Publications by authors named "Michele Cimminiello"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Brentuximab vedotin consolidation after autologous stem cell transplantation for Hodgkin lymphoma: A Fondazione Italiana Linfomi real-life experience.

Hematol Oncol 2021 Oct 25. Epub 2021 Oct 25.

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

The standard management for relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) is salvage therapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). This strategy allows almost 50% of patients to be cured. Post-ASCT maintenance treatment with brentuximab vedotin (BV) confers improved progression-free survival (PFS) to cHL patients at high risk of relapse. We investigated the outcome of 105 cHL patients receiving post-ASCT BV maintenance in the real-life setting of 23 Italian hematology centers. This population included naïve patients and those previously exposed to BV. Median follow-up was 20 months. Patients presented a median of two lines of treatment pre-ASCT, with 51% receiving BV. Twenty-nine percent of patients had at least two high-risk factors (refractory disease, complete response [CR] less than 12 months, extranodal disease at relapse), while 16% presented none. At PET-CT, a Deauville score (DS) of 1-3 was reported in 75% and 78% of pre- and post-ASCT evaluations, respectively. Grade 3-4 adverse events (AEs), mainly peripheral neuropathy, were observed in 16% of patients. Three-year PFS and overall survival (OS) were 62% and 86%, respectively. According to BV exposure, 3-year PFS and OS were 54% and 71%, respectively, for naïve and 77% and 96%, respectively, for previously exposed patients. Refractory disease (hazard ratio [HR] 4.46; p = 0.003) and post-ASCT DS 4-5 (HR 3.14; p = 0.005) were the only two factors significantly associated with PFS reduction in multivariable analysis. Post-ASCT BV maintenance is an effective, safe treatment option for cHL naïve patients and those previously exposed to BV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2939DOI Listing
October 2021

Letermovir Prophylaxis for Cytomegalovirus Infection in Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation: A Real-World Experience.

Front Oncol 2021 6;11:740079. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

UOC Ematologia con Trapianto CSE, AORN "Antonio Cardarelli", Napoli, Italy.

Despite effective treatments, cytomegalovirus (CMV) continues to have a significant impact on morbidity and mortality in allogeneic stem cell transplant (allo-SCT) recipients. This multicenter, retrospective, cohort study aimed to evaluate the reproducibility of the safety and efficacy of commercially available letermovir for CMV prophylaxis in a real-world setting. Endpoints were rates of clinically significant CMV infection (CSCI), defined as CMV disease or CMV viremia reactivation within day +100-+168. 204 adult CMV-seropositive allo-SCT recipients from 17 Italian centres (median age 52 years) were treated with LET 240 mg/day between day 0 and day +28. Overall, 28.9% of patients underwent a haploidentical, 32.4% a matched related, and 27.5% a matched unrelated donor (MUD) transplant. 65.7% were considered at high risk of CSCI and 65.2% had a CMV seropositive donor. Low to mild severe adverse events were observed in 40.7% of patients during treatment [gastrointestinal toxicity (36.3%) and skin rash (10.3%)]. Cumulative incidence of CSCI at day +100 and day +168 was 5.4% and 18.1%, respectively, whereas the Kaplan-Meier event rate was 5.8% (95% CI: 2.4-9.1) and 23.3% (95% CI: 16.3-29.7), respectively. Overall mortality was 6.4% at day +100 and 7.3% at day +168. This real-world experience confirms the efficacy and safety of CMV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.740079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8489185PMC
September 2021

The neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and the presence of large nodal mass are independent predictors of early response: A subanalysis of the prospective phase II PET-2-adapted HD0607 trial.

Cancer Med 2020 12 6;9(23):8735-8746. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Ematologia, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: The neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and the lymphocyte to monocyte ratio (LMR) can reflect both the myeloid dysfunction and T-cell immune suppression and have prognostic significance.

Methods: In 771 newly diagnosed advanced-stage Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) patients we evaluated the baseline values of NLR and LMR as predictors of clinical outcome. According to the multicenter prospective phase II GITIL-HD0607 trial, all patients received two ABVD courses and if PET-2 negative received four additional ABVD cycles while if PET-2-positive patients were randomized to either BEACOPP escalated (Be) plus BEACOPP baseline (Bb) (4 + 4 courses) or Be + Bb (4 + 4) and Rituximab. PET scans were centrally reviewed by an expert panel by Blinded Independent Central Review.

Results: Higher NLR and lower LMR were associated with a PET-2 positivity and failure to achieve long-term disease control, respectively. By univariate and multivariate analysis, large nodal mass (>7 cm), IPS ≥ 3, NLR > 6 were strong independent predictors of early PET-2 response after ABVD. Only NLR > 6 and IPS ≥ 3 were strong independent predictors of outcome at diagnosis; however, when PET-2 status was added, only PET-2-positive status and IPS ≥ 3 were independent predictors of PFS. Focusing on PET-2-negative patients, those with NLR > 6 had an inferior 3-year PFS compared to patients with NLR ≤ 6 (84% vs 89% months, P = .03).

Conclusion: In advanced-stage HL patients treated with a PET-2-driven strategy, IPS ≥ 3 and NLR > 6 are independent predictors of outcome at diagnosis while the presence of large nodal mass, IPS ≥ 3, and NLR > 6 at diagnosis are independent predictors of early ABVD response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3396DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7724487PMC
December 2020

Consolidation Radiotherapy Could Be Safely Omitted in Advanced Hodgkin Lymphoma With Large Nodal Mass in Complete Metabolic Response After ABVD: Final Analysis of the Randomized GITIL/FIL HD0607 Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2020 11 18;38(33):3905-3913. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Hematology, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy.

Purpose: To investigate the role of consolidation radiotherapy (cRT) in advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) presenting at baseline with a large nodal mass (LNM) in complete metabolic response after doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) chemotherapy.

Patients And Methods: Advanced-stage (IIB-IVB) HL patients, enrolled in the HD 0607 trial (Clinicaltrial.gov identifier NCT00795613), with both a negative PET after two (PET-2) and six (PET-6) ABVD cycles, who presented at baseline with an LNM, defined as a nodal mass with the largest diameter ≥ 5 cm, were prospectively randomly assigned to receive cRT over the LNM or no further treatment (NFT).

Results: Among 296 randomly assigned patients, the largest diameter of LNM at baseline was 5-7 cm in 101 (34%; subgroup A) and 8-10 cm in 96 (32%; subgroup B), whereas classic bulky (diameter > 10 cm) was detected in 99 (33%; subgroup C). Two hundred eighty patients (88%) showed a postchemotherapy RM. The median dose of cRT was 30.6 Gy (range, 24-36 Gy). After a median follow-up of 5.9 years (range, 0.5-10 years), the 6-year progression-free survival rate of patients who underwent cRT or NFT was, respectively, 91% (95% CI, 84% to 99%) and 95% (95% CI, 89% to 100%; = .62) in subgroup A; 98% (95% CI, 93% to 100%) and 90% (95% CI, 80% to 100%; = .24) in subgroup B; 89% (95% CI, 81% to 98%) and 86% (95% CI, 77% to 96%; = .53) in subgroup C (classic bulky).

Conclusion: cRT could be safely omitted in patients with HL presenting with an LNM and a negative PET-2 and PET-6 scan, irrespective from the LNM size detected at baseline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00935DOI Listing
November 2020

Early serum TARC reduction predicts prognosis in advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma patients treated with a PET-adapted strategy.

Hematol Oncol 2020 Oct 30;38(4):501-508. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Department of Oncology and Hematology, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy.

Among patients with advanced-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) receiving ABVD chemotherapy, PET performed after the first two treatment cycles (PET-2) has prognostic value. However, 15% of patients with a negative PET-2 will experience treatment failure. Here we prospectively evaluated serum thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) levels, to improve risk assessment in patients treated according to HD0607 PET-driven trial (#NCT00795613). In 266 patients with available serum samples, who have agreed to participate in a sub-study for assessment of the role of TARC monitoring, serum TARC levels were measured at baseline and at time of PET-2 by commercially available ELISA test kits. The primary end-point was to evaluate the association between TARC after 2 ABVD cycles and PFS. Median TARC-2 values were significantly higher in PET-2-positive patients compared to PET-2-negative patients (P = .001), and in patients with treatment failure compared to those in continuous CR (P = .01). The 4-year PFS significantly differed between patients with TARC-2 >800 pg/mL vs ≤800 pg/mL (64% vs 86%, P = .0001). Moreover, among PET-2-negative patients, elevated TARC-2 identified those with a worse prognosis (74% vs 89%; P = .01). In multivariable analysis, TARC-2 >800 pg/mL was a significant independent predictor of PFS in the whole study population (HR 2.39, P = .004) and among the PET-2-negative patients (HR 2.49, P = .02). In conclusion, our results indicate that TARC-2 serum levels above 800 pg/mL suggest the need for a stringent follow-up in PET-2-negative patients, and the evaluation of new drugs in PET-2-positive, who will likely fail to respond to intensification with escalated BEACOPP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2775DOI Listing
October 2020

Advanced Stage Hodgkin Lymphoma: Patient Management.

Acta Biomed 2020 05 25;91(S-5):5-12. Epub 2020 May 25.

Haematology and BMT Unit, Ospedale Monsignor R. Dimiccoli, Barletta, Italy.

Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a rare cancer of the lymphoid system. It clinically presents with swollen lymph nodes and/or systemic symptoms, such as fever, night sweats, or weight loss, as signs of a more advanced stage disease. For the purpose of treatment allocation, HL cases are classified as early-stage favorable, early-stage unfavorable, and advanced-stage disease. Here below we describe four different clinical cases from real life that address some key issues and medical needs that are present in the daily practice with patients affected by advanced stage HL. The four clinical cases are quite heterogeneous, but in each case there are strong inputs to manage a specific category of advanced phase HL patient that is going to be treated with first-line therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23750/abm.v91iS-5.9913DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944653PMC
May 2020

Antiemetic prophylaxis in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a multicenter survey of the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO) transplant programs.

Ann Hematol 2020 Apr 8;99(4):867-875. Epub 2020 Feb 8.

SODc Terapie Cellulari e Medicina Trasfusionale, AOU Careggi, Florence, Italy.

A survey within hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) centers of the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO) was performed in order to describe current antiemetic prophylaxis in patients undergoing HSCT. The multicenter survey was performed by a questionnaire, covering the main areas on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV): antiemetic prophylaxis guidelines used, antiemetic prophylaxis in different conditioning regimens, and methods of CINV evaluation. The survey was carried out in November 2016, and it was repeated 6 months after the publication of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)/European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) specific guidelines on antiemetic prophylaxis in HSCT. The results show a remarkable heterogeneity of prophylaxis among the various centers and a significant difference between the guidelines and the clinical practice. In the main conditioning regimens, the combination of a serotonin receptor antagonist (5-HT-RA) with dexamethasone and neurokin receptor antagonist (NK1-RA), as recommended by MASCC/ESMO guidelines, increased from 0 to 15% (before the publication of the guidelines) to 9-30% (after the publication of the guidelines). This study shows a lack of compliance with specific antiemetic guidelines, resulting mainly in under-prophylaxis. Concerted strategies are required to improve the current CINV prophylaxis, to draft shared common guidelines, and to increase the knowledge and the adherence to the current recommendations for CINV prophylaxis in the specific field of HSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-03945-3DOI Listing
April 2020

A comparative effectiveness study of lipegfilgrastim in multiple myeloma patients after high dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplant.

Ann Hematol 2020 Feb 18;99(2):331-341. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

CNR-IFC, Rome, Italy.

G-CSF administration after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) has been shown to expedite neutrophil recovery. Several studies comparing filgrastim and pegfilgrastim in the post-ASCT setting concluded that the two are at least equally effective. Lipegfilgrastim (LIP) is a new long-acting, once-per-cycle G-CSF. This multicentric, prospective study aimed to describe the use of LIP in multiple myeloma patients receiving high-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) and compare LIP with historic controls of patients who received short-acting agent (filgrastim [FIL]). Overall, 125 patients with a median age of 60 years received G-CSF after ASCT (80 patients LIP on day 1 post-ASCT and 45 patients FIL on day 5 post-ASCT). The median duration of grade 4 neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count [ANC] < 0.5 × 10 [9]/L) was 5 days in both LIP and FIL groups, whereas the median number of days to reach ANC ≥ 0.5 × 10 [9]/L was 10% lower in the LIP than in the FIL group (10 vs 11 days), respectively. Male sex was significantly associated with a faster ANC ≥ 0.5 × 10 [9] L response (p = 0.015). The incidence of FN was significantly lower in the LIP than in the FIL group (29% vs 49%, respectively, p = 0.024). The days to discharge after ASCT infusion were greater in patients with FN (p < 0.001). The study indicates that LIP had a shorter time to ANC recovery and is more effective than FIL for the prevention of FN in the ASCT setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-019-03901-wDOI Listing
February 2020

Acute GVHD prophylaxis plus ATLG after myeloablative allogeneic haemopoietic peripheral blood stem-cell transplantation from HLA-identical siblings in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia in remission: final results of quality of life and long-term outcome analysis of a phase 3 randomised study.

Lancet Haematol 2019 Feb;6(2):e89-e99

Psy Consult, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: We previously showed that human anti-T-lymphocyte globulin (ATLG) plus ciclosporin and methotrexate given to patients with acute leukaemia in remission, having allogeneic haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation with peripheral blood stem cells from an HLA-identical sibling donor after myeloablative conditioning, significantly reduced 2-year chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) incidence and severity, without increasing disease relapse and infections, and improves cGVHD-free and relapse-free survival (cGRFS). The aim of an extended follow-up study was the assessment of long-term outcomes, which are, in this context, scarcely reported in the literature. We report unpublished data on quality of life (QoL) from the original study and the results of a follow-up extension.

Methods: In the original open-label study, patients with acute myeloid and lymphoblastic leukaemia in first or subsequent remission, having sibling HLA-identical allogeneic peripheral blood stem-cell transplantation, were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive ATLG plus standard GVHD prophylaxis with ciclosporin and short-term methotrexate (ATLG group) or standard GVHD prophylaxis without ATLG (non-ATLG group). Conditioning regimens were cyclophosphamide 120 mg/kg with either total body irradiation (12 Gy) or busulfan (12·8 mg/kg intravenously or 16 mg/kg orally), with or without etoposide (30-60 mg/kg). Randomisation was stratified according to centre and disease risk. The primary endpoint was cumulative incidence of cGVHD at 2 years. The primary and secondary endpoints, excluding QoL, have been published. QoL, assessed using European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 and QLQ-HDC29 questionnaires, was an unpublished secondary endpoint, which we now report here. A follow-up extension was then done, with the primary endpoint cumulative incidence of cGVHD. Enrolment has been completed for both studies. The original trial (number, NCT00678275) and follow-up extension (number, NCT03042676) are registered at ClinicalTrials.gov.

Findings: In the original study, from Dec 14, 2006, to Feb 2, 2012, 161 patients were enrolled and 155 were randomly assigned to either the ATLG group (n=83) or to the non-ATLG group (n=72). In the follow-up study, which started on Feb 7, 2017, and was completed on June 30, 2017, 61 patients were included in the ATLG group and 53 were included in the non-ATLG group. Global health status showed a more favourable time course in the ATLG group compared with the non-ATLG group (p=0·02; treatment by visit interaction). ATLG was descriptively superior to non-ATLG at 24 months for physical function (points estimate -14·8 [95% CI -26·4 to -3·1]; p=0·014) and social function (-19·1 [-38·0 to -0·2]; p=0·047), gastrointestinal side-effects (8·8 [2·5-15·1]; p=0·008) and effect on family (13·5 [1·2-25·8]; p=0·032). Extended follow-up (median 5·9 years [IQR 1·7-7·9]) confirmed a lower 5-year cGVHD incidence (30·0% [95% CI 21·4-41·9] vs 69·1% [59·1-80·1]; analysis for entire follow-up, p<0·001), no increase in relapses (35·4% [26·4-47·5] vs 22·5% [14·6-34·7]; p=0·09), improved cGRFS (34·3% [24·2-44·5] vs 13·9% [7·1-22·9]; p=0·005), and fewer patients still in immunosuppression (9·6% vs 28·3%; p=0·017) in the ATLG group compared with the non-ATLG group. 5-year overall survival, relapse-free survival, and non-relapse mortality did not differ significantly between groups.

Interpretation: The addition of ATLG to standard GVHD prophylaxis improves the probability of surviving without disease relapse and cGVHD after myeloablative peripheral blood stem-cell transplantation from an HLA-identical sibling donor for patients with acute leukaemia in remission. Further additional benefits are better QoL and shorter immunosuppressive treatment compared with standard GVHD prophylaxis without ATLG. Therefore, in this setting, ATLG plus standard GVHD prophylaxis should be preferred over the standard GVHD prophylaxis alone.

Funding: Neovii Biotech.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(18)30214-XDOI Listing
February 2019

Early Chemotherapy Intensification With Escalated BEACOPP in Patients With Advanced-Stage Hodgkin Lymphoma With a Positive Interim Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography Scan After Two ABVD Cycles: Long-Term Results of the GITIL/FIL HD 0607 Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2018 02 23;36(5):454-462. Epub 2018 Jan 23.

Andrea Gallamini, Centre Antoine Lacassagne, Nice, France; Corrado Tarella, Istituto Europeo di Oncologia; Daniela Gottardi, Ospedale Mauriziano Umberto I di Torino; Paolo Gavarotti, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Turin; Simonetta Viviani and Paolo Corradini, Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori; Paolo Corradini, Alessandro Massimo Gianni, and Alessandro Rambaldi, Università degli Studi di Milano; Andrés J.M. Ferreri and Federico Fallanca, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Ospedale San Raffaele; Giuseppe Prosperini, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan; Andrea Rossi, Chiara Pavoni, and Alessandro Rambaldi, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo; Caterina Patti and Antonino Mulé, Azienda Villa Sofia-Cervello; Umberto Ficola, La Maddalena, Palermo; Marco Picardi, Università Federico II, Naples; Alessandra Romano, Ospedale Ferrarotto, Catania; Maria Cantonetti, Policlinico Tor Vergata; Roberta Battistini, Ospedale San Camillo; Agostino Chiaravalloti, Università Tor Vergata, Rome; Giorgio La Nasa, Ospedale Roberto Binaghi di Cagliari, Cagliari; Livio Trentin, Università di Padova, Padua; Silvia Bolis, Ospedale San Gerardo, Monza; Davide Rapezzi, Alberto Biggi, Fabrizio Bergesio, and Stephane Chauvie, Azienda Ospedaliera Santa Croce e Carle, Cuneo; Michele Cimminiello, Ospedale San Carlo, Potenza; Corrado Schiavotto, Presidio Ospedaliero San Bortolo, Vicenza; Guido Parvis, Azienda Ospedaliera San Luigi, Orbassano; Roberta Zanotti, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata, Verona; Guido Gini, Nuovo Ospedale Torrette, Ancona; Piera Viero, Ospedale dell'Angelo, Mestre; Maurizio Miglino, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino, Genoa; Atto Billio, Ospedale Centrale di Bolzano, Bolzano; Michele Gregianin, Ospedale San Giacomo, Castelfranco Veneto, Italy; and Abraham Avigdor, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, Israel.

Purpose To investigate the progression-free survival (PFS) of patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) after a risk-adapted treatment strategy that was based on a positive positron emission tomography scan performed after two doxorubicin, vinblastine, vincristine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) cycles (PET2). Patients and Methods Patients with advanced-stage (IIB to IVB) HL were consecutively enrolled. After two ABVD cycles, PET2 was performed and centrally reviewed according to the Deauville five-point scale. Patients with a positive PET2 were randomly assigned to four cycles of escalated bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (BEACOPP) followed by four cycles of standard BEACOPP with or without rituximab. Patients with a negative PET2 continued ABVD, and those with a large nodal mass at diagnosis (≥ 5 cm) in complete remission with a negative PET at the end of chemotherapy were randomly assigned to radiotherapy or no further treatment. The primary end point was 3-year PFS. Results Of 782 enrolled patients, 150 (19%) had a positive and 630 (81%) a negative PET2. The 3-year PFS of all patients was 82%. The 3-year PFS of those with a positive and negative PET2 was 60% and 87%, respectively ( P < .001). The 3-year PFS of patients with a positive PET2 assigned to BEACOPP with or without rituximab was 63% versus 57% ( P = .53). In 296 patients with both interim and post-ABVD-negative PET who had a large nodal mass at diagnosis, radiotherapy was randomly added after chemotherapy without a significant PFS improvement (97% v 93%, respectively; P = .29). The 3-year overall survival of all 782 patients was 97% (99% and 89% for PET2 negative and positive, respectively). Conclusion The PET-driven switch from ABVD to escalated BEACOPP is feasible and effective in high-risk patients with advanced-stage HL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2017.75.2543DOI Listing
February 2018

A Comparative Assessment of Quality of Life in Patients with Multiple Myeloma Undergoing Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation Through an Outpatient and Inpatient Model.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 03 13;24(3):608-613. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

Hematology and Cell Therapy Unit-IRCCS Istituto Tumori "Giovanni Paolo II", Bari, Italy.

Outpatient autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) has proven to be feasible in terms of physical morbidity and mortality outcomes, but little data exist on the impact of this procedure on quality of life (QoL). The purpose of this prospective, observational, longitudinal cohort study was to compare the effects of inpatient (n = 76) and outpatient (n = 64) modes of care on QoL in patients with multiple myeloma who underwent ASCT. Patients were treated according to their preference for the inpatient or outpatient model. QoL was assessed using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplantation (FACT-BMT) at baseline (7 days before ASCT; T1) and at days +7 (T2) and +30 (T3) after ASCT. Overall, inpatients achieved higher mean values at each time point (86.05 ± 15.54 at T1, 89.23 ± 19.19 at T2, and 87.96 ± 13.6 at T3) compared with outpatients (85.62 ± 14.51 at T1, 87.42 ± 23.41 at T2, and 83.98 ± 20.2 at T3), although the differences did not reach statistical significance. Inpatients showed higher mean scores than outpatients in physical well-being (7.67 ± 5.7, 15.44 ± 6.34, and 12.96 ± 6.03, respectively, versus 5.89 ± 4.33, 13.92 ± 7.05, and 8.84 ± 6.33, respectively; P < .05). Mean scores on social/family well-being were significantly higher in the outpatient group compared with the inpatient group (22.93 ± 13.29, 21.14 ± 5.31, and 21.64 ± 4.58, respectively, versus 20.59 ± 3.79, 19.52 ± 5.12, and 20.01 ± 3.97, respectively; P = .003). There were no significant between-group differences with respect to functional well-being and emotional status. Among adults at a single institution undergoing ASCT for MM, the use of outpatient care compared with standard transplantation care did not result in improved QoL during transplantation. Further research is needed for replication and to assess longer-term outcomes and implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.09.021DOI Listing
March 2018

Adverse drug reactions after intravenous rituximab infusion are more common in hematologic malignancies than in autoimmune disorders and can be predicted by the combination of few clinical and laboratory parameters: results from a retrospective, multicenter study of 374 patients.

Leuk Lymphoma 2017 11 3;58(11):2633-2641. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

o Scientific Direction, IRCCS-CROB , Referral Cancer Center of Basilicata , Rionero in Vulture , Italy.

Rituximab is an effective treatment for CD20 + B-cell malignancies and autoimmune disorders. However, adverse drug reactions (ADRs) may occur after rituximab infusion, causing, in rare cases, its discontinuation. In this multicenter, retrospective study, among 374 patients treated with rituximab i.v., 23.5% experienced ADRs. Mean follow-up was 20.6 months (range 8-135). Overall, ADRs were significantly more frequent in non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemias (25-35.9%), than in autoimmune diseases (9.4-17.5%) (p < .0001). Grade 3-4 toxicity was observed in eight patients (2.1%), and in four of them (1% of all patients) definitive drug discontinuation was necessary. Interestingly, three groups of patients with different risk of developing ADR were identified, according to a predictive heat-map developed combining four parameters (splenomegaly, history of allergy, hemoglobin levels and gender) selected by multivariate analysis. This model may be useful in identifying patients at higher risk of ADRs, needing appropriate preventing therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2017.1306648DOI Listing
November 2017

Antilymphocyte Globulin for Prevention of Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease.

N Engl J Med 2016 Jan;374(1):43-53

From the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg (N.K., C.W., M.H., F.A.), University Hospital Freiburg, Freiburg (J.F.), University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen (W.B.), and Psy Consult, Frankfurt (A.V.) - all in Germany; Hospital Clinico Universitario, Valencia (C. Solano), Hospital Ramon y Cajal (J.P.O.) and Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda (R.D.), Madrid, Servicio de Hematología, Institut Català d'Oncologia, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, (C.F.), Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona (J.S.), and Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Granada (M.J.) - all in Spain; S. Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna (G.B., F. Bonifazi), Hematology, DISM, University Udine, Udine (F.P.), Azienda Ospedaliera SS Antonio e Biagio e C. Arrigo, Alessandria (M. Pini), Università Federico II di Napoli, Naples (C. Selleri, A.R.), A.O. Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli, Reggio Calabria (G. Messina), Ospedale Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza IRCCCS, San Giovanni Rotondo (A.M.C.), Azienda Ospedaliera San Carlo, Potenza (M.C.), Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi, Florence (S.G.), Ospedale Santa Croce, e Carle, Cuneo (N.M.), University of Brescia, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Brescia (D.R.), University of Pisa, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Pisa (M. Petrini), Programma di Trapianto Emopoietico Metropolitano, Azienda Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele, Catania (G. Milone), Policlinico G.B. Rossi, Verona (F. Benedetti), Azienda Ospedaliera, Universitaria Ospedale, Bari (D.P.), Ospedale San Gerardo, Monza (E.T.), Policlinico Modena, Modena (F.N.), and Università di Salerno, Salerno (C. Selleri) - all in Italy; Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Ramat-Gan, Israel (A.N.); and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki (T.R.).

Background: Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is the leading cause of later illness and death after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. We hypothesized that the inclusion of antihuman T-lymphocyte immune globulin (ATG) in a myeloablative conditioning regimen for patients with acute leukemia would result in a significant reduction in chronic GVHD 2 years after allogeneic peripheral-blood stem-cell transplantation from an HLA-identical sibling.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, multicenter, open-label, randomized phase 3 study of ATG as part of a conditioning regimen. A total of 168 patients were enrolled at 27 centers. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive ATG or not receive ATG, with stratification according to center and risk of disease.

Results: After a median follow-up of 24 months, the cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was 32.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 22.1 to 46.7) in the ATG group and 68.7% (95% CI, 58.4 to 80.7) in the non-ATG group (P<0.001). The rate of 2-year relapse-free survival was similar in the ATG group and the non-ATG group (59.4% [95% CI, 47.8 to 69.2] and 64.6% [95% CI, 50.9 to 75.3], respectively; P=0.21), as was the rate of overall survival (74.1% [95% CI, 62.7 to 82.5] and 77.9% [95% CI, 66.1 to 86.1], respectively; P=0.46). There were no significant between-group differences in the rates of relapse, infectious complications, acute GVHD, or adverse events. The rate of a composite end point of chronic GVHD-free and relapse-free survival at 2 years was significantly higher in the ATG group than in the non-ATG group (36.6% vs. 16.8%, P=0.005).

Conclusions: The inclusion of ATG resulted in a significantly lower rate of chronic GVHD after allogeneic transplantation than the rate without ATG. The survival rate was similar in the two groups, but the rate of a composite end point of chronic GVHD-free survival and relapse-free survival was higher with ATG. (Funded by the Neovii Biotech and the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00678275.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1506002DOI Listing
January 2016

Salvage treatment for relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma: role of allografting, brentuximab vedotin and newer agents.

Expert Opin Biol Ther 2016 6;16(3):347-64. Epub 2016 Feb 6.

b Division of Hematology, A.O.U. Citta' della Salute e della Scienza di Torino - Presidio Molinette, and Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences , University of Torino , Torino , Italy.

Introduction: Second-line, salvage chemotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (AUTO-SCT) is the standard of care for patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Approximately 50% of patients relapse after AUTO-SCT and their prognosis is generally poor. Brentuximab Vedotin (BV) has demonstrated efficacy in this setting and allogeneic (ALLO)-SCT represents an option with curative potential in this subgroup of patients.

Areas Covered: A systematic review has been conducted to explore the actual knowledge on ALLO-SCT, BV and newer agents in R/R HL.

Expert Opinion: The introduction of BV in clinical practice has significantly improved the management of post-AUTO-SCT relapses and the drug can induce durable remissions in a subset of R/R HL. Allografting select patients has been used to improve clinical outcomes and recent case series have begun to explore BV as a potential 'bridge' to allo-SCT, even though the optimal timing of ALLO-SCT after BV response remains undetermined. However, reduced tumor burden at the time of ALLO-SCT is a key factor to decrease relapse risk. Based on the unique composition of the tumor, more recently new agents such as PD-1 inhibitors have been developed. The potential role of PD-1 inhibitors with ALLO-SCT remains to be explored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1517/14712598.2015.1130821DOI Listing
October 2016

Targeting Mutant BRAF in Relapsed or Refractory Hairy-Cell Leukemia.

N Engl J Med 2015 Oct 9;373(18):1733-47. Epub 2015 Sep 9.

From the Institute of Hematology, Department of Medicine, and Centro di Ricerca Emato-Oncologico (CREO), University of Perugia, and Ospedale Santa Maria della Misericordia, Perugia (E.T., L.D.C., F.F., S.A., M.C., M.P.M., B.F.), the Department of Experimental, Diagnostic, and Specialty Medicine, Units of Hematology and Hematopathology, Bologna University School of Medicine, Bologna (A.B., S.A.P., P.L.Z.), Hematology Unit, Centro Trapianti e Terapie Cellulari Carlo Melzi, Dipartimento di Science Mediche Sperimentali e Cliniche, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria, Udine (F.Z.), the Department of Cellular Biotechnologies and Hematology, Division of Hematology, Sapienza University, Rome (A.P., R.F.), the Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Regionale San Carlo, Potenza (M.C.), the Division of Hematology, Department of Translational Medicine, Amedeo Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara (D.R.), Hematology Unit, Ospedale Ferrarotto, Catania (G.M.), the Department of Onco-Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS, Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia (M.V.), Hematology Unit, Spedali Civili, Brescia (A. Anastasia), the Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology, University of Verona, Verona (A. Ambrosetti), Onco-Hematology Unit, Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura S.S. Giovanni Paolo II, Campobasso (V.F.), Institute of Hematology 1, IRCCS, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria San Martino-Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genoa (A.M.C.), the Department of Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti, Ancona (P.L.), and the Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo (A.R.) - all in Italy; Leukemia Service (J.H.P., S.S.C., R.L.L., O.A-W., M.S.T.,) and Dermatology Service (M.E.L.), the Department of Medicine, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (S.S., Y.R.C., E.K., R.L.L., C.Y.P., M.F.B., O.A-W.), the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (S.D.), Pathology (C.Y.P.), and Pharmaco

Background: BRAF V600E is the genetic lesion underlying hairy-cell leukemia. We assessed the safety and activity of the oral BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib in patients with hairy-cell leukemia that had relapsed after treatment with a purine analogue or who had disease that was refractory to purine analogues.

Methods: We conducted two phase 2, single-group, multicenter studies of vemurafenib (at a dose of 960 mg twice daily)--one in Italy and one in the United States. The therapy was administered for a median of 16 weeks in the Italian study and 18 weeks in the U.S. study. Primary end points were the complete response rate (in the Italian trial) and the overall response rate (in the U.S. trial). Enrollment was completed (28 patients) in the Italian trial in April 2013 and is still open (26 of 36 planned patients) in the U.S. trial.

Results: The overall response rates were 96% (25 of 26 patients who could be evaluated) after a median of 8 weeks in the Italian study and 100% (24 of 24) after a median of 12 weeks in the U.S. study. The rates of complete response were 35% (9 of 26 patients) and 42% (10 of 24) in the two trials, respectively. In the Italian trial, after a median follow-up of 23 months, the median relapse-free survival was 19 months among patients with a complete response and 6 months among those with a partial response; the median treatment-free survival was 25 months and 18 months, respectively. In the U.S. trial, at 1 year, the progression-free survival rate was 73% and the overall survival rate was 91%. Drug-related adverse events were usually of grade 1 or 2, and the events most frequently leading to dose reductions were rash and arthralgia or arthritis. Secondary cutaneous tumors (treated with simple excision) developed in 7 of 50 patients. The frequent persistence of phosphorylated ERK-positive leukemic cells in bone marrow at the end of treatment suggests bypass reactivation of MEK and ERK as a resistance mechanism.

Conclusions: A short oral course of vemurafenib was highly effective in patients with relapsed or refractory hairy-cell leukemia. (Funded by the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro and others; EudraCT number, 2011-005487-13; ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT01711632.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1506583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4811324PMC
October 2015

Very low rate of readmission after an early discharge outpatient model for autografting in multiple myeloma patients: an Italian multicenter retrospective study.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Jul 31;20(7):1026-32. Epub 2014 Mar 31.

Clinica di Ematologia, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti, Ancona, Italy.

We analyzed the main modalities and clinical outcomes of the early discharge outpatient model in autologous stem cell transplantation (EDOM-ASCT) for multiple myeloma in Italy. EDOM-ASCT was employed in 382 patients, for a total of 522 procedures, between 1998 and 2012. Our study showed high homogeneity among centers in terms of inclusion criteria, supportive care, and in hospital readmission criteria. Overall, readmissions during the aplastic phase occurred in 98 of 522 transplantations (18.8%). The major extrahematological complication was neutropenic fever in 161 cases (30.8%), which required readmission in 76 cases. The incidence of severe World Health Organization grade 3 to 4 mucositis was 9.6%. By univariate analysis, fever, mucositis, altered renal function at diagnosis, second transplantation, and transplantation performed late in the course of the disease were significantly correlated with readmission, whereas fever, mucositis, altered renal function, and timing of transplantation remained the only independent predictors by multivariate analysis. Overall, transplantation-related mortality was 1.0%. No center effect was observed in this study (P = .36). The safety and low rate of readmission of the EDOM-ASCT in myeloma trial suggest that this strategy could be extended to other transplantation centers if a stringent patient selection and appropriate management are applied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.03.027DOI Listing
July 2014

Long-term outcome and prospective validation of NIH response criteria in 39 patients receiving imatinib for steroid-refractory chronic GVHD.

Blood 2013 Dec 23;122(25):4111-8. Epub 2013 Oct 23.

Clinica di Ematologia, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy;

Forty adults aged 28 to 73 years were entered into a prospective trial of imatinib for the treatment of steroid-refractory chronic graft-versus-host disease (SR-cGVHD). After 6 months, intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis of 39 patients who received the drug, regardless of the duration of treatment, revealed 14 partial responses (PR), 4 minor responses (MR) with relevant steroid sparing (46%) according to Couriel criteria, and 20 ≥ PR (51.3%), as per the National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria and NIH severity score changes. The best responses were seen in the lungs, gut, and skin (35%, 50%, and 32%, respectively). After a median follow-up of 40 months, 28 patients were alive, with a 3-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival of 72% and 46%, respectively. The 3-year OS was 94% for patients responding at 6 months and 58% for nonresponders according to NIH response, suggesting that these criteria represent a reliable tool for predicting OS after second-line treatment. Monitoring of anti-platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGF-R) antibodies showed a significant decrease in PDGF-R stimulatory activity in 7 responders, whereas it remained high in 4 nonresponders. This study confirms the efficacy of imatinib against SR-cGVHD and suggests that the response at 6 months significantly predicts long-term survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2013-05-494278DOI Listing
December 2013

Imatinib for refractory chronic graft-versus-host disease with fibrotic features.

Blood 2009 Jul 29;114(3):709-18. Epub 2009 Apr 29.

Department of Hematology, San Carlo Hospital, via Potito Petrone 1, Potenza, Italy.

We previously reported that patients with fibrotic, chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) have antibodies activating the platelet-derived growth factor receptor pathway. Because this pathway can be inhibited by imatinib, we performed a pilot study including 19 patients with refractory cGVHD, given imatinib at a starting dose of 100 mg per day. All patients had active cGVHD with measurable involvement of skin or other districts and had previously failed at least 2 treatment lines. Patient median age was 29 years (range, 10-62 years), and median duration of cGvHD was 37 months (range, 4-107 months). The organs involved were skin (n = 17), lung (n = 11), and bowel (n = 5); 15 patients had sicca syndrome. Imatinib-related, grade 3 to 4 toxicity included fluid retention, infections, and anemia. Imatinib was discontinued in 8 patients: in 3 because of toxicity and in 5 because of lack of response (n = 3) or relapse of malignancy (n = 2). Overall response rate at 6 months was 79%, with 7 complete remissions (CRs) and 8 partial remissions (PRs). With a median follow-up of 17 months, 16 patients are alive, 14 still in CR or PR. The 18-month probability of overall survival is 84%. This study suggests that imatinib is a promising treatment for patients with refractory fibrotic cGVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2009-02-204156DOI Listing
July 2009

Loss of bone mineral density and secondary hyperparathyroidism are complications of autologous stem cell transplantation.

Leuk Lymphoma 2007 May;48(5):923-30

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of Internal Medicine and Clinical Oncology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Patients who underwent autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) are prone to decreased bone mineral density (BMD). We measured BMD in 180 patients who underwent ASCT for hematologic malignancies. Patients were evaluated with a median of 6.2 years after ASCT. Twenty patients who received only chemotherapy were evaluated as controls. The loss of bone mass was greater during the first year after ASCT, since majority of patients recover BMD and normalize bone turnover markers during the following years. After ASCT, over half of the patients show osteopenia or osteoporosis independent of the sex. According to the results of other groups, our results emphasize the potential usefulness of antiresorptive agents to prevent or treat post-ASCT osteopenia or osteoporosis, and the importance of the measurement of BMD as an integral component to the follow-up of ASCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428190701268775DOI Listing
May 2007

Graft engineering for allogeneic haploidentical stem cell transplantation.

Blood Cells Mol Dis 2004 Nov-Dec;33(3):274-80

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Hematology and Clinical Immunology, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.

Haploidentical stem cell transplantation has became a clinical reality in the last 10 years as it provides the chance of transplant for about 50% of patients with hematological malignancies who do not have a matched related or unrelated donor. Proper graft preparation for this type of transplant is crucial and this paper analyses our work over the past decade in the search for the optimal graft processing procedure moving from E-rosetting and soybean agglutination, through a combination of negative or positive selection of hematopoietic stem cells to the current method of one-step positive selection. In preparing a graft for haploidentical transplant, three essential requisites must be met. It must contain (1) a megadose (>10 x 10(6) x kg recipient b.w.) of hematopoietic stem cells to overcome the HLA histocompatibility barrier; (2) very few T-lymphocytes (CD3+ cells < 3 x 10(4)/kg recipient b.w.) to prevent severe acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD); (3) very few B-lymphocytes to prevent Epstein-Barr virus-related lymphoproliferative disorders. With current graft processing technologies based on positive selection of hematopoietic stem cells, these requirements can be met. A 70-80% hematopoietic stem cell recovery ensures the target megadose is achieved in over 70% of cases with a T-cell depletion of more than 4 logs and a B-cell depletion of over 3 logs. Progress in graft processing has ensured primary, sustained engraftment rates of over 90% and has significantly reduced the incidence of severe acute GvHD and EBV-related lymphoproliferative disorders. Modern time-saving automated graft processing devices ensure reproducibility, reliability, and biological safety, which make widespread application of the haploidentical transplant currently feasible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcmd.2004.08.016DOI Listing
April 2005

Melphalan versus melphalan plus busulphan in conditioning to autologous stem cell transplantation for low-risk multiple myeloma.

Hematol J 2004 ;5(2):118-22

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of Internal Medicine and Clinical Oncology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Introduction: High-dose chemotherapy conditioning regimens for autologous stem cell transplantation generally give similar results in multiple myeloma. We compared two regimens: melphalan versus melphalan plus busulphan.

Methods: In all, 30 untreated patients with stage III low-risk multiple myeloma were studied. After induction with three VAD courses and mobilization with cyclophosphamide 7 g/m(2) and recombinant human granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (rHuG-CSF) (10 microg/kg b.w./die), they received melphalan 200 mg/m(2) (arm A) or busulphan 16 mg/kg plus melphalan 100 mg/m(2) (arm B) for conditioning for transplantation. All patients received maintenance therapy with Interferon 3 MU x 3/week.

Results: Time to engraftment after transplantation was similar in both groups. All patients received rHuG-CSF after reinfusion of peripheral stem cells. No differences emerged in transplant-related infective and noninfective complications. There were no transplant-related deaths. A better response was observed in the melphalan plus busulphan regimen (85 versus 75%, P<0.05). The 5-year overall survival with this regimen was 56 versus 49% with melphalan, and the median survival was 126 months versus 108 months for melphalan (P=0.7). The median progression-free survival was 121 months for melphalan plus busulphan versus 97 months for melphalan (P=0.05).

Conclusion: These two conditioning regimens showed similar overall response rate and overall survival, though progression-free survival was better with busulphan plus melphalan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.thj.6200369DOI Listing
November 2004
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