[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the last two decades great improvements have been made in the treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, with 5-year overall survival rates currently approaching almost 90%. In comparison, results reported in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) are relatively poor. In adults, results have improved, but are still lagging behind those obtained in children. Possible reasons for this different pattern of results include an increased incidence of unfavorable and a decreased incidence of favorable cytogenetic abnormalities in AYAs compared with children. Furthermore, in AYAs less intensive treatments (especially lower cumulative doses of drugs such as asparaginase, corticosteroids and methotrexate) and longer gaps between courses of chemotherapy are planned compared to those in children. However, although favorable results obtained in AYAs receiving pediatric protocols have been consistently reported in several international collaborative trials, physicians must also be aware of the specific toxicity pattern associated with increased success in AYAs, since an excess of toxicity may compromise overall treatment schedule intensity. Cooperative efforts between pediatric and adult hematologists in designing specific protocols for AYAs are warranted.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with thalassaemia is increased by transfusion-transmitted infections and haemosiderosis. All Italian Thalassaemia Centres use an ad hoc form to report all diagnoses of HCC to the Italian Registry. Since our last report, in 2002, up to December 2012, 62 new cases were identified, 52% of whom were affected by thalassaemia major (TM) and 45% by thalassaemia intermedia (TI). Two had sickle-thalassaemia (ST). The incidence of the tumour is increasing, possibly because of the longer survival of patients and consequent longer exposure to the noxious effects of the hepatotropic viruses and iron. Three patients were hepatitis B surface antigen-positive, 36 patients showed evidence of past infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV). Fifty-four patients had antibodies against hepatitis C virus (HCV), 43 of whom were HCV RNA positive. Only 4 had no evidence of exposure either to HCV or HBV. The mean liver iron concentration was 8 mg/g dry weight. Therapy included chemoembolization, thermoablation with radiofrequency and surgical excision. Three patients underwent liver transplant, 21 received palliative therapy. As of December 2012, 41 patients had died. The average survival time from HCC detection to death was 11·5 months (1·4-107·2 months). Ultrasonography is recommended every 6 months to enable early diagnosis of HCC, which is crucial to decrease mortality.
British Journal of Haematology 07/2014; 167(1). DOI:10.1111/bjh.13009 · 4.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The outcome of high-risk (HR) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) patients enrolled in AIEOP-BFM ALL 2000 study (NCT00613457) in Italy is described. Overall, 1999 Philadelphia negative ALL patients entered the study. HR criteria were: minimal residual disease (MRD) levels ≥10(-3) at day 78 (HR-MRD), no complete remission (no-CR) at day 33, t(4;11) translocation, Prednisone Poor Response (PPR). Treatment (2 years) included protocol I, 3 polychemotherapy blocks, delayed intensification (protocol IIx2 or IIIx3), cranial radiotherapy, maintenance. 312 HR patients (15.6% of the total) had 5-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) of 58.9%(SE 2.8) and 68.9%(2.6). In hierarchical order, EFS was 45.9%(4.4) in 132 HR-MRD patients, 41.2%(11.9) in 17 patients no-CR at day 33, 36.4%(14.5) in 11 patients with t(4;11), 74.0%(3.6) in 152 HR patients only for PPR. No statistically significant difference was found for disease-free survival (DFS) in patients with very high risk features (HR-MRD, no-CR at day 33, t(4;11) translocation), given HSCT (n=66) or chemotherapy only (n=88), after adjusting for waiting time to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) (5.7 months). Patients at HR only for PPR have favorable outcome. High risk MRD is associated with poor outcome despite intensive treatment and/or HSCT and may qualify for innovative therapies. The study is registered at the US National Institutes of Health website http://clinicaltrials.gov as "Combination Chemotherapy Based on Risk of Relapse in Treating Young Patients With Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia" with the protocol identification number NCT00613457.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated the outcome of 482 children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) other than promyelocytic leukemia enrolled in the AIEOP-AML-2002/01 trial. Treatment was stratified according to risk group; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) was broadly used in high-risk (HR) children. Patients with core-binding-factor leukemia achieving complete remission (CR) after the first induction course were considered standard risk (SR, 99 patients), whereas the others (n=383) were assigned to the HR group. Allogeneic (ALLO) or autologous (AUTO)-HSCT was employed, respectively, in 141 and 102 HR patients in CR1 after consolidation therapy. CR, early death and induction failure rates were 87%, 3% and 10%, respectively. Relapse occurred in 24% of patients achieving CR. The 8-year overall (OS), event-free (EFS), and disease-free survival (DFS) were 68%, 55%, and 63%, respectively. OS, EFS and DFS for SR and HR patients were 83%, 63%, 66%, and 64%, 53% and 62%, respectively. DFS was 63% and 73% for HR patients given AUTO-HSCT and ALLO-HSCT, respectively. In multivariate analysis for EFS, risk group, WBC >100x10(9)/L at diagnosis and monosomal karyotype predicted poorer outcome. These findings indicate that risk-oriented treatment and broad use of HSCT result in a long-term EFS comparing favorably with previously published studies on childhood AML.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Due to the limited data available in literature, the aim of this multi-centre study was to prospectively compare in thalassemia major (TM) patients the efficacy of combined deferiprone (DFP) and deferoxamine (DFO) regimen versus either DFP and DFO in monotherapy by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) over a follow up of 18 months.
Among the first 1135 TM patients in the MIOT (Myocardial Iron Overload in Thalassemia) network, we evaluated those who had received either combined regimen (DFO + DFP, N=51) or DFP (N=39) and DFO (N=74) monotherapies between the two CMR scans. Iron overload was measured by T2* multiecho technique. Biventricular function parameters were quantitatively evaluated by cine images.
The percentage of patients that maintained a normal global heart T2* value was comparable between DFP+DFO versus both monotherapy groups. Among the patients with myocardial iron overload at baseline, the changes in the global heart T2* and in biventricular function were not significantly different in DFP+DFO compared with the DFP group. The improvement in the global heart T2* was significantly higher in the DFP+DFO than the DFO group, without a difference in biventricular function. Among the patients with hepatic iron at baseline, the decrease in liver iron concentration values was significantly higher with combination therapy than with either monotherapy group.
In TM patients at the dosages used in the real world, the combined DFP+DFO regimen was more effective in removing cardiac iron than DFO, and was superior in clearing hepatic iron than either DFO or DFP monotherapy. Combined therapy did not show an additional effect on heart function over DFP.
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 01/2013; 15(1):1. DOI:10.1186/1532-429X-15-1 · 5.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess life goal achievements in long-term survivors (LTS) receiving cranial radiotherapy (CRT) as central nervous system (CNS) prophylaxis for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during childhood, compared to healthy individuals. Participants in this study were 141 LTS treated in our center from 1961 to 1990. Questionnaires were mailed to LTS. Analyses were stratified by age classes comparing LTS and a matched healthy population living in the same geographic area, as well as comparing patients treated with 24 Gy vs. 18 Gy CRT. Survivors reached the same educational level as controls. Significant differences were noted according to age and CRT dose. LTS had similar employment rates to those of controls, but lower marriage rates. Most respondents described their life positively, but as worse in the 24 Gy group. This study highlights the good life satisfaction of our LTS despite the long-term effects of the disease and its treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clofarabine is a promising new chemotherapeutic agent that is active in the treatment of pediatric acute leukemia. Forty children (16 with acute myeloid leukemia [AML], 24 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia [ALL]), aged 1-20 years (median 7.6 years) with relapsed or refractory ALL or AML were treated because of resistance to first-line treatment (n =5), or for first (n =22), second (n =11) or third relapse (n =2). They received clofarabine (40 mg/m(2)/day) associated with etoposide (100 mg/m(2)/day) and cyclophosphamide (440 mg/m(2)/day) administered as one or two induction cycles (5 days of chemotherapy) in an attempt to reach complete remission (CR) or CR without platelet recovery (CRp). This was followed by 1-3 consolidation cycles (4 days of chemotherapy) for a maximum of four cycles. Seven (44%) out of 16 and 10 (42%) out of 24 evaluable children with AML and ALL, respectively, responded to treatment. The most common adverse events were infections and gastrointestinal and hepatic toxicity. Thirteen (76%) out of 17 responders underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplant. The 24-month overall survival was 25%, while it was 59% among patients who responded to the first induction cycle. Our study suggests that this drug regimen is well tolerated and can be effective in heavily pretreated pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory acute leukemia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 5-years multicenter prospective study on 201 patients with common variable immunodeficiencies and 101 patients with X-linked agammaglobulinemia over a cumulative follow-up period of 1,365 patient-years was conducted to identify prognostic markers and risk factors for associated clinical co-morbidities, the effects of long-term immunoglobulin treatment and the IgG trough level to be maintained over time required to minimise infection risk. Overall, 21% of the patients with common variable immunodeficiencies and 24% of patients with X-linked agammaglobulinemia remained infection free during the study. A reduction of pneumonia episodes has been observed after initiation of Ig replacement. During the observation time, pneumonia incidence remained low and constant over time. Patients with pneumonia did not have significant lower IgG trough levels than patients without pneumonia, with the exception of patients whose IgG trough levels were persistently <400 mg/dL. In X-linked agammaglobulinemia, the only co-morbidity risk factor identified for pneumonia by the final multivariable model was the presence of bronchiectasis. In common variable immunodeficiencies, our data allowed us to identify a clinical phenotype characterised by a high pneumonia risk: patients with low IgG and IgA levels at diagnosis; patients who had IgA level <7 mg/dL and who had bronchiectasis. The effect of therapy with immunoglobulins at replacement dosage for non-infectious co-morbidities (autoimmunity, lymphocytic hyperplasia and enteropathy) remains to be established. A unique general protective trough IgG level in antibody deficiency patients will remain undefined because of the major role played by the progression of lung disease in X-linked agammaglobulinemia and in a subset of patients with common variable immunodeficiencies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leukemia is one of the leading journals in hematology and oncology. It is published monthly and covers all aspects of the research and treatment of leukemia and allied diseases. Studies of normal hemopoiesis are covered because of their comparative relevance.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 02/2011; 25(3):560-3. DOI:10.1038/leu.2010.316 · 9.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data on the epidemiology of bacteremias and invasive fungal diseases (IFD) in children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are scarce.
In a multi-center, retrospective study, we analyzed proportion, rate per 1,000 person-days at risk, and cumulative risk of bacteremias and IFD in children with AML.
Between January 1998 and December 2005, 240 children were treated for AML at 8 Italian Centers, for a total of 521 treatment courses and 63,232 person-days at risk. Bacteremia was observed in 32% of treatment courses and IFD was seen in 10% (P < 0.0001), with rates of 2.62 and 0.84, respectively (P < 0.001). There was a significantly higher frequency of IFD during relapse treatment: proportion 15% versus 9% (P = 0.05), rate 2.10 versus 0.64 (P = 0.008) and cumulative risk 32% versus 12% (P = 0.007), while there were no differences in the proportion, rate and cumulative risk of bacteremia during front-line or relapse treatment. The epidemiology of bacteremias and IFD was different during front-line therapy for M3 as compared to other types of AML, but the differences were not statistically significant.
Severe infectious complications are frequent during the treatment of pediatric AML, especially during relapse treatment, and bacteremias are more frequent than IFD.