[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) increases with age, but it is unclear how the characteristics of the disease vary with age. In children, where CML is very rare, it presents with more aggressive features, including huge splenomegaly, higher cell count and higher blast cell percentage.
Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology / ESMO. 10/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We applied Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) stratification on a large cohort of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) very elderly patients (>75 years) treated with imatinib, in order to observe the impact of concomitant diseases on both compliance and outcome. One hundred and eighty-one patients were recruited by 21 Italian centers. There were 95 males and 86 females, median age 78.6 years (range 75-93.6). According to Sokal score, 106 patients were classified as intermediate risk and 55 as high risk (not available in 20 patients). According to CCI stratification, 71 patients had score 0 and 110 a score≥1. Imatinib standard dose was reduced at start of therapy (200-300mg/day) in 68 patients independently from the evaluation of baseline comorbidities, but based only on physician judgement: 43.6% of these patients had score 0 compared to 34% of patients who had score≥1. Significant differences were found in terms of subsequent dose reduction (39% of patients with score 0 compared to 53% of patients with score≥1) and in terms of drug discontinuation due to toxicity (35% of patients with score 0 vs 65% of patients with score≥1). We did not find significant differences as regards occurrence of hematologic side effects, probably as a consequence of the initial dose reduction: 39% of patients with score 0 experienced grade 3/4 hematologic toxicity (most commonly anemia) compared to 42% of patients with score≥1. Independently from the initial dose, comorbidities again did not have an impact on development of grade 3/4 non-hematologic side effects (most commonly skin rash, muscle cramps and fluid retention): 62% of patients with score 0 compared to 52.5% of patients with score≥1. Notwithstanding the reduced dose and the weight of comorbidities we did not find significant differences but only a trend in terms of efficacy: 66% of patients with score 0 achieved a CCyR compared to 54% of patients with score≥1. Comorbidities appeared to have an impact on median OS (40.8 months for patients with score 0 vs 20.16 months for patients with score≥1) on EFS and on non-CML death rate. Our results suggest that treatment of very elderly CML patients might be influenced by personal physician perception: evaluation at baseline of comorbidities according to CCI should improve initial decision-making in this subset of patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The management of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) during pregnancy has become recently a matter of continuous debate. The introduction of the Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) in clinical practice has dramatically changed the prognosis of CML patients; in fact, patients diagnosed in chronic phase can reasonably expect many years of excellent disease control and good quality of life, as well as a normal life expectancy, including the necessity to address issues relating to fertility and pregnancy. Physicians are frequently being asked for advice regarding the need for, and/or the appropriateness of, stopping treatment in order to conceive. In this report, we will review the data published in terms of fertility, conception, pregnancy, pregnancy outcome and illness control for TKI treated CML patients, as well as how to manage a planned and/or unplanned pregnancy.
Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases 01/2014; 6(1):e2014028.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Ponatinib is a potent oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor of unmutated and mutated BCR-ABL, including BCR-ABL with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor-refractory threonine-to-isoleucine mutation at position 315 (T315I). We conducted a phase 2 trial of ponatinib in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) or Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph-positive ALL). Methods We enrolled 449 heavily pretreated patients who had CML or Ph-positive ALL with resistance to or unacceptable side effects from dasatinib or nilotinib or who had the BCR-ABL T315I mutation. Ponatinib was administered at an initial dose of 45 mg once daily. The median follow-up was 15 months. Results Among 267 patients with chronic-phase CML, 56% had a major cytogenetic response (51% of patients with resistance to or unacceptable side effects from dasatinib or nilotinib and 70% of patients with the T315I mutation), 46% had a complete cytogenetic response (40% and 66% in the two subgroups, respectively), and 34% had a major molecular response (27% and 56% in the two subgroups, respectively). Responses were observed regardless of the baseline BCR-ABL kinase domain mutation status and were durable; the estimated rate of a sustained major cytogenetic response of at least 12 months was 91%. No single BCR-ABL mutation conferring resistance to ponatinib was detected. Among 83 patients with accelerated-phase CML, 55% had a major hematologic response and 39% had a major cytogenetic response. Among 62 patients with blast-phase CML, 31% had a major hematologic response and 23% had a major cytogenetic response. Among 32 patients with Ph-positive ALL, 41% had a major hematologic response and 47% had a major cytogenetic response. Common adverse events were thrombocytopenia (in 37% of patients), rash (in 34%), dry skin (in 32%), and abdominal pain (in 22%). Serious arterial thrombotic events were observed in 9% of patients; these events were considered to be treatment-related in 3%. A total of 12% of patients discontinued treatment because of an adverse event. Conclusions Ponatinib had significant antileukemic activity across categories of disease stage and mutation status. (Funded by Ariad Pharmaceuticals and others; PACE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01207440 .).
New England Journal of Medicine 11/2013; · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interferon α (IFNα) prolongs survival of CML patients achieving CCyR and potentially synergizes with TKIs. We report on the molecular status and long term outcome of 121 patients who were treated in Italy between 1986 and 2000 with IFNα based therapy and who obtained CCyR. After a median follow up of 16.5 years, 74 (61%) patients were switched to standard imatinib: 48 (65%) lost the CCyR on IFNα, and 36 (75%) are alive and in CCyR; 26 (35%) were switched to imatinib when they were still in CCyR on IFNα, and all 26 are alive and in CCyR. Forty-seven patients (39%) were never switched to imatinib: 24 (51%) continued and 23 (49%) discontinued IFNα, respectively, and 39/47 (83%) are alive and in CCyR. At last follow-up, the BCR-ABL transcripts level was available in 96/101 living patients (95%) The BCR-ABL:ABL ratio was between 0.1 and 0.01% (MR(3.0) ) in 17%, and less than 0.01% (MR(4.0) ) in 81% of patients. No patient was completely molecular negative (MR(4.5) or MR(5.0) ). The OS at 10 and 20 years is 92% and 84%, respectively. This study confirms that CCyR achieved with IFNα and maintained with or without imatinib or any other therapy significantly correlates with long term survival in CML patients who mostly have MR(4.0) . Complete molecular response (MR(4.5) or MR(5.0) ) seems to be unecessary for such a long survival. This study further supports development of studies testing the clinical effect of the combinations of TKIs with IFNα.
American Journal of Hematology 10/2013; · 3.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have contributed to marked improvements in survival in patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). This article discusses the place of the second-generation TKIs dasatinib and nilotinib in the first-line treatment of CML and is based on published literature. The new agents are more potent and effective than imatinib. Data from pivotal clinical trials indicate that response to dasatinib and nilotinib is greater and more rapid than that to imatinib, resulting in a higher probability of patients achieving an optimal response to treatment. Differences between the newer agents with respect to patient groups for whom caution is advised, drug interaction potential, haematological toxicity, pulmonary toxicity, changes in the immune system and effects on laboratory parameters are discussed. With similar levels of efficacy, the choice of second-generation agents should be guided by the characteristics of the individual patient and the most suitable dosing regimen.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: A large number of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients are treated with imatinib mesylate outside of clinical trials, which may not be representative of common clinical practice. The age of CML patients enrolled within controlled clinical studies is lower with respect to patients included in population-based registries. PATIENTS AND METHODS: To describe the safety and tolerability of imatinib in very elderly CML patients in chronic phase, 211 chronic-phase CML patients aged >75 years were retrospectively analyzed using data collected from 31 institutions in Italy. RESULTS: The median age at imatinib start was 78.6 years [interquartile range (IR) 76.3-81.4], median time from diagnosis to imatinib start was 1.2 months (IR 0.5-3.7). The starting dose of imatinib was 400 mg/day in 144 patients (68.2 %), >400 mg/day in 4 patients (2.0 %), and <400 mg/day in 63 patients (29.8 %); overall, 94 patients (44.5 %) needed a dose reduction and 27 (12.7 %) discontinued imatinib for toxicity. Grade 3-4 hematologic and extrahematologic toxicities were observed in 40 (18.9 %) and 45 (21.3 %) patients, respectively. After a median observation of 29.8 months (IR 13.0-55.6), 203/211 patients had at least 6 months of observation on imatinib or discontinued before and were evaluable for response and outcome; of them, 183 patients (90.2 %) achieved a complete hematologic response (CHR). Among these 183 patients in CHR, 14 refused any other karyotypic or molecular evaluation, 24 achieved CHR only, and 145 (71.4 %) achieved a cytogenetic response (CyR) of any grade, which was complete (CCyR) in 129 (63.5 %). Among the 129 patients with CCyR, 95 (46.7 %) achieved a major molecular response (MMolR). By multivariate regression analysis, late chronic phase (p = 0.001) and grade 3-4 extrahematologic toxicity (p = 0.007) maintained a negative independent prognostic impact for CCyR, while late chronic phase (p = 0.026), grade 3-4 extrahematologic toxicity (p = 0.007), and lower initial dose of imatinib (p = 0.044) maintained a negative independent prognostic impact for MMolR. The 2-year and 4-year overall survival were 92.6 % (95 % CI 88.7-96.5) and 78.0 % (95 % CI 71.2-84.8), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Results from this large cohort of patients show that no upper age limit should be applied for the administration of imatinib to patients with chronic-phase CML; the very elderly, including those with concomitant severe diseases, should be offered this treatment. The role of a reduced starting dose of imatinib warrants further studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a study of an alternative treatment schedule of imatinib (IM) in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Seventy-six Philadelphia-positive (Ph+) - BCR-ABL - positive patients aged 65 years or older, who had been treated with IM for more than two years and who were in stable complete cytogenetic response (CCgR) and in major molecular response (MMR), were enrolled in a single-arm study to test the effects of a policy of intermittent imatinib (INTERIM) therapy, one month on and one month off. With a minimum follow-up of four years, 13 patients (17%) lost CCgR and MMR, and 14 (18 %) lost MMR only. All these patients resumed continuous imatinib, and all - but one (lost to follow-up) regained CCgR and MMR. No patients progressed to accelerated or blastic phase, or developed clonal chromosomal abnormalities in Ph+ cells, or BCR-ABL mutations. In elderly Ph+ CML patients carefully selected for a stable CCgR (lasting > 2 years), the policy of intermittent imatinib treatment affected the markers of residual disease, but not the clinical outcomes (overall and progression-free survival). ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT 00858806.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The case of a patient with primary pulmonary Hodgkin Lymphoma simulating a mediastinal tumour is reported for its rarity and the diagnostic concerns encountered by us.
Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases 01/2013; 5(1):e2013013.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the impact of BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations on dasatinib response in elderly chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients, we analyzed the outcome of 76 individuals aged >60 affected by imatinib-resistant chronic-phase CML. We found that 36 cases (47 %) displayed mutations before dasatinib. Compared to non-mutated patients, subjects with point mutations had a worse response to dasatinib, with significantly lower rates of complete cytogenetic response (57 vs 32 %), higher percentage of primary resistance (16/36 vs 6/40) and a trend towards a shorter median event-free survival. Our data suggest that, in elderly patients, detection of BCR-ABL mutations negatively affects response to dasatinib.
Annals of Hematology 10/2012; · 2.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There have been few reports of a response to dasatinib or nilotinib after failure of two prior sequential tyrosine kinase inhibitors. We report the outcome of 82 chronic phase patients who received nilotinib or dasatinib as third alternative tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. Thirty-four patients failed to respond to nilotinib and were started on dasatinib as third tyrosine kinase Inhibitor line therapy while 48 patients were switched to nilotinib after dasatinib failure. Overall, we obtained a cytogenetic response in 32/82 patients and major molecular response in 13 patients; disease progression occurred in 12 patients. At last follow-up, 70 patients (85.4%) were alive with a median overall survival of 46 months. Our results show that third line tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy in chronic myeloid leukemia patients after failure of two prior sequential tyrosine kinase inhibitors may induce a response that, in some instances, could prolong overall survival and affect event-free survival.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Additional chromosomal abnormalities (ACAs) in Philadelphia-positive cells have been reported in ∼ 5% of patients with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase (CP). Few studies addressing the prognostic significance of baseline ACAs in patients treated with imatinib have been published previously. The European LeukemiaNet recommendations suggest that the presence of ACAs at diagnosis is a "warning" for patients in early CP, but there is not much information about their outcome after therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. To investigate the role of ACAs in early CP CML patients treated with imatinib mesylate, we performed an analysis in a large series of 559 patients enrolled in 3 prospective trials of the Gruppo Italiano Malattie Ematologiche dell'Adulto Working Party on CML: 378 patients were evaluable and ACAs occurred in 21 patients (5.6%). The overall cytogenetic and molecular response rates were significantly lower and the time to response was significantly longer in patients with ACAs. The long-term outcome of patients with ACAs was inferior, but the differences were not significant. The prognostic significance of each specific cytogenetic abnormality was not assessable. Therefore, we confirm that ACAs constitute an adverse prognostic factor in CML patients treated with imatinib as frontline therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Telomere shortening, a well-known marker of aging and cellular stress, occurs under several conditions in the hematopoietic compartment, including aplastic anemia and following iatrogenic noxae. We decided to verify whether pathological telomere erosion also arises in restored Philadelphia-negative (Ph-negative) hematopoiesis following successful treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Eighty-one CML patients in complete cytogenetic remission were compared to 76 age-matched healthy subjects. Myeloid cells of CML patients had shorter telomeres than controls (6521 bp vs 7233 bp, p<0.001). This difference was specific for the myeloid compartment, since it was not observed in lymphoid cells (6774 bp vs 6909 bp, p=0.620). Acquired Ph-negative cytogenetic abnormalities (p=0.010), lack of complete molecular remission (p=0.016) and age (p=0.013) were independent predictors of telomere shortening. Telomere dynamics were assessed over a median follow-up period of 22 months. We documented accelerated non-physiological ongoing telomere shortening in 17/59 CML patients (28%). Patients experiencing grade 2-4 hematological toxicity, during CML remission possessed significantly shorter telomeres compared to those lacking toxicity (p=0.005 for any toxicity, p=0.007 for anemia). CML patients suffer from significant and often ongoing telomere stress resulting in premature and selective aging of the myeloid compartment which might have long-term consequences on function and integrity of Ph-negative hematopoiesis.
Mechanisms of ageing and development 06/2012; 133(7):479-88. · 4.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BCR-ABL kinase domain (KD) mutation analysis may be an useful tool for physicians and is being performed in a growing number of laboratories. Recommendations aimed to rationalize the use of mutation testing in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) have recently (Blood 2011) been compiled by a panel of experts appointed by European LeukemiaNet (ELN) – including specific recommendations as to when mutation analysis should be performed. They came from the expert opinion of the panel members whenever published data were insufficient or contradictory. In order to provide further data to validate or refine these recommendations, we have analyzed the GIMEMA CML WP database recording the results of mutation analyses performed in CML pts (n=1301) receiving imatinib and/or 2nd generation TKIs between January 2004 and July 2011.
At dagnosis, mutation analysis was recognized to be useful in the few pts who present in accelerated phase or blast crisis (BC), while it was not recommended in chronic phase (CP) pts. Interrogating our database, we could retrieve 58 mutation analyses in newly diagnosed pts in CP and 12 in newly diagnosed pts in BC. Imatinib-resistant mutations were detected in 0 and 2 pts, respectively.
In pts receiving 1st-line imatinib, mutation analysis was recommended both in case of failure and in case of suboptimal response. We have analyzed 399 chronic phase (CP) CML pts receiving first-line imatinib because they were found to meet one of the criteria for failure or suboptimal response. Overall, 45/166 (27.1%) failures were found to be positive for one or more BCR-ABL KD mutations. In particular, mutations were detected in 3/16 (18.8%) pts with less than CHR at 3 months, 1/9 (11.1%) pts with no CyR at 6 months, 4/24 (16.7%) pts with less than PCyR at 12 months, 6/36 (16.7%) pts with less than CCyR at 18 months, 15/49 (30.6%) pts who lost CCyR and 16/32 (50%) pts who lost CHR. More interestingly, only 11/233 (4.7%) suboptimal responders we analyzed were positive for mutations. Among ‘cytogenetic' suboptimal responders, mutations were detected in 1/15 (6.7%) pts with no CyR at 3 months, 1/20 (5.0%) pts with less than PCyR at 6 months, 5/51 (8.2%) pts with less than CCyR at 12 months. Among ‘molecular' suboptimal
responders, mutations were detected in 0/52 pts with less than MMR (but having achieved CCyR) at 18 months and in 4/95 (4.2%) pts who lost MMR (but not CCyR).
Which rise in Bcr-Abl transcript level should trigger a mutation analysis was the most difficult issue to provide recommendations upon, given the lack of convincing and reproducible data in the literature. It was finally agreed to recommend mutation analysis only in case of MMR loss. In 159 of the CP pts we
have analyzed, mutation analysis was specifically requested because of a transcript increase at a single RQ-PCR assessment: 29 pts had less than 1-log increase and 41 pts had a 1-log increase or more – but with no loss of MMR. None of these pts was found to have mutations. Another 36 pts had less than
1-log increase and 53 had a 1-log increase or more, leading to loss of MMR. Mutations were detected in 1 (2.8%) and 3 (5.7%) pts, respectively.
In pts receiving dasatinib or nilotinib as 2nd-line agents, mutation analysis was recommended at baseline and then in case of failure according to the provisional definitions proposed by Baccarani et al (J Clin Oncol 2009). Nineteen among the pts we analyzed met these criteria; overall, mutations were detected in 11 (57.8%), including 5/7 pts with no CyR at 3 months, 6/9 pts with minimal CyR at 6 months, 1/4 pts with less than PCyR at 12 months. In addition, newly acquired mutations were detected in 93/131 (71%) pts who lost a previously achieved HR or CyR. We also tested 19 pts who met the provisional definitions for suboptimal response to dasatinib or nilotinib 2nd-line. Mutations were detected in 4/19 pts (21%), including 2/5 pts with minor CyR at 3 months, 1/7 pts with PCyR at 6 months, 1/7 pts with less than MMR at 12 months.
Our data indicate that: a) pts harbouring mutations can more frequently be found among cytogenetic suboptimal responders than among molecular suboptimal responders; b) any Bcr-Abl transcript increase that is not associated with MMR loss shouldn't indeed trigger a mutation analysis; c) although definitions of response to dasatinib or nilotinib 2nd-line are still provisional and might soon be refined, not only failures but also suboptimal responses are frequently associated with mutations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To highlight dasatinib role in the elderly, 125 unselected patients with CP-CML aged >60 years resistant/intolerant to imatinib were retrospectively evaluated. Grade 3-4 haematological and extra-haematological toxicities were reported in 39 (31.2%) and 34 (27.2%) patients; grade 3-4 haematological toxicity was higher in patients with 140 mg starting dose (50.0% vs 19.6%, p=0.001). Grade 3-4 pleuro-pericardial effusions occurred in 10 patients (8.0%). Dose reductions were more common in patients with 140 mg (88.4% vs 26.7%, p<0.001). Of 122 evaluable patients, 72 (59.1%) had cytogenetic response [12 (9.8%) partial, 60 (49.3%) complete]. Overall, 38/60 patients in complete CyR also achieved a molecular response. Cumulative OS at 24 and 48 months were 93.1% (95% CI 88.4-97.8) and 84.2% (95% CI 74.6-93.7). Dasatinib, at the recommended dose of 100mg/day, is effective and safe also in unselected elderly subjects.
Leukemia research 06/2011; 35(9):1164-9. · 2.36 Impact Factor