Publications by authors named "Roberta Murru"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Efficacy of idelalisib and rituximab in relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia treated outside of clinical trials. A report of the Gimema Working Group.

Hematol Oncol 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Medical Sciences, Hematology Section, University of Ferrara, Cona - Ferrara, Italy.

Because the efficacy of new drugs reported in trials may not translate into similar results when used in the real-life, we analyzed the efficacy of idelalisib and rituximab (IR) in 149 patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia treated at 34 GIMEMA centers. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival were 22.9 and 44.5 months, respectively; performance status (PS) ≥2 and ≥3 previous lines of therapy were associated with shorter PFS and overall survival (OS). 48% of patients were on treatment at 12 months; the experience of the centers (≥5 treated patients) and PS 0-1 were associated with a significantly longer treatment duration (p = 0.015 and p = 0.002, respectively). TP53 disruption had no prognostic significance. The overall response rate to subsequent treatment was 49.2%, with median OS of 15.5 months and not reached in patients who discontinued, respectively, for progression and for toxicity (p < 0.01). Treatment breaks ≥14 days were recorded in 96% of patients and adverse events mirrored those reported in trials. In conclusion, this real-life analysis showed that IR treatment duration was longer at experienced centers, that the ECOG PS and ≥3 lines of previous therapy are strong prognostic factor and that the overall outcome with this regimen was superimposable to that reported in a randomized trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2861DOI Listing
March 2021

Pre-existing and treatment-emergent autoimmune cytopenias in patients with CLL treated with targeted drugs.

Blood 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

University of Torino, Torino, Italy.

Autoimmune cytopenias (AIC) affect 5-9% of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Targeted drugs - ibrutinib, idelalisib and venetoclax - have a prominent role in the treatment of CLL, but their impact on CLL-associated AIC is largely unknown. In this study, we evaluated the characteristics and outcome of pre-existing AIC, and described the incidence, quality and management of treatment-emergent AIC during therapy with targeted drugs in patients with CLL. We collected data from 572 patients treated with ibrutinib (9% in combination with an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody), 143 treated with idelalisib-rituximab and 100 treated with venetoclax (12% in combination with an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody). A history of pre-existing AIC was reported in 104/815 patients (13%). Interestingly, 80% of patients whose AIC was not resolved at the time of targeted drug start experienced an improvement or a resolution during therapy. Treatment-emergent AIC occurred in 1% of patients during ibrutinib therapy, in 0.9% during idelalisib and in 7% during venetoclax, with an estimated incidence rate of 5, 6 and 69 episodes per 1000 patients per year of exposure in the three treatment groups, respectively. The vast majority of patients who developed treatment-emergent AIC carried unfavorable biological features such as an unmutated IGHV, and a del(17p) and/or TP53 mutation. Notably, despite AIC, 83% of patients were able to continue the targeted drug, in some cases in combination with additional immunosuppressive agents. Overall, treatment with ibrutinib, idelalisib and venetoclax appears to have a beneficial impact on CLL-associated AIC, inducing an improvement or even a resolution of pre-existing AIC in most cases and eliciting treatment-emergent AIC in a negligible portion of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020008201DOI Listing
March 2021

Comparison of ibrutinib and idelalisib plus rituximab in real-life relapsed/resistant chronic lymphocytic leukemia cases.

Eur J Haematol 2021 Apr 28;106(4):493-499. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Biothecnology Research Unit, AO of Cosenza, Cosenza, Italy.

Objectives: To compare the capacity of ibrutinib (IB) and idelalisib-rituximab (IDELA-R) of prolonging overall survival (OS) as in CLL patients, previously treated with chemotherapy only.

Methods: A real-life cohort of 675 cases has been identified and investigated in the database of the groups participating in the study.

Results: At an unadjusted univariate analysis, a significant death risk reduction was observed favoring IB (IDELA-R vs IB HR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.36-0.71) although with some limitations due to the non-randomized and retrospective nature of the study and to the lower number of patients in the IDELA-R group (112 cases) related to the current prescribing practice. To overcome the potential problem of confounding by indication, we adjusted the association between the type of therapy and mortality for all variables significantly associated with OS at Cox univariate analysis. Furthermore, those variables, differently distributed between the two study groups, were introduced into the multivariate Cox model to improve the effectiveness of the analysis. By introducing all these variables into the multiple Cox regression model, we confirmed the protective effect of IB vs IDELA-R (HR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.45-0.98, P = .04) independent of potential confounders.

Conclusions: Although our analysis presents some constraints, that is, the unavailability of additional potential confounders, and the retrospective nature of the study, this observation may be of help for the daily clinical practice, particularly in the absence of randomized trials comparing the two schedules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13573DOI Listing
April 2021

Elevated Lactate Dehydrogenase Has Prognostic Relevance in Treatment-Naïve Patients Affected by Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia with Trisomy 12.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Jun 26;11(7). Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Institute of Hematology, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, 00168 Roma, Italy.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) patients with +12 have been reported to have specific clinical and biologic features. We performed an analysis of the association between demographic; clinical; laboratory; biologic features and outcome in CLL patients with +12 to identify parameters predictive of disease progression; time to treatment; and survival. The study included 487 treatment-naive CLL patients with +12 from 15 academic centers; diagnosed between January 2000 and July 2016; and 816 treatment-naïve patients with absence of Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) abnormalities. A cohort of 250 patients with +12 CLL followed at a single US institution was used for external validation. In patients with +12; parameters associated with worse prognosis in the multivariate model were high Lactate DeHydrogenase (LDH) and β-2-microglobulin and unmutated immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region gene (IGHV). CLL patients with +12 and high LDH levels showed a shorter Progression-Free-Survival (PFS) (30 months vs. 65 months; p < 0.001), Treatment-Free-Survival (TFS) (33 months vs. 69 months; p < 0.001), Overall Survival (OS) (131 months vs. 181 months; p < 0.001) and greater CLL-related mortality (29% vs. 11% at 10 years; p < 0.001) when compared with +12 CLL patients with normal LDH levels. The same differences were observed in the validation cohort. These data suggest that serum LDH levels can predict PFS; TFS; OS and CLL-specific survival in CLL patients with +12.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11070896DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6678692PMC
June 2019

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

Combination of bendamustine and rituximab as front-line therapy for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: multicenter, retrospective clinical practice experience with 279 cases outside of controlled clinical trials.

Eur J Cancer 2016 06 27;60:154-65. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

UOC Ematologia, Ospedale Annunziata, Cosenza, Italy. Electronic address:

Recently, encouraging results in terms of safety and efficacy have been obtained using bendamustine-rituximab (BR) in untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) patients enrolled in a phase II study. Here, we report a retrospective international multicenter study of CLL patients treated with BR as front-line therapy. The cohort included 279 patients with progressive CLL from 33 centers (29 Italian, 3 Israeli and 1 German) who received at least 1 cycle of BR as first-line treatment during the 2008-2014 period. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of BR administered as front-line therapy, outside of controlled clinical trials. Median age was 70 years (range, 43-86 years); 62.4% were males and 35.8% had Binet stage C. Forty-two patients (15.2%) were unfit (cumulative illness rating scale [CIRS] score ≥7), and 140 (50.2%) had creatinine clearance ≤70 ml/min. Fluorescent in situ hybridisation analysis, available for 192 cases, showed that 21 (10.9%) had del11q and 18 (9.4%) del17p. The overall response rate (ORR) was 86.4%, with a complete remission rate of 28%. Patients with del17p had an ORR of 66.7%. After median follow-up of 24 months, the 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 69.9%; CIRS ≥7, immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable-region (IGHV) unmutated status, del17p and BR dose intensity <80% were independently associated with shorter PFS. Grade III or IV neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anaemia were observed in 25.9%, 15.4%, and 15.1% of patients, respectively. Twenty-four patients (8.6%) had severe infections. BR is also an effective and safe regimen for untreated CLL patients, outside of controlled clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2016.03.069DOI Listing
June 2016

B-IGEV (bortezomib plus IGEV) versus IGEV before high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation in relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma: a randomized, phase II trial of the Fondazione Italiana Linfomi (FIL).

Leuk Lymphoma 2016 10 15;57(10):2375-81. Epub 2016 Feb 15.

a Humanitas Cancer Center , Rozzano , Milan , Italy ;

This randomized, multicenter study evaluates the addition of bortezomib (13 mg/m(2)) to IGEV (B-IGEV) in patients with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL). Patients received either four courses of IGEV alone (n = 40) or B-IGEV (n = 40). The primary endpoint was the complete response (CR) proportion, evaluated by FDG-PET, after induction chemotherapy. CR proportion was 39% with B-IGEV and 53% with IGEV. PFS and OS were similar between the two groups (two-year PFS: 58% vs 56%; two-year OS: 93% vs 81%). The PET-negative status after treatment was the only variable favorably influencing both PFS (two-year PFS: 77% vs 40%; p = 0.002) and OS (two-year OS: 100% vs 76%; p < 0.001). Toxicity was overall similar with the two regimens. The addition of bortezomib to IGEV does not improve response in relapsed/refractory HL patients. However, its favorable therapeutic and safety profile, and the prognostic role of pre-transplant PET negativity in patients receiving IGEV-based regimens are confirmed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2016.1140161DOI Listing
October 2016

Interstitial deletion at 11q14.2-11q22.1 may cause severe learning difficulties, mental retardation and mild heart defects in 13-year old male.

Mol Cytogenet 2015 17;8:71. Epub 2015 Sep 17.

Access to genome P.C., Clinical Laboratory Genetics, 33A Ethn. Antistaseos str, 55134 Thessaloniki, Greece ; Department of Medical Genetics, University of Cagliari, Binaghi Hospital, Cagliari, Italy.

Interstitial deletions of the long arm of chromosome 11 are rare, and they could be assumed as non-recurrent chromosomal rearrangements due to high variability of the size and the breakpoints of the deleted region. The exact region of the deletion was difficult to be determined before the use of molecular cytogenetic techniques such as array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). Here, a 13-year old boy with severe learning difficulties, mental retardation and mild heart defects is described. Conventional G-band karyotyping was performed and it is found that the patient is a carrier of a de novo interstitial deletion on the long arm of chromosome 11, involving 11q14 and 11q22 breakpoints. Further investigation, using aCGH, specified the deleted region to 11q14.2-11q22.1. There was a difficulty in correlating the genotype with the phenotype of the patient due to lack of similar cases in literature. More studies should be done in order to understand the genetic background that underlies the phenotypic differences observed in similar cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13039-015-0175-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4574176PMC
September 2015

Bendamustine in combination with rituximab for elderly patients with previously untreated B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia: A retrospective analysis of real-life practice in Italian hematology departments.

Leuk Res 2015 Oct 26;39(10):1066-70. Epub 2015 Jul 26.

IRCCS Centro di Riferimento Oncologico della Basilicata, Rionero in Vulture, Italy.

The front-line therapy for CLL young and fit patients is chemo-immunotherapy with fludarabine-cyclophosphamide-rituximab (FCR). FCR regimen results in a significant myelosuppression and high rates of early and late infections especially in elderly patients. German CLL study group compared FCR vs. bendamustine-rituximab (BR) in fit untreated patients. The response rates with BR or FCR were comparable, BR could be an alternative 1st-line treatment for elderly patients. Here we report retrospective data of 70 elderly (≥65 years) CLL patients from 12 Italian centers treated with BR as front-line therapy. The primary end points were overall response rate (complete remission/partial remission) and safety. Forty-seven males and 23 females, with a median age of 72 years, were included in the study. Eight patients were unfit for CIRS. The OR rate was 88.6% (31.4% CR and 57.2% PR). Progression free survival, treatment free survival and overall survival rates at 2-years were 79%, 90.3% and 89.6%, respectively. Only del17 was independent unfavorable parameter on the response rate and PFS. Our results indicate that BR front-line at standard dose provides a high response rate with a good safety profile, even if more than 50% of patients experienced a bendamustine dose reduction until 70 mg/m2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2015.07.009DOI Listing
October 2015

Prenatal diagnosis of proximal partial trisomy 1q confirmed by comparative genomic hybridization array: molecular cytogenetic analysis, fetal pathology and review of the literature.

Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol 2014 Apr 12;100(4):284-93. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

Background: Partial trisomy of the long arm of chromosome 1 (1q) is an exceptionally rare chromosomal abnormality and most of the prenatally diagnosed cases are associated with either complete (q11-qter) or large (q21-qter) duplications with pre- or perinatal demise of all reported cases. The most common sonographic findings associated with this karyotype abnormality include ventriculomegaly, increased nuchal translucency or nuchal fold, renal and cardiac abnormalities, craniofacial dysmorphism, and limb deformities. However, there is a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations due to the great variability in the extent of the duplication size and the possible contribution of additional genetic rearrangements in the final phenotype.

Case Report: We report on a female fetus with sole partial trisomy 1q presenting with multiple structural malformations in the second trimester scan. Standard karyotyping demonstrated a large duplication on the proximal end of chromosome 1 [46,XX,dup(1)(pter→q31::q31→q12::q31→qter)] and further application of comparative genomic hybridization array confirmed the diagnosis and offered a precise characterization of the genetic defect.

Conclusion: A fetus with nonmosaic partial trisomy 1q that was prenatally diagnosed upon multiple abnormal ultrasound findings is presented. A detailed review of the currently available literature on the prenatal diagnostic approach of partial trisomy 1q in terms of fetal sonographic assessment and molecular cytogenetic investigation is also provided. The use of novel molecular techniques such comparative genomic hybridization array could shed further light on the correlation between the genes identified in the chromosomal region of interest and the resultant phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bdra.23213DOI Listing
April 2014

Correction of anemia in a transfusion-dependent patient with primary myelofibrosis receiving iron chelation therapy with deferasirox (Exjade, ICL670).

Eur J Haematol 2007 Jun 28;78(6):540-2. Epub 2007 Mar 28.

Unità Operativa Ematologia e Centro Trapianti Midollo Osseo, Ospedale Oncologico Armando Businco, Cagliari, Italy.

Transfusional iron overload in patients with chronic anemias can result in multiple organ failure. Experience in the management of iron overload in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes is limited, as many do not receive chelation therapy due to short-life expectancy and the difficulties associated with the administration of the current reference standard chelator, deferoxamine. There have, however, been some reports of reduced transfusion requirement associated with chelation therapy in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes and myelofibrosis. Here, we discuss a patient with primary myelofibrosis and related transfusion-dependent anemia who received chelation therapy with the once-daily oral iron chelator, deferasirox. In addition to the reduced iron levels, the patient demonstrated an unexpected reduction in blood transfusion requirement, ultimately resulting in long-lasting transfusion-free survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2007.00840.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1974812PMC
June 2007