[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive fungal diseases (IFDs) have become major causes of morbidity and mortality among highly immunocompromised patients. Authoritative consensus criteria to diagnose IFD have been useful in establishing eligibility criteria for antifungal trials. There is an important need for generation of consensus definitions of outcomes of IFD that will form a standard for evaluating treatment success and failure in clinical trials. Therefore, an expert international panel consisting of the Mycoses Study Group and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer was convened to propose guidelines for assessing treatment responses in clinical trials of IFDs and for defining study outcomes. Major fungal diseases that are discussed include invasive disease due to Candida species, Aspergillus species and other molds, Cryptococcus neoformans, Histoplasma capsulatum, and Coccidioides immitis. We also discuss potential pitfalls in assessing outcome, such as conflicting clinical, radiological, and/or mycological data and gaps in knowledge.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive fungal diseases are important causes of morbidity and mortality. Clarity and uniformity in defining these infections are important factors in improving the quality of clinical studies. A standard set of definitions strengthens the consistency and reproducibility of such studies.
After the introduction of the original European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Invasive Fungal Infections Cooperative Group and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Mycoses Study Group (EORTC/MSG) Consensus Group definitions, advances in diagnostic technology and the recognition of areas in need of improvement led to a revision of this document. The revision process started with a meeting of participants in 2003, to decide on the process and to draft the proposal. This was followed by several rounds of consultation until a final draft was approved in 2005. This was made available for 6 months to allow public comment, and then the manuscript was prepared and approved.
The revised definitions retain the original classifications of "proven," "probable," and "possible" invasive fungal disease, but the definition of "probable" has been expanded, whereas the scope of the category "possible" has been diminished. The category of proven invasive fungal disease can apply to any patient, regardless of whether the patient is immunocompromised, whereas the probable and possible categories are proposed for immunocompromised patients only.
These revised definitions of invasive fungal disease are intended to advance clinical and epidemiological research and may serve as a useful model for defining other infections in high-risk patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Assessment of response to invasive aspergillosis (IA) therapy has been challenging in treatment trials.
The causes of death over 12 weeks were categorized prospectively by a blinded data review committee using a priori defined criteria in participants in a randomized comparative trial of voriconazole versus amphotericin B as first-line therapy of proven or probable IA.
Death occurred in 98 of 277 patients during the 12-week course of study. Seventy-three of the 98 deaths (74%) occurred in the first 6 weeks; 25 deaths occurred during the second 6 weeks. Of the 73 deaths during the first 6 weeks, 50 (68%) were judged to be attributable to IA. Of the 25 deaths during the second 6 weeks, only 6 (24%) were judged to be attributable to IA. Fifty of the 56 deaths (89%) attributable to IA occurred during the first 6 weeks.
These data suggest that most deaths due to IA occur during the first 6 weeks after the start of therapy and 6 weeks may be a better interval to judge the effectiveness of antifungal therapy because most deaths after 6 weeks are due to causes related to the underlying disease and its treatment rather than due to IA. Attributable mortality when assessed using a priori definitions and conducted in a blinded manner by a central data review committee can be useful in the assessment of IA therapy.
Cancer 06/2008; 112(10):2309-12. · 5.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polycythemia vera (PV) is a clonal stem cell disorder characterized by an excessive erythrocyte production. At diagnosis, a normal karyotype is found in < or =80% of cases, but an abnormal karyotype frequently develops with evolution. Trisomy 9 and gains on 9p are some of the most frequent cytogenetic abnormalities, together with trisomy 8 and del(20q) in both PV and idiopathic myelofibrosis. We report the case of a 54-year-old man whose disease was classified as an acute myeloid transformation of PV. Cytogenetic and multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis detected several chromosomal abnormalities that included an amplification of 9p. Complementary FISH analysis established amplification of the 9p22 approximately p24.3 region including several known genes: MLLT3 (alias AF9), JMJD2C (alias GASC1), JAK2, and SMARCA2 (alias BRM). JAK2(V617F) mutation status was quantitatively assessed by allele-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Although crossing points analysis showed JAK2(V617F) mutated alleles at 52%, it is still impossible to describe conclusively the mutational status of the amplified JAK2 gene within the sole homogeneously staining region, because total genomic DNA was extracted for the analysis and not only DNA from cells with the homogeneously staining region. Gains on 9p being among the most common anomalies in PV, amplification of a gene or genes on this region may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis or evolution of PV.
Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics 02/2008; 180(1):51-5. · 1.93 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drug-drug interactions are a recurring problem in immunocompromised patients treated with triazole antifungals. While the introduction of new antifungals has expanded opportunities for lowering drug toxicity, virtually all antifungal regimens carry the risk of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interaction. This review presents the published data on molecular determinants (enzymes, transporters, orphan nuclear receptors) of systemic triazole pharmacokinetics in humans, including itraconazole, fluconazole, voriconazole and posaconazole. Systemic triazoles are inhibitors of cytochrome P450 (CYP) isozymes, such as CYP3A4, CYP2C9 and CYP2C19, to varying degrees. In addition, some are substrates and/or inhibitors of drug transporters such as multidrug resistance-1 gene product, P-glycoprotein, or breast cancer resistance protein. The interactions of triazole antifungals can be divided into the following categories: modifications of antifungal pharmacokinetics by other drugs, modifications of other drug pharmacokinetics by antifungals, and two-way interactions. These features are the basis of most interactions that occur during triazole therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive aspergillosis (IA) has a poor prognosis in immunocompromised patients. Combinations of drugs that act on different targets are expected to improve the clinical efficacy of separate compounds.
Patients with proven or probable IA were randomized in a prospective, open pilot study to receive either a combination of liposomal amphotericin B (AmB) at the standard dose (3 mg/kg daily) and caspofungin at the standard dose or monotherapy with a high-dose AmB regimen (10 mg/kg daily).
Thirty patients (21 men and 9 women) with hematologic malignancies were analyzed, and there were 15 patients in each arm. The median duration of treatment was 18 days for the combination group and 17 days for the high-dose monotherapy group. At the end of treatment, there were significantly more favorable overall responses (partial or complete responses; P = .028) in the combination group (10 of 15 patients; 67%) compared with the high-dose monotherapy group (4 of 15 patients; 27%). Survival rates at 12 weeks after inclusion were 100% and 80%, respectively. Infusion-related reactions occurred in 3 patients in the high-dose monotherapy group. A 2-fold increase in serum creatinine occurred in 4 of 17 patients (23%) who received high-dose monotherapy and 1 of 15 patient (7%) who received combination therapy; hypokalemia <3 mmol/L occurred in 3 patients and 2 patients, respectively.
The combination of liposomal AmB and caspofungin was promising as therapy for IA compared with monotherapy. A trial that includes more patients will be required next to confirm the results of this pilot study.
Cancer 01/2008; 110(12):2740-6. · 5.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Voriconazole, a broad-spectrum triazole, has demonstrated significantly improved survival compared with conventional amphotericin B (CAB) as initial therapy for invasive aspergillosis (IA).
To compare health care resource use and cost at 12 weeks following first-line treatment with voriconazole compared with CAB for IA using resource use data collected during a clinical trial.
Days of hospitalization, intensive care, antifungal drug use, and outpatient care were collected during a large randomized, controlled trial of patients with IA receiving initial treatment with voriconazole or CAB. Unit costs based on published data sources were applied to healthcare use to estimate 12-week costs following initiation of therapy. Resource use and costs were compared for each treatment arm overall and by survival. The sensitivity of total costs to changes in healthcare use and unit costs was examined.
Total hospital days and intensive care unit (ICU) days were similar for voriconazole and CAB (total: 27.8 vs. 27.7, P=0.97 and ICU: 5.6 vs. 8.1, P=0.11). Among survivors, voriconazole was associated with similar numbers of total hospital days (29.8 vs. 32.0 days, P=0.54) to CAB, but fewer ICU days (3.9 vs. 8.2, P=0.03). For non-survivors, those treated with voriconazole had a similar number of total hospital days (23.0 vs. 21.8, P=0.73) and ICU days (9.8 vs. 7.9, P=0.44). Patients treated with voriconazole had significantly more days alive and out of the hospital than with CAB at 12 weeks (40.3 vs. 28.4 days, P<0.001). Total costs were similar with voriconazole compared with CAB ($78,860 vs. $83,857, P=0.51). Differences in cost were not sensitive to changes in the input parameter values.
Using voriconazole first-line for treatment of IA resulted in significantly fewer deaths and similar treatment costs. Hospital-free survival was significantly greater for patients initially treated with voriconazole.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a case of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma occurring in a patient with the hyperimmunoglobulinemia E syndrome, a rare immune disorder defined by elevated immunoglobulin E levels and recurrent bacterial and fungal infections often manifesting as cold abscesses. This case further supports the notion that patients with hyperimmunoglobulinemia E have an increased risk of lymphoid malignancies and should be closely monitored. Despite a theoretic risk of severe infectious complications, chemotherapy was well tolerated and resulted in a sustained complete remission.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment of invasive mold infection in immunocompromised patients remains challenging. Voriconazole has been shown to have efficacy and survival benefits over amphotericin B deoxycholate, but its utility is limited by drug interactions. Liposomal amphotericin B achieves maximum plasma levels at a dosage of 10 mg/kg per day, but clinical efficacy data for higher doses are lacking.
In a double-blind trial, patients with proven or probable invasive mold infection were randomized to receive liposomal amphotericin B at either 3 or 10 mg/kg per day for 14 days, followed by 3 mg/kg per day. The primary end point was favorable (i.e., complete or partial) response at the end of study drug treatment. Survival and safety outcomes were also evaluated.
Of 201 patients with confirmed invasive mold infection, 107 received the 3-mg/kg daily dose, and 94 received the 10-mg/kg daily dose. Invasive aspergillosis accounted for 97% of cases. Hematological malignancies were present in 93% of patients, and 73% of patients were neutropenic at baseline. A favorable response was achieved in 50% and 46% of patients in the 3- and 10-mg/kg groups, respectively (difference, 4%; 95% confidence interval, -10% to 18%; P>.05); the respective survival rates at 12 weeks were 72% and 59% (difference, 13%; 95% confidence interval, -0.2% to 26%; P>.05). Significantly higher rates of nephrotoxicity and hypokalemia were seen in the high-dose group.
In highly immunocompromised patients, the effectiveness of 3 mg/kg of liposomal amphotericin B per day as first-line therapy for invasive aspergillosis is demonstrated, with a response rate of 50% and a 12-week survival rate of 72%. The regimen of 10 mg/kg per day demonstrated no additional benefit and higher rates of nephrotoxicity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 13q14 deletion is the most frequent abnormality in chronic lymphocytic leukemias/small lymphocytic lymphomas, and this early rearrangement is observed from the start of the disease. The systematic use of a panel of interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) may not reveal some probes (targeting chromosomes 11q, 13q, 17p, and chromosome 12) structural abnormalities. In this series, we analyzed metaphases by conventional cytogenetics, followed by interphase and metaphase fluorescence in situ hybridization. We were able to observe 17 cases of 13q translocations with deletions in eight of them. Three distinct regions were involved by translocations in association with or without deletions: a region centromeric to RB1 (13q11 approximately 13), a zone telomeric to D13D25 (13q21 approximately 31), and a 13q14 region deliniated by RB1 and D13S25. In this area, the deletion was variable: RB1 alone (one case), D13S319 approximately D13S25 (five cases), and from RB1 to D13S25 (two cases). The very high frequency of 13q14 loss suggests that these deletions are of pathogenetic importance, but, the importance of the translocations remains to be determined.
Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics 05/2007; 174(2):151-60. · 1.93 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive fungal infection (IFI) is a leading cause of infection-related mortality among patients with cancer and prolonged neutropenia and among allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients with graft-versus-host disease. Invasive candidiasis was the principal IFI in the period predating fluconazole prophylaxis, whereas today, invasive aspergillosis and other mold infections cause the majority of deaths from fungal infection in this patient population. The changing epidemiology of IFI, in addition to advances made in antifungal therapeutics and early diagnosis of IFI, warrant a reevaluation of earlier strategies aimed at prevention and early treatment of IFI that were developed several years ago. Here, we propose that persistent neutropenic fever is nonspecific for an IFI and should not be used as the sole criterion for empirical modification in the antifungal regimen in a patient receiving mold-active prophylaxis. We explore the potential benefits and gaps in knowledge associated with employing chest CT scans and laboratory markers as diagnostic adjuncts for IFI. Finally, we discuss the implications of newer antifungal agents and diagnostic adjuncts in the design of future clinical trials to evaluate prophylaxis and early prevention strategies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Computed tomography (CT) of the chest may be used to identify the halo sign, a macronodule surrounded by a perimeter of ground-glass opacity, which is an early sign of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). This study analyzed chest CT findings at presentation from a large series of patients with IPA, to assess the prevalence of these imaging findings and to evaluate the clinical utility of the halo sign for early identification of this potentially life-threatening infection.
Baseline chest CT imaging findings from 235 patients with IPA who participated in a previously published study were systematically analyzed. To evaluate the clinical utility of the halo sign for the early identification and treatment of IPA, we compared response to treatment and survival after 12 weeks of treatment in 143 patients who presented with a halo sign and in 79 patients with other imaging findings.
At presentation, most patients (94%) had > or =1 macronodules, and many (61%) also had halo signs. Other imaging findings at presentation, including consolidations (30%), infarct-shaped nodules (27%), cavitary lesions (20%), and air-crescent signs (10%), were less common. Patients presenting with a halo sign had significantly better responses to treatment (52% vs. 29%; P<.001) and greater survival to 84 days (71% vs. 53%; P<.01) than did patients who presented with other imaging findings.
Most patients presented with a halo sign and/or a macronodule in this large imaging study of IPA. Initiation of antifungal treatment on the basis of the identification of a halo sign by chest CT is associated with a significantly better response to treatment and improved survival.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cytological, immunophenotypical and cytogenetical study of 136 chronic B-cell proliferations (93 CLL, 43 B-cell lymphomas) was led in order to precise diagnosis and to characterize and appreciate chromosomal rearrangements. In this series, mainly selected on blood lymphocytosis criteria, B-CLL were twice more frequent than small B-cell lymphomas. Probes used revealed cryptic abnormalities, which remained unknown by conventional cytogenetics (CC). The frequency of clonal abnormalities (CC and FISH) was 74.8% for this series, with 74.4% for lymphomas and 75.3% for CLL, mainly of Binet stage A (69 A, 13 B, 1 C, 10 unspecified). Proportion was 88.4% in A stages and 84.6% in B stages. In CLL, 13q14 cryptic deletions and translocations were widely majority, 14q32 translocations and trisomy 12 being predominant in lymphoma series. Interphase FISH study of non-clonal metaphasic abnormalities with locus-specific probes often revealed unrecognised clones.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive aspergillosis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. Current treatments provide limited benefit. Posaconazole is an extended-spectrum triazole with in vitro and in vivo activity against Aspergillus species.
We investigated the efficacy and safety of posaconazole oral suspension (800 mg/day in divided doses) as monotherapy in an open-label, multicenter study in patients with invasive aspergillosis and other mycoses who were refractory to or intolerant of conventional antifungal therapy. Data from external control cases were collected retrospectively to provide a comparative reference group.
Cases of aspergillosis deemed evaluable by a blinded data review committee included 107 posaconazole recipients and 86 control subjects (modified intent-to-treat population). The populations were similar and balanced with regard to prespecified demographic and disease variables. The overall success rate (i.e., the data review committee-assessed global response at the end of treatment) was 42% for posaconazole recipients and 26% for control subjects (odds ratio, 4.06; 95% confidence interval, 1.50-11.04; P=.006). The differences in response between the modified intent-to-treat treatment groups were preserved across additional, prespecified subsets, including infection site (pulmonary or disseminated), hematological malignancy, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, baseline neutropenia, and reason for enrollment (patient was refractory to or intolerant of previous antifungal therapy). An exposure-response relationship was suggested by pharmacokinetic analyses.
Although the study predates extensive use of echinocandins and voriconazole, these findings demonstrate that posaconazole is an alternative to salvage therapy for patients with invasive aspergillosis who are refractory to or intolerant of previous antifungal therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDACi's) are promising novel tools for cancer therapy. We have compared the growth inhibitory and apoptogenic potential of the pan-HDACi SAHA and the sub-class I selective HDAC inhibitor MS275, as well as valproic acid (VPA) on glucocorticoid sensitive and resistant B (B-ALL) and T (T-ALL) cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells and patients blasts. In contrast, to our previous results with U937 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells which showed a similar activity of MS275 and SAHA in growth inhibition and apoptosis induction, both B and T-ALL cells were much more efficiently killed by SAHA and VPA than by MS275. The same relative potency was observed with some patient ALL blasts treated ex vivo. SAHA displayed similar efficacy on glucocorticoid-sensitive and insensitive ALL cells but did not synergize with dexamethasone. In studying mediators of apoptosis we found that the TRAIL receptor DR5 is constitutively expressed in glucocorticoid-sensitive CEM-C7 cells which are also TRAIL sensitive. In contrast, glucocorticoid-insensitive CEM-C1 cells do not express DR5 and are insensitive to TRAIL. However, SAHA induces, in addition to p21(WAF1/CIP1) also re-expression of DR5. Importantly, SAHA-induced apoptosis of CEM-C7 cells operates through initiator caspase 10, while it induces apoptosis of CEM-C1 cells through the intrinsic, as well as through caspase-independent death pathways. Our data suggest that the generation of resistance to glucocorticoids has dramatically altered death signaling in these cells and that SAHA overcomes these restrictions by inducing alternative death pathways.
The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology 02/2007; 39(7-8):1500-9. · 4.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Caspofungin inhibits synthesis of beta-1,3-glucan, an essential component of the Aspergillus cell wall. This echinocandin has demonstrated efficacy (45% success) as salvage monotherapy of invasive aspergillosis (IA). Interest remains as to whether caspofungin, in combination with other antifungal classes, can improve the efficacy against IA.
The study involved 53 adults with documented IA who were refractory to or intolerant of standard antifungal therapy and received caspofungin and 1 other mold-active antifungal agent (at the investigator's discretion). Efficacy was assessed by signs, symptoms, and radiographs at the end of combination therapy and Day 84 after combination therapy initiation. Favorable (complete or partial) responses required significant clinical and radiographic improvement. Diagnoses and outcomes were assessed by an independent expert.
Among the 53 patients enrolled the most common underlying diseases were acute leukemia (53%), lymphoma (11%), and chronic leukemia (6%). Pulmonary aspergillosis (81%) was the most common site, and most patients (87%) were refractory to prior therapy. Success at the end of combination therapy and Day 84 was 55% (29/53) and 49% (25/51), respectively. Fifty-seven percent of patients with neutropenia and 54% who received an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant responded favorably. Survival at Day 84 was 55%. Combination therapy, dosed on average for 31.3 days, was well tolerated. Two (4%) serious drug-related adverse events, both attributed to voriconazole, occurred. None of the patients discontinued caspofungin due to toxicity.
Caspofungin in combination with a triazole or polyene was an effective alternative as salvage therapy for patients with recalcitrant Aspergillus infections.
Cancer 01/2007; 107(12):2888-97. · 5.20 Impact Factor