Publications by authors named "Marta Bartezaghi"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Secukinumab Improves Patient Perception of Anxiety and Depression in Patients with Moderate to Severe Psoriasis: A Post hoc Analysis of the SUPREME Study.

Acta Derm Venereol 2020 12 3. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Dermatology Unit, Policlinico Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy.

This study evaluated whether secukinumab treatment for patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis correlates with improvements in symptoms of anxiety and depression. SUPREME was a 24-week, phase IIIb, multicentre, prospective study conducted across 50 centres in Italy with an extension period of up to 72 weeks. Assessments used were: Psoriasis Area Sever­ity Index (PASI), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) – Anxiety (HADS-A), and HADS – Depression (HADS-D) scores and Dermatology Quality Life Index (DLQI). Compared with baseline, a significantly greater proportion of patients who reported moderate to severe clinical symptoms of anxiety or depression (HADS-A or HADS-D ≥ 11) were free of moderate to severe symptoms at weeks 16 and 48. The PASI and DLQI scores reduced over time with secukinumab treatment. Psoriasis treatment with secukinumab for 48 weeks resulted in significantly improved skin clearance and a parallel improvement in symptoms of anxiety and depression, assessed by HADS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2340/00015555-3712DOI Listing
December 2020

Effectiveness of omalizumab in patients with severe allergic asthma with and without chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps: a PROXIMA study post hoc analysis.

Clin Transl Allergy 2020 26;10:25. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Personalized Medicine, Asthma and Allergy, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center IRCCS, Via Alessandro Manzoni 56, 20089 Rozzano, MI Italy.

Background: A significant proportion of patients with severe asthma may also suffer from nasal polyposis, which is commonly defined as chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP), the presence of which may adversely affect asthma treatment outcomes. The biologic agent omalizumab is effective as add-on therapy in patients with severe allergic asthma. The aim of this post hoc analysis of the PROXIMA study was to compare the efficacy of omalizumab between patients with severe allergic asthma, with and without comorbid CRSwNP.

Methods: PROXIMA was a prospective observational 2-part study conducted in Italy in adult patients with severe allergic asthma, where, in the second part, patients eligible for add-on omalizumab initiated treatment for 12 months. Patient baseline data such as comorbidities and history of exacerbations were collected. Outcomes were asthma control (Asthma Control Questionnaire [ACQ]), lung function (forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV]) and exacerbation rate. The post hoc analysis compared these outcomes between the cohort with comorbid CRSwNP and the cohort without CRSwNP.

Results: Of 123 patients included in this analysis, 17 (13.8%) were in the CRSwNP cohort. There was no significant difference between cohorts in baseline clinical characteristics or in change from baseline at 12 months in ACQ values,  % of predicted FEV or annual asthma exacerbation rate, although results were numerically in favor of the CRSwNP cohort versus the non-CRSwNP cohort. The proportion of patients who achieved an improvement in all three outcomes was numerically greater in the CRSwNP cohort (35.7% vs 23.0%).

Conclusions: In an observational real-world setting, add-on omalizumab for severe allergic asthma was effective in improving asthma control, lung function and in reducing exacerbations, including in those patients with CRSwNP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13601-020-00330-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7318524PMC
June 2020

Plasma Galectin-3 and urine proteomics predict FEV improvement in omalizumab-treated patients with severe allergic asthma: Results from the PROXIMA sub-study.

World Allergy Organ J 2020 Jan 24;13(1):100095. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Personalized Medicine Clinic Asthma & Allergy,Humanitas University, IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital, Rozzano, Italy.

Background: Patients with severe allergic asthma (SAA) when treated with omalizumab may exhibit different extent of response. Identifying biomarkers that can predict the extent of treatment effectiveness in patients can be useful in personalizing omalizumab treatment.

Methods: Patients from the longitudinal phase of the PROXIMA study were selected for this ancillary study. After 12 months of omalizumab treatment, patients were categorized according to their response to treatment as: "clinical responder" (Asthma Control Questionnaire [ACQ] total score <1 at Month 12 and/or with a reduction in number of exacerbation versus the previous year); "functional responder" (an increment of ≥0.1 L in forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV] at Month 12 versus baseline); and "super responder" (among clinical responders group, who also showed a functional response). Plasma galectin-3 (GAL-3) levels were quantified using a micro titer plate-based enzyme linked immunosorbent assay kit.

Results: The Majority of patients (86.36%) in sub-study population were identified as clinical responders. Of the total patients identified as clinical responders, 64.86% were identified as super responders A statistically significant difference in the baseline plasma GAL-3 levels between responders and non-responders was observed only in the functional responders group ( = 0.0446). Patients with plasma GAL-3 level of ≥11 ng/mL had a greater probability of being a super responder ( = 0.0118) or a functional responder ( = 0.0032).

Conclusion: Our findings support the use of plasma GAL-3 as a predictive marker to stratify responders and identify super responders and functional responders to omalizumab treatment in patients with severe allergic asthma using less invasive sample like plasma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.waojou.2019.100095DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6992845PMC
January 2020

Patient-reported outcomes in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with dual oral therapy: a multicenter, observational study from Italy.

Curr Med Res Opin 2020 04 9;36(4):555-562. Epub 2020 Jan 9.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

To assess patient-reported outcomes after two years of use of dual oral anti-diabetes drug (OAD) therapy in elderly people (≥65 years) with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) from Italy under real-life settings. 3-AGE was a prospective, non-interventional study in elderly people with T2DM inadequately controlled on metformin monotherapy (defined as glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c] 7.0-9.0%), in whom a second OAD was prescribed. Primary endpoint was to assess the physical and psychological symptoms associated with T2DM from baseline to 24 months using the Diabetes Symptom Check List revised (DSC-R) questionnaire. Patient's quality of life and health status, treatment satisfaction, consumption of healthcare resources, and physician satisfaction with treatment were also assessed (secondary endpoints) using validated questionnaires. Additionally, safety and clinical characteristics were also evaluated. The mean age of the study population (N = 860) was 71.5 ± 5.2 years. Addition of a second OAD significantly ( < .0001) reduced the DSC-R score from baseline (0.73 ± 0.68) to both Months 12 and 24 (0.63 ± 0.59 and 0.61 ± 0.56), and HbA1c from baseline (7.72% ± 0.54%) to Month 12 (6.95% ± 0.82%). Adding a second OAD improved quality of life and health status (baseline, 71.31 ± 15.16 to Month 12, 74.49 ± 13.64;  < .0001), patient's treatment satisfaction ( < .0001), and consumption of healthcare resources per patient. Physicians expressed good satisfaction with patients' treatment (across efficacy, tolerability and compliance domains) at Month 12. Overall, 32 adverse reactions (in 24 patients) and four hypoglycemic episodes were reported during the 24 months. Addition of a second OAD improved physical and psychological symptoms associated with T2DM and was well tolerated in elderly people under real-life settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03007995.2019.1707649DOI Listing
April 2020

Cardiovascular autonomic individual profile of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients and risk of extending cardiac monitoring after first dose fingolimod.

J Neurol Sci 2019 Oct 8;405:116423. Epub 2019 Aug 8.

Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, and Maternal and Child Health, University of Genova, Genova, Italy; IRCCS Maugeri Scientific Clinical Institutes, Genova Nervi-Pavia, Italy.

Fingolimod exerts its therapeutic effect in multiple sclerosis by modulating sphingosine-1P receptors which are expressed in the heart mediating fingolimod first dose effects. Understanding potential interactions of baseline characteristics and autonomic profile with fingolimod first dose effects may add novel safety information and help explain cases requiring extension of the 6-hour ECG monitoring period. We aimed at characterizing the patient population treated with the first dose of fingolimod in clinical practice in an observational, multicenter, prospective 6-hours (up to 24) study. ECG was recorded for 15 min before first fingolimod administration and for 6 h after. Heart rate (HR) and HR variability in the frequency domain were derived from ECG traces. Out of the 625 enrolled patients, 580 (92.8%) were discharged at the sixth hour after fingolimod first dose; 45 (7.2%) required monitoring extension. Data confirm the well characterized cardiovascular fingolimod profile upon treatment initiation. Ten (1.6%) patients showed an atrioventricular block, all asymptomatic and self-resolving. Normalized spectral power in the High Frequency band (marking vagal modulation) and previous annualized relapse rate were independently correlated with the probability of undergoing extended monitoring. Our results could provide useful information for the stratification and individualized monitoring of MS patients prescribed with fingolimod.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2019.116423DOI Listing
October 2019

OLIMPIC: a 12-month study on the criteria driving retreatment with ranibizumab in patients with visual impairment due to myopic choroidal neovascularization.

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2019 Apr 24;257(4):759-768. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

Novartis Farma SpA, Largo Umberto Boccioni 1, 21040, Origgio, VA, Italy.

Purpose: To evaluate criteria driving retreatment with ranibizumab in Italian patients with myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV).

Methods: OLIMPIC was a 12-month, phase IIIb, open-label study. Patients with active mCNV were treated with ranibizumab 0.5 mg according to the European label. The study assessed local criteria in Italy driving retreatment decisions with ranibizumab; and the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of ranibizumab.

Results: The mean (standard deviation [SD]) age of treated patients (N = 200) was 61.8 (12.7) years; range 22-85 years. The multivariate regression model indicated that presence of active leakage (odds ratio [OR] 95% confidence interval [CI]: 11.30 [1.03-124.14]), presence of intraretinal fluid (OR [95%CI]: 28.21 [1.55-513.73]), and an improvement in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) from baseline < 10 letters (OR [95%CI]: 17.60 [1.39-222.75]) were the factors with the greatest effect on retreatment with ranibizumab. The mean (SD) BCVA gain from baseline to month 12 was 8.4 (12.8) letters (P < 0.0001). The mean (SD) number of injections was 2.41 (1.53); range 1-9. Ocular and non-ocular adverse events were reported in 41 (20.5%) and 30 (15.0%) patients, respectively.

Conclusions: Individualized treatment with ranibizumab was effective in improving BCVA in patients with mCNV over 12 months. Both anatomical and functional variables had significant effects on causing retreatment. There were no new safety findings.

Trial Registration: www.ClinicalTrials.Gov (NCT No: NCT02034006).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00417-019-04248-8DOI Listing
April 2019

Improvement of patient-reported outcomes in severe allergic asthma by omalizumab treatment: the real life observational PROXIMA study.

World Allergy Organ J 2018 1;11(1):33. Epub 2018 Nov 1.

9Novartis Farma SpA, Largo U. Boccioni 1, 21040 Origgio, VA Italy.

Background: Data on the prevalence of perennial versus seasonal allergic asthma in Italy are lacking; moreover, there is limited evidence on the effect of omalizumab on patient-reported outcomes in Italian patients with severe allergic asthma. PROXIMA, an observational, multicenter study, was designed to assess the prevalence of perennial versus seasonal allergic asthma (cross-sectional phase) and the effect of omalizumab on improving illness perception, quality of life (QoL) and asthma control of Italian patients with severe allergic asthma (longitudinal phase).

Methods: The study included a cross-sectional phase ( = 357) and a longitudinal phase ( = 123): during the longitudinal phase, patients received omalizumab (75-600 mg subcutaneously every month) and were followed-up for 12 months. The primary parameter of cross-sectional phase was prevalence of perennial allergic asthma and that of longitudinal phase was proportion of patients with asthma control (assessed using asthma control questionnaire [ACQ]). Secondary parameters assessed were patients' disease perception, level of asthma control, exacerbation rate during both cross-sectional and longitudinal phases, and patients' compliance to and persistence with omalizumab, and patients' QoL during the longitudinal phase.

Results: Most patients (95.8%) had perennial allergies; 81% had polysensitization. Of 99 patients in the per-protocol set, 95 (95.96% [95% CI: 89.98-98.89%]) achieved asthma control (ACQ < 4) at both 6 and 12 months of omalizumab treatment; ACQ score decreased after 6 and 12 months ( < 0.0001). Omalizumab treatment resulted in a significant improvement in QoL and patients' illness perception and 87% decrease in exacerbation rate. The compliance rate with omalizumab was high (73.2%). No new safety signals were identified during treatment.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that in severe allergic asthma, omalizumab improves patient-reported outcomes such as patients' illness perception and QoL, while confirming improvement of asthma control and exacerbation rate reduction in Italian patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40413-018-0214-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6214174PMC
November 2018

Pharmacological approach and adherence to treatment recommendations in frequently and non-frequently exacerbating COPD patients from Italy: MISTRAL - The prospective cohort, observational study.

Pulm Pharmacol Ther 2018 12 5;53:68-77. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Several documents and guidelines provide recommendations for effective management of COPD patients. However, there is often a significant imbalance between recommended treatment of COPD patients and the actual care provided both in primary care and specialty setting. This imbalance could result in a significant negative impact on patients' health status and quality of life, leading to increased hospitalisations and health resource utilisation in COPD patients METHODS: MISTRAL was an observational, longitudinal, prospective cohort study, designed to assess the overall pharmacological approach of COPD in routine clinical practice in Italy. Eligible patients were divided into two cohorts based on their exacerbation history in the year prior to the enrolment, frequent exacerbators (FEs; ≥2 exacerbations), and non-frequent exacerbators (NFEs; ≤1 exacerbation). The primary objective was to assess adherence to Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2011 treatment recommendations in FEs and NFEs at baseline and follow-up visits RESULTS: Of the 1489 enrolled patients, 1468 (98.6%; FEs, 526; NFEs, 942) were considered evaluable for analyses. At baseline, 57.8% of patients were treated according to GOLD 2011 recommendations; a greater proportion of FEs were treated according to GOLD recommendations, compared with NFEs patients at baseline (77.1% versus 46.7%; P < 0.0001), and all study visits. At baseline, GOLD group D patients were the most adherent (81.2%) to treatment recommendations, while group A patients were the least adherent (30.3%) at baseline, attributed mainly to overuse of inhaled corticosteroids in less severe GOLD groups. Triple therapy with long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) + long-acting β-agonist/inhaled corticosteroid (LABA/ICS) was the most frequent prescribed treatment at all study visits, irrespective of patient's exacerbation history. Changes in treatment were more frequent in FEs versus NFEs CONCLUSIONS: The Mistral study reports a scarce adherence to the GOLD 2011 treatment recommendations in routine clinical practice in Italy. The adherence was particularly low in less severe, non-frequent exacerbating patients mostly for ICS overuse, and was higher in high-risk, frequent exacerbating COPD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pupt.2018.09.001DOI Listing
December 2018

Treatment compliance in cystic fibrosis patients with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection treated with tobramycin inhalation powder: The FREE study.

Respir Med 2018 05 31;138:88-94. Epub 2018 Mar 31.

Novartis Farma SpA, Largo U. Boccioni 1, Origgio VA, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: A high treatment burden with nebulised therapies in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients is the major limitation for treatment compliance; moreover, studies on treatment compliance with inhaled antibiotics are limited. This study assessed compliance to TOBI Podhaler™ (TIP) treatment in CF patients with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) infections in a real-world setting using the Italian Treatment Adherence CF Questionnaire (ITA-CFq).

Methods: This longitudinal, multicentre, cohort study included 2 follow-up (FU) visits: FU-1 at 3-months±15-days from the baseline visit and FU-2 at the end of third TIP cycle (or 6-months after enrolment, whichever occurred first). The effect of TIP on quality-of-life (QoL) and treatment satisfaction were evaluated using Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised (CFQ-R) and Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication (TSQM), respectively. Overall compliance to treatments was assessed using ITA-CFq.

Results: Eighty-two patients (mean age, 24.8 ± 7.9 years), including 22 paediatric patients (age, <18 years), were enrolled in the study; 56 (68.3%) patients, including 17 paediatric patients, completed the study. At baseline, the mean compliance score to aerosol antibiotic treatment was 7.8 ± 3.2; upon introducing TIP, the compliance score improved to 9.4 ± 1.2 at the FU-1 and thereafter remained stable at 9.5 ± 1.2. TSQM was higher for the convenience domain (74.2 ± 17.1 at enrolment and slightly improved to 77.8 ± 15.9 at FU-2) following TIP initiation. No substantial effect of TIP was observed on the QoL when measured using the revised CFQ-R. The safety profile was in line with previous findings.

Conclusion: TIP was convenient to use and led to improved treatment adherence in CF patients with chronic Pa-infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2018.03.034DOI Listing
May 2018

Efficacy of fingolimod and interferon beta-1b on cognitive, MRI, and clinical outcomes in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: an 18-month, open-label, rater-blinded, randomised, multicentre study (the GOLDEN study).

J Neurol 2017 Dec 23;264(12):2436-2449. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

Department of Neurology, Institute of Experimental Neurology, San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy.

Cognitive impairment (CI) affects 40-65% of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. This study attempted evaluating the effects of fingolimod and interferon beta-1b (IFN β-1b) on CI progression, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and clinical outcomes in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients over 18 months. The GOLDEN study was a pilot study including RRMS patients with CI randomised (2:1) to fingolimod (0.5 mg daily)/IFN β-1b (250 µg every other day). CI was assessed via Rao's Brief Repeatable Battery and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System test. MRI parameters, Expanded Disability Status Scale scores and relapses were measured. Overall, 157 patients were randomised, of whom 30 discontinued the study (fingolimod, 8.49%; IFN β-1b, 41.18%; p ≤ 0.0001). Patients randomised to fingolimod had more severe clinical and MRI disease characteristics at baseline compared with IFN β-1b. At Month (M) 18, both treatment groups showed improvements in all cognitive parameters. At M18, relapse rate, total number and volume of T2/T1 gadolinium-enhancing lesions were higher with IFN β-1b, as well as the percentage brain volume change during the study. Safety and tolerability of both treatments were similar to previous studies. Both treatments showed improvements in cognitive parameters. Fingolimod demonstrated significantly better effects on MRI parameters and relapse rate. Imbalance in baseline characteristics and the drop-out pattern may have favoured IFN β-1b. A longer duration trial may be needed to observe the complete expression of differential effects on CI scales reflecting the between-groups differences on MRI. Although limited in size, the GOLDEN study confirms the favourable benefit-risk profile of fingolimod reported in previous studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-017-8642-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5688215PMC
December 2017

Prevalence of perennial severe allergic asthma in Italy and effectiveness of omalizumab in its management: PROXIMA - an observational, 2 phase, patient reported outcomes study.

Clin Mol Allergy 2015 7;13(1):10. Epub 2015 Jul 7.

Novartis Farma SpA, Largo U. Boccioni 1, Origgio (VA), 21040 Italy.

Background: We designed the PROXIMA study (Patient-Reported Outcomes and Xolair(®) In the Management of Asthma) to determine the proportion of patients with severe asthma sensitive to perennial allergens, and to evaluate asthma control and treatment adherence up to 12 months in patients treated with omalizumab in Italian population. In addition, an ancillary study was designed to explore protein biomarkers and characterize them in relation to severe allergic asthma and treatment effects by proteomic approach.

Methods: PROXIMA is an observational, multicenter, cross-sectional and prospective cohort study conducted at 25 centers in Italy, in outpatient settings. The study consists of two phases: 1) a cross-sectional phase plans to enroll 600 patients with severe allergic asthma, in step 4 therapy as per GINA guidelines, aged ≥18 years, needing a step up in therapy, and 2) a longitudinal phase on patients who will start omalizumab add-on therapy per clinician's judgment at baseline visit (approximately 180-240 patients). The primary variable of the cross-sectional phase is the proportion of patients with severe asthma presenting with perennial form of allergy (skin prick test or in vitro test). The primary variable of longitudinal phase is proportion of patients who achieve disease control (assessed by Asthma Control Questionnaire [ACQ]) with omalizumab at 6 months, and maintain it at 12 months. Secondary variables are patient compliance to omalizumab, patient-reported perception of cognitive and emotional impact of the illness, assessed by Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (Brief IPQ) and the health related quality of life evaluated by the EuroQoL 5D-3 L (EQ-5D-3 L). Safety endpoints will be recorded during the course of the study. Patients participating in the longitudinal phase will be enrolled for ancillary study if they provide additional informed consent. Protein species in complex mixtures will be identified using innovative MudPIT (Multidimensional Protein Identification Technology) method.

Conclusions: The results of this observational study will provide estimate of patient population allergic to perennial allergens in Italy and information on patient-reported outcomes with omalizumab therapy in a real-world setting. The exploratory proteomic analysis on asthma biomarkers could eventually provide new data to identify responder patients to anti IgE therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12948-015-0019-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4494726PMC
July 2015

Clinical experience with daptomycin in Italy: results from a registry study of the treatment of Gram-positive infections between 2006 and 2009.

J Chemother 2012 Apr;24(2):113-21

Unit of Infectious and Transplant Medicine, Second University of Naples, Monaldi Hospital, Italy.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate post-marketing efficacy and safety data for therapy with daptomycin (DAP) in Italy. Data from patients treated with DAP at 30 centres between January 2006 and July 2009 were analysed according to the protocol of the EU-CORE(SM). In 359 patients, DAP was most commonly prescribed for skin and skin-structure infections (55%), infective endocarditis (13%), and bacteraemia (12.5%). DAP was associated with rapid improvement, and clinical success rates ranging from 77 to 91%, despite almost half of the patient population being ≥65 years of age, 86% having significant underlying disease, and many being affected by drug-resistant pathogens. Staphylococcus aureus represented 35% of all pathogens isolated. Success rates for all staphylococcal and enterococcal infections were >80%, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA). Clinical outcomes were similar for DAP whether used as first- or second-line therapy. DAP was well tolerated even with prolonged treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1120009X12Z.00000000023DOI Listing
April 2012

Everolimus with very low-exposure cyclosporine a in de novo kidney transplantation: a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial.

Transplantation 2009 Nov;88(10):1194-202

Renal Transplant Unit, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Background: In combination with everolimus (EVL), cyclosporine A (CsA) may be used at low exposure, so reducing the risk of renal dysfunction in renal transplant recipients (RTR). We evaluated whether higher exposure of EVL could allow a further reduction of CsA.

Methods: De novo RTR were randomized to standard exposure EVL (C0 3-8 ng/mL) with low-concentration CsA (C2 maintenance levels 350-500 ng/mL, group A) or higher EVL exposure (C0 8-12 ng/mL) with very low-concentration CsA (C2 maintenance levels 150-300 ng/mL, group B). The primary endpoints were 6-month creatinine clearance (CrCl) and biopsy-proven acute rejection (BPAR) rate. After 6 months, patients were followed up (observational extension) to 12 months.

Results: Two hundred eighty-five RTR (97% from deceased donors) were enrolled. Two patients per group died (1.4%). The 6-month death-censored graft survival was 90.2% in group A and 97.9% in group B and was unchanged at 12 months (P=0.007). There was no significant difference between groups at 6 months in CrCl (59.9 vs. 57.8 mL/min) and BPAR rates (14.7% vs. 11.9%) and also at 12 months (CrCl 62.5+/-20.7 vs. 61.3+/-22.0 mL/min, BPAR 14.7% vs. 14.1%). No significant differences were seen in treated acute rejections, steroid-resistant acute rejections, treatment failures, or delayed graft function, although there was a trend to better results in group B.

Conclusions: EVL given at higher exposure for 6 months plus very low CsA concentration may obtain low acute rejection rate and good graft survival in De novo renal transplantation. However, there was no difference between groups in CrCl.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0b013e3181bb43ecDOI Listing
November 2009

Multicentre observational study evaluating immediate and progressive switching from carbamazepine to oxcarbazepine in patients with epilepsy.

Funct Neurol 2007 Apr-Jun;22(2):111-5

Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.

This observational study was performed to identify the clinical reasons leading physicians to opt for immediate or progressive procedures when switching patients from carbamazepine to oxcarbazepine, and to evaluate the clinical feasibility of the two procedures in a general unselected patient population. Five hundred and twenty-seven patients (aged 14 years or older, treated with carbamazepine as monotherapy or in combination therapy) were recruited at 50 Italian centres and freely assigned to immediate (n=361) or progressive (n=166) switch procedures. Vital and clinical data (including seizure frequency) were comparable in the two groups at baseline. The proportion of patients with simple partial seizures only was significantly higher in the immediate group (immediate: 33.0% vs progressive: 23.5%, p=0.0275), whereas the proportion of patients on combination therapy was slightly higher in the progressive group (immediate: 47.1 vs progressive: 55.4%, p=0.0756). At the end of the switch period, overall treatment satisfaction was greater in the immediate switch group, both in patients (p<0.002) and physicians (p<0.0005). Physicians preferred the immediate over the progressive switch procedure. The only clinical features of patients found to relate to the physician?s choice of switch procedure were simple partial seizures only (favouring the immediate switch) and, possibly, combination therapy with other anti-epileptic drugs (favouring the progressive switch). "Overnight" switching from carbamazepine to oxcarbazepine also appears feasible in most patients on polytherapy.
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October 2007