Publications by authors named "Chiara Nozzoli"

37 Publications

GITMO REGISTRY STUDY ON ALLOGENEIC TRANSPLANTATION IN PATIENTS AGED OVER 60 FROM 2000 TO 2017. IMPROVEMENTS AND CRITICISMS.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Nov 21. Epub 2021 Nov 21.

Unit of Haematology and Stem Cell Transplant Centre, "San Camillo" Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Background: Nowadays, allogeneic stem cell transplantation (Allo-SCT) can be offered to patients up to the age of 70-72 years and represents one of the most effective curative treatments for many hematological malignancies.

Objectives: The primary objective of the study is to collect data from the allo-SCTs performed in Italy from 2000 to 2017 in patients over 60 years of age to evaluate the changes in safety and efficacy outcomes as well as their distribution and characteristics over time.

Study Design: The GITMO AlloEld study (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04469985) is a retrospective, analysis of the allo-SCTs performed 30 Italian transplant Centers on older patients (≥ 60 years) from 2000 to 2017 (n=1,996).

Results: For the purpose of analysis, patients were grouped into three time periods: time A: 2000-2005, n=256 (12%); time B: 2006-2011, n=584 (29%); and time C: 2012-2017, n=1156 (59%). After a median follow-up of 5.6 years, the 5-year Non Relapse Mortality (NRM) remained stable (time A: 32.8%; time B: 36.2%; and time C: 35.0%, p = 0.5); the Overall Survival (OS) improved (time A: 28.4%; time B: 31.8%; and time C: 37.3%, p = 0.012); and the Cumulative Incidence of Relapse (CIR) reduced (time A: 45.3%; time B: 38.2%; time C: 30.0%, p < 0.0001). The 2-year incidence of extensive cGVHD reduced significantly (time A: 17.2%; time B: 15.8%; and time C: 12.2%, p = 0.004). Considering times A and B together (2000-2011), the 2-year NRM was positively correlated to the HCT-CI score; patients with HCT-CI of 0, 1 or 2, or ≥3 had rates of NRM of 25.2%, 33.9%, and 36.1%, respectively, (p < 0.001). Meanwhile, after 2012, the HCT-CI score was not significantlly predictive of NRM.

Conclusions: The study shows that the transplant procedure in elderly patients became more effective over time. Relapse incidence remains the major problem and strategies to prevent it are under investigation (e.g. post-transplant maintenance). Today, the selection of patients aged over 60 could be improved by combining HCT-CI and frailty assessments to better predict NRM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.11.006DOI Listing
November 2021

Toxoplasmosis-Associated Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis in Allogeneic Transplantation.

J Clin Immunol 2021 05 30;41(4):843-846. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Department of Cellular Therapies and Transfusion Medicine, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10875-021-00979-8DOI Listing
May 2021

Autologous stem cell transplantation is safe in selected elderly multiple myeloma patients.

Eur J Haematol 2020 Feb 12;104(2):138-144. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Cellular Therapy and Transfusion Medicine Unit, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Objectives: ASCT is currently the "gold standard" first-line treatment for multiple myeloma patients younger than 65 years old, and limited data on efficacy and safety in older patients are available.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed a cohort of 83 newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients aged 65 or older. All patients were evaluated for fitness at diagnosis and after bortezomib-based induction treatment.

Results And Conclusions: All patients collected an adequate PBSC graft, mainly after G-CSF plus cyclophosphamide; a median of 6.47 × 10 /kg CD34 + cells was collected. The conditioning regimen consisted of melphalan 100, 140 and 200 mg/m in 40, 15 and 28 patients, respectively. Median time to neutrophils' and platelets' recovery was 11 and 12 days, respectively. Adverse events of any grade were referred by 40% of patients. The overall response rate was 93%, CR/sCR were 39%. Median PFS was 35 months; median OS was not reached. In our study cohort, the achievement of at least VGPR after induction therapy and the obtainment of CR/sCR after ASCT are the only parameters that were associated with an improved PFS. ASCT is an effective and safe first-line treatment approach, a careful patients selection reduce the toxicity of the procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13357DOI Listing
February 2020

The doctor who stared at schistocytes: an intriguing case of suspected thrombotic microangiopathic anemia.

Intern Emerg Med 2021 03 30;16(2):437-441. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Experimental and Clinical Medicine Department, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Florence, Italy.

A 33-year-old man with type 1 diabetes mellitus was admitted to the Internal Medicine Unit due to subacute onset of exertional dyspnea, with evidence at initial blood exams of severe macrocytic anemia with thrombocytopenia, biohumoral signs of hemolysis and 5 schistocytes per magnified field on the blood smear. A thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) was suspected and plasma exchange (PEX) was started soon, since the risk of a life threatening condition. On the second day, after the results of A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase with ThromboSpondin-1 motif, member 13 (ADAMTS-13) and reticulocytes were available, a critical reappraisal of the clinical scenario was done. B12 vitamin deficiency was evident after completing the diagnostic work-up. Finally, a diagnosis of "pseudo TMA vitamin B12 deficiency-related" was done. This is an intriguing and rare manifestation of cobalamin deficiency, given the very uncommon occurrence of schistocytes in this condition. "Pseudo TMA vitamin B12 deficiency-related" should be kept in mind when facing the differential diagnosis of microangiopathic anemia in the presence of a low proliferative index.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-019-02219-9DOI Listing
March 2021

Intravesical application of platelet-rich plasma in patients with persistent haemorrhagic cystitis after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a single-centre preliminary experience.

Int Urol Nephrol 2019 Oct 18;51(10):1715-1720. Epub 2019 Jul 18.

Department of Urology, Clinica Urologica I, Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi, Università di Firenze, Viale San Luca, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Purpose: Haemorrhagic cystitis (HC) after allogeneic transplantation (HSCT) is a condition characterized by diffuse inflammation and bleeding from the bladder mucosa. Treatment of HC is not standardized and clinical Guidelines are elusive. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of intravesical treatment with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in patients with HC after allogenic HSCT.

Methods: Data from ten consecutive patients with BK virus-induced HC between 2013 and 2017 were collected. HC was classified into four grades. Inclusion criteria were (a) grade 3 or 4 BKV-induced HC after allogenic HSCT; (b) HC refractory to conservative therapy. All patients underwent transurethral cystoscopy and PRP treatment under general anaesthesia.

Results: Mean patients' age was 33.6 years. Four patients (40%) presented a grade 3 BKV-induced HC and six patients (60%) a grade 4. No intraoperative complications occurred. Postoperative complications were recorded in six patients: three patients required blood transfusion while three patients endovenous antibiotic therapy. Median time to catheter removal was 6 days (IQR 2-10). Median length of hospitalization was 35 days (IQR 6-73). At 30 days after surgery, a three-way catheter was repositioned in one patient for grade 4 haematuria, six patients had a complete response, and three a partial response.

Conclusions: Our preliminary experience suggests that intravesical administration of PRP should be considered as a feasible and safe option for the treatment of BK-induced HC after HSCT. Future studies are needed to assess its potential value in other forms of haemorrhagic cystitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11255-019-02223-0DOI Listing
October 2019

Outcome of paraosseous extra-medullary disease in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients treated with new drugs.

Haematologica 2020 01 20;105(1):193-200. Epub 2019 Jun 20.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Torino, Italy.

Extramedullary disease is relatively frequent in multiple myeloma, but our knowledge on the subject is limited and mainly relies on small case series or single center experiences. Little is known regarding the role of new drugs in this setting. We performed a meta-analysis of eight trials focused on the description of extramedullary disease characteristics, clinical outcome, and response to new drugs. A total of 2,332 newly diagnosed myeloma patients have been included; 267 (11.4%) had extramedullary disease, defined as paraosseous in 243 (10.4%), extramedullary plasmocytoma in 12 (0.5%), and not classified in 12 (0.5%) patients. Median progression-free survival was 25.3 months and 25.2 in extramedullary disease and non-extramedullary disease patients, respectively. In multivariate analysis the presence of extramedullary disease did not impact on progression-free survival (hazard ratio 1.15, =0.06), while other known prognostic factors retained their significance. Patients treated with immunomodulatory drugs, mainly lenalidomide, or proteasome inhibitors had similar progression-free survival and progression-free survival-2 regardless of extramedullary disease presence. Median overall survival was 63.5 months and 79.9 months (=0.01) in extramedullary and non-extramedullary disease patients, respectively, and in multivariate analysis the presence of extramedullary disease was associated with a reduced overall survival (hazard ratio 1.41, <0.001), in line with other prognostic factors. With the limits of the use of low sensitivity imaging techniques, that lead to an underestimation of extramedullary disease, we conclude that in patients treated with new drugs the detrimental effect of extramedullary disease at diagnosis is limited, that lenalidomide is effective as are proteasome inhibitors, and that these patients tend to acquire a more aggressive disease in later stages. (EUDRACT2005-004714-32, NCT01063179 NCT00551928, NCT01091831, NCT01093196, NCT01190787, NCT01346787, NCT01857115).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.219139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6939525PMC
January 2020

Prognostic or predictive value of circulating cytokines and angiogenic factors for initial treatment of multiple myeloma in the GIMEMA MM0305 randomized controlled trial.

J Hematol Oncol 2019 01 9;12(1). Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Department of Biomedical Science and Human Oncology, University of Bari "Aldo Moro" Medical School, Bari, Italy.

Background: Several new drugs are approved for treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM), but no validated biomarkers are available for the prediction of a clinical outcome. We aimed to establish whether pretreatment blood and bone marrow plasma concentrations of major cytokines and angiogenic factors (CAFs) of patients from a phase 3 trial of a MM treatment could have a prognostic and predictive value in terms of response to therapy and progression-free and overall survival and whether these patients could be stratified for their prognosis.

Methods: Blood and bone marrow plasma levels of Ang-2, FGF-2, HGF, VEGF, PDGF-β, IL-8, TNF-α, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 were determined at diagnosis in MM patients enrolled in the GIMEMA MM0305 randomized controlled trial by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). These levels were correlated both reciprocally and with the type of therapy and patients' characteristics and with a group of non-MM patients as controls.

Results: No significant differences were detected between the blood and bone marrow plasma levels of angiogenic cytokines. A cutoff for each CAF was established. The therapeutic response of patients with blood plasma levels of CAFs lower than the cutoff was better than the response of those with higher levels in terms of percentage of responding patients and quality of response.

Conclusion: FGF-2, HGF, VEGF, and PDGF-β plasma levels at diagnosis have predictive significance for response to treatment. The stratification of patients based on the levels of CAFs at diagnosis and their variations after therapy is useful to characterize different risk groups concerning outcome and response to therapy.

Trial Registration: Clinical trial information can be found at the following link: NCT01063179.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-018-0691-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6327520PMC
January 2019

Maintenance in myeloma patients achieving complete response after upfront therapy: a pooled analysis.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2018 Jul 19;144(7):1357-1366. Epub 2018 Apr 19.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda-Ospedaliero Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, via Genova 3, 10126, Torino, Italy.

Purpose: Maintenance demonstrated to improve survival in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) patients and the achievement of complete response (CR) is a strong predictor of survival. Nevertheless, the role of maintenance according to response after induction/consolidation has not been investigated so far. To evaluate the impact of maintenance according to response, we pooled together and retrospectively analyzed data from 955 NDMM patients enrolled in two trials (GIMEMA-MM-03-05 and RV-MM-PI-209).

Methods: Primary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS)1, PFS2 and overall survival (OS) of CR patients randomized to maintenance and no maintenance. Secondary endpoints were PFS1, PFS2 and OS in very good partial response/partial response (VGPR/PR) patients.

Results: Overall, 213 patients obtained CR after induction/consolidation, 118 received maintenance and 95 no maintenance. In patients achieving CR, maintenance significantly improved PFS1 (HR 0.50, P < 0.001), PFS2 (HR 0.58, P 0.02) and OS (HR 0.51, P 0.02) compared with no maintenance; the advantage was maintained across all the analyzed subgroups according to age, International Staging System (ISS) stage, cytogenetic profile and treatment. Similar features were seen in VGPR/PR patients.

Conclusion: Maintenance prolonged survival in CR and in VGPR/PR patients. The benefit in CR patients suggests the importance of continuing treatment in patients with chemo-sensitive disease.

Trial Registration: The two source studies are registered at ClinicalTrials.gov: identification numbers NCT01063179 and NCT00551928.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-018-2641-5DOI Listing
July 2018

Late-Onset Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease after Allografting: Report of Two Cases with Atypical Clinical Features Successfully Treated with Defibrotide.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2018 1;10(1):e2018001. Epub 2018 Jan 1.

A.O.U. Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Dipartimento di Oncologia, SSD Trapianto allogenico di cellule staminali, Torino, Italy.

Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease (VOD) is a potentially severe complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Here we report two patients receiving an allogeneic HSCT who developed late onset VOD with atypical clinical features. The two patients presented with only few risk factors, namely, advanced acute leukemia, a myeloablative busulphan-containing regimen and received grafts from an unrelated donor. The first patient did not experience painful hepatomegaly and weight gain and both patients showed only a mild elevation in total serum bilirubin level. Most importantly, the two patients developed clinical signs beyond day 21 post-HSCT. Hepatic transjugular biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of VOD. Intravenous defibrotide was promptly started leading to a marked clinical improvement. Based on our experience, liver biopsy may represent a useful diagnostic tool when the clinical features of VOD are ambiguous. Early therapeutic intervention with defibrotide represents a crucial issue for the successful outcome of patients with VOD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4084/MJHID.2018.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5760078PMC
January 2018

Long-Term Follow-Up of a Donor versus No-Donor Comparison in Patients with Multiple Myeloma in First Relapse after Failing Autologous Transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 02 12;24(2):406-409. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

Department of Hematology, DAME, University of Udine, Udine, Italy.

We report the long-term clinical outcomes of a retrospective multicenter study that enrolled 169 patients with multiple myeloma (MM) in first relapse after failing autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT). After HLA typing at relapse, 79 patients with a suitable donor, 72 (91%) of whom eventually underwent salvage allogeneic SCT (allo-SCT), were compared with 90 patients without a donor who were treated with multiple lines of salvage treatment with bortezomib and/or immunomodulatory agents. At a median follow-up of 30 months (range, 2-180 months) for all patients and 110 months (range, 38-180 months) for surviving patients, 7-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 18% in the donor group and 0% in the no-donor group (hazard ratio [HR], 2.495; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.770-3.517; P < .0001). Seven-year overall survival (OS) was 31% in the donor group and 9% in the no-donor group (HR, 1.835; 95% CI, 1.306-2.577; P < .0001). By multivariate analysis, chemosensitivity to salvage treatments and presence of a suitable donor were significantly associated with better PFS and OS. The long-term follow-up of this study confirms the significant PFS benefit and provides new evidence of an OS advantage for patients with MM who have a suitable donor and undergo allo-SCT. Allo-SCT should be considered as a treatment option in young relapsed patients with high-risk disease features after first-line treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.10.014DOI Listing
February 2018

New patterns of relapse in multiple myeloma: a case of "light chain escape" in which FLC predicted relapse earlier than urine and serum immunofixation.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2016 Jun;54(6):991-5

Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized, in about 80% of cases, by the production of monoclonal intact immunoglobulin and more than 95% of them have elevated concentrations of involved (i.e. of the same class of intact immunoglobulin) free light chain (FLC). The introduction of novel therapeutic strategies has changed the natural history of the disease, leading to new manifestations of relapse. Light chain escape (LCE) is a pattern of relapse in which the FLC increase is not accompanied by a concomitant raise of the original monoclonal component (MC). Here we present a case of a 55-year-old man with an IgG kappa MM stage III diagnosed in September 2007. At presentation an IgG kappa MC and urine Bence Jones protein (BJP) kappa were present. Bone marrow biopsy (BMB) showed the presence of 80% monotypic kappa plasma cells (PCs). The patient received bortezomib, thalidomide, dexamethasone before undergoing a double autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in October 2008 and April 2009. In May 2011 he relapsed showing the same pattern of presentation and treatment with lenalidomide and dexamethasone was started. ln May 2013 serum and urine immunofixation and FLC became negative. In September 2014, an increase of kappa FLC was observed, while serum and urine immunofixations remained negative until January 2015, when urine immunofixation became positive. Eventually, in February 2015, serum immunofixation revealed the presence of a free kappa MC. After a new BMB showing 80% of monotypic kappa PCs, a LCE relapse was diagnosed and the patient started the treatment with bendamustine, bortezomib and dexamethasone. In the present case, the increase of kappa FLC has indicated relapse 4 and 5 months earlier than urine and serum IFE, respectively. Our observation confirms that it is advisable to routinely perform FLC or BJP during follow up of MM patients undergoing ASCT and/or treatment with biological drugs to ensure that LCE is not missed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2015-0689DOI Listing
June 2016

Continuous Therapy Versus Fixed Duration of Therapy in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma.

J Clin Oncol 2015 Oct 17;33(30):3459-66. Epub 2015 Aug 17.

Antonio Palumbo, Francesca Gay, Federica Cavallo, Alessandra Larocca, Francesca Donato, Chiara Cerrato, Luana Boccadifuoco, and Mario Boccadoro, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino; Giulia Benevolo, S.C. Ematologia A.O. Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino; Tommasina Guglielmelli, University of Turin and San Luigi Hospital; Giovannino Ciccone, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino and CPO Piemonte, Torino; Francesco Di Raimondo, Ospedale Ferrarotto, Azienda Policlinico-OVE, University of Catania, Catania; Maria T. Petrucci, Sapienza University of Rome; Tommaso Caravita, Ematologia Ospedale S. Eugenio, Rome; Sara Pezzatti, Azienda Ospedaliera San Gerardo, Monza; Francesca Patriarca, DISM, University Hospital, Udine; Chiara Nozzoli, AOU Careggi, Florence; Donatella Vincelli, A.O "Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli," Reggio Calabria; Pellegrino Musto, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS), Referral Cancer Center of Basilicata, Rionero in Vulture; Paolo Corradini, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, University of Milano, Milano; Michele Cavo, Institute of Hematology and Medical Oncology "Seràgnoli," Bologna University School of Medicine S. Orsola's University Hospital, Bologna, Italy; Izhar Hardan, Meir Medical Center, Kfar-Saba; Arnon Nagler, Tel Aviv University, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel; Roman Hajek, University Hospital Ostrava and University of Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republic; Michel Delforge, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Zhinuan Yu and Christian Jacques, Celgene, Summit, NJ; and Meletios A. Dimopoulos, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Alexandra Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Purpose: Continuous therapy (CT) prolongs progression-free survival 1 (PFS1; time from random assignment until the first progression or death), but chemotherapy-resistant relapse may negatively impact overall survival (OS). Progression-free survival 2 (PFS2; time from random assignment until the second progression or death) may represent an additional tool to estimate outcome. This study evaluates the benefit of novel agent-based CT versus fixed duration of therapy (FDT) in patients with newly diagnosed myeloma.

Methods: We included patients enrolled onto three phase III trials that randomly assigned patients to novel agent-based CT versus FDT. Primary analyses were restricted to the intent-to-treat population eligible for CT (patients progression free and alive at 1 year after random assignment). Primary end points were PFS1, PFS2, and OS. All hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs were adjusted for several potential confounders using Cox models.

Results: In the pooled analysis of the three trials, 604 patients were randomly assigned to CT and 614 were assigned to FDT. Median follow-up was 52 months. In the intent-to-treat CT population, CT (n = 417), compared with FDT (n = 410), significantly improved PFS1 (median, 32 v 16 months, respectively; HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.56; P < .001), PFS2 (median, 55 v 40 months, respectively; HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.75; P < .001), and OS (4-year OS, 69% v 60%, respectively; HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.88; P = .003).

Conclusion: In this pooled analysis, CT significantly improved PFS1, PFS2, and OS. The improvement in PFS2 suggests that the benefit reported during first remission is not cancelled by a shorter second remission. PFS2 is a valuable end point to estimate long-term clinical benefit and should be included in future trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2014.60.2466DOI Listing
October 2015

Impact of disease status on outcome in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma treated with lenalidomide.

Leuk Lymphoma 2015 9;56(8):2388-91. Epub 2015 Feb 9.

a Hematology Department, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi , Firenze , Italy.

The introduction of immunomodulatory drugs such as lenalidomide combined with dexamethasone (Len/Dex) has improved the outcome of patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). Few data are currently available which investigate whether paraprotein relapse represents an indication for starting a new treatment. The aim of our retrospective, single-center study was to analyze the impact of disease status (relapsed/refractory) and type of relapse (clinical/paraprotein) on response rate and time-to-next-treatment (TNT). We included 74 patients (median age 70 years) with RRMM treated with Len/Dex until progression or unacceptable toxicity from 2008 to 2012. Age and disease status were not factors affecting overall response rate (ORR) and median TNT, but TNT was significantly longer in patients with asymptomatic compared to clinical relapse (34 vs. 19 months, p<0.008). In conclusion, Len/Dex represents an effective treatment with satisfactory ORR and outcomes in RRMM, especially for patients starting therapy in asymptomatic relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2014.999679DOI Listing
April 2016

[Free light chains reduction on acute kidney injury in multiple myeloma: critical role of high cut-off membranes].

G Ital Nefrol 2014 Nov-Dec;31(6)

We report our experience with five patients, with dialysis dependent AKI and multiple myeloma (MM). Two of them were already suffering from a mild degree of renal insufficiency, one was on follow-up for smouldering MM and two had a relapse of symptomatic MM. Median concentration of the involved FLC (iFLC) was 15104 mg/L (range 1196-24384). All patients underwent three times per week HCO-HD for 6 hour sessions using Theralite 2100 (median 10, range 6-13 sessions) with one having further twelve sessions of 4 hours using SUPRA device (Bellco). In addition, they followed a bortezomib and dexamethasone regimen according to a bi-weekly schedule (3-5 cycles) plus Thalidomide. iFLC concentrations were measured by immunonephelometry in blood at the beginning of each dialysis session. All patients but one, showed a very good partial hematological response. The only exception demonstrated a partial response. iFLCs decreased between 72,8% and 99,7% in a median period of three weeks. After 6 months three patients underwent autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT), one of whom repeated the procedure 6 months later. In conclusion, three patients became dialysis independent at the end of the HCO-HD period, one patient became dialysis independent three months later and one remained dialysis dependent. Recovery of renal function in 4 out of 5 patients with a very good hematological response is a consequence of an early and fast removal of the iFLC joined to an efficient therapeutic regimen.
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November 2016

Bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide followed by maintenance with bortezomib-thalidomide compared with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone for initial treatment of multiple myeloma: updated follow-up and improved survival.

J Clin Oncol 2014 Mar 21;32(7):634-40. Epub 2014 Jan 21.

Antonio Palumbo, Sara Bringhen, Alessandra Larocca, Valeria Magarotto, Paola Omedé, Roberto Mina, Mario Boccadoro, and Giulia Benevolo, Azienda Ospedaliera (A.O.) Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino; Daniela Gottardi, A.O. Ordine Mauriziano; Roberto Passera, San Giovanni Battista Hospital, University of Torino, Torino; Davide Rossi and Gianluca Gaidano, Amedeo Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara; Francesco Di Raimondo, Ferrarotto Hospital, University of Catania, Catania; Francesca Patriarca, A.O. Universitaria, Udine; Anna Levi and Maria Teresa Petrucci, Sapienza University of Rome; Luca Franceschini, Tor Vergata University Hospital, Rome; Iolanda Donatella Vincelli, A.O. Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli, Reggio Calabria; Mariella Grasso, S. Croce e Carle Hospital, Cuneo; Renato Zambello, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova; Vittorio Montefusco, Istituto Di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori Milano, University of Milano, Milan; Antonietta Pia Falcone, IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza and Unità di Ematologia, San Giovanni Rotondo; Roberto Marasca, University of Modena, Modena; Fortunato Morabito, A.O. di Cosenza, Cosenza; Tommasina Guglielmelli, "S. Luigi Gonzaga" Hospital, Orbassano; Chiara Nozzoli, A.O. Universitaria Careggi, Firenze; Massimo Offidani, Ospedali Riuniti, Ancona; Roberto Ria, University of Bari "Aldo Moro" Medical School, Bari; Pellegrino Musto, IRCCS-Centro Regionale Oncologico Basilicata, Rionero in Vulture; and Michele Cavo, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy.

Purpose: Bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) has improved overall survival in multiple myeloma. This randomized trial compared VMP plus thalidomide (VMPT) induction followed by bortezomib-thalidomide maintenance (VMPT-VT) with VMP in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Patients And Methods: We randomly assigned 511 patients who were not eligible for transplantation to receive VMPT-VT (nine 5-week cycles of VMPT followed by 2 years of VT maintenance) or VMP (nine 5-week cycles without maintenance).

Results: In the initial analysis with a median follow-up of 23 months, VMPT-VT improved complete response rate from 24% to 38% and 3-year progression-free-survival (PFS) from 41% to 56% compared with VMP. In this analysis, median follow-up was 54 months. The median PFS was significantly longer with VMPT-VT (35.3 months) than with VMP (24.8 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.58; P < .001). The time to next therapy was 46.6 months in the VMPT-VT group and 27.8 months in the VMP group (HR, 0.52; P < .001). The 5-year overall survival (OS) was greater with VMPT-VT (61%) than with VMP (51%; HR, 0.70; P = .01). Survival from relapse was identical in both groups (HR, 0.92; P = .63). In the VMPT-VT group, the most frequent grade 3 to 4 adverse events included neutropenia (38%), thrombocytopenia (22%), peripheral neuropathy (11%), and cardiologic events (11%). All of these, except for thrombocytopenia, were significantly more frequent in the VMPT-VT patients.

Conclusion: Bortezomib and thalidomide significantly improved OS in multiple myeloma patients not eligible for transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2013.52.0023DOI Listing
March 2014

Impact of graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis on outcomes after myeloablative single-unit umbilical cord blood transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2013 Sep 11;19(9):1387-92. Epub 2013 Jul 11.

Department of Hematology, Hospital Universitario La Fe, Valencia, Spain.

Myeloablative single-unit umbilical cord blood transplantation (sUCBT) using busulfan, thiotepa, fludarabine, and antithymocyte globulin (Grupo Español de Trasplante Hematopoyético [GETH]-2005 protocol) resulted in high rates of engraftment and high antitumor activity. We designed a new graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis, substituting long-term steroids with mycophenolate mofetil together with a slight reduction of antithymocyte globulin (GETH/Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo [GITMO]-2008 protocol). The results in 145 consecutive patients were compared with those obtained in 88 patients from the previous GETH-2005 trial. The cumulative incidence (CI) of myeloid engraftment at 60 days for patients in the GETH-2005 and GETH/GITMO-2008 trials was 94% and 88%, respectively, at a median time to neutrophil recovery of 19 and 23 days, respectively (P < .0001). In the multivariable analyses, platelet engraftment, acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease, nonrelapse mortality, relapse, and event-free survival were not significantly different. The 3-year event-free survival rate in the GETH/GITMO-2008 trial was 66%, 31%, and 25% for patients transplanted in early, intermediate, and advanced stages of the disease, respectively (P < .0001). This study confirms that myeloablative sUCBT using busulfan-based conditioning is a valuable strategy for patients with hematological malignancies. The use of mycophenolate mofetil apparently had an adverse effect on myeloid engraftment, and therefore a cautious use of this agent is warranted in the UCBT setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.07.004DOI Listing
September 2013

Response to rituximab-based therapy and risk factor analysis in Epstein Barr Virus-related lymphoproliferative disorder after hematopoietic stem cell transplant in children and adults: a study from the Infectious Diseases Working Party of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Clin Infect Dis 2013 Sep 13;57(6):794-802. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Collegium Medicum, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Background:  The objective of this analysis was to investigate prognostic factors that influence the outcome of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-related posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) after a rituximab-based treatment in the allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) setting.

Methods:  A total of 4466 allogeneic HSCTs performed between 1999 and 2011 in 19 European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation centers were retrospectively analyzed for PTLD, either biopsy-proven or probable disease.

Results:  One hundred forty-four cases of PTLD were identified, indicating an overall EBV-related PTLD frequency of 3.22%, ranging from 1.16% for matched-family donor, 2.86% for mismatched family donor, 3.97% in matched unrelated donors, and 11.24% in mismatched unrelated donor recipients. In total, 69.4% patients survived PTLD. Multivariable analysis showed that a poor response of PTLD to rituximab was associated with an age ≥30 years, involvement of extralymphoid tissue, acute GVHD, and a lack of reduction of immunosuppression upon PTLD diagnosis. In the prognostic model, the PTLD mortality increased with the increasing number of factors: 0-1, 2, or 3 factors being associated with mortality of 7%, 37%, and 72%, respectively (P < .0001). Immunosuppression tapering was associated with a lower PTLD mortality (16% vs 39%), and a decrease of EBV DNAemia in peripheral blood during therapy was predictive of better survival.

Conclusions:  More than two-thirds of patients with EBV-related PTLD survived after rituximab-based treatment. Reduction of immunosuppression was associated with improved outcome, whereas older age, extranodal disease, and acute graft-vs-host disease predicted poor outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/cit391DOI Listing
September 2013

Early measurement of CD34+ cells in peripheral blood after cyclophosphamide and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor treatment predicts later CD34+ mobilisation failure and is a possible criterion for guiding "on demand" use of plerixafor.

Blood Transfus 2013 Jan 10;11(1):94-101. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Vittorio Emanuele Hospital, Catania, Italy.

Background: Early identification of predictive factors of failure to mobilise CD34+ cells could enable rational use of plerixafor during first mobilisation, avoiding the need for a second mobilisation course. However, "on demand" administration of plerixafor needs to be driven by established parameters to avoid inappropriate use.

Materials And Methods: To address this issue, we studied the value of the peripheral blood CD34+ count, measured early (on days +10, +11, +12 and +13), in predicting the mobilisation outcome in the ensuing days. We retrospectively collected data from three Italian centres on 233 patients affected by multiple myeloma or lymphoma who underwent a first or second attempt at mobilisation with cyclophosphamide 4 g/m(2) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. To assess the diagnostic value of peripheral blood white blood cell and CD34+ cell counts with respect to "mobilisation failure", we considered failed mobilisation as "disease" and the CD34+ cell count in peripheral blood, on a specific day, as a "diagnostic test". For various thresholds, we measured sensitivity, false positive rate, specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) as well as the area under the receiver-operating characteristic curves (AUC).

Results: A CD34+ cell count <10 × 10(6)/L on day 13 had high sensitivity (1.00) and high specificity (1.00) for predicting subsequent mobilisation failure, with an AUC of 1.0. However, good prediction was also obtained using a lower threshold (CD34+ cell count: <6 × 10(6)/L) at an earlier time (day 12). The PPV of the day 13 threshold was 1.00 while that of the day 12 one was 0.87.

Discussion: We propose that patients with <6 × 10(6)/L CD34+ cells in peripheral blood on day 12 and <10 × 10(6)/L on day 13 following mobilisation with cyclophosphamide 4 g/m(2) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor are candidates for "on demand" use of plerixafor, making the administration of this expensive agent more efficient and avoiding its inappropriate use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2450/2012.0004-12DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3557479PMC
January 2013

Bortezomib-thalidomide-dexamethasone is superior to thalidomide-dexamethasone as consolidation therapy after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Blood 2012 Jul 12;120(1):9-19. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Istituto di Ematologia Seràgnoli, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy.

In a randomized, phase 3 study, superior complete/near-complete response (CR/nCR) rates and extended progression-free survival were demonstrated with bortezomib-thalidomide-dexamethasone (VTD) versus thalidomide-dexamethasone (TD) as induction therapy before, and consolidation after, double autologous stem cell transplantation for newly diagnosed myeloma patients (intention-to-treat analysis; VTD, n = 236; TD, n = 238). This per-protocol analysis (VTD, n = 160; TD, n = 161) specifically assessed the efficacy and safety of consolidation with VTD or TD. Before starting consolidation, CR/nCR rates were not significantly different in the VTD (63.1%) and TD arms (54.7%). After consolidation, CR (60.6% vs 46.6%) and CR/nCR (73.1% vs 60.9%) rates were significantly higher for VTD-treated versus TD-treated patients. VTD consolidation significantly increased CR and CR/nCR rates, but TD did not (McNemar test). With a median follow-up of 30.4 months from start of consolidation, 3-year progression-free survival was significantly longer for the VTD group (60% vs 48% for TD). Grade 2 or 3 peripheral neuropathy (8.1% vs 2.4%) was more frequent with VTD (grade 3, 0.6%) versus TD consolidation. The superior efficacy of VTD versus TD as induction was retained despite readministration as consolidation therapy after double autologous transplantation. VTD consolidation therapy significantly contributed to improved clinical outcomes observed for patients randomly assigned to the VTD arm of the study. The study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01134484.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2012-02-408898DOI Listing
July 2012

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma relapsed after autograft: a multicenter retrospective study based on donor availability.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2012 Apr 3;18(4):617-26. Epub 2011 Aug 3.

Hematology, Department of Experimental Clinical Medicine, Udine, Italy.

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) using reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) is a feasible procedure in selected patients with relapsed multiple myeloma (MM), but its efficacy remains a matter of debate. The mortality and morbidity related to the procedure and the rather high relapse risk make the use of allo-SCT controversial. In addition, the availability of novel antimyeloma treatments, such as bortezomib and immunomodulatory agents, have made allo-SCT less appealing to clinicians. We investigated the role of RIC allo-SCT in patients with MM who relapsed after autologous stem cell transplantation and were then treated with a salvage therapy based on novel agents. This study was structured similarly to an intention-to-treat analysis and included only those patients who underwent HLA typing immediately after the relapse. Patients with a donor (donor group) and those without a suitable donor (no-donor group) were compared. A total of 169 consecutive patients were evaluated retrospectively in a multicenter study. Of these, 75 patients found a donor and 68 (91%) underwent RIC allo-SCT, including 24 from an HLA-identical sibling (35%) and 44 from an unrelated donor (65%). Seven patients with a donor did not undergo allo-SCT for progressive disease or concomitant severe comorbidities. The 2-year cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality was 22% in the donor group and 1% in the no-donor group (P < .0001). The 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 42% in the donor group and 18% in the no-donor group (P < .0001). The 2-year overall survival (OS) was 54% in the donor group and 53% in the no-donor group (P = .329). In multivariate analysis, lack of a donor was a significant unfavorable factor for PFS, but not for OS. Lack of chemosensitivity after salvage treatment and high-risk karyotype at diagnosis significantly shortened OS. In patients who underwent allo-SCT, the development of chronic graft-versus-host disease had a significant protective effect on OS. This study provides evidence for a significant PFS benefit of salvage treatment with novel drugs followed by RIC allo-SCT in patients with relapsed MM who have a suitable donor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2011.07.026DOI Listing
April 2012

Safety and efficacy of bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide followed by bortezomib-thalidomide maintenance (VMPT-VT) versus bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) in untreated multiple myeloma patients with renal impairment.

Blood 2011 Nov 27;118(22):5759-66. Epub 2011 Sep 27.

Unitá Operativa Complessa (UOC) Ematologia, Dipartimento Oncoematologico, A.O. di Cosenza, Cosenza, Italy.

We assessed efficacy, safety, and reversal of renal impairment (RI) in untreated patients with multiple myeloma given bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide followed by bortezomib-thalidomide (VMPT-VT) maintenance or bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP). Exclusion criteria included serum creatinine ≥ 2.5 mg/dL. In the VMPT-VT/VMP arms, severe RI (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] ≤ 30 mL/min), moderate RI (eGFR 31-50 mL/min), and normal renal function (eGFR > 50 mL/min), were 6%/7.9%, 24.1%/24.9%, and 69.8%/67.2%, respectively. Statistically significant improvements in overall response rates and progression-free survival were observed in VMPT-VT versus VMP arms across renal cohorts, except in severe RI patients. In the VMPT group, severe RI reduced overall survival (OS). RI was reversed in 16/63 (25.4%) patients receiving VMPT-VT versus 31/77 (40.3%) receiving VMP. Multivariate analysis showed male sex (P = .022) and moderate RI (P = .003) significantly predicted RI recovery. VMP patients achieving renal response showed longer OS. In both arms, greater rates of severe hematologic adverse events were associated with RI (eGFR < 50 mL/min), however, therapy discontinuation rates were unaffected. VMPT-VT was superior to VMP for cases with normal renal function and moderate RI, whereas VMPT-VT failed to outperform VMP in patients with severe RI, although the relatively low number of cases analyzed preclude drawing definitive conclusions. VMPT-VT had no advantage in terms of RI reversal over VMP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2011-05-353995DOI Listing
November 2011

Extramedullary intracranial localization of multiple myeloma and treatment with novel agents: a retrospective survey of 50 patients.

Cancer 2012 Mar 25;118(6):1574-84. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Division of Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, Policlinico "Santa Maria alle Scotte", Siena, Italy.

Background: Intracranial involvement in multiple myeloma is extremely rare. The effect of new drugs (eg, thalidomide, bortezomib, lenalidomide) with respect to old drugs (eg, alkylators, steroids) has not been reported.

Methods: We collected clinical and biological data of patients presenting with an osteo-dural or primary dural multiple myeloma (OD-DMM) or a central nervous system myelomatosis (CNS-MM) by sending a questionnaire to the centers of the Gruppo Italiano Malattie Ematologiche dell'Adulto (GIMEMA).

Results: A total of 50 patients were registered. New therapies were used in 35 patients, whereas 15 patients received old treatments. Twenty-five out of 50 patients obtained a complete remission or a very good partial remission (CR+VGPR). Overall survival (OS) for CNS-MM was 6 months, for OD-DMM 25 months. OS was 25 months for patients treated with new agents versus 8 months with old agents. Improved OS and progression-free survival were predicted by response (CR+VGPR) and by patients who underwent stem cell transplantation versus chemotherapy. β2-Microglobulin >5 mmol/L was a poor prognostic factor. Multivariate analysis showed poor survival for patients with β2-microglobulin >5 mmol/L and better survival for patients achieving CR+VGPR.

Conclusions: The overall data highlight the relevance of therapy with new drugs in intracranial myeloma, providing a framework for future clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.26447DOI Listing
March 2012

The role of bortezomib, thalidomide and lenalidomide in the management of multiple myeloma: an overview of clinical and economic information.

Pharmacoeconomics 2011 Apr;29(4):269-85

Laboratory of Pharmacoeconomics, co Area Vasta Centro, Regional Health System, Florence, Italy.

Bortezomib, thalidomide and lenalidomide can be aimed at treating patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (both eligible and ineligible for transplantation) as well as those with relapsed or refractory disease. This review analysed the available clinical and economic data on these three drugs. Irrespective of which of the three agents is considered, the magnitude of the benefit in newly diagnosed cases (transplanted or non-transplanted) tends to be between 10 and 20 months per patient in terms of progression-free survival or survival; the survival benefit is smaller in relapsed or refractory disease. In addition, a single-institution observational analysis evaluated the outcomes in nearly 3000 consecutive patients examined between 1971 and 2006. The survival in patients diagnosed between 2001 and 2006 was longer than that observed in patients diagnosed between 1994 and 2000. This finding supports the conclusion that novel agents provide a survival improvement compared with traditional therapy. Formal cost-effectiveness studies on these three agents are still lacking. A MEDLINE search retrieved only four short papers or letters and no full-length analysis. Hence, the cost effectiveness of these agents needs further investigation, with separate assessments of the different therapeutic settings. In a simplified analysis, we tried to contrast the average cost of treatment for each of the novel agents versus their respective benefit, expressed in quality-adjusted survival. Despite its preliminary nature, our assessment indicates that the cost effectiveness of these three agents is likely to be within commonly accepted pharmacoeconomic thresholds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2165/11585930-000000000-00000DOI Listing
April 2011

Aspirin, warfarin, or enoxaparin thromboprophylaxis in patients with multiple myeloma treated with thalidomide: a phase III, open-label, randomized trial.

J Clin Oncol 2011 Mar 31;29(8):986-93. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria San Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy.

Purpose: In patients with myeloma, thalidomide significantly improves outcomes but increases the risk of thromboembolic events. In this randomized, open-label, multicenter trial, we compared aspirin (ASA) or fixed low-dose warfarin (WAR) versus low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for preventing thromboembolism in patients with myeloma treated with thalidomide-based regimens.

Patients And Methods: A total of 667 patients with previously untreated myeloma who received thalidomide-containing regimens and had no clinical indication or contraindication for a specific antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy were randomly assigned to receive ASA (100 mg/d), WAR (1.25 mg/d), or LMWH (enoxaparin 40 mg/d). A composite primary end point included serious thromboembolic events, acute cardiovascular events, or sudden deaths during the first 6 months of treatment.

Results: Of 659 analyzed patients, 43 (6.5%) had serious thromboembolic events, acute cardiovascular events, or sudden death during the first 6 months (6.4% in the ASA group, 8.2% in the WAR group, and 5.0% in the LMWH group). Compared with LMWH, the absolute differences were +1.3% (95% CI, -3.0% to 5.7%; P = .544) in the ASA group and +3.2% (95% CI, -1.5% to 7.8%; P = .183) in the WAR group. The risk of thromboembolism was 1.38 times higher in patients treated with thalidomide without bortezomib. Three major (0.5%) and 10 minor (1.5%) bleeding episodes were recorded.

Conclusion: In patients with myeloma treated with thalidomide-based regimens, ASA and WAR showed similar efficacy in reducing serious thromboembolic events, acute cardiovascular events, and sudden deaths compared with LMWH, except in elderly patients where WAR showed less efficacy than LMWH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2010.31.6844DOI Listing
March 2011

Complete response correlates with long-term progression-free and overall survival in elderly myeloma treated with novel agents: analysis of 1175 patients.

Blood 2011 Mar 12;117(11):3025-31. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, AOU S. Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy.

Complete response (CR) was an uncommon event in elderly myeloma patients until novel agents were combined with standard oral melphalan-prednisone. This analysis assesses the impact of treatment response on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). We retrospectively analyzed 1175 newly diagnosed myeloma patients, enrolled in 3 multicenter trials, treated with melphalan-prednisone alone (n = 332), melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide (n = 332), melphalan-prednisone-bortezomib (n = 257), or melphalan-prednisone-bortezomib-thalidomide (n = 254). After a median follow-up of 29 months, the 3-year PFS and OS were 67% and 27% (hazard ratio = 0.16; P < .001), and 91% and 70% (hazard ratio = 0.15; P < .001) in patients who obtained CR and in those who achieved very good partial response, respectively. Similar results were observed in patients older than 75 years. Multivariate analysis confirmed that the achievement of CR was an independent predictor of longer PFS and OS, regardless of age, International Staging System stage, and treatment. These findings highlight a significant association between the achievement of CR and long-term outcome, and support the use of novel agents to achieve maximal response in elderly patients, including those more than 75 years. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00232934, #ISRCTN 90692740, and #NCT01063179.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2010-09-307645DOI Listing
March 2011

The impact of histopathologic examination of graft-versus-host disease in the era of reduced-intensity conditioning regimen: a study from the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto di Midollo Osseo.

Hum Pathol 2011 Feb 24;42(2):254-68. Epub 2010 Nov 24.

Division of Anatomic Pathology, Department of Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, University of Florence, Italy.

Reduced-intensity conditioning regimens have reshaped the clinical presentation of graft-versus-host disease after hematopoietic stem cell transplants. However, histopathologic features of graft-versus-host disease following reduced-intensity conditioning regimens have not been fully characterized. In a series of 112 biopsies (skin, n = 60; gastrointestinal [GI] tract, n = 44; liver, n = 8), we described the morphologic profile of graft-versus-host disease following reduced-intensity conditioning and investigated whether histopathologic changes of graft-versus-host disease following reduced-intensity conditioning have a diagnostic and/or prognostic value. Forty-four patients (49.5%) experienced acute graft-versus-host disease, 2 (2.2%) late-onset acute graft-versus-host disease (grade I, n = 13; grade II-IV, n = 33), 24 (27.0%) chronic graft-versus-host disease (de novo n = 12, progressive n = 12) and 19 (21.3%) overlap syndrome. In the skin, we observed: (i) phase-nonspecific changes, such as acute graft-versus-host disease features in chronic graft-versus-host disease patients (n = 4/24; 16.6%), (ii) subtle alterations such as superficial fibrosis in widened dermal papillae (n = 8), in acute graft-versus-host disease/late-onset graft-versus-host disease (n = 6/46; 13.0%) or chronic graft-versus-host disease (n = 2/24, 8.3%) patients, and (iii) features of chronic and acute graft-versus-host disease coexisting in the same specimen in overlap syndrome (n = 3/19; 15.7%). In the GI tract, we did not demonstrate peculiar features differing from those commonly observed in the myeloablative setting. By univariate analysis, a reduced overall survival was associated with graft-versus-host disease type (chronic graft-versus-host disease P = .006, acute graft-versus-host disease P = .03), older age (P = .04), and histopathologic diagnosis of "consistent with" + definite graft-versus-host disease (P = .02). Histopathologic diagnosis retained an independent prognostic value by multivariate analysis (P = .01). The present study indicates that pathologists should be aware of the peculiar morphologic changes of cutaneous graft-versus-host disease following reduced-intensity conditioning and further recommends histopathology in the diagnostic workup of graft-versus-host disease in patients undergoing reduced-intensity conditioning regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humpath.2010.07.004DOI Listing
February 2011

Outcome and toxicity in the modern era of new drugs for multiple myeloma: a reappraisal for comparison with future investigational trials.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2010 Oct;10(5):353-60

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

The introduction of new drugs such as thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib has led to novel treatment strategies and significantly improved the outcome of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). The enhanced knowledge of myeloma pathogenesis has allowed the identification of new therapeutic targets and many clinical trials are either planned or in progress to evaluate these more selective drugs in the near future. The results of these studies, however, will have to be compared with the results of existing novel therapies for the treatment of MM in order to define whether new protocols do not duplicate current new standards and constitute a real improvement. We reviewed the results of a series of phase I, II, III studies with thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib combinations for newly diagnosed MM in order to define a reasonable standard in terms of activity, efficacy, and toxicity and to have a potentially useful starting point for comparisons with future investigational trials. Three-drug regimens appear to double the complete remission (CR) rate (20%), though regimens containing 4 drugs triple the CR rate (30%), compared with those containing only 2 agents (10%). These improvements in the depth and quality of response translate into a progressive increase in the progression-free survival rate at 2 years (from approximately 54%-62% to 75%, respectively). Conversely, by using additional agents, a marked increase in hematologic toxicity has been described (8%, 28%, and 28% respectively), whereas nonhematologic toxicity appears to be similar (26%, 24%, and 27%, respectively). These results suggest that new trials in the future will constitute significant progress if they can improve on the current relatively favorable efficacy/toxicity ratio. Nonetheless, exciting new combinations in development do hold promise and results from these studies are eagerly awaited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3816/CLML.2010.n.068DOI Listing
October 2010

Bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide followed by maintenance with bortezomib-thalidomide compared with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone for initial treatment of multiple myeloma: a randomized controlled trial.

J Clin Oncol 2010 Dec 12;28(34):5101-9. Epub 2010 Oct 12.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria (A.O.U.) S. Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy.

Purpose: The combination of bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) is a new standard of care for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. This phase III study examined the efficacy of the four-drug combination of bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide (VMPT) followed by maintenance with bortezomib-thalidomide (VMPT-VT) compared with VMP treatment alone in untreated multiple myeloma patients who are ineligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation.

Patients And Methods: A total of 511 patients were randomly assigned to receive nine cycles of VMPT followed by continuous VT as maintenance, or nine cycles of VMP at the same doses with no additional therapy. The primary end point was progression-free survival.

Results: The 3-year estimates of progression-free survival were 56% in patients receiving VMPT-VT and 41% in those receiving VMP (hazard ratio [HR], 0.67; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.90; P = .008). At 3 years, the cumulative proportions of patients who did not go on to the next therapy were 72% with VMPT-VT and 60% with VMP (HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.90; P = .007). Complete response rates were 38% in the VMPT-VT group and 24% in the VMP group (P < .001). The 3-year overall survival was 89% with VMPT-VT and 87% with VMP (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.53 to 1.60; P = .77). Grade 3 to 4 neutropenia (38% v 28%; P = .02), cardiologic events (10% v 5%; P = .04), and thromboembolic events (5% v 2%; P = .08) were more frequent among patients assigned to the VMPT-VT group than among those assigned to the VMP group; treatment-related deaths were 4% with VMPT-VT and 3% with VMP.

Conclusion: VMPT followed by VT as maintenance was superior to VMP alone in patients with multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2010.29.8216DOI Listing
December 2010
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