Publications by authors named "Bernd Metzner"

47 Publications

Long-term remissions in patients with early relapse of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma following high-dose chemotherapy, autologous stem cell transplantation, and radiotherapy of residual disease.

Strahlenther Onkol 2021 Nov 4. Epub 2021 Nov 4.

Department of Oncology and Hematology, Klinikum Oldenburg, University Clinic, Rahel-Straus-Str. 10, 26133, Oldenburg, Germany.

Purpose: The prognosis of an early relapse of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) appears to be poor following autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). The aim of this study is to contribute data to the open question on whether additional radiotherapy can improve the outcome.

Patients And Methods: Forty-eight patients with an early relapse (median 4 months after the end of initial immunochemotherapy, range 1-11) of DLBCL have been treated in our institution with high-dose therapy (usually the BEAM protocol) and ASCT since 2008 (median age 61 years, range 28-73). Twenty-three patients received ASCT in a second treatment line, 25 in a third line (19 refractory to second-line salvage therapy, 5 after second relapse). Fifteen of these 48 patients received radiotherapy (36-50 Gy, median 40) of residual masses after ASCT.

Results: Three-year overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) after second-line ASCT were 61 and 57%, after third-line ASCT 47 and 44%, respectively, without significant differences. A prognostic factor was the International Prognostic Index (IPI) at the start of salvage therapy. Three-year OS and PFS in low-risk patients were 69 and 69%, in low-intermediate-risk 63 and 53%, and in high-intermediate-risk 23 and 23%, respectively (p = 0.033). Twenty-three patients achieved a sustained complete remission (13-146 months, median 62).

Conclusion: Sustained long-term remissions can be achieved in patients with early relapse of DLBCL following ASCT in a second or third treatment line, particularly in patients with low- and low-intermediate-risk IPI, following radiotherapy of residual disease after ASCT. Further investigations are required to clarify which patients need an alternative therapy (potentially CAR T‑cells or allogeneic transplantation).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00066-021-01868-0DOI Listing
November 2021

Long-term survival of patients with mantle cell lymphoma after autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in first remission: a post-hoc analysis of an open-label, multicentre, randomised, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Sep;8(9):e648-e657

Department of Medicine III, University Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany; Institute of Medical Information Processing, Biometry and Epidemiology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

Background: Autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) in first remission is the current standard treatment in fit patients with mantle cell lymphoma. In this long-term follow-up study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of autologous HSCT versus interferon alfa maintenance after chemotherapy without or with rituximab in patients with primary advanced-stage mantle cell lymphoma.

Methods: We did a post-hoc, long-term analysis of an open-label, multicentre, randomised, phase 3 trial done in 121 participating hospitals or practices across six European countries. Patients who were aged 18-65 years with previously untreated stage III-IV mantle cell lymphoma and an ECOG performance score of 0-2 were eligible for participation. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either myeloablative radiochemotherapy (fractionated total body irradiation with 12 Gy/day 6-4 days before autologous HSCT and cyclophosphamide 60 mg/kg per day intravenously 3-2 days before autologous HSCT) followed by autologous HSCT (the autologous HSCT group) or interferon alfa maintenance (the interferon alfa maintenance group; 6 × 10 IU three times a week subcutaneously until progression) after completion of CHOP-like induction therapy (cyclophosphamide 750 mg/m intravenously on day 1, doxorubicin 50 mg/m intravenously on day 1, vincristine 1·4 mg/m [maximum 2 mg] intravenously on day 1, and prednisone 100 mg/m orally on days 1-5; repeated every 21 days for up to 6 cycles) without or with rituximab (375 mg/m intravenously on day 0 or 1 of each cycle; R-CHOP). The primary outcome was progression-free survival from end of induction until progression or death among patients who had a remission and the secondary outcome was overall survival from the end of induction until death from any cause. We did comparisons of progression-free survival and overall survival according to the intention-to-treat principle between both groups among responding patients and explored efficacy in subgroups according to induction treatment without or with rituximab. Hazard ratios (HRs) were adjusted for the mantle cell lymphoma international prognostic index (MIPI) numerical score, and in the total group also for rituximab use (adjusted HR [aHR]). This trial was started before preregistration was implemented and is therefore not registered, recruitment is closed, and this is the final evaluation.

Findings: Between Sept 30, 1996, and July 1, 2004, 269 patients were randomly assigned to receive either autologous HSCT or interferon alfa maintenance therapy. The median follow-up was 14 years (IQR 10-16), with the intention-to-treat population consisting of 174 patients (93 [53%] in the autologous HSCT group and 81 [47%] in the interferon alfa maintenance group) who responded to induction therapy. The median age was 55 years (IQR 47-60), and R-CHOP was used in 68 (39%) of 174 patients. The median progression-free survival was 3·3 years (95% CI 2·5-4·3) in the autologous HSCT group versus 1·5 years (1·2-2·0) in the interferon alfa maintenance group (log-rank p<0·0001; aHR 0·50 [95% CI 0·36-0·69]). The median overall survival was 7·5 years (95% CI 5·7-12·0) in the autologous HSCT group versus 4·8 years (4·0-6·6) in the interferon alfa maintenance group (log-rank p=0·019; aHR 0·66 [95% CI 0·46-0·95]). For patients treated without rituximab, the progression-free survival adjusted HR for autologous HSCT versus interferon alfa was 0·40 (0·26-0·61), in comparison to 0·72 (0·42-1·24) for patients treated with rituximab. For overall survival, the adjusted hazard ratio for HSCT versus interferon alfa was 0·52 (0·33-0·82) without rituximab and 1·05 (0·55-1·99) for patients who received rituximab.

Interpretation: Our results confirm the long-term efficacy of autologous HSCT to treat mantle cell lymphoma established in the pre-rituximab era. The suggested reduced efficacy after immunochemotherapy supports the need for its re-evaluation now that antibody maintenance, high-dose cytarabine, and targeted treatments have changed the standard of care for patients with mantle cell lymphoma.

Funding: Deutsche Krebshilfe, the European Community, and the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Kompetenznetz Maligne Lymphome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(21)00195-2DOI Listing
September 2021

Long-term outcome in patients with follicular lymphoma following high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation.

Eur J Haematol 2021 Nov 3;107(5):543-552. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Department of Medicine II, University of Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Germany.

Objective: To contribute data on long-term outcome and potential curative impact of ASCT in FL, especially following HDT with the BEAM protocol (BCNU, etoposide, cytarabine and melphalan), given very limited data on this topic in the literature.

Patients And Methods: Patients with FL (n = 76) were treated in our institution with HDT and ASCT. In the case of long-term remission (≥8 years), peripheral blood was tested for minimal residual disease by t(14;18)- and IGH-PCR, including the last follow-up.

Results: 10-year overall survival, progression-free survival, and freedom from progression (FFP) after first-line ASCT (n = 20) were 80%, 60%, and 69%, after second-line ASCT (n = 48, following BEAM) 66%, 38%, and 41%, after third/fourth-line ASCT (n = 8) 33%, 25%, and 25%, respectively. Prognostic factors for FFP were treatment line and FLIPI (Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index). 10-year FFP for second-line ASCT and low-risk FLIPI at relapse was 69%, intermediate-risk 28%, and high-risk 25% (P < .05). 26 patients developed sustained long-term clinical and molecular remissions of up to 27 years.

Conclusions: Sustained long-term clinical and molecular complete remissions up to 27 years can be achieved following ASCT (including HDT with BEAM in second treatment line), indicating a potential curative impact of ASCT in FL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13691DOI Listing
November 2021

Full or intensity-reduced high-dose melphalan and single or double autologous stem cell transplant with or without bortezomib consolidation in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Eur J Haematol 2021 Nov 28;107(5):529-542. Epub 2021 Aug 28.

Universitätsklinikum Würzburg, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik II, Würzburg, Germany.

Objective: A post hoc subgroup analysis of two phase III trials (NCT00416273, NCT00416208) was carried out to investigate the influence of 100/140 and 200 mg/m² melphalan as well as single/double autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) on progression-free survival (PFS). Additionally, the effect of bortezomib consolidation on PFS was analyzed.

Methods: Following induction therapy and high-dose melphalan with subsequent ASCT, patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) were randomized 1:1 to either four 35-day cycles of bortezomib consolidation (1.6 mg/m² IV on days 1, 8, 15, 22) or observation.

Results: Of the 340 patients included in this analysis, 13.5% received 1 × MEL100/140, 22.9% 2 × MEL100/140, 31.2% 1 × MEL200, and 32.4% 2 × MEL200. With higher cumulative melphalan dose, PFS improved (P = .0085). PFS curves of patients treated with 2 × MEL100/140 and 1 × MEL200 were very similar. The superior dose effect of MEL200 over MEL100/140 was non-existent in the bortezomib consolidation arm but pronounced in the observation arm (P = .0015). Similarly, double ASCT was only beneficial in patients without bortezomib consolidation (P = .0569).

Conclusions: Full dose melphalan and double transplantation seem advantageous only as long as patients are not receiving bortezomib consolidation afterwards.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13690DOI Listing
November 2021

Kinetics of Renal Function during Induction in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma: Results of Two Prospective Studies by the German Myeloma Study Group DSMM.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 16;13(6). Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Munich Hospital Schwabing, 80804 Munich, Germany.

Background: Preservation of kidney function in newly diagnosed (ND) multiple myeloma (MM) helps to prevent excess toxicity. Patients (pts) from two prospective trials were analyzed, provided postinduction (PInd) restaging was performed. Pts received three cycles with bortezomib (btz), cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone (dex; VCD) or btz, lenalidomide (len), and dex (VRd) or len, adriamycin, and dex (RAD). The minimum required estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was >30 mL/min. We analyzed the percent change of the renal function using the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) criteria and Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO)-defined categories.

Results: Seven hundred and seventy-two patients were eligible. Three hundred and fifty-six received VCD, 214 VRd, and 202 RAD. VCD patients had the best baseline eGFR. The proportion of pts with eGFR <45 mL/min decreased from 7.3% at baseline to 1.9% PInd ( < 0.0001). Thirty-seven point one percent of VCD versus 49% of VRd patients had a decrease of GFR ( = 0.0872). IMWG-defined "renal complete response (CRrenal)" was achieved in 17/25 (68%) pts after VCD, 12/19 (63%) after RAD, and 14/27 (52%) after VRd ( = 0.4747).

Conclusions: Analyzing a large and representative newly diagnosed myeloma (NDMM) group, we found no difference in CRrenal that occurred independently from the myeloma response across the three regimens. A trend towards deterioration of the renal function with VRd versus VCD may be explained by a better pretreatment "renal fitness" in the latter group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061322DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7999479PMC
March 2021

Rituximab plus high-dose chemotherapy (MegaCHOEP) or conventional chemotherapy (CHOEP-14) in young, high-risk patients with aggressive B-cell lymphoma: 10-year follow-up of a randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Apr 2;8(4):e267-e277. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Medicine A, Haematology, Oncology, and Pneumology, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: R-MegaCHOEP was the first phase 3 study comparing high-dose chemotherapy plus rituximab followed by autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) with conventional chemotherapy plus rituximab in first-line therapy for patients aged 60 years or younger with high-risk aggressive B-cell lymphoma. Little is known about the long-term outcomes of these patients. We aimed to evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of conventional chemotherapy versus high-dose chemotherapy after 10 years of follow-up in the R-MegaCHOEP trial.

Methods: In this open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial done across 61 centres in Germany, patients aged 18-60 years with newly diagnosed, high-risk (age-adjusted International Prognostic Index [IPI] 2 or 3) aggressive B-cell lymphoma were randomly assigned (1:1, using Pocock minimisation) to eight cycles of conventional chemotherapy (cyclosphosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, etoposide, and prednisolone) plus rituximab (R-CHOEP-14) or four cycles of high-dose chemotherapy plus rituximab followed by autologous HSCT (R-MegaCHOEP). The trial was unmasked. Patients were stratified by age-adjusted IPI factors, presence of bulky disease (tumour mass ≥7·5 cm diameter), and treatment centre. The primary endpoint was event-free survival, analysed here 10 years after randomisation. 10-year overall survival, progression-free survival, conditional survival, relapse patterns, secondary malignancies, and molecular characteristics were also analysed. All analyses were done on the intention-to-treat population. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00129090.

Findings: Between March 3, 2003, and April 7, 2009, 275 patients were randomly assigned to R-CHOEP-14 (n=136) or R-MegaCHOEP (n=139). 130 patients in the R-CHOEP-14 group and 132 patients in the R-MegaCHOEP group were included in the intention-to-treat population. After a median follow-up of 9·3 years (IQR 5·1-11·1), 10-year event-free survival was 51% (95% CI 42-61) in the R-MegaCHOEP group and 57% (47-67) in the R-CHOEP-14 group (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1·3 [95% CI 0·9-1·8], p=0·23). 10-year progression-free survival was 59% (50-68) in the R-MegaCHOEP group and 60% (51-70) in the R-CHOEP-14 group (adjusted HR 1·1 [0·7-1·7], p=0·64). 10-year overall survival was 66% (57-76) in the R-MegaCHOEP group and 72% (63-81) in the R-CHOEP-14 group (adjusted HR 1·3 [0·8-2·1], p=0·26). Relapse occurred in 30 (16% [95% CI 11-22]) of 190 patients who had complete remission or unconfirmed complete remission; 17 (17%) of 100 patients in the R-CHOEP-14 group and 13 (14%) of 90 patients in the R-MegaCHOEP group. Seven (23%) of 30 patients had low-grade histology at relapse and had better outcomes compared with patients who relapsed with aggressive histologies. Lymphoma affected the CNS in 18 (28%) of 64 patients with treatment failure. 22 secondary malignancies were reported in the intention-to-treat population; in 12 (9%) of 127 patients in the R-CHOEP-14 group and ten (8%) of 126 patients in the R-MegaCHOEP group.

Interpretation: Event-free survival and overall survival were similar between groups after 10 years of follow-up; outcomes were not improved in the R-MegaCHOEP group by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous HSCT. Patients who relapsed with aggressive histology showed a high incidence of CNS involvement and poor prognosis. For these patients, novel therapies are greatly warranted.

Funding: Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(21)00022-3DOI Listing
April 2021

Efficacy of UVC-treated, pathogen-reduced platelets versus untreated platelets: a randomized controlled non-inferiority trial.

Haematologica 2021 04 1;106(4):1086-1096. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

German Red Cross Blood Service NSTOB, Springe, Germany; Bavarian Red Cross Blood Service, Nuremberg.

Pathogen reduction (PR) technologies for blood components have been established to reduce the residual risk of known and emerging infectious agents. THERAFLEX UVPlatelets, a novel UVC light-based PR technology for platelet concentrates, works without photoactive substances. This randomized, controlled, double-blind, multicenter, noninferiority trial was designed to compare the efficacy and safety of UVC-treated platelets to that of untreated platelets in thrombocytopenic patients with hematologic-oncologic diseases. Primary objective was to determine non-inferiority of UVC-treated platelets, assessed by the 1-hour corrected count increment (CCI) in up to eight per-protocol platelet transfusion episodes. Analysis of the 171 eligible patients showed that the defined non-inferiority margin of 30% of UVC-treated platelets was narrowly missed as the mean differences in 1-hour CCI between standard platelets versus UVC-treated platelets for intention-to-treat and perprotocol analyses were 18.2% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.4%; 30.1) and 18.7% (95% CI: 6.3%; 31.1%), respectively. In comparison to the control, the UVC group had a 19.2% lower mean 24-hour CCI and was treated with an about 25% higher number of platelet units, but the average number of days to next platelet transfusion did not differ significantly between both treatment groups. The frequency of low-grade adverse events was slightly higher in the UVC group and the frequencies of refractoriness to platelet transfusion, platelet alloimmunization, severe bleeding events, and red blood cell transfusions were comparable between groups. Our study suggests that transfusion of pathogen-reduced platelets produced with the UVC technology is safe but non-inferiority was not demonstrated. (The German Clinical Trials Register number: DRKS00011156).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2020.260430DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8018132PMC
April 2021

A randomized phase 3 trial of autologous vs allogeneic transplantation as part of first-line therapy in poor-risk peripheral T-NHL.

Blood 2021 05;137(19):2646-2656

Service d'Hematologie Clinique, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Hôpital Robert Debre, Reims, France.

First-line therapy for younger patients with peripheral T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (T-NHL) consists of 6 courses of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) with or without etoposide (CHOEP), consolidated by high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (auto-SCT). We hypothesized that allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) could improve outcomes. 104 patients with peripheral T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, except ALK+ anaplastic large cell lymphoma, 18 to 60 years, all stages, and all age adjusted International Prognostic Index scores, except 0 and stage I, were randomized to 4 cycles of CHOEP and 1 cycle of dexamethasone, cytosine-arabinoside, and platinum (DHAP) followed by high-dose therapy and auto-SCT or myeloablative conditioning and allo-SCT. The primary end point was event-free survival (EFS) at 3 years. After a median follow-up of 42 months, the 3-year EFS after allo-SCT was 43%, as compared with 38% after auto-SCT. Overall survival at 3 years was 57% vs 70% after allo- or auto-SCT, without significant differences between treatment arms. None of the 21 responding patients proceeding to allo-SCT relapsed, as opposed to 13 of 36 patients (36%) proceeding to auto-SCT. Eight of 26 patients (31%) and none of 41 patients died of transplant-related toxicity after allo- and auto-SCT, respectively. The strong graft-versus-lymphoma effect after allo-SCT was counterbalanced by transplant-related mortality. This trial is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00984412.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020008825DOI Listing
May 2021

Central venous catheter-related infections in hematology and oncology: 2020 updated guidelines on diagnosis, management, and prevention by the Infectious Diseases Working Party (AGIHO) of the German Society of Hematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO).

Ann Hematol 2021 Jan 30;100(1):239-259. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Red Cross Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany.

Cancer patients frequently require central venous catheters for therapy and parenteral nutrition and are at high risk of central venous catheter-related infections (CRIs). Moreover, CRIs prolong hospitalization, cause an excess in resource utilization and treatment cost, often delay anti-cancer treatment, and are associated with a significant increase in mortality in cancer patients. We therefore summoned a panel of experts by the Infectious Diseases Working Party (AGIHO) of the German Society of Hematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO) and updated our previous guideline on CRIs in cancer patients. After conducting systematic literature searches on PubMed, Medline, and Cochrane databases, video- and meeting-based consensus discussions were held. In the presented guideline, we summarize recommendations on definition, diagnosis, management, and prevention of CRIs in cancer patients including the grading of strength of recommendations and the respective levels of evidence. This guideline supports clinicians and researchers alike in the evidence-based decision-making in the management of CRIs in cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-04286-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7782365PMC
January 2021

Four versus six cycles of CHOP chemotherapy in combination with six applications of rituximab in patients with aggressive B-cell lymphoma with favourable prognosis (FLYER): a randomised, phase 3, non-inferiority trial.

Lancet 2019 12;394(10216):2271-2281

Department of Radiooncology, Saarland University Medical School, Homburg/Saar, Germany.

Background: Six cycles of R-CHOP (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) are the standard treatment for aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In the FLYER trial, we assessed whether four cycles of CHOP plus six applications of rituximab are non-inferior to six cycles of R-CHOP in a population of patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma with favourable prognosis.

Methods: This two-arm, open-label, international, multicentre, prospective, randomised phase 3 non-inferiority trial was done at 138 clinical sites in Denmark, Israel, Italy, Norway, and Germany. We enrolled patients aged 18-60 years, with stage I-II disease, normal serum lactate dehydrogenase concentration, ECOG performance status 0-1, and without bulky disease (maximal tumour diameter <7·5 cm). Randomisation was computer-based and done centrally in a 1:1 ratio using the Pocock minimisation algorithm after stratification for centres, stage (I vs II), and extralymphatic sites (no vs yes). Patients were assigned to receive either six cycles of R-CHOP or four cycles of R-CHOP plus two doses of rituximab. CHOP comprised cyclophosphamide (750 mg/m), doxorubicin (50 mg/m), and vincristine (1·4 mg/m, with a maximum total dose of 2 mg), all administered intravenously on day 1, plus oral prednisone or prednisolone at the discretion of the investigator (100 mg) administered on days 1-5. Rituximab was given at a dose of 375 mg/m of body surface area. Cycles were repeated every 21 days. No radiotherapy was planned except for testicular lymphoma treatment. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival after 3 years. The primary analysis was done in the intention-to-treat population. Safety was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of assigned treatment. A non-inferiority margin of -5·5% was chosen. The trial, which is completed, was prospectively registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00278421.

Findings: Between Dec 2, 2005, and Oct 7, 2016, 592 patients were enrolled, of whom 295 patients were randomly assigned to receive six cycles of R-CHOP and 297 were assigned to receive four cycles of R-CHOP plus two doses of rituximab. Four patients in the four-cycles group withdrew informed consent before the start of treatment, so 588 patients were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. After a median follow-up of 66 months (IQR 42-100), 3-year progression-free survival of patients who had four cycles of R-CHOP plus two doses of rituximab was 96% (95% CI 94-99), which was 3% better (lower limit of the one-sided 95% CI for the difference was 0%) than six cycles of R-CHOP, demonstrating the non-inferiority of the four-cycles regimen. 294 haematological and 1036 non-haematological adverse events were documented in the four-cycles group compared with 426 haematological and 1280 non-haematological adverse events in the six-cycles group. Two patients, both in the six-cycles group, died during study therapy.

Interpretation: In young patients with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and favourable prognosis, four cycles of R-CHOP is non-inferior to six cycles of R-CHOP, with relevant reduction of toxic effects. Thus, chemotherapy can be reduced without compromising outcomes in this population.

Funding: Deutsche Krebshilfe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)33008-9DOI Listing
December 2019

Allogeneic transplantation in multiple myeloma: long-term follow-up and cytogenetic subgroup analysis.

Leukemia 2019 11 28;33(11):2710-2719. Epub 2019 Aug 28.

Department of Internal Medicine, Stauferklinikum Schwäbisch Gmünd, Mutlangen, Germany.

This phase 3 trial compared tandem autologous stem cell transplantation (autoSCT) versus autoSCT followed by reduced-intensity conditioning allogeneic stem cell transplantation (auto/alloSCT) in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) with deletion of (del) chromosome 13q (del13q). The availability/absence of a human leukocyte antigen-matched-related or matched-unrelated donor (MUD) determined the nature of the second SCT. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) in the intention-to-treat population (n = 199). Auto/alloSCT was performed in 126 patients; 74 received MUD allografts. After 91 months median follow-up, median PFS with auto/allo versus tandem autoSCT was 34.5 versus 21.8 months (P = 0.003; adjusted hazard ratio 0.55, 95% confidence interval 0.36-0.84). Median overall survival (OS) was 70.2 versus 71.8 months (P = 0.856). Two-year non-relapse mortality with auto/allo versus tandem autoSCT was 14.3% versus 4.1% (P = 0.008). In patients harboring both del13q and del17p, median PFS and OS were 37.5 and 61.5 months with auto/allo (n = 19) versus 6.1 and 23.4 months with tandem autoSCT (n = 6) (P = 0.0002 and 0.032). Our findings suggest that auto/alloSCT significantly extends PFS versus tandem autoSCT in del13q MM, and indicate some survival benefit for first-line alloSCT in high-risk MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-019-0537-2DOI Listing
November 2019

Bortezomib consolidation following autologous transplant in younger and older patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma in two phase III trials.

Eur J Haematol 2019 Sep 19;103(3):255-267. Epub 2019 Jul 19.

Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik II, Julius Maximilians Universität Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

Objective: A post hoc analysis of two phase III trials was carried out to explore the influence of age and treatment factors on the effect of bortezomib consolidation on progression-free survival (PFS) post autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT).

Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma were assigned to one of two trials (ClinicalTrials.gov IDs: NCT00416273, NCT00416208), which were conducted in parallel, based on age (18-60 or 61-75 years, respectively). Following induction and ASCT, patients were randomized 1:1 to four 35-day cycles of bortezomib consolidation (1.6 mg/m IV on days 1, 8, 15, 22) or observation only.

Results: Median PFS with bortezomib consolidation vs observation was 33.6 vs 29.0 months (P = 0.3599) in patients aged 18-60 years (n = 202), and 33.4 vs 26.4 months (P = 0.0073) in patients aged 61-75 years (n = 155), respectively. Bortezomib consolidation post-ASCT appeared to equalize outcomes between older and younger patients who received prior treatment of differing intensity. This suggests that the effect of consolidation may be relative and may depend on the composition and intensity of induction and high-dose therapy.

Conclusion: Older patients receiving less intensive prior treatment could experience a larger PFS benefit from bortezomib consolidation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13281DOI Listing
September 2019

Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Patients with Early Progression of Follicular Lymphoma: A Follow-Up Study of 2 Randomized Trials from the German Low Grade Lymphoma Study Group.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 06 29;24(6):1172-1179. Epub 2018 Mar 29.

Department of Internal Medicine III, University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany; German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Heidelberg, Germany; German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) and progression of disease (POD) within 24 months after frontline treatment (POD24) have poor overall survival (OS). The optimal salvage treatment for these patients is unknown. We assessed the role of high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in transplant-eligible patients. We analyzed 162 patients with advanced-stage FL who had received frontline treatment within the GLSG1996 or GLSG2000 trials. All patients had POD at age ≤ 65 years and had not received a prior transplant. Second-line treatment was not specified by study protocols. Survival was calculated from time of second-line treatment. Eighteen patients (11%) progressed (n = 16) or died (n = 2) during cytoreductive second-line treatment (considered "cytoreduction failure"); none received ASCT, and their median second-line OS was <1 year. A total of 113 patients had POD24 (70%), whereas 49 had POD after 24 months (30%). Sixty-three patients without cytoreduction failure received ASCT (39%), and 81 received no transplant (50%). In patients with POD24, a significant survival benefit was associated with ASCT with a 5-year second-line progression-free survival for ASCT versus no transplant of 51% versus 19% (hazard ratio, .38; 95% confidence interval, .24 to .62; P < .0001) and a 5-year second-line OS of 77% versus 59% (hazard ratio, .54, 95% confidence interval, .30 to .95; P= .031). Thus, ASCT is an effective treatment option for transplant-eligible patients with high-risk FL as identified by POD24 and should be evaluated in prospective clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.03.022DOI Listing
June 2018

Outcome of a Salvage Third Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Multiple Myeloma.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 07 3;24(7):1372-1378. Epub 2018 Feb 3.

Department of Hematology, Eppendorf University Hospital, Hamburg, Germany.

To evaluate the outcomes of salvage third autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. We analyzed 570 patients who had undergone a third ASCT between 1997 and 2010 (European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation data), of whom 482 patients underwent tandem ASCT and a third ASCT at first relapse (AARA group) and 88 patients underwent an upfront ASCT with second and third transplantations after subsequent relapses (ARARA group). With a median follow-up after salvage third ASCT of 61 months in the AARA group and 48 months in the ARARA group, the day +100 nonrelapse mortality in the 2 groups was 4% and 7%, the incidence of second primary malignancy was 6% and 7%, the median progression-free survival was 13 and 8 months, and median overall survival (OS) was 33 and 15 months. In the AARA group, according to the relapse-free interval (RFI) from the second ASCT, the median OS after the third ASCT was 17 months if the RFI was <18 months, 37 months if the RFI was between 18 and 36 months, and 64 months if the RFI was ≥36 months (P < .001). In the ARARA group, the median OS after the third ASCT was 7 months if the RFI was <6 months, 13 months if the RFI was between 6 and 18 months, and 27 months if the RFI was ≥18 months (P < .001). In a multivariate analysis of the AARA group, the favorable prognostic factor was an RFI after second ASCT of ≥18 months. Progressive disease and a Karnofsky Performance Status score of <70 at third ASCT were unfavorable factors. A salvage third ASCT is of value for patients with relapsed myeloma, particularly for those with a long duration of response and chemosensitive disease at the time of transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.01.035DOI Listing
July 2018

Phase II study of bortezomib, cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone as induction therapy in multiple myeloma: DSMM XI trial.

Br J Haematol 2017 11 29;179(4):586-597. Epub 2017 Sep 29.

University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

We assessed the safety and efficacy of bortezomib, cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone (VCD) induction therapy in previously untreated multiple myeloma patients. A total of 414 patients received three 21-day cycles of VCD prior to autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT). Most common grade ≥3 adverse events were leucopenia (31·4%) and thrombocytopenia (6·8%). The overall response rate (ORR) by investigator-based assessment was 85·4%. Most patients (74%) underwent successful central laboratory-based molecular cytogenetic analysis. No clinically relevant differences in ORR post-induction were seen between patients with or without high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities (86·2% vs. 84·3%). Further follow-up data are available for 113 patients receiving ASCT who were included in a prospective consolidation trial (median follow-up, 55·5 months); median progression-free survival (PFS) was 35·3 months and median overall survival (OS) was not reached. In patients with high-risk versus standard-risk cytogenetics, median PFS was 19·9 vs. 43·6 months (P < 0·0001), and median OS was 54·7 months versus not reached (P = 0·0022). VCD is an effective and tolerable induction regimen; results suggest that VCD induces high response rates independently of cytogenetic risk status, but after long-term follow-up, cytogenetic high risk is associated with markedly reduced PFS and OS post-ASCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.14920DOI Listing
November 2017

Autotransplant with and without induction chemotherapy in older multiple myeloma patients: long-term outcome of a randomized trial.

Haematologica 2016 11 4;101(11):1398-1406. Epub 2016 Aug 4.

Klinikum Nürnberg Nord, Nürnberg, Germany.

Autologous transplantation is controversial for older patients with multiple myeloma. The role of age-adjusted high-dose melphalan and the impact of induction chemotherapy cycles is still unclear. A total of 434 patients aged 60-70 years were randomly assigned to 4 cycles of standard anthracycline-based induction chemotherapy or no induction. For all patients, double autologous transplantation after melphalan 140 mg/m (MEL140) was planned. The primary end point was progression-free survival. Of 420 eligible patients, 85% received a first transplant and 69% completed double transplantation. Treatment duration was short with a median of 7.7 months with induction chemotherapy cycles and 4.6 months without induction. On an intention-to-treat basis, median progression-free survival with induction chemotherapy cycles (207 patients) was 21.4 months versus 20.0 months with no induction cycles (213 patients) (hazard ratio 1.04, 95% confidence interval 0.84-1.28; P=0.36). Per protocol, progression-free survival was 23.7 months versus 23.0 months (P=0.28). Patients aged 65 years or over (55%) did not have an inferior outcome. Patients with low-risk cytogenetics [absence of del17p13, t(4;14) and 1q21 gains] showed a favorable overall survival and included the patients with sustained first remission. MEL140 was associated with a low rate of severe mucositis (10%) and treatment-related deaths (1%). Based on hazard ratio, the short treatment arm consisting of mobilization chemotherapy and tandem MEL140 achieved 96% of the progression-free survival, demonstrating its value as an independent component of therapy in older patients with multiple myeloma who are considered fit for autologous transplantation. (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: 02288741).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2016.151860DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394869PMC
November 2016

Addition of high-dose cytarabine to immunochemotherapy before autologous stem-cell transplantation in patients aged 65 years or younger with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL Younger): a randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial of the European Mantle Cell Lymphoma Network.

Lancet 2016 Aug 14;388(10044):565-75. Epub 2016 Jun 14.

Department of Pathology, Hôpital Necker, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France.

Background: Mantle cell lymphoma is characterised by a poor long-term prognosis. The European Mantle Cell Lymphoma Network aimed to investigate whether the introduction of high-dose cytarabine to immunochemotherapy before autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) improves outcome.

Methods: This randomised, open-label, parallel-group, phase 3 trial was done in 128 haemato-oncological hospital departments or private practices in Germany, France, Belgium, and Poland. Patients aged 65 years or younger with untreated stage II-IV mantle cell lymphoma were centrally randomised (1:1), with computer-assisted random block selection, to receive either six courses of R-CHOP (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) followed by myeloablative radiochemotherapy and ASCT (control group), or six courses of alternating R-CHOP or R-DHAP (rituximab plus dexamethasone, high-dose cytarabine, and cisplatin) followed by a high-dose cytarabine-containing conditioning regimen and ASCT (cytarabine group). Patients were stratified by study group and international prognostic index. The primary outcome was time to treatment failure from randomisation to stable disease after at least four induction cycles, progression, or death from any cause. Patients with stage II-IV mantle cell lymphoma were included in the primary analysis if treatment was started according to randomisation. For safety analyses, patients were assessed according to the treatment actually started. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00209222.

Findings: Of 497 patients (median age 55 years [IQR 49-60]) randomised from July 20, 2004, to March 18, 2010, 234 of 249 in the control group and 232 of 248 in the cytarabine group were included in the primary analysis. After a median follow-up of 6.1 years (95% CI 5.4-6.4), time to treatment failure was significantly longer in the cytarabine group (median 9.1 years [95% CI 6.3-not reached], 5 year rate 65% [95% CI 57-71]) than in the control group (3.9 years [3.2-4.4], 40% [33-46]; hazard ratio 0.56; p=0.038). During induction immunochemotherapy, patients who received high-dose cytarabine had increased grade 3 or 4 haematological toxicity (haemoglobin 71 [29%] of 241m vs 19 [8%] of 227 controls; platelets 176 [73%] of 240 vs 21 [9%] of 225), grade 3 or 4 febrile neutropenia (39 [17%] of 230 vs 19 [8%] of 224), and grade 1 or 2 renal toxicity (creatinine 102 [43%] of 236 vs 22 [10%] of 224). The number of ASCT-related deaths was similar (eight [3.4%]) in both groups.

Interpretation: Immunochemotherapy containing high-dose cytarabine followed by ASCT should be considered standard of care in patients aged 65 years or younger with mantle cell lymphoma.

Funding: European Commission, Lymphoma Research Foundation, and Roche.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00739-XDOI Listing
August 2016

Prognostic relevance of DHAP dose-density in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma: an analysis of the German Hodgkin-Study Group.

Leuk Lymphoma 2016 May 23;57(5):1067-73. Epub 2015 Dec 23.

a Internal Medicine I, German Hodgkin Study Group , University Hospital of Cologne , Cologne , Germany ;

Only 50% of patients with relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) can be cured with intensive induction chemotherapy, followed by high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). Based on the results of the HDR2 trial two courses of DHAP and subsequent HDCT/ASCT are the current standard of care in relapsed HL. In order to assess the prognostic relevance of DHAP dose density, we performed a retrospective multivariate analysis of the HDR2 trial (N=266). In addition to four risk factors (early or multiple relapse, stage IV disease or anemia at relapse, and grade IV hematotoxicity during the first cycle of DHAP) a delayed start of the second cycle of DHAP>day 22 predicted a significantly poorer progression-free survival (PFS, p=0.0356) and overall survival (OS, p=0.0025). In conclusion, our analysis strongly suggests that dose density of DHAP has a relevant impact on the outcome of relapsed HL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2015.1083561DOI Listing
May 2016

Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor response is superior to neutropenia duration in predicting the risk of infection after high-dose chemotherapy for myeloma and lymphoma.

Leuk Lymphoma 2015 Feb 27;56(2):368-76. Epub 2014 May 27.

Schön Klinik Starnberger See , Berg , Germany.

The patient granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) response is represented by the leukocyte peak in the blood induced by a single dose of G-CSF after chemotherapy, and is correlated with subsequent neutropenic infection risk. General patterns for a meaningful risk group stratification, have not yet been determined. Two independent data sets including a total of 306 cases with myeloma or lymphoma and autologous blood stem cell transplant were available. An infection susceptibility curve plotted according to ranked G-CSF responses from a multicenter study reproduced and validated a curve from the previous single center. Two trend changes were seen within these curves at around 11,000 and 22,000 leukocytes/μL, which separated three groups with a high, medium and low risk of infection. While G-CSF response is related to the consecutive duration of neutropenia, it retains additional independent predictive information for infection risk (p<0.0001) and, more important, is a tool available before the onset of the critical period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2014.919631DOI Listing
February 2015

Long-term clinical and molecular remissions in patients with mantle cell lymphoma following high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation.

Ann Hematol 2014 May 13;93(5):803-10. Epub 2013 Dec 13.

Department of Oncology and Hematology, Klinikum Oldenburg, University Clinic, Oldenburg, Germany,

Long-term clinical and molecular remissions in patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) following high-dose therapy (HDT) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) have been evaluated in only a few studies. Thirty-six patients with MCL received ASCT in our institution (27 patients undergoing first-line therapy, 8 patients undergoing second-line therapy, and 1 patient undergoing third-line therapy). In the case of long-term remission (≥5 years; n = 8), peripheral blood was tested for minimal residual disease (MRD) by t(11; 14) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunoglobulin heavy-chain (IGH) PCR at the last follow-up. Ten-year overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and freedom from progression (FFP) after first-line ASCT were 42 %, 43 %, and 54 %; after second-line ASCT, these were all 0 %. Four-year OS, PFS, and FFP for the first-line cohort were 75 %, 48 %, and 61 %, respectively. Four-year OS, PFS, and FFP after second-line ASCT were 55 %, 30 %, and 30 %, respectively. Treatment-related mortality (3 months after ASCT) was 0 %. The only prognostic factor for OS, PFS, and FFP was treatment line (p = 0.011, p = 0.046, and p = 0.023, respectively). No relapses occurred after 5 years following ASCT. So far, eight patients developed sustained long-term clinical and molecular complete remissions of up to 14.6 years following ASCT in the first treatment line. Sustained long-term clinical and molecular remissions can be achieved following ASCT in the first treatment line and apparently less frequent in the second treatment line.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-013-1976-xDOI Listing
May 2014

Rituximab purging and/or maintenance in patients undergoing autologous transplantation for relapsed follicular lymphoma: a prospective randomized trial from the lymphoma working party of the European group for blood and marrow transplantation.

J Clin Oncol 2013 May 1;31(13):1624-30. Epub 2013 Apr 1.

St George's University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0QT, United Kingdom.

Purpose: The objective of this randomized trial was to assess the efficacy and safety of rituximab as in vivo purging before transplantation and as maintenance treatment immediately after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem-cell transplantation (HDC-ASCT) in patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma (FL).

Patients And Methods: Patients with relapsed FL who achieved either complete or very good partial remission with salvage chemotherapy were randomly assigned using a factorial design to rituximab purging (P+; 375 mg/m(2) once per week for 4 weeks) or observation (NP) before HDC-ASCT and to maintenance rituximab (M+; 375 mg/m(2) once every 2 months for four infusions) or observation (NM).

Results: From October 1999 to April 2006, 280 patients were enrolled. The median age was 51 years (range, 26 to 70 years), and baseline characteristics were well balanced between groups. On average, patients were 44 months (range, 3 to 464 months) from diagnosis, with 79% having received two lines and 15% three lines of prior therapy. Median follow-up was 8.3 years. In contrast to purging, 10-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 48% for P+ and 42% for NP groups (hazard ratio [HR], 0.80; 95% CI, 0.58 to 1.11; P = .18); maintenance had a significant effect on PFS (10-year PFS, 54% for M+ and 37% for NM; HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.91; P = .012). Overall survival (OS) was not improved by either rituximab purging or maintenance.

Conclusion: Rituximab maintenance after HDC-ASCT is safe and significantly prolongs PFS but not OS in patients undergoing transplantation for relapsed FL. Pretransplantation rituximab in vivo purging, even in rituximab-naive patients, failed to improve PFS or OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2012.47.1862DOI Listing
May 2013

Phase II study of central nervous system (CNS)-directed chemotherapy including high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation for CNS relapse of aggressive lymphomas.

Haematologica 2013 Mar 14;98(3):364-70. Epub 2012 Dec 14.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Charite Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.

The prognosis of patients with central nervous system relapse of aggressive lymphoma is very poor with no therapy established so far. In a prospective multicenter phase II study, we evaluated a potentially curative chemotherapy-only regimen in these patients. Adult immunocompetent patients 65 years of age or under received induction chemotherapy with MTX/IFO/DEP (methotrexate 4 g/m(2) intravenously (i.v.) Day 1, ifosfamide 2 g/m(2) i.v. Days 3- 5 and liposomal cytarabine 50 mg intrathecally (i.th) Day 6) and AraC/TT/DEP (cytarabine 3g/m(2) i.v. Days 1-2, thiotepa 40 mg/m(2) i.v. Day 2 and i.th. liposomal cytarabine 50 mg i.th. Day 3) followed by high-dose chemotherapy with carmustine 400 mg/m(2) i.v. Day -5, thiotepa 2×5 mg/kg i.v. Days -4 to -3 and etoposide 150 mg/m(2) i.v. Days -5 to -3, and autologous stem cell transplantation Day 0 (HD-ASCT). Thirty eligible patients (median age 58 years) were enrolled. After HD-ASCT (n=24), there was a complete remission in 15 (63%), partial remission in 2 (8%) and progressive disease in 7 (29%) patients. Myelotoxicity was the most adverse event with CTC grade 3/4 infections in 12% of MTX/IFO/DEP courses, 21% of AraC/TT/DEP courses and 46% of HD-ASCT courses. The 2-year time to treatment failure was 49%±19 for all patients and 58%±22 for patients completing HD-ASCT. The protocol assessed proved feasible and highly active with long-lasting remissions in a large proportion of patients. (ClinicalTrials.govIdentifier NCT01148173).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2012.077917DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659948PMC
March 2013

Autologous and allogeneic stem-cell transplantation for transformed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (Richter's syndrome): A retrospective analysis from the chronic lymphocytic leukemia subcommittee of the chronic leukemia working party and lymphoma working party of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

J Clin Oncol 2012 Jun 30;30(18):2211-7. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Department of Haematology, Royal Free Hospital, Pond St, London, NW3 2QG, United Kingdom.

Purpose: Patients with Richter's syndrome (RS) have a poor prognosis with conventional chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome after autologous stem-cell transplantation (autoSCT) or allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (alloSCT) in RS.

Patients And Methods: A survey was sent to all European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation centers assessing transplantations performed for RS. Eligibility criteria included a diagnosis of RS or secondary lymphoma before SCT, age ≥ 18 years, and SCT performed from 1997 to 2007. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and methods from survival analysis.

Results: Fifty-nine patients were registered. Thirty-four patients had received autoSCT, mostly because of chemotherapy-sensitive disease, and 25 had received alloSCT, with 36% being refractory to chemotherapy at SCT. In 18 allograft recipients (72%), reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) was used. Three-year estimates of the probabilities of overall survival and relapse-free survival (RFS) and the cumulative incidences of relapse and nonrelapse mortality were 36%, 27%, 47%, and 26% for alloSCT and 59%, 45%, 43%, and 12% for autoSCT, respectively. Taking into account the limitations set by the low number of events and age younger than 60 years, chemotherapy-sensitive disease and RIC were found to be associated with superior RFS after alloSCT in multivariate analysis. Factors with a significant impact on autoSCT could not be identified.

Conclusion: Patients with RS who are sensitive to induction chemotherapy appear to benefit from consolidation with transplantation strategies, and prolonged survival was observed in a proportion of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2011.37.4108DOI Listing
June 2012

The role of sex and weight on rituximab clearance and serum elimination half-life in elderly patients with DLBCL.

Blood 2012 Apr 15;119(14):3276-84. Epub 2012 Feb 15.

Institut für Pharmakologie der Uniklinik, Köln, Germany;

Pharmacokinetics of 8 doses of rituximab (375 mg/m(2)) given in combination with 2-week cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone/prednisolone (CHOP-14) was determined by ELISA in 20 elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) 10 minutes before and after each infusion and 1 week and 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9 months after the last infusion. Population pharmacokinetic modeling was performed with nonlinear mixed-effect modeling software (NONMEM VI). Concentration-time data were fitted into an open 2-compartment model and total clearance, central compartment volume, intercompartment clearance, and volume of distribution at steady-state (Vd(ss)) were investigated. Total clearance was 9.43 mL/h and Vd(ss) was 9.61 l. Rituximab clearance was reduced (8.21 mL/h vs 12.68 mL/h; P = .003) and elimination half-life was prolonged in women compared with men (t(1/2β) = 30.7 vs 24.7 days; P = .003). Body weight also affected Vd(ss) (0.1 l increase of Vd(ss) per kilogram above median of 75 kg). A sex-dependent effect and the higher weight of males contribute to their faster rituximab clearance, which might explain why elderly males benefit less from the addition of rituximab to CHOP than females. This trial was registered on www.clinicaltrials.gov as numbers NCT00052936, EU-20243 (RICOVER-60 Trial), EU-20534, and NCT00726700 (Pegfilgrastim Trial).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2011-09-380949DOI Listing
April 2012

Long-term remissions in metastatic malignant melanoma following chemotherapy and tamoxifen maintenance.

Onkologie 2011 18;34(4):208-9. Epub 2011 Mar 18.

Klinik für Onkologie und Hämatologie, Klinikum Oldenburg, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000327003DOI Listing
September 2011

Testing G-CSF responsiveness predicts the individual susceptibility to infection and consecutive treatment in recipients of high-dose chemotherapy.

Blood 2011 Feb 16;117(7):2121-8. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Schön Klinik Starnberger See, Berg, Germany, and Medizinische Klinik Innenstadt der Universität München, Munich, Germany.

The individual risk of infection and requirements for medical treatment after high-dose chemotherapy have been unpredictable. In this prospective, multicenter, open-label study we investigated the potential of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) responsiveness as a predictor. A total of 168 patients with multiple myeloma or lymphoma received a single dose of subcutaneous G-CSF (lenograstim, 263 μg) after high-dose chemotherapy. Highly variable leukocyte peaks were measured and grouped as low (quartile 1; leukocytes 100-10 100/μL), medium (quartile 2; leukocytes > 10 100-18 300/μL), and high (quartiles 3/4; leukocytes > 18 300-44 800/μL). G-CSF responsiveness (low vs medium vs high) was inversely correlated with febrile neutropenia (77% vs 60% vs 48%; P = .0037); the rate of infection, including fever of unknown origin (91% vs 67% vs 54%; P < .0001); days with intravenous antibiotics (9 vs 6 vs 5; P < .0001); and antifungal therapy (P = .042). In multivariate analysis, G-CSF responsiveness remained the only factor significantly associated with infection (P = .016). In addition, G-CSF responsiveness was inversely correlated with grade 3/4 oral mucositis (67% vs 33% vs 23%; P < .0001). G-CSF responsiveness appears as a signature of the myeloid marrow reserve predicting defense against neutropenic infection after intensive chemotherapy. This study is registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01085058.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2010-06-290080DOI Listing
February 2011

Dose intensity of chemotherapy in patients with relapsed Hodgkin's lymphoma.

J Clin Oncol 2010 Dec 25;28(34):5074-80. Epub 2010 Oct 25.

University of Cologne, German Hodgkin Study Group, Köln, Germany.

Purpose: High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) followed by autologous stem-cell transplantation (PBSCT) has become the standard treatment for patients with relapsed Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL). The intensity of treatment needed is unclear. This European intergroup study evaluated the impact of sequential high-dose chemotherapy (SHDCT) before myeloablative therapy.

Patients And Methods: Patients with histologically confirmed, relapsed HL were treated with two cycles of dexamethasone, cytarabine, and cisplatin, and those without disease progression were randomly assigned. In the standard arm (A), patients received myeloablative therapy with carmustine, BEAM (carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan) followed by PBSCT. Patients in the experimental arm (B) also received sequential cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and etoposide in high-doses before BEAM. Freedom from treatment failure (FFTF) was the primary end point. Remission rates, overall survival (OS), and toxicity of treatment were secondary end points.

Results: From a total of 284 patients included, 241 responding patients were randomly assigned after two cycles of dexamethasone, cytarabine, and cisplatinum. Patients treated in arm B had longer treatment duration and experienced more toxicity and protocol violations (P < .05). Mortality was similar in both arms (20% and 18%). With a median observation time of 42 months, there was no significant difference in terms of FFTF (P = .56) and OS (P = .82) between arms. FFTF at 3 years was 62% (95% CI, 56% to 68%) and OS was 80% (95% CI, 75% to 85%). Patients with stage IV, early relapse, multiple relapse, anemia, or B symptoms had a higher risk of recurrence (P < .001).

Conclusion: Compared with conventional high-dose chemotherapy, additional SHDCT is associated with more adverse effects and does not improve the prognosis of patients with relapsed HL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2010.30.5771DOI Listing
December 2010

Treatment and prognosis of mature T-cell and NK-cell lymphoma: an analysis of patients with T-cell lymphoma treated in studies of the German High-Grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Study Group.

Blood 2010 Nov 21;116(18):3418-25. Epub 2010 Jul 21.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Asklepios Hospital St Georg, Hamburg, Germany.

To evaluate outcome and prognosis of patients with T-cell lymphoma we analyzed 343 patients treated within trials of the German High-Grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Study Group (DSHNHL). Two hundred eighty-nine patients belonged to 1 of the 4 major T-cell lymphoma subtypes: anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), anaplastic large cell lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive (n = 78); ALCL, ALK-negative (n = 113); peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified (PTCLU; n = 70); and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL; n = 28). Treatment consisted of 6-8 courses of CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone/prednisolone) or etoposide plus (CHOEP). Three-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival were 75.8% and 89.8% (ALK-positive ALCL), 50.0% and 67.5% (AITL), 45.7% and 62.1% (ALK-negative ALCL), and 41.1% and 53.9% (PTCLU), respectively. The International Prognostic Index (IPI) was effective in defining risk groups with significantly different outcomes. For patients, ≤ 60 years with lactate dehydrogenase ≤ upper normal value (UNV), etoposide improved improved 3-year EFS: 75.4% versus 51.0%, P = .003. In patients > 60 years 6 courses of CHOP administered every 3 weeks remains the standard therapy. Patients with ALK-negative ALCL, PTCLU, or AITL presenting with IPI > 1 have a poor prognosis and should be considered candidates for novel treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2010-02-270785DOI Listing
November 2010

Improvement of overall survival in advanced stage mantle cell lymphoma.

J Clin Oncol 2009 Feb 15;27(4):511-8. Epub 2008 Dec 15.

Department of Internal Medicine III, University of Munich, Germany.

Purpose: Mantle cell lymphomas (MCLs) represent a clinically aggressive lymphoma subtype with a poor prognosis. To explore a potential progress in outcome a historical comparison was performed using data from the Kiel Lymphoma Study Group (KLSG; 1975 to 1986) and the German Low Grade Lymphoma Study Group (GLSG; 1996 to 2004).

Patients And Methods: All patients with the histologically confirmed diagnosis of advanced-stage nonblastoid MCL were eligible. To minimize the potential heterogeneity of different risk profiles frequency matching was pursued. In addition, we adjusted for potential confounding variables by multiple Cox regression.

Results: A total of 520 patients were assessable, 150 from KLSG and 370 from GLSG studies. The median overall survival was 2.7 years for KLSG patients as compared with 4.8 years for GLSG patients (P < .0001). The 5-year survival rates were 22% in the KLSG group (95% CI, 13% to 31%) as compared with 47% for GLSG treated patients (95% CI, 38% to 55%). The hazard ratio adjusted for performance status, lactate dehydrogenase, and age was 0.44 for GLSG patients (95% CI, 0.32 to 0.59).

Conclusion: Median overall survival of patients with advanced nonblastoid MCL almost doubled during the past 30 years. Potential reasons for this apparent improvement in overall survival include the application of anthracycline-containing regimens and new approaches, such as antilymphoma antibodies or stem cell transplantation. Advances in general supportive care, new diagnostic tools, and general improvement of life span might have also reinforced this effect. However, our results are questioning the validity of historical comparisons which had been frequently applied in previous trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2008.16.8435DOI Listing
February 2009

Six versus eight cycles of bi-weekly CHOP-14 with or without rituximab in elderly patients with aggressive CD20+ B-cell lymphomas: a randomised controlled trial (RICOVER-60).

Lancet Oncol 2008 Feb 15;9(2):105-16. Epub 2008 Jan 15.

Internal Medicine, Saarland University Medical School, Saarland University, Homburg, Germany.

Background: Cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone (CHOP) is used to treat patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Interval decrease from 3 weeks of treatment (CHOP-21) to 2 weeks (CHOP-14), and addition of rituximab to CHOP-21 (R-CHOP-21) has been shown to improve outcome in elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). This randomised trial assessed whether six or eight cycles of R-CHOP-14 can improve outcome of these patients compared with six or eight cycles of CHOP-14.

Methods: 1222 elderly patients (aged 61-80 years) were randomly assigned to six or eight cycles of CHOP-14 with or without rituximab. Radiotherapy was planned to sites of initial bulky disease with or without extranodal involvement. The primary endpoint was event-free survival; secondary endpoints were response, progression during treatment, progression-free survival, overall survival, and frequency of toxic effects. Analyses were done by intention to treat. The trial is registered on National Cancer Institute website, number NCT00052936 and as EU-20243.

Findings: 3-year event-free survival was 47.2% after six cycles of CHOP-14 (95% CI 41.2-53.3), 53.0% (47.0-59.1) after eight cycles of CHOP-14, 66.5% (60.9-72.0) after six cycles of R-CHOP-14, and 63.1% (57.4-68.8) after eight cycles of R-CHOP-14. Compared with six cycles of CHOP-14, the improvement in 3-year event-free survival was 5.8% (-2.8-14.4) for eight cycles of CHOP-14, 19.3% (11.1-27.5) for six cycles of R-CHOP-14, and 15.9% (7.6-24.2) for eight cycles of R-CHOP-14. 3-year overall survival was 67.7% (62.0-73.5) for six cycles of CHOP-14, 66.0% (60.1-71.9) for eight cycles of CHOP-14, 78.1% (73.2-83.0) for six cycles of R-CHOP-14, and 72.5% (67.1-77.9) for eight cycles of R-CHOP-14. Compared with treatment with six cycles of CHOP-14, overall survival improved by -1.7% (-10.0-6.6) after eight cycles of CHOP-14, 10.4% (2.8-18.0) after six cycles of R-CHOP-14, and 4.8% (-3.1-12.7) after eight cycles of R-CHOP-14. In a multivariate analysis that used six cycles of CHOP-14 without rituximab as the reference, and adjusting for known prognostic factors, all three intensified regimens improved 3-year event-free survival (eight cycles of CHOP-14: RR [relative risk] 0.76 [0.60-0.95], p=0.0172; six cycles of R-CHOP-14: RR 0.51 [0.40-0.65], p<0.0001; eight cycles of R-CHOP-14: RR 0.54 [0.43-0.69], p<0.0001). Progression-free survival improved after six cycles of R-CHOP-14 (RR 0.50 [0.38-0.67], p<0.0001), and eight cycles of R-CHOP-14 (RR 0.59 [0.45-0.77], p=0.0001). Overall survival improved only after six cycles of R-CHOP-14 (RR 0.63 [0.46-0.85], p=0.0031). In patients with a partial response after four cycles of chemotherapy, eight cycles were not better than six cycles.

Interpretation: Six cycles of R-CHOP-14 significantly improved event-free, progression-free, and overall survival over six cycles of CHOP-14 treatment. Response-adapted addition of chemotherapy beyond six cycles, though widely practiced, is not justified. Of the four regimens assessed in this study, six cycles of R-CHOP-14 is the preferred treatment for elderly patients, with which other approaches should be compared.
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February 2008
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