Publications by authors named "Carlo Aul"

69 Publications

Eligibility for clinical trials is unsatisfactory for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes, even at a tertiary referral center.

Leuk Res 2021 09 11;108:106611. Epub 2021 May 11.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.

Participation in clinical trials may allow patients with MDS to gain access to therapies not otherwise available. However, access is limited by strict inclusion and exclusion criteria, reflecting academic or regulatory questions addressed by the respective studies. We performed a simulation in order to estimate the average proportion of MDS patients eligible for participation in a clinical trial. The simulation drew upon 1809 patients in the Düsseldorf MDS Registry whose clinical data allowed eligibility screening for a wide range of clinical trials. This cohort was assumed to be alive and available for study participation. The simulation also posited that all MDS trials (n = 47) conducted in our center between 1987 and 2016 were open for recruitment. In addition, study activities in the year 2016 were analyzed to determine the proportion of patients eligible for at least one of the 9 MDS trials open at that time. On average, each clinical trial was suitable for about 18 % of patients in the simulation cohort. Conversely, 34 % of the patients were eligible for at least one of the 9 clinical studies in 2016. Inclusion/exclusion criteria of studies initiated by the pharmaceutical industry excluded more than twice the fraction of patients compared with investigator initiated trials (potential inclusion of 10 % vs. 21 %, respectively). Karyotype (average exclusion rate 58 %), comorbidities (40 %), and prior therapies (55 %) were the main reasons for exclusion. We suggest that in- and exclusion criteria should be less restrictive, in order to meet the needs of the real-life population of elderly MDS patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2021.106611DOI Listing
September 2021

Efficacy and Tolerability of High- versus Low-dose Lenalidomide Maintenance Therapy of Multiple Myeloma after Autologous Blood Stem Cell Transplantation.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 11 17;26(22):5879-5886. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

University Hospital Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Purpose: For multiple myeloma, high-dose chemotherapy and autologous blood stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) followed by lenalidomide maintenance (LenMT) at 10-15 mg/day is considered standard of care. However, dose reductions due to side effects are common and median LenMT doses achieved over time may remain lower. Dose response during LenMT has never been investigated.

Patients And Methods: In a multicenter, randomized, open-label trial, patients with multiple myeloma after ASCT and high-dose lenalidomide consolidation therapy (CT) at 25 mg/day were randomized to receive LenMT at either 25 or 5 mg/day. Primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS).

Results: Ninety-four patients (median age, 58 years) were randomized to either arm, with 22% having International Staging System (ISS) stage 3 and 22% being in complete remission (CR). After median follow-up of 46.7 months, median doses of 14.5 and 5 mg/day were achieved in the two arms; 53% of dose reductions occurring during CT. In the high- and the low-dose arm, median PFS was 44.8 and 33.0 months (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.44-0.97; = 0.032), 36% and 23% of patients had stringent CR as best response ( = 0.08), and 4-year OS was 79% and 67% ( = 0.16), respectively. Hematologic toxicity, grade ≥3 neutropenia, and infections were initially more common with LenMT 25 mg, but decreased after dose adjustments. SPM incidence and quality-of-life (QoL) scores in both arms were similar.

Conclusions: LenMT dose correlated with efficacy and toxicity. High rates of dose reductions during CT argue against a high starting dose. However, continuous up- and down-titration for each patient to the current maximum tolerated dose is prudent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0841DOI Listing
November 2020

Clonal architecture in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes and double or minor complex abnormalities: Detailed analysis of clonal composition, involved abnormalities, and prognostic significance.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2018 11 24;57(11):547-556. Epub 2018 Sep 24.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

The study analyzes the clonal architecture and the abnormalities involved in a series of 191 patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and 2-3 clonal abnormalities. All patients were extracted from an international database. The patients were classified into six clonal subtypes (2A-3C) based on the number of abnormalities and the presentation of unrelated clones (UC) and/or a clonal evolution. UC were detected in 23/191 patients (12%). The composition of UC showed great variability. The only recurrent combination of abnormalities was del(5q) and + 8 in 8 of 23 patients (35%). In patients with clonal evolution, the clone size of the primary and secondary clone varied: Patients with -7 and + 8 in the primary clone showed a larger primary and a smaller secondary clone (-7: median 74% vs 10%; +8 73% vs 18%) while patients with del(5q) in the primary clone showed a smaller primary and a larger secondary clone (33% vs 61%). Univariate and multivariate analyses showed no significant differences regarding overall or AML-free survival between the clonal subtypes. Only the subtype 3C (3 abnormalities and clonal evolution) was an independent risk factor for developing AML (Hazard Ratio 5.5 as compared to subtype 2A, P < .05). Finally, our study confirms that the number of abnormalities clearly defines a significant risk factor for overall- as well as AML-free survival. Importantly, in patients with more than one clone, the calculation of the number of abnormalities in the entire sample instead of the number of abnormalities per clone allows a higher prognostic accuracy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22667DOI Listing
November 2018

Long-term outcome of high risk patients with myelodysplastic syndromes or secondary acute myeloid leukemia receiving intensive chemotherapy.

Ann Hematol 2018 Dec 4;97(12):2325-2332. Epub 2018 Aug 4.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, University Hospital, Heinrich Heine-University, Moorenstr. 5, 40225, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Intensive chemotherapy (IC) used to be a common treatment approach for patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia after MDS (sAML). We conducted a retrospective analysis of 299 patients, including a matched pair analysis comparing 96 patients receiving IC with 96 patients not undergoing IC, in order to evaluate the impact of IC on overall survival (OS) and to identify factors that influence remission rates and OS. Complete remission (CR) after first induction chemotherapy was reached in 50% of patients. Parameters influencing the probability of achieving CR were blast count in the bone marrow (< 30%), age < 65 years, presence of Auer rods, duration of antecedent MDS shorter than 6 months, and timing of IC in relation to first diagnosis. The difference in survival time was not significantly better for patients receiving IC (median OS 12.7 months vs. 7 months). Parameters favorably influencing survival were the presence of Auer rods, age below 60 years, blast count below 30%, IC given shortly after first diagnosis, and achievement of CR. On multivariate analysis, achieving CR, presence of Auer rods, and percentage of blasts below or above 30% significantly influenced median survival. Relapse occurred in 63% of patients after a median of 9.9 months with a median survival of 7.6 months. Considering the high relapse rate and short survival, we conclude that intensive chemotherapy is not promising for high-risk MDS or sAML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-018-3466-7DOI Listing
December 2018

New proposals of the WHO working group (2016) for the diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS): Characteristics of refined MDS types.

Leuk Res 2017 06 27;57:78-84. Epub 2017 Feb 27.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Based on centrally diagnosed 3528 patients in the Düsseldorf registry, we validated the new proposals for the classification of the MDS by the WHO working group: 256 patients were diagnosed as MDSSLD (7,3%), 978 MDSMLD (27,7%), 227 MDS RS SLD (6,4%); 321 MDS RS MLD (9,1%), 159 MDS del(5q) (4,5%), 481 MDSEB 1 (13,6%), 620 MDSEB 2 (17,6%), and 148 MDS-U (4,2%). 352 patients (16,9% of the non blastic types) changed the category, mainly moving from RCMD to MDS RS MLD, RCUD and RCMD to MDS del(5q). Median survival times of the refined groups differed from more than 60 months in the MDSSLD (RS) groups, 37 months in the MDSMLD (RS) groups, 79 months of the MDS del(5q) group and 21 and 11 months in the MDSEB 1 and 2 groups, respectively. The difference between the groups with regard to the risk of AML evolution was also impressing. No major changes were made with regard to the MDS-U categories. In summary, the proposals of the WHO group for the classification of MDS are thoughtful, taking into account biologic parameters of the diseases, a more precise wording, to some extend pragmatic and feasible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2017.02.008DOI Listing
June 2017

Dysplastic erythroid precursors in the myelodysplastic syndromes and the acute myeloid leukemias: Is there biologic significance? (How should blasts be counted?).

Leuk Res 2016 08 12;47:63-9. Epub 2016 May 12.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

The role of bone marrow dysplastic erythroid precursors (EP) in both MDS and AML has been the subject of considerable debate over the past several decades. We have analyzed a large series of adults with MDS and focused on whether any% of EP identified in the bone marrow aspirates of over 1400 patients selected from the Dusseldorf, Germany adult MDS Registry has prognostic relevance. The data was examined for varying% of blasts, the WHO prognostic MDS subtypes and the IPSS-R. We did not identify any adjustment of bone marrow blast percentage by%EP, incuding the 50% rule" developed by the FAB leukemia working group, to have a meaningful impact on outcome, either leukemic risk of progression or overall survival. There was a trend for a%EP<15% to actually have a worse survival than any other EP subset. We can no longer recommend the application of the "50% rule" in the calculation of the% of myeloblasts in bone marrow aspirates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2016.05.006DOI Listing
August 2016

Causes of death in 2877 patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.

Ann Hematol 2016 May 30;95(6):937-44. Epub 2016 Mar 30.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Moorenstr. 5, 40225, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Patients with myelodysplastic syndromes face a poor prognosis. The exact causes of death have not been described properly in the past. We performed a retrospective analysis of causes of death using data of 3792 patients in the Düsseldorf registry who have been followed up for a median time of 21 months. Medical files as well as death certificates were screened and primary care physicians were contacted. Death after AML evolution, infection, and bleeding was considered to be clearly disease-related. Further categories of causes of death were heart failure, other possibly disease-related reasons, such as hemochromatosis, disease-independent reasons as well as cases with unclear causes of death. Median age at the time of diagnosis was 71 years. At the time of analysis, 2877 patients (75.9 %) had deceased. In 1212 cases (42.1 %), the exact cause of death could not be ascertained. From 1665 patients with a clearly documented cause of death, 1388 patients (83.4 %) succumbed directly disease-related (AML (46.6 %), infection (27.0 %), bleeding (9.8 %)), whereas 277 patients (16.6 %) died for reasons not directly related with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including 132 patients with cardiac failure, 77 non-disease-related reasons, 23 patients with solid tumors, and 45 patients with possibly disease-related causes like hemochromatosis. Correlation with IPSS, IPSS-R, and WPSS categories showed a proportional increase of disease-related causes of death with increasing IPSS/IPSS-R/WPSS risk category. Likewise, therapy-related MDS were associated with a higher percentage of disease-related causes of death than primary MDS. This reflects the increasing influence of the underlying disease on the cause of death with increasing aggressiveness of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-016-2649-3DOI Listing
May 2016

[Leukemia research in Germany: the Competence Network Acute and Chronic Leukemias].

Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 2016 Apr;59(4):444-53

Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim der Universität Heidelberg, Pettenkoferstr. 22, 68169, Mannheim, Deutschland.

The Competence Network "Acute and Chronic Leukemias" was founded in 1997 by the consolidation of the leading leukemia study groups in Germany. Key results are the development of new trials and cooperative studies, the setup of patient registries and biobanking facilities, as well as the improvement of study infrastructure. In 2003, the concept of the competence network contributed to the foundation of the European LeukemiaNet (ELN). Synergy with the ELN resulted in cooperation on a European and international level, standardization of diagnostics and treatment, and recommendations for each leukemia and interdisciplinary specialty. The ultimate goal of the network is the cure of leukemia through cooperative research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00103-016-2315-xDOI Listing
April 2016

Decitabine improves progression-free survival in older high-risk MDS patients with multiple autosomal monosomies: results of a subgroup analysis of the randomized phase III study 06011 of the EORTC Leukemia Cooperative Group and German MDS Study Group.

Ann Hematol 2016 Jan 23;95(2):191-9. Epub 2015 Nov 23.

Department of Hematology, Haga Hospital, The Hague, The Netherlands.

In a study of elderly AML patients treated with the hypomethylating agent decitabine (DAC), we noted a surprisingly favorable outcome in the (usually very unfavorable) subgroup with two or more autosomal monosomies (MK2+) within a complex karyotype (Lübbert et al., Haematologica 97:393-401, 2012). We now analyzed 206 myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients (88 % of 233 patients randomized in the EORTC/GMDSSG phase III trial 06011, 61 of them with RAEBt, i.e. AML by WHO) with cytogenetics informative for MK status.. Endpoints are the following: complete/partial (CR/PR) and overall response rate (ORR) and progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Cytogenetic subgroups are the following: 63 cytogenetically normal (CN) patients, 143 with cytogenetic abnormalities, 73 of them MK-negative (MK-), and 70 MK-positive (MK+). These MK+ patients could be divided into 17 with a single autosomal monosomy (MK1) and 53 with at least two monosomies (MK2+). ORR with DAC in CN patients: 36.1 %, in MK- patients: 16.7 %, in MK+ patients: 43.6 % (MK1: 44.4 %, MK2+ 43.3 %). PFS was prolonged by DAC compared to best supportive care (BSC) in the CN (hazard ratio (HR) 0.55, 99 % confidence interval (CI), 0.26; 1.15, p = 0.03) and MK2+ (HR 0.50; 99 % CI, 0.23; 1.06, p = 0.016) but not in the MK-, MK+, and MK1 subgroups. OS was not improved by DAC in any subgroup. In conclusion, we demonstrate for the first time in a randomized phase III trial that high-risk MDS patients with complex karyotypes harboring two or more autosomal monosomies attain encouraging responses and have improved PFS with DAC treatment compared to BSC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-015-2547-0DOI Listing
January 2016

Decitabine versus best supportive care in older patients with refractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation (RAEBt) - results of a subgroup analysis of the randomized phase III study 06011 of the EORTC Leukemia Cooperative Group and German MDS Study Group (GMDSSG).

Ann Hematol 2015 Dec 24;94(12):2003-13. Epub 2015 Sep 24.

Department of Medicine I, Medical Center-University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.

In the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)/GMDSSG phase III trial 06011, we compared decitabine (15 mg/m(2) every 8 h for 3 days) with best supportive care (BSC) in patients ≥60 years with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) by French-American-British (FAB) criteria. Here, we reinvestigate trial 06011 for the activity and efficacy specifically in patients with refractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation (RAEBt). Response rates in the decitabine arm (N = 40) were as follows: complete or partial remission, 15 %; hematologic improvement, 15 %; resistant disease, 30 %. RAEBt patients in the decitabine arm had longer progression-free survival (PFS; hazard ratio (HR) 0.30, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.18-0.51; median, 6.2 vs 2.8 months) and overall survival (OS; HR 0.68, 95 % CI 0.42-1.11; median, 8.0 vs 6.0 months) than in the BSC arm (N = 35). Censoring at allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the OS difference between the treatment groups increased, particularly among patients aged 60-74 years (HR 0.48, 95 % CI 0.26-0.89). After regrouping the study cohort according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) (i.e., ≥20 % blasts) in the decitabine arm (N = 27) also had longer PFS than in the BSC arm (N = 23) (HR 0.46, 95 % CI 0.26-0.83; median, 6.2 vs 2.8 months). In conclusion, 3-day decitabine displays clinical activity and efficacy in MDS and/or AML with 5-30 % blood or 20-30 % marrow blasts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-015-2489-6DOI Listing
December 2015

Frequency of del(12p) is commonly underestimated in myelodysplastic syndromes: Results from a German diagnostic study in comparison with an international control group.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2015 Dec 10;54(12):809-17. Epub 2015 Sep 10.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, University Medicine of Goettingen, Germany.

In myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), deletion of the short arm of chromosome 12 (del(12p)) is usually a small abnormality, rarely detected as a single aberration by chromosome banding analysis (CBA) of bone marrow metaphases. Del(12p) has been described in 0.6 to 5% of MDS patients at initial diagnosis and is associated with a good to intermediate prognosis as a sole anomaly according to current scoring systems. Here, we present the results of a systematic del(12p) testing in a German prospective diagnostic study (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01355913) on 367 MDS patients in whom CD34+ peripheral blood cells were analysed for the presence of del(12p) by sequential fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses. A cohort of 2,902 previously published MDS patients diagnosed by CBA served as control. We demonstrate that, using a sensitive FISH technique, 12p deletion occurs significantly more frequently in MDS than previously described (7.6% by CD34+ PB-FISH vs. 1.6% by CBA, P < 0.001) and is often associated with other aberrations (93% by CD34+ PB-FISH vs. 60% by CBA). Additionally, the detection rate can be increased by repeated analyses in a patient over time which is important for the patient´s prognosis to distinguish a sole anomaly from double or complex aberrations. To our knowledge, this is the first study to screen for 12p deletions with a suitable probe for ETV6/TEL in 12p13. Our data suggest that the supplement of a probe for the detection of a 12p deletion to common FISH probe panels helps to avoid missing a del(12p), especially as part of more complex aberrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22292DOI Listing
December 2015

Change of prognosis of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes during the last 30 years.

Leuk Res 2015 Jul 15;39(7):679-83. Epub 2015 Apr 15.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Duesseldorf, Germany.

During the last years, more and more treatment modalities are available for MDS patients. Therefore, we were interested if this is reflected in an improvement of the outcome of the patients. We analyzed the survival and rate of leukemic progression of 4147 patients from the Duesseldorf MDS registry diagnosed during the last 30 years and found an improvement of survival in those patients diagnosed after 2002 (30 vs. 23 months, p<0.0001). In detail, the improvement of the prognosis was restricted to high-risk MDS patients diagnosed between 2002 and 2014 in comparison to the patient group diagnosed between 1982 and 2001 (19 vs. 13 months, p<0.001), whereas the prognosis of low-risk MDS patients did not change significantly. The improvement of survival was still measurable after exclusion of RAEB-t patients and of those, that received an allogeneic stem cell transplantation. In line with this finding, we found a lower AML progression rate in the later diagnosed group. Unfortunately, we could not identify a clear reason for this finding but rather a multifactorial cause should be assumed. As death due to bleeding complications and infections was significantly lower, an improvement of BSC may be one of the underlying causes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2015.04.001DOI Listing
July 2015

Cellularity, characteristics of hematopoietic parameters and prognosis in myelodysplastic syndromes.

Eur J Haematol 2015 Sep 15;95(3):181-9. Epub 2015 May 15.

Department of Hematology, Oncology, and Clinical Immunology, University Hospital Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Background: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) present with a normo- or hyperplastic bone marrow in most cases. We aimed at a characterization of patients with different types of cellularity.

Methods: We assessed marrow cellularity both by histology and cytology in 1270 patients and analyzed hematologic, cytogenetic, and prognostic parameters accordingly.

Results: The concordance of the assessment of cellularity differed dramatically between histology and cytology as only 36.5% were described as hypocellular by both methods (P < 0.0005) (hypocellular 16.4%, normocellular 23.3%, hypercellular 60.3%). There were no major differences with regard to hematopoietic insufficiency. The presence of fibrosis was associated to hypercellular bone marrow. Median survival differed from 38 months in hypocellular, 42 months in normocellular, and 25 months in hypercellular MDS (P < 0.0005). AML progression rates were 33% for hypercellular MDS after 2 yr, whereas hypo- and normocellular had a progression rate of 19% after 2 yr (P = 0.018). IPSS and IPSS-R were able to identify different risk groups within all three cellularity groups.

Conclusion: Based on our data, hypocellular patients obviously do not present as a separate entity, as there were no striking differences with regard to cytogenetics and WHO types. Assessment of cellularity should be performed by histopathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12512DOI Listing
September 2015

Validation of cytogenetic risk groups according to International Prognostic Scoring Systems by peripheral blood CD34+FISH: results from a German diagnostic study in comparison with an international control group.

Haematologica 2015 Feb 24;100(2):205-13. Epub 2014 Oct 24.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, University Medicine of Goettingen, Germany.

International Prognostic Scoring Systems are used to determine the individual risk profile of myelodysplastic syndrome patients. For the assessment of International Prognostic Scoring Systems, an adequate chromosome banding analysis of the bone marrow is essential. Cytogenetic information is not available for a substantial number of patients (5%-20%) with dry marrow or an insufficient number of metaphase cells. For these patients, a valid risk classification is impossible. In the study presented here, the International Prognostic Scoring Systems were validated based on fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses using extended probe panels applied to cluster of differentiation 34 positive (CD34(+)) peripheral blood cells of 328 MDS patients of our prospective multicenter German diagnostic study and compared to chromosome banding results of 2902 previously published patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. For cytogenetic risk classification by fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses of CD34(+) peripheral blood cells, the groups differed significantly for overall and leukemia-free survival by uni- and multivariate analyses without discrepancies between treated and untreated patients. Including cytogenetic data of fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses of peripheral CD34(+) blood cells (instead of bone marrow banding analysis) into the complete International Prognostic Scoring System assessment, the prognostic risk groups separated significantly for overall and leukemia-free survival. Our data show that a reliable stratification to the risk groups of the International Prognostic Scoring Systems is possible from peripheral blood in patients with missing chromosome banding analysis by using a comprehensive probe panel (clinicaltrials.gov identifier:01355913).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2014.110452DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4803133PMC
February 2015

Specific scoring systems to predict survival of patients with high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after intensive antileukemic treatment based on results of the EORTC-GIMEMA AML-10 and intergroup CRIANT studies.

Ann Hematol 2015 Jan 7;94(1):23-34. Epub 2014 Aug 7.

Department of Tumor Immunology, Nijmegen Center of Life Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, Netherlands.

High-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients have usually a less favorable outcome after intensive treatment compared with de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. This may reflect different disease-related and patient-related factors. The purpose of this analysis is to identify disease-specific prognostic factors and to develop prognostic scores for both patient groups. A total of 692 patients in the EORTC/GIMEMA AML-10 study and 289 patients in the CRIANT study received identical remission-induction and consolidation treatment. Estimated 5-year survival rate was 34 % in the AML-10 versus 27 % in the CRIANT study, and estimated disease-free survival was 40 % versus 28 %, respectively. In multivariate analysis, cytogenetic characteristics, white blood count, and age appeared prognostic for survival in both studies. French-American-British (FAB) subtype and performance status were prognostic in the AML-10 study only, whereas number of cytopenias and duration of antecedent hematologic disorder >6 months were prognostic in the CRIANT study only. The prognostic scores distinguish three groups with a 5-year survival rate of 54, 38, and 19 % in the AML-10 study versus 69, 37, and 5 % in the CRIANT study. The prognostic value of these scores has been validated on two external series. The new scoring systems form a practical tool to predict the outcome of individual MDS and AML patients treated with intensive antileukemic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-014-2177-yDOI Listing
January 2015

Validation of the revised international prognostic scoring system (IPSS-R) in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome: a multicenter study.

Leuk Res 2014 Jan 26;38(1):57-64. Epub 2013 Oct 26.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

The revised IPSS (IPSS-R) was developed aiming at a better prognostication, taking into account patients treated with best supportive care. We herein validated this model on the basis of data from 1314 patients who received BSC only as well as patients who underwent induction chemotherapy (n=214) or allogeneic transplantation (n=167). We could demonstrate a clear distinction of the IPSS-R risk categories with regard to survival and risk of AML evolution in all patient cohorts. When comparing IPSS-R, IPSS, WHO prognostic scoring system (WPSS) and Duesseldorf score, the best results regarding the ability to predict survival were obtained by the IPSS-R.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2013.10.013DOI Listing
January 2014

Targeted re-sequencing analysis of 25 genes commonly mutated in myeloid disorders in del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes.

Haematologica 2013 Dec 5;98(12):1856-64. Epub 2013 Jul 5.

Interstitial deletion of chromosome 5q is the most common chromosomal abnormality in myelodysplastic syndromes. The catalogue of genes involved in the molecular pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndromes is rapidly expanding and next-generation sequencing technology allows detection of these mutations at great depth. Here we describe the design, validation and application of a targeted next-generation sequencing approach to simultaneously screen 25 genes mutated in myeloid malignancies. We used this method alongside single nucleotide polymorphism-array technology to characterize the mutational and cytogenetic profile of 43 cases of early or advanced del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes. A total of 29 mutations were detected in our cohort. Overall, 45% of early and 66.7% of advanced cases had at least one mutation. Genes with the highest mutation frequency among advanced cases were TP53 and ASXL1 (25% of patients each). These showed a lower mutation frequency in cases of 5q- syndrome (4.5% and 13.6%, respectively), suggesting a role in disease progression in del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes. Fifty-two percent of mutations identified were in genes involved in epigenetic regulation (ASXL1, TET2, DNMT3A and JAK2). Six mutations had allele frequencies <20%, likely below the detection limit of traditional sequencing methods. Genomic array data showed that cases of advanced del(5q) myelodysplastic syndrome had a complex background of cytogenetic aberrations, often encompassing genes involved in myeloid disorders. Our study is the first to investigate the molecular pathogenesis of early and advanced del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes using next-generation sequencing technology on a large panel of genes frequently mutated in myeloid malignancies, further illuminating the molecular landscape of del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2013.086686DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856960PMC
December 2013

Validation and proposals for a refinement of the WHO 2008 classification of myelodysplastic syndromes without excess of blasts.

Leuk Res 2013 Jan 31;37(1):64-70. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

In 2008, the WHO proposed changes in the classification of MDS regarding RCUD and MDS unclassifiable. We validated these proposals by using 2032 patients of the Düsseldorf MDS Registry. 10% of the patients had RCUD and 6% MDS-U. Among patients with RCUD, only 9% had RN and 6% had RT. There was no correlation between dysplastic cell line and type of cytopenia. There was no difference in prognosis between RCMD and MDS-U and between RA, RT, and RN. The separation of RA, RN, and RT is not justified suggesting a consolidation as RCUD. MDS-U should be integrated into RCMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2012.09.021DOI Listing
January 2013

Outcome of elderly patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia: results of the German Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cooperative Group.

Ann Hematol 2013 Jan 23;92(1):41-52. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

Despite improvement of prognosis, older age remains a negative prognostic factor in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Reports on disease characteristics and outcome of older patients are conflicting. We therefore analyzed 91 newly diagnosed APL patients aged 60 years or older (30 % of 305 adults with APL) registered by the German AML Cooperative Group (AMLCG) since 1994; 68 patients (75 %) were treated in studies, 23 (25 %) were non-eligible, and 31 % had high-risk APL. Fifty-six patients received induction therapy with all-trans retinoic acid and TAD (6-thioguanine, cytarabine, daunorubicin), and consolidation and maintenance therapy. Treatment intensification with a second induction cycle (high dose cytarabine, mitoxantrone; HAM) was optional (n = 14). Twelve patients were randomized to another therapy not considered in this report. The early death rate was 48 % in non-eligible and 19 % in study patients. With the AMLCG regimen, 7-year overall, event-free and relapse-free survival (RFS) and cumulative incidence of relapse were 45 %, 40 %, 48 %, and 24 %, respectively. In patients treated with TAD-HAM induction, 7-year RFS was superior (83 %; p = 0.006) compared to TAD only, and no relapse was observed. In our registered elderly patients, we see a high rate of non-eligibility for treatment in studies and of high-risk APL. In patients who can undergo a curative approach, intensified chemotherapy is highly effective, but is restricted to a selection of patients. Therefore, new less toxic treatment approaches with broader applicability are needed. Elderly patients might be a particular target group for concepts with arsenic trioxide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-012-1597-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3536950PMC
January 2013

Evaluation of dysplasia through detailed cytomorphology in 3156 patients from the Düsseldorf Registry on myelodysplastic syndromes.

Leuk Res 2012 Jun 13;36(6):727-34. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich-Heine-University of Duesseldorf, Duesseldorf, Germany.

Using the Düsseldorf MDS registry with standardized cytomorphology we here describe dysplastic features in detail, concentrating on 16 different dysplastic features in the blood and 19 in the marrow in 3156 patients. The most frequent dysplastic features were megaloblastoid changes and bi- and multinuclearity in the erythropoiesis, pseudo-Pelger cells and hypogranulation in the granulopoiesis and micromegakaryoctes and mononuclear megakaryocytes in the megakaryopoiesis. The frequency of dysplastic changes did not differ significantly among the WHO types with the exception of MDS with del(5q) and CMML types. No single sign of dysplasia is exclusive for the diagnosis of MDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2012.02.014DOI Listing
June 2012

New comprehensive cytogenetic scoring system for primary myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and oligoblastic acute myeloid leukemia after MDS derived from an international database merge.

J Clin Oncol 2012 Mar 13;30(8):820-9. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

Purpose: The karyotype is a strong independent prognostic factor in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Since the implementation of the International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) in 1997, knowledge concerning the prognostic impact of abnormalities has increased substantially. The present study proposes a new and comprehensive cytogenetic scoring system based on an international data collection of 2,902 patients.

Patients And Methods: Patients were included from the German-Austrian MDS Study Group (n = 1,193), the International MDS Risk Analysis Workshop (n = 816), the Spanish Hematological Cytogenetics Working Group (n = 849), and the International Working Group on MDS Cytogenetics (n = 44) databases. Patients with primary MDS and oligoblastic acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after MDS treated with supportive care only were evaluated for overall survival (OS) and AML evolution. Internal validation by bootstrap analysis and external validation in an independent patient cohort were performed to confirm the results.

Results: In total, 19 cytogenetic categories were defined, providing clear prognostic classification in 91% of all patients. The abnormalities were classified into five prognostic subgroups (P < .001): very good (median OS, 61 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.5; n = 81); good (49 months; HR, 1.0 [reference category]; n = 1,809); intermediate (26 months; HR, 1.6; n = 529); poor (16 months; HR, 2.6; n = 148); and very poor (6 months; HR, 4.2; n = 187). The internal and external validations confirmed the results of the score.

Conclusion: In conclusion, these data should contribute to the ongoing efforts to update the IPSS by refining the cytogenetic risk categories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2011.35.6394DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4874200PMC
March 2012

A randomized phase 3 study of lenalidomide versus placebo in RBC transfusion-dependent patients with Low-/Intermediate-1-risk myelodysplastic syndromes with del5q.

Blood 2011 Oct 13;118(14):3765-76. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

Hopital Avicenne, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Université Paris XIII, Bobigny, France.

This phase 3, randomized, double-blind study assessed the efficacy and safety of lenalidomide in 205 red blood cell (RBC) transfusion-dependent patients with International Prognostic Scoring System Low-/Intermediate-1-risk del5q31 myelodysplastic syndromes. Patients received lenalidomide 10 mg/day on days 1-21 (n = 69) or 5 mg/day on days 1-28 (n = 69) of 28-day cycles; or placebo (n = 67). Crossover to lenalidomide or higher dose was allowed after 16 weeks. More patients in the lenalidomide 10- and 5-mg groups achieved RBC-transfusion independence (TI) for ≥ 26 weeks (primary endpoint) versus placebo (56.1% and 42.6% vs 5.9%; both P < .001). Median duration of RBC-TI was not reached (median follow-up, 1.55 years), with 60% to 67% of responses ongoing in patients without progression to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Cytogenetic response rates were 50.0% (10 mg) versus 25.0% (5 mg; P = .066). For the lenalidomide groups combined, 3-year overall survival and AML risk were 56.5% and 25.1%, respectively. RBC-TI for ≥ 8 weeks was associated with 47% and 42% reductions in the relative risks of death and AML progression or death, respectively (P = .021 and .048). The safety profile was consistent with previous reports. Lenalidomide is beneficial and has an acceptable safety profile in transfusion-dependent patients with Low-/Intermediate-1-risk del5q myelodysplastic syndrome. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00179621.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2011-01-330126DOI Listing
October 2011

Incidence and prevalence of myelodysplastic syndromes: data from the Düsseldorf MDS-registry.

Leuk Res 2011 Dec 25;35(12):1591-6. Epub 2011 Jun 25.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Population-based data on patients with MDS are scarce. Here we report the incidence and prevalence of MDS based on data from the Düsseldorf MDS Registry. Cases in the city of Düsseldorf in the study period were identified from the MDS Registry. We calculated crude, calendar-year, age- and sex-specific and European Standard Population age-standardized incidence rates as well as point prevalences per 100,000 The crude incidence rate was 4.15/100,000/year and the point prevalence per 100,000 persons of 7. We found that the incidence and prevalence of MDS was higher in men than women and increased sharply with increasing age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2011.06.001DOI Listing
December 2011

Coalesced multicentric analysis of 2,351 patients with myelodysplastic syndromes indicates an underestimation of poor-risk cytogenetics of myelodysplastic syndromes in the international prognostic scoring system.

J Clin Oncol 2011 May 25;29(15):1963-70. Epub 2011 Apr 25.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Georg-August-University, Robert-Koch-Str 40, 37075 Goettingen, Germany.

Purpose: The International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) remains the most commonly used system for risk classification in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs). The IPSS gives more weight to blast count than to cytogenetics. However, previous publications suggested that cytogenetics are underweighted in the IPSS. Here we investigate the prognostic impact of cytogenetic subgroups compared with that of bone marrow blast count in a large, multicentric, international patient cohort.

Patients And Methods: In total, 2,351 patients with MDS who have records in the German-Austrian and the MD Anderson Cancer Center databases were included and analyzed in univariate and multivariate models regarding overall survival and risk of transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The data were analyzed separately for patients treated with supportive care without specific therapy, with AML-like chemotherapy, or with other therapy regimens (low-dose chemotherapy, demethylating agents, immune modulating agents, valproic acid, and cyclosporine).

Results: The prognostic impact of poor-risk cytogenetic findings (as defined by the IPSS classification) on overall survival was as unfavorable as an increased (> 20%) blast count. The hazard ratio (compared with an abnormal karyotype or a bone marrow blast count < 5%) was 3.3 for poor-risk cytogenetics, 4.8 for complex abnormalities harboring chromosomes 5 and/or 7, and 3.1 for a blast count of 21% to 30% (P < .01 for all categories). The predictive power of the IPSS cytogenetic subgroups was unaffected by type of therapy given.

Conclusion: The independent prognostic impact of poor-risk cytogenetics on overall survival is equivalent to the impact of high blast counts. This finding should be considered in the upcoming revision of the IPSS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2010.28.3978DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4874202PMC
May 2011

Low-dose decitabine versus best supportive care in elderly patients with intermediate- or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) ineligible for intensive chemotherapy: final results of the randomized phase III study of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Leukemia Group and the German MDS Study Group.

J Clin Oncol 2011 May 11;29(15):1987-96. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany.

Purpose: To compare low-dose decitabine to best supportive care (BSC) in higher-risk patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) age 60 years or older and ineligible for intensive chemotherapy.

Patients And Methods: Two-hundred thirty-three patients (median age, 70 years; range, 60 to 90 years) were enrolled; 53% had poor-risk cytogenetics, and the median MDS duration at random assignment was 3 months. Primary end point was overall survival (OS). Decitabine (15 mg/m(2)) was given intravenously over 4 hours three times a day for 3 days in 6-week cycles.

Results: OS prolongation with decitabine versus BSC was not statistically significant (median OS, 10.1 v 8.5 months, respectively; hazard ratio [HR], 0.88; 95% CI, 0.66 to 1.17; two-sided, log-rank P = .38). Progression-free survival (PFS), but not acute myeloid leukemia (AML) -free survival (AMLFS), was significantly prolonged with decitabine versus BSC (median PFS, 6.6 v 3.0 months, respectively; HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.52 to 0.88; P = .004; median AMLFS, 8.8 v 6.1 months, respectively; HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.64 to 1.12; P = .24). AML transformation was significantly (P = .036) reduced at 1 year (from 33% with BSC to 22% with decitabine). Multivariate analyses indicated that patients with short MDS duration had worse outcomes. Best responses with decitabine versus BSC, respectively, were as follows: complete response (13% v 0%), partial response (6% v 0%), hematologic improvement (15% v 2%), stable disease (14% v 22%), progressive disease (29% v 68%), hypoplasia (14% v 0%), and inevaluable (8% v 8%). Grade 3 to 4 febrile neutropenia occurred in 25% of patients on decitabine versus 7% of patients on BSC; grade 3 to 4 infections occurred in 57% and 52% of patients on decitabine and BSC, respectively. Decitabine treatment was associated with improvements in patient-reported quality-of-life (QOL) parameters.

Conclusion: Decitabine administered in 6-week cycles is active in older patients with higher-risk MDS, resulting in improvements of OS and AMLFS (nonsignificant), of PFS and AML transformation (significant), and of QOL. Short MDS duration was an independent adverse prognosticator.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2010.30.9245DOI Listing
May 2011

Immunosuppressive therapy for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome: a prospective randomized multicenter phase III trial comparing antithymocyte globulin plus cyclosporine with best supportive care--SAKK 33/99.

J Clin Oncol 2011 Jan 13;29(3):303-9. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

Medecin-Chef de Service, Service d'Hématologie, Departement Medecine Interne, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Geneve, Rue Micheli-du-Crest 24, 1211 Geneva 14, Switzerland.

Purpose: Immunosuppressive treatment is reported to improve cytopenia in some patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Combined antithymocyte globulin (ATG) and cyclosporine (CSA) is most effective in patients with immune-mediated marrow failure.

Patients And Methods: This trial was designed to assess the impact of immunosuppression on hematopoiesis, transfusion requirements, transformation, and survival in patients with MDS randomly assigned to 15 mg/kg of horse ATG for 5 days and oral CSA for 180 days (ATG+CSA) or best supportive care (BSC), stratified by treatment center and International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) risk score. Primary end point was best hematologic response at 6 months. Eligible patients had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of ≤ 2 and transfusion dependency of less than 2 years in duration.

Results: Between 2000 and 2006, 45 patients received ATG+CSA (median age, 62 years; range, 23 to 75 years; 56% men) and 43 patients received BSC (median age, 65 years; range, 24 to 76 years; 81% men). IPSS score was low, intermediate-1, intermediate-2, high, and not evaluable in eight, 24, seven, one, and five patients on ATG+CSA, respectively, and eight, 25, five, zero, and five patients on BSC, respectively. Refractory anemia, refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts, refractory anemia with excess of blasts (RAEB) -I, RAEB-II, and hypoplastic disease were present in 21, six, nine, zero, and nine patients on ATG+CSA, respectively, and 18, eight, 11, two, and four patients on BSC, respectively. By month 6, 13 of 45 patients on ATG+CSA had a hematologic response compared with four of 43 patients on BSC (P = .0156). Two-year transformation-free survival (TFS) rates were 46% (95% CI, 28% to 62%) and 55% (95% CI, 34% to 70%) for ATG+CSA and BSC patients, respectively (P = .730), whereas overall survival (OS) estimates were 49% (95% CI, 31% to 66%) and 63% (95% CI, 42% to 78%), respectively (P = .828).

Conclusion: This open-label randomized phase III trial demonstrates that ATG+CSA treatment seems to be associated with hematologic response in a subset of patients without apparent impact on TFS and OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2010.31.2686DOI Listing
January 2011
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