Publications by authors named "Vincenzo Callea"

51 Publications

Prognostic or predictive value of circulating cytokines and angiogenic factors for initial treatment of multiple myeloma in the GIMEMA MM0305 randomized controlled trial.

J Hematol Oncol 2019 01 9;12(1). Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Department of Biomedical Science and Human Oncology, University of Bari "Aldo Moro" Medical School, Bari, Italy.

Background: Several new drugs are approved for treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM), but no validated biomarkers are available for the prediction of a clinical outcome. We aimed to establish whether pretreatment blood and bone marrow plasma concentrations of major cytokines and angiogenic factors (CAFs) of patients from a phase 3 trial of a MM treatment could have a prognostic and predictive value in terms of response to therapy and progression-free and overall survival and whether these patients could be stratified for their prognosis.

Methods: Blood and bone marrow plasma levels of Ang-2, FGF-2, HGF, VEGF, PDGF-β, IL-8, TNF-α, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 were determined at diagnosis in MM patients enrolled in the GIMEMA MM0305 randomized controlled trial by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). These levels were correlated both reciprocally and with the type of therapy and patients' characteristics and with a group of non-MM patients as controls.

Results: No significant differences were detected between the blood and bone marrow plasma levels of angiogenic cytokines. A cutoff for each CAF was established. The therapeutic response of patients with blood plasma levels of CAFs lower than the cutoff was better than the response of those with higher levels in terms of percentage of responding patients and quality of response.

Conclusion: FGF-2, HGF, VEGF, and PDGF-β plasma levels at diagnosis have predictive significance for response to treatment. The stratification of patients based on the levels of CAFs at diagnosis and their variations after therapy is useful to characterize different risk groups concerning outcome and response to therapy.

Trial Registration: Clinical trial information can be found at the following link: NCT01063179.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-018-0691-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6327520PMC
January 2019

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

Age and organ damage correlate with poor survival in myeloma patients: meta-analysis of 1435 individual patient data from 4 randomized trials.

Haematologica 2013 Jun 26;98(6):980-7. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliera Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Torino, Italy.

Thalidomide and bortezomib are extensively used to treat elderly myeloma patients. In these patients, treatment-related side effects are frequent and full drug doses difficult to tolerate. We retrospectively analyzed data from 1435 elderly patients enrolled in 4 European phase III trials including thalidomide and/or bortezomib. After a median follow up of 33 months (95%CI: 10-56 months), 513 of 1435 patients (36%) died; median overall survival was 50 months (95%CI: 46-60 months). The risk of death was increased in patients aged 75 years or over (HR 1.44, 95%CI: 1.20-1.72; P<0.001), in patients with renal failure (HR 2.02, 95%CI: 1.51-2.70; P<0.001), in those who experienced grade 3-4 infections, cardiac or gastrointestinal adverse events during treatment (HR 2.53, 95%CI: 1.75-3.64; P<0.001) and in those who required drug discontinuation due to adverse events (HR 1.67, 95%CI; 1.12-2.51; P=0.01). This increased risk was restricted to the first six months after occurrence of adverse events or drug discontinuation and declined over time. More intensive approaches, such as the combination of bortezomib-thalidomide, negatively affected outcome. Bortezomib-based combinations may overcome the negative impact of renal failure. Age 75 years or over or renal failure at presentation, occurrence of infections, cardiac or gastrointestinal adverse events negatively affected survival. A detailed geriatric assessment, organ evaluation and less intense individualized approaches are suggested in elderly unfit subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2012.075051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3669456PMC
June 2013

B-cell receptor configuration and adverse cytogenetics are associated with autoimmune hemolytic anemia in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Am J Hematol 2013 Jan 31;88(1):32-6. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Italy.

The development of autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is associated with specific biological features. The occurrence of AIHA was hereby investigated in a retrospective series of 585 CLL patients with available immunoglobulin heavy chain variable (IGHV) gene status. AIHA occurred in 73 patients and was significantly associated with an IGHV unmutated (UM) status (P < 0.0001) and unfavorable [del(17)(p13) and del(11)(q23)] cytogenetic lesions (P < 0.0001). Stereotyped HCDR3 sequences were identified in 29.6% of cases and were similarly represented among patients developing or not AIHA; notably, subset #3 was associated with a significantly higher risk of AIHA than the other patients (P = 0.004). Multivariate analysis showed that UM IGHV, del(17)(p13) and del(11)(q23), but not stereotyped subset #3, were the strongest independent variables associated with AIHA. Based on these findings, we generated a biological risk score for AIHA development according to the presence of none (low risk), one (intermediated risk), or two (high risk) of the independent risk factors. Overall, our data indicate that UM IGHV status and/or unfavorable cytogenetic lesions are associated with the risk of developing secondary AIHA in CLL patients and suggest a possible role of specific stereotyped B-cell receptor subsets in a proportion of cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23342DOI Listing
January 2013

Bortezomib-thalidomide-dexamethasone is superior to thalidomide-dexamethasone as consolidation therapy after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Blood 2012 Jul 12;120(1):9-19. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Istituto di Ematologia Seràgnoli, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy.

In a randomized, phase 3 study, superior complete/near-complete response (CR/nCR) rates and extended progression-free survival were demonstrated with bortezomib-thalidomide-dexamethasone (VTD) versus thalidomide-dexamethasone (TD) as induction therapy before, and consolidation after, double autologous stem cell transplantation for newly diagnosed myeloma patients (intention-to-treat analysis; VTD, n = 236; TD, n = 238). This per-protocol analysis (VTD, n = 160; TD, n = 161) specifically assessed the efficacy and safety of consolidation with VTD or TD. Before starting consolidation, CR/nCR rates were not significantly different in the VTD (63.1%) and TD arms (54.7%). After consolidation, CR (60.6% vs 46.6%) and CR/nCR (73.1% vs 60.9%) rates were significantly higher for VTD-treated versus TD-treated patients. VTD consolidation significantly increased CR and CR/nCR rates, but TD did not (McNemar test). With a median follow-up of 30.4 months from start of consolidation, 3-year progression-free survival was significantly longer for the VTD group (60% vs 48% for TD). Grade 2 or 3 peripheral neuropathy (8.1% vs 2.4%) was more frequent with VTD (grade 3, 0.6%) versus TD consolidation. The superior efficacy of VTD versus TD as induction was retained despite readministration as consolidation therapy after double autologous transplantation. VTD consolidation therapy significantly contributed to improved clinical outcomes observed for patients randomly assigned to the VTD arm of the study. The study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01134484.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2012-02-408898DOI Listing
July 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

Aspirin, warfarin, or enoxaparin thromboprophylaxis in patients with multiple myeloma treated with thalidomide: a phase III, open-label, randomized trial.

J Clin Oncol 2011 Mar 31;29(8):986-93. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria San Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy.

Purpose: In patients with myeloma, thalidomide significantly improves outcomes but increases the risk of thromboembolic events. In this randomized, open-label, multicenter trial, we compared aspirin (ASA) or fixed low-dose warfarin (WAR) versus low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for preventing thromboembolism in patients with myeloma treated with thalidomide-based regimens.

Patients And Methods: A total of 667 patients with previously untreated myeloma who received thalidomide-containing regimens and had no clinical indication or contraindication for a specific antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy were randomly assigned to receive ASA (100 mg/d), WAR (1.25 mg/d), or LMWH (enoxaparin 40 mg/d). A composite primary end point included serious thromboembolic events, acute cardiovascular events, or sudden deaths during the first 6 months of treatment.

Results: Of 659 analyzed patients, 43 (6.5%) had serious thromboembolic events, acute cardiovascular events, or sudden death during the first 6 months (6.4% in the ASA group, 8.2% in the WAR group, and 5.0% in the LMWH group). Compared with LMWH, the absolute differences were +1.3% (95% CI, -3.0% to 5.7%; P = .544) in the ASA group and +3.2% (95% CI, -1.5% to 7.8%; P = .183) in the WAR group. The risk of thromboembolism was 1.38 times higher in patients treated with thalidomide without bortezomib. Three major (0.5%) and 10 minor (1.5%) bleeding episodes were recorded.

Conclusion: In patients with myeloma treated with thalidomide-based regimens, ASA and WAR showed similar efficacy in reducing serious thromboembolic events, acute cardiovascular events, and sudden deaths compared with LMWH, except in elderly patients where WAR showed less efficacy than LMWH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2010.31.6844DOI Listing
March 2011

Integrative genomics analyses reveal molecularly distinct subgroups of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with 13q14 deletion.

Clin Cancer Res 2010 Dec 14;16(23):5641-53. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche, Università di Milano, U.O. Ematologia 1, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: Chromosome 13q14 deletion occurs in a substantial number of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients and it is believed to play a pathogenetic role. The exact mechanisms involved in this lesion have not yet been fully elucidated because of its heterogeneity and the imprecise knowledge of the implicated genes. This study was addressed to further contribute to the molecular definition of this lesion in CLL.

Experimental Design: We applied single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-array technology and gene expression profiling data to investigate the 13q14 deletion occurring in a panel of 100 untreated, early-stage (Binet A) patients representative of the major genetics, molecular, and biological features of the disease.

Results: Concordantly with FISH analysis, SNP arrays identified 44 patients with del(13)(q14) including 11 cases with a biallelic deletion. The shorter monoallelic deletion was 635-kb long. The loss of the miR-15a/16-1 cluster occurred in all del(13)(q14) cases except in 2 patients with a monoallelic deletion, who retained both copies. MiR-15a/16 expression was significantly downregulated only in patients with the biallelic loss of the miRNA cluster compared to 13q normal cases. Finally, the natural grouping of SNP profiles by nonnegative matrix factorization algorithm showed that patients could be classified into 2 separate clusters, mainly characterized by short/biallelic versus wide/monoallelic 13q14 deletions. Supervised analyses of expression data showed that specific transcriptional profiles are correlated with these 2 genomic subgroups.

Conclusions: Overall, our data highlight the presence of 2 distinct molecular types of 13q14 deletions, which may be of clinical relevance in CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-0151DOI Listing
December 2010

Bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide followed by maintenance with bortezomib-thalidomide compared with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone for initial treatment of multiple myeloma: a randomized controlled trial.

J Clin Oncol 2010 Dec 12;28(34):5101-9. Epub 2010 Oct 12.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria (A.O.U.) S. Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy.

Purpose: The combination of bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) is a new standard of care for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. This phase III study examined the efficacy of the four-drug combination of bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide (VMPT) followed by maintenance with bortezomib-thalidomide (VMPT-VT) compared with VMP treatment alone in untreated multiple myeloma patients who are ineligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation.

Patients And Methods: A total of 511 patients were randomly assigned to receive nine cycles of VMPT followed by continuous VT as maintenance, or nine cycles of VMP at the same doses with no additional therapy. The primary end point was progression-free survival.

Results: The 3-year estimates of progression-free survival were 56% in patients receiving VMPT-VT and 41% in those receiving VMP (hazard ratio [HR], 0.67; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.90; P = .008). At 3 years, the cumulative proportions of patients who did not go on to the next therapy were 72% with VMPT-VT and 60% with VMP (HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.90; P = .007). Complete response rates were 38% in the VMPT-VT group and 24% in the VMP group (P < .001). The 3-year overall survival was 89% with VMPT-VT and 87% with VMP (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.53 to 1.60; P = .77). Grade 3 to 4 neutropenia (38% v 28%; P = .02), cardiologic events (10% v 5%; P = .04), and thromboembolic events (5% v 2%; P = .08) were more frequent among patients assigned to the VMPT-VT group than among those assigned to the VMP group; treatment-related deaths were 4% with VMPT-VT and 3% with VMP.

Conclusion: VMPT followed by VT as maintenance was superior to VMP alone in patients with multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2010.29.8216DOI Listing
December 2010

Efficacy and safety of once-weekly bortezomib in multiple myeloma patients.

Blood 2010 Dec 31;116(23):4745-53. Epub 2010 Aug 31.

Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria S. Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy.

In a recent phase 3 trial, bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide followed by maintenance treatment with bortezomib-thalidomide demonstrated superior efficacy compared with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone. To decrease neurologic toxicities, the protocol was amended and patients in both arms received once-weekly instead of the initial twice-weekly bortezomib infusions: 372 patients received once-weekly and 139 twice-weekly bortezomib. In this post-hoc analysis we assessed the impact of the schedule change on clinical outcomes and safety. Long-term outcomes appeared similar: 3-year progression-free survival rate was 50% in the once-weekly and 47% in the twice-weekly group (P > .999), and 3-year overall survival rate was 88% and 89%, respectively (P = .54). The complete response rate was 30% in the once-weekly and 35% in the twice-weekly group (P = .27). Nonhematologic grade 3/4 adverse events were reported in 35% of once-weekly patients and 51% of twice-weekly patients (P = .003). The incidence of grade 3/4 peripheral neuropathy was 8% in the once-weekly and 28% in the twice-weekly group (P < .001); 5% of patients in the once-weekly and 15% in the twice-weekly group discontinued therapy because of peripheral neuropathy (P < .001). This improvement in safety did not appear to affect efficacy. This study is registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01063179.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2010-07-294983DOI Listing
December 2010

Major tumor shrinking and persistent molecular remissions after consolidation with bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone in patients with autografted myeloma.

J Clin Oncol 2010 Apr 22;28(12):2077-84. Epub 2010 Mar 22.

Cattedra di Ematologia, Via Genova 3, 10126 Torino, Italy.

PURPOSE We investigated the effect on minimal residual disease, by qualitative and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR), of a consolidation regimen that included bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone (VTD) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) responding to autologous stem-cell transplantation (auto-SCT). PATIENTS AND METHODS Patients achieving at least very good partial response who had an available molecular marker based on the immunoglobulin heavy-chain rearrangement received four courses of treatment every month: four infusions per month of bortezomib at 1.6 mg/m(2), thalidomide at 200 mg/d, and dexamethasone at 20 mg/d on days 1 to 4, 8 to 11, and 15 to 18. Patients were studied with tumor-clone-specific primers by qualitative nested PCR and RQ-PCR. Results Of 39 patients enrolled, 31 received the four VTD courses. Immunofixation complete responses increased from 15% after auto-SCT to 49% after VTD. Molecular remissions (MRs) were 3% after auto-SCT and 18% after VTD. Median time to maximum response was 3.5 months. So far, no patient in MR has relapsed (median follow-up, 42 months). VTD consolidation induced an additional depletion of 4.14 natural logarithms of tumor burden by RQ-PCR. Patients with a tumor load less than the median value after VTD had outcomes better than those who had tumor loads above the median value after VTD (at median follow-up: progression-free survival, 100% v 57%; P < .001). CONCLUSION To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to document the occurrence of persistent MRs in a proportion of MM patients treated without allogeneic transplantation. Moreover, the major reduction in tumor load recorded by RQ-PCR after VTD suggests that unprecedented levels of tumor cell reduction can be achieved in MM thanks to the new nonchemotherapeutic drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2009.23.7172DOI Listing
April 2010

Melphalan 200 mg/m(2) versus melphalan 100 mg/m(2) in newly diagnosed myeloma patients: a prospective, multicenter phase 3 study.

Blood 2010 Mar 1;115(10):1873-9. Epub 2009 Dec 1.

Divisione di Ematologia dell'Università di Torino, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria S Giovanni Battista, Via Genova 3, 10126 Torino, Italy.

High-dose (200 mg/m(2), MEL200) and intermediate-dose melphalan (100 mg/m(2), MEL100) showed significant activity in myeloma. In a phase 3 study, 298 patients were randomly assigned to receive 2 autologous transplantations after conditioning with MEL200 or MEL100. Ninety-six of 149 (64%) completed MEL200 and 103 of 149 (69%) MEL100. Best response to MEL200 was: complete remission 22 of 149 (15%); partial remission 95 of 149 (64%), for an overall response rate of 79%. Best response to MEL100 was: complete remission 12 of 149 (8%); partial remission 95 of 149 (64%), for an overall response rate of 72%. Overall survival did not differ (P = .13); median progression-free survival (31.4 vs 26.2 months, P = .01), median time to progression (34.4 vs 27.0 months, P = .014) were longer in the MEL200. Treatment-related mortality was 3.1% in the MEL200 and 2.9% in the MEL100 group. Severe neutropenia and infections were marginally superior, whereas severe thrombocytopenia, mucositis, gastrointestinal adverse events, and the overall occurrence of at least 1 nonhematologic grade 3 or 4 adverse event were significantly higher in the MEL200 cohort. We conclude that MEL200 leads to longer remission duration and should be considered the standard conditioning regimen for autologous transplantation. This study was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00950768.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2009-09-241737DOI Listing
March 2010

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

The utility of a prognostic index for predicting time to first treatment in early chronic lymphocytic leukemia: the GIMEMA experience.

Haematologica 2010 Mar 10;95(3):464-9. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, Azienda Ospedaliera Pugliese-Ciaccio, Viale Pio X 88100 Catanzaro, Italy.

Background: A prognostic index based on widely available clinical and laboratory features was recently proposed to predict survival in patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia. We assessed the utility of this index for predicting time to first treatment in early chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Design And Methods: An observational database of the GIMEMA (Gruppo Italiano Malattie EMatologiche dell'Adulto), which included 310 patients with newly diagnosed Binet stage A chronic lymphocytic leukemia who were observed at different primary hematology centers during the period 1991 - 2000, was used for the purpose of this study.

Results: The new prognostic index enabled Binet stage A patients to be divided into two subgroups that differed with respect to time to first treatment (P=0.003). The original prognostic index was derived from a database that included cases observed at a reference academic center; these patients were younger (P<0.0001) and had more advanced disease (P<0.0001) than those in the current investigation, which studied community-based patients whose data were recorded at presentation. With this in mind, we used an optimal cut-off search to determine how best to split patients with Binet stage A disease into different prognostic groups. According to the recursive partitioning (RPART) model, a classification tree was built that identified three subsets of patients who scores were 0-2 (low risk), 3-4 (intermediate risk) and 5-7 (high risk). The probability of remaining free from therapy at 5 years was 100% in the low risk group, 81.2% in the intermediate risk group and 61.3% in the high risk group (P<0.0001).

Conclusions: The results of this study confirm the utility of a new prognostic index for predicting time to first treatment in a large sample series of community-based patients with early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia at presentation. Our effort to develop a revised scoring method meets the need to separate Binet stage A patients into different prognostic groups in order to devise individualized and tailored follow-up during the treatment-free period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2009.011767DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2833077PMC
March 2010

Proposal and validation of prognostic scoring systems for IgG and IgA monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance.

Clin Cancer Res 2009 Jul 9;15(13):4439-45. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

UO Ematologia 1/CTMO, Fondazione Ospedale Maggiore PoMaRe, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Università degli Studi, Italy.

Purpose: The presenting clinico-hematologic features of 1,283 patients with IgG and IgA monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance (MGUS) were correlated with the frequency of evolution into multiple myeloma (MM).

Experimental Design: Two IgG MGUS populations were evaluated: a training sample (553 patients) and a test sample (378 patients); the IgA MGUS population consisted of 352 patients.

Results: Forty-seven of the 553 training group patients and 22 of 378 test group IgG patients developed MM after a median follow-up of 6.7 and 3.6 years, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that serum monoclonal component (MC) levels of < or =1.5 g/dL, the absence of light-chain proteinuria and normal serum polyclonal immunoglobulin levels defined a prognostically favorable subset of patients, and could be used to stratify the patients into three groups at different 10-year risk of evolution (hazard ratio, 1.0, 5.04, 11.2; P < 0.001). This scoring system was validated in the test sample. Thirty of the 352 IgA patients developed MM after a median follow-up of 4.8 years, and multivariate analysis showed that hemoglobin levels of <12.5 g/dL and reduced serum polyclonal immunoglobulin correlated with progression. A pooled statistical analysis of all of the patients confirmed the validity of Mayo Clinic risk model showing that IgA class, serum MC levels, and light-chain proteinuria are the most important variables correlated with disease progression.

Conclusions: Using simple variables, we validated a prognostic model for IgG MGUS. Among the IgA cases, the possible prognostic role of hemoglobin emerged in addition to a decrease in normal immunoglobulin levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-3150DOI Listing
July 2009

Definition of progression risk based on combinations of cellular and molecular markers in patients with Binet stage A chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Br J Haematol 2009 Jun 6;146(1):44-53. Epub 2009 May 6.

Unità Operativa Complessa di Ematologia, Azienda Ospedaliera, Cosenza, Italy.

IGHV mutational status and ZAP-70 or CD38 expression correlate with clinical course in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). The three markers may be discordant in the single case and there is no consensus on their combined use in clinical practise. This multicenter study investigated this issue. Two-hundred and sixty-two Binet stage A patients were studied for the three markers. Sixty patients were profiled with HG-U133A gene expression chips. Disease progression was determined by time from diagnosis to treatment (TTT). The probability of being treatment-free at 3 years was significantly shorter in patients with unmutated IGHV genes (IGHVunmut 66% vs. 93%, chi square of log-rank = 30, P < 0.0001), ZAP-70 positive (ZAP-70pos 73% vs. 96%, chi square of log-rank = 8.2, P = 0.004) or CD38-positive cells (CD38pos 68% vs. 91%, chi square of log-rank = 21, P < 0.0001). Cox multivariate regression analysis showed that the three markers had an independent predictive value for TTT of similar power. A prognostic system based on presence of none (low-risk), one (intermediate-risk) or two or three (high-risk) markers was generated. Based on such criteria, 56%, 23% and 21% of cases were clustered in low (HR = 1), intermediate [HR = 2.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.4-5.8] and high-risk group (HR = 8.0, 95% CI 3.9-16.2). Specific transcriptional patterns were significantly associated with risk groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.07703.xDOI Listing
June 2009

Response-guided ABVD chemotherapy plus involved-field radiation therapy for intermediate-stage Hodgkin lymphoma in the pre-positron emission tomography era: a Gruppo Italiano Studio Linfomi (GISL) prospective trial.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma 2009 Apr;9(2):138-44

Divisione di Ematologia e Trapianto di Midollo Osseo, Policlinico P. Giaccone, Palermo, Italy.

Purpose: In the pre-positron emission tomography era, the Gruppo Italiano Studio Linfomi (GISL) investigated the feasibility and efficacy of a treatment based on a response-tailored number of doxorubicin/bleomycin/vinblastine/dacarbazine (ABVD) courses in 218 intermediate-stage Hodgkin lymphoma patients.

Patients And Methods: Patients with stage I/II showing at least one adverse prognostic factor and stage IIIA without adverse prognostic factors were recruited. Treatment included a first step of 3 ABVD courses, followed by an early-restaging. Patients in CR/CRu received 1 additional ABVD cycle, patients in PR received 3 more ABVD, and nonresponder patients went off study. Involved-field radiation therapy (RT) was recommended on chemotherapy completion.

Results: The median age was 30 years (range, 15-68 years) and 131 patients (61%) were female. Seven percent of patients were in stage I, 78% in stage II, and 15% in stage III; B-symptoms, bulky tumor and erythrocyte sedimentation rate > 30 were recorded in 20%, 26%, and 43% of cases, respectively. The CR/CRu rate was 62% at early restaging, 72% at the end of chemotherapy, and 95% following RT. With a median follow-up of 74 months (range, 6-193 months), 7-year overall survival, relapse-free survival, and freedom from treatment failure were 91.8% (95% CI, 86%-95.5%), 89.2% (95% CI, 82.8%-93.3%), and 81.8% (95% CI, 75.2%-86.7%), respectively. Patients in CR/CRu on early restaging, receiving 4 ABVD, had an excellent outcome with 7-year RFS and cause-specific survival similar to those of the late responders treated with 6 ABVD (RFS, 87.5% vs. 90.5% and CSS, 96.6% vs. 92.7%, respectively).

Conclusion: The response-guided ABVD program we report, based on standard clinical staging procedures, proved to be feasible and safe in patients with intermediate-stage Hodgkin lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3816/CLM.2009.n.034DOI Listing
April 2009

Molecular and transcriptional characterization of 17p loss in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2008 Sep;47(9):781-93

Centro per lo Studio delle Leucemie, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche, Università di Milano, U.O. Ematologia 1, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico, Milano, Italy.

Distinct genetic abnormalities, such as TP53 deletion at 17p13.1, have been identified as having adverse prognostic relevance in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), and conventional cytogenetic studies have shown that TP53 deletion in B-CLL is mainly associated with the loss of 17p due to complex chromosomal rearrangements. We used an integrative genomic approach to investigate the significance of 17p loss in 18 B-CLLs in Binet stage A, carrying a TP53 monoallelic deletion detected by means of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Genome-wide DNA analysis using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays of 12 of 18 samples showed 17p loss in 11 cases, with breakpoints scattered along the 17p11.2 region. FISH analysis confirmed these findings and revealed 17p loss in a small fraction of leukemic cells in the remaining TP53-deleted case, and it also indicated 17p loss in the six cases not investigated by means of SNP arrays. Mutations in exons 2-11 of the remaining TP53 allele were found in 9 of 12 deleted samples. Gene-expression profiling of 60 B-CLLs, including seven patients with 17p loss, identified 40 differentially expressed genes in 17p- versus 17p normal samples, 35 of which were downregulated in 17p-tumors. The majority (30 of 35) of these transcripts, including putative tumor suppressor genes, mapped to 17p, thus indicating a remarkable gene-dosage effect. Our data provide evidence that 17p loss may play an additional pathogenetic role in B-CLL and suggest that the concomitant loss of multiple tumor suppressor genes could be responsible for the highly adverse prognostic relevance associated with TP53 loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.20579DOI Listing
September 2008

Oral melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide in elderly patients with multiple myeloma: updated results of a randomized controlled trial.

Blood 2008 Oct 27;112(8):3107-14. Epub 2008 May 27.

Divisione di Ematologia dell'Università di Torino, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy.

The initial analysis of the oral combination melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide (MPT) in newly diagnosed patients with myeloma showed significantly higher response rate and longer progression-free survival (PFS) than did the standard melphalan and prednisone (MP) combination and suggested a survival advantage. In this updated analysis, efficacy and safety end points were updated. Patients were randomly assigned to receive oral MPT or MP alone. Updated analysis was by intention to treat and included PFS, overall survival (OS), and survival after progression. After a median follow-up of 38.1 months, the median PFS was 21.8 months for MPT and 14.5 months for MP (P = .004). The median OS was 45.0 months for MPT and 47.6 months for MP (P = .79). In different patient subgroups, MPT improved PFS irrespective of age, serum concentrations of beta(2)-microglobulin, or high International Staging System. Thalidomide or bortezomib administration as salvage regimens significantly improved survival after progression in the MP group (P = .002) but not in the MPT group (P = .34). These data confirm activity of MPT for PFS but failed to show any survival advantage. New agents in the management of relapsed disease could explain this finding. The study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00232934.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2008-04-149427DOI Listing
October 2008

Clonal heterogeneity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells: superior response to surface IgM cross-linking in CD38, ZAP-70-positive cells.

Haematologica 2008 Mar 20;93(3):413-22. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

PhD. Divisione di Oncologia Medica C Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, IST, L.go Rosanna Benzi, 10 16132 Genoa, Italy.

Background: Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia whose cells express CD38 and ZAP-70 and utilize unmutated Ig VH region genes have a very poor prognosis. We studied whether cells expressing CD38 and ZAP-70 are more susceptible to stimulation through B-cell receptors than are cells that do not express CD38 and ZAP-70.

Design And Methods: CD38-positive and CD38-negative leukemic cells were separated from single cases and compared for their response to B-cell receptor cross-linking and ZAP-70 expression. Cohort studies were also carried out by measuring the apoptotic response to surface immunoglobulin M (IgM) cross-linking in 82 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and the protein tyrosine phosphorylation induced by surface IgM in 21 patients.

Results: CD38-positive cells, isolated from cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia classified as CD38-positive or CD38-negative, expressed more ZAP-70 than the corresponding CD38-negative cells, exhibited more robust protein tyrosine phosphorylation and had a greater tendency to apoptosis upon B-cell receptor cross-linking. In the cohort studies, surface IgM-induced protein tyrosine phosphorylation correlated significantly with CD38 and ZAP-70 expression and with the absence of Ig VH gene mutations. Apoptosis induced by surface IgM cross-linking correlated significantly only with the proportion of CD38-positive cells. Difficulties in finding more definitive correlations were probably related to imprecision in the in vitro test system and in the definition of cases as positive or negative.

Conclusions: Collectively, these data indicate that CD38-positive, ZAP-70-positive cells have a greater capacity for signaling through the B-cell receptor and suggest a function for B-cell receptor signaling in promoting chronic lymphocytic leukemia cell expansion, especially within the CD38-positive fraction of the leukemic clone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.11646DOI Listing
March 2008

Prospective, multicenter randomized GITMO/IIL trial comparing intensive (R-HDS) versus conventional (CHOP-R) chemoimmunotherapy in high-risk follicular lymphoma at diagnosis: the superior disease control of R-HDS does not translate into an overall survival advantage.

Blood 2008 Apr 31;111(8):4004-13. Epub 2008 Jan 31.

Divisione Universitaria di Ematologia, Cattedra di Ematologia, Torino, Italy.

In this randomized multicenter study of 136 patients, 6 courses of CHOP (cyclo-phosphamide/doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone) followed by rituximab (CHOP-R) were compared with rituximab-supplemented high-dose sequential chemotherapy with autografting (R-HDS) to assess the value of intensified chemo-therapy as a first-line treatment for high-risk follicular lymphoma (FL) after the introduction of monoclonal antibodies. The analysis was intention to treat with event-free survival (EFS) as the primary endpoint. Complete remission (CR) was 62% with CHOP-R and 85% with R-HDS (P < .001). At a median follow-up (MFU) of 51 months, the 4-year EFS was 28% and 61%, respectively (P < .001), with no difference in overall survival (OS). Molecular remission (MR) was achieved in 44% of CHOP-R and 80% of R-HDS patients (P < .001), and was the strongest independent outcome predictor. Patients relapsing after CHOP-R underwent salvage R-HDS in 71% of cases. Salvage R-HDS had an 85% CR rate and a 68% 3-year EFS (MFU, 30 months). We conclude that (1) achieving MR is critical for effective disease control, regardless of which treatment is used; (2) R-HDS ensures superior disease control and molecular outcome than CHOP-R, but no OS improvement; and (3) CHOP-R failures have a good outcome after salvage R-HDS, suggesting that relapsed/refractory FL could be the most appropriate setting for R-HDS-like treatments. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as no. NCT00435955.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2007-10-116749DOI Listing
April 2008

Bortezomib, melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide for relapsed multiple myeloma.

Blood 2007 Apr;109(7):2767-72

Divisione di Ematologia dell'Università di Torino, Azienda Ospedaliera (AO) S. Giovanni Battista, Turin, Italy.

In multiple myeloma (MM), the addition of thalidomide or bortezomib to the standard oral melphalan/prednisone combination significantly increased response rate and event-free survival. In this multicenter phase 1/2 trial, dosing, safety, and efficacy of the 4-drug combination, bortezomib, melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide (VMPT) was determined. Bortezomib was administered at 3 dose levels (1.0 mg/m2, 1.3 mg/m2, or 1.6 mg/m2) on days 1, 4, 15, and 22; melphalan was given at a dose of 6 mg/m2 on days 1 through 5 and prednisone at 60 mg/m2 on days 1 through 5. Thalidomide was delivered at 50 mg on days 1 through 35. Each course was repeated every 35 days. The maximum tolerated dose of bortezomib was 1.3 mg/m2. Thirty patients with relapsed or refractory MM were enrolled; 20 patients (67%) achieved a partial response (PR) including 13 patients (43%) who achieved at least a very good PR. Among 14 patients who received VMPT as second-line treatment, the PR rate was 79% and the immunofixation-negative complete response rate 36%. The 1-year progression-free survival was 61%, and the 1-year survival from study entry was 84%. Grade 3 nonhematologic adverse events included infections (5 patients), fatigue (1), vasculitis (1), and peripheral neuropathy (2); no grade 4 toxicities were recorded. Initial results showed that VMPT is an effective salvage therapy with a very high proportion of responses. The incidence of neurotoxicities was unexpectedly low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2006-08-042275DOI Listing
April 2007

Incidence of second neoplasia in patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia treated with chlorambucil maintenance chemotherapy.

Leuk Lymphoma 2006 Nov;47(11):2314-20

Hematology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli, Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The aim of this retrospective study was to examine the impact of prolonged chlorambucil (CLB) therapy on the development of second neoplasia (SN) in 389 patients with B-CLL, comparing untreated cases with those receiving CLB as induction plus maintenance therapy. Fifty-nine SN cases were observed (15.1%) at a median follow-up of 79 months. SN occurrence was significantly related to Binet stage. No difference was detected between untreated and CLB treated cases neither in terms of SN incidence (12.2% vs 18.1%) nor in the median follow-up (81 vs 79.1 months). Moreover, SN free survival was not different between these two groups. Four out of 13 CLB treated patients (30.8%) developed s-MDS after a subsequent treatment with fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide (F + C). In conclusion, SN development is dependent on the length of follow-up rather than on therapy duration. F + C should be administered with caution after prolonged CLB therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428190600880977DOI Listing
November 2006

Low tolerance and high toxicity of thalidomide as maintenance therapy after double autologous stem cell transplant in multiple myeloma patients.

Eur J Haematol 2007 Jan 17;78(1):35-40. Epub 2006 Oct 17.

Department of Bone Marrow Transplant, Azienda Ospedaliera Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli, Reggio Calabria, Italy.

Although a double autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplant (APBSCT) is an effective therapy for patients (pts) with multiple myeloma and extends progression-free survival and overall survival, pts show a continued pattern of recurrent disease. The feasibility and tolerability of thalidomide (Thal) administered in the post-transplantation period as maintenance therapy was tested in 17 pts at a dose of 100 mg/d starting between 3 and 5 months after the second transplantation and continuing either until toxicity precluded further therapy or until pts had disease progression. After a median administration of 13 months (range: 3-26), 76.5% (13 pts) failed to tolerate Thal because of: transiet ischemic attack (three pts), severe fatigue (two), neutropenia (one), piastrinopenia (one), severe opportunistic infectious (two), erectile impotence (one), gastrointestinal toxicity (anorexia with weight loss one), peripheral neuropathy (two). After a median follow-up of 36 months (range: 10-59) from the second transplant, 13 patients attained a CR + near CR (with a conversion rate from 47.1% to 76.5%). In conclusion, Thal as maintenance therapy after double ASCT is associated with low feasibility and high toxicity and could prevent a lengthy use of this antineoplastic agent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2006.00774.xDOI Listing
January 2007

B cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma: role of ZAP70 determination on bone marrow biopsy specimens.

J Clin Pathol 2007 Jun 17;60(6):627-32. Epub 2006 Aug 17.

Haemolymphopathology Service, St Orsola Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Background: The course of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) partly depends on the mutational status of the variable region of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes (IgV(H)), which defines two subgroups of tumours: mutated and unmutated. The expression of zeta-associated protein 70 (ZAP70) is significantly associated with the more aggressive unmutated forms.

Aims: To assess the feasibility of the ZAP70 immunohistochemical test on bone-marrow biopsy (BMB) specimens and to compare the results with those of western blotting (WB) and IgV(H) mutational status assessed on neoplastic cells from peripheral blood.

Methods: 26 patients with CLL/SLL detected on BMB and with known IgV(H) mutational status were selected. ZAP70 was determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) comparing three antibodies from different sources (Upstate, Cell Signaling, Santa Cruz, California, USA) and two different methods (APAAP and EnVision(+)). In 23 cases, ZAP70 WB results were also available.

Results: ZAP70 determination on BMB specimens turned out to be easily feasible with routine procedures with reagents from Upstate and Cell Signaling. The results were concordant with those obtained with WB and mutational status analysis in >80% of the cases with both reagents. Three of four discordant cases were mutated/ZAP70 positive, with two staining weakly for ZAP70 on both WB and IHC.

Conclusions: The study confirms the role of ZAP70 as a possible surrogate of mutational status and emphasises its application in routine diagnostics; it discloses a small subset of discordant cases (mutated/ZAP70 weakly positive) that clinically cluster with the more favourable forms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jcp.2006.039586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1955054PMC
June 2007

High-dose therapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cells transplantation followed by a very low reduced intensity regimen with fludarabine + cyclophosphamide and allograft improve complete remission rate in de novo multiple myeloma patients.

Am J Hematol 2006 Dec;81(12):973-8

Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli, Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The recent development of reduced intensity conditioning and allotransplantation (RICT) has opened a new way to assure engraftment of donor cells while reducing early transplant-related mortality. We evaluated the combination of high-dose therapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cells transplantation (APBSCT) followed by RICT to extend the benefit of allografting procedures in de novo multiple myeloma (MM) patients. Fifteen subjects with stage III MM (median age 51 years, range 40-57) received high dose melphalan (200 mg/m(2)) followed by APBSCT previously collected after cyclophosphamide (4 g/m(2)) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). After 3-4 months from APBSCT, the patients underwent RICT, consisting of fludarabine 30 mg/m(2) + cyclophosphamide 300 mg/m(2) on days -4, -3, and -2. Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) occurred in 2 patients; 6 patients developed chronic GVHD; 4 patients developed CMV antigenemia and were treated pre-emptively with ganciclovir. No transplant related mortality was shown. Response was simultaneously measured by both electrophoresis (EP) and immunofixation (IF); when IF was negative, patients were classified in complete remission (CR) and when it remained positive, near CR (nCR). After a median follow up of 44 months post APBSCT, 100 and 43% of patients are still alive and progression-free, respectively. Overall, the CR + nCR rate after dose-reduced allograft was enhanced from 26.7 to 73.3%. A correlation not statistically significant between GVHD and remission was found. In conclusion, an up-front tandem strategy with a very low reduced intensity-conditioning regimen for allografting following autografting is feasible and induces high CR/nCR rate in MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.20677DOI Listing
December 2006

Oral melphalan and prednisone chemotherapy plus thalidomide compared with melphalan and prednisone alone in elderly patients with multiple myeloma: randomised controlled trial.

Lancet 2006 Mar;367(9513):825-31

Divisione di Ematologia dell'Università di Torino, Azienda Ospedaliera S Giovanni Battista, 10126 Torino, Italy.

Background: Since 1960, oral melphalan and prednisone (MP) has been regarded as the standard of care in elderly multiple myeloma patients. This multicentre randomised trial compared oral MP plus thalidomide (MPT) with MP alone in patients aged 60-85 years.

Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma were randomly assigned to receive oral MP for six 4-week cycles plus thalidomide (n=129; 100 mg per day continuously until any sign of relapse or progressive disease) or MP alone (n=126). Analysis was intention-to-treat. This study is registered at , number NCT00232934.

Results: Patients treated with thalidomide had higher response rates and longer event-free survival (primary endpoints) than patients who were not. Combined complete or partial response rates were 76.0% for MPT and 47.6% for MP alone (absolute difference 28.3%, 95% CI 16.5-39.1), and the near-complete or complete response rates were 27.9% and 7.2%, respectively. 2-year event-free survival rates were 54% for MPT and 27% for MP (hazard ratio [HR] for MPT 0.51, 95% CI 0.35-0.75, p=0.0006). 3-year survival rates were 80% for MPT and 64% for MP (HR for MPT 0.68, 95% CI 0.38-1.22, p=0.19). Rates of grade 3 or 4 adverse events were 48% in MPT patients and 25% in MP patients (p=0.0002). Introduction of enoxaparin prophylaxis reduced rate of thromboembolism from 20% to 3% (p=0.005).

Conclusion: Oral MPT is an effective first-line treatment for elderly patients with multiple myeloma. Anticoagulant prophylaxis reduces frequency of thrombosis. Longer follow-up is needed to assess effect on overall survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68338-4DOI Listing
March 2006