Publications by authors named "Stefania Ciolli"

27 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Eosinophilic dermatosis of hematologic malignancy: A retrospective cohort of 37 patients from an Italian center.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2019 07 5;81(1):246-249. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

Division of Dermatology, Department of Surgery and Translational Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2018.11.048DOI Listing
July 2019

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

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

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

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

CD200 included in a 4-marker modified Matutes score provides optimal sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Hematol Oncol 2018 Mar 30. Epub 2018 Mar 30.

CEINGE-Biotecnologie Avanzate s.c.a.r.l., "Federico II" University, Naples, Italy.

CD200, a transmembrane type Ia glycoprotein belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily, has been shown to have a differential expression in B-cell neoplasms. Here, we retrospectively assessed the diagnostic relevance of CD200 on 427 patients with B-cell chronic neoplasms in leukemic phase (median age, 69 y; range, 35-97 y). The final diagnosis based on the investigator's assessment was chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) in 75% of cases and non-CLL in 25% of cases. Sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of CLL (vs non-CLL) were calculated for the following markers: CD200, CD5, CD22, CD23, CD79b, FMC7, and SmIg. CD23 was the only marker without a statistically significant difference between the investigator assessment and the flowcytometric analysis. The other markers were unable-when individually evaluated-to discriminate between CLL and non-CLL, requiring the integration into a scoring system. The modified score no. 1 (addition of CD200) showed superimposable sensitivity and specificity compared with the Matutes score. The substitution of CD79b (modified score no. 2), surface membrane immunoglobulins (SmIg) (modified score no. 3), and CD79b and FMC7 (modified score no. 4) with CD200 showed that only the modified score no. 4 had both higher sensitivity and higher specificity compared with standard Matutes score. In conclusion, this work defines a simplified score, compared with the classical Matutes score, for the differential diagnosis of chronic B-cell leukaemia-which only requires 4 markers instead of 5 (CD5, CD23, CD200, and SmIg).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2510DOI Listing
March 2018

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

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

Appropriate use of bendamustine in first-line therapy of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Recommendations from SIE, SIES, GITMO Group.

Leuk Res 2014 Nov 7;38(11):1269-77. Epub 2014 Jul 7.

University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

By using the GRADE system we produced the following recommendations for the use of bendamustine in the first-line treatment of CLL: (1) bendamustine with rituximab is recommended in elderly fit patients potentially eligible to FCR; (2) Bendamustine alone is recommended in patients who are candidate to chlorambucil alone; (3) Rituximab-bendamustine is recommended in patients not eligible to FCR, but suitable to receive rituximab. Consensus-based recommendations addressed evidence-orphan issues concerning the use of bendamustine in genetically-defined high-risk patients and the appropriate dose of bendamustine as single agent or in association with rituximab.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2014.06.017DOI Listing
November 2014

Effects on bone metabolism of new therapeutic strategies with standard chemotherapy and biologic drugs.

Authors:
Stefania Ciolli

Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab 2013 Sep;10(3):183-6

Hematology Unit, Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Recent biological advances have provided the framework for novel therapeutic strategies in oncology. Many new treatments are now based on standard cytotoxic drugs plus biologic agents. In Multiple Myeloma, a plasma cell neoplasm characterized by a severe bone disease, biologic drugs such as proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory agents, above their antineoplastic efficacy have a beneficial effects on bone disease. Bortezomib, a clinically available proteasome inhibitor active against myeloma, induces the differentiation of mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells into osteoblasts, resulting in new bone formation. Immunomodulatory drugs (e.g., thalidomide and lenalidomide), which are active against myeloma, also block the activity of bone-resorbing osteoclasts. These data reflect the utility of targeting endogenous mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells for the purpose of tissue repair and suggest that combining different classes of agents that are antineoplastic and also inhibit bone destruction and increase bone formation should be very beneficial for myeloma patients suffering from severe bone disease.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3917580PMC
September 2013

Chlorambucil plus rituximab with or without maintenance rituximab as first-line treatment for elderly chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients.

Am J Hematol 2014 May 18;89(5):480-6. Epub 2014 Feb 18.

Department of Cellular Biotechnologies and Hematology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

In a phase II trial, we evaluated chlorambucil and rituximab (CLB-R) as first-line induction treatment with or without R as maintenance for elderly chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. Treatment consisted of eight 28-day cycles of CLB (8 mg/m(2) /day, days 1-7) and R (day 1 of cycle 3, 375 mg/m(2) ; cycles 4-8, 500 mg/m(2) ). Responders were randomized to 12 8-week doses of R (375 mg/m(2) ) or observation. As per intention-to-treat analysis, 82.4% (95% CI, 74.25-90.46%) of 85 patients achieved an overall response (OR), 16.5% a complete response (CR), 2.4% a CR with incomplete bone marrow recovery. The OR was similar across Binet stages (A 86.4%, B 81.6%, and C 78.6%) and age categories (60-64 years, 92.3%; 65-69, 85.2%; 70-74, 75.0%; ≥75, 81.0%). CLB-R was well tolerated. After a median follow-up of 34.2 months, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 34.7 months (95% CI, 33.1-39.5). TP53 abnormalities, complex karyotype, and low CD20 gene expression predicted lack of response; SF3B1 mutation and BIRC3 disruption low CR rates. IGHV mutations significantly predicted PFS. R maintenance tended towards a better PFS than observation and was safe and most beneficial for patients in partial response and for unmutated IGHV cases. CLB-R represents a promising option for elderly CLL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23668DOI Listing
May 2014

Multiple myeloma.

Authors:
Stefania Ciolli

Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab 2012 Sep 20;9(3):150-2. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Department of Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi, Florence, Italy.

Multiple myeloma accounts for 10% of all hematologic cancers. Median age at diagnosis is 69 years for men and 72 years for women. The incidence of MM has remained relatively stable, but the associated mortality has declined since the early 1990s. The knowledge acquired about the bone marrow microenvironment in MM and the availability of new drugs has significantly improved patients survival in the past 10 years. Immunomodulatory drugs (thalidomide, lenalidomide) and proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib, carfilzomib) can induce apoptosis of myeloma plasma cells and suppress cytokine release and metabolic ways which sustain the disease. These novel agents demonstrate substantial activity either alone or as part of a range of combination regimens. MM therapy is now based on 1 or 2 new drugs plus standard chemotherapy. Induction is patient tailored and first of all it depends on eligibility for stem-cell transplantation and key presenting features of the patients and the disease. Noteworthy, novel agent-based combination therapies may overcome most of poor prognostic factors. Up to 80% of newly diagnosed MM patients present with osteopenia, osteolysis and fractures. Thalidomide, lenalidomide and bortezomib have a beneficial effect on myeloma-related bone disease. Thalidomide reduces bone resorption, lenalidomide and bortezomib inhibit osteoclast growth and survival, and specifically target key factors in osteoclastogenesis, preventing development of osteolytic lesions. Noteworthy, new therapies offer higher complete response rates than previously reported with standard regimens.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3536006PMC
September 2012

An Italian retrospective study on the routine clinical use of low-dose alemtuzumab in relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients.

Br J Haematol 2012 Feb 9;156(4):481-9. Epub 2011 Dec 9.

Haematology-BMT Unit, IRCCS Ca'Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Foundation, Milan, Italy.

Low-dose alemtuzumab has shown a favourable toxicity profile coupled with good results in terms of efficacy in relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). We conducted a multicentre retrospective study on the routine clinical use of low-dose alemtuzumab in this patient setting. One hundred and eight relapsed/refractory CLL patients from 11 Italian centres were included in the analysis. All patients had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≤2 and the majority (84%) had adenopathies <5 cm. Low-dose alemtuzumab was defined as a total weekly dose ≤45 mg and a cumulative dose ≤600 mg given for up to 18 weeks. The overall response rate was 56% (22% complete remissions). After a median follow-up of 42.2 months, the median overall survival and progression-free survival were 39.0 and 19.4 months, respectively. In univariate analysis, response was inversely associated with lymph node (P = 0.01) and spleen (P = 0.02) size, fludarabine-refractoriness (P = 0.01) and del(11q) (P = 0.009). Advanced age and del(17p) were not associated with a worse outcome. Cumulative dose of alemtuzumab was not associated to response. Toxicities were usually mild and manageable; severe infections occurred in seven patients (7%) during therapy. This retrospective analysis confirms that low-dose alemtuzumab is a valid and currently used therapeutic option for the treatment of relapsed/refractory CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08965.xDOI Listing
February 2012

The coexistence of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and myeloproliperative neoplasms: a retrospective multicentric GIMEMA experience.

Am J Hematol 2011 Dec 22;86(12):1007-12. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

Hematology Institute, Catholic University, Largo A. Gemelli 8, Rome, Italy.

Although the coexistence of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) has been sporadically reported in the literature, no systematic studies on this disease association are available. We retrospectively analyzed 46 patients affected by CLL/MPN referred by 15 Italian GIMEMA centers. The aim of this retrospective multicenter study was to define the following: clinico-biological characteristics, possible familiarity, clinical course of both diseases, and influence of MPN chemotherapy on the course of CLL. Among 46 patients, 30 patients were males, 16 patients were females; median age was 71 years. Only one case had familiar CLL. Myeloproliferative disorders consisted of essential thrombocytemia in 18 cases, polycythemia vera in 10 cases, chronic myeloid leukemia in 9 cases, primary myelofibrosis in 6 cases, and MPN/myelodysplastic syndrome in 3 cases. The lymphoproliferative disorder was diagnosed as monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis in 8 patients and as Binet Stage A CLL in 38 patients. After a median follow-up of 49 months, 9 patients experienced progressive CLL and only 6 patients required treatment after a median of 57.5 months. The biological profile confirmed a subset of low-risk CLL. Twenty patients received chemotherapy for MPN without influence on the course of CLL: lymphocyte counts remained unchanged after 3, 6, and 12 months of treatment. This series is the largest so far reported in literature. The diagnosis of concomitant CLL/MPN is a rare event and lymphoproliferative disorders present a clinical indolent course with a low-risk biological profile. MPN therapy does not interfere with the prognosis of patients with CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.22171DOI Listing
December 2011

Safety and efficacy of bortezomib-based regimens for multiple myeloma patients with renal impairment: a retrospective study of Italian Myeloma Network GIMEMA.

Eur J Haematol 2010 Mar 23;84(3):223-8. Epub 2009 Nov 23.

Unità Operativa di Ematologia, Azienda Ospedaliera dell'Annunziata, 87100 Cosenza, Italy.

Renal impairment (RI) is a severe complication throughout the course of multiple myeloma (MM). Bortezomib has been shown to be highly active in MM patients with RI. We designed this retrospective analysis to investigate the safety and efficacy of bortezomib-based therapy in 117 MM patients with RI, 14 cases required dialysis. A total of 603 cycles of bortezomib were administered (median number, five cycles/patient). Ten patients required early discontinuation of bortezomib because of WHO grade IV toxicity. The rate of bortezomib discontinuation in cases with severe, moderate and mild RI was 11%, 5% and 0%, respectively (P = NS). Overall, 91 episodes of WHO grade III/IV toxicity were observed. At least a partial response was documented in 83/113 evaluable patients (73%), including complete response (19%) and near complete response (8%). The overall response rate was similar across RI subgroups. Reversal of RI was documented in 41% of patients after a median of 2.3 months (range 0.4-7.9). In three of 14 patients on dialysis, renal replacement therapy was discontinued after 1, 1 and 4 months. The 2-yr estimate of response duration and overall survival was 70% and 51%, respectively. In conclusion, bortezomib-based regimens are safe and effective and should be considered as appropriate treatment options for MM patients with any degree of RI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2009.01385.xDOI Listing
March 2010

Systemic mastocytosis with skeletal involvement: a case report and review of the literature.

Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab 2009 Jan;6(1):66-70

Section of Rheumatology Department of Internal Medicine, Nuovo Ospedale di S. Giovanni di Dio, Azienda Sanitaria di Firenze, Italy.

Systemic Mastocytosis (SM) comprises a heterogeneous group of disorders of mast cell proliferation. Infiltration, including skin and bone, of multiple mast cells may occur as cutaneous and systemic variants. A rare form of osteoporosis has been also described as expression of the skeletal involvement. Here, we describe a case of a 57-years-old woman with SM and, according to the clinical diagnosis, evaluate the possible mechanism underlying osteoporosis. Moreover, a review of the literature, particularly regarding the use of bisphosphonates in this rare disease is also presented.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781210PMC
January 2009

The addition of liposomal doxorubicin to bortezomib, thalidomide and dexamethasone significantly improves clinical outcome of advanced multiple myeloma.

Br J Haematol 2008 Jun 10;141(6):814-9. Epub 2008 Apr 10.

Department of Haematology, Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Relapsed/refractory myeloma has a poor outcome because of multi-drug resistance, patient low-performance status and toxicity of conventional chemotherapy. To improve results, standard chemotherapeutics and drugs targeting the microenvironment are applied at the same time. Bortezomib, by inhibiting proteasome function, may enhance chemosensitivity to other drugs and overcome drug-resistance. Notably, doxorubicin and bortezomib may reciprocally increase their efficacy. Thus, to improve outcome whilst minimizing therapy-related toxicity, liposomal doxorubicin was added to a bortezomib-based combination. From January 2004, relapsed/refractory myeloma patients referred to our Institution received bortezomib 1.0 mg/m(2) i.v. twice weekly for 2 weeks in a 28-d cycle for up to six cycles, oral dexamethasone 24 mg with the standard scheduling and thalidomide 100 mg continuously (VTD). From January 2005, liposomal doxorubicin, 50 mg/m(2) (30 mg/m(2) for patients older than 75 years), was added on day 4 of each cycle [VTD plus Myocet (MyVTD)]. In total, 70 patients were treated: 28 received VTD and 42 MyVTD. Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics were similar between the two groups. Toxicity was manageable although more pronounced with MyVTD. The overall response rate (81% vs. 50%, P = 0.009), time to progression (19 vs. 11 months, P = 0.01) and progression-free survival (15 vs. 8 months, P = 0.001) were significantly higher with MyVTD regimen, suggesting an improved quality of response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07147.xDOI Listing
June 2008

Molecular cytogenetic findings in a four-way t(1;12;5;12)(p36;p13;q33;q24) underlying the ETV6-PDGFRB fusion gene in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

Cancer Genet Cytogenet 2007 Jul;176(1):67-71

Department of Hematology, University of Perugia, IBiT Foundation (Fondazione IRCCS Biotecnologie nel Trapianto), via Brunamonti 51, 06122 Perugia, Italy.

Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) detected the ETV6-PDGFRB fusion in a patient with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia characterized by bone marrow and peripheral blood eosinophilia and a four-way t(1;12;5;12)(p36;p13;q33;q24) on bone marrow cells. The patient consequently underwent imatinib mesylate therapy and achieved hematologic, FISH, and molecular remission. The FICTION technique (fluorescence immunophenotyping and interphase cytogenetics as a tool for the investigation of neoplasms) demonstrated that eosinophils and CD13(+) and CD14(+) cells belong to the neoplastic clone bearing the ETV6-PDGFRB rearrangement. Molecular cytogenetics is the most reliable approach to detect the involvement of promiscuous genes, such as PDGFRB, and to properly classify genetic entities for which targeted therapies are available. Assessment of cell lineages harboring the genomic lesion may contribute in the understanding of leukemogenic pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cancergencyto.2007.03.004DOI Listing
July 2007

An unusual case of pulmonary hypertension in a young male.

Intern Emerg Med 2006 ;1(2):127-32

General Cardiology 1, Department of Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02936537DOI Listing
January 2007

Myeloablative chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell infusion may overcome the adverse prognostic impact of FLT3 (foetal liver tyrosine kinase 3) mutations in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia and normal karyotype.

Hematol Oncol 2007 Mar;25(1):1-5

Division of Haematology and Stem cell Transplantation Unit, Cardarelli Hospital, Naples, Italy.

In this study, we analysed the prognostic relevance of foetal liver tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) mutations in 73 patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) with normal karyotype, who survived induction and consolidation and received autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) after successful mobilization of peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC). There were 44 males and 29 females with a median age of 54 years (range 20-77). Overall, 16 out of 73 autografted patients (22%) had FLT3 mutations. More in detail, FLT3/ITDs were detected in 10 out of 73 patients (14%), while FLT3 D835 mutations were detected in five cases (7%). One patient (1%) was found as having both abnormalities. White blood cell count (p=0.009), serum concentration of lactate dehydrogenase (p=0.01), and percentages of peripheral blood (p=0.002) and bone marrow blasts (p=0.03) were significantly higher in patients showing the FLT3 mutations. On the contrary, overall survival and disease-free survival were similar between patients with or without FLT3 mutations (p=0.73 and 0.78, respectively). In conclusion, our data suggest that myeloablative chemotherapy supported by auto-PBSCT may overcome the adverse prognostic implications of FLT3 mutations in AML. However, it is to consider that autografted patients are highly selected for best response to induction, consolidation and mobilization, as well as for minor non-haematologic toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.794DOI Listing
March 2007

Submicroscopic deletions in 5q- associated malignancies.

Haematologica 2004 Mar;89(3):281-5

Hematology and Bone Marrow Trasplantation Unit, University of Perugia, Italy.

Background And Objectives: The deletion of the long arm of chromosome 5 is common in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) but is not limited to the 5q- syndrome as it is also seen in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), where it is often associated with other karyotypic aberrations. The aim of this study was to investigate whether deletions of known suppressor sequences occur in myeloid malignancies associated with 5q-.

Design And Methods: Thirty patients with MDS or AML were selected for the presence of a 5q karyotypic deletion, either isolated (19 cases) or associated with other chromosome changes (11 cases). Multiple fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) in interphase nuclei was applied in all cases using a panel of eleven probes for known suppressor genes or loci deleted in MDS/AML. Metaphase FISH was also performed to clarify discrepancies between conventional and molecular cytogenetics.

Results: No additional deletions were found in nineteen cases with an isolated 5q-. Mono-allelic deletions where found in 9/11 cases, 3 of which were related to monosomies by conventional cytogenetics. Interphase-FISH showed p53, AML1, D13S25, NF1, or Ikaros in six out of nine (66%) patients with 5q- and additional karyotypic changes. Metaphase FISH was helpful in assigning some of these cryptic events to non-proliferating cells.

Interpretation And Conclusions: Our study emphasizes that isolated 5q- is the marker of a highly stable clone in both MDS and AML. AML with isolated 5q- are molecularly closer to 5q- syndrome than to AML with complex changes. Interphase-FISH data strongly support a mutator phenotype underlying complex karyotypes with a 5q deletion.
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March 2004

Ras gene mutations in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia and exposure to chemical agents.

Carcinogenesis 2004 May 19;25(5):749-55. Epub 2003 Dec 19.

Department of Experimental Pathology and Oncology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Mutations of the N- and K-ras genes occur in approximately 15-30% of acute myeloid leukaemia patients. The role of the oncogenic ras in leukaemogenesis remains unclear. Few studies have revealed that mutations in the ras oncogene family are more probably found in acute myeloid leukaemia patients with previous exposure to toxic agents. A case-case study was conducted in the areas of Florence and Turin, Italy, to investigate whether the presence of N- and K-ras mutations in acute myeloid leukaemia patients was related to a higher frequency of exposure to chemicals. During a 3-year period, 111 acute myeloid leukaemia patients were enrolled. All the patients were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire collecting data on residential history, occupation, personal habits and pathological history. The presence of N- and K-ras mutations was analysed by amplification and synthetic oligonucleotide probes and by the so-called polymerase chain reaction amplification for specific alleles technique. A total of 34 (30.6%) patients were found to harbour ras mutations in N-ras and/or K-ras. Fourteen patients (12.6%) had a single ras mutation and 20 patients (18%) had two ras mutations. A positive association between a priori at risk jobs and ras mutations was found, based on nine exposed cases; the odds ratio, adjusted by age, sex and previous X-ray and/or chemotherapy was 2.8 (95% confidence intervals: 0.9-9.0). When considering only subjects with two ras mutations the odds ratio was 4.8 (95% confidence intervals: 1.2-18.8). The odds ratio for a previous X-ray and/or chemotherapy was 16.2 (95% confidence intervals: 1.8-755.9); when only subjects with two ras mutations were considered, the odds ratio was 26.1 (95% confidence intervals: 2.5-1248.9). In conclusion, our data suggest that ras oncogene mutations might identify a group of leukaemia in people with previous X-ray/chemotherapy or with exposure to chemical agents in the work environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgh057DOI Listing
May 2004

In vitro antileukemic effect of a new anthracycline analogue, MEN 11079.

Leuk Res 2003 Dec;27(12):1125-34

U.O. Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi, University of Florence, Viale Morgagni 85, 50134 Florence, Italy.

The biological activity of MEN 11079, a new daunorubucin analogue with a fluorine atom in C(8) of ring A, was investigated in the human leukemic cell lines K-562 and in mononuclear cells (MNCs) of 40 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and the activity compared to two well-characterized anthracyclines, idarubicin (IDA) and doxorubicin (DOXO). IDA and MEN 11079 were more active than DOXO in cytotoxicity tests (WST-1 assay). IDA and MEN 11079 ID(50) values were also significantly different from each other (K-562: P=0.038; MNCs: P=0.003). Moreover, the range was 0.002-4.300 microM for IDA and 0.002-0.670 microM for MEN 11079, in the MNCs. Therefore, the latter appeared to assure a smaller variability of response in the AML cells. Apoptosis assays (performed using Annexin-V assay and propidium iodide) and cell cycle studies demonstrated that the MEN 11079 effective concentration was 10-fold lower than the DOXO and IDA ones. MDR (Pgp and MRP1 proteins), as measured by semiquantitative RT-PCR, cytofluorimetric and functional analysis of proteins, was similarly elicited by IDA and MEN 11079. In conclusion, the response of the cells to the new anthracycline indicates that there is greater cytotoxic activity of this molecule than IDA and DOXO. Its narrower ID(50) range may allow for a more predictable response in the clinical setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0145-2126(03)00105-xDOI Listing
December 2003

Arsenic trioxide therapy for relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia: a bridge to transplantation.

Haematologica 2002 May;87(5):485-9

Divisione di Ematologia, Policlinico di Careggi, viale Morgagni 85, 50134 Florence, Italy.

Background And Objectives: Arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been reported to be a safe and effective treatment for relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity as well as the eligibility to stem cell transplantation (SCT) in a series of 7 patients with relapsing APL, managed with ATO.

Design And Methods: Seven patients with relapsing APL while on maintenance treatment with all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) or who were ATRA refractory-received ATO at a dose of 10 mg daily by 2-hour intravenous infusion until complete remission (CR). After consolidation chemotherapy, patients were programmed to receive autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) according to donor availability. The median age of the patients was 55 (21-71) years: 2 patients presented with concomitant extramedullary relapse.

Results: Six patients (86%) achieved CR after a median of 35 ATO doses (20-49) with negligible toxicity; one patient died from pneumonia. After consolidation with a four-day course of cytarabine at 1 g/m2 and mitoxantrone 6 mg/m2, two patients underwent allogeneic SCT, two received PML/RARa negative autologous peripheral blood stem cells collected after consolidation plus granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, one failed mobilization and received a second consolidation course. One elderly patient refused further treatment and relapsed 6 months later. After a median follow-up of 15 months from CR2 achievement, 5 patients are alive in continuous CR.

Interpretation And Conclusions: The high CR rate and the mild toxicity confirm that ATO represents a valid alternative to salvage chemotherapy for patients relapsing while on ATRA treatment or who are ATRA-refractory. Allogeneic or autologous SCT after ATO-induced CR is feasible in the majority of patients.
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May 2002

Treatment of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL): long-term follow-up of the GIMEMA ALL 0288 randomized study.

Blood 2002 Feb;99(3):863-71

Department of Cellular Biotechnology and Hematology, Università degli Studi La Sapienza, Via Benevento, 6-00161, Rome, Italy.

The GIMEMA ALL 0288 trial was designed to evaluate the impact of a 7-day prednisone (PDN) pretreatment on complete remission (CR) achievement and length, the influence of the addition of cyclophosphamide (random I) to a conventional 4-drug induction on CR rate and duration, and whether an early post-CR intensification (random II) by an 8-drug consolidation could improve CR duration. Median follow-up of this study was 7.3 years. From January 1988 to April 1994, among 794 adult (> 12 but < 60 years) patients registered, 778 were eligible. Their median age was 27.5 years; 73% had B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and 22% had T-lineage disease; 18% showed associated myeloid markers; 47 of 216 analyzed patients (22%) had Philadelphia chromosome-positive ALL. Response to PDN pretreatment was observed in 65% of cases. CR was achieved in 627 patients (82%). Resistant patients and induction death rates were 11% and 7%, respectively. Random II was applied to 388 patients with CR; 201 had maintenance alone and 187 had consolidation followed by maintenance. The relapse rate was 60%; isolated central nervous system relapses were 8% of all CRs and 13% of all relapses. Median survival (overall survival [OS]), continuous complete remission (CCR), and disease-free survival (DFS) were 2.2, 2.4, and 2 years, respectively. PDN pretreatment response resulted the main independent factor influencing CR achievement, OS, CCR, and DFS; the addition of cyclophosphamide in induction significantly influenced CR achievement in a multivariate analysis. Neither induction intensification nor early consolidation appeared to influence CCR and DFS duration. For the first time PDN pretreatment response proved to be a powerful factor predicting disease outcome in adult ALL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.v99.3.863DOI Listing
February 2002