Publications by authors named "Gerlando Quintini"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Bortezomib as salvage treatment for heavily pretreated relapsed lymphoma patients: a multicenter retrospective study.

Hematol Oncol 2013 Dec 29;31(4):179-82. Epub 2012 Oct 29.

Department of Hematology and Oncology 'L. and A. Seràgnoli', S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Italy.

Current treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphomas are not optimally effective. Among new agents, bortezomib seems to play a pivotal role in the regulation of several cell pathways involved in the development of lymphomas. After results were obtained with clinical trials, we aimed to observe treatment with bortezomib in everyday clinical practice. We performed a multicenter retrospective analysis to assess the efficacy of bortezomib in heavily pretreated (median number of previous therapies 4, range 2-6) lymphoma patients in an off-label setting. Bortezomib therapy was scheduled for 4-6 cycles (1.3 mg/m(2) biweekly). Data from 50 patients were collected: 22% had a complete remission, 26% obtained a partial response and the remaining 52% was non-responder. According to histotype, we observed an overall response rate (ORR) of 51.6% in mantle cell lymphomas, an ORR of 60% among follicular lymphoma patients, and an ORR of 50% in the indolent nonfollicular lymphomas. None of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients obtained a response. Extra-hematological toxicity was really mild, and peripheral neuropathy occurred in only 5 patients; hematological toxicity was grades 3-4 thrombocytopenia in nine patients and grades 3-4 neutropenia in only three patients. In conclusion, treatment with bortezomib as single agent resulted safe and effective in a subset of heavily pretreated lymphoma patients with usually poor outcome. New future hypotheses of investigation are indicated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2036DOI Listing
December 2013

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura: a review of the literature in the light of our experience with plasma exchange.

Blood Transfus 2012 Oct 27;10(4):521-32. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

Unit of Immunohaematology and Transfusion Medicine, Paolo Giaccone University Hospital, Department of Biopathology and Medical and Forensic Biotechnologies, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2450/2012.0122-11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3496241PMC
October 2012

Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome in a patient with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Neurol Sci 2011 Jun 14;32(3):469-72. Epub 2011 Jan 14.

Biomedicina Sperimentale e Neuroscienze Cliniche, University of Palermo, Via Gaetano La Loggia 1, 90129 Palermo, Italy.

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is an autoimmune disorder characterised by fever, microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia, renal insufficiency, and thrombocytopenia. Neurological involvement, a prominent component of TTP, is characterised by a variety of brain lesions which include reversible cerebral oedema or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS). TTP is frequently associated with deficiency of the von Willebrand factor-cleaving protease, ADAMTS13.Here, we report a case of TTP with severe acute encephalopathy. Posterior leukoencephalopathy and brainstem oedema with triventricular hydrocephalus were observed on MRI. The low activity of ADAMTS13 was not observed and ADAMTS-13 antibodies were absent. Neurological symptoms and patient's condition were completely resolved by plasma exchange therapy in addition to high dose of methylprednisolone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-010-0465-4DOI Listing
June 2011

Relapsing or refractory idiopathic thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-hemolytic uremic syndrome: the role of rituximab.

Transfusion 2010 Dec;50(12):2753-60

Cattedra ed U.O. di Ematologia con trapianto, U.O. di Immunoematologia e Servizio Trasfusionale, and U.O. di Neurologia, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico Paolo Giaccone di Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Idiopathic thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP-HUS) is a rare disease responsive to treatment with plasma exchange (PE) but with a high percentage of relapse or refractory patients. A severe deficiency of ADAMTS-13 (<5% of normal activity), congenital or caused by an autoantibody, may be specific for TTP and it has been proposed that severe ADAMTS-13 deficiency now defines TTP. B cells play a key role in both the development and the perpetuation of autoimmunity, suggesting that B-cell depletion could be a valuable treatment approach for patients with idiopathic TTP-HUS. This review of the literature focuses on the role of rituximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against CD20 antigen expressed by B lymphocytes, in patients with relapsing or refractory TTP-HUS with or without ADAMTS-13 deficiency, suggesting that rituximab may produce clinical remission in a significant proportion of patients. Rituximab therapy reduces plasma requirement and avoids complications related to salvage-immunosuppressive therapy. In conclusion, rituximab provides an effective, well-tolerated, and safe treatment option for patients with idiopathic TTP-HUS, thus giving an alternative approach to the current treatment based on PE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02763.xDOI Listing
December 2010

High versus standard dose methylprednisolone in the acute phase of idiopathic thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura: a randomized study.

Ann Hematol 2010 Jun 23;89(6):591-6. Epub 2009 Dec 23.

Internal Medicine, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.

Therapeutic plasma exchange (PE) is the accepted therapy for thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). Because not all patients achieve remission, other treatment modalities have been used in addition to PE, but no randomized clinical trial evaluated their efficacy. The aim of this multicentric study was to compare the effectiveness of standard- versus high-dose methylprednisolone as an adjunctive treatment to PE in the acute phase of TTP. Sixty patients with idiopathic TTP were randomized to receive methylprednisolone 1 mg/kg/die intravenous or 10 mg/kg/die for 3 days, thereafter, 2.5 mg/kg/die in addition to PE. Both dosages of steroids were well tolerated. At the end of induction therapy (day 23), the percentage of patients failing to achieve complete remission was significantly higher in the standard dose (16 of 30) than in the high-dose group (seven of 30). Also, the number of cases without a good response at day 9 and the number of deaths were higher in the standard-dose arm, but the differences did not reach the statistical significance. Results of present study indicate that the association of PE with high-dose instead of standard-dose steroids reduces the percentage of TTP patients that fail to achieve complete remission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-009-0877-5DOI Listing
June 2010

Correlation between leukocytosis and thrombosis in Philadelphia-negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Ann Hematol 2009 Oct 13;88(10):967-71. Epub 2009 Feb 13.

Cattedra ed U.O. di Ematologia, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico di Palermo, Via del Vespro 127, I-90127, Palermo, Italy.

The evidence that leukocytes may contribute to the pathogenesis of thrombosis in Chronic Myeloproliferative Neoplasms is increasing but not definitive. To further enforces whether an increased leukocyte count is associated with thrombosis and whether this effect can be modulated by cytoreductive therapy, we analyzed the clinical course of 187 patients with Polycythemia Vera (PV) and Essential Thrombocythemia (ET) followed at two Italian Institutions over a period of 7 years. The association was measured at diagnosis or before thrombotic events: a multivariable analysis was carried out using data at baseline and time-dependent covariates. We found that white blood cells (WBC) count above 9.5 x 10(9)/L at diagnosis (baseline analysis) was associated with thrombosis during the follow-up (Hazard Ratio [HR] of 1.8, p 0.03). At the time-dependent analysis, therapy with hydroxyurea (HU), lowering by 35% the baseline WBC level, reduced such strength of association giving a HR of 1.3 (p value non significant). We found a trend between WBC level and thrombosis in untreated low-risk patients (RR of 1.9, 95% CI 0.9 to 3.1); in high-risk patients treated with HU this correlation was clearly lost (RR 1.1, 95% CI 0.2 to 2.7). Finally, we could not identify the presence of JAK2 (V617F) as a risk factor for thrombosis. Properly designed prospective studies should corroborate such results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-009-0706-xDOI Listing
October 2009

Assessment of the frequency of additional cancers in patients with splenic marginal zone lymphoma.

Eur J Haematol 2006 Feb;76(2):134-40

Hematology and BMT Unit, Department of Oncology, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Objectives: Solid second primary cancers (SPC) have become an issue of extensive research. The purpose of the present study was to estimate the standardised incidence ratio (SIR) and the absolute excess risk (AER) of SPC in patients with splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL).

Methods: We investigated the incidence of additional cancers in 129 patients consecutively diagnosed with SMZL in three Italian haematological centres, asking the cooperating doctors for additional information on initial and subsequent therapies and on the onset and type of second cancers.

Results: Twelve SPC were recorded (9.3%); the 3- and 5-yr cumulative incidence rates were 5.5% and 18.3% respectively, with an SIR of 2.03 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05-3.56; P < 0.05; AER = 145.81]. Of 12 SPC observed, four were urinary tract neoplasms (SIR, 3.70; 95% CI: 1.01-9.48; P < 0.05; AER = 70.06), four were lung cancers (SIR, 9.16; 95% CI: 1.41-13.25; P < 0.05; AER = 85.50) and the other four were hepatic carcinoma, endometrial cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

Conclusions: Our findings evidence a high frequency of additional cancers in patients with SMZL and suggest that the incidence rate of SPC is significantly different from that expected in the general population. The frequency of cases with urinary tract and lung malignancies in our series is higher than expected. Although confirmatory data are needed, it is our opinion that SMZL patients are at risk of second cancer and should be carefully investigated on diagnosis and monitored during the follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2005.00578.xDOI Listing
February 2006

Deoxycoformycin (pentostatin) in the treatment of splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL) with or without villous lymphocytes.

Eur J Haematol 2005 Aug;75(2):130-5

Department of Oncology, Hematology and BMT Unit, University of Palermo, Italy.

Background: Splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL) is an infrequent B-cell neoplasm that pursues an indolent course. Signs and symptoms, mostly related to hypersplenism, are successfully managed by splenectomy. However, the therapy of patients who are not fit for a surgical procedure or who relapse after splenectomy, is still an unsettled issue.

Patients And Methods: We report a phase-II study on 16 patients with SMZL, three therapy naïve and 13 pretreated, all showing systemic symptoms or progressive worsening of peripheral cytopenia, who were treated with pentostatin at a dose of 4 mg/m2 every other week for 6-10 wk. In relapsed patients, the median interval between diagnosis and treatment was 26 month (range: 8-49).

Results: Overall, 68% of the patients showed a clinical response. Two out three patients, who received pentostatin as first line therapy, attained a complete response (CR). One CR and seven minor or good haematological responses were recorded in relapsed patients. Treatment toxicity, mostly haematological, proved manageable. With a median follow-up of 35 month the median overall survival (OS) is 40 month and the median progression free survival (PFS) is 18 month.

Conclusion: Our data show that pentostatin administered every other week has a good degree of activity in the treatment of SMZL and suggest that this schedule could be considered a possible therapeutic option for patients who are not fit for splenectomy or have relapsed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2005.00426.xDOI Listing
August 2005

Comparison of central venous catheterization with and without ultrasound guide.

Transfus Apher Sci 2004 Dec;31(3):199-202

Division of General and Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery and Oncology, University of Palermo, via Del Vespro 129, 90127 Palermo, Italy.

Purpose: To compare the effectiveness, safety and time needed to perform central venous catheterization (CVC) in the presence or absence of an ultrasound (US) guide.

Methods: Between January 1999 and February 2002 we performed CVCs in 196 patients: 105 patients received US guided CVC (group I) and 91 patients had CVC without US guide (group II).

Results: The average time to perform CVC was shorter with US guide (4 vs 7 min). The utilization of the US guide was also associated with improved success (98.09% vs 91.2%, p<0.025) and lack of major complications (0% vs 9.8%, p<0.001).

Conclusions: US-guided CVC affords an easier, safer and more rapid cannulation of a central vein. It is especially helpful in those patients with anatomical variation or difficult veins (small or not visible, non-palpable landmarks) and in those with coagulative disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.transci.2004.05.006DOI Listing
December 2004

Continuous intravenous infusion of dipyridamole as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Transfus Apher Sci 2003 Oct;29(2):141-5

Cattedra e Divisione di Ematologia con Unità Trapianto, Policlinico Universitario di Palermo, via del Vespro 129, 90127 Palermo, Italy.

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is an uncommon hematologic thrombotic disorder characterized by fever, hemorrhagic and neurologic signs. The advent of plasma exchange has dramatically improved the prognosis of this disease, which was once inevitably fatal. However, mortality rates remain significant. Antiplatelet drugs have been widely used in combination with plasma exchange. In this pilot study we investigated the effects of an adjunctive therapy consisting of the continuous, intravenous infusion of dipyridamole, a modality of administration that has not been previously tested in this setting. Sixteen untreated TTP patients, diagnosed consecutively at our clinic, received daily plasma exchange together with intravenous methylprednisolone (1-2 mg/kg/twice daily) and a continuous i.v. infusion of dipyridamole (100 mg/day). A complete response was defined as an improvement in the platelet count to more than 150 x 10(9)/l for two consecutive days and no neurologic deterioration. The overall response rate was 87.5%. One patient failed to respond to the combination therapy but attained a consistent remission after autologous stem cells transplant. One patient was refractory to the combination therapy and died, after an initial but unsustained response. The results of this pilot study suggest that the continuous infusion of dipyridamole is safe and might provide additional benefit in the treatment of TTP when combined with plasma exchange and steroids. However, a randomized study will be necessary to properly test whether the addition of dipyridamole improves the efficacy of plasma exchange in patient with TTP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-0502(03)00118-6DOI Listing
October 2003

Bone marrow biopsy in hemophagocytic syndrome.

Virchows Arch 2002 Oct 19;441(4):335-44. Epub 2002 Jun 19.

Istituto di Anatomia ed Istologia Patologica, Policlinico P.Giaccone, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Via del Vespro 129, 90127 Palermo, Italy.

Aims: Hemophagocytic syndrome (HPS) is a severe and acute clinical event occurring with fever, hepatosplenomegaly, and pancytopenia due to uncontrolled phagocytosis of blood cells and precursors. Although HPS represents a secondary phenomenon, it can mask the underlying condition, generally a neoplastic or infective disease, thus making the patient management rather difficult. The aims of this study were to point out the main pathological features useful to highlight the primary disease and show the eventual discrepancies among the different cases.

Methods And Results: Bone-marrow biopsies (BMBs) of 26 patients with HPS were morphologically and immunophenotypically evaluated; the patients were 12 females and 14 males with mean age of 45.8 years (range 18-80 years). Fifteen patients had a hematological neoplasia either at onset (13 cases) or relapse (2 cases); 5 patients had evidence of active infection immediately prior to HPS development, whereas in 6 patients no definite etiology was established. Cases were therefore divided into neoplasia related, infection related, and "idiopathic". In all cases BMB showed marked histiocyte hyperplasia with hemophagocytosis. In cases of bone-marrow lymphoma or leukemia involvement, immunohistochemistry allowed diagnosis of the underlying disease to be made; infection-related cases showed a reactive marrow with mature interstitial T-lymphoid infiltration, whereas in idiopathic cases T-cells were mainly aggregated in small clusters. In no cases were significant percentages of natural-killer (NK) cells detected.

Interpretation And Conclusions: Although no strict morphological or immunophenotypical criteria able to allow an immediate diagnosis of underlying disease were pointed out, in most cases BMB proved to be an essential and reliable diagnostic tool. According to our experience, when HPS occurs, the first diagnosis to investigate is a neoplastic disease which sometimes can be latent or hidden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00428-002-0661-6DOI Listing
October 2002