Publications by authors named "Bruno Martino"

112 Publications

Prognostic Factors for Overall Survival In Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients: A Multicentric Cohort Study by the Italian CML GIMEMA Network.

Front Oncol 2021 26;11:739171. Epub 2021 Aug 26.

Haematology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza, Torino, Italy.

An observational prospective study was conducted by the CML Italian network to analyze the role of baseline patient characteristics and first line treatments on overall survival and CML-related mortality in 1206 newly diagnosed CML patients, 608 treated with imatinib (IMA) and 598 with 2 generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (2GTKI). IMA-treated patients were much older (median age 69 years, IQR 58-77) than the 2GTKI group (52, IQR 41-63) and had more comorbidities. Estimated 4-year overall survival of the entire cohort was 89% (95%CI 85.9-91.4). Overall, 73 patients (6.1%) died: 17 (2.8%) in the 2GTKI vs 56 (9.2%) in the IMA cohort (adjusted HR=0.50; 95% CI=0.26-0.94), but no differences were detected for CML-related mortality (10 (1.7%) vs 11 (1.8%) in the 2GTKIs vs IMA cohort (sHR=1.61; 0.52-4.96). The ELTS score was associated to CML mortality (high risk vs low, HR=9.67; 95%CI 2.94-31.74; p<0.001), while age (per year, HR=1.03; 95%CI 1.00-1.06; p=0.064), CCI (4-5 vs 2, HR=5.22; 95%CI 2.56-10.65; p<0.001), ELTS score (high risk vs low, HR=3.11; 95%CI 1.52-6.35, p=0.002) and 2GTKI vs IMA (HR=0.26; 95%CI 0.10-0.65, p=0.004) were associated to an increased risk of non-related CML mortality. The ELTS score showed a better discriminant ability than the Sokal score in all comparisons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.739171DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8427308PMC
August 2021

Identifying and managing CAR T-cell-mediated toxicities: on behalf of an Italian CAR-T multidisciplinary team.

Expert Opin Biol Ther 2021 Sep 15:1-15. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Stem Cell Transplant Program CIC 587, Great Metropolitan Hospital "Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli", Reggio, Calabria, Italy.

Introduction: Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell therapy is a new treatment for patients with hematologic malignancies in which other therapies have failed.

Areas Covered: The review provides an overview for recognizing and managing the most acute toxicities related to CAR-T cells.

Expert Opinion: The development of immune-mediated toxicities is a common challenge of CAR-T therapy. The mechanism that determines this toxicity is still unclear, although an unfavorable tumor microenvironment and a pro-inflammatory state put patients at risk. The monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment of post-CAR-T toxicities must be determined and based on international guidelines and internal clinical practice. It is urgent to identify biomarkers that can identify patients at greater risk of developing complications. The adoption of consistent grading criteria is necessary to improve toxicity management strategies continually. The first-line therapy consists of supportive care and treatment with tocilizumab or corticosteroids. An early start of cytokine blockade therapies could mitigate toxicity. The plan will include cytokine release prophylaxis, a risk-adapted treatment, prevention of on-target/off-tumor effect, and a switch on/off CAR-T approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14712598.2021.1974394DOI Listing
September 2021

Comparing the safety and efficacy of ruxolitinib in patients with Dynamic International Prognostic Scoring System low-, intermediate-1-, intermediate-2-, and high-risk myelofibrosis in JUMP, a Phase 3b, expanded-access study.

Hematol Oncol 2021 Oct 5;39(4):558-566. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

CRIMM, Center for Research and Innovation of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms, AOU Careggi, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Ruxolitinib, a potent Janus kinase 1/2 inhibitor, has demonstrated durable improvements in patients with myelofibrosis. In this analysis of the Phase 3b JUMP study, which included patients aged ≥18 years with a diagnosis of primary or secondary myelofibrosis, we assessed the safety and efficacy of ruxolitinib in patients stratified by Dynamic International Prognostic Scoring System (DIPSS) risk categories. Baseline characteristic data were available to assess DIPSS status for 1844 of the 2233 enrolled patients; 60, 835, 755, and 194 in the low-, intermediate (Int)-1-, Int-2-, and high-risk groups, respectively. Ruxolitinib was generally well tolerated across all risk groups, with an adverse-event (AE) profile consistent with previous reports. The most common hematologic AEs were thrombocytopenia and anemia, with highest rates of Grade ≥3 events in high-risk patients. Approximately, 73% of patients experienced ≥50% reductions in palpable spleen length at any point in the ≤24-month treatment period, with highest rates in lower-risk categories (low, 82.1%; Int-1, 79.3%; Int-2, 67.1%; high risk, 61.6%). Median time to spleen length reduction was 5.1 weeks and was shortest in lower-risk patients. Across measures, 40%-57% of patients showed clinically meaningful symptom improvements, which were observed from 4 weeks after treatment initiation and maintained throughout the study. Overall survival (OS) was 92% at Week 72 and 75% at Week 240 (4.6 years). Median OS was longer for Int-2-risk than high-risk patients (253.6 vs. 147.3 weeks), but not evaluable in low-/Int-1-risk patients. By Week 240, progression-free survival (PFS) and leukemia-free survival (LFS) rates were higher in lower-risk patients (PFS: low, 90%; Int-1, 82%; Int-2, 46%; high risk, 15%; LFS: low, 92%; Int-1, 86%; Int-2, 58%; high risk, 19%). Clinical benefit was seen across risk groups, with more rapid improvements in lower risk patients. Overall, this analysis indicates that ruxolitinib benefits lower-risk DIPSS patients in addition to higher risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2898DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8518822PMC
October 2021

Randomized, Single-Blind, Multicenter Phase II Study of Two Doses of Imetelstat in Relapsed or Refractory Myelofibrosis.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Sep 17;39(26):2881-2892. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Hôpital Saint-Louis, Université Paris, Paris, France.

Purpose: Patients with myelofibrosis who are relapsed or refractory (R/R) to Janus-associated kinase inhibitors (JAKis) have poor clinical outcomes including dismal overall survival (OS) that ranges between 13 and 16 months. Imetelstat, a telomerase inhibitor, was evaluated in patients with intermediate-2 or high-risk myelofibrosis R/R to JAKi in a phase II multicenter study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02426086).

Patients And Methods: Patients were randomly assigned to receive either imetelstat 9.4 mg/kg or 4.7 mg/kg intravenous once every 3 weeks. Spleen response (≥ 35% spleen volume reduction) and symptom response (≥ 50% reduction in total symptom score) rates at week 24 were coprimary end points. Secondary end points included OS and safety.

Results: Study enrollment was closed early, and patients treated with 4.7 mg/kg were permitted to continue treatment with 9.4 mg/kg. At week 24, spleen and symptom response rates were 10.2% and 32.2% in the 9.4-mg/kg arm and 0% and 6.3% in the 4.7-mg/kg arm. Treatment with imetelstat 9.4 mg/kg led to a median OS of 29.9 months and bone marrow fibrosis improvement in 40.5% and variant allele frequency reduction of driver mutations in 42.1% of evaluable patients. Fibrosis improvement and variant allele frequency reduction correlated with OS. Target inhibition was demonstrated by reduction of telomerase activity and human telomerase reverse transcriptase level and correlated with spleen response, symptom response, and OS. Most common adverse events on both arms were grade 3 or 4 reversible cytopenias.

Conclusion: In this phase II study of two imetelstat doses, 9.4 mg/kg once every 3 weeks demonstrated clinical benefits in symptom response rate, with an acceptable safety profile for this poor-risk JAKi R/R population. Biomarker and bone marrow fibrosis assessments suggested selective effects on the malignant clone. A confirmatory phase III study is currently underway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02864DOI Listing
September 2021

Targeting Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Stem/Progenitor Cells Using Venetoclax-Loaded Immunoliposome.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 15;13(6). Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin, 10043 Turin, Italy.

CML is a hematopoietic stem-cell disorder emanating from breakpoint cluster region/Abelson murine leukemia 1 (BCR/ABL) translocation. Introduction of different TKIs revolutionized treatment outcome in CML patients, but CML LSCs seem insensitive to TKIs and are detectable in newly diagnosed and resistant CML patients and in patients who discontinued therapy. It has been reported that CML LSCs aberrantly express some CD markers such as CD26 that can be used for the diagnosis and for targeting. In this study, we confirmed the presence of CD26+ CML LSCs in newly diagnosed and resistant CML patients. To selectively target CML LSCs/progenitor cells that express CD26 and to spare normal HSCs/progenitor cells, we designed a venetoclax-loaded immunoliposome (IL-VX). Our results showed that by using this system we could selectively target CD26+ cells while sparing CD26- cells. The efficiency of venetoclax in targeting CML LSCs has been reported and our system demonstrated a higher potency in cell death induction in comparison to free venetoclax. Meanwhile, treatment of patient samples with IL-VX significantly reduced CD26+ cells in both stem cells and progenitor cells population. In conclusion, this approach showed that selective elimination of CD26+ CML LSCs/progenitor cells can be obtained in vitro, which might allow in vivo reduction of side effects and attainment of treatment-free, long-lasting remission in CML patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061311DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8000981PMC
March 2021

Ruxolitinib rechallenge in resistant or intolerant patients with myelofibrosis: Frequency, therapeutic effects, and impact on outcome.

Cancer 2021 Aug 1;127(15):2657-2665. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Unit of Hematology and Clinical Immunology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.

Background: After ruxolitinib discontinuation, the outcome of patients with myelofibrosis (MF) is poor with scarce therapeutic possibilities.

Methods: The authors performed a subanalysis of an observational, retrospective study (RUX-MF) that included 703 MF patients treated with ruxolitinib to investigate 1) the frequency and reasons for ruxolitinib rechallenge, 2) its therapeutic effects, and 3) its impact on overall survival.

Results: A total of 219 patients (31.2%) discontinued ruxolitinib for ≥14 days and survived for ≥30 days. In 60 patients (27.4%), ruxolitinib was rechallenged for ≥14 days (RUX-again patients), whereas 159 patients (72.6%) discontinued it permanently (RUX-stop patients). The baseline characteristics of the 2 cohorts were comparable, but discontinuation due to a lack/loss of spleen response was lower in RUX-again patients (P = .004). In comparison with the disease status at the first ruxolitinib stop, at its restart, there was a significant increase in patients with large splenomegaly (P < .001) and a high Total Symptom Score (TSS; P < .001). During the rechallenge, 44.6% and 48.3% of the patients had spleen and symptom improvements, respectively, with a significant increase in the number of patients with a TSS reduction (P = .01). Although the use of a ruxolitinib dose > 10 mg twice daily predicted better spleen (P = .05) and symptom improvements (P = .02), the reasons for/duration of ruxolitinib discontinuation and the use of other therapies before rechallenge were not associated with rechallenge efficacy. At 1 and 2 years, 33.3% and 48.3% of RUX-again patients, respectively, had permanently discontinued ruxolitinib. The median overall survival was 27.9 months, and it was significantly longer for RUX-again patients (P = .004).

Conclusions: Ruxolitinib rechallenge was mainly used in intolerant patients; there were clinical improvements and a possible survival advantage in many cases, but there was a substantial rate of permanent discontinuation. Ruxolitinib rechallenge should be balanced against newer therapeutic possibilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33541DOI Listing
August 2021

Treatment-free remission following frontline nilotinib in patients with chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia: 5-year update of the ENESTfreedom trial.

Leukemia 2021 05 11;35(5):1344-1355. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

University of Turin, Orbassano, Italy.

The ENESTfreedom trial assessed the feasibility of treatment-free remission (TFR) in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase (CML-CP) following frontline nilotinib treatment. Results for long-term outcomes after a 5-year follow-up are presented herein. Patients who had received ≥2 years of frontline nilotinib therapy and achieved MR underwent a 1-year nilotinib treatment consolidation phase before attempting TFR. At the 5-year data cut-off, 81/190 patients entering the TFR phase (42.6%) were still in TFR, with 76 (40.0%) in MR. Patients who lost major molecular response (MMR) entered a treatment re-initiation phase; 90/91 patients entering this phase (98.9%) regained MMR and 84/91 patients (92.3%) regained MR. The Kaplan-Meier estimated treatment-free survival rate at 5 years was 48.2%. No disease progression or CML-related deaths were reported. Whereas the incidence of adverse events (AEs) declined from 96 weeks following the start of TFR, an increase in AE frequency was observed for patients in the treatment re-initiation phase. Low Sokal risk score, BCR-ABL1 levels at 48 weeks of TFR and stable MR response for the first year of TFR were associated with higher TFR rates. Overall, these results support the efficacy and safety of attempting TFR following upfront nilotinib therapy of >3 years in patients with CML-CP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01205-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8102196PMC
May 2021

Long-term safety and efficacy of givinostat in polycythemia vera: 4-year mean follow up of three phase 1/2 studies and a compassionate use program.

Blood Cancer J 2021 03 6;11(3):53. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Clinical R&D Department, Italfarmaco S.p.A, Cinisello Balsamo, Italy.

Polycythemia vera (PV) is a BCR-ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) characterized by excessive proliferation of erythroid, myeloid, and megakaryocytic components in the bone marrow, mainly due to a Janus kinase 2 gene mutation (JAK2). Givinostat, a histone-deacetylase inhibitor that selectively targets JAK2 cell growth, has demonstrated good efficacy and safety in three phase 1/2 studies in patients with PV. This manuscript focuses on the 4-year mean (2.8 year median) follow-up of an open-label, long-term study that enrolled 51 patients with PV (out of a total of 54 with MPN) who received clinical benefit from givinostat in these previous studies or on compassionate use, and who continued to receive givinostat at the last effective and tolerated dose. The primary objectives are to determine givinostat's long-term safety and tolerability, and efficacy evaluated by the investigators according to internationally recognized response criteria. During follow-up, only 10% of PV patients reported Grade 3 treatment-related adverse events (AEs), while none had Grade 4 or 5 treatment-related AEs. The overall response rate for the duration of follow-up was always greater than 80% in patients with PV. In conclusion, givinostat demonstrated a good safety and efficacy profile in patients with PV, data supporting long-term use in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41408-021-00445-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7936975PMC
March 2021

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and risk of arterial occlusive events in chronic myeloid leukemia patients treated with nilotinib.

Ann Hematol 2021 Aug 3;100(8):2005-2014. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Hematology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Recommendations for dyslipidemia management aimed at reducing arterial occlusive events (AOEs) have been recently published. So far, no data have been reported on the management of dyslipidemia in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients treated with nilotinib. We investigated 369 CML adult patients, stratified according to the new Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) scoring system. Plasma levels of cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides were measured prior to the start of nilotinib and after 3, 6, and 12 months. The 5-year cumulative incidence of AOEs was 15.9%. Patients with cholesterol levels > 200 mg/dL and LDL > 70 mg/dL 3 months after treatment showed a significantly higher incidence of AOEs (21.9 ± 4.6% vs 6.2 ± 2.5, P = 0.003). Patients belonging to the high and very high SCORE risk group showed a significant increase of AOEs (34.4 ± 6% vs 10 ± 2.1%, P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, both high cholesterol and LDL levels and a high and very high SCORE risk remained significantly associated with the risk of AOEs (P = 0.008; HR = 3.5; 95% CI = 1.4-8.7 and P < 0.001; HR = 4.4; 95% CI = 2-9.8, respectively). Overall, 78 patients (21.1%) presented dyslipidemia at the time of CML diagnosis and 88 (23.3%) after starting nilotinib, but only 26 of them (29.5%) were treated with statins.Low LDL and cholesterol plasma levels are associated with a significant lower risk of AOEs in CML patients treated with nilotinib in the real life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-04392-wDOI Listing
August 2021

Adolescent and young adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Final results of the phase II pediatric-like GIMEMA LAL-1308 trial.

Am J Hematol 2021 03 29;96(3):292-301. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Hematology, Department of Translational and Precision Medicine, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

Adolescents and young adults (AYA) with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) represent a unique patient population with specific characteristics and needs. Growing evidences suggest that pediatric-inspired approaches improve the outcome in AYA. These results prompted the design of a pediatric AIEOP-BFM ALL 2000-based regimen - the GIMEMA LAL-1308 protocol - for newly diagnosed AYA (range 18-35 years) with Philadelphia negative (Ph-) ALL. The protocol included minimal residual disease (MRD) analysis at two different time-points (TP), that is, at the end of induction IA and consolidation IB, and a modulation in post-consolidation intensity according to MRD. Seventy-six patients were eligible between September 2010 and October 2014. The regimen was well tolerated, with 2.7% induction deaths and no deaths in the post-consolidation phase. The complete response (CR) rate was 92%; the 48-month overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were 60.3% and 60.4%. Both OS and DFS were significantly better in T-ALL than B-ALL. A molecular MRD <10 at TP1 was associated with a significantly better OS and DFS (77% vs 39% and 71.9% vs 34.4%, respectively);similar results were documented at TP2 (OS and DFS 74.5% vs 30.6% and 71.5% vs 25.7%, respectively). The LAL-1308 results were compared to those from similar historic AYA populations undergoing the two previous GIMEMA LAL-2000 and LAL-0904 protocols. Both OS and DFS improved significantly compared to the two previous protocols. These results indicate that this pediatric-inspired and MRD-oriented protocol is feasible and effective for Ph- AYA ALL patients, and underline the prognostic value of MRD determinations at specific TPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.26066DOI Listing
March 2021

Second primary malignancy in myelofibrosis patients treated with ruxolitinib.

Br J Haematol 2021 04 21;193(2):356-368. Epub 2020 Nov 21.

Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, via Albertoni 15, Bologna, Italy.

Ruxolitinib (RUX), the first JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor approved for myelofibrosis (MF) therapy, has recently been associated with the occurrence of second primary malignancies (SPMs), mainly lymphomas and non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs). We analyzed the incidence, risk factors and outcome of SPMs in 700 MF patients treated with RUX in a real-world context. Median follow-up from starting RUX was 2·9 years. Overall, 80 (11·4%) patients developed 87 SPMs after RUX start. NMSCs were the most common SPMs (50·6% of the cases). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that male sex [hazard ratio (HR): 2·37, 95% confidence interval (95%CI): 1·22-4·60, P = 0·01] and thrombocytosis> 400 × 10 /l at RUX start (HR:1·98, 95%CI: 1·10-4·60, P = 0·02) were associated with increased risk for SPMs. Risk factors for NMSC alone were male sex (HR: 3·14, 95%CI: 1·24-7·92, P = 0·02) and duration of hydroxycarbamide and RUX therapy > 5 years (HR: 3·20, 95%CI: 1·17-8·75, P = 0·02 and HR: 2·93, 95%CI: 1·39-6·17, P = 0·005 respectively). In SPMs excluding NMSCs, male sex (HR: 2·41, 95%CI: 1·11-5·25, P = 0·03), platelet > 400 × 10 /l (HR: 3·30, 95%CI: 1·67-6·50, P = 0·001) and previous arterial thromboses (HR: 3·47, 95%CI: 1·48-8·14, P = 0·004) were shown to be associated with higher risk of SPMs. While it is reassuring that no aggressive lymphoma was documented, active skin surveillance is recommended in all patients and particularly after prolonged hydroxycaramide therapy; oncological screening should be triggered by thrombocytosis and arterial thrombosis, particularly in males.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17192DOI Listing
April 2021

A Retrospective Analysis about Frequency of Monitoring in Italian Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients after Discontinuation.

J Clin Med 2020 Nov 17;9(11). Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Hematology Unit, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Gemelli IRCCS, 00168 Rome, Italy.

Successful discontinuation of tyrosine kinase inhibitors has been achieved in patients with chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Careful molecular monitoring after discontinuation warrants safe and prompt resumption of therapy. We retrospectively evaluated how molecular monitoring has been conducted in Italy in a cohort of patients who discontinued tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment per clinical practice. The outcome of these patients has recently been reported-281 chronic-phase CML patients were included in this subanalysis. Median follow-up since discontinuation was 2 years. Overall, 2203 analyses were performed, 17.9% in the first three months and 38.4% in the first six months. Eighty-six patients lost major molecular response (MMR) in a mean time of 5.7 months-65 pts (75.6%) during the first six months. We evaluated the number of patients who would experience a delay in diagnosis of MMR loss if a three-month monitoring schedule was adopted. In the first 6 months, 19 pts (29.2%) would have a one-month delay, 26 (40%) a 2-month delay. Very few patients would experience a delay in the following months. A less intense frequency of monitoring, particularly after the first 6 months off treatment, would not have affected the success of treatment-free remission (TFR) nor put patients at risk of progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9113692DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7698481PMC
November 2020

Analysis of predictors of response to ruxolitinib in patients with myelofibrosis in the phase 3b expanded-access JUMP study.

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 04 19;62(4):918-926. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tikva & Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Data from the large, prospective, multinational, phase 3b JUMP study were analyzed to identify factors predictive of spleen and symptom responses in myelofibrosis patients receiving ruxolitinib. Factors associated with higher spleen response rates included International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) low/intermediate-1 risk vs intermediate-2/high risk (43.1% vs 30.6%; adjusted OR [aOR] 0.65 [95% CI 0.44-0.95]), ruxolitinib as first- vs second- or later-line therapy (40.2% vs 31.5%; aOR 0.53 [95% CI 0.38-0.75]), and a ruxolitinib total daily dose at Week 12 of >20 mg/day vs ≤20 mg/day (41.3% vs 30.4%; aOR 0.47 [95% CI 0.33-0.68]). No association was seen between baseline characteristics or total daily dose at Week 12 and symptom response. Ruxolitinib led to higher spleen response rates in patients with lower IPSS risk, and when used earlier in treatment. Higher doses of ruxolitinib were associated with higher spleen response rates, but not with symptom improvement.Trial registrationINC424 for patients with primary myelofibrosis, post polycythemia myelofibrosis or post-essential thrombocythemia myelofibrosis (JUMP).2010-024473-39; NCT01493414Date of registration: 16 December 2011https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/search?query=2010-024473-39https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01493414.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1845334DOI Listing
April 2021

Integrated Genomic, Functional, and Prognostic Characterization of Atypical Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

Hemasphere 2020 Dec 6;4(6):e497. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano - Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

Atypical chronic myeloid leukemia (aCML) is a -negative clonal disorder, which belongs to the myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative group. This disease is characterized by recurrent somatic mutations in , and genes, as well as high genetic heterogeneity, thus posing a great therapeutic challenge. To provide a comprehensive genomic characterization of aCML we applied a high-throughput sequencing strategy to 43 aCML samples, including both whole-exome and RNA-sequencing data. Our dataset identifies , , and as the most frequently mutated genes with a total of 43.2%, 29.7 and 16.2%, respectively. We characterized the clonal architecture of 7 aCML patients by means of colony assays and targeted resequencing. The results indicate that variants occur early in the clonal evolution history of aCML, while mutations often represent a late event. The presence of actionable mutations conferred both ex vivo and in vivo sensitivity to specific inhibitors with evidence of strong in vitro synergism in case of multiple targeting. In one patient, a clinical response was obtained. Stratification based on RNA-sequencing identified two different populations in terms of overall survival, and differential gene expression analysis identified 38 significantly overexpressed genes in the worse outcome group. Three genes correctly classified patients for overall survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HS9.0000000000000497DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7655091PMC
December 2020

Cytogenetic study in primary myelofibrosis at diagnosis: Clinical and histological association and impact on survival according to WHO 2017 classification in an Italian multicenter series.

Hematol Oncol 2021 Feb 4;39(1):123-128. Epub 2020 Oct 4.

Division of Pathology, Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

We analyzed cytogenetic data at diagnosis in 395 primary myelofibrosis (PMF) patients to evaluate any possible association between karyotype and WHO 2017 classification and its impact on prognosis. All the cases were diagnosed and followed at five Italian Hematological Centers between November 1983 and December 2016. An abnormal karyotype (AK) was found in 69 patients and clustered differently according to bone marrow fibrosis grade as it was found in 31 (27.0%) cases with overt fibrotic and 38 (13.6%) with pre-fibrotic PMF (p = 0.001). Sex, anemia, thrombocytopenia, circulating blasts ≥1%, higher lactate dehydrogenase, and International Prognostic Scoring System risk classes were all significantly associated with karyotype. At a median follow-up of >6 years, 101 deaths were recorded. Survival was different between AK and normal karyotype (NK) patients with an estimated median overall survival (OS) of 11.6 and 25.7 years, respectively (p = 0.0148). In conclusion, in our cohort around 20% of patients had an AK, more frequently in subjects with an advanced bone marrow fibrosis grade and clinical-laboratory features indicative of a more aggressive disease. This study shows that an AK confers a more severe clinical phenotype and impacts adversely on OS, thus representing an additional parameter to be considered in the evaluation of PMF prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2808DOI Listing
February 2021

Impact of invasive aspergillosis occurring during first induction therapy on outcome of acute myeloid leukaemia (SEIFEM-12B study).

Mycoses 2020 Oct 23;63(10):1094-1100. Epub 2020 Aug 23.

Istituto di Ematologia, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli-IRCCS-Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma, Italy.

Background: Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients are at high risk of invasive aspergillosis (IA) after first induction chemotherapy (CHT). Although IA risk factors have been identified, few data are available on impact of IA, occurring during induction phase, on overall AML outcome.

Patients And Results: The end point of this multicentre, case-control, study was to evaluate whether IA, occurring after first induction CHT, can affect treatment schedule and patient's outcome. We identified 40 AML patients (cases) who developed IA during first induction phase, 31 probable (77.5%) and 9 proven (22.5%). These cases were matched with a control group (80 AML) without IA, balanced according to age, type of CHT, AML characteristics and cytogenetic-molecular risk factors. The overall response rate to induction CHT was the same in the 2 groups. In the 40 cases with IA, the overall response rate to antifungal treatment was favourable (80%) but it was significantly affected by the achievement of leukaemia complete remission (CR) with induction CHT. In fact, in cases with AML responsive to induction CHT, responses of IA to antifungal therapy were 96% compared to 21% in cases of AML not responsive to induction treatment (P < .0001). The adherence to the schedule and full doses of CHT were reported in 35% of cases (14/40) and in 76% of controls (61/80) (P = .0001; OR 6.7; 95% CI 2.7-16.6). After first induction CHT, a significant higher number of cases (15/40; 37.5%) compared to controls (9/80; 11%) could not receive additional cycles of CHT (P = .0011, OR 4.8; 95% CI 1.9-12.3). The IA-related mortality was 22.5%. The median OS of cases was significantly worse than OS of controls with a difference of 12.3 months (12.1 vs 24.4 months, P = .04). However, the occurrence of IA during first induction phase did not have a significant impact on the OS of cases who achieved a CR of AML with induction CHT which are able to proceed, despite the IA, with their therapeutic program, achieving the same OS as the control group with AML in CR (P = ns).

Conclusions: These data show that IA during first induction CHT can delay the subsequent therapeutic program and has a significant impact on OS, specifically in AML patients who did not achieved a CR of AML with the first course of CHT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/myc.13147DOI Listing
October 2020

Acute promyelocytic leukaemia long-term survivors: higher fatigue and greater overall symptom burden.

BMJ Support Palliat Care 2020 Jul 17. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Data Center and Health Outcomes Research Unit, Italian Group for Adult Hematologic Diseases (GIMEMA), Roma, Italy

Objective: We aimed to investigate the association of fatigue with severity of other key cancer symptoms, as well as symptom interference with daily activities and outlook on life, in long-term survivors of acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL).

Methods: The study sample consisted of APL survivors (n=244), with a median time from diagnosis of 14.3 years (IQR=11.1-16.9 years), previously enrolled in a long-term follow-up study. Symptom severity and symptom interference were assessed using the well-validated MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI). Fatigue was evaluated with the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue questionnaire.

Results: Higher fatigue burden was associated with increased affective symptoms, memory problems, drowsiness, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath and pain. Higher levels of fatigue were also associated with higher scores across all interference items of the MDASI. Overall, symptoms interfered most with mood, but among APL survivors with high levels of fatigue, symptoms interfered most with enjoyment of life. Multivariable regression analysis confirmed the independent association between fatigue and all symptom severity items of the MDASI.

Conclusions: The current findings show that long-term APL survivors who report higher fatigue also experience a greater overall symptom burden and a substantial impact on performance of daily activities. Further studies are needed to examine whether interventions aimed at reducing fatigue could also reduce overall symptom burden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjspcare-2020-002281DOI Listing
July 2020

Renin angiotensin system inhibitors reduce the incidence of arterial thrombotic events in patients with hypertension and chronic myeloid leukemia treated with second- or third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Ann Hematol 2020 Jul 30;99(7):1525-1530. Epub 2020 May 30.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Section of Hematology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Hypertension is a commonly reported comorbidity in patients diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and its management represents a challenge in patients treated with 2nd- or 3rd-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), considering their additional cardiovascular (CV) toxicity. The renin angiotensin system (RAS) contributes to hypertension genesis and plays an important role in atherosclerosis development, proliferation, and differentiation of myeloid hematopoietic cells. We analyzed a cohort of 192 patients with hypertension at CML diagnosis, who were treated with 2nd- or 3rd-generation TKIs, and evaluated the efficacy of RAS inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) and angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARBs)) in the prevention of arterial occlusive events (AOEs), as compared with other drug classes. The 5-year cumulative incidence of AOEs was 32.7 ± 4.2%. Patients with SCORE ≥ 5% (high-very-high) showed a significantly higher incidence of AOEs (33.7 ± 7.6% vs 13.6 ± 4.8%, p = 0.006). The AOE incidence was significantly lower in patients treated with RAS inhibitors (14.8 ± 4.2% vs 44 ± 1%, p < 0.001, HR = 0.283). The difference in the low and intermediate Sokal risk group was confirmed but not in the high-risk group, where a lower RAS expression has been reported. Our data suggest that RAS inhibitors may represent an optimal treatment in patients with hypertension and CML, treated with 2nd or 3rd TKIs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-04102-6DOI Listing
July 2020

Risk factors for progression to blast phase and outcome in 589 patients with myelofibrosis treated with ruxolitinib: Real-world data.

Hematol Oncol 2020 Aug 20;38(3):372-380. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Department of Scienze Mediche, Chirurgiche e Tecnologie Avanzate "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, Catania, Italy.

The impact of ruxolitinib therapy on evolution to blast phase (BP) in patients with myelofibrosis (MF) is still uncertain. In 589 MF patients treated with ruxolitinib, we investigated incidence and risk factors for BP and we described outcome according to disease characteristics and treatment strategy. After a median follow-up from ruxolitinib start of 3 years (range 0.1-7.6), 65 (11%) patients transformed to BP during (93.8%) or after treatment. BP incidence rate was 3.7 per 100 patient-years, comparably in primary and secondary MF (PMF/SMF) but significantly lower in intermediate-1 risk patients (2.3 vs 5.6 per 100 patient-years in intermediate-2/high-risk patients, P < .001). In PMF and SMF cohorts, previous interferon therapy seemed to correlate with a lower probability of BP (HR 0.13, P = .001 and HR 0.22, P = .02, respectively). In SMF, also platelet count <150 × 10 /l (HR 2.4, P = .03) and peripheral blasts ≥3% (HR 3.3, P = .004) were significantly associated with higher risk of BP. High-risk category according to dynamic International Prognostic Score System (DIPSS) and myelofibrosis secondary to PV and ET Collaboration Prognostic Model (MYSEC-PM predicted BP in patients with PMF and SMF, respectively. Median survival after BP was 0.2 (95% CI: 0.1-0.3) years. Therapy for BP included hypomethylating agents (12.3%), induction chemotherapy (9.2%), allogeneic transplant (6.2%) or supportive care (72.3%). Patients treated with supportive therapy had a median survival of 6 weeks, while 73% of the few transplanted patients were alive at a median follow-up of 2 years. Progression to BP occurs in a significant fraction of ruxolitinib-treated patients and is associated with DIPSS and MYSEC-PM risk in PMF and SMF, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2737DOI Listing
August 2020

The multi-tyrosine kinase inhibitor ponatinib for chronic myeloid leukemia: Real-world data.

Eur J Haematol 2020 Jul 15;105(1):3-15. Epub 2020 Mar 15.

Hematology and Transplant Unit, Policlinico of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Development of the highly selective targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has expanded the therapeutic options for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Patients undergoing TKI therapy should be closely monitored to ensure that the best therapeutic response and quality of life are achieved, and to control suboptimal responses and adverse events. Despite the high rate of response using current first-line TKIs, treatment failure may still occur, and resistance is considered a challenge in the treatment of patients with CML. The third-generation TKI, ponatinib, is a potent orally bioavailable pan BCR-ABL inhibitor that inhibits both wild-type and mutant BCR-ABL1 kinase, including the "gatekeeper" T315I mutation, which is resistant to all other currently available TKIs. This paper reviews the effectiveness, feasibility, and safety of ponatinib in the real-life clinical management of CML. Potential prognostic factors in identifying patients most likely to benefit from ponatinib treatment will be discussed, and case presentations illustrating situations encountered in real-life clinical practice are described. Ponatinib is effective in patients who have received prior TKIs in clinical studies as well as under real-life conditions. Nevertheless, the risk/benefit balance must be evaluated for each patient, particularly considering disease state, mutational status, treatment line, intolerance/resistance to prior TKIs, age, frailty, and specific comorbidities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13408DOI Listing
July 2020

Primary analysis of JUMP, a phase 3b, expanded-access study evaluating the safety and efficacy of ruxolitinib in patients with myelofibrosis, including those with low platelet counts.

Br J Haematol 2020 06 4;189(5):888-903. Epub 2020 Feb 4.

Center for Research and Innovation of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Ruxolitinib is a potent Janus kinase (JAK) 1/JAK2 inhibitor approved for the treatment of myelofibrosis (MF). Ruxolitinib was assessed in JUMP, a large (N = 2233), phase 3b, expanded-access study in MF in countries without access to ruxolitinib outside a clinical trial, which included patients with low platelet counts (<100 × 10 /l) and patients without splenomegaly - populations that have not been extensively studied. The most common adverse events (AEs) were anaemia and thrombocytopenia, but they rarely led to discontinuation (overall, 5·4%; low-platelet cohort, 12·3%). As expected, rates of worsening thrombocytopenia were higher in the low-platelet cohort (all grades, 73·2% vs. 53·5% overall); rates of anaemia were similar (all grades, 52·9% vs. 59·5%). Non-haematologic AEs, including infections, were mainly grade 1/2. Overall, ruxolitinib led to meaningful reductions in spleen length and symptoms, including in patients with low platelet counts, and symptom improvements in patients without splenomegaly. In this trial, the largest study of ruxolitinib in patients with MF to date, the safety profile was consistent with previous reports, with no new safety concerns identified. This study confirms findings from the COMFORT studies and supports the use of ruxolitinib in patients with platelet counts of 50-100 × 10 /l. (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01493414).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16462DOI Listing
June 2020

Managing chronic myeloid leukemia for treatment-free remission: a proposal from the GIMEMA CML WP.

Blood Adv 2019 12;3(24):4280-4290

Università Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Several papers authored by international experts have proposed recommendations on the management of BCR-ABL1+ chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Following these recommendations, survival of CML patients has become very close to normal. The next, ambitious, step is to bring as many patients as possible into a condition of treatment-free remission (TFR). The Gruppo Italiano Malattie EMatologiche dell'Adulto (GIMEMA; Italian Group for Hematologic Diseases of the Adult) CML Working Party (WP) has developed a project aimed at selecting the treatment policies that may increase the probability of TFR, taking into account 4 variables: the need for TFR, the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), the characteristics of leukemia, and the patient. A Delphi-like method was used to reach a consensus among the representatives of 50 centers of the CML WP. A consensus was reached on the assessment of disease risk (EUTOS Long Term Survival [ELTS] score), on the definition of the most appropriate age boundaries for the choice of first-line treatment, on the choice of the TKI for first-line treatment, and on the definition of the responses that do not require a change of the TKI (BCR-ABL1 ≤10% at 3 months, ≤1% at 6 months, ≤0.1% at 12 months, ≤0.01% at 24 months), and of the responses that require a change of the TKI, when the goal is TFR (BCR-ABL1 >10% at 3 and 6 months, >1% at 12 months, and >0.1% at 24 months). These suggestions may help optimize the treatment strategy for TFR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000865DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6929396PMC
December 2019
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