Publications by authors named "Patrizio Mazza"

35 Publications

GITMO REGISTRY STUDY ON ALLOGENEIC TRANSPLANTATION IN PATIENTS AGED OVER 60 FROM 2000 TO 2017. IMPROVEMENTS AND CRITICISMS.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Nov 21. Epub 2021 Nov 21.

Unit of Haematology and Stem Cell Transplant Centre, "San Camillo" Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Background: Nowadays, allogeneic stem cell transplantation (Allo-SCT) can be offered to patients up to the age of 70-72 years and represents one of the most effective curative treatments for many hematological malignancies.

Objectives: The primary objective of the study is to collect data from the allo-SCTs performed in Italy from 2000 to 2017 in patients over 60 years of age to evaluate the changes in safety and efficacy outcomes as well as their distribution and characteristics over time.

Study Design: The GITMO AlloEld study (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04469985) is a retrospective, analysis of the allo-SCTs performed 30 Italian transplant Centers on older patients (≥ 60 years) from 2000 to 2017 (n=1,996).

Results: For the purpose of analysis, patients were grouped into three time periods: time A: 2000-2005, n=256 (12%); time B: 2006-2011, n=584 (29%); and time C: 2012-2017, n=1156 (59%). After a median follow-up of 5.6 years, the 5-year Non Relapse Mortality (NRM) remained stable (time A: 32.8%; time B: 36.2%; and time C: 35.0%, p = 0.5); the Overall Survival (OS) improved (time A: 28.4%; time B: 31.8%; and time C: 37.3%, p = 0.012); and the Cumulative Incidence of Relapse (CIR) reduced (time A: 45.3%; time B: 38.2%; time C: 30.0%, p < 0.0001). The 2-year incidence of extensive cGVHD reduced significantly (time A: 17.2%; time B: 15.8%; and time C: 12.2%, p = 0.004). Considering times A and B together (2000-2011), the 2-year NRM was positively correlated to the HCT-CI score; patients with HCT-CI of 0, 1 or 2, or ≥3 had rates of NRM of 25.2%, 33.9%, and 36.1%, respectively, (p < 0.001). Meanwhile, after 2012, the HCT-CI score was not significantlly predictive of NRM.

Conclusions: The study shows that the transplant procedure in elderly patients became more effective over time. Relapse incidence remains the major problem and strategies to prevent it are under investigation (e.g. post-transplant maintenance). Today, the selection of patients aged over 60 could be improved by combining HCT-CI and frailty assessments to better predict NRM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.11.006DOI Listing
November 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

Efficacy and safety of netupitant/palonosetron combination (NEPA) in preventing nausea and vomiting in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients undergoing to chemomobilization before autologous stem cell transplantation.

Support Care Cancer 2021 Sep 17. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Hematology Unit, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Purpose: Prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is particularly challenging for patients receiving highly emetogenic preparative regimens before autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) due to the daily and continuous emetogenic stimulus of the multiple day chemotherapy. While studies have shown effective prevention of CINV during the conditioning phase with NK receptor antagonist (NKRA)-containing regimens, there have been no studies evaluating antiemetic use during chemomobilization prior to ASCT.

Methods: This multicenter, open-label, phase IIa study evaluated the efficacy of every-other-day dosing of NEPA administered during chemomobilization in patients with relapsed-refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Eighty-one patients participated.

Results: Response rates were 77.8% for complete response (no emesis and no rescue use), 72.8% for complete control (complete response and no more than mild nausea), 86.4% for no emesis, and 82.7% for no rescue use during the overall phase (duration of chemomobilization through 48 h after). NEPA was well tolerated with no treatment-related adverse events reported.

Conclusion: NEPA, administered with a simplified every-other-day schedule, show to be very effective in preventing CINV in patients at high risk of CINV undergoing to chemomobilization of hematopoietic stem cells prior to ASCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-021-06495-0DOI Listing
September 2021

Adherence to ruxolitinib, an oral JAK1/2 inhibitor, in patients with myelofibrosis: interim analysis from an Italian, prospective cohort study (ROMEI).

Leuk Lymphoma 2021 Sep 15:1-10. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Hematology, Department of Translational and Precision Medicine, Azienda Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

ROMEI, a prospective, observational study in patients with myelofibrosis receiving the oral JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib in real-world practice, assesses treatment adherence based on the 8-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8). Here, we present MMAS-8 results at week 24. Overall, 101 of 188 evaluable patients completed the questionnaire at every visit (full completers). Mean (±standard deviation) total MMAS-8 scores remained stable from week 4 to week 24 in the overall population (7.54 ± 0.77 and 7.67 ± 0.70, respectively) and full completers (7.53 ± 0.79 and 7.67 ± 0.73, respectively). Rates of low (MMAS-8 ˂6) or medium (MMAS-8 ≥ 6 to ˂8) adherence were 25-40% and 26-36%, respectively. Fifty-five full completers (54%) reported ≥1 change in adherence category (improvement and/or worsening), most of which were associated with unintentional behavior. The data suggest that one-third of patients receiving ruxolitinib may be undertreated due to non-adherence, potentially undermining disease control, and indicate a need for better interventions addressing noncompliance to oral therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2021.1969388DOI Listing
September 2021

The Impact of Graft CD3 Cell/Regulatory T Cell Ratio on Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease and Post-Transplantation Outcome: A Prospective Multicenter Study of Patients with Acute Leukemia Undergoing Allogeneic Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Nov 14;27(11):918.e1-918.e9. Epub 2021 Aug 14.

Hematology and Stem Cell Transplantation Unit, AOUC Policlinico, Bari, Italy; Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Aldo Moro University School of Medicine, Bari, Italy.

Although it is well known that tumor site- or bone marrow-infiltrating regulatory T cells (Tregs) might be correlated with worse outcomes in solid tumors and acute leukemias by promoting immune surveillance escape, their contribution to the immediate post-allogeneic transplantation phase by peripheral blood (PB) allografts remains unclear. Moreover, the Treg content in stem cells harvested from PB has been suggested to be correlated with acute graft versus-host-disease (aGVHD) and immunologic recovery after allogeneic PB stem cell transplantation (allo-PBSCT). This study aimed to investigate the impact of the graft content of Tregs, as graft CD3/Tregs ratio (gCD3/TregsR), on acute GVHD and post-allo-PBSCT outcomes. We prospectively enrolled 94 consecutive patients at 9 Italian centers of the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto di Midollo Osseo (GITMO) with acute myelogenous (n = 71; 75%) or lymphoblastic (n = 23; 25%) leukemia in complete remission who underwent matched related donor (n = 35; 37%) or unrelated donor (n = 59; 63%) allo-PBSCT. The median graft CD3 cell, Treg, and gCD3/TregsR values were 196 × 10/kg body weight (range, 17 to 666 × 10/kg), 3 × 10/kg (range, 0.1 to 35 × 10/kg), and 71 (range, 1 to 1883), respectively. The discriminatory power of the gCD3/TregsR value to predict grade ≥II aGVHD was assessed by estimating the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC). Any grade and grade ≥II aGVHD occurred in 24 (26%) and 17 (18%) allo-PBSCT recipients, respectively. By ROC analysis, AUC (0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.608 to 0.866; P = .002) identified 70 as the optimal gCD3/TregsR cutoff value predicting the appearance of grade ≥II aGVHD with 76% sensitivity and 71% specificity. Patients were subdivided into a high (ROC curve value ≥70) gCD3/TregsR group (HR; n = 48) and a low (ROC curve value <70) gCD3/TregsR group (LR; n = 46). The incidence of grade II-IV aGVHD was lower in the LR group compared with the HR group (9% [4 of 46] versus 27% [13 of 48]) in both univariate analysis (odds ratio [OR], 4.8; 95% CI, 1.44 to 16.17; P = .015) and multivariate analysis (OR, 5.0; 95% CI, 1.34 to 18.93; P = .017), whereas no differences were documented taking into account aGVHD of any grade. The overall survival, disease-free survival, nonrelapse mortality, and relapse rates at 2 and 3 years were 61% and 54%, 62% and 55%, 15% and 23%, and 27% and 30%, respectively. Of note, gCD3/TregsR did not significantly correlate with relapse (P = .135). Taken together, our data from this prospective multicenter study confirm the value of Tregs in preventing aGVHD while maintaining the graft-versus-leukemia effect. © 2021 American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.08.008DOI Listing
November 2021

Carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma patients: the real-life experience of Rete Ematologica Pugliese (REP).

Ann Hematol 2021 Feb 7;100(2):429-436. Epub 2020 Nov 7.

Department of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Hospital Card. G. Panico, Via San Pio X, 73039, Tricase (LE), Italy.

Carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd) have been approved for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) based on ASPIRE clinical trial. However, its effectiveness and safety profile in real clinical practice should be further assessed. We retrospectively evaluated 130 consecutive RRMM patients treated with KRd between December 2015 and August 2018, in 9 Hematology Departments of Rete Ematologica Pugliese (REP). The overall response rate (ORR) was 79%, with 37% complete response (CR). Treatment with KRd led to an improvement in response regardless of age, refractory disease, and number and type of previous therapies. After a median follow-up of 18 months, median PFS was 24 months and 2y-PFS was 54%. PFS was longer in patients achieving a very good partial response (VGPR) with median PFS of 32.4 months. The relapses after prior autologous transplant (ASCT) positively impact median PFS. Several baseline disease characteristics, such as III ISS scoring or elevated LDH, and prior exposure to lenalidomide were found to negatively impact PFS. Primary refractory or relapsed myeloma patients have been treated with KRd as bridge to ASCT with a great benefit. Thirty-four (83%) reached at least a partial response after KRd and 21 (61%) performed ASCT. In transplanted patients, median PFS was not reached and 2y-PFS was 100%. The treatment discontinuation rate due to adverse events (AEs) was 18%, most commonly for lenalidomide (11%). Overall, in 10% of patients, a KRd dose reduction was necessary at least once (2.5% for carfilzomib and 8% for lenalidomide). The most frequent AE was neutropenia (44%) and anemia (41%). Infections occurred in 14% of patients. Cardiovascular events occurred in 11% of patients. Elderly patients have tolerated therapy very well, without additional side effects compared to younger patients, except for cardiac impairment. Our analysis confirmed that KRd is effective in RRMM patients. It is well tolerated and applicable to the majority of patients outside clinical trials. A longer PFS was shown in patients achieving VGPR, in those lenalidomide naïve and in patients relapsing after previous ASCT. Previous ASCT should not hamper the option for KRd therapy. Accordingly, KRd should be used as bridge regimen to ASCT with remarkable improvement in response and PFS rates. Further clinical studies are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-04329-3DOI Listing
February 2021

Efficacy and safety of multiple doses of NEPA without dexamethasone in preventing nausea and vomiting induced by multiple-day and high-dose chemotherapy in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma undergoing autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a phase IIa, multicenter study.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 11 28;55(11):2114-2120. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Hematology Unit, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Despite the availability of several antiemetics, clinical findings show that control of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) continues to be a serious concern for hematological patients, mainly for those receiving multiple-day (MD) and high-dose (HD) chemotherapy (CT). For CINV prophylaxis, 5-hydroxytryptamine type-3 receptor antagonists (5HT-RAs) and neurokinin 1 receptor antagonists (NK-RAs) are usually administered together with dexamethasone, which may increase the risk of serious infections in patients undergoing myeloablative treatment. The rationale of this multicenter, open-label and phase IIa study was to explore the efficacy of multiple doses of NEPA (netupitant/palonosetron) given as an every-other-day regimen without dexamethasone in preventing CINV in patients with relapsed-refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (R/R-NHL), eligible for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) and treated with MD-HD-CT. Seventy patients participated to the study. According to the adopted Fleming one-stage design, the primary endpoint of this study was achieved. The CR values were 87.1% (primary endpoint, overall phase: days 1-8), 88.6% (acute phase: days 1-6), and 98.6% (delayed phase: days 7-8), while complete control (CR with no more than mild nausea) was 85.7% (overall phase), 88.6% (acute phase), and 95.7% (delayed phase). Moderate and severe episodes of nausea were reported by less than 10% of patients in the overall phase and less than 5% in both the acute and delayed phases. Regarding safety, NEPA was well tolerated with only one adverse event (constipation) evaluated as possibly related to NEPA administration. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that multiple alternate dosing of NEPA without the addition of dexamethasone is highly effective for preventing nausea and vomiting in this difficult setting, with a good tolerability profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-020-0909-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7588339PMC
November 2020

Every-other-day palonosetron plus aprepitant for prevention of emesis following induction chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia: A randomized, controlled study from the "Rete Ematologica Pugliese".

Cancer Med 2020 01 14;9(1):170-178. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Hematology Unit, Casa di Cura La Maddalena, Palermo, Italy.

Background: Compared with older 5-HT receptor antagonists, palonosetron requires fewer drug administrations to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) following multiple-day chemotherapy. We conducted a phase II multicenter study comparing palonosetron plus aprepitant to palonosetron alone in patients undergoing a range of induction chemotherapy regimens for acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Methods: Patients were randomized to palonosetron (0.25 mg) every other day until the last dose of chemotherapy alone or with aprepitant on days 1-3. Patients mainly received an anthracycline on days 1-3 plus cytarabine administered for 5-10 days. The primary end point was complete response (CR; no emesis and no rescue medication) over the whole study period (days of chemotherapy plus two additional days). Unplanned analysis of time to anti-emetic treatment failure (TTF) was also performed.

Results: Of the 134 patients enrolled in the study, 130 were evaluable: 68 subjects received palonosetron plus aprepitant and 62 received palonosetron alone. Although the primary end point of CR was similar between the treatment arms (72% vs 69%; P = .55), a higher proportion of patients treated with palonosetron plus aprepitant were free from nausea during the whole study period (43% vs 27%; P = .03). There was also a significant difference in favor of the two-drug regimens in TTF (median: 5 days vs 3 days; P = .03).

Conclusions: The study suggests that every-other-day palonosetron plus 3-day aprepitant can add clinical benefit to the control of CINV caused by multiple-day, corticosteroid-free chemotherapy for AML. In this challenging setting of CINV, further investigations of palonosetron in combination with aprepitant administered with an expanded schedule are warranted. ClinicalTrial.gov identifier: NCT02205164.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.2628DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6943081PMC
January 2020

GIMEMA AML1310 trial of risk-adapted, MRD-directed therapy for young adults with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia.

Blood 2019 09 8;134(12):935-945. Epub 2019 Aug 8.

Hematology, Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.

We designed a trial in which postremission therapy of young patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was decided combining cytogenetics/genetics and postconsolidation levels of minimal residual disease (MRD). After induction and consolidation, favorable-risk patients (FR) were to receive autologous stem cell transplant (AuSCT) and poor-risk patients (PR) allogeneic stem cell transplant (AlloSCT). Intermediate-risk patients (IR) were to receive AuSCT or AlloSCT depending on the postconsolidation levels of MRD. Three hundred sixty-one of 500 patients (72%) achieved a complete remission, 342/361 completed the consolidation phase and were treatment allocated: 165 (48%) to AlloSCT (122 PR, 43 IR MRD-positive) plus 23 rescued after salvage therapy, for a total of 188 candidates; 150 (44%) to AuSCT (115 FR, 35 IR MRD-negative) plus 27 IR patients (8%) with no leukemia-associated phenotype, for a total of 177 candidates. Overall, 110/177 (62%) and 130/188 (71%) AuSCT or AlloSCT candidates received it, respectively. Two-year overall (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) of the whole series was 56% and 54%, respectively. Two-year OS and DFS were 74% and 61% in the FR category, 42% and 45% in the PR category, 79% and 61% in the IR MRD-negative category, and 70% and 67% in the IR MRD-positive category. In conclusion, AuSCT may still have a role in FR and IR MRD-negative categories. In the IR MRD-positive category, AlloSCT prolongs OS and DFS to equal those of the FR category. Using all the available sources of stem cells, AlloSCT was delivered to 71% of the candidates.This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01452646 and EudraCT as #2010-023809-36.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2018886960DOI Listing
September 2019

Brentuximab vedotin prior to allogeneic stem cell transplantation increases survival in chemorefractory Hodgkin's lymphoma patients.

Ann Hematol 2019 Jun 14;98(6):1449-1455. Epub 2019 Mar 14.

Haematology, "Policlinico" Hospital, Bari, Italy.

This study reports a retrospective multicenter experience by the Rete Ematologica Pugliese (REP) over the past 16 years, aiming to compare the patients characteristics and outcomes of 21 brentuximab vedotin (BV)-pre-treated patients to 51 patients who received reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) without prior BV. In total, 72 patients with classical Hodgkin's lymphomas who received allogeneic SCT were retrospectively studied. Prior use of BV had no effect on either engraftment or the incidence and severity of acute graft versus host disease (GVHD). Indeed, a lower incidence of chronic GVHD was observed in the BV group, with a 43% cumulative incidence at 3 years versus 47% in the no BV group, although this was not statistically significant. Despite the low incidence of chronic GVHD, survival was not worse in the BV-treated group: 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 53%, 3-year overall survival (OS) was 62%, 3-year non-relapse mortality (NRM) was 24%. In the no BV group, the 3-year PFS was 33%, 3-year OS was 44%, and 3-year NRM was 14%. In chemorefractory patients at the time of transplant, we found a statistically significant difference in PFS between the BV and no BV groups (51% vs. 10%, p = 0.013).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-019-03662-6DOI Listing
June 2019

Outcomes of Reduced Intensity Conditioning Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Hodgkin Lymphomas: A Retrospective Multicenter Experience by the Rete Ematologica Pugliese (REP).

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2019 01 12;19(1):35-40. Epub 2018 Sep 12.

Haematology, "G.Panico" Hospital, Tricase (LE), Italy.

Background: Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a potentially curable disease, and modern therapy is expected to successfully cure more than 80% of the patients. However, patients progressing after intensive treatments, such as autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT), have a very poor outcome. Allogeneic SCT offers the only strategy with a curative potential for these patients. This study reports a retrospective multicenter experience of the Rete Ematologica Pugliese (REP) over the past 17 years, aiming to define the impact of each patient's disease and transplant-related characteristics on outcomes.

Patients And Methods: We retrospectively studied 72 patients with HL who received allogeneic SCT from 2000 to 2017. At the time of allogeneic SCT, 33 (46%) patients had chemosensitive disease, and 39 (54%) were chemo-refractory. All patients received reduced-intensity conditioning, 50% received grafts from a matched sibling donor, and 50% from a matched-unrelated donor.

Results: With a median follow-up of 48 months (range, 3-195 months), 30 patients are alive, and 42 have died. The Kaplan-Meier estimates of overall survival and progression-free survival at 5 years were 35% and 34%, respectively. Following transplantation, 12 (17%) patients died of non-relapse mortality at a median of 90 days (range, 1 day-20 months). The causes of death included infection (n = 7), graft-versus-host disease (n = 3), and multi-organ failure (n = 2).

Conclusions: Allogeneic SCT results extend survival in selected patients with relapsed/refractory HL, showing low treatment-related mortality. Patients with active disease at the time of allogeneic transplantation have poor outcomes. Allogeneic SCT may be an effective salvage strategy for patients who relapse after an autologous SCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2018.08.012DOI Listing
January 2019

Brentuximab vedotin as salvage treatment in Hodgkin lymphoma naïve transplant patients or failing ASCT: the real life experience of Rete Ematologica Pugliese (REP).

Ann Hematol 2018 Oct 27;97(10):1817-1824. Epub 2018 Jul 27.

Department of Hematology, Hospital University Riuniti, Foggia, Italy.

Brentuximab vedotin (BV) shows a high overall response rate (ORR) in relapsed/refractory (R/R) Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) after autologous transplant (ASCT). The aim of this multicenter study, conducted in nine Hematology Departments of Rete Ematologica Pugliese, was to retrospectively evaluate the efficacy and safety of BV as salvage therapy and as bridge regimen to ASCT or allogeneic transplant (alloSCT) in R/R HL patients. Seventy patients received BV. Forty-five patients (64%) were treated with BV as bridge to transplant:16 (23%) patients as bridge to ASCT and 29 (41%) as bridge to alloSCT. Twenty-five patients (36%), not eligible for transplant, received BV as salvage treatment. The ORR was 59% (CR 26%). The ORR in transplant naïve patients was 75% (CR 31%). In patients treated with BV as bridge to alloSCT, the ORR was 62% (CR 24%). In a multivariate analysis, the ORR was lower in refractory patients (p < 0.005). The 2y-OS was 70%. The median PFS was 17 months. Ten of the 16 (63%) naïve-transplant patients received ASCT, with 50% in CR before ASCT. In the 29 patients treated with BV as bridge to alloSCT, 28 (97%) proceeded to alloSCT with 25% in CR prior to alloSCT. The most common adverse events were peripheral neuropathy (50%), neutropenia (29%) and anemia (12%). These data suggest that BV is well tolerated and very effective in R/R HL, producing a substantial level of CR. BV may also be a key therapeutic agent to achieve good disease control before transplant, improving post- transplant outcomes, also in refractory and heavily pretreated patients, without significant overlapping toxicities with prior therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-018-3379-5DOI Listing
October 2018

Assessment of DNA damages in lymphocytes of agricultural workers exposed to pesticides by comet assay in a cross-sectional study.

Biomarkers 2018 Jul 2;23(5):462-473. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

a Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine (DIM), Section "B. Ramazzini" , University Hospital "Policlinico", Unit of Occupational Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Bari , Bari , Italy.

Purpose: To assess the predictive power of the comet assay in the context of occupational exposure to pesticides.

Materials And Methods: The recruited subjects completed a structured questionnaire and gave a blood sample. Exposure to pesticides was measured by means of an algorithm based on Dosemeci's work (Agricultural Health Study). Approximately 50 images were analyzed for each sample via fluorescence microscopy. The extent of DNA damage was estimated by tail moment (TM) and is the product of tail DNA (%) and tail Length.

Results: Crude significant risks (odds ratios, ORs) for values higher than the 75th percentile of TM were observed among the exposed subjects (score > 1). The frequency of some confounding factors (sex, age and smoking) was significantly higher among the exposed workers. A significant dose-effect relationship was observed between TM and exposure score. Significant high-risk estimates (ORs), adjusted by the studied confounding factors, among exposure to pesticides and TM, % tail DNA and tail length were confirmed using unconditional logistic regression models.

Conclusions: The adjusted associations (ORs) between the comet parameters and exposure to pesticides were significant. The sensitivity of the comet test was low (41%), the specificity (89%) and the predictive positive value (0.77) were found acceptable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1354750X.2018.1443513DOI Listing
July 2018

Italian real life experience with brentuximab vedotin: results of a large observational study on 234 relapsed/refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Oncotarget 2017 Oct 23;8(53):91703-91710. Epub 2017 May 23.

Hematology Unit, Ca' Foncello Hospital, Treviso, Italy.

A large Italian multicenter observational retrospective study was conducted on the use of brentuximab vedotin (BV) for patients with relapsed Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) to check if clinical trial results are confirmed even in a real life context. 234 CD30+ HL patients were enrolled. Best response was observed after a median of 4 cycles in 140 patients (59.8%): 74 (31.6%) patients obtained a complete response (CR) and 66 (28.2%) achieved a partial response (PR); overall response rate at the end of the treatment was 48.3% (62 CR and 51 PR). The best response rate was higher in the elderly subset: 14 (50%) CR and 5 (17.8%) PR. Disease free survival was 26.3% at 3 years and progression free survival 31.9% at 4.5 years. Duration of response did not differ for who achieved at least PR and then either did or did not undergo consolidative transplant. Overall, the treatment was well tolerated and no death has been linked to BV-induced toxicity. Our report confirms activity in elderly patients, duration of response unrelated to the consolidation with transplant procedure, the relevance of the CR status at first restaging, and the role of BV as a bridge to transplant for chemorefractory patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5710959PMC
October 2017

Risk of lymphoma subtypes by occupational exposure in Southern Italy.

J Occup Med Toxicol 2017 23;12:31. Epub 2017 Nov 23.

Department of Public Health, Clinical & Molecular Medicine, Occupational Health Section, University of Cagliari, 09100 Cagliari, Italy.

Background: Occupational exposure is known to play a role in the aetiology of lymphomas. The aim of the present work was to explore the occupational risk of the major B-cell lymphoma subtypes using a case-control study design.

Methods: From 2009 to 2014, we recruited 158 lymphoma cases and 76 controls in the provinces of Bari and Taranto (Apulia, Southern Italy). A retrospective assessment of occupational exposure based on complete work histories and the Carcinogen Exposure (CAREX) job-exposure matrix was performed.

Results: After adjusting for major confounding factors, farmers showed an increased risk of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) [odds ratio (OR) = 10.9 (2.3-51.6)] and multiple myeloma (MM) [OR = 16.5 (1.4-195.7)]; exposure to the fungicide Captafol was significantly associated with risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) [OR = 2.6 (1.1-8.2)], particularly with the risk of DLBCL [OR = 5.3 (1.6-17.3)].

Conclusions: Agricultural activity seems to be a risk factor for developing lymphoma subtypes, particularly DLBCL, in the provinces of Bari and Taranto (Apulia Region, Southern Italy). Exposure to the pesticides Captafol, Paraquat and Radon might be implicated.

Trial Registration: Protocol number UNIBA 2207WEJLZB_004 registered 22/09/2008.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12995-017-0177-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5701427PMC
November 2017

Italian real-life experience with brentuximab vedotin: results of a large observational study of 40 cases of relapsed/refractory systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

Haematologica 2017 11 3;102(11):1931-1935. Epub 2017 Aug 3.

Sant'Andrea Hospital - Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

Between November 2012 and July 2014, in accordance with national law 648/96, brentuximab vedotin was available in Italy for patients with relapsed systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma outside a clinical trial context. A large Italian observational retrospective study was conducted on the use of brentuximab vedotin in everyday clinical practice to check whether clinical trial results are confirmed in a real-life context. The primary endpoint of this study was best response; secondary endpoints were the overall response rate at the end of the treatment, duration of response, survival and safety profile. A total of 40 heavily pretreated patients were enrolled. Best response was observed after a median of four cycles in 77.5%: globally, 47.5% patients obtained a complete response, 64.2% in the elderly subset. The overall response rate was 62.5%. At the latest follow up, 15/18 patients are still in complete remission (3 with consolidation). The progression-free survival rate at 24 months was 39.1% and the disease-free survival rate at the same time was 54% (median not reached). All the long-term responders were aged <30 years at first infusion. The treatment was well tolerated even in this real-life context and no deaths were linked to drug toxicity. Brentuximab vedotin induces clinical responses quite rapidly, i.e. within the first four cycles of treatment in most responders, thus enabling timely use of transplantation. For patients ineligible for transplant or for those in whom a transplant procedure failed, brentuximab vedotin may represent a feasible effective therapeutic option in everyday clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2017.171355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664397PMC
November 2017

Ruxolitinib - better prognostic impact in low-intermediate 1 risk score: evaluation of the 'rete ematologica pugliese' (REP) in primary and secondary myelofibrosis.

Leuk Lymphoma 2017 01 6;58(1):138-144. Epub 2016 Jun 6.

a Department of Hematology-Oncology , Complex Operative Unit of Hematology ASL , Taranto , Italy.

We evaluated ruxolitinib in 65 patients with myelofibrosis according to age, sex, time of diagnosis, grade of fibrosis, prognostic score risk, Janus kinase (JAK) status, primary or secondary myelofibrosis, previous treatment, and dosage. Outcome measures were response rate, time to response, duration of response, and event-free survival and survival. Kaplan and Meier curves show a significant difference in event-free survival according to the prognostic score, in favor of patients with low int1 (p = 0.0009). The Cox stepwise model confirmed the result, the int2 high-risk score being the most powerful negative independent parameter (0.001), followed by JAK (0.008); other parameters, such as diagnosis more than 5 years earlier, grade III-IV fibrosis, and ruxolitinib dose have a negligible impact. Time to response was shorter (p = 0.001) in primary myelofibrosis. In conclusion, ruxolitinib is effective, with a better outcome in patients with a low-int1 risk score. This may suggest considering an earlier administration in the disease course.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2016.1189547DOI Listing
January 2017

The use of thrombopoietin-receptor agonists (TPO-RAs) in immune thrombocytopenia (ITP): a "real life" retrospective multicenter experience of the Rete Ematologica Pugliese (REP).

Ann Hematol 2016 Jan 24;95(2):239-44. Epub 2015 Nov 24.

Unit of Hematology with BMT, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a disease which sees one-third of patients failing first and subsequent therapeutic approaches, including splenectomy. Thrombopoietin-receptor agonists (TPO-RAs) are recommended for adults who relapse after splenectomy or who have contraindications for splenectomy. In this multicenter study, a total of 124 patients were retrospectively evaluated: 55 (44.3 %) were treated by romiplostim and 69 (55.6 %) by eltrombopag. Mean age, number of young patients (<60 years), time from primary diagnosis of ITP to TPO-RA treatment, and previous lines of therapy were similar in both groups. The overall response rate was 80 % (44/55) for romiplostim and 94.2 % (65/69) for eltrombopag; the duration of response and the time to response were similar (p = NS). The response rate to both drugs in non-splenectomized patients was higher than that of splenectomized patients (p < 0.05). The mean duration of response was 30 months for romiplostim and 15 months for eltrombopag, due to later commercialization of eltrombopag. Failure was the most frequent cause of discontinuation. Thrombotic events were the most consistent adverse events and were recorded in 2 and 3 % of patients treated by romiplostim and eltrombopag, respectively. In conclusion, romiplostim and eltrombopag are effective in the majority of patients with chronic ITP who failed several lines of therapy; whether TPO-RAs could substitute splenectomy is under discussion and studies are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-015-2556-zDOI Listing
January 2016

Azacitidine in the treatment of older patients affected by acute myeloid leukemia: A report by the Rete Ematologica Pugliese (REP).

Leuk Res 2015 Aug 20. Epub 2015 Aug 20.

Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

The optimal treatment of older patients (>65 years) with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains challenging in daily clinical practice; a choice has to be made between intensive chemotherapy and best supportive care. To guide physicians, several prognostic factors have been identified and risk scores developed. Recently, the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor azacitidine has become available for use in MDS and AML patients with up to 30% bone marrow blasts. However, limited data are available on the outcome of older unfit AML patients, regardless of their bone marrow blast count. We retrospectively analyzed the outcome of 90 newly diagnosed older unfit AML patients in 9 Institutions from the Apulia Region (REP). Responder patients (evaluation performed after 4 cycles of treatment even in cases of primary failure) showed a better overall survival than non responders (23 vs 6 months, p<.001). ECOG PS≥2 seems to be correlated with OS in multivariate analysis, while neither primary treatment failure (documented after 2 cycles) nor bone marrow blast count were correlated with a worse overall survival either at univariate (22 vs 29 months, p=.ns; 16 vs 19 months, p=.ns) or multivariate analysis. Overall, the results of our retrospective analysis seem to confirm the efficacy of AZA treatment for this unfit AML patients setting, in terms of both CR and OS, regardless of the bone marrow blasts count, while primary treatment failure should not lead to a discontinuation of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2015.08.005DOI Listing
August 2015

Genome-wide association study identifies five susceptibility loci for follicular lymphoma outside the HLA region.

Am J Hum Genet 2014 Oct;95(4):462-71

Epidemiology Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.

Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of follicular lymphoma (FL) have previously identified human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene variants. To identify additional FL susceptibility loci, we conducted a large-scale two-stage GWAS in 4,523 case subjects and 13,344 control subjects of European ancestry. Five non-HLA loci were associated with FL risk: 11q23.3 (rs4938573, p = 5.79 × 10(-20)) near CXCR5; 11q24.3 (rs4937362, p = 6.76 × 10(-11)) near ETS1; 3q28 (rs6444305, p = 1.10 × 10(-10)) in LPP; 18q21.33 (rs17749561, p = 8.28 × 10(-10)) near BCL2; and 8q24.21 (rs13254990, p = 1.06 × 10(-8)) near PVT1. In an analysis of the HLA region, we identified four linked HLA-DRβ1 multiallelic amino acids at positions 11, 13, 28, and 30 that were associated with FL risk (pomnibus = 4.20 × 10(-67) to 2.67 × 10(-70)). Additional independent signals included rs17203612 in HLA class II (odds ratio [OR(per-allele)] = 1.44; p = 4.59 × 10(-16)) and rs3130437 in HLA class I (OR(per-allele) = 1.23; p = 8.23 × 10(-9)). Our findings further expand the number of loci associated with FL and provide evidence that multiple common variants outside the HLA region make a significant contribution to FL risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.09.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4185120PMC
October 2014

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma relapsed after autologous stem cell transplantation: a GITMO study.

Ann Hematol 2012 Jun 14;91(6):931-9. Epub 2012 Jan 14.

Division of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Careggi, Florence, Italy.

Patients who relapse after an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT) have a very poor prognosis. We have retrospectively analyzed diffuse large B cell lymphoma patients who underwent an allo-SCT after an auto-SCT relapse reported in the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto di Midollo Osseo (GITMO) database. From 1995 to 2008, 3449 autologous transplants were reported in the GITMO database. Eight hundred eighty-four patients relapsed or progressed after transplant; 165 patients, 19% of the relapsed patients, were treated with allo-transplant. The stem cell donor was related to the patient in 108 cases. A reduced intensity conditioning regimen was used in 116. After allo-SCT, 72 patients (43%) obtained a complete response and 9 obtained a partial response with an overall response rate of 49%; 84 patients (51%) experienced rapid progression of disease. Ninety-one patients died, 45 due to disease and 46 due to treatment-related mortality. Acute graft-versus-host disease was recorded in 57 patients and a chronic GvHD in 38 patients. With a median follow-up of 24 months (2-144) after allo, overall survival (OS) was 39%, and after a median of 21 months (2-138) after allo, progression-free survival (PFS) was 32%. Multivariate analysis indicated that the only factors affecting OS were status at allo-SCT, and those affecting PFS were status at allo-SCT and stem cell donor. This retrospective analysis shows that about one-fifth of patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma who experience relapse after autologous transplantation may be treated with allogeneic transplantation. Moreover, the only parameter affecting either OS or PFS was the response status at the time of allo-SCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-011-1395-9DOI Listing
June 2012

Cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone and rituximab versus epirubicin, cyclophosphamide, vinblastine, prednisone and rituximab for the initial treatment of elderly "fit" patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: results from the ANZINTER3 trial of the Intergruppo Italiano Linfomi.

Leuk Lymphoma 2012 Apr 15;53(4):581-8. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Oncology Department, Azienda Ospedaliera Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Argentina.

We conducted a prospective study to compare epirubicin, cyclophosphamide, vinblastine, prednisone and rituximab (R-miniCEOP) with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone and rituximab (R-CHOP) for the treatment of "fit" elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Patients over the age of 65 with stage II-IV DLBCL were screened with a comprehensive geriatric assessment. Patients were randomized to receive six courses of R-miniCEOP (n = 114) or R-CHOP (n = 110). Overall, the rate of complete remission was 70% (p = 0.466). After a median follow-up of 42 months, 5-year event-free survival (EFS) rates were 46% and 48% for R-miniCEOP and R-CHOP, respectively (p = 0.538). Patients older than 72 years and with low-risk disease had a better outcome when treated with R-miniCEOP (p = 0.011). Overall R-CHOP and R-miniCEOP are similarly effective for elderly "fit" patients with DLBCL. The less intense R-miniCEOP may be an acceptable option for the treatment of relatively older patients with low-risk disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2011.621565DOI Listing
April 2012

Amphotericin B lipid complex in the management of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised patients.

Clin Drug Investig 2011 Nov;31(11):745-58

Infectious Diseases Division, Santa Maria della Misericordia University Hospital, Udine, Italy.

Invasive fungal infections are associated with a poor outcome and their incidence is rising. Amphotericin B has for a long time been the gold standard for treatment of these infections, but the conventional formulation is associated with a high incidence of adverse events. Lipid formulations of amphotericin, developed to overcome these drawbacks, are now routinely used in clinical practice for the treatment of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised patients. Amphotericin B lipid complex (ABLC) is prepared from amphotericin complexed to two phospholipids, a process that confers a number of important pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties compared with conventional amphotericin B. The results of retrospective observational studies and the analysis of databases, including the large Collaborative Exchange of Antifungal Research (CLEAR) database, have shown ABLC to be associated with response rates of up to about 80% in patients with confirmed fungal infections and around 60% in those treated empirically. Intranasal administration of ABLC for prophylaxis of invasive fungal infection in immunocompromised patients is safe and appears to be a promising treatment strategy for the future. ABLC is associated with a substantially lower incidence of nephrotoxicity than conventional amphotericin. Infusion-related reactions also occur less frequently than with conventional amphotericin and can be managed using premedication protocols. When direct and indirect costs are measured, ABLC appears to be less expensive than conventional amphotericin. The number of approved antifungal agents that are effective treatments for invasive fungal infections is increasing. However, lipid formulations of amphotericin, such as ABLC, are effective and well tolerated and remain the standard of care in the treatment of invasive fungal infections. Treatment strategies such as intranasal administration for prophylaxis and combination therapy with newer agents are future directions for these agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2165/11593760-000000000-00000DOI Listing
November 2011

A simple prognostic scoring system for newly diagnosed cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia: retrospective analysis of 530 patients.

Leuk Lymphoma 2011 Dec 12;52(12):2329-35. Epub 2011 Jul 12.

Chair of Hematology, Unit of Blood Disease and Cell Therapy, Spedali Civili Hospital, Brescia, Italy.

We retrospectively analyzed the data of 337 patients with cytogenetically normal (CN) acute myeloid leukemia (AML), aged ≤ 65 years (training set). A prognostic index score (PIS) was calculated by totaling the score derived from the regression coefficients of each clinical variable, significantly associated with prognosis by multivariate analysis. The variables that were independent prognostic factors for event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) in the training set were: age ≥ 50 years, secondary AML and white blood cell count (WBC) ≥ 20 × 10(9)/L. The patients of the training set were stratified into three groups: low-, intermediate- and high-risk. The median EFS was 25, 12 and 7 months in the low-, intermediate- and high-risk groups (p < 0.0001), respectively. The median OS was not reached in the low-risk group and was 19 and 10 months in the intermediate- and high-risk groups (p < 0.0001). This PIS was validated in a series of 193 patients with CN-AML. The median EFS was 66, 16, and 3 months (p < 0.0001) and the median OS was 66, 16, and 5 months in the three risk groups, respectively (p < 0.0001). This PIS may be useful for clinical decision-making in CN-AML and may be prospectively integrated with the newest biological markers which at present are not routinely assessed and need prognostic validation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2011.596965DOI Listing
December 2011

Lenograstim reduces the incidence of febrile episodes, when compared with filgrastim, in multiple myeloma patients undergoing stem cell mobilization.

Leuk Res 2011 Jul 4;35(7):899-903. Epub 2010 Dec 4.

Department of Oncology, Transplants and Advanced Technologies, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

The aim of this study was to show a lower incidence of febrile episodes in multiple myeloma patients receiving lenograstim vs. filgrastim after high-dose cyclophosphamide for stem cell mobilization. Patients treated with cyclophosphamide were randomly assigned to receive filgrastim or lenograstim. Primary endpoint was the incidence of febrile episodes. 5.1% patients developed a febrile episode, 9.1% with filgrastim and 1.1% with lenograstim. Lenograstim group presented a significantly higher absolute CD34+ cell number compared with the filgrastim group but no differences were detected for collection efficacy. The study demonstrated a lower incidence of febrile episodes with lenograstim compared to filgrastim.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2010.10.029DOI Listing
July 2011

Phase II fludarabine and cyclophosphamide for the treatment of indolent B cell non-follicular lymphomas: final results of the LL02 trial of the Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio dei Linfomi (GISL).

Ann Hematol 2011 Mar 17;90(3):323-30. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Unità Operativa Ematologia 1, Fondazione IRCCS, Cà Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Dipartimento Scienze Mediche, Università degli Studi, Via F. Sforza 35, Milan, Italy.

Indolent non-follicular non-Hodgkin lymphomas (INFL) are a heterogeneous subset whose treatment has been poorly investigated. In this context we have evaluated the efficacy and safety of combined fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FC) upfront therapy. Sixty-three patients with advanced INFL were enrolled in the study. Therapy consisted in FC combination (25 and 250 mg/m(2), i.v., respectively, for three consecutive days) every 28 days for six courses. After histological review, 61 patients (36 men, median age 64 years, range 40-70 years) were evaluated (22 small lymphocytic, 11 lymphoplasmacytic, 25 marginal zone and 3 CD5-negative non-Hodgkin lymphomas not otherwise specified). Further two patients were excluded for lack of essential data; six patients were withdrawn before the third cycle because of WHO grade III and IV toxicity. At the final evaluation, the overall response rate was 83% with 40.7% of complete remission. Intention-to-treat analysis showed that at the median follow-up of 36 months, overall survival, progression-free survival and failure-free survival were respectively 78%, 60% and 46%; remission duration among the 49 patients achieving complete remission/partial remission at the end of treatment was 65% (44-78) without significant differences between the main histotypes. The most frequent grade III and IV toxic events were haematological (neutropaenia 34%, anaemia 18% and thrombocytopaenia 11%) and infectious (10%). FC is effective for advanced untreated INFL. Early deaths and haematological toxicity suggest careful patient selection and monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-010-1067-1DOI Listing
March 2011

Dexamethasone plus rituximab yields higher sustained response rates than dexamethasone monotherapy in adults with primary immune thrombocytopenia.

Blood 2010 Apr 3;115(14):2755-62. Epub 2010 Feb 3.

Department of Hematology Dipartimento Ricerche Mediche Morfologiche, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria S Maria della Misericordia, Udine, Italy.

Previous observational studies suggest that rituximab may be useful in the treatment of primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). This randomized trial investigated rituximab efficacy in previously untreated adult ITP patients with a platelet count of 20 x 10(9)/L or less. One hundred three patients were randomly assigned to receive 40 mg/d dexamethasone for 4 days with or without 375 mg/m(2) rituximab weekly for 4 weeks. Patients who were refractory to dexamethasone alone received salvage therapy with dexamethasone plus rituximab. Sustained response (ie, platelet count > or = 50 x 10(9)/L at month 6 after treatment initiation), evaluable in 101 patients, was greater in patients treated with dexamethasone plus rituximab (n = 49) than in those treated with dexamethasone alone (n = 52; 63% vs 36%, P = .004, 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.079-0.455). Patients in the experimental arm showed increased incidences of grade 3 to 4 adverse events (10% vs 2%, P = .082, 95% CI, -0.010 to 0.175), but incidences of serious adverse events were similar in both arms (6% vs 2%, P = .284, 95% CI, -0.035 to 0.119). Dexamethasone plus rituximab was an effective salvage therapy in 56% of patients refractory to dexamethasone. The combination of dexamethasone and rituximab improved platelet counts compared with dexamethasone alone. Thus, combination therapy may represent an effective treatment option before splenectomy. This study is registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00770562.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2009-07-229815DOI Listing
April 2010

ABVD compared with BEACOPP compared with CEC for the initial treatment of patients with advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma: results from the HD2000 Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio dei Linfomi Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2009 Feb 5;27(5):805-11. Epub 2009 Jan 5.

Dipartimento di Oncologia ed Ematologia, Centro Oncologico Modenese, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Purpose: To compare doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine (ABVD) versus bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (BEACOPP) versus cyclophosphamide, lomustine, vindesine, melphalan, prednisone, epidoxirubicin, vincristine, procarbazine, vinblastine, and bleomycin (COPPEBVCAD; CEC) for advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL).

Patients And Methods: Three hundred seven patients with advanced HL (stage IIB, III, and IV) were randomly assigned to receive six courses of ABVD, four escalated plus two standard courses of BEACOPP, or six courses of CEC, plus a limited radiation therapy program.

Results: After a median follow-up of 41 months, BEACOPP resulted in a superior progression-free survival (PFS), with a significant reduction in risk of progression (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.50) compared with ABVD. No differences between BEACOPP and CEC, or CEC and ABVD were observed. The 5-year PFS was 68% (95% CI, 56% to 78%), 81% (95% CI, 70% to 89%), and 78% (95% CI, 68% to 86%), for ABVD, BEACOPP, and CEC, respectively (BEACOPP v ABVD, P = .038; CEC v ABVD and BEACOPP v CEC, P = not significant [NS]). The 5-year overall survival was 84% (95% CI, 69% to 92%), 92% (95% CI, 84% to 96%), and 91% (95% CI, 81% to 96%) for ABVD, BEACOPP, and CEC, respectively (P = NS). BEACOPP and CEC resulted in higher rates of grade 3-4 neutropenia than ABVD (P = .016); BEACOPP was associated with higher rates of severe infections than ABVD and CEC (P = .003).

Conclusion: As adopted in this study BEACOPP is associated with a significantly improved PFS compared with ABVD, with a predictable higher acute toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2008.17.0910DOI Listing
February 2009
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