Publications by authors named "Piero Galieni"

30 Publications

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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

Istituto di Ematologia "Seràgnoli", Dipartimento di Medicina Specialistica, Diagnostica e Sperimentale, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy. Electronic address:

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

Clinical characteristics and risk factors associated with COVID-19 severity in patients with haematological malignancies in Italy: a retrospective, multicentre, cohort study.

Lancet Haematol 2020 Oct 13;7(10):e737-e745. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, University of Milano.

Background: Several small studies on patients with COVID-19 and haematological malignancies are available showing a high mortality in this population. The Italian Hematology Alliance on COVID-19 aimed to collect data from adult patients with haematological malignancies who required hospitalisation for COVID-19.

Methods: This multicentre, retrospective, cohort study included adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with diagnosis of a WHO-defined haematological malignancy admitted to 66 Italian hospitals between Feb 25 and May 18, 2020, with laboratory-confirmed and symptomatic COVID-19. Data cutoff for this analysis was June 22, 2020. The primary outcome was mortality and evaluation of potential predictive parameters of mortality. We calculated standardised mortality ratios between observed death in the study cohort and expected death by applying stratum-specific mortality rates of the Italian population with COVID-19 and an Italian cohort of 31 993 patients with haematological malignancies without COVID-19 (data up to March 1, 2019). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify factors associated with overall survival. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04352556, and the prospective part of the study is ongoing.

Findings: We enrolled 536 patients with a median follow-up of 20 days (IQR 10-34) at data cutoff, 85 (16%) of whom were managed as outpatients. 440 (98%) of 451 hospitalised patients completed their hospital course (were either discharged alive or died). 198 (37%) of 536 patients died. When compared with the general Italian population with COVID-19, the standardised mortality ratio was 2·04 (95% CI 1·77-2·34) in our whole study cohort and 3·72 (2·86-4·64) in individuals younger than 70 years. When compared with the non-COVID-19 cohort with haematological malignancies, the standardised mortality ratio was 41·3 (38·1-44·9). Older age (hazard ratio 1·03, 95% CI 1·01-1·05); progressive disease status (2·10, 1·41-3·12); diagnosis of acute myeloid leukaemia (3·49, 1·56-7·81), indolent non-Hodgin lymphoma (2·19, 1·07-4·48), aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (2·56, 1·34-4·89), or plasma cell neoplasms (2·48, 1·31-4·69), and severe or critical COVID-19 (4·08, 2·73-6·09) were associated with worse overall survival.

Interpretation: This study adds to the evidence that patients with haematological malignancies have worse outcomes than both the general population with COVID-19 and patients with haematological malignancies without COVID-19. The high mortality among patients with haematological malignancies hospitalised with COVID-19 highlights the need for aggressive infection prevention strategies, at least until effective vaccination or treatment strategies are available.

Funding: Associazione italiana contro le leucemie, linfomi e mieloma-Varese Onlus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(20)30251-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7426107PMC
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
May 2020

Carfilzomib, cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone for newly diagnosed, high-risk myeloma patients not eligible for transplant: a pooled analysis of two studies.

Haematologica 2020 02 27. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Division of Hematology,University of Torino, AOU Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino;

Despite remarkable advances in the treatment of multiple myeloma in the last decades, the prognosis of patients harboring high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities remains dismal as compared to that of standard-risk patients. Proteasome inhibitors demonstrated to partially ameliorate the prognosis of high-risk patients. We pooled together data from two phase I/II trials on transplant-ineligible patients with multiple myeloma receiving upfront carfilzomib cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone followed by carfilzomib maintenance. The aim of this analysis was to compare treatment outcomes in patients with standard- versus high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis. High risk was defined by the presence of at least one chromosomal abnormality, including t(4;14), del17p and t(14;16). Overall, 94 patients were included in the analysis: 57 (61%) in the standard-risk and 37 (39%) in the high-risk group. Median follow-up was 38 months. In standard- vs. high-risk patients, we observed similar progression-free survival (3-year PFS: 52% vs. 43%, respectively; p=0.50), overall survival (3-year OS: 78% vs. 73%; p=0.38), and overall response rate (88% vs 95%; p=0.47), with no statistical differences between the two groups. No difference in terms of progression-free survival was observed between patients with or without del17p. Carfilzomib, used both as induction and maintenance agent for transplant-ineligible newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients, mitigated the poor prognosis carried by high-risk cytogenetics and resulted into similar progression-free survival and overall survival, as compared to standard-risk patients. ClinicalTrials.gov IDs: NCT01857115 (IST-CAR-561) and NCT01346787 (IST-CAR-506).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.243428DOI Listing
February 2020

Outcome of paraosseous extra-medullary disease in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients treated with new drugs.

Haematologica 2020 01 20;105(1):193-200. Epub 2019 Jun 20.

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

Extramedullary disease is relatively frequent in multiple myeloma, but our knowledge on the subject is limited and mainly relies on small case series or single center experiences. Little is known regarding the role of new drugs in this setting. We performed a meta-analysis of eight trials focused on the description of extramedullary disease characteristics, clinical outcome, and response to new drugs. A total of 2,332 newly diagnosed myeloma patients have been included; 267 (11.4%) had extramedullary disease, defined as paraosseous in 243 (10.4%), extramedullary plasmocytoma in 12 (0.5%), and not classified in 12 (0.5%) patients. Median progression-free survival was 25.3 months and 25.2 in extramedullary disease and non-extramedullary disease patients, respectively. In multivariate analysis the presence of extramedullary disease did not impact on progression-free survival (hazard ratio 1.15, =0.06), while other known prognostic factors retained their significance. Patients treated with immunomodulatory drugs, mainly lenalidomide, or proteasome inhibitors had similar progression-free survival and progression-free survival-2 regardless of extramedullary disease presence. Median overall survival was 63.5 months and 79.9 months (=0.01) in extramedullary and non-extramedullary disease patients, respectively, and in multivariate analysis the presence of extramedullary disease was associated with a reduced overall survival (hazard ratio 1.41, <0.001), in line with other prognostic factors. With the limits of the use of low sensitivity imaging techniques, that lead to an underestimation of extramedullary disease, we conclude that in patients treated with new drugs the detrimental effect of extramedullary disease at diagnosis is limited, that lenalidomide is effective as are proteasome inhibitors, and that these patients tend to acquire a more aggressive disease in later stages. (EUDRACT2005-004714-32, NCT01063179 NCT00551928, NCT01091831, NCT01093196, NCT01190787, NCT01346787, NCT01857115).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.219139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6939525PMC
January 2020

Once-weekly twice-weekly carfilzomib in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: a pooled analysis of two phase I/II studies.

Haematologica 2019 08 7;104(8):1640-1647. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

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

Twice-weekly carfilzomib is approved at 27 and 56 mg/m to treat relapsed multiple myeloma patients. In the phase III study ARROW, once-weekly 70 mg/m 2 carfilzomib prolonged the median progression-free survival of relapsed multiple myeloma patients in comparison with twice-weekly 27 mg/m carfilzomib, without adding significant toxicity. Data were pooled from two phase I/II studies of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients who received nine induction cycles of carfilzomib (either 70 mg/m once-weekly or 36 mg/m twice-weekly), cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone, followed by carfilzomib maintenance. Overall, 121 transplant-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma were analyzed (once-weekly, n=63; twice-weekly, n=58). We found no significant difference in median progression-free survival [35.7 months (95%CI: 23.7-not reached, NR) 35.5 months (95%CI: 24.3-NR); HR: 1.39; =0.26] and 3-year overall survival [70% [95%CI: 59%-84%) 72% (95%CI: 60%-85%); HR: 1.27; =0.5] between once-weekly and twice-weekly carfilzomib. From the start of maintenance, 3-year progression-free survival [47% (95%CI: 33%-68%) 51% (95%CI: 38%-70%); HR: 1.04; =0.92] and overall survival [72% (95%CI: 58%-89%) 73% (95%CI: 59%-90%); HR: 0.82; =0.71] were similar in the once- twice-weekly carfilzomib. The rate of grade 3-5 hematologic (24% 30%; =0.82) and non-hematologic (38% 41%; =0.83) adverse events was similar in the two groups. Once-weekly 70 mg/m carfilzomib as induction and maintenance therapy for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients was as safe and effective as twice-weekly 36 mg/m carfilzomib and provided a more convenient schedule. The trials are registered at : 01857115 (IST-CAR-561 and 01346787 IST-CAR-506).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2018.208272DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6669142PMC
August 2019

Efficacy of bendamustine and rituximab as first salvage treatment in chronic lymphocytic leukemia and indirect comparison with ibrutinib: a GIMEMA, ERIC and UK CLL FORUM study.

Haematologica 2018 07 19;103(7):1209-1217. Epub 2018 Apr 19.

Division of Experimental Oncology, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute and Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.

We performed an observational study on the efficacy of ben-damustine and rituximab (BR) as first salvage regimen in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In an intention-to-treat analysis including 237 patients, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 25 months. The presence of del(17p), unmutated IGHV and advanced stage were associated with a shorter PFS at multivariate analysis. The median time-to-next treatment was 31.3 months. Front-line treatment with a chemoimmunotherapy regimen was the only predictive factor for a shorter time to next treatment at multivariate analysis. The median overall survival (OS) was 74.5 months. Advanced disease stage (i.e. Rai stage III-IV or Binet stage C) and resistant disease were the only parameters significantly associated with a shorter OS. Grade 3-5 infections were recorded in 6.3% of patients. A matched-adjusted indirect comparison with ibrutinib given second-line within Named Patient Programs in the United Kingdom and in Italy was carried out with OS as objective end point. When restricting the analysis to patients with intact 17p who had received chemoimmunotherapy in first line, there was no difference in OS between patients treated with ibrutinib (63% alive at 36 months) and patients treated with BR (74.4% alive at 36 months). BR is an efficacious first salvage regimen in CLL in a real-life population, including the elderly and unfit patients. BR and ibrutinib may be equally effective in terms of OS when used as first salvage treatment in patients without 17p deletion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2018.189837DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6029555PMC
July 2018

Array CGH analysis reveals deletion of chromosome 22q11 in CLL with normal karyotype and no fish alterations.

Br J Haematol 2018 10 8;183(1):152-155. Epub 2017 Oct 8.

U.O.C Ematologia, Ospedale C.G. Mazzoni, Ascoli Piceno, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.14949DOI Listing
October 2018

Assessment of the interlaboratory variability and robustness of JAK2V617F mutation assays: A study involving a consortium of 19 Italian laboratories.

Oncotarget 2017 May;8(20):32608-32617

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, Institute of Hematology 'L. and A. Seràgnoli', University of Bologna, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy.

To date, a plenty of techniques for the detection of JAK2V617F is used over different laboratories, with substantial differences in specificity and sensitivity. Therefore, to provide reliable and comparable results, the standardization of molecular techniques is mandatory.A network of 19 centers was established to 1) evaluate the inter- and intra-laboratory variability in JAK2V617F quantification, 2) identify the most robust assay for the standardization of the molecular test and 3) allow consistent interpretation of individual patient analysis results. The study was conceived in 3 different rounds, in which all centers had to blindly test DNA samples with different JAK2V617F allele burden (AB) using both quantitative and qualitative assays.The positivity of samples with an AB < 1% was not detected by qualitative assays. Conversely, laboratories performing the quantitative approach were able to determine the expected JAK2V617F AB. Quantitative results were reliable across all mutation loads with moderate variability at low AB (0.1 and 1%; CV = 0.46 and 0.77, respectively). Remarkably, all laboratories clearly distinguished between the 0.1 and 1% mutated samples.In conclusion, a qualitative approach is not sensitive enough to detect the JAK2V617F mutation, especially at low AB. On the contrary, the ipsogen JAK2 MutaQuant CE-IVD kit resulted in a high, efficient and sensitive quantification detection of all mutation loads. This study sets the basis for the standardization of molecular techniques for JAK2V617F determination, which will require the employment of approved operating procedures and the use of certificated standards, such as the recent WHO 1st International Reference Panel for Genomic JAK2V617F.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15940DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5464813PMC
May 2017

Factors predicting survival in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients developing Richter syndrome transformation into Hodgkin lymphoma.

Am J Hematol 2017 Jun 18;92(6):529-535. Epub 2017 Apr 18.

Hematology Section, Cosenza Hospital, Cosenza, Italy.

We hereby report the clinical and biologic features of 33 of 4680 (0.7%) patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), managed at 10 Italian centers, who developed Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), a rare variant of Richter syndrome. The median age at CLL and at HL diagnosis were 61 years (range 41-80) and 70 years (range 46-82), respectively, with a median interval from CLL to the diagnosis of HL of 90 months (range 0-258). In 3 cases, CLL and HL were diagnosed simultaneously. Hl was characterized by advanced stage in 79% of cases, International Prognostic Score (IPS) ≥4 in 50%, extranodal involvement in 39%, B symptoms in 70%. Prior treatment for CLL had been received by 82% of patients and included fludarabine in 67%. Coexistence of CLL and HL was detected in the same bioptic tissue in 87% of cases. The most common administered treatment was the ABVD regimen given to 22 patients (66.6%). The complete response (CR) rate after ABVD was 68%, and was influenced by the IPS (P = .03) and interval from the last CLL treatment (P = .057). Survival from HL was also influenced by the IPS (P = .006) and time from the last CLL treatment (P = .047). The achievement of CR with ABVD was the only significant and independent factor predicting survival (P = .037). Taken together, our results show that the IPS and the interval from the prior CLL treatment influence the likelihood of achieving CR after ABVD, which is the most important factor predicting survival of patients with CLL developing HL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.24714DOI Listing
June 2017

Management of anaemia in oncohaematological patients treated with biosimilar epoetin alfa: results of an Italian observational, retrospective study.

Ther Adv Med Oncol 2017 Jan 22;9(1):22-32. Epub 2016 Oct 22.

Versilia Azienda ULSS 12, Lido di Camaiore, Italy.

Background: Many patients with solid tumours or nonmyeloid haematopoietic tumours develop symptomatic anaemia, which has a major impact on quality of life (QoL). The efficacy of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) in improving QoL and reducing blood transfusions has been widely demonstrated. Binocrit® (biosimilar epoetin alfa) is an ESA indicated in the European Union for treating chemotherapy-induced anaemia. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Binocrit® on haemoglobin (Hb) levels in anaemic cancer patients in Italian clinical practice.

Methods: The ANEMONE study was a national, longitudinal, retrospective, multicentre observational study. Patients had to be 18 years or older, with a solid tumour or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease or multiple myeloma, receiving chemotherapy, and treated with Binocrit® to manage chemotherapy-induced anaemia. The primary outcomes were the proportion of patients with a Hb increase ⩾1 g/dl during the first 4 weeks and with a Hb increase ⩾2 g/dl during the first 12 weeks.

Results: A total of 245 patients were enrolled and 215 patients were evaluable for statistical analysis. In the first 4 weeks, 49.3% of patients showed an increase in Hb of ⩾1 g/dl: 45.5% in patients with solid tumours and 52.1% in patients with haematological malignancies. In the first 12 weeks, 51.6% of patients showed an increase in Hb of ⩾2 g/dl (48.4% solid tumours, 54.2% haematological diseases). Treatment with Binocrit® was well tolerated.

Conclusions: These results confirm the effectiveness and safety of Binocrit® for chemotherapy-induced anaemia in routine practice in patients with solid tumours, lymphoma and myeloma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1758834016670554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5298451PMC
January 2017

Circulating plasma cells in newly diagnosed symptomatic multiple myeloma as a possible prognostic marker for patients with standard-risk cytogenetics.

Br J Haematol 2015 Aug 26;170(4):523-31. Epub 2015 May 26.

U.O.C. Ematologia e Trapianto di Cellule Staminali Emopoietiche, Ospedale Mazzoni, Ascoli Piceno, Italy.

Detection of circulating plasma cells (PCs) in multiple myeloma (MM) patients is a well-known prognostic factor. We evaluated circulating PCs by flow cytometry (FC) in 104 patients with active MM at diagnosis by gating on CD38(+)  CD45(-) cells and examined their relationship with cytogenetic risk. Patients had an average follow-up of 36 months. By using a receiver operating characteristics analysis, we estimated the optimal cut-off of circulating PCs for defining poor prognosis to be 41. Patients with high-risk cytogenetics (n = 24) had poor prognosis, independently of circulating PC levels [PC < 41 vs. PC ≥ 41: overall survival (OS) = 0% vs. OS = 17%, P = not significant (n.s.); progression-free survival (PFS) = 0% vs. 17%, P = n.s.]. Patients with standard-risk cytogenetics (n = 65) showed a better prognosis when associated with a lower number of circulating PCs (PC < 41 vs. PC ≥ 41: OS = 62% vs. 24%, P = 0·008; PFS = 48% vs. 21%, P = 0·001). Multivariate analysis on the subgroup with standard-risk cytogenetics confirmed that the co-presence of circulating PCs ≥ 41, older age, Durie-Salmon stage >I and lack of maintenance adversely affected PFS, while OS was adversely affected only by lactate dehydrogenase, older age and lack of maintenance. Our results indicate that the quantification of circulating PCs by a simple two-colour FC analysis can provide useful prognostic information in newly diagnosed MM patients with standard-risk cytogenetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.13484DOI Listing
August 2015

Correlation between eight-gene expression profiling and response to therapy of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients treated with thalidomide-dexamethasone incorporated into double autologous transplantation.

Ann Hematol 2013 Sep 10;92(9):1271-80. Epub 2013 May 10.

Istituto di Ematologia Seràgnoli, Dipartimento di Medicina Specialistica, Diagnostica e Sperimentale (DIMES), Università degli Studi di Bologna, Via Massarenti, 9-40138, Bologna, Italy.

We performed a molecular study aimed at identifying a gene expression profile (GEP) signature predictive of attainment of at least near complete response (CR) to thalidomide-dexamethasone (TD) as induction regimen in preparation for double autologous stem cell transplantation in 112 younger patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. A GEP supervised analysis was performed on a training set of 32 patients, allowing to identify 157 probe sets differentially expressed in patients with CR versus those failing CR to TD. We then generated an eight-gene GEP signature whose performance was subsequently validated in a training set of 80 patients. A correct prediction of response to TD was found in 71 % of the cases analyzed. The eight genes were downregulated in patients who achieved CR to TD. Comparisons between post-autotransplantation outcomes of the 44 non-CR-predicted patients and of the 36 CR-predicted patients showed that this latter subgroup had a statistically significant benefit in terms of higher rate of CR after autotransplant(s) and longer time to progression, event-free survival, and overall survival. These results can be an important first step to identify at diagnosis those patients who will respond more favourably to a particular treatment strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-013-1757-6DOI Listing
September 2013

6q deletion detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization using bacterial artificial chromosome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Eur J Haematol 2013 Jul 24;91(1):10-9. Epub 2013 May 24.

SC Ematologia Ospedale C. G. Mazzoni, Ascoli Piceno, Italy.

Deletions of the long arm of chromosome 6 are known to occur at relatively low frequency (3-6%) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and they are more frequently observed in 6q21. Few data have been reported regarding other bands on 6q involved by cytogenetic alterations in CLL. The cytogenetic study was performed in nuclei and metaphases obtained after stimulation with a combination of CpG-oligonucleotide DSP30 and interleukin-2. Four bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones mapping regions in bands 6q16, 6q23, 6q25, 6q27 were used as probes for fluorescence in situ hybridization in 107 CLL cases in order to analyze the occurrence and localization of 6q aberrations. We identified 11 cases (10.2%) with 6q deletion of 107 patients studied with CLL. The trends of survival curves and the treatment-free intervals (TFI) of patients with deletion suggest a better outcome than the other cytogenetic risk groups. We observed two subgroups with 6q deletion as the sole anomaly: two cases with 6q16 deletion, and three cases with 6q25.2-27 deletion. There were differences of age, stage, and TFI between both subgroups. By using BAC probes, we observed that 6q deletion has a higher frequency in CLL and is linked with a good prognosis. In addition, it was observed that the deletion in 6q16 appears to be the most frequent and, if present as the only abnormality, it could be associated with a most widespread disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12115DOI Listing
July 2013

Assessment of vulnerability measures and their effect on survival in a real-life population of multiple myeloma patients registered at Marche Region Multiple Myeloma Registry.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2012 Dec 14;12(6):423-32. Epub 2012 Sep 14.

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

Unlabelled: Multiple myeloma (MM) therapy should be tailored according to patient characteristics although we do not know which ones to use. By studying the characteristics of 266 real-life patients, we found performance status (PS) and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) as factors affecting survival of MM patients regardless of their disease characteristics. This study might help to select patients for tailoring therapy in clinical practice.

Background: Multiple myeloma is a typical disease of the elderly but how many and which patients can be considered 'vulnerable' and how this may affect patient outcome remain unsolved issues.

Patients And Methods: Data from 266 symptomatic MM patients registered at Marche MM registry from 2007 to 2010 were evaluated retrospectively. Vulnerability was defined as age > 75 years, PS (World Health Organization) ≥ 2, renal insufficiency (RI), bone fracture, cytopenias, and CCI score ≥ 1. Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression were used to assess survival and associated factors. A vulnerability score (VS) incorporating significant vulnerability features was pursued to predict survival.

Results: Thirty-eight percent of patients were older than 75 years, 39% had PS = 2-4, 35% had at least 2 cytopenias, 40% had bone fracture, 14% RI, and 51% had CCI score ≥ 1. Cox regression selected international staging system (ISS) = III (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.6; P = .033), PS = 2-4 (HR = 2.5; P = .007), and CCI = 1-3 (HR = 2.1; P = .028) as factors associated with a worse overall survival. A VS including PS and CCI predicted median survival of 27 months in the 63 patients having a VS = 2 (both PS = 2-4 and CCI = 1-3) versus not reached (NR) in the 203 patients with VS = 0-1 (HR = 4.0; P < .0001). In younger patients multivariate analysis selected ISS = III (HR = 5.2; P = .006) and VS = 2 (HR = 5.5; P = .024) as factors associated with shorter survival whereas only VS = 2 (HR = 3.5; P = .002) affected worse survival in elderly.

Conclusion: Such VS proved to be a powerful prognostic factor for survival of MM patients and it might be useful to identify true vulnerable patients regardless of age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2012.06.008DOI Listing
December 2012

Chromosome aberrations detected by conventional karyotyping using novel mitogens in chronic lymphocytic leukemia with "normal" FISH: correlations with clinicobiologic parameters.

Blood 2012 Mar 13;119(10):2310-3. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Section of Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Arcispedale S. Anna, University of Ferrara, Italy.

It is unclear whether karyotype aberrations that occur in regions uncovered by the standard fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) panel have prognostic relevance in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We evaluated the significance of karyotypic aberrations in a learning cohort (LC; n = 64) and a validation cohort (VC; n = 84) of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia with "normal" FISH. An abnormal karyotype was found in 21.5% and 35.7% of cases in the LC and VC, respectively, and was associated with a lower immunophenotypic score (P = .030 in the LC, P = .035 in the VC), advanced stage (P = .040 in the VC), and need for treatment (P = .002 in the LC, P = < .0001 in the VC). The abnormal karyotype correlated with shorter time to first treatment and shorter survival in both the LC and the VC, representing the strongest prognostic parameter. In patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia with normal FISH, karyotypic aberrations by conventional cytogenetics with novel mitogens identify a subset of cases with adverse prognostic features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2011-11-395269DOI Listing
March 2012

BeEAM (bendamustine, etoposide, cytarabine, melphalan) before autologous stem cell transplantation is safe and effective for resistant/relapsed lymphoma patients.

Blood 2011 Sep 3;118(12):3419-25. Epub 2011 Aug 3.

Hematology and Stem Cell Transplant Center, Marche Nord Hospital, Pesaro, Italy.

We designed a phase 1-2 study to evaluate the safety and the efficacy of increasing doses of bendamustine (160 mg/m², 180 mg/m², and 200 mg/m² given on days -7 and -6) coupled with fixed doses of etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan (BeEAM regimen) as the conditioning regimen to autologous stem cell transplantation for resistant/relapsed lymphoma patients. Forty-three patients (median age, 47 years) with non-Hodgkin (n = 28) or Hodgkin (n = 15) lymphoma were consecutively treated. Nine patients entered the phase 1 study; no patients experienced a dose-limiting toxicity. Thirty-four additional patients were then treated in the phase 2. A median number of 6 × 10⁶ CD34(+) cells/kg (range, 2.4-15.5) were reinfused. All patients engrafted, with a median time to absolute neutrophil count > 0.5 × 10⁹/L of 10 days. The 100-day transplantation-related mortality was 0%. After a median follow-up of 18 months, 35 of 43 patients (81%) are in complete remission, whereas 6 of 43 relapsed and 2 of 43 did not respond. Disease type (non-Hodgkin lymphomas vs Hodgkin disease) and disease status at transplantation (chemosensitive vs chemoresistant) significantly influenced DFS (P = .01; P = .007). Remarkably, 4 of 43 (9%) patients achieved the first complete remission after receiving the high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation. In conclusion, the new BeEAM regimen is safe and effective for heavily pretreated lymphoma patients. The study was registered at European Medicines Agency (EudraCT number 2008-002736-15).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2011-04-351924DOI Listing
September 2011

Infectious complications in patients with multiple myeloma treated with new drug combinations containing thalidomide.

Leuk Lymphoma 2011 May 21;52(5):776-85. Epub 2011 Feb 21.

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

The literature provides scant data concerning infectious complications and their effect on the outcome of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) treated with new drug combinations. Despite no substantial myelotoxic effect, thalidomide increases the risk of severe infections in patients with MM. We studied 202 patients who received regimens containing thalidomide in order to assess the time, type, outcome, and factors affecting development of severe infections, role of antibiotic prophylaxis, and effect of severe infections on final outcome. Thirty-eight patients (19%) developed a severe infection early during induction therapy and most infections were pneumonia. Only one patient died due to septic shock during neutropenia. No significant differences were reported in terms of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) between patients developing a severe infection and those who did not. Multivariate analysis determined a monoclonal component >3 g/dL and platelets <130 ,000/μL as factors associated with increased risk of severe infection. Primary antibiotic prophylaxis significantly decreased the probability of severe infection only in patients having both the above risk factors. Patients with MM receiving thalidomide combinations with high tumor burden are at high risk of developing severe infections and require primary antibiotic prophylaxis, whereas in other patients it is questionable. However, patient final outcome was not affected by infection development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2011.555027DOI Listing
May 2011

Melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide versus thalidomide, dexamethasone, and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin regimen in very elderly patients with multiple myeloma: a case-match study.

Leuk Lymphoma 2010 Aug;51(8):1444-9

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

The outcome of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) aged over 75 years remains poor, and the best therapeutic approach has still to be defined. We compared the response, toxicity, and outcome of 34 very elderly patients with MM receiving thalidomide, dexamethasone, and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (ThaDD) to those of 34 patients matched for age, International Staging System (ISS), and creatinine who received melphalan, prednisone, thalidomide (MPT). ThaDD resulted in a significantly higher response: > or =PR (87.5% vs. 61.5%, p = 0.009) and > or =VGPR (55.5% vs. 29.5%; p = 0.03). No statistical differences were detected in terms of median probability of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) between the two treatments. Patients treated with MPT had more neutropenia, neuropathy, and heart toxicity, whereas thromboembolism resulted more frequently in patients receiving ThaDD. Therapy discontinuation occurred in 9% and 14.5% of patients treated with ThaDD and MPT, respectively. ThaDD can be considered a therapeutic option in very elderly patients with MM since it induces a faster and deeper response than that obtained with MPT, having similar safety profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2010.486878DOI Listing
August 2010

ThaDD plus high dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation does not appear superior to ThaDD plus maintenance in elderly patients with de novo multiple myeloma.

Eur J Haematol 2010 Jun 11;84(6):474-83. Epub 2010 Mar 11.

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

Objectives: With the aim to address the issue whether high-dose therapy (HDT) is required after new drugs combinations to improve outcome of elderly newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) patients, we compared the toxicity and the outcome of ThaDD plus maintenance to those of ThaDD plus HDT-autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT).

Methods: Sixty-two patients not eligible for HDT receiving six courses of ThaDD regimen plus maintenance with thalidomide were compared to 26 patients eligible for HDT treated with four courses of ThaDD followed by melphalan 100-200 mg/m(2) and ASCT. The two groups were matched for the main characteristics except for age favouring the HDT group.

Results And Conclusions: Complete remission (CR) obtained with ThaDD plus maintenance was 24% whereas it was 57% after ThaDD plus HDT-ASCT (P = 0.0232). However, after a median follow-up of 36 months, median time to progression (TTP) and progression free survival (PFS) of the group of patients undergone HDT were not significantly different to those of patients receiving ThaDD plus maintenance (32 vs. 31 months: P = 0.962; 32 vs. 29 months: P = 0.726, respectively). Five-year overall survival (OS) was 49% in the first group and 46% in the latter one (P = 0.404). As expected, a significantly higher incidence of grade 3-4 neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, infections, mucositis and alopecia were observed in the ThaDD plus HDT group. Our results suggest that in elderly MM patients ThaDD plus HDT, albeit significantly increases CR rate, seems to be equivalent to ThaDD plus maintenance in terms of TTP, PFS and OS. These results challenge the requirement for HDT consolidation in this subset of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2010.01418.xDOI Listing
June 2010

High versus standard dose methylprednisolone in the acute phase of idiopathic thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura: a randomized study.

Ann Hematol 2010 Jun 23;89(6):591-6. Epub 2009 Dec 23.

Internal Medicine, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.

Therapeutic plasma exchange (PE) is the accepted therapy for thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). Because not all patients achieve remission, other treatment modalities have been used in addition to PE, but no randomized clinical trial evaluated their efficacy. The aim of this multicentric study was to compare the effectiveness of standard- versus high-dose methylprednisolone as an adjunctive treatment to PE in the acute phase of TTP. Sixty patients with idiopathic TTP were randomized to receive methylprednisolone 1 mg/kg/die intravenous or 10 mg/kg/die for 3 days, thereafter, 2.5 mg/kg/die in addition to PE. Both dosages of steroids were well tolerated. At the end of induction therapy (day 23), the percentage of patients failing to achieve complete remission was significantly higher in the standard dose (16 of 30) than in the high-dose group (seven of 30). Also, the number of cases without a good response at day 9 and the number of deaths were higher in the standard-dose arm, but the differences did not reach the statistical significance. Results of present study indicate that the association of PE with high-dose instead of standard-dose steroids reduces the percentage of TTP patients that fail to achieve complete remission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-009-0877-5DOI Listing
June 2010

Results of high-dose imatinib mesylate in intermediate Sokal risk chronic myeloid leukemia patients in early chronic phase: a phase 2 trial of the GIMEMA CML Working Party.

Blood 2009 Apr 11;113(15):3428-34. Epub 2009 Feb 11.

Institute of Hematology L. & A. Seràgnoli, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Imatinib mesylate has become the treatment of choice for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML): the standard dose for chronic- phase (CP) CML is 400 mg daily. Response rates are different according to Sokal score, being significantly lower in intermediate and high Sokal risk patients. Phase 1 and 2 trials have shown a dose-response effect and high-dose imatinib trials in early CP CML showed better results compared with standard dose. Our study is the first prospective trial planned to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of high-dose imatinib in previously untreated intermediate Sokal risk CML patients. Seventy-eight patients were treated with 400 mg imatinib twice daily: complete cytogenetic response (CCgR) rates at 12 and 24 months were 88% and 91%; moreover, at 12 and 24 months 56% and 73% of CCgR patients achieved a major molecular response. The incidence of adverse events was slightly higher than reported by the most important standard-dose trials. With a median follow-up of 24 months, 3 patients progressed to advanced phase. In intermediate Sokal risk newly diagnosed CML patients, high-dose imatinib induced rapid and high response rates, apparently faster than those documented in the International Randomized Study of IFN and Imatinib for the same risk category. These clinical trials are registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as no. NCT00510926.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2007-08-103499DOI Listing
April 2009

Thalidomide-dexamethasone versus interferon-alpha-dexamethasone as maintenance treatment after ThaDD induction for multiple myeloma: a prospective, multicentre, randomised study.

Br J Haematol 2009 Mar 13;144(5):653-9. Epub 2008 Nov 13.

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

Maintenance therapy was explored in multiple myeloma (MM) patients after conventional thalidomide, dexamethasone and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (ThaDD). Patients with newly or relapsed MM obtaining at least minor response after 6 ThaDD courses, were randomised to receive alpha-interferon (IFN) 3 MU 3 times a week or thalidomide 100 mg daily until relapse. Both groups also received pulsed dexamethasone 20 mg 4 d a month. Fifty-one patients were randomized in the IFN-dexamethasone (ID) arm and 52 in the thalidomide-dexamethasone (TD) arm. The characteristics of two groups were similar. A significantly better 2-years progression-free survival (PFS; 63% vs. 32%; P = 0.024) and overall survival (84% vs. 68%; P = 0.030) was observed in the thalidomide arm. In high-risk patients and in those achieving less than very good partial response after induction, TD fared better in term of PFS. Main side effects were peripheral neuropathy and constipation in TD group, fatigue, anorexia and haematological toxicity in ID arm. There was a 21% probability of discontinuation at 3 years in the thalidomide arm and 44% in the IFN arm (P = 0.014). Low-dose thalidomide plus pulsed low-dose dexamethasone after conventional thalidomide combination-based therapy was also feasible in the long term, enabling significantly better residual disease control if compared with a standard maintenance therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07495.xDOI Listing
March 2009

Serum C-reactive protein at diagnosis and response to therapy is the most powerful factor predicting outcome of multiple myeloma treated with thalidomide/ anthracycline-based therapy.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma 2008 Oct;8(5):294-9

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

Background: Few studies have focused on factors affecting outcome in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) treated with thalidomide-based therapy. We investigated factors affecting response, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) in patients with MM treated with the thalidomide, dexamethasone, and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (ThaDD) regimen with the aim to select patients benefiting more from this therapy.

Patients And Methods: Sixty-six patients with MM were treated first line with the ThaDD regimen. We analyzed demographics and disease-related characteristics to search for factors affecting response (> or = very good partial remission [VGPR] vs. < VGPR], PFS, and OS.

Results: Overall, 45 patients (68%) showed response > or = VGPR; median TTP and OS were 23.5 months and 35.5 months, respectively. Multivariate analysis selected only serum C-reactive protein (sCRP) as a predictive factor for response (P < .0001). By multivariate analysis, normal sCRP level (P = .001) and response to treatment > or = VGPR (P = .007) were found to be associated with longer PFS. The factors that remained significantly associated with a longer OS when assessed by multivariate analysis were normal sCRP level (P = .005) and response to therapy > or = VGPR (P = .019).

Conclusion: Serum C-reactive protein before therapy and response after therapy are the only factors useful in identifying patients benefiting from anthracycline/thalidomide-based therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3816/CLM.2008.n.041DOI Listing
October 2008

Thalidomide, dexamethasone, and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (ThaDD) for patients older than 65 years with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Blood 2006 Oct 8;108(7):2159-64. Epub 2006 Jun 8.

Clinica di Ematologia Ospedali Riuniti Ancona, Via Conca, 71, 60020 Ancona, Italy.

We present the results of a phase 2 study using thalidomide, dexamethasone, and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (ThaDD) in the treatment of 50 patients older than 65 years with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Thalidomide 100 mg was administered orally at bedtime continuously, dexamethasone 40 mg was administered orally on days 1 to 4 and 9 to 12, and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin 40 mg/m2 was administered intravenously on day 1 over the 28-day cycle. Response was assessed according to the EBMT criteria. Seventeen (34%) patients achieved CR, 7 (14%) nCR, 5 (10%) VGPR, 15 (30%) PR, and 5 (10%) MR, resulting in an ORR of 98%. Only 1 patient (2%) presented progressive disease. Time to progression (TTP), event-free survival (EFS), and overall survival (OS) projected at 3 years were 60%, 57%, and 74%, respectively, and these parameters were significantly higher in those patients achieving a response of at least VGPR versus those who did not. Grade 3 and 4 nonhematologic adverse events were constipation (10%), fatigue (6%), tremors (4%), mucositis (4%), and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (2%). Grade 3 and 4 neutropenia occurred in 12% of patients. Grade 3 and 4 infections and thromboembolic accidents were observed in 22% and 14% of patients, respectively. In the treatment of elderly patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, ThaDD is a very effective regimen with manageable toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2006-03-013086DOI Listing
October 2006

Low-dose thalidomide with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin and high-dose dexamethasone for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma: a prospective, multicenter, phase II study.

Haematologica 2006 Jan;91(1):133-6

Clinica di Ematologia Polo Ospedaliero-Universitario, Ospedali Riuniti Ancona Università Politecnica delle Marche.

The aim of this prospective, multicenter, phase II study was to investigate the combination of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (Caelyx) 40 mg/m2 on day 1 every 28 days, dexamethasone 40 mg p.o. on days 1-4 and 9-12 and thalidomide 100 mg daily in 50 patients with advanced multiple myeloma. Twenty-six percent of patients achieved a complete response, 6% a near complete response, 6% a very good partial response, 38% a partial response, 16% a minor response and 8% progressed, for an overall response rate of 92%. The median event-free survival was 17 months and the median overall survival was not reached. Grade 3 non-hematologic toxicity occurred in 12% of patients, thromboembolic disease in 12% and severe infection in 16%. The combination of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, dexamethasone an thalidomide is safe and very effective in advanced multiple myeloma.
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January 2006

Fludarabine combination regimen severely affected peripheral blood stem cell mobilization.

Acta Haematol 2004 ;111(4):228-9

Department of Hematoncology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000077572DOI Listing
June 2004

Typical genomic imbalances in primary MALT lymphoma of the orbit.

J Pathol 2003 Aug;200(5):656-60

Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, Policlinico Monteluce, University of Perugia, via Brunamonti, 06123 Perugia, Italy.

Primary orbital non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT)-type extranodal marginal zone lymphoma. Little information is available on its genome as conventional cytogenetics is limited by scarce biopsy material, while fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) explores only selected regions. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) performs full genomic analysis and is applicable to different sources of DNA, such as fresh and frozen cells, as well as paraffin-embedded tissues. In this study, CGH was used to analyse primary MALT lymphoma of the orbit. Aneuploidy was identified in six of the ten cases studied. Gains (19) were more frequent than losses (5). The most frequent duplications involved chromosome 3 (common region at 3q24-qter), as expected in marginal zone lymphoma, and chromosome 6 (common region at 6p21.1-21.3), which is typical of an orbital location. Other chromosome gains were found at 1p, 7, 8q, 9q, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 22, and X. Losses were located at 1q, 6q, 9q, 11q, and 13q. Two cases showed isolated duplications of chromosome 6p or 9q. Isolated imbalances were found only in tumours affecting the conjunctiva. Complex aneuploidies were observed in lymphoma of the retro-orbital tissue. In summary, CGH in orbital MALT lymphoma provided new insights into typical genomic imbalances and underlying pathogenetic mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.1386DOI Listing
August 2003

Immunoglobulin gene rearrangement analysis in composite hodgkin disease and large B-cell lymphoma: evidence for receptor revision of immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region genes in Hodgkin-Reed-Sternberg cells?

Diagn Mol Pathol 2002 Mar;11(1):2-8

Institute of Pathologic Anatomy and Histopathology, University of Siena, Italy.

Immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (IgH) rearrangement was studied in a patient showing the occurrence of classical Hodgkin disease and large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) in the same lymph node. The VHDHJH region was amplified by polymerase chain reaction, the template being the DNA extracted from single Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg and LBCL cells, microdissected on hematoxylin-eosin-stained sections by laser capture. A repeated VH4DH3JH4 segment was found in Reed-Sternberg cells, whereas a repeated VH3DH3JH4 segment was observed in LBCL cells. Rearranged VH genes carried somatic mutations in both populations, indicating a common germinal center cell origin. The IgH rearrangement found in clonally related Reed-Sternberg cells differed from the one of LBCL cells in the VH region but showed the same JH and DH segments with no variation from the respective germline sequence. The DH-JH junction is the first immunoglobulin gene segment rearranged in precursor B cells. Because the possibility of secondary Ig gene rearrangement in peripheral lymphoid organs has recently been reported, in the patient described here Reed-Sternberg and LBCL cells might originate from a common precursor in which secondary VH replacement took place during the germinal center reaction, giving rise to two different clonally related lymphomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00019606-200203000-00002DOI Listing
March 2002