9 research outputs found

    Transplant Physicians’ Attitudes on Candidacy for Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) in Older Patients: The Need for a Standardized Geriatric Assessment (GA) Tool

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    Background Despite improvements in conditioning regimens and supportive care having expanded the curative potential of HCT, underutilization of HCT in older adults persists (Bhatt VR et al, BMT 2017). Therefore, we conducted a survey of transplant physicians (TP) to determine their perceptions of the impact of older age (≥60 years) on HCT candidacy and utilization of tools to gauge candidacy. Methods We conducted a 23-item, online cross-sectional survey of adult physicians recruited from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research between May and July 2019. Results 175/770 (22.7%) TP completed the survey; majority of respondents were 41-60 years old, male, and practicing in a teaching hospital. Over 75% were at centers performing ≥50 HCT per year. When considering regimen intensity, most (96%, n=168) had an upper age limit (UAL) for using a myeloablative regimen (MAC), with only 29 physicians (17%) stating they would consider MAC for patients ≥70 years. In contrast, when considering a reduced intensity/non-myeloablative conditioning (RIC/NMA), 8%, (n=13), 54% (n=93), and 20% (n=35) stated that age 70, 75, and 80 years respectively would be the UAL to use this approach, with 18% (n=31) reporting no UAL. TP agreed that Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS) could exclude older pts for HCT, with 39.1% (n=66), 42.6% (n=72), and 11.4% (n=20) requiring KPS of ≥70, 80, and 90, respectively. The majority (n=92, 52.5%) indicated an HCT-comorbidity index threshold for exclusion, mostly ranging from ≥3 to ≥ 5. Almost all (89.7%) endorsed the need for a better health assessment of pre-HCT vulnerabilities to guide candidacy for pts ≥60 with varied assessments being utilized beyond KPS (Figure 1). However, the majority of centers rarely (33.1%) or never (45.7%) utilize a dedicated geriatrician/geriatric-oncologist to assess alloHCT candidates ≥60 yrs. The largest barriers to performing GA included uncertainty about which tools to use, lack of knowledge and training, and lack of appropriate clinical support staff (Figure 2). Approximately half (n=78, 45%) endorsed GA now routinely influences candidacy. Conclusions The vast majority of TP will consider RIC/NMA alloHCT for patients ≥70 years. However, there is heterogeneity in assessing candidacy. Incorporation of GA into a standardized and easily applied health assessment tool for risk stratification is an unmet need. The recently opened BMT CTN 1704 may aid in addressing this gap

    Stimulation of Potent Humoral and Cellular Immunity via Synthetic Dual-Antigen MVA-Based COVID-19 Vaccine COH04S1 in Cancer Patients Post Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy

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    Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell patients are immunocompromised, remain at high risk following SARS-CoV-2 infection, and are less likely than immunocompetent individuals to respond to vaccination. As part of the safety lead-in portion of a phase 2 clinical trial in patients post HCT/CAR-T for hematological malignancies (HM), we tested the immunogenicity of the synthetic modified vaccinia Ankara-based COVID-19 vaccine COH04S1 co-expressing spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) antigens. Thirteen patients were vaccinated 3–12 months post HCT/CAR-T with two to four doses of COH04S1. SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses, including neutralizing antibodies to ancestral virus and variants of concern (VOC), were measured up to six months post vaccination and compared to immune responses in historical cohorts of naïve healthy volunteers (HV) vaccinated with COH04S1 and naïve healthcare workers (HCW) vaccinated with the FDA-approved mRNA vaccine Comirnaty® (Pfizer, New York, NY, USA). After one or two COH04S1 vaccine doses, HCT/CAR-T recipients showed a significant increase in S- and N-specific binding antibody titers and neutralizing antibodies with potent activity against SARS-CoV-2 ancestral virus and VOC, including the highly immune evasive Omicron XBB.1.5 variant. Furthermore, vaccination with COH04S1 resulted in a significant increase in S- and N-specific T cells, predominantly CD4+ T lymphocytes. Elevated S- and N-specific immune responses continued to persist at six months post vaccination. Furthermore, both humoral and cellular immune responses in COH04S1-vaccinated HCT/CAR-T patients were superior or comparable to those measured in COH04S1-vaccinated HV or Comirnaty®-vaccinated HCW. These results demonstrate robust stimulation of SARS-CoV-2 S- and N-specific immune responses including cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies by COH04S1 in HM patients post HCT/CAR-T, supporting further testing of COH04S1 in immunocompromised populations