Publications by authors named "Anna Paola Iori"

67 Publications

GITMO REGISTRY STUDY ON ALLOGENEIC TRANSPLANTATION IN PATIENTS AGED OVER 60 FROM 2000 TO 2017. IMPROVEMENTS AND CRITICISMS.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Nov 21. Epub 2021 Nov 21.

Unit of Haematology and Stem Cell Transplant Centre, "San Camillo" Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Background: Nowadays, allogeneic stem cell transplantation (Allo-SCT) can be offered to patients up to the age of 70-72 years and represents one of the most effective curative treatments for many hematological malignancies.

Objectives: The primary objective of the study is to collect data from the allo-SCTs performed in Italy from 2000 to 2017 in patients over 60 years of age to evaluate the changes in safety and efficacy outcomes as well as their distribution and characteristics over time.

Study Design: The GITMO AlloEld study (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04469985) is a retrospective, analysis of the allo-SCTs performed 30 Italian transplant Centers on older patients (≥ 60 years) from 2000 to 2017 (n=1,996).

Results: For the purpose of analysis, patients were grouped into three time periods: time A: 2000-2005, n=256 (12%); time B: 2006-2011, n=584 (29%); and time C: 2012-2017, n=1156 (59%). After a median follow-up of 5.6 years, the 5-year Non Relapse Mortality (NRM) remained stable (time A: 32.8%; time B: 36.2%; and time C: 35.0%, p = 0.5); the Overall Survival (OS) improved (time A: 28.4%; time B: 31.8%; and time C: 37.3%, p = 0.012); and the Cumulative Incidence of Relapse (CIR) reduced (time A: 45.3%; time B: 38.2%; time C: 30.0%, p < 0.0001). The 2-year incidence of extensive cGVHD reduced significantly (time A: 17.2%; time B: 15.8%; and time C: 12.2%, p = 0.004). Considering times A and B together (2000-2011), the 2-year NRM was positively correlated to the HCT-CI score; patients with HCT-CI of 0, 1 or 2, or ≥3 had rates of NRM of 25.2%, 33.9%, and 36.1%, respectively, (p < 0.001). Meanwhile, after 2012, the HCT-CI score was not significantlly predictive of NRM.

Conclusions: The study shows that the transplant procedure in elderly patients became more effective over time. Relapse incidence remains the major problem and strategies to prevent it are under investigation (e.g. post-transplant maintenance). Today, the selection of patients aged over 60 could be improved by combining HCT-CI and frailty assessments to better predict NRM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.11.006DOI Listing
November 2021

Reduced mortality from KPC-K.pneumoniae bloodstream infection in high-risk patients with hematological malignancies colonized by KPC-K.pneumoniae.

BMC Infect Dis 2021 Oct 19;21(1):1079. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

Department of Translational and Precision Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Benevento 6, 00161, Rome, Italy.

Background: KPC-K.pneumoniae bloodstream infection (KPC-KpBSI) mortality rate in patients with hematological malignancies is reported about 60%. The initial treatment active against KPC-K.pneumoniae is crucial for survival and KPC-K.pneumoniae rectal colonization usually precedes KPC-KpBSI. We evaluated the impact on KPC-KpBSI mortality of the preemptive use of antibiotics active against KPC-K.pneumoniae, as opposed to inactive or standard empiric antibiotics, for the empiric treatment of febrile neutropenia episodes in patients with hematological malignancy identified as KPC-K.pneumoniae intestinal carriers.

Methods: We compared the outcomes of KPC-KpBSIs occurring in high-risk hematological patients known to be colonized with KPC-K.pneumoniae, during two time periods: March2012-December2013 (Period 1, initial approach to KPC-K.pneumoniae spread) and January2017-October2018 (Period 2, full application of the preemptive strategy). The relative importance of the various prognostic factors that could influence death rates were assessed by forward stepwise logistic regression models.

Results: KPC-KpBSI-related mortality in hematological patients identified as KPC-K.pneumoniae carriers dropped from 50% in Period 1 to 6% in Period 2 (p < 0.01), from 58 to 9% in acute myeloid leukemia carriers(p < 0.01). KPC-KpBSIs developed in patients identified as KPC-K.pneumoniae carriers were initially treated with active therapy in 56% and 100% of cases in Period 1 and Period 2, respectively (p < 0.01), in particular with an active antibiotic combination in 39 and 94% of cases, respectively(p < 0.01). The 61% of KPC-KpBSI observed in Period 1 developed during inactive systemic antibiotic treatment (none in Period 2, p < 0.01), fatal in the 73% of cases. Overall, KPC-KpBSI-related mortality was 88% with no initial active treatment, 11.5% with at least one initial active antibiotic (p < 0.01), 9% with initial active combination. Only the initial active treatment resulted independently associated with survival.

Conclusions: In high-risk hematological patients colonized by KPC-K.pneumoniae, the empiric treatment of febrile neutropenia active against KPC-K.pneumoniae reduced KPC-KpBSI-related mortality to 6% and prevented fatal KPC-KpBSI occurrence during inactive systemic antibiotic treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-06747-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8524821PMC
October 2021

Thiotepa-busulfan-fludarabine (TBF) conditioning regimen in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for myelofibrosis: an outcome analysis from the Chronic Malignancies Working Party of the EBMT.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 07 1;56(7):1593-1602. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

CHU de Lille, univ Lille, INSERM U1286, Infinite, 59000, Lille, France.

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) remains the only curative option in MF. There is no consensus on the optimal conditioning regimen. We report outcomes of 187 patients with MF transplanted between 2010 and 2017 conditioned with TBF. Median age was 58 years. Median interval from diagnosis to allo-HCT was 44 months. Donors were haploidentical (41%), unrelated (36%) or HLA-identical siblings (23%). Stem cell source was PB in 60%. Conditioning was myeloablative in 48% of cases. Antithymocyte globulin (ATG) was used in 41% of patients. At 100 days, neutrophil and platelet engraftment were 91% and 63% after a median of 21 and 34 days, respectively. Grade II-IV and III-IV acute GVHD occurred in 24% and 12%, while at 3 years, all grade chronic GVHD and chronic extensive GVHD had been diagnosed in 38% and 11%. At 3 years, OS, RFS and GRFS were 55%, 49% and 43%, respectively. RI and NRM were 17% and 33%. On multivariate analysis, poor KPS and the use of unrelated donors were associated with worse GRFS and a higher grade II-IV acute GVHD, respectively. Neither donor type nor intensity of the conditioning regimen influenced survival outcomes. TBF is a feasible conditioning regimen in allo-HCT for MF in all donor settings although longer term outcomes are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01222-zDOI Listing
July 2021

Veno-occlusive Disease in HSCT Patients: Consensus-based Recommendations for Risk Assessment, Diagnosis, and Management by the GITMO Group.

Transplantation 2021 04;105(4):686-694

Clinica Medica, Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona, Ancona, Italy.

Variation in clinical practice affects veno-occlusive disease management, mainly in patients who undergo allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Disputes about diagnostic criteria, treatment, and prophylaxis, due to the lack of high-quality data, are at the base of this variability. With the aim of limiting inconsistency in clinical care, thus improving both patient outcomes and data collection reliability, the Italian Society of Stem cell transplant (Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo e Terapia Cellulare) launched a collaborative effort to formulate recommendations based on integration of available evidence and expert's consensus. A systematic method, according to US National Institute of Health guidelines and Italian National System for Guidelines, was used. Twenty-nine recommendations were approved with a strong (20) or weak (9) level of agreement, while 26 were rejected. In particular, the panel pointed out the need to achieve an early diagnosis, encouraging the adoption of European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation criteria and the prompt use of ultrasonography. Moreover, our experts strongly recommended in favor of prophylactic use of ursodeoxycholic acid. As soon as a veno-occlusive disease diagnosis is established, treatment with defibrotide should be started for at least 21 days. A number of areas of uncertainty, particularly concerning risk stratification and use of diagnostic tools such as elastography has been identified and discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000003569DOI Listing
April 2021

Clinical presentation, diagnosis and management of therapy-related hematological disorders in women with epithelial ovarian cancer treated with chemotherapy and poly-ADP-ribose polymerase inhibitors: A single-center experience.

Int J Cancer 2021 01 16;148(1):170-177. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Onco-Hematology Division, IEO, European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

We investigated the occurrence and management of therapy-related hematological disorders (tr-HDs) in women with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) exposed to poly-ADP-ribose polymerase inhibitors (PARPi), after previous chemotherapy. We analyzed 130 consecutive EOC patients treated with PARPi at the European Institute of Oncology, Milan. In line with the literature, overall survival of the entire population was 37% at 5.5 years (89% were advanced stages). Cell blood counts were collected prior to start PARPi, at each new cycle and at monthly intervals. Patients displaying persistent and/or marked hematological abnormalities underwent bone marrow evaluation, with cytogenetic and molecular analysis. Nine patients (6,9%) developed tr-HDs, after a median 22.8 months of PARPi exposure. Two patients died early and could not be treated. Two patients have no indication for active treatment and are presently under close hematological monitoring. Five patients underwent chemotherapy followed, in three cases, by allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation: three patients are in complete remission of their hematological and gynecological malignancies at 13, 19, and 25 months; the remaining two patients died due to progression of their hematological disease. We show the potential risk of hematological disorders in EOC patients treated with chemotherapy and prolonged PARPi therapy. In our series, tr-HDs incidence was higher compared to recent reports in large series. Our observations suggest careful monitoring in order to conclusively define, on large series and prolonged follow-up, the actual risk of tr-HDs in patients under PARPi. Notably, prompt diagnosis of hematological abnormalities and appropriate management allow achievement of remission from severe hematological complications, at least in most patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33269DOI Listing
January 2021

Treatment of steroid resistant acute graft versus host disease with an anti-CD26 monoclonal antibody-Begelomab.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 08 13;55(8):1580-1587. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

Dipartimento di Oncoematologia Pediatrica, IRCCS, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu', Sapienza, Università di Roma, Roma, Italy.

We have treated 69 patients with steroid refractory acute graft versus host disease (SR-aGvHD), with an anti-CD26 monoclonal antibody (Begelomab): 28 patients in two prospective studies (EudraCT No. 2007-005809-21; EudraCT No. 2012-001353-19), and 41 patients on a compassionate use study. The median age of patients was 42 and 44 years; the severity of GvHD was as follows: grade II in 8 patients, grade III in 33, and grade IV in 28 patients. There were no adverse events directly attributable to the antibody. Day 28 response was 75% in the prospective studies and 61% in the compassionate use patients, with complete response rates of 11 and 12%. Response for grade III GvHD was 83 and 73% in the two groups; response in grade IV GvHD was 66 and 56% in the two groups. Non relapse mortality (NRM) at 6 months was 28 and 38%. Overall there were 64, 56, 68% responses for skin, liver, and gut stage 3-4 GvHD. The overall survival at 1 year was 50% for the prospective studies and 33% for the compassionate use patients. In conclusion, Begelomab induces over 60% responses in SR-aGvHD, including patients with severe gut and liver GvHD, having failed one or more lines of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0855-zDOI Listing
August 2020

Effect of the Thiotepa Dose in the TBF Conditioning Regimen in Patients Undergoing Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation for Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Complete Remission: A Report From the EBMT Acute Leukemia Working Party.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2020 05 27;20(5):296-304. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Hopital Saint Antoine, Department of Hematology, Paris, France.

Background: Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is a potentially curative therapy for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after achieving complete remission (CR). The aim of this study is to evaluate the optimal dose of thiotepa, administered as part of the thiotepa-busulfan-fludarabine (TBF) conditioning regimen for allogeneic stem cell transplantation in adults with AML in CR.

Patients And Methods: In a retrospective multicenter analysis, we identified 240 patients allotransplanted from matched related or unrelated donors or T replete haplo-identical donors. We compared the transplantation outcomes of patients who received 5 mg/kg thiotepa and 2 days of intravenous busulfan at 6.4 mg/kg (T1B2F) versus those who received 10 mg/kg thiotepa with 2 days of intravenous busulfan at 6.4 mg/kg (T2B2F). The median follow-up was 20 months.

Results: On univariate analysis, the incidence of acute graft versus host disease (GVHD) grade II to IV was significantly lower in the T1B2F group (19%) versus 32% in the T2B2F group (P = .029). This result was confirmed on multivariate analysis; acute GVHD was higher for patients receiving T2B2F (hazard ratio, 2.22; P = .024). No significant change in non-relapse mortality, progression-free survival, or overall survival was observed between the 2 groups.

Conclusion: T2B2F is associated with a higher incidence of acute GVHD compared with T1B2F. These results suggest that a lower dose-intensity of thiotepa and busulfan in the TBF regimen may yield better results in patients with AML in CR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2020.01.007DOI Listing
May 2020

Antiemetic prophylaxis in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a multicenter survey of the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO) transplant programs.

Ann Hematol 2020 Apr 8;99(4):867-875. Epub 2020 Feb 8.

SODc Terapie Cellulari e Medicina Trasfusionale, AOU Careggi, Florence, Italy.

A survey within hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) centers of the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO) was performed in order to describe current antiemetic prophylaxis in patients undergoing HSCT. The multicenter survey was performed by a questionnaire, covering the main areas on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV): antiemetic prophylaxis guidelines used, antiemetic prophylaxis in different conditioning regimens, and methods of CINV evaluation. The survey was carried out in November 2016, and it was repeated 6 months after the publication of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)/European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) specific guidelines on antiemetic prophylaxis in HSCT. The results show a remarkable heterogeneity of prophylaxis among the various centers and a significant difference between the guidelines and the clinical practice. In the main conditioning regimens, the combination of a serotonin receptor antagonist (5-HT-RA) with dexamethasone and neurokin receptor antagonist (NK1-RA), as recommended by MASCC/ESMO guidelines, increased from 0 to 15% (before the publication of the guidelines) to 9-30% (after the publication of the guidelines). This study shows a lack of compliance with specific antiemetic guidelines, resulting mainly in under-prophylaxis. Concerted strategies are required to improve the current CINV prophylaxis, to draft shared common guidelines, and to increase the knowledge and the adherence to the current recommendations for CINV prophylaxis in the specific field of HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-03945-3DOI Listing
April 2020

Peripherally inserted central catheters in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.

Support Care Cancer 2020 Sep 3;28(9):4193-4199. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

Hematology, Department of Translational and Precision Medicine, Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Benevento 6, 00161, Roma, RM, Italy.

Background: Central venous catheters (CVC) are essential for the management of patients with hematologic malignancies, facilitating chemotherapy infusion, antibiotics, parenteral nutrition, blood products, and blood samples collection. In this population, peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) seem to be associated with lower complications, compared with conventional percutaneously inserted devices (CICC). Data on the PICC in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell recipients (allo-HSCT) are limited.

Methods: We have prospectively evaluated the safety and efficacy of 100 polyurethanes or silicone PICC, inserted into 100 adult allo-HSCT recipients, at the Hematology of Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), between October 2012 and August 2017.

Results: The median duration of PICC placement was 117 days. Overall, 68% of patients maintained the device for the entire transplant procedure and PICC were removed after day 100 from allo-HSCT; of these, 44% did not experienced any PICC-related complications. Catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI) occurred in 32% of patients (2.5/1000 PICC days), associated with thrombosis in 8 cases. CRBSI were observed in 42% of patients with polyurethane and 20% with silicone PICC (p = 0.02). Catheter-related thrombosis occurred in 9% of patients, never requiring anticipated PICC removal. Mechanical complications occurred in 15% of cases (1.2/1000 PICC days). On the whole, adverse events were manageable and did not affect transplant outcome. No deaths related to PICC-complications were observed.

Conclusions: PICC are a safe and reliable long-term venous access in allo-HSCT recipients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-019-05269-zDOI Listing
September 2020

Allogeneic Hemopoietic Stem Cell Transplants in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Prepared with Busulfan and Fludarabine (BUFLU) or Thiotepa, Busulfan, and Fludarabine (TBF): A Retrospective Study.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 04 23;26(4):698-703. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Istituto di Ematologia, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy; Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

This is a multicenter retrospective comparison of 2 myeloablative conditioning regimens in 454 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in remission: busulfan (4 days) and fludarabine (BUFLU) versus thiotepa, busulfan, and fludarabine (TBF). Eligible for this study were patients allografted between January 2008 and December 2018 in 10 transplant centers, with AML in first or second remission: 201 patients received BUFLU, whereas 253 received TBF. The 2 groups (BUFLU and TBF) were comparable for age (P = .13) and adverse AML risk factors (P = .3). The TBF group had more second remissions and more haploidentical grafts. The donor type included HLA-identical siblings, unrelated donors, and family haploidentical donors. The 5-year cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was 19% for BUFLU and 22% for TBF (P = .8), and the 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse was 30% and 15%, respectively (P = .0004). The 5-year actuarial survival was 51% for BUFLU and 68% for TBF (P = .002). In a multivariate Cox analysis, after correcting for confounding factors, the use of TBF reduced the risk of relapse compared with BUFLU (P = .03) and the risk of death (P = .03). In a matched pair analysis of 108 BUFLU patients matched with 108 TBF patients, with the exclusion of haploidentical grafts, TBF reduced the risk of relapse (P = .006) and there was a trend for improved survival (P = .07). Superior survival of patients receiving TBF as compared with BUFLU is due to a reduced risk of relapse, with comparable NRM. The survival advantage is independent of donor type and AML risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.12.725DOI Listing
April 2020

Treosulfan or busulfan plus fludarabine as conditioning treatment before allogeneic haemopoietic stem cell transplantation for older patients with acute myeloid leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndrome (MC-FludT.14/L): a randomised, non-inferiority, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2020 Jan 9;7(1):e28-e39. Epub 2019 Oct 9.

Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII, University of Milan, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: Further improvement of preparative regimens before allogeneic haemopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an unmet medical need for the growing number of older or comorbid patients with acute myeloid leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndrome. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of conditioning with treosulfan plus fludarabine compared with reduced-intensity busulfan plus fludarabine in this population.

Methods: We did an open-label, randomised, non-inferiority, phase 3 trial in 31 transplantation centres in France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Poland. Eligible patients were 18-70 years, had acute myeloid leukaemia in first or consecutive complete haematological remission (blast counts <5% in bone marrow) or myelodysplastic syndrome (blast counts <20% in bone marrow), Karnofsky index of 60% or higher, and were indicated for allogeneic HSCT but considered at an increased risk for standard myeloablative preparative regimens based on age (≥50 years), an HSCT-specific comorbidity index of more than 2, or both. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either intravenous 10 g/m treosulfan daily applied as a 2-h infusion for 3 days (days -4 to -2) or 0·8 mg/kg busulfan applied as a 2-h infusion at 6-h intervals on days -4 and -3. Both groups received 30 mg/m intravenous fludarabine daily for 5 days (days -6 to -2). The primary outcome was event-free survival 2 years after HSCT. The non-inferiority margin was a hazard ratio (HR) of 1·3. Efficacy was assessed in all patients who received treatment and completed transplantation, and safety in all patients who received treatment. The study is registered with EudraCT (2008-002356-18) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00822393).

Findings: Between June 13, 2013, and May 3, 2016, 476 patients were enrolled (240 in the busulfan group received treatment and transplantation, and in the treosulfan group 221 received treatment and 220 transplanation). At the second preplanned interim analysis (Nov 9, 2016), the primary endpoint was met and trial was stopped. Here we present the final confirmatory analysis (data cutoff May 31, 2017). Median follow-up was 15·4 months (IQR 8·8-23·6) for patients treated with treosulfan and 17·4 months (6·3-23·4) for those treated with busulfan. 2-year event-free survival was 64·0% (95% CI 56·0-70·9) in the treosulfan group and 50·4% (42·8-57·5) in the busulfan group (HR 0·65 [95% CI 0·47-0·90]; p<0·0001 for non-inferiority, p=0·0051 for superiority). The most frequently reported grade 3 or higher adverse events were abnormal blood chemistry results (33 [15%] of 221 patients in the treosulfan group vs 35 [15%] of 240 patients in the busulfan group) and gastrointestinal disorders (24 [11%] patients vs 39 [16%] patients). Serious adverse events were reported for 18 (8%) patients in the treosulfan group and 17 (7%) patients in the busulfan group. Causes of deaths were generally transplantation-related.

Interpretation: Treosulfan was non-inferior to busulfan when used in combination with fludarabine as a conditioning regimen for allogeneic HSCT for older or comorbid patients with acute myeloid leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndrome. The improved outcomes in patients treated with the treosulfan-fludarabine regimen suggest its potential to become a standard preparative regimen in this population.

Funding: medac GmbH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(19)30157-7DOI Listing
January 2020

CMV Management with Specific Immunoglobulins: A Multicentric Retrospective Analysis on 92 Allotransplanted Patients.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2019 1;11(1):e2019048. Epub 2019 Sep 1.

IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milano, Italy, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit.

CMV represents one of the most severe life-threatening complications of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). Pre-emptive treatment is highly effective, but toxicity and repetitive reactivation of CMV represent a significant challenge in the clinical practice. The use of anti-CMV specific immunoglobulins (Megalotect) is controversial. We retrospectively collected data on 92 patients submitted to allo-SCT for hematological malignancies, in whom Megalotect was used either for prophylaxis (n=14) or with pre-emptive therapy, together with an anti-CMV specific drug (n=78). All the patients were considered at high-risk, due to the presence of at least one risk factor for CMV reactivation. The treatment was well tolerated, with no reported infusion reactions, nor other adverse events, none of the 14 cases treated with Megalotect as prophylaxis developed CMV reactivation. 51/78 (65%) patients who received Megalotect during pre-emptive treatment achieved complete clearance of CMV viremia, and 14/51 patients (29%) developed a breakthrough CMV infection. 7/78 patients (9%) developed CMV disease. The projected 1-year OS, 1-year TRM, and 1-year RR is 74%, 15%, and 19%, respectively. No differences were observed in terms of OS, TRM, and RR by comparing patients who achieved a complete response after treatment versus those who did not. These retrospective data suggest that Megalotect is safe and well-tolerated. When used as prophylaxis, no CMV reactivation was recorded. Further prospective trials are warranted to identify the best set of patients who can benefit from Megalotect alone or in addition to anti-CMV specific drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4084/MJHID.2019.048DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6736170PMC
September 2019

Outcome of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Adult Patients with Philadelphia Chromosome-Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in the Era of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors: A Registry-Based Study of the Italian Blood and Marrow Transplantation Society (GITMO).

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2019 12 7;25(12):2388-2397. Epub 2019 Aug 7.

Centro Unico Regionale Trapianto Cellule Staminali e Terapie Cellulari A. Neri, Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli, Reggio Calabria, Italy.

We performed a nationwide registry-based analysis to describe the clinical outcome of adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph ALL) who underwent an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) after a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI)-based treatment A total of 441 patients were included in the study. The median age at HSCT was 44 years (range, 18 to 70 years). All 441 patients (100%) received TKI before HSCT (performed between 2005 and 2016). Of these 441 patients, 404 (92%) were in cytologic complete remission (CR), whereas the remaining 37 (8%) had active disease at the time of HSCT. Molecular minimal residual disease (MRD) was negative in 147 patients (36%) at the time of HSCT. The donor was unrelated in 46% of patients. The most prevalent source of stem cells was peripheral blood (70%). The conditioning regimen was myeloablative in 82% of cases (total body irradiation-based in 50%) and included antithymocyte globulin in 51% of patients. With a median follow-up after HSCT of 39.4 months (range, 1 to 145 months), the probability of overall survival (OS) at 1, 2, and 5 years was 69.6%, 61.1% and 50.3%, respectively, with a median OS of 62 months. Progression-free survival (PFS) at 1, 2, and 5 years was 60.2%, 52.1% and 43.7%, respectively. OS and PFS were significantly better in patients who were in CR and MRD-negative at the time of HSCT compared with patients who were in CR but MRD-positive (50% OS not reached versus 36 months; P = .015; 50% PFS not reached versus 26 months, P = .003). The subgroup of MRD-negative patients both at HSCT and at 3 months after HSCT had a better outcome (5-year OS, 70%). Conversely, the 37 patients who underwent a HSCT with active Ph ALL had a median OS of 7 months and a median PFS of 5 months. The 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse was significantly lower in MRD-negative patients (19.5% versus 35.4%; P = .001). Nonrelapse mortality (NRM) after 1, 2, and 5 years was 19.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.5% to 22.9%), 20.7% (95% CI, 17% to 24.7%), and 24.1% (95% CI, 20% to 28.5%), respectively. NRM was significantly lower with a modified European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (mEBMT) risk score of 0 to 2 compared with ≥3 (15% versus 25%; P = .016). The median OS for Ph ALL patients who underwent a TKI-based treatment followed by an allogeneic HSCT, in recent years at the GITMO centers, was 62 months. Evaluation of the mEBMT risk score can be useful to predict NRM. Our data confirm that HSCT is a potentially curative treatment for Ph ALL with an excellent outcome for the subgroup of MRD-negative patients both at HSCT and at 3 months after HSCT (5-year OS, 70%).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.07.037DOI Listing
December 2019

Influence of Donor and Recipient Gender on Telomere Maintenance after Umbilical Cord Blood Cell Transplantation: A Study by the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Di Midollo Osseo.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2019 07 30;25(7):1387-1394. Epub 2019 Mar 30.

Oncohematology Division, IEO European Institute of Oncology, IRCCS, Milan, Italy; University of Milan, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Physiologic loss of telomerase activity in adult life determines progressive telomere length (TL) shortening. Inflammation and oxidative damage are established causes of TL loss; moreover, males have shorter telomeres compared with females. Despite these notions, mechanisms regulating TL maintenance are poorly defined. Because umbilical cord blood (UCB) cells harbor very long telomeres, not yet exposed to environmental damages, UCB transplantation (UCBT) provides a unique experimental setting to study determinants of TL in humans. TL dynamics were analyzed on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNCs) from 36 patients (median age, 42 years) undergoing UCBT. TL was studied at a median of 20 months after UCBT. A significantly longer TL (mean, 8698 bp; range, 6521 to 11,960) was documented in UCBT recipients compared with age-matched healthy control subjects (mean, 7396 bp; range, 4375 to 11,108; P < .01). Among variables potentially influencing TL maintenance, including recipient features, graft type, transplant procedure, and engraftment kinetics, only donor-recipient gender combination was associated with TL, with the longest TL in women receiving male UCB (mean, 10,063 bp; range, 8381 to 11,960). To further investigate this trend, telomerase activation was assessed in vitro. Experiments showed that telomerase subunits were preferentially upregulated in male-derived bone marrow MNCs exposed ex vivo to estradiol as compared with female MNCs. This implies an increased sensitivity of male-derived MNCs to telomerase activation induced by estradiol. The results suggest that extrinsic and modifiable factors such as hormonal status and female milieu could be major determinants of TL in humans, providing the rationale for investigating hormonal-based approaches to counteract telomere erosion and aging-related diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.03.026DOI Listing
July 2019

Antithrombotic therapy with rivaroxaban in five patients with paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria and thrombotic events.

Thromb J 2018 22;16:26. Epub 2018 Oct 22.

1Thrombosis Center, "Department of Cellular Biotechnologies and Hematology", "Sapienza" University, Via Benevento 6, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Five patients with paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria and thrombotic complications under oral antithrombotic treatment with vitamin K antagonist were switched to receive the direct oral anticoagulant rivaroxaban an factor Xa inhibitor. In all five patients haematological and biochemical parameters and adverse events were evaluated for a period of twelve months. Therapy with rivaroxaban was well tolerated in all cases and one patient showed a significant reduction of bleeding and transfusion requirement. All patients obtained a significant reduction in days of hospitalization with a consequent improvement in their quality of life after rivaroxaban treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12959-018-0181-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6196560PMC
October 2018

Low Body Mass Index Is Associated with Increased Risk of Acute GVHD after Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation in Children and Young Adults with Acute Leukemia: A Study on Behalf of Eurocord and the EBMT Pediatric Disease Working Party.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 04 27;24(4):799-805. Epub 2017 Dec 27.

Eurocord, Hôpital Saint Louis, Paris, France; Monacord, Centre Scientifique de Monaco, Monaco, Monaco; Hopital Saint Antoine, Service d'Hématologie et thérapie cellulaire, Paris, France.

Body mass index (BMI) may influence outcomes after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). However, the impact of BMI on survival in children undergoing HSCT is not well defined, with conflicting results being reported on this issue. We analyzed 855 patients age 2 to 20 years with diagnosis of acute leukemia who underwent umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT) from 1990 to 2015. Patients were classified according to BMI as normal (fifth to 85th percentile), underweight (less than fifth percentile), overweight (85th to 95th percentile), and obese (>95th percentile) using growth charts for age and sex. All patients received single-unit UCBT after a myeloablative conditioning regimen. Diagnosis was acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 68% of the patients. Sixty-one percent of patients (n = 523) were in the normal BMI category, 11% (n = 96) were underweight, 16% (n = 137) overweight, and 12% (n = 99) obese. The cumulative incidence of grade II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) was 35% (32% to 38%). According to pretransplantation BMI, aGVHD was 46% (33% to 59%) for underweight, 34% (31% to 42%) for normal, 36% (18% to 38%) for overweight, and 27% (15% to 37%) for obese (P = .04). In multivariate analysis, a BMI less than the fifth percentile was associated with higher incidence of acute grade II to IV GVHD compared with normal-BMI patients (hazard ratio,  1.61; 95% confidence interval, 1.15 to 2.26; P = .006). Our results show that being underweight at the time of transplantation is associated with an increased risk of aGVHD, highlighting the importance of nutritional status before UCBT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.12.790DOI Listing
April 2018

Incidence, Risk Factors and Outcome of Pre-engraftment Gram-Negative Bacteremia After Allogeneic and Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: An Italian Prospective Multicenter Survey.

Clin Infect Dis 2017 Nov;65(11):1884-1896

Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Clinica, University of Florence.

Background: Gram-negative bacteremia (GNB) is a major cause of illness and death after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), and updated epidemiological investigation is advisable.

Methods: We prospectively evaluated the epidemiology of pre-engraftment GNB in 1118 allogeneic HSCTs (allo-HSCTs) and 1625 autologous HSCTs (auto-HSCTs) among 54 transplant centers during 2014 (SIGNB-GITMO-AMCLI study). Using logistic regression methods. we identified risk factors for GNB and evaluated the impact of GNB on the 4-month overall-survival after transplant.

Results: The cumulative incidence of pre-engraftment GNB was 17.3% in allo-HSCT and 9% in auto-HSCT. Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were the most common isolates. By multivariate analysis, variables associated with GNB were a diagnosis of acute leukemia, a transplant from a HLA-mismatched donor and from cord blood, older age, and duration of severe neutropenia in allo-HSCT, and a diagnosis of lymphoma, older age, and no antibacterial prophylaxis in auto-HSCT. A pretransplant infection by a resistant pathogen was significantly associated with an increased risk of posttransplant infection by the same microorganism in allo-HSCT. Colonization by resistant gram-negative bacteria was significantly associated with an increased rate of infection by the same pathogen in both transplant procedures. GNB was independently associated with increased mortality at 4 months both in allo-HSCT (hazard ratio, 2.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.45-3.13; P <.001) and auto-HSCT (2.43; 1.22-4.84; P = .01).

Conclusions: Pre-engraftment GNB is an independent factor associated with increased mortality rate at 4 months after auto-HSCT and allo-HSCT. Previous infectious history and colonization monitoring represent major indicators of GNB.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02088840.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/cix690DOI Listing
November 2017

Enterovirus D68-Associated Acute Flaccid Myelitis in Immunocompromised Woman, Italy.

Emerg Infect Dis 2017 10;23(10):1690-1693

In Italy in 2016, acute flaccid myelitis developed in a woman who had received a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Enterovirus D68 viral genome was detected in respiratory and cerebrospinal fluid samples, and the viral protein 1 sequence clustered with lineage B3. Immunocompromised adults may be at risk for enterovirus D68-associated neurologic complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2310.170792DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5621549PMC
October 2017

An update on the safety and interactions of antifungal drugs in stem cell transplant recipients.

Expert Opin Drug Saf 2017 Mar 26;16(3):329-339. Epub 2016 Dec 26.

a Dipartimento di Ematologia, Oncologia, Anatomia Patologica e Medicina Rigenerativa, Azienda Policlinico Umberto I , Sapienza University , Rome , Italy.

Introduction: Invasive fungal diseases (IFDs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Improvement in the management of IFDs have been achieved with the availability of new effective and safe antifungal drugs, however, many of these newer treatments have some limitations in their variable toxicity and unique predisposition for pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions. Areas covered: This article is an update of a previous review published in this journal evaluating the safety profile of the antifungal drugs. Interesting new features include the availability of the new drug isavuconazole and the new tablet and intravenous formulations of posaconazole. Different dosages and new ways of administration of liposomal Amphotericin B (L-AmB) and echinocandins may be considered in the HSCT practice. Expert opinion: Nephrotoxicity continues to be a clinically relevant and frequent side effect of L-AmB which may cause a reduced clearance of other renally eliminated drugs frequently used in HSCT patients. Echinocandins are favorable therapeutic options in view of their low toxicity and uncommon drug-drug interactions. Important limitations of triazoles are represented by hepatic toxicity and certain side effects particularly after prolonged treatments. The new triazole isavuconazole and the new tablet formulation of posaconazole will be probably increasingly used in the HSCT setting not only due to their efficacy but in particular for their interesting toxicity profile and pharmacokinetic characteristics. The knowledge of these pharmacological findings is crucial in the daily care of allogeneic HSCT patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14740338.2017.1273900DOI Listing
March 2017

Treatment Complications and Long-term Outcomes of Total Body Irradiation in Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Single Institute Experience.

Anticancer Res 2016 09;36(9):4859-64

Department of Radiotherapy, Thrombosis Center, Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy Spencer-Lorillard Foundation, Rome, Italy.

Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate treatment-related toxicity and clinical outcomes of total body irradiation (TBI) in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Patients And Methods: We performed a retrospective review of all patients with ALL who underwent TBI-based conditioning regimen at our Institution between 2000 and 2012.

Results: A total of 211 patients were included. The median follow-up was 40 months. The 5-year overall survival and disease-free survival were 64.7% and 62.8%, respectively. The 5-year overall survival rate for the 163 children was 67.6% (95% confidence interval=55-77%). Disease status at time of transplant did not improve disease-free survival. Gastrointestinal acute toxicity was the most common early side-effect (19.9%). Acute graft-versus-host disease was reported in 31 patients (14.7%). Main late toxicities were cataract induction (12.8%) and growth, gonadal and endocrine effects (36%).

Conclusion: TBI-based conditioning regimen led to a high survival rate with remarkably low radiation-related toxicity, suggesting that TBI provides a feasible therapeutic option in patients with ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.11049DOI Listing
September 2016

Killer Cell Immunoglobulin-Like Receptor-Ligand Matching and Outcomes after Unrelated Cord Blood Transplantation in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2016 07 16;22(7):1284-1289. Epub 2016 Apr 16.

Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The effect of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR)-ligand matching on outcomes after unrelated cord blood (CB) transplantation was studied in 461 patients with acute myeloid leukemia, categorizing KIR ligand for HLA-C groups C1 and C2 and Bw4. Donor-recipient HLA matching considered allele-level matching at HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1. Separate analyses were conducted for 6-7/8 HLA-matched and 3-5/8 HLA-matched transplants because HLA matching confounded KIR-ligand matching (ie, KIR-ligand mismatching was less likely with better HLA matching). All patients received single CB unit and myeloablative conditioning. There were no significant differences in nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse, and overall mortality by KIR-ligand match status. However, among recipients of 3-5/8 HLA-matched transplants, NRM (HR, 2.26; P = .008) and overall mortality (HR, 1.78; P = .008) but not relapse were higher with KIR-ligand mismatched (host-versus-graft direction) compared with KIR-ligand matched transplants. These data do not support selecting CB units based on KIR-ligand match status for transplants mismatched at 1 or 2 HLA loci. Although transplants mismatched at 3 or more HLA loci are not recommended, avoiding KIR-ligand mismatching in this setting lowers mortality risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2016.04.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4915071PMC
July 2016

Anticoagulant therapy with rivaroxaban in a young patient  with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.

Clin Case Rep 2015 Oct 26;3(10):790-2. Epub 2015 Aug 26.

Thrombosis Center, Department of "Cellular Biotechnologies and Hematology", "Sapienza" University Rome, Italy.

The new direct oral anticoagulants such us rivaroxaban, could play an important role in the anticoagulant treatment of patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria where anticoagulant treatment is complex to run, since they have shown a reduction in serious bleeding complications compared to antithrombotic therapy with classical vitamin k antagonist.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ccr3.342DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4614640PMC
October 2015

Diagnosis and management of acquired aplastic anemia in childhood. Guidelines from the Marrow Failure Study Group of the Pediatric Haemato-Oncology Italian Association (AIEOP).

Blood Cells Mol Dis 2015 Jun 31;55(1):40-7. Epub 2015 Mar 31.

Clinical and Experiment Hematology Unit, G. Gaslini Children's Hospital, Genoa, Italy. Electronic address:

Acquired aplastic anemia (AA) is a rare heterogeneous disease characterized by pancytopenia and hypoplastic bone marrow. The incidence is 2-3/million inhabitants/year, in Europe, but higher in East Asia. Survival in severe aplastic anemia (SAA) has markedly improved in the past 2 decades because of advances in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, immunosuppressive and biologic drugs, and supportive care. In SAA hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) from a matched sibling donor (MSD) is the treatment of choice. If a MSD is not available, the options include immunosuppressive therapy (IST) or unrelated donor HSCT. The objective of this guideline is to provide healthcare professionals with clear guidance on the diagnosis and management of pediatric patients with AA. A preliminary, evidence-based document issued by a group of pediatric hematologists was discussed, modified and approved during a series of "Consensus Conferences" according to procedures previously validated by the AIEOP Board. The guidelines highlight the importance of referring pediatric patients with AA to pediatric centers with long experience in diagnosis, differential diagnosis, management, supportive care and follow-up of AA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcmd.2015.03.007DOI Listing
June 2015

Enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma in childhood: a case report and review of the literature.

Leuk Lymphoma 2015 9;56(9):2743-6. Epub 2015 Feb 9.

a Division of Hematology, Department of Biotechnologies and Hematology , "Sapienza" University of Rome , Rome , Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2015.1009059DOI Listing
August 2016

Proven Epstein-Barr encephalitis with negative EBV-DNA load in cerebrospinal fluid after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Pediatr Transplant 2015 Feb 12;19(1):E19-24. Epub 2014 Nov 12.

Division of Hematology, Department of Cellular Biotechnologies and Hematology, "Sapienza" University, Rome, Italy.

We report a case of EBV encephalitis in a seven-yr-old child with Ph+ ALL. Two months after an allogeneic HSCT from his HLA mismatched mother, the patient showed an altered sensorium, generalized seizures, and a left hemiparesis. Brain MRI demonstrated multiple lesions highly suggestive for viral encephalitis. Blood and CSF PCR analyses were negative for the most common viruses involved in immunocompromised patients including EBV. A cerebral biopsy was performed, which showed intense gliosis and perivascular lymphocytic cuffing. PCR analysis performed on brain tissue was positive only for the EBV genome, while extensive investigations for other viral infections were negative. The patient's neurological symptoms rapidly worsened and he died two months later. This case report suggests that in patients presenting neurological and radiological signs of encephalitis after an HSCT, an EBV involvement should be considered, even in the absence of CSF and blood PCR virus detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/petr.12386DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7167730PMC
February 2015

Engraftment kinetics and graft failure after single umbilical cord blood transplantation using a myeloablative conditioning regimen.

Haematologica 2014 Sep 27;99(9):1509-15. Epub 2014 Jun 27.

Eurocord, Hospital Saint Louis, AP-HP, and IUH University Paris VII, France Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Umbilical cord blood transplant recipients are exposed to an increased risk of graft failure, a complication leading to a higher rate of transplant-related mortality. The decision and timing to offer a second transplant after graft failure is challenging. With the aim of addressing this issue, we analyzed engraftment kinetics and outcomes of 1268 patients (73% children) with acute leukemia (64% acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 36% acute myeloid leukemia) in remission who underwent single-unit umbilical cord blood transplantation after a myeloablative conditioning regimen. The median follow-up was 31 months. The overall survival rate at 3 years was 47%; the 100-day cumulative incidence of transplant-related mortality was 16%. Longer time to engraftment was associated with increased transplant-related mortality and shorter overall survival. The cumulative incidence of neutrophil engraftment at day 60 was 86%, while the median time to achieve engraftment was 24 days. Probability density analysis showed that the likelihood of engraftment after umbilical cord blood transplantation increased after day 10, peaked on day 21 and slowly decreased to 21% by day 31. Beyond day 31, the probability of engraftment dropped rapidly, and the residual probability of engrafting after day 42 was 5%. Graft failure was reported in 166 patients, and 66 of them received a second graft (allogeneic, n=45). Rescue actions, such as the search for another graft, should be considered starting after day 21. A diagnosis of graft failure can be established in patients who have not achieved neutrophil recovery by day 42. Moreover, subsequent transplants should not be postponed after day 42.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2014.109280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4562541PMC
September 2014
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