Publications by authors named "Ernesto Vigna"

56 Publications

Validation of the alternative international prognostic score-E (AIPS-E): analysis of binet stage a chronic lymphocytic patients enrolled into the O-CLL1-GISL protocol.

Eur J Haematol 2021 Mar 4. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Hematology Unit AO of Cosenza, Cosenza, Italy.

Objectives: To validate the predictive value on time to first treatment (TTFT) of AIPS-E and IPS-E evaluated in an independent cohort of newly diagnosed and non-referred Binet stage A CLL patients enrolled in the O-CLL1-GISL protocol (clinicaltrial.gov identifier: NCT00917540).

Methods: A cohort of 292 newly diagnosed Binet A CLL cases has been enrolled in the study. Patients from several Italian Institutions were prospectively enrolled within 12 months of diagnosis into the O-CLL1-GISL protocol RESULTS: The majority of patients were male (62%); median age was 60.4 years, 102 cases (34.9%) showed unmutated IGHV genes, 8 cases (2.8) the presence of del(11q)/del(17p), 142 cases (48.6%) the presence of palpable lymph nodes and 146 cases (50%) and ALC >15x10 /l. After a median follow-up of 7.2 years, 130 patients underwent treatment. According to the AIPS-E, 96 patients were classified as low-risk, 128 as intermediate-risk, and 68 as high-risk. These groups showed significant differences in terms of TTFT. The C-statistic was 0.71 (P<0.0001) for predicting TTFT. According to IPS-E, 77 patients were classified as low-risk, 135 as intermediate-risk, and 80 as high-risk. These groups showed significant differences in terms of TTFT. The C-statistic was 0.705 (P<0.0001) for predicting TTFT.

Conclusions: Our data confirm an accurate prognostic utility of both AIPS-E and IPS-E at the individual patient level. These data may be useful for a precise stratification of early-stage patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13614DOI Listing
March 2021

Comparison of ibrutinib and idelalisib plus rituximab in real-life relapsed/resistant chronic lymphocytic leukemia cases.

Eur J Haematol 2020 Dec 30. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Biothecnology Research Unit, AO of Cosenza, Cosenza, Italy.

Objectives: To compare the capacity of ibrutinib (IB) and idelalisib-rituximab (IDELA-R) of prolonging overall survival (OS) as in CLL patients, previously treated with chemotherapy only.

Methods: A real-life cohort of 675 cases has been identified and investigated in the database of the groups participating in the study.

Results: At an unadjusted univariate analysis, a significant death risk reduction was observed favoring IB (IDELA-R vs IB HR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.36-0.71) although with some limitations due to the non-randomized and retrospective nature of the study and to the lower number of patients in the IDELA-R group (112 cases) related to the current prescribing practice. To overcome the potential problem of confounding by indication, we adjusted the association between the type of therapy and mortality for all variables significantly associated with OS at Cox univariate analysis. Furthermore, those variables, differently distributed between the two study groups, were introduced into the multivariate Cox model to improve the effectiveness of the analysis. By introducing all these variables into the multiple Cox regression model, we confirmed the protective effect of IB vs IDELA-R (HR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.45-0.98, P = .04) independent of potential confounders.

Conclusions: Although our analysis presents some constraints, that is, the unavailability of additional potential confounders, and the retrospective nature of the study, this observation may be of help for the daily clinical practice, particularly in the absence of randomized trials comparing the two schedules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13573DOI Listing
December 2020

Chemotherapy-based regimens in multiple myeloma in 2020.

Panminerva Med 2021 Mar 21;63(1):7-12. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Unit of Hematology, IRCCS Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST), Meldola, Forlì-Cesena, Italy.

Multiple myeloma (MM) represents the second-most common hematologic malignancy. In the 1980s, induction therapy with alkylating agents, such as anthracyclines and steroids, as well as high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation were the main therapeutic approaches for MM. Since the introduction of more effective drugs, such as proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs, monoclonal antibodies and histone deacetylase inhibitor, the new therapeutic algorithm allows of achieving a significantly improvement of prognosis. Numerous regimens, which differently combine these new agents, have been developed and tested in clinical trials. The results of these new regimens are reported each year. In this variegated new contest, old chemotherapeutic drugs still maintain an overriding weight, especially when beneficially combined with new drugs. Also, this is particular true in specific situations, such as extramedullary manifestations, in which tumor mass reduction becomes an urgent clinical need, or in case of chemotherapy-induced stem-cell mobilization. Moreover, melphalan represents the gold standard conditioning regimen since 2002, either alone or, possibly in the next future, in combination with busulfan. Finally, new chemotherapeutic agents with new mechanisms of action, such as melflufen, are in early experimental phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0031-0808.20.04145-2DOI Listing
March 2021

Long-Term Remission Achieved by Ponatinib and Donor Lymphocytes Infusion in a Ph+ Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Patient in Molecular Relapse After Allogenic Stem Cell Transplant and Dasatinib: A Case Report.

Front Oncol 2020 18;10:967. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Hematology Unit, Hematology and Oncology Department, "Annunziata" Hospital of Cosenza, Cosenza, Italy.

Currently, the prognosis of Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) patients relapsing after an allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) remains poor, with few therapeutic options available. Here we present the case of a 32 years old patient with dasatinib-resistant post-transplant molecular relapse of ALL, who received, as second-line therapy, the combination of ponatinib and donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI). The therapy was safe and the patient achieved a sustained minimal residual disease negative disease, still ongoing after 22 months, which was accompanied by several changes in the immune populations distribution within the bone marrow (i.e., the increase in the CD8/CD4 lymphocytes ratio). Our report provides evidence of the efficacy of the third generation TKI inhibitor ponatinib in combination with DLI as second line therapy for Ph+ ALL relapsing after an allo-SCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.00967DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7314974PMC
June 2020

An in-depth evaluation of acalabrutinib for the treatment of mantle-cell lymphoma.

Expert Opin Pharmacother 2020 Jan 18;21(1):29-38. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

Hematology and Oncology Department, Biotechnology Research Unit, Cosenza, Italy.

: Regimens involving intensive immuno-chemotherapy, followed by high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplant represent the standard treatment for younger fit patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Targeted approaches (i.e. ibrutinib, bortezomib, and lenalidomide) represent the backbone of therapy for relapsed cases.: Acalabrutinib is a novel small molecule with a butynamide moiety specifically designed to irreversibly inhibit Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK), which is more potent and selective than ibrutinib. Relevant publications have been identified through literature searches using the terms 'mantle cell lymphoma' and 'acalabrutinib'.: Acalabrutinib has been approved for the treatment of relapsed/refractory (RR) MCL patients. To date, clinical trials have reported some adverse effects such as cardiac toxicity or atrial fibrillation. Acalabrutinib in combination with other drugs, either in chemo-containing or chemo-free schedules, represent a valid option for MCL. However, none of the treatment schedules containing BTK inhibitors have been shown to be curative in MCL. Acalabrutinib may ultimately represent an option for patients who are 'fit' and exhibit well-controlled disease, which often characterizes only a limited 'niche' among MCL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14656566.2019.1689959DOI Listing
January 2020

Efficacy of eculizumab in severe ADAMTS13-deficient thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) refractory to standard therapies.

Transfus Apher Sci 2018 Apr 15;57(2):247-249. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

Hematology Unit, Department of Hemato-Oncology, Ospedale Annunziata, Cosenza, Italy.

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a rare microangiopathic hemolytic anemia (MAHA) defined by mechanical hemolytic anemia, severe thrombocytopenia, and systemic visceral ischemia due to systemic platelet-rich microthrombi. Forty percent of patients with autoimmune TTP experience one or multiple relapses. Patients with refractory TTP are currently managed by corticosteroids, twice-daily PEX, and the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab. Herein, we report two cases of severe TTP, refractory to those standard agents. On the basis of the fact that in cases of severe TTP the classical complement pathway is activated, and that the alternative pathway is also involved, both patients underwent eculizumab (anti-C5 monoclonal antibody) therapy. We observed prompt hematological and organ system responses to the eculizumab and the recovery of plasma ADAMTS-13 activity in both cases. Moreover, the fact that both patients discontinued eculizumab, maintaining the response, emphasizes the possibility of its usefulness for limited treatment periods. In conclusion, the diagnostic and therapeutic algorithm in TTP appears complicated by increasing evidence of complement involvement and the eculizumab seems to be a potential agent for refractory patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.transci.2018.03.005DOI Listing
April 2018

Microenvironmental regulation of the IL-23R/IL-23 axis overrides chronic lymphocytic leukemia indolence.

Sci Transl Med 2018 02;10(428)

Hematology Unit, Department of Onco-Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliera (AO) of Cosenza, 87100 Cosenza, Italy.

Although the progression of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) requires the cooperation of the microenvironment, the exact cellular and molecular mechanisms involved are still unclear. We investigated the interleukin (IL)-23 receptor (IL-23R)/IL-23 axis and found that circulating cells from early-stage CLL patients with shorter time-to-treatment, but not of those with a more benign course, expressed a defective form of the IL-23R complex lacking the IL-12Rβ1 chain. However, cells from both patient groups expressed the complete IL-23R complex in tissue infiltrates and could be induced to express the IL-12Rβ1 chain when cocultured with activated T cells or CD40L cells. CLL cells activated in vitro in this context produced IL-23, a finding that, together with the presence of IL-23 in CLL lymphoid tissues, suggests the existence of an autocrine/paracrine loop inducing CLL cell proliferation. Interference with the IL-23R/IL-23 axis using an anti-IL-23p19 antibody proved effective in controlling disease onset and expansion in xenografted mice, suggesting potential therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aal1571DOI Listing
February 2018

Venetoclax for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Expert Opin Investig Drugs 2017 Nov 9;26(11):1307-1316. Epub 2017 Oct 9.

b Department of Hemato-Oncology , Unità di Ricerca Biotecnologica (URB) , Aprigliano , Italy.

Introduction: Venetoclax, an orally bioavailable inhibitor of BCL-2, was approved in 2016 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients with 17p deletion [del(17p)], who have received at least one prior therapy. Areas covered: We focus on the mechanism of action of venetoclax and on the clinical trial data that led to the approval of venetoclax for CLL patients. We also review the studies in which this drug has being explored in combination with other anti-CLL drugs. Expert opinion: Data from early clinical trials have shown that venetoclax, as a single agent, is highly effective for relapsed/refractory CLL patients, including those cases with high-risk features. Furthermore, venetoclax seems to be an appropriate option for patients who progress on B-cell receptor (BCR) pathway kinase inhibitors. Venetoclax is also safe, with the most common serious adverse events being neutropenia. The risk of tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) can be reduced by a slow dose ramp-up, careful monitoring, and adequate prophylaxis. Ongoing trials will further clarify the safety and efficacy of venetoclax in combination with other drugs in both relapsed/refractory and untreated CLL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13543784.2017.1386173DOI Listing
November 2017

Ponatinib-Induced Graft-versus-Host Disease/Graft-versus-Leukemia Effect in a Patient with Philadelphia-Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia without the T315I Mutation Relapsing after Allogeneic Transplant.

Chemotherapy 2017 16;62(6):353-356. Epub 2017 Aug 16.

Hematology Unit, Department of Onco-Hematology, AO of Cosenza, Cosenza, Italy.

We describe the case of a patient with Philadelphia-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with dasatinib plus steroids as first-line therapy, who achieved a major molecular response (MMR) before undergoing matched, unrelated donor allogeneic stem cell transplant. Eleven months after the transplant, she experienced molecular relapse. Mutational screening showed negativity for the T315I mutation, The patient underwent a salvage chemotherapy regimen with clofarabine + cyclophosphamide + steroids and ponatinib (clofarabine 70 mg i.v., days 1-5, cyclophosphamide 700 mg i.v., days 1-5, and ponatinib 45 mg p.o., daily starting at day 15). We observed a rapid decrease in minimal residual disease on molecular assessment with an MMR of P190-BCR-ABL/ABL = 0.01% confirmed by bone marrow revaluations at days +23, +59, +108, and +191 after the first day of salvage chemotherapy. After starting ponatinib, the patient experienced skin graft-versus-host disease, suggesting that the efficacy of ponatinib could be related not only to the direct antileukemic effect but also to its ability to promote an indirect graft-versus-leukemia effect. Ponatinib treatment was well tolerated and considered safe with easily manageable side effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000477714DOI Listing
March 2018

Disappearance of Bone Marrow Fibrosis in a Patient with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treated with Dasatinib.

Chemotherapy 2017 26;62(6):350-352. Epub 2017 Jul 26.

Hematology Unit, Department of Onco-Hematology, AO of Cosenza, Cosenza, Italy.

We report a case of a chronic myeloid leukemia patient showing progressive bone marrow fibrosis and anemia during imatinib therapy. Given the loss of major molecular response, we switched treatment to dasatinib 100 mg daily, observing a reduction in BCR-ABL transcript, a significant improvement of anemia, and a gradual disappearance of fibrosis. After 7 years of dasatinib therapy the patient maintains a complete cytogenetic response and a deep molecular response; the last bone biopsy confirmed the absence of fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000477796DOI Listing
March 2018

Basal CD34 Cell Count Predicts Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Mobilization in Healthy Donors after Administration of Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor: A Longitudinal, Prospective, Observational, Single-Center, Cohort Study.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2017 Jul 24;23(7):1215-1220. Epub 2017 Mar 24.

Hematology Unit, Department of Hemato-Oncology, Ospedale Annunziata, Cosenza, Italy; Unità di Ricerca Biotecnologica (URB), Aprigliano ASP Cosenza, Italy.

A longitudinal, prospective, observational, single-center, cohort study on healthy donors (HDs) was designed to identify predictors of CD34 cells on day 5 with emphasis on the predictive value of the basal CD34 cell count. As potential predictors of mobilization, age, sex, body weight, height, blood volume as well as white blood cell count, peripheral blood (PB) mononuclear cells, platelet count, hematocrit, and hemoglobin levels were considered. Two different evaluations of CD34 cell counts were determined for each donor: baseline (before granulocyte colony-stimulating factor [G-CSF] administration) and in PB after G-CSF administration on the morning of the fifth day (day 5). A total of 128 consecutive HDs (66 males) with a median age of 43 years were enrolled. CD34 levels on day 5 displayed a non-normal distribution, with a median value of 75.5 cells/µL. To account for the non-normal distribution of the dependent variable, a quantile regression analysis to predict CD34 on day 5 using the baseline value of CD34 as the key predictor was performed. On crude analysis, a baseline value of CD34 ranging from .5 cells/µL to 1 cells/µL predicts a median value of 50 cells/µL on day 5; a value of 2 cells/µL predicts a median value of 70.7 cells/µL; a value of 3 cells/µL to 4 cells/µL predicts a median value of 91.3 cells/µL, and a value ≥ 5 predicts a median value of 112 cells/µL. In conclusion, the baseline PB CD34 cell count correlates with the effectiveness of allogeneic PB stem cell mobilization and could be useful to plan the collection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.03.024DOI Listing
July 2017

Lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone (Rd) versus bortezomib, melphalan, prednisone (VMP) in elderly newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients: A comparison of two prospective trials.

Am J Hematol 2017 Mar 23;92(3):244-250. Epub 2017 Jan 23.

Department of Onco-hematology, Hematology Unit, A.O. of Cosenza, Italy.

There are currently no direct head-to-head clinical trials evaluating bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) versus lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone (Rd). VMP (257 cases) and Rd (222 cases) arms of two randomized phase III trials were employed to assess the treatment influence on outcome in untreated elderly MM patients. Progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were the primary and secondary end-points, respectively, and were investigated according to treatments administered over a 60-months follow-up period. While VMP significantly reduced the disease progression rate between enrolment and 12 months of follow-up, no difference between the two schedules was found between 12 and 32 months. After 32 months, Rd-treated patients had a lower incidence of disease progression. A statistically significant higher OS rate was seen in the VMP arm, which was maintained after data adjustment for potential confounders. Both approaches showed acceptable toxicity profiles. The profound tumor reduction by VMP over Rd justifies the initial higher PFS rate in favor of the bortezomib schedule, while the Rd regimen overcomes this evident initial drawback in reducing the tumor burden by long-term drug administration, gaining a subsequent improved disease control. VMP is associated with a significant reduced risk of death. This study may help physicians make a more informed therapy choice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.24621DOI Listing
March 2017

Pomalidomide in multiple myeloma.

Expert Opin Pharmacother 2017 02 26;18(2):133-137. Epub 2016 Dec 26.

a Dipartimento di Onco-Ematologia , Unità Operativa di Ematologia Azienda Ospedaliera di Cosenza , Cosenza , Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14656566.2016.1274973DOI Listing
February 2017

Panobinostat for the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia.

Expert Opin Investig Drugs 2016 Sep 8;25(9):1117-31. Epub 2016 Aug 8.

e Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Hematology Division , University of Pisa , Pisa , Italy.

Introduction: Therapeutic strategies in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have not changed significantly over the last decades. Appropriate strategies are ultimately driven by the assessment of patients' fitness to define suitability for intensive induction chemotherapy, which produces high initial remission rates but, increased likelihood of relapse. Old/unfit AML patients still represent an urgent and unmet therapeutic need. Epigenetic deregulation represents a strategic characteristic of AML pathophysiology whereby aberrant gene transcription provides an advantage to leukemic cell survival. Efforts to re-establish impaired epigenetic regulation include hypomethylating agents and histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi).

Areas Covered: The review discusses the underlying mechanisms leading to disruption of lysine acetyltransferases (KAT or HAT)/deacetylase (KDAC or HDAC) balance and the rationale for using the HDACi panobinostat (LBH-589) in AML.

Expert Opinion: Although panobinostat has produced significant results in myeloma, its efficacy remains limited in AML. Panobinostat exerts pleiotropic activity and lack of specificity, which likely contributes to its inadequate safety in elderly AML patients. Phase I-II trials, utilizing panobinostat associated with well-known chemotherapeutic agents are ongoing and combinations with other druggable targets may likely be evaluated in future trials. The clinical use of this HDACi in AML the near future does not appearing promising.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13543784.2016.1216971DOI Listing
September 2016

Sorafenib for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Expert Opin Investig Drugs 2016 Jun 6;25(6):743-9. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

a Hematology Unit , Azienda Ospedaliera di Cosenza , Cosenza , Italy.

Introduction: Sorafenib is an orally available compound that acts predominantly by targeting the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway and by inhibiting the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Since the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway is implicated in the proliferation of multiple myeloma (MM) cells and VEGF in bone marrow neovascularization, sorafenib is a drug offering the potential for targeting two important pathogenetic mechanisms involved in MM. Thus, sorafenib is being proposed for use in MM.

Areas Covered: In this review, the authors discuss the rationale for the use of sorafenib in MM. They then summarize the clinical development of sorafenib in MM, from initial Phase I to Phase II studies. A systematic literature review of the trials was performed using PubMed.

Expert Opinion: Preliminary data from phase I/II trials showed that sorafenib had a good safety profile but minimal anti-myeloma activity as a single agent in relapsed/refractory patients. Results of phase II trials, evaluating sorafenib combined with new drugs, such as bortezomib and lenalidomide are eagerly awaited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1517/13543784.2016.1169272DOI Listing
June 2016

Ixazomib for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Expert Opin Investig Drugs 2015 3;24(9):1287-98. Epub 2015 Jul 3.

Dipartimento Oncoematologico, Unità Operativa Complessa di Ematologia, Azienda Ospedaliera di Cosenza , Viale della Repubblica, 87100 Cosenza , Italy +39 0984 681329 ; +39 0984 681866 ;

Introduction: Proteasome inhibition is a mainstay in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). Bortezomib, the first proteasome inhibitor (PI) approved for MM therapy, has shown efficacy in relapsed/refractory patients and in the front-line setting. Among second-generation PIs, MLN9708 ( ixazomib ) is the first oral compound to be evaluated in MM treatment and has shown improvement in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters compared with bortezomib with a similar efficacy in the control of myeloma growth and in the prevention of bone loss.

Areas Covered: In this review, the authors discuss the rationale for use of PIs. They then summarize the clinical development of ixazomib in MM, from initial Phase I to Phase II studies as a monotherapy and in combination with other chemotherapeutics.

Expert Opinion: Preliminary data of Phase I/II trials showed that ixazomib had a good safety profile and exerted anti-myeloma activity as a single agent in relapsed/refractory patients. Furthermore, ixazomib also had efficacy in patients who were refractory to bortezomib. Its use in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone was shown to be an effective and well-tolerated regimen in up-front treatment leading to minimal residual disease negativity in a significant number of patients. Results of Phase III trials, evaluating ixazomib in induction or maintenance therapy, are awaited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1517/13543784.2015.1065250DOI Listing
April 2016

Flow Cytometric Immunobead Assay for Detection of BCR-ABL1 Fusion Proteins in Chronic Myleoid Leukemia: Comparison with FISH and PCR Techniques.

PLoS One 2015 25;10(6):e0130360. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

Biotechnology Research Unit, ASP Cosenza, Aprigliano, Italy; Hematology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Annunziata di Cosenza, Cosenza, Italy.

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is characterized by a balanced translocation juxtaposing the Abelson (ABL) and breakpoint cluster region (BCR) genes. The resulting BCR-ABL1 oncogene leads to increased proliferation and survival of leukemic cells. Successful treatment of CML has been accompanied by steady improvements in our capacity to accurately and sensitively monitor therapy response. Currently, measurement of BCR-ABL1 mRNA transcript levels by real-time quantitative PCR (RQ-PCR) defines critical response endpoints. An antibody-based technique for BCR-ABL1 protein recognition could be an attractive alternative to RQ-PCR. To date, there have been no studies evaluating whether flow-cytometry based assays could be of clinical utility in evaluating residual disease in CML patients. Here we describe a flow-cytometry assay that detects the presence of BCR-ABL1 fusion proteins in CML lysates to determine the applicability, reliability, and specificity of this method for both diagnosis and monitoring of CML patients for initial response to therapy. We show that: i) CML can be properly diagnosed at onset, (ii) follow-up assessments show detectable fusion protein (i.e. relative mean fluorescent intensity, rMFI%>1) when BCR-ABL1IS transcripts are between 1-10%, and (iii) rMFI% levels predict CCyR as defined by FISH analysis. Overall, the FCBA assay is a rapid technique, fully translatable to the routine management of CML patients.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0130360PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4482505PMC
March 2016

Bendamustine in multiple myeloma.

Eur J Haematol 2015 Nov 14;95(5):377-88. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Haematology Unit, Department of Onco-Haematology, A.O. of Cosenza, Cosenza, Italy.

The advent of high-dose melphalan with autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT), the availability of novel agents such as thalidomide, lenalidomide (immunomodulatory drugs or IMiDs) and bortezomib (proteasome inhibitor) and improvements in supportive care have allowed to increase overall survival in multiple myeloma (MM) patients; nevertheless, MM remains an incurable pathology. For this reason, newer agents are required for continued disease control. Bendamustine is an old drug rediscovered in the last decade. In fact, its unique mechanism of action with structural similarities to both alkylating agents and antimetabolities, but which is not cross-resistant to alkylating agents, has reawakened interest in the use of this drug in the treatment of MM. Studies have proven the safety and efficacy of bendamustine administered alone or in combination with new drugs in both upfront and relapse/refractory settings of MM patients, including those with renal impairment. Moreover, bendamustine has been successfully used as conditioning for autologous stem-cell transplantation. Finally, the use of bendamustine does not compromise peripheral blood stem-cell collection. This drug is generally well tolerated, with the majority of adverse events being due to myelosuppression. Non-haematological adverse events are infrequent and usually mild.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12609DOI Listing
November 2015

Surrogate molecular markers for IGHV mutational status in chronic lymphocytic leukemia for predicting time to first treatment.

Leuk Res 2015 Aug 19;39(8):840-5. Epub 2015 May 19.

Department of Clinical and Community Science, University of Milan, Milano, Italy; Hematology Division, IRCCS Foundation Cà Granda, Policlinico Hospital, Milan, Italy.

ZAP-70 is a marker of clinical outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), however its assessment suffers from a lack of standardization consensus. To identify novel markers able to surrogate IGHV mutational status, CD19(+)CD5(+)-B-lymphocytes from 216 patients enrolled in a prospective study (ClinicalTrial.gov Identifier:NCT00917540), underwent gene expression profiling. Samples were split into CLL-Training (n=102) and CLL-Validation (n=114) sets, and an independent supervised analysis for IGHV mutational status was performed considering all genes with gene expression equal or above that of ZAP-70. Thirty-one genes (23 up- and 8 down-regulated) and 23 genes (18 up- and 5 down-regulated) satisfied these criteria in the CLL-Training and CLL-Validation sets, respectively, and 20 common genes (15 up and 5 down) were found to be differentially regulated in both sets. Two (SNORA70F, NRIP1) of the down-regulated and 6 (SEPT10, ZNF667, TGFBR3, MBOAT1, LPL, CRY1) of the up-regulated genes were significantly associated with a reduced risk of disease progression in both sets. Forcing the afore-mentioned genes in a Cox multivariate model together with IGHV mutational status, only CRY1 (HR=2.3, 95% CI: 1.1-4.9, P=.027) and MBOAT1 (HR=2.1, 95% CI: 1.1-3.7, P=.018) retained their independent prognostic impact, supporting the hypothesis that these genes may potentially act as surrogates for predicting IGHV mutational status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2015.05.005DOI Listing
August 2015

Promising therapies for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Expert Opin Investig Drugs 2015 Jun 1;24(6):795-807. Epub 2015 Mar 1.

Azienda Ospedaliera di Cosenza, Dipartimento Oncoematologico, Unità Operativa Complessa di Ematologia , Viale della Repubblica, Cosenza 87100 , Italy +39 0984 681329 ; +39 0984 681866 ; ;

Introduction: The combination schedule of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab is the gold standard of therapy for younger, physically fit chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients; it allows achieving high and durable complete response rates. Although treatment outcome has considerably improved with chemo-immunotherapy, most patients eventually relapse and CLL is still incurable. Thus, newer and more rationally developed drugs are needed to improve CLL therapy, particularly in cases of relapsed/refractory disease.

Areas Covered: The authors review preclinical and clinical data regarding newer CLL agents, currently undergoing examination, such as: signal transduction and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, immunomodulatory agents, B-cell lymphoma 2 inhibitors, next generation mAbs, heat shock protein 90 and histone deacetylase inhibitors, and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy.

Expert Opinion: Newer compounds with different mechanisms of action, such as B-cell receptor signal transduction inhibitors, lenalidomide, next generation mAbs and several pro-apoptotic molecules, have shown efficacy in relapsed or refractory CLL patients. Several studies are under way to investigate the efficacy of combinations of these novel drugs. Hopefully, the combined use of these molecules in risk-adapted treatment strategies will change the therapeutic approach in the near future and will pave the way for a long-term control of CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1517/13543784.2015.1021920DOI Listing
June 2015