Publications by authors named "Gianluca Festini"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Efficacy and toxicity of Decitabine in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML): A multicenter real-world experience.

Leuk Res 2019 01 28;76:33-38. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

Clinica Ematologica, Centro Trapianti e Terapie Cellulari, Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Integrata, Udine, Italy.

Background: The hypomethylating agent Decitabine (DAC) is a valuable treatment option in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), particularly in elderly patients (pts) not suitable for intensive chemotherapy (CHT). However, limited data are available about efficacy and safety of DAC in clinical practice.

Patients And Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data of 104 AML pts treated with DAC in eight Italian Hematological Centers from 2015 to 2017. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of DAC in older AML pts outside of clinical trial. Seventy-five (75%) pts received DAC as first line treatment (Cohort 1) and 29 pts as salvage therapy (Cohort 2). All pts received a DAC schedule of 20 mg/sqm IV for 5-days, every 28 days. The median age was 72.5 years (74 in cohort 1 and 66 in cohort 2) and 16% of pts had an ECOG performance status >2 at the start of DAC treatment (with non-significant difference in the two cohorts). The cumulative illness rating scale (CIRS) was > 6 in 27% of pts. Forty-five pts (43%) had secondary AML. Bone marrow blast count was > 30% in 64% of patients (67/104). In the relapsed cohort 17/29 (59%) patients were treated with DAC after conventional CHT, 5/29 (17%) after allo-SCT and 7/29 (24%) after azacitidine therapy.

Results: A total of 469 DAC cycles were given to the 104 pts with a median of 3 cycles (range 1-21) and 45/104 (43%) pts received > 4 cycles. The Overall Response Rate (ORR = Complete Remission-CR plus Partial Remission-PR) was 33%, significantly higher in Cohort 1 (42%) compared to Cohort 2 (14%) (p = 0.009). The median duration of response was 6 months (range 1-20). In Cohort 1 the best response (CR or PR) was obtained between 3th and 6th cycle. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, achievement of CR or PR (HR = 0.78; p = 0.0004), CIRS < 6 (HR = 0.9; p = 0.04) and complex karyotype (HR = 0.8; p = 0.03) were significant predictors of better overall survival (OS). Median OS from the start of DAC therapy was 11 months for the whole population with a significant OS advantage in Cohort 1 (median OS 12.7 mths vs 6.3 mths; p = 0.003); median OS was significantly longer in responders compared to non-responders (22.6 mths vs 5.7 mths; p < 0.0001). At the last follow-up, 56 patients (54%) are still alive and 48 (46%) are dead (71% due to disease progression). The most common toxicities were myelosuppression and documented infectious complications that occurred mainly during the first 4 cycles.

Conclusion: These data confirm the efficacy (ORR 33%) and the acceptable safety profile of DAC in the real life management of AML in elderly pts unsuitable for intensive CHT, with a significant better performance in first line therapy (ORR 42%, median OS 12.7 mths). The efficacy of DAC, both in first line and as salvage therapy, may probably be improved with combined treatment strategies and/or with different DAC schedules that could increase its anti-leukemic effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2018.11.015DOI Listing
January 2019

Excellent outcomes of 2G-TKI therapy after imatinib failure in chronic phase CML patients.

Oncotarget 2018 Mar 12;9(18):14219-14227. Epub 2018 Feb 12.

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

Second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (2G-TKIs) dasatinib and nilotinib produced historical rates of about 50% complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) and about 40% major molecular response (MMR) in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) patients failing imatinib. Direct comparisons between dasatinib and nilotinib are lacking, and few studies addressed the dynamics of deep molecular response (DMR) in a "real-life" setting. We retrospectively analyzed 163 patients receiving dasatinib ( = 95) or nilotinib ( = 68) as second-line therapy after imatinib. The two cohorts were comparable for disease's characteristics, although there was a higher rate of dasatinib use in imatinib-resistant and of nilotinib in intolerant patients. Overall, 75% patients not in CCyR and 60% patients not in MMR at 2G-TKI start attained this response. DMR was achieved by 61 patients (37.4%), with estimated rate of stable DMR at 5 years of 24%. After a median follow-up of 48 months, 60% of patients persisted on their second-line treatment. Rates and kinetics of cytogenetic and molecular responses, progression-free and overall survival were similar for dasatinib and nilotinib. In a "real-life" setting, dasatinib and nilotinib resulted equally effective and safe after imatinib failure, determining high rates of CCyR and MMR, and a significant chance of stable DMR, a prerequisite for treatment discontinuation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24478DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5865665PMC
March 2018

Prospective validation of predictive value of abdominal computed tomography scan on time to first treatment in Rai 0 chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients: results of the multicenter O-CLL1-GISL study.

Eur J Haematol 2016 Jan 31;96(1):36-45. Epub 2015 Mar 31.

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

Objective: We performed an external and multicentric validation of the predictive value of abdominal computed tomography (aCT) on time to first treatment (TTFT) in early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients.

Methods: aCT was performed at diagnosis in 181 Rai 0 patients enrolled in the O-CLL1-GISL trial (clinicaltrial.gov ID:NCT00917549).

Results: Fifty-five patients showed an abnormal aCT. Patients with an abnormal aCT showed a significantly shorter TTFT than those with normal aCT (P < 0.0001). At multivariate analysis, aCT (P = 0.011), β-2 microglobulin (P = 0.019), and CD38 expression (P = 0.047) correlated with TTFT. Following IWCLL 2008 criteria, 112 (61.9%) cases remained at Rai 0, while 69 (38.1%) satisfied the criteria of clinical monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (cMBL). Reclassified Rai 0 patients with an abnormal aCT showed a significantly shorter TTFT than those with a normal aCT (P < 0.0001). At multivariate analysis, only aCT (P = 0.011) correlated with TTFT. Eleven cMBL cases (15.9%) showed an abnormal aCT and were reclassified as small lymphocytic lymphomas (SLL); nonetheless, TTFT was similar for cMBLs and SLLs.

Conclusion: Our results confirm the ability of the abnormal aCT to predict progression in early stage cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12545DOI Listing
January 2016

Chromosome 2p gain in monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis and in early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Am J Hematol 2013 Jan 9;88(1):24-31. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e di Comunità, Università degli Studi di Milano e Ematologia 1 CTMO, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Italy.

Recent studies have described chromosome 2p gain as a recurrent lesion in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We investigated the 2p gain and its relationship with common prognostic biomarkers in a prospective series of 69 clinical monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (cMBL) and 218 early stage (Binet A) CLL patients. The 2p gain was detected by FISH in 17 patients (6%, 16 CLL, and 1 cMBL) and further characterized by single nucleotide polymorphism-array. Overall, unfavorable cytogenetic deletions, i.e., del(11)(q23) and del(17)(p13) (P = 0.002), were significantly more frequent in 2p gain cases, as well as unmutated status of IGHV (P < 1 × 10(-4) ) and CD38 (P < 1 × 10(-4) ) and ZAP-70 positive expression (P = 0.003). Furthermore, 2p gain patients had significantly higher utilization of stereotyped B-cell receptors compared with 2p negative patients (P = 0.009), and the incidence of stereotyped subset #1 in 2p gain patients was significantly higher than that found in the remaining CLLs (P = 0.031). Transcriptional profiling analysis identified several genes significantly upregulated in 2p gain CLLs, most of which mapped to 2p. Among these, NCOA1 and ROCK2 are known for their involvement in tumor progression in several human cancers, whereas among those located in different chromosomes, CAV1 at 7q31.1 has been recently identified to play a critical role in CLL progression. Thus, 2p gain can be present since the early stages of the disease, particularly in those cases characterized by other poor prognosis markers. The finding of genes upregulated in the cells with 2p gain provides new insights to define the pathogenic role of this lesion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23340DOI Listing
January 2013

Integrative genomics analyses reveal molecularly distinct subgroups of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with 13q14 deletion.

Clin Cancer Res 2010 Dec 14;16(23):5641-53. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche, Università di Milano, U.O. Ematologia 1, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: Chromosome 13q14 deletion occurs in a substantial number of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients and it is believed to play a pathogenetic role. The exact mechanisms involved in this lesion have not yet been fully elucidated because of its heterogeneity and the imprecise knowledge of the implicated genes. This study was addressed to further contribute to the molecular definition of this lesion in CLL.

Experimental Design: We applied single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-array technology and gene expression profiling data to investigate the 13q14 deletion occurring in a panel of 100 untreated, early-stage (Binet A) patients representative of the major genetics, molecular, and biological features of the disease.

Results: Concordantly with FISH analysis, SNP arrays identified 44 patients with del(13)(q14) including 11 cases with a biallelic deletion. The shorter monoallelic deletion was 635-kb long. The loss of the miR-15a/16-1 cluster occurred in all del(13)(q14) cases except in 2 patients with a monoallelic deletion, who retained both copies. MiR-15a/16 expression was significantly downregulated only in patients with the biallelic loss of the miRNA cluster compared to 13q normal cases. Finally, the natural grouping of SNP profiles by nonnegative matrix factorization algorithm showed that patients could be classified into 2 separate clusters, mainly characterized by short/biallelic versus wide/monoallelic 13q14 deletions. Supervised analyses of expression data showed that specific transcriptional profiles are correlated with these 2 genomic subgroups.

Conclusions: Overall, our data highlight the presence of 2 distinct molecular types of 13q14 deletions, which may be of clinical relevance in CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-0151DOI Listing
December 2010

Definition of progression risk based on combinations of cellular and molecular markers in patients with Binet stage A chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Br J Haematol 2009 Jun 6;146(1):44-53. Epub 2009 May 6.

Unità Operativa Complessa di Ematologia, Azienda Ospedaliera, Cosenza, Italy.

IGHV mutational status and ZAP-70 or CD38 expression correlate with clinical course in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). The three markers may be discordant in the single case and there is no consensus on their combined use in clinical practise. This multicenter study investigated this issue. Two-hundred and sixty-two Binet stage A patients were studied for the three markers. Sixty patients were profiled with HG-U133A gene expression chips. Disease progression was determined by time from diagnosis to treatment (TTT). The probability of being treatment-free at 3 years was significantly shorter in patients with unmutated IGHV genes (IGHVunmut 66% vs. 93%, chi square of log-rank = 30, P < 0.0001), ZAP-70 positive (ZAP-70pos 73% vs. 96%, chi square of log-rank = 8.2, P = 0.004) or CD38-positive cells (CD38pos 68% vs. 91%, chi square of log-rank = 21, P < 0.0001). Cox multivariate regression analysis showed that the three markers had an independent predictive value for TTT of similar power. A prognostic system based on presence of none (low-risk), one (intermediate-risk) or two or three (high-risk) markers was generated. Based on such criteria, 56%, 23% and 21% of cases were clustered in low (HR = 1), intermediate [HR = 2.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.4-5.8] and high-risk group (HR = 8.0, 95% CI 3.9-16.2). Specific transcriptional patterns were significantly associated with risk groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.07703.xDOI Listing
June 2009

Molecular and transcriptional characterization of 17p loss in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2008 Sep;47(9):781-93

Centro per lo Studio delle Leucemie, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche, Università di Milano, U.O. Ematologia 1, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico, Milano, Italy.

Distinct genetic abnormalities, such as TP53 deletion at 17p13.1, have been identified as having adverse prognostic relevance in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), and conventional cytogenetic studies have shown that TP53 deletion in B-CLL is mainly associated with the loss of 17p due to complex chromosomal rearrangements. We used an integrative genomic approach to investigate the significance of 17p loss in 18 B-CLLs in Binet stage A, carrying a TP53 monoallelic deletion detected by means of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Genome-wide DNA analysis using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays of 12 of 18 samples showed 17p loss in 11 cases, with breakpoints scattered along the 17p11.2 region. FISH analysis confirmed these findings and revealed 17p loss in a small fraction of leukemic cells in the remaining TP53-deleted case, and it also indicated 17p loss in the six cases not investigated by means of SNP arrays. Mutations in exons 2-11 of the remaining TP53 allele were found in 9 of 12 deleted samples. Gene-expression profiling of 60 B-CLLs, including seven patients with 17p loss, identified 40 differentially expressed genes in 17p- versus 17p normal samples, 35 of which were downregulated in 17p-tumors. The majority (30 of 35) of these transcripts, including putative tumor suppressor genes, mapped to 17p, thus indicating a remarkable gene-dosage effect. Our data provide evidence that 17p loss may play an additional pathogenetic role in B-CLL and suggest that the concomitant loss of multiple tumor suppressor genes could be responsible for the highly adverse prognostic relevance associated with TP53 loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.20579DOI Listing
September 2008