Alberto Iannalfi

University of Florence, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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Publications (8)20.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Aims and background. Waiting time for radiotherapy is a major problem in clinical practice. We developed a model to create a priority list of patients waiting for radiotherapy according to clinical criteria, where booking of patients is not on a "first-come, first-served" basis and where prioritization has not been left up to individual discretion. Methods. The system is based on an algorithm that assigns to each patient a personal code (priority code, PC) that can be used as a continuous variable to have a priority list. PCpatient = D0patient + PWTsubgroup of treatment. Palliative treatments were categorized according to the clinical urgency. Radical treatments were stratified by primary tumors, by the setting of treatment (preoperative, curative, postoperative) and by the main prognostic factors. Each subgroup of patients has a "priority waiting time" (PWT subgroup of treatment). Calculation of the PC starts from a differentiated date according to clinical scenario [Reference date (D0)], which is taken from the clinical history of the patient. Results. Patients are differentiated according to clinical criteria and according to time elapsed from diagnosis. The priority list can be automatically updated day by day. Delays in patient referral or imaging availability are minimized. Conclusions. The model represents a tool for an objective and automatic prioritization of the patients who are waiting for radiotherapy.
    Tumori. 11/2012; 98(6):728-35.
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    ABSTRACT: This review aims to summarize what is currently known about neurocognitive outcome and quality of life in patients with brain tumors treated with radiotherapy. Whether potential tumor-controlling benefits of radiotherapy outweigh its potential toxicity in the natural history of brain tumors is a matter of debate. This review focuses on some of the adult main brain tumors, for which the issue of neurocognitive decline has been thoroughly studied: low-grade gliomas, brain metastases, and primary central nervous system lymphomas. The aims of this review are: (1) the analysis of existing data regarding the relationship between radiotherapy and neurocognitive outcome; (2) the identification of strategies to minimize radiotherapy-related neurotoxicity by reducing the dose or the volume; (3) the evidence-based data concerning radiotherapy withdrawal; and (4) the definition of patients subgroups that could benefit from immediate radiotherapy. For high grade gliomas, the main findings from literature are summarized and some strategies to reduce the neurotoxicity of the treatment are presented. Although further prospective studies with adequate neuropsychological follow-up are needed, this article suggests that cognitive deficits in patients with brain tumor have a multifactorial genesis: radiotherapy may contribute to the neurocognitive deterioration, but the causes of this decline include the tumor itself, disease progression, other treatment modalities and comorbidities. Treatment variables, such as total and fractional dose, target volume, and irradiation technique can dramatically affect the safety of radiotherapy: optimizing radiation parameters could be an excellent approach to improve outcome and to reduce neurotoxicity. At the same time, delayed radiotherapy could be a valid option for highly selected patients.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 02/2012; 108(2):291-308. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether a boost to the tumor bed after breast-conserving surgery (BCS) and radiotherapy (RT) to the whole breast affects local control and disease-free survival. A total of 1,138 patients with pT1 to pT2 breast cancer underwent adjuvant RT at the University of Florence. We analyzed only patients with a minimum follow-up of 1 year (range, 1-20 years), with negative surgical margins. The median age of the patient population was 52.0 years (+/-7.9 years). The breast cancer relapse incidence probability was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method, and differences between patient subgroups were compared by the log rank test. Cox regression models were used to evaluate the risk of breast cancer relapse. On univariate survival analysis, boost to the tumor bed reduced breast cancer recurrence (p < 0.0001). Age and tamoxifen also significantly reduced breast cancer relapse (p = 0.01 and p = 0.014, respectively). On multivariate analysis, the boost and the medium age (45-60 years) were found to be inversely related to breast cancer relapse (hazard ratio [HR], 0.27; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.14-0.52, and HR 0.61; 95% CI, 0.37-0.99, respectively). The effect of the boost was more evident in younger patients (HR, 0.15 and 95% CI, 0.03-0.66 for patients <45 years of age; and HR, 0.31 and 95% CI, 0.13-0.71 for patients 45-60 years) on multivariate analyses stratified by age, although it was not a significant predictor in women older than 60 years. Our results suggest that boost to the tumor bed reduces breast cancer relapse and is more effective in younger patients.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 04/2009; 75(4):1029-34. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To review the treatment, toxicity, and outcomes in patients with Stage II seminoma after orchidectomy. A retrospective chart review of all patients with Stage II seminoma referred for initial treatment, from 1965 to 2005, was performed. Treatment approaches, toxicity, and outcomes were analyzed. A total of 106 patients (83 with Stage IIA, 19 with Stage IIB, and 4 with Stage IIC) were seen between 1965 and 2005. Median age at diagnosis was 36 years (range: 19-71). Median follow-up was 21 years (range: 1.2-42). Eighty-nine patients were treated with adjuvant radiotherapy alone; 13 patients received a combined treatment modality with chemotherapy and radiotherapy after orchidectomy, 4 patients were treated with chemotherapy alone. Generally the treatment was well tolerated, with the main toxicity occurring in patients treated with extended-field radiotherapy. The 5-year disease-specific survival was 96% for the entire group. The 5-year relapse-free survivals for Stages IIA, IIB, and IIC disease were 94%, 72.5%, and 75%, respectively. Fifteen patients developed a relapse and were managed by chemotherapy; 5 of them achieved complete remission and remain free from further recurrence at last follow-up, while 10 died of the disease. Second malignancies were diagnosed in 4 (3.7%) patients during the follow-up. In Stage IIA seminoma, radiotherapy continues to provide excellent results, as the majority of patients will be cured with this treatment alone. Radiotherapy or chemotherapy should be offered as an alternative to Stage IIB patients. Chemotherapy remains the treatment of choice for Stage IIC seminoma.
    Urologic Oncology 11/2008; 27(5):534-8. · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate efficacy and safety of fotemustine chemotherapy in temozolomide (TMZ) pretreated adults with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Primary endpoint was progression-free survival at 6 months. Twenty-seven patients (median age: 56 years; median Karnofsky performance status at progression: 80) with relapsed glioblastoma multiforme underwent fotemustine as second-line chemotherapy after failure of homogeneous postoperative treatment consisting of conformal radiotherapy (60 Gy in 30 fractions) with concomitant TMZ (75 mg/m2 per day), followed by six courses of TMZ (150-200 mg/m2 for 5 days every 28 days). Patients were assigned to Radiation Therapy Oncology Group recursive partitioning analysis classes for gliomas. After MRI-proven tumor relapse or progression, all patients underwent chemotherapy with fotemustine, given intravenously 100 mg/m2 every week for 3 consecutive weeks (induction phase) and then every 3 weeks (maintenance phase). Adequate liver, renal, and bone marrow functions were required. Toxicity grading was based on the National Cancer Institute's Common Toxicity Criteria (version 2.0). Response to treatment was assessed on MacDonald criteria. According to an intention-to-treat-analysis, data on all enrolled patients were included in statistical analysis. Eight partial responses (29.6%) and five cases of stable disease (18.5%) were observed. Median time to progression was 5.7 months. Progression-free survival at 6 months was 48.15%. Median survival from the beginning of fotemustine chemotherapy was 9.1 months. Median survival from diagnosis of glioblastoma was 21.2 months. Toxicity was manageable and mainly hematological (grade 3 thrombocytopenia: three cases; grade 4 leukopenia: one case). Fotemustine has shown therapeutic efficacy as single-drug second-line chemotherapy in treatment of TMZ pretreated patients.
    Anti-Cancer Drugs 07/2008; 19(6):613-20. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Controlled-rate freezing (CRF) followed by storage in liquid nitrogen is employed by most centers as the standard procedure for peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) cryopreservation. Uncontrolled-rate freezing (URF) at -80 degrees C is more simple, time-saving, less expensive, and, possibly, as effective as CRF. The aim of this retrospective analysis was to compare CRF and URF in childhood transplantation. A total of 54 PBPC transplants performed in 39 children aged 3 to 16 years (median, 9.5 years) were analyzed: 23 transplants in 16 children with CRF versus 31 transplants performed in 23 children with -80 degrees C URF. All grafts contained at least 2 x 10(6) per kg unselected CD34+ cells, enumerated before freezing. Nucleated cells infused ranged from 1.32 x 10(8) to 4.3 x 10(8) per mL with a median of 3.1 x 10(8) per mL. Cryoprotectant solution consisted of a final dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) concentration of 10 percent DMSO with autologous plasma. The two study groups did not differ in terms of timing of neutrophil and platelet recovery or transfusion requirements. Adverse events related to graft infusion, severe complications, and transplant-related mortality were not significantly different between CRF and URF groups. In both groups only mild adverse events were observed during graft administration. URF procedures, however, were simpler and less expensive. At a median follow-up of 72 months, no secondary myelodysplasia was observed in either group. Our analysis suggests that URF is safe and effective in the pediatric population.
    Transfusion 01/2008; 47(12):2202-6. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The study was conducted to compare moderate sedation (MS) with general anesthesia (GA) in the management of frequently performed lumbar puncture or bone marrow aspiration (BMA) during the treatment of childhood cancer. The MS (14 patients for 30 procedures) was managed by non-anesthesiologists (combined nitrous oxide-midazolam +/- non-pharmacological techniques). The GA was managed by anesthesiologists (17 patients for 30 procedures). A neutral observer recorded side effects, use of sedative antagonists, recovery time, oncologist's evaluation, procedure behaviors check list (PBCL); subjective perceptions during the procedure with a questionnaire administered to children (>6 years) and their parents; drugs costs and professional resources. P-values <0.05 were considered significant. We had two inadequate sedations in MS (6.6%) versus 0 in GA. We had no significant differences in side effects (7.10% MS vs. 8.6% in GA), use of antagonists (2.90% GA vs. 0 MS), PBCL, oncologist evaluation and questionnaire data or drugs costs. We observed significant differences in recovery times (MS, mean 43 +/- SD min vs. GA, mean 117 +/- SD min) and professional resources costs. The effects of non-pharmacological techniques on anxiety were perceived very positively by both children and parents (on 0-4 scale, mean scores 3.57 for the children; 3.53 for the parents). Our study suggests that MS compared favorably to GA with respect to both safety and efficacy. When performed by non-anesthesiologists, MS may be associated with better compliance and cost-effectiveness as it relies on the contribution of non-pharmacological techniques.
    Pediatric Blood & Cancer 01/2006; 45(7):933-8. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme infrequently metastasizes to the leptomeninges and even more rarely to the spinal cord. Moreover, very few patients with intracranial glioblastoma develop symptoms from spinal dissemination, with most patients not surviving long enough for spinal disease to become clinically evident. We present a rare case of symptomatic diffuse spinal leptomeningeal metastases simultaneously to an intramedullary lesion from an intracranial glioblastoma multiforme. After the diagnosis of spinal metastases the patient was treated with limited-field spinal radiotherapy (30 Gy in 3-Gy fractions). Radiotherapy on the main spinal lesions provided either relief from pain or mild improvement of neurological deficits. The patient died due to intracranial progression 4 months after diagnosis of spinal seeding and 17 months after diagnosis of the primary disease. We analyzed leptomeningeal and spinal metastases from glioblastoma multiforme with reference to the literature. Radiotherapy for spinal disease may provide important symptom relief but the prognosis of these patients remains dramatically poor. As the local control of primary glioblastoma multiforme has improved with recent therapeutic advances, distant metastasis from high-grade gliomas is likely to become a more common clinical problem and such patients need to be included in clinical trials to evaluate new therapeutic approaches.
    Tumori 94(6):877-81. · 0.92 Impact Factor