[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficacy of human recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO) in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) has generally been best in untransfused patients with 'refractory anaemia' according to the World Health Organization (WHO). We treated 63 MDS patients [excluding refractory anaemia with excess blasts, type 2 (RAEB2)] with a previously tested combination of 13-cis-retinoic acid and dihydroxylated vitamin D3 +/- 6-thioguanine in addition to rEPO. Most patients were categorized as refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia and RAEB1, with intermediate 1 International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) score; all had Hb <95 g/l, and 70% required regular erythrocyte transfusions. Treatment was well tolerated, and erythroid response rate according to new International Working Group criteria was 60%: 50% in RAEB1 and 64% in non-RAEB patients (P = 0.383). Response rate was not affected by transfusion requirement (63%; 58% in untransfused), IPSS and WHO Prognostic Scoring System scores, and weekly rEPO dosage (30-50 000 U vs. 80 000 U). Median response duration was 16 months. Median survival reached 14 months for RAEB1 and 55 months for non-RAEB patients, with a significant difference in the latter between responders and non-responders (median 82 months vs. 44 months; P = 0.036). Our combined therapy, independent of rEPO dosage, achieved in patients with unfavourable response predictors, a rate of anaemia improvement comparable to the best obtained in lower risk patients by high-dose rEPO.
British Journal of Haematology 12/2008; 144(3):342-9. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07465.x · 4.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate telomere length (TL) and hematopoietic progenitors in long-term survivors after high-dose chemotherapy and peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) autograft.
Peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) samples were obtained from 31 subjects in continuous complete remission from a high-risk lymphoma, at a median of 5.8 years (range: 1-11 years) since autograft. Most of them were grafted with large PBSC quantities (median CD34(+ve) cells/kg: 7 x 10(6)). TL was determined by Southern blot analysis, BM progenitors by in vitro long-term culture-initiating cells (LTC-IC) and colony assays.
TL of PB granulocytes was significantly shortened in autografted subjects compared with age-matched healthy subjects; a similar finding was observed in BM. The median TL reduction in granulocytes from autografted subjects compared with age-matched controls (Delta(TelShortening)) was then assessed according to time interval since autograft. Three subject subgroups were identified-at 1 to <3 years, 3 to <6 years, and 6 to 11 years since autograft-and their telomere loss was the same, with Delta(TelShortening) of 1132, 1379, and 1214 bp in the three subgroups, respectively. The longitudinal assessment of TL in five representative patients followed for up to 40 months since autograft confirmed that telomere shortening occurring during exposure to chemotherapy as well as postautograft is persistent at long term. BM LTC-IC and multipotent and committed progenitors were assessed in subjects at >3 years after autograft and found to be markedly reduced compared with normal controls.
High-dose chemotherapy and PBSC autograft may result in myelopoietic cell abnormalities that appear to be irreversible.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Imatinib can induce severe hepatotoxicity, in 1-5% of CML patients, many of whom need permanent imatinib discontinuation.
We report 5 CML patients who developed grade 3-4 hepatotoxicity after 2-8 months in imatinib. Different aetiologies of liver damage were ruled out and toxicity recurred in 2 patients with further attempts at low dose imatinib. In all patients prednisone or methylprednisolone at 25- 40 mg/day resolved hepatotoxicity in 3-8 weeks and allowed imatinib to be resumed at full doses. Corticosteroid were tapered off in 3-5 months without hepatotoxicity recurrence.
Corticosteroid may avoid discontinuation for hepatotoxicity of the most effective anti-CML therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 13-cis retinoic acid + (OH)2 vitamin D3 + low-dose 6-thioguanine and cytarabine were tested in 26 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and in 4 patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) (median age 72.5), ineligible for standard chemotherapy. The response rate was 50%, with 27% complete remission. The median survival of the whole group and responders was 7.5 (1-47+) and 16.5 months (3.5-47+), respectively.