Publications by authors named "Anna Vanazzi"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prolonged rituximab maintenance in follicular lymphoma patients: long-term results of the SAKK 35/03 randomized trial.

Blood Adv 2020 12;4(23):5951-5957

Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, Medical Oncology Clinic, Ospedale San Giovanni, Bellinzona, Switzerland.

The Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK) conducted the SAKK 35/03 randomized trial (NCT00227695) to investigate different rituximab monotherapy schedules in patients with follicular lymphoma (FL). Here, we report their long-term treatment outcome. Two-hundred and seventy FL patients were treated with 4 weekly doses of rituximab monotherapy (375 mg/m2); 165 of them, achieving at least a partial response, were randomly assigned to maintenance rituximab (375 mg/m2 every 2 months) on a short-term (4 administrations; n = 82) or a long-term (up to a maximum of 5 years; n = 83) schedule. The primary end point was event-free survival (EFS). At a median follow-up period of 10 years, median EFS was 3.4 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.1-5.5) in the short-term arm and 5.3 years (95% CI, 3.5-7.5) in the long-term arm. Using the prespecified log-rank test, this difference is not statistically significant (P = .39). There also was not a statistically significant difference in progression-free survival or overall survival (OS). Median OS was 11.0 years (95% CI, 11.0-NA) in the short-term arm and was not reached in the long-term arm (P = .80). The incidence of second cancers was similar in the 2 arms (9 patients after short-term maintenance and 10 patients after long-term maintenance). No major late toxicities emerged. No significant benefit of prolonged maintenance became evident with longer follow-up. Notably, in symptomatic patients in need of immediate treatment, the 10-year OS rate was 83% (95% CI, 73-89%). These findings indicate that single-agent rituximab may be a valid first-line option for symptomatic patients with advanced FL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002858DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7724909PMC
December 2020

A phase II trial of bendamustine in combination with ofatumumab in patients with relapsed or refractory marginal zone B-cell lymphomas.

Hematol Oncol 2021 Feb 6;39(1):60-65. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Lymphoma Unit, Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland (IOSI), Bellinzona, Switzerland.

Marginal zone lymphomas (MZLs) are indolent yet incurable lymphomas with frequent relapses following therapy. For patients with relapsed/refractory disease, no standard therapies exist. Here we report results of an exploratory phase II study aimed at assessing the efficacy and safety of the alkylator agent bendamustine in combination with the second-generation anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, ofatumumab, in patients with relapsed or refractory MZL. Patients with MZL and previously treated with at least one line of systemic therapy were eligible. Treatment consisted in bendamustine (90 mg/m on days 1 and 2) and ofatumumab (1000 mg on day 1) in 28-day cycles for up to six cycles. Sixteen patients were included in the trial. In one patient, the diagnosis was revised after two cycles of treatment and was excluded from the efficacy analysis. Among 15 patients with MZL, 14 were evaluable for response: the overall and complete response rates were 92.9% and 57.1%, respectively. The median duration of response was 30.4 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.5 -not estimable) and 2-years progression-free survival 77% (95% CI, 43%-92%). Fifteen patients (94%) experienced grade 3-4 adverse events. Toxicity was mostly hematological. Neutropenia grade ≥3 was recorded in 27% of patients, lymphocytopenia in 93%, and infections and febrile neutropenia each in 13%. One patient discontinued treatment due to myocardial infarction; no treatment-related deaths occurred. The combination of bendamustine with ofatumumab was active with an acceptable toxicity profile in this small phase II trial and can be considered for further investigation in relapsed/refractory MZL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2822DOI Listing
February 2021

Treatment of very high-risk classical Hodgkin Lymphoma: cases' selection from real life and critical review of the literature.

Acta Biomed 2020 05 25;91(S-5):13-22. Epub 2020 May 25.

Hematology Unit, Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo Hospital, Alessandria, Italy.

Over the last 4 decades, advances in radiation therapy and the addition of combination chemotherapy have significantly increased the cure rate of patients with HL, with a 5-year OS of about 90% . However, despite high rate of cure after first line of therapy, 5%-10% of HLs are refractory to the treatment, and 10-30% of patients have a disease relapse after a complete response (CR). Relapsed HL can be treated with salvage therapies with a long-lasting complete remission in 80% of cases. In recent years, novel drugs are available for the patients with relapsed/refractory HL, like Brentuximab Vedotin and immune checkpoint inhibitors. These drugs have been able to rescue a cohort of patients who subsequently could receive an allogeneic stem-cell transplant. Our cases have been chosen because they are representative of critical issues in the management of relapsed/refractory HL; our experiences are consistent with what reported by other Authors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23750/abm.v91iS-5.9911DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944652PMC
May 2020

Short regimen of rituximab plus lenalidomide in follicular lymphoma patients in need of first-line therapy.

Blood 2019 07 17;134(4):353-362. Epub 2019 May 17.

Unit of Hematology, Department of Medicine at Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The SAKK 35/10 phase 2 trial, developed by the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research and the Nordic Lymphoma Group, compared the activity of rituximab vs rituximab plus lenalidomide in untreated follicular lymphoma patients in need of systemic therapy. Patients were randomized to rituximab (375 mg/m IV on day 1 of weeks 1-4 and repeated during weeks 12-15 in responding patients) or rituximab (same schedule) in combination with lenalidomide (15 mg orally daily for 18 weeks). Primary end point was complete response (CR)/unconfirmed CR (CRu) rate at 6 months. In total, 77 patients were allocated to rituximab monotherapy and 77 to the combination (47% poor-risk Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index score in each arm). A significantly higher CR/CRu rate at 6 months was documented in the combination arm by the investigators (36%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 26%-48% vs 25%; 95% CI, 16%-36%) and confirmed by an independent response review of computed tomography scans only (61%; 95% CI, 49%-72% vs 36%; 95% CI, 26%-48%). After a median follow-up of 4 years, significantly higher 30-month CR/CRu rates and longer progression-free survival (PFS) and time to next treatment (TTNT) were observed for the combination. Overall survival (OS) rates were similar in both arms (≥90%). Toxicity grade ≥3 was more common in the combination arm (56% vs 22% of patients), mainly represented by neutropenia (23% vs 7%). Addition of lenalidomide to rituximab significantly improved CR/CRu rates, PFS, and TTNT, with expected higher, but manageable toxicity. The excellent OS in both arms suggests that chemotherapy-free strategies should be further explored. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01307605.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2018-10-879643DOI Listing
July 2019

Italian real life experience with ibrutinib: results of a large observational study on 77 relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma.

Oncotarget 2018 May 4;9(34):23443-23450. Epub 2018 May 4.

Institute of Hematology "L. e A. Seràgnoli", University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Although sometimes presenting as an indolent lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive disease, hardly curable with standard chemo-immunotherapy. Current approaches have greatly improved patients' outcomes, nevertheless the disease is still characterized by high relapse rates. Before approval by EMA, Italian patients with relapsed/refractory MCL were granted ibrutinib early access through a Named Patient Program (NPP). An observational, retrospective, multicenter study was conducted. Seventy-seven heavily pretreated patients were enrolled. At the end of therapy there were 14 complete responses and 14 partial responses, leading to an overall response rate of 36.4%. At 40 months overall survival was 37.8% and progression free survival was 30%; disease free survival was 78.6% at 4 years: 11/14 patients are in continuous complete response with a median of 36 months of follow up. Hematological toxicities were manageable, and main extra-hematological toxicities were diarrhea (9.4%) and lung infections (9.0%). Overall, 4 (5.2%) atrial fibrillations and 3 (3.9%) hemorrhagic syndromes occurred. In conclusions, thrombocytopenia, diarrhea and lung infections are the relevant adverse events to be clinically focused on; regarding effectiveness, ibrutinib is confirmed to be a valid option for refractory/relapsed MCL also in a clinical setting mimicking the real world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25215DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5955107PMC
May 2018

Italian real life experience with brentuximab vedotin: results of a large observational study on 234 relapsed/refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Oncotarget 2017 Oct 23;8(53):91703-91710. Epub 2017 May 23.

Institute of Hematology "L. e A. Seràgnoli", University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

A large Italian multicenter observational retrospective study was conducted on the use of brentuximab vedotin (BV) for patients with relapsed Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) to check if clinical trial results are confirmed even in a real life context. 234 CD30+ HL patients were enrolled. Best response was observed after a median of 4 cycles in 140 patients (59.8%): 74 (31.6%) patients obtained a complete response (CR) and 66 (28.2%) achieved a partial response (PR); overall response rate at the end of the treatment was 48.3% (62 CR and 51 PR). The best response rate was higher in the elderly subset: 14 (50%) CR and 5 (17.8%) PR. Disease free survival was 26.3% at 3 years and progression free survival 31.9% at 4.5 years. Duration of response did not differ for who achieved at least PR and then either did or did not undergo consolidative transplant. Overall, the treatment was well tolerated and no death has been linked to BV-induced toxicity. Our report confirms activity in elderly patients, duration of response unrelated to the consolidation with transplant procedure, the relevance of the CR status at first restaging, and the role of BV as a bridge to transplant for chemorefractory patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5710959PMC
October 2017

Italian real-life experience with brentuximab vedotin: results of a large observational study of 40 cases of relapsed/refractory systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

Haematologica 2017 11 3;102(11):1931-1935. Epub 2017 Aug 3.

Institute of Hematology "L. e A. Seràgnoli", University of Bologna, Italy

Between November 2012 and July 2014, in accordance with national law 648/96, brentuximab vedotin was available in Italy for patients with relapsed systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma outside a clinical trial context. A large Italian observational retrospective study was conducted on the use of brentuximab vedotin in everyday clinical practice to check whether clinical trial results are confirmed in a real-life context. The primary endpoint of this study was best response; secondary endpoints were the overall response rate at the end of the treatment, duration of response, survival and safety profile. A total of 40 heavily pretreated patients were enrolled. Best response was observed after a median of four cycles in 77.5%: globally, 47.5% patients obtained a complete response, 64.2% in the elderly subset. The overall response rate was 62.5%. At the latest follow up, 15/18 patients are still in complete remission (3 with consolidation). The progression-free survival rate at 24 months was 39.1% and the disease-free survival rate at the same time was 54% (median not reached). All the long-term responders were aged <30 years at first infusion. The treatment was well tolerated even in this real-life context and no deaths were linked to drug toxicity. Brentuximab vedotin induces clinical responses quite rapidly, i.e. within the first four cycles of treatment in most responders, thus enabling timely use of transplantation. For patients ineligible for transplant or for those in whom a transplant procedure failed, brentuximab vedotin may represent a feasible effective therapeutic option in everyday clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2017.171355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664397PMC
November 2017

Rituximab Maintenance for a Maximum of 5 Years After Single-Agent Rituximab Induction in Follicular Lymphoma: Results of the Randomized Controlled Phase III Trial SAKK 35/03.

J Clin Oncol 2016 Feb 28;34(5):495-500. Epub 2015 Dec 28.

Christian Taverna, Kantonsspital Münsterlingen, Münsterlingen; Felicitas Hitz, Kantonsspital St Gallen, St Gallen; Walter Mingrone, Kantonsspital Aarau/Olten, Olten; Thomas Pabst, Inselspital Bern; Christine Biaggi Rudolf, Stéphanie Rondeau, and Corinne Rusterholz, Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research SAKK, Bern; Daniel Rauch, Spital Thun Simmental, Thun; Andreas Lohri, Kantonsspital Liestal, Liestal; Ingmar A.F.M. Heijnen, University Hospital Basel, Basel; Emanuele Zucca and Michele Ghielmini, Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, Bellinzona, Switzerland; Giovanni Martinelli, Anna Vanazzi, and Daniele Laszlo, Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Milan, Italy; Lidija Cevreska, University Clinic for Hematology, Skopje, Macedonia; Auro del Giglio, ABC Fondation School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Johann Raats, Panorama Oncology Unit, Cape Town; and Daniel A. Vorobiof, Sandton Oncology Center, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Purpose: Rituximab maintenance therapy has been shown to improve progression-free survival in patients with follicular lymphoma; however, the optimal duration of maintenance treatment remains unknown.

Patients And Methods: Two hundred seventy patients with untreated, relapsed, stable, or chemotherapy-resistant follicular lymphoma were treated with four doses of rituximab monotherapy in weekly intervals (375 mg/m(2)). Patients achieving at least a partial response were randomly assigned to receive maintenance therapy with one infusion of rituximab every 2 months, either on a short-term schedule (four administrations) or a long-term schedule (maximum of 5 years or until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity). The primary end point was event-free survival (EFS). Progression-free survival, overall survival (OS), and toxicity were secondary end points. Comparisons between the two arms were performed using the log-rank test for survival end points.

Results: One hundred sixty-five patients were randomly assigned to the short-term (n = 82) or long-term (n = 83) maintenance arms. Because of the low event rate, the final analysis was performed after 95 events had occurred, which was before the targeted event number of 99 had been reached. At a median follow-up period of 6.4 years, the median EFS was 3.4 years (95% CI, 2.1 to 5.3) in the short-term arm and 5.3 years (95% CI, 3.5 to not available) in the long-term arm (P = .14). Patients in the long-term arm experienced more adverse effects than did those in the short-term arm, with 76% v 50% of patients with at least one adverse event (P < .001), five versus one patient with grade 3 and 4 infections, and three versus zero patients discontinuing treatment because of unacceptable toxicity, respectively. There was no difference in OS between the two groups.

Conclusion: Long-term rituximab maintenance therapy does not improve EFS, which was the primary end point of this trial, or OS, and was associated with increased toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2015.61.3968DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4872010PMC
February 2016

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia during pregnancy: management and thoughts.

Ecancermedicalscience 2015 12;9:592. Epub 2015 Nov 12.

Fertility & Procreation Unit, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Via Ripamonti 435, Milan 20141, Italy.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is the most common leukaemia in the Western world. Despite this fact, its coexistence with pregnancy is extremely rare, with few cases reported in the literature. Given the rarity of this event, it is difficult to conduct large prospective trials to evaluate diagnostic, management, and outcome aspects. The existing evidence is limited to the few published cases and scarce data from reviews on haematological malignancies and pregnancy. Here, we report a case of a 36-year-old patient who had already finished treatment for CLL and was under surveillance when she got pregnant. We describe the evolution of the pregnancy and of the disease's behaviour as well as the oncological and obstetrical management. Being an indolent disease, CLL during pregnancy can be usually followed up without treatment, but infectious and autoimmune complications might have a significant impact on the pregnancy outcome. Therefore, pregnancy must be closely monitored in specialised centres.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2015.592DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4659706PMC
December 2015

Chlorambucil-rituximab as first-line therapy in patients affected by follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a retrospective single-centre study.

Hematol Oncol 2015 Dec 22;33(4):129-35. Epub 2014 Jul 22.

Division of Clinical Hemato-oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

Rituximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against the CD20 antigen, has been shown to be active in newly diagnosed and relapsed patients with follicular lymphoma (FL), both as monotherapy and in combination with chemotherapy. Many studies suggest that the prognosis of patients with FL may improve when it is used in combination with chemotherapy. Despite these advances, the disease remains essentially incurable with standard therapy, and novel approaches to treatment are needed because optimal therapy is not defined. The combination of chlorambucil-rituximab is one of several standard treatment options for FL. Here, we considered data arising from 75 patients with newly diagnosed FL at the European Institute of Oncology treated with the combination of rituximab plus chlorambucil. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of chlorambucil and rituximab, delivered 6 mg/m(2) /day orally for 6 weeks and 375 mg/m(2) in a standard 4-weekly schedule, respectively. Patients responding to the induction therapy received a prolonged therapy with four additional cycles of chlorambucil plus rituximab. Seventy-one patients (94.6%) completed the treatment; four patients discontinued treatment because of grade 3-4 hematological toxicity. The overall response rate was 97.3% including 74.7% of complete responses. Only two patients had a stable disease at revaluation after treatment. With a median follow-up of 57 months, 72 patients (96%) are alive. Median event-free survival (EFS) and median overall survival (OS) were not reached; 5-year OS rate was 98.4%. The 5-year EFS was 71.3%. By univariate and multivariate analyses, elevated beta-2 microglobulin levels and partial responses to therapy were correlated with worse EFS. These results suggest that the combination of chlorambucil and rituximab is an active and safe regimen in patients with newly diagnosed FL, principally in those with low tumour burden and favourable prognostic factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2154DOI Listing
December 2015

Efficacy of ⁹⁰Yttrium-ibritumomab tiuxetan in relapsed/refractory extranodal marginal-zone lymphoma.

Hematol Oncol 2014 Mar 20;32(1):10-5. Epub 2013 May 20.

Hematoncology Division, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

We evaluated clinical activity of ⁹⁰Yttrium-ibritumomab (⁹⁰Y-ibritumomab) tiuxetan in extranodal marginal-zone lymphoma. From May 2004 to April 2011, 30 patients affected by relapsed/refractory marginal-zone lymphoma--arisen at any extranodal site--received ⁹⁰Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan at the activity of 0.4 mCi/kg. Median age was 57 years. At time of treatment, 13 out of 30 patients had disseminated disease (stage III/IV). All patients had received a previous treatment with a maximum of 7. Overall response rate was 90%: 23 patients achieved a complete response (77%); partial response occurred in 4 patients (13%), stable disease in 2 patients (7%) and 1 progression (3%). With a median follow-up of 5.3 years, median time to relapse was not reached; 2 patients relapsed after complete response; 18 out of 23 complete responses are still responders after >3 years, 12 of them after >5 years. ⁹⁰Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan seems to be active in patients with extranodal marginal-zone lymphoma relapsed/refractory to conventional treatment including radiotherapy. These results suggest that radioimmunotherapy could represent a possible option for the treatment in this subset of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2078DOI Listing
March 2014

Who should be really considered as a poor mobilizer in the plerixafor era?

Transfus Apher Sci 2012 Aug 4;47(1):27-32. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Stem Cell Collection Unit, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

Patients with a number of peripheral CD34+ cells ≥20/μL have recently been defined in the literature as "poor mobilizers". We retrospectively reviewed medical records from a total of 248 patients affected by hematological malignancies or solid tumors undergoing peripheral blood stem cell collection following chemotherapy plus G-CSF. On the basis of the CD34+ cell peak in peripheral blood following mobilization therapy, patients were defined as good mobilizers (group A, CD34+ cells ≥20/μL), relative poor mobilizers (group B, CD34+ cells <20 and ≥8/μL) and absolute poor mobilizers (group C, CD34+ cells <8/μL). One hundred and seventy-seven (71%) patients resulted good mobilizers, 35 (14%) patients relative poor mobilizers and 36 (15%) patients absolute poor mobilizers. Target of stem cell collection was ≥2.0×10(6) CD34+cells/kg for each transplantation procedure. All patients in group A, 20 patients in group B (57%) and 1 patient in group C (2.7%) were able to collect ≥2.0×10(6) CD34+cells/kg. The multivariate analysis confirmed that more than three lines of previous chemotherapy and a previous autologous PBSC transplantation negatively affect mobilization of CD34+ cells in peripheral blood. Our data suggest that a number of CD34+ cells ≥20/μL does not always result in a failed stem cell collection and in fact in our patient series more than 70% of the patients defined as poor mobilizers have indeed collected the minimum number of 2.0×10(6) CD34+cells/kg required for a successful transplantation. The use of new agent such as CXCR4 antagonist plerixafor might further improve mobilization efficacy in such patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.transci.2012.03.004DOI Listing
August 2012

Rituximab in Hodgkin lymphoma: is the target always a hit?

Cancer Treat Rev 2011 Aug 22;37(5):385-90. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Department of Medical Oncology, Jules Bordet Institute, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.

In 1997, the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (MAb) rituximab became the first MAb approved for clinical use in oncology, and ushered in a new era of rationally designed targeted agents in cancer therapeutics. It is currently approved for use in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rituximab is non-mutagenic, associated with low treatment-related toxicity, and few, if any, long term adverse events, making it an attractive agent to be tried in off-label settings like Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). HL consists of two distinct subtypes - classic HL (cHL) and lymphocyte predominant HL (LPHL). CD20 is present in virtually all patients with LPHL, and in a significant minority of patients with cHL. In this CD20 positive sub-population, the use of rituximab is a rational intervention strategy. Rituximab has been used in patients with cHL as well as LPHL with good efficacy. In this article, we provide a clinically-oriented overview of the use of rituximab in the different sub-types of HL, and report updated results of our series of 8 LPHL patients treated with rituximab. A systematic review of the literature is also presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2010.11.005DOI Listing
August 2011

The role of dosimetry in the high activity 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan regimens: two cases of abnormal biodistribution.

Cancer Biother Radiopharm 2009 Apr;24(2):271-5

Division of Nuclear Medicine, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

Radioimmunotherapy (RIT) with a commercially available brand of yttrium-90 ((90)Y)-ibritumomab-tiuxetan at the prescribed activity of 14.8 MBq/kg (0.4 mCi/kg) represents a complementary approach in the treatment of resistant/refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. A trial based on higher activities is ongoing in our institute. In this paper, we report atypical pharmacokinetics and liver uptake in 2 patients. Before RIT, all patients underwent dosimetry with (111)In-ibritumomab-tiuxetan. Imaging data were analyzed to obtain predicted absorbed doses to nontarget organs. Therapy was administered only if a 20-Gy-limit dose to normal organs (except red marrow) was guaranteed. Both patients we describe showed abnormal liver uptake, increasing for 6 days post injection. In patient 1, there was atypical biodistribution in whole-blood images at 16 hours, with a prevalent high liver uptake (45% at 20 hours). Injected activity (IA%) was above 40% at 26 hours in the liver and lower than 60% in the total body. In patient 2, early images showed regular biodistribution. Subsequent images showed progressive increase of liver uptake (above 25% of percent injected activity at 25 hours). Liver-absorbed doses of 51 and 53 Gy, respectively, would have resulted with the administration of the prescribed 56 MBq/kg. Following these dosimetric results, both patients did not receive the planned therapy. These findings support the recommendation to include dosimetry in high-dose RIT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/cbr.2008.0541DOI Listing
April 2009

High activity 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin) with peripheral blood progenitor cells support in patients with refractory/resistant B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

Br J Haematol 2007 Nov;139(4):590-9

Melanoma and Sarcoma Division, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

Radioimmunotherapy (RIT) is an alternative approach in the treatment of resistant/refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We performed a feasibility and toxicity pilot study of escalating activity of 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Three activity levels were fixed--30 MBq/kg (0.8 mCi/kg), 45 MBq/kg (1.2 mCi/kg) and 56 MBq/kg (1.5 mCi/kg)--and 13 patients enrolled. One week before treatment all patients underwent dosimetry. ASCT was performed 13 d after Zevalin administration. Treatment was well tolerated and all patients engrafted promptly. No differences in terms of haematological toxicities were observed among the three levels, apart from a delayed platelet recovery in heavily pretreated patients receiving 56 MBq/kg. Non-haematologic toxicity was mainly related to infections and liver toxicity. One patient died 4 months after treatment because of hepatitis C virus reactivation. One patient developed a myelodysplastic syndrome 2 years after treatment. In conclusion, high-activity Zevalin with ASCT is feasible and could be safely delivered in elderly and heavily pretreated NHL patients, including those who previously received high-dose chemotherapy and ASCT. Maximum tolerated dose was not clearly defined according to dosimetry and clinical toxicities, and further studies are needed to confirm the toxicity profile and evaluate efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2007.06869.xDOI Listing
November 2007

High-dose radioimmunotherapy with 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan: comparative dosimetric study for tailored treatment.

J Nucl Med 2007 Nov;48(11):1871-9

Division of Medical Physics, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

Unlabelled: High-dose (90)Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan therapy and associated autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) were applied after dosimetry. This paper reports dosimetric findings for 3 different methods, including image corrections and actual organ mass corrections. Our first goal was to identify the most reliable and feasible dosimetric method to be adopted in high-dose therapy with (90)Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan. The second goal was to verify the safety of the prescribed activity and the best timing of stem cell reinfusion.

Methods: Twenty-two patients with refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were enrolled into 3 activity groups escalating to 55.5 MBq/kg. A somewhat arbitrary cutoff of 20 Gy to organs (except red marrow) was defined as a safe limit for patient recruitment. ASCT was considered of low risk when the dose to reinfused stem cells was less than 50 mGy. (111)In-Ibritumomab tiuxetan (185 MBq) was administered for dosimetry. Blood samples were collected up to 130 h after injection to derive individual blood clearance rates and red marrow doses. Five whole-body images were acquired up to 7 d after injection. A transmission scan and a low-dose CT scan were also acquired. The conjugate-view technique was used, and images were corrected for background, scatter, and attenuation. Absorbed doses were calculated using the OLINDA/EXM software, adjusting doses for individual organ masses. The biodistribution data were analyzed for dosimetry by the conjugate-view technique using 3 methods. Method A was a patient-specific method applying background, scatter, and attenuation correction, with absorbed doses calculated using the OLINDA/EXM software and doses adjusted for individual organ masses and individually estimated blood volumes. Method B was a reference method using the organ masses of the reference man and woman phantoms. Method C was a simplified method using standard blood and red marrow volumes and no corrections.

Results: The medians and ranges (in parentheses) for dose estimates (mGy/MBq) according to method A were 1.7 (0.3-3.5) for lungs, 2.8 (1.8-10.6) for liver, 1.7 (0.6-3.8) for kidneys, 1.9 (0.8-5.0) for spleen, 0.8 (0.4-1.0) for red marrow, and 2.8 (1.3-4.7) for testes. None of patients had to postpone ASCT. Absorbed doses from method B differed from method A by up to 100% for liver, 80% for kidneys, 335% for spleen, and 80% for blood because of differences between standard and actual masses. Compared with method A, method C led to dose overestimates of up to 4-fold for lungs, 2-fold for liver, 5-fold for kidneys, 7-fold for spleen, 2-fold for red marrow, and 2-fold for testes.

Conclusion: Patient-specific dosimetry with image correction and mass adjustment is recommended in high-dose (90)Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan therapy, for which liver is the dose-limiting organ. Overly simplified dosimetry may provide inaccurate information on the dose to critical organs, the recommended values of administered activity, and the timing of ASCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2967/jnumed.107.044016DOI Listing
November 2007

Mammaglobin expression in leukapheresis products is a predictive marker of poor prognosis in women with high-risk breast cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2004 Sep;10(18 Pt 1):6039-46

Divisions of Hemato-oncology and Biostatistics and Epidemiology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence and prognostic relevance of tumor cell detection in granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-mobilized peripheral blood progenitor cell collections (PBPCCs) using cytokeratin (CK), maspin (MAS), and mammaglobin (MAM) genes as epithelial cell markers. The population on which the study was conducted was drawn from stage III breast cancer patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and autologous transplantation with PBPCCs.

Experimental Design: One hundred and ninety-four patients were enrolled in the study and analyzed for tumor cell detection on the basis of 481 PBPCCs gathered before administration of chemotherapy. CK, MAS, and MAM gene expressions were investigated by means of the reverse transcription nested polymerase chain reaction, and those samples expressing CK were further hybridized with a radiolabeled internal probe to reduce false-positive results. Sensitivity and specificity were assessed on 37 controls (12 cell lines, 12 healthy donors, and 13 nonepithelial malignancies). Each of the known prognostic variables (age, stage, lymph node status, receptor status, c-ErbB2 status, and Ki67 status) was then analyzed (both individually and together with CK, MAS, and MAM expression on PBPCCs) in relation to patient overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS).

Results: After a 3-year follow-up, an estimated 83% (95% confidence interval, 77.1-88.8%) of the patients were alive and an estimated 67% (95% confidence interval, 60.1-74.6%) were free of relapse. One hundred and seventy-six of the 194 patients (91%) had contaminated PBPCCs evidenced by at least one positive sample for any of the markers evaluated. The PBPCC frequency of CK, MAS, and MAM positivity (+) was 71%, 36%, and 16%, respectively. MAM expression on PBPCC was associated with an increased risk of relapse (P = 0.003), whereas CK and MAS expressions were not associated with changes in either RFS or OS.

Conclusions: MAM gene expression on leukapheresis products of high-risk breast cancer patients is an indicator of poor prognosis. The method of evaluation is simple and reproducible and provides new tools for evaluating the role played by tumor cells in apheresis products and their potential in causing metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-03-0453DOI Listing
September 2004

Chlorambucil in combination with induction and maintenance rituximab is feasible and active in indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Br J Haematol 2003 Oct;123(2):271-7

European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

We investigated the toxicity and efficacy of the chimaeric anti-CD20 antibody rituximab in combination with standard-dose chlorambucil in newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory indolent B-cell lymphoma patients. A total of 29 patients (15 newly diagnosed and 14 relapsed/refractory) with low-grade or follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) were included in this phase II study. Therapy consisted of chlorambucil 6 mg/m2/d for 6 consecutive weeks in combination with a standard 4-weekly rituximab administration schedule in the induction phase. Patients responding to the induction therapy received four additional cycles with chlorambucil (6 mg/m2/d for 2 weeks/month) plus rituximab (once a month). Twenty-six patients (89%) completed the treatment; only one patient discontinued treatment because of haematological toxicity. At the end of the study, the dose of chlorambucil had to be reduced in seven patients (27%) and six patients (23%) required a delay in further treatment, as a result of toxicity during consolidation therapy. Only one patient was withdrawn from the study because of progressive disease; the 27 patients evaluable for response at the end of consolidation achieved a clinical response (63% complete response and 26% partial response). A significant CD4+ and CD56+ depletion was observed after induction and during consolidation therapy; two herpes zoster virus infections and one perianal abscess represented major infectious morbidities registered during the study. Based on our preliminary data, the combination of chlorambucil with rituximab seemed to be well tolerated and active. Its definitive role in the treatment of low-grade NHL should be further evaluated in randomized trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2141.2003.04586.xDOI Listing
October 2003