Publications by authors named "Licia Ottaviani"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Phase II Study of Bortezomib as a Single Agent in Patients with Previously Untreated or Relapsed/Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia Ineligible for Intensive Therapy.

Leuk Res Treatment 2013 28;2013:705714. Epub 2013 Apr 28.

Department of Hematology, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Viale Oxford 81, 00133 Rome, Italy.

We explored the safety and efficacy of bortezomib given as single agent in patients with untreated or relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML), unfit for conventional chemotherapy. Fourteen patients were treated with bortezomib 1.5 mg/m(2) administered twice weekly for two weeks, every 3 weeks. Median age was 70 years (range 60-81) and the median number of cycles delivered was 2 (range 1-4). Of 13 evaluable patients, in 8 (61%), the administration of bortezomib resulted in an antileukemic effect as demonstrated by peripheral blood and/or bone marrow blast reduction. In 4 (50%) of these 8, a decrease by 37% of transfusion requirement was also observed (P = 0.009). Overall median survival was 4 months (range 0.25-10). Neurotoxicity was the most frequent adverse event with 7 of 13 (54%) patients experiencing grades 3-4 peripheral neuropathy. Neurotoxicity led to treatment discontinuation in 4 (57%) of 7. In conclusion, the observed anti-leukemic activity of bortezomib indicates that there is room for designing additional studies in which combination with other chemotherapeutic agents should be considered. Clinical registration no.: EUDRACT 2006-006923-38.
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June 2013

Cytogenetic and molecular diagnostic characterization combined to postconsolidation minimal residual disease assessment by flow cytometry improves risk stratification in adult acute myeloid leukemia.

Blood 2010 Sep 14;116(13):2295-303. Epub 2010 Jun 14.

Hematology, Fondazione Policlinico Tor Vergata, Viale Oxford 81, Rome, Italy.

A total of 143 adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with available karyotype (K) and FLT3 gene mutational status were assessed for minimal residual disease (MRD) by flow cytometry. Twenty-two (16%) patients had favorable, 115 (80%) intermediate, and 6 (4%) poor risk K; 19 of 129 (15%) carried FLT3-ITD mutation. Considering postconsolidation MRD status, patients with good/intermediate-risk K who were MRD(-) had 4-year relapse-free survival (RFS) of 70% and 63%, and overall survival (OS) of 84% and 67%, respectively. Patients with good- and intermediate-risk K who were MRD(+) had 4-year RFS of 15% and 17%, and OS of 38% and 23%, respectively (P < .001 for all comparisons). FLT3 wild-type patients achieving an MRD(-) status, had a better outcome than those who remained MRD(+) (4-year RFS, 54% vs 17% P < .001; OS, 60% vs 23%, P = .002). Such an approach redefined cytogenetic/genetic categories in 2 groups: (1) low-risk, including good/intermediate K-MRD(-) with 4-year RFS and OS of 58% and 73%, respectively; and (2) high risk, including poor-risk K, FLT3-ITD mutated cases, good/intermediate K-MRD(+) categories, with RFS and OS of 22% and 17%, respectively (P < .001 for all comparisons). In AML, the integrated evaluation of baseline prognosticators and MRD improves risk-assessment and optimizes postremission therapy.
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September 2010

Toward optimization of postremission therapy for residual disease-positive patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

J Clin Oncol 2008 Oct 7;26(30):4944-51. Epub 2008 Jul 7.

Hematology, Policlinico Tor Vergata and Ospedale S Eugenio, Rome, Italy.

Purpose: Despite the identification of several baseline prognostic indicators, the outcome of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is generally heterogeneous. The effects of autologous (AuSCT) or allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (SCT) are still under evaluation. Minimal residual disease (MRD) states may be essential for assigning patients to therapy-dependent risk categories.

Patients And Methods: By multiparametric flow cytometry, we assessed the levels of MRD in 142 patients with AML who achieved complete remission after intensive chemotherapy.

Results: A level of 3.5 x 10(-4) residual leukemia cells (RLCs) after consolidation therapy was established to identify MRD-negative and MRD-positive cases, with 5-year relapse-free survival (RFS) rates of 60% and 16%, respectively (P < .0001) and overall survival (OS) rates of 62% and 23%, respectively (P = .0001). Of patients (n = 77) who underwent a transplantation procedure (56 AuSCT and 21 SCT procedures); 42 patients (55%) were MRD positive (28 patients who underwent AuSCT and 14 patients who underwent SCT) and 35 patients (45%) were MRD negative (28 patients who underwent AuSCT and seven who underwent SCT). MRD-negative patients had a favorable prognosis, with only eight (22%) of 35 patients experiencing relapse, whereas 29 (69%) of 42 MRD-positive patients experienced relapse (P < .0001). In this high-risk group of 42 patients, we observed that 23 (82%) of 28 of those who underwent AuSCT experienced relapse, whereas six (43%) of 14 who underwent SCT experienced relapse (P = .014). Patients who underwent SCT also had a higher likelihood of RFS (47% v 14%).

Conclusion: A threshold of 3.5 x 10(-4) RLCs postconsolidation is critical for predicting disease outcome. MRD-negative patients have a good outcome regardless of the type of transplant they receive. In the MRD-positive group, AuSCT does not improve prognosis and SCT represents the primary option.
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October 2008

Evaluation of the prognostic relevance of L-selectin and ICAM1 expression in myelodysplastic syndromes.

Eur J Haematol 2008 Feb 17;80(2):107-14. Epub 2007 Nov 17.

Department of Biopatologia e Diagnostica per Immagini, Policlinico Tor Vergata and Ospedale S.Eugenio, Rome, Italy.

Objectives: An aberrant pattern of expression of L-selectin and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1) may characterise CD34+ blast cells in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and secondary acute myeloid leukaemia (sAML).

Methods: In a three-colour flow cytometric assay, we evaluated the expression of L-selectin and ICAM1 on CD34+ blast cells from the bone marrow (BM) of 66 MDS patients; for the purpose of comparison CD34+ blast cells of 18 sAML and CD34+ stem cells of 17 normal donors were also analysed.

Results: The ratio of L-selectin/ICAM1 expression was identified as a parameter correlated with the percentage of BM blast infiltration and the time to leukaemic progression among MDS patients. In fact, the values of L-selectin/ICAM1 ratio were inversely correlated with the BM blast infiltration (r = -0.34, P = 0.004). Furthermore, MDS patients with a baseline ratio <1 had a higher leukaemic progression rate (41% vs. 19%, P = 0.008); the actuarial risk of disease progression for this subgroup of MDS patients was also higher (64% vs. 11% at 2 yr, P = 0.002). Furthermore, in two patients a decrease of the ratio was observed when overt leukaemic transformation occurred; conversely, restoration of a normal ratio was observed in two patients after a chemotherapy-induced remission.

Conclusion: (i) L-selectin is defective in the stem cell compartment of MDS and sAML, whereas ICAM1 is overexpressed; (ii) the ratio of their expression has a prognostic role; and (iii) a ratio <1 significantly predicts progression to overt leukaemia in MDS patients.
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February 2008

Monitoring of minimal residual disease in adult acute myeloid leukemia using peripheral blood as an alternative source to bone marrow.

Haematologica 2007 May;92(5):605-11

Dept. of Hematology, Policlinico Tor Vergata and Ospedale S.Eugenio, Rome, Italy.

Background And Objectives: To date, bone marrow (BM) is the most common source of cells to use in order to assess minimal residual disease (MRD) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In the present study, we investigated whether peripheral blood (PB) could be an alternative source of cells for monitoring MRD in AML.

Design And Methods: Fifty patients with AML were monitored for MRD after the achievement of complete remission. Using multiparametric flow cytometry we compared the levels of MRD in 50 and 48 pairs of BM and PB after induction and consolidation, respectively.

Results: After induction and consolidation therapy, the findings in BM and PB were significantly concordant (r=0.86 and 0.82, respectively, p<0.001 for both comparisons). The cut-off value of residual leukemic cells in PB which correlated with outcome was 1.5x10 (-4). Thirty-three of 43 (77%) patients with >1.5x10 (-4)residual leukemic cells in PB after induction had a relapse, whereas the seven patients with lower levels did not (p=0.0002). After consolidation, 38 patients had a level of MRD >1.5x10 (-4)and 31 (82%) had a relapse; nine out of the remaining ten patients, whose levels of MRD were below 1.5x10 (-4), are still relapse-free (p=0.00006). In multivariate analysis, PB MRD status at the end of consolidation was found to have a significant effect on relapse-free survival (p=0.036).

Interpretation And Conclusions: These preliminary results indicate that: (i) PB evaluation can integrate BM assessment for MRD detection in patients with AML; (ii) PB MRD status at the end of consolidation therapy may provide useful prognostic information.
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May 2007

Clinical significance of ZAP-70 protein expression in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Blood 2006 Aug 6;108(3):853-61. Epub 2006 Apr 6.

Cattedra di Ematologia, Università Tor Vergata, Ospedale S Eugenio, Via Fiume Giallo, 430 MA, 00144 Roma, Rome, Italy.

The clinical course of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) is variable, and novel biologic parameters need to be added to the clinical staging systems to predict an indolent or aggressive outcome. We investigated the 70-kDa zeta-associated protein (ZAP-70), CD38, soluble CD23 (sCD23), and cytogenetics in 289 patients with B-CLL. Both a shorter progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were observed in ZAP-70(+) (P < .001), in CD38(+) (P < .001) and in sCD23(+) patients (P < .001 and P = .013, respectively). ZAP-70(+)CD38(+) or ZAP-70(+) patients with an unmutated IgV(H) status showed both a shorter PFS (P < .001) and OS (P < .001 and P < .001, respectively) as compared with ZAP-70(-)/CD38(-) or ZAP-70(-) patients with mutated IgV(H) genes. Discordant patients showed an intermediate outcome. Note, ZAP-70(+) patients even if CD38(-) or mutated showed a shorter PFS, whereas ZAP-70(-) patients even if CD38(+) or unmutated had a longer PFS. Furthermore, ZAP-70 positivity was associated with a shorter PFS both within normal karyotype (P < .001) and within the poor-risk cytogenetic subset (P = .02). The predictive value of ZAP-70 expression was confirmed in multivariate analysis. Thus, ZAP-70 protein determined by flow cytometry improves the prognostic significance of cytogenetics and appears to be a better predictor of outcomes than IgV(H) gene mutational status. On this line, we recommend and are also interested in conducting a prospective randomized trial of early intervention versus observation for ZAP-70(+) patients.
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August 2006

Combined analysis of bcl-2 and MDR1 proteins in 256 cases of acute myeloid leukemia.

Haematologica 2004 Aug;89(8):934-9

Cattedra di Ematologia, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Divisione di Ematologia, Osp.S.Eugenio, p.le dell'Umanesimo 10, 00144 Rome, Italy.

Background And Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the expression of MDR1 and bcl-2 proteins in de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Design And Methods: The expression of MDR1 and bcl-2 was analyzed by flow cytometry in a large series of 256 consecutive cases of AML. The results were recorded as percentage of positivity and relative mean fluorescence intensity (rMFI). To determine individual protein levels, an index which equals the product of the percentage of positive cells and rMFI was generated.

Results: Using cut-offs of >or=800 and 300 of the index value for bcl-2 and MDR1 expression, respectively, we identified 4 different classes of AML: 1) double negative; 2) single positive bcl-2+/MDR1-; 3) single positive bcl-2-/MDR1+; 4) double positive. The highest incidence of double negative cases was observed in the M2 class whereas double positive cases occurred more frequently in the M4, M5 and M6 subgroups. Seventy-eight percent and 71% of M0 and M1, respectively, showed single positive bcl-2+/MDR1- expression (p = 0.00001). Twenty-eight percent of patients belonging to the double positive category achieved complete remission, whereas for double negative, single positive bcl-2+MDR1- and single positive bcl-2-/MDR1+ category, the complete remission rate was 69%, 52% and 56%, respectively (p = 0.00038). In multivariate analysis, the double positive status independently affected frequency of complete remission (p = 0.008).

Interpretation And Conclusions: Bcl-2 is over-expressed in CD34+ AML; conversely, MDR1 is over-expressed in CD34- AML. However, the combined expression of the two proteins defines a subset of AML with a very poor prognosis.
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August 2004