Publications by authors named "Kai Wille"

23 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Pre-medication with oral anticoagulants is associated with better outcomes in a large multinational COVID-19 cohort with cardiovascular comorbidities.

Clin Res Cardiol 2021 Sep 21. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Department of Medicine III (Interdisciplinary Medical Intensive Care), Medical Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.

Aims: Coagulopathy and venous thromboembolism are common findings in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and are associated with poor outcome. Timely initiation of anticoagulation after hospital admission was shown to be beneficial. In this study we aim to examine the association of pre-existing oral anticoagulation (OAC) with outcome among a cohort of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients.

Methods And Results: We analysed the data from the large multi-national Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 infected patients (LEOSS) from March to August 2020. Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were eligible for inclusion. We retrospectively analysed the association of pre-existing OAC with all-cause mortality. Secondary outcome measures included COVID-19-related mortality, recovery and composite endpoints combining death and/or thrombotic event and death and/or bleeding event. We restricted bleeding events to intracerebral bleeding in this analysis to ensure clinical relevance and to limit reporting errors. A total of 1 433 SARS-CoV-2 infected patients were analysed, while 334 patients (23.3%) had an existing premedication with OAC and 1 099 patients (79.7%) had no OAC. After risk adjustment for comorbidities, pre-existing OAC showed a protective influence on the endpoint death (OR 0.62, P = 0.013) as well as the secondary endpoints COVID-19-related death (OR 0.64, P = 0.023) and non-recovery (OR 0.66, P = 0.014). The combined endpoint death or thrombotic event tended to be less frequent in patients on OAC (OR 0.71, P = 0.056).

Conclusions: Pre-existing OAC is protective in COVID-19, irrespective of anticoagulation regime during hospital stay and independent of the stage and course of disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00392-021-01939-3DOI Listing
September 2021

Ruxolitinib-treated polycythemia vera patients and their risk of secondary malignancies.

Ann Hematol 2021 Aug 31. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

University Clinic for Hematology, Oncology, Hemostaseology and Palliative Care, Johannes Wesling Medical Center Minden, University of Bochum, Hans-Nolte-Straße 1, 32429, Minden, Germany.

Recently, there has been increased concern about a risk of secondary malignancies (SM) occurring in myelofibrosis (MF) patients receiving ruxolitinib (RUX). In polycythemia vera (PV), on the other hand, only limited data on the risk of SM under RUX treatment are available. To investigate the association between RUX therapy in PV and SM, we conducted a retrospective, single-center study that included 289 PV patients. RUX was administered to 32.9% (95/289) of patients for a median treatment duration of 48.0 months (range 1.0-101.6). Within a median follow-up of 97 months (1.0-395.0) after PV diagnosis, 24 SM occurred. Comparing the number of PV patients with RUX-associated SM (n = 10, 41.7%) with the 14 (58.3%) patients who developed SM without RUX, no significant difference (p = 0.34, chi square test) was found. No increased incidences of melanoma, lymphoma, or solid "non-skin" malignancies were observed with RUX (p = 0.31, p = 0.60, and p = 0.63, respectively, chi square test). However, significantly more NMSC occurred in association with RUX treatment (p = 0.03, chi-squared test). The "SM-free survival" was not significantly different by log rank test for all 289 patients (p = 0.65), for the patients (n = 208; 72%) receiving cytoreductive therapy (p = 0.48) or for different therapy sequences (p = 0.074). In multivariate analysis, advanced age at PV diagnosis (HR 1.062 [95% CI 1.028, 1.098]) but not administration of RUX (HR 1.068 [95% CI 0.468, 2.463]) was associated with an increased risk for SM (p = 0.005). According to this retrospective analysis, no increased risk of SM due to RUX treatment could be substantiated for PV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-021-04647-0DOI Listing
August 2021

Development and validation of a simplified risk score for the prediction of critical COVID-19 illness in newly diagnosed patients.

J Med Virol 2021 Jul 31. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

Department of Nephrology, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich, Germany.

Scores to identify patients at high risk of progression of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), may become instrumental for clinical decision-making and patient management. We used patient data from the multicentre Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-Infected Patients (LEOSS) and applied variable selection to develop a simplified scoring system to identify patients at increased risk of critical illness or death. A total of 1946 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were included in the initial analysis and assigned to derivation and validation cohorts (n = 1297 and n = 649, respectively). Stability selection from over 100 baseline predictors for the combined endpoint of progression to the critical phase or COVID-19-related death enabled the development of a simplified score consisting of five predictors: C-reactive protein (CRP), age, clinical disease phase (uncomplicated vs. complicated), serum urea, and D-dimer (abbreviated as CAPS-D score). This score yielded an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.81 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.77-0.85) in the validation cohort for predicting the combined endpoint within 7 days of diagnosis and 0.81 (95% CI: 0.77-0.85) during full follow-up. We used an additional prospective cohort of 682 patients, diagnosed largely after the "first wave" of the pandemic to validate the predictive accuracy of the score and observed similar results (AUC for the event within 7 days: 0.83 [95% CI: 0.78-0.87]; for full follow-up: 0.82 [95% CI: 0.78-0.86]). An easily applicable score to calculate the risk of COVID-19 progression to critical illness or death was thus established and validated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.27252DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8426905PMC
July 2021

Prediction of COVID-19 deterioration in high-risk patients at diagnosis: an early warning score for advanced COVID-19 developed by machine learning.

Infection 2021 Jul 19. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Institute for Infectious Diseases and Infection Control, RG Systemsbiology, Jena University Hospital, Kollegiengasse 10, 07743, Jena, Germany.

Purpose: While more advanced COVID-19 necessitates medical interventions and hospitalization, patients with mild COVID-19 do not require this. Identifying patients at risk of progressing to advanced COVID-19 might guide treatment decisions, particularly for better prioritizing patients in need for hospitalization.

Methods: We developed a machine learning-based predictor for deriving a clinical score identifying patients with asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 at risk of progressing to advanced COVID-19. Clinical data from SARS-CoV-2 positive patients from the multicenter Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 Infected Patients (LEOSS) were used for discovery (2020-03-16 to 2020-07-14) and validation (data from 2020-07-15 to 2021-02-16).

Results: The LEOSS dataset contains 473 baseline patient parameters measured at the first patient contact. After training the predictor model on a training dataset comprising 1233 patients, 20 of the 473 parameters were selected for the predictor model. From the predictor model, we delineated a composite predictive score (SACOV-19, Score for the prediction of an Advanced stage of COVID-19) with eleven variables. In the validation cohort (n = 2264 patients), we observed good prediction performance with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.73 ± 0.01. Besides temperature, age, body mass index and smoking habit, variables indicating pulmonary involvement (respiration rate, oxygen saturation, dyspnea), inflammation (CRP, LDH, lymphocyte counts), and acute kidney injury at diagnosis were identified. For better interpretability, the predictor was translated into a web interface.

Conclusion: We present a machine learning-based predictor model and a clinical score for identifying patients at risk of developing advanced COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s15010-021-01656-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8287547PMC
July 2021

A review of hydroxyurea-related cutaneous adverse events.

Expert Opin Drug Saf 2021 Jun 28:1-7. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Internal Medicine III, University Hospital of Ulm, Germany.

: Hydroxyurea (HU) is an S-phase specific oral chemotherapeutic agent that inhibits ribonucleotide diphosphate reductase. It is the most common used cytoreductive drug in patients (pts) with negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) and sickle cell disease (SCD). The World Health Organization lists HU as an "essential drug". Although most patients tolerate HU well, cutaneous adverse events (CAE) are frequent side effects and may limit its long-term use. This has become increasingly evident in recent years, especially in MPN patients, where CAE were previously underestimated and underdiagnosed.: In this review, we present the available literature on HU-related CAE in MPN patients. In particular, data from a recently published and so far, only prospective non-interventional study investigating CAE in 172 MPN patients will be discussed in detail and compared with previously available data. Finally, we give an overview of the management of HU-related CAE in MPN patients and provide recommendations on the practical clinical approach.: In clinical practice, HU associated CAE are common and have important diagnostic and therapeutic consequences. Therefore, they should be considered in all MPN patients treated with HU in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14740338.2021.1945032DOI Listing
June 2021

Clinical course and predictive risk factors for fatal outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Infection 2021 Aug 13;49(4):725-737. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Infectious Diseases, West German Centre of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45122, Essen, Germany.

Purpose: The ongoing pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has stressed health systems worldwide. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) seem to be more prone to a severe course of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to comorbidities and an altered immune system. The study's aim was to identify factors predicting mortality among SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with CKD.

Methods: We analyzed 2817 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients enrolled in the Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-infected patients and identified 426 patients with pre-existing CKD. Group comparisons were performed via Chi-squared test. Using univariate and multivariable logistic regression, predictive factors for mortality were identified.

Results: Comparative analyses to patients without CKD revealed a higher mortality (140/426, 32.9% versus 354/2391, 14.8%). Higher age could be confirmed as a demographic predictor for mortality in CKD patients (> 85 years compared to 15-65 years, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 6.49, 95% CI 1.27-33.20, p = 0.025). We further identified markedly elevated lactate dehydrogenase (> 2 × upper limit of normal, aOR 23.21, 95% CI 3.66-147.11, p < 0.001), thrombocytopenia (< 120,000/µl, aOR 11.66, 95% CI 2.49-54.70, p = 0.002), anemia (Hb < 10 g/dl, aOR 3.21, 95% CI 1.17-8.82, p = 0.024), and C-reactive protein (≥ 30 mg/l, aOR 3.44, 95% CI 1.13-10.45, p = 0.029) as predictors, while renal replacement therapy was not related to mortality (aOR 1.15, 95% CI 0.68-1.93, p = 0.611).

Conclusion: The identified predictors include routinely measured and universally available parameters. Their assessment might facilitate risk stratification in this highly vulnerable cohort as early as at initial medical evaluation for SARS-CoV-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s15010-021-01597-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8043429PMC
August 2021

The management, outcome, and postpartum disease course of 41 pregnancies in 20 women with polycythemia vera.

Eur J Haematol 2021 Jul 4;107(1):122-128. Epub 2021 May 4.

University Clinic for Hematology, Oncology, Hemostaseology and Palliative Care, Johannes Wesling Medical Center Minden, University of Bochum, Minden, Germany.

Objectives: Pregnancies in women with polycythemia vera (PV) are associated with an increased risk of PV-related maternal complications and often result in miscarriage. Recommendations for the management of PV pregnancies are mainly based on studies with a small number of patients. A correlation between pregnancy outcome and postpartum course has been reported for essential thrombocythemia, but corresponding data for PV are lacking so far.

Methods: In 41 PV pregnancies, the pregnancy outcome, the use of PV-specific therapies (ie, acetylsalicylic acid, low-molecular weight heparin and/or interferon-alpha), and the postpartum PV course were investigated.

Results: A live birth rate of 51.2% (21/41 pregnancies) was observed. 43.9% of pregnancies ended in spontaneous abortion and 4.9% in stillbirth. A significantly increased live birth rate occurred in pregnancies with PV-specific therapies compared to standard antenatal care (69.0% vs. 8.3%; P < .0019). The use of PV-specific therapy significantly increased the number of maternal hemorrhages (P = .021) without increasing the risk of fetal complications. During the median postpartum follow-up period of 1.2 years (range 0.1-13.7), complicated postpartum PV occurred significantly more often after miscarriages (P = .035).

Conclusions: According to our analysis, PV-specific therapy improved the live birth rate. Significantly more complicated postpartum PV courses were observed after miscarriages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13627DOI Listing
July 2021

Direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) for prevention of recurrent arterial or venous thromboembolic events (ATE/VTE) in myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Ann Hematol 2021 Aug 20;100(8):2015-2022. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

University Clinic for Hematology, Oncology, Hemostaseology and Palliative Care, Johannes Wesling Medical Center Minden, UKRUB, University of Bochum, Hans-Nolte-Straße 1, D-32429, Minden, Germany.

In patients with BCR-ABL-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), arterial or venous thromboembolic events (ATE/VTE) are a major burden. In order to control these complications, vitamin K antagonists (VKA) are widely used. There is no robust evidence supporting the use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) in MPN patients. We therefore compared the efficacy and safety of both anticoagulants in 71 cases from a cohort of 782 MPN patients. Seventy-one of 782 MPN patients (9.1%) had ATE/VTE with nine ATE (12.7%) and 62 VTE (87.3%). Forty-five of 71 ATE/VTE (63.4%) were treated with VKA and 26 (36.6%) with DOAC. The duration of anticoagulation therapy (p = 0.984), the number of patients receiving additional aspirin (p = 1.0), and the proportion of patients receiving cytoreductive therapy (p = 0.807) did not differ significantly between the VKA and DOAC groups. During anticoagulation therapy, significantly more relapses occurred under VKA (n = 16) compared to DOAC treatment (n = 0, p = 0.0003). However, during the entire observation period of median 3.2 years (0.1-20.4), ATE/VTE relapse-free survival (p = 0.2) did not differ significantly between the two anticoagulants. For all bleeding events (p = 0.516) or major bleeding (p = 1.0), no significant differences were observed between VKA and DOAC. In our experience, the use of DOAC was as effective and safe as VKA, possibly even potentially beneficial with a lower number of recurrences and no increased risk for bleedings. However, further and larger studies are required before DOAC can be routinely used in MPN patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-04350-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8285319PMC
August 2021

Elevated markers of thrombo-inflammatory activation predict outcome in patients with cardiovascular comorbidities and COVID-19 disease: insights from the LEOSS registry.

Clin Res Cardiol 2021 Jul 19;110(7):1029-1040. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Department of Medicine III, Cardiology/Angiology/Nephrology, Goethe University of Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590, Frankfurt, Germany.

Aims: SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with adverse outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease. Here, we analyzed whether specific biomarkers predict the clinical course of COVID-19 in patients with cardiovascular comorbidities.

Methods And Results: We enrolled 2147 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection which were included in the Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV‑2 (LEOSS)-registry from March to June 2020. Clinical data and laboratory values were collected and compared between patients with and without cardiovascular comorbidities in different clinical stages of the disease. Predictors for mortality were calculated using multivariate regression analysis. We show that patients with cardiovascular comorbidities display significantly higher markers of myocardial injury and thrombo-inflammatory activation already in the uncomplicated phase of COVID-19. In multivariate analysis, elevated levels of troponin [OR 1.54; (95% CI 1.22-1.96), p < 0.001)], IL-6 [OR 1.69 (95% CI 1.26-2.27), p < 0.013)], and CRP [OR 1.32; (95% CI 1.1-1.58), p < 0.003)] were predictors of mortality in patients with COVID-19.

Conclusion: Patients with cardiovascular comorbidities show elevated markers of thrombo-inflammatory activation and myocardial injury, which predict mortality, already in the uncomplicated phase of COVID-19. Starting targeted anti-inflammatory therapy and aggressive anticoagulation already in the uncomplicated phase of the disease might improve outcomes after SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with cardiovascular comorbidities. Elevated markers of thrombo-inflammatory activation predict outcome in patients with cardiovascular comorbidities and COVID-19 disease: insights from the LEOSS registry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00392-020-01769-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7674577PMC
July 2021

Interferon alpha for essential thrombocythemia during 34 high-risk pregnancies: outcome and safety.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2021 May 2;147(5):1481-1491. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

University Clinic for Haematology, Oncology, Haemostaseology and Palliative Care, Johannes Wesling Medical Center Minden, UKRUB, Ruhr-University Bochum, Minden, Germany.

Purpose: Pregnancies in women with essential thrombocythemia (ET) are at a higher risk for obstetrical complications. Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) and low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH) are common options to prevent miscarriages and maternal complications, whereas interferon alpha (IFN) seems to be the cytoreductive therapy of choice. This retrospective study analyzes the largest number of IFN pregnancies to date in terms of outcome and safety.

Methods: Data of 34 high-risk pregnancies in 23 women presenting at the University hospitals of Minden and Jena from 01-Jun-2007 to 01-Jun-2020 were collected. Reasons defining high-risk ET pregnancy in all 23 patients were: Thrombosis (n = 9) or severe hemorrhage (n = 2) in history, platelet count ≥ 1500 × 10/µl (n = 8) or severe microcirculatory disturbances not completely responding to ASA (n = 4).

Results: Without the use of IFN, live birth rate was 60% (6/10), however, after the use of IFN live birth rate increased to 73.5% (25/34 pregnancies). Nine pregnancies ended in miscarriages (9/34; 26.5%); all of them spontaneous abortions. Live birth rate significantly improved with ASA (90% versus 50%, p = 0.0168), however, if ASA and LMWH was added (n = 14), live birth rate was 100%. IFN compound (PEGylated versus standard IFN) and JAK2-driver mutation had no impact on pregnancy outcome. One major maternal complication occurred as a major peripartal bleeding after abortion curettage.

Conclusion: IFN was associated with an encouraging live birth rate of 73.5% with no fatal maternal events and manageable side effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-020-03430-4DOI Listing
May 2021

Ruxolitinib-Associated Infections in Polycythemia Vera: Review of the Literature, Clinical Significance, and Recommendations.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Oct 26;12(11). Epub 2020 Oct 26.

University Clinic for Hematology, Oncology, Hemostaseology and Palliative Care Johannes Wesling Medical Center Minden, UKRUB, University of Bochum, Hans-Nolte-Straße 1, D-32429 Minden, Germany.

Ruxolitinib (RUX), a JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor, is approved for second-line therapy in patients with polycythemia vera (PV) who are resistant or intolerant to hydroxyurea. Due to the immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive effect of RUX, there is an increased susceptibility to infections. However, an increased risk of infection is inherent to even untreated myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). To obtain more information on the clinical significance of RUX-associated infections in PV, we reviewed the available literature. There is no evidence-based approach to managing infection risks. Most data on RUX-associated infections are available for MF. In all studies, the infection rates in the RUX and control groups were fairly similar, with the exception of infections with the varicella zoster virus (VZV). However, individual cases of bilateral toxoplasmosis retinitis, disseminated molluscum contagiosum, or a mycobacterium tuberculosis infection or a hepatitis B reactivation are reported. A careful assessment of the risk of infection for PV patients is required at the initial presentation and before the start of RUX. Screening for hepatitis B is recommended in all patients. The risk of RUX-associated infections is lower with PV than with MF, but compared to a normal population there is an increased risk of VZV infection. However, primary VZV prophylaxis for PV patients is not recommended, while secondary prophylaxis can be considered individually. As early treatment is most effective for VZV, patients should be properly informed and trained to seek medical advice immediately if cutaneous signs of VZV develop. Vaccination against influenza, herpes zoster, and pneumococci should be considered in all PV patients at risk of infection, especially if RUX treatment is planned. Current recommendations do not support adjusting or discontinuing JAK inhibition in MPN patients to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7693745PMC
October 2020

First results of the "Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-Infected Patients (LEOSS)".

Infection 2021 Feb 1;49(1):63-73. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Department I for Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Purpose: Knowledge regarding patients' clinical condition at severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) detection is sparse. Data in the international, multicenter Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-Infected Patients (LEOSS) cohort study may enhance the understanding of COVID-19.

Methods: Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, enrolled in the LEOSS cohort study between March 16, 2020, and May 14, 2020, were analyzed. Associations between baseline characteristics and clinical stages at diagnosis (uncomplicated vs. complicated) were assessed using logistic regression models.

Results: We included 2155 patients, 59.7% (1,287/2,155) were male; the most common age category was 66-85 years (39.6%; 500/2,155). The primary COVID-19 diagnosis was made in 35.0% (755/2,155) during complicated clinical stages. A significant univariate association between age; sex; body mass index; smoking; diabetes; cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological, and kidney diseases; ACE inhibitor therapy; statin intake and an increased risk for complicated clinical stages of COVID-19 at diagnosis was found. Multivariable analysis revealed that advanced age [46-65 years: adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.73, 95% CI 1.25-2.42, p = 0.001; 66-85 years: aOR 1.93, 95% CI 1.36-2.74, p < 0.001; > 85 years: aOR 2.38, 95% CI 1.49-3.81, p < 0.001 vs. individuals aged 26-45 years], male sex (aOR 1.23, 95% CI 1.01-1.50, p = 0.040), cardiovascular disease (aOR 1.37, 95% CI 1.09-1.72, p = 0.007), and diabetes (aOR 1.33, 95% CI 1.04-1.69, p = 0.023) were associated with complicated stages of COVID-19 at diagnosis.

Conclusion: The LEOSS cohort identified age, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and male sex as risk factors for complicated disease stages at SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, thus confirming previous data. Further data regarding outcomes of the natural course of COVID-19 and the influence of treatment are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s15010-020-01499-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7527665PMC
February 2021

Arterial thrombosis in Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms predicts second cancer: a case-control study.

Blood 2020 01;135(5):381-386

Unit of Hematology, Department of Oncology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.

Patients with Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) are prone to the development of second cancers, but the factors associated with these events have been poorly explored. In an international nested case-control study, we recruited 647 patients with carcinoma, nonmelanoma skin cancer, hematological second cancer, and melanoma diagnosed concurrently or after MPN diagnosis. Up to 3 control patients without a history of cancer and matched with each case for center, sex, age at MPN diagnosis, date of diagnosis, and MPN disease duration were included (n = 1234). Cases were comparable to controls for MPN type, driver mutations and cardiovascular risk factors. The frequency of thrombosis preceding MPN was similar for cases and controls (P = .462). Thrombotic events after MPN and before second cancer were higher in cases than in controls (11.6% vs 8.1%; P = .013), because of a higher proportion of arterial thromboses (6.2% vs 3.7%; P = .015). After adjustment for confounders, the occurrence of arterial thrombosis remained independently associated with the risk of carcinoma (odds ratio, 1.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.14-3.41), suggesting that MPN patients experiencing arterial events after MPN diagnosis deserve careful clinical surveillance for early detection of carcinoma. This study was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03745378.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019002614DOI Listing
January 2020

Second cancers in MPN: Survival analysis from an international study.

Am J Hematol 2020 03 22;95(3):295-301. Epub 2019 Dec 22.

Unit of Hematology, Department of Oncology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.

One out of ten patients with Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) develop a second cancer (SC): in such patients we aimed at assessing the survival impact of SC itself and of MPN-specific therapies. Data were therefore extracted from an international nested case-control study, recruiting 798 patients with SC diagnosed concurrently or after the MPN. Overall, 2995 person-years (PYs) were accumulated and mortality rate (MR) since SC diagnosis was 5.9 (5.1-6.9) deaths for every 100 PYs. A "poor prognosis" SC (stomach, esophagus, liver, pancreas, lung, ovary, head-and-neck or nervous system, osteosarcomas, multiple myeloma, aggressive lymphoma, acute leukemia) was reported in 26.3% of the patients and was the cause of death in 65% of them (MR 11.0/100 PYs). In contrast, patients with a "non-poor prognosis" SC (NPPSC) incurred a MR of 4.6/100 PYs: 31% of the deaths were attributed to SC and 15% to MPN evolution. At multivariable analysis, death after SC diagnosis was independently predicted (HR and 95% CI) by patient age greater than 70 years (2.68; 1.88-3.81), the SC prognostic group (2.57; 1.86-3.55), SC relapse (1.53; 10.6-2.21), MPN evolution (2.72; 1.84-4.02), anemia at SC diagnosis (2.32; 1.49-3.59), exposure to hydroxyurea (1.89; 1.26-2.85) and to ruxolitinib (3.63; 1.97-6.71). Aspirin was protective for patients with a NPPSC (0.60; 0.38-0.95). In conclusion, SC is a relevant cause of death competing with MPN evolution. Prospective data are awaited to confirm the role of cytoreductive and anti-platelet drugs in modulating patient survival after the occurrence of a SC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25700DOI Listing
March 2020

Second cancer in Philadelphia negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN-K). A nested case-control study.

Leukemia 2019 08 29;33(8):1996-2005. Epub 2019 May 29.

Unit of Hematology, Department of Oncology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.

We conducted a large international nested case-control study including 1881 patients with Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Cases (n = 647) were patients with second cancer (SC: carcinoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, hematological second cancer, and melanoma) and controls (n = 1234) were patients without SC, matched with cases for sex, age at MPN diagnosis, date of MPN diagnosis, and MPN disease duration. The aim was to evaluate the risk of SC after exposure to cytoreductive drugs. Patients exposed to hydroxyurea (HU) (median: 3 years) had a risk of SC similar to unexposed patients (OR = 1.06, 95% CI 0.82-1.38). In contrast, in cancer-specific stratified multivariable analysis, HU had two-fold higher risk of non-melanoma (NM) skin cancer (OR = 2.28, 95% CI 1.15-4.51). A significantly higher risk of NM-skin cancer was also documented for pipobroman (OR = 3.74, 95% CI 1.00-14.01), ruxolitinib (OR = 3.87, 95% CI 1.18-12.75), and for drug combination (OR = 3.47, 95% CI 1.55-7.75). These three drugs did not show excess risk of carcinoma and hematological second cancer compared with unexposed patients. Exposure to interferon, busulfan, and anagrelide did not increase the risk. In summary, while it is reassuring that no excess of carcinoma was documented, a careful dermatologic active surveillance before and during the course of treatments is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-019-0487-8DOI Listing
August 2019

[Differential Diagnosis of Erythrocytosis - Background and Clinical Relevance].

Dtsch Med Wochenschr 2019 01 23;144(2):128-135. Epub 2019 Jan 23.

Due to its rare incidence, erythrocytosis frequently represents a challenge for the treating doctors. The erythropoiesis (= production of erythrocytes) is located in the bone marrow, and the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) takes control in its regulation. Therefore, measurement of EPO in serum is one of the main diagnostic steps. In erythrocytosis, congenital causes have to be distinguished from acquired ones. Furthermore, there are primary and secondary forms. Congenital causes of erythrocytoses occur very infrequently, are mainly diagnosed in young age and should be treated in specialized centers. Polycythemia vera (PV), a clonal disorder and one of the main myeloproliferative neoplasms (beside essential thrombocythemia and primary myelofibrosis), represents the most frequent primary acquired cause of erythrocytosis. Clinically, increased thrombophilia and microvascular disturbance occur. The first-line treatment in patients with PV includes administration of aspirin and phlebotomies. Secondary acquired forms of erythrocytosis mainly occur due to hypoxia triggered by nicotine abuse or chronic heart and lung diseases. Regarding other differential diagnoses, a cancer-associated EPO production, kidney diseases or exogenous supply with EPO (= EPO doping) have to be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-0739-8340DOI Listing
January 2019

Neoadjuvant plus adjuvant or only adjuvant nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine for resectable pancreatic cancer - the NEONAX trial (AIO-PAK-0313), a prospective, randomized, controlled, phase II study of the AIO pancreatic cancer group.

BMC Cancer 2018 Dec 29;18(1):1298. Epub 2018 Dec 29.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 23, 89081, Ulm, Germany.

Background: Even clearly resectable pancreatic cancer still has an unfavorable prognosis. Neoadjuvant or perioperative therapies might improve the prognosis of these patients. Thus, evaluation of perioperative chemotherapy in resectable pancreatic cancer in a prospective, randomized trial is warranted. A substantial improvement in overall survival of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer with FOLFIRINOX and nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine vs standard gemcitabine has been demonstrated in phase III-trials. Indeed nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine has a more favorable toxicity profile compared to the FOLFIRINOX protocol and appears applicable in a perioperative setting.

Methods: NEONAX is an interventional, prospective, randomized, controlled, open label, two sided phase II study with an unconnected analysis of the results in both experimental arms against a fixed survival probability (38% at 18 months with adjuvant gemcitabine), NCT02047513. NEONAX will enroll 166 patients with resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (≤ cT3, N0 or N1, cM0) in two arms: Arm A (perioperative arm): 2 cycles nab-paclitaxel (125 mg/m2)/gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2, d1, 8 and 15 of an 28 day-cycle) followed by tumor surgery followed by 4 cycles nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine, Arm B (adjuvant arm): tumor surgery followed by 6 cycles nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine. The randomization (1:1) is eminent to avoid allocation bias between the groups. Randomization is stratified for tumor stage (ct1/2 vs. cT3) and lymph node status (cN0 vs. cN1). Primary objective is disease free survival (DFS) at 18 months after randomization. Key secondary objectives are 3-year overall survival (OS) rate and DFS rate, progression during neoadjuvant therapy, R0 and R1 resection rate, quality of life and correlation of DFS, OS and tumor regression with pharmacogenomic markers, tumor biomarkers and molecular analyses (ctDNA, transcriptome, miRNA-arrays). In addition, circulating tumor-DNA will be analyzed in patients with the best and the worst responses to the neoadjuvant treatment. The study was initiated in March 2015 in 26 centers for pancreatic surgery in Germany.

Discussion: The NEONAX trial is an innovative study on resectable pancreatic cancer and currently one of the largest trials in this field of research. It addresses the question of the role of intensified perioperative treatment with nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine in resectable pancreatic cancers to improve disease-free survival and offers a unique potential for translational research.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov : NCT02047513, 08/13/2014.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-018-5183-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6311014PMC
December 2018

High risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism in BCR-ABL-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms after termination of anticoagulation.

Ann Hematol 2019 Jan 28;98(1):93-100. Epub 2018 Aug 28.

University Clinic for Hematology, Oncology, Hemostaseology and Palliative Care, Johannes Wesling Medical Center Minden, University of Bochum, Hans-Nolte-Straße 1, 32429, Minden, Germany.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major burden in patients with BCR-ABL-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). In addition to cytoreductive treatment anticoagulation is mandatory, but optimal duration of anticoagulation is a matter of debate. In our single center study, we retrospectively included 526 MPN patients. In total, 78 of 526 MPN patients (14.8%) had 99 MPN-associated VTE. Median age at first VTE was 52.5 years (range 23-81). During a study period of 3497 years, a VTE event rate of 1.7% per patient/year was detected. 38.4% (38/99) of all VTEs appeared before or at MPN diagnosis and 55.6% (55/99) occurred at "uncommon" sites like splanchnic or cerebral veins. MPN patients with VTEs were significantly more female (p = 0.028), JAK2 positive (p = 0.018), or had a polycythemia vera (p = 0.009). MPN patients without VTEs were more often CALR positive (p = 0.023). Total study period after first VTE was 336 years with 20 VTE recurrences accounting for a recurrence rate of 6% per patient/year. In 36 of 71 MPN patients with anticoagulation therapy after first VTE event (50.7%), prophylactic anticoagulation was terminated after a median time of 6 months (range 1-61); 13 of those 36 patients (36.1%) had a VTE recurrence after a median of 13 months (range 4-168). In contrast, only three of 35 (8.6%) patients with ongoing anticoagulation had a VTE recurrence (p = 0.0127). Thus, termination of prophylactic anticoagulation was associated with a significantly higher risk of VTE recurrence. Our data suggest that in MPN patients with VTE, a prolonged duration of anticoagulation may be beneficial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-018-3483-6DOI Listing
January 2019

Contemporary management of patients with BCR-ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms during pregnancy.

Expert Rev Hematol 2018 09 14;11(9):697-706. Epub 2018 Aug 14.

a University Clinic for Haematology, Oncology, Hemostaseology and Palliative Care, Johannes Wesling Medical Center Minden, UKRUB, University of Bochum , Minden , Germany.

Introduction: The management of pregnancy during the course of BCR-ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) is an increasingly relevant problem. This is mostly due to earlier and better diagnosis of MPN together with the trend in modern society toward delaying pregnancy until later life. Areas Covered: The present review aims to provide an overview of the available literature data concerning outcome of pregnancy in MPN. Possible therapeutic modalities are discussed and a management algorithm is suggested. Expert Commentary: Most data are available for women with essential thrombocythemia and we present 793 published pregnancies. Live birth rate is 68.5% with 31.5% miscarriages. Spontaneous abortion is the most frequent complication with 26.5%, followed by stillbirth with 4.8%. Maternal complications are relatively low with 1.8% major thrombotic and 2.4% major bleeding events. In polycythemia vera the situation is clinically more complex and roughly 150 pregnancy reports are available. There is very limited information in primary myelofibrosis with less than 20 reported pregnancies. With active management including control of blood counts, aspirin, low molecular weight heparin and in higher risk cases interferon alpha pregnancy in MPN is manageable with a success rate not far below the normal situation with 80%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17474086.2018.1506325DOI Listing
September 2018

[Thrombocytosis and thrombocytopenia - background and clinical relevance].

Dtsch Med Wochenschr 2017 Nov 16;142(23):1732-1743. Epub 2017 Nov 16.

Due to the central role of platelets in hemostasis, the clinical relevance of quantitative changes in platelet counts (< 150 G/l or > 450 G/l) may be significant. Thrombopoesis (= production of platelets) occurs in the bone marrow, and the hormone thrombopoetin takes control on its regulation.In thrombocytosis, primary causes have to be distinguished from the far more common reactive (= secondary) reasons. The most important form of primary thrombocytosis occurs in myeloproliferative neoplasms especially in essential thrombocythemia (ET). Clinically, increased thrombophilia, microcirculatory disturbances as well as an increased hemorrhagic diathesis occur in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms. According to the WHO diagnosis criteria 2016 standard diagnostic procedure in myeloproliferative neoplasms includes bone marrow biopsy and the detection of one of the acquired and typical MPN mutations in the JAK2, MPL or CALR gene.In contrast, patients with thrombocytopenia more often suffer from bleeding complications, however, in antiphospholipid syndrome or thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) thrombotic events occur in spite of a low platelet count. Generally it makes sense to differentiate between pathological changes in thrombopoesis and the various causes of increased peripheral platelet turnover. Concerning differential diagnosis a careful anamnesis is very important in order to get hints like drugs associated with thrombocytopenia, signs of infection or autoimmune disorders. As an initial diagnostic approach we recommend examination of the blood smear in order to exclude pseudothrombocytopenia or disorderes like thrombotic microangiopathy, myelodysplasia or other hematological diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0042-111096DOI Listing
November 2017
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