Publications by authors named "Serena Rupoli"

28 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Italian expert-based recommendations on the use of photo(chemo)therapy in the management of mycosis fungoides: Results of an e-Delphi consensus.

Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 2021 Jan 18. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Dip. Scienze della Salute, sezione Dermatologia, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze, Italy.

Background: Phototherapy is a mainstay for the treatment of MF. However, there is scarce evidence for its use, mostly due to the lack of a unified schedule.

Aims: The primary aim of this study was to establish the first structured, expert-based consensus regarding the indications and technical schedules of NB-UVB and PUVA for MF. The secondary aim was to determine the consensus level for each specific item.

Materials & Methods: E-delphi study. Item-specific expert consensus was defined as the number of "Totally Agree" results to ≥80% of the panelists. Cronbach alpha index ≥0.7 was used as a measure of homogeneity in the responses among questions related to the same topic.

Results: Overall, there was a high homogeneity among responders (0.78). On specific topics, the highest grade was observed for technical items (0.8) followed by indications for early (0.73) and advanced stages (0.7).

Conclusions: Items related to the most canonical indications of phototherapy and to treatment schedules showed the highest agreements rates. There is consensus about the use of standardized treatment schedules for the induction and consolidation phases for NB-UVB and PUVA in MF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/phpp.12658DOI Listing
January 2021

Unusual presentation of primary myelofibrosis with spontaneous bleeding after laparoscopic adrenalectomy: A case report.

Int J Surg Case Rep 2020 21;75:345-347. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Clinica Chirurgica Generale e d'Urgenza, AOU Umberto I-Lancisi-Salesi, Ancona, Italy.

Introduction: We described unusual presentation of primary myelofibrosis with spontaneous bleeding after laparoscopic adrenalectomy. This case is written following the SCARE criteria.

Presentation Of Case: A 73 years old Caucasian man underwent laparoscopic right adrenalectomy for a rapidly increasing expansive mass (3.5 × 2.5 cm) of the right adrenal gland. The night of intervention, patient underwent urgent explorative laparotomy, that highlighted massive haemoperitoneum, clots in the abdomen, on the splenic side, on Morrison's space, and at the confluence between right renal vein and inferior vena cava. Surgical specimen examination showed extra-medullary myeloid proliferation of the right periadrenal tissue.

Discussion: Bone marrow biopsy was performed. The list of differential diagnoses included: chronic myelomonocitic leukaemia, atypical CML and primary myelofibrosis (PMF). After discharge, several results became available: conventional cytogenetics was normal, PDGFR-α, PDGFR-β and FGFR1 mutations were negative but V617 F mutation of the JAK2 gene was positive. Therefore, the final diagnosis was pre-fibrotic primary myelofibrosis according to the 2016 WHO classification, Dynamic International Prognostic Scoring System (DIPSS) plus 2 (intermediate-2).

Conclusion: To our knowledge, we report uncommon case of primary myelofibrosis associated with extra-medullary myeloid proliferation of the right periadrenal tissue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijscr.2020.09.100DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7522583PMC
September 2020

Managing chronic myeloid leukemia for treatment-free remission: a proposal from the GIMEMA CML WP.

Blood Adv 2019 12;3(24):4280-4290

Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Several papers authored by international experts have proposed recommendations on the management of BCR-ABL1+ chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Following these recommendations, survival of CML patients has become very close to normal. The next, ambitious, step is to bring as many patients as possible into a condition of treatment-free remission (TFR). The Gruppo Italiano Malattie EMatologiche dell'Adulto (GIMEMA; Italian Group for Hematologic Diseases of the Adult) CML Working Party (WP) has developed a project aimed at selecting the treatment policies that may increase the probability of TFR, taking into account 4 variables: the need for TFR, the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), the characteristics of leukemia, and the patient. A Delphi-like method was used to reach a consensus among the representatives of 50 centers of the CML WP. A consensus was reached on the assessment of disease risk (EUTOS Long Term Survival [ELTS] score), on the definition of the most appropriate age boundaries for the choice of first-line treatment, on the choice of the TKI for first-line treatment, and on the definition of the responses that do not require a change of the TKI (BCR-ABL1 ≤10% at 3 months, ≤1% at 6 months, ≤0.1% at 12 months, ≤0.01% at 24 months), and of the responses that require a change of the TKI, when the goal is TFR (BCR-ABL1 >10% at 3 and 6 months, >1% at 12 months, and >0.1% at 24 months). These suggestions may help optimize the treatment strategy for TFR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000865DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6929396PMC
December 2019

Real-life use of phototherapy in early-stage mycosis fungoides from the Cutaneous Lymphoma Commission of the Italian Lymphoma Foundation: results of a web-based survey.

G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2018 Oct 16;153(5):745-746. Epub 2017 Nov 16.

Section of Dermatology, Department of Surgery and Translational Medicine, University of Florence Medical School, Florence, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0392-0488.17.05693-0DOI Listing
October 2018

The BCR-ABL1 transcript type influences response and outcome in Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia patients treated frontline with imatinib.

Am J Hematol 2017 Aug 30;92(8):797-805. Epub 2017 May 30.

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

The most frequent BCR-ABL1 fusion transcripts in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) are the e13a2 (b2a2) and the e14a2 (b3a2) ones. In the imatinib era few studies addressing the prognostic significance of the BCR-ABL1 transcript type in early chronic phase CML have been published. Overall, these studies suggest that in e14a2 patients the response to imatinib is faster and deeper. To evaluate if the BCR-ABL1 transcript type (e13a2 compared to e14a2) affect the response to imatinib and the clinical outcome in newly diagnosed adult CML patients, 559 patients enrolled in 3 prospective studies (NCT00514488, NCT00510926, observational study CML/023) were analyzed. A qualitative PCR was performed at baseline: 52% patients had a e14a2 transcript, 37% a e13a2 transcript, 11% co-expressed both transcripts and 1% had other rare transcripts. The median follow-up was 76 months (95% of the patients had at least a 5-year observation). The complete cytogenetic response rates were comparable in e14a2 and e13a2 patients. The median time to MR (6 and 12 months) and MR (41 and 61 months) was significantly shorter for e14a2 patients compared to e13a2 patients, with a higher cumulative probability of MR (88% and 83%, P < .001) and MR (67% and 52%, P = .001). The 7-year overall survival (90% and 83%, P = .017), progression-free survival (89% and 81%, P = .005) and failure-free survival (71% and 54%, P < .001) were significantly better in patients with e14a2 transcript. In conclusion, patients with e13a2 transcript had a slower molecular response with inferior response rates to imatinib and a poorer long-term outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.24774DOI Listing
August 2017

Primary cutaneous B-cell lymphoma other than marginal zone: clinicopathologic analysis of 161 cases: Comparison with current classification and definition of prognostic markers.

Cancer Med 2016 10 26;5(10):2740-2755. Epub 2016 Sep 26.

Unit of Anatomic Pathology, Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Pavia and Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.

Categorization of primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas (PCBCL) other than marginal zone (MZL) represents a diagnostic challenge with relevant prognostic implications. The 2008 WHO lymphoma classification recognizes only primary cutaneous follicular center cell lymphoma (PCFCCL) and primary cutaneous diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, leg type (PCDLBCL-LT), whereas the previous 2005 WHO/EORTC classification also included an intermediate form, namely PCDLBCL, other. We conducted a retrospective, multicentric, consensus-based revision of the clinicopathologic characteristics of 161 cases of PCBCL other than MZL. Upon the histologic features that are listed in the WHO classification, 96 cases were classified as PCFCCL and 25 as PCDLBCL-LT; 40 further cases did not fit in the former subgroups in terms of cytology and/or architecture, thus were classified as PCDLBCL, not otherwise specified (PCDLBCL-NOS). We assigned all the cases a histogenetic profile, based on the immunohistochemical detection of CD10, BCL6, and MUM1, and a "double hit score" upon positivity for BCL2 and MYC. PCDLBCL-NOS had a clinical presentation more similar to PCFCCL, whereas the histology was more consistent with the picture of a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, as predominantly composed of centroblasts but with intermixed a reactive infiltrate of small lymphocytes. Its behavior was intermediate between the other two forms, particularly when considering only cases with a "non-germinal B-cell" profile, whereas "germinal center" cases resembled PCFCCL. Our data confirmed the aggressive behavior of PCDLBC-LT, which often coexpressed MYC and BCL2. The impact of single factors on 5-year survival was documented, particularly histogenetic profile in PCDLBCL and BCL2 translocation in PCFCCL. Our study confirms that a further group-PCDLBCL-NOS-exists, which can be recognized through a careful combination of histopathologic criteria coupled with adequate clinical information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.865DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5083727PMC
October 2016

Unbiased pro-thrombotic features at diagnosis in 977 thrombocythemic patients with Philadelphia-negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Leuk Res 2016 07 7;46:18-25. Epub 2016 Apr 7.

Hematology Dept., University Hospital, Firenze, Italy.

In patients with Philadelphia-negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), the anti-thrombotic and/or cytoreductive treatment in the follow-up may affect the evaluation of the pro-thrombotic weight of the clinical and biological characteristics at diagnosis. In order to avoid this potential confounding effect, we investigated the relationship between prior thrombosis (PrTh: thrombosis occurred before diagnosis and before treatment) and the characteristics at diagnosis in 977 thrombocythemic patients with MPN, reclassified according to the WHO 2008 criteria. PrTh occurred in 194 (19.9%) patients, with similar rates in the different MPNs. In multivariate analysis, PrTh rate was significantly related to minor thrombocytosis (platelets ≤700×10(9)/L), leukocytosis (leukocytes >10×10(9)/L), higher hematocrit (HCT >45%), JAK2 V617F mutation, older age, and cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs). The highest PrTh rate (33.9%) was associated with the coexistence of minor thrombocytosis and leukocytosis. Of note, the inverse relationship between PrTh rate and platelet count is consistent with the hemostatic paradox of thrombocytosis. In conclusion, this analysis in MPN patients disclosed the unbiased characteristics at diagnosis with a pro-thrombotic effect. Moreover, it suggests that the optimal control of blood cells counts, and CVRFs might be of utmost importance in the prevention of thrombosis during the follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2016.04.004DOI Listing
July 2016

Results of a prospective phase II trial with oral low-dose bexarotene plus photochemotherapy (PUVA) in refractory and/or relapsed patients with mycosis fungoides.

Eur J Dermatol 2016 Jan-Feb;26(1):13-20

Division of Dermatology, Dept. Surgery and Translational Medicine, University of Florence Medical School, Italy.

Introduction: Bexarotene is a synthetic retinoid effective in early and advanced stages of mycosis fungoides (MF)/Sezary Syndrome (SS) both in monotherapy and combination schemes. We aimed to assess disease response to low-dose bexarotene and PUVA in maintenance in refractory and/or resistant patients with early and advanced stage MF/SS.

Methods: We followed prospectively 21 patients (stages IB-IV): 15 with early stage MF and 6 with advanced disease. "Mini" and standard protocols were respectively applied to patients who failed PUVA or several systemic regimens. The dose of bexarotene and the administration of PUVA were titrated individually and tailored during induction and maintenance according to previous therapy, disease stage and toxicity. We evaluated overall response (OR) at the end of maintenance, safety and event-free survival (EFS).

Results: After induction phase, OR was 85.6%, higher in early MF (93.4%) than in advanced disease (66.6%). At the end of maintenance, OR was 76.2%, including 33.3% of CR. Median EFS for the whole group was 31 months. Bexarotene was well tolerated regarding the side effects, with prophylaxis and progressive drug increase in the induction phase of the protocol. Side effects were mainly of low and moderate grades.

Conclusions: We observed a favorable rate of therapeutic effects and few, generally mild, side effects with low doses of bexarotene combined with PUVA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1684/ejd.2015.2672DOI Listing
December 2016

Recurrent Thrombotic Events after Discontinuation of Vitamin K Antagonist Treatment for Splanchnic Vein Thrombosis: A Multicenter Retrospective Cohort Study.

Gastroenterol Res Pract 2015 5;2015:620217. Epub 2015 Oct 5.

Department of Hematology, Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center, S. Bortolo Hospital, 36100 Vicenza, Italy.

It is generally recommended that patients with splanchnic vein thrombosis (SVT) should receive a minimum of 3 months of anticoagulant treatment. However, little information is available on the long-term risk of recurrent thrombotic events. The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of venous and arterial thrombosis after discontinuation of vitamin K antagonist (VKA) in SVT patients. Retrospective information from a cohort of SVT patients treated with VKA and followed by 37 Italian Anticoagulation Clinics, up to June 2013, was collected. Only patients who discontinued VKA and did not receive any other anticoagulant drug were enrolled in this study. Thrombotic events during follow-up were centrally adjudicated. Ninety patients were included: 33 unprovoked SVT, 27 SVT secondary to transient risk factors, and 30 with permanent risk factors. During a median follow-up of 1.6 years, 6 venous and 1 arterial thrombosis were documented, for an incidence of 3.3/100 patient-years (pt-y). The recurrence rate was highest in the first year after VKA discontinuation (8.2/100'pt-y) and in patients with permanent risk factors (10.2/100'pt-y). Liver cirrhosis significantly increased the risk of recurrence. In conclusion, the rate of recurrent vascular complications after SVT is not negligible, at least in some patient subgroups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/620217DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609867PMC
October 2015

Thrombosis in essential thrombocytemia and early/prefibrotic primary myelofibrosis: the role of the WHO histological diagnosis.

Diagn Pathol 2015 Apr 16;10:29. Epub 2015 Apr 16.

Department of Clinical and Molecular Sciences, Clinic of Hematology, Polytechnic University of Marche Region, Ancona, Italy.

Background: Vascular events represent the most frequent complications of thrombocytemias. We aimed to evaluate their risk in the WHO histologic categories of Essential Thrombocytemia (ET) and early Primary Myelofibrosis (PMF).

Methods: From our clinical database of 283 thrombocytemic patients, we selected those with available bone marrow histology performed before any treatment, at or within 1 year from diagnosis, and reclassified the 131 cases as true ET or early PMF, with or without fibrosis, according to the WHO histological criteria. Vaso-occlusive events at diagnosis and in the follow-up were compared in the WHO-groups.

Results: Histologic review reclassified 61 cases as ET and 72 cases as early PMF (26 prefibrotic and 42 with grade 1 or 2 fibrosis). Compared to ET, early PMF showed a significant higher rate of thrombosis both in the past history (22% vs 8%) and at diagnosis (15.2% vs 1.6%), and an increased leukocyte count (8389 vs 7500/mmc). Venous thromboses (mainly atypical) were relatively more common in PMF than in ET. Patients with prefibrotic PMF, although younger, showed a significant higher 15-year risk of developing thrombosis (48% vs 16% in fibrotic PMF and 17% in ET). At multivariate analysis, age and WHO histology were both independent risk-factors for thrombosis during follow-up; patients >60 yr-old or with prefibrotic PMF showed a significantly higher risk at 20 years than patients <60 yr-old with ET or fibrotic PMF (47% vs 4%, p = 0.005).

Conclusions: Our study support the importance of WHO histologic categories in the thrombotic risk stratification of patients with thrombocytemias.

Virtual Slides: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/2020211863144412 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13000-015-0269-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4407780PMC
April 2015

Cerebral vein thrombosis in patients with Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms. An European Leukemia Net study.

Am J Hematol 2014 Nov 31;89(11):E200-5. Epub 2014 Jul 31.

Angelo Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, Italy.

To investigate the characteristics and clinical course of cerebral vein thrombosis (CVT) in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) we compared 48 patients with MPN and CVT (group MPN-CVT) to 87 with MPN and other venous thrombosis (group MPN-VT) and 178 with MPN and no thrombosis (group MPN-NoT) matched by sex, age at diagnosis of MPN (±5 years) and type of MPN. The study population was identified among 5,500 patients with MPN, from January 1982 to June 2013. Thrombophilia abnormalities were significantly more prevalent in the MPN-CVT and MPN-VT than in MPN-NoT group (P = 0.015), as well as the JAK2 V617F mutation in patients with essential thrombocythemia (P = 0.059). Compared to MPN-VT, MPN-CVT patients had a higher rate of recurrent thrombosis (42% vs. 25%, P = 0.049) despite a shorter median follow-up period (6.1 vs. 10.3 years, P = 0.019), a higher long-term antithrombotic (94% vs. 84%, P = 0.099) and a similar cytoreductive treatment (79% vs. 70%, P = 0.311). The incidence of recurrent thrombosis was double in MPN-CVT than in MPN-VT group (8.8% and 4.2% patient-years, P = 0.022), and CVT and unprovoked event were the only predictive variables in a multivariate model including also sex, blood count, thrombophilia, cytoreductive, and antithrombotic treatment (HR 1.97, 95%CI 1.05-3.72 and 2.09, 1.09-4.00, respectively).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23809DOI Listing
November 2014

Mobilization-driven postconsolidation therapy in elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia: feasibility and efficacy of autologous stem cell transplantation versus low-dose gemtuzumab ozogamicin.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Sep 28;20(9):1399-406. Epub 2014 May 28.

Hematology Department, University of Ancona, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona, Torrette di Ancona, Italy. Electronic address:

We prospectively evaluated 2 postconsolidation strategies, administered according to the mobilization outcome, in 72 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) fit elderly patients, achieving complete remission after the first high-dose cytarabine-based induction. Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) was performed in patients collecting ≥3 × 10(6) CD34(+)/kg and low-dose gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) was performed in poor mobilizers (collecting <3 × 10(6) CD34(+)/kg). Fifty-five patients (76.3%) underwent peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) mobilization, after first consolidation, and 24 of 55 (44%) collected >3 × 10(6) CD34(+) cells/kg. Among the 55 patients eligible for PBSC mobilization, 7 did not receive the planned treatment, 23 were allocated for ASCT, and 25 were allocated for GO on an intention-to-treat basis. With a median follow-up of 70 months (range, 24 to 124), 20 of 55 patients are alive, 18 of them in continuous complete remission. The 8-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) are, respectively, 35.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 24% to 49.8%) and 31.2% (95% CI, 21% to 43.8%), median OS and DFS were 22 and 16 months, respectively. In multivariate analysis, postconsolidation treatment and hyperleukocytosis (WBC > 50,000/μL) significantly predicted OS and DFS, whereas secondary AML was significantly associated with a higher relapse rate (83.4% versus 54% of de novo AML). Patients with hyperleukocytosis had 0% 3-year OS versus the 46% (at 8 years) in patients without hyperleukocytosis (P = .01); 57% of patients in the GO arm are alive at 8 years, compared with 25.4% of patients in the ASCT arm, who had an overall relative risk (RR) of death of 2.6 (95% CI, 1.2 to 5.8; P = .02). DFS at 8 years was 45.3% in patients receiving GO, compared with 26% in ASCT arm (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1 to 4.3; P = .05). Our study outlines low feasibility and efficacy of ASCT in elderly AML patients, whereas postconsolidation with GO appears safe and effective in this unfavorable setting. The study was registered at Umin Clinical Trial Registry (www.umin.ac.jp/ctr), number R000014052.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.05.019DOI Listing
September 2014

Time course, clinical pathways, and long-term hazards risk trends of disease progression in patients with classic mycosis fungoides: a multicenter, retrospective follow-up study from the Italian Group of Cutaneous Lymphomas.

Cancer 2012 Dec 6;118(23):5830-9. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Dermatologic Clinic, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Background: Mycosis fungoides (MF) is an indolent primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. To the authors' knowledge, no data currently are available regarding the evolution over time of the risk of developing specific pathways of disease progression.

Methods: This retrospective study analyzed 1422 patients with MF who were diagnosed and followed from 1975 through 2010 in 27 Italian Study Group for Cutaneous Lymphoma centers. The primary objectives were to ascertain the time course, pathways, and hazards risk trends of cutaneous/extracutaneous disease progression; to evaluate whether different tumor-lymph node-metastasis-blood (TNMB) stages have different pathways of disease progression; and to analyze differences between tumor-stage and erythrodermic MF with regard to clinical onset, disease evolution, and prognosis. The secondary objective was to provide a further validation for the revised International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas and the Cutaneous Lymphoma Task Force of the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer (ISCL/EORTC) classification.

Results: The median follow-up was 14.5 years; stage progression occurred in 29.7% of patients and blood involvement was the most frequent extracutaneous site of disease progression. Patients with stage IA to stage IB disease demonstrated a steady low annual incidence of disease progression to tumor-stage (1%-2%); patients with stage IIA disease had a higher risk within the first years (up to 9.4%). Erythroderma evolved with a significantly higher frequency from patches/plaques (13.9%/28.2%) than tumors (P = .028 and P = .013, respectively). Hazards rates of extracutaneous involvement were low (< 1%). The T-score was found to be associated with extracutaneous involvement site, tumor-stage disease with lymph node/visceral lesions, and erythroderma with blood involvement. TNMB classification and stage progression resulted as independent prognostic variables being detected on multivariate analysis; the type of extracutaneous involvement was found to affect survival .

Conclusions: The data from the current study support the need for a stage-tailored follow-up, suggest that the classification of tumor-stage disease at a stage below erythroderma could be modified, and offer a further validation for the revised TNMB classification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.27627DOI Listing
December 2012

GIMEMA AIDA 0493 amended protocol for elderly patients with acute promyelocytic leukaemia. Long-term results and prognostic factors.

Br J Haematol 2011 Sep 14;154(5):564-8. Epub 2011 Jul 14.

Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Cellulari ed Ematologia, Università'La Sapienza', Roma, Italy.

To reduce toxicity in elderly patients with acute promyelocytic leukaemia, in 1997 the Gruppo Italiano Malattie Ematologiche Dell'Adulto (GIMEMA) started an amended protocol for patients aged >60years, with the same induction [all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)+idarubicin] as in younger patients, followed by a single consolidation course (idarubicin+ cytarabine) and maintenance with intermittent ATRA. Among 60 enrolled patients, 54 (90%) achieved haematological remission and six died during induction. Four additional patients died in complete remission (CR) from haemorrhage (2) and infection (2) prior or during consolidation therapy. Eleven patients relapsed at a median time of 17·5months from CR. The 5-year overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS) and cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR) rates were 76·1%, 64·6% and 27·4%, respectively. Univariate analysis identified a performance score (PS)=2 as the only significant adverse prognostic factor for both OS (P=0·017) and DFS (P=0·0003). Male sex had an unfavourable impact on DFS (P=0·021) and on CIR (P=0·019), but not on OS (P=0·234). In multivariate analysis for DFS, only PS=2 retained prognostic significance (HR=4·5, P=0·0083). In conclusion, the amended GIMEMA protocol is effective, with similar relapse rate and inferior toxicity compared to the original AIDA 0493. However, considering the recent availability of effective new agents, a less aggressive approach should be tested in this setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08593.xDOI Listing
September 2011

Frontline imatinib treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia: no impact of age on outcome, a survey by the GIMEMA CML Working Party.

Blood 2011 May 30;117(21):5591-9. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Department of Hematology and Oncology Seràgnoli, University of Bologna-S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy.

The median age of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients is ~60 years, and age is still considered an important prognostic factor, included in Sokal and EURO risk scores. However, few data are available about the long-term outcome of older patients treated with imatinib (IM) frontline. We analyzed the relationship between age and outcome in 559 early chronic-phase CML patients enrolled in 3 prospective clinical trials of Gruppo Italiano Malattie Ematologiche dell'Adulto CML Working Party, treated frontline with IM, with a median follow-up of 60 months. There were 115 older patients (≥ 65 years; 21%). The complete cytogenetic and major molecular response rates were similar in the 2 age groups. In older patients, event-free survival (55% vs 67%), failure-free survival (78% vs 92%), progression-free survival (62% vs 78%), and overall survival (75% vs 89%) were significantly inferior (all P < .01) because of a higher proportion of deaths that occurred in complete hematologic response, therefore unrelated to CML progression (15% vs 3%, P < .0001). The outcome was similar once those deaths were censored. These data show that response to IM was not affected by age and that the mortality rate linked to CML is similar in both age groups. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00514488 and #NCT00510926.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2010-12-324228DOI Listing
May 2011

Lesional skin chemokine CTACK/CCL27 expression in mycosis fungoides and disease control by IFN-alpha and PUVA therapy.

Am J Transl Res 2009 Jan 31;1(2):203-10. Epub 2009 Jan 31.

Recruitment of neoplastic T cells to skin is a critical step in the pathogenesis of mycosis fungoides (MF) lesions. Cutaneous T-cell attracting chemokine (CTACK)/CCL27 attracts memory T cells to skin, resulting in increased cutaneous expression. The interactions between neoplastic cells and skin immune system require further elucidation. CTACK/CCL27 expression and density of dendritic cells (DC), CD8+ and CD4+ lymphocytes were investigated in skin lesions of 52 early-stage MF patients treated by interferon (IFN)-alpha in combination with photochemotherapy (psoralen plus ultraviolet A, PUVA). Skin lesion biopsies obtained at diagnosis and after treatment were studied by immunohistochemistry. Initial CTACK/CCL27 expression was abnormal/suprabasal in 36 patients. Normal/basal CTACK/CCL27 expression tended to correlate with a high DC density and low CD4+ cell density in the neoplastic infiltrate. Treatment induced a significant increase in CTACK/CCL27 expression (chi(2) test: P=0.004). Overall, 33 patients relapsed [median event-free survival (EFS), 46 months] during follow-up (median, 92.5 months, range, 43-165). Normal/basal CTACK/CCL27 expression at the end of treatment correlated with lower rates of recurrence and a longer median EFS (111 months vs. 39 months with suprabasal expression; log rank test: P=0.031). CTACK/CCL27 overexpression in early-stage MF might thus be related to a balance between neoplastic cells and immunomodulant DC. Normal CTACK/CCL27 expression after treatment designates a subset of patients with favorable disease behavior. The mechanisms underpinning CTACK/CCL27 overexpression after therapy in the remaining patients, who are at greater risk of recurrence, warrant further investigation.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2776316PMC
January 2009

Efficacy and safety of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas and comparison with the commonly used therapies.

Eur J Haematol 2009 Mar;82(3):184-93

Clinical Hematology, Department of Hematology, Spirito Santo Civic Hospital, Pescara, Italy.

Objectives: The therapy of advanced, relapsed or refractory primary cutaneous lymphomas is often unsatisfactory. Recent data indicate a favourable pharmacokynetic, pharmacodynamic and toxicity profile of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (Peg-Doxo) in primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas, while in primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas (PCBCLs), the drug efficacy has never been assessed so far.

Methods: We performed a prospective phase II pilot clinical trial of Peg-Doxo monotherapy (20 mg/m(2)) in PCBCLs. One patient had a marginal zone B-cell lymphoma and four were affected by diffuse large B-cell lymphoma-leg type, all with widespread nodular lesions.

Results: All the patients achieved a complete response (CR = 100%) in a short period of time (median 3 months), even when pretreated with radio-chemotherapy. Two experienced a relapse. At follow-up, one patient died for progressive disease; four are in CR after 5, 52, 63 and 69 months. As concerning the toxicity profile, the treatment was well-tolerated, no one decreased or delayed the dose. The haematological toxicity was mild with only one case of grade III neutropenia; a patient showed a grade I neurotoxicity. Dermatological toxicity, in particular the palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia, did not occurred, probably because of both the low dosages of Peg-Doxo monotherapy and the oral prophylaxis with pyridoxine.

Conclusions: In spite of the small number of patients, it emerges that monochemotherapy with Peg-Doxo has a significantly high clinical activity and a good safety profile in PCBCLs, even in aggressive forms, compared with other therapeutic regimens, which are completely reviewed. It suggests the need of further investigations in this field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2008.01197.xDOI Listing
March 2009

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with Homer-Wright rosettes, sinusoidal growth pattern, and CD30 expression: a possible overlap between microvillous lymphomas and sinusoidal CD30-positive large B-cell lymphomas.

Pathol Res Pract 2009 6;205(4):279-82. Epub 2008 Dec 6.

Anatomic Pathology, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona Hospital, Via Conca 71, 60020 Torrette di Ancona (AN), Italy.

Rosette formation is an unusual finding in malignant lymphomas. We herein report another case of a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with ultrastructural evidence of cellular projections, sinusoidal growth pattern, and strong CD30 expression. A literature review of the DLBCL cases showing all these features was also performed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prp.2008.10.008DOI Listing
August 2009

Prognostic markers in mycosis fungoides.

Anal Quant Cytol Histol 2008 Aug;30(4):187-9

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August 2008

Clinicopathological features of primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas from an academic regional hospital in central Italy: no evidence of Borrelia burgdorferi association.

Leuk Lymphoma 2007 Nov;48(11):2184-8

Anatomia Patologica, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona Umberto I, G.M. Lancisi, G. Salesi, Ancona, Italy.

We reviewed the clinico-pathological features of 73 primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas (PCBCLs), diagnosed in 10 years in Marche region in central Italy, which included 16 marginal zone lymphomas (MZL), 33 follicle centre lymphomas (FCL) and 24 diffuse large B cell lymphomas (DLBCL). We also investigated the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi in tissues by polymerase chain reaction. Differences in age, sex, location site, response to therapy, disease recurrence and 5-year disease-specific survival were observed among the 3 histological groups. Specific DNA sequences of Borrelia burgdorferi were not detected in any of the 73 cases of PCBCL. We conclude that PCBCLs in Marche region behave according to the literature data and do not seem to be associated with Borrelia burgdorferi. Additional investigations should be performed on other possible etiologies, at least in our geographical area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428190701618250DOI Listing
November 2007

Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in the treatment of primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas.

Haematologica 2007 May;92(5):686-9

Clinic of Hematology, Polytechnic University of the Marche, Medical School, Ospedali Riuniti Umberto I, G.M. Lancisi-G. Salesi, Ancona, Italy.

Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (Peg-Doxo) is a promising drug for advanced/recalcitrant primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCLs). This prospective phase II trial enrolled 19 patients. We observed overall and complete response rates of 84.2% and 42.1% (with no significant differences between stage I-IIA and IIB-IV patients), and 11% grade III/IV toxicity. After a maximum 46 month-follow-up, median overall (OS), event-free (EFS) and progression-free (PFS) survival were 34, 18 and 19 months. OS, EFS and PFS rates at 46 months were 44%, 30% and 37% respectively. Peg-Doxo seems to be an active and safe principle that should be used in plurirelapsed, early stage-MF and in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents in advanced and aggressive CTCLs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.10879DOI Listing
May 2007

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

Prognostic factors in primary cutaneous B-cell lymphoma: the Italian Study Group for Cutaneous Lymphomas.

J Clin Oncol 2006 Mar 21;24(9):1376-82. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

Institute of Hematology and Oncology Seràgnoli, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Purpose: Primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas (PCBCLs) are a distinct group of primary cutaneous lymphomas with few and conflicting data on their prognostic factors.

Patients And Methods: The study group included 467 patients with PCBCL who were referred, treated, and observed in 11 Italian centers (the Italian Study Group for Cutaneous Lymphomas) during a 24-year period (1980 to 2003). All of the patients were reclassified according to the WHO-European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) classification.

Results: Follicle center lymphoma (FCL) accounted for 56.7% of occurrences, followed by marginal-zone B-cell lymphoma (MZL; 31.4%); diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), leg type, was reported in 10.9% of patients. Radiotherapy was the first-line treatment in 52.5% of patients and chemotherapy was the first-line treatment in 24.8% of patients. The complete response rate was 91.9% and the relapse rate was 46.7%. The 5- and 10-year overall survival (OS) rates were 94% and 85%, respectively. Compared with FCL/MZL, DLBCL, leg type, was characterized by statistically significant lower complete response rates, higher incidence of multiple cutaneous relapses and extracutaneous spreading, shorter time to progression, and shorter OS rates. The only variable with independent prognostic significance on the OS was the clinicopathologic diagnosis according to the WHO-EORTC classification (DLBCL, leg-type, showed a significantly worse prognosis v FCL and MZL; P < .001), whereas the only variable with independent prognostic significance on disease-free survival was the presence of a single cutaneous lesion (P = .001).

Conclusion: Our study identifies a possible PCBCL subclassification and the extent of cutaneous involvement as the two most relevant prognostic factors in PCBCL. These data can be considered reasonably as the clinical background for an appropriate management strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2005.03.6285DOI Listing
March 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

Gemcitabine as frontline treatment for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma: phase II study of 32 patients.

Cancer 2005 Dec;104(11):2437-41

Institute of Hematology and Medical Oncology "Seragnoli," University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Background: Based on the activity of gemcitabine in heavily pretreated patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), the objective of the current study was to determine the role of gemcitabine in the treatment of patients with advanced, untreated CTCL.

Methods: Between June 2002 and February 2004, 32 untreated patients with mycosis fungoides (MF) (n = 26 patients); peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified (PTCLU) with exclusive skin involvement (n = 5 patients); and Sezary syndrome (SS) (n = 1 patient) were enrolled in a 7-institution, Phase II trial and treated with gemcitabine. This drug was given on Days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day schedule at a dose of 1200 mg/m2 intravenously over 30 minutes for a total of 6 cycles.

Results: Of the 32 patients studied, 7 (22%) achieved a complete response (CR) and 17 (53%) achieved a partial response (PR), whereas the remaining 8 patients showed no benefit from the treatment. Five of the CRs were confirmed histologically. The CR and PR rates were found to be the same for patients with MF and PTCLU, respectively. The median duration of CR was 10 months (range, 4-22 mos). Treatment appeared to be well tolerated; hematologic toxicity was mild and no nausea/emesis or organ toxicity was noted.

Conclusions: The results of the current Phase II study demonstrate the activity of gemcitabine as a single agent in untreated CTCL patients. Further studies using gemcitabine in combination, either contemporary or sequentially, with other drugs in patients with advanced stage, untreated CTCL are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.21449DOI Listing
December 2005

Long-term experience with low-dose interferon-alpha and PUVA in the management of early mycosis fungoides.

Eur J Haematol 2005 Aug;75(2):136-45

Clinic of Hematology, Politechnic University of Marche, School of Medicine, Ospedali Riuniti Umberto I, G.M. Lancisi, G. Salesi, Ancona, Italy.

Objectives: Combined high-dose Interferon-alpha and psoralen plus ultraviolet A irradiation (PUVA) have been reported to be effective in the treatment of early mycosis fungoides (MF); however, our study is the first controlled prospective study in the literature exploring the activity and tolerability of the combination with low dosages and evaluating further clinical outcome of early-MF patients.

Methods: We carried out a multicentric prospective Phase II clinical study on 89 patients with early-stage IA to IIA MF treated for 14 months with low-dose IFN-alpha2b (6-18 MU/wk) and PUVA. Treatment success was analysed in terms of freedom from treatment failure.

Results And Conclusions: Complete remission (CR) was achieved in 84% and an overall response rate in 98% of cases: six-month CR was associated with a non-confluent skin infiltrate at histology (P = 0.044) and 14-month CR with high epidermal CD1a+ dendritic-cell density (P = 0.030). The combination protocol was successfully tolerated and the most common reason of 'failure' was related to relapse and not to toxicity. Sustained remissions were achieved in 20% of patients. High CD8+ lymphoid T-cell density was associated with a lower relapse rate (P = 0.002). We think that our combination therapy can be considered an alternative approach compared with other modalities. Good immunological host surveillance in the skin lesions seems to be an optimal basis for the therapeutic success.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2005.00497.xDOI Listing
August 2005

Common and rare side-effects of low-dose thalidomide in multiple myeloma: focus on the dose-minimizing peripheral neuropathy.

Eur J Haematol 2004 Jun;72(6):403-9

Clinica di Ematologia, University of Ancona, Ancona, Italy.

Objectives: Thalidomide has demonstrated a remarkable efficacy in the treatment of multiple myeloma but its use may cause several toxicities. We have investigated the common and rare side-effects, especially analysing peripheral neuropathy, in order to optimise the thalidomide dose for minimizing this harmful side-effect.

Methods: Fifty-nine patients were treated with thalidomide alone or combined with oral melphalan. The median age was 69 yr. The initial dose of thalidomide was 100 mg/day increasing weekly by 100 mg increments until a maximum dose of 400 mg was attained. Melphalan was administered at a dose of 0.20 mg/kg/d for 4 d every 28 d.

Results And Conclusions: Nearly one-fourth of patients discontinued thalidomide because of toxicity. Constipation (71%), somnolence (36%) and fatigue (20%) were the most common side-effects and they were not dose dependent. Peripheral neuropathy occurred in 39% of patients and a thalidomide median daily dose of more than 150 mg was significantly associated with higher frequency and actuarial risk of peripheral neuropathy without improving the response rate. Deep venous thrombosis was observed in 7% of patients and other side-effects were rare. In patients with advanced multiple myeloma we found that a thalidomide daily dose of 150 mg minimizes peripheral neuropathy without jeopardizing response and survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2004.00238.xDOI Listing
June 2004