T- and B-cell immune reconstitution and clinical outcome in patients with multiple myeloma receiving T-cell-depleted, reduced-intensity allogeneic stem cell transplantation with an alemtuzumab-containing conditioning regimen followed by escalated donor lymphocyte infusions.
D'Sa S., Peggs K., Pizzey A., Verfuerth S., Thuraisundaram D., Watts M., White H., Hale G., Waldmann H., Goldstone A., Mackinnon S., Yong K.
Immune reconstitution after conventional allogeneic transplantation is a major determinant of survival. We conducted a detailed investigation of T- and B-cell immune reconstitution and clinical outcome in 19 patients with multiple myeloma undergoing reduced-intensity stem cell transplantation using in vivo T-cell depletion with alemtuzumab. These patients experienced delayed T-cell recovery, particularly in the naïve (CD45 RA+) CD4 compartment. T-cell receptor spectratype analysis showed a reduced repertoire diversity, which improved rapidly after the administration of donor leucocyte infusions and subsequent conversion to full donor T-cell chimaerism. Post-transplant recovery of CD19+ B cells was also delayed for up to 18 months. Spectratype analysis of IgH CDR3 repertoire revealed a gradual normalization in IgM spectratype complexity by 6-12 months after transplant. There was a high incidence of viral infection, particularly cytomegalovirus reactivation, but the regimen-related mortality was low, perhaps because of the very low incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD; grade I-II skin GVHD was seen in 5/19 patients). Over 80% of all patients have relapsed at a median of 283 (range 153-895) d after transplant, suggesting that the initially low rate of GVHD comes at a high price with regard to the desired graft-versus-myeloma effect.