Publications by authors named "Luciana Cafforio"

10 Publications

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Philadelphia-like acute lymphoblastic leukemia is associated with minimal residual disease persistence and poor outcome. First report of the minimal residual disease-oriented GIMEMA LAL1913.

Haematologica 2021 Jun 1;106(6):1559-1568. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

GIMEMA Data Center, Fondazione GIMEMA Franco Mandelli Onlus, Rome, Italy.

Early recognition of Ph-like acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases could impact on the management and outcome of this subset of B-lineage ALL. To assess the prognostic value of the Ph-like status in a pediatric-inspired, minimal residual disease (MRD)-driven trial, we screened 88 B-lineage ALL cases negative for the major fusion genes (BCR-ABL1, ETV6-RUNX1, TCF3-PBX1 and KTM2Ar) enrolled in the GIMEMA LAL1913 front-line protocol for adult BCR/ABL1-negative ALL. The screening - performed using the BCR/ABL1-like predictor - identified 28 Ph-like cases (31.8%), characterized by CRLF2 overexpression (35.7%), JAK/STAT pathway mutations (33.3%), IKZF1 (63.6%), BTG1 (50%) and EBF1 (27.3%) deletions, and rearrangements targeting tyrosine kinases or CRLF2 (40%). The correlation with outcome highlighted that: i) the complete remission (CR) rate was significantly lower in Ph-like compared to non-Ph-like cases (74.1% vs 91.5%, p=0.044); ii) at time point 2 (TP2), decisional for transplant allocation, 52.9% of Ph-like cases vs 20% of non-Ph-like were MRD-positive (p=0.025); iii) the Ph-like profile was the only parameter associated with a higher risk of being MRD-positive at TP2 (p=0.014); iv) at 24 months, Ph-like patients had a significantly inferior event-free and disease-free survival compared to non-Ph-like patients (33.5% vs 66.2%, p=0.005 and 45.5% vs 72.3%, p=0.062, respectively). This study documents that Ph-like patients have a lower CR rate, EFS and DFS, as well as a greater MRD persistence also in a pediatric-oriented and MRD-driven adult ALL protocol, thus reinforcing that the early recognition of Ph-like ALL patients at diagnosis is crucial to refine risk-stratification and to optimize therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2020.247973DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168510PMC
June 2021

Redefining the prognostic likelihood of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients with borderline percentage of immunoglobulin variable heavy chain region mutations.

Br J Haematol 2020 06 16;189(5):853-859. Epub 2020 Feb 16.

Haematology, Department of Translational and Precision Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

In chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), caution is warranted regarding the clinical implications of immunoglobulin variable heavy chain region (IGHV) rearrangements with a 'borderline' (BL) percentage of mutations (i.e. 97-97·9% IGHV identity). We analysed the IGHV mutational status in 759 untreated CLL patients (cohort 1). BL-CLL (n = 36, 5%) showed a time to first treatment (TFT) similar to that of M-CLL (n = 338) and significantly longer than that of UM-CLL (n = 385), despite the enrichment in subset #2 cases. In fact, CLLs belonging to subset #2 (n = 15/759, 2%) were significantly more frequent among BL-CLLs (n = 5/36, 14%), with a brief TFT. TFT of BL-CLL remained comparable to that of M-CLL also considering the 327 CLL patients evaluated at diagnosis. These findings were then validated in an independent cohort 2 of 759 newly diagnosed CLL patients (BL-CLL: n = 11, 1·4%) and in all newly diagnosed patients from cohorts 1 and 2 (n = 1 086, 84% stage A; BL-CLL: n = 47, 4·3%). BL-CLL at diagnosis showed a biological profile comparable to that of M-CLL with a low frequency of unfavourable prognostic markers, except for a significant enrichment in subset #2. Our data suggest that the prognosis of BL-CLL is good and similar to that of M-CLL, with the exception of subset #2 cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16434DOI Listing
June 2020

Minimal Residual Disease in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: A New Goal?

Front Oncol 2019 29;9:689. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Hematology, Department of Translational and Precision Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), there is a growing interest for minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring, due to the availability of drug combinations capable of unprecedented complete clinical responses. The standardized and most commonly applied methods to assess MRD in CLL are based on flow cytometry (FCM) and, to a lesser extent, real-time quantitative PCR (RQ-PCR) with allele-specific oligonucleotide (ASO) primers of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes (IgH). Promising results are being obtained using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) and next generation sequencing (NGS)-based approaches, with some advantages and a potential higher sensitivity compared to the standardized methodologies. Plasma cell-free DNA can also be explored as a more precise measure of residual disease from all different compartments, including the lymph nodes. From a clinical point of view, CLL MRD quantification has proven an independent prognostic marker of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) after chemoimmunotherapy as well as after allogeneic transplantation. In the era of mechanism-driven drugs, the paradigms of CLL treatment are being revolutionized, challenging the use of chemoimmunotherapy even in first-line. The continuous administration of ibrutinib single agent has led to prolonged PFS and OS in relapsed/refractory and treatment naïve CLL, including those with deletion/mutation or unmutated genes, though the clinical responses are rarely complete. More recently, chemo-free combinations of venetoclax+rituximab, venetoclax+obinutuzumab or ibrutinib+venetoclax have been shown capable of inducing undetectable MRD in the bone marrow, opening the way to protocols exploring a MRD-based duration of treatment, aiming at disease eradication. Thus, beside a durable disease control desirable particularly for older patients and/or for those with comorbidities, a MRD-negative complete remission is becoming a realistic prospect for CLL patients in an attempt to obtain a long-lasting eradication and possibly cure of the disease. Here we discuss the standardized and innovative technical approaches for MRD detection in CLL, the clinical impact of MRD monitoring in chemoimmunotherapy and chemo-free trials and the future clinical implications of MRD monitoring in CLL patients outside of clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2019.00689DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6727319PMC
August 2019

Unravelling the suboptimal response of TP53-mutated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia to ibrutinib.

Br J Haematol 2019 02 18;184(3):392-396. Epub 2018 Oct 18.

Department of Cellular Biotechnologies and Haematology, "Sapienza" University, Rome, Italy.

TP53-disrupted chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) patients show a suboptimal long-term response to ibrutinib. We hereby report that ibrutinib-induced in vitro apoptosis and proliferation inhibition were significantly lower in TP53-mutated (TP53-M) CLL cells compared to TP53 wild-type cells. Contrariwise, venetoclax effectively killed TP53-M cells. Gene expression profile analysis of TP53-M cells revealed a downmodulation of B-cell receptor (BCR)-related genes and an upmodulation of genes with anti-apoptotic/pro-survival activity, suggesting that the survival and proliferation of TP53-M cells are less dependent on the BCR pathway. These observations further support the use of drug combinations for the optimal management of TP53-M CLL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.15613DOI Listing
February 2019

In chronic lymphocytic leukaemia with complex karyotype, major structural abnormalities identify a subset of patients with inferior outcome and distinct biological characteristics.

Br J Haematol 2018 04 2;181(2):229-233. Epub 2018 Apr 2.

Haematology Section, Department of Medical Sciences, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Arcispedale S. Anna, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.

Complex karyotype (CK) is a negative prognostic factor in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). However, CK is a heterogeneous cytogenetic category. Unbalanced rearrangements were present in 73·3% of 90 CLL patients with CK (i.e. ≥3 chromosome aberrations in the same clone), and were associated with a shorter overall survival (P = 0·025) and a shorter time to first treatment (P = 0·043) by multivariate analysis. Patients with unbalanced rearrangements presented a distinct mRNA expression profile. In conclusion, CLL patients with unbalanced rearrangements might represent a subset of very high-risk CLL patients with distinct clinical and biological characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.15174DOI Listing
April 2018

Clinicopathological features and outcome of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in Chinese patients.

Oncotarget 2017 Apr;8(15):25455-25468

Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, China.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is uncommon in Chinese population and its biology, genetics and treatment outcome in Chinese patients have not been comprehensively investigated. In this study, we studied the clinicopathological features and outcome of 212 Chinese patients with newly diagnosed CLL in Hong Kong and Singapore. The median age at diagnosis was 64 years. The majority of patients presented with early-stage disease (Binet stage A, 56.1%). Del(13)(q14) was the most frequent abnormality (41.7%) detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis. Del(17p) and TP53 gene mutations were detected in 7.8% and 8.2% of patients, respectively. MYD88 mutations were found at a higher frequency (11.5%) than expected. CLL with unmutated variable region of the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes (IGHV) occurred in only 31.2% of cases, and was associated with advanced-stage disease (p <0.01) and adverse FISH abnormalities (p<0.01). With a median follow-up of 39 months, the median overall survival (OS) was 108 months. The presence of del(17p) or TP53 mutations was associated with a significantly shorter time to first treatment and an inferior OS (p <0.01). Unmutated IGHV was also associated with a significantly shorter time to treatment (p <0.01). Among patients who required treatment, the median OS and progression-free survival (PFS) were 107 and 23 months, respectively. The presence of del(17p) was associated with a significantly inferior OS and PFS (p <0.01). In summary, Chinese CLL patients had similar genetic aberrations at diagnosis compared with those of Western populations. FISH abnormalities are major factors affecting outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5421943PMC
April 2017

Immunoglobulin gene rearrangements in Chinese and Italian patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Oncotarget 2016 Apr;7(15):20520-31

Department of Cellular Biotechnologies and Hematology, "Sapienza" University, Rome, Italy.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia in the Western world, whereas in Asia the incidence is about 10 times lower. The basis for this ethnic and geographic variation is currently unknown. The aim of this study was to characterize IGHVDJ rearrangements and stereotype of the HCDR3 region in a series of 623 Chinese CLL, in order to identify possible differences in immunoglobulin gene usage and their potential pathogenetic implications. Chinese CLL were compared to 789 Italian CLL. Chinese patients showed a higher proportion of mutated IGHV and a more frequent usage of IGHV3-7, IGHV3-74, IGHV4-39 and IGHV4-59 genes. A significantly lower usage of IGHV1-69 and IGHV1-2 was documented, with comparable IGHV3-21 frequency (3% Chinese vs 3.8% Italian CLL). The proportion of known stereotyped receptors was significantly lower in Chinese (19.7%) than in Italian CLL (25.8%), despite a significantly higher frequency of subset #8 (p= 0.0001). Moreover, new paired clusters were identified among Chinese cases. Overall, these data support a potential different antigenic exposure between Eastern and Western CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7819DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4991472PMC
April 2016

Inter- and intra-patient clonal and subclonal heterogeneity of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: evidences from circulating and lymph nodal compartments.

Br J Haematol 2016 Feb 24;172(3):371-383. Epub 2015 Nov 24.

Division of Haematology, Department of Cellular Biotechnologies and Haematology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

Whole exome sequencing and copy number aberration (CNA) analysis were performed on cells taken from peripheral blood (PB) and lymph nodes (LN) of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Of 64 non-silent somatic mutations, 54 (84·4%) were clonal in both compartments, 3 (4·7%) were PB-specific and 7 (10·9%) were LN-specific. Most of the LN- or PB-specific mutations were subclonal in the other corresponding compartment (variant frequency 0·5-5·3%). Of 41 CNAs, 27 (65·8%) were shared by both compartments and 7 (17·1%) were LN- or PB-specific. Overall, 6 of 9 cases (66·7%) showed genomic differences between the compartments. At subsequent relapse, Case 10, with 6 LN-specific lesions, and Case 100, with 6 LN-specific and 8 PB-specific lesions, showed, in the PB, the clonal expansion of LN-derived lesions with an adverse impact: SF3B1 mutation, BIRC3 deletion, del8(p23·3-p11·1), del9(p24·3-p13·1) and gain 2(p25·3-p14). CLL shows an intra-patient clonal heterogeneity according to the disease compartment, with both LN and PB-specific mutations/CNAs. The LN microenvironment might contribute to the clonal selection of unfavourable lesions, as LN-derived mutations/CNAs can appear in the PB at relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.13859DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4732889PMC
February 2016