[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lenalidomide-dexamethasone improved outcome in newly diagnosed elderly multiple myeloma (MM) patients. We randomized 662 patients ≥65 years or transplant-ineligible to receive induction with melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide (MPR) or cyclophosphamide-prednisone-lenalidomide (CPR) or lenalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone (Rd). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) in triplet (MPR+CPR) vs doublet (Rd) lenalidomide-containing regimens. After a median follow-up of 39 months, the median PFS was 22 months for the triplet combinations and 21 months for the doublet (p=0.284). The median overall survival (OS) was not reached in both groups, and the 4-year OS was 67% for the triplet and 58% for the doublet (p=0.709). By considering the three treatment arms separately, no difference in outcome was detected between MPR, CPR and Rd. The most common grade ≥3 toxicity was neutropenia: 64% in MPR, 29% in CPR and 25% in Rd patients (p<0.0001). Grade ≥3 non-hematologic toxicities were similar among groups and were mainly infections (6.5-11%), constitutional (3.5-9.5%) and cardiac (4.5-6%), with no difference between the arms. In conclusion, in the overall population, the alkylator-containing triplets MPR and CPR were not superior to the alkylator-free doublet Rd, which was associated with lower toxicity. This study was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov #NCT01093196.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Research demonstrates an increased incidence of skin cancer in immunocompromised hosts, including patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and organ transplant recipients (OTRs). Active human β-papillomavirus (β-HPV) infection has been found in OTR skin lesions, suggesting its possible involvement in skin carcinogenesis. Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) has also been reported in cases of skin cancer.
To investigate the potential correlations between patient clinical features and skin cancer development, and the presence of β-HPV and MCPyV DNA and protein markers in skin lesions and hair bulbs from patients with CLL.
The clinical features of 293 patients with CLL were analysed according to the presence or absence of skin lesions. β-HPV and MCPyV infection was investigated in skin lesions and hair bulbs from the study cohort by both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and immunohistochemical screening.
No significant correlations were observed between any of the analysed haematological parameters and the development of skin cancer. PCR analysis revealed the presence of β-HPV and MCPyV DNA in skin lesions, and 83% of positivity for MCPyV DNA in hair bulbs, while systematic immunohistochemical analysis of all the lesions failed to detect any expression of the viral proteins β-HPV E4, L1 or MCPyV LTAg.
Overall, the data indicate that carriage of β-HPV and MCPyV in the lesional skin and hair bulbs from patients with CLL without any evident reactivation at skin tumour sites most likely represents coincidental rather than causal infection. This contrasts with previous findings in relation to OTR-derived skin lesions.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · British Journal of Dermatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TP53 mutations are strong predictors of poor survival and refractoriness in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and have direct implications for disease management. Clinical information on TP53 mutations is limited to lesions represented in >20% leukemic cells. Here we tested the clinical impact and prediction of chemorefractoriness of very small TP53 mutated subclones. The TP53 gene underwent ultra-deep-next generation sequencing (NGS) in 309 newly diagnosed CLL. A robust bioinformatic algorithm was established for the highly sensitive detection of few TP53 mutated cells (down to 3 out of ~1000 wild type cells). Minor subclones were validated by independent approaches. Ultra-deep-NGS identified small TP53 mutated subclones in 28/309 (9%) untreated CLL that, due to their very low abundance (median allele frequency: 2.1%), were missed by Sanger sequencing. Patients harboring small TP53 mutated subclones showed the same clinical phenotype and poor survival (HR=2.01; p=.0250) as those of patients carrying clonal TP53 lesions. By longitudinal analysis, small TP53 mutated subclones identified before treatment became the predominant population at the time of CLL relapse and anticipated the development of chemorefractoriness. This study provides a proof-of-principle that very minor leukemia subclones detected at diagnosis are an important driver of the subsequent disease course.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This multicenter phase II trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of lenalidomide-prednisone (RP) induction, followed by lenalidomide-melphalan-prednisone (MPR) consolidation and RP maintenance in elderly unfit newly diagnosed myeloma patients. Patients received four 28-day RP induction courses (lenalidomide 25 mg/day on days 1-21 and prednisone 50 mg three times/week), followed by six 28-day MPR consolidation cycles (melphalan 2 mg, prednisone 50 mg three times/week and lenalidomide 10-15 mg/day on days 1-21), and maintenance with lenalidomide (10 mg/day on days 1-21 every 28 days) plus prednisone (25 mg three times/week). Forty-six patients were enrolled. Median age was 75 years, 59% of patients had at least one comorbidity and 35% at least two. Partial response rate was 80%, including 29% very good partial response. Median time to progression was 19.6 months, median progression-free survival was 18.4 months and 2-year overall survival was 80%. At the tolerated consolidation dose (melphalan 25 mg/month and lenalidomide 10 mg/day), the most frequent grade 3 adverse events were neutropenia (36.4%), anemia (12.1%), cutaneous reactions (18.2%) and infections (12.1%). Grade 4 neutropenia occurred in 12.1% of patients. In conclusion, RP induction followed by MPR consolidation and RP maintenance showed a manageable safety profile, and reduced the risk of severe hematological toxicity in unfit elderly myeloma patients.Leukemia advance online publication, 12 October 2012; doi:10.1038/leu.2012.271.
No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Analysis of the chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) coding genome has recently disclosed that the NOTCH1 proto-oncogene is recurrently mutated at CLL presentation. Here, we assessed the prognostic role of NOTCH1 mutations in CLL. Two series of newly diagnosed CLL were used as training (n = 309) and validation (n = 230) cohorts. NOTCH1 mutations occurred in 11.0% and 11.3% CLL of the training and validation series, respectively. In the training series, NOTCH1 mutations led to a 3.77-fold increase in the hazard of death and to shorter overall survival (OS; P < .001). Multivariate analysis selected NOTCH1 mutations as an independent predictor of OS after controlling for confounding clinical and biologic variables. The independent prognostic value of NOTCH1 mutations was externally confirmed in the validation series. The poor prognosis conferred by NOTCH1 mutations was attributable, at least in part, to shorter treatment-free survival and higher risk of Richter transformation. Although NOTCH1 mutated patients were devoid of TP53 disruption in more than 90% cases in both training and validation series, the OS predicted by NOTCH1 mutations was similar to that of TP53 mutated/deleted CLL. NOTCH1 mutations are an independent predictor of CLL OS, tend to be mutually exclusive with TP53 abnormalities, and identify cases with a dismal prognosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-throughput genomics requires tumor DNA matched to germline DNA, that cannot be easily obtained in the context of leukemia. Using chronic lymphocytic leukemia as a model, saliva DNA was frequently devoid of tumor DNA also during overt disease, and passed quality controls for SNP-array (77/102, 75.4%) and next generation sequencing (71/102, 69.6%). Compared to saliva, urine provides germline DNA of similar quality but in lower amounts. Saliva DNA was successfully run on SNP 6.0 arrays, and passed quality control call rate thresholds. On these bases, saliva represents a useful source of germline DNA for high-throughput genomic studies of hematologic neoplasia.
No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Leukemia research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A patient with multiple myeloma was treated with high-dose chemotherapy followed by two autologous bone marrow transplantations (ABMTs). Nine months after the second ABMT the patient complained of severe left hemiparesis, paraesthesias, left homonymous visual field defects and gait ataxia. She was diagnosed with progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy (PML) confirmed by detection of JC virus (JCV) DNA and prescribed cidofovir every other week and mirtazapine daily. Her symptoms and signs remained stable and after 6 months the JCV DNA was undetectable in the cerebrospinal fluid. Repeated MRI scans demonstrated the stabilisation of demyelinating lesion volume; after more than 2 years of follow-up the patient's neurological examination does not show significant variations. Combination of cidofovir and mirtazapine may be helpful in the treatment of PML in HIV-negative patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) valproic acid (VPA) has been shown to be active on acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and refractory anemia with excess of blasts (RAEB). Thirty-one elderly AML/RAEB patients (AML n=25; RAEB n=6) with a high rate of comorbidity were entered in a phase II study with low-dose cytarabine (Ara-C) and VPA. Fitness was evaluated by means of the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA), including the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS) score, the self-sufficiency scores of Activity of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activity of Daily Living (IADL). Eight patients obtained a lasting complete remission and 3 other patients obtained hematologic improvement for a total response rate of 35%. Five of 11 responding patients were relapsed or resistant after a previous treatment with Ara-C. Seven of 11 responding patients were assessed as frail at enrollment and/or had IADL impairment. Grades 3 and 4 toxicities were mainly hematological. Low-dose Ara-C and VPA is a relatively non-toxic combination with good therapeutic activity in elderly patients with AML/RAEB. This therapeutic approach represents an alternative treatment for patients who cannot undergo standard induction therapy.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · Leukemia research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transformation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is known as Richter syndrome (RS). In the entire CLL population, the cumulative prevalence of RS development steadily increases at a rate of 1% per year. Considering conventional predictors of CLL, patient subgroups at high risk of developing RS are characterized by the expression of CD38, absence of del13q14, and a lymph node size >3 cm. Novel risk factors for predicting RS development at CLL diagnosis have been recently identified and include: the host genotype of the CD38 locus and of other genes; telomere length of CLL cells; stereotyped B-cell receptor; and usage of specific immunoglobulin variable genes (IGHV4-39). Importantly, although some risk factors predict both CLL progression and transformation to RS, others (CD38 genotype, absence of del13q14, IGHV4-39 usage, stereotyped B-cell receptor) appear to specifically predict RS. The definition of RS encompasses at least two different conditions: DLBCLs that are clonally related to the pre-existing CLL (accounting for most cases), or DLBCL unrelated to the CLL clone. The transition from CLL to clonally related RS is accompanied by the acquisition of novel genetic alterations that may account for the chemorefractoriness of RS. Genome-wide studies that are currently ongoing are important for identifying novel molecular lesions implicated in RS that might represent a suitable target for future therapeutic strategies.
No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Richter syndrome (RS) represents the transformation of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) to aggressive lymphoma. Risk factors of CLL transformation to RS are only partly known. We explored the role of the host genetic background as a risk factor for RS occurrence. Forty-five single nucleotide polimorphisms (SNPs) known to be relevant for CLL prognosis were genotyped in a consecutive cohort of 331 CLL, of which 21 had transformed to RS. After correcting for multiple testing and adjusting for previously reported RS risk factors, the LRP4 rs2306029 TT variant genotype was the sole SNP independently associated with a higher risk of RS transformation (Hazard Ratio: 4·17; P = 0·001; q = 0·047). The enrichment of LRP4 TT genotype in RS was confirmed in an independent series (n = 44) used for validation purposes. The LRP4 protein was expressed in CLL (n =66). Bioinformatic analysis scored LRP4 rs2306029 as a variant with possible deleterious and damaging variant of LRP4. LRP4 genotyping may help the recognition of patients with increased risk of RS at the time of CLL diagnosis.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · British Journal of Haematology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several drugs used for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) treatment rely on DNA damage for tumor cell killing. We verified the prognostic impact of the host DNA repair genotype in 2 independent cohorts of DLBCL treated with R-CHOP21 (training cohort, 163 cases; validation cohort, 145 cases). Among 35 single nucleotide polymorphisms analyzed in the training series, MLH1 rs1799977 was the sole predicting overall survival. DLBCL carrying the MLH1 AG/GG genotype displayed an increased death risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.23; P < .001; q =0 .009) compared with patients carrying the AA genotype. Multivariate analysis adjusted for International Prognostic Index identified MLH1 AG/GG as an independent OS predictor (P < .001). The poor prognosis of MLH1 AG/GG was the result of an increased risk of failing both R-CHOP21 (HR = 2.02; P = .007) and platinum-based second-line (HR = 2.26; P = .044) treatment. Survival analysis in the validation series confirmed all outcomes predicted by MLH1 rs1799977. The effect on OS of MLH1, a component of the DNA mismatch repair system, is consistent with its role in regulating the genotoxic effects of doxorubicin and platinum compounds, which are a mainstay of DLBCL first- and second-line treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD49d expression and telomere length (TL) represent novel prognostic markers for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) [1-7]. The prognostic information carried by CD49d expression and TL in CLL has its rationale in the disease biology. CD49d is an adhesion molecule mediating cell-to-cell and cell-to-extracellular matrix interactions . In CLL cells, CD49d transmits prosurvival/antiapoptotic signals from the tumor microenvironment to tumor cells . Telomeres ensure genetic stability and regulate critical cellular functions, including proliferation and senescence . In CLL, short TL associates with a fast proliferative history of the leukemic cells [1,11,12]. Both CD49d expression and short TL have been associated with increased genetic instability of the CLL clone [3,13]. From a clinical standpoint, a peculiar feature shared by CD49d expression and short TL is the association with CLL proliferation markers, including expression of CD38, high lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), high beta-2-microglobulin, short time to lymphocyte doubling, and short time to progression to a more advanced stage [1-7]. Here, we tested whether the concomitant presence of high CD49d expression and short TL in the same CLL patient may help refine disease stratification for treatment prediction in patients that presented in early to intermediate Binet stage (Binet A and B) and that are candidate to watch and wait as initial management.
Preview · Article · Aug 2010 · American Journal of Hematology