Thursday, March 19, 2015

Are changes in HLA Ags responsible for leukemia relapse after HLA-matched allogeneic hematopoietic SCT?

Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) has been shown to be associated with leukemia relapse after haploidentical transplantation. Whether such changes are an important cause of relapse after HLA-matched transplantation remains unclear. We retrospectively HLA-typed leukemic blasts for 71 patients with AML/myelodysplastic syndrome obtained from stored samples, and the results were compared with those obtained at diagnosis and/or before the transplant. No LOH or any other changes in HLA Ag were found in any of the samples tested post transplant as compared with pretransplant specimens. One patient had LOH in HLA class I Ag (HLA-A,-B and -C); however, these changes were present in the pretransplant sample indicating that they occurred before the transplant. We concluded that, in contrast with haploidentical transplantation, HLA loss does not have a major role as a mechanism of relapse after allogeneic transplantation with a closely HLA-matched donor (read more)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Should HLA Mismatch Acceptability for Sensitized Transplant Candidates Be Determined at the High-Resolution Rather Than the Antigen Level?

Defining HLA mismatch acceptability of organ transplant donors for sensitized recipients has traditionally been based on serologically defined HLA antigens. Now, however, it is well accepted that HLA antibodies specifically recognize a wide range of epitopes present on HLA antigens and that molecularly defined high resolution alleles corresponding to the same low resolution antigen can possess different epitope repertoires. Hence, determination of HLA compatibility at the allele level represents a more accurate approach to identify suitable donors for sensitized patients. This approach would offer opportunities for increased transplant rates and improved long term graft survivals (read more and rebuttal)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Impact of IgG3 Subclass and C1q-Fixing Donor-Specific HLA Alloantibodies on Rejection and Survival in Liver Transplantation

Recent literature confirms donor-specific HLA alloantibodies (DSA) impair 5-year survival in some but not all liver transplant recipients. In an effort to improve DSA testing's association with rejection and death, we retrospectively evaluated 1270 liver transplant recipients for the presence of IgG3 and C1q-fixing DSA. In patients with preformed DSA, 29 and 51% had IgG3 and C1q-fixing DSA, respectively. In patients with de novo DSA, 62% and 67% had IgG3 and C1q-fixing DSA, respectively. When different types of DSA positive patients were compared to DSA negative patients, multivariable analysis showed that IgG3 DSA positivity had the highest numerical hazard ratio for death (IgG3: HR = 2.4, p < 0.001; C1q: HR = 1.9, p < 0.001; standard DSA: HR = 1.6, p < 0.001). Similarly, multivariable analysis demonstrated de novo IgG3 DSA positivity compared to no DSA had the highest hazard ratio for death (IgG3: HR = 2.1, p = 0.004; C1q: HR = 1.9, p = 0.02; standard DSA: HR = 1.8, p = 0.007). Preformed C1q-fixing class II DSA showed the strongest correlation with early rejection. In conclusion, preformed and de novo IgG3 subclass DSA positive patients had the highest absolute HR for death in side-by-side comparison with C1q and standard DSA positive versus DSA negative patients; however, IgG3 negative DSA positive patients still had inferior outcomes compared to DSA negative patients (read more)

Equipoise: Ethical, Scientific, and Clinical Trial Design Considerations for Compatible Pair Participation in Kidney Exchange Programs

Compatible living donor/recipient pair participation (CPP) in kidney exchange (KE) transplantation may substantially increase transplant volumes and significantly mitigate the O blood group donor shortage in KE. Initial ethical analysis did not support CPP for two primary reasons: (1) KE would be “unbalanced,” and (2) the possibility of undue influence experienced by the compatible pair living donor. Recent developments with CPP (modeling studies and small clinical experiences), have demonstrated substantial potential for increasing KE volumes. This encouraged us to reconsider initial ethical concerns, with a focus on the potential for a design of a prospective CPP clinical trial. This ethical reconsideration led us to conclude that the concept of unbalanced kidney exchanges (manifested primarily by differential benefit between compatible and incompatible pairs) is no longer as clear cut as originally conceived. In addition, application of two concepts substantially diminishes ethical concerns including: (1) “quasi-compatible” pairs, and (2) a priori definition of mitigating factors. We conclude that genuine uncertainty exists regarding whether kidney exchange is best performed with or without compatible pair participation and that a clinical trial is therefore warranted (read more)