Publications by authors named "Enrico Pogliani"

95 Publications

Randomized trial comparing standard vs sequential high-dose chemotherapy for inducing early CR in adult AML.

Blood Adv 2019 04;3(7):1103-1117

Azienda Socio-Sanitaria Territoriale (ASST) Ospedale Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy.

Here we evaluated whether sequential high-dose chemotherapy (sHD) increased the early complete remission (CR) rate in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) compared with standard-intensity idarubicin-cytarabine-etoposide (ICE) chemotherapy. This study enrolled 574 patients (age, 16-73 years; median, 52 years) who were randomly assigned to ICE (n = 286 evaluable) or sHD (2 weekly 3-day blocks with cytarabine 2 g/m twice a day for 2 days plus idarubicin; n = 286 evaluable). Responsive patients were risk-stratified for a second randomization. Standard-risk patients received autograft or repetitive blood stem cell-supported high-dose courses. High-risk patients (and standard-risk patients not mobilizing stem cells) underwent allotransplantation. CR rates after 2 induction courses were comparable between ICE (80.8%) and sHD (83.6%; 38). sHD yielded a higher single-induction CR rate (69.2% vs 81.5%; 0007) with lower resistance risk ( < .0001), comparable mortality (39), and improved 5-year overall survival (39% vs 49%; 045) and relapse-free survival (36% vs 48%; 028), despite greater hematotoxicity delaying or reducing consolidation blocks. sHD improved the early CR rate in high-risk AML (odds ratio, 0.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.31-0.74; 0008) and in patients aged 60 years and less with de novo AML (odds ratio, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.27-0.78; 003), and also improved overall/relapse-free survival in the latter group (hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.52-0.94; 01), in standard-risk AML, and postallograft (hazard ratio, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.39-0.96; 03). sHD was feasible, effectively achieved rapid CR, and improved outcomes in AML subsets. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00495287.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2018026625DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6457212PMC
April 2019

Improved Outcomes With Retinoic Acid and Arsenic Trioxide Compared With Retinoic Acid and Chemotherapy in Non-High-Risk Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia: Final Results of the Randomized Italian-German APL0406 Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2017 Feb 31;35(6):605-612. Epub 2016 Oct 31.

Uwe Platzbecker, Christian Thiede, Christoph Röllig, and Gerhard Ehninger, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus der Technischen Universität Dresden; Uwe Platzbecker and Gerhard Ehninger, Study Alliance Leukemia, Dresden; Walter Fiedler, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf; Norbert Schmitz, Asklepios Klinik St Georg Hamburg, Hamburg; Peter Brossart, Innere Medizin mit deSchwerpunkten Onkologie, Haematollogie un Rheumatologie, Bonn; Bernd Hertenstein, Klinikum Bremen Mitte, Bremen; Helmut R. Salih, University Hospital Tubingen; Mohammed Wattad, Kliniken Essen Süd, Essen; Michael Lübbert, University Medical Center, Freiburg; Christian H. Brandts, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt; Mathias Hänel, Klinikum Chemnitz gGmbH, Chemnitz; Hartmut Link, Klinik für Innere Medizin I, Westpfalz-Klinikum, Kaiserslautern; Konstanze Döhner, Hartmut Döhner, and Richard F. Schlenk, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm; Arnold Ganser, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany; Giuseppe Avvisati, University Campus Bio-Medico; Laura Cicconi, Mariadomenica Divona, Sergio Amadori, and Francesco Lo-Coco, University Tor Vergata; Francesca Paoloni, Marco Vignetti, Fabio Efficace, Paola Fazi, and Franco Mandelli, Gruppo Italiano Malattie Ematologiche dell'Adulto Central Office; Marco Vignetti and Massimo Breccia, Sapienza University, Rome; Felicetto Ferrara, Cardarelli Hospital, Naples; Francesco Albano, University of Bari, Bari; Marco Sborgia, U.O. di Ematologia Clinica, Pescara; Eros Di Bona, San Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza; Erika Borlenghi, U.O. di Ematologia, Spedali Civili, Brescia; Roberto Cairoli, Ospedale Niguarda, Ca' Granda, SC Ematologia; Agostino Cortelezzi, Foundation Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico and University of Milan, Milano; Alessandro Rambaldi, Azienda Opsedaliera Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo; Lorella Melillo, Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza Hospital, IRCCS, San Giovanni Rotondo; Giorgio La Nasa, Centro Trapianti Midollo Osseo, Ospedale R. Binaghi, Università di Cagliari, Cagliari; Chiara Frairia, Hematology, Città della Salute e della Scienza, Torino; Enrico Maria Pogliani, Ospedale San Gerardo, Università degli Studi Milano Bicocca, Monza; Claudio Fozza, University of Sassari, Sassari; Alfonso Maria D'Arco, U.O. Medicina Interna e Onco-Ematologica P.O. "Umberto I," Nocera Inferiore, Nocera Inferiore; Nicola Di Renzo, Ospedale Vito Fazzi, Lecce; and Francesco Fabbiano, Ospedali Riuniti Villa Sofia-Cervello, Palermo, Italy.

Purpose The initial results of the APL0406 trial showed that the combination of all- trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic trioxide (ATO) is at least not inferior to standard ATRA and chemotherapy (CHT) in first-line therapy of low- or intermediate-risk acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). We herein report the final analysis on the complete series of patients enrolled onto this trial. Patients and Methods The APL0406 study was a prospective, randomized, multicenter, open-label, phase III noninferiority trial. Eligible patients were adults between 18 and 71 years of age with newly diagnosed, low- or intermediate-risk APL (WBC at diagnosis ≤ 10 × 10/L). Overall, 276 patients were randomly assigned to receive ATRA-ATO or ATRA-CHT between October 2007 and January 2013. Results Of 263 patients evaluable for response to induction, 127 (100%) of 127 patients and 132 (97%) of 136 patients achieved complete remission (CR) in the ATRA-ATO and ATRA-CHT arms, respectively ( P = .12). After a median follow-up of 40.6 months, the event-free survival, cumulative incidence of relapse, and overall survival at 50 months for patients in the ATRA-ATO versus ATRA-CHT arms were 97.3% v 80%, 1.9% v 13.9%, and 99.2% v 92.6%, respectively ( P < .001, P = .0013, and P = .0073, respectively). Postinduction events included two relapses and one death in CR in the ATRA-ATO arm and two instances of molecular resistance after third consolidation, 15 relapses, and five deaths in CR in the ATRA-CHT arm. Two patients in the ATRA-CHT arm developed a therapy-related myeloid neoplasm. Conclusion These results show that the advantages of ATRA-ATO over ATRA-CHT increase over time and that there is significantly greater and more sustained antileukemic efficacy of ATO-ATRA compared with ATRA-CHT in low- and intermediate-risk APL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.67.1982DOI Listing
February 2017

Severe, reversible nelarabine-induced neuropathy and myelopathy.

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2016 09;21(3):154-6

Experimental Neurology Unit - School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jns.12173DOI Listing
September 2016

Response loss and development of neutralizing antibodies during long-term treatment with romiplostim in patients with immune thrombocytopenia: a case series.

Eur J Haematol 2016 Jul 4;97(1):101-103. Epub 2016 Feb 4.

Hematology and Oncology Department, Ospedale Niguarda Cà Granda, Milano, Italy.

Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by low platelet counts resulting from both immune-mediated platelet destruction and inappropriate bone marrow platelet production. Therefore, in patients with ITP failing immunosuppressants/splenectomy, an alternative approach is to enhance platelet production stimulating thrombopoiesis. Studies on the development of recombinant thrombopoietins (rhTPO) were halted as a minority of patients developed an autoantibody that neutralized pegylated rhTPO and also cross-reacted with and neutralized endogenous TPO resulting in thrombocytopenia. Clinical use of romiplostim, a second-generation TPO-RAs, has shown that during long-term treatment, it may elicit the development of neutralizing antibodies to this agent resulting in acute thrombocytopenia. In our case series of 47 primary adult patients with ITP treated with romiplostim, 28 of 47 are evaluable for response loss. Among these, we observed eight patients who either progressively (3 of 8) or abruptly (5 of 8) lost response which accounts for a prevalence of 28.5%. Neutralizing antibody testing could be performed in 4 of 8 patients and 3 of 4 tested positive. These antibodies did not cross-react with endogenous TPO and retesting of 2 patients at 9 and 7 months yielded a negative result. At follow-up, 5 of 8 patients - including the 3 patients with neutralizing antibodies - went into long-term complete response when switched to a different therapy while 3 of 8 patients never regained a response on subsequent lines of therapy. Response loss does not seem to be so rare an event during romiplostim administration (28.5% in our series) and in a minority of patients, it can be associated with development of drug neutralizing antibodies. Although recognized by the manufacturer as a possible adverse event ensuing during romiplostim administration, development of neutralizing antibody in everyday clinical practice has so far not been specifically addressed in reports on romiplostim use outside controlled studies. Unfortunately, testing for these antibodies requires adhesion to strict procedures which is not easily accomplished in everyday clinical practice. This complexity represents a significant drawback in extending antibody testing to all patients who lose response to romiplostim.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12733DOI Listing
July 2016

Neurological symptoms in essential thrombocythemia: impact of JAK2V617F mutation and response to therapy.

Eur J Haematol 2016 Jun 20;96(6):593-601. Epub 2015 Aug 20.

Hematology Division, San Gerardo Hospital, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

Patients with essential thrombocythemia (ET) often suffer from neurological symptoms (NS) not ever resulting from previous thrombotic cerebral events (TCE). We reported NS occurred in 282 patients, in order to identify the factors influencing ET-related NS in the absence of TCE, and the response to therapy. Overall, 116 of 282 patients (41%) presented NS; 101 of them (87%) reported subjective transient and fluctuating NS, without concurrent TCE, which we defined as ET-related NS, by frequency: cephalalgia, chronic paresthesias, dizziness or hypotension, visual disturbances, and tinnitus. In univariate analysis, ET-related NS resulted more frequently in young people (P = 0.017) and in females (P = 0.025). We found a higher prevalence of JAK2V617F mutation in ET-related NS patients (P = 0.021). In multivariate analysis, gender (P = 0.024) and JAK2V617F mutation (P = 0.041) remained significantly associated with the development of ET-related NS, with a risk of about four times higher for JAK2V617F-mutated patients (OR = 3.75). Ninety-seven of 101 patients with ET-related NS received an antiplatelet (AP) agent at the time of NS, whereas only selected high-risk ET-related NS patients were treated with a cytoreductive drug, according to the published guidelines and similarly to patients without NS. We observed that only 32 of 97 (33%) patients with ET-related NS achieved a complete response after AP treatment. Among the 65 non-responder patients, 36 (55.4%) improved NS after the introduction of cytoreductive therapy; therefore, the addition of cytoreductive treatment should be considered in this setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12638DOI Listing
June 2016

Good Outcome for Very High Risk Adult B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia Carrying Genetic Abnormalities t(4;11)(q21;q23) or t(9;22)(q34;q11), if Promptly Submitted to Allogeneic Transplantation, after Obtaining a Good Molecular Remission.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2015 1;7(1):e2015041. Epub 2015 Jun 1.

Haematology Division and BMT Unit, Ospedale San Gerardo, Monza, Italy.

Background And Objectives: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) carrying t(9;22) or t(4;11) genetic abnormalities represents a very high risk subtype of disease (VHR-ALL). Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) remains the best curative option not only for t(4;11) ALL, but also for t(9;22) ALL in the tyrosin-kinase inhibitors era. In the last years, low molecular level of minimal residual disease (MRD) before HSCT was reported as one of the best favourable indexes for survival in ALL. Here we observed that even these patients can show a favourable outcome if submitted to HSCT with very low MRD.

Methods: We considered 18 consecutive VHR-ALL patients eligible to HSCT. 16 of them were transplanted in first remission, as soon as possible, employing myelo-ablative conditioning regimens. Molecular MRD has been evaluated before and after HSCT.

Results: Immediately before HSCT, MRD revealed: complete molecular remission (MRD(neg)) for five patients, and a level <1×10(-3) for seven patients. 100 days after HSCT we had: MRD(neg) for seven patients and a decrease for all the others after HSCT. After the tapering of immunosuppressive drugs, 13 patients reached the MRD(neg) in a median time of 8 months (range 3-16). In the intention to treat analysis, 14/18 patients are alive and disease free at the date of analysis. Overall survival and event free survival is of 78% and 66% respectively, with an average follow-up of 45 months (range 6-84) since HSCT.

Conclusion: Early transplantation with low MRD level seems to be correlated with a favourable outcome also in VHR-ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4084/MJHID.2015.041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4450652PMC
June 2015

Feasibility of romiplostim discontinuation in adult thrombopoietin-receptor agonist responsive patients with primary immune thrombocytopenia: an observational retrospective report in real life clinical practice.

Hematol Rep 2015 Feb 24;7(1):5673. Epub 2015 Feb 24.

Hematology and Transplant Unit , A.O. San Gerardo, University of Milan Bicocca ; Milan, Italy.

Thrombopoietin mimetics are new treatment options for patients with immune throm-bocytopenia (ITP). Because of their mechanism of action, long-term administration was envisioned in order to maintain effective thrombopoiesis. We report on 30 romiplostim treated patients: 13/27 responders (48%) achieved stable platelet counts on a mean romiplostim dose of 2.43 µg/kg and were able to stop romiplostim after a mean of 44.3 weeks (range 12-122) on therapy with sustained response maintained at a mean of 26 months (range 12-52). No bleeding events occurred during the observational period. No specific patient's features nor pattern of early response seemed to predict for sustained response. However, patients achieving safe platelet counts at lower dosages are probably worth a try of therapy tapering and discontinuation. Our observations support feasibility of romiplostim safe suspension in a relevant proportion of ITP patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/hr.2015.5673DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378205PMC
February 2015

Randomized trial of radiation-free central nervous system prophylaxis comparing intrathecal triple therapy with liposomal cytarabine in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Haematologica 2015 Jun 6;100(6):786-93. Epub 2015 Mar 6.

U. O. C. Ematologia, Azienda Ospedaliera Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo.

Developing optimal radiation-free central nervous system prophylaxis is a desirable goal in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, to avoid the long-term toxicity associated with cranial irradiation. In a randomized, phase II trial enrolling 145 adult patients, we compared intrathecal liposomal cytarabine (50 mg: 6/8 injections in B-/T-cell subsets, respectively) with intrathecal triple therapy (methotrexate/cytarabine/prednisone: 12 injections). Systemic therapy included methotrexate plus cytarabine or L-asparaginase courses, with methotrexate augmented to 2.5 and 5 g/m(2) in Philadelphia-negative B- and T-cell disease, respectively. The primary study objective was the comparative assessment of the risk/benefit ratio, combining the analysis of feasibility, toxicity and efficacy. In the liposomal cytarabine arm 17/71 patients (24%) developed grade 3-4 neurotoxicity compared to 2/74 (3%) in the triple therapy arm (P=0.0002), the median number of episodes of neurotoxicity of any grade was one per patient compared to zero, respectively (P=0.0001), and even though no permanent disabilities or deaths were registered, four patients (6%) discontinued intrathecal prophylaxis on account of these toxic side effects (P=0.06). Neurotoxicity worsened with liposomal cytarabine every 14 days (T-cell disease), and was improved by the adjunct of intrathecal dexamethasone. Two patients in the liposomal cytarabine arm suffered from a meningeal relapse (none with T-cell disease, only one after high-dose chemotherapy) compared to four in the triple therapy arm (1 with T-cell disease). While intrathecal liposomal cytarabine could contribute to improved, radiation-free central nervous system prophylaxis, the toxicity reported in this trial does not support its use at 50 mg and prompts the investigation of a lower dosage. (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT-00795756).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2014.123273DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4450624PMC
June 2015

Role of blood cells dynamism on hemostatic complications in low-risk patients with essential thrombocythemia.

Intern Emerg Med 2015 Jun 14;10(4):451-60. Epub 2015 Jan 14.

Department of Haematology, San Maurizio Regional Hospital, Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy,

Patients with essential thrombocythemia (ET) aged less than 60 years, who have not suffered a previous vascular event (low-risk patients), may develop thrombotic or hemorrhagic events. So far, it has not been possible to identify useful markers capable of predicting which of these patients are more likely to develop an event and therefore who needs to be treated. In the present study, we analysed the relationship between vascular complications and longitudinal blood counts of 136 low-risk ET patients taken over a sustained period of time (blood cells dynamism). After a median follow-up of 60 months, 45 out of 136 patients (33%) suffered 40 major thrombotic and 5 severe hemorrhagic complications. A total number of 5,781 blood counts were collected longitudinally. Thrombotic and hemorrhagic events were studied together (primary endpoint) but also separately (thrombotic alone = secondary endpoint; hemorrhagic alone = tertiary endpoint). The primary endpoint showed no significant association between platelet and WBC count at diagnosis and risk of any event (platelet, p = 0.797; WBC, p = 0.178), while Hb at baseline did show an association (p = 0.024). In the dynamic analysis with Cox regression model, where the blood count values were studied by time of follow-up, we observed that the risk for Hb was 1.49 (95% CI 1.13-1.97) for every increase of 1 g/dL, and that this risk then marginally decreased during follow-up. WBC was associated with an increased risk at baseline for every increase of 1 × 10(9)/L (hazard ratio (HR) 1.07, 95% CI 1.01-1.13, p = 0.034), the risk was stable during follow-up (HR 0.95, p = 0.187 at 60 months). Also, for each increment at baseline of 100 × 10(9) platelets/L, HR was increased by 1.08 (95% CI 0.97-1.22, p = 0.159) and decreases during follow-up. In conclusion, this study is the first to evaluate in ET low-risk patients, the risk of developing a thrombotic/hemorrhagic event considering blood counts over time. Overall our study shows that the risk changes over time. For example, the risk associated with WCC is not linear as previously reported. An interesting new finding is that PLT and even Hb contribute to the risk of developing vascular events. Future treatments should take into consideration these findings and aim to control all parameters over time. We believe this early study may help develop a dynamic analysis model to predict thrombosis in the single patient. Further studies are now warranted to further validate our findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-015-1186-8DOI Listing
June 2015

Peripheral blood lymphocyte/monocyte ratio predicts outcome in follicular lymphoma and in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients in the rituximab era.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2015 Apr 23;15(4):208-13. Epub 2014 Oct 23.

Division of Hematology, Ospedale San Gerardo - Università degli Studi Milano Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

Background: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is an aggressive lymphoma and a large number of studies have therefore focused on the search for prognostic factors. The same interest concerns FL, for which identification of patients candidates for watch and wait (W&W) strategy is still an option. Studies about the number and type of lymphocytes and monocytes detectable in patients with Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas indicate they might affect the pathogenesis and prognosis of these diseases. LMR is recently under investigation as a new prognostic parameter in DLBCL; the role of this ratio in FL in the rituximab era is unknown.

Patients And Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 137 DLBCL and 132 FL patients referred to our institution; among FL pts, a W&W approach was performed at diagnosis for 42 patients. The remaining patients were treated with rituximab-containing therapy. We analyzed different LMR cutoff values at diagnosis and we wanted to investigate the prognostic effect among DLBCL and FL.

Results: We found that the most discriminative LMR was 2.4 for DLBCL and 2 for FL. Among DLBCL patients, an LMR value < 2.4 was associated with a worse 2-year progression-free survival (PFS), and we observed no difference in overall survival and complete response rate. Considering FL patients, LMR > 2 was associated with a longer time to treatment start compared with the LMR < 2 group (P = .0096). Among the 92 patients treated with rituximab chemotherapy, 2-year PFS was superior in the LMR > 2 group.

Conclusion: LMR at diagnosis is a simple tool to better define long-term outcome of DLBCL and FL patients. The use of this tool might better define selection in FL of ideal candidates for W&W strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2014.10.001DOI Listing
April 2015

Non transferrin bound iron (NTBI) in acute leukemias throughout conventional intensive chemotherapy: kinetics of its appearance and potential predictive role in infectious complications.

Leuk Res 2015 Jan 15;39(1):88-91. Epub 2014 Nov 15.

Department of Medicine and Medical Specialities, "Ca' Granda" Foundation IRCCS, University of Milan, Via F. Sforza 35, 20122 Milano, Italy. Electronic address:

We analyzed appearance of non transferrin bound iron (NTBI) in 30 transplant eligible patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during conventional chemotherapy treatment program and evaluated possible relationship with transfusional body iron intake, iron parameters and clinical complications. For each course, serum samples for NTBI detection were taken prior to chemotherapy, during treatment and during subsequent bone marrow myelosuppression: NTBI was assessed by HPLC. Appearance of NTBI was observed from the start of induction treatment and was still detectable during bone marrow myelosuppression; the recovery of the bone marrow function coincided with the disappearance of NTBI. This kinetic was observed in all subsequent high doses chemotherapy courses, independently from confounding variables such as transfusional iron intake and transferrin saturation. NTBI seems to be a consequence of chemotherapy induced lysis of bone marrow cells and, partly, of hepatocytes after cytotoxic injury. The subsequent persistence of NTBI throughout bone marrow myelosuppression is related to the transient suspension of erythropoietic activity. Moreover, NTBI levels >2μM at the beginning of iatrogenic myelosuppression were associated with higher risk of sepsis caused by Gram negative Bacilli (RR 2.571), also compared with other infectious complications (RR 1.954).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2014.11.003DOI Listing
January 2015

Cerebral vein thrombosis in patients with Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms. An European Leukemia Net study.

Am J Hematol 2014 Nov 31;89(11):E200-5. Epub 2014 Jul 31.

Angelo Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, Italy.

To investigate the characteristics and clinical course of cerebral vein thrombosis (CVT) in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) we compared 48 patients with MPN and CVT (group MPN-CVT) to 87 with MPN and other venous thrombosis (group MPN-VT) and 178 with MPN and no thrombosis (group MPN-NoT) matched by sex, age at diagnosis of MPN (±5 years) and type of MPN. The study population was identified among 5,500 patients with MPN, from January 1982 to June 2013. Thrombophilia abnormalities were significantly more prevalent in the MPN-CVT and MPN-VT than in MPN-NoT group (P = 0.015), as well as the JAK2 V617F mutation in patients with essential thrombocythemia (P = 0.059). Compared to MPN-VT, MPN-CVT patients had a higher rate of recurrent thrombosis (42% vs. 25%, P = 0.049) despite a shorter median follow-up period (6.1 vs. 10.3 years, P = 0.019), a higher long-term antithrombotic (94% vs. 84%, P = 0.099) and a similar cytoreductive treatment (79% vs. 70%, P = 0.311). The incidence of recurrent thrombosis was double in MPN-CVT than in MPN-VT group (8.8% and 4.2% patient-years, P = 0.022), and CVT and unprovoked event were the only predictive variables in a multivariate model including also sex, blood count, thrombophilia, cytoreductive, and antithrombotic treatment (HR 1.97, 95%CI 1.05-3.72 and 2.09, 1.09-4.00, respectively).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23809DOI Listing
November 2014

Iron chelation therapy with deferasirox in the management of iron overload in primary myelofibrosis.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2014 1;6(1):e2014042. Epub 2014 Jun 1.

Hematology Division, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.

Deferasirox (DSX) is the principal option currently available for iron-chelation-therapy (ICT), principally in the management of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), while in primary myelofibrosis (PMF) the expertise is limited. We analyzed our experience in 10 PMF with transfusion-dependent anemia, treated with DSX from September 2010 to December 2013. The median dose tolerated of DSX was 750 mg/day (10 mg/kg/day), with 3 transient interruption of treatment for drug-related adverse events (AEs) and 3 definitive discontinuation for grade 3/4 AEs. According to IWG 2006 criteria, erythroid responses with DSX were observed in 4/10 patients (40%), 2 of them (20%) obtaining transfusion independence. Absolute changes in median serum ferritin levels (Delta ferritin) were greater in hematologic responder (HR) compared with non-responder (NR) patients, already at 6 months of ICT respect to baseline. Our preliminary data open new insights regarding the benefit of ICT not only in MDS, but also in PMF with the possibility to obtain an erythroid response, overall in 40 % of patients. HR patients receiving DSX seem to have a better survival and a lower incidence of leukemic transformation (PMF-BP). Delta ferritin evaluation at 6 months could represent a significant predictor for a different survival and PMF-BP. However, the tolerability of the drug seems to be lower compared to MDS, both in terms of lower median tolerated dose and for higher frequency of discontinuation for AEs. The biological mechanism of action of DSX in chronic myeloproliferative setting through an independent NF-κB inhibition could be involved, but further investigations are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4084/MJHID.2014.042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4063602PMC
June 2014

Treatment of graft versus host disease with mesenchymal stromal cells: a phase I study on 40 adult and pediatric patients.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Mar 7;20(3):375-81. Epub 2013 Dec 7.

HSCT Pediatric Unit and Laboratory of Cell Therapy "S. Verri", San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.

This phase I multicenter study was aimed at assessing the feasibility and safety of intravenous administration of third party bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) expanded in platelet lysate in 40 patients (15 children and 25 adults), experiencing steroid-resistant grade II to IV graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Patients received a median of 3 MSC infusions after having failed conventional immunosuppressive therapy. A median cell dose of 1.5 × 10(6)/kg per infusion was administered. No acute toxicity was reported. Overall, 86 adverse events and serious adverse events were reported in the study, most of which (72.1%) were of infectious nature. Overall response rate, measured at 28 days after the last MSC injection, was 67.5%, with 27.5% complete response. The latter was significantly more frequent in patients exhibiting grade II GVHD as compared with higher grades (61.5% versus 11.1%, P = .002) and was borderline significant in children as compared with adults (46.7 versus 16.0%, P = .065). Overall survival at 1 and 2 years from the first MSC administration was 50.0% and 38.6%, with a median survival time of 1.1 years. In conclusion, MSC can be safely administered on top of conventional immunosuppression for steroid resistant GVHD treatment. Eudract Number 2008-007869-23, NCT01764100.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.11.033DOI Listing
March 2014

High cure rates in Burkitt lymphoma and leukemia: a Northern Italy Leukemia Group study of the German short intensive rituximab-chemotherapy program.

Haematologica 2013 Nov 10;98(11):1718-25. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

We evaluate the long-term results of a prospective clinical study enrolling more than 100 adult patients with Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia. Depending on extent of disease, treatment consisted of six to eight rituximab infusions and four to six courses of intensive chemotherapy (attenuated in patients aged >55 years) with high-dose methotrexate, fractionated ifosfamide/cyclophosphamide, other drugs in rotation, and intrathecal chemoprophylaxis. One-hundred five patients were treated (median age 47 years, range 17-78 years); 48% had Burkitt leukemia, 25% were older than 60 years, 37% had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance score >1, and 14% were positive for human immunodeficiency virus. The complete response rate and 3-year overall and disease-free survival rates were 79%, 67% and 75%, respectively, ranging from 100% to 45% for survival (P=0.000) and from 100% to 60% for disease-free survival (P=0.01) in patients with low, intermediate and high adapted International Prognostic Index scores. In multivariate analysis, only age (≤ versus >60 years) and performance status (0-1 versus >1) retained prognostic significance, identifying three risk groups with overall and disease-free survival probabilities of 88% and 87.5%, 57% and 70.5%, 20% and 28.5% (P=0.0000 and P=0.0001), respectively. The relapse rate was only 7% in patients treated with an intercycle interval ≤ 25 days. This regimen achieved 100% curability in patients with low adapted International Prognostic Index scores (21% of total), and very close to 90% in patients aged ≤ 60 years with performance score 0-1 (48% of total). Rapid diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia with prompt referral of patients to prevent clinical deterioration, and careful supervision of treatment without chemotherapy delay can achieve outstanding therapeutic results. ClinicalTrials.gov ID, NCT01290120.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2013.086827DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3815172PMC
November 2013

Old and new prognostic factors in acute myeloid leukemia with deranged core-binding factor beta.

Am J Hematol 2013 Jul 5;88(7):594-600. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Division of Haematology, Niguarda Hospital, Milan, Italy; Division of Haematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Valduce Hospital, Como, Italy.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with deranged core-binding factor beta (CBFβ) is usually associated with a favorable prognosis with 50-70% of patients cured using contemporary treatments. We analyzed the prognostic significance of clinical features on 58 patients with CBFβ-AML aged ≤60 years. Increasing age was the only predictor for survival (P <0.001), with an optimal cut-point at 43 years. White blood cells (WBCs) at diagnosis emerged as an independent risk factor for relapse incidence (P = 0.017), with 1.1% increase of hazard for each 1.0 × 10(9) /L WBC increment. KIT mutations lacked prognostic value for survival and showed only a trend for relapse incidence (P = 0.069).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23461DOI Listing
July 2013

A phase II study of Givinostat in combination with hydroxycarbamide in patients with polycythaemia vera unresponsive to hydroxycarbamide monotherapy.

Br J Haematol 2013 Jun 10;161(5):688-94. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

Haematology, Ospedale Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy.

Givinostat, a histone-deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), inhibits proliferation of cells bearing the JAK2 V617F mutation and has shown significant activity with good tolerability in patients with chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). In this multicentre, open-label, phase II study, 44 patients with polycythaemia vera (PV), unresponsive to the maximum tolerated doses (MTD) of hydroxycarbamide (HC), were treated with Givinostat (50 or 100 mg/d) in combination with MTD of HC. The European LeukaemiaNet response criteria were used to assess the primary endpoint after 12 weeks of treatment. Complete or partial response was observed in 55% and 50% of patients receiving 50 or 100 mg of Givinostat, respectively. Control of pruritus was observed in 64% and 67% of patients in the 50 and 100 mg groups, respectively. The combination of Givinostat and HC was well tolerated: eight patients (18%) discontinued, four in each treatment arm; grade 3 adverse events were reported in one patient (4·5%) in each treatment arm. The combined use of Givinostat and HC was safe and clinically effective in HC-unresponsive PV patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.12332DOI Listing
June 2013

Recurrent SETBP1 mutations in atypical chronic myeloid leukemia.

Nat Genet 2013 Jan 9;45(1):18-24. Epub 2012 Dec 9.

Department of Health Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

Atypical chronic myeloid leukemia (aCML) shares clinical and laboratory features with CML, but it lacks the BCR-ABL1 fusion. We performed exome sequencing of eight aCMLs and identified somatic alterations of SETBP1 (encoding a p.Gly870Ser alteration) in two cases. Targeted resequencing of 70 aCMLs, 574 diverse hematological malignancies and 344 cancer cell lines identified SETBP1 mutations in 24 cases, including 17 of 70 aCMLs (24.3%; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 16-35%). Most mutations (92%) were located between codons 858 and 871 and were identical to changes seen in individuals with Schinzel-Giedion syndrome. Individuals with mutations had higher white blood cell counts (P = 0.008) and worse prognosis (P = 0.01). The p.Gly870Ser alteration abrogated a site for ubiquitination, and cells exogenously expressing this mutant exhibited higher amounts of SETBP1 and SET protein, lower PP2A activity and higher proliferation rates relative to those expressing the wild-type protein. In summary, mutated SETBP1 represents a newly discovered oncogene present in aCML and closely related diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.2495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3588142PMC
January 2013

Cytarabine and clofarabine after high-dose cytarabine in relapsed or refractory AML patients.

Am J Hematol 2012 Dec 1;87(12):1047-51. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Hematology Section, Careggi hospital and University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Clofarabine has been shown to be effective in AML patients, either as single agent or, mainly, in association with intermediate dose cytarabine. Based on these reports, we conducted a preliminary study combining clofarabine and intermediate dose cytarabine in AML patients who relapsed or failed to respond to at least two induction therapies. We treated 47 patients affected by relapsed/refractory AML with a regimen including clofarabine at 22.5 mg/m(2) daily on days 1-5, followed after 3 hr by cytarabine at 1 g/m(2) daily on days 1-5. Ten patients received a further consolidation cycle with clofarabine at 22.5 mg/m(2) and cytarabine at 1 g/m(2) day 1-4. Among the 47 patients, 24/47 (51%) achieved a complete remission, 5/47 (10.5%) a partial response, 10/47 (21%) had a resistant disease, and 6/47 (13%) died of complications during the aplastic phase. The most frequent nonhematologic adverse events were vomiting, diarrhea, transient liver toxicity, febrile neutropenia, and infections microbiologically documented. Among the 24 patients who obtained a CR 13 underwent allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. In 14 patients, complete remission duration was shorter than 12 months, whereas 10 patients experienced longer complete remission duration. These very preliminary results suggest that clofarabine-cytarabine regimen is effective in this particularly poor prognosis category of patients, representing a potential "bridge" toward bone marrow transplant procedures. Safety data were consistent with previously reported salvage therapies. Further studies and a longer follow up are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23308DOI Listing
December 2012

Final results of a multicenter trial addressing role of CSF flow cytometric analysis in NHL patients at high risk for CNS dissemination.

Blood 2012 Oct 27;120(16):3222-8. Epub 2012 Aug 27.

Haematology 2 Azienda Ospedaliera Città della Salute e della Scienza, Turin, Italy.

This prospective study compared diagnostic and prognostic value of conventional cytologic (CC) examination and flow cytometry (FCM) of baseline samples of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in 174 patients with newly diagnosed aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). FCM detected a neoplastic population in the CSF of 18 of 174 patients (10%), CC only in 7 (4%; P < .001); 11 patients (14%) were discordant (FCM(+)/CC(-)). At a median follow-up of 46 months, there were 64 systemic progressions and 10 CNS relapses, including 2 patients with both systemic and CNS relapses. Two-year progression-free and overall survival were significantly higher in patients with FCM(-) CSF (62% and 72%) compared with those FCM(+) CSF (39% and 50%, respectively), with a 2-year CNS relapse cumulative incidence of 3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0-7) versus 17% (95% CI, 0-34; P = .004), respectively. The risk of CNS progression was significantly higher in FMC(+)/CC(-) versus FCM(-)/CC(-) patients (hazard ratio = 8.16, 95% CI, 1.45-46). In conclusion, FCM positivity in the CSF of patients with high-risk NHL is associated with a significantly higher CNS relapse risk and poorer outcome. The combination of IV drugs with a higher CNS bioavailability and intrathecal chemotherapy is advisable to prevent CNS relapses in FCM(+) patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2012-04-423095DOI Listing
October 2012

Role of radiotherapy in patients with early-stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of Waldeyer's ring in remission after anthracycline-containing chemotherapy.

Leuk Lymphoma 2013 Jan 6;54(1):62-8. Epub 2012 Sep 6.

Division of Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Maurizio, Bolzano/Bozen, Italy.

Consolidation radiotherapy (cRT) in patients with stage I/II diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the Waldeyer's ring (WR-DLBCL) in complete remission (CR) after induction chemotherapy (CHT) is often associated with relevant acute and chronic toxicity, and its impact on survival remains to be defined. A total of 184 patients in CR after anthracycline-based chemotherapy were retrospectively analyzed: 62 underwent CHT alone (CHT group), while 122 (66%) patients were referred to cRT (CHT + RT group). After a median follow-up of 54 months, 36 patients (20%) experienced relapse: 19% in the CHT group and 20% in the CHT + RT group. At the time of analysis 47 (76%) CHT patients and 97 (80%) CHT + RT patients were alive. Five-year overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS) and lymphoma-specific survival (LSS) were 80%, 74% and 86%, respectively. Five-year OS was significantly prolonged in the CHT + RT group, while DFS and LSS were similar between groups. This discrepancy was attributed to a high percentage of deaths due to unrelated causes in CHT patients. cRT does not prolong LSS in patients with early-stage WR-DLBCL in CR after anthracycline-containing chemotherapy. An international confirmatory trial is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2012.710907DOI Listing
January 2013

A Case of Atypical Delayed and Prolonged Hematologic Toxicity With Azacitidine in Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML) and Review of Literature.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2012 13;4(1):e2012017. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Divisione di Ematologia, Ospedale San Gerardo - Università degli studi Milano Bicocca, Monza, Italia.

Hypomethylating drugs are useful and have been approved for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML). However, phase 2 and 3 studies that assessed these agents in MDS, have included only a small number of patients with CMML, and there are just a few specific reports on CMML patients. The Azacitidine is actually authorised for the treatment of CMML patients with 10-29% marrow blasts without myeloproliferative disorder, who are not eligible for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This hypomethylating agent in MDS is known for causing transient cytopenias, most often occurring during the first 2 cycles. Here we report a case of an atypical delayed and prolonged hematologic toxicity during Azacitidine treatment in a CMML patient; furthermore we also reviewed the literature regarding the efficacy of the drug and the management of hematologic adverse effects, in term of dose adjustments or alternative schedule of administration, in specific CMML setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4084/MJHID.2012.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3340986PMC
October 2012

Hydroxyurea-related toxicity in 3,411 patients with Ph'-negative MPN.

Am J Hematol 2012 May 4;87(5):552-4. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Hematology Unit, AOU Careggi Largo Brambilla 3, Firenze, IT.

Hydroxyurea (Hydroxycarbamide; HU) is commonly used for the long-term treatment of patients with Philadelphia-chromosome negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). It is considered a first-choice agent for the treatment of these disorders as underlined by the European Leukemia Net Consensus Conference [1], although it is formally approved for this indication in some countries only. The drug is reportedly well tolerated in the large majority of subjects, although systemic and/or localized toxicities have been reported. Consensus criteria for definition of "intolerance" to HU have been described;patients who develop intolerance are candidate for second-line therapy and, more recently, for investigational drugs. However, no epidemiologic information about the occurrence of the most clinically significant HU-associated adverse events is yet available. In this study, the authors report on a multicenter series of 3,411 patients who were treated with HU among which 184, accounting for 5% of total, developed significant drug-related toxicities. These data provide an estimate of the frequency and a detailed characterization of clinically significant HU-related toxicities; these information have relevance for the management of MPN patients who require second-line therapy after developing HU-related intolerance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23160DOI Listing
May 2012

Circulating endothelial cells and endothelial activation in essential thrombocythemia: results from CD146+ immunomagnetic enrichment--flow cytometry and soluble E-selectin detection.

Am J Hematol 2012 Mar 21;87(3):319-20. Epub 2011 Dec 21.

Ospedale San Gerardo-Universita' Milano Bicocca, Clinica Ematologica, Monza, Italy.

Circulating endothelial cells (CECs) have been studied in cardiovascular disorders and as a marker of angiogenetic activity; clinical applications are limited by a lack of consensus on their phenotypic identification and quantification. We determined CECs in essential thrombocythemia (ET) patients, to investigate their possible pathogenetic role. We considered CECs as CD146⁺/CD45⁻ nucleated cells, detected in peripheral blood from 21 healthy controls and 39 ET patients, performing a combination of pre-enrichment of CD146⁺ circulating cells and multiparametric flow cytometry measurement (FCM). Levels of CECs in ET patients were higher with respect to controls (median 2844 CECs/mL vs. 121.3 CECs/mL, P < 0.0001). Apparently hydroxyurea treatment did not influence the levels of CECs. As another established marker of endothelial activation, we also assessed soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) levels in 31 of the ET patients and compared with 39 healthy volunteers: median sE-selectin level in ET patients was 35.3 ng/mL, higher with respect to controls (24.48 ng/mL), P = 0.0369. Our data suggest that endothelium in ET is activated, reflecting a significant role of angiogenesis in this disorder and suggesting an important endothelial contribution in the hypercoagulable state of ET patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.22264DOI Listing
March 2012

CD20 expression has no prognostic role in Philadelphia-negative B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia: new insights from the molecular study of minimal residual disease.

Haematologica 2012 Apr 4;97(4):568-71. Epub 2011 Nov 4.

Unità Funzionale di Ematologia, Università degli Studi, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Firenze , Italy.

The prognostic significance of CD20 expression in acute lymphoblastic leukemia has been investigated in children and adults but is still a subject of debate. The aim of our study was to correlate CD20 expression with clinical-biological characteristics and outcome in 172 Philadelphia chromosome negative patients prospectively treated in a multicenter trial introducing the molecular evaluation of minimal residual disease for therapeutic purposes. We considered 20% as the threshold for CD20 positivity. Complete remission rate, minimal residual disease negativity rate at weeks 10, 16 and 22, and disease-free and overall survival were similar among CD20-positive and -negative patients, even considering minimal residual disease results and related therapeutic choices. Our study failed to demonstrate any prognostic significance for CD20 expression in Philadelphia chromosome negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This conclusion is supported for the first time by a comparable minimal residual disease response rate among CD20-positive and -negative and positive patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2011.054064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3347662PMC
April 2012

Quality of life in elderly patients with essential thrombocythaemia. An Italian multicentre study.

Ann Hematol 2012 Apr 1;91(4):527-32. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Hematology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli, Reggio Calabria, Italy.

Essential thrombocythaemia (ET) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by elevated platelet counts and increased incidence of thrombosis and haemorrhage. Median age at diagnosis is 65-70 years. Life expectancy is similar to that of the healthy population. Symptoms and complications may affect quality of life (QoL); in particular, in elderly patients ET may represent an additional burden. We performed a survey in 494 elderly ET patients to evaluate patient-reported outcomes (PROs). Comorbidities were present in 305 (62%) patients. Factorial analysis based on survey items representing psychological aspects of daily life identified an "attitude domain" with four clusters of patients: (A) very pessimistic (n = 99), (B) pessimistic (n = 101), (C) optimistic (n = 90), and (D) very optimistic (n = 107). Patients in cluster A had more comorbidities (p = 0.003) while patients in cluster D required fewer medical visits and were less disturbed by medications (p < 0.0001). Independent factors predicting Short-Form Health Survey, version 2 physical QoL were grade of optimism (p < 0.0001), gender (p = 0.007), and Charlson comorbidity index (p < 0.0001)). Grade of optimism and disturbances related to medication predicted mental QOL (p < 0.0001). In conclusion, physicians should take into consideration PROs, as "attitude" is associated with physical and mental QoL. Treatment should be tailored to patients' needs according to comorbidities, lifestyle, and psychological conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-011-1341-xDOI Listing
April 2012

ABVD versus BEACOPP for Hodgkin's lymphoma when high-dose salvage is planned.

N Engl J Med 2011 Jul;365(3):203-12

Milan Cancer Institute, Milan, Italy.

Background: BEACOPP, an intensified regimen consisting of bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone, has been advocated as the new standard of treatment for advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma, in place of the combination of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD).

Methods: We randomly assigned 331 patients with previously untreated and unfavorable Hodgkin's lymphoma (stage IIB, III, or IV, or an international prognostic score of ≥3 on a scale of 0 to 7, with higher scores indicating increased risk), to receive either BEACOPP or ABVD, each followed by local radiotherapy when indicated. Patients with residual or progressive disease after the initial therapy were to be treated according to a state-of-the-art high-dose salvage program. The median follow-up period was 61 months.

Results: The 7-year rate of freedom from first progression was 85% among patients who had received initial treatment with BEACOPP and 73% among those who had received initial treatment with ABVD (P=0.004), and the 7-year rate of event-free survival was 78% and 71%, respectively (P=0.15). A total of 65 patients (20 in the BEACOPP group, and 45 in the ABVD group) went on to receive the intended high-dose salvage regimen. As of the cutoff date, 3 of the 20 patients in the BEACOPP group and 15 of the 45 in the ABVD group who had had progressive disease or relapse after the initial therapy were alive and free of disease. After completion of the overall planned treatment, including salvage therapy, the 7-year rate of freedom from a second progression was 88% in the BEACOPP group and 82% in the ABVD group (P=0.12), and the 7-year rate of overall survival was 89% and 84%, respectively (P=0.39). Severe adverse events occurred more frequently in the BEACOPP group than in the ABVD group.

Conclusions: Treatment with BEACOPP, as compared with ABVD, resulted in better initial tumor control, but the long-term clinical outcome did not differ significantly between the two regimens. (Funded by Fondazione Michelangelo; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01251107.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1100340DOI Listing
July 2011

A randomized comparison of caspofungin versus antifungal prophylaxis according to investigator policy in acute leukaemia patients undergoing induction chemotherapy (PROFIL-C study).

J Antimicrob Chemother 2011 Sep 5;66(9):2140-5. Epub 2011 Jul 5.

Department of Haematology, Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy.

Background: Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) are considered a major problem among patients undergoing acute leukaemia (AL) induction treatment. PROphylaxis of Fungal invasive Infections in Leukaemia-Caspofungin (PROFIL-C) is a multicentre study aiming to assess the comparative yield of using caspofungin versus standard policy (SP) regimens and the overall impact of IFI in routine clinical care conditions.

Methods: All AL patients receiving IFI prophylaxis according to local SP were prospectively included in the study by Northern Italy Leukaemia Group (NILG) centres. To allow the comparison of caspofungin versus SP regimens as prophylaxis strategies, caspofungin treatment was assigned via a centralized randomized procedure. The study was registered at http://www.clinicaltrial.gov (NCT00501098).

Results: Over a 2 year period, 175 patients were included. The overall incidence of IFI was 32/175 (18.3%) [10/175 (5.7%) probable/proven and 22/175 (12.6%) possible], with no statistically significant differences between caspofungin-based versus SP-based regimens [overall: 15/93 (16.1%) versus 17/82 (20.7%), relative risk (RR) 0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.42-1.46; probable/proven: 7/93 (7.5%) versus 3/82 (3.7%), RR 2.06, 95% CI 0.55-7.7; possible: 8/93 (8.6%) versus 14/82 (17.1%), RR 0.5, 95% CI 0.22-1.14]. Only one IFI-related death was recorded (10%).

Conclusions: The incidence and mortality of IFI were lower than expected in this strictly sequential cohort representative of the routine care in the NILG network. The efficacy and safety of caspofungin were similar to other prophylactic regimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkr271DOI Listing
September 2011

Results of a lymphoblastic leukemia-like chemotherapy program with risk-adapted mediastinal irradiation and stem cell transplantation for adult patients with lymphoblastic lymphoma.

Ann Hematol 2012 Jan 11;91(1):73-82. Epub 2011 May 11.

Division of Hematology, Ospedale Civile, Bolzano, Italy.

The therapeutic role of mediastinal radiotherapy and stem cell transplantation (SCT) in lymphoblastic lymphoma (LL) remains controversial. In a risk-oriented design, we adopted a flexible treatment program in which (1) patients with persistent mediastinal abnormality, evaluated by post-induction computed chest tomography, received mediastinal irradiation; and (2) those with persistence of minimal residual disease (MRD), evaluated by MRD analysis of the bone marrow, underwent SCT. Twenty-eight out of 30 patients (T-lineage, n = 24; B-lineage, n = 6) achieved a complete response. Of 21 patients with mediastinal mass, 13 (62%) achieved a complete response after chemotherapy alone, while 6 (28.5%) required additional irradiation. Eleven patients were evaluated for MRD: 6 were negative and 5 positive. On the basis of MRD findings and clinical risk characteristics, 14 patients underwent SCT, 13 received maintenance chemotherapy, and 1 had local radiotherapy. Five patients relapsed. Among the 14 non-irradiated patients with T-LL, the mediastinal recurrence rate was only 7%. After a median follow-up of 3.9 years, 21 patients who responded were alive without recurrence (75%). The projected 5-year survival, disease-free survival, and relapse rate were 72%, 77%, and 18%, respectively. This program induced high remission and survival rates, indicating the feasibility and the benefits potentially associated with a selective, response-oriented policy of mediastinal irradiation and a concurrent MRD-based strategy to assign adult LL patients to SCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-011-1252-xDOI Listing
January 2012

Multicenter independent assessment of outcomes in chronic myeloid leukemia patients treated with imatinib.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2011 04 21;103(7):553-61. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Hematology and Clinical Research Unit, San Gerardo Hospital, Italy.

Background: Imatinib slows development of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, available information on morbidity and mortality is largely based on sponsored trials, whereas independent long-term field studies are lacking.

Patients And Methods: Consecutive CML patients who started imatinib treatment before 2005 and who were in complete cytogenetic remission (CCyR) after 2 years (± 3 months) were eligible for enrollment in the independent multicenter Imatinib Long-Term (Side) Effects (ILTE) study. Incidence of the first serious and nonserious adverse events and loss of CCyR were estimated according to the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with the standard log-rank test. Attainment of negative Philadelphia chromosome hematopoiesis was assessed with cytogenetics and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Cumulative incidence of death related or unrelated to CML progression was estimated, accounting for competing risks, according to the Kalbleisch-Prentice method. Standardized incidence ratios were calculated based on population rates specific for sex and age classes. Confidence intervals were calculated by the exact method based on the χ(2) distribution. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: A total of 832 patients who were treated for a median of 5.8 years were enrolled. There were 139 recorded serious adverse events, of which 19.4% were imatinib-related. A total of 830 nonserious adverse events were observed in 53% of patients; 560 (68%) were imatinib-related. The most frequent were muscle cramps, asthenia, edema, skin fragility, diarrhea, tendon, or ligament lesions. Nineteen patients (2.3%) discontinued imatinib because of drug-related toxic effects. Forty-five patients lost CCyR, at a rate of 1.4 per 100 person-years. Durable (>1 year) negative Philadelphia chromosome hematopoiesis was attained by 179 patients. Twenty deaths were observed, with a 4.8% mortality incidence rate (standardized incidence ratio = 0.7; 95% confidence interval = 0.40 to 1.10, P = .08), with only six (30%) associated with CML progression.

Conclusions: In this study, CML-related deaths were uncommon in CML patients who were in CCyR 2 years after starting imatinib, and survival was not statistically significantly different from that of the general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djr060DOI Listing
April 2011