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2.
Blood ; 136(20):1-2, 2020.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1980904

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) continues to evolve as most patients are lenalidomide (LEN) refractory at the time of first relapse with its widespread use in both induction and maintenance therapy. Pomalidomide, bortezomib and dexamethasone in RRMM has demonstrated significant activity and improvement in progression-free survival in LEN-refractory patients (Richardson et al Lancet Oncol 2019 Jun;20(6):781-794). Ixazomib is a novel oral proteasome inhibitor (PI) that is currently approved in combination with LEN and dexamethasone in RRMM. Ixazomib is administered on a once weekly schedule and its oral route of administration is particularly attractive, not least in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Twice weekly dosing of ixazomib has been studied in combination with LEN demonstrating promising activity in NDMM (Richardson et al, Br J Haematol. 2018 Jul;182(2):231-244). Moreover, safety and efficacy has been shown in RRMM as twice weekly monotherapy on this schedule (Richardson et al, Blood 2014 Aug 14;124(7):1038-46). We hypothesized that a twice weekly ixazomib schedule in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone will lead to enhanced efficacy and comparable safety in RRMM. Methods: This is a phase I/II multicenter, single-arm, open label study evaluating the combination of twice weekly ixazomib with pomalidomide and dexamethasone in RRMM. Primary objective for phase I portion is to determine safety and the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of this combination using a standard 3+3 dose escalation design. Ixazomib is studied at doses of 3mg or 4mg on days 1, 4, 8, 11, pomalidomide at a dose of 2mg, 3mg and 4mg on days 1-14 and dexamethasone is administered at a dose of 12mg on days 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12 (8mg for patients > 75 years old) on a 21 day cycle (Table 1). Patients were included if they received 2 prior lines of therapy, but 1 prior line was allowed if first line treatment included a PI and an immunomodulatory agent and disease relapse occurred within 60 days of last therapy. Patients who received prior ixazomib were excluded. Results: At the time of data cutoff, 12 patients have been enrolled across cohorts 0, 1 and 2 and enrollment in the final cohort 3 is ongoing. Median age at the time of enrollment was 70 years old with slight male predominance (58%). ISS stage at diagnosis was II or greater in 75% of patients and 9 out of 12 (75%) patients had high-risk FISH as follows: del 17p (17%), gain 1q (50%), and t(4;14) (8%). Median prior lines of therapy was 2 (range 1-3) with 100% of patients having prior treatment with lenalidomide and 92% with prior bortezomib. Forty-two percent of patients had a prior autologous stem cell transplant. Most common treatment-related toxicities were mainly low grade and included neutropenia (58%), hyperglycemia (42%), fatigue (33%), anemia (25%), thrombocytopenia (25%), and rash (25%). Grade 3 or greater toxicities included neutropenia (17%), anemia (8%), bacterial lung infection (8%), and atrial fibrillation (8%). There was 1 dose limiting toxicity (DLT) in cohort 2 due to lung infection necessitating a delay in initiation of cycle 2 and no further DLTs have been noted. Dose reductions occurred in 4 patients and predominantly involved dexamethasone due to weight gain, insomnia, atrial fibrillation and fatigue. There have been no discontinuations due to toxicity and no treatment related mortality at the time of data cutoff. In response evaluable patients, 5 out of 12 patients have demonstrated a partial response or better (42%), with 1 very good partial response (VGPR) and all patients at least achieving stable disease. Conclusions: Twice weekly ixazomib in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone is a generally well-tolerated regimen with promising early activity in a high-risk RRMM cohort. Maximal tolerated dose and recommend phase II dose has not yet been reached and this study continues to accrue robustly, reflecting in part the convenience and safety of an all oral approach in the current era of COVID-19 Moreover, the ability to perform remote laboratory testing, telemedicine visits and to send medications directly to patients has been an additional value-add to this trial. Updated data will be presented at the meeting. Disclosures Nadeem:Sanofi: Consultancy, Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees;Amgen: Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees;Adaptive: Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees;Janssen: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES;Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES;Takeda: Consultancy, Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATIONS, EXPENSES. Mo:Celgene: Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees. Barth:Sanofi: Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees. Sanchorawala:Takeda: Research Funding;Celgene: Research Funding;Prothena: Research Funding;Caelum: Research Funding;Oncopeptide: Research Funding;Regeneron: Other: advisory board;Caleum: Other: advisory board;Proclara: Other: advisory board;Abbvie: Other: advisory board;UpToDate: Patents & Royalties;Janssen: Research Funding. Munshi:BMS: Consultancy;OncoPep: Consultancy, Current equity holder in private company, Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees, Patents & Royalties;C4: Current equity holder in private company;Janssen: Consultancy;Adaptive: Consultancy;Legend: Consultancy;Amgen: Consultancy;AbbVie: Consultancy;Karyopharm: Consultancy;Takeda: Consultancy. Ghobrial:Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria;GlaxoSmithKline: Consultancy;Genentech: Consultancy;Novartis: Consultancy;Noxxon Pharma: Consultancy;Adaptive Biotechnologies: Consultancy, Honoraria;Sanofi: Consultancy, Honoraria;Cellectar: Honoraria;Karyopharm Therapeutics: Consultancy, Honoraria;GNS Healthcare: Consultancy;Janssen: Consultancy, Honoraria;Amgen: Consultancy, Honoraria;AbbVie: Consultancy;Takeda: Consultancy, Honoraria;Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Honoraria. Anderson:Oncopep and C4 Therapeutics.: Other: Scientific Founder of Oncopep and C4 Therapeutics.;Bristol Myers Squibb: Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees;Sanofi-Aventis: Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees;Janssen: Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees;Gilead: Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees;Millenium-Takeda: Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees;Celgene: Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees. Richardson:Celgene/BMS, Oncopeptides, Takeda, Karyopharm: Research Funding.

3.
Bone Marrow Transplant ; 56(12): 2889-2896, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956396

ABSTRACT

Hepatic veno-occlusive disease/sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (VOD/SOS), a potentially life-threatening complication of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), results from prolonged sinusoidal endothelial cell activation and profound endothelial cell damage, with sequelae. Defibrotide, the only drug approved in the United States and Europe for treating VOD/SOS post-HCT, has European Commission orphan drug designation for preventing graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), associated with endothelial dysfunction. This endothelial cell protector and stabilizing agent restores thrombo-fibrinolytic balance and preserves endothelial homeostasis through antithrombotic, fibrinolytic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-adhesive activity. Defibrotide also preserves endothelial cell structure by inhibiting heparanase activity. Evidence suggests that downregulating p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and histone deacetylases (HDACs) is key to defibrotide's endothelial protective effects; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt (PI3K/AKT) potentially links defibrotide interaction with the endothelial cell membrane and downstream effects. Despite defibrotide's being most extensively studied in VOD/SOS, emerging preclinical and clinical data support defibrotide for treating or preventing other conditions driven by endothelial cell activation, dysfunction, and/or damage, such as GvHD, transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy, or chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy-associated neurotoxicity, underpinned by cytokine release syndrome and endotheliitis. Further preclinical and clinical studies will explore defibrotide's potential utility in a broader range of disorders resulting from endothelial cell activation and dysfunction.


Subject(s)
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation , Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease/drug therapy , Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease/etiology , Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease/prevention & control , Humans , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/therapeutic use , Polydeoxyribonucleotides/pharmacology , Polydeoxyribonucleotides/therapeutic use
4.
Chest ; 162(2): 346-355, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1944504

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2-related ARDS is associated with endothelial dysfunction and profound dysregulation of the thrombotic-fibrinolytic pathway. Defibrotide is a polyanionic compound with fibrinolytic, antithrombotic, and antiinflammatory properties. RESEARCH QUESTION: What is the safety and tolerability of defibrotide in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infections? STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We report a prospective, open-label, single-center safety trial of defibrotide for the management of SARS-CoV-2-related ARDS. Eligible participants were 18 years of age or older with clinical and radiographic signs of ARDS, no signs of active bleeding, a serum D-dimer of more than twice upper limit of normal, and positive polymerase chain reaction-based results for SARS-CoV-2. Defibrotide (6.25 mg/kg/dose IV q6h) was administered for a planned 7-day course, with serum D-dimer levels and respiratory function monitored daily during therapy. RESULTS: Twelve patients (median age, 63 years) were treated, with 10 patients receiving mechanical ventilation and 6 receiving vasopressor support at study entry. The median D-dimer was 3.25 µg/ml (range, 1.33-12.3) at study entry. The median duration of therapy was 7 days. No hemorrhagic or thrombotic complications occurred during therapy. No other adverse events attributable to defibrotide were noted. Four patients met the day 7 pulmonary response parameter, all four showing a decrease in serum D-dimer levels within the initial 72 h of defibrotide therapy. Three patients died of progressive pulmonary disease 11, 17, and 34 days after study entry. Nine patients (75%) remain alive 64 to 174 days after initiation of defibrotide. Day 30 all-cause mortality was 17% (95% CI, 0%-35%). All patients with a baseline Pao2 to Fio2 ratio of ≥ 125 mm Hg survived, whereas the three patients with a baseline Pao2 to Fio2 ratio of < 125 mm Hg died. INTERPRETATION: The use of defibrotide for management of SARS-CoV-2-related ARDS proved safe and tolerable. No hemorrhagic or thrombotic complications were reported during therapy, with promising outcomes in a patient population with a historically high mortality rate. TRIAL REGISTRY: ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT04530604; URL: www. CLINICALTRIALS: gov.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Middle Aged , Polydeoxyribonucleotides , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
5.
Am J Clin Nutr ; 115(5): 1367-1377, 2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662101

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with worse coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcomes, but circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is largely bound to vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) or albumin, both of which tend to fall in illness, making the 25(OH)D status hard to interpret. Because of this, measurements of unbound ("free") and albumin-bound ("bioavailable") 25(OH)D have been proposed. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to examine the relationship between vitamin D status and mortality from COVID-19. METHODS: In this observational study conducted in Liverpool, UK, hospitalized COVID-19 patients with surplus sera available for 25(OH)D analysis were studied. Clinical data, including age, ethnicity, and comorbidities, were extracted from case notes. Serum 25(OH)D, DBP, and albumin concentrations were measured. Free and bioavailable 25(OH)D were calculated. Relationships between total, free, and bioavailable 25(OH)D and 28-day mortality were analyzed by logistic regression. RESULTS: There were 472 patients with COVID-19 included, of whom 112 (23.7%) died within 28 days. Nonsurvivors were older (mean age, 73 years; range, 34-98 years) than survivors (mean age, 65 years; range, 19-95 years; P = 0.003) and were more likely to be male (67%; P = 0.02). The frequency of vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L] was similar between nonsurvivors (71/112; 63.4%) and survivors (204/360; 56.7%; P = 0.15) but, after adjustments for age, sex, and comorbidities, increased odds for mortality were present in those with severe deficiency [25(OH)D < 25 nmol/L: OR, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.17-4.78] or a high 25(OH)D (≥100 nmol/L; OR, 4.65; 95% CI, 1.51-14.34) compared with a 25(OH)D value of 50-74 nmol/L (reference). Serum DBP levels were not associated with mortality after adjustments for 25(OH)D, age, sex, and comorbidities. Neither free nor bioavailable 25(OH)D values were associated with mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D deficiency, as commonly defined by serum 25(OH)D levels (<50 nmol/L), is not associated with increased mortality from COVID-19, but extremely low (<25 nmol/L) and high (>100 nmol/L) levels may be associated with mortality risks. Neither free nor bioavailable 25(OH)D values are associated with mortality risk. The study protocol was approved by the London-Surrey Research Ethics Committee (20/HRA/2282).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vitamin D Deficiency , Aged , Albumins/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Vitamin D , Vitamin D Deficiency/complications , Vitamin D-Binding Protein , Vitamins
6.
Lancet Haematol ; 9(2): e98-e110, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616877

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Melphalan flufenamide (melflufen), an alkylating peptide-drug conjugate, plus dexamethasone showed clinical activity and manageable safety in the phase 2 HORIZON study. We aimed to determine whether melflufen plus dexamethasone would provide a progression-free survival benefit compared with pomalidomide plus dexamethasone in patients with previously treated multiple myeloma. METHODS: In this randomised, open-label, head-to-head, phase 3 study (OCEAN), adult patients (aged ≥18 years) were recruited from 108 university hospitals, specialist hospitals, and community-based centres in 21 countries across Europe, North America, and Asia. Eligible patients had an ECOG performance status of 0-2; must have had relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, refractory to lenalidomide (within 18 months of randomisation) and to the last line of therapy; and have received two to four previous lines of therapy (including lenalidomide and a proteasome inhibitor). Patients were randomly assigned (1:1), stratified by age, number of previous lines of therapy, and International Staging System score, to either 28-day cycles of melflufen and dexamethasone (melflufen group) or pomalidomide and dexamethasone (pomalidomide group). All patients received dexamethasone 40 mg orally on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 of each cycle. In the melflufen group, patients received melflufen 40 mg intravenously over 30 min on day 1 of each cycle and in the pomalidomide group, patients received pomalidomide 4 mg orally daily on days 1 to 21 of each cycle. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival assessed by an independent review committee in the intention-to-treat (ITT) population. Safety was assessed in patients who received at least one dose of study medication. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03151811, and is ongoing. FINDINGS: Between June 12, 2017, and Sept 3, 2020, 246 patients were randomly assigned to the melflufen group (median age 68 years [IQR 60-72]; 107 [43%] were female) and 249 to the pomalidomide group (median age 68 years [IQR 61-72]; 109 [44%] were female). 474 patients received at least one dose of study drug (melflufen group n=228; pomalidomide group n=246; safety population). Data cutoff was Feb 3, 2021. Median progression-free survival was 6·8 months (95% CI 5·0-8·5; 165 [67%] of 246 patients had an event) in the melflufen group and 4·9 months (4·2-5·7; 190 [76%] of 249 patients had an event) in the pomalidomide group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·79, [95% CI 0·64-0·98]; p=0·032), at a median follow-up of 15·5 months (IQR 9·4-22·8) in the melflufen group and 16·3 months (10·1-23·2) in the pomalidomide group. Median overall survival was 19·8 months (95% CI 15·1-25·6) at a median follow-up of 19·8 months (IQR 12·0-25·0) in the melflufen group and 25·0 months (95% CI 18·1-31·9) in the pomalidomide group at a median follow-up of 18·6 months (IQR 11·8-23·7; HR 1·10 [95% CI 0·85-1·44]; p=0·47). The most common grade 3 or 4 treatment-emergent adverse events were thrombocytopenia (143 [63%] of 228 in the melflufen group vs 26 [11%] of 246 in the pomalidomide group), neutropenia (123 [54%] vs 102 [41%]), and anaemia (97 [43%] vs 44 [18%]). Serious treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in 95 (42%) patients in the melflufen group and 113 (46%) in the pomalidomide group, the most common of which were pneumonia (13 [6%] vs 21 [9%]), COVID-19 pneumonia (11 [5%] vs nine [4%]), and thrombocytopenia (nine [4%] vs three [1%]). 27 [12%] patients in the melflufen group and 32 [13%] in the pomalidomide group had fatal treatment-emergent adverse events. Fatal treatment-emergent adverse events were considered possibly treatment related in two patients in the melflufen group (one with acute myeloid leukaemia, one with pancytopenia and acute cardiac failure) and four patients in the pomalidomide group (two patients with pneumonia, one with myelodysplastic syndromes, one with COVID-19 pneumonia). INTERPRETATION: Melflufen plus dexamethasone showed superior progression-free survival than pomalidomide plus dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. FUNDING: Oncopeptides AB.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols , Multiple Myeloma , Aged , Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/adverse effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Lenalidomide/adverse effects , Male , Melphalan/adverse effects , Melphalan/analogs & derivatives , Middle Aged , Multiple Myeloma/drug therapy , Phenylalanine/adverse effects , Phenylalanine/analogs & derivatives , SARS-CoV-2 , Thalidomide/adverse effects , Thalidomide/analogs & derivatives
7.
Shock ; 57(1): 95-105, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574295

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Endotheliopathy is a key element in COVID-19 pathophysiology, contributing to both morbidity and mortality. Biomarkers distinguishing different COVID-19 phenotypes from sepsis syndrome remain poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: To characterize circulating biomarkers of endothelial damage in different COVID-19 clinical disease stages compared with sepsis syndrome and normal volunteers. METHODS: Patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (n = 49) were classified into moderate, severe, or critical (life-threatening) disease. Plasma samples were collected within 48 to 72 h of hospitalization to analyze endothelial activation markers, including soluble Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), von Willebrand Factor (VWF), A disintegrin-like and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type 1 motif no. 13 (ADAMTS-13) activity, thrombomodulin (TM), and soluble TNF receptor I (sTNFRI); heparan sulfate (HS) for endothelial glycocalyx degradation; C5b9 deposits on endothelial cells in culture and soluble C5b9 for complement activation; circulating dsDNA for neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) presence, and α2-antiplasmin and PAI-1 as parameters of fibrinolysis. We compared the level of each biomarker in all three COVID-19 groups and healthy donors as controls (n = 45). Results in critically ill COVID-19 patients were compared with other intensive care unit (ICU) patients with septic shock (SS, n = 14), sepsis (S, n = 7), and noninfectious systemic inflammatory response syndrome (NI-SIRS, n = 7). RESULTS: All analyzed biomarkers were increased in COVID-19 patients versus controls (P < 0.001), except for ADAMTS-13 activity that was normal in both groups. The increased expression of sVCAM-1, VWF, sTNFRI, and HS was related to COVID-19 disease severity (P < 0.05). Several differences in these parameters were found between ICU groups: SS patients showed significantly higher levels of VWF, TM, sTNFRI, and NETS compared with critical COVID-19 patients and ADAMTS-13 activity was significantly lover in SS, S, and NI-SIRS versus critical COVID-19 (P < 0.001). Furthermore, α2-antiplasmin activity was higher in critical COVID-19 versus NI-SIRS (P < 0.01) and SS (P < 0.001), whereas PAI-1 levels were significantly lower in COVID-19 patients compared with NI-SIRS, S, and SS patients (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 patients present with increased circulating endothelial stress products, complement activation, and fibrinolytic dysregulation, associated with disease severity. COVID-19 endotheliopathy differs from SS, in which endothelial damage is also a critical feature of pathobiology. These biomarkers could help to stratify the severity of COVID-19 disease and may also provide information to guide specific therapeutic strategies to mitigate endotheliopathy progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , ADAMTS13 Protein/blood , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/analysis , DNA/blood , Female , Heparitin Sulfate/blood , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1/blood , Prospective Studies , Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I/blood , Sepsis/blood , Thrombomodulin/blood , Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1/blood , alpha-2-Antiplasmin/analysis , von Willebrand Factor/analysis
9.
J Am Dent Assoc ; 152(7): 542-550, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363842

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, American Society for Testing and Materials level 3 and level 2 medical face masks (MFMs) have been used for most health care workers and even for the first responders owing to a shortage of N95 respirators. However, the MFMs lack effective peripheral seal, leading to concerns about their adequacy to block aerosol exposure for proper protection. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the peripheral seal of level 3 and level 2 MFMs with a 3-dimensional (3D-) printed custom frame. METHODS: Level 3 and level 2 MFMs were tested on 10 participants with and without a 3D-printed custom frame; the efficiency of mask peripheral seal was determined by means of quantitative fit testing using a PortaCount Fit Tester based on ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter protocol. RESULTS: The 3D-printed custom frame significantly improved the peripheral seal of both level 3 and level 2 MFMs compared with the masks alone (P < .001). In addition, both level 3 and level 2 MFMs with the 3D-printed custom frame met the quantitative fit testing standard specified for N95 respirators. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The 3D-printed custom frame over level 3 and level 2 MFMs can offer enhanced peripheral reduction of aerosols when using collapsible masks. With the shortage of N95 respirators, using the 3D-printed custom frame over a level 3 or level 2 MFM is considered a practical alternative to dental professionals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Humans , Masks , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
10.
Blood ; 136(Supplement 1):31-32, 2020.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1339067

ABSTRACT

Background: Clinical and analytical data on patients suffering from coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) indicate that endothelial damage plays a key role in the pathophysiology of the disease and is responsible for the pulmonary complications and the thrombotic microangiopathy affecting multiple organs, which contribute directly to mortality (Ackerman et al. N Engl J Med 2020). Detection of biomarkers of endothelial injury in circulating blood may provide critical diagnostic and prognostic information on the disease course (Goshua et al. Lancet Haematology 2020). Endothelial injury is also a cornerstone of pathobiology in other septic and potentially life-threatening inflammatory syndromes.Objectives: To identify circulating markers of endothelial damage in COVID-19 patients, and compare their levels with those observed in other septic syndromes.Methods: Plasma samples from non-critically ill patients with confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia (positive nasopharyngeal swab and confirmatory radiological chest imaging) requiring admission (n=42) were collected during the first 36h of hospitalization. Endothelial damage was evaluated by measuring in plasma: i) markers of endothelial function and activation (sVCAM-1, VWF, ADAMTS-13 activity, Protein C and α2-antiplasmin as a marker of fibrinolysis);ii) heparan sulfate (HS) levels, as indicators of endothelial glycocalyx degradation and loss of endothelial barrier function;and iii) C5b9 deposits on endothelial cells in culture, and soluble C5b9 (sC5b9) levels, to measure complement activation. Circulating dsDNA was analyzed as an indicator of the presence of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). ELISA tests were used for sVCAM-1, Protein C, HS, and sC5b9 levels. ADAMTS-13 activity was evaluated by FRETS. VWF, Protein C, and α2-antiplasmin were measured at the Atellica COAG 360 (Siemens Healthineers). C5b9 deposits were assessed by immunofluorescence and dsDNA levels by Quant-iT PicoGreen assay kit. Results were compared with those obtained in healthy donors (controls, n=45), and patients with non-infectious systemic inflammatory response syndrome (NI-SIRS, n=8) and septic shock (SS, n=8).Results: Levels of sVCAM-1 were significantly higher in COVID-19 patients vs. controls, NI-SIRS and SS (159±12 vs. 79±4, 57±8 and 80±10 ng/mL, respectively, p<0.005) (Mean±SDM). VWF was elevated in COVID-19 patients vs. controls (240±26 vs. 96±5%, p<0.001), with similar values in NI-SIRS (271±40%), and significantly reduced vs. SS (476±43%, p<0.001). HS levels in COVID-19 patients were twice those detected in controls (1669±174 vs. 839±36 ng/mL, p=0.001), but they did not differ from those in NI-SIRS (1372±368 ng/mL), and were significantly lower than in SS (3677±880 ng/mL, p<0.001 vs COVID-19). Regarding complement activation, deposits of C5b9 on endothelial cells were significantly increased vs. controls (2-fold, p<0.01), with no notable differences vs. NI-SIRS (3±1-fold) and significantly lower than in SS (8±2-fold, p<0.001). Remarkably, sC5b9 levels were much more elevated in COVID-19 patients (1064±120 vs. 204±11 ng/mL, p<0.001), and no significant differences were observed vs. NI-SIRS (902±160 ng/mL) or SS (958±180 ng/mL). Also of note, presence of NETs was significantly elevated in the plasma of COVID-19 patients vs. controls (16±1.3 vs. 2±0.3 ng/ml, p<0.001), but similar to NI-SIRS (19±5 ng/mL) and clearly inferior to SS (33±6 ng/mL, p<0.001) (Figure). Importantly and in contrast, ADAMTS-13 activity, Protein C, and α2-antiplasmin values were within the normal range in COVID-19 patients.Conclusions: Our data clearly demonstrate the presence of endothelial stress products in the circulating blood of non-critically ill COVID-19 patients. These biomarkers of endothelial injury are suggestive indicators of different aspects of the disease: specifically, release of acute phase reactants, degradation of the endothelial cell glycocalyx, and activation of the complement system. Furthermore, this profile of biomarkers in COVID-19 appears spec fic, with a differential behavior in comparison with septic shock, in which endothelial damage is also known to be critical. Additional studies are needed to validate these biomarkers as diagnostic and prognostic tools of the endothelial complications in COVID-19 patients, both in early disease and later, as well as supporting specific forms of therapeutic intervention.Figure

11.
Blood ; 136(Supplement 1):6-8, 2020.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1339051

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a heterogeneous clinical condition caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The initial stage of infection occurs at the time of respiratory viral invasion through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors in alveolar pneumocytes and macrophages. In the second stage of established pulmonary disease without and with hypoxia, viral multiplication and localized inflammation occurs. The third stage COVID-19 is the most severe, characterized by systemic hyperinflammation, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and generalized microangiopathy, with significantly elevated biomarkers including IL-2, IL-6, IL-7, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, macrophage inflammatory protein 1α, tumor necrosis factor-α, C-reactive protein, ferritin, D-dimer, von Willebrand factor (vWF) and thrombomodulin (TM). Evidence suggests that endothelial damage and activation play a key role in the pathobiology of the disease, and thus protecting endothelium and reversing endotheliitis may be a key therapeutic goal (Teuwen et al,Nat Rev Immunol2020).Defibrotide (DF), a complex mixture of poly-deoxyribonucleotides extracted from porcine mucosa, modulates expression of thrombogenic and inflammatory mediators produced in response to endothelial cell injury and/or leukocyte activation. DF increases tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) and TM expression, thereby enhancing the enzymatic activity of plasmin to hydrolyze fibrin clot, while also decreasing vWF and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Platelet adhesion is inhibited via increases in nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin I2 (PGI2), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) (Falanga A et al,Leukemia 2003). Anti-inflammatory properties via inhibition of p38 MAPK pathway have been demonstrated with DF, attenuating the release of inflammatory mediators including IL-6, thromboxane A2, leukotriene B4, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and reactive oxygen species (Mitsiades et al,Clin Cancer Res2009). Additionally, DF inhibits both the expression and activity of heparanase, which in turn modulates heparan sulfate, a vital moiety for viral infection (Richardson et al,Blood Adv2018;Koganti et al,Cell Mol Life Sci2020).DF also modulates endothelial cell injury in murine models by down-regulating the expression of endothelial cell adhesion molecules such as E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), that are critical to leukocyte adhesion and migration, and by increasing the endothelial cell release of anti-inflammatory cytokines, conferring survival benefit (Garcia-Bernal et al,J Cell Mol Med2020). DF is approved for the treatment of severe veno-occlusive disease/sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (VOD/SOS) complicating stem cell transplantation and has demonstrated efficacy and safety in critically ill patients with multi-organ failure, underpinned by vasculopathy, endotheliitis, immune activation and hemorrhagic risk (Richardson et al,Blood2016). This multi-target and pleiotropic approach makes DF an attractive candidate for the treatment of advanced stage COVID 19 and the systemic endothelial complications underpinning both its pathobiology and ensuing mortality (Figure 1).Various clinical studies in Spain, Italy, Ireland, the UK and USA are underway, with the larger randomized placebo-controlled prospective phase 2 study in Spain (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT04348383) leading in accrual with promising early results, demonstrating safety to date with potential efficacy, as reflected by favorable outcome in a subset of intubated patients as part of an ongoing multi-center trial. Other studies within the group have focused on safety and particularly the therapeutic role of DF in advanced disease, including those patients requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and full dose systemic anticoagulation. These trials include common in-depth biological correlatives, assessing biomarkers including heparanase, inflammatory cytokines, immune cell sub-populations, vWF a d soluble TM, as well as other novel markers and pharmacokinetics. In aggregate, these studies will hopefully help demonstrate the effects of DF on the proposed targets in COVID-19 and successfully correlate these effects with improved clinical outcome.

13.
Expert Opin Ther Targets ; 25(6): 423-433, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281815

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Defibrotide (DF) is a polyribonucleotide with antithrombotic, pro-fibrinolytic, and anti-inflammatory effects on endothelium. These effects and the established safety of DF present DF as a strong candidate to treat viral and post-infectious syndromes involving endothelial dysfunction. AREAS COVERED: We discuss DF and other therapeutic agents that have the potential to target endothelial components of pathogenesis in viral and post-infectious syndromes. We introduce defibrotide (DF), describe its mechanisms of action, and explore its established pleiotropic effects on the endothelium. We describe the established pathophysiology of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and highlight the processes specific to COVID-19 potentially modulated by DF. We also present influenza A and viral hemorrhagic fevers, especially those caused by hantavirus, Ebola virus, and dengue virus, as viral syndromes in which DF might serve therapeutic benefit. Finally, we offer our opinion on novel treatment strategies targeting endothelial dysfunction in viral infections and their severe manifestations. EXPERT OPINION: Given the critical role of endothelial dysfunction in numerous infectious syndromes, in particular COVID-19, therapeutic pharmacology for these conditions should increasingly prioritize endothelial stabilization. Several agents with endothelial protective properties should be further studied as treatments for severe viral infections and vasculitides, especially where other therapeutic modalities have failed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Endothelium, Vascular/drug effects , Polydeoxyribonucleotides/pharmacology , Blood Coagulation Disorders/drug therapy , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Humans , Polydeoxyribonucleotides/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
14.
Cardiovasc Drugs Ther ; 36(3): 547-560, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258224

ABSTRACT

Patients with COVID-19 present a wide spectrum of disease severity, from asymptomatic cases in the majority to serious disease leading to critical care and even death. Clinically, four different scenarios occur within the typical disease timeline: first, an incubation and asymptomatic period; second, a stage with mild symptoms due mainly to the virus itself; third, in up to 20% of the patients, a stage with severe symptoms where a hyperinflammatory response with a cytokine storm driven by host immunity induces acute respiratory distress syndrome; and finally, a post-acute sequelae (PASC) phase, which present symptoms that can range from mild or annoying to actually quite incapacitating. Although the most common manifestation is acute respiratory failure of the lungs, other organs are also frequently involved. The clinical manifestations of the COVID-19 infection support a key role for endothelial dysfunction in the pathobiology of this condition. The virus enters into the organism via its interaction with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2-receptor that is present prominently in the alveoli, but also in endothelial cells, which can be directly infected by the virus. Cytokine release syndrome can also drive endothelial damage independently. Consequently, a distinctive feature of SARS-CoV-2 infection is vascular harm, with severe endothelial injury, widespread thrombosis, microangiopathy, and neo-angiogenesis in response to endothelial damage. Therefore, endothelial dysfunction seems to be the pathophysiological substrate for severe COVID-19 complications. Biomarkers of endothelial injury could constitute strong indicators of disease progression and severity. In addition, the endothelium could represent a very attractive target to both prevent and treat these complications. To establish an adequate therapy, the underlying pathophysiology and corresponding clinical stage should be clearly identified. In this review, the clinical features of COVID-19, the central role of the endothelium in COVID-19 and in other pathologies, and the potential of specific therapies aimed at protecting the endothelium in COVID-19 patients are addressed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vascular Diseases , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Endothelial Cells , Endothelium , Endothelium, Vascular , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
15.
J Am Dent Assoc ; 152(6): 455-462, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237578

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The route of transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has challenged dentistry to improve the safety for patients and the dental team during various treatment procedures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of dental evacuation systems in reducing aerosols during oral prophylactic procedures in a large clinical setting. METHODS: This was a single-center, controlled clinical trial using a split-mouth design. A total of 93 student participants were recruited according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Aerosol samples were collected on blood agar plates that were placed around the clinic at 4 treatment periods: baseline, high-volume evacuation (HVE), combination (HVE and intraoral suction device), and posttreatment. Student operators were randomized to perform oral prophylaxis using ultrasonic scalers on 1 side of the mouth, using only HVE suction for the HVE treatment period and then with the addition of an intraoral suction device for the combination treatment period. Agar plates were collected after each period and incubated at 37 °C for 48 hours. Colony-forming unit (CFU) counts were determined using an automatic colony counter. RESULTS: The use of a combination of devices resulted in significant reductions in CFUs compared with the use of the intraoral suction device alone (P < .001). The highest amounts of CFUs were found in the operating zone and on patients during both HVE and combination treatment periods. CONCLUSIONS: Within limitations of this study, the authors found significant reductions in the amount of microbial aerosols when both HVE and an intraoral suction device were used. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The combination of HVE and intraoral suction devices significantly decreases microbial aerosols during oral prophylaxis procedures.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , COVID-19 , Infection Control, Dental , Aerosols , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Br J Haematol ; 193(1): 43-51, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066629
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