Publications by authors named "Annalisa Natale"

9 Publications

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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

Efficacy and safety of intravesical fibrin glue instillation for management of patients with refractory hemorrhagic cystitis: 12-months results. A promising therapy for hemorrhagic cystitis.

Arch Ital Urol Androl 2021 Jun 28;93(2):200-205. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

"G. D'Annunzio" University of Chieti, Dept. of Medical, Oral and Biotechnological Sciences, "SS. Annunziata" Hospital, Urology Unit, Chieti, Italy; ASL Abruzzo 2, Department of Urology, Chieti.

Objectives: Fibrin glue (FG) endo-vesical application seems to be a promising therapy for hemorrhagic cystitis (HC). We aimed to evaluate efficacy and safety of FG instillation in patients with HC.

Methods: Patients with HC not responsive to conventional treatments (bladder irrigation, catheterization, blood transfusions, hyperhydration and endoscopic coagulation) were treated with FG endo-vesical instillation (April 2017- December 2018). FG was prepared from 120 mL of patient blood with the Vivostat® system. After standard cystoscopy, bladder was insufflated with carbon dioxide (CO2) according to bladder compliance and autologous FG was applied to bladder wall and bleeding sites.

Results: Ten patients included with grade 2 or higher HC secondary to bone marrow graft for hematological diseases (30%) or to actinic cystitis caused by prostate cancer radiotherapy (RT) (70%). The median HC onset time after RT was 4.8 (IQR 3.9- 6.3) years and 35 (IQR 27.5-62.5) days after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Five patients had a complete response after one treatment, three patients had clinical response (grade < 2 hematuria, amelioration of symptoms), one of them required catheterization and bladder irrigation. One patient required a second instillation of FG achieving a clinical response. No adverse events related to the procedure were recorded, however one patient died for causes not related to the procedure. Median Interstitial Cystitis Symptoms Index was 13.0 (IQR 11.0-15.0) pre-operatively and 4.0 (IQR 2.0-5.0) post-operatively.

Conclusions: Our study showed that, even in hematological patients, autologous FG instillation maybe a safe, repeatable and effective treatment modality in patients with refractory HC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/aiua.2021.2.200DOI Listing
June 2021

Secondary oral cancer following hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 05 24;56(5):1038-1046. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Bone Marrow Transplant Center, Department of Oncology Hematology, Ospedale Civile, Pescara, Italy.

The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the incidence and the clinical outcome of secondary oral cancer (SOC) and to assess potential risk factors in a large cohort of patients (n = 908), who received allogeneic hemopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) either for a malignant (n = 733) or nonmalignant hematologic disease (n = 175). The median follow-up of 438 transplant survivors was 17 years. Twelve patients developed SOC at a median of 13.5 years since HCT and at a median age of 47 years. The 35-year cumulative incidence function of SOC development was 3.47%. In univariate analysis, factors associated with increased incidence of SOC were reduced intensity conditioning and chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGvHD). On multivariate analysis, nonmalignant disease and duration of oral cGvHD ≥15 months were independent risk factors for SOC development. Nonmalignant disease recipients had 3.94× higher than expected rate of SOC (95% confidence interval, 1.50-10.39%, p = 0.0055). Recipients whose oral cGvHD persisted for more than ≥15 months had 58.6× higher than expected rate of SOC (95% confidence interval, 13.3-258.1%), p < 0.0001). This study demonstrates that oral cGvHD and a diagnosis of nonmalignant hematologic disease are strong risk factors in the SOC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-01147-zDOI Listing
May 2021

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

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

NOTCH and Graft-Versus-Host Disease.

Front Immunol 2018 10;9:1825. Epub 2018 Aug 10.

Institute of Hematology-Centro di Ricerche Emato-Oncologiche (CREO), University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.

In allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, which is the major curative therapy for hematological malignancies, T cells play a key role in the development of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). NOTCH pathway is a conserved signal transduction system that regulates T cell development and differentiation. The present review analyses the role of the NOTCH signaling as a new regulator of acute GvHD. NOTCH signaling could also represent a new therapeutic target for GvHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.01825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6096230PMC
September 2019

Treg-protected donor lymphocyte infusions: a new tool to address the graft-versus-leukemia effect in the absence of graft-versus-host disease in patients relapsed after HSCT.

Int J Hematol 2017 Dec 18;106(6):860-864. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

Department of Hematology, Transfusion Medicine and Biotechnologies, Ospedale Civile, Pescara, Italy.

In high-risk acute leukemia patients undergoing haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), adoptive immunotherapy with T regulatory cells (Tregs) and T conventional cells (Tcons) prevented acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), favored post-transplant immunological reconstitution and was associated with a powerful graft-versus-leukemia (GvL) effect. With a particularly innovative approach, we developed a treatment with a Treg-protected donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) for patients with early relapse after HSCT and we report here the results obtained in the first patient with APL (M3v) relapsed after a second matched allogeneic HSCT (15% blasts and 75% of donor cells in bone marrow). The patient received a first infusion of 2.5 × 10/kg Tregs derived from matched donor followed 7 days later by 5 × 10/kg Tcons. GvL effect was strongly evident as the percentage of leukemic cells decreased to 5%. A second infusion of Tregs (2.5 × 10/kg) and Tcons (2 × 10/kg) was performed. No GvHD was observed. Disease evaluation showed the absence of blastic cells at flow-cytometry, a normal caryotype and full donor chimerism. We also observed NOTCH1 down-regulation in peripheral blood. This new immunotherapy approach showed that Treg-protected DLI is effective in preventing GvHD and is associated with a strong GvL effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12185-017-2292-3DOI Listing
December 2017

Circulating plasma cells in newly diagnosed symptomatic multiple myeloma as a possible prognostic marker for patients with standard-risk cytogenetics.

Br J Haematol 2015 Aug 26;170(4):523-31. Epub 2015 May 26.

U.O.C. Ematologia e Trapianto di Cellule Staminali Emopoietiche, Ospedale Mazzoni, Ascoli Piceno, Italy.

Detection of circulating plasma cells (PCs) in multiple myeloma (MM) patients is a well-known prognostic factor. We evaluated circulating PCs by flow cytometry (FC) in 104 patients with active MM at diagnosis by gating on CD38(+)  CD45(-) cells and examined their relationship with cytogenetic risk. Patients had an average follow-up of 36 months. By using a receiver operating characteristics analysis, we estimated the optimal cut-off of circulating PCs for defining poor prognosis to be 41. Patients with high-risk cytogenetics (n = 24) had poor prognosis, independently of circulating PC levels [PC < 41 vs. PC ≥ 41: overall survival (OS) = 0% vs. OS = 17%, P = not significant (n.s.); progression-free survival (PFS) = 0% vs. 17%, P = n.s.]. Patients with standard-risk cytogenetics (n = 65) showed a better prognosis when associated with a lower number of circulating PCs (PC < 41 vs. PC ≥ 41: OS = 62% vs. 24%, P = 0·008; PFS = 48% vs. 21%, P = 0·001). Multivariate analysis on the subgroup with standard-risk cytogenetics confirmed that the co-presence of circulating PCs ≥ 41, older age, Durie-Salmon stage >I and lack of maintenance adversely affected PFS, while OS was adversely affected only by lactate dehydrogenase, older age and lack of maintenance. Our results indicate that the quantification of circulating PCs by a simple two-colour FC analysis can provide useful prognostic information in newly diagnosed MM patients with standard-risk cytogenetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.13484DOI Listing
August 2015

Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria after autologous stem cell transplantation: extinction of the clone during treatment with eculizumab - pathophysiological implications of a unique clinical case.

Acta Haematol 2011 19;126(2):103-9. Epub 2011 May 19.

Department of Hematology, Spirito Santo Hospital, Pescara, Italy.

The clinical and biological spectrum of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is variable, ranging from classical hemolytic forms to PNH associated with aplastic anemia or other bone marrow (BM) failure syndromes. We report a previously undescribed case of PNH occurring after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in a patient affected by relapsing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The intensive chemotherapy and the ASCT resulted in a contraction of the effective hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) pool and a derangement of the immune system. The delayed engraftment and the BM hypoplasia represented a favorable environment for the expansion of the pathological clone. This case is paradigmatic even for the unexpected trend of the PNH clone during treatment with the terminal complement inhibitor eculizumab; in fact, the clone reduced until undergoing unexpected extinction, i.e. the recovery of normal hematopoiesis. Eculizumab seems not to play a direct role in HSC kinetics; the clinical remission probably occurred because the environmental conditions that led to the expansion of the PNH clone were transient and disappeared.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000327251DOI Listing
October 2011
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