Publications by authors named "Vera Milovic"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Predicting Mortality after Autologous Transplant: Development of a Novel Risk Score.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 10 5;26(10):1828-1832. Epub 2020 Jul 5.

Hematology Transplant Unit, Hospital Universitario Austral, Derqui, Argentina.

There have been several efforts to predict mortality after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), such as the hematopoietic cell transplant-comorbidity index (HCT-CI), described for allogeneic stem cell transplantation and validated for ASCT, but there is no composite score in the setting of ASCT combining comorbidities with other clinical characteristics. Our aim is to describe a comprehensive score combining comorbidities with other clinical factors and to analyze the impact of this score on nonrelapse mortality (NRM), overall survival (OS), and early morbidity endpoints (mechanical ventilation, shock or dialysis) after ASCT. For the training cohort, we retrospectively reviewed data of 2068 adult patients who received an ASCT in Argentina (October 2002 to June 2017) for multiple myeloma or lymphoma. For the validation cohort, we analyzed 2168 ASCTs performed in the Medical College of Wisconsin and Spanish stem cell transplant group (Grupo Español de Trasplante Hematopoyético (GETH)) (January 2012 to December 2018). We first performed a multivariate analysis for NRM in order to select and assign weight to the risk factors included in the score (male patients, aged 55 to 64 and ≥65 years, HCT-CI ≥3, Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma). The hazard ratio for NRM increased proportionally with the score. Patients were grouped as low risk (LR) with a score of 0 to 1 (686, 33%), intermediate risk (IR) with a score of 2 to 3 (1109, 53%), high risk (HR) with a score of 4 (198, 10%), and very high risk (VHR) with a score of ≥5 (75, 4%). The score was associated with a progressive increase in all the early morbidity endpoints. Moreover, the score was significantly associated with early NRM (day 100: 1.5% versus 2.4% versus 7.6% versus 17.6%) as well as long term (1 to 3 years; 1.8% to 2.3% versus 3.8% to 4.9% versus 11.7% to 14.5% versus 25.0% to 27.4%, respectively; P< .0001) and OS (1 to 5 years; 94% to 73% versus 89% to 75% versus 76% to 47% versus 65% to 52% respectively; P < .0001). The score was validated in an independent cohort (N = 2168) and was significantly associated with early and late events. In conclusion, we developed and validated a novel score predicting NRM and OS in 2 large cohorts of more than 2000 autologous transplant patients. This tool can be useful for tailoring conditioning regimens or defining risk for transplant program decision making.
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October 2020

Haploidentical transplant in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Argentina: a comparison with matched related and unrelated donors.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2020 02 24;55(2):400-408. Epub 2019 Sep 24.

Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, CABA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We aimed at analyzing the outcome of allogeneic stem cell transplant (ASCT) in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), comparing Haploidentical (Haplo) with HLA-matched (sibling and unrelated) donors. Between 2008 and 2017, we collected data from 236 patients (median age 31 years; range 16-64; 90% HCT-CI 0-1) who underwent unmanipulated ASCT in first complete remission and subsequent remissions in 15 Argentinian centers. Donors were HLA-matched (n = 175; 74%) and Haplo (n = 61; 26%). Two-year overall survival (OS) was 55% (95% CI 47-63) for the HLA-matched group and 49% (95% CI 34-62) for the Haplo group (p = 0.351). For OS, crude HR, adjusted HR for covariates (HR 1.24; 95% CI 0.77-1.99; p = 0.363) and HR including a propensity score in the model (HR 1.22; 95% CI 0.71-2.08; p = 0.414) showed no impact of donor category on the OS. No difference was found in terms of nonrelapse mortality, relapse, leukemia-free survival, and grade 3-4 acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD); 2-year incidence of chronic GVHD was higher in HLA-matched vs Haplo group (p = 0.028). Patients with ALL who underwent ASCT were young subjects with low HCT-CI. In this setting, a Haplo donor represents an alternative widely available in the absence of an HLA-matched donor. Relapse remains a challenge for all donor categories.
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February 2020

Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation-Specific Comorbidity Index Predicts Morbidity and Mortality in Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2017 Oct 29;23(10):1646-1650. Epub 2017 Jun 29.

Department of Hematology, Transplant Unit, Hospital Universitario Austral, Derqui, Argentina.

The hematopoietic cell transplantation-specific comorbidity index (HCT-CI) score is a useful tool to assess the risk for nonrelapse mortality (NRM) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Although the HCT-CI has been investigated in autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), its use is limited. To improve on the current use of the HCT-CI score on the morbidity and mortality after ASCT, we assessed the 100-day morbidity defined as orotracheal intubation (OTI), dialysis or shock (vasopressors need), 100-day NRM, early composite morbidity-mortality (combined endpoint that included any previous endpoints), and long-term NRM. We retrospectively reviewed a cohort of 1730 records of adult patients who received an ASCT in Argentinean center's between October 2002 and August 2016. Median follow-up was 1.15 years, and median age was 53 years. Diseases were multiple myeloma (48%), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (27%), and Hodgkin lymphoma (17%); 51% were in complete or partial remission; and 13% received ≥ 3 chemotherapy lines before transplant (heavily pretreated). Early NRM (100-day) was 2.7%, 5.4% required OTI, 4.5% required vasopressors, and 2.1% dialysis, with an early composite morbidity-mortality of 6.8%. Long-term (1 and 3 years) NRM was 4% and 5.2% and overall survival 89% and 77%, respectively. High-risk HCT-CI patients had a significant increase in 100-day NRM compared with intermediate and low risk (6.1% versus 3.4% versus 1.8%, respectively; P = .002), OTI (11% versus 6% versus 4%, P = .001), shock (8.7% versus 5.8% versus 3%, P = .001), early composite morbidity-mortality (13% versus 9 % versus 4.7%, P < .001), and long-term NRM (1 year, 7.7% versus 4% versus 3.3%; and 3 years, 10.8% versus 4% versus 4.8%, respectively; P = .002). After multivariate analysis these outcomes remained significant: early composite morbidity-mortality (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] compared with low risk: intermediate risk 2.1 [1.3 to 3.5] and high risk 3.3 [1.9 to 5.9]) and NRM (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval] compared with low risk: intermediate risk .97 [.8 to 2.4] and high risk 3.05 [1.3 to 4.5]). No significant impact was observed in overall survival. Other than comorbidities, significant impact was observed for heavily pretreated patients, age ≥ 55 years, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and bendamustine-etoposide-citarabine-melphalan conditioning. We confirmed that the HCT-CI had a significant impact on NRM after ASCT, and these findings are mainly due to early toxicity express as 100-day NRM and the 3 main morbidity outcomes as well as the composite endpoint.
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October 2017

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the elderly. Predicting the risk for non relapse mortality.

Medicina (B Aires) 2015 ;75(4):201-6

Hospital Universitario Austral, Argentina. E-mail:

We have retrospectively reviewed 137 medical records of patients older than 50 years receiving an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) between January 1997 and July 2013. Median follow up was 1.3 years. Sex, age, diagnosis, disease stage, comorbidities (according to HCT-CI score), type of donor, histocompatibility, conditioning regimen and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis were evaluated. The incidence and severity of acute and chronic GVHD, overall survival (OS), disease free survival (DFS), non-relapse mortality (NRM) and relapse were investigated according those variables. Acute GVHD incidence was 41% (7.3% GIII-IV). Patients with acute myeloid leukemia had lesser aGVH GII-IV (14% vs. 35%, p<0.01) comparing to the entire population. Extensive cGVHD incidence was 9.4%. Global OS 1-3 years was 44-20%, DFS 33-20%, relapse 35-41% and NRM 36-43% respectively. The presence of comorbidities showed a significant increase in NRM (CT-CI 0 vs. 1 vs ≥2: 1-3 years 17-24% vs. 40-46% vs. 45-67%, p=0.001, MA HR 2.03, CI 95% 1.02-5.29), as well as cyclosporine vs. tacrolimus (1-3 years 47-53% vs. 25-36%, p=0.01). Tacrolimus patients had higher 1-3 years OS (49-25% vs. 31-13%, p=0.01) and DFS (41-26% vs. 20-11%, p<0.01). Age, type of donor and myeloablative conditioning showed no significant differences in any outcome. Allogeneic HSCT is a valid therapeutic option for older patients in Argentina. The main risk factor for a significantly increased NRM and a trend to inferior OS was the number of comorbidities. Age was not a factor for a worse result. The other factor having a significant effect in better outcome was tacrolimus administration.
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February 2016

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in adults with myelodysplastic syndrome: Experience of the Argentinean Group of Bone Marrow Transplantation (GATMO).

Hematology 2016 Apr 6;21(3):162-9. Epub 2015 Jul 6.

g Hospital Italiano de La Plata , La Plata , Argentina.

Introduction: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) is a curative approach for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

Methods: In this multicenter retrospective study, we analyzed the outcome of adult patients with MDS who underwent AHSCT in Argentina and evaluated the prognostic factors associated with progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), cumulative incidence (CI) of relapse, and non-relapse mortality (NRM).

Results: We analyzed data from 87 adults (median age: 43 years, range 18-66) who underwent SCT after myeloablative (n = 60) or non-myeloablative conditioning (n = 27), and from related (n = 62) or unrelated (n = 25) donors. For all patients, unadjusted 4-year PFS and OS were 37% and 38%, respectively; no significant differences were found between recipients of related or unrelated donors. One-year CI of relapse and NRM were 21% and 20%, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, intermediate disease risk index (DRI) and acute graft versus host disease AGVHD of all grades (I-IV) were independent variables associated with better PFS and lower relapse CI; only intermediate DRI was associated with better OS.

Conclusions: AHSCT is a feasible procedure in Argentina, with more than 30% of the patients achieving long-term survival. Recipients with unrelated donors had at least similar outcome than those with related donors. DRI may be useful to identify patients at higher risk of relapse after transplantation.
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April 2016

Autologous stem cell transplantation for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. The Argentine Group of Bone Marrow Transplantation (GATMO) experience.

Cancer 2002 Dec;95(11):2339-45

Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Instituto Argentino de Diagnóstico y Tratamiento, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Background: The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the role of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in prolonging disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who received autografts of Philadelphia chromosome (Ph) positive or Ph negative cell harvests.

Methods: Over a 4-year period (1994-1999), 53 patients who underwent ASCT for CML were reported to the Argentine Group of Bone Marrow Transplantation (GATMO) Registry.

Results: Ph negative cell products were harvested in only 18 patients (34%). Comparison of disease status at the time of autograft, duration of neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, days of antibiotics, and transfusional requirements of red blood cells and platelets did not reveal statistical significant differences between the Ph positive group and the Ph negative group. Only days of hospitalization were increased significantly in patients who received Ph positive autografts. Although DFS at 36 months was significantly longer after infusion of Ph negative cell products (54% vs. 14%; P
Conclusions: ASCT with Ph negative cell harvests after myeloablative chemotherapy resulted in prolonged periods of hematologic and cytogenetic remission or stable disease after cytogenetic/molecular recurrence in some patients with CML. A superior DFS was observed without any benefit observed for OS.
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December 2002