Publications by authors named "Raffaella Marcheselli"

23 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Improving the international prognostic index score using peripheral blood counts: Results of a large multicenter study involving 520 patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

Hematol Oncol 2020 Oct 17;38(4):439-445. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche Materno-Infantili e dell'Adulto, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

The main purpose of this study was to assess whether it is possible to improve the prognostic impact of international prognostic index (IPI) score by combining it with peripheral blood counts. Thus, we evaluated the prognostic power of lymphocyte, neutrophil, and monocyte counts in 520 patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma treated with R-CHOP, confirming that these parameters have a strong impact on overall survival (OS). Using revised IPI (R-IPI), 44% of patients were categorized as poor-risk and showed an OS at 5 years of 46%. As OS at 5 years of the 520 patients is 67%, it is clearly evident that R-IPI tends to overestimate the proportion of patients with poor prognosis. Accordingly, in an attempt to improve the discriminating power of R-IPI, we evaluated and compared three different scores by combining the neutrophil lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and absolute monocyte count (AMC) with the following values: (a) IPI score 3-5, (b) age > 60 years and performance status, (c) age  ≥ 65 years and LDH > ULN. The three indexes studied, had a similar 5 years OS for the high-risk group (46%-52%), but the proportion of patients classified as poor-risk were 37%, 20%, and 32%, respectively, which are lower than 44% identified with R-IPI. Thus, while R-IPI overestimates the number of high-risk patients, after applying our models, it is possible to recognize patients who are truly at high-risk. Of the three scores, the most accurate appears to be that based on NLR, AMC, LDH > ULN and age ≥ 65 years, which identifies 32% of high-risk patients, correlating well with what is seen in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2757DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7687198PMC
October 2020

The classic prognostic factors in advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma patients are losing their meaning at the time of Pet-guided treatments.

Ann Hematol 2020 Feb 23;99(2):277-282. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi, Istituto di Ematologia "Seragnoli", Bologna, Italy.

The International Prognostic Score (IPS) is the most commonly used risk stratification tool for patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). It incorporates seven clinical parameters independently associated with a poorer outcome: male sex, age, stage IV, hemoglobin level, white blood cell and lymphocyte counts, and albumin level. Since the development of the IPS, there have been significant advances in therapy and supportive care. Recent studies suggest that the IPS is less discriminating due to improved outcomes with ABVD therapy. The aim of the present study was to asses if classic prognostic factors maintain their prognostic meaning at the time of response-adapted treatment based on interim PET scans. We evaluated the prognostic significance of IPS in the 520 advanced stage HL patients enrolled in the PET-guided, HD0801 trial in which PET2-positive patients underwent a more intense treatment with an early stem-cell transplantation after 2 cycles of ABVD. We observed that in these patients, the IPS completely loses its prognostic value together with all the single parameters that contribute to the IPS. Furthermore, neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, and the ratio among them also no longer had any predictive value. We believe that the substantial improvement in survival outcomes in PET2-positive patients treated with early autologous transplantation could explain the complete disappearance of the residual prognostic significance of the IPS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-019-03893-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6976582PMC
February 2020

The prognostic role of end of treatment FDG-PET-CT in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma can be improved by considering it with absolute monocyte count at diagnosis.

Leuk Lymphoma 2019 08 28;60(8):1958-1964. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

e Sant'Andrea Hospital , Rome , Italy.

It is well established that some patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and the negative end of treatment PET-CT (EOT-PET-CT) will relapse, while a proportion with positive uptake can still obtain long-term EFS. We reviewed data of 200 consecutive, previously untreated patients with DLBCL recorded in Italy and Israel between 2007 and 2015. We found that patients with negative EOT-PET-CT with AMC > 630/mmc have a 3-years EFS of 72%, compared to those with AMC ≤ 630/mmc that have an EFS of 84%. Furthermore, considering patients with positive EOT-PET-CT, those with AMC > 630/mmc have a 3-years EFS of 8%, while those with AMC ≤ 630/mmc have an EFS of 38%. Thus, it appears that combining the gold standard for response evaluation EOT-PET-CT with a simple and inexpensive parameter like AMC at diagnosis, further improves prognostication in DLBCL. Applying this simple method can be useful for all doctors working in lymphoma clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2018.1564049DOI Listing
August 2019

A Multicenter Phase II Study of Twice-Weekly Bortezomib plus Rituximab in Patients with Relapsed Follicular Lymphoma: Long-Term Follow-Up.

Acta Haematol 2017 4;137(1):7-14. Epub 2016 Nov 4.

Program of Innovative Therapy in Oncology and Hematology, Department of Diagnostic, Clinical Medicine and Public Health, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Single-agent bortezomib (B) has shown activity in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed/refractory indolent lymphoma. On the basis of these findings, we performed a phase II study of B combined with rituximab (R) in patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma (FL). Forty-five patients with fairly good prognostic profiles were enrolled from 2007 to 2011 and received a total of 6 cycles of the B+R combination. The endpoints were the overall response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), duration of remission (DoR), overall survival (OS), and toxicity evaluation. When considering all the enrolled patients the ORR was 64%. At 5 years, the estimated PFS, DoR, and OS were 34, 49, and 70%, respectively. After excluding the 7 R-naïve patients, the ORR was 58%, with a PFS of 19 months. The most common grade >2 toxicities were thrombocytopenia (18%), peripheral neuropathy (13%), and neutropenia (2%). Our study shows the feasibility, long-term efficacy, and excellent tolerability of the B+R combination. We are aware that our study has specific limitations, such as the small sample size consisting of patients with a relatively good prognostic profile. However, because FL patients will be treated with subsequent chemotherapy regimens, a well-tolerated and effective chemotherapy-free therapy could be considered an additional tool for long-term disease control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000449052DOI Listing
February 2017

Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio at diagnosis is an independent prognostic factor in patients with nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma: results of a large multicenter study involving 990 patients.

Hematol Oncol 2017 Dec 28;35(4):561-566. Epub 2016 Oct 28.

Department of Diagnostic, Clinical and Public Health Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Several studies have demonstrated the prognostic value of neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in patients with solid tumors and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In contrast, there is only sparse data on its prognostic role in patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). The aim of our study was to establish whether NLR could serve as an independent prognostic factor in a cohort of 990 patients with nodular sclerosis (NS)-cHL. After analysis of the log hazard ratio (HR) as a function of NLR, we chose the value 6 as cutoff. Patients with NLR >6 had a worse progression-free survival and overall survival compared to those with NLR ≤6; 84% vs 75% and 92% vs 88%, at 5 years, with an HR of 1.65 and 1.82, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that the risk remained high with HR 1.44 and HR 1.54 in progression-free survival and overall survival, respectively. In summary, our study shows that NLR is a robust and independent prognostic parameter in NS-cHL, both in early and advanced disease. It is inexpensive and simple to apply. Thus, we conclude that NLR, possibly in combination with the international prognostic score and absolute monocyte count, is a useful guide for physicians treating NS-cHL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2359DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5763313PMC
December 2017

Bendamustine, Low-dose dexamethasone, and lenalidomide (BdL) for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma confirms very promising results in a phase I/II study.

Leuk Lymphoma 2017 03 21;58(3):552-559. Epub 2016 Jul 21.

b Department of Hemato-Oncology , Cosenza Hospital , Cosenza , Italy.

Lenalidomide and dexamethasone are an effective treatment for naïve and relapsed multiple myeloma (MM) patients. Bendamustine is a good option for B-cell malignancies showing only partial cross resistance with alkylating agents used in MM patients. Based on these considerations, we proposed a phase I/II study testing escalating doses of bendamustine and lenalidomide and fixed low doses of dexamethasone (BdL). Fifteen patients were enrolled in phase I study. Maximum tolerated dose was established at dose "level 0": bendamustine 40 mg/m days 1,2; lenalidomide 10 mg days 1-21; d 40 mg days 1,8,15,22 every 28-day cycle, for six cycles. We enrolled 23 patients in the phase II study. BdL combination showed mainly hematological toxicities, fever and infections. Overall response rate was 47%. After median follow up of 22 months, median PFS was 10 months. Two-years OS rate was 65%. BdL combination confirmed to be a promising treatment for patients with relapsed/refractory MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2016.1205741DOI Listing
March 2017

Risk of Second Primary Malignancy in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Nested Population-Based Case-Control Study.

J Breast Cancer 2015 Dec 23;18(4):378-85. Epub 2015 Dec 23.

Department of Diagnostic, Clinical and Public Health Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Purpose: Evolving therapies have improved the prognoses of patients with breast cancer; and currently, the number of long-term survivors is continuously increasing. However, these patients are at increased risk of developing a second cancer. Thus, late side effects are becoming an important issue. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether patient and tumor characteristics, and treatment type correlate with secondary tumor risk.

Methods: This case-control study included 305 patients with a diagnosed second malignancy after almost 6 months after the diagnosis of primary breast cancer and 1,525 controls (ratio 1:5 of cases to controls) from a population-based cohort of 6,325 women. The control patients were randomly selected from the cohort and matched to the cases according to age at diagnosis, calendar period of diagnosis, disease stage, and time of follow-up.

Results: BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)+ status, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy were related to increased risk of developing a second cancer, whereas hormonotherapy showed a protective effect. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and estrogenic receptor level <10% increased the risk of controlateral breast cancer. HER2+ status increased the risk of digestive system and thyroid tumors, while BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation increased the risk of cancer in the genital system.

Conclusion: Breast cancer survivors are exposed to an excess of risk of developing a second primary cancer. The development of excess of malignancies may be related either to patient and tumor characteristics, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation and HER2+ status, or to treatments factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4048/jbc.2015.18.4.378DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4705090PMC
December 2015

Outcomes in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma in a phase I study of everolimus in combination with lenalidomide.

Br J Haematol 2014 Aug 25;166(3):401-9. Epub 2014 Apr 25.

Division of Hematology and Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA, USA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Everolimus, an oral mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor, has been studied in multiple myeloma (MM) but lacks significant single agent activity. Based on preclinical studies showing synergistic activity of mTOR inhibitors with lenalidomide, we studied the combination of lenalidomide and everolimus in relapsed or refractory MM in a phase I clinical trial. We assessed patient samples using gene expression, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry to probe the mTOR pathway. Twenty-six patients were evaluable for toxicity. Dose-limiting toxicities included grade 4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia. The maximum tolerated dose was lenalidomide 15 mg and everolimus 5 mg for 21 d with a 7 d rest period. Grade 3/4 adverse events included thrombocytopenia (35%) and neutropenia (42%). The overall response rate was 65% (1 complete response + 4 partial response + 10 minimal response). The median progression-free survival was 5·5 months and median overall survival was 29·5 months. Biomarker data demonstrated downregulation of phosphorylated p70S6K. Gene expression profiling suggested activation of mTOR in responders versus non-responders. The combination of lenalidomide and everolimus was well tolerated with predictable toxicities and showed responses in a heavily pretreated population. When confirmed with larger patient numbers, this analysis may guide patient selection for future clinical trials of mTOR inhibition in MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.12909DOI Listing
August 2014

Survival of multiple myeloma patients in the era of novel therapies confirms the improvement in patients younger than 75 years: a population-based analysis.

Br J Haematol 2013 Oct 27;163(1):40-6. Epub 2013 Jul 27.

Programme of Innovative Therapy in Oncology and Haematology, Department of Diagnostic, Clinical and Public Health Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Novel treatments for multiple myeloma (MM) have shown promising results in clinical trials, but the advantage in unselected patients is still unclear. In order to evaluate whether novel therapies impact survival of MM patients, we performed a population-based analysis on data collected by the Modena Cancer Registry from 1989 to 2009. The analysis evaluated 1206 newly diagnosed MM patients collected in the years 1988-96 (conventional therapy), 1997-05 (high dose melphalan and autologous transplant), and 2006-09 (novel agents era). Both relative survival (RS) and overall survival (OS) improved over the years, but not equally in the three groups. For patients aged <65 years, RS improved in 1997-05 and 2006-09 compared with previous years and a trend to improvement was observed from 1997-05 to 2006-09. For patients aged 65-74 years, RS improved significantly in 2006-09 compared with 1988-96 and 1997-05. No amelioration was observed for patients 75+ years old. OS confirmed RS. In conclusion, the survival of MM patients aged <65 and, in particular, 65-74 years, has improved over time, especially after 2006. This observation provides circumstantial evidence that novel therapies might impact patient survival. Despite the limits of this study, these data refer to an unselected population, giving a picture of every day clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.12465DOI Listing
October 2013

Therapy-related myeloid neoplasm in non-hodgkin lymphoma survivors.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2011 20;3(1):e2011065. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

Program of Innovative Therapy in Oncology and Hematology, Department of Oncology and Hematology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Relatively little data on secondary cancers is available regarding patients treated for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), compared with those treated for Hodgkin lymphoma. Evolving treatment regimens have improved survival outcomes for NHL patients. As a result of this improvement, secondary malignancies are becoming an important issue in NHL survivors. This review aims to report data on this topic previously published by our group, adding unpublished results from the Modena Cancer Registry (MCR). We recently performed four studies about secondary neoplasms in NHL survivors: two studies analysing the risk of secondary neoplasms in patients treated for indolent and aggressive NHL; a meta-analysis of 23 studies investigating the risk of secondary malignant neoplasm (SMN) after NHL treatment; and a still-unpublished study evaluating the incidence of therapy-related myeloid neoplasm (t-MN) in patients treated for NHL (from the MCR database). The first two studies analysed 563 patients with indolent NHL and 1280 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) enrolled in the Gruppo Italiano Studio Linfomi (GISL) trials. Results showed that the cumulative incidence of secondary tumours was 10.5% at 12 years for indolent NHL and 8.2% at 15 years for DLBCL. Results of the meta-analysis indicated that NHL patients experienced a 1.88-fold increased risk for SMN compared with the general population; the standardized incidence risk (SIR) for secondary acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) was 11.07. Based on data from the MCR from 2000 through 2008, we found that the SIR was 1.63 for developing a secondary malignancy after NHL, and 1.99 for developing secondary haematological malignancies. Regarding myelodysplastic syndrome and/or AML incidence, nine NHL patients developed t-MN with a higher risk than expected (SIR 8.8, 95% CI: 4.0-16.6). In conclusion, patients treated for NHL are at increased risk of developing SMN. Regarding t-MN, data from the meta-analysis and the MCR demonstrate an excessive risk of developing AML (SIR 11.07 and 5.7, respectively) compared with solid SMN after treatment for NHL. Thus long-term monitoring should be considered for NHL survivors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4084/MJHID.2011.065DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3248342PMC
October 2012

A randomized trial with melphalan and prednisone versus melphalan and prednisone plus thalidomide in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients not eligible for autologous stem cell transplant.

Leuk Lymphoma 2011 Oct 12;52(10):1942-8. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Department of Oncology and Hematology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Several trials comparing the efficacy of standard melphalan and prednisone (MP) therapy with MP plus thalidomide (MPT) in elderly patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have been reported, with inconsistent results. The primary goal of our study was to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of MP versus MPT in newly diagnosed patients with MM who were transplant-ineligible or over age 65. A total of 135 patients were enrolled. Either minimal response or better or partial response or better were more frequent with MPT treatment (p = 0.001). After a median follow-up of 30 months, median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 33 and 52 months for MPT versus 22 and 32 months for MP, respectively. The comparison showed a significant advantage for MPT versus MP in PFS (p = 0.02) and only a trend for OS (p = 0.07). Severe adverse events were observed more frequently with MPT. In conclusion, our results show an improved activity of MPT at a cost of increased toxicity. We believe that MPT can be considered one of the new standard of care for elderly or transplant-ineligible patients with MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2011.584006DOI Listing
October 2011

Radiation therapy improves treatment outcome in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Leuk Lymphoma 2011 Oct 12;52(10):1867-72. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Department of Oncology and Hematology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Policlinico, Modena, Italy.

The effects of radiotherapy (RT) after chemotherapy in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) remain unclear; several trials have yielded conflicting results. This study examined the effect of RT after cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone + rituximab (R-CHOP) treatment on event-free (EFS) and overall (OS) survival. Data from 216 patients with DLBCL who were enrolled in two clinical trials at Italian Lymphoma Study Group sites and were subjected to six R-CHOP cycles and involved-field radiotherapy (IFRT) were retrospectively analyzed. IFRT treatment yielded significant EFS benefit, with a 66% reduction in the risk of death and/or disease progression. Cox analysis, when adjusted for age, gender, stage, performance status (PS), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and disease bulk, confirmed the significant EFS benefit of IFRT. The role of RT in DLBCL in the rituximab era is unclear. Future studies must take into account new radiation techniques and the response to chemotherapy based on functional imaging. Prospective randomized trials incorporating response-adapted therapy and modern radiation techniques are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2011.585526DOI Listing
October 2011

Second malignancies after treatment of diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a GISL cohort study.

Haematologica 2008 Sep 12;93(9):1335-42. Epub 2008 Aug 12.

Centro Oncologico Modenese, Policlinico, Largo del Pozzo 71, 4100 Modena Italy.

Background: Improved treatment has increased the life expectancy of patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but few studies have addressed the issue of second cancer in patients treated for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The aims of this study were to determine the incidence and time free of second cancers in this subset of patients.

Design And Methods: We evaluated a cohort of 1280 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who were first treated between 1988 and 2003. We utilized the central database of the Gruppo Italiano Studio Linfomi, which includes data on demographics, clinical characteristics, laboratory parameters, treatment and follow-up of all patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma enrolled in clinical trials.

Results: After a median follow-up of 51 months, 48 patients had developed a second cancer: 13 hematologic malignancies and 35 solid tumors. The overall standardized incidence ratio in our cohort (with a median age of 58 years) matched that of the general Italian population. The incidence ratio of second tumors was age related, and the age groups 20-39 and 40-59 years showed an increased risk. Overall, the cumulative incidence of second cancer was 8.2% at 15 years. A multivariate analysis showed that older age at the time of diagnosis of lymphoma had a negative influence on the time free of second tumors.

Conclusions: In our cohort, only young patients showed an increased incidence ratio of second malignancies, while the incidence ratio in patients aged over 59 years matched the incidence in the Italian general population. Demographics, baseline characteristics, laboratory parameters and treatment modalities did not have any significant impact on the incidence ratio of a second cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.12918DOI Listing
September 2008

Secondary malignancies after treatment for indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a 16-year follow-up study.

Haematologica 2008 Mar 11;93(3):398-404. Epub 2008 Feb 11.

Dipartimento di Oncologia ed Ematologia, Università di Modena Centro Oncologico Modenese Policlinico, 41100 Modena, Italy.

Background: Relatively little information is available on the incidence of secondary cancer in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The aim of this long-term follow-up study was to determine the incidence, the time free of second tumors, and risk factors for developing secondary cancer in a homogeneous group of patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Design And Methods: We evaluated a total of 563 patients with indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma enrolled in Gruppo Italiano Studio Linfomi trials from 1988 to 2003.

Results: After a median follow-up of 62 months, 39 patients (6.9%) developed secondary cancer: 12 myelodysplastic syndromes/acute myeloid leukemia, and 27 solid tumors. The overall standardized incidence ratio of secondary malignancy in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was higher than the risk of malignancy in the general population. The standardized incidence ratio was elevated in male patients and in patients under 65 years old at first treatment. Overall, the cumulative incidence of secondary cancer at 12 years was 10.5%, after correction in a competing-risk model. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses showed that older age at the time of diagnosis, male sex, and fludarabine-containing therapy had significant negative impacts on the time free of second tumors.

Conclusions: We have identified subgroups of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients with increased standardized incidence ratios of secondary malignancy and variables that have a negative impact on the time free of second tumors. This information could help physicians to select the most appropriate treatments. Finally, taking into account the possible occurrence of secondary neoplasia, long-term monitoring must be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.12120DOI Listing
March 2008

Rituximab in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide in the treatment of patients with recurrent follicular lymphoma.

Cancer 2007 Jul;110(1):121-8

Department of Oncology and Hematology, University of Modena, Modena, Italy.

Background: The current study was conducted to asses the safety profile and clinical activity of rituximab in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide in patients with recurrent follicular lymphoma (FL).

Methods: This study was a noncomparative, multicenter, phase II study. Between March 2000 and December 2002, 54 patients with recurrent FL were enrolled in the FC+R trial. Patients received fludarabine at a dose of 25 mg/m(2) and cyclophosphamide at a dose of 300 mg/m(2) daily for 3 consecutive days, every 3 weeks for 4 cycles. Rituximab was administered at a dose of 375 mg/m(2) beginning 2 weeks after the first course of fludarabine and cyclophosphamide and then on Day 1 of each cycle thereafter. The planned treatment duration was 10 weeks.

Results: Overall, 92% of patients completed the planned therapy in 10 to 14 weeks and 74% achieved a complete response (CR). Among patients with BCL2-positive bone marrow, 86% obtained a molecular disease remission (MR). The median survival from treatment (SFT), the duration of disease remission (DR), and time to disease progression (TTP) had not been reached after a median follow-up of 45 months. Of the baseline characteristics, >2 previous treatments, BCL2-positive bone marrow, and low Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI) score were found to be associated with better DR and/or TTP. Hematologic toxicity was transient and reversible, with the exception of 3 patients with severe and prolonged neutropenia. Three patients presented with infections, 1 of whom died of bronchopneumonia.

Conclusions: The FC+R scheme, a nonanthracycline-containing regimen lasting up to 10 weeks, was found to be relatively well-tolerated and demonstrated significant antilymphoma activity with excellent clinical CR and molecular response rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.22740DOI Listing
July 2007

Bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw: a review of 35 cases and an evaluation of its frequency in multiple myeloma patients.

Leuk Lymphoma 2007 Jan;48(1):56-64

Department of Oncology and Hematology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Over a period of 28 months, we observed five cases of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) in cancer patients treated with bisphosphonates (BP) at our institution. This prompted us to undertake a retrospective, multicenter study to analyse the characteristics of patients who exhibited ONJ and to define the frequency of ONJ in multiple myeloma (MM). We identified 35 cases in Gruppo Italiano Studio Linfomi centers during the period 2002 - 05. The median time from cancer diagnosis to the clinical onset of ONJ was 70 months. In these 35 cases of ONJ, 24 appeared 20 - 60 months after starting BP treatment. The time for the onset of ONJ was significantly shorter for patients treated with zoledronic acid alone than for those treated with pamidronate followed by zoledronic acid. The frequency of ONJ in the MM group during the study period was 1.9%, although the nature of the present study may have resulted in an underestimation of ONJ cases. Our analysis strongly suggested an association between the use of BP and the occurrence of ONJ, although we were unable to identify any definite risk factors with a retrospective study. The most frequently ONJ-associated clinical characteristics were chemotherapy treatment, steroid treatment, advanced age, female sex, anemia, parodonthopaties/dental procedures and thalidomide (in the case of MM patients).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428190600977690DOI Listing
January 2007

Biological effects of Atra and Arsenic Trioxide on short term cultures of non-M3 leukemic blasts.

Leuk Lymphoma 2005 Feb;46(2):257-63

Program of Innovative Therapy in Oncology and Hematology, Department of Oncology and Hematology, University of Modena, Policlinico, Italy.

The efficacy of All-Trans Retinoic Acid (Atra) and Arsenic Trioxide (As(2)O(3)) in the treatment of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) is well known. Further, these drugs inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in several cell lines, but few data are reported on leukemic blasts. The aim of this study was to evaluate the biological effects on non-M3 Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) cells. Blasts of six patients, after exposition to Atra and As(2)O(3) were tested for growth inhibition, induction of apoptosis and change in cell cycle distribution, evaluating cell viability, percentage of apoptotic cells and of blasts positive for Ki-67 and BrdU. In the present study we demonstrated that either Atra or As(2)O(3) inhibit leukemic cells proliferation by induction of apoptosis. The effects are time and dose dependent. We did not observe additive or synergistic effects with the combination of the drugs. Further, our results showed that Atra and As(2)O(3) have effects on cell cycle distribution reducing S-phase and proliferating cells. These results should be taken in to account preparing future laboratory and clinical experimental protocols that associate these drugs with antineoplastic agents with different cell cycle specificity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428190400014991DOI Listing
February 2005

Prevalence and prognostic significance of sMUC-1 levels in plasma cell dyscrasias.

Br J Haematol 2003 Jun;121(5):772-4

Dipartimento di Oncologia ed Ematologia, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Milan, Italy.

High serum Mucin-1 (sMUC-1) levels have been shown in patients with adenocarcinoma and multiple myeloma (MM). We evaluated sMUC-1 levels in 76 patients with MM, 6 with plasma cells leukaemia (PCL) and 89 with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, to establish prevalence data and verify its possible prognostic role. Of the 171 patients, 27 [16%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 10-21%] had high sMUC-1 levels compared with healthy subjects (1.5%; 95% CI: 0-4%). Elevated sMUC-1 levels in MM and PCL patients correlated with anaemia and elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase levels; these patients showed a shorter survival than those with normal sMUC-1 levels (median overall survival: 25 vs. 49 months, P = 0.003).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2141.2003.04353.xDOI Listing
June 2003