[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) as well as the degree of log clearance similarly identifies patients with poor prognosis. No comparison was provided between the two approaches in order to identify the best one to monitor follow-up patients. In this study, MRD and clearance were assessed by both multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) and WT1 expression at different time points on 45 AML patients achieving complete remission. Our results by WT1 expression showed that log clearance lower than 1.96 after induction predicted the recurrence better than MRD higher than 77.0 copies WT1/104 ABL. Conversely, on MFC, MRD higher than 0.2 % after consolidation was more predictive than log clearance below 2.64. At univariate and multivariate analysis, positive MRD values and log clearance below the optimal cutoffs were associated with a shorter disease-free survival (DFS). At the univariate analysis, positive MRD values were also associated with overall survival (OS). Therefore, post-induction log clearance by WT1 and post-consolidation MRD by MFC represented the most informative approaches to identify the relapse. At the optimal timing of assessment, positive MRD and log-clearance values lower than calculated thresholds similarly predicted an adverse prognosis in AML.
Annals of Hematology 07/2014; 93(7). · 2.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This multicentre observational study evaluated the feasibility, efficacy and toxicity of antifungal combination therapy (combo) as treatment of proven or probable invasive fungal diseases (IFDs) in patients with haematological malignancies. Between January 2005 and January 2010, 84 cases of IFDs (39 proven and 45 probable) treated with combo were collected in 20 Hematological Italian Centres, in patients who underwent chemotherapy or allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for haematological diseases. Median age of patients was 34 years (range 1-73) and 37% had less than 18 years. Acute leukaemia was the most common underlying haematological disease (68/84; 81%). The phase of treatment was as follows: first induction in 21/84 (25%), consolidation phase in 18/84 (21%) and reinduction/salvage in 45/84 (54%). The main site of infection was lung with or without other sites. The principal fungal pathogens were as follows: Aspergillus sp. 68 cases (81%), Candida sp. six cases (8%), Zygomycetes four cases (5%) and Fusarium sp. four cases (5%). The most used combo was caspofungin+voriconazole 35/84 (42%), caspofungin + liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) 20/84 (24%) and L-AmB+voriconazole 15/84 (18%). The median duration of combo was 19 days (range 3-180). The overall response rate (ORR) was 73% (61/84 responders) without significant differences between the combo regimens. The most important factor that significantly influenced the response was granulocyte (PMN) recovery (P 0.009). Only one patient discontinued therapy (voriconazole-related neurotoxicity) and 22% experienced mild and reversible adverse events (hypokalaemia, ALT/AST increase and creatinine increase). The IFDs-attributable mortality was 17%. This study indicates that combo was both well tolerated and effective in haematological patients. The most used combo regimens were caspofungin + voriconazole (ORR 80%) and caspofungin + L-AmB (ORR 70%). The ORR was 73% and the mortality IFD related was 17%. PMN recovery during combo predicts a favourable outcome. Clinical Trials Registration: NCT00906633.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytarabine plays a pivotal role in the treatment of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Most centers use 7 to 10 days of cytarabine at a daily dose of 100 to 200 mg/m(2) for remission induction. Consensus has not been reached on the benefit of higher dosages of cytarabine.
The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and Gruppo Italiano Malattie Ematologiche dell' Adulto (GIMEMA) Leukemia Groups conducted a randomized trial (AML-12; Combination Chemotherapy, Stem Cell Transplant and Interleukin-2 in Treating Patients With Acute Myeloid Leukemia) in 1,942 newly diagnosed patients with AML, age 15 to 60 years, comparing remission induction treatment containing daunorubicin, etoposide, and either standard-dose (SD) cytarabine (100 mg/m(2) per day by continuous infusion for 10 days) or high-dose (HD) cytarabine (3,000 mg/m(2) every 12 hours by 3-hour infusion on days 1, 3, 5, and 7). Patients in complete remission (CR) received a single consolidation cycle containing daunorubicin and intermediate-dose cytarabine (500 mg/m(2) every 12 hours for 6 days). Subsequently, a stem-cell transplantation was planned. The primary end point was survival.
At a median follow-up of 6 years, overall survival was 38.7% for patients randomly assigned to SD cytarabine and 42.5% for those randomly assigned to HD cytarabine (log-rank test P = .06; multivariable analysis P = .009). For patients younger than age 46 years, survival was 43.3% and 51.9%, respectively (P = .009; multivariable analysis P = .003), and for patients age 46 to 60 years, survival was 33.9% and 32.9%, respectively (P = .91). CR rates were 72.0% and 78.7%, respectively (P < .001) and were 75.6% and 82.4% for patients younger than age 46 years (P = .01) and 68.3% and 74.8% for patients age 46 years and older (P = .03). Patients of all ages with very-bad-risk cytogenetic abnormalities and/or FLT3-ITD (internal tandem duplication) mutation, or with secondary AML benefitted from HD cytarabine.
HD cytarabine produces higher remission and survival rates than SD cytarabine, especially in patients younger than age 46 years.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 12/2013; · 17.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) with chemotherapy is the standard of care for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), resulting in cure rates exceeding 80%. Pilot studies of treatment with arsenic trioxide with or without ATRA have shown high efficacy and reduced hematologic toxicity. Methods We conducted a phase 3, multicenter trial comparing ATRA plus chemotherapy with ATRA plus arsenic trioxide in patients with APL classified as low-to-intermediate risk (white-cell count, ≤10×10(9) per liter). Patients were randomly assigned to receive either ATRA plus arsenic trioxide for induction and consolidation therapy or standard ATRA-idarubicin induction therapy followed by three cycles of consolidation therapy with ATRA plus chemotherapy and maintenance therapy with low-dose chemotherapy and ATRA. The study was designed as a noninferiority trial to show that the difference between the rates of event-free survival at 2 years in the two groups was not greater than 5%. Results Complete remission was achieved in all 77 patients in the ATRA-arsenic trioxide group who could be evaluated (100%) and in 75 of 79 patients in the ATRA-chemotherapy group (95%) (P=0.12). The median follow-up was 34.4 months. Two-year event-free survival rates were 97% in the ATRA-arsenic trioxide group and 86% in the ATRA-chemotherapy group (95% confidence interval for the difference, 2 to 22 percentage points; P<0.001 for noninferiority and P=0.02 for superiority of ATRA-arsenic trioxide). Overall survival was also better with ATRA-arsenic trioxide (P=0.02). As compared with ATRA-chemotherapy, ATRA-arsenic trioxide was associated with less hematologic toxicity and fewer infections but with more hepatic toxicity. Conclusions ATRA plus arsenic trioxide is at least not inferior and may be superior to ATRA plus chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with low-to-intermediate-risk APL. (Funded by Associazione Italiana contro le Leucemie and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00482833 .).
New England Journal of Medicine 11/2013; 369(2):112-21. · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. To analyze the efficacy of antifungal prophylaxis (AFP) with posaconazole and itraconazole in a real-life setting of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) during the first induction of remission.Methods. From January 2010 to June 2011, all patients with newly diagnosed AML were consecutively registered and prospectively monitored at 30 Italian hematological centers. Our analysis focused on adult patients who received intensive chemotherapy and a mold-active AFP for at least 5 days. To determine the efficacy of prophylaxis, invasive fungal disease (IFD) incidence, IFD-attributable mortality, and overall survival were evaluated.Results. In total, 515 patients were included in the present analysis. Posaconazole was the most frequently prescribed drug (260 patients [50%]) followed by fluconazole (148 [29%]) and itraconazole (93 [18%]). When comparing the groups taking posaconazole and itraconazole, there were no significant differences in the baseline clinical characteristics, whereas there were significant differences in the percentage of breakthrough IFDs (18.9% with posaconazole and 38.7% with itraconazole, P < .001). The same trend was observed when only proven/probable mold infections were considered (posaconazole, 2.7% vs itraconazole, 10.7%, P = .02). There were no significant differences in the IFD-associated mortality rate, while posaconazole prophylaxis had a significant impact on overall survival at day 90 (P = .002).Conclusions. During the last years, the use of posaconazole prophylaxis in high-risk patients has significantly increased. Although our study was not randomized, it demonstrates in a real-life setting that posaconazole prophylaxis confers an advantage in terms of both breakthrough IFDs and overall survival compared to itraconazole prophylaxis.Clinical Trials Registration. NCT01315925.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite a high remission rate, a significant number of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) relapse. Thus, the evaluation of minimal residual disease (MRD) in AML is an important strategy to better identify high risk patients. Most sensitive methodology to detect MRD is molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) but its applicability is restricted to AML with leukemia-specific molecular targets (e.g. AML1-ETO, CBFB-MYH11, MLL, FLT-3). In our study, MRD was monitored at different time points with both MFC and WT1-RNA quantification in 23 AML patients who did not present specific molecular targets. As previously published, we considered values of 10(-3) (0.1%) in MFC and 90 WT1-RNA × 10(4) ABL copies as optimal thresholds. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was used to confirm these data. To realize the methodology that better identify high risk patients, an analysis of sensitivity, specificity, predictive values (PV) and likelihood ratio (LR) was provided and similar results were showed. MRD levels ≥ 10(-3) in MFC as well MRD levels ≥ 90 WT1-RNA copies in RQ-PCR, identify risk groups of patients with poor prognosis. Therefore, MFC and WT1-RNA quantification showed a comparable capacity in terms of technical performance and clinical significance to identify high risk patients who eventually relapsed.
Leukemia research 12/2011; 36(4):401-6. · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Therapy-related acute promyelocytic leukemia (t-APL) has been reported as a late complication of exposure to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapeutic agents targeting DNA topoisomerase II. We have analyzed in t-APL novel gene mutations recently associated with myeloid disorders. Unlike previous reports in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), our results showed neither IDHs nor TET2 mutations in t-APL. However we found an R882H mutation in the DNMT3A gene in a patient with t-APL suggesting a possible role of this alteration in the pathogenesis of t-APL.
Leukemia research 11/2011; 36(4):474-8. · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To reduce toxicity in elderly patients with acute promyelocytic leukaemia, in 1997 the Gruppo Italiano Malattie Ematologiche Dell'Adulto (GIMEMA) started an amended protocol for patients aged >60years, with the same induction [all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)+idarubicin] as in younger patients, followed by a single consolidation course (idarubicin+ cytarabine) and maintenance with intermittent ATRA. Among 60 enrolled patients, 54 (90%) achieved haematological remission and six died during induction. Four additional patients died in complete remission (CR) from haemorrhage (2) and infection (2) prior or during consolidation therapy. Eleven patients relapsed at a median time of 17·5months from CR. The 5-year overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS) and cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR) rates were 76·1%, 64·6% and 27·4%, respectively. Univariate analysis identified a performance score (PS)=2 as the only significant adverse prognostic factor for both OS (P=0·017) and DFS (P=0·0003). Male sex had an unfavourable impact on DFS (P=0·021) and on CIR (P=0·019), but not on OS (P=0·234). In multivariate analysis for DFS, only PS=2 retained prognostic significance (HR=4·5, P=0·0083). In conclusion, the amended GIMEMA protocol is effective, with similar relapse rate and inferior toxicity compared to the original AIDA 0493. However, considering the recent availability of effective new agents, a less aggressive approach should be tested in this setting.
British Journal of Haematology 09/2011; 154(5):564-8. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate prognostic factors, treatments and outcome of invasive aspergillosis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia based on data collected in a registry.
The registry, which was activated in 2004 and closed in 2007, collected data on patients with acute myeloid leukemia, admitted to 21 hematologic divisions in tertiary care centers or university hospitals in Italy, who developed proven or probable invasive aspergillosis.
One hundred and forty cases of invasive aspergillosis were collected, with most cases occurring during the period of post-induction aplasia, the highest risk phase in acute myeloid leukemia. The mortality rate attributable to invasive aspergillosis was 27%, confirming previous reports of a downward trend in this rate. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that the stage of acute myeloid leukemia and the duration of, and recovery from, neutropenia were independent prognostic factors. We analyzed outcomes after treatment with the three most frequently used drugs (liposomal amphotericin B, caspofungin, voriconazole). No differences emerged in survival at day 120 or in the overall response rate which was 71%, ranging from 61% with caspofungin to 84% with voriconazole.
Our series confirms the downward trend in mortality rates reported in previous series, with all new drugs providing similar survival and response rates. Recovery from neutropenia and disease stage are crucial prognostic factors. Efficacious antifungal drugs bridge the period of maximum risk due to poor hematologic and immunological reconstitution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pregnancy is a high-risk event in women with essential thrombocythemia (ET). This observational study evaluated pregnancy outcome in ET patients focusing on the potential impact of aspirin (ASA) or interferon alpha (IFN) treatment during pregnancy. We retrospectively analyzed 122 pregnancies in 92 women consecutively observed in the last 10 years in 17 centers of the Italian thrombocythemia registry (RIT). The live birth rate was 75.4% (92/122 pregnancies). The risk of spontaneous abortion was 2.5-fold higher than in the control population (P < 0.01). ASA did not affect the live birth rate (71/93, 76.3% vs. 21/29, 72.4%, P = 0.67). However, IFN treatment during pregnancy was associated with a better outcome than was management without IFN (live births 19/20, 95% vs. 73/102, 71.6%, P = 0.025), and this finding was supported by multivariate analysis (OR: 0.10; 95% CI: 0.013-0.846, P = 0.034). The JAK2 V617F mutation was associated with a poorer outcome (fetal losses JAK2 V617F positive 9/25, 36% vs. wild type 2/24, 8.3%, P = 0.037), and this association was still significant after multivariate analysis (OR: 6.19; 95% CI: 1.17-32.61; P = 0.038). No outcome concordance between first and second pregnancies was found (P = 0.30). Maternal complications occurred in 8% of cases. In this retrospective study, in consecutively observed pregnant ET patients, IFN treatment was associated with a higher live birth rate, while ASA treatment was not. In addition, the JAK2 V617F mutation was confirmed to be an adverse prognostic factor.
American Journal of Hematology 08/2009; 84(10):636-40. · 3.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A retrospective study of 76 episodes of candidemia in 73 patients with underlying hematological malignancy, from 1988 until 1997, has been conducted to evaluate the clinical characteristics and to ascertain the variables related to the onset and the outcome of candidemia. The most frequent malignancy was acute myeloid leukemia (29 episodes). Candidemia developed mainly during aplasia in patients refractory to chemotherapy (42%). In 65 episodes (86%) the patients were neutropenic (ANC < 1×109/l) before the candidemia diagnosis for a median time of 13 d, and in 53 episodes (70%) at microbiological diagnosis of candidemia ANC was <1×109/l. Candida albicans was the most frequently isolated etiologic agent (31 episodes), but C. non-albicans species sustained the majority of candidemia. Seventeen candidemias developed during azoles prophylaxis. One month after the diagnosis of candidemia, 26 patients died. In 19 cases, death was attributable to candidemia. The case-control study demonstrated, at univariate analysis, that the colonization with Candida, spp. (p=0.004), antimycotic prophylaxis (p=0.01), presence of central venous catheter (p=0.01), neutropenia (p=0.002), and the use of glycopeptide (p=0.0001) increased the risk of candidemia. Using multivariate regression analysis only colonization with Candida spp. and the previous therapy with glycopeptide were associated with a significantly increased risk. Acute mortality, expressed by a cumulative probability of survival at 30 d from diagnosis of candidemia, was 0.67 (95% C.I. 0.55–0.77) and was significantly reduced in patients with neutrophils <1×109/l when compared to those with neutrophils > 1×109/l (p at Mantel-Cox=0.029). Overall cumulative probability of survival at 1 yr was 0.38 (95% C.I. 0.27–0.49) and only the treatment with Amfotericin B significantly reduced the risk of death.
European Journal Of Haematology 04/2009; 63(2):77 - 85. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Therapy-related acute promyelocytic leukemia (t-APL) with t(15;17) translocation is a well-recognized complication of cancer treatment with agents targeting topoisomerase II. However, cases are emerging after mitoxantrone therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS). Analysis of 12 cases of mitoxantrone-related t-APL in MS patients revealed an altered distribution of chromosome 15 breakpoints versus de novo APL, biased toward disruption within PML intron 6 (11 of 12, 92% vs 622 of 1022, 61%: P = .035). Despite this intron spanning approximately 1 kb, breakpoints in 5 mitoxantrone-treated patients fell within an 8-bp region (1482-9) corresponding to the "hotspot" previously reported in t-APL, complicating mitoxantrone-containing breast cancer therapy. Another shared breakpoint was identified within the approximately 17-kb RARA intron 2 involving 2 t-APL cases arising after mitoxantrone treatment for MS and breast cancer, respectively. Analysis of PML and RARA genomic breakpoints in functional assays in 4 cases, including the shared RARA intron 2 breakpoint at 14 446-49, confirmed each to be preferential sites of topoisomerase IIalpha-mediated DNA cleavage in the presence of mitoxantrone. This study further supports the presence of preferential sites of DNA damage induced by mitoxantrone in PML and RARA genes that may underlie the propensity to develop this subtype of leukemia after exposure to this agent.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myelomonocytic acute myeloid leukemia (M4-AML) is frequently associated with the cytogenetic marker inv(16) and/or the presence of eosinophilia. The aim of this study was to analyze the incidence and prognostic role of these factors in a large series of patients.
Adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia consecutively enrolled in the GIMEMA trials AML10 and LAM99p were retrospectively analyzed.
Among 1686 patients, 400 cases of M4-AML were identified; of these, 78% had neither eosinophilia nor inv(16), 6% had eosinophilia only, 8% had inv(16) only and 8% had both. Univariate analysis showed that both eosinophilia and inv(16) were correlated with a higher probability of complete remission, lower resistance to chemotherapy and increased overall survival. Multivariate analysis showed that the simultaneous presence of the two factors significantly increased the probabilities of both complete remission and overall survival. The presence of only one of the two factors also increased the probabilities of complete remission and overall survival, but not to a statistically significant extent. The relapse-free survival of the responding patients was not influenced by the two factors.
In a large series of patients with M4-AML we confirmed the favorable role of inv(16), but the weight of this factor among the whole M4 population was of limited relevance. Eosinophilia, which affects a small proportion of cases, also emerged as a favorable prognostic factor. Based on the results of this large case population, overall and relapse-free survival rates of patients with M4-AML are not significantly better than those of patients with non-M4 AML, while the concomitant presence of both inv(16) and eosinophilia was associated with a significantly improved prognosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of our study was to evaluate the incidence and outcome of invasive fungal infection (IFI) among patients who underwent autologous or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) at 11 Italian transplantation centers.
This cohort-retrospective study, conducted during 1999-2003, involved HSCT patients admitted to 11 tertiary care centers or university hospitals in Italy, who developed IFIs (proven or probable).
Among 3228 patients who underwent HSCT (1249 allogeneic HSCT recipients and 1979 autologous HSCT recipients), IFI occurred in 121 patients (overall incidence, 3.7%). Ninety-one episodes (2.8% of all patients) were due to molds, and 30 (0.9%) were due to yeasts. Ninety-eight episodes (7.8%) occurred among the 1249 allogeneic HSCT recipients, and 23 (1.2%) occurred among the 1979 autologous HSCT recipients. The most frequent etiological agents were Aspergillus species (86 episodes) and Candida species (30 episodes). The overall mortality rate was 5.7% among allogeneic HSCT recipients and 0.4% among autologous HSCT recipients, whereas the attributable mortality rate registered in our population was 65.3% (72.4% for allogeneic HSCT recipients and 34.7% for autologous HSCT recipients). Etiology influenced the patients' outcomes: the attributable mortality rate for aspergillosis was 72.1% (77.2% and 14.3% for allogeneic and autologous HSCT recipients, respectively), and the rate for Candida IFI was 50% (57.1% and 43.8% for allogeneic and autologous HSCT recipients, respectively).
IFI represents a common complication for allogeneic HSCT recipients. Aspergillus species is the most frequently detected agent in these patients, and aspergillosis is characterized by a high mortality rate. Conversely, autologous HSCT recipients rarely develop aspergillosis, and the attributable mortality rate is markedly lower. Candidemia was observed less often than aspergillosis among both allogeneic and autologous HSCT recipients; furthermore, there was no difference in either the incidence of or the attributable mortality rate for candidemia among recipients of the 2 transplant types.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inherited and acquired thrombophilia are associated with venous thromboembolic events (TE). The prevalence of inherited and acquired prothrombotic risk factors and the incidence of symptomatic TE were evaluated in a cohort of 114 adult acute leukemia patients. The most frequent prothrombotic risk factor was hyperhomocysteinemia which occurred in 46.6% of patients. The incidence of TE was 9.6%, mainly in the first month of follow-up. In multivariate analysis, hyperhomocysteinemia was the only risk factor for TE (OR 33.90; 95% CI 1.53-751.33; p = 0.026). The results of this study indicate that measurements of homocysteinemia could be useful in determining the risk of early TE in adult acute leukemia patients, while systematic thrombophilia screening should not be justified.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence and outcome of invasive fungal infections (IFI) in patients with hematologic malignancies.
This was a retrospective cohort study of patients admitted between 1999 and 2003 to 18 hematology wards in Italy. Each participating center provided information on all patients with newly diagnosed hematologic malignancies admitted during the survery period and on all episodes of IFI experienced by these patients.
The cohort was formed of 11,802 patients with hematologic malignacies: acute leukemia (myeloid 3012, lymphoid 1173), chronic leukemia (myeloid 596, lymphoid 1104), lymphoma (Hodgkin's 844, non-Hodgkin's 3457), or multiple myeloma (1616). There were 538 proven or probable IFI (4.6%); 373 (69%) occurred in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Over half (346/538) were caused by molds (2.9%), in most cases Aspergillus spp. (310/346). The 192 yeast infections (1.6%) included 175 cases of candidemia. Overall and IFI-attributable mortality rates were 2% (209/11802) and 39% (209/538), respectively. The highest IFI-attributable mortality rates were associated with zygomycosis (64%) followed by fusariosis (53%), aspergillosis (42%), and candidemia (33%).
Patients with hematologic malignancies are currently at higher risk of IFI caused by molds than by yeasts, and the incidence of IFI is highest among patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Aspergillus spp are still the most common pathogens, followed by Candida spp. Other agents are rare. The attributable mortality rate for aspergillosis has dropped from 60-70% to approximately 40%. Candidemia-related mortality remains within the 30-40% range reported in literature although the incidence has decreased.