Publications by authors named "Carla Filì"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Population Pharmacokinetics of Continuous-Infusion Meropenem in Febrile Neutropenic Patients with Hematologic Malignancies: Dosing Strategies for Optimizing Empirical Treatment against Enterobacterales and .

Pharmaceutics 2020 Aug 19;12(9). Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Medicine, University of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy.

A population pharmacokinetic analysis of continuous infusion (CI) meropenem was conducted in a prospective cohort of febrile neutropenic (FN) patients with hematologic malignancies. A non-parametric approach with Pmetrics was used for pharmacokinetic analysis and covariate evaluation. Monte Carlo simulations were performed for identifying the most appropriate dosages for empirical treatment against common Enterobacterales and The probability of target attainment (PTA) of steady-state meropenem concentration (Css)-to-minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ratio (Css/MIC) ≥1 and ≥4 at the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) clinical breakpoint of 2 mg/L were calculated. Cumulative fraction of response (CFR) against Enterobacterales and were assessed as well. PTAs and CFRs ≥ 90% were considered optimal. A total of 61 patients with 178 meropenem Css were included. Creatinine clearance (CL) was the only covariate associated with meropenem clearance. Monte Carlo simulations showed that dosages of meropenem ranging between 1 g q8h and 1.25 g q6h by CI may grant optimal PTAs of Css/MIC ≥4 at the EUCAST clinical breakpoint. Optimal CFRs may be granted with these dosages against the Enterobacterales at Css/MIC ≥ 4 and against at Css/MIC ≥ 1. When dealing against at Css/MIC ≥ 4, only a dosage of 1.5 g q6h by CI may grant quasi-optimal CFR (around 80-87%). In conclusion, our findings suggest that dosages of meropenem ranging between 1 g q8h and 1.25 g q6h by CI may maximize empirical treatment against Enterobacterales and among FN patients with hematologic malignancies having different degree of renal function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12090785DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7560225PMC
August 2020

Real-world experience with decitabine as a first-line treatment in 306 elderly acute myeloid leukaemia patients unfit for intensive chemotherapy.

Hematol Oncol 2019 Oct 20;37(4):447-455. Epub 2019 Aug 20.

UO Ematologia e Trapianto Midollo Osseo, IRCCS Istituto Scientifico Universitario San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.

Despite widespread use of decitabine to treat acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), data on its effectiveness and safety in the real-world setting are scanty. Thus, to analyze the performance of decitabine in clinical practice, we pooled together patient-level data of three multicentric observational studies conducted since 2013 throughout Italy, including 306 elderly AML patients (median age 75 years), unfit for intensive chemotherapy, treated with first-line decitabine therapy at the registered schedule of 20 mg/m /iv daily for 5 days every 4 weeks. Overall response rate (ORR), overall survival (OS) curves, and multivariate hazard ratios (HRs) of all-cause mortality were computed. Overall, 1940 cycles of therapy were administered (median, 5 cycles/patient). A total of 148 subjects were responders and, therefore, ORR was 48.4%. Seventy-one patients (23.2%) had complete remission, 32 (10.5%) had partial remission, and 45 (14.7%) had haematologic improvement. Median OS was 11.6 months for patients with favourable-intermediate cytogenetic risk and 7.9 months for those with adverse cytogenetic risk. Median relapse-free survival after CR was 10.9 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 8.7-16.0). In multivariate analysis, mortality was higher in patients with adverse cytogenetic risk (HR=1.58; 95% CI: 1.13-2.21) and increased continuously with white blood cell (WBC) count (HR=1.12; 95% CI: 1.06-1.18). A total of 183 infectious adverse events occurred in 136 patients mainly (>90%) within the first five cycles of therapy. This pooled analysis of clinical care studies confirmed, outside of clinical trials, the effectiveness of decitabine as first-line therapy for AML in elderly patients unfit for intensive chemotherapy. An adverse cytogenetic profile and a higher WBC count at diagnosis were, in this real life setting, unfavourable predictors of survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2663DOI Listing
October 2019

Efficacy and toxicity of Decitabine in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML): A multicenter real-world experience.

Leuk Res 2019 01 28;76:33-38. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

Clinica Ematologica, Centro Trapianti e Terapie Cellulari, Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Integrata, Udine, Italy.

Background: The hypomethylating agent Decitabine (DAC) is a valuable treatment option in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), particularly in elderly patients (pts) not suitable for intensive chemotherapy (CHT). However, limited data are available about efficacy and safety of DAC in clinical practice.

Patients And Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data of 104 AML pts treated with DAC in eight Italian Hematological Centers from 2015 to 2017. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of DAC in older AML pts outside of clinical trial. Seventy-five (75%) pts received DAC as first line treatment (Cohort 1) and 29 pts as salvage therapy (Cohort 2). All pts received a DAC schedule of 20 mg/sqm IV for 5-days, every 28 days. The median age was 72.5 years (74 in cohort 1 and 66 in cohort 2) and 16% of pts had an ECOG performance status >2 at the start of DAC treatment (with non-significant difference in the two cohorts). The cumulative illness rating scale (CIRS) was > 6 in 27% of pts. Forty-five pts (43%) had secondary AML. Bone marrow blast count was > 30% in 64% of patients (67/104). In the relapsed cohort 17/29 (59%) patients were treated with DAC after conventional CHT, 5/29 (17%) after allo-SCT and 7/29 (24%) after azacitidine therapy.

Results: A total of 469 DAC cycles were given to the 104 pts with a median of 3 cycles (range 1-21) and 45/104 (43%) pts received > 4 cycles. The Overall Response Rate (ORR = Complete Remission-CR plus Partial Remission-PR) was 33%, significantly higher in Cohort 1 (42%) compared to Cohort 2 (14%) (p = 0.009). The median duration of response was 6 months (range 1-20). In Cohort 1 the best response (CR or PR) was obtained between 3th and 6th cycle. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, achievement of CR or PR (HR = 0.78; p = 0.0004), CIRS < 6 (HR = 0.9; p = 0.04) and complex karyotype (HR = 0.8; p = 0.03) were significant predictors of better overall survival (OS). Median OS from the start of DAC therapy was 11 months for the whole population with a significant OS advantage in Cohort 1 (median OS 12.7 mths vs 6.3 mths; p = 0.003); median OS was significantly longer in responders compared to non-responders (22.6 mths vs 5.7 mths; p < 0.0001). At the last follow-up, 56 patients (54%) are still alive and 48 (46%) are dead (71% due to disease progression). The most common toxicities were myelosuppression and documented infectious complications that occurred mainly during the first 4 cycles.

Conclusion: These data confirm the efficacy (ORR 33%) and the acceptable safety profile of DAC in the real life management of AML in elderly pts unsuitable for intensive CHT, with a significant better performance in first line therapy (ORR 42%, median OS 12.7 mths). The efficacy of DAC, both in first line and as salvage therapy, may probably be improved with combined treatment strategies and/or with different DAC schedules that could increase its anti-leukemic effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2018.11.015DOI Listing
January 2019

High prognostic value of pre-allogeneic stem cell transplantation minimal residual disease detection by WT1 gene expression in AML transplanted in cytologic complete remission.

Leuk Res 2017 12 27;63:22-27. Epub 2017 Oct 27.

Division of Hematology and SCT, University Hospital, Udine, Udine, Italy.

We analyzed the outcome of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients according to molecular Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) status prior to allo-SCT. MRD was assessed by the quantitative expression of the pan-leukemic marker Wilms' tumor (WT1) gene, according to the validated LeukemiaNet method. Between 2005 and 2016, 122 consecutive AML patients, WT1 positive at diagnosis, received allo-SCT in cytologic complete remission (cCR). The median age at SCT was 53 years (range 18-70). Quantitative analysis of WT1 gene expression (bone marrow samples) was available in all cases both at diagnosis (100% of samples overexpressed WT1 with a mean of 8607±8187 copies/10 Abelson) and immediately before allo-SCT. Eighty one cases (66%) were MRD-WT1 negative (WT1 <250 copies) and 41/122 (44%) cases were MRD-WT1 positive (WT1 >250 copies) prior to allo-SCT. We evaluated post-SCT overall survival (OS), disease free survival (DFS) and relapse rate (RR), according to MRD-WT1 status pre-SCT. Both post-allo-SCT OS and DFS were significantly improved in patients who were MRD-WT1 negative at the time of SCT compared with those who were MRD-WT1 positive, with a median OS and DFS not reached in the MRD-WT1 negative group and 9 and 8 months, respectively, in the WT1 positive group (OS log-rank p<0.0001; hazard ratio [HR] 3.9, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 2.0-7.38; DFS log-rank p<0.0001; HR 3.73, 95% CI 2.0-6.72). The RR after SCT was 15% (12/81) in pre-SCT MRD-WT1 negative cases and 44% (18/41) in MRD-WT1 positive cases (p=0.00073). Univariate analysis showed that MRD-WT1 negativity pre-SCT and grade <2 acute GVHD were significant prognostic factors for improved OS and DFS. However multivariate analysis showed MRD-WT1 negativity pre-SCT was the only independent prognostic factor for improved OS and DFS. These data show that pre allo-SCT molecular MRD evaluation using WT1 expression is a powerful predictor of post allo-SCT outcomes in AML undergoing SCT in cCR. Patients with both cCR and MRD-WT1 negativity before SCT have a very good outcome with lower RR and improved OS. The pre allo-SCT MRD-WT1 stratification in AML is a valuable tool to identify patients at high risk of post-SCT relapse, and can influence conditioning regimen intensification and/or post-SCT preemptive strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2017.10.010DOI Listing
December 2017

Predictive value of pretransplantation molecular minimal residual disease assessment by WT1 gene expression in FLT3-positive acute myeloid leukemia.

Exp Hematol 2017 05 1;49:25-33. Epub 2017 Feb 1.

Division of Hematology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Integrata di Udine, University of Udine, Udine UD, Italy.

The FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) mutation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a negative prognostic factor and, in these cases, allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) can represent an important therapeutic option, especially if performed in complete remission (CR). However, it is increasingly clear that not all cytological CRs (cCRs) are the same and that minimal residual disease (MRD) before allo-SCT could have an impact on AML outcome. Unfortunately, FLT3, due its instability of expression, is still not considered a good molecular MRD marker. We analyzed the outcome of allo-SCT in a population of FLT3-positive AML patients according to molecular MRD at the pretransplantation workup, assessed by the quantitative expression evaluation of the panleukemic marker Wilms' tumor (WT1) gene. Sixty-two consecutive AML FLT3-positive patients received allo-SCT between 2005 and 2016 in our center. The median age at transplantation was 55 years. The quantitative analysis of the WT1 gene expression (bone marrow samples) was available in 54 out of 62 (87%) cases, both at diagnosis (100% overexpressing WT1 with a mean of 9747 ± 8064 copies) and before allo-SCT (33 WT1-negative and 21 WT1-positive cases at the pretransplantation workup). Of these cases, 33/54 (61%) were both in cCR and molecular remission (WT1-negative) at the time of transplantation, 13/54 (24%) were in cCR but not in molecular remission (WT1-positive), and 8/54 (15%) showed a cytological evidence of disease (relapsed or refractory). Both post-allo-SCT overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were significantly better in patients who were WT1-negative (WT1 <250 copies) at the time of transplantation compared with those who were WT1-positive (WT1 >250 copies), with a median OS and DFS not reached in the WT1-negative group and 10.2 and 5.5 months, respectively, in the WT1-positive group (OS log-rank p = 0.0005; hazard ratio [HR] = 3.7, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.5-9; DFS log-rank p = 0.0001; HR = 4.38, 95% CI = 1.9-10). Patients with cCR who were WT1-positive had the same negative outcome as those with a cytological evidence of disease. The relapse rate after allo-SCT was 9% (3/33) in pre-allo-SCT WT1-negative cases and 54% (7/13) in WT1-positive cases (p = 0.002). At multivariate analysis, WT1 negativity before allo-SCT and grade <2 acute graft versus host disease were the only independent prognostic factors for improved OS and DFS. These data show that pre-allo-SCT molecular MRD evaluation through WT1 expression is a powerful predictor of posttransplantation outcomes (OS, DFS, relapse rate). Patients with both cCR and a WT1-negative marker before allo-SCT have a very good outcome with very low relapse rate; conversely, patients with positive molecular MRD and refractory/relapsed patients have a negative outcome. The WT1 MRD stratification in FLT3-positive AML is a valuable tool with which to identify patients who are at high risk of relapse and that could be considered from post-allo-SCT prophylaxis with FLT3 inhibitors or other strategies (donor lymphocyte infusion, tapering of immunosuppression, azacitidine).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exphem.2017.01.005DOI Listing
May 2017

Clinical outcome of myeloid sarcoma in adult patients and effect of allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Results from a multicenter survey.

Leuk Res 2017 02 20;53:74-81. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Division of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Azienda Sanitaria-Universitaria Integrata, University of Udine, Italy.

Introduction: Myeloid Sarcoma (MS) is a rare hematologic myeloid neoplasm that can involve any site of the body. It can occur as an exclusively extramedullary form or it can be associated with an acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) or a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) at onset or at relapse. The rarity of MS does not enable prospective clinical trials and therefore a specific multicenter register can be useful for the clinical and biological studies of this rare disease.

Patients And Results: we report the clinical characteristics and outcome of 48 histologically confirmed MS, diagnosed and treated in 9 Italian Hematological Centers in the last 10 years. The patient's median age was 46 years. There were 9/48 de novo extramedullary MS, 24/48 de novo AML-related MS and 15/48 were secondary AML-related MS. The most common extramedullary anatomic sites of disease were: skin, lymph nodes and soft tissues. Forty-three patients (90%) underwent a program of intensive chemotherapy including FLAI, HDAC-IDA, HyperCVAD and MEC schemes, with a DDI of 5% and a CR Rate of 45%. Twenty-two (46%) patients underwent Allogeneic SCT, 13 from a MUD, 8 from an HLA-identical sibling donor and 1 from an haploidentical donor. The median OS of the whole population (48 pts) was 16.7 months. The OS probability at 1, 2 and 5 years was 64%, 39% and 33%, respectively. The OS was better in patients that underwent an intensive therapeutic program (median OS: 18 months vs 5 months). Among the intensively treated patients, in univariate analysis, the OS was better in young patients (P=0,008), in patients that underwent Allo-SCT (P=0,009) and in patients that achieved a CR during treatment (P=0,001), and was worse in pts with secondary AML-related MS (P=0,007). Age, response to intensive chemotherapy and Allo-SCT were the only three variables that significantly influenced DFS (P=0,02, P=0,01 and P=0,04, respectively). In multivariable analysis, Allo-SCT and response to intensive chemotherapy remained significant in predicting a better OS (P=0,04 and P=0,001, respectively), and response to intensive chemotherapy was the only significant variable in predicting DFS (P=0,01). After Allo-SCT we observe a survival advantage in patients who achieved a pre-transplant CR (P=0,008) and in those who developed a chronic GvHD (P=0,05).

Conclusions: Patients with MS, both with de novo and secondary forms, still have a very unfavorable outcome and require an intensive therapeutic program, that includes Allo-SCT whenever possible. The outcome after Allo-SCT is positively influenced by the development of chronic GvHD suggesting a Graft versus MS effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2016.12.003DOI Listing
February 2017

Treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia elderly patients in the tyrosine kinase inhibitor era.

Curr Cancer Drug Targets 2013 Sep;13(7):755-67

Chair of Hematology, Unit of Blood Diseases and Cell Therapies, University of Brescia - AO Spedali Civili Brescia, P.le Spedali Civili 1, 25100 Brescia, Italy.

The prevalence of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is expected to double in the next 15 years. The introduction of imatinib significantly changed the prognosis of CML, challenging the concept of a fatal disease. Nowdays, imatinib, nilotinib and dasatinib are registered for first-line treatment of CML patients in chronic phase (CP). Considering elderly patients, the most extensively studied TKI is imatinib, that induces a rate of cytogenetic and molecular responses comparable between the younger and the elderly patients. Once a CCgR with imatinib is achieved, the probability to be alive and disease free at 8 years is more than 80%. These results confirm that imatinib has to be considered the first-line treatment for the elderly and that the CCgR is the guide parameter for treatment modulation and the most solid marker of long term outcome. Nevertheless, older patients tolerate imatinib worse in comparison to the younger, and this causes a higher rate of therapy discontinuation and less adherence to chronic treatment. Thus, the toxic profile of each TKI is one of the most important factors driving the choice of the best drug. Another important factor is the potency of the TKI. Since nilotinib and dasatinib are more potent than imatinib in inducing cytogenetic and molecular responses, they could be preferred for increasing the proportion of patients who can achieve deeper molecular responses, allowing treatment discontinuation. This approach is intriguing, but it is still experimental. Another therapeutic strategy could be the identification of the minimal effective dose of TKI in order to maintain the CCgR, but also this approach is under clinical investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/15680096113139990090DOI Listing
September 2013

Prospective phase II Study on 5-days azacitidine for treatment of symptomatic and/or erythropoietin unresponsive patients with low/INT-1-risk myelodysplastic syndromes.

Clin Cancer Res 2013 Jun 17;19(12):3297-308. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Chair of Hematology, Unit of Blood Disease and Stem Cell Transplantation, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Purpose: This phase II prospective study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 5-days azacytidine (5d-AZA) in patients with low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Second, single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genetic profile and phosphoinositide-phospholipase C (PI-PLC) β1 levels were studied to evaluate possible biologic markers able to predict the hematologic response.

Experimental Design: The study tested a lower intensity schedule of azacytidine. The treatment plan consisted of 75 mg/sqm/d subcutaneous administered for 5 days every 28 days, for a total of 8 cycles.

Results: Thirty-two patients were enrolled in the study. The overall response rate was 47% (15 of 32) on intention-to-treat and 58% (15 of 26) for patients completing the treatment program. In this latter group, 5 (19%) achieved complete remission (CR) and 10 (38%) had hematologic improvement, according to the International Working Group (IWG) criteria. Three patients have maintained their hematologic improvement after 37, 34, and 33 months without other treatments. Moreover, 21 and 2 of 26 cases completing 8 cycles were transfusion-dependent for red blood cells and platelets at baseline, respectively. Of these, 7 (33%) and 2 (100%) became transfusion-independent at the end of the treatment program, respectively. Grade 3-4 neutropenia occurred in 28% of patients and 4 patients died early due to infections or hemorrhage. SNP results were not significantly correlated to the clinical outcome, whereas PI-PLCβ1 level anticipated either positive or negative clinical responses.

Conclusions: 5d-AZA is safe and effective in a proportion of patients with low-risk MDS. PI-PLCβ1 gene expression is a reliable and dynamic marker of response that can be useful to optimize azacytidine therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3540DOI Listing
June 2013

Profile of toll-like receptors on peripheral blood cells in relation to acute graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2013 Feb 26;19(2):227-34. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

Stem Cell Transplantation Unit, Department of Hematology, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a key role in the cross-talk between the innate and adaptive immune systems. Previous studies investigating associations between certain TLRs and acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) have reported contrasting results, and no studies relating aGVHD to the expression and function of all human TLRs together have been published to date. We prospectively evaluated the expression of 9 TLRs on T lymphocytes and monocytes by flow cytometry in relation to aGVHD in 34 patients. Induction of TNF-α, IL-4, IFN-γ, and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 on TLR activation was assessed by ELISA on cell supernatants. Nineteen patients developed aGVHD, at a median time of 28 days (range, 20-50 days) after transplantation. A 2-step multivariate analysis was performed using principal component analysis and multifactor analysis of variance. The levels of TLR-5 expression on monocytes and T lymphocytes were positively correlated to aGVHD (P = .01), whereas levels of TLR-1 and -9 were negative predictors (P = .03 and .01, respectively). This profile of TLR-1, -5, and -9 can promote an overall immunostimulatory/proinflammatory response. If our findings are confirmed by further studies, this TLR profile could be a useful biomarker of aGVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2012.09.013DOI Listing
February 2013

Incidence of bacterial and fungal infections in newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia patients younger than 65 yr treated with induction regimens including fludarabine: retrospective analysis of 224 cases.

Eur J Haematol 2008 Nov 19;81(5):354-63. Epub 2008 Aug 19.

Unit of Blood Diseases and Cell Therapies, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Objectives: Infections are the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). They primarily occur during the first course of induction chemotherapy and may increase the risk of leukaemia relapse, due to a significant delay in consolidation therapy. The intensification of induction chemotherapy and the use of non-conventional drugs such as fludarabine are considered responsible for the increased risk of infections.

Methods: In this study, we retrospectively analysed the infections occurred in 224 newly diagnosed AML patients
Results: During the induction phase, 146 (65%) patients experienced fever of undetermined origin (FUO), 30 (13%) and 47 (21%) patients had Gram-negative and positive bacteremias, respectively, and 10 (4%) patients developed a probable/proven invasive fungal infection (IFI). The fatality rate for Gram-negative, Gram-positive bacteremias and probable/proven IFI was 10%, 8% and 60% respectively. During consolidation, 75 (35%) patients had FUO, 43 (20%) and 40 (19%) patients had Gram-negative and positive bacteremias, respectively, and 5 (2%) patients developed a probable/proven IFI. The fatality rate for Gram-negative, Gram-positive bacteremias and probable/proven IFI was 14%, 5% and 80% respectively. Interestingly, the overall incidence of microbiologically documented infections during induction was 38% and the incidence of probable/proven IFIs during the induction/consolidation programme was 7%. No infections caused by viruses or opportunistic pathogens were observed neither during induction, nor during consolidation.

Conclusions: These data, although retrospectively collected, suggest that fludarabine-based chemotherapy is not associated with an increased incidence of infections, in particular IFIs, compared to conventional regimens commonly used for AML induction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2008.01122.xDOI Listing
November 2008

Case-control study of multidrug resistance phenotype and response to induction treatment including or not fludarabine in newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia patients.

Br J Haematol 2007 Jan;136(1):87-95

Chair of Haematology, Unit of Blood Diseases and Cell Therapies, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

One hundred and six patients aged /= 6) vs. 75% among the MDR-Pgp-negative (neg(ve)) ones (MFI < 6) (P = 0.16). Conversely, in the controls, the CR rate was 44% among the MDR-Pgp-pos(ve) patients vs. 67% among the MDR-Pgp-neg(ve) ones (P = 0.02). The 4-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) of MDR-Pgp-pos(ve) cases were significantly longer than those of MDR-Pgp-pos(ve) controls (DFS, 28.1% vs. 6.5%, P = 0.004; OS, 33.5% vs. 9.6%, P = 0.01). This difference was not found among the MDR-Pgp-neg(ve) patients. By univariate (P = 0.007) and multivariate (P = 0.007) analysis, the MDR-Pgp-pos(ve) phenotype was negatively correlated with CR and it emerged as the most important independent negative prognostic factor, after cytogenetics. Our study confirms the prognostic impact of the MDR phenotype in AML and strongly suggests fludarabine-based induction treatments as a promising strategy for MDR-Pgp-pos(ve) AML patients. In this setting of patients, large prospective randomised studies should be planned.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2006.06390.xDOI Listing
January 2007

Effect on survival of the development of late-onset non-infectious pulmonary complications after stem cell transplantation.

Haematologica 2006 Sep;91(9):1268-72

Division of Haematology, Transplantation Unit and Cellular Therapies Carlo Melzi, Department of Clinical and Morphological Research, University Hospital of Udine.

We evaluated the incidence, risk factors, and clinical outcome of late-onset non-infectious pulmonary complications (LONIPC) in 599 patients who underwent hematopoietic allogeneic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The 2-year cumulative incidence of LONIPC was 10% among the 438 patients surviving more than 3 months after HSCT. Transplants from an unrelated donor and occurrence of extensive chronic graft-versus-host disease were the variables significantly associated with the development of LONIPC. The 5-year overall survival was significantly worse among patients with LONIPC than among those without (34% vs 65%, p=0.009). Causes of death were respiratory failure and infections. The relapse rate was similar in the two groups.
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September 2006

The development of autoantibodies after allogeneic stem cell transplantation is related with chronic graft-vs-host disease and immune recovery.

Exp Hematol 2006 Mar;34(3):389-96

Division of Haematology and Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit "Carlo Melzi," Department of Clinical and Morphological Research, Udine, Italy.

Objective: Chronic graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) has certain similarities with autoimmune diseases and is associated with the development of various autoantibodies in some patients. In this study, we analyzed the occurrence of autoantibodies in 63 patients surviving longer than 3 months after an allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), with the aim of detecting a possible association between occurrence of autoantibodies and development of chronic GVHD and immune recovery after HSCT.

Patients And Methods: The patients were screened every 3 months for the occurrence of the following autoantibodies: anti-nuclear (ANA), anti-mitochondrial (AMA), anti-smooth muscle (ASMA), anti-cardiolipin (ACLA), anti-liver-kidney microsomal (LKM), anti-DNA, anti-neutrophil cytoplasmatic (ANCA), and anti-thyroid antibodies. Peripheral blood immunophenotyping with anti-CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, CD20, CD16, and CD56 antibodies was evaluated at the same intervals.

Results: Autoantibodies were not found in 18 patients (29%), at least in one screening in 29 patients (46%), and in all screenings in 16 patients (25%). ANA were found in 41 patients (65%), AMA in 4 (6%), ASMA in 4 (6%), ANCA in 7 (11%), ACLA in 1 (2%), anti-thyroid antibodies in 3 (5%), and anti-DNA in 2 (3%). More than one antibody occurred in 16/63 (25%) positive patients. ANA was significantly more frequent in patients with chronic GVHD and, among these, in those with the extensive form. The nucleolar pattern of immunofluorescence of ANA but not its titer was correlated with the extension of chronic GVHD. Patients who developed autoantibodies had higher CD20(+) cell blood counts than negative patients in the third month (p=0.006), ninth month (p=0.061), and twelfth month (p=0.043).

Conclusion: We conclude that patients with chronic GVHD, particularly those with an extensive involvement, were likely to develop autoantibodies and have a faster B-cell recovery, suggesting a role of B cells in the pathogenesis of chronic GVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exphem.2005.12.011DOI Listing
March 2006

Sclerodermatous chronic graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: incidence, predictors and outcome.

Haematologica 2006 Feb;91(2):258-61

Division of Haematology, Dept. of Clinical and Morphological Research, University of Udine.

Scleroderma may be one of the most severe forms of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). We retrospectively evaluated its incidence, predictor variables and outcome in 133 patients who survived at least 4 months after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The 5-year cumulative incidence was 15.5% in patients with chronic GVHD. The generalized form had a progressive course despite immunosuppressive therapy. Eosinophilia, autoimmune markers, and previous skin involvement by chronic GVHD with disorders of pigmentation were significantly associated with an increased probability of developing scleroderma.
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February 2006

Abdominal abscess and Hafnia alvei septicemia occurring during the aplastic phase after autologous stem-cell transplantation in a patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

J Infect Chemother 2004 Oct;10(5):303-6

Division of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Department of Medical and Morphological Researches, University Hospital, Udine, Italy.

Hafnia alvei is a motile gram-negative bacterium that is rarely isolated from human specimens, but that sometimes can be found as part of the gastrointestinal flora. Here we report a rare case of Hafnia alvei septicemia with an abdominal abscess in a 60-year-old woman with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma involving the spleen, liver, and then lymph nodes. She initially received a splenectomy, and, over a 2-year period, four courses of chemotherapy. After achieving complete remission status, she underwent autologous peripheral blood stem-cell transplantation (PBSCT). During the aplastic phase following transplantation, the patient developed fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, with blood cultures positive for Hafnia alvei and an abscess in the splenic recess. Considering the high surgical risk, the infection was treated, successfully, with antibiotics (imipenem/cilastatin), without surgery or computed tomography (CT)-guided percutaneous drainage. Infections due to Hafnia alvei are rare, and this is the first reported case of Hafnia alvei septicemia in an adult hematologic patient undergoing a stem-cell transplantation procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10156-004-0341-3DOI Listing
October 2004

Endogenous endophthalmitis following disseminated fungemia due to Fusarium solani in a patient with acute myeloid leukemia.

Eur J Haematol 2002 May;68(5):314-7

Division of Hematology, University of Udine, Ospedale Santa Maria della Misericordia, I-13300 Udine, Italy.

We report the case of a young man with a resistant acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who developed a disseminated fungemia due to Fusarium solani involving the skin and lungs, during the neutropenic phase following a chemotherapy course. Despite continuous therapy with liposomal amphotericin B, he developed a bilateral endophthalmitis that rapidly evolved to complete blindness. The patient underwent two procedures of vitrectomy, with detection of F. solani in the vitreous fluid, and continued antifungal therapy, without any recovery of visual acuity. When he eventually died due to recurrence of leukemia and hemorrhagic shock, autopsy revealed a diffuse fusarial involvement of the central nervous system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0609.2002.01674.xDOI Listing
May 2002

Activity of all-trans-retinoic acid in a case of central nervous system extramedullary relapse of acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Eur J Haematol 2002 May;68(5):310-3

Division of Hematology, Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Udine University Hospital, P. le S. Maria della Misericordia, I-13300 Udine, Italy.

We describe a patient with an acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) previously treated with two courses of cytarabin, idarubicin and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), who presented a medullary and meningeal relapse after 8 months of complete remission. A diagnosis of central nervous system (CNS) involvement was based on the appearance of APL blasts in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was negative. The neurological symptoms were not evident at the time of recognition of the medullary recurrence, but appeared a few days later, when the patient had already received a reinduction treatment. When the CSF was first examined, showing atypical promyelocytes, there was no excess of blasts on bone-marrow examination. The patient was treated with ATRA and intrathecal administrations of cytoxic drugs, achieving a complete long-lasting CNS remission. The appearance of mature myeloid cells in the CSF during this treatment suggested a possible differentiating effect of ATRA towards extramedullary relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0609.2002.01660.xDOI Listing
May 2002

Early chemosensitivity to VAD regimen predicts a favorable outcome after autologous stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma.

Haematologica 2002 Jul;87(7):779-81

We report that early chemosensitivity, defined by a greater than 50% reduction of M-component and plasma-cell marrow infiltration, after 2 cycles of VAD was correlated with a favorable outcome following autologous stem cell transplantation in 46 patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma submitted to high-dose therapy.
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July 2002