 32 patients at high risk of lymphoma relapse after disease recurrence following prior autologous transplantation, and 51 patients at high risk of developing GVHD due to lack of a fully human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched related donor. Durable chimerism was achieved in 97% of patients. Cumulative probabilities of acute GVHD (grades II-IV) were 2 and 10% of patients receiving related and unrelated donor grafts. Nonrelapse mortality (NRM) at 1 year was less than 4%. Cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was 27%. The 36-month probability of overall and event-free survival was 60% and 40%, respectively. Disease status at start of conditioning and the level of chimerism achieved after transplantation significantly impacted clinical outcome. The high incidence of sustained remission among patients with active disease at time of transplantation suggests retained graft-versus-tumor reactions. Active trial registration currently at clinicaltrials.gov under IDs of NCT00185640 and NCT00186615.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2009-03-211441

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268491100025

    View details for PubMedID 19423725

  • Total lymphoid irradiation for graft-versus-host disease protection. Current opinion in oncology Kohrt, H., Lowsky, R. 2009; 21: S23-6

    Abstract

    The immunosuppressive effects of total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) for protection against graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation have been studied for years in animal models. In preclinical models of bone marrow transplantation non-myeloablative TLI conditioning protects against GvHD by skewing host T-cell subsets to favor regulatory natural killer T cells that suppress GvHD by polarizing donor T cells towards secretion of non-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-4. These preclinical models have recently been adapted to human transplantation.Patients receiving allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for hematological malignancies conditioned with TLI and depletive T-cell antibodies showed sustained donor chimerism, a reduced incidence of acute GvHD yet retained anti-tumor activity. As in the preclinical models, the low incidence of GvHD is associated with increased IL-4 secretion by chimeric donor T cells.This review summarizes the evolution of the preclinical TLI protocols and their recent translation to clinical trials, and discusses the mechanisms involved in protection from GvHD and the induction of tolerance following mixed chimerism.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.cco.0000357471.68713.35

    View details for PubMedID 19561409

  • Brief report: Tolerance and chimerism after renal and hematopoietic-cell transplantation NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Scandling, J. D., Busque, S., Dejbakhsh-Jones, S., Benike, C., Millan, M. T., Shizuru, J. A., Hoppe, R. T., Lowsky, R., Engleman, E. G., Strober, S. 2008; 358 (4): 362-368

    Abstract

    We describe a recipient of combined kidney and hematopoietic-cell transplants from an HLA-matched donor. A post-transplantation conditioning regimen of total lymphoid irradiation and antithymocyte globulin allowed engraftment of the donor's hematopoietic cells. The patient had persistent mixed chimerism, and the function of the kidney allograft has been normal for more than 28 months since discontinuation of all immunosuppressive drugs. Adverse events requiring hospitalization were limited to a 2-day episode of fever with neutropenia. The patient has had neither rejection episodes nor clinical manifestations of graft-versus-host disease.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000252507900006

  • Thymoglobulin and regulatory T cells in organ and hematopoietic cell transplantation TRANSPLANTATION Lowsky, R. 2007; 84 (11): S20-S26
  • RIZ1 repression is associated with insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling activation in chronic myeloid leukemia cell lines ONCOGENE Pastural, E., Takahashi, N., Dong, W., Bainbridge, M., Hull, A., Pearson, D., Huang, S., Lowsky, R., DeCoteau, J. F., Geyer, C. R. 2007; 26 (11): 1586-1594

    Abstract

    RIZ1 is a histone methyltransferase whose expression and activity are reduced in many cancers. In chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), blastic transformation is associated with loss of heterozygosity in the region where RIZ1 is located and with decreased RIZ1 expression. Forced RIZ1 expression in model CML blast crisis (BC) cell lines decreases proliferation, increases apoptosis and enhances differentiation. We characterized molecular mechanisms that may contribute to potential CML tumor suppressor properties of RIZ1. Several RIZ1-regulated genes involved in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling were identified using cDNA microarrays. RIZ1 was shown to associate with promoter regions of IGF-1 and to increase histone H3 lysine 9 methylation using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. IGF-1-blocking antibody was used to demonstrate the importance of autocrine IGF-1 signaling in CML-BC cell line viability. Forced RIZ1 expression in CML-BC cell lines decreases IGF-1 receptor activation and activation of downstream signaling components extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and AKT. These results highlight the therapeutic potential of inhibiting IGF-1 pathway in the acute phase of CML.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.onc.1209959

    View details for Web of Science ID 000244782500008

    View details for PubMedID 16953217

  • High-dose carmustine, etoposide, and cyclophosphamide followed by allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for non-Hodgkin lymphoma BIOLOGY OF BLOOD AND MARROW TRANSPLANTATION Law, L. Y., Horning, S. J., Wong, R. M., Johnston, L. J., Laport, G. G., Lowsky, R., Shizuru, J. A., Blume, K. G., Negrin, R. S., Stockerl-Goldstein, K. E. 2006; 12 (7): 703-711

    Abstract

    Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) has been shown to be curative in a group of patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). A previous study has demonstrated equivalent outcomes with a conditioning regimen based on total body irradiation and another not based on total body irradiation with preparative therapy using cyclophosphamide, carmustine, and etoposide (CBV) in autologous HCT. We investigated the safety and efficacy of using CBV in an allogeneic setting. Patients were required to have relapsed or be at high risk for subsequent relapse of NHL. All patients had a fully HLA-matched sibling donor. Patients received carmustine (15 mg/kg), etoposide (60 mg/kg), and cyclophosphamide (100 mg/kg) on days -6, -4, and -2, respectively, followed by allogeneic HCT. All patients were treated with cyclosporine and methylprednisolone as prophylaxis for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Thirty-one patients (median age, 46 years) who were felt to be inappropriate candidates for autologous transplantation were enrolled. Each subject had a median of 3 previous chemotherapy regimens. All patients engrafted. Fifteen of 31 patients are alive. Median follow-up time was 11.5 months (range, .4-126). There were 8 deaths due to relapse. Nonrelapse mortality (n = 8) included infection (n = 3), GVHD (n = 2), diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (n = 1), veno-occlusive disease in the setting of concurrent acute GVHD of the liver (n = 1), and leukoencephalopathy (n = 1). Probabilities of event-free survival and overall survival were, respectively, 44% (95% confidence interval, 26%-62%) and 51% (33%-69%) at 1 year and 44% (26%-62%) and 47% (29%-65%) at 5 years. Probability of relapse was 33% (15%-51%) at 1 year and 5 years. Probability of nonrelapse mortality was 31% (13%-49%) at 1 year and 5 years. Incidences were 29% for acute GVHD and 39% for chronic GVHD. None of the 12 patients who developed chronic GVHD has disease recurrence. Patients who had required >3 previous chemotherapy regimens before HCT had an increased probability of relapse. CBV is an effective preparative regimen for patients with aggressive NHL who undergo allogeneic HCT.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbmt.2006.02.009

    View details for Web of Science ID 000238774800002

    View details for PubMedID 16785059

  • Total lymphoid irradiation and transplantation tolerance CURRENT OPINION IN ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION Lowsky, R., Negrin, R. S. 2006; 11 (1): 54-61
  • Protective conditioning for acute graft-versus-host disease NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Lowsky, R., Takahashi, T., Liu, Y. P., Dejbakhsh-Jones, S., GRUMET, F. C., Shizuru, J. A., Laport, G. G., Stockerl-Goldstein, K. E., JOHNSTON, L. J., Hoppe, R. T., Bloch, D. A., Blume, K. G., Negrin, R. S., Strober, S. 2005; 353 (13): 1321-1331

    Abstract

    Conditioning with total lymphoid irradiation plus antithymocyte serum protects mice against acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after hematopoietic-cell transplantation. We tested this strategy in humans.Thirty-seven patients with lymphoid malignant diseases or acute leukemia underwent an experimental conditioning regimen with 10 doses of total lymphoid irradiation (80 cGy each) plus antithymocyte globulin, followed by an infusion of HLA-matched peripheral-blood mononuclear cells from related or unrelated donors who received granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.Of the 37 transplant recipients, only 2 had acute GVHD after hematopoietic-cell transplantation. Potent antitumor effects in patients with lymphoid malignant diseases were shown by the change from partial to complete remission. In the transplant recipients who underwent conditioning with total lymphoid irradiation and antithymocyte globulin, the fraction of donor CD4+ T cells that produced interleukin-4 after in vitro stimulation increased by a factor of five, and the proliferative response to alloantigens in vitro was reduced, as compared with normal control subjects and control subjects who underwent conditioning with a single dose of total-body irradiation (200 cGy).A regimen of total lymphoid irradiation plus antithymocyte globulin decreases the incidence of acute GVHD and allows graft antitumor activity in patients with lymphoid malignant diseases or acute leukemia treated with hematopoietic-cell transplantation.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000232146200004

    View details for PubMedID 16192477

  • A technique of bone marrow collection from vertebral bodies of cynomolgus macaques for transplant studies JOURNAL OF SURGICAL RESEARCH Flores, M. G., Holm, B., Larson, M. J., Lau, M. K., Si, M. S., Lowsky, R., Rousvoal, G., GRUMET, F. C., Strober, S., Hoppe, R., Reitz, B. A., Borie, D. C. 2005; 124 (2): 280-288

    Abstract

    Strategies to induce donor-specific allograft tolerance are best tested in preclinical models developed in nonhuman primates (NHPs). Most protocols prepare the recipient by infusing hematopoietic cells from the donor. We report here a procedure to isolate and characterize large numbers of bone marrow cells (BMCs) from cynomolgus monkeys (cynos) that can then successfully be transplanted into conditioned recipients.Vertebral columns of five cynos were excised en bloc and separated into individual vertebrae. The cancelous bone was extracted with a core puncher, fractionated, filtered, centrifuged, and resuspended in transplantation media before being analyzed by flow cytometry. In two instances, the collected BMCs were reinfused into allogeneic recipients preconditioned with a nonmyeloablative regimen. Chimerism was monitored using short-tandem repeat analysis.The mean total BMCs yield was 25.5 x 10(9) (range of 4.00 x 10(9) to 59 x 10(9)) with mean cell viability of 93.4% (range: 90-96%). CD34+ cells and CD3+ cells averaged 0.34 and 3.91% of total BMCs, respectively. This resulted in absolute cell number yields of 1.02 x 10(8) and 1.15 x 10(9) for CD34+ and CD3+ cells, respectively. Graft-versus-host disease was absent in both bone marrow infused animals, and a maximum level of chimerism of 18% was detected at 3 weeks after BMCs infusion.We present here the first detailed report of a procedure to retrieve and characterize large numbers of BMCs from vertebral bodies of cynos and demonstrate that cells collected with this technique have the capability of engrafting in allogenic recipients.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jss.2004.09.018

    View details for Web of Science ID 000228275800018

    View details for PubMedID 15820259

  • Engraftment and survival following reduced-intensity allogeneic peripheral blood hematopoietic cell transplantation is affected by CD8(+) T-cell dose BLOOD Cao, T. M., Shizuru, J. A., Wong, R. M., Sheehan, K., Laport, G. G., Stockerl-Goldstein, K. E., JOHNSTON, L. J., Stuart, M. J., GRUMET, F. C., Negrin, R. S., Lowsky, R. 2005; 105 (6): 2300-2306

    Abstract

    The influence of graft composition on clinical outcomes after reduced-intensity conditioning is not well-characterized. In this report we prospectively enumerated CD34+, CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ cell doses in granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-mobilized peripheral blood mononuclear cell (G-PBMC) allografts in 63 patients who received transplants following non-myeloablative conditioning with total body irradiation 200 cGy plus fludarabine as treatment for malignant diseases. Donors were HLA-identical siblings (n = 38) or HLA-matched unrelated individuals (n = 25). By univariate analyses G-PBMC CD8+ T-cell dose in at least the 50th percentile favorably correlated with full donor blood T-cell chimerism (P = .03), freedom from progression (P = .001), and overall survival (P = .01). No G-PBMC cell dose influenced grade II to IV acute or extensive chronic graft-versus-host disease. In multivariate analysis only G-PBMC CD8+ T-cell dose (P = .003; RR = 0.2, 95% CI = 0.1-0.6) was associated with improved freedom from progression. Infusion of low G-PBMC CD8+ T-cell dose for reduced-intensity allografting may adversely affect T-cell engraftment and survival outcome.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2004-04-1473

    View details for Web of Science ID 000227630500020

    View details for PubMedID 15572597

  • CD34, CD49 and CD8 cell doses do not influence engraftment, graft-versus-host disease, or survival following myeloablative human leukocyte antigen-identical peripheral blood allografting for hematologic malignancies EXPERIMENTAL HEMATOLOGY Cao, T. M., Wong, R. M., Sheehan, K., Laport, G. G., Stockerl-Goldstein, K. E., JOHNSTON, L. J., Shizuru, J. A., Negrin, R. S., Lowsky, R. 2005; 33 (3): 279-285

    Abstract

    Optimal granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-mobilized peripheral blood progenitor cell (G-PBMC) graft compositions for myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT) have not been identified. G-PBMC cell contents were analyzed for influence on outcomes.Human leukocyte antigen(HLA)-identical related donor AHCT was used to treat 101 patients with hematologic malignancies at a single institution between 1995 and 2002. CD34+, CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ cell doses were enumerated by flow cytometry and evaluated by univariate analysis.Categorized by the median of cell doses infused, no G-PBMC cell dose significantly correlated with neutrophil and platelet engraftment. Incidence of grade II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was 24.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 15.9-33.3) and was not significantly influenced by evaluated G-PBMC cell doses. With a median follow-up time of 18 months for surviving patients, estimates for extensive chronic GVHD was 43.8% (95% CI: 31.4-56.2), for freedom from progression was 69.5% (95% CI: 58.1-80.9), and for overall survival was 46.9% (95% CI: 35.5-58.3). CD34+, CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ cell doses were not significantly predictive of extensive chronic GVHD, freedom from progression or overall survival. Additionally, comparing patients receiving the upper versus lower 33rd percentiles of CD34+ cell dose, associations with extensive chronic GVHD remained insignificant (p=0.21; relative risk (RR)=1.7; 95% CI: 0.7-3.9).G-PBMC graft content does not influence outcomes after myeloablative AHCT. In particular, no significant association between extensive chronic GVHD was identified with any G-PBMC cell dose, including CD34.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.exphem.2004.12.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000227829300003

    View details for PubMedID 15730851

  • Short tandem repeat analysis to monitor chimerism in Macaca fascicularis AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TRANSPLANTATION Lau, M., Vayntrub, T., GRUMET, F. C., Lowsky, R., Strober, S., Hoppe, R., Larson, M., Holm, B., Reitz, B., Borie, D. 2004; 4 (9): 1543-1548

    Abstract

    Chimerism assessment following bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in cynomolgus monkeys (cynos) has been hampered by the lack of good engraftment markers. In human BMT, such markers have been provided by short tandem repeat (STR) loci. We tested the idea that techniques effective for detecting human STR could be readily adapted to cynos. Genomic DNA was extracted from cyno unseparated blood or peripheral cell subsets. With only slight modifications, reagents for detecting human STR alleles were used to amplify and detect cyno STRs and to quantitate allelic mixtures on an automated sequencer. Of the 15 STR loci tested, only CSF1PO, D18S51, and FGA successfully amplified, with seven, seven and two alleles, respectively. CSF1PO and D18S51 heterozygosity (80% and 55%, respectively) allowed use of these two loci for chimerism quantitation after BMT. The successful adaptation of human STR reagents to monitor chimerism in transplanted cynos will facilitate the use of this species in preclinical tolerance studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2004.00529.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000223283900021

    View details for PubMedID 15307845

  • Approaches to transplantation tolerance in humans TRANSPLANTATION Strober, S., Lowsky, R. J., Shizuru, J. A., Scandling, J. D., Millan, M. T. 2004; 77 (6): 932-936

    Abstract

    Although transplantation tolerance to organ allografts has been achieved using a wide variety of immunologic interventions in laboratory animals, few tolerance induction protocols with complete immunosuppressive drug withdrawal have been tested in humans. Preclinical and clinical studies of the use of total lymphoid irradiation for the induction of chimeric and nonchimeric tolerance are summarized here.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.TP.0000117782.93598.6E

    View details for Web of Science ID 000220460500027

    View details for PubMedID 15077041

  • Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia in a patient with chronic myelogenous leukemia developing after initiation of interferon and cytosine arabinoside EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF HAEMATOLOGY Patel, M., Ezzat, W., Pauw, K. L., Lowsky, R. 2001; 67 (5-6): 318-321

    Abstract

    A 59-yr-old man developed fevers, shortness of breath, persistent cough and weight loss, shortly after initiation of therapy with interferon-alpha 2a and cytosine arabinoside for treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia. Radiologic pulmonary infiltrates and lung tissue biopsy were consistent with bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP). After discontinuation of the chemotherapeutic drugs, the pneumonic symptoms and chest roentgenogram infiltrates resolved. This report suggests that treatment with interferon-alpha, in combination with cytosine arabinoside, may produce the rare complication of BOOP.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000173874400006

    View details for PubMedID 11872080

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