Publications by authors named "Attilio Olivieri"

94 Publications

Isavuconazole in Hematological Patients: Results of a Real-Life Multicentre Observational Seifem Study.

Hemasphere 2019 Dec 4;3(6):e320. Epub 2019 Nov 4.

Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli-IRCCS Roma, Italy.

Invasive fungal diseases (IFDs) remain a major clinical issue in patients with hematological malignancies (HMs). To confirm the efficacy and safety of the new azole isavuconazole (ISV) in a clinical care setting, we planned a multicenter retrospective study; we collected data on all possible/probable/proven IFDs in patients with HMs treated with ISV in 17 centers. Between July 2016 and November 2018, 128 patients were enrolled, and 122 were fully evaluable. ISV was employed as the 1 line therapy in 43 (35%) patients and as a subsequent therapy in 79 (65%) patients. The response rate was 82/122 patients (67.2%); it was similar when using ISV as a 1st or 2nd line treatment (60.5% vs 70.9%, respectively; p = 0.24). In multivariate analysis, both female sex (OR: 2.992; CI: 1.22-7.34) and induction phase of treatment (OR: 3.953; CI: 1.085-14.403) were predictive of a favorable response. At a median follow-up of 5 months, 43 (35.2%) patients were dead; the 1-year overall survival (OS) was 49.9%. In multivariate analysis, the response to ISV (OR: 0.103; CI: 0.041-0.262) and IFD refractoriness to previous antifungals (OR: 3.413; CI: 1.318-8.838) were statistically significant for OS. Adverse events (AEs) were reported in 15/122 patients (12.3%); grade 3-4 AEs were reported in 5 (4%) and led to ISV discontinuation. Our study confirms the safety and tolerability of ISV, also in diseases other than acute leukemia. Phase of hematological disease, gender and refractoriness to previous antifungals are the main predictive factors for the aforementioned response and outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HS9.0000000000000320DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6924559PMC
December 2019

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

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

Gonadal Function Recovery and Fertility in Women Treated with Chemo- and/or Radiotherapy for Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Chemotherapy 2019 22;64(1):36-41. Epub 2019 May 22.

Unit of Hematology, AUO Ospedali Riuniti, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.

Background: Fertility and gonadal function represent one of the most important aspects for long-term lymphoma survivors.

Aims: The aim of our study was to determine possible risk factors, such as age at treatment, chemotherapeutic regimen, protection with oral contraceptives (OCs), and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues in female patients treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) or non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) at a reproductive age.

Methods: Patients between the age of 16 and 50 years at the time of HL or NHL diagnosis were selected. Eligible patients were requested to respond to a questionnaire by phone interview about fertility, menstrual status, sexual aspects, and treatment with OCs or GnRH analogues during chemotherapy.

Results: The resumption of menstrual activity was associated with the use of the OCs and GnRH analogues during chemotherapy (p = 0.008 and 0.034, respectively). At univariate analysis, the use of OCs during chemotherapy was associated with a lower risk of amenorrhea (prevalence ratio [PR] = 0.37; 95% CI 0.17-0.82). A higher age at the time of treatment correlated positively with therapy-induced amenorrhea, with a difference of 12.8 years between the mean age at diagnosis of the women with therapy-induced amenorrhea and those who resumed their menses. Amenorrhea was significantly higher in women receiving R-CHOP than in women treated with ABVD (PR = 6.00; 95% CI 2.32-15.54). Moreover, NHL had an infertility PR of 1.51 (95% CI 0.86-2.45) at multivariate analysis compared to HL.

Conclusions: This study suggests a possible role of pharmacological prophylaxis with OCs and GnRH analogues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000499535DOI Listing
July 2019

A Comparison of the Conditioning Regimens BEAM and FEAM for Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Lymphoma: An Observational Study on 1038 Patients From Fondazione Italiana Linfomi.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 09 29;24(9):1814-1822. Epub 2018 May 29.

Oncologia Medica 1, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IOV-IRCCS, Padova, Italy.

BEAM (carmustine [bis-chloroethylnitrosourea (BCNU)]-etoposide-cytarabine-melphalan) chemotherapy is the standard conditioning regimen for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in lymphomas. Owing to BCNU shortages, many centers switched to fotemustine-substituted BEAM (FEAM), lacking proof of equivalence. We conducted a retrospective cohort study in 18 Italian centers to compare the safety and efficacy of BEAM and FEAM regimens for ASCT in lymphomas performed from 2008 to 2015. We enrolled 1038 patients (BEAM = 607, FEAM = 431), of which 27% had Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), 14% indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and 59% aggressive NHL. Baseline characteristics including age, sex, stage, B-symptoms, extranodal involvement, previous treatments, response before ASCT, and overall conditioning intensity were well balanced between BEAM and FEAM; notable exceptions were median ASCT year (BEAM = 2011 versus FEAM = 2013, P < .001), Sorror score ≥3 (BEAM = 15% versus FEAM = 10%, P = .017), and radiotherapy use (BEAM = 18% versus FEAM = 10%, P < .001). FEAM conditioning resulted in higher rates of gastrointestinal and infectious toxicities, including severe oral mucositis grade ≥3 (BEAM = 31% versus FEAM = 44%, P < .001), and sepsis from Gram-negative bacteria (mean isolates/patient: BEAM = .1 versus FEAM = .19, P < .001). Response status at day 100 post-ASCT (overall response: BEAM = 91% versus FEAM = 88%, P = .42), 2-year overall survival (83.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 81.5% to 86.1%) and progression-free survival (70.3%; 95% CI, 67.4% to 73.1%) were not different in the two groups. Mortality from infection was higher in the FEAM group (subhazard ratio, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.02 to 3.88; P = .04). BEAM and FEAM do not appear different in terms of survival and disease control. However, due to concerns of higher toxicity, fotemustine substitution in BEAM does not seem justified, if not for easier supply.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.05.018DOI Listing
September 2018

A Modified Post-Transplant Cyclophosphamide Regimen, for Unmanipulated Haploidentical Marrow Transplantation, in Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Multicenter Study.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 06 5;24(6):1243-1249. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

Istituto di Ematologia, Policlinico Universitario A Gemelli, Università Cattolica, Roma, Italy. Electronic address:

We report a modified post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PT-CY) regimen, for unmanipulated haploidentical marrow transplants, in 150 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). All patients received a myeloablative regimen, cyclosporine A (CsA) on day 0, mycophenolate on day +1, and PT-CY 50 mg/kg on days +3 and +5. The median age was 51 (range, 17-74) years, 51 (34%) patients had active disease at transplant, and the median follow-up of surviving patients 903 (range, 150-1955) days. The cumulative incidence (CI) of engraftment, acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) grade II to IV, and moderate/severe chronic GVHD was 92%, 17%, and 15%, respectively. The 4-year CI of transplant-related mortality (TRM) and relapse was 20% and 24%, respectively. Four-year survival for remission patients was 72% (74% versus 67% for <60 or ≥60 years of age) and 26% for advanced patients (17% versus 41% for <60 or ≥60 years of age). In a multivariate analysis, active disease at transplant was the only negative predictor of survival, TRM and relapse. The original PT-CY regimen can be modified with CsA on day 0, still providing protection against GVHD, low toxicity, and encouraging low relapse incidence in AML patients, also over 60 years of age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.01.031DOI Listing
June 2018

Predicting failure of hematopoietic stem cell mobilization before it starts: the predicted poor mobilizer (pPM) score.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2018 04 12;53(4):461-473. Epub 2018 Jan 12.

Hematology and Stem Cell Transplant, Ravenna Hospital, Ravenna, Italy.

Predicting mobilization failure before it starts may enable patient-tailored strategies. Although consensus criteria for predicted PM (pPM) are available, their predictive performance has never been measured on real data. We retrospectively collected and analyzed 1318 mobilization procedures performed for MM and lymphoma patients in the plerixafor era. In our sample, 180/1318 (13.7%) were PM. The score resulting from published pPM criteria had sufficient performance for predicting PM, as measured by AUC (0.67, 95%CI: 0.63-0.72). We developed a new prediction model from multivariate analysis whose score (pPM-score) resulted in better AUC (0.80, 95%CI: 0.76-0.84, p < 0001). pPM-score included as risk factors: increasing age, diagnosis of NHL, positive bone marrow biopsy or cytopenias before mobilization, previous mobilization failure, priming strategy with G-CSF alone, or without upfront plerixafor. A simplified version of pPM-score was categorized using a cut-off to maximize positive likelihood ratio (15.7, 95%CI: 9.9-24.8); specificity was 98% (95%CI: 97-98.7%), sensitivity 31.7% (95%CI: 24.9-39%); positive predictive value in our sample was 71.3% (95%CI: 60-80.8%). Simplified pPM-score can "rule in" patients at very high risk for PM before starting mobilization, allowing changes in clinical management, such as choice of alternative priming strategies, to avoid highly likely mobilization failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-017-0051-yDOI Listing
April 2018

"Best practice" for extracorporeal photopheresis in acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease by Societa' Italiana di Emaferesi and Manipolazione Cellulare and Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo: a national survey to ascertain its degree of application in Italian transplant centers.

Transfusion 2018 01 13;58(1):217-222. Epub 2017 Nov 13.

Department of Internal Medicine, Marche University, Ancona, Italy.

Background: A recent "best practice" promoted and published by Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO) and Societa' Italiana di Emaferesi and Manipolazione Cellulare (SIDEM) on the use of extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) in acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) has been tested for the degree of agreement and application among Italian transplant centers.

Study Design And Methods: Twenty-four Italian centers coordinating a pair number of transplant programs completed the Web-based survey within the fixed deadline, representing approximately 52% of those centers that have a GITMO-accredited allogeneic transplant program that routinely uses ECP in GVHD.

Results: The level of full agreement was more than 85% for most of the answers given by the best practice (14 of 16) to the various issues. For the answers of two questions dealing with indications of ECP in acute GVHD and with safety and quality measures we observed a full agreement of 62 and 50%, respectively.

Conclusion: This report shows a very good success of best practice among Italian centers, indicating that, after 3 years, it seems to be still updated and useful. More discussion has been observed for safety and quality measures and, likely, this issue deserves a dedicated focus on a future consensus report.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.14400DOI Listing
January 2018

Immunomodulatory Effects of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor In Vitro and In Vivo Study.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 02 8;24(2):267-275. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Molecolari, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy; Clinica di Ematologia, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti, Ancona, Italy. Electronic address:

Pathogenesis of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is incompletely defined, involving donor-derived CD4 and CD8-positive T lymphocytes as well as B cells. Standard treatment is lacking for steroid-dependent/refractory cases; therefore, the potential usefulness of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has been suggested, based on their potent antifibrotic effect. However, TKIs seem to have pleiotropic activity. We sought to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo impact of different TKIs on lymphocyte phenotype and function. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy donors were cultured in the presence of increasing concentrations of nilotinib, imatinib, dasatinib, and ponatinib; in parallel, 44 PBMC samples from 15 patients with steroid-dependent/refractory cGVHD treated with nilotinib in the setting of a phase I/II trial were analyzed at baseline, after 90, and after 180 days of therapy. Flow cytometry was performed after labeling lymphocytes with a panel of monoclonal antibodies (CD3, CD4, CD16, CD56, CD25, CD19, CD45RA, FoxP3, CD127, and 7-amino actinomycin D). Cytokine production was assessed in supernatants of purified CD3 T cells and in plasma samples from nilotinib-treated patients. Main T lymphocyte subpopulations were not significantly affected by therapeutic concentrations of TKIs in vitro, whereas proinflammatory cytokine (in particular, IL-2, IFN-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, and IL-10) and IL-17 production showed a sharp decline. Frequency of T regulatory, B, and natural killer (NK) cells decreased progressively in presence of therapeutic concentrations of all TKIs tested in vitro, except for nilotinib, which showed little effect on these subsets. Of note, naive T regulatory cell (Treg) subset accumulated after exposure to TKIs. Results obtained in vivo on nilotinib-treated patients were largely comparable, both on lymphocyte subset kinetics and on cytokine production by CD3-positive cells. This study underlines the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of TKIs and supports their potential usefulness as treatment for patients with steroid-dependent/refractory cGVHD. In addition, both in vitro and in vivo data point out that compared with other TKIs, nilotinib could better preserve the integrity of some important regulatory subsets, such as Treg and NK cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.10.039DOI Listing
February 2018

Bone marrow adipocytes support hematopoietic stem cell survival.

J Cell Physiol 2018 Feb 3;233(2):1500-1511. Epub 2017 Aug 3.

Dipartimento Scienze Cliniche e Molecolari, Clinica di Ematologia, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.

In bone marrow (BM), hematopoietic elements are mingled with adipocytes (BM-A), which are the most abundant stromal component in the niche. BM-A progressively increase with aging, eventually occupying up to 50% of BM cavities. In this work, the role played by BM-A was explored by studying primary human BM-A isolated from hip surgery patients at the molecular level, through microarray analysis, and at the functional level, by assessing their relationship with primary human hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) by the long-term culture initiating cell (LTC-IC) assay. Findings demonstrated that BM-A are capable of supporting HSC survival in the LTC-IC assay, since after 5 weeks of co-culture, HSC were still able to proliferate and differentiate. Furthermore, critical molecules such as C-X-C motif chemokine 12 (CXCL12), interleukin (IL)-8, colony-stimulating factor 3 (CSF3), and leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF), were expressed at similar levels in BM-A and in primary human BM mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSC), whereas IL-3 was higher in BM-A. Interestingly, BM-A displayed a different gene expression profile compared with subcutaneous adipose tissue adipocytes (AT-A) collected from abdominal surgery patients, especially in terms of regulation of lipid metabolism, stemness genes, and white-to-brown differentiation pathways. Accordingly, analysis of the gene pathways involved in hematopoiesis regulation showed that BM-A are more closely related to BM-MSC than to AT-A. The present data suggest that BM-A play a supporting role in the hematopoietic niche and directly sustain HSC survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.26037DOI Listing
February 2018

Cost-effectiveness of on-demand plerixafor added to chemotherapy and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor for peripheral blood stem cell mobilization in multiple myeloma.

Leuk Lymphoma 2018 01 2;59(1):42-48. Epub 2017 Jun 2.

f Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica, CNR , Reggio Calabria , Italy.

We here report final results of a phase II/III prospective study that evaluated in Multiple Myeloma the use of on-demand plerixafor (PLX) added to mobilizing chemotherapy for patients showing predictive signs of mobilization failure. A total of 111 patients with MM were registered, all received cyclophosphamide 4 g/m and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). Overall, a successful CD34+ cell mobilization was achieved in 97.2% (108/111) of patients. Minimum harvest (≥2.0 × 10 CD34+ cells/kg) was achieved in 97.2% (108/111) and optimal harvest success (≥4.0 × 10 CD34+ cells/kg) was achieved in 84.6% (94/111). Multivariate analysis showed that patients who received on-demand PLX treatment had significantly higher likelihoods of successfully achieving both the minimal (p = .006) and optimal harvest (p = .05) in respect to a historical control group mobilized without any PLX. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, for each 1% increase in probability of achieving a successful minimal harvest, was €40.6 per patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2017.1324161DOI Listing
January 2018

Modern Management of Anthracycline-Induced Cardiotoxicity in Lymphoma Patients: Low Occurrence of Cardiotoxicity with Comprehensive Assessment and Tailored Substitution by Nonpegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin.

Oncologist 2017 04 8;22(4):422-431. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Clinica di Ematologia, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.

Background: Anthracyclines (AC) are still undeniable drugs in lymphoma treatment, despite occasionally causing cardiotoxicity. Liposomal AC may reduce cardiotoxicity while retaining clinical efficacy; also, biomarker monitoring during chemotherapy allows early detection of cardiac damage, enabling strategies to prevent left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) deterioration.

Materials And Methods: We conducted a prospective observational trial in a real-life population of lymphoma patients, combining advanced echocardiography and biomarkers (Troponin I [TnI]) for early detection of cardiotoxicity; we applied a prespecified policy to minimize cardiotoxicity, selecting patients with higher baseline risk to replace doxorubicin with nonpegylated liposomal doxorubicin (NPLD) and starting cardioprotective treatment when subclinical cardiotoxicity was detected.

Results: Ninety-nine patients received ≥1 cycle of chemotherapy (39 with NPLD): 38 (NPLD = 34) were older than 65 years. At baseline, the NPLD subgroup had more cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities than the doxorubicin subgroup. After treatment, echocardiographic parameters did not worsen in the NPLD subgroup; significant LVEF reduction occurred in two patients treated with doxorubicin. Over treatment course, TnI rises increased linearly in the doxorubicin subgroup but modestly in the NPLD subgroup. At doxorubicin doses >200 mg/m the difference was statistically significant, with more TnI rises in the doxorubicin subgroup. NPLD-treated patients did not experience higher rates of grade 3-4 adverse events. Within the diffuse large B-cell lymphomas category, we observed similar rates of complete and overall responses between doxorubicin- and NPLD-treated patients.

Conclusion: A comprehensive strategy to prevent, detect, and treat cardiotoxicity allows an optimal management of the lymphoma with low incidence of cardiac complications. 2017;22:422-431 IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Despite the recent advances of targeted therapy in cancer, old cytotoxic drugs such as anthracyclines (AC) still play a fundamental role in the treatment of many lymphoma patients. We tested and validated in a real-life setting a personalized approach to prevent, detect, and treat AC-induced cardiotoxicity; biomarker monitoring was accomplished by Troponin I measurements before and after chemotherapy infusions, allowing detection of early subclinical cardiotoxicity, which was preemptively treated with cardio-protectants (beta blockers and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors). A telemedicine system allowed interdisciplinary management of the patients with an expert cardiologist. Furthermore, tailored use of liposomal AC following a prespecified policy appeared to prevent the excess cardiotoxicity expected in high-risk patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2016-0289DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388379PMC
April 2017

Salvage Chemotherapy with R-DHAP in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Cancer Invest 2016 Sep 16;34(8):361-72. Epub 2016 Sep 16.

a Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO) , University Hospital Bonn , Bonn , Germany.

This analysis reports on 72 patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma who were treated with R-DHAP salvage chemotherapy regimen followed by high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation. The overall remission rate was 58.3%. Median time of follow-up was 28.7 months. Median progression-free survival was 29 months, estimated median overall survival was 37 months. Within a matched pair analysis these results were compared to a group that received DHAP salvage therapy without rituximab showing similar overall response rates and better estimated five-year overall survival of 59.2% versus 43.5%. R-DHAP therapy was shown to be effective and feasible with acceptable toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07357907.2016.1212062DOI Listing
September 2016

DNA demethylating therapy reverts mesenchymal stromal cells derived from high risk myelodysplastic patients to a normal phenotype.

Br J Haematol 2017 06 22;177(5):818-822. Epub 2016 Apr 22.

Clinica di Ematologia, Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Molecolari, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.14115DOI Listing
June 2017

Addition of Rituximab to Involved-Field Radiation Therapy Prolongs Progression-free Survival in Stage I-II Follicular Lymphoma: Results of a Multicenter Study.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2016 Mar 17;94(4):783-91. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Division of Medical Oncology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, and University of Milano, Milano, Italy.

Purpose: Rituximab (Rit) therapy added to involved-field radiation therapy (RT) has been proposed as an effective treatment for stage I-II follicular lymphoma (FL). The results of an observational multicenter study on the Rit-RT combination in limited-stage FL are here reported.

Methods And Materials: Data have been collected from 2 consecutive cohorts of 94 patients with stage I-II FL treated between 1985 and 2011 at 5 Italian institutions. All patients had grade 1-3a FL, a median age of 54 years (range: 25-82). The first 51 patients received RT alone (control group), while the subsequent series of 43 patients received 4 rituximab courses (375 mg/m(2), days 1, 8, 15, 22) before RT (Rit-RT). Molecular disease was evaluated by nested bcl-2/IgH PCR or clonal IgH rearrangement was available in 33 Rit-RT patients.

Results: At a median follow-up of 10.9 years (range: 1.8-22.9), the 10-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) projections for the whole cohort were 57% and 87.5%, respectively. The 10-year PFS was significantly longer (P<.05) in the Rit-RT group (64.6%) compared to RT alone (50.7%), whereas the 10-year OS projections were not significantly different. On bivariate analysis controlling for stage, there was only a trend toward improved PFS for Rit-RT (HR, 0.55; P=.081). Follicular lymphoma international prognostic index and age were associated with OS but not with PFS on Cox regression analysis. Bone marrow molecular analysis showing PCR positivity at diagnosis was strongly associated with relapse risk upon univariate and multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: This multicenter observational study suggests a potential benefit of adding rituximab to radiation therapy for stage I-II FL. The results of the currently ongoing randomized studies are required to confirm these results. The study underlines the importance of molecular disease monitoring also for patient with limited-stage disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2015.12.019DOI Listing
March 2016

Consensus recommendations for improvement of unmet clinical needs--the example of chronic graft-versus-host disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Lancet Haematol 2015 Jul 16;2(7):e297-305. Epub 2015 Jun 16.

Clinica Medica, Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria "Ospedali Riuniti", Ancona, Italy.

Background: Consensus recommendations are used to improve the methodology of research about rare disorders, but their uptake is unknown. We studied the uptake of consensus recommendations in steroid-refractory chronic graft-versus-host disease (SR-cGVHD). Although in 2006 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cGVHD consensus project produced recommendations for clinical trials, guidelines have emphasised the scarcity of valuable evidence for all tested interventions.

Methods: We searched Medline (PubMed) between Jan 1, 1998, and Oct 1, 2013, for non-randomised studies of systemic treatment for SR-cGVHD. To measure adherence to NIH recommendations, we applied a 61 item checklist derived from the NIH consensus document. We did a meta-analysis to measure pooled effect size for overall response rate (ORR) and meta-regression analyses to measure the effect of deviations from NIH recommendations on pooled effect size.

Findings: We included 82 studies related to nine interventions. Conformity to NIH recommendations was evenly low across the analysed timeframe (1998-2013), and did not change significantly after publication of NIH recommendations. The pooled effect size for ORR for systemic treatment of SR-cGVHD was 0.66 (95% CI 0.62-0.70). Increased adherence to NIH recommendations in a score of items defining correct response assessment was associated with a significant reduction in ORR (-4.2%, 95% CI -6.6 to -1.9; p=0.001). We recorded no significant association between ORR and sets of items related to correct diagnostic definition of SR-cGVHD (change in ORR -3.1%, 95% CI -7.7 to 1.5), specification of primary intervention (0, -3.8 to 3.6), or concomitant treatments (-1.6%, -5.4 to 2.3). The score of items defining correct response assessment increased after publication of NIH recommendations.

Interpretation: Our findings show evidence of bias in the reported efficacy of treatment of SR-cGVHD. The overall effect of NIH recommendations in scientific literature is scarce; however, NIH recommendations improved assessment of response, possibly reducing the overestimation bias. Better implementation of NIH recommendations might reduce false expectations about new interventions, and thus prevent clinical studies with ineffective treatments.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(15)00095-2DOI Listing
July 2015

Interaction between human mature adipocytes and lymphocytes induces T-cell proliferation.

Cytotherapy 2015 Sep;17(9):1292-301

Clinica di Ematologia, Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Molecolari, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.

Background Aims: Adipose tissue is a critical organ that plays a major role in energy balance regulation and the immune response through intricate signals.

Methods: We report on the inter-relation between mature adipocytes and lymphocytes in terms of adipocyte-derived T-cell chemo-attractants and adipocyte metabolic effects on lymphocytes.

Results: During the culture time, mature adipocytes changed their structural and functional properties into de-differentiated cells. Isolated mature adipocytes expressed significantly higher levels of CIITA, major histocompatibility complex II (human leukocyte antigen [HLA]-DR) and costimulatory signal molecule CD80 compared with adipocytes after the de-differentiation process. Moreover, human leukocyte antigen-G, which may prevent the immune responses of mesenchymal stromal cells, was expressed at lower level in mature adipocytes compared with de-differentiated adipocytes. In line with these molecular data, functional results showed different immunoregulatory properties between adipocytes before and after the de-differentiation process. Mature adipocytes stimulated the proliferation of total lymphocytes and immunoselected cell populations CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ in a direct contact-dependent way that involved the major histocompatibility complex I and II pathways. Moreover, adipocytes secreted potential chemo-attractant factors, but data showed that adipocyte-derived culture medium was not sufficient to activate lymphocyte proliferation, suggesting that a direct contact between adipocytes and immune cells was needed. However, specific mature adipocyte cytokines enhanced lymphocyte proliferation in a mixed lymphocyte reaction.

Conclusions: In conclusion, cross-talk occurs between adipocytes and lymphocytes within adipose tissue involving T-cell chemo-attraction by mature adipocytes. Our findings, together with current observations in the field, provide a rationale to identify adipocyte-lymphocyte cross-talk that instigates adipose inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcyt.2015.06.007DOI Listing
September 2015

Measuring therapeutic response in chronic graft-versus-host disease. National Institutes of Health consensus development project on criteria for clinical trials in chronic graft-versus-host disease: IV. The 2014 Response Criteria Working Group report.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2015 Jun 19;21(6):984-99. Epub 2015 Mar 19.

Outcomes Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. Electronic address:

In 2005, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease (GVHD) Consensus Response Criteria Working Group recommended several measures to document serial evaluations of chronic GVHD organ involvement. Provisional definitions of complete response, partial response, and progression were proposed for each organ and for overall outcome. Based on publications over the last 9 years, the 2014 Working Group has updated its recommendations for measures and interpretation of organ and overall responses. Major changes include elimination of several clinical parameters from the determination of response, updates to or addition of new organ scales to assess response, and the recognition that progression excludes minimal, clinically insignificant worsening that does not usually warrant a change in therapy. The response definitions have been revised to reflect these changes and are expected to enhance reliability and practical utility of these measures in clinical trials. Clarification is provided about response assessment after the addition of topical or organ-targeted treatment. Ancillary measures are strongly encouraged in clinical trials. Areas suggested for additional research include criteria to identify irreversible organ damage and validation of the modified response criteria, including in the pediatric population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.02.025DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4744804PMC
June 2015

Fatal necrotizing angiotropic Epstein-Barr virus-negative large B-cell lymphoma: a case report with unusual clinicopathological features in-between lymphomatoid granulomatosis and T-cell/histiocyte-rich large B-cell lymphoma.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2014 Dec;93(29):e353

From the Haematology Clinic, Department of Clinical and Molecular Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona (AO, ST, FS, G. Gini, PL, JO); Haematopathology Unit, Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna (ES, SAP); Pathologic Anatomy Unit, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona (G. Goteri); and Internal Medicine Unit, Senigallia Hospital, Senigallia (AS), Italy.

In the spectrum of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL), both T-cell/histiocyte-rich large B-cell lymphoma (TCHRBCL) and most lymphomatoid granulomatosis (LG) cases are characterized by the relative rarity of the neoplastic B-cell population, with respect to the overwhelming non-neoplastic counterpart of T cells or histiocytes. Here we report a case of aggressive B-cell lymphoma with unusual clinicopathological features partially overlapping these two entities. The patient was a previously healthy 55-year-old male, presenting with a computed tomography finding of a pelvic mass, inguinal lymphadenopathies, and pulmonary nodules. Two excisional lymph node biopsies resulted inconclusive for lymphoproliferative disease. Because of a colonic perforation, the patient underwent an urgent laparotomy, which disclosed a large pelvic abscess. The pathological examination of the surgical specimen could not discriminate between a primary aggressive B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder and an abnormal inflammatory hyper-reaction. The patient developed a septic state, not resolving until death, which occurred because of an abdominal hemorrhage. A second perimortem surgical specimen consisting of a nodal mass revealed a diagnosis of an Epstein-Barr virus-negative high-grade large B-cell lymphoma with massive necrosis, angiocentric pattern of growth, and prominent T-cell infiltrate. The unique clinicopathological features did not allow to classify this tumor within any of the recognized WHO entities, potentially representing a new clinicopathological variant of DLBCL in-between TCHRBCL and LG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000000353DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4602609PMC
December 2014

Plasticity of human dedifferentiated adipocytes toward endothelial cells.

Exp Hematol 2015 Feb 24;43(2):137-46. Epub 2014 Oct 24.

Clinica di Ematologia, Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Molecolari, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.

The process of cellular differentiation in terminally differentiated cells is thought to be irreversible, and these cells are thought to be incapable of differentiating into distinct cell lineages. Our previous study showed that mature adipocytes represent an alternative source of mesenchymal stem cells. Here, results showed the capacity of mature adipocytes to differentiate into endothelial-like cells, using the ability of these cells to revert into an immature phase without any relievable chromosomal alterations. Mature adipocytes were isolated from human omental and subcutaneous fat and were dedifferentiated in vitro. The resulting cells were subcultivated for endothelial differentiation and were analyzed for their expression of specific genes and proteins. Endothelial-like cells were harvested from the differentiation medium and were traditionally cultured to evaluate the endothelial markers and the karyotype. Cells cultured in specific medium formed tube-like structures and expressed several endothelial marker genes and proteins. The endothelial-like cells expressed significantly higher levels of vascular endothelium growth factor receptor 2, vascular endothelial cadherin, Von Willebrand factor, and CD133 than the untreated cells. These cells were positively stained for CD31 and vascular endothelial cadherin, markers of mature endothelial cells. Moreover, the low-density lipoprotein-uptake assay demonstrated a functionally endothelial differentiation of these cells. When these cells were harvested and reseeded in basal medium, they lost the endothelial markers and reacquired the typical mesenchymal stem cell markers and the ability to expand in a short time period. Moreover, karyotype analysis showed that these cells reverted into an immature phase without any karyotype alterations. In conclusion, the results showed that adipocytes exhibited a great plasticity toward the endothelial lineage, suggesting their possible use in cell therapy applications for vascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exphem.2014.10.003DOI Listing
February 2015

Glial-like differentiation potential of human mature adipocytes.

J Mol Neurosci 2015 Jan 10;55(1):91-98. Epub 2014 Jul 10.

Clinica di Ematologia, Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Molecolari, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Tronto, 60020, Ancona, Italy.

The potential ability to differentiate dedifferentiated adipocytes into a neural lineage is attracting strong interest as an emerging method of producing model cells for the treatment of a variety of neurological diseases. Here, we describe the efficient conversion of dedifferentiated adipocytes into a neural-like cell population. These cells grew in neurosphere-like structures and expressed a high level of the early neuroectodermal marker Nestin. These neurospheres could proliferate and express stemness genes, suggesting that these cells could be committed to the neural lineage. After neural induction, NeuroD1, Sox1, Double Cortin, and Eno2 were not expressed. Patch clamp data did not reveal different electrophysiological properties, indicating the inability of these cells to differentiate into mature neurons. In contrast, the differentiated cells expressed a high level of CLDN11, as demonstrated using molecular method, and stained positively for the glial cell markers CLDN11 and GFAP, as demonstrated using immunocytochemistry. These data were confirmed by quantitative results for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor production, which showed a higher secretion level in neurospheres and the differentiated cells compared with the untreated cells. In conclusion, our data demonstrate morphological, molecular, and immunocytochemical evidence of initial neural differentiation of mature adipocytes, committing to a glial lineage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12031-014-0345-0DOI Listing
January 2015

A novel homozygous stop-codon mutation in human HFE responsible for nonsense-mediated mRNA decay.

Blood Cells Mol Dis 2014 Sep 9;53(3):138-43. Epub 2014 Jun 9.

Clinic of Hematology, Hospital-University Company "Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona", Via Conca, 60126 Ancona, Italy.

HFE-hemochromatosis (HH) is an autosomal disease characterized by excessive iron absorption. Homozygotes for H63D variant, and still less H63D heterozygotes, generally do not express HH phenotype. The data collected in our previous study in the province of Matera (Basilicata, Italy) underlined that some H63D carriers showed altered iron metabolism, without additional factors. In this study, we selected a cohort of 10/22 H63D carriers with severe biochemical iron overload (BIO). Additional analysis was performed for studying HFE exons, exon-intron boundaries, and untranslated regions (UTRs) by performing DNA extraction, PCR amplification and sequencing. The results showed a novel substitution (NM_000410.3:c.847C>T) in a patient exon 4 (GenBankJQ478433); it introduces a premature stop-codon (PTC). RNA extraction and reverse-transcription were also performed. Quantitative real-time PCR was carried out for verifying if our aberrant mRNA is targeted for nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD); we observed that patient HFE mRNA was expressed much less than calibrator, suggesting that the mutated HFE protein cannot play its role in iron metabolism regulation, resulting in proband BIO. Our finding is the first evidence of a variation responsible for a PTC in iron cycle genes. The genotype-phenotype correlation observed in our cases could be related to the additional mutation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcmd.2014.04.010DOI Listing
September 2014

Mobilization-driven postconsolidation therapy in elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia: feasibility and efficacy of autologous stem cell transplantation versus low-dose gemtuzumab ozogamicin.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Sep 28;20(9):1399-406. Epub 2014 May 28.

Hematology Department, University of Ancona, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona, Torrette di Ancona, Italy. Electronic address:

We prospectively evaluated 2 postconsolidation strategies, administered according to the mobilization outcome, in 72 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) fit elderly patients, achieving complete remission after the first high-dose cytarabine-based induction. Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) was performed in patients collecting ≥3 × 10(6) CD34(+)/kg and low-dose gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) was performed in poor mobilizers (collecting <3 × 10(6) CD34(+)/kg). Fifty-five patients (76.3%) underwent peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) mobilization, after first consolidation, and 24 of 55 (44%) collected >3 × 10(6) CD34(+) cells/kg. Among the 55 patients eligible for PBSC mobilization, 7 did not receive the planned treatment, 23 were allocated for ASCT, and 25 were allocated for GO on an intention-to-treat basis. With a median follow-up of 70 months (range, 24 to 124), 20 of 55 patients are alive, 18 of them in continuous complete remission. The 8-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) are, respectively, 35.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 24% to 49.8%) and 31.2% (95% CI, 21% to 43.8%), median OS and DFS were 22 and 16 months, respectively. In multivariate analysis, postconsolidation treatment and hyperleukocytosis (WBC > 50,000/μL) significantly predicted OS and DFS, whereas secondary AML was significantly associated with a higher relapse rate (83.4% versus 54% of de novo AML). Patients with hyperleukocytosis had 0% 3-year OS versus the 46% (at 8 years) in patients without hyperleukocytosis (P = .01); 57% of patients in the GO arm are alive at 8 years, compared with 25.4% of patients in the ASCT arm, who had an overall relative risk (RR) of death of 2.6 (95% CI, 1.2 to 5.8; P = .02). DFS at 8 years was 45.3% in patients receiving GO, compared with 26% in ASCT arm (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1 to 4.3; P = .05). Our study outlines low feasibility and efficacy of ASCT in elderly AML patients, whereas postconsolidation with GO appears safe and effective in this unfavorable setting. The study was registered at Umin Clinical Trial Registry (www.umin.ac.jp/ctr), number R000014052.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.05.019DOI Listing
September 2014

Very low rate of readmission after an early discharge outpatient model for autografting in multiple myeloma patients: an Italian multicenter retrospective study.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Jul 31;20(7):1026-32. Epub 2014 Mar 31.

Clinica di Ematologia, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti, Ancona, Italy.

We analyzed the main modalities and clinical outcomes of the early discharge outpatient model in autologous stem cell transplantation (EDOM-ASCT) for multiple myeloma in Italy. EDOM-ASCT was employed in 382 patients, for a total of 522 procedures, between 1998 and 2012. Our study showed high homogeneity among centers in terms of inclusion criteria, supportive care, and in hospital readmission criteria. Overall, readmissions during the aplastic phase occurred in 98 of 522 transplantations (18.8%). The major extrahematological complication was neutropenic fever in 161 cases (30.8%), which required readmission in 76 cases. The incidence of severe World Health Organization grade 3 to 4 mucositis was 9.6%. By univariate analysis, fever, mucositis, altered renal function at diagnosis, second transplantation, and transplantation performed late in the course of the disease were significantly correlated with readmission, whereas fever, mucositis, altered renal function, and timing of transplantation remained the only independent predictors by multivariate analysis. Overall, transplantation-related mortality was 1.0%. No center effect was observed in this study (P = .36). The safety and low rate of readmission of the EDOM-ASCT in myeloma trial suggest that this strategy could be extended to other transplantation centers if a stringent patient selection and appropriate management are applied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.03.027DOI Listing
July 2014

A policy for the disposal of autologous hematopoietic progenitor cells: report from an Italian consensus panel.

Transfusion 2014 Sep 24;54(9):2353-60. Epub 2014 Mar 24.

Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale, UOS Aferesi e Nuove Tecnologie Trasfusionali, A. O. San Gerardo, Monza, Italy.

Background: Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) requires collection and cryopreservation of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs), which in turn may be partially or never reinfused. Thus, HPC storage has become a logistic, ethical, and economic issue. SIDEM, GITMO, and CNT/ISS endorsed a project aimed to define national criteria for HPC disposal aimed to guarantee appropriateness and equity.

Study Design And Methods: A multidisciplinary panel was convened including HPC harvest and manipulation experts from apheresis units, hematologists with clinical expertise in ASCT, a representative of the national health authority, and a bioethicist. An analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was carried out to select disposal criteria.

Results: The AHP selected two criteria for prompt disposal of freshly collected HPCs: an abnormal freezing procedure causing highly reduced viability or major microbiology contamination. Moreover, AHP selected six major criteria, each one of them allowing for the disposal of stored HPC units: patient death, withdrawal of consent to ASCT, contraindications or loss of indications to ASCT, a damaged label that prevents correct identification of the unit, and time elapsed since harvest longer than 10 years. Three minor criteria were additionally identified that allowed to anticipate disposal only provided that viability levels are below the limit of acceptance: a documented cold chain interruption, loss of bag integrity, and total amount of stored CD34+ cells lower than 1 × 10(6) /kg or lower than 2 × 10(6)/kg in patients with a successfully completed stem cell transplantation program.

Conclusions: A formal consensus process allowed SIDEM and GITMO to propose a policy for autologous HPC disposal that fulfills clinical, ethical, and economic criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.12619DOI Listing
September 2014

Incidence and outcome of invasive fungal diseases after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: a prospective study of the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO).

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Jun 14;20(6):872-80. Epub 2014 Mar 14.

First Medical Division of Onco-hematology, Ospedale Civile di Piacenza, Piacenza, Italy.

Epidemiologic investigation of invasive fungal diseases (IFDs) in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) may be useful to identify subpopulations who might benefit from targeted treatment strategies. The Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO) prospectively registered data on 1858 consecutive patients undergoing allo-HSCT between 2008 and 2010. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors for proven/probable IFD (PP-IFD) during the early (days 0 to 40), late (days 41 to 100), and very late (days 101 to 365) phases after allo-HSCT and to evaluate the impact of PP-IFDs on 1-year overall survival. The cumulative incidence of PP-IFDs was 5.1% at 40 days, 6.7% at 100 days, and 8.8% at 12 months post-transplantation. Multivariate analysis identified the following variables as associated with PP-IFDs: transplant from an unrelated volunteer donor or cord blood, active acute leukemia at the time of transplantation, and an IFD before transplantation in the early phase; transplant from an unrelated volunteer donor or cord blood and grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in the late phase; and grade II-IV acute GVHD and extensive chronic GVHD in the very late phase. The risk for PP-IFD was significantly higher when acute GVHD was followed by chronic GVHD and when acute GVHD occurred in patients undergoing transplantation with grafts from other than matched related donors. The presence of PP-IFD was an independent factor in long-term survival (hazard ratio, 2.90; 95% confidence interval, 2.32 to 3.62; P < .0001). Our findings indicate that tailored prevention strategies may be useful in subpopulations at differing levels of risk for PP-IFDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.03.004DOI Listing
June 2014

Impact of cytomegalovirus replication and cytomegalovirus serostatus on the outcome of patients with B cell lymphoma after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Jun 28;20(6):885-90. Epub 2014 Feb 28.

Department of Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy; Department of Hematology, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) replication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) was historically associated with increased nonrelapse mortality (NRM). More recently, different groups have reported an association between CMV replication and reduced risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) relapse. Given the conflicting results, we evaluated the impact of CMV replication and other covariates on the outcome of a retrospective cohort of 265 adults with B cell lymphoma receiving allogeneic HSCT from HLA-identical siblings or alternative donors. In time-dependent multivariate analysis, CMV replication, evaluated by pp65 antigenemia, had no independent effect on the risk of relapse (hazard ratio [HR], 1.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], .6 to 1.6; P = .9), although it was associated with a reduced overall survival (HR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3 to 3.2; P = .001) and an increased NRM (HR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.1 to 5.3; P = .01). Consistently, donor and/or recipient CMV seropositivity were not associated with a different outcome relative to CMV double-negative serostatus. In multivariate models, a diagnosis of follicular lymphoma (P < .0001) and pretransplantation complete remission status (P < .0001) were the main independent predictors for improved relapse-free survival. In summary, contrary to what is observed in patients with AML, this report identifies no independent role for CMV replication or serostatus on the relapse of patients with B cell lymphomas undergoing allogeneic HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.02.015DOI Listing
June 2014

The effects of cannabidiol and its synergism with bortezomib in multiple myeloma cell lines. A role for transient receptor potential vanilloid type-2.

Int J Cancer 2014 Jun 2;134(11):2534-46. Epub 2013 Dec 2.

Section of Experimental Medicine, School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell (PC) malignancy characterised by the accumulation of a monoclonal PC population in the bone marrow (BM). Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with antitumoural activities, and the transient receptor potential vanilloid type-2 (TRPV2) channel has been reported as a potential CBD receptor. TRPV2 activation by CBD decreases proliferation and increases susceptibility to drug-induced cell death in human cancer cells. However, no functional role has been ascribed to CBD and TRPV2 in MM. In this study, we identified the presence of heterogeneous CD138+TRPV2+ and CD138+TRPV2- PC populations in MM patients, whereas only the CD138+ TRPV2- population was present in RPMI8226 and U266 MM cell lines. Because bortezomib (BORT) is commonly used in MM treatment, we investigated the effects of CBD and BORT in CD138+TRPV2- MM cells and in MM cell lines transfected with TRPV2 (CD138+TRPV2+). These results showed that CBD by itself or in synergy with BORT strongly inhibited growth, arrested cell cycle progression and induced MM cells death by regulating the ERK, AKT and NF-κB pathways with major effects in TRPV2+ cells. These data provide a rationale for using CBD to increase the activity of proteasome inhibitors in MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.28591DOI Listing
June 2014

Kinetics of the use of cryopreserved autologous stem cell grafts: a GITMO-SIDEM survey.

Cytotherapy 2014 Jan 26;16(1):101-10. Epub 2013 Oct 26.

Hematology Clinic, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy. Electronic address:

Background Aims: Hematopoietic stem cell cryopreservation significantly contributed to autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Cryopreserved stem cell units (SCU) are expected to be used soon after harvesting for most purposes, but, in a number of cases, they remain stored for some time, creating an increasing load for SCU depositories. Disposal policies vary widely in each center, and the existing guidelines are insufficient.

Methods: We conducted a survey of seven Gruppo Italiano Trapianto di Midollo Osseo centers to investigate the outcome of SCU harvested from January 2005 to December 2009 for ASCT. The data from 1603 collections were gathered, for a total of 5822 SCU.

Results: In our cohort, 79% of patients collected >5 × 10⁶ CD34+ cells/kg, and 3.4% collected <2 × 10⁶ CD34+ cells/kg. Up to 21% of all the patients and 42% of those with acute leukemia did not undergo reinfusion, and 37% of the cryopreserved SCU were excess, resulting from patients not reinfusing or partially reinfusing. Less than one-third of the excess SCU was disposed, and the major causes of disposal were death and, in a minority of cases, withdrawal of the indication for ASCT. In our analysis, very few first reinfusions occurred after 2 years, and those after 5 years were exceptional. Through the use of a multivariate analysis, we sought to identify the risk factors for collection non-use, independent of the centers' policies. Non-use of SCU was significantly associated with patients with acute leukemia, collections of <2 × 10⁶ CD34/kg and lower age groups.

Conclusions: These data serve as a valid basis to support rational recommendations for cost-effective storage and disposal of SCU.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcyt.2013.07.001DOI Listing
January 2014
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