Publications by authors named "Norbert Pescosta"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone followed by double autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (GIMEMA-MMY-3006): long-term follow-up analysis of a randomised phase 3, open-label study.

Lancet Haematol 2020 Dec;7(12):e861-e873

Department of Cell Therapy and Hematology, San Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Italy.

Background: The phase 3 GIMEMA-MMY-3006 trial, which compared bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone (VTD) combination therapy with thalidomide and dexamethasone (TD) as induction therapy before and consolidation therapy after double autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, showed the superiority of the triplet regimen over the doublet in terms of increased complete response rate and improved progression-free survival. We report the results from the final analysis of the study.

Methods: In this randomised, open-label, phase 3 study, patients aged 18-65 years with previously untreated symptomatic multiple myeloma and a Karnofsky Performance Status of 60% or higher were enrolled at 73 centres in Italy. Patients were randomised (1:1) by a web-based system to receive three 21-day cycles of thalidomide (100 mg daily orally for the first 14 days and 200 mg daily thereafter) plus dexamethasone (total 320 mg per cycle; 40 mg on days 1-2, 4-5, 8-9, and 11-12 in the VTD regimen, and 40 mg on days 1-4 and 9-12 in the TD regimen), either alone (TD group) or with bortezomib (1·3 mg/m intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11; VTD group). After double autologous HSCT, patients received two 35-day cycles of either the VTD or TD regimen, according to random assignment, as consolidation therapy. The primary outcome was the rate of complete response and near complete response after induction (already reported). In this updated analysis we assessed long-term progression-free survival and overall survival (secondary endpoints of the study) with an extended 10-year median follow-up, and analysed the variables influencing survival. Analysis was by intention to treat. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01134484.

Findings: Between May 10, 2006, and April 30, 2008, 480 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive VTD (241 patients) or TD (239 patients). Six patients withdrew consent before start of treatment. 236 (99 [42%] women) in the VTD group and 238 (102 [43%] women) in the TD group were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. The data cutoff date for this analysis was May 31, 2018. Median follow-up for surviving patients was 124·1 months (IQR 117·2-131·7). The 10-year progression-free survival estimate for patients in the VTD group was 34% (95% CI 28-41) compared with 17% (13-23) for the TD group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·62 [95% CI 0·50-0·77]; p<0·0001). 60% (95% CI 54-67) of patients in the VTD group were alive at 10 years versus 46% (40-54) of patients in the TD group (HR 0·68 [95% CI 0·51-0·90]; p=0·0068). VTD was an independent predictor of improved progression-free survival (HR 0·60 [95% CI 0·48-0·76]; p<0·0001) and overall survival (HR 0·68 [0·50-0·91]; p=0·010). The incidence of second primary malignancies per 100 person-years was 0·87 (95% CI 0·49-1·44) in the VTD group compared with 1·41 (0·88-2·13) in the TD group.

Interpretation: Incorporation of VTD into double autologous HSCT resulted in clinically meaningful improvements in long-term progression-free survival and overall survival, confirming that a regimen including bortezomib and an immunomodulatory drug is the gold standard treatment for patients with newly diagnosed myeloma who are fit for high-dose chemotherapy.

Funding: Seràgnoli Institute of Haematology, University of Bologna, and BolognAIL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30323-9DOI Listing
December 2020

Lenalidomide-based induction and maintenance in elderly newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients: updated results of the EMN01 randomized trial.

Haematologica 2020 07 3;105(7):1937-1947. Epub 2019 Oct 3.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Torino, Italy.

n the EMN01 trial, the addition of an alkylator (melphalan or cyclophosphamide) to lenalidomide-steroid induction therapy was prospectively evaluated in transplant-ineligible patients with multiple myeloma. After induction, patients were randomly assigned to maintenance treatment with lenalidomide alone or with prednisone continuously. The analysis presented here (median follow-up of 71 months) is focused on maintenance treatment and on subgroup analyses defined according to the International Myeloma Working Group Frailty Score. Of the 654 evaluable patients, 217 were in the lenalidomide-dexamethasone arm, 217 in the melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide arm and 220 in the cyclophosphamide-prednisone-lenalidomide arm. With regards to the Frailty Score, 284 (43%) patients were fit, 205 (31%) were intermediate-fit and 165 (25%) were frail. After induction, 402 patients were eligible for maintenance therapy (lenalidomide arm, n=204; lenalidomide-prednisone arm, n=198). After a median duration of maintenance of 22.0 months, progression-free survival from the start of maintenance was 22.2 months with lenalidomide-prednisone 18.6 months with lenalidomide (hazard ratio 0.85, =0.14), with no differences across frailty subgroups. The most frequent grade ≥3 toxicity was neutropenia (10% of lenalidomide-prednisone and 21% of lenalidomide patients; =0.001). Grade ≥3 non-hematologic adverse events were rare (<15%). In fit patients, melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide significantly prolonged progression-free survival compared to cyclophosphamide-prednisone-lenalidomide (hazard ratio 0.72, =0.05) and lenalidomide-dexamethasone (hazard ratio 0.72, =0.04). Likewise, a trend towards a better overall survival was noted for patients treated with melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide or cyclophosphamide-prednisone-lenalidomide, as compared to lenalidomide-dexamethasone. No differences were observed in intermediate-fit and frail patients. This analysis showed positive outcomes of maintenance with lenalidomide-based regimens, with a good safety profile. For the first time, we showed that fit patients benefit from a full-dose triplet regimen, while intermediate-fit and frail patients benefit from gentler regimens. ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT01093196.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.226407DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7327625PMC
July 2020

Treatment Intensification With Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation and Lenalidomide Maintenance Improves Survival Outcomes of Patients With Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma in Complete Response.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2018 08 28;18(8):533-540. Epub 2018 May 28.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda-Ospedaliero Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Torino, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: High-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (HDT-ASCT) and maintenance treatment with novel agents are the best options for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, increasing the rate of complete response (CR) and prolonging progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Indeed, the achievement of a CR is a predictor of long-term survival among transplant-eligible patients. However, it is unclear whether patients reaching a CR after induction treatment could receive less intense consolidation or avoid maintenance therapy.

Patients And Methods: We analyzed CR patients treated in 2 phase III trials, GIMEMA-RV-MM-PI-209 and RV-MM-EMN-441, to compare HDT-ASCT with an R-Alk (lenalidomide, alkylator) regimen as consolidation, and lenalidomide (R) maintenance with no maintenance. The primary endpoints were PFS, second PFS (PFS2), and OS from consolidation and maintenance (_m).

Results: Overall, the data from 166 patients in CR were analyzed, 95 in the HDT-ASCT group and 71 in the R-Alk group. The CR patients who received HDT-ASCT had a better PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.55; P = .01), PFS2 (HR, 0.46; P = .02), and OS (HR, 0.42; P = .03) compared with patients randomized to R-Alk. The survival benefit with HDT-ASCT was confirmed among all the subgroups, according to age, International Staging System (ISS stage, cytogenetic profile, and receipt of maintenance therapy. CR patients who received lenalidomide maintenance had a better PFS_m (4 years: 54% vs. 19%; HR, 0.43; P = .02) compared with those who received no maintenance. However, no difference was observed in terms of PFS2_m (4 years: 72% vs. 58%; HR, 0.83; P = .67) and OS_m (4 years: 79% vs. 72%; HR, 0.82; P = .73) with maintenance therapy.

Conclusion: Even in CR patients, outcomes were improved by an intensified approach with HDT-ASCT consolidation and lenalidomide-based maintenance therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2018.05.019DOI Listing
August 2018

Minimal residual disease after transplantation or lenalidomide-based consolidation in myeloma patients: a prospective analysis.

Oncotarget 2017 Jan;8(4):5924-5935

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospeadliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Torino, Italy.

We analyzed 50 patients who achieved at least a very good partial response in the RV-MM-EMN-441 study. Patients received consolidation with autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) or cyclophosphamide-lenalidomide-dexamethasone (CRD), followed by Lenalidomide-based maintenance. We assessed minimal residual disease (MRD) by multi-parameter flow cytometry (MFC) and allelic-specific oligonucleotide real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (ASO-RQ-PCR) after consolidation, after 3 and 6 courses of maintenance, and thereafter every 6 months until progression. By MFC analysis, 19/50 patients achieved complete response (CR) after consolidation, and 7 additional patients during maintenance. A molecular marker was identified in 25/50 patients, 4/25 achieved molecular-CR after consolidation, and 3 additional patients during maintenance. A lower MRD value by MFC was found in ASCT patients compared with CRD patients (p=0.0134). Tumor burden reduction was different in patients with high-risk vs standard-risk cytogenetics (3.4 vs 5.2, ln-MFC; 3 vs 6 ln-PCR, respectively) and in patients who relapsed vs those who did not (4 vs 5, ln-MFC; 4.4 vs 7.8 ln-PCR). MRD progression anticipated clinical relapse by a median of 9 months while biochemical relapse by a median of 4 months. MRD allows the identification of a low-risk group, independently of response, and a better characterization of the activity of treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12641DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5351601PMC
January 2017

Bortezomib, Thalidomide and Lenalidomide: Have They Really Changed the Outcome of Multiple Myeloma?

Anticancer Res 2016 Mar;36(3):1059-65

Department of Medicine, Hematology and Clinical Immunology, Padua University School of Medicine, Padua, Italy.

Treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) has significantly improved, although the disease remains incurable. Prospective clinical trials evaluating the impact on outcome of new drugs such as proteasome inhibitors or immunomodulating agents are limited since they are not able to reflect the clinical routine and available retrospective data are not detailed enough to directly evaluate the value of new drugs. To address these information gaps, we performed a retrospective real-life analysis. We retrospectively assessed 949 patients treated for multiple myeloma or plasma cell leukemia at three Italian cancer centers in the years 1979-2014. Clinical features at the time of diagnosis were consistent with what was observed in clinical routine. A total of 39% of patients underwent high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). The median overall survival (OS) of the whole group was 5.4 years and ranged from 3.4 years for patients who did not receive at least one of the new drugs compared to 5.9 years in the other patients (p<0.001). The improvement in OS due to administration of new drugs was also observed among different prognostic sub-groups such as age, Durie and Salmon stage, international staging system and renal impairment. Availability of new drugs significantly improved survival of patients who underwent ASCT and also those who did not. In conclusion, we provided evidence that the advent of the new drugs drastically improved the outcome of patients with MM, also in cases with poor risk at the time of diagnosis. ASCT is still of major importance in the treatment of this disease. Nevertheless, MM remains incurable and new therapeutic approaches are warranted.
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March 2016

Chemotherapy plus lenalidomide versus autologous transplantation, followed by lenalidomide plus prednisone versus lenalidomide maintenance, in patients with multiple myeloma: a randomised, multicentre, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2015 Dec 17;16(16):1617-29. Epub 2015 Nov 17.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Turin, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: High-dose melphalan plus autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) is the standard approach in transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed myeloma. Our aims were to compare consolidation with high-dose melphalan plus ASCT versus chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone) plus lenalidomide, and maintenance with lenalidomide plus prednisone versus lenalidomide alone.

Methods: We did an open-label, randomised, multicentre, phase 3 study at 59 centres in Australia, Czech Republic, and Italy. We enrolled transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed myeloma aged 65 years or younger. Patients received a common induction with four 28-day cycles of lenalidomide (25 mg, days 1-21) and dexamethasone (40 mg, days 1, 8, 15, and 22) and subsequent chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide (3 g/m(2)) followed by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor for stem-cell mobilisation and collection. Using a 2 × 2 partial factorial design, we randomised patients to consolidation with either chemotherapy plus lenalidomide (six cycles of cyclophosphamide [300 mg/m(2), days 1, 8, and 15], dexamethasone [40 mg, days 1, 8, 15, and 22], and lenalidomide [25 mg, days 1-21]) or two courses of high-dose melphalan (200 mg/m(2)) and ASCT. We also randomised patients to maintenance with lenalidomide (10 mg, days 1-21) plus prednisone (50 mg, every other day) or lenalidomide alone. A simple randomisation sequence was used to assign patients at enrolment into one of the four groups (1:1:1:1 ratio), but the treatment allocation was disclosed only when the patient reached the end of the induction and confirmed their eligibility for consolidation. Both the patient and the treating clinician did not know the consolidation and maintenance arm until that time. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival assessed by intention-to-treat. The trial is ongoing and some patients are still receiving maintenance. This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01091831.

Findings: 389 patients were enrolled between July 6, 2009, and May 6, 2011, with 256 eligible for consolidation (127 high-dose melphalan and ASCT and 129 chemotherapy plus lenalidomide) and 223 eligible for maintenance (117 lenalidomide plus prednisone and 106 lenalidomide alone). Median follow-up was 52·0 months (IQR 30·4-57·6). Progression-free survival during consolidation was significantly shorter with chemotherapy plus lenalidomide compared with high-dose melphalan and ASCT (median 28·6 months [95% CI 20·6-36·7] vs 43·3 months [33·2-52·2]; hazard ratio [HR] for the first 24 months 2·51, 95% CI 1·60-3·94; p<0·0001). Progression-free survival did not differ between maintenance treatments (median 37·5 months [95% CI 27·8-not evaluable] with lenalidomide plus prednisone vs 28·5 months [22·5-46·5] with lenalidomide alone; HR 0·84, 95% CI 0·59-1·20; p=0·34). Fewer grade 3 or 4 adverse events were recorded with chemotherapy plus lenalidomide than with high-dose melphalan and ASCT; the most frequent were haematological (34 [26%] of 129 patients vs 107 [84%] of 127 patients), gastrointestinal (six [5%] vs 25 [20%]), and infection (seven [5%] vs 24 [19%]). Haematological serious adverse events were reported in two (2%) patients assigned chemotherapy plus lenalidomide and no patients allocated high-dose melphalan and ASCT. Non-haematological serious adverse events were reported in 13 (10%) patients assigned chemotherapy plus lenalidomide and nine (7%) allocated high-dose melphalan and ASCT. During maintenance, adverse events did not differ between groups. The most frequent grade 3 or 4 adverse events were neutropenia (nine [8%] of 117 patients assigned lenalidomide plus prednisone vs 14 [13%] of 106 allocated lenalidomide alone), infection (eight [8%] vs five [5%]), and systemic toxicities (seven [6%] vs two [2%]). Non-haematological serious adverse events were reported in 13 (11%) patients assigned lenalidomide plus prednisone versus ten (9%) allocated lenalidomide alone. Four patients died because of adverse events, three from infections (two during induction and one during consolidation) and one because of cardiac toxic effects.

Interpretation: Consolidation with high-dose melphalan and ASCT remains the preferred option in transplant-eligible patients with multiple myeloma, despite a better toxicity profile with chemotherapy plus lenalidomide.

Funding: Celgene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00389-7DOI Listing
December 2015

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in systemic amyloidosis.

Amyloid 2014 Mar 16;21(1):69-70. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

Haematology Department, San Maurizio Regional Hospital , Bolzano, South Tyrol , Italy .

We report on the case of a young woman with a diagnosis of amyloidosis who developed severe portal and splenic venous thrombosis shortly after hormonal follicle stimulation therapy for oocyte preservation. The clinical implications are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13506129.2013.868801DOI Listing
March 2014

Bortezomib induction, reduced-intensity transplantation, and lenalidomide consolidation-maintenance for myeloma: updated results.

Blood 2013 Aug 17;122(8):1376-83. Epub 2013 Jun 17.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliera Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Turin, Italy.

A sequential approach including bortezomib induction, intermediate-dose melphalan, and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), followed by lenalidomide consolidation-maintenance, has been evaluated. Efficacy and safety data have been analyzed on intention-to-treat and results updated. Newly diagnosed myeloma patients 65 to 75 years of age (n = 102) received 4 cycles of bortezomib-pegylated liposomal doxorubicin-dexamethasone, tandem melphalan (100 mg/m(2)) followed by ASCT (MEL100-ASCT), 4 cycles of lenalidomide-prednisone consolidation (LP), and lenalidomide maintenance (L) until disease progression. The complete response (CR) rate was 33% after MEL100-ASCT, 48% after LP and 53% after L maintenance. After a median follow-up of 66 months, median time-to-progression (TTP) was 55 months and median progression-free survival 48 months. Median overall survival (OS) was not reached, 5-year OS was 63%. In CR patients, median TTP was 70 months and 5-year OS was 83%. Median survival from relapse was 28 months. Death related to adverse events (AEs) occurred in 8/102 patients during induction or transplantation. Rate of death related to AEs was higher in patients ≥70 years compared with younger (5/26 vs 3/76, P = .024). Bortezomib-induction followed by ASCT and lenalidomide consolidation-maintenance is a valuable option for elderly myeloma patients, with the greatest benefit in those younger than 70 years of age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2013-02-483073DOI Listing
August 2013

Aspirin, warfarin, or enoxaparin thromboprophylaxis in patients with multiple myeloma treated with thalidomide: a phase III, open-label, randomized trial.

J Clin Oncol 2011 Mar 31;29(8):986-93. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria San Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy.

Purpose: In patients with myeloma, thalidomide significantly improves outcomes but increases the risk of thromboembolic events. In this randomized, open-label, multicenter trial, we compared aspirin (ASA) or fixed low-dose warfarin (WAR) versus low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for preventing thromboembolism in patients with myeloma treated with thalidomide-based regimens.

Patients And Methods: A total of 667 patients with previously untreated myeloma who received thalidomide-containing regimens and had no clinical indication or contraindication for a specific antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy were randomly assigned to receive ASA (100 mg/d), WAR (1.25 mg/d), or LMWH (enoxaparin 40 mg/d). A composite primary end point included serious thromboembolic events, acute cardiovascular events, or sudden deaths during the first 6 months of treatment.

Results: Of 659 analyzed patients, 43 (6.5%) had serious thromboembolic events, acute cardiovascular events, or sudden death during the first 6 months (6.4% in the ASA group, 8.2% in the WAR group, and 5.0% in the LMWH group). Compared with LMWH, the absolute differences were +1.3% (95% CI, -3.0% to 5.7%; P = .544) in the ASA group and +3.2% (95% CI, -1.5% to 7.8%; P = .183) in the WAR group. The risk of thromboembolism was 1.38 times higher in patients treated with thalidomide without bortezomib. Three major (0.5%) and 10 minor (1.5%) bleeding episodes were recorded.

Conclusion: In patients with myeloma treated with thalidomide-based regimens, ASA and WAR showed similar efficacy in reducing serious thromboembolic events, acute cardiovascular events, and sudden deaths compared with LMWH, except in elderly patients where WAR showed less efficacy than LMWH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2010.31.6844DOI Listing
March 2011

Bortezomib with thalidomide plus dexamethasone compared with thalidomide plus dexamethasone as induction therapy before, and consolidation therapy after, double autologous stem-cell transplantation in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: a randomised phase 3 study.

Lancet 2010 Dec 9;376(9758):2075-85. Epub 2010 Dec 9.

Istituto di Ematologia Seràgnoli, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Background: Thalidomide plus dexamethasone (TD) is a standard induction therapy for myeloma. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of addition of bortezomib to TD (VTD) versus TD alone as induction therapy before, and consolidation therapy after, double autologous stem-cell transplantation in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Methods: Patients (aged 18-65 years) with previously untreated symptomatic myeloma were enrolled from 73 sites in Italy between May, 2006, and April, 2008, and data collection continued until June 30, 2010. Patients were randomly allocated (1:1 ratio) by a web-based system to receive three 21-day cycles of thalidomide (100 mg daily for the first 14 days and 200 mg daily thereafter) plus dexamethasone (40 mg daily on 8 of the first 12 days, but not consecutively; total of 320 mg per cycle), either alone or with bortezomib (1·3 mg/m(2) on days 1, 4, 8, and 11). The randomisation sequence was computer generated by the study coordinating team and was stratified by disease stage. After double autologous stem-cell transplantation, patients received two 35-day cycles of their assigned drug regimen, VTD or TD, as consolidation therapy. The primary endpoint was the rate of complete or near complete response to induction therapy. Analysis was by intention to treat. Patients and treating physicians were not masked to treatment allocation. This study is still underway but is not recruiting participants, and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01134484, and with EudraCT, number 2005-003723-39.

Findings: 480 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive VTD (n=241 patients) or TD (n=239). Six patients withdrew consent before start of treatment, and 236 on VTD and 238 on TD were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. After induction therapy, complete or near complete response was achieved in 73 patients (31%, 95% CI 25·0-36·8) receiving VTD, and 27 (11%, 7·3-15·4) on TD (p<0·0001). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events were recorded in a significantly higher number of patients on VTD (n=132, 56%) than in those on TD (n=79, 33%; p<0·0001), with a higher occurrence of peripheral neuropathy in patients on VTD (n=23, 10%) than in those on TD (n=5, 2%; p=0·0004). Resolution or improvement of severe peripheral neuropathy was recorded in 18 of 23 patients on VTD, and in three of five patients on TD.

Interpretation: VTD induction therapy before double autologous stem-cell transplantation significantly improves rate of complete or near complete response, and represents a new standard of care for patients with multiple myeloma who are eligible for transplant.

Funding: Seràgnoli Institute of Haematology at the University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61424-9DOI Listing
December 2010

Bortezomib as induction before autologous transplantation, followed by lenalidomide as consolidation-maintenance in untreated multiple myeloma patients.

J Clin Oncol 2010 Feb 4;28(5):800-7. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Divisione di Ematologia dell'Università di Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria San Giovanni Battista, Via Genova 3, 10126 Torino, Italy.

PURPOSE To evaluate the effect of bortezomib as induction therapy before autologous transplantation, followed by lenalidomide as consolidation-maintenance in myeloma patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS Newly diagnosed patients age 65 to 75 years were eligible. Induction (bortezomib, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone [PAD]) included four 21-day cycles of bortezomib (1.3 mg/m(2) on days 1, 4, 8, and 11), pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (30 mg/m(2) on day 4), and dexamethasone (40 mg/d; cycle 1: days 1 to 4, 8 to 11, and 15 to 18; cycles 2 to 4: days 1 to 4). Autologous transplantation was tandem melphalan 100 mg/m(2) (MEL100) and stem-cell support. Consolidation included four 28-day cycles of lenalidomide (25 mg/d on days 1 to 21 every 28 days) plus prednisone (50 mg every other day), followed by maintenance with lenalidomide (LP-L; 10 mg/d on days 1 to 21) until relapse. Primary end points were safety (incidence of grade 3 to 4 adverse events [AEs]) and efficacy (response rate). Results A total of 102 patients were enrolled. In a per-protocol analysis, after PAD, 58% of patients had very good partial response (VGPR) or better, including 13% with complete response (CR); after MEL100, 82% of patients had at least VGPR and 38% had CR; and after LP-L, 86% of patients had at least VGPR and 66% had CR. After median follow-up time of 21 months, the 2-year progression-free survival rate was 69%, and the 2-year overall survival rate was 86%. During induction, treatment-related mortality was 3%; grade 3 to 4 AEs included thrombocytopenia (17%), neutropenia (10%), peripheral neuropathy (16%), and pneumonia (10%). During consolidation-maintenance, grade 3 to 4 AEs were neutropenia (16%), thrombocytopenia (6%), pneumonia (5%), and cutaneous rash (4%). CONCLUSION Bortezomib as induction before autologous transplantation, followed by lenalidomide as consolidation-maintenance, is an effective regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2009.22.7561DOI Listing
February 2010

A phase II multiple dose clinical trial of histone deacetylase inhibitor ITF2357 in patients with relapsed or progressive multiple myeloma.

Ann Hematol 2010 Feb 25;89(2):185-90. Epub 2009 Jul 25.

Div. of Hematology, Ospedali Riuniti, Largo Barozzi, 1, 24128, Bergamo, Italy.

ITF2357, an orally effective member of the family of histone deacetylase inhibitors, is a potent inducer of apoptosis and death of multiple myeloma (MM) cells. We performed a phase-II, multiple-dose clinical trial in 19 patients with relapsed or progressive MM to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of ITF2357 administered twice daily for four consecutive days every week for 4 weeks (i.e., first cycle). The first six patients received 150 mg ITF2357 twice daily. Since two of them experienced a dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) during the first cycle, the subsequent patients received 100 mg ITF2357 twice daily. This was the MTD, as only one DLT occurred. Up to 12 weeks (i.e., three cycles) of treatment were scheduled. Oral dexamethasone was allowed to a maximum weekly amount of 20 mg. Median duration of treatment was 6 weeks, ranging from two (two patients) to 12 weeks (five patients). Four patients suffered from serious adverse events. Three patients experienced grade 3-4 gastro-intestinal toxicity and three had transient electrocardiographic abnormalities. Thrombocytopenia occurred in all but one patient (grade 3-4 in ten patients). At last follow-up, five patients were in stable disease, five had disease progression, and nine had died all of progressive MM. In conclusion, when given at a dose of 100 mg twice daily alone or combined with dexamethasone, ITF2357 proved tolerable but showed a modest clinical benefit in advanced MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-009-0793-8DOI Listing
February 2010

Bortezomib, melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide for relapsed multiple myeloma.

Blood 2007 Apr;109(7):2767-72

Divisione di Ematologia dell'Università di Torino, Azienda Ospedaliera (AO) S. Giovanni Battista, Turin, Italy.

In multiple myeloma (MM), the addition of thalidomide or bortezomib to the standard oral melphalan/prednisone combination significantly increased response rate and event-free survival. In this multicenter phase 1/2 trial, dosing, safety, and efficacy of the 4-drug combination, bortezomib, melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide (VMPT) was determined. Bortezomib was administered at 3 dose levels (1.0 mg/m2, 1.3 mg/m2, or 1.6 mg/m2) on days 1, 4, 15, and 22; melphalan was given at a dose of 6 mg/m2 on days 1 through 5 and prednisone at 60 mg/m2 on days 1 through 5. Thalidomide was delivered at 50 mg on days 1 through 35. Each course was repeated every 35 days. The maximum tolerated dose of bortezomib was 1.3 mg/m2. Thirty patients with relapsed or refractory MM were enrolled; 20 patients (67%) achieved a partial response (PR) including 13 patients (43%) who achieved at least a very good PR. Among 14 patients who received VMPT as second-line treatment, the PR rate was 79% and the immunofixation-negative complete response rate 36%. The 1-year progression-free survival was 61%, and the 1-year survival from study entry was 84%. Grade 3 nonhematologic adverse events included infections (5 patients), fatigue (1), vasculitis (1), and peripheral neuropathy (2); no grade 4 toxicities were recorded. Initial results showed that VMPT is an effective salvage therapy with a very high proportion of responses. The incidence of neurotoxicities was unexpectedly low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2006-08-042275DOI Listing
April 2007

T-cell receptor excision circles: a novel prognostic parameter for the outcome of transplantation in multiple myeloma patients.

Br J Haematol 2003 Sep;122(5):795-801

Department of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Centre, Regional Hospital, Bozen, Italy.

This study investigated whether T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) are a prognostic marker for the outcome of myeloma patients undergoing a tandem autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT). Twenty-five patients were enrolled. Samples were obtained at study enrollment, after conventional therapy, between first and second transplantation and 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after the second PBSCT. TRECs were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction. A high variation in TREC levels was found at diagnosis (median TREC level 136/10(5) peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs); range 1-1729), suggesting individual differences in thymic output of naive T cells. Patients with more than 136 TRECs/10(5) P BMCs at diagnosis had a statistically significant better overall survival (P=0.05) and event-free survival (P=0.045), whereas low TREC levels correlated with a higher incidence of infectious complications. Median TREC values were lowest after the first PBSCT (52/10(5) PBMCs) and reached the baseline 12 months after the second transplantation. Patients with high TREC levels after the second PBSCT had a significantly higher probability of being in complete or partial remission 30 months after the second PBSCT. TREC levels were not correlated with beta2-microglobulin and C-reactive protein levels at diagnosis. These data suggest that TRECs could be a relevant prognostic factor for patients who receive high-dose chemotherapy and autologous PBSCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2141.2003.04482.xDOI Listing
September 2003