Publications by authors named "Manuela Zanni"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Simplified Geriatric Assessment in Older Patients With Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma: The Prospective Elderly Project of the Fondazione Italiana Linfomi.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Apr 12;39(11):1214-1222. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Division of Medical Oncology and Immune-related Tumors, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano (CRO) IRCCS, Aviano (PN), Italy.

Purpose: To prospectively validate the use of a simplified geriatric assessment (sGA) at diagnosis and to integrate it into a prognostic score for older patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

Methods: We conducted the prospective Elderly Project study on patients with DLBCL older than 64 years who underwent our Fondazione Italiana Linfomi original geriatric assessment (oGA) (age, Cumulative Illness Rating Scale for Geriatrics, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living) before treatment. Treatment choice was left to the physician's discretion. The primary end point was overall survival (OS) (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02364050).

Results: We analyzed 1,163 patients (median age 76 years), with a 3-year OS of 65% (95% CI, 62 to 68). Because at multivariate analysis on oGA, age > 80 years retained an independent correlation with OS, we also developed a new, simplified version of the GA (sGA) that classifies patients as fit (55%), unfit (28%), and frail (18%) with significantly different 3-year OS of 75%, 58%, and 43%, respectively. The sGA groups, International Prognostic Index, and hemoglobin levels were independent predictors of OS and were used to build the Elderly Prognostic Index (EPI). Three risk groups were identified: low (23%), intermediate (48%), and high (29%), with an estimated 3-year OS of 87% (95% CI, 81 to 91), 69% (95% CI, 63 to 73), and 42% (95% CI, 36 to 49), respectively. The EPI was validated using an independent external series of 328 cases.

Conclusion: The Elderly Project validates sGA as an objective tool to assess fitness status and defines the new EPI to predict OS of older patients with DLBCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02465DOI Listing
April 2021

Lenalidomide maintenance after autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in mantle cell lymphoma: results of a Fondazione Italiana Linfomi (FIL) multicentre, randomised, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Jan 22;8(1):e34-e44. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

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

Background: Fit patients with mantle cell lymphoma aged 18-65 years are usually given cytarabine and rituximab-based induction regimens followed by autologous haematopoetic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). We investigated whether post-autologous HSCT maintenance with lenalidomide improves progression-free survival in this population.

Methods: This open-label, randomised, multicentre, phase 3 trial was done at 49 haematology and oncology units in Italy and Portugal. Eligible patients had Ann Arbor stage III or IV treatment-naive mantle cell lymphoma (or stage II plus bulky disease [≥5 cm] or B symptoms), and had evidence of cyclin D1 overexpression or the translocation t(11;14)(q13;q32). Patients were aged 18-59 years with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status 0-3, or aged 60-65 years with ECOG 0-2. After an optional prephase with vincristine and steroids (intravenous vincristine 1·4 mg/m on day 1, oral prednisone 100 mg [total dose] on days 1-5), patients were given three courses of R-CHOP (21-day cycle, intravenous rituximab 375 mg/m on day 1; intravenous doxorubicin 50 mg/m, vincristine 1·4 mg/m, and cyclophosphamide 750 mg/m on day 2; oral prednisone 100 mg/m on day 2-6). Patients then received one cycle of high-dose CTX (intravenous cyclophosphamide 4 g/m on day 1, intravenous rituximab 375 mg/m on day 4). After restaging, patients received two cycles of R-HD-cytarabine (high-dose intravenous cytarabine 2 g/m every 12 h on days 1-3, intravenous rituximab 375 mg/m on days 4 and 10). Patients with complete remission or partial remission proceeded to autologous HSCT and responding patients (complete remission or partial remission) with haematological recovery were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive 24 courses of oral lenalidomide maintenance (15 mg per day for patients with platelets >100 × 10 cells per L or 10 mg per day for platelets 60-100 × 10 cells per L, days 1-21 every 28 days) for 24 months, or observation. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival, measured in the randomised population. This study is registered with EudraCT (2009-012807-25) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02354313).

Findings: Between May 4, 2010, and Aug 24, 2015, 303 patients were screened for inclusion and 300 patients were enrolled (median age 57 years, IQR 51-62; 235 [78%] male). 95 patients were excluded before randomisation, mostly due to disease progression, adverse events, and inadequate recovery. 104 patients were randomly assigned to the lenalidomide maintenance group and 101 patients to the observation group. 11 (11%) of 104 patients assigned to lenalidomide did not start treatment (3 withdrew, 6 adverse events or protocol breach, 2 lost to follow-up). At a median follow-up of 38 months after randomisation (IQR 24-50), 3-year progression-free survival was 80% (95% CI 70-87) in the lenalidomide group versus 64% (53-73) in the observation group (log-rank test p=0·012; hazard ratio 0·51, 95% CI 0·30-0·87). 41 (39%) of 104 patients discontinued lenalidomide for reasons including death or progression. Treatment-related deaths were recorded in two (2%) of 93 patients in the lenalidomide group (1 pneumonia, 1 thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura), and one (1%) of 101 in the observation group (pneumonia). 59 (63%) of 93 patients in the lenalidomide group had grade 3-4 haematological adverse events versus 12 (12%) of 101 patients in the observation group (p<0·0001). 29 (31%) of 93 patients in the lenalidomide group and eight (8%) of 101 patients in the observation group had grade 3-4 non-haematological adverse events (p<0·0001), of which infections were the most common.Serious adverse events were reported in 22 (24%) of 93 patients in the lenalidomide group and five (5%) of 101 patients in the observation group. Pneumonia and other infections were the most common serious adverse events.

Interpretation: Despite non-negligibile toxicity, lenalidomide after autologous HSCT improved progression-free survival in patients with mantle cell lymphoma, highlighting the role of maintenance in mantle cell lymphoma.

Funding: Fondazione Italiana Linfomi and Celgene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30358-6DOI Listing
January 2021

Treatment of very high-risk classical Hodgkin Lymphoma: cases' selection from real life and critical review of the literature.

Acta Biomed 2020 05 25;91(S-5):13-22. Epub 2020 May 25.

Hematology Unit, Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo Hospital, Alessandria, Italy.

Over the last 4 decades, advances in radiation therapy and the addition of combination chemotherapy have significantly increased the cure rate of patients with HL, with a 5-year OS of about 90% . However, despite high rate of cure after first line of therapy, 5%-10% of HLs are refractory to the treatment, and 10-30% of patients have a disease relapse after a complete response (CR). Relapsed HL can be treated with salvage therapies with a long-lasting complete remission in 80% of cases. In recent years, novel drugs are available for the patients with relapsed/refractory HL, like Brentuximab Vedotin and immune checkpoint inhibitors. These drugs have been able to rescue a cohort of patients who subsequently could receive an allogeneic stem-cell transplant. Our cases have been chosen because they are representative of critical issues in the management of relapsed/refractory HL; our experiences are consistent with what reported by other Authors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23750/abm.v91iS-5.9911DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944652PMC
May 2020

Five-year results of the BEGEV salvage regimen in relapsed/refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma.

Blood Adv 2020 01;4(1):136-140

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Humanitas Cancer Center, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS), Rozzano, Milan, Italy.

The complete remission (CR) rate achieved with induction chemotherapy prior to autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) represents the strongest prognostic factor in relapsed/refractory (R/R) classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). By inducing a CR rate of 75%, the bendamustine, gemcitabine, vinorelbine (BEGEV) regimen represents an optimal chemotherapy regimen prior to ASCT. Presented here are the 5-year results of BEGEV followed by ASCT in R/R cHL. With a median follow-up of 5 years, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for the whole series (n = 59) were 59% and 78%, respectively. ASCT was performed in 43 of 49 responding patients (73% by intention to treat [ITT]; 88% by response to BEGEV) and resulted in 33 with continuous CR (56% by ITT; 77% of transplanted patients), 7 with disease relapse, and 3 with nonrelapse mortality. For patients who received transplants, the 5-year PFS and OS were 77% and 91%, respectively, with no significant difference between relapsed and refractory patients. No patient experienced secondary leukemia or myelodysplasia. In summary, the long-term efficacy data, the benefits for both relapsed and refractory patients, and the excellent safety profile provide a strong rationale for further development of the BEGEV regimen. This trial was registered at EudraCT as #2010-022169-91 and at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01884441.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000984DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6960479PMC
January 2020

Obinutuzumab and miniCHOP for unfit patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. A phase II study by Fondazione Italiana Linfomi.

J Geriatr Oncol 2020 01 8;11(1):37-40. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

Hematology Unit, Arcispedale S.Maria Nuova, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale - IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Dipartimento Chirurgico, Medico, Odontoiatrico e di Scienze Morfologiche con interesse Trapiantologico, Oncologico e di Medicina Rigenerativa, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate activity and safety of obinutuzumab-miniCHOP (Ga101-miniCHOP) combination in older patients with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) unfit to receive full dose immunochemotherapy.

Materials And Methods: We conducted a Simon's two-stage phase II multicenter trial to investigate response rate (primary endpoint) and safety of six courses of Ga101-miniCHOP in older patients with DLBCL (≥65 years), prospectively defined as unfit according to a simplified Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (sCGA).

Results: Overall, 34 patients were enrolled (median age 82 years; range 68-89), with 27 out of the 33 eligible patients completing all six planned courses. Complete Remission (CR) rate was reported in fourteen patients (42%). After a median follow-up of sixteen months, the two-year Progression Free and Overall Survival (PFS and OS) were 49% (95% Confidence Interval (CI), 28 to 67) and 68% (95% CI, 49 to 81), respectively. The most frequent grade 3-4 adverse event was neutropenia in thirteen patients (26%).

Conclusions: Based on the observed CR rate, study accrual was interrupted due to the very low probability of demonstrating the initial study hypothesis that Ga101-miniCHOP could improve results of historical data obtained with R-miniCHOP in this group of patients. Nonetheless, results achieved with the 33 treated patients confirm activity and good tolerability of the Ga101-miniCHOP regimen for older unfit adult patients with DLBCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2019.06.020DOI Listing
January 2020

Bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine combined with nonpegylated liposomal doxorubicin (MBVD) in elderly (≥70 years) or cardiopathic patients with Hodgkin lymphoma: a phase-II study from Fondazione Italiana Linfomi (FIL).

Leuk Lymphoma 2019 12 8;60(12):2890-2898. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

Hematology Unit, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

This phase-II study assessed activity and toxicity of substituting conventional doxorubicin with nonpegylated liposomal doxorubicin in the conventional ABVD regimen for the treatment of elderly or cardiopathic patients with HL. Stage I-IIA and IIB-IV patients were treated with three courses of MBVD plus radiotherapy, or six courses of MBVD, respectively, plus radiotherapy limited to bulky or residual disease areas. The primary endpoints were CR rate and the rate of cardiac events. Forty-seven patients were enrolled. Median age was 75 years, 13 had stage I-II disease. Overall, CR was achieved by 36 patients (77%, 95% CI: 62-88), 100% and 68% in stage I-II and III-IV, respectively. With a median follow-up of 40 months (IQR: 36-45). Three-year overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 70% and 43%, respectively. Cardiac events grades 3-5 were reported in two patients. In conclusion, MBVD's activity and safety profile was comparable to historical ABVD data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2019.1608529DOI Listing
December 2019

Single-agent panobinostat for relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: clinical outcome and correlation with genomic data. A phase 2 study of the Fondazione Italiana Linfomi.

Leuk Lymphoma 2018 12 4;59(12):2904-2910. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

n Fondazione Italiana Linfomi , Alessandria , Italy.

We investigated panobinostat 40 mg three times weekly in 35 adult patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Overall response rate and complete response were 17.1% and 11.4%, respectively. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival were 2.4 and 7.6 months, respectively. Calculated 12, 24 and 36 months PFS were 26%, 11% and 11%, respectively. Four patients who achieved a sustained CR, continued receiving panobinostat for an overall period of 44, 48, 50, 62 months. Thrombocytopenia grade 3 (5 patients) and 4 (24 patients) represented the main toxic effect, causing dose reduction or treatment suspension in 19 patients. Genomic analysis was unable to identify any relationship between mutations and response; TP53 mutation appeared not to impact the clinical outcome. Overall, panobinostat has a modest activity in R/R DLBCL patients, however it can induce very long lasting responses in some cases. Thrombocytopenia frequently limits the use of this agent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2018.1452208DOI Listing
December 2018

Randomized Trial Comparing R-CHOP Versus High-Dose Sequential Chemotherapy in High-Risk Patients With Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphomas.

J Clin Oncol 2016 11 31;34(33):4015-4022. Epub 2016 Oct 31.

Sergio Cortelazzo, Atto Billio, Andrea Piccin, and Giovanni Negri, Ospedale Centrale di Bolzano, Bolzano; Corrado Tarella and Riccardo Bruna, Azienda Ospedaliera Ordine Mauriziano and University of Turin; Marco Ladetto and Manuela Zanni, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria (AOU) Città della Salute e della Scienza, Turin; Alessandro Massimo Gianni, Paolo Corradini, and Massimo Di Nicola, Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, University of Milano; Andrés J.M. Ferreri, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute; Valentina Tabanelli and Stefano Pileri, Istituto Europeo di Oncologia; Alessandro Rambaldi, University of Milano, Milan; Anna Maria Barbui, Andrea Rossi, Giuseppe Gritti, Arianna Masciulli, Federica Delaini, Cristina Boschini, and Alessandro Rambaldi, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo; Caterina Patti and Antonino Mulé, Azienda Ospedali Riuniti Villa Sofia-Cervello, Palermo; Valerio Zoli, Ospedale San Camillo Forlanini, Rome; Claudia Castellino, Ospedale S. Croce e Carle, Cuneo; Francesco Di Raimondo, AOU Policlinico Vittorio Emanuele University of Catania, Catania; Fabio Benedetti, University of Verona; Marco Chilosi, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata Verona, Verona; Giorgio La Nasa, Ospedale Binaghi, Cagliari; Guido Gini, Ospedali Riuniti, Ancona; Livio Trentin, Azienda Ospedaliera-Università di Padova, Padua; Maurizio Frezzato, Ospedale San Bortolo, Vicenza; Leonardo Flenghi, Azienda Ospedaliera di Perugia, Perugia; and Simona Falorio, Ospedale Civile Spirito Santo, Pescara, Italy.

Purpose The benefit of high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) as first-line treatment in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphomas is still a matter of debate. To address this point, we designed a randomized phase III trial to compare rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP)-14 (eight cycles) with rituximab plus high-dose sequential chemotherapy (R-HDS) with ASCT. Patients and Methods From June 2005 to June 2011, 246 high-risk patients with a high-intermediate (56%) or high (44%) International Prognostic Index score were randomly assigned to the R-CHOP or R-HDS arm, and 235 were analyzed by intent to treat. The primary efficacy end point of the study was 3-year event-free survival, and results were analyzed on an intent-to-treat basis. Results Clinical response (complete response, 78% v 76%; partial response, 5% v 9%) and failures (no response, 15% v 11%; and early treatment-related mortality, 2% v 3%) were similar after R-CHOP versus R-HDS, respectively. After a median follow-up of 5 years, the 3-year event-free survival was 62% versus 65% ( P = .83). At 3 years, compared with the R-CHOP arm, the R-HDS arm had better disease-free survival (79% v 91%, respectively; P = .034), but this subsequently vanished because of late-occurring treatment-related deaths. No difference was detected in terms of progression-free survival (65% v 75%, respectively; P = .12), or overall survival (74% v 77%, respectively; P = .64). Significantly higher hematologic toxicity ( P < .001) and more infectious complications ( P < .001) were observed in the R-HDS arm. Conclusion In this study, front-line intensive R-HDS chemotherapy with ASCT did not improve the outcome of high-risk patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.67.2980DOI Listing
November 2016

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma genotyping on the liquid biopsy.

Blood 2017 04 17;129(14):1947-1957. Epub 2017 Jan 17.

Division of Hematology, Department of Translational Medicine, University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy.

Accessible and real-time genotyping for diagnostic, prognostic, or treatment purposes is increasingly impelling in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is shed into the blood by tumor cells undergoing apoptosis and can be used as source of tumor DNA for the identification of DLBCL mutations, clonal evolution, and genetic mechanisms of resistance. In this study, we aimed at tracking the basal DLBCL genetic profile and its modification upon treatment using plasma cfDNA. Ultra-deep targeted next generation sequencing of pretreatment plasma cfDNA from DLBCL patients correctly discovered DLBCL-associated mutations that were represented in >20% of the alleles of the tumor biopsy with >90% sensitivity and ∼100% specificity. Plasma cfDNA genotyping also allowed for the recovery of mutations that were undetectable in the tissue biopsy, conceivably because, due to spatial tumor heterogeneity, they were restricted to clones that were anatomically distant from the biopsy site. Longitudinal analysis of plasma samples collected under rituximab-cyclophosphamide-doxorubicin-vincristine-prednisone (R-CHOP) chemotherapy showed a rapid clearance of DLBCL mutations from cfDNA among responding patients. Conversely, among patients who were resistant to R-CHOP, basal DLBCL mutations did not disappear from cfDNA. In addition, among treatment-resistant patients, new mutations were acquired in cfDNA that marked resistant clones selected during the clonal evolution. These results demonstrate that cfDNA genotyping of DLBCL is as accurate as genotyping of the diagnostic biopsy to detect clonally represented somatic tumor mutations and is a real-time and noninvasive approach to tracking clonal evolution and the emergence of treatment-resistant clones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2016-05-719641DOI Listing
April 2017

Gastro-splenic fistula as a complication of chemotherapy for large B cell lymphoma.

Ann Ital Chir 2016 Jul 26;87. Epub 2016 Jul 26.

Aim: Gastro-splenic fistula is a rare entity in which malignant tumors are the primary cause, followed by perforated peptic ulcers and Crohn's disease.

Case Report: A 66 years old patient undergoing chemotherapy for gastric large cells B lymphoma presented fever, fatigue and worsening of general conditions. A CT scan showed the presence of an abdominal abscess resulting from a pathological communication between stomach and spleen.

Results: En - bloc splenectomy and gastric wedge resection was performed; gastric wall was sutured with a linear stapler. Postoperative stay was uneventful; alimentation was restarted 5 days after the surgical procedure, and the patient was discharged 2 days later

Conclusion: We have described an unusual case of gastric fistula complicating chemotherapy early diagnosed and successfully treated.

Key Words: Chemothera Gastrosplenic fistula, Lymphoma, Surgery.
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July 2016

Lenalidomide plus R-CHOP21 in elderly patients with untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: results of the REAL07 open-label, multicentre, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2014 Jun 13;15(7):730-7. Epub 2014 May 13.

Struttura Complessa Ematologia e Dipartimento Oncologia Medica, Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy.

Background: Up to 40% of elderly patients with untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) given a regimen of rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone every 21 days (R-CHOP21) relapse or develop refractory disease. Lenalidomide has high activity in relapsed or refractory aggressive B-cell lymphomas. In phase 2 of the REAL07 trial, we aimed to establish the safety and efficacy of the combination of lenalidomide and R-CHOP21 in elderly patients with untreated DLBCL.

Methods: REAL07 was an open-label, multicentre trial that was done in 13 centres in Italy and one in Germany. Eligible patients were aged 60-80 years; had newly diagnosed, untreated, CD20-positive, Ann Arbor stage II-IV DLBCL or grade 3b follicular lymphoma; had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2; had an International Prognostic Index (IPI) risk of low-intermediate, intermediate-high, or high; and were fit according to comprehensive geriatric assessment. Participants were to receive 15 mg oral lenalidomide on days 1-14 of six 21-day cycles, and standard doses of R-CHOP21 chemotherapy (375 mg/m(2) intravenous rituximab, 750 mg/m(2) intravenous cyclophosphamide, 50 mg/m(2) intravenous doxorubicin, and 1·4 mg/m(2) intravenous vincristine on day 1, and 40 mg/m(2) oral prednisone on days 1-5). The primary endpoint was frequency of overall response (complete response [CR] and partial response [PR]), which was assessed by (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) PET at the end of the treatment. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00907348.

Findings: 49 patients were included in phase 2: nine had been enrolled into phase 1 between Oct 23, 2008, and June 4, 2009, and had received the maximum tolerated dose of 15 mg lenalidomide; and 40 were enrolled into phase 2 between April 28, 2010, and June 3, 2011. 45 patients (92%, 95% CI 81-97) achieved a response (42 [86%] CR; three [6%] PR). Three patients (6%) did not respond and one (2%) died for reasons unrelated to treatment or disease. 277 (94%) of 294 planned cycles of lenalidomide and R-CHOP21 were completed. Grade 3-4 neutropenia was reported in 87 cycles (31%), grade 3-4 leukopenia in 77 (28%), and grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia in 35 (13%). No grade 4 non-haematological adverse events were reported. No patients died during the study as a result of toxic effects.

Interpretation: Lenalidomide with R-CHOP21 is effective and safe in elderly patients with untreated DLBCL.

Funding: Fondazione Italiana Linfomi and Celgene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(14)70191-3DOI Listing
June 2014

Lenalidomide plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone and rituximab is safe and effective in untreated, elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: a phase I study by the Fondazione Italiana Linfomi.

Haematologica 2013 Nov 28;98(11):1732-8. Epub 2013 Jun 28.

Despite improvements in standard therapy with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone for patients with untreated, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, up to 40% of these patients relapse. Lenalidomide alone or in combination with rituximab has been shown to be active in relapsed/refractory aggressive lymphomas. In this phase I study we determined the maximum tolerated dose of lenalidomide plus rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone in untreated, elderly (median age 68 years) patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Four lenalidomide doses (5, 10, 15, and 20 mg/day on days 1-14) allocated using the continual reassessment method were planned to be administered for 14 days in combination with each course of rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone for a total of six courses. Seven cohorts of patients (n=3 in each cohort) were treated (total n=21) at 10, 20, 15, 15, 15, 10, and 10 mg of lenalidomide. Dose-limiting toxicities occurred in seven patients during the first three courses of treatment. The third dose-level of lenalidomide (15 mg/day) was selected as the maximum tolerated dose, with an estimated probability of dose-limiting toxicities of 0.345 (95% credibility interval 0.164-0.553). Grade 3-4 hematologic adverse events were: neutropenia in 28% of the courses, thrombocytopenia in 9%, and anemia in 3%. Non-hematologic toxicities were moderate: grade 4 increase of creatinine phosphokinase (n=1), grade 3 cardiac (n=2), grade 3 neurological (n=3), and grade 3 gastrointestinal (n=1). In this phase I study, the overall response rate was 90%, with 81% achieving complete remission. This combination regimen appears safe in elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and its efficacy will be assessed in the ongoing phase II trial. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00907348.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2013.085134DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3815174PMC
November 2013

Rituximab-based pre-emptive treatment of molecular relapse in follicular and mantle cell lymphoma.

Ann Hematol 2013 Nov 5;92(11):1503-11. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Division of Hematology, AOU San Giovanni Battista, University of Torino, via Genova 3, 10126, Torino, Italy,

Pre-emptive rituximab (pRTX) might represent an effective approach for patients with follicular (FL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) experiencing molecular relapse (M-rel). However, available experience is still limited. We retrospectively collected FL and MCL cases that underwent pRTX with four weekly rituximab infusions (375 mg/m²) due to molecular persistence or M-rel. M-rel was assessed using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time quantitative PCR using the Bcl-1/IGH, Bcl-2/IGH or the immunoglobulin heavy chain rearrangement. Twenty-three occurrences of M-rel or persistence were treated in 18 patients (nine MCL and nine FL). The pRTX reinduced molecular remission (MR) in 17/23 cases (7/9 FL and 10/14 MCL). The median time to MR reinduction was 4.5 months (range 3-12), and the median duration of the first MR reinduction was 34 months (range 12-72). In five MCL cases, pRTX was used to treat subsequent M-rels, with success in four cases. No clinical relapses were seen within 2 years of successful reinduction of MR. Progression-free survival after pRTX was 64 % at a median follow-up of 6 years. pRTX was feasible and safe and effectively reinduced MR in FL and MCL patients (74 %). Prospective trials are needed to verify the clinical benefit of similar approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-013-1797-yDOI Listing
November 2013

Telomere loss in Philadelphia-negative hematopoiesis after successful treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia: evidence for premature aging of the myeloid compartment.

Mech Ageing Dev 2012 Jul 9;133(7):479-88. Epub 2012 Jun 9.

Division of Hematology, University of Turin, A.O.U. San Giovanni Battista, Turin, Italy.

Telomere shortening, a well-known marker of aging and cellular stress, occurs under several conditions in the hematopoietic compartment, including aplastic anemia and following iatrogenic noxae. We decided to verify whether pathological telomere erosion also arises in restored Philadelphia-negative (Ph-negative) hematopoiesis following successful treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Eighty-one CML patients in complete cytogenetic remission were compared to 76 age-matched healthy subjects. Myeloid cells of CML patients had shorter telomeres than controls (6521 bp vs 7233 bp, p<0.001). This difference was specific for the myeloid compartment, since it was not observed in lymphoid cells (6774 bp vs 6909 bp, p=0.620). Acquired Ph-negative cytogenetic abnormalities (p=0.010), lack of complete molecular remission (p=0.016) and age (p=0.013) were independent predictors of telomere shortening. Telomere dynamics were assessed over a median follow-up period of 22 months. We documented accelerated non-physiological ongoing telomere shortening in 17/59 CML patients (28%). Patients experiencing grade 2-4 hematological toxicity, during CML remission possessed significantly shorter telomeres compared to those lacking toxicity (p=0.005 for any toxicity, p=0.007 for anemia). CML patients suffer from significant and often ongoing telomere stress resulting in premature and selective aging of the myeloid compartment which might have long-term consequences on function and integrity of Ph-negative hematopoiesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2012.05.007DOI Listing
July 2012

Value of 18FDG PET scan in staging of ocular adnexal lymphomas: a large single-center experience.

Hematology 2012 Mar;17(2):76-84

Department of Clinical Hematology, Institut Curie, Paris, France.

Fluorine 18 deoxyglucose positron emission tomography ((18)FDG PET) is widely used in staging of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL), but very few studies have focused on its role in the initial staging of patients with ocular adnexal lymphoma (OAL). The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the role of (18)FDG PET in the diagnosis of ophthalmologic lymphoma. A retrospective review of all imaging records, including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and FDG PET, was performed. Forty-one OAL patients were included in the study. A pathologic review according to the World Health Organization classification showed 32 low-grade lymphoma patients (78%), including 26 mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphomas (63%). Ophthalmologic sites were intra-orbital + lacrimal gland in 24 patients (59%), conjunctival in 13 patients (32%), multiple in 4 cases, and bilateral in 6 patients. (18)FDG PET was positive in orbital and conjunctival sites in 68 and 35% of cases, respectively. (18)FDG PET positivity was correlated with pathologic sites detected by MRI in 22/30 patients (73%); (18)FDG PET positivity was correlated with pathologic sites detected by CT in 25/34 patients (73%). This study shows that (18)FDG PET has a lower sensitivity than MRI to detect ophthalmologic lymphoma, particularly in non-conjunctival sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/102453312X13221316477813DOI Listing
March 2012

Multiple myeloma shows no intra-disease clustering of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes.

Haematologica 2012 Jun 29;97(6):849-53. Epub 2011 Dec 29.

Division of Hematology, Department of Experimental Medicine and Oncology, University of Turin, Italy.

Background: Characterization of the immunoglobulin gene repertoire has improved our understanding of the immunopathogenesis of lymphoid tumors. Early B-lymphocyte precursors of multiple myeloma are known to exist and might be susceptible to antigenic drive.

Design And Methods: To verify this hypothesis, we collected a database of 345 fully readable multiple myeloma immunoglobulin sequences. We characterized the immunoglobulin repertoire, analyzed the somatic hypermutation load, and investigated for stereotyped receptor clusters.

Results: Compared to the normal immunoglobulin repertoire, multiple myeloma displayed only modest differences involving only a few genes, showing that the myeloma immunoglobulin repertoire is the least skewed among mature B-cell tumors. Median somatic hypermutation load was 7.8%; median length of complementarity determining-region 3 was 15.5 amino acids. Clustering analysis showed the absence of myeloma specific clusters and no similarity with published chronic lymphocytic leukemia or lymphoma subsets.

Conclusions: Analysis of multiple myeloma immunoglobulin repertoire does not support a pathogenetic role for antigen selection in this tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2011.052852DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3366649PMC
June 2012

Primary breast non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a large single center study of initial characteristics, natural history, and prognostic factors.

Am J Hematol 2009 Mar;84(3):133-9

Department of Clinical Hematology, Institut Curie, Paris, France.

The aims of this study were to define the initial pathological and clinical characteristics, and prognostic factors of patients with primary breast malignant lymphoma (PBL). All patients treated at the Institut Curie for lymphoma with breast involvement were reviewed. A pathological review of all cases was performed. Forty-five cases were selected in whom 38 cases were of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. A complete analysis was then performed on these 38 patients. Twenty out of 28 cases (71%) of cases were Bcl-2 positive and four out of 28 (14%) had a CD10 positive staining. Peculiar initial characteristics showed nodal involvement in 58% of the cases and two or more extra-nodal sites in 31% of the cases. Among the 37 patients for whom all data were available, and according to the International Prognostic Index, 19 patients (51%) were classified in the low-risk group, 5 cases (14%) in the low- to intermediate-risk group, 6 patients (16%) in the intermediate- to high-risk group, and 7 (19%) case in the high-risk group. At the end of initial therapy, 34 patients (89%) achieved CR. With a median follow-up of 96 months, 18 patients (47%) relapsed of whom 3 had a relapse in central nervous system site. The 5-year disease-free (DFS) and overall survivals (OS) were 54% and 61%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, the presence of 2 or more extranodal sites was prognostic for lower DFS (P = 0.0008) and OS (P = 0.09), and a performance status > or = 1 was prognostic for lower OS (P = 0.005). Finally, when our series was compared with a historical series of 111 patients with aggressive nodal lymphomas, we observed significant lower survival rates in localized PBL (P < 0.03). Initial breast localization has a pejorative impact on the outcome of patients with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL), with an impressive adverse influence of additional extranodal sites. These results suggest a specific management of NHL with breast involvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.21353DOI Listing
March 2009

A multicenter study of gemcitabine-containing regimen in relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma patients.

Anticancer Drugs 2008 Mar;19(3):309-15

Department of Clinical Hematology, Institut Curie, Paris, France.

The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a gemcitabine-containing regimen in pretreated Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) patients. Relapsed or refractory HL patients treated with gemcitabine, used alone or in combination with other cytotoxic agents, were retrospectively reviewed. Fifty-five patients were included in the study. Initial characteristics before gemcitabine administration were: Ann Arbor stage III-IV: 84%; International Prognostic Score less than 3 in 18/39 cases (46%); 31 primary refractory patients at the end of first-line therapy (56%); median number of previous chemotherapy regimens of 3. Twenty-nine patients received gemcitabine alone with a median maximal dose of 900 mg/m2 per injection (range: 300-1500 mg/m2). Gemcitabine was administered at a maximal dose of 1000 mg/m2 per injection (range: 650-1250) in combination with vinorelbine in 10 patients, oxaliplatin in 13 patients, and other drugs in three patients, with a median of six injections (range: 1-18). Reported toxicity was mainly hematologic. Overall response rate was 20% with 11% of complete remission. On univariate analysis, two adverse factors at progression were significant for response to gemcitabine-based regimen: stage III-IV disease and hemoglobin level was less than 10.5 g/dl. This study demonstrated the limited efficacy of gemcitabine-containing regimen in heavily pretreated HL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/cad.0b013e3282f46aecDOI Listing
March 2008

Rituximab improves the efficacy of high-dose chemotherapy with autograft for high-risk follicular and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: a multicenter Gruppo Italiano Terapie Innnovative nei linfomi survey.

J Clin Oncol 2008 Jul 19;26(19):3166-75. Epub 2008 May 19.

Dipartimento Medicina-Oncologia Sperimentale, Divisione Universitaria di Ematologia, Az. Osp. S. Giovanni Battista, Via Genova 3, 10126 Torino, Italy.

Purpose: To investigate the impact of adding rituximab to intensive chemotherapy with peripheral-blood progenitor cell (PBPC) autograft for high-risk diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLB-CL) and follicular lymphoma (FL).

Patients And Methods: Data were collected from 10 centers associated with Gruppo Italiano Terapie Innnovative nei Linfomi for 522 patients with DLB-CL and 223 patients with FL (median age, 47 years) who received the original or a modified high-dose sequential (HDS) chemotherapy regimen. HDS was delivered to 396 patients without (R-) and to 349 patients with (R+) rituximab; 154 (39%) and 178 patients (51%) in the R- and R+ subsets, respectively, underwent HDS for relapsed/refractory disease.

Results: A total of 355 R- (90%) and 309 R+ patients (88%) completed the final PBPC autograft. Early treatment-related mortality was 3.3% for R- and 2.8% for R+ (P = not significant). Two parameters significantly influenced the outcome: disease status at HDS, with 5-year overall survival (OS) projections of 69% versus 57% for diagnosis versus refractory/relapsed status, respectively, and rituximab addition, with 5-year OS of 69% versus 60% in the R+ versus R- groups, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, these two variables maintained an independent prognostic value. The marked benefit of rituximab was evident in patients receiving HDS as salvage treatment: the 5-year OS projections for R+ versus R- were, respectively, 64% versus 38%, for patients with refractory disease or early relapse and 71% versus 57%, for patients with late relapse, partial response, or second/third relapse.

Conclusion: The results of this large series indicate that rituximab should be included in the current practice of PBPC autograft for DLB-CL and FL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2007.14.4204DOI Listing
July 2008

Rituximab induces effective clearance of minimal residual disease in molecular relapses of mantle cell lymphoma.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2006 Dec;12(12):1270-6

Divisione di Ematologia, Dipartimento di Medicina ed Oncologia Sperimentale, Università di Torino, Torino, Italy.

Molecular remission (MR) is associated with improved outcome in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). If MR is not achieved, patients are at high risk of relapse. We retrospectively describe the molecular and clinical follow-ups of 4 patients with molecular relapses (M-rels) who were treated with rituximab. The 4 patients received rituximab-supplemented, high-dose sequential chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation as induction treatment and achieved clinical remission and MR. M-rel was defined as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positivity in 2 consecutive samples in the absence of clinical relapse. M-rels occurred at 3, 6, 39, and 52 months and were always confirmed by direct sequencing of the clonal rearrangement. Minimal residual disease was monitored by qualitative and real-time quantitative PCR. All patients received 4 courses of rituximab, with 2 additional infusions if PCR positivity remained. After 4-6 courses of rituximab, all patients re-entered MR. No clinical relapses were recorded at 3, 6, 18, and 62 months from treatment, although 1 patient had a second M-rel that was sensitive to rituximab. Our results indicate that rituximab is active against residual MCL cells and suggest that molecularly tailored maintenance therapy needs to be investigated in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2006.07.007DOI Listing
December 2006

Intensive chemotherapy in patients with lymphoma. Management of the risk of hyperuricemia.

Contrib Nephrol 2005 ;147:93-104

Dipartimento Medicina e Oncologia Sperimentale, Divisione Universitaria di Ematologia, Torino, Italy.

Intensive chemotherapy with stem cell autograft is a well-established salvage treatment for relapsed/refractory lymphoma patients aged less than 65 years and it is also an effective treatment option for high-risk patients at diagnosis. Clinical applicability of autograft has been greatly amplified by the use of peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC), whose administration is simple and feasible, and results in lower toxicity. In addition, the development of several prophylactic measures preventing extrahemopoietic toxicities has markedly improved the feasibility and tolerability of the approach. In particular, the risk of nephrotoxicity is no more a major problem in the autograft setting since the use of proper treatments for the management of hyperuricemia, including forced hydration along with urinary alkalinization and the administration of the recombinant urate oxidase drug rasburicase. The high-dose sequential (HDS) chemotherapy program is a typical example of an intensive chemotherapy with PBPC autograft. A 15-year experience with the HDS approach in 240 lymphoma patients is reported here. The results demonstrate the clinical efficacy of HDS, with prolonged survival both in relapsed/refractory patients (54% alive) and in those treated frontline (72% alive). In addition, a very low incidence of extrahemopoietic toxicities was observed. In particular, nephrotoxicity was almost abolished, with 2 patients displaying only mild and transient renal dysfunction. In conclusion, the reported results demonstrate the therapeutic efficacy of HDS in the treatment strategy for lymphoma and emphasize the importance of delivering intensive chemotherapy with all the prophylactic measures able to minimize nephrotoxicity and other potential extrahemopoietic toxicities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000082547DOI Listing
January 2005