Publication — IRIC
UM171-Expanded Cord Blood Transplants Support Robust T Cell Reconstitution with Low Rates of Severe Infections.
Rapid T cell reconstitution following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is essential for protection against infections and has been associated with lower incidence of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), relapse, and transplant-related mortality (TRM). While cord blood (CB) transplants are associated with lower rates of cGVHD and relapse, their low stem cell content results in slower immune reconstitution and higher risk of graft failure, severe infections, and TRM. Recently, results of a phase I/II trial revealed that single UM171-expanded CB transplant allowed the use of smaller CB units without compromising engraftment (www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT02668315). We assessed T cell reconstitution in patients who underwent transplantation with UM171-expanded CB grafts and retrospectively compared it to that of patients receiving unmanipulated CB transplants. While median T cell dose infused was at least 2 to 3 times lower than that of unmanipulated CB, numbers and phenotype of T cells at 3, 6, and 12 months post-transplant were similar between the 2 cohorts. T cell receptor sequencing analyses revealed that UM171 patients had greater T cell diversity and higher numbers of clonotypes at 12 months post-transplant. This was associated with higher counts of naive T cells and recent thymic emigrants, suggesting active thymopoiesis and correlating with the demonstration that UM171 expands common lymphoid progenitors in vitro. UM171 patients also showed rapid virus-specific T cell reactivity and significantly reduced incidence of severe infections. These results suggest that UM171 patients benefit from rapid T cell reconstitution, which likely contributes to the absence of moderate/severe cGVHD, infection-related mortality, and late TRM observed in this cohort.