Publications by authors named "Francesca Patriarca"

130 Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carfilzomib with cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone or lenalidomide and dexamethasone plus autologous transplantation or carfilzomib plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone, followed by maintenance with carfilzomib plus lenalidomide or lenalidomide alone for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (FORTE): a randomised, open-label, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2021 Nov 11. Epub 2021 Nov 11.

SSD Clinical Trial in Oncoematologia e Mieloma Multiplo, Division of Haematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Turin, Italy.

Background: Bortezomib-based induction followed by high-dose melphalan (200 mg/m) and autologous stem-cell transplantation (MEL200-ASCT) and maintenance treatment with lenalidomide alone is the current standard of care for young and fit patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of different carfilzomib-based induction and consolidation approaches with or without transplantation and of maintenance treatment with carfilzomib plus lenalidomide versus lenalidomide alone in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Methods: UNITO-MM-01/FORTE was a randomised, open-label, phase 2 trial done in 42 Italian academic and community practice centres. We enrolled transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma aged 65 years or younger with a Karnofsky Performance Status of 60% or higher. Patients were stratified according to International Staging System stage (I vs II/III) and age (<60 years vs 60-65 years) and randomly assigned (1:1:1) to KRd plus ASCT (four 28-day induction cycles with carfilzomib plus lenalidomide plus dexamethasone [KRd], melphalan at 200 mg/m and autologous stem-cell transplantation [MEL200-ASCT], followed by four 28-day KRd consolidation cycles), KRd12 (12 28-day KRd cycles), or KCd plus ASCT (four 28-day induction cycles with carfilzomib plus cyclophosphamide plus dexamethasone [KCd], MEL200-ASCT, and four 28-day KCd consolidation cycles). Carfilzomib 36 mg/m was administered intravenously on days 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16; lenalidomide 25 mg administered orally on days 1-21; cyclophosphamide 300 mg/m administered orally on days 1, 8, and 15; and dexamethasone 20 mg administered orally or intravenously on days 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23. Thereafter, patients were stratified according to induction-consolidation treatment and randomly assigned (1:1) to maintenance treatment with carfilzomib plus lenalidomide or lenalidomide alone. Carfilzomib 36 mg/m was administered intravenously on days 1-2 and 15-16 every 28 days for up to 2 years; lenalidomide 10 mg was administered orally on days 1-21 every 28 days until progression or intolerance in both groups. The primary endpoints were the proportion of patients with at least a very good partial response after induction with KRd versus KCd and progression-free survival with carfilzomib plus lenalidomide versus lenalidomide alone as maintenance treatment, both assessed in the intention-to-treat population. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02203643. Study recruitment is complete, and all patients are in the follow-up or maintenance phases.

Findings: Between Feb 23, 2015, and April 5, 2017, 474 patients were randomly assigned to one of the induction-intensification-consolidation groups (158 to KRd plus ASCT, 157 to KRd12, and 159 to KCd plus ASCT). The median duration of follow-up was 50·9 months (IQR 45·7-55·3) from the first randomisation. 222 (70%) of 315 patients in the KRd group and 84 (53%) of 159 patients in the KCd group had at least a very good partial response after induction (OR 2·14, 95% CI 1·44-3·19, p=0·0002). 356 patients were randomly assigned to maintenance treatment with carfilzomib plus lenalidomide (n=178) or lenalidomide alone (n=178). The median duration of follow-up was 37·3 months (IQR 32·9-41·9) from the second randomisation. 3-year progression-free survival was 75% (95% CI 68-82) with carfilzomib plus lenalidomide versus 65% (58-72) with lenalidomide alone (hazard ratio [HR] 0·64 [95% CI 0·44-0·94], p=0·023). During induction and consolidation, the most common grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia (21 [13%] of 158 patients in the KRd plus ASCT group vs 15 [10%] of 156 in the KRd12 group vs 18 [11%] of 159 in the KCd plus ASCT group); dermatological toxicity (nine [6%] vs 12 [8%] vs one [1%]); and hepatic toxicity (13 [8%] vs 12 [8%] vs none). Treatment-related serious adverse events were reported in 18 (11%) of 158 patients in the KRd-ASCT group, 29 (19%) of 156 in the KRd12 group, and 17 (11%) of 159 in the KCd plus ASCT group; the most common serious adverse event was pneumonia, in seven (4%) of 158, four (3%) of 156, and five (3%) of 159 patients. Treatment-emergent deaths were reported in two (1%) of 158 patients in the KRd plus ASCT group, two (1%) of 156 in the KRd12 group, and three (2%) of 159 in the KCd plus ASCT group. During maintenance, the most common grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia (35 [20%] of 173 patients on carfilzomib plus lenalidomide vs 41 [23%] of 177 patients on lenalidomide alone); infections (eight [5%] vs 13 [7%]); and vascular events (12 [7%] vs one [1%]). Treatment-related serious adverse events were reported in 24 (14%) of 173 patients on carfilzomib plus lenalidomide versus 15 (8%) of 177 on lenalidomide alone; the most common serious adverse event was pneumonia, in six (3%) of 173 versus five (3%) of 177 patients. One patient died of a treatment-emergent adverse event in the carfilzomib plus lenalidomide group.

Interpretation: Our data show that KRd plus ASCT showed superiority in terms of improved responses compared with the other two treatment approaches and support the prospective randomised evaluation of KRd plus ASCT versus standards of care (eg, daratumumab plus bortezomib plus thalidomide plus dexamethasone plus ASCT) in transplant-eligible patients with multiple myeloma. Carfilzomib plus lenalidomide as maintenance therapy also improved progression-free survival compared with the standard-of-care lenalidomide alone.

Funding: Amgen, Celgene/Bristol Myers Squibb.

Translation: For the Italian translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00535-0DOI Listing
November 2021

Carfilzomib, bendamustine, and dexamethasone in patients with advanced multiple myeloma: The EMN09 phase 1/2 study of the European Myeloma Network.

Cancer 2021 Sep 28;127(18):3413-3421. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Immunotherapy, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany.

Background: Combined therapy with carfilzomib, bendamustine, and dexamethasone was evaluated in this multicenter phase 1/2 trial conducted within the European Myeloma Network (EMN09 trial).

Methods: Sixty-three patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma who had received ≥2 lines of prior therapy were included. The phase 1 portion of the study determined the maximum tolerated dose of carfilzomib with bendamustine set at 70 mg/m on days 1 and 8. After 8 cycles, responding patients received maintenance therapy with carfilzomib and dexamethasone until progression.

Results: On the basis of the phase 1 results, the recommended phase 2 dose for carfilzomib was 27 mg/m twice weekly in weeks 1, 2, and 3. Fifty-two percent of patients achieved a partial response or better, and 32% reached a very good partial response or better. The clinical benefit rate was 93%. After a median follow-up of 21.9 months, the median progression-free survival was 11.6 months, and the median overall survival was 30.4 months. The reported grade ≥3 hematologic adverse events (AEs) were lymphopenia (29%), neutropenia (25%), and thrombocytopenia (22%). The main nonhematologic grade ≥3 AEs were pneumonia, thromboembolic events (10%), cardiac AEs (8%), and hypertension (2%).

Conclusions: In heavily pretreated patients who have relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, combined carfilzomib, bendamustine, and dexamethasone is an effective treatment option administered in the outpatient setting. Infection prophylaxis and attention to patients with cardiovascular predisposition are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33647DOI Listing
September 2021

Impact of prior JAK-inhibitor therapy with ruxolitinib on outcome after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for myelofibrosis: a study of the CMWP of EBMT.

Leukemia 2021 Dec 22;35(12):3551-3560. Epub 2021 May 22.

CHU de Lille, Univ Lille, INSERM U1286, Infinite, Lille, France.

JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib (RUX) is approved in patients with myelofibrosis but the impact of pretreatment with RUX on outcome after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) remains to be determined. We evaluated the impact of RUX on outcome in 551 myelofibrosis patients who received HSCT without (n = 274) or with (n = 277) RUX pretreatment. The overall leukocyte engraftment on day 45 was 92% and significantly higher in RUX responsive patients than those who had no or lost response to RUX (94% vs. 85%, p = 0.05). The 1-year non-relapse mortality was 22% without significant difference between the arms. In a multivariate analysis (MVA) RUX pretreated patients with ongoing spleen response at transplant had a significantly lower risk of relapse (8.1% vs. 19.1%; p = 0.04)] and better 2-year event-free survival (68.9% vs. 53.7%; p = 0.02) in comparison to patients without RUX pretreatment. For overall survival the only significant factors were age > 58 years (p = 0.03) and HLA mismatch donor (p = 0.001). RUX prior to HSCT did not negatively impact outcome after transplantation and patients with ongoing spleen response at time of transplantation had best outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-021-01276-4DOI Listing
December 2021

Allelic HLA Matching and Pair Origin Are Favorable Prognostic Factors for Unrelated Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Neoplastic Hematologic Diseases: An Italian Analysis by the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto di Cellule Staminali e Terapie Cellulari, Italian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, and Associazione Italiana di Immunogenetica e Biologia dei Trapianti.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 05 16;27(5):406.e1-406.e11. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapies Unit, Department of Hemato-Oncology and Radiotherapy, Grande Ospedale Metropolitano "Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli", Reggio Calabria, Italy.

HLA molecules are important for immunoreactivity in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The Gruppo Italiano Trapianto di Cellule Staminali e Terapie Cellulari, Italian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, and Associazione Italiana di Immunogenetica e Biologia dei Trapianti promoted a retrospective observational study to evaluate HLA matching and the impact of allelic HLA mismatching and non-HLA factors on unrelated Italian HSCT outcomes. From 2012 to 2015, 1788 patients were enrolled in the study. The average donor age was 29 years and the average recipient age was 49 years. As a conditioning regimen, 71% of the patients received myeloablative conditioning. For GVHD prophylaxis, 76% received either antithymocyte or anti-T lymphocyte globulin, cyclosporine A, and methotrexate. Peripheral blood was the stem cell source in 80%. The median duration of follow-up was 53 months. Regarding HLA matching, 50% of donor-recipient pairs were 10/10 matched, 38% had 1 mismatch, and 12% had 2 or more mismatches. A total of 302 pairs shared Italian origin. Four-year overall survival (OS), progression-free survival, GVHD-free relapse-free survival, and relapse rates were 49%, 40%, 22%, and 34%, respectively. The 4-year NRM was 27%, and the 100-day cumulative incidence of grade ≥II acute GVHD (aGVHD) was 26%. In multivariate analysis, 9/10 and ≤8/10 HLA allele-matched pairs were associated with worse OS (P = .04 and .007, respectively), NRM (P = .007 and P < .0001, respectively), and grade III-IV aGVHD (P = .0001 and .01, respectively). Moreover, the incidences of grade II-IV aGVHD (P = .001) and chronic GVHD (P = .002) were significantly lower in Italian pairs. In conclusion, 10/10 HLA matching is a favorable prognostic factor for unrelated HSCT outcome in the Italian population. Moreover, the presence of 2 HLA-mismatched loci was associated with a higher NRM (P < .0001) and grade II-IV aGVHD (P = .006) and a poorer OS (P = .001) compared with 1 HLA-mismatched locus in early or intermediate disease phases. Finally, we found that Italian donor and recipient origin is a favorable prognostic factor for GVHD occurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.11.021DOI Listing
May 2021

Development and Validation of a Simplified Score to Predict Early Relapse in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma in a Pooled Dataset of 2,190 Patients.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jul 29;27(13):3695-3703. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

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

Purpose: Despite the improvement of therapeutic regimens, several patients with multiple myeloma (MM) still experience early relapse (ER). This subset of patients currently represents an unmet medical need.

Experimental Design: We pooled data from seven European multicenter phase II/III clinical trials enrolling 2,190 patients with newly diagnosed MM from 2003 to 2017. Baseline patient evaluation included 14 clinically relevant features. Patients with complete data ( = 1,218) were split into training ( = 844) and validation sets ( = 374). In the training set, a univariate analysis and a multivariate logistic regression model on ER within 18 months (ER18) were made. The most accurate model was selected on the validation set. We also developed a dynamic version of the score by including response to treatment.

Results: The Simplified Early Relapse in Multiple Myeloma (S-ERMM) score was modeled on six features weighted by a score: 5 points for high lactate dehydrogenase or t(4;14); 3 for del17p, abnormal albumin, or bone marrow plasma cells >60%; and 2 for λ free light chain. The S-ERMM identified three patient groups with different risks of ER18: Intermediate (Int) versus Low (OR = 2.39, < 0.001) and High versus Low (OR = 5.59, < 0.001). S-ERMM High/Int patients had significantly shorter overall survival (High vs. Low: HR = 3.24, < 0.001; Int vs. Low: HR = 1.86, < 0.001) and progression-free survival-2 (High vs. Low: HR = 2.89, < 0.001; Int vs. Low: HR = 1.76, < 0.001) than S-ERMM Low. The Dynamic S-ERMM (DS-ERMM) modulated the prognostic power of the S-ERMM.

Conclusions: On the basis of simple, widely available baseline features, the S-ERMM and DS-ERMM properly identified patients with different risks of ER and survival outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-0134DOI Listing
July 2021

Multicenter Phase II Study on Haploidentical Bone Marrow Transplantation Using a Reduced-Intensity Conditioning Regimen and Posttransplantation Cyclophosphamide in Patients with Poor-Prognosis Lymphomas.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 04 17;27(4):328.e1-328.e6. Epub 2021 Jan 17.

BMT Unit, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, IRCCS, Rozzano, Italy; Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, Pieve Emanuele, Milan, Italy.

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation from haploidentical donors using unmanipulated bone marrow and posttransplantation cyclophosphamide has been largely employed to cure high-risk lymphomas. However, the increased incidence of relapse associated with the use of a nonmyeloablative conditioning regimen is still considered a concerning issue. The aim of our study was to prospectively evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen, including thiotepa, cyclophosphamide, and fludarabine, in high-risk lymphoma patients. This was a prospective multicenter study. We enrolled 49 patients, of whom 47 were evaluable. Graft source (bone marrow) and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis were the same for all patients. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients free of disease progression at 1 year. The primary endpoint was met, as 29 out of 47 patients were alive and free of disease at 1 year (1-year progression-free survival, 60%). Forty-five recipients engrafted and achieved full donor chimerism at day 100. The cumulative incidences (CIs) of ANC engraftment at 30 days and platelet engraftment at 60 days were 89% and 83%, respectively. Two patients experienced graft failure. The CIs of day 100 grades 2 to 4 acute GVHD and 2-year moderate-to-severe chronic GVHD were 26% and 16%, respectively. With a median follow-up of 47.5 months (range, 22 to 74), the 4-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 54% and 64%, respectively. The 4-year CI of relapse was 28%, and the 4-year nonrelapse mortality was 15%. Thiotepa-based reduced-intensity conditioning was well tolerated with encouraging survival in a cohort of patients with poor-prognosis lymphoma. Both the incidence of relapse and nonrelapse mortality were acceptable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.01.007DOI Listing
April 2021

Cytomegalovirus Prophylaxis versus Pre-emptive Strategy: Different CD4 and CD8 T Cell Reconstitution after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 06 5;27(6):518.e1-518.e4. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Hematology and Transplant Center Unit, Dipartimento di Area Medica (DAME), Udine University Hospital, Udine, Italy.

Reconstitution of T cells after transplantation is a determinant of the long-term success of the procedure, and the correlation with T cell recovery and cytomegalovirus reactivation and disease is well known. We evaluated 110 patients who underwent transplantation: 55 received pre-emptive antiviral treatment, and in the other 55 patients, prophylaxis with letermovir was employed. A progressive statistically significant difference in T cell reconstitution between the 2 groups was observed, starting from day +60 with faster recovery in the pre-emptive group. Moreover, a higher incidence of cytomegalovirus reactivation was observed in prophylactic group after discontinuation of letermovir, and subsequent antiviral treatment has been necessary. Our findings confirm, as previously reported, that cytomegalovirus reactivation is a potent stimulator of T cell function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.03.003DOI Listing
June 2021

Dose/schedule-adjusted Rd-R vs continuous Rd for elderly, intermediate-fit patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Blood 2021 06;137(22):3027-3036

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

Lenalidomide-dexamethasone (Rd) is standard treatment for elderly patients with multiple myeloma (MM). In this randomized phase 3 study, we investigated efficacy and feasibility of dose/schedule-adjusted Rd followed by maintenance at 10 mg per day without dexamethasone (Rd-R) vs continuous Rd in elderly, intermediate-fit newly diagnosed patients with MM. Primary end point was event-free survival (EFS), defined as progression/death from any cause, lenalidomide discontinuation, or hematologic grade 4 or nonhematologic grade 3 to 4 adverse event (AE). Of 199 evaluable patients, 101 received Rd-R and 98 continuous Rd. Median follow-up was 37 months. EFS was 10.4 vs 6.9 months (hazard ratio [HR], 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.51-0.95; P = .02); median progression-free survival, 20.2 vs 18.3 months (HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.55-1.10; P = .16); and 3-year overall survival, 74% vs 63% (HR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.37-1.03; P = .06) with Rd-R vs Rd, respectively. Rate of ≥1 nonhematologic grade ≥3 AE was 33% vs 43% (P = .14) in Rd-R vs Rd groups, with neutropenia (21% vs 18%), infections (10% vs 12%), and skin disorders (7% vs 3%) the most frequent; constitutional and central nervous system AEs mainly related to dexamethasone were more frequent with Rd. Lenalidomide was discontinued for AEs in 24% vs 30% and reduced in 45% vs 62% of patients receiving Rd-R vs Rd, respectively. In intermediate-fit patients, switching to reduced-dose lenalidomide maintenance without dexamethasone after 9 Rd cycles was feasible, with similar outcomes to standard continuous Rd. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02215980.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020009507DOI Listing
June 2021

Haploidentical transplant after failure of a first allogeneic transplant: A long and winding road.

Eur J Haematol 2021 Jun 15;106(6):871-872. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Division of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Department of Medical Area, University of Udine, Udine, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13611DOI Listing
June 2021

Emerging therapy in light-chain and acquired transthyretin-related amyloidosis: an Italian single-centre experience in heart transplantation.

J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown) 2021 04;22(4):261-267

Department of Cardiothoracic Science.

Aims: The prognosis for patients affected by light-chain cardiac amyloidosis and acquired transthyretin-related (TTR) amyloidosis is poor. Heart transplantation (HTx) could improve prognosis also enabling autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in the first group.

Methods And Results: A total of 36 patients affected by systemic amyloidosis have been referred to our centre from 2009 to 2019. Of these, nine had cardiac involvement: seven by light-chain amyloidosis and two by acquired TTR amyloidosis. None died while waiting for HTx. A specific internal protocol useful to select candidates and to monitor the organ involvement after HTx was developed. Median age at diagnosis was 54 years and 66% were male. The most common short-term complication after HTx was renal failure (44%), followed by acute cardiac rejection more than 2R (22%). ASCT was performed in six out of seven light-chain cardiac amyloidosis patients, with a median time of 6 months after HTx. Two patients affected by light-chain cardiac amyloidosis died due to amyloidosis relapse: one before undergoing ASCT. After a median follow-up of 31 (7-124) months, 1- and 5-year survival was 88 and 66% in the cardiac light-chain amyloidosis group. Conversely, 1- and 5-year survival was 100% in the acquired TTR amyloidosis group.

Conclusion: HTx may represent a valuable option in carefully selected patients. ASCT after HTx is an effective treatment that could decrease amyloidosis relapse in light-chain cardiac amyloidosis patients. A multidisciplinary approach is mandatory to select the best candidates and to obtain the most effective results with a specific surveillance follow-up protocol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2459/JCM.0000000000001094DOI Listing
April 2021

Bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone followed by double autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (GIMEMA-MMY-3006): long-term follow-up analysis of a randomised phase 3, open-label study.

Lancet Haematol 2020 Dec;7(12):e861-e873

Department of Cell Therapy and Hematology, San Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Italy.

Background: The phase 3 GIMEMA-MMY-3006 trial, which compared bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone (VTD) combination therapy with thalidomide and dexamethasone (TD) as induction therapy before and consolidation therapy after double autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, showed the superiority of the triplet regimen over the doublet in terms of increased complete response rate and improved progression-free survival. We report the results from the final analysis of the study.

Methods: In this randomised, open-label, phase 3 study, patients aged 18-65 years with previously untreated symptomatic multiple myeloma and a Karnofsky Performance Status of 60% or higher were enrolled at 73 centres in Italy. Patients were randomised (1:1) by a web-based system to receive three 21-day cycles of thalidomide (100 mg daily orally for the first 14 days and 200 mg daily thereafter) plus dexamethasone (total 320 mg per cycle; 40 mg on days 1-2, 4-5, 8-9, and 11-12 in the VTD regimen, and 40 mg on days 1-4 and 9-12 in the TD regimen), either alone (TD group) or with bortezomib (1·3 mg/m intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11; VTD group). After double autologous HSCT, patients received two 35-day cycles of either the VTD or TD regimen, according to random assignment, as consolidation therapy. The primary outcome was the rate of complete response and near complete response after induction (already reported). In this updated analysis we assessed long-term progression-free survival and overall survival (secondary endpoints of the study) with an extended 10-year median follow-up, and analysed the variables influencing survival. Analysis was by intention to treat. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01134484.

Findings: Between May 10, 2006, and April 30, 2008, 480 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive VTD (241 patients) or TD (239 patients). Six patients withdrew consent before start of treatment. 236 (99 [42%] women) in the VTD group and 238 (102 [43%] women) in the TD group were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. The data cutoff date for this analysis was May 31, 2018. Median follow-up for surviving patients was 124·1 months (IQR 117·2-131·7). The 10-year progression-free survival estimate for patients in the VTD group was 34% (95% CI 28-41) compared with 17% (13-23) for the TD group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·62 [95% CI 0·50-0·77]; p<0·0001). 60% (95% CI 54-67) of patients in the VTD group were alive at 10 years versus 46% (40-54) of patients in the TD group (HR 0·68 [95% CI 0·51-0·90]; p=0·0068). VTD was an independent predictor of improved progression-free survival (HR 0·60 [95% CI 0·48-0·76]; p<0·0001) and overall survival (HR 0·68 [0·50-0·91]; p=0·010). The incidence of second primary malignancies per 100 person-years was 0·87 (95% CI 0·49-1·44) in the VTD group compared with 1·41 (0·88-2·13) in the TD group.

Interpretation: Incorporation of VTD into double autologous HSCT resulted in clinically meaningful improvements in long-term progression-free survival and overall survival, confirming that a regimen including bortezomib and an immunomodulatory drug is the gold standard treatment for patients with newly diagnosed myeloma who are fit for high-dose chemotherapy.

Funding: Seràgnoli Institute of Haematology, University of Bologna, and BolognAIL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30323-9DOI Listing
December 2020

Haploidentical related donor compared to HLA-identical donor transplantation for chemosensitive Hodgkin lymphoma patients.

BMC Cancer 2020 Nov 24;20(1):1140. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Hematology Department, Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Unit, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Marseille, France.

Background: Allogeneic stem cell transplantation from haploidentical donor using an unmanipulated graft and post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PT-Cy) is growing. Haploidentical transplantation with PT-Cy showed a major activity in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), reducing the relapse incidence. The most important predictive factor of survival and toxicity was disease status before transplantation, which was better in patients with well controlled disease.

Methods: We included 198 HL in complete (CR) or partial remission (PR) before transplantation. Sixty-five patients were transplanted from haploidentical donor and 133 from a HLA identical donor (both sibling and unrelated donors). Survival analysis was defined according to the EBMT criteria. Survival curves were generated by using Kaplan-Meier method and differences between groups were compared by the log rank test or by the log rank test for trend when appropriated.

Results: The PFS, OS, and RI were significantly better in patients in CR compared to PR (55% vs 29% p = 0.001, 74% vs 55% p = 0.03, 27% vs 55% p <  0.001, respectively). The 2-year PFS was significantly better for HAPLO than HLA-id (63% vs 37%, p = 0.03), without difference in OS. The 1-year NRM was not different. The 2-year relapse incidence (RI) was lower in the HAPLO group (24% vs 44%, p = 0.008). Patients in CR receiving haplo HSCT showed higher 2-year PFS and lower 2-year RI than those allografted with HLA-id donor (75% vs 47%, p <  0.001 and 11% vs 34%, p < 0.001, respectively). In multivariate analysis, donor type and disease status before transplantation were independent predictors of PFS as well as they predict the risk of relapse. Disease status at transplantation and age were independently associated to OS.

Conclusions: Nonetheless this is a retrospective study, limiting the wide applicability of results, data from this analysis suggest that HLA mismatch can induce a strong graft versus lymphoma effect leading to an enhanced PFS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-020-07602-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7685618PMC
November 2020

Risk Factors and Outcome of Infection after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

J Clin Med 2020 Nov 16;9(11). Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Clinica Ematologica ed Unità di Terapie Cellulari, Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Friuli Centrale, Piazzale S. Maria della Misericordia 10, 33100 Udine, Italy.

Patients who undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) are at major risk of (CD) infection (CDI), the most common cause of nosocomial diarrhea. We conducted a retrospective study, which enrolled 481 patients who underwent autologous (220) or allogeneic HSCT (261) in a 5-year period, with the aim of identifying the incidence, risk factors and outcome of CDI between the start of conditioning and 100 days after HSCT. The overall cumulative incidence of CDI based upon clinical evidence was 5.4% (95% CI, 3.7% to 7.8%), without any significant difference between the two types of procedures. The median time between HSCT and CDI diagnosis was 12 days. Out of 26 patients, 19 (73%) with clinical and symptomatic evidence of CDI were positive also for enzymatic or molecular detection of toxigenic CD; in particular, in 5 out of 26 patients (19%) CD binary toxin was also detected. CDI diagnoses significantly increased in the period 2018-2019, since the introduction in the microbiology lab unit of the two-step diagnostic test based on GDH immunoenzymatic detection and toxin B/binary toxin/027 ribotype detection by real-time PCR. Via multivariate analysis, abdominal surgery within 10 years before HSCT ( = 0.002), antibiotic therapy within two months before HSCT ( = 0.000), HCV infection ( = 0.023) and occurrence of bacterial or fungal infections up to 100 days after HSCT ( = 0.003) were significantly associated with a higher risk of CDI development. The 26 patients were treated with first-line vancomycin (24) or fidaxomicine (2) and only 2 patients needed a second-line treatment, due to the persistence of stool positivity. No significant relationship was identified between CDI and the development of acute graft versus host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic HSCT. At a median follow-up of 25 months (range 1-65), the cumulative incidence of transplant related mortality (TRM) was 16.6% (95% CI 11.7% to 22.4%) and the 3-year overall survival (OS) was 67.0% (95% CI 61.9% to 71.6%). The development of CDI had no significant impact on TRM and OS, which were significantly impaired in the multivariate analysis by gastrointestinal and urogenital comorbidities, severe GVHD, previous infections or hospitalization within two months before HSCT, active disease at transplant and occurrence of infections after HSCT. We conclude that 20% of all episodes of diarrhea occurring up to 100 days after HSCT were related to toxigenic CD infection. Patients with a history of previous abdominal surgery or HCV infection, or those who had received broad spectrum parenteral antibacterial therapy were at major risk for CDI development. CDIs were successfully treated with vancomycin or fidaxomicin after auto-HSCT as well as after allo-HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9113673DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7696044PMC
November 2020

Donor Lymphocyte Infusions After Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in Acute Leukemia: A Survey From the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO).

Front Oncol 2020 15;10:572918. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Ematologia, Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

We conducted a retrospective multicenter study including pediatric and adult patients with acute leukemia (AL) who received donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2015, in order to determine the efficacy and toxicity of the immune treatment. Two hundred fifty-two patients, median age 45.1 years (1.6-73.4), were enrolled from 34 Italian transplant centers. The underlying disease was acute myeloid leukemia in 180 cases (71%). Donors were HLA identical or 1 locus mismatched sibling (40%), unrelated (40%), or haploidentical (20%). The first DLI was administered at a median time of 258 days (55-3,784) after HCT. The main indication for DLI was leukemia relapse (73%), followed by mixed chimerism (17%), and pre-emptive/prophylactic use (10%). Ninety-six patients (38%) received one single infusion, whereas 65 (26%), 42 (17%), and 49 patients (19%) received 2, 3, or ≥4 infusions, respectively, with a median of 31 days between two subsequent DLIs. Forty percent of evaluable patients received no treatment before the first DLI, whereas radiotherapy, conventional chemotherapy or targeted treatments were administered in 3, 39, and 18%, respectively. In informative patients, a few severe adverse events were reported: grade III-IV graft versus host disease (GVHD) (3%), grade III-IV hematological toxicity (11%), and DLI-related mortality (9%). Forty-six patients (18%) received a second HCT after a median of 232 days (32-1,390) from the first DLI. With a median follow-up of 461 days (2-3,255) after the first DLI, 1-, 3-, and 5- year overall survival (OS) of the whole group from start of DLI treatment was 55, 39, and 33%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, older recipient age, and transplants from haploidentical donors significantly reduced OS, whereas DLI for mixed chimerism or as pre-emptive/prophylactic treatment compared to DLI for AL relapse and a schedule including more than one DLI significantly prolonged OS. This GITMO survey confirms that DLI administration in absence of overt hematological relapse and multiple infusions are associated with a favorable outcome in AL patients. DLI from haploidentical donors had a poor outcome and may represent an area of further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.572918DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7593406PMC
October 2020

Standardization of F-FDG-PET/CT According to Deauville Criteria for Metabolic Complete Response Definition in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma.

J Clin Oncol 2021 01 5;39(2):116-125. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Nuclear Medicine Department, Nantes University Hospital, CRCINA INSERM, CNRS, Université d'Angers, Université de Nantes, Nantes, France.

Purpose: F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) is currently the standard technique to define minimal residual disease (MRD) status outside the bone marrow (BM) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). This study aimed to define criteria for PET complete metabolic response after therapy, jointly analyzing a subgroup of newly diagnosed transplantation-eligible patients with MM enrolled in two independent European randomized phase III trials (IFM/DFCI2009 and EMN02/HO95).

Patients And Methods: Two hundred twenty-eight patients were observed for a median of 62.9 months. By study design, PET/CT scans were performed at baseline and before starting maintenance (premaintenance [PM]). The five-point Deauville scale (DS) was applied to describe BM (BM score [BMS]) and focal lesion (FL; FL score [FS]) uptake and tested a posteriori in uni- and multivariable analyses for their impact on clinical outcomes.

Results: At baseline, 78% of patients had FLs (11% extramedullary), 80% with an FS ≥ 4. All patients had BM diffuse uptake (35.5% with BMS ≥ 4). At PM, 31% of patients had visually detectable FLs (2% extramedullary), 24% and 67.7% of them with an FS of 3 and ≥ 4, respectively. At PM, 98% of patients retained residual BM diffuse uptake, which was significantly lower than at baseline (mainly between BMS 2 and 3, BMS was ≥ 4 in only 8.7% of patients). By both uni- and multivariable analysis, FS and BMS < 4 were associated with prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) at PM (OS: hazard ratio [HR], 0.6 and 0.47, respectively; PFS: HR, 0.36 and 0.24, respectively).

Conclusion: FL and BM FDG uptake lower than the liver background after therapy was an independent predictor for improved PFS and OS and can be proposed as the standardized criterion of PET complete metabolic response, confirming the value of the DS for patients with MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00386DOI Listing
January 2021

Impact of donor age and kinship on clinical outcomes after T-cell-replete haploidentical transplantation with PT-Cy.

Blood Adv 2020 08;4(16):3900-3912

Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, Italy.

Donor selection contributes to improve clinical outcomes of T-cell-replete haploidentical stem cell transplantation (haplo-SCT) with posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PT-Cy). The impact of donor age and other non-HLA donor characteristics remains a matter of debate. We performed a multicenter retrospective analysis on 990 haplo-SCTs with PT-Cy. By multivariable analysis, after adjusting for donor/recipient kinship, increasing donor age and peripheral blood stem cell graft were associated with a higher risk of grade 2 to 4 acute graft-versus-host-disease (aGVHD), whereas 2-year cumulative incidence of moderate-to-severe chronic GVHD was higher for transplants from female donors into male recipients and after myeloablative conditioning. Increasing donor age was associated with a trend for higher nonrelapse mortality (NRM) (hazard ratio [HR], 1.05; P = .057) but with a significant reduced risk of disease relapse (HR, 0.92; P = .001) and improved progression-free survival (PFS) (HR, 0.97; P = .036). Increasing recipient age was a predictor of worse overall survival (OS). Risk of relapse was higher (HR, 1.39; P < .001) in patients aged ≤40 years receiving a transplant from a parent as compared with a sibling. Moreover, OS and PFS were lower when the donor was the mother rather than the father. Pretransplant active disease status was an invariably independent predictor of worse clinical outcomes, while recipient positive cytomegalovirus serostatus and hematopoietic cell transplant comorbidity index >3 were associated with worse OS and PFS. Our results suggest that younger donors may reduce the incidence of aGVHD and NRM, though at higher risk of relapse. A parent donor, particularly the mother, is not recommended in recipients ≤40 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001620DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7448598PMC
August 2020

Autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation versus bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone, with or without bortezomib-lenalidomide-dexamethasone consolidation therapy, and lenalidomide maintenance for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (EMN02/HO95): a multicentre, randomised, open-label, phase 3 study.

Lancet Haematol 2020 Jun 30;7(6):e456-e468. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Department of Haematology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Background: The emergence of highly active novel agents has led some to question the role of autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) and subsequent consolidation therapy in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. We therefore compared autologous HSCT with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) as intensification therapy, and bortezomib-lenalidomide-dexamethasone (VRD) consolidation therapy with no consolidation.

Methods: In this randomised, open-label, phase 3 study we recruited previously untreated patients with multiple myeloma at 172 academic and community practice centres of the European Myeloma Network. Eligible patients were aged 18-65 years, had symptomatic multiple myeloma stage 1-3 according to the International Staging System (ISS), measurable disease (serum M protein >10 g/L or urine M protein >200 mg in 24 h or abnormal free light chain [FLC] ratio with involved FLC >100 mg/L, or proven plasmacytoma by biopsy), and WHO performance status grade 0-2 (grade 3 was allowed if secondary to myeloma). Patients were first randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either four 42-day cycles of bortezomib (1·3 mg/m administered intravenously or subcutaneously on days 1, 4, 8, 11, 22, 25, 29, and 32) combined with melphalan (9 mg/m administered orally on days 1-4) and prednisone (60 mg/m administered orally on days 1-4) or autologous HSCT after high-dose melphalan (200 mg/m), stratified by site and ISS disease stage. In centres with a double HSCT policy, the first randomisation (1:1:1) was to VMP or single or double HSCT. Afterwards, a second randomisation assigned patients to receive two 28-day cycles of consolidation therapy with bortezomib (1·3 mg/m either intravenously or subcutaneously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11), lenalidomide (25 mg orally on days 1-21), and dexamethasone (20 mg orally on days 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, and 12) or no consolidation; both groups received lenalidomide maintenance therapy (10 mg orally on days 1-21 of a 28-day cycle). The primary outcomes were progression-free survival from the first and second randomisations, analysed in the intention-to-treat population, which included all patients who underwent each randomisation. All patients who received at least one dose of study drugs were included in the safety analyses. This study is registered with the EU Clinical Trials Register (EudraCT 2009-017903-28) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01208766), and has completed recruitment.

Findings: Between Feb 25, 2011, and April 3, 2014, 1503 patients were enrolled. 1197 patients were eligible for the first randomisation, of whom 702 were assigned to autologous HSCT and 495 to VMP; 877 patients who were eligible for the first randomisation underwent the second randomisation to VRD consolidation (n=449) or no consolidation (n=428). The data cutoff date for the current analysis was Nov 26, 2018. At a median follow-up of 60·3 months (IQR 52·2-67·6), median progression-free survival was significantly improved with autologous HSCT compared with VMP (56·7 months [95% CI 49·3-64·5] vs 41·9 months [37·5-46·9]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·73, 0·62-0·85; p=0·0001). For the second randomisation, the number of events of progression or death at data cutoff was lower than that preplanned for the final analysis; therefore, the results from the second protocol-specified interim analysis, when 66% of events were reached, are reported (data cutoff Jan 18, 2018). At a median follow-up of 42·1 months (IQR 32·3-49·2), consolidation therapy with VRD significantly improved median progression-free survival compared with no consolidation (58·9 months [54·0-not estimable] vs 45·5 months [39·5-58·4]; HR 0·77, 0·63-0·95; p=0·014). The most common grade ≥3 adverse events in the autologous HSCT group compared to the VMP group included neutropenia (513 [79%] of 652 patients vs 137 [29%] of 472 patients), thrombocytopenia (541 [83%] vs 74 [16%]), gastrointestinal disorders (80 [12%] vs 25 [5%]), and infections (192 [30%] vs 18 [4%]). 239 (34%) of 702 patients in the autologous HSCT group and 135 (27%) of 495 in the VMP group had at least one serious adverse event. Infection was the most common serious adverse event in each of the treatment groups (206 [56%] of 368 and 70 [37%] of 189). 38 (12%) of 311 deaths from first randomisation were likely to be treatment related: 26 (68%) in the autologous HSCT group and 12 (32%) in the VMP group, most frequently due to infections (eight [21%]), cardiac events (six [16%]), and second primary malignancies (20 [53%]).

Interpretation: This study supports the use of autologous HSCT as intensification therapy and the use of consolidation therapy in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, even in the era of novel agents. The role of high-dose chemotherapy needs to be reassessed in future studies, in particular in patients with undetectable minimal residual disease after four-drug induction regimens including a monoclonal antiboby combined with an immunomodulatory agent and a proteasome inhibitor plus dexamethasone.

Funding: Janssen and Celgene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30099-5DOI Listing
June 2020

Long-term survival of 1338 MM patients treated with tandem autologous vs. autologous-allogeneic transplantation.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 09 14;55(9):1810-1816. Epub 2020 Apr 14.

University of Torino, Torino, Italy.

Contrary to tandem autologous transplant (auto-auto), autologous followed by reduced intensity conditioning allogenic transplantation (auto-allo) offers graft-versus-myeloma (GVM) effect but with higher toxicity. Trials comparing these two strategies relied on availability of HLA-matched sibling donors for arm allocation (biological randomization) and yielded conflicting results. A pooled analysis of multiple trials with extended follow up provides an opportunity to compare these strategies. We obtained individual patient data from participants of four trials comparing auto-auto vs. auto-allo after induction therapy. There were 899 patients in auto-auto and 439 in auto-allo. Median follow up of survivors was 118.5 months. Median overall survival (OS) was 78.0 months in auto-auto and 98.3 months in auto-allo (HR = 0.84, P = 0.02). OS was 36.4% vs. 44.1% at 10 years (P = 0.01) for auto-auto and auto-allo, respectively. Progression-free survival was also improved in auto-allo (HR = 0.84, P = 0.004). Risk of non-relapse mortality was higher in auto-allo (10 year 8.3% vs. 19.7%, P < 0.001), while risk of disease progression was higher in auto-auto (10 year 77.2% vs. 61.6%, P < 0.001). Median post relapse survival was 41.5 months in auto-auto and 62.3 months in auto-allo (HR = 0.71, P < 0.001). This supports the existence of durable GVM effect enhancing myeloma control with subsequent therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0887-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483973PMC
September 2020

Antiemetic prophylaxis in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a multicenter survey of the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO) transplant programs.

Ann Hematol 2020 Apr 8;99(4):867-875. Epub 2020 Feb 8.

SODc Terapie Cellulari e Medicina Trasfusionale, AOU Careggi, Florence, Italy.

A survey within hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) centers of the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO) was performed in order to describe current antiemetic prophylaxis in patients undergoing HSCT. The multicenter survey was performed by a questionnaire, covering the main areas on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV): antiemetic prophylaxis guidelines used, antiemetic prophylaxis in different conditioning regimens, and methods of CINV evaluation. The survey was carried out in November 2016, and it was repeated 6 months after the publication of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)/European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) specific guidelines on antiemetic prophylaxis in HSCT. The results show a remarkable heterogeneity of prophylaxis among the various centers and a significant difference between the guidelines and the clinical practice. In the main conditioning regimens, the combination of a serotonin receptor antagonist (5-HT-RA) with dexamethasone and neurokin receptor antagonist (NK1-RA), as recommended by MASCC/ESMO guidelines, increased from 0 to 15% (before the publication of the guidelines) to 9-30% (after the publication of the guidelines). This study shows a lack of compliance with specific antiemetic guidelines, resulting mainly in under-prophylaxis. Concerted strategies are required to improve the current CINV prophylaxis, to draft shared common guidelines, and to increase the knowledge and the adherence to the current recommendations for CINV prophylaxis in the specific field of HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-03945-3DOI Listing
April 2020

Bortezomib, cyclophosphamide, dexamethasone versus lenalidomide, cyclophosphamide, dexamethasone in multiple myeloma patients at first relapse.

Br J Haematol 2020 03 2;188(6):907-917. Epub 2020 Jan 2.

Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Bortezomib- and lenalidomide-containing regimens are well-established therapies in multiple myeloma (MM). However, despite their extensive use, head-to-head comparisons have never been performed. Therefore, we compared bortezomib and lenalidomide in fixed-duration therapies. In this open-label, phase III study, we randomized MM patients at first relapse to receive either nine cycles of bortezomib plus cyclophosphamide plus dexamethasone (VCD) or lenalidomide plus cyclophosphamide plus dexamethasone (RCD). The primary endpoint was achievement of a very good partial response (VGPR) or better at six weeks after nine treatment cycles. From March 2011 to February 2015, 155 patients were randomized. VGPR or better was achieved by 12 patients (15%) in the VCD arm and 14 patients (18%) in the RCD arm (P = 0·70). Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 16·3 (95% CI: 12·1-22·4) with VCD and 18·6 months (95% CI: 14·7-25·5) with RCD, and the two-year overall survival (OS) was 75% (95% CI: 66-86%) and 74% (95% CI: 64-85%) respectively. In subgroup analyses, no differences in PFS were observed in bortezomib- and lenalidomide-naïve patients, nor in patients who received a bortezomib-based regimen in first line. Adverse events were consistent with the well-established safety profiles of both drugs. Bortezomib and lenalidomide treatments were equally effective in terms of depth of response, PFS, and OS in MM patients at first relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16287DOI Listing
March 2020

Allogeneic Hemopoietic Stem Cell Transplants in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Prepared with Busulfan and Fludarabine (BUFLU) or Thiotepa, Busulfan, and Fludarabine (TBF): A Retrospective Study.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 04 23;26(4):698-703. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Istituto di Ematologia, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy; Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

This is a multicenter retrospective comparison of 2 myeloablative conditioning regimens in 454 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in remission: busulfan (4 days) and fludarabine (BUFLU) versus thiotepa, busulfan, and fludarabine (TBF). Eligible for this study were patients allografted between January 2008 and December 2018 in 10 transplant centers, with AML in first or second remission: 201 patients received BUFLU, whereas 253 received TBF. The 2 groups (BUFLU and TBF) were comparable for age (P = .13) and adverse AML risk factors (P = .3). The TBF group had more second remissions and more haploidentical grafts. The donor type included HLA-identical siblings, unrelated donors, and family haploidentical donors. The 5-year cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was 19% for BUFLU and 22% for TBF (P = .8), and the 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse was 30% and 15%, respectively (P = .0004). The 5-year actuarial survival was 51% for BUFLU and 68% for TBF (P = .002). In a multivariate Cox analysis, after correcting for confounding factors, the use of TBF reduced the risk of relapse compared with BUFLU (P = .03) and the risk of death (P = .03). In a matched pair analysis of 108 BUFLU patients matched with 108 TBF patients, with the exclusion of haploidentical grafts, TBF reduced the risk of relapse (P = .006) and there was a trend for improved survival (P = .07). Superior survival of patients receiving TBF as compared with BUFLU is due to a reduced risk of relapse, with comparable NRM. The survival advantage is independent of donor type and AML risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.12.725DOI Listing
April 2020

The timing of plerixafor addition to G-Csf and chemotherapy affects immunological recovery after autologous stem cell transplant in multiple myeloma.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 05 25;55(5):946-954. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Clinic of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine (DiMI), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.

Plerixafor inhibits CXCR4, thus inducing the mobilization of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells in lymphoma and multiple myeloma (MM) patients eligible for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). However, the kinetics of plerixafor-induced mobilization of lymphocyte subsets is poorly known. Here, we evaluated the graft content, the engraftment, and the immunological reconstitution of MM patients receiving plerixafor. Thirty-seven patients undergoing one or tandem ASCT were enrolled. After mobilization with cyclophosphamide plus G-CSF, plerixafor was added at hematological recovery regardless of CD34 cell count. We evaluated the number of CD34, CD34/CD38, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, CD56/CD3, CD4/CD25/FOXP3, and CD138/CD38 cells on each apheresis. Hematological and immunological recovery were determined at 30 days, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after ASCT. Overall, 34/37 patients mobilized a median of 10.1 × 10 CD34 cells/Kg (IQ 7.7-13.4). Patients with <20/µL CD34 cells at plerixafor administration (18/33) had a significantly higher CD34 cell fold increase, but not a higher absolute number, than 16/33 patients with ≥20/µL CD34 cells. A similar CD34 and immune graft composition was reported. A higher number of CD3 and CD8 cells/µL was observed at 3 months after first ASCT (p < 0.05) in the group with ≥20 CD34 cells/µL. Thus, in MM patients, the timing of plerixafor administration influences immunological recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-019-0756-1DOI Listing
May 2020

Frontline therapy in multiple myeloma: fast start for a long game.

Lancet Haematol 2019 Dec 14;6(12):e600-e601. Epub 2019 Oct 14.

Hematology and Transplant Center Unit, Udine University Hospital, DAME, University of Udine, Udine 33100, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(19)30199-1DOI Listing
December 2019

Treosulfan or busulfan plus fludarabine as conditioning treatment before allogeneic haemopoietic stem cell transplantation for older patients with acute myeloid leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndrome (MC-FludT.14/L): a randomised, non-inferiority, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2020 Jan 9;7(1):e28-e39. Epub 2019 Oct 9.

Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII, University of Milan, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: Further improvement of preparative regimens before allogeneic haemopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an unmet medical need for the growing number of older or comorbid patients with acute myeloid leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndrome. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of conditioning with treosulfan plus fludarabine compared with reduced-intensity busulfan plus fludarabine in this population.

Methods: We did an open-label, randomised, non-inferiority, phase 3 trial in 31 transplantation centres in France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Poland. Eligible patients were 18-70 years, had acute myeloid leukaemia in first or consecutive complete haematological remission (blast counts <5% in bone marrow) or myelodysplastic syndrome (blast counts <20% in bone marrow), Karnofsky index of 60% or higher, and were indicated for allogeneic HSCT but considered at an increased risk for standard myeloablative preparative regimens based on age (≥50 years), an HSCT-specific comorbidity index of more than 2, or both. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either intravenous 10 g/m treosulfan daily applied as a 2-h infusion for 3 days (days -4 to -2) or 0·8 mg/kg busulfan applied as a 2-h infusion at 6-h intervals on days -4 and -3. Both groups received 30 mg/m intravenous fludarabine daily for 5 days (days -6 to -2). The primary outcome was event-free survival 2 years after HSCT. The non-inferiority margin was a hazard ratio (HR) of 1·3. Efficacy was assessed in all patients who received treatment and completed transplantation, and safety in all patients who received treatment. The study is registered with EudraCT (2008-002356-18) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00822393).

Findings: Between June 13, 2013, and May 3, 2016, 476 patients were enrolled (240 in the busulfan group received treatment and transplantation, and in the treosulfan group 221 received treatment and 220 transplanation). At the second preplanned interim analysis (Nov 9, 2016), the primary endpoint was met and trial was stopped. Here we present the final confirmatory analysis (data cutoff May 31, 2017). Median follow-up was 15·4 months (IQR 8·8-23·6) for patients treated with treosulfan and 17·4 months (6·3-23·4) for those treated with busulfan. 2-year event-free survival was 64·0% (95% CI 56·0-70·9) in the treosulfan group and 50·4% (42·8-57·5) in the busulfan group (HR 0·65 [95% CI 0·47-0·90]; p<0·0001 for non-inferiority, p=0·0051 for superiority). The most frequently reported grade 3 or higher adverse events were abnormal blood chemistry results (33 [15%] of 221 patients in the treosulfan group vs 35 [15%] of 240 patients in the busulfan group) and gastrointestinal disorders (24 [11%] patients vs 39 [16%] patients). Serious adverse events were reported for 18 (8%) patients in the treosulfan group and 17 (7%) patients in the busulfan group. Causes of deaths were generally transplantation-related.

Interpretation: Treosulfan was non-inferior to busulfan when used in combination with fludarabine as a conditioning regimen for allogeneic HSCT for older or comorbid patients with acute myeloid leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndrome. The improved outcomes in patients treated with the treosulfan-fludarabine regimen suggest its potential to become a standard preparative regimen in this population.

Funding: medac GmbH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(19)30157-7DOI Listing
January 2020

Clofarabine and Treosulfan as Conditioning for Matched Related and Unrelated Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Results from the Clo3o Phase II Trial.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 02 9;26(2):316-322. Epub 2019 Oct 9.

Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) can be curative for patients with hematologic malignancies. The ideal conditioning regimen before allo-HSCT has not been established. We conducted a Phase II study to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of clofarabine and treosulfan as conditioning regimen before allo-HSCT. The primary objective was to evaluate the cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) on day +100. Forty-four patients (36 with acute myelogenous leukemia, 5 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 3 with myelodysplastic syndromes) were enrolled. The median patient age was 47 years, and the median duration of follow-up was 27 months. The conditioning regimen was based on clofarabine 40 mg/m (days -6 to -2) and treosulfan 14 g/m (days -6 to -4). Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cells were derived from a sibling (n = 22) or a well-matched unrelated donor (n = 22). Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis consisted of antithymocyte globulin, rituximab, cyclosporine, and a short-course of methotrexate. The regimen allowed for rapid engraftment and a 100-day NRM of 18%, due mainly to bacterial infections. The incidences of grade II-IV acute GVHD and chronic GVHD were 16% and 19%, respectively. The rates of overall survival (OS), progression-free survival, and relapse at 2 years were 51%, 31%, and 50%, respectively. Significantly different outcomes were observed between patients with low-intermediate and patients with high-very high Disease Risk Index (DRI) scores (1-year OS, 78% and 24%, respectively). Our findings show that the use of treosulfan and clofarabine as a conditioning regimen for allo-HSCT is feasible, with a 78% 1-year OS in patients with a low-intermediate DRI score. However, 1-year NRM was 18%, and despite the intensified conditioning regimen, relapse incidence remains a major issue in patients with poor prognostic risk factors.
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February 2020
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