[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) is a relatively rare disease, with approximately 9,200 estimated new cases and 1,200 estimated deaths per year in the United States. First-line chemo-radiotherapy leads to cure rates approaching 80% in patients with advanced-stage disease. However, 25 to 30% of these patients are not cured with chemotherapy alone (i.e., the ABVD regimen) and show either primary refractoriness to chemotherapy, early disease relapse or late disease relapse. Second-line salvage high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT) have an established role in the management of refractory/relapsed cHL, leading to durable responses in approximately 50% of relapsed patients and a minority of refractory patients. However, due to the poor responses to second-line salvage chemotherapy and dismal long-term disease control of primary refractory and early relapsed patients, their treatment represents an unmet medical need. Allogeneic SCT represents, by far, the only strategy with a curative potential for these patients; however, as discussed in this review, it's role in cHL remains controversial. Despite a general consensus that early relapsed and primary refractory patients represent a clinical challenge requiring effective treatments to achieve long-term disease control, there has been no consensus on the optimal therapy that should be offered to these patients. This review will briefly discuss the clinical results and the main issues regarding autologous SCT as well as the current role of allogeneic SCT.
Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unmanipulated haploidentical transplantation (Haplo-SCT) using post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PT-Cy) represents an alternative for patients with high-risk diseases lacking HLA-identical donor. Although it provides low incidences of GVHD, the efficacy of Haplo-SCT is still questioned, especially for patients with myeloid malignancies. Thus, we analyzed 60 consecutive patients with refractory (n=30) or high-risk CR (n=30) AML or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) who underwent PT-Cy Haplo-SCT. The median age was 57 years (22-73 years), hematopoietic cell transplantation comorbidity index was ⩾3 in 38 patients (63%) and Haplo-SCT was the second allogeneic transplantation for 10 patients (17%). Although most of patients received PBSC as graft source (n=48, 80%), we found low incidences of grade 3-4 acute (2%) and severe chronic GVHD (4%). Among patients with high-risk CR diseases, 1-year non-relapse mortality, cumulative incidence of relapse, progression-free and overall survivals were 20%, 32%, 47% and 62%, respectively. In patients with refractory disease, corresponding results were 34%, 35%, 32% and 37%, respectively. We conclude that PT-Cy Haplo-SCT could provide promising anti-leukemic effect even in the setting of very advanced diseases. Thus, it represents a viable alternative for high-risk AML/MDS patients without HLA-identical donor.Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 9 November 2015; doi:10.1038/bmt.2015.270.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Bone marrow transplantation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, invasive fungal infections (IFIs) have remained an important problem in patients undergoing allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (Allo-HSCT). The optimal approach for prophylactic antifungal therapy has yet to bedetermined.
We conducted a retrospective analysis, comparing the safety and efficacy of micafungin 50mg/day vs. fluconazole 400mg/day vs. itraconazole 200mg/day as prophylaxis for adult patients with various haematological diseases receiving haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (haplo-HSCT) followed by high-dose cyclophosphamide (PT-Cy).
Overall, 99 patients were identified: 30 patients received micafungin, 50 and 19 patients received itraconazole and fluconazole, respectively. After a median follow-up of 12 months (range: 1–51), proven or probable IFIs were reported in 3 patients (10%) in the micafungin, 5 patients in the itraconazole (10%) and 2 patients (11%) in the fluconazole group (p=0.998). Fewer patients in the micafungin group had invasive aspergillosis (1 [3%] vs. 3 [6%] in the itraconazole vs. 2 [11%] in the fluconazole group, p=0.589). Four patients (13%) in the micafungin group vs 13 (26%) patients in the itraconazole group and 10 (53%) patients in the fluconazole received empirical antifungal therapy (P = 0.19).
No serious adverse events related to treatment were reported by patients, and there was no treatment discontinuation because of drug-related adverse events in both groups.
The present analysis shows that micafungin did better than fluconazole in preventing invasive aspergillosis after transplant in these high-risk hematological diseases, as expected. In addition, micafungin was more effective than itraconazole in preventing all IFI episodes when also considering possible fungal infections. Future prospective studies would shed light on this issue, concerning this increasingly used transplant platform.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), a distinct disease entity with characteristic clinical and pathologic features, accounts for approximately 10% of all malignant lymphomas. cHL can be considered a prototype model for how the tumor microenvironment influences cancer pathogenesis. Cellular components of the cHL microenvironment express molecules involved in cancer cell growth and survival, such as CD30L or CD40L. Moreover, several signal transduction pathways that are critical for the proliferation and survival of neoplastic Hodgkin Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells, including NFkB, JAK/STAT, PI3K-AkT and ERK, are deregulated in cHL. Although most patients can be cured with modern treatment strategies, approximately a quarter experience either primary or secondary chemorefractoriness or disease relapse, thus requiring novel treatments. Preclinical and clinical evidence has elucidated a complex cross-talk between malignant HRS cells and the reactive cells of the microenvironment, which suggests that novel therapeutic approaches capable of targeting HRS cells along with reactive cells might overcome chemorefractoriness. In the near future, these novel therapies will also be tested in chemosensitive patients, to reduce the long-term toxicity of chemo-radiotherapy.
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No preview · Article · May 2015 · The Journal of Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Total marrow (lymph-nodes) irradiation (TMI-TMLI) by volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) was shown to be feasible by dosimetric feasibility studies. It was demonstrated that several partially overlapping arcs with different isocenters are required to achieve the desired coverage of the hematopoietic or lymphoid tissues targets and to spare the neighbouring healthy tissues. The effect of isocenter shifts was investigated with the treatment planning system but an in- vivo verification of the procedure was not carried out. The objective of this study was the in-vivo verification of the consistency between the delivered and planned doses using bi-dimensional GafChromic EBT3 films.
In a first phase a phantom study was carried out to quantify the uncertainties under controlled conditions. In a second phase three patients treated with TMLI were enrolled for in-vivo dosimetry. The dose prescription was 2Gy in single fraction. Ten arcs paired on 4-6 isocenters were used to cover the target. Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) was used to verify the patient positioning at each isocenter. GafChromic EBT3 films were placed below the patient on the top of a dedicated immobilization system specifically designed. The dose maps measured with the EBT3 films were compared with the corresponding calculations along the patient support couch. Gamma Agreement Index (GAI) with dose difference of 5% and distance to agreement of 5 mm was computed.
In the phantom study, optimal target coverage and healthy tissue sparing was observed. GAI(5%,5 mm) was 99.4%. For the patient-specific measurements, GAI(5%,5 mm) was greater than 95% and GAI (5%,3 mm) > 90% for all patients.
In vivo measurements demonstrated the delivered dose to be in good agreement with the planned one for the TMI-TMLI protocol where partially overlapping arcs with different isocenters are required.