[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lenalidomide and dexamethasone (RD) is a standard of care for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM), but there is limited published data on its efficacy and safety in the "real world" (RW), according to the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research definition. We studied 212 RRMM patients who received RD in RW. Objective response (≥PR (partial response)) rate was 77.4 % (complete response (CR), 20.2 %). Median time to first and best response was 2 and 5 months, respectively. Median time to CR when RD was given as 2nd or >2(nd)-line treatment at 4 and 11 months, respectively. Quality of response was independent of previous lines of therapies or previous exposure to thalidomide or bortezomib. Median duration of response was 34.4 months, and it was higher in patients who received RD until progression (not reached versus 19 months, p < 0.001). Improvement of humoral immunity occurred in 60 % of responders (p < 0.001) and in the majority of patients who achieved stable disease. Adverse events were reported in 68.9 % of patients (myelosuppression in 49.4 %) and 12.7 % of patients needed hospitalization. Peripheral neuropathy was observed only in 2.5 % of patients and deep vein thrombosis in 5.7 %. Dose reductions were needed in 31 % of patients and permanent discontinuation in 38.9 %. Median time to treatment discontinuation was 16.8 months. Performance status (PS) and initial lenalidomide dose predicted for treatment discontinuation. Extra-medullary relapses occurred in 3.8 % of patients. Our study confirms that RD is effective and safe in RRMM in the RW; it produces durable responses especially in patients who continue on treatment till progression and improves humoral immunity even in patients with stable disease.
Annals of Hematology 07/2013; · 2.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The circulating levels of several angiogenic cytokines [angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiogenin and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)] were evaluated in 174 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed, symptomatic, multiple myeloma (MM). Circulating levels of Ang-1/Ang-2 were reduced in myeloma patients compared to controls, whereas VEGF and angiogenin levels were increased. Reduced angiopoietin-1/angiopoietin-2 ratio correlated with advanced disease features including international staging system (ISS)-3 stage, renal impairment and extensive bone disease. Based on immunohistochemical results in 20 patients (10 with the higher and 10 with the lower values of circulating angiopoietin-2) we found that angiopoietin-2 is expressed by myeloma cells and correlates with increased microvessel density in subsets of patients. Furthermore, Ang-1/Ang-2 ratio correlated with survival. Patients with circulating Ang-1/Ang-2 below or equal to the median value (6.03) had a median survival of 26.3 months compared to 53 months of all others (p = 0.002). Interestingly, this was mainly observed in patients who received first-line therapy with novel agent-based regimens (65% of our patients). Furthermore, a subset of ISS-3 patients with serum Ang-1/Ang-2 above the median value had favourable prognosis (median survival: 45 months versus 17 months of all others; p = 0.0001). The multivariate analysis revealed that low Ang-1/Ang-2 ratio could independently predict for inferior survival in our cohort of patients (relative risk (RR) 2.07, 95% CI 1.50-2.42; p < 0.001). These results highlight the role of angiopoietins pathway in the biology of MM and reveal novel targets for the development of antimyeloma agents.
International Journal of Cancer 04/2011; 130(3):735-42. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is limited information regarding the effects of chemotherapy on bone metabolism of adult patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). To elucidate this issue we scheduled a prospective study in which patients with newly-diagnosed NHL had a thorough evaluation of bone remodeling, pre- and post-frontline chemotherapy. To-date, 53 patients (33M/20F, median age 59 years) had completed their first-line treatment: 47 received R-CHOP, 4 R-COP and 2 received CHOP as first-line therapy. Bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine (L1-L4), and femoral neck (FN) was measured by DXA on day 1 of cycle 1 (baseline) and on day 30 of the last chemotherapy cycle. We studied the following serum indices of bone metabolism on the days of DXA: i) osteoclast stimulators [sRANKL and osteoprotegerin (OPG)], ii) osteoblast regulators [PTH, vitamin-D, and dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1)], iii) bone resorption markers [CTX and TRACP-5b], and iv) bone formation markers [bALP and osteocalcin (OC)]. The above markers were also evaluated in 30 healthy controls. Patients were assessed for skeletal-related events (SREs) throughout the period of the study. At baseline, patients had a median T-score of L1-L4 BMD of-0.63 (range -4.27 to +3.68) and of FN BMD of-0.875 (-4.01 to 4-2.07). At baseline patients had reduced levels of OC (p=0.01) compared to controls and no other alterations in bone indices. The administration of chemotherapy resulted in a dramatic reduction of BMD in L1-L4 (median T-score: -1.12; range -4.49 to +3.04; p<0.001) and in FN BMD (-1.115; -3.68 to +1.12; p<0.001) compared to baseline values. These reductions were more profound in males (p=0.003 and p=0.001 respectively) and in patients of >55 years (p=0.001 and p<0.001 respectively). The administration of chemotherapy also resulted in a dramatic increase of CTX (p=0.017), TRACP-5b (p<0.001), bALP (p<0.001), OC (p<0.001) and Dkk-1 (p=0.022) compared to baseline values. All studied markers of bone remodeling, with the exception of OPG and sRANKL, were significantly increased in patients post-chemotherapy compared to controls. During study period, one male patient had a pathological fracture in his right FN. We conclude that frontline treatment with the combination of chemotherapy and/or rituximab leads to increased bone loss and reduced BMD. The prophylactic use of anti-resorptive agents, such as bisphosphonates, or the administration of agents with anti-Dkk-1 activity may be useful for preventing bone loss in these patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of heterogeneous clonal stem cell (SC) disorders that mainly affect the elderly population. They are characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis which results in quantitative and qualitative cellular defects and high incidence of leukemic transformation. Recent advances in MDS research have led to the development of novel agents which appears to improve remission rates and survival when compared to best supportive care. Currently azacitidine, decitabine, and lenalidomide are approved by the US FDA for the treatment of MDS, while the activity of other novel agents such as histone deacetylase inhibitors, farnesyl-transferase inhibitors, novel thrombopoietic agents, and anti-angiogenesis molecules is under evaluation. Erythropoietin-stimulating agents, iron chelating therapy and thrombopoietin receptor ligands may also improve quality of life and possibly prolong survival in MDS patients. The only treatment modality that can achieve long-term survival is the allogeneic SC transplantation which is given only in selected patients. Moreover the heterogeneity of MDS and the patient's advanced age and co-morbidity are significant factors besides cytogenetics, IPSS and WPSS that should be taken into account during the decision-making process. Therefore clinicians should treat patients with MDS on an individual basis aiming the increase of the response rates and the decrease of treatment-associated toxicities. This can only be achieved through the better understanding of the MDS subgroups. If we can better define MDS subgroups we will be able to identify patients who will benefit from the incorporation of the novel agents, as monotherapy or in combinations regimens along with supportive care.
Leukemia research 09/2009; 34(1):6-17. · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) was evaluated in the pre-treatment serum of 55 newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic myeloma. TIMP-1 was elevated in 47% of patients and correlated with lytic bone disease and increased bone resorption. Importantly, TIMP-1 correlated with ISS stage (p=0.005) and was an independent prognostic covariate for survival [HR: 1.003 (1-1.006), p=0.004] in these patients who were all treated with novel agents (bortezomib and/or IMiDs) during their disease course. Our study provides evidence that pre-treatment serum TIMP-1 is associated with advanced myeloma and suggests the further evaluation of this molecule to better determine its prognostic potential in MM.
Leukemia research 09/2009; 34(3):399-402. · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a cohort of 22 patients with type 2 dendritic cell (DC2) acute leukemia (or blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm-BPDCN, as it has been recently named), diagnosed in Greece over the past 12-year period, according to the main clinical and immunophenotypic features of this entity. Four additional cases are discussed, classified as leukemia of ambiguous lineage (LAL), because of the simultaneous detection of a CD56 negative DC2 population and of a second myeloid precursor cell population. The morphological features and cytogenetic findings of the typical BPDCN cases were similar to those previously described. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia-type chemotherapeutic regimens were more efficient in controlling the disease. Immunophenotyping of typical BPDCN cases revealed CD4(+), CD56(+), HLA-DR(+) and CD123(bright) neoplastic cells, in the absence of major B-, T- and myeloid-associated markers, while the phenotype of the four cases characterized as LAL highlights the risk of misdiagnosis. Based on our experience, we propose a flow cytometric algorithmic approach for the distinction of typical BPDCN from certain types of acute myeloid leukemia, but also for the identification of acute myeloid leukemia, admixed with CD56 negative DC2 cells, which could be misdiagnosed as BPDCN.
Leukemia research 09/2009; 34(4):438-46. · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Renal impairment is a common complication of multiple myeloma. Cystatin-C is considered an accurate marker of glomerular filtration rate in several renal disorders. Microarray analysis has revealed that cystatin-C is one of the most highly up-regulated genes in multiple myeloma. The aim of this study was to evaluate the serum levels of cystatin-C in myeloma patients, explore possible correlations with clinical data, including survival, and assess the effect of bortezomib on cystatin-C in relapsed multiple myeloma.
We measured serum cystatin-C in 157 newly diagnosed, previously untreated myeloma patients, in 28 patients with relapsed disease pre- and post-bortezomib therapy and in 52 healthy controls, using a latex particle-enhanced nephelometric immunoassay.
In newly diagnosed patients, cystatin-C was elevated and showed strong correlations with advanced ISS stage, extensive bone disease, high beta(2)-microglobulin, high serum creatinine, and low creatinine clearance. Multivariate analysis revealed that only cystatin-C and lactate dehydrogenase had an independent prognostic impact on patients' survival. The combination of cystatin-C and lactate dehydrogenase revealed three prognostic groups of patients: a high-risk group (both elevated cystatin-C and lactate dehydrogenase) with a median survival of 24 months, an intermediate-risk group (elevated cystatin-C or elevated lactate dehydrogenase) with a median survival of 48 months and a low-risk group (both low cystatin-C and lactate dehydrogenase) in which median survival has not yet been reached (p<0.001). Cystatin-C could also identify a subset of ISS-II patients with worse outcome. Relapsed patients had higher cystatin-C levels even compared to newly diagnosed patients. Treatment with bortezomib produced a significant reduction of cystatin-C, mainly in responders.
Serum cystatin-C is not only a sensitive marker of renal impairment but also reflects tumor burden and is of prognostic value in myeloma. Its reduction after treatment with bortezomib reflects bortezomib's anti-myeloma activity and possibly bortezomib's direct effect on renal function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the last decade several novel agents have been used in the management of patients with multiple myeloma. Immunomodulatory drugs and proteasome inhibitors exert their efficacy both directly by inducing apoptosis of myeloma cells and indirectly through the interruption of the interactions between myeloma and stromal cells in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment. These interactions are crucial for myeloma cell growth and survival. The adherence of myeloma cells to BM stromal cells leads to the overproduction of several cytokines with angiogenic properties that enhance the survival and growth of myeloma cells through paracrine and autocrine loops. The correlation of these molecules with clinical features and survival of myeloma patients supports the importance of angiogenesis in the pathogenesis of the disease and reveals these cytokines as suitable targets for the development of novel anti-myeloma therapies. This review summarises all available preclinical and clinical data for the effect of novel agents that are used in myeloma therapy, such as thalidomide, lenalidomide, bortezomib and VEGF inhibitors, on angiogenesis, which is at least partially responsible for their remarkable anti-myeloma efficacy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neoangiogenesis is involved in the pathophysiology of multiple myeloma and angiopoietins possibly contribute to myeloma-induced neovascularization. Bortezomib's antineoplastic potential includes an anti-angiogenic effect. We determined serum levels of angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2 with ELISA pre- and post-bortezomib administration in 35 patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Pre-bortezomib, serum angiopoietin-1 levels did not differ in patients and in healthy individuals, while serum angiopoietin-2 levels were elevated. Corresponding serum angiopoietin-1/angiopoietin-2 ratio was reduced in patients compared with controls. After treatment, serum angiopoietin-1 levels increased, while serum angiopoietin-2 levels decreased, therefore the angiopoietin-1/angiopoietin-2 ratio increased and normalized. This increase was significant in patients who responded to treatment. In conclusion, angiopoietin-1/angiopoietin-2 ratio normalization reflected response to bortezomib.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The significance of angiogenesis in Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) is not well defined. The aim of this study was to evaluate various morphometric characteristics of microvessels in lymph node sections of 286 patients with HL at diagnosis and investigate their relationship with clinicopathologic parameters and prognosis. Microvessel density (MVD), total vascular area (TVA) and several size- and shape-related microvascular parameters were quantitated--after anti-CD34 immunohistochemical staining--in the region of most intense vascularization, using image analysis. An increase in microvessel caliber parameters (area, perimeter, major and minor axis length) and a decrease in MVD were noted with increasing stage. An inverse relationship was recorded between MVD and the number of involved sites (NIS) and LDH. In univariate analysis, overall disease-specific survival was adversely affected by MVD and TVA, whereas inferior failure-free survival (FFS) was associated with the presence of more flattened vessel sections. Multivariate analysis disclosed that the extent of angiogenesis (MVD/TVA), age and the NIS independently affected overall survival. Accordingly, FFS was independently linked to the shape of microvessels and albumin levels or the NIS. In conclusion, our data support the view that angiogenesis in HL provides independent prognostic information, requiring the concomitant evaluation of quantitative and qualitative aspects of microvascular network.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To present our long-term experience regarding the use of chemotherapy plus low-dose involved-field radiotherapy (IFRT) for clinical Stage I-IIA Hodgkin's lymphoma.
We analyzed the data of 368 patients. Of these, 66 received mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (MOPP) and 302 received doxorubicin (or epirubicin), bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine [A(E)BVD]. Patients with complete remission or very good partial remission were scheduled for low-dose IFRT (< or =3200 cGy).
The 10-year failure-free survival (FFS) and overall survival (OS) rate was 85% and 86%, respectively. A(E)BVD-treated patients had superior 10-year FFS and OS rates compared with MOPP-treated patients (87% vs. 75%, p = 0.009; and 93% vs. 71%, p = 0.0004, respectively). Only 10 of 41 relapses had any infield (irradiated) component. Of the complete responders/very good partial responders treated with low-dose IFRT, those who received <2800 cGy had inferior FFS but similar OS as those who received 2800-3200 cGy. Adverse prognostic factors for FFS included age > or =45 years, leukocytosis > or =10 x 10(9)/L, and extranodal extension. Secondary acute leukemia developed after MOPP with or without salvage therapy (n = 6) or after ABVD plus salvage therapy (n = 2). None of the nine secondary solid tumors developed within the RT fields.
IFRT at a dose of 2800-3000 cGy is highly effective in clinical Stage I-IIA HL patients who achieved a complete response or very good partial response with A(E)BVD. The long-term toxicity with respect to secondary malignancies appears to be acceptable.
International Journal of Radiation OncologyBiologyPhysics 07/2004; 59(3):765-81. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ATLL is etiologically associated with HTLV-I retrovirus. A population of 10 to 20 million worldwide is estimated to be infected by the virus, but only 1-4% develop ATLL during a 70-year lifespan. The latency period is more than 30 years. The aim of this study was to report two cases of ATLL in Greek patients with the concomitant study of their family members. A 55-year-old woman and a 59-year-old man presented with leucocytosis and lymphocytosis. Both were asymptomatic and physical examination was unremarkable except for minimal lymphadenopathy in the second patient. In both patients blood smears showed small-to-medium-sized, multilobulated lymphocytes, with different degrees of nuclear irregularity. Immunophenotypic study was as follows: CD2 + (97%), CD3 + (95%), CD5 + (95%), CD3/CD4 + (93%), CD3/CD25 + (84%), CD7 -/CD4 + (89%) CD2 + /HLA-DR + (53%), TCRabeta + (96%) and CD7-(7%). Bone marrow biopsy revealed a normal cellularity with dyserythropoiesis and scattered small lymphocytes (CD4 + on immunostaining) Serum HTLV I and II antibodies were positive. T-cell receptor gamma-chain rearrangement was positive in blood lymphocytes by PCR. Cytogenetic analysis showed complex karyotypic abnormalities. DNA analysis by PCR demonstrated the integration of the HTLV-I DNA in the DNA of the neoplastic T cells. Both patients rapidly developed acute type ATLL. In the first patient multiple subcutaneous nodules on the palmar surface of both hands were also observed. She received deoxycoformycin, which was stopped because of autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Corticosteroid treatment was initiated, with gradual improvement. She suffered from recurrent opportunistic infections. She is currently under interferon and zidovudine therapy with stable blood parameters. Chemotherapy was administered to the other patient with > 50% initial response. Both patients' families were tested for serum anti HTLV-I antibodies and their mates were found to be positive; they also had detectable viral DNA by PCR analysis while asymptomatic, with no abnormal clinical findings and normal white blood cell count and morphology. In conclusion, the two aforementioned patients are the first fully documented ATLL patients described in Greece. Investigation for HTLV-I antibodies should be mandatory in all patients with T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.
Leukemia and Lymphoma 04/2004; 45(4):715-21. · 2.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type 2 dendritic cell (DC2) acute leukemia has been recently described. We report here an unusual case of a 17-yr-old adolescent with overlapping features of DC2 and myeloid/NK cell precursor acute leukemia as defined by Suzuki et al. The patient presented with lymphadenopathy and hepatosplenomegaly without extranodal manifestations in skin or elsewhere. The morphologic, cytochemical and immunophenotypic features were compatible with those described in DC2 acute leukemia, with co-expression of CD4, CD56 and CD123 antigens. The novel markers BDCA-4 and BDCA-2 considered specific for DC2s were co-expressed. However, bright CD7 positivity along with a dim expression of CD33 (57%) and CD117 (27%) were also noted. Additionally, there was bright expression of NG2 monoclonal antibody 7.1, a frequent finding in myeloid/NK cell precursor acute leukemia. The interpretation of the immunophenotypic profile leads to the hypothesis on the existence of borderline cases between DC2 and myeloid/NK cell precursor acute leukemia. Still, other hypotheses can not be overlooked, such as the possibility for a kind of variant monoblastic leukemia or of another rare entity of acute unclassified leukemia.
European Journal Of Haematology 11/2003; 71(4):294-8. · 2.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 59-year-old woman suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia developed pulmonary lesions; bronchoalveolar lavage was performed for possible systemic fungal infection. However, direct microscopic analysis revealed ciliated protozoa identified as Balantidium coli. B. coli is the only known pathogenic ciliate, and is usually associated with intestinal infection in areas associated with pig rearing. On very rare occasions the organisms may invade extra-intestinal organs, in this case the lungs of an immunocompromised patient. This case is unusual as balantidiasis is rare in Europe, the patient had no obvious contact with pigs, and there was no history of diarrhea prior to pulmonary colonization. Metronidazole was rapidly administered, and the condition improved after 24-48 hr.
American Journal of Hematology 08/2003; 73(3):180-3. · 4.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Various morphometric characteristics of microvessels, highlighted by means of anti-CD34 immunohistochemical staining, were evaluated in the bone marrow of 52 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase, in relation to several clinicopathologic parameters. Twenty control bone marrows and 15 cases of CML in blastic phase were also studied. Microvessel density (MVD), total vascular area (TVA) and several size- and shape-related parameters were quantitated in the region of most intense vascularization using image analysis. Overall, the group of chronic phase CML had higher MVD and size-related parameters and more branching microvessels than controls. Blastic phase was characterized by increased numbers of microvessels with a rounder shape and smaller caliber than chronic phase. A positive correlation emerged between marrow fibrosis and MVD as well as between white blood cell counts and rounder vessel sections. No relationship existed between microvascular parameters and Hasford or Sokal prognostic scores. In univariate analysis, overall and progression-free survival were adversely affected by MVD, size-related parameters, increased platelet count, age and spleen size. Multivariate analysis indicated that microvessel area was related to progression-free survival, whereas both MVD and area were significant prognosticators of overall survival, even when Hasford or Sokal scores are introduced into the model. Our data suggest that changes in angiogenic parameters may participate in the conversion of normal marrow to CML and ultimately to blastic transformation. More importantly, MVD and microvessel caliber are significant predictors of patient survival and progression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD55 and CD59 are complement regulatory proteins that are linked to the cell membrane via a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchor. They are reduced mainly in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and in other hematological disorders. However, there are very few reports in the literature concerning their expression in patients with acute leukemias (AL). We studied the CD55 and CD59 expression in 88 newly diagnosed patients with AL [65 with acute non-lymphoblastic leukemia (ANLL) and 23 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)] using the sephacryl gel test, the Ham and sucrose lysis tests and we compared the results with patients' clinical data and disease course. Eight patients with PNH were also studied as controls. Red cell populations deficient in both CD55 and CD59 were detected in 23% of ANLL patients (especially of M(0), M(2) and M(6) FAB subtypes), 13% of ALL and in all PNH patients. CD55-deficient erythrocytes were found in 6 ANLL patients while the expression of CD59 was decreased in only 3 patients with ANLL. No ALL patient had an isolated deficiency of these antigens. There was no correlation between the existence of CD55 and/or CD59 deficiency and the percentage of bone marrow infiltration, karyotype or response to treatment. However no patient with M(3), M(5), M(7) subtype of ANLL and mature B- or T-cell ALL showed a reduced expression of both antigens. The deficient populations showed no alteration after chemotherapy treatment or during disease course. This study provides evidence about the lower expression of CD55 and CD59 in some AL patients and the correlation with their clinical data. The possible mechanisms and the significance of this phenotype are discussed.