• Effective treatment of steroid and therapy-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease with a novel mesenchymal stromal cell product (MSC-FFM).

      Bader, P; Kuçi, Z; Bakhtiar, S; Basu, O; Bug, G; Dennis, Michael; Greil, J; Barta, A; Kállay, K; Lang, P; et al. (2018-01-29)
      The inability to generate mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) of consistent potency likely is responsible for inconsistent clinical outcomes of patients with aGvHD receiving MSC products. We developed a novel MSC manufacturing protocol characterized by high in vitro potency and near-identity of individual doses, referred to as "MSC-Frankfurt am Main (MSC-FFM)". Herein, we report outcomes of the 69 patients who have received MSC-FFM. These were 51 children and 18 adults with refractory aGvHD grade II (4%), III (36%) or IV (59%). Patients were refractory either to frontline therapy (steroids) (29%) or to steroids and 1-5 additional lines of immunosuppressants (71%) were given infusions in four weekly intervals. The day 28 overall response rate was 83%; at the last follow-up, 61% and 25% of patients were in complete or partial remission. The median follow-up was 8.1 months. Six-month estimate for cumulative incidence of non-relapse mortality was 27% (range, 16-38); leukemia relapse mortality was 2% (range, 0-5). This was associated with a superior six-month overall survival (OS) probability rate of 71% (range, 61-83), compared to the outcome of patients not treated with MSC-FFM. This novel product was effective in children and adults, suggesting that MSC-FFM represents a promising therapy for steroid refractory aGvHD.