Publications by authors named "Alessandro Gozzetti"

136 Publications

First reported case of secondary mixed phenotype acute leukemia after multiple myeloma.

Am J Blood Res 2021 20;11(1):123-131. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Hematology Unit, University of Siena, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese Siena, Italy.

In recent years the outcome of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) has significantly improved, due to new drugs. However, some agents, i.e. the alkylating drug melphalan, can be associated with an increased incidence of secondary malignancies. Myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia are reported in the literature, and rarely acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Here we describe a unique case of a 56-years old female patient affected by MM since 2015 in complete remission after autologous stem cell transplant and in lenalidomide maintenance, who developed 2 years later mixed phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL). The patient, refractory to both lymphoblastic and myeloid acute leukemia regimens, achieved complete remission with bi-specific anti-CD19/anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody blinatumomab and with hypomethylating agent azacytidine plus the BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax. She then underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from HLA-identical sibling donor and she is still in complete remission after 9 months. To the best of our knowledge, there are no cases in the literature describing MPAL after autologous transplant for MM. Our patient was treated with blinatumomab and venetoclax and achieved complete remission 9 months from allogeneic transplant. The mechanism underlying the development of MPAL is not completely understood and therapies are still lacking. In this context the combination of blinatumomab, azacytidine and venetoclax successfully used in this patient may provide food for thought for further studies in this rare setting of patients.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010609PMC
February 2021

Subcutaneous bortezomib-containing regimens as up-front treatment of newly diagnosed transplant-eligible multiple myeloma patients: a retrospective, non-interventional observational study.

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 Mar 18:1-10. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Istituto di Ematologia "Seràgnoli", Bologna, Italy.

Subcutaneous (SC) bortezomib-based regimens represent the standard induction therapy prior to autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients. Published data are based principally on intravenous (IV) administration: this retrospective observational study aimed to define patients' outcomes upon SC bortezomib administration, before and after ASCT. Of 131 enrolled patients, 86% received bortezomib-dexamethasone plus thalidomide (VTD), 5% plus cyclophosphamide (VCD), and 9% alone (VD), for a median of 4 cycles induction therapy, followed by single (52%) or double (48%) ASCT. 48 patients received consolidation with the same induction regimen. 35% had at least one adverse event, mainly gastrointestinal disorders and peripheral neuropathy (PN). ORR was 93.1%, 97.7% and 100%, after induction, ASCT(s) and consolidation, respectively. Median PFS and PFS2 were 55.8 months and 72 months, respectively, (median follow-up 45.3 months), while median OS was unreached. Concluding, SC bortezomib has similar efficacy with reduced PN than IV administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2021.1897805DOI Listing
March 2021

Long-Term Safety of Rapid Daratumumab Infusions in Multiple Myeloma Patients.

Front Oncol 2020 21;10:570187. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

Hematology Unit, University of Siena, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Senese, Siena, Italy.

Multiple myeloma survival has significantly improved in recent years, due to novel agents that are available for treatment. The anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody Daratumumab is particularly efficient for patients with relapse/refractory disease, and many studies have shown its unprecedented efficacy also as a first treatment. However, to avoid the incidence of infusion reactions, long infusion schedules of 8 h at first dose and 4 h in the following doses are required, which can reduce the compliance of patients and health care professionals. A reduced infusion time of 90 min has been reported previously, but data are missing on the prolonged safety of this over time as well as the efficacy of this approach. In this work, we investigate the safety of 484 rapid Daratumumab infusions given early after the second dose over a 22 months period in 39 myeloma patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.570187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7783633PMC
December 2020

Clinical features associated with COVID-19 outcome in multiple myeloma: first results from the International Myeloma Society data set.

Blood 2020 12;136(26):3033-3040

Intergroupe Francophone du Myélome (IFM), Paris, France.

The primary cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) is an infection. Therefore, there is great concern about susceptibility to the outcome of COVID-19-infected patients with MM. This retrospective study describes the baseline characteristics and outcome data of COVID-19 infection in 650 patients with plasma cell disorders, collected by the International Myeloma Society to understand the initial challenges faced by myeloma patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Analyses were performed for hospitalized MM patients. Among hospitalized patients, the median age was 69 years, and nearly all patients (96%) had MM. Approximately 36% were recently diagnosed (2019-2020), and 54% of patients were receiving first-line therapy. Thirty-three percent of patients have died, with significant geographic variability, ranging from 27% to 57% of hospitalized patients. Univariate analysis identified age, International Staging System stage 3 (ISS3), high-risk disease, renal disease, suboptimal myeloma control (active or progressive disease), and 1 or more comorbidities as risk factors for higher rates of death. Neither history of transplant, including within a year of COVID-19 diagnosis, nor other anti-MM treatments were associated with outcomes. Multivariate analysis found that only age, high-risk MM, renal disease, and suboptimal MM control remained independent predictors of adverse outcome with COVID-19 infection. The management of MM in the era of COVID-19 requires careful consideration of patient- and disease-related factors to decrease the risk of acquiring COVID-19 infection, while not compromising disease control through appropriate MM treatment. This study provides initial data to develop recommendations for the management of MM patients with COVID-19 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020008150DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759145PMC
December 2020

Daratumumab efficacy in extramedullary orbital myeloma.

Clin Case Rep 2020 Dec 28;8(12):3652-3653. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Hematology Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Siena Italy.

Daratumumab is very efficacious in multiple myeloma. Few reports are present about efficacy in extramedullary myeloma. We report here daratumumab efficacy in extramedullary ocular myeloma in a young 46-year-old man diagnosed 3 years earlier and relapse refractory to five previous lines of therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ccr3.3458DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7752422PMC
December 2020

Venetoclax in association with decitabine as effective bridge to transplant in a case of relapsed early T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia.

Clin Case Rep 2020 Oct 7;8(10):2000-2002. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

Hematology Unit Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese University of Siena Siena Italy.

A case of an early-relapsed high-risk T-ALL with high BCL-2 expression on leukemic blasts was successfully treated with decitabine and venetoclax, achieving a CR. We suggest decitabine and venetoclax should be synergistic in BCL2-positive ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ccr3.3041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7562845PMC
October 2020

International Myeloma Working Group risk stratification model for smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM).

Blood Cancer J 2020 10 16;10(10):102. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Clinica Universidad de Navarra, CIMA, CIBERONC, IDISNA, Pamplona, Spain.

Smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) is an asymptomatic precursor state of multiple myeloma (MM). Recently, MM was redefined to include biomarkers predicting a high risk of progression from SMM, thus necessitating a redefinition of SMM and its risk stratification. We assembled a large cohort of SMM patients meeting the revised IMWG criteria to develop a new risk stratification system. We included 1996 patients, and using stepwise selection and multivariable analysis, we identified three independent factors predicting progression risk at 2 years: serum M-protein >2 g/dL (HR: 2.1), involved to uninvolved free light-chain ratio >20 (HR: 2.7), and marrow plasma cell infiltration >20% (HR: 2.4). This translates into 3 categories with increasing 2-year progression risk: 6% for low risk (38%; no risk factors, HR: 1); 18% for intermediate risk (33%; 1 factor; HR: 3.0), and 44% for high risk (29%; 2-3 factors). Addition of cytogenetic abnormalities (t(4;14), t(14;16), +1q, and/or del13q) allowed separation into 4 groups (low risk with 0, low intermediate risk with 1, intermediate risk with 2, and high risk with ≥3 risk factors) with 6, 23, 46, and 63% risk of progression in 2 years, respectively. The 2/20/20 risk stratification model can be easily implemented to identify high-risk SMM for clinical research and routine practice and will be widely applicable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-00366-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7567803PMC
October 2020

Minimal Residual Disease in Multiple Myeloma: State of the Art and Applications in Clinical Practice.

J Pers Med 2020 Sep 10;10(3). Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Division of Hematology, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy.

Novel drugs have revolutionized multiple myeloma therapy in the last 20 years, with median survival that has doubled to up to 8-10 years. The introduction of therapeutic strategies, such as consolidation and maintenance after autologous stem cell transplants, has also ameliorated clinical results. The goal of modern therapies is becoming not only complete remission, but also the deepest possible remission. In this context, the evaluation of minimal residual disease by techniques such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) and next-generation flow (NGF) is becoming part of all new clinical trials that test drug efficacy. This review focuses on minimal residual disease approaches in clinical trials, with particular attention to real-world practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jpm10030120DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7565263PMC
September 2020

The Janus kinase 1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib in COVID-19.

Leukemia 2020 10 2;34(10):2815-2816. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

Division of Hematology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-01038-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7467142PMC
October 2020

Ruxolitinib Rapidly Reduces Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in COVID-19 Disease. Analysis of Data Collection From RESPIRE Protocol.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2020 4;7:466. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Hematology Unit, Università of Siena, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Senese, Siena, Italy.

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is causing millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide. Cumulative clinical and laboratory evidence suggest that a subset of patients with severe COVID-19 may develop a cytokine storm syndrome during the course of the disease, with severe respiratory impairment requiring ventilatory support. One field of research nowadays is to identify and treat viral-induced hyperinflammation with drugs used in other clinical conditions characterized by an hyperinflammation status. These drugs might help to reduce COVID19 mortality. Ruxolitinib, a JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor, has been successfully used to treat severe immune-mediated diseases, such as graft vs. host disease and Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. We used ruxolitinib in 18 patients with clinically progressive COVID-19 related acute respiratory distress syndrome, with a primary endpoint to rapidly reduce the degree of respiratory impairment and as a secondary endpoint to rapidly restore the PaO/FiO ratio, as an evaluation of clinical status, and monitoring of drug related Adverse Events. Parameters of inflammation responses and organ functions were assessed and monitored. The treatment plan was ruxolitinib 20 mg bid for the first 48 h and subsequent two-step de-escalation at 10 mg bid and 5 mg bid for a maximum of 14 days of treatment. Our data collection shows a rapid clinical response with no evolution from to mechanical ventilation in 16/18 patients and no response in two patients (overall response rate-ORR 89%). Already after 48 h of ruxolitinib treatment 16/18 patients showed evident clinical improvement, and after 7 days of treatment 11/18 patients showed fully recovered respiratory function (pO > 98% in spontaneous breathing), 4/18 patients had minimal oxygen requirement (2-4 L/m), 1/18 patient showed stable disease, and 2/18 patient showed progressive disease. After 14 days, 16/18 patients showed complete recovery of respiratory function (ORR 89%). Compliance to ruxolitinib planned treatment was 100% and no serious adverse event was recorded. In our case series of 18 critically ill patients with COVID-19 and ARDS, administration of ruxolitinib resulted in a clinical improvement that concurred to modify the standard course of disease. Ruxolitinib can be a therapeutic option for patients with respiratory insufficiency in COVID-19 related ARDS. RESPIRE Study (uxolitinib for the treatment of acute rratory distss syndrome, ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04361903).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2020.00466DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7417512PMC
August 2020

Different MAF translocations confer similar prognosis in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients.

Leuk Lymphoma 2020 08 19;61(8):1885-1893. Epub 2020 Apr 19.

John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack UMC, Hackensack, NJ, USA.

The MAF translocations, t(14;16) and t(14;20), are considered as adverse prognostic factors based on few studies with small sample sizes. We report on their prognostic impact in a large group of 254 patients - 223 (87.8%) with t(14;16) and 31 (12.2%) with t(14;20). There were no intergroup differences in survival estimates. Median progression-free survival was 16.6 months for t(14;16) and 24.9 months for t(14;20) ( = 0.28). Median overall survival (OS) was 54.0 months and 49.0 months, respectively ( = 0.62). Median OS in patients who underwent double autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) was 107.0 months versus 60.0 months in patients who received single ASCT ( < 0.001). ISS 3 was associated with shorter OS (HR = 1.89; 95% CI 1.24-3.19;  = 0.005) in Cox analysis. Our study suggests that t(14;20) should be considered as an adverse factor of equal prognostic implication to t(14;16).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1749605DOI Listing
August 2020

A multicenter retrospective study of 223 patients with t(14;16) in multiple myeloma.

Am J Hematol 2020 05 29;95(5):503-509. Epub 2020 Feb 29.

John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, New Jersey.

The t(14;16) translocation, found in 3%-5% of newly diagnosed (ND) multiple myeloma (MM), has been associated with adverse outcomes. However, the studies establishing the characteristics of t(14;16) included solely small cohorts. The goal of the current international, multicenter (n = 25 centers), retrospective study was to describe the characteristics and outcomes of t(14;16) patients in a large, real-world cohort (n = 223). A substantial fraction of patients had renal impairment (24%) and hemoglobin <10 g/dL (56%) on initial presentation. Combined therapy of both immunomodulatory drug and proteasome inhibitor (PI) in the first line was used in 35% of patients. Autologous stem cell transplantation was performed in 42% of patients. With a median follow up of 4.1 years (95% CI 3.7-18.7), the median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) from first line therapy were 2.1 years (95% CI 1.5-2.4) and 4.1 years (95% CI 3.3-5.5), respectively. Worse OS was predicted by age > 60 years (HR = 1.65, 95% CI [1.05-2.58]), as well as revised International Scoring System (R-ISS) 3 (vs R-ISS 2; HR = 2.59, 95% CI [1.59-4.24]). In conclusion, based on the largest reported cohort of t(14;16) patients, quarter of this subset of MM patients initially presents with renal failure, while older age and the R-ISS 3 predict poor survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25758DOI Listing
May 2020

Hematogenous extramedullary relapse in multiple myeloma - a multicenter retrospective study in 127 patients.

Am J Hematol 2019 10 13;94(10):1132-1140. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Department of Hematology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Cracow, Poland.

The current study assesses the characteristics and outcomes of multiple myeloma (MM) patients, treated with novel agents for hematogenous extramedullary (HEMM) relapse. Consecutive patients diagnosed with HEMM between 2010-2018 were included. Patients' characteristics at diagnosis and at HEMM presentation, response to treatment, survival and factors predicting survival were recorded and analyzed. A group of 127 patients, all diagnosed with HEMM by imaging (87.3%) and/or biopsy (79%), were included. Of those, 44% were initially diagnosed with ISS3, 57% presented with plasmacytomas, and 30% had high-risk cytogenetics. Median time to HEMM was 32 months. In multivariate analysis, ISS3 and bone plasmacytoma predicted shorter time to HEMM (P = .005 and P = .008, respectively). Upfront autograft was associated with longer time to HEMM (P = .002). At HEMM, 32% of patients had no BM plasmacytosis, 20% had non-secretory disease and 43% had light-chain disease. Multiple HEMM sites were reported in 52% of patients, mostly involving soft tissue, skin (29%), and pleura/lung (25%). First treatment for HEMM included proteasome inhibitors (50%), immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) (39%), monoclonal antibodies (10%), and chemotherapy (53%). Overall response rate (ORR) was 57%. IMiDs were associated with higher ORR (HR 2.2, 95% CI 1.02-4.7, P = .04). Median survival from HEMM was 6 months (CI 95% 4.8-7.2). Failure to achieve ≥VGPR was the only significant factor for worse OS in multivariate analyses (HR = 9.87, CI 95% 2.35 - 39, P = .001). In conclusion, HEMM occurs within 3 years of initial myeloma diagnosis and is associated with dismal outcome. The IMiDs might provide a higher response rate, and achievement of ≥VGPR predicts longer survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25579DOI Listing
October 2019

Elevated Lactate Dehydrogenase Has Prognostic Relevance in Treatment-Naïve Patients Affected by Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia with Trisomy 12.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Jun 26;11(7). Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Institute of Hematology, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, 00168 Roma, Italy.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) patients with +12 have been reported to have specific clinical and biologic features. We performed an analysis of the association between demographic; clinical; laboratory; biologic features and outcome in CLL patients with +12 to identify parameters predictive of disease progression; time to treatment; and survival. The study included 487 treatment-naive CLL patients with +12 from 15 academic centers; diagnosed between January 2000 and July 2016; and 816 treatment-naïve patients with absence of Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) abnormalities. A cohort of 250 patients with +12 CLL followed at a single US institution was used for external validation. In patients with +12; parameters associated with worse prognosis in the multivariate model were high Lactate DeHydrogenase (LDH) and β-2-microglobulin and unmutated immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region gene (IGHV). CLL patients with +12 and high LDH levels showed a shorter Progression-Free-Survival (PFS) (30 months vs. 65 months; p < 0.001), Treatment-Free-Survival (TFS) (33 months vs. 69 months; p < 0.001), Overall Survival (OS) (131 months vs. 181 months; p < 0.001) and greater CLL-related mortality (29% vs. 11% at 10 years; p < 0.001) when compared with +12 CLL patients with normal LDH levels. The same differences were observed in the validation cohort. These data suggest that serum LDH levels can predict PFS; TFS; OS and CLL-specific survival in CLL patients with +12.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11070896DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6678692PMC
June 2019

Flow Cytometry Assessment of CD26 Leukemic Stem Cells in Peripheral Blood: A Simple and Rapid New Diagnostic Tool for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

Cytometry B Clin Cytom 2019 07 3;96(4):294-299. Epub 2019 Feb 3.

Hematology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, Siena, Italy.

Background: Recent investigations in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) have focused on the identification and characterization of leukemic stem cells (LSCs). These cells reside within the CD34 /CD38 /Lin fraction and score positive for CD26 (dipeptidylpeptidase IV) a marker, expressed in both bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB) samples, that discriminates CML cells from normal hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or from LSCs of other myeloid neoplasms. CD26 evaluation could be a useful tool to improve the identification of CML LCSs by using flow-cytometry assay.

Methods: CD26 LSCs have been isolated from EDTA PB and BM samples of patients with leucocytosis suspected for CML. Analysis of LSCs CML has been performed by using custom-made lyophilized pre-titrated antibody mixture test and control tube and a CD45 /CD34 /CD38 /CD26 panel as a strict flow cytometric gating strategy.

Results: The expression of CD26 on CD34 /CD38 population was detectable in 211/211 PB and 84/84 BM samples of subsequently confirmed BCR-ABL CP-CML patients. None of the 32 samples suspicious for CML but scoring negative for circulating CD26 LSCs were diagnosed as CML after conventional cytogenetic and molecular testing. To validate our results, we checked for PB CD26 LSCs in patients affected by other hematological disorders and they all scored negative for CD26 expression.

Conclusions: We propose flow cytometry evaluation of CD26 expression on PB CD34 /CD38 population as a new rapid, reproducible, and powerful diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of CML. © 2019 The Authors. Cytometry Part B: Clinical Cytometry published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Clinical Cytometry Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cyto.b.21764DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6767040PMC
July 2019

Secondary plasma cell leukemia: a multicenter retrospective study of 101 patients.

Leuk Lymphoma 2019 01 2;60(1):118-123. Epub 2018 Jul 2.

ab John Theurer Cancer Center, Myeloma Division , Hackensack University Medical Center , Hackensack , NJ , USA.

This multicenter retrospective study included 101 patients (median age 62 years) with secondary plasma cell leukemia (sPCL). The median time from initial multiple myeloma diagnosis to sPCL was 31 months. Fifty-five out of 72 patients (75%) who received any therapy were treated with immunomodulators (IMiDs) and/or proteasome inhibitors (PIs), and 14/72 (19%) underwent salvage autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). The overall response rate in patients who received ASCT or PI (either alone or in combination) was higher than in those who did not (93% vs. 36% and 60% vs. 30%, respectively). The median overall survival (OS) in patients who received therapy was 4.2 months (95% CI: 1.3; 8.0) with a 1-year OS of 19%. Platelet count ≤100 × 10/L at sPCL diagnosis was the only independent predictor of a poorer OS in treated patients (HR = 3.98, p = .0001). These findings suggest that patients with sPCL may benefit from salvage ASCT- and PI-based regimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2018.1473574DOI Listing
January 2019

Residual Peripheral Blood CD26 Leukemic Stem Cells in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients During TKI Therapy and During Treatment-Free Remission.

Front Oncol 2018 30;8:194. Epub 2018 May 30.

Hematology Unit, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients in sustained "deep molecular response" may stop TKI treatment without disease recurrence; however, half of them lose molecular response shortly after TKI withdrawing. Well-defined eligibility criteria to predict a safe discontinuation up-front are still missing. Relapse is probably due to residual quiescent TKI-resistant leukemic stem cells (LSCs) supposedly transcriptionally low/silent and not easily detectable by BCR-ABL1 qRT-PCR. Bone marrow Ph+ CML CD34/CD38 LSCs were found to specifically co-express CD26 (dipeptidylpeptidase-IV). We explored feasibility of detecting and quantifying CD26 LSCs by flow cytometry in peripheral blood (PB). Over 400 CML patients (at diagnosis and during/after therapy) entered this cross-sectional study in which CD26 expression was evaluated by a standardized multiparametric flow cytometry analysis on PB CD45/CD34/CD38 stem cell population. All 120 CP-CML patients at diagnosis showed measurable PB CD26 LSCs (median 19.20/μL, range 0.27-698.6). PB CD26 LSCs were also detectable in 169/236 (71.6%) CP-CML patients in first-line TKI treatment (median 0.014 cells/μL; range 0.0012-0.66) and in 74/112 (66%), additional patients studied on treatment-free remission (TFR) (median 0.015/μL; range 0.006-0.76). Notably, no correlation between BCR-ABL/ABL ratio and number of residual LSCs was found both in patients on or off TKIs. This is the first evidence that "circulating" CML LSCs persist in the majority of CML patients in molecular response while on TKI treatment and even after TKI discontinuation. Prospective studies evaluating the dynamics of PB CD26 LSCs during TKI treatment and the role of a "stem cell response" threshold to achieve and maintain TFR are ongoing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2018.00194DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5988870PMC
May 2018

Prognostic indicators in primary plasma cell leukaemia: a multicentre retrospective study of 117 patients.

Br J Haematol 2018 03 7;180(6):831-839. Epub 2018 Jan 7.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

We report a multicentre retrospective study that analysed clinical characteristics and outcomes in 117 patients with primary plasma cell leukaemia (pPCL) treated at the participating institutions between January 2006 and December 2016. The median age at the time of pPCL diagnosis was 61 years. Ninety-eight patients were treated with novel agents, with an overall response rate of 78%. Fifty-five patients (64%) patients underwent upfront autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). The median follow-up time was 50 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 33; 76), with a median overall survival (OS) for the entire group of 23 months (95% CI 15; 34). The median OS time in patients who underwent upfront ASCT was 35 months (95% CI 24·3; 46) as compared to 13 months (95% CI 6·3; 35·8) in patients who did not receive ASCT (P = 0·001). Multivariate analyses identified age ≥60 years, platelet count ≤100 × 10 /l and peripheral blood plasma cell count ≥20 × 10 /l as independent predictors of worse survival. The median OS in patients with 0, 1 or 2-3 of these risk factors was 46, 27 and 12 months, respectively (P < 0·001). Our findings support the use of novel agents and ASCT as frontline treatment in patients with pPCL. The constructed prognostic score should be independently validated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.15092DOI Listing
March 2018

Preferential Usage of Specific Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain Variable Region Genes With Unmutated Profile and Advanced Stage at Presentation Are Common Features in Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia From Senegal.

Am J Clin Pathol 2017 Nov;148(6):545-554

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic, and Experimental Medicine, Bologna University School of Medicine, Bologna, Italy.

Objectives: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia in Western populations, being rarer in Asian and African people. It has been suggested that patients with CLL from Africa might have a more aggressive disease compared with white patients. In this study, we aimed to identify genetic factors that may account for this difference.

Methods: We analyzed immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) genes' mutational status by performing next-generation sequencing in 25 Senegalese and 50 Italian patients with CLL.

Results: We found that Senegalese patients more frequently had adverse prognostic factors and an unmutated profile. Furthermore, we documented that IGHV1 (IGHV1-69), IGHD3, and IGHJ6 were significantly more frequent in Senegalese patients, whereas IGHV3-30 was common and limited to the Italian cohort. Stereotyped receptors commonly detected in the white population were not recorded in our Senegalese series.

Conclusions: The different IGH repertoire we observed in the Senegalese cohort may reflect the diverse genetic and microenvironmental (ie, polymicrobial stimulation) background.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcp/aqx105DOI Listing
November 2017

Sixth nerve and superior division of third nerve palsy due to intracranial extension of multiple myeloma. A diagnostic challenge and differential diagnosis.

Neurol Sci 2018 03 28;39(3):593-594. Epub 2017 Oct 28.

Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neurosciences, University of Siena, Viale M. Bracci 16, 53100, Siena, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-017-3167-3DOI Listing
March 2018

Ectopic ILT3 controls BCR-dependent activation of Akt in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Blood 2017 11 20;130(18):2006-2017. Epub 2017 Sep 20.

Department of Life Sciences and.

The high proportion of long-term nonprogressors among chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients suggests the existence of a regulatory network that restrains the proliferation of tumor B cells. The identification of molecular determinants composing such network is hence fundamental for our understanding of CLL pathogenesis. Based on our previous finding establishing a deficiency in the signaling adaptor p66Shc in CLL cells, we undertook to identify unique phenotypic traits caused by this defect. Here we show that a lack of p66Shc shapes the transcriptional profile of CLL cells and leads to an upregulation of the surface receptor ILT3, the immunoglobulin-like transcript 3 that is normally found on myeloid cells. The ectopic expression of ILT3 in CLL was a distinctive feature of neoplastic B cells and hematopoietic stem cells, thus identifying ILT3 as a selective marker of malignancy in CLL and the first example of phenotypic continuity between mature CLL cells and their progenitors in the bone marrow. ILT3 expression in CLL was found to be driven by Deltex1, a suppressor of antigen receptor signaling in lymphocytes. Triggering of ILT3 inhibited the activation of Akt kinase upon B-cell receptor (BCR) stimulation. This effect was achieved through the dynamic coalescence of ILT3, BCRs, and phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate 5-phosphatase 1 into inhibitory clusters at the cell surface. Collectively, our findings identify ILT3 as a signature molecule of p66Shc deficiency in CLL and indicate that ILT3 may functionally contribute to a regulatory network controlling tumor progression by suppressing the Akt pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2017-03-775858DOI Listing
November 2017

Similar survival outcomes in patients with biclonal versus monoclonal myeloma: a multi-institutional matched case-control study.

Ann Hematol 2017 Oct 1;96(10):1693-1698. Epub 2017 Aug 1.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Multiple myeloma is a plasma cell malignancy characterized by clonal proliferation of plasma cells in the bone marrow and associated organ damage. Usually, patients with myeloma present with a single monoclonal protein in serum and/or urine constituted by one heavy chain and one light chain. In less than 5% of the patients, more than one monoclonal protein can be identified. The aim of our retrospective multicenter matched case-control study was to describe the characteristics of cases with biclonal myeloma and compare them against a control group of monoclonal myeloma patients matched by age, sex, and year of diagnosis. A total of 50 previously untreated cases with biclonal myeloma and 50 matched controls with monoclonal myeloma were included in this study. The controls were matched (1:1) for age, sex, year of diagnosis, and participating center. There were no differences in the rates of anemia (52 vs. 59%; p = 0.52), renal dysfunction (36 vs. 34%; p = 0.83), hypercalcemia (9 vs. 16%; p = 0.28), or presence of lytic lesions (23 vs. 16%; p = 0.38) between groups. Similarly, there was no difference in the rates of overall response to therapy (85 vs. 90%; p = 0.88) or survival rates of cases with biclonal myeloma and controls with monoclonal myeloma (4-year survival 72 vs. 76%; p = 0.23). Results of our study suggest that patients with biclonal myeloma have similar response and survival rates than patients with monoclonal myeloma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-017-3084-9DOI Listing
October 2017

IgM myeloma: A multicenter retrospective study of 134 patients.

Am J Hematol 2017 Aug 26;92(8):746-751. Epub 2017 May 26.

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

IgM myeloma is a rare hematologic malignancy for which the clinicopathological features and patient outcomes have not been extensively studied. We carried out a multicenter retrospective study in patients with diagnosis of IgM myeloma defined by >10% marrow involvement by monoclonal plasma cells, presence of an IgM monoclonal paraproteinemia of any size, and anemia, renal dysfunction, hypercalcemia, lytic lesions and/or t(11;14) identified by FISH. A total of 134 patients from 20 centers were included in this analysis. The median age at diagnosis was 65.5 years with a male predominance (68%). Anemia, renal dysfunction, elevated calcium and skeletal lytic lesions were found in 37, 43, 19, and 70%, respectively. The median serum IgM level was 2,895 mg dL with 19% of patients presenting with levels >6,000 mg dL . International Staging System (ISS) stages 1, 2, and 3 were seen in 40 (33%), 54 (44%), and 29 (24%) of patients, respectively. The malignant cells expressed CD20 (58%) and cyclin D1 (67%), and t(11;14) was the most common cytogenetic finding (39%). The median overall survival (OS) was 61 months. Higher ISS score was associated with worse survival (P = 0.02). Patients with IgM myeloma present with similar characteristics and outcomes as patients with more common myeloma subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.24753DOI Listing
August 2017

Factors predicting survival in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients developing Richter syndrome transformation into Hodgkin lymphoma.

Am J Hematol 2017 Jun 18;92(6):529-535. Epub 2017 Apr 18.

Hematology Section, Cosenza Hospital, Cosenza, Italy.

We hereby report the clinical and biologic features of 33 of 4680 (0.7%) patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), managed at 10 Italian centers, who developed Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), a rare variant of Richter syndrome. The median age at CLL and at HL diagnosis were 61 years (range 41-80) and 70 years (range 46-82), respectively, with a median interval from CLL to the diagnosis of HL of 90 months (range 0-258). In 3 cases, CLL and HL were diagnosed simultaneously. Hl was characterized by advanced stage in 79% of cases, International Prognostic Score (IPS) ≥4 in 50%, extranodal involvement in 39%, B symptoms in 70%. Prior treatment for CLL had been received by 82% of patients and included fludarabine in 67%. Coexistence of CLL and HL was detected in the same bioptic tissue in 87% of cases. The most common administered treatment was the ABVD regimen given to 22 patients (66.6%). The complete response (CR) rate after ABVD was 68%, and was influenced by the IPS (P = .03) and interval from the last CLL treatment (P = .057). Survival from HL was also influenced by the IPS (P = .006) and time from the last CLL treatment (P = .047). The achievement of CR with ABVD was the only significant and independent factor predicting survival (P = .037). Taken together, our results show that the IPS and the interval from the prior CLL treatment influence the likelihood of achieving CR after ABVD, which is the most important factor predicting survival of patients with CLL developing HL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.24714DOI Listing
June 2017

Consensus guidelines for the diagnosis and management of patients with classic hairy cell leukemia.

Blood 2017 02 30;129(5):553-560. Epub 2016 Nov 30.

Institute of Hematology, Department of Medicine, University and Hospital of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.

Hairy cell leukemia is an uncommon hematologic malignancy characterized by pancytopenia and marked susceptibility to infection. Tremendous progress in the management of patients with this disease has resulted in high response rates and improved survival, yet relapse and an appropriate approach to re-treatment present continuing areas for research. The disease and its effective treatment are associated with immunosuppression. Because more patients are being treated with alternative programs, comparison of results will require general agreement on definitions of response, relapse, and methods of determining minimal residual disease. The development of internationally accepted, reproducible criteria is of paramount importance in evaluating and comparing clinical trials to provide optimal care. Despite the success achieved in managing these patients, continued participation in available clinical trials in the first-line and particularly in the relapse setting is highly recommended. The Hairy Cell Leukemia Foundation convened an international conference to provide common definitions and structure to guide current management. There is substantial opportunity for continued research in this disease. In addition to the importance of optimizing the prevention and management of the serious risk of infection, organized evaluations of minimal residual disease and treatment at relapse offer ample opportunities for clinical research. Finally, a scholarly evaluation of quality of life in the increasing number of survivors of this now manageable chronic illness merits further study. The development of consensus guidelines for this disease offers a framework for continued enhancement of the outcome for patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2016-01-689422DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5290982PMC
February 2017

Bruton Kinase Inhibitors in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Anticancer Agents Med Chem 2017 ;17(8):1040-1045

Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, University of Siena, Italy.

Abnormality of the B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling is correlated to origin of many B-cell malignancies. Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK), is described as a possible target in a many B-cell neoplasms. Ibrutinib is the most used inhibitor of BTK and has great tolerability and efficacy in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This review summarizes results with ibrutinib in clinical trials and novel BTK inhibitors of interest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1871520616666160928153342DOI Listing
September 2017

Characteristics and outcomes of patients with multiple myeloma aged 21-40 years versus 41-60 years: a multi-institutional case-control study.

Br J Haematol 2016 Dec 29;175(5):884-891. Epub 2016 Sep 29.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

We compared the outcomes of multiple myeloma (MM) patients aged 21-40 and 41-60 years in the novel agent era. This case-control study included 1089 patients between 2000 and 2015. Cases and controls were matched for sex, International Staging System (ISS) stage and institution. There were 173 patients in the younger group and 916 patients in the older group. Younger patients presented with a higher incidence of lytic lesions (82% vs. 72%; P = 0·04) and high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities (83% vs. 68%; P = 0·007), but lower rate of elevated lactate dehydrogenase (21% vs. 44%; P < 0·001). Five- and 10-year overall survival (OS) in younger versus older patients was 83% vs. 67% and 56% vs. 39%, respectively (P < 0·001). Similar results were seen when studying the subset of 780 patients who underwent autologous transplantation. Younger patients with ISS stage 1 had a better OS than older patients (P < 0·001). There was no survival difference between younger and older patients with ISS stage 2 or 3. Younger MM patients, aged 21-40 years, treated in the era of novel agents have a better OS than their counterparts aged 41-60 years, but the survival advantage observed in younger patients was lost in more advanced stages of MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.14328DOI Listing
December 2016