Publications by authors named "Dietmar Reichert"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A European, Observational, Prospective Trial of Trabectedin Plus Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin in Patients with Platinum-Sensitive Ovarian Cancer.

Oncologist 2021 Apr 3;26(4):e658-e668. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Hospital Universitario de León, León, Spain.

Purpose: The noninterventional, prospective NIMES-ROC phase IV study (NCT02825420) evaluated trabectedin plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in real-life clinical practice.

Patients And Methods: Eligible participants included adults with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer (PS-ROC) who had received one or more cycles of trabectedin/PLD before inclusion according to the marketing authorization. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) according to investigator criteria.

Results: Two hundred eighteen patients from five European countries were evaluated, 72.5% of whom were pretreated with at least two prior chemotherapy lines and received a median of six cycles of trabectedin/PLD (range: 1-24). Median PFS was 9.46 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.9-10.9), and median overall survival (OS) was 23.56 months (95% CI, 18.1-34.1). Patients not pretreated with an antiangiogenic drug obtained larger median PFS (p < .007) and OS (p < .048), largely owning to differences between the two populations. Twenty-four patients (11.0%) had a complete response, and 57 patients (26.1%) achieved a partial response for an objective response rate (ORR) of 37.2%. Fifty-nine patients (27.1%) had disease stabilization for a disease control rate of 64.2%. No statistically significant difference in PFS, OS, or ORR was observed by BRCA1/2 status and platinum sensitivity. Most common grade 3/4 adverse events (AEs) were neutropenia (30.3%), anemia (6.4%), thrombocytopenia (5.5%), and asthenia (5.0%). No deaths attributed to treatment-related AEs or unexpected AEs occurred.

Conclusion: The combination of trabectedin/PLD represents a clinically meaningful and safe option for patients with PS-ROC regardless of prior treatment with an antiangiogenic drug, being comparable with previously observed outcomes in selected and less pretreated patients from clinical trials.

Implications For Practice: This noninterventional, prospective study, conducted in 57 reference sites across Europe, consistently confirmed that trabectedin plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in routine clinical practice represents a clinically meaningful and safe option for women with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer. Although the study population represented a heterogeneous, older, and more pretreated population than those in prospective clinical trials, the combination of trabectedin plus PLD induced comparable clinical benefits, with a similar and manageable safety profile. Overall, these findings show that trabectedin in combination with PLD maintains antitumor activity when administered to heavily pretreated patients in real-life clinical practice.
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April 2021

Treatment response lowers tumor symptom burden in recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck cancer.

BMC Cancer 2020 Sep 29;20(1):933. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Universitätsstraße 27, 91054, Erlangen, Germany.

Background: Head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) frequently causes severe symptoms that may be reduced, when the tumor is successfully treated. The SOCCER trial studied the association of treatment response with patient reported tumor symptom burden in first line treatment of recurrent and/or metastatic HNSCC.

Methods: In this prospective, multi-center, non-interventional trial patients were treated either with platinum-based chemotherapy and cetuximab or radiotherapy and cetuximab. Tumor symptom burden was assessed every four weeks with a questionnaire containing ten visual analogue scales (VAS, range 0-100), which were summarized to the overall VAS score.

Results: Fourhundred seventy patients were registered in 97 German centers. A total of 315 patients with at least the baseline and one subsequent questionnaire were available for analysis. Changes in the VAS score were rated as absolute differences from baseline. Negative values indicate improvement of symptoms. The overall VAS score improved significantly at the first post-baseline assessment in responders (- 2.13 vs. non-responders + 1.15, p = 0.048), and even more for the best post-baseline assessment (- 7.82 vs. non-responders - 1.97, p = 0.0005). The VAS for pain (- 16.37 vs. non-responders - 8.89, p = 0.001) and swallowing of solid food (- 16.67 vs. non-responders - 5.06, p = 0.002) improved significantly more in responders (best post-baseline assessment). In the multivariable Cox regression analysis, worse overall VAS scores were associated with worse overall survival (hazard ratio for death 1.12 per 10 points increment on the overall VAS scale, 95% CI 1.05-1.20, p = 0.0009).

Conclusion: In unselected patients beyond randomized controlled trials, treatment response lowers tumor symptom burden in recurrent and/or metastatic HNSCC.

Trial Registration:, NCT00122460 . Registered 22 Juli 2005.
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September 2020

Prophylaxis of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and febrile neutropenia with lipegfilgrastim in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NADIR study).

Eur J Haematol 2019 Feb 23;102(2):174-181. Epub 2018 Nov 23.

Outpatient Center for Hematology, Oncology and Gastroenterology, Singen, Germany.

Objective: The prospective non-interventional study (NIS) NADIR was designed to evaluate both effectiveness and safety of prophylactic use of lipegfilgrastim (Lonquex ), a glycopegylated granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, in cancer patients with different tumor entities undergoing chemotherapy in routine clinical practice. The primary objective was incidence of severe neutropenia, febrile neutropenia (FN), and neutropenia-associated complications.

Method: NADIR was a national, multicenter, prospective NIS.

Results: Here, we present the data on patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Final analysis comprised 337 NHL patients having received ≥1 administration of lipegfilgrastim. Primary prophylaxis with lipegfilgrastim was documented in 78.7% of patients with high risk to develop FN. In total, ≥1 severe neutropenia (grade 3/4) was reported in 115 (34.1%) patients and ≥1 event of FN documented in 15 (4.5%) patients. Grade 3/4 infections were reported in 22 (6.5%) patients overall. Most frequently reported adverse events (AEs) related to lipegfilgrastim in total were bone pain (5.4%), leukocytosis (2.1%), back pain (1.8%), platelet count decreased (1.2%), and myalgia (1.2%). Fatal serious AEs were documented in 9 (2.7%) patients; none were attributable to lipegfilgrastim.

Conclusion: Prophylaxis or therapeutic intention with lipegfilgrastim in NHL patients in routine clinical practice showed similar effectiveness and safety as demonstrated in the pivotal trials.
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February 2019

Trabectedin plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) for patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer: a prospective, observational, multicenter study.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2018 Jun 6;144(6):1185-1195. Epub 2018 Apr 6.

Medical Faculty and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Gynecology and Obstetrics, TU Dresden, Fetscherstr. 74, 01397, Dresden, Germany.

Purpose: The OVA-YOND study is the first prospective, non-interventional trial designed to evaluate trabectedin (1.1 mg/m) plus PLD (30 mg/m) in patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer (ROC), given according to the marketing authorization in real-life clinical practice across Germany.

Methods: Eligible patients were adults with platinum-sensitive ROC, pretreated with ≥ 1 platinum-containing regimen/s. The primary endpoint was to assess safety/tolerability of the combination.

Results: Seventy-seven patients with platinum-sensitive relapse from 31 sites were evaluated. Patients received a median of 6 cycles (range 1-21) with 39 patients (50.6%) receiving ≥ 6 cycles. Median treatment duration was 4.2 months (range 0.7-18.8), mostly on an outpatient basis (88.3% of patients). Most common grade 3/4 trabectedin-related adverse events (AEs) were leukopenia (18.2%), neutropenia (15.6%), thrombocytopenia (9.1%), alanine (7.8%) and aspartate aminotransferase (6.5%) increase, and nausea/vomiting (5.2% each). Neutropenia (18.2%), leukopenia (15.6%), thrombocytopenia (10.4%), and nausea/vomiting (5.2% each) were the most frequent grade 3/4 PLD-related AEs. No deaths attributed to drug-related AEs or unexpected AEs occurred. Five patients (6.5%) had a complete response and 19 patients (24.7%) achieved a partial response for an objective response rate of 31.2% with median response duration of 6.25 months. Sixteen patients (20.8%) had disease stabilization for a disease control rate of 51.9%. Median progression-free survival was 6.3 months and median overall survival was 16.4 months.

Conclusion: Trabectedin plus PLD confer clinically meaningful benefit to pre-treated patients with platinum-sensitive ROC, being comparable to those previously observed in selected populations from clinical trials and with a manageable safety profile.
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June 2018

Rituximab in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in clinical practice.

Eur J Haematol 2018 May 22;100(5):455-464. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

Schwerpunktpraxis für Hämatologie und Onkologie, Magdeburg, Germany.

Objectives: This study was conducted to investigate the real-world effectiveness and tolerability of rituximab-containing chemoimmunotherapies, which have become the standard of care for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), particularly for physically fit patients. Furthermore, current treatment patterns in clinical practice were documented, and an unselected real-life population was compared with older, comorbid patients.

Methods: Prospective, multicentre, observational study with rituximab-containing chemoimmunotherapy in CLL patients.

Results: Of 681 patients in total, 485 were enroled in cohort 1 (unselected) and 196 in cohort 2 (comorbid "slow-go" patients). The median patient age was higher than in most randomised controlled trials (cohort 1: 70 years and cohort 2: 75 years). The most common treatment regimen in both first-line and relapsed patients was rituximab-bendamustine. Two-year progression-free survival rate for first-line therapy was 84.1% for cohort 1 and 69.8% for cohort 2 (with best overall response rate 81.8% for cohort 1 and 76.6% for cohort 2). General and B-symptoms declined during treatment and remained at low level or decreased further until study end. The safety profile observed in randomised clinical trials was confirmed.

Conclusion: Chemoimmunotherapy with rituximab is feasible and safe in a wide variety of clinical settings in CLL, including the treatment of older patients with comorbidities ( NCT01178086).
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May 2018

Rapid infusions of human normal immunoglobulin 50g/l are safe and well tolerated in immunodeficiencies and immune thrombocytopenia.

Int Immunopharmacol 2017 Mar 7;44:38-42. Epub 2017 Jan 7.

Department of Molecular Medicine, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Italy.

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is accepted as an effective and well-tolerated treatment for primary and secondary immunodeficiencies (ID) and immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Adverse reactions of IVIg are usually mild, comprising transient flu-like symptoms, change in blood pressure and tachycardia. However IVIg therapy can be burdensome for both patients and healthcare facilities, since the infusion may take up to 4h to administer. The objective of our multicentre, prospective, open-label phase III trial was to evaluate the tolerability and safety of human normal immunoglobulin 50g/l (Ig VENA) at high intravenous infusion rates in adult patients with ID and ITP who had previously tolerated IVIg treatment, by progressively increasing infusion rate up to 8ml/kg/hr. 39 ID patients received three infusions, 5 ITP patients received up to a maximum of 5 infusions for a maximum of 5days. Overall 55 adverse events were reported in 18 patients, and all were mild and self-limiting. Two serious adverse events occurred in ID patients and 1 in an ITP patient; none was fatal or treatment-related. No clinically significant changes or abnormalities were observed in vital signs, laboratory results and HRQoL. In summary, in this study, more rapid IVIg infusions were well tolerated by ID and ITP patients, while maintaining their quality of life, helping to minimise the time spent in outpatient hospital visiting to potentially optimise adherence to treatment.
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March 2017

Treosulfan in the Treatment of Advanced Ovarian Cancer - Results of a German Multicenter Non-interventional Study.

Anticancer Res 2015 Dec;35(12):6869-75

Department of Gynecology, European Competence Center for Ovarian Cancer, Campus Virchow Klinikum, Charité - Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Data on routine systemic treatment of patients with ovarian cancer are currently available only to a limited degree. The alkylating agent treosulfan is approved in oral (p.o.) and intravenous (i.v.) form for the treatment of ovarian carcinoma. The present non-interventional study analyzed the clinical use of treosulfan in Germany, evaluating the mode of application, toxicity, and response and survival rate.

Patients And Methods: Two hundred and forty-eight ovarian cancer patients in 57 Centers, who received treosulfan mainly either i.v. (5,000-8,000 mg/m(2) d1, q21d or q28d) or p.o. (400-600 mg/m(2) d1-14 or 21, q28d) for at least one therapy cycle were evaluable and were included in the study.

Results: With a median age of 70 years (range=36-92 years), predominantly elderly patients received treosulfan treatment. Most participants presented serous histology (131, 52.8%) and advanced-stage FIGO III (122, 49%) or IV (55, 22%) disease. Median ECOG status was 1 (range=0-2), whereas cardiac co-morbidity was common (31%). Treosulfan was usually administered as second- (26%), third- (21%) or fourth-line (17%) therapy. Two hundred and one patients received i.v. and 47 p.o.

Treatment: The most common reason for dose modifications was due to hematological toxicity (46%). The main reason for a therapy discontinuation was progressive disease (38.5%). Response was observed in 25.8% of participants, disease stabilization in 28.6 % and progress in 45.6%. The median progression-free and overall survival was 196 and 405 days, respectively.

Conclusion: In predominantly elderly and heavily pre-treated patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, treosulfan featured a clinical relevant efficacy and well-manageable, mostly hematological, toxicity, which resulted in a positive therapeutic index.
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December 2015

Trastuzumab in advanced breast cancer--a decade of experience in Germany.

BMC Cancer 2014 Dec 8;14:924. Epub 2014 Dec 8.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Breast Cancer Center, Sana Klinikum Offenbach GmbH, Starkenburgring 66, D-63060 Offenbach, Germany.

Background: Trastuzumab was registered in 2000 for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, both as monotherapy and combination therapy with paclitaxel. In this prospective, non-interventional observation study, the 10-year experience with trastuzumab in the routine management of HER2-positive breast cancer was reviewed.

Methods: Between 2000 and 2010, 1843 evaluable patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer were recruited in 223 institutions across Germany. Patients were prospectively monitored for about one year. Additional information on long-term outcomes, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were retrieved at several follow-up points. There were no restrictions with respect to diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. Patients were stratified into three cohorts depending on the treatment regimen, i.e. trastuzumab monotherapy (n=228, 12%), trastuzumab combined with chemotherapy (n=1346, 73%), or trastuzumab combined with endocrine therapy (n=269, 15%).

Results: Median age was 59.5 years with a proportion of 28% being older than 65 years. Over a maximum follow-up period of more than 10 years, 1538 PFS events were documented in 83% of patients, resulting in an estimated median PFS of 11.8 months. Median OS, based on recorded death in 64% of patients, amounted to 34.4 months, with 48% (95% confidence intervals 45-50%) still alive after three years. The subgroup selected for a treatment combination with endocrine drugs only had distinctly longer PFS and OS than the other two groups, achieving medians of 23.3 months and 56.3 months, respectively. Median PFS and OS in elderly patients over 65 years of age was 11.4 months and 28.3 months, respectively. Adverse reactions, including cardiac toxicity, of severity grade 3 or 4 were rare.

Conclusions: The superior outcome of treatment strategies including trastuzumab in HER2 overexpressing breast cancer, proven in pivotal studies, was confirmed in the management of advanced breast cancer in Germany in the routine setting. Our data suggest a comparable clinical benefit of treatment with trastuzumab in elderly patients (>65 years), who are typically under-represented in randomized clinical studies.
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December 2014

Caspofungin for treatment of invasive aspergillosis in Germany: results of a pre-planned subanalysis of an international registry.

Eur J Med Res 2012 Apr 17;17. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Universitaetsklinikum, Medizinische Klinik Abteilung V, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: This study is a pre-planned country-specific subanalysis of results in Germany from a multinational multicenter registry to prospectively assess real-world experience with caspofungin administered for treatment of proven or probable invasive aspergillosis (IA).

Methods: Data from patients treated with caspofungin for a single episode of IA were collected. Effectiveness was determined by the local investigator as favorable (complete or partial response) or unfavorable (stable disease, failure or death) at the end of caspofungin therapy. Descriptive statistics with binomial exact confidence intervals were employed.

Results: Forty-two consecutive patients were identified in three German centers. Three patients (7%) had proven IA and 39/42 (93%) had probable IA (modified European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Mycosis Study Group (EORTC/MSG) criteria). Forty-one patients had pulmonary IA and one had tracheal IA. Caspofungin monotherapy was received by 36/42 patients (86%); of these, 26/36 (72%) received salvage therapy. A favorable response was observed in 29/42 patients (69%; 95% CI 53 to 82%); of these, 21/29 (72%) had a complete and 8/29 (28%) a partial response. Favorable response rate was 69% in patients with monotherapy (95% CI 52% to 84%; 25/36 patients), and 67% in patients receiving combination therapy (95% CI 22% to 96%; 4/6 patients). Favorable response rate in patients with first line therapy was 64% (95% CI 31% to 89%; 7/11 patients), and 73% in patients with second line therapy (95% CI 54% to 88%; 20/30 patients). No adverse events were reported. In total, 35/42 patients (83%; 95% CI 69 to 93%) survived seven days after completion of caspofungin therapy.

Conclusions: These real-life findings in Germany are consistent with the international findings from this registry and with findings from randomized studies.
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April 2012

Caspofungin use in daily clinical practice for treatment of invasive aspergillosis: results of a prospective observational registry.

BMC Infect Dis 2010 Jun 22;10:182. Epub 2010 Jun 22.

UZ Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium.

Background: A prospective observational registry assessed real world experience with caspofungin monotherapy or combination therapy for the initial or salvage treatment of proven or probable invasive aspergillosis (IA).

Methods: Data were collected from April 2006 to September 2007 for patients treated with caspofungin for a single episode of IA. Clinical effectiveness was categorized as favorable (complete or partial) or unfavorable (stable disease or failure) at the end of caspofungin therapy (EOCT).

Results: Consecutive patients (n = 103) with proven or probable IA (per EORTC/MSG criteria) were identified from 11 countries. Malignancy (76.7%), neutropenia (64.1%), allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT, 22.3%), solid organ transplantation (8.7%), autologous HSCT (4.9%), and HIV/AIDS (2.9%) were the most common underlying conditions. Most patients (84.5%) had pulmonary IA. Aspergillus fumigatus was the most frequently isolated species. The majority of patients received caspofungin monotherapy (82.5%) primarily as salvage therapy (82.4%). The main reason for switching to salvage therapy was clinical failure of the first-line therapy (69%). A favorable response at EOCT was seen in 56.4% (57/101) of patients overall, including 56.5% (48/85) and 56.3% (9/16) of patients receiving caspofungin monotherapy and combination therapy, respectively. Favorable response rates in clinically relevant subgroups were: malignancy, 51.9% (41/79); allogeneic HSCT, 56.5% (13/23); and neutropenia at time of hospitalization, 53.0% (35/66). There was a 72.3% (73/101) survival at 7 days after EOCT. Serious adverse events related to caspofungin were reported in 4 cases (3.9%); 3 patients (2.9%) discontinued treatment due to an adverse event related to caspofungin.

Conclusions: Caspofungin was both effective and well tolerated among high-risk patient groups such as those with neutropenia and active malignancies.
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June 2010

Efficacy of caspofungin and itraconazole as secondary antifungal prophylaxis: analysis of data from a multinational case registry.

Int J Antimicrob Agents 2009 Nov 22;34(5):446-50. Epub 2009 Aug 22.

Klinik I für Innere Medizin, Klinikum der Universität zu Köln, Cologne, Germany.

Patients surviving invasive fungal disease (IFD) and needing further antineoplastic chemotherapy are at high risk of recurrent fungal infection. In the absence of randomised controlled trials in this area, secondary prophylactic regimens are diverse. From 448 patients registered with the Multinational Case Registry of Secondary Antifungal Prophylaxis, we performed an analysis of patients receiving caspofungin (CAS) or itraconazole (ITC). All patients had an underlying haematological malignancy and had been diagnosed with an episode of IFD earlier in their course of treatment. Data collected comprised demographics, underlying disease, first episode of IFD, antifungal prophylaxis, incidence and outcome of breakthrough IFD and survival. A total of 75 patients were evaluated, comprising 28 receiving CAS and 47 receiving ITC. Patients in the CAS group were more likely to have had progression of underlying disease (32.1% vs. 8.5%; P=0.028) as well as incomplete response of initial IFD at baseline (85.7% vs. 57.4%; P=0.005). Allogeneic stem cell transplantation was more prevalent in patients receiving CAS (46.4% vs. 14.9%; P=0.010). There was no difference in the occurrence of breakthrough IFD between both groups (32.1% vs. 31.9%). Treatment outcomes for recurrent IFD and overall mortality did not differ between groups. Both ITC and CAS were equally effective in preventing second episodes of IFD. Patients with uncontrolled first IFD, uncontrolled underlying disease or those receiving stem cell transplantation were more likely to have received CAS prophylaxis. Despite antifungal prophylaxis, risk of breakthrough IFD was high in both groups.
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November 2009

Treatment of invasive fungal infections in cancer patients--recommendations of the Infectious Diseases Working Party (AGIHO) of the German Society of Hematology and Oncology (DGHO).

Ann Hematol 2009 Feb 14;88(2):97-110. Epub 2008 Oct 14.

ONKOLOGIKUM, Frankfurt am Museumsufer, Frankfurt, Germany.

Invasive fungal infections are a main cause of morbidity and mortality in cancer patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy regimens. Early antifungal treatment is mandatory to improve survival. Today, a number of effective and better-tolerated but more expensive antifungal agents compared to the former gold standard amphotericin B deoxycholate are available. Clinical decision-making must consider results from numerous studies and published guidelines, as well as licensing status and cost pressure. New developments in antifungal prophylaxis improving survival rates result in a continuous need for actualization. The treatment options for invasive Candida infections include fluconazole, voriconazole, and amphotericin B and its lipid formulations, as well as echinocandins. Voriconazole, amphotericin B, amphotericin B lipid formulations, caspofungin, itraconazole, and posaconazole are available for the treatment of invasive aspergillosis. Additional procedures, such as surgical interventions, immunoregulatory therapy, and granulocyte transfusions, have to be considered. The Infectious Diseases Working Party of the German Society of Hematology and Oncology here presents its 2008 recommendations discussing the dos and do-nots, as well as the problems and possible solutions, of evidence criteria selection.
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February 2009

Treatment of invasive fungal infections in clinical practice: a multi-centre survey on customary dosing, treatment indications, efficacy and safety of voriconazole.

Int J Hematol 2008 Mar 21;87(2):126-131. Epub 2008 Feb 21.

Klinikum der Universität zu Köln, Klinik I für Innere Medizin, Studienzentrum Infektiologie II, Kerpener Straße 62, 50937, Köln, Germany.

Invasive fungal infections are frequent and often deadly complications in patients with malignant hematological diseases. Voriconazole is a third generation triazole antifungal with broad activity against most clinically relevant fungal pathogens. Clinical practice often deviates from insights gained from controlled randomized trials. We conducted a multi-centre survey to evaluate efficacy, safety, treatment indications and dosing of voriconazole outside clinical trials. Patients receiving voriconazole were documented via electronic data capturing. An analysis was conducted after submission of 100 episodes from September 2004 to November 2005. Voriconazole was administered for suspected or proven invasive fungal infection (IFI) (57%), as empirical treatment in patients with fever of unknown origin (21%) and secondary (19%) as well as primary (3%) prophylaxis of IFI. Investigators' assessment of fungal infection often diverted from EORTC/MSG 2002 criteria. A favorable response was reported in 61.4% for suspected or proven IFI and 52.4% for empirical treatment. Mortality was 15%, 26.7% of which was attributable to IFI. Breakthrough fungal infections occurred in four (21.1%) patients with voriconazole as secondary prophylaxis. Toxicity and adverse events comprised elevated liver enzymes and visual disturbances. Although indications frequently deviated from clinical evidence and legal approval, voriconazole showed efficacy and safety, comparable to major controlled clinical trials. Data from this survey demonstrate the difficulty of putting drugs to their approved use in IFI.
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March 2008

Risk factors for breakthrough invasive fungal infection during secondary prophylaxis.

J Antimicrob Chemother 2008 Apr 12;61(4):939-46. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Klinik I für Innere Medizin, Klinikum der Universität Köln, 50924 Köln, Germany.

Background: Intensive chemotherapy with severe neutropenia is associated with invasive fungal infections (IFIs) leading to high mortality rates. During leukaemia induction chemotherapy, IFI often prohibited further curative treatment, thus predisposing for leukaemia relapse. Continuing myelosuppressive chemotherapy after diagnosis of IFI has become feasible with the now expanding arsenal of safe and effective antifungals. Secondary prophylaxis of IFI is widely administered, but reliable data on outcome and risk factors for recurrent IFI during subsequent chemotherapy are not available. This study determines risk factors for recurrent IFI in leukaemia patients.

Methods: From 25 European cancer centres, 166 consecutive patients with acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML) and a recent history of proven or probable pulmonary IFI were included. Patients were followed for recurrence or breakthrough IFI during the subsequent chemotherapy cycle.

Results: Of the 166 patients included, 69 (41.6%) were female, the median age was 53 years (range 2-81) the and 3 (1.8%) were <16 years. Recurrent IFI occurred in 26 patients (15.7%). Multiple logistic regressions yielded predisposing factors: duration of neutropenia [per additional day; odds ratio (OR) 1.043, confidence interval (CI) 1.008-1.078], high-dose cytarabine (OR 3.920, CI 1.120-12.706), number of antibiotics (per antibiotic; OR 1.504, CI 1.089-2.086), partial response as outcome of prior IFI (OR 4.037, CI 1.301-12.524) and newly diagnosed AML (OR 3.823, CI 0.953-15.340). Usage of high efficiency particulate air filter appeared protective (OR 0.198, CI 0.036-1.089).

Conclusions: Duration of neutropenia, high-dose cytarabine, prior antibiotic therapy and a partial response to the first IFI therapy were risk factors for recurrent IFI and should be considered in AML patients with prior pulmonary IFI undergoing further chemotherapy.
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April 2008

Effect of once-weekly epoetin beta on survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer receiving anthracycline- and/or taxane-based chemotherapy: results of the Breast Cancer-Anemia and the Value of Erythropoietin (BRAVE) study.

J Clin Oncol 2008 Feb;26(4):592-8

Institut Multidisciplinaire d'Oncologie, Clinique de Genolier, 1 route du Muids, Genolier, Switzerland.

Purpose: The Breast Cancer-Anemia and the Value of Erythropoietin (BRAVE) study evaluated whether epoetin beta would improve survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC).

Patients And Methods: BRAVE was an open-label, randomized, multicenter study in patients with MBC treated with anthracycline- and/or taxane-based chemotherapy. Patients (hemoglobin [Hb] < 12.9 g/dL) were randomly assigned (1:1) to epoetin beta 30,000 U subcutaneously once weekly or control for 24 weeks. The primary efficacy variable was overall survival. Secondary efficacy outcomes included progression-free survival, transfusion- and severe anemia-free survival, Hb response, safety, and quality of life (QoL).

Results: After 18 months of follow-up, 62 (27%) of 231 patients survived with epoetin beta therapy and 63 (27%) of 232 with control. No difference was detected in overall survival (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.07; 95% CI, 0.87 to 1.33, P = .522) or progression-free survival (HR = 1.07; 95% CI, 0.89 to 1.30, P = .448). There was a statistically significant benefit on transfusion- and severe anemia-free survival compared with control (HR = 0.59; P = .0097). Median Hb level increased with epoetin beta (11.7 g/dL at baseline to 13.3 g/dL at 24 weeks) but did not change with control (11.5 v 11.4 g/dL). Patients receiving epoetin beta experienced more thromboembolic events (TEEs) compared with controls (13% v 6%; P = .012) with no difference in serious TEEs (4% v 3%). Epoetin beta did not significantly improve QoL in this study where patients had a high baseline Hb value.

Conclusion: In patients with MBC receiving chemotherapy and initial Hb less than 12.9 g/dL, epoetin beta increased Hb. No difference was detected in overall survival. Because of its superiority design, this study cannot, however, exclude clinically important differences in survival with absolute certainty.
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February 2008

Liposomal amphotericin B as initial therapy for invasive mold infection: a randomized trial comparing a high-loading dose regimen with standard dosing (AmBiLoad trial).

Clin Infect Dis 2007 May 9;44(10):1289-97. Epub 2007 Apr 9.

1st Dept. of Internal Medicine, University of Cologne, Germany.

Background: Treatment of invasive mold infection in immunocompromised patients remains challenging. Voriconazole has been shown to have efficacy and survival benefits over amphotericin B deoxycholate, but its utility is limited by drug interactions. Liposomal amphotericin B achieves maximum plasma levels at a dosage of 10 mg/kg per day, but clinical efficacy data for higher doses are lacking.

Methods: In a double-blind trial, patients with proven or probable invasive mold infection were randomized to receive liposomal amphotericin B at either 3 or 10 mg/kg per day for 14 days, followed by 3 mg/kg per day. The primary end point was favorable (i.e., complete or partial) response at the end of study drug treatment. Survival and safety outcomes were also evaluated.

Results: Of 201 patients with confirmed invasive mold infection, 107 received the 3-mg/kg daily dose, and 94 received the 10-mg/kg daily dose. Invasive aspergillosis accounted for 97% of cases. Hematological malignancies were present in 93% of patients, and 73% of patients were neutropenic at baseline. A favorable response was achieved in 50% and 46% of patients in the 3- and 10-mg/kg groups, respectively (difference, 4%; 95% confidence interval, -10% to 18%; P>.05); the respective survival rates at 12 weeks were 72% and 59% (difference, 13%; 95% confidence interval, -0.2% to 26%; P>.05). Significantly higher rates of nephrotoxicity and hypokalemia were seen in the high-dose group.

Conclusions: In highly immunocompromised patients, the effectiveness of 3 mg/kg of liposomal amphotericin B per day as first-line therapy for invasive aspergillosis is demonstrated, with a response rate of 50% and a 12-week survival rate of 72%. The regimen of 10 mg/kg per day demonstrated no additional benefit and higher rates of nephrotoxicity.
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May 2007

Once-daily oral levofloxacin monotherapy versus piperacillin/tazobactam three times a day: a randomized controlled multicenter trial in patients with febrile neutropenia.

Int J Hematol 2004 Jan;79(1):74-8

Department of Internal Medicine I, Klinikum der Universität zu Köln, Köln, Germany.

A prospective, randomized, controlled multicenter trial was performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of once-daily oral monotherapy with 500 mg levofloxacin in comparison with 4.5 g piperacillin/tazobactam 3 times a day in patients with low-risk febrile neutropenia. Low risk was defined by oral temperature > or = 38.5 degrees C on one occasion or > or = 38.0 degrees C twice within 24 hours and granulocytopenia < or = 500/microL for less than 10 days. The primary end point was defined as defervescence after 72 hours followed by at least 7 afebrile days. Secondary end points were overall response, time to defervescence, survival on day 30, and toxicity. Thirty-four episodes were included. Fever of unknown origin accounted for 26 (76.5%) of the episodes, microbiologically defined infection for 5 (14.7%) of the episodes, and clinically defined infection for 3 (8.8%) of the episodes. On an intent-to-treat basis, all episodes were evaluable for the primary end point. Levofloxacin and piperacillin/tazobactam were successful after 72 hours of treatment in 76.5% and 88.3% of the episodes. Overall response was achieved in 94.1% and 100% of the episodes, respectively. One inpatient in the oral treatment group died of septic shock without identification of a causative pathogen. A larger phase III trial is warranted to further evaluate the lack of inferiority of the oral monotherapy regimen versus standard intravenous therapy.
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January 2004

[Late infectious complications after high-dose therapy and autologous blood stem cell transplantation].

Med Klin (Munich) 2002 Nov;97(11):650-8

Klinik für Innere Medizin II, Klinikum Oldenburg, Germany.

Aim: Only a few data on frequency and character of late infectious complications after high-dose therapy (HDT) and autologous blood stem cell transplantation (ASCT) have been published. This prospective study was carried out to identify potential predictive factors for late infections (occurring after discharge following HDT) and to clarify the usefulness of prophylactic measures.

Patients And Methods: Clinical data of 192 consecutive patients treated with HDT and ASCT in a single hospital were analyzed on late infectious complications. After discharge following HDT, the 166 evaluable patients (84 with hematologic malignancies, 82 with solid tumors) had been examined and interviewed on infections every 4-12 weeks after ASCT. For Pneumocystis carinii prophylaxis, inhalation with pentamidine or oral cotrimoxazole was used for 3-4 months following ASCT.

Results: In the first 6 months following ASCT (after discharge) we saw on average one infectious episode per patient (median, range 0-6), usually light infections (mostly banal upper airway infections). 17 patients had to be treated in hospital for infectious (15 of whom with hematologic malignancies), three of whom (only with hematologic malignancies) died in spite of intensive care as a result of pneumonias due to opportunistic causative agents (mainly Pneumocystis carinii [PcP]). In the second half of the year after ASCT, five patients (with hematologic malignancies) had to be hospitalized due to infections. No further infection-related death occurred. Early documented infections (pneumonia, bacteremia or Clostridium difficile colitis) were associated with an increased risk for late serious infections. Zoster occurred in 18% of patients within 12 months, more frequently after increased pretreatment (25% vs. 11% after less pretreatment), most frequently in patients with relapsed lymphomas (32%).

Conclusions: Significant late infectious complications after ASCT are uncommon. Patients with hematologic malignancies have a significantly increased risk of more serious infections and should be observed carefully. For risk patients with hematologic malignancies and possibly solid tumors, a strict PcP prophylaxis is required. Patients with relapsed lymphomas could possibly be treated preventively against zoster with low-dose aciclovir to reduce the extent of zoster disease. Each patient should be informed carefully that early signs of zoster require an effective zoster treatment as soon as possible.
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November 2002