[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies provided evidence of a consistent antileukemic effect induced by cytomegalovirus (CMV) replication in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), however the use of antithymocyte globulin (ATG) as graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis, may potentially abrogate the protective effect of CMV infection. To address this issue, we retrospectively analyzed the risk of relapse in a cohort of 101 patients with AML who received grafts from an unrelated donor after a conditioning regimen including ATG. The cumulative incidence of CMV reactivation, evaluated by RT qPCR, was 59% at 12 months, and 93% of CMV reactivations occurred within the first 100 days post HSCT. The 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse in patients with CMV reactivation was 29% compared with 37% for patients without CMV reactivation, and the only factor associated with a reduced 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse was the disease status at HSCT (P < 0.001). In the multivariable model adverse cytogenetics (HR 2.42, 95% CI 1.02-5.72; P = 0.044) and acute GVHD (HR 3.36, 95% CI 1.32-8.54; P = 0.011) were independent risk factors for reducing overall survival (OS), while the presence of chronic GVHD was associated with a better OS (HR 0.37, 95% CI 0.15-0.89; P = 0.027). CMV replication was not an independent risk factor for OS (HR 1.06, 95% CI 0.07-15.75; P = 0.965). In Conclusion, the results of present study suggest that relapse prevention in patients with AML receiving T-cell depleted HSCT using ATG do not benefit from CMV reactivation.
American Journal of Hematology 03/2015; 90(6). DOI:10.1002/ajh.23998 · 3.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated a maintenance, post-remission treatment with low-dose chemotherapy plus differentiating agents on poor-prognosis acute myeloid leukemia (AML)/myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients ineligible to allografting. Patients had either age over 60 and/or secondary AML, therapy-related AML, previous relapse, high-risk MDS. Forty-five patients received the maintenance therapy based on two alternated schedules: (a) 6-thioguanine + 13-cis retinoic acid + dihydroxylated vitamin D3 and (b) low-dose cytarabine + 6-mercaptopurine + all-trans retinoic acid + dihydroxylated vitamin D3. We compared their outcome, at a median follow-up of 52 months, to that of a matched population of 49 patients who stopped treatments after consolidation. Maintenance group had a lower relapse incidence (70.3 vs. 86.4 % at 5 years p = 0.007) and a longer disease-free survival (median 21.2 vs. 8.7 months, p = 0.017). The relapse reduction improved overall survival: median 40.4 months (35.9 % at 5 years) for maintenance group vs. 15.8 (14.2 % at 5 years) for controls (p = 0.005). At multivariate Cox analysis, both cytogenetic and maintenance therapies resulted independent outcome predictors for overall survival. Maintenance treatment also reduced minimal residual disease (detected by WT1 and CBFβ-MYH11) in five of eight evaluable patients. The present results suggest that our strategy of maintenance therapy might improve the outcome of poor-risk AML/MDS patients.
Annals of Hematology 04/2014; 93(8). DOI:10.1007/s00277-014-2047-7 · 2.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infections are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The evidence for efficacy of antibiotic prophylaxis in reducing the mortality rates and the incidence of bacterial infections was also reported by a systematic review published by Cochrane in 2012. The objective of our study was to report the incidence and the etiology of bloodstream infections in patients with AML undergoing levofloxacin prophylaxis during neutropenic episodes.
This was a retrospective study of patients with diagnosis of AML during 2001--2007.
A total of 81 patients were included in the study. Two hundred and ninetyone neutropenic episodes were studied, of which 181 were febrile. Bacteria isolated from blood cultures were mostly Gram-positives during the induction (80%) and Gram-negatives during the consolidation (72.4%) phases of chemotherapy. Resistance to ciprofloxacin was found in 78.9% of isolated E. coli and it was higher during consolidation and higher than the hospital rate. The production of extended spectrum betalactamases (ESBL) in E. coli strains was reported in 12.1%, below the reported hospital rate during the study period.
Regular microbiology surveillance is needed to better understand the impact of levofloxacin prophylaxis in neutropenic patients. Our study shows that Gram-positive bacteria are predominant during the induction phase of chemotherapy and Gram-negatives during the consolidation. The rate of fluoroquinolone resistance in the latter setting, even higher than the hospital rate, may suggest to reconsider levofloxacin prophylaxis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Aim of present study was to investigate the outcome of 94 adult patients with myelodysplasia (MDS) who received an allogeneic stem cell transplantation between January 1995 and September 2010 in two Italian hematological centers. At the time of transplant, 53 patients (56%) had relapsed/refractory disease. The cumulative incidence of grades II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and chronic GVHD were 33% (21%-45%, 95% CI) and 78% (66%-90%, 95% CI) respectively. The cumulative incidence of transplant-related mortality (TRM) at 100 days was 13% (5%-21%, 95% CI). The 2-year progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 41% (31%-51%, 95% CI) and 49% (38%-59%, 95% CI) respectively. On multivariate analysis, advanced disease stage at transplantation was the major independent variable associated with an inferior 2-year PFS (HR 3.58, 1.93-6.64, 95% CI, p<0.001) and OS (HR 3.6, 1.90-6.83 95% CI). The use of an alternative donor was the independent variable associated with TRM (HR 3.50, 1.38-8.88, 95% CI, p 0.04). In conclusion, our data suggest that disease status at the time of transplant is the major predictor for improved PFS and OS, and treatments required to reach this goal may have value in leading to improved outcome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Core binding factor (CBF) acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) represents 5-8% of all AMLs and has a relatively favourable prognosis. However, activating c-KIT mutations are reported to be associated with higher risk of relapse and shorter survival. To verify the incidence and prognostic value of c-KIT mutations in CBF AML, we retrospectively analysed bone marrow samples of 23 consecutive adult patients with de novo CBF AML [14 inv(16) and 9 t(8;21)] treated at a single institution from 2000 to 2011. All patients received standard induction chemotherapy with cytarabine, idarubicin and etoposide; 13 underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation. c-KIT mutations in exons 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 and 17 were assessed by PCR amplification in combination with direct sequencing. c-KIT mutations (3 in exon 10 and 4 in exon 17) were detected in 7/23 (30.4%) patients, 3 with t(8;21) and 4 with inv(16). No difference in c-KIT mutation status was observed between cases with inv(16) or t(8;21) alone and cases with additional cytogenetic abnormalities. No association between gender, age, white blood cell and platelet count, peripheral blood and bone marrow blast cells at diagnosis, achievement of complete remission, cytogenetic risk groups and Wilms tumour gene 1 (WT1) levels was found. On the contrary, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) values were higher in mutated than in non-mutated patients (p=0.01). Overall survival (OS) rates were longer in CBF compared to the other types of AML and disease-free survival (DFS) was longer in inv(16) than in t(8;21) AML. OS and DFS were similar in mutated and non-mutated CBF AML patients. Our results confirm a better prognosis for CBF AML than all other AML categories, and for inv(16) than t(8;21) AML. However, no prognostic value for c-KIT mutational status was found in our series. The association between LDH levels and c-KIT mutation would indicate a more active proliferation for mutated CBF AML.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prognostic significance of CD20 expression in acute lymphoblastic leukemia has been investigated in children and adults but is still a subject of debate. The aim of our study was to correlate CD20 expression with clinical-biological characteristics and outcome in 172 Philadelphia chromosome negative patients prospectively treated in a multicenter trial introducing the molecular evaluation of minimal residual disease for therapeutic purposes. We considered 20% as the threshold for CD20 positivity. Complete remission rate, minimal residual disease negativity rate at weeks 10, 16 and 22, and disease-free and overall survival were similar among CD20-positive and -negative patients, even considering minimal residual disease results and related therapeutic choices. Our study failed to demonstrate any prognostic significance for CD20 expression in Philadelphia chromosome negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This conclusion is supported for the first time by a comparable minimal residual disease response rate among CD20-positive and -negative and positive patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) are considered a major problem among patients undergoing acute leukaemia (AL) induction treatment. PROphylaxis of Fungal invasive Infections in Leukaemia-Caspofungin (PROFIL-C) is a multicentre study aiming to assess the comparative yield of using caspofungin versus standard policy (SP) regimens and the overall impact of IFI in routine clinical care conditions.
All AL patients receiving IFI prophylaxis according to local SP were prospectively included in the study by Northern Italy Leukaemia Group (NILG) centres. To allow the comparison of caspofungin versus SP regimens as prophylaxis strategies, caspofungin treatment was assigned via a centralized randomized procedure. The study was registered at http://www.clinicaltrial.gov (NCT00501098).
Over a 2 year period, 175 patients were included. The overall incidence of IFI was 32/175 (18.3%) [10/175 (5.7%) probable/proven and 22/175 (12.6%) possible], with no statistically significant differences between caspofungin-based versus SP-based regimens [overall: 15/93 (16.1%) versus 17/82 (20.7%), relative risk (RR) 0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.42-1.46; probable/proven: 7/93 (7.5%) versus 3/82 (3.7%), RR 2.06, 95% CI 0.55-7.7; possible: 8/93 (8.6%) versus 14/82 (17.1%), RR 0.5, 95% CI 0.22-1.14]. Only one IFI-related death was recorded (10%).
The incidence and mortality of IFI were lower than expected in this strictly sequential cohort representative of the routine care in the NILG network. The efficacy and safety of caspofungin were similar to other prophylactic regimens.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (NST) has been explored in hematological malignancies and solid tumors in an attempt to minimize treatment-related toxicity. Whether this approach is associated with reduced risk of infectious complications is unclear. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the infectious complications in a series of 32 consecutive adult patients who received NST at our institution. Peripheral blood stem cell grafts (n=30) or marrow grafts (n=2) were infused from human leukocyte antibody (HLA)-matched sibling (n=30), partially matched related (n=1), or unrelated (n=1) donors. Neutropenia developed in two-thirds of patients and lasted 16 days. Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) grade II to IV was observed in 25% of patients, whereas 35% of patients had signs of extensive chronic GVHD. Twenty-two patients (69%) had at least one significant infectious episode. Bacteremia occurred in 19% of patients (n=5 gram-positive, n=1 gram-negative microorganisms). Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection was observed in 10 out of 28 (36%) evaluable patients; 4 of these had recurrent or persistent CMV antigenemia requiring a second-line treatment, but eventually the viremia cleared. No patients experienced CMV disease. Fungal infections were documented in five (16%) patients, comprising invasive fungal infections in two cases and mucosal fungal infections in three. Four patients died of transplant-related causes, and three of these died before day +100. Infection was considered the primary cause of death in one patient (pulmonary aspergillosis) and contributed to death in another two. The actuarial probability of nonrelapse mortality at 100 days was 10% (95% confidence interval, 3-26%). Our preliminary results suggest that NST is associated to a low incidence of bacteremia or fungal and viral infections. Whether these findings would translate into an improved overall survival needs to be confirmed in larger prospective studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preliminary results of our study suggest that mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) might be a useful treatment in patients who have failed or could not tolerate conventional immunosuppressive therapy for chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In addition, the favorable toxicity profile and steroid-sparing effect of MMF may be particularly attractive features of this medication.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report two cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) French-American-British M4 classification with trisomy 8 at diagnosis as the sole chromosome abnormality. Both patients were treated with the GIMEMA AML-10 protocol and underwent autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) in hematologic remission. Peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC), and bone marrow in one patient, were collected after consolidation therapy and tested by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis with an alpha-satellite probe for chromosome 8. It revealed that all samples were positive for minimal residual disease (MRD) as the value of trisomic cells exceeded the mean +3 standard deviations of the controls. ABMT was done following a myeloablative regimen (busulphan/cyclophosphamide) and PBSC were reinfused. Both patients relapsed, 4 and 2 months, respectively, after autotransplant. Although more data are needed, these results suggest that the persistence of MRD, as detected by FISH, in stem cell collections, is associated with a poor outcome in AML patients with trisomy 8 undergoing ABMT.
Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics 03/2002; 133(1):98-101. DOI:10.1016/S0165-4608(01)00564-7 · 1.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The analysis of the nucleolar organizer regions (AgNORs) was performed in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) to verify the role of cell proliferation in predicting complete remission (CR) and survival.
Bone marrow biopsies from 40 adult patients with AML were stained with the argyrophilic method. The mean AgNOR number (AgNOR count) was calculated for each case. After induction therapy, patients who achieved CR received intensive consolidation; two underwent autologous and four allogeneic bone marrow transplantations (BMT).
The mean AgNOR count for the whole series was 6.6 (SD = 1.35); it was higher in CR patients than in resistant ones (P = .02). The median duration of CR was 26 months for patients with an AgNOR count greater than 6.6, but only 6 months for those with lower counts (P = .01). Sixteen patients who achieved a CR relapsed and 14 reached a second CR; the median duration of second CR was 16 months for patients with AgNOR count greater than 6.6, but only 5 months for those with lower counts (P = .01). The median survival time for the whole series was 14 months, with 30% of patients alive and in continuous CR at 103 months. Survival was longer for patients with an AgNOR count greater than 6.6 (33 months) than for those with lower counts (6 months; P = .0009). In multivariate analysis, when CR was excluded from the model, AgNOR count appeared as an independent prognostic variable (P = .005).
AgNOR analysis is a suitable method to assess cell proliferation in bone marrow biopsies and can predict CR, remission duration, and survival in AML patients.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 04/1998; 16(4):1512-8. · 18.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: B-diffuse large-cell lymphomas (DLCL) have been associated with some molecular lesions, but the role of such lesions as prognostic markers is still controversial. This report concerns an investigation of the frequency and clinical correlation of bcl-6, bcl-2, c-myc rearrangements and 6(q) deletions in B-DLCL.
The presence of these genetic lesions was analyzed in samples of lymph nodes or bone marrow collected at diagnosis in 71 patients with B-DLCL, all treated with an anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimen.
Rearrangement of bcl-6 was found in 11 patients (15%), rearranged bcl-2 in 12 (17%), 6(q) deletions in 10 patients (14%) and c-myc rearrangement in four (6%). Patients with rearranged bcl-6 tended to have a more aggressive disease than patients with germ-line bcl-6 (intermediate-high/high risk according to IPI criteria: 73% vs. 43%), but there were no differences in three-year survival rates (62% vs. 42%) between the two groups. The numbers of involved extranodal sites were similar in patients with rearranged and those with germ-line bcl-6. Patients with bcl-2 rearrangement appeared to have a less aggressive disease than those with germ-line bcl-2 (low/ low-intermediate risk 75% vs. 47%) and a slightly better three-year survival rate (70% vs. 41%) but again the difference was not significant. Both groups with or without 6(q) deletion had similar clinical characteristics and outcomes. The four patients with c-myc rearrangement had aggressive disease and did poorly.
The analysis of molecular lesions in B-DLCL may be useful for a better diagnostic definition; however, in this study we were unable to show that the evaluated genetic lesions had a significant impact on clinical outcome.
Annals of Oncology 01/1998; 9(1):55-61. DOI:10.1023/A:1008201729596 · 7.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cooperative study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of a very brief course of chemotherapy followed by locoregional radiotherapy in patients with localized-stage intermediate- to high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).
From January 1988 to November 1994, 84 patients with localized stages IA and IIA intermediate- to high-grade NHL underwent a combined modality treatment. All patients underwent a six-week chemotherapy regimen, ACOP-B (doxorubicin 50 mg/sqm and cyclophosphamide 350 mg/sqm on weeks 1, 3, 5; vincristine 1.4 mg/sqm and bleomycin 10 mg/sqm on weeks 2, 4, 6; prednisone 50 mg p.o. daily throughout the first two weeks and thereafter every other day), followed by locoregional radiotherapy (36 Gy).
The median age was 58 years, with 35% older than 65 years; 52 patients had stage I and 32 stage II; 39 patients had extranodal +/- nodal involvement, and 4 had testicular involvement. Treatment was well tolerated, with only 38% suffering from mild mucositis and no toxic deaths. Seventy-nine patients achieved CR after ACOP-B and 83 at the end of the program. With a median follow-up of four years, relapse-free survival was 79% with 15 relapses (93% disseminated). Two patients with testis lymphoma had CNS relapses. Overall survival was 90% at four years.
This combined program is effective and probably curative in localized stage intermediate- to high-grade NHL, with low toxicity, also in elderly people. Patients with NHL of the testis, as primary site, require CNS prophylaxis due to the high likelihood of CNS relapse.
Annals of Oncology 12/1996; 7(9):919-24. DOI:10.1093/oxfordjournals.annonc.a010794 · 7.04 Impact Factor