Publications by authors named "Anna Lia Molinari"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Efficacy of idelalisib and rituximab in relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia treated outside of clinical trials. A report of the Gimema Working Group.

Hematol Oncol 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Medical Sciences, Hematology Section, University of Ferrara, Cona - Ferrara, Italy.

Because the efficacy of new drugs reported in trials may not translate into similar results when used in the real-life, we analyzed the efficacy of idelalisib and rituximab (IR) in 149 patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia treated at 34 GIMEMA centers. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival were 22.9 and 44.5 months, respectively; performance status (PS) ≥2 and ≥3 previous lines of therapy were associated with shorter PFS and overall survival (OS). 48% of patients were on treatment at 12 months; the experience of the centers (≥5 treated patients) and PS 0-1 were associated with a significantly longer treatment duration (p = 0.015 and p = 0.002, respectively). TP53 disruption had no prognostic significance. The overall response rate to subsequent treatment was 49.2%, with median OS of 15.5 months and not reached in patients who discontinued, respectively, for progression and for toxicity (p < 0.01). Treatment breaks ≥14 days were recorded in 96% of patients and adverse events mirrored those reported in trials. In conclusion, this real-life analysis showed that IR treatment duration was longer at experienced centers, that the ECOG PS and ≥3 lines of previous therapy are strong prognostic factor and that the overall outcome with this regimen was superimposable to that reported in a randomized trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2861DOI Listing
March 2021

ROBUST: A Phase III Study of Lenalidomide Plus R-CHOP Versus Placebo Plus R-CHOP in Previously Untreated Patients With ABC-Type Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Feb 23:JCO2001366. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Division of Hematology, A.O.U. Città della Salute e della Scienza Hospital and University, Torino, Italy.

Purpose: Patients with the activated B-cell-like (ABC) subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) historically showed inferior survival with standard rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP). Phase II studies demonstrated that adding the immunomodulatory agent lenalidomide to R-CHOP improved outcomes in ABC-type DLBCL. The goal of the global, phase III ROBUST study was to compare lenalidomide plus R-CHOP (R2-CHOP) with placebo/R-CHOP in previously untreated, ABC-type DLBCL.

Methods: Histology and cell-of-origin type were prospectively analyzed by central pathology prior to random assignment and study treatment. Patients with ABC-DLBCL received lenalidomide oral 15 mg/d, days 1-14/21 plus standard R-CHOP21 versus placebo/R-CHOP21 for six cycles. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) per independent central radiology review.

Results: A total of 570 patients with ABC-DLBCL (n = 285 per arm) were stratified by International Prognostic Index score, age, and bulky disease, and randomly assigned to R2-CHOP or placebo/R-CHOP. Baseline demographics were similar between arms. Most patients completed six cycles of treatment: 74% R2-CHOP and 84% placebo/R-CHOP. The most common grade 3/4 adverse events for R2-CHOP versus placebo/R-CHOP were neutropenia (60% 48%), anemia (22% 14%), thrombocytopenia (17% 11%), and leukopenia (14% 15%). The primary end point of PFS was not met, with a hazard ratio of 0.85 (95% CI, 0.63 to 1.14) and = .29; median PFS has not been reached for either arm. PFS trends favoring R2-CHOP over placebo/R-CHOP were seen in patients with higher-risk disease.

Conclusion: ROBUST is the first DLBCL phase III study to integrate biomarker-driven identification of eligible ABC patients. Although the ROBUST trial did not meet the primary end point of PFS in all patients, the safety profile of R2-CHOP was consistent with individual treatments with no new safety signals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01366DOI Listing
February 2021

The classic prognostic factors in advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma patients are losing their meaning at the time of Pet-guided treatments.

Ann Hematol 2020 Feb 23;99(2):277-282. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi, Istituto di Ematologia "Seragnoli", Bologna, Italy.

The International Prognostic Score (IPS) is the most commonly used risk stratification tool for patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). It incorporates seven clinical parameters independently associated with a poorer outcome: male sex, age, stage IV, hemoglobin level, white blood cell and lymphocyte counts, and albumin level. Since the development of the IPS, there have been significant advances in therapy and supportive care. Recent studies suggest that the IPS is less discriminating due to improved outcomes with ABVD therapy. The aim of the present study was to asses if classic prognostic factors maintain their prognostic meaning at the time of response-adapted treatment based on interim PET scans. We evaluated the prognostic significance of IPS in the 520 advanced stage HL patients enrolled in the PET-guided, HD0801 trial in which PET2-positive patients underwent a more intense treatment with an early stem-cell transplantation after 2 cycles of ABVD. We observed that in these patients, the IPS completely loses its prognostic value together with all the single parameters that contribute to the IPS. Furthermore, neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, and the ratio among them also no longer had any predictive value. We believe that the substantial improvement in survival outcomes in PET2-positive patients treated with early autologous transplantation could explain the complete disappearance of the residual prognostic significance of the IPS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-019-03893-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6976582PMC
February 2020

Applying Data Warehousing to a Phase III Clinical Trial From the Fondazione Italiana Linfomi Ensures Superior Data Quality and Improved Assessment of Clinical Outcomes.

JCO Clin Cancer Inform 2019 10;3:1-15

Division of Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliera SS Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo, Alessandria, Italy.

Purpose: Data collection in clinical trials is becoming complex, with a huge number of variables that need to be recorded, verified, and analyzed to effectively measure clinical outcomes. In this study, we used data warehouse (DW) concepts to achieve this goal. A DW was developed to accommodate data from a large clinical trial, including all the characteristics collected. We present the results related to baseline variables with the following objectives: developing a data quality (DQ) control strategy and improving outcome analysis according to the clinical trial primary end points.

Methods: Data were retrieved from the electronic case reporting forms (eCRFs) of the phase III, multicenter MCL0208 trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02354313) of the Fondazione Italiana Linfomi for younger patients with untreated mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). The DW was created with a relational database management system. Recommended DQ dimensions were observed to monitor the activity of each site to handle DQ management during patient follow-up. The DQ management was applied to clinically relevant parameters that predicted progression-free survival to assess its impact.

Results: The DW encompassed 16 tables, which included 226 variables for 300 patients and 199,500 items of data. The tool allowed cross-comparison analysis and detected some incongruities in eCRFs, prompting queries to clinical centers. This had an impact on clinical end points, as the DQ control strategy was able to improve the prognostic stratification according to single parameters, such as tumor infiltration by flow cytometry, and even using established prognosticators, such as the MCL International Prognostic Index.

Conclusion: The DW is a powerful tool to organize results from large phase III clinical trials and to effectively improve DQ through the application of effective engineered tools.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/CCI.19.00049DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6873907PMC
October 2019

Obinutuzumab and miniCHOP for unfit patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. A phase II study by Fondazione Italiana Linfomi.

J Geriatr Oncol 2020 01 8;11(1):37-40. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

Hematology Unit, Arcispedale S.Maria Nuova, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale - IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Dipartimento Chirurgico, Medico, Odontoiatrico e di Scienze Morfologiche con interesse Trapiantologico, Oncologico e di Medicina Rigenerativa, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate activity and safety of obinutuzumab-miniCHOP (Ga101-miniCHOP) combination in older patients with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) unfit to receive full dose immunochemotherapy.

Materials And Methods: We conducted a Simon's two-stage phase II multicenter trial to investigate response rate (primary endpoint) and safety of six courses of Ga101-miniCHOP in older patients with DLBCL (≥65 years), prospectively defined as unfit according to a simplified Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (sCGA).

Results: Overall, 34 patients were enrolled (median age 82 years; range 68-89), with 27 out of the 33 eligible patients completing all six planned courses. Complete Remission (CR) rate was reported in fourteen patients (42%). After a median follow-up of sixteen months, the two-year Progression Free and Overall Survival (PFS and OS) were 49% (95% Confidence Interval (CI), 28 to 67) and 68% (95% CI, 49 to 81), respectively. The most frequent grade 3-4 adverse event was neutropenia in thirteen patients (26%).

Conclusions: Based on the observed CR rate, study accrual was interrupted due to the very low probability of demonstrating the initial study hypothesis that Ga101-miniCHOP could improve results of historical data obtained with R-miniCHOP in this group of patients. Nonetheless, results achieved with the 33 treated patients confirm activity and good tolerability of the Ga101-miniCHOP regimen for older unfit adult patients with DLBCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2019.06.020DOI Listing
January 2020

Lenalidomide plus R-CHOP21 in elderly patients with untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: results of the REAL07 open-label, multicentre, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2014 Jun 13;15(7):730-7. Epub 2014 May 13.

Struttura Complessa Ematologia e Dipartimento Oncologia Medica, Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy.

Background: Up to 40% of elderly patients with untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) given a regimen of rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone every 21 days (R-CHOP21) relapse or develop refractory disease. Lenalidomide has high activity in relapsed or refractory aggressive B-cell lymphomas. In phase 2 of the REAL07 trial, we aimed to establish the safety and efficacy of the combination of lenalidomide and R-CHOP21 in elderly patients with untreated DLBCL.

Methods: REAL07 was an open-label, multicentre trial that was done in 13 centres in Italy and one in Germany. Eligible patients were aged 60-80 years; had newly diagnosed, untreated, CD20-positive, Ann Arbor stage II-IV DLBCL or grade 3b follicular lymphoma; had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2; had an International Prognostic Index (IPI) risk of low-intermediate, intermediate-high, or high; and were fit according to comprehensive geriatric assessment. Participants were to receive 15 mg oral lenalidomide on days 1-14 of six 21-day cycles, and standard doses of R-CHOP21 chemotherapy (375 mg/m(2) intravenous rituximab, 750 mg/m(2) intravenous cyclophosphamide, 50 mg/m(2) intravenous doxorubicin, and 1·4 mg/m(2) intravenous vincristine on day 1, and 40 mg/m(2) oral prednisone on days 1-5). The primary endpoint was frequency of overall response (complete response [CR] and partial response [PR]), which was assessed by (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) PET at the end of the treatment. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00907348.

Findings: 49 patients were included in phase 2: nine had been enrolled into phase 1 between Oct 23, 2008, and June 4, 2009, and had received the maximum tolerated dose of 15 mg lenalidomide; and 40 were enrolled into phase 2 between April 28, 2010, and June 3, 2011. 45 patients (92%, 95% CI 81-97) achieved a response (42 [86%] CR; three [6%] PR). Three patients (6%) did not respond and one (2%) died for reasons unrelated to treatment or disease. 277 (94%) of 294 planned cycles of lenalidomide and R-CHOP21 were completed. Grade 3-4 neutropenia was reported in 87 cycles (31%), grade 3-4 leukopenia in 77 (28%), and grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia in 35 (13%). No grade 4 non-haematological adverse events were reported. No patients died during the study as a result of toxic effects.

Interpretation: Lenalidomide with R-CHOP21 is effective and safe in elderly patients with untreated DLBCL.

Funding: Fondazione Italiana Linfomi and Celgene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(14)70191-3DOI Listing
June 2014

Lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone in elderly patients with advanced, relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and renal failure.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2013 3;5(1):e2013037. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Hematology Unit, Infermi Hospital, Rimini Italy.

Salvage therapy of elderly patients with advanced, relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (MM) is often limited by poor marrow reserve and multi-organ impairment. In particular, renal failure occurs in up to 50% of such patients, and this can potentially limit the therapeutic options. Both thalidomide and bortezomib have proven effective in these patients, with an acceptable toxicity, while, in clinical practice, lenalidomide is generally not considered a first-choice drug for MM patients with renal failure as early reports showed an increased hematological toxicity unless appropriate dose reduction is applied. Aim of this study was a retrospective evaluation of the efficacy of the combination Lenalidomide + Dexamethasone in a population of elderly MM patients treated in 5 Italian Centers. The study included 20 consecutive MM patients (9 M, 11 F, median age 76.5 years) with relapsed (N= 6) or refractory (N=13) MM and moderate to severe renal failure, defined as creatinine clearance (Cr Cl) < 50ml/min. Four patients were undergoing hemodyalisis at study entry. 85 % of the patients had been previously treated with bortezomib-containing regimens. Lenalidomide dose was adjusted according to renal function and patients clinical conditions Median treatment duration was 16 months (1-22), therapy was interrupted after 1 21-day cycle in 2 patients. Grade III-IV neutropenia was observed in 7 patients (35%); grade III-IV non hematological toxicity was recorded in 3 cases (28%). A > partial response was observed in 8 patients (40%), 1 of whom obtained a VGPR; 4 additional patients achieved a minor response. Median response duration was 16 months (range 2-19+ months). A complete and partial renal response was obtained in 4 and 3 patients, respectively, all of them were responsive to Lenalidomide-dexamethasone According to our data, LEN+DEX has shown efficacy and acceptable toxicity in this population of elderly patients with advanced MM and renal failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4084/MJHID.2013.037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3684317PMC
June 2013

Role of anemia in survival of patients with elderly aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after chemotherapy.

Leuk Lymphoma 2005 Oct;46(10):1449-54

Institute of Hematology and Medical Oncology Seràgnoli, University of Bologna, Bologna.

Baseline anemia is a relevant prognostic factor in the overall population of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients, and studies focusing on elderly NHL are awaited. We conducted a pooled analysis of a cohort of comparable patients enrolled (1993 - 2001) in three multicenter clinical trials on use of a MACOP-B-like regimen (VNCOP-B) for front-line treatment of elderly aggressive NHL. Models of Cox's proportional hazards regression analysis of prognostic value of pre-/post-treatment hemoglobin values in terms of 5-year overall survival included age, sex, initial tumor staging and response to treatment. Of the 168 patients screened, 16 were excluded due to missing data or lack of 5-year follow-up. In addition to achievement of complete/partial remission (adjusted relative risk [RR], 0.215; p = 0.0001) and advanced stage (II-IV vs. I - II; adjusted RR, 1.55; p = 0.0023), post-treatment hemoglobin values were an independent predictor of survival (adjusted RR per 1-g/dL increment, 0.76; p = 0.0041). In the present analysis, pretreatment hemoglobin values were associated with only marginal risk reduction (adjusted RR per 1-g/dL increment, 0.985; p = 0.049). Post-treatment hemoglobin values appear to provide a strong independent predictor of 5-year survival in elderly aggressive NHL, supporting the potential role of anemia correction in this group of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428190500178688DOI Listing
October 2005

Effectiveness of fludarabine, idarubicin and cyclophosphamide (FLUIC) combination regimen for young patients with untreated non-follicular low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Leuk Lymphoma 2004 Sep;45(9):1815-9

Institute of Hematology and Medical Oncology "Seràgnoli", University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

In the last years, fludarabine (FLU) alone or in combination with other drugs has been reported to be effective in the treatment of previously untreated low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (LG-NHL). We report on the therapeutic efficacy and toxicity of a combination of FLU, idarubicin and cyclophosphamide (FLUIC regimen) in untreated non-follicular LG-NHL. We administered a three-drug combination of FLU (25 mg/m2 i.v. on days 1 to 3), idarubicin (14 mg/m2 i.v. on day 1) and cyclophosphamide (200 mg/m2 i.v. on days 1 to 3) to treat 41 young, previously untreated patients with non-follicular LG-NHL. Chemotherapy was repeated every 4 weeks for a total of 6 cycles. Among 41 patients, 24 (59%) were diagnosed with small lymphocytic, 10 (24%) with immnocytoma, and 7 (17%) with marginal zone subtypes. Nineteen (46%) patients achieved complete response (CR) and 21 (51%) partial response, while the remaining 1 (3%) showed no benefit from the treatment. With respect to histology, we observed CR rates of 38% for the small lymphocytic subtype, 40% for the immunocytoma subtype, and 86% for the marginal zone subtype. Estimated 42-month overall survival and relapse-free survival rates were 64% and 100%, respectively. Hematologic grade 3-4 toxicity was seen in 9 (22%) patients; no opportunistic infection or death was associated with administration of the FLUIC regimen. These preliminary data suggest that FLUIC is a very active, well-tolerated regimen for young, untreated patients with advanced non-follicular LG-NHL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1042819042000219502DOI Listing
September 2004

Fludarabine plus mitoxantrone with and without rituximab versus CHOP with and without rituximab as front-line treatment for patients with follicular lymphoma.

J Clin Oncol 2004 Jul 24;22(13):2654-61. Epub 2004 May 24.

Institute of Hematology and Medical Oncology L. e A. Seràgnoli, University of Bologna, Italy.

Purpose: Promising new therapeutic options for follicular lymphoma (FL) include fludarabine plus mitoxantrone (FM) and the mouse/human anti-CD20 antibody, rituximab. We performed a randomized comparative trial of FM with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) front-line chemotherapy with and without sequential rituximab.

Patients And Methods: All previously untreated CD20(+) FL patients presenting in 15 Italian cooperative institutions from October 1999 were randomly allocated to FM or CHOP. Following clinical or molecular restaging, patients in complete remission (CR) with bcl-2/IgH negativity (CR(-)) received no further treatment; those in CR with bcl-2/IgH positivity (CR(+)) received rituximab, as did those in partial remission (PR) with bcl-2/IgH negativity (PR(-)) or positivity (PR(+)); nonresponders (NR subgroup) were off study.

Results: After chemotherapy, the FM arm achieved higher rates of CR (68% [49 of 72 patients] v 42% [29 of 68 patients]; P =.003) and CR(-) (39% [28 of 72 patients] v 13 of 68 patients [19%]; P =.001). Rituximab elicited CR(-) in 55 of 95 treated patients (58%). The final CR(-) rate was higher in the FM arm (71% [51 of 72 patients] v 51% [35 of 68 patients]; P =.01). However, with a median follow-up of 19 months (range, 9 to 37 months), no statistically significant difference was found among the various study arms in terms of both progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Conclusion: These results indicate that FM is superior to CHOP for front-line treatment of FL and that rituximab is an effective sequential treatment option. However, they also confirm that this superiority is unlikely to translate into either better PFS or OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2004.07.170DOI Listing
July 2004

B-cell compartment as the selective target for the treatment of immune thrombocytopenias.

Haematologica 2003 May;88(5):538-46

Clinica Ematologica, Policlinico Universitario, P.zza S. Maria della Misericordia, 33100 Udine, Italy.

Background And Objectives: Rituximab is a chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody active against normal and malignant B cells. Treatment with rituximab is associated with the development of a severe (even if transient) B-cell depletion from peripheral blood and lymphatic tissues. These effects could be useful in autoimmune diseases in order to interfere with the production of pathologic antibodies.

Design And Methods: To investigate this, we treated 20 patients with rituximab 375 mg/m2 i.v. every 7 days for 4 times. These 20 patients all had active and symptomatic autoimmune thrombocytopenia that had relapsed or was refractory to standard therapies (15 had idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, 1 idiopathic thrombocytopenia and neutropenia, 2 thrombocytopenia and concomitant undifferentiated connective tissue disease, and 2 had thrombocytopenia and concomitant B-cell lymphoprolipherative disorders). Only treatment with steroids, if strictly necessary to maintain a safe number of platelets, was allowed during the period of rituximab administration, but only patients who reached steroid discontinuation (previously not possible) were considered responders.

Results: Treatment was well tolerated and no acute or delayed toxic events were recorded. Rituximab proved to be active in 13/20 patients, with 9 complete and 4 partial responses. In 10/13 (77%) the response (platelet level > 50x10(9)/L) was prompt, being achieved already after the first of the four planned infusions. After a median follow-up of 180 days (range: 60-480) 4 patients had relapsed. Age < or = 60 years was correlated with a better response rate (p=0.03). No correlation was observed between response and gender, time from diagnosis to treatment (< 12 vs > 12 months), total and CD20+ lymphocyte count, level of CD20 expression on B cells before the therapy and pharmacokinetics of the drug.

Interpretation And Conclusions: Rituximab appears to be a promising immunotherapeutic agent for the treatment of autoimmune thrombocytopenias.
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May 2003

Early autologous stem-cell transplantation versus conventional chemotherapy as front-line therapy in high-risk, aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: an Italian multicenter randomized trial.

J Clin Oncol 2003 Apr;21(7):1255-62

Department of Cellular Biotechnology and Hematology, University La Sapienza of Rome, Italy.

Purpose: To evaluate the role of early intensification with high-dose therapy (HDT) and autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) as front-line chemotherapy for patients with high-risk, histologically aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).

Patients And Methods: We planned a multicenter, randomized trial to compare a conventional chemotherapy regimen of methotrexate with leucovorin rescue, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, and bleomycin (MACOP-B; arm A) with an abbreviated regimen of MACOP-B (8 weeks) followed by HDT and ASCT (arm B) for intermediate-high-risk/high-risk patients (according to the age-adjusted International Prognostic Index). From September 1994 to April 1998, 150 patients with aggressive lymphoma were enrolled onto the trial. Seventy-five patients were randomly assigned to arm A and 75 patients were randomly assigned to arm B. In both arms, involved-field radiation therapy (36 Gy) was delivered to the site of bulky disease.

Results: The rate of complete response was 68% in arm A and 76% in arm B (P = not significant [NS]). Three toxic deaths (4%) occurred in arm B and one (1%) occurred in arm A (P = NS). In arm B, 30 patients (40%) did not undergo HDT and ASCT. According to the intention-to-treat analysis at a median follow-up of 24 months, 5-year overall survival probability in arms A and B was 65% and 64% (P =.95), 5-year progression-free survival was 49% and 61% (P =.21), and 5-year relapse-free survival was 65% and 77% (P =.22), respectively.

Conclusion: Abbreviated chemotherapy followed by intensification with HDT-ASCT is not superior to conventional chemotherapy in patients with high-risk, aggressive NHL. Additional randomized trials will clarify whether HDT-ASCT as front-line therapy after a complete course of conventional chemotherapy improves survival in this group of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2003.01.117DOI Listing
April 2003

Ifosfamide, epirubicin and etoposide regimen as salvage and mobilizing therapy for relapsed/refractory lymphoma patients.

Haematologica 2002 Aug;87(8):816-21

Istituto di Ematologia e Oncologia Medica L. e A. Seràgnoli, Policlinico S.Orsola, via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.

Background And Objectives: Therapy for relapsed/refractory lymphomas should be based only on drugs not included in the front-line chemotherapy regimens. We adopted the strategy of using salvage chemotherapy to debulk disease and simultaneously mobilize stem cells, using a regimen based on ifosfamide and etoposide, (drugs not usually used for front-line treatment).

Design And Methods: A three-drug combination of ifosfamide, epirubicin and etoposide (IEV) was used to treat 62 patients with relapsing or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL; n=51) or Hodgkin's disease (HD; n=11). Forty-five of the patients were studied for the feasibility of peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) harvest.

Results: The overall and complete response (CR) rates were, respectively, 77% and 32% in the NHL subset and 81% and 45% in the HD subset. Among the 17 patients who achieved CR after IEV but did not have a subsequent transplantation, the median duration of the response was 9 months (range, 2 to 14 months). Mobilization was successful in 33 of 45 (71%) patients. Among the 45 who proceeded to autotransplantation, 27 (60%) were in CR status after the autograft; 23/45 (51%) patients are currently in continuous CR with a median follow-up of 25 months (range, 10-68 months); the relapse-free survival curve shows 83% in this state at 60 months. Twenty-three (37%) patients are currently in continuous CR with a median follow-up of 25 months. Clinical and hematologic toxic effects were mild.

Interpretation And Conclusions: Our results indicate the efficacy of the IEV regimen in inducing a good remission rate. IEV is a predictable and highly effective mobilization regimen in relapsed/refractory patients with aggressive NHL or HD.
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August 2002