Publications

2017
Chng W-J, Goldschmidt H, Dimopoulos MA, Moreau P, Joshua D, Palumbo A, Facon T, Ludwig H, Pour L, Niesvizky R, et al. Carfilzomib–dexamethasone vs bortezomib–dexamethasone in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma by cytogenetic risk in the phase 3 study ENDEAVOR. Leukemia [Internet]. 2017. WebsiteAbstract
The randomized phase 3 study ENDEAVOR demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) for carfilzomib and dexamethasone (Kd) vs bortezomib and dexamethasone (Vd) in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM). We conducted a preplanned subgroup analysis of ENDEAVOR to evaluate Kd vs Vd by cytogenetic risk. Of 785 patients with known cytogenetics, 210 (27%) had high-risk cytogenetics (Kd, n=97 (25%); Vd, n=113 (28%)) and 575 (73%) had standard-risk cytogenetics (Kd, n=284 (75%); Vd, n=291 (72%)). Median PFS in the high-risk group was 8.8 months for Kd vs 6.0 months for Vd (hazard ratio (HR), 0.65; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.45–0.92; P=0.0075). Median PFS in the standard-risk group was not estimable for Kd vs 10.2 months for Vd (HR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.33–0.58; P<0.0001). Overall response rates were 72.2% (Kd) vs 58.4% (Vd) in the high-risk group and 79.2% (Kd) vs 66.0% (Vd) in the standard-risk group. In the high-risk group, 15.5% (Kd) vs 4.4% (Vd) achieved a complete response (CR) or better. In the standard-risk group, 13.0% (Kd) vs 7.9% (Vd) achieved ⩾CR. This preplanned subgroup analysis found that Kd was superior to Vd in relapsed or refractory MM, regardless of cytogenetic risk.Leukemia advance online publication, 3 February 2017; doi:10.1038/leu.2016.390. © 2017 The Author(s)
Gavriatopoulou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Current treatment options and investigational drugs for Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia. Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs [Internet]. 2017;26(2):197 - 205. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare, indolent, incurable, low-grade B-cell lymphoplasmacytic neoplasm. This review article provides a modern clinical perspective of the individualized management of patients with symptomatic WM, in the context of the updated treatment guidelines and the currently available trial data. Areas covered: Rituximab-based regimens (such as the dexamethasone, rituximab and cyclophosphamide combination, DRC) are the most widely used in the management of both newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory patients with WM. Recently, the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib has been licensed for use in WM with exciting results. Several investigational single agent and combination regimens are being evaluated for response, efficacy and tolerability in phase II clinical trials, including new generation monoclonal antibodies (ofatumumab), immunomodulatory agents (thalidomide and lenalidomide), proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib and carfilzomib), Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitors (ibrutinib and acalabrutinib), phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway inhibitors (everolimus and perifosene), and histone deacetylase inhibitors (panobinostat) both in the setting of newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory disease. Expert opinion: WM therapeutic approach should be individualized for each patient in accordance to the intensity of the disease characteristics, age, comorbidities, efficacy, tolerability and safety profile of each drug. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Gavriatopoulou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Efficacy and safety of elotuzumab for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety [Internet]. 2017;16(2):237 - 245. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common hematologic malignancy and despite significant outcome improvements with novel agents, the majority of patients will eventually relapse and develop treatment resistance. Immunotherapy is emerging as a promising therapeutic approach in MM. Areas covered: Elotuzumab is a monoclonal antibody directly targeting the SLAMF7 receptor, expressed on normal and malignant plasma cells. Elotuzumab has no meaningful antimyeloma activity when given as monotherapy to patients with relapsed or refractory MM (RRMM). However, it demonstrated significant antimyeloma activity in preclinical studies and when it is combined with other antimyeloma agents (i.e. bortezomib or lenalidomide) in clinical trials, it improved response and clinical outcomes with no additive toxicity. This review provides a brief description of the elotuzumab mechanism of action and an overview on its efficacy in preclinical and clinical trials, including its safety and toxicity profile. Expert commentary: Based on the results of a phase 3 clinical trial (ELOQUENT-2), which compared lenalidomide and dexamethasone with or without elotuzumab in patients with RRMM, elotuzumab was approved by FDA in November 2015 for MM patients who received 1–3 prior lines of therapy. Studies with combinations of elotuzumab with other anti-myeloma drugs in different phases of MM are ongoing. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Minnema MC, Kimby E, D’Sa S, Fornecker L-M, Poulain S, Snijders TJ, Kastritis E, Kremer S, Fitsiori A, Simon L, et al. Guideline for the diagnosis, treatment and response criteria for Bing-Neel syndrome. Haematologica [Internet]. 2017;102(1):43 - 51. WebsiteAbstract
Bing Neel syndrome is a rare disease manifestation of Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia that results from infiltration of the central nervous system by malignant lymphoplasmacytic cells. In this guideline we describe the clinical symptoms, as well as the appropriate laboratory and radiological studies, that can aid in the diagnosis. The presentation of Bing Neel syndrome may be very diverse, and includes headaches, cognitive deficits, paresis, and psychiatric symptoms. The syndrome can present in patients with known Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, even in the absence of systemic progression, but also in previously undiagnosed patients. Diagnostic work-up should include cerebral spinal fluid analysis with multiparameter flow cytometry to establish B-cell clonality, protein electrophoresis and immunofixation for the detection and classification of a monoclonal protein as well as molecular diagnostic testing for immunoglobulin gene rearrangement and mutated MYD88. MRI of the brain and spinal cord is also essential. The second challenge is to expand our knowledge of prognosis and treatment outcome. Prospective clinical trials on Bing Neel syndrome patients that employ uniform treatment along with appropriate laboratory cerebral spinal fluid assessments and standardized MRI protocols will be invaluable, constituting a significant step forward in delineating treatment outcome for this intriguing disease manifestation. © 2017 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Dimopoulos MA, Trotman J, Tedeschi A, Matous JV, Macdonald D, Tam C, Tournilhac O, Ma S, Oriol A, Heffner LT, et al. Ibrutinib for patients with rituximab-refractory Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia (iNNOVATE): an open-label substudy of an international, multicentre, phase 3 trial. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2017;18(2):241 - 250. WebsiteAbstract
Background In the era of widespread rituximab use for Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia, new treatment options for patients with rituximab-refractory disease are an important clinical need. Ibrutinib has induced durable responses in previously treated patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia. We assessed the efficacy and safety of ibrutinib in a population with rituximab-refractory disease. Methods This multicentre, open-label substudy was done at 19 sites in seven countries in adults aged 18 years and older with confirmed Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia, refractory to rituximab and requiring treatment. Disease refractory to the last rituximab-containing therapy was defined as either relapse less than 12 months since last dose of rituximab or failure to achieve at least a minor response. Key exclusion criteria included: CNS involvement, a stroke or intracranial haemorrhage less than 12 months before enrolment, clinically significant cardiovascular disease, hepatitis B or hepatitis C viral infection, and a known bleeding disorder. Patients received oral ibrutinib 420 mg once daily until progression or unacceptable toxicity. The substudy was not prospectively powered for statistical comparisons, and as such, all the analyses are descriptive in nature. This study objectives were the proportion of patients with an overall response, progression-free survival, overall survival, haematological improvement measured by haemoglobin, time to next treatment, and patient-reported outcomes according to the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Anemia (FACT-An) and the Euro Qol 5 Dimension Questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L). All analyses were per protocol. The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02165397, and follow-up is ongoing but enrolment is complete. Findings Between Aug 18, 2014, and Feb 18, 2015, 31 patients were enrolled. Median age was 67 years (IQR 58–74); 13 (42%) of 31 patients had high-risk disease per the International Prognostic Scoring System Waldenström Macroglobulinaemia, median number of previous therapies was four (IQR 2–6), and all were rituximab-refractory. At a median follow-up of 18·1 months (IQR 17·5–18·9), the proportion of patients with an overall response was 28 [90%] of 31 (22 [71%] of patients had a major response), the estimated 18 month progression-free survival rate was 86% (95% CI 66–94), and the estimated 18 month overall survival rate was 97% (95% CI 79–100). Baseline median haemoglobin of 10·3 g/dL (IQR 9·3–11·7) increased to 11·4 g/dL (10·9–12·4) after 4 weeks of ibrutinib treatment and reached 12·7 g/dL (11·8–13·4) at week 49. A clinically meaningful improvement from baseline in FACT-An score, anaemia subscale score, and the EQ-5D-5L were reported at all post-baseline visits. Time to next treatment will be presented at a later date. Common grade 3 or worse adverse events included neutropenia in four patients (13%), hypertension in three patients (10%), and anaemia, thrombocytopenia, and diarrhoea in two patients each (6%). Serious adverse events occurred in ten patients (32%) and were most often infections. Five (16%) patients discontinued ibrutinib: three due to progression and two due to adverse events, while the remaining 26 [84%] of patients are continuing ibrutinib at the time of this report. Interpretation The sustained responses and median progression-free survival time, combined with a manageable toxicity profile observed with single-agent ibrutinib indicate that this chemotherapy-free approach is a potential new treatment choice for patients who had heavily pretreated, rituximab-refractory Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia. Funding Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie Company. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
Moreau P, Joshua D, Chng W-J, Palumbo A, Goldschmidt H, Hájek R, Facon T, Ludwig H, Pour L, Niesvizky R, et al. Impact of prior treatment on patients with relapsed multiple myeloma treated with carfilzomib and dexamethasone vs bortezomib and dexamethasone in the phase 3 ENDEAVOR study. Leukemia [Internet]. 2017;31(1):115 - 122. WebsiteAbstract
The randomized phase 3 ENDEAVOR study (N=929) compared carfilzomib and dexamethasone (Kd) with bortezomib and dexamethasone (Vd) in relapsed multiple myeloma (RMM). We performed a subgroup analysis from ENDEAVOR in patients categorized by number of prior lines of therapy or by prior treatment. Median progression-free survival (PFS) for patients with one prior line was 22.2 months for Kd vs 10.1 months for Vd, and median PFS for patients with ≥2 prior lines was 14.9 months for Kd vs 8.4 months for Vd. For patients with prior bortezomib exposure, the median PFS was 15.6 months for Kd vs 8.1 months for Vd, and for patients with prior lenalidomide exposure the median PFS was 12.9 months for Kd vs 7.3 months for Vd. Overall response rates (Kd vs Vd) were 81.9 vs 65.5% (one prior line), 72.0 vs 59.7% (≥2 prior lines), 71.2 vs 60.3% (prior bortezomib) and 70.1 vs 59.3% (prior lenalidomide). The safety profile in the prior lines subgroups was qualitatively similar to that in the broader ENDEAVOR population. In RMM, outcomes are improved when receiving treatment with carfilzomib compared with bortezomib, regardless of the number of prior therapy lines or prior exposure to bortezomib or lenalidomide. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.
Hájek R, Masszi T, Petrucci MT, Palumbo A, Rosiñol L, Nagler A, Yong KL, Oriol A, Minarik J, Pour L, et al. A randomized phase III study of carfilzomib vs low-dose corticosteroids with optional cyclophosphamide in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (FOCUS). Leukemia [Internet]. 2017;31(1):107 - 114. WebsiteAbstract
This randomized, phase III, open-label, multicenter study compared carfilzomib monotherapy against low-dose corticosteroids and optional cyclophosphamide in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). Relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma patients were randomized (1:1) to receive carfilzomib (10-min intravenous infusion; 20 mg/m 2 on days 1 and 2 of cycle 1; 27 mg/m 2 thereafter) or a control regimen of low-dose corticosteroids (84 mg of dexamethasone or equivalent corticosteroid) with optional cyclophosphamide (1400 mg) for 28-day cycles. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Three-hundred and fifteen patients were randomized to carfilzomib (n=157) or control (n=158). Both groups had a median of five prior regimens. In the control group, 95% of patients received cyclophosphamide. Median OS was 10.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 8.4-14.4) vs 10.0 months (95% CI 7.7-12.0) with carfilzomib vs control (hazard ratio=0.975; 95% CI 0.760-1.249; P=0.4172). Progression-free survival was similar between groups; overall response rate was higher with carfilzomib (19.1 vs 11.4%). The most common grade ≥3 adverse events were anemia (25.5 vs 30.7%), thrombocytopenia (24.2 vs 22.2%) and neutropenia (7.6 vs 12.4%) with carfilzomib vs control. Median OS for single-agent carfilzomib was similar to that for an active doublet control regimen in heavily pretreated RRMM patients. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.
Weisel K, Doyen C, Dimopoulos M, Yee A, Lahuerta JJ, Martin A, Travers K, Druyts E, Toor K, Abildgaard N, et al. A systematic literature review and network meta-analysis of treatments for patients with untreated multiple myeloma not eligible for stem cell transplantation. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2017;58(1):153 - 161. WebsiteAbstract
In newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM), patients ineligible for front-line autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), melphalan and prednisone (MP) with thalidomide (MPT) or bortezomib (VMP) are standard first-line therapeutic options. Despite new treatment regimens incorporating bortezomib or lenalidomide, MM remains incurable. The FIRST study demonstrated significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for the combination of lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone (Rd) until progression vs. MPT in transplant-ineligible ndMM patients. However, to date no head-to-head randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have compared Rd or MPT versus VMP. We conducted a network meta-analysis using RCTs identified through a systematic literature review to evaluate the relative efficacy of Rd versus other regimens on survival endpoints in previously untreated MM patients ineligible for ASCT. In this analysis, Rd was associated with a significant PFS and survival advantage versus other first-line treatments (VMP, MPT, MP), challenging the role of alkylators in this setting. © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Ziogas DC, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. When to recommend a second autograft in patients with relapsed myeloma?. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2017;58(4):781 - 787. WebsiteAbstract
In the current evolving landscape of myeloma therapies, no recommended salvage strategy exists for patients with relapsed multiple myeloma (MM) after initial successful autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) and therapeutic options extend from conventional chemotherapy and novel agents to second autologous and allogeneic transplants. In this article, we summarize the documented evidence about the utilization of second ASCT in patients with relapsed MM after a primary auto-graft and discuss the correct timing for such a salvage approach, the individual characteristics of patients who will benefit more, as well as the therapeutic role of second ASCT in the modern era of forthcoming anti-myeloma treatments. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Chng W-J, Goldschmidt H, Dimopoulos MA, Moreau P, Joshua D, Palumbo A, Facon T, Ludwig H, Pour L, Niesvizky R, et al. Carfilzomib–dexamethasone vs bortezomib–dexamethasone in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma by cytogenetic risk in the phase 3 study ENDEAVOR. Leukemia [Internet]. 2017. WebsiteAbstract
The randomized phase 3 study ENDEAVOR demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) for carfilzomib and dexamethasone (Kd) vs bortezomib and dexamethasone (Vd) in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM). We conducted a preplanned subgroup analysis of ENDEAVOR to evaluate Kd vs Vd by cytogenetic risk. Of 785 patients with known cytogenetics, 210 (27%) had high-risk cytogenetics (Kd, n=97 (25%); Vd, n=113 (28%)) and 575 (73%) had standard-risk cytogenetics (Kd, n=284 (75%); Vd, n=291 (72%)). Median PFS in the high-risk group was 8.8 months for Kd vs 6.0 months for Vd (hazard ratio (HR), 0.65; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.45–0.92; P=0.0075). Median PFS in the standard-risk group was not estimable for Kd vs 10.2 months for Vd (HR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.33–0.58; P<0.0001). Overall response rates were 72.2% (Kd) vs 58.4% (Vd) in the high-risk group and 79.2% (Kd) vs 66.0% (Vd) in the standard-risk group. In the high-risk group, 15.5% (Kd) vs 4.4% (Vd) achieved a complete response (CR) or better. In the standard-risk group, 13.0% (Kd) vs 7.9% (Vd) achieved ⩾CR. This preplanned subgroup analysis found that Kd was superior to Vd in relapsed or refractory MM, regardless of cytogenetic risk.Leukemia advance online publication, 3 February 2017; doi:10.1038/leu.2016.390. © 2017 The Author(s)
Gavriatopoulou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Current treatment options and investigational drugs for Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia. Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs [Internet]. 2017;26(2):197 - 205. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare, indolent, incurable, low-grade B-cell lymphoplasmacytic neoplasm. This review article provides a modern clinical perspective of the individualized management of patients with symptomatic WM, in the context of the updated treatment guidelines and the currently available trial data. Areas covered: Rituximab-based regimens (such as the dexamethasone, rituximab and cyclophosphamide combination, DRC) are the most widely used in the management of both newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory patients with WM. Recently, the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib has been licensed for use in WM with exciting results. Several investigational single agent and combination regimens are being evaluated for response, efficacy and tolerability in phase II clinical trials, including new generation monoclonal antibodies (ofatumumab), immunomodulatory agents (thalidomide and lenalidomide), proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib and carfilzomib), Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitors (ibrutinib and acalabrutinib), phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway inhibitors (everolimus and perifosene), and histone deacetylase inhibitors (panobinostat) both in the setting of newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory disease. Expert opinion: WM therapeutic approach should be individualized for each patient in accordance to the intensity of the disease characteristics, age, comorbidities, efficacy, tolerability and safety profile of each drug. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Gavriatopoulou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Efficacy and safety of elotuzumab for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety [Internet]. 2017;16(2):237 - 245. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common hematologic malignancy and despite significant outcome improvements with novel agents, the majority of patients will eventually relapse and develop treatment resistance. Immunotherapy is emerging as a promising therapeutic approach in MM. Areas covered: Elotuzumab is a monoclonal antibody directly targeting the SLAMF7 receptor, expressed on normal and malignant plasma cells. Elotuzumab has no meaningful antimyeloma activity when given as monotherapy to patients with relapsed or refractory MM (RRMM). However, it demonstrated significant antimyeloma activity in preclinical studies and when it is combined with other antimyeloma agents (i.e. bortezomib or lenalidomide) in clinical trials, it improved response and clinical outcomes with no additive toxicity. This review provides a brief description of the elotuzumab mechanism of action and an overview on its efficacy in preclinical and clinical trials, including its safety and toxicity profile. Expert commentary: Based on the results of a phase 3 clinical trial (ELOQUENT-2), which compared lenalidomide and dexamethasone with or without elotuzumab in patients with RRMM, elotuzumab was approved by FDA in November 2015 for MM patients who received 1–3 prior lines of therapy. Studies with combinations of elotuzumab with other anti-myeloma drugs in different phases of MM are ongoing. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Minnema MC, Kimby E, D’Sa S, Fornecker L-M, Poulain S, Snijders TJ, Kastritis E, Kremer S, Fitsiori A, Simon L, et al. Guideline for the diagnosis, treatment and response criteria for Bing-Neel syndrome. Haematologica [Internet]. 2017;102(1):43 - 51. WebsiteAbstract
Bing Neel syndrome is a rare disease manifestation of Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia that results from infiltration of the central nervous system by malignant lymphoplasmacytic cells. In this guideline we describe the clinical symptoms, as well as the appropriate laboratory and radiological studies, that can aid in the diagnosis. The presentation of Bing Neel syndrome may be very diverse, and includes headaches, cognitive deficits, paresis, and psychiatric symptoms. The syndrome can present in patients with known Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, even in the absence of systemic progression, but also in previously undiagnosed patients. Diagnostic work-up should include cerebral spinal fluid analysis with multiparameter flow cytometry to establish B-cell clonality, protein electrophoresis and immunofixation for the detection and classification of a monoclonal protein as well as molecular diagnostic testing for immunoglobulin gene rearrangement and mutated MYD88. MRI of the brain and spinal cord is also essential. The second challenge is to expand our knowledge of prognosis and treatment outcome. Prospective clinical trials on Bing Neel syndrome patients that employ uniform treatment along with appropriate laboratory cerebral spinal fluid assessments and standardized MRI protocols will be invaluable, constituting a significant step forward in delineating treatment outcome for this intriguing disease manifestation. © 2017 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Dimopoulos MA, Trotman J, Tedeschi A, Matous JV, Macdonald D, Tam C, Tournilhac O, Ma S, Oriol A, Heffner LT, et al. Ibrutinib for patients with rituximab-refractory Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia (iNNOVATE): an open-label substudy of an international, multicentre, phase 3 trial. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2017;18(2):241 - 250. WebsiteAbstract
Background In the era of widespread rituximab use for Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia, new treatment options for patients with rituximab-refractory disease are an important clinical need. Ibrutinib has induced durable responses in previously treated patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia. We assessed the efficacy and safety of ibrutinib in a population with rituximab-refractory disease. Methods This multicentre, open-label substudy was done at 19 sites in seven countries in adults aged 18 years and older with confirmed Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia, refractory to rituximab and requiring treatment. Disease refractory to the last rituximab-containing therapy was defined as either relapse less than 12 months since last dose of rituximab or failure to achieve at least a minor response. Key exclusion criteria included: CNS involvement, a stroke or intracranial haemorrhage less than 12 months before enrolment, clinically significant cardiovascular disease, hepatitis B or hepatitis C viral infection, and a known bleeding disorder. Patients received oral ibrutinib 420 mg once daily until progression or unacceptable toxicity. The substudy was not prospectively powered for statistical comparisons, and as such, all the analyses are descriptive in nature. This study objectives were the proportion of patients with an overall response, progression-free survival, overall survival, haematological improvement measured by haemoglobin, time to next treatment, and patient-reported outcomes according to the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Anemia (FACT-An) and the Euro Qol 5 Dimension Questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L). All analyses were per protocol. The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02165397, and follow-up is ongoing but enrolment is complete. Findings Between Aug 18, 2014, and Feb 18, 2015, 31 patients were enrolled. Median age was 67 years (IQR 58–74); 13 (42%) of 31 patients had high-risk disease per the International Prognostic Scoring System Waldenström Macroglobulinaemia, median number of previous therapies was four (IQR 2–6), and all were rituximab-refractory. At a median follow-up of 18·1 months (IQR 17·5–18·9), the proportion of patients with an overall response was 28 [90%] of 31 (22 [71%] of patients had a major response), the estimated 18 month progression-free survival rate was 86% (95% CI 66–94), and the estimated 18 month overall survival rate was 97% (95% CI 79–100). Baseline median haemoglobin of 10·3 g/dL (IQR 9·3–11·7) increased to 11·4 g/dL (10·9–12·4) after 4 weeks of ibrutinib treatment and reached 12·7 g/dL (11·8–13·4) at week 49. A clinically meaningful improvement from baseline in FACT-An score, anaemia subscale score, and the EQ-5D-5L were reported at all post-baseline visits. Time to next treatment will be presented at a later date. Common grade 3 or worse adverse events included neutropenia in four patients (13%), hypertension in three patients (10%), and anaemia, thrombocytopenia, and diarrhoea in two patients each (6%). Serious adverse events occurred in ten patients (32%) and were most often infections. Five (16%) patients discontinued ibrutinib: three due to progression and two due to adverse events, while the remaining 26 [84%] of patients are continuing ibrutinib at the time of this report. Interpretation The sustained responses and median progression-free survival time, combined with a manageable toxicity profile observed with single-agent ibrutinib indicate that this chemotherapy-free approach is a potential new treatment choice for patients who had heavily pretreated, rituximab-refractory Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia. Funding Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie Company. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
Moreau P, Joshua D, Chng W-J, Palumbo A, Goldschmidt H, Hájek R, Facon T, Ludwig H, Pour L, Niesvizky R, et al. Impact of prior treatment on patients with relapsed multiple myeloma treated with carfilzomib and dexamethasone vs bortezomib and dexamethasone in the phase 3 ENDEAVOR study. Leukemia [Internet]. 2017;31(1):115 - 122. WebsiteAbstract
The randomized phase 3 ENDEAVOR study (N=929) compared carfilzomib and dexamethasone (Kd) with bortezomib and dexamethasone (Vd) in relapsed multiple myeloma (RMM). We performed a subgroup analysis from ENDEAVOR in patients categorized by number of prior lines of therapy or by prior treatment. Median progression-free survival (PFS) for patients with one prior line was 22.2 months for Kd vs 10.1 months for Vd, and median PFS for patients with ≥2 prior lines was 14.9 months for Kd vs 8.4 months for Vd. For patients with prior bortezomib exposure, the median PFS was 15.6 months for Kd vs 8.1 months for Vd, and for patients with prior lenalidomide exposure the median PFS was 12.9 months for Kd vs 7.3 months for Vd. Overall response rates (Kd vs Vd) were 81.9 vs 65.5% (one prior line), 72.0 vs 59.7% (≥2 prior lines), 71.2 vs 60.3% (prior bortezomib) and 70.1 vs 59.3% (prior lenalidomide). The safety profile in the prior lines subgroups was qualitatively similar to that in the broader ENDEAVOR population. In RMM, outcomes are improved when receiving treatment with carfilzomib compared with bortezomib, regardless of the number of prior therapy lines or prior exposure to bortezomib or lenalidomide. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.
Hájek R, Masszi T, Petrucci MT, Palumbo A, Rosiñol L, Nagler A, Yong KL, Oriol A, Minarik J, Pour L, et al. A randomized phase III study of carfilzomib vs low-dose corticosteroids with optional cyclophosphamide in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (FOCUS). Leukemia [Internet]. 2017;31(1):107 - 114. WebsiteAbstract
This randomized, phase III, open-label, multicenter study compared carfilzomib monotherapy against low-dose corticosteroids and optional cyclophosphamide in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). Relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma patients were randomized (1:1) to receive carfilzomib (10-min intravenous infusion; 20 mg/m 2 on days 1 and 2 of cycle 1; 27 mg/m 2 thereafter) or a control regimen of low-dose corticosteroids (84 mg of dexamethasone or equivalent corticosteroid) with optional cyclophosphamide (1400 mg) for 28-day cycles. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Three-hundred and fifteen patients were randomized to carfilzomib (n=157) or control (n=158). Both groups had a median of five prior regimens. In the control group, 95% of patients received cyclophosphamide. Median OS was 10.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 8.4-14.4) vs 10.0 months (95% CI 7.7-12.0) with carfilzomib vs control (hazard ratio=0.975; 95% CI 0.760-1.249; P=0.4172). Progression-free survival was similar between groups; overall response rate was higher with carfilzomib (19.1 vs 11.4%). The most common grade ≥3 adverse events were anemia (25.5 vs 30.7%), thrombocytopenia (24.2 vs 22.2%) and neutropenia (7.6 vs 12.4%) with carfilzomib vs control. Median OS for single-agent carfilzomib was similar to that for an active doublet control regimen in heavily pretreated RRMM patients. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.
Weisel K, Doyen C, Dimopoulos M, Yee A, Lahuerta JJ, Martin A, Travers K, Druyts E, Toor K, Abildgaard N, et al. A systematic literature review and network meta-analysis of treatments for patients with untreated multiple myeloma not eligible for stem cell transplantation. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2017;58(1):153 - 161. WebsiteAbstract
In newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM), patients ineligible for front-line autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), melphalan and prednisone (MP) with thalidomide (MPT) or bortezomib (VMP) are standard first-line therapeutic options. Despite new treatment regimens incorporating bortezomib or lenalidomide, MM remains incurable. The FIRST study demonstrated significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for the combination of lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone (Rd) until progression vs. MPT in transplant-ineligible ndMM patients. However, to date no head-to-head randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have compared Rd or MPT versus VMP. We conducted a network meta-analysis using RCTs identified through a systematic literature review to evaluate the relative efficacy of Rd versus other regimens on survival endpoints in previously untreated MM patients ineligible for ASCT. In this analysis, Rd was associated with a significant PFS and survival advantage versus other first-line treatments (VMP, MPT, MP), challenging the role of alkylators in this setting. © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Ziogas DC, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. When to recommend a second autograft in patients with relapsed myeloma?. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2017;58(4):781 - 787. WebsiteAbstract
In the current evolving landscape of myeloma therapies, no recommended salvage strategy exists for patients with relapsed multiple myeloma (MM) after initial successful autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) and therapeutic options extend from conventional chemotherapy and novel agents to second autologous and allogeneic transplants. In this article, we summarize the documented evidence about the utilization of second ASCT in patients with relapsed MM after a primary auto-graft and discuss the correct timing for such a salvage approach, the individual characteristics of patients who will benefit more, as well as the therapeutic role of second ASCT in the modern era of forthcoming anti-myeloma treatments. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
2016
Weisel KC, Dimopoulos MA, Moreau P, Lacy MQ, Song KW, Delforge M, Karlin L, Goldschmidt H, Banos A, Oriol A, et al. Analysis of renal impairment in MM-003, a phase III study of pomalidomide + low‐dose dexamethasone versus high‐dose dexamethasone in refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2016;101(7):872 - 878. WebsiteAbstract
Pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone is effective and well tolerated for refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma after bortezomib and lenalidomide failure. The phase III trial MM-003 compared pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone with high-dose dexamethasone. This subanalysis grouped patients by baseline creatinine clearance ≥ 30 - < 60 mL/min (n=93, pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone; n=56, high-dose dexamethasone) or ≥ 60 mL/min (n=205, pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone; n=93, high-dose dexamethasone). Median progression-free survival was similar for both subgroups and favored pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone versus high-dose dexamethasone: 4.0 versus 1.9 months in the group with baseline creatinine clearance ≥ 30 - < 60 mL/min (P<0.001) and 4.0 versus 2.0 months in the group with baseline creatinine clearance ≥ 60 mL/min (P<0.001). Median overall survival for pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone versus high-dose dexamethasone was 10.4 versus 4.9 months (P=0.030) and 15.5 versus 9.2 months (P=0.133), respectively. Improved renal function, defined as an increase in creatinine clearance from < 60 to ≥ 60 mL/min, was similar in pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone and high-dose dexamethasone patients (42% and 47%, respectively). Improvement in progression-free and overall survival in these patients was comparable with that in patients without renal impairment. There was no increase in discontinuations of therapy, dose modifications, and adverse events in patients with moderate renal impairment. Pomalidomide at a starting dose of 4 mg + low-dose dexamethasone is well tolerated in patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, and of comparable efficacy if moderate renal impairment is present. © 2016 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Dimopoulos MA, Moreau P, Palumbo A, Joshua D, Pour L, Hájek R, Facon T, Ludwig H, Oriol A, Goldschmidt H, et al. Carfilzomib and dexamethasone versus bortezomib and dexamethasone for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (ENDEAVOR): And randomised, phase 3, open-label, multicentre study. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2016;17(1):27 - 38. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Bortezomib with dexamethasone is a standard treatment option for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Carfilzomib with dexamethasone has shown promising activity in patients in this disease setting. The aim of this study was to compare the combination of carfilzomib and dexamethasone with bortezomib and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Methods: In this randomised, phase 3, open-label, multicentre study, patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who had one to three previous treatments were randomly assigned (1:1) using a blocked randomisation scheme (block size of four) to receive carfilzomib with dexamethasone (carfilzomib group) or bortezomib with dexamethasone (bortezomib group). Randomisation was stratified by previous proteasome inhibitor therapy, previous lines of treatment, International Staging System stage, and planned route of bortezomib administration if randomly assigned to bortezomib with dexamethasone. Patients received treatment until progression with carfilzomib (20 mg/m2 on days 1 and 2 of cycle 1; 56 mg/m2 thereafter; 30 min intravenous infusion) and dexamethasone (20 mg oral or intravenous infusion) or bortezomib (1·3 mg/m2; intravenous bolus or subcutaneous injection) and dexamethasone (20 mg oral or intravenous infusion). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival in the intention-to-treat population. All participants who received at least one dose of study drug were included in the safety analyses. The study is ongoing but not enrolling participants; results for the interim analysis of the primary endpoint are presented. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01568866. Findings: Between June 20, 2012, and June 30, 2014, 929 patients were randomly assigned (464 to the carfilzomib group; 465 to the bortezomib group). Median follow-up was 11·9 months (IQR 9·3-16·1) in the carfilzomib group and 11·1 months (8·2-14·3) in the bortezomib group. Median progression-free survival was 18·7 months (95% CI 15·6-not estimable) in the carfilzomib group versus 9·4 months (8·4-10·4) in the bortezomib group at a preplanned interim analysis (hazard ratio [HR] 0·53 [95% CI 0·44-0·65]; p<0·0001). On-study death due to adverse events occurred in 18 (4%) of 464 patients in the carfilzomib group and in 16 (3%) of 465 patients in the bortezomib group. Serious adverse events were reported in 224 (48%) of 463 patients in the carfilzomib group and in 162 (36%) of 456 patients in the bortezomib group. The most frequent grade 3 or higher adverse events were anaemia (67 [14%] of 463 patients in the carfilzomib group vs 45 [10%] of 456 patients in the bortezomib group), hypertension (41 [9%] vs 12 [3%]), thrombocytopenia (39 [8%] vs 43 [9%]), and pneumonia (32 [7%] vs 36 [8%]). Interpretation: For patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, carfilzomib with dexamethasone could be considered in cases in which bortezomib with dexamethasone is a potential treatment option. Funding: Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Amgen subsidiary. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.
Sakelliou A, Fatouros IG, Athanailidis I, Tsoukas D, Chatzinikolaou A, Draganidis D, Jamurtas AZ, Liacos C, Papassotiriou I, Mandalidis D, et al. Evidence of a Redox-Dependent Regulation of Immune Responses to Exercise-Induced Inflammation. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity [Internet]. 2016;2016. WebsiteAbstract
We used thiol-based antioxidant supplementation (n-acetylcysteine, NAC) to determine whether immune mobilisation following skeletal muscle microtrauma induced by exercise is redox-sensitive in healthy humans. According to a two-trial, double-blind, crossover, repeated measures design, 10 young men received either placebo or NAC (20mg/kg/day) immediately after a muscledamaging exercise protocol (300 eccentric contractions) and for eight consecutive days. Blood sampling and performance assessments were performed before exercise, after exercise, and daily throughout recovery. NAC reduced the decline of reduced glutathione in erythrocytes and the increase of plasma protein carbonyls, serum TAC and erythrocyte oxidized glutathione, and TBARS and catalase activity during recovery thereby altering postexercise redox status. The rise of muscle damage and inflammatory markers (muscle strength, creatine kinase activity, CRP, proinflammatory cytokines, and adhesion molecules) was less pronounced in NAC during the first phase of recovery. The rise of leukocyte and neutrophil count was decreased by NAC after exercise. Results on immune cell subpopulations obtained by flow cytometry indicated that NAC ingestion reduced the exerciseinduced rise of total macrophages, HLA+ macrophages, and 11B+ macrophages and abolished the exercise-induced upregulation of B lymphocytes. Natural killer cells declined only in PLA immediately after exercise. These results indicate that thiol-based antioxidant supplementation blunts immune cell mobilisation in response to exercise-induced inflammation suggesting that leukocyte mobilization may be under redox-dependent regulation. Copyright © 2016 Alexandra Sakelliou et al.
Charitaki E, Kastritis E, Petraki C, Liapis K, Adamidis K, Apostolou T, Christodoulidou C, Nikolopoulou N, Terpos E, Nakopoulou L, et al. Glomerular expression of matrix metalloproteinases in AL-amyloidosis and association with renal function at the time of kidney biopsy. Clinical Nephrology [Internet]. 2016;85(1):44 - 52. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been implicated in the pathophysiology of various renal diseases, however, there are limited data regarding their role in renal AL-amyloidosis. In the present study, we evaluated the glomerular expression of MMPs in renal-biopsy specimens containing AL-amyloid deposits. We also examined the association of MMPs with renal function at the time of diagnostic renal biopsy. Methods: We performed immunohistochemistry with monoclonal antibodies against MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 in 19 kidney-biopsy specimens with AL-amyloidosis and 8 specimens from normal kidney tissue. We used clinical data of the patients at the time of kidney biopsy to evaluate the association between MMP expression and renal function. Results: We found increased MMP-1 and MMP-3 expression within the amyloid deposits and adjacent tissues in > 50% of the amyloid-positive biopsies, whereas MMP-1 and MMP-3 were negative in control samples. In contrast, we found no significant glomerular MMP-2 and TIMP-1 expression in amyloid-containing or normal kidneys. MMP-9 expression was found in the glomerular basement membrane equally in AL-amyloidosis and control specimens. The presence of MMP-1 and MMP-3 in the glomeruli of patients with AL-amyloidosis correlated with worse renal function at the time of kidney biopsy. Conclusion: The findings of this study show increased glomerular expression of MMP-1 and MMP-3 in patients with AL-amyloidosis which is associated with worse renal function at the time of the kidney biopsy. Our results suggest an important role for MMP-1 and MMP-3 in the pathogenesis of renal damage in AL-amyloidosis. © 2016 Dustri-Verlag Dr. K. Feistle.
Dimopoulos MA, Cheung MC, Roussel M, Liu T, Gamberi B, Kolb B, Derigs HG, Eom HS, Belhadj K, Lenain P, et al. Impact of renal impairment on outcomes with lenalidomide and dexamethasone treatment in the FIRST trial, a randomized, open-label phase 3 trial in transplant-ineligible patients with multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2016;101(3):363 - 370. WebsiteAbstract
Renal impairment is associated with poor prognosis in myeloma. This analysis of the pivotal phase 3 FIRST trial examined the impact of renally adapted dosing of lenalidomide and dexamethasone on outcomes of patients with different degrees of renal impairment. Transplant-ineligible patients not requiring dialysis were randomized 1:1:1 to receive continuous lenalidomide and dexamethasone until disease progression (n=535) or for 18 cycles (72 weeks; n=541), or melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide for 12 cycles (72 weeks; n=547). Follow-up is ongoing. Patients were grouped by baseline creatinine clearance into no (≥ 80 mL/min [n=389]), mild (≥ 50 to < 80 mL/min [n=715]), moderate (≥ 30 to < 50 mL/min [n=372]), and severe impairment (< 30 mL/min [n=147]) subgroups. Continuous lenalidomide and dexamethasone therapy reduced the risk of progression or death in no, mild, and moderate renal impairment subgroups vs. melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide therapy (HR = 0.67, 0.70, and 0.65, respectively). Overall survival benefits were observed with continuous lenalidomide and dexamethasone treatment vs.melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide treatment in no or mild renal impairment subgroups. Renal function improved from baseline in 52.6% of lenalidomide and dexamethasone–treated patients. The safety profile of continuous lenalidomide and dexamethasone was consistent across renal subgroups, except for grade 3/4 anemia and rash, which increased with increasing severity of renal impairment. Continuous lenalidomide and dexamethasone treatment, with renally adapted lenalidomide dosing, was effective for most transplant-ineligible patients with myeloma and renal impairment. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00689936); EudraCT (2007- 004823-39). Funding: Intergroupe Francophone du Myélome and the Celgene Corporation. © 2016 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Papassotiriou G-P, Kastritis E, Gkotzamanidou M, Christoulas D, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Roussou M, Margeli A, Papassotiriou I, et al. Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin and Cystatin C Are Sensitive Markers of Renal Injury in Patients with Multiple Myeloma. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2016;16(1):29 - 35. WebsiteAbstract
Background Renal impairment is a common complication of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). We aimed to evaluate the clinical significance of 2 newly discovered biomarkers of renal injury, cystatin C (CysC), a protein reflecting glomerular filtration rate, and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), a protein reflecting tubular injuries. Patients and Methods We studied 64 patients with newly diagnosed myeloma: 16 with asymptomatic (smoldering) MM and 48 with symptomatic myeloma; 8 patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS); and 20 healthy control subjects. Along with common blood and urine chemistry determinations, measurements of CysC, NGAL, β2-microglobulin, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and interleukin 6 were performed. Results We found that only patients with symptomatic MM had increased levels of CysC compared to controls (P <.01); that serum NGAL levels were elevated in all patients compared to controls P <.001; that NGAL strongly correlated with both estimation of glomerular filtration rate (EGFR) (CysC) and EGFR (Modification of Diet in Renal Disease [MDRD] formula) (r = 0.616, P <.0001; and r = -0.371, P <.01, respectively); that CysC showed strong correlation with EGFR (r = -0.782, P <.001) and with the International Scoring System (ISS) (more pronounced in patients with ISS-3); and that receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that NGAL values of > 50.5 μg/L have a 80.8% sensitivity and 86.4% specificity for EGFR < 60 mL/min (area under the curve = 0.764). Conclusion These findings suggest that both NGAL and CysC are very sensitive markers that reflect renal impairment in newly diagnosed patients with MM. The high levels of NGAL in asymptomatic patients and in MGUS patients support the hypothesis of the presence of renal damage in these patients early in the course of their disease and may reveal NGAL to be an early marker that predicts the presence of renal impairment in MM. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Vassilakopoulos TP, Pangalis GA, Chatziioannou S, Papageorgiou S, Angelopoulou MK, Galani Z, Kourti G, Prassopoulos V, Leonidopoulou T, Terpos E, et al. PET/CT in primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma responding to rituximab-CHOP: An analysis of 106 patients regarding prognostic significance and implications for subsequent radiotherapy. Leukemia [Internet]. 2016;30(1):238 - 242. Website
Ou Y, Doshi S, Nguyen A, Jonsson F, Aggarwal S, Rajangam K, Dimopoulos MA, Stewart AK, Badros A, Papadopoulos KP, et al. Population Pharmacokinetics and Exposure-Response Relationship of Carfilzomib in Patients With Multiple Myeloma. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology [Internet]. 2016. WebsiteAbstract
A population pharmacokinetic (PK) model and exposure-response (E-R) analysis was developed using data collected from 5 phase 1b/2 and 2 phase 3 studies in subjects with multiple myeloma. Subjects receiving intravenous infusion on 2 consecutive days each week for 3 weeks (days 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16) in each cycle at doses ranging from 15 to 20/56 mg/m2 (20 mg/m2 in cycle 1 and, if tolerated, escalated to 56 mg/m2 on day 8 of cycle 1). The population PK analysis indicated that among all the covariates tested, the only statistically significant covariate was body surface area on carfilzomib clearance; however, this covariate was unlikely to be clinically significant. Despite inclusion of different populations (relapsed or relapsed/refractory), treatments (carfilzomib monotherapy or combination therapy), infusion lengths (2 to 10 minutes or 30 minutes), and different doses, the E-R analysis of efficacy showed that after adjusting for baseline characteristics, higher area under the concentration-time curve was associated with improved overall response rate (ORR), from 15 to 20/56 mg/m2. No positive relationships between maximum concentration and ORR were identified, indicating that ORR would not be expected to be impacted by infusion length. For safety end points, no statistically significant relationship between exposure and increasing risk of adverse events was identified. The results of an E-R analysis provided strong support for a carfilzomib dose at 20/56 mg/m2 as a 30-minute infusion for monotherapy and combination therapy. This article illustrates an example of application of E-R analysis to support labeling dose recommendation in the absence of extensive clinical data. © 2016, The American College of Clinical Pharmacology.
Avivi I, Cohen YC, Joffe E, Benyamini N, Held-Kuznetsov V, Trestman S, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E. Serum free immunoglobulin light chain fingerprint identifies a subset of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients with worse outcome. Hematological Oncology [Internet]. 2016. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a multi-subclonal malignancy with relatively high heterogeneity. Patients who initially presented with both monoclonal-protein (MP) and free light chain (FLC) secretion but then relapsed with a light chain escape pattern have been shown to reflect disease clonal evolution and to bare a worse prognosis. We hypothesized that a discordant MP/FLC pattern at diagnosis may reflect a similar clonal evolution that had occurred prior to diagnosis of active myeloma, conferring a worse outcome. We analyzed 255 consecutive newly diagnosed MM patients who received first line bortezomib-based therapy between 2007 and 2014, hypothesizing that their MP/FLC fingerprint at diagnosis reflects clonal heterogeneity and, therefore, affects outcome. An involved FLC level ≥ 700 mg/L and MP ≥ 2.5 g/L were used as cutoffs for low vs high FLC and MP levels, respectively. Patients were divided into 4 subgroups according to their involved FLC and MP blood levels at diagnosis: HiLC and HiMP for patients with either a predominant FLC or a predominant MP, respectively, and HiLC-MP and LoLC-MP when both FLC and MP were increased or decreased, respectively. There were 68 (27%) patients with HiLC, which presented more often with International Staging System-3 stage (P < .0001). Multivariate analysis showed that HiLC was associated with a 5.1-fold risk for mortality in a multivariate model (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.34-19.68). Both HiLC and HiLC-MP phenotypes were associated with shorter progression-free survival (hazard ratio of 2.66 [95% CI, 1.33-5.32] and 2.82 [95% CI, 1.37-5.83], respectively), independently of other prognostic factors, including the use of autograft. Thus, we identified an LC predominant secretory fingerprint (HiLC phenotype) at diagnosis as a potential independent risk factor that may affect disease control and survival in newly diagnosed MM patients treated with bortezomib-based induction therapy; this may represent increased subclonal heterogeneity. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Caers J, de Larrea CF, Leleu X, Heusschen R, Zojer N, Decaux O, Kastritis E, Minnema M, Jurczyszyn A, Beguin Y, et al. The changing landscape of smoldering multiple myeloma: A european perspective. Oncologist [Internet]. 2016;21(3):333 - 342. WebsiteAbstract
Smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) is an asymptomatic clonal plasma cell disorder and bridges monoclonal gammo- pathyof undetermined significance to multiple myeloma (MM), based on higher levels of circulating monoclonal immunoglobulin and bone marrow plasmocytosis without end-organ damage. Until a Spanish study reported fewer MM-related events and better overall survival among patients with high- risk SMM treated with lenalidomide and dexamethasone, prior studies had failed to show improved survival with earlier intervention,although a reduction in skeletal-related events (without any impact on disease progression) has been described with bisphosphonate use. Risk factors have now been defined, and a subset of ultra-high-risk patients have been reclassified by the International Myeloma Working Group as MM, and thus will require optimal MM treatment, based on biomarkers that identify patients with a >80% risk of progression. The number of these redefined patients is small (~10%), but important to unravel, because theirriskof progression to overt MM is substantial ($80% within 2 years). Patients with a high-risk cytogenetic profile are not yet considered for early treatment, because groups are heterogeneous and risk factors other than cytogenetics are deemed to weight higher. Because patients with ultra-high- risk SMM are now considered as MM and may be treated as such, concerns exist that earlier therapy may increase the risk of selecting resistant clones and induce side effects and costs. Therefore, an even more accurate identification of patients who would benefit from interventions needs to be performed, and clinical judgment and careful discussion of pros and cons of treatment initiation need to be undertaken. For the majority of SMM patients, the standard of care remains observation until development of symptomatic MM occurs, encouraging participation in ongoing and upcoming SMM/early MM clinical trials, as well as consideration of bisphosphonate use in patients with early bone loss. © AlphaMed Press 2016.
Samara P, Skopeliti M, Tsiatas ML, Georgaki S, Gouloumis C, Voelter W, Dimopoulos A-M, Bamias A, Tsitsilonis OE. A Cytokine cocktail augments the efficacy of adoptive NK-92 cell therapy against mouse xenografts of human cancer. Anticancer Research [Internet]. 2016;36(7):3373 - 3382. WebsiteAbstract
Background/Aim: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) activated with immobilized monoclonal antibody against cluster of differentiation 3 (CD3) secrete cytokines in their culture supernatant (termed ACD3S). We examined the antitumor efficacy of ACD3S-activated NK-92 cells in vitro and in vivo. Materials and Methods: Interleukin (IL) 2-depleted NK-92 cells were reactivated with ACD3S, analyzed for their phenotype and tested for cytotoxicity, and perforin and interferon (IFN) production. Severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice xenografted with human melanoma and breast cancer cells were treated with ACD3S-activated NK-92 cells and tumor growth was monitored. Results: Brief activation of IL2-depleted NK-92 cells with ACD3S fully restored their in vitro cytotoxicity towards tumor cells. ACD3S-activated NK-92 cells were phenotypically similar to standard NK-92 cells, but exhibited prolonged cytotoxicity and produced higher levels of IFN. When adoptively transferred to tumor-bearing SCID mice, these cells retarded the growth of melanoma and breast tumors. Conclusion: Stimulation of NK-92 cells with ACD3S may be useful in clinical cancer therapy, as an alternative method for ex vivo natural killer cell activation.
Engert A, Balduini C, Brand A, Coiffier B, Cordonnier C, Döhner H, De Wit TD, Eichinger S, Fibbe W, Green T, et al. The european hematology association roadmap for european hematology research: A consensus document. Haematologica [Internet]. 2016;101(2):115 - 208. WebsiteAbstract
The European Hematology Association (EHA) Roadmap for European Hematology Research highlights major achievements in diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders and identifies the greatest unmet clinical and scientific needs in those areas to enable better funded, more focused European hematology research. Initiated by the EHA, around 300 experts contributed to the consensus document, which will help European policy makers, research funders, research organizations, researchers, and patient groups make better informed decisions on hematology research. It also aims to raise public awareness of the burden of blood disorders on European society, which purely in economic terms is estimated at ∈ European Hematology Association (EHA) Roadmap for European Hematology Research highlights major achievements in diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders and identifies the greatest unmet clinical and scientific needs in those areas to enable better fu treatments, sometimes in revolutionary ways. This progress highlights the potential of focused basic research programs such as this EHA Roadmap. The EHA Roadmap identifies nine ‘sections’ in hematology: normal hematopoiesis, malignant lymphoid and myeloid diseases, anemias and related diseases, platelet disorders, blood coagulation and hemostatic disorders, transfusion medicine, infections in hematology, and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. These sections span 60 smaller groups of diseases or disorders. The EHA Roadmap identifies priorities and needs across the field of hematology, including those to develop targeted therapies based on genomic profiling and chemical biology, to eradicate minimal residual malignant disease, and to develop cellular immunotherapies, combination treatments, gene therapies, hematopoietic stem cell treatments, and treatments that are better tolerated by elderly patients. © 2016 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Richardson PG, Hungria VTM, Yoon S-S, Beksac M, Dimopoulos MA, Elghandour A, Jedrzejczak WW, Guenther A, Na Nakorn T, Siritanaratkul N, et al. Panobinostat plus bortezomib and dexamethasone in previously treated multiple myeloma: Outcomes by prior treatment. Blood [Internet]. 2016;127(6):713 - 721. WebsiteAbstract
Panobinostat is a potent pan-deacetylase inhibitor that affects the growth and survival of multiple myeloma (MM) cells through alteration of epigenetic mechanisms and protein metabolism. Panobinostat plus bortezomib and dexamethasone (PAN-BTZ-Dex) led to a significant increase in progression-free survival (PFS) vs placebo plus bortezomib and dexamethasone (Pbo-BTZ-Dex) in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractoryMMin the phase 3PANORAMA1 trial. This subgroup analysis evaluated outcomes in patients in the PANORAMA 1 trial based on prior treatment: A prior immunomodulatory drug (IMiD; n 5 485), prior bortezomib plus an IMiD (n 5 193), and ≥2 prior regimens including bortezomib and an IMiD (n5147). Median PFS with PAN-BTZ-Dex vs Pbo-BTZ-Dex across subgroups was as follows: prior IMiD (12.3 vs 7.4 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-0.68), prior bortezomib plus IMiD (10.6 vs 5.8 months; HR, 0.52;95%CI, 0.36-0.76),and ≥2 prior regimens including bortezomib and an IMiD (12.5 vs 4.7 months; HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.31-0.72). Common grade 3/4 adverse events and laboratory abnormalities in patients who received PAN-BTZ-Dex across the prior treatment groups included thrombocytopenia, lymphopenia, neutropenia, diarrhea, and asthenia/ fatigue. Incidence of on-treatment deaths among patients who received prior bortezomib and an IMiD (regardless of number of prior regimens) was similar between treatment arms. This analysis demonstrated a clear PFS benefit of 7.8 months with PAN-BTZ-Dex among patients who received ‡2 prior regimens including bortezomib and an IMiD, a population with limited treatment options and poorer prognosis. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01023308. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Recent advances in the management of AL Amyloidosis. British Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2016;172(2):170 - 186. WebsiteAbstract
Immunoglobulin light chain (AL) amyloidosis, the most common of the systemic amyloidosis, is characterized by the deposition of amyloid fibrils that derive from the aggregation of misfolded monoclonal immunoglobulin light chains. Amyloid fibrils disrupt tissue architecture and the pre-fibril oligomers are directly toxic to myocardiac cells, causing cardiac dysfunction. The lethal consequences of AL amyloidosis are due to the toxic product and not due to the malignant behaviour of the plasma cell clone however, the characteristics of this clone are associated with long-term prognosis. Early and accurate diagnosis is the key to effective management, but is challenging. Modern chemotherapy options (including autologous transplantation, bortezomib, lenalidomide) have improved the outcomes of patients at low or intermediate risk, but the prognosis of patients with severe cardiac dysfunction is still poor. Therapies targeting amyloid deposits and the amyloidogenic process are under investigation and offer promise for better future treatments. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Duvic M, Dimopoulos M. The safety profile of vorinostat (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid) in hematologic malignancies: A review of clinical studies. Cancer Treatment Reviews [Internet]. 2016;43:58 - 66. WebsiteAbstract
Histone acetyltransferases and histone deacetylases (HDACs) are multifunctional enzymes that posttranslationally modify both histone and nonhistone acetylation sites, affecting a broad range of cellular processes (e.g., cell cycle, apoptosis, and protein folding) often dysregulated in cancer. HDAC inhibitors are small molecules that directly interact with HDAC catalytic sites preventing the removal of acetyl groups, thereby counteracting the effects of HDACs. Since the first HDAC inhibitor, valproic acid, was investigated as a potential antitumor agent, there have been a number of other HDAC inhibitors developed to improve efficacy and safety. Despite significant progress in the management of patients with hematologic malignancies, overall survival is still poor. The discovery that HDACs may play a role in hematologic malignancies and preclinical studies showing promising activity with HDAC inhibitors in various tumor types, led to clinical evaluation of HDAC inhibitors as potential treatment options for patients with advanced hematologic malignancies. The Food and Drug Administration has approved two HDAC inhibitors, vorinostat (2006) and romidepsin (2009), for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. This review highlights the safety of HDAC inhibitors currently approved or being investigated for the treatment of hematologic malignancies, with a specific focus on the safety experience with vorinostat in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. © 2016.
Bagratuni T, Terpos E, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kalapanida D, Gavriatopoulou M, Migkou M, Liacos C-I, Tasidou A, Matsouka C, Mparmparousi D, et al. TLR4/TIRAP polymorphisms are associated with progression and survival of patients with symptomatic myeloma. British Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2016;172(1):44 - 47. WebsiteAbstract
Myeloma cells thrive in an environment of sustained inflammation, which impacts the development and evolution of the disease, as well as drug resistance. We evaluated the impact of genetic polymorphisms in the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) pathway, which have been implicated in different inflammatory responses in the outcomes of patients with symptomatic multiple myeloma (MM) who have received contemporary therapies. We found that the presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in both the TLR4 and toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR)-associated protein (TIRAP) genes was associated with lower response to primary therapy mainly for patients who received immunomodulatory drugs but not in patients treated with bortezomib-based therapies. Furthermore, TIRAP SNP was associated with a significantly shorter progression-free survival and overall survival, independently of other prognostic factors, such as age, transplant, International Staging System stage, lactate dehydrogenase and cytogenetics. This is the first study to demonstrate the effect of SNPs in TLR4/TIRAP in MM. Our data indicate that genetic variability in the immune system may be associated with different responses to antimyeloma therapies and may be a critical component affecting the natural history of the disease, providing the basis for further investigation of the role of these pathways in myeloma. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Michopoulos S, Chouzouri VI, Manios ED, Grapsa E, Antoniou Z, Papadimitriou CA, Zakopoulos N, Dimopoulos A-M. Untreated newly diagnosed essential hypertension is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in a population of a hypertensive center. Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology [Internet]. 2016;9:1 - 9. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: Recent studies have demonstrated that hypertension (HTN) is associated with non- alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in treated hypertensive patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between newly diagnosed essential HTN and NAFLD in untreated hypertensive patients. Patients and methods: A consecutive series of 240 subjects (143 hypertensives and 97 normotensives), aged 30-80 years, without diabetes mellitus were enrolled in the study. Subjects with 24-hour systolic blood pressure (SBP) values ≥130 mmHg and/or diastolic BP values ≥80 mmHg were defined as hypertensives. NAFLD was defined as the presence of liver hyperechogenicity on ultrasound. Results: Body mass index (P=0.002) and essential HTN (P=0.016) were independently associated with NAFLD in the multivariate logistic regression model. Furthermore, the multivariate analysis revealed that morning SBP (P=0.044) was independently associated with NAFLD. Conclusion: Untreated, newly diagnosed essential HTN is independently associated with NAFLD. Ambulatory BP monitoring could be used for the diagnosis of essential HTN in patients with NAFLD. © 2016 Michopoulos et al.
Bamias A, Peroukidis S, Stamatopoulou S, Tzannis K, Koutsoukos K, Andreadis C, Bozionelou V, Pistalmatzian N, Papatsoris A, Stravodimos K, et al. Utilization of Systemic Chemotherapy in Advanced Urothelial Cancer: A Retrospective Collaborative Study by the Hellenic Genitourinary Cancer Group (HGUCG). Clinical Genitourinary Cancer [Internet]. 2016;14(2):e153 - e159. WebsiteAbstract
Background Advanced urothelial cancer (AUCa) is associated with poor long-term survival. Two major concerns are related to nonexposure to cisplatin-based chemotherapy and poor outcome after relapse. Our purpose was to record patterns of practice in AUCa in Greece, focusing on first-line treatment and management of relapsed disease. Methods Patients with AUCa treated from 2011 to 2013 were included in the analysis. Fitness for cisplatin was assessed by recently established criteria. Results Of 327 patients treated with first-line chemotherapy, 179 (55%) did not receive cisplatin. Criteria for unfitness for cisplatin were: Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) ≥ 2, 21%; creatinine clearance ≤ 60 mL/min, 55%; hearing impairment, 8%; neuropathy, 1%; and cardiac failure, 5%. Forty-six patients (27%) did not fulfill any criterion for unfitness for cisplatin. The main reasons for these deviations were comorbidities (28%) and advanced age (32%). Seventy-four (68%) of 109 patients who experienced a relapse received second-line chemotherapy. The most frequent reason for not offering second-line chemotherapy was poor PS or limited life expectancy (66%). Conclusion In line with international data, approximately 50% of Greek patients with AUCa do not receive cisplatin-based chemotherapy, although 27% of them were suitable for such treatment. In addition, about one third of patients with relapse did not receive second-line chemotherapy because of poor PS or short life expectancy. Enforcing criteria for fitness for cisplatin and earlier diagnosis of relapse represent 2 targets for improvement in current treatment practice for AUCa. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Ghobrial IM. Waldenström's macroglobulinemia: A clinical perspective in the era of novel therapeutics. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2016;27(2):233 - 240. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare, low-grade malignancy with no established standard of care. Rituximab regimens are most commonly used, supported by their efficacy in hematologic malignancies, including WM. A growing number of investigational regimens for WM have been evaluated in phase II clinical trials, including single-agent and combination strategies that include newer-generation monoclonal antibodies (ofatumumab and alemtuzumab), proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib and carfilzomib), immunomodulatory agents (thalidomide and lenalidomide), phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway inhibitors (everolimus and perifosene), a Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor (ibrutinib), and a histone deacetylase inhibitor (panobinostat). Other novel agents are in early-stage development for WM. International treatment guidelines for WM suggest suitable regimens in the newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory settings, in accordance with patient age, disease presentation, and efficacy and safety profiles of particular drugs. These factors must be considered when choosing appropriate therapy for individual patients with WM, to maximize response and prolong survival, while minimizing the risk of adverse events. This review article provides a clinical perspective of the modern management of patients with WM, in the context of available trial data for novel regimens and recently updated treatment guidelines. © The Author 2015.
Dimopoulos MA, Roussou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Psimenou E, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Migkou M, Matsouka C, Mparmparousi D, Gika D, Kafantari E, et al. Bortezomib-based triplets are associated with a high probability of dialysis independence and rapid renal recovery in newly diagnosed myeloma patients with severe renal failure or those requiring dialysis. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2016;91(5):499 - 502. WebsiteAbstract
Renal failure (RF) is a common and severe complication of symptomatic myeloma, associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Such patients are commonly excluded from clinical trials. Bortezomib/dexamethasone (VD)-based regimens are the backbone of the treatment of newly diagnosed MM patients who present with severe RF even those requiring dialysis. We analyzed the outcomes of 83 consecutive bortezomib-treated patients with severe RF (eGFR<30 ml/min/1.73 m2), of which 31 (37%) required dialysis. By IMWG renal response criteria, 54 (65%) patients achieved at least MRrenal, including CRrenal in 35% and PRrenal in 12%. Triplet combinations (i.e., VD plus a third agent) versus VD alone were associated with higher rates of renal responses (72 vs. 50%; P=0.06). Fifteen of the 31 (48%) patients became dialysis independent within a median of 217 days (range 11-724). Triplets were associated with a higher probability of dialysis discontinuation (57 vs. 35%). Serum free light chain (sFLC) level ≥11,550 mg/L was associated with lower rates of major renal response, longer time to major renal response, lower probability, and longer time to dialysis discontinuation. Rapid myeloma response (≥PR within the first month) was also associated with higher rates of renal response. Patients who became dialysis-independent had longer survival than those remaining on dialysis. In conclusion, VD-based triplets are associated with a significant probability of renal response and dialysis discontinuation, improving the survival of patients who became dialysis independent. Rapid disease response is important for renal recovery and sFLCs are predictive of the probability and of the time required for renal response. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Moreau P, Palumbo A, Chng W-J, Feng S. Carfilozomib versus bortezomib for relapsed or refractory myeloma – Authors' reply. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2016;17(4):e126. Website
Trachana S-P, Pilalis E, Gavalas NG, Tzannis K, Papadodima O, Liontos M, Rodolakis A, Vlachos G, Thomakos N, Haidopoulos D, et al. The development of an angiogenic protein "signature" in ovarian cancer ascites as a tool for biologic and prognostic profiling. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2016;11(6). WebsiteAbstract
Advanced ovarian cancer (AOC) is one of the leading lethal gynecological cancers in developed countries. Based on the important role of angiogenesis in ovarian cancer oncogenesis and expansion, we hypothesized that the development of an "angiogenic signature" might be helpful in prediction of prognosis and efficacy of anti-angiogenic therapies in this disease. Sixty-nine samples of ascitic fluid- 35 from platinum sensitive and 34 from platinum resistant patients managed with cytoreductive surgery and 1st-line carboplatin-based chemotherapy- were analyzed using the Proteome Profiler™ Human Angiogenesis Array Kit, screening for the presence of 55 soluble angiogenesis-related factors. A protein profile based on the expression of a subset of 25 factors could accurately separate resistant from sensitive patients with a success rate of approximately 90%. The protein profile corresponding to the "sensitive" subset was associated with significantly longer PFS (8 [95% Confidence Interval {CI}: 8-9] vs. 20 months [95% CI: 15-28]; Hazard ratio {HR}: 8.3, p<0.001) and OS (20.5 months [95% CI: 13.5-30] vs. 74 months [95% CI: 36-not reached]; HR: 5.6 [95% CI: 2.8-11.2]; p<0.001). This prognostic performance was superior to that of stage, histology and residual disease after cytoreductive surgery and the levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in ascites. In conclusion, we developed an "angiogenic signature" for patients with AOC, which can be used, after appropriate validation, as a prognostic marker and a tool for selection for anti-angiogenic therapies. © 2016 Trachana et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Zagouri F, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Emerging antibodies for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Expert Opinion on Emerging Drugs [Internet]. 2016;21(2):225 - 237. WebsiteAbstract
ABSTRACT: Introduction: Monoclonal antibodies mark the beginning of a new era in the context of multiple myeloma (MM) treatment. Numerous antibodies have been tested or are currently in development for patients with MM, in order to improve tolerability and quality of life. Areas covered: This manuscript reviews emerging antibodies for the treatment of MM i.e. elotuzumab, daratumumab, MOR03087, isatuximab, bevacizumab, cetuximab, siltuximab, tocilizumab, elsilimomab, azintrel, rituximab, tositumomab, milatuzumab, lucatumumab, dacetuzumab, figitumumab, dalotuzumab, AVE1642, tabalumab, pembrolizumab, pidilizumab, nivolumab. Expert opinion: Amongst these antibodies, elotuzumab which targets SLAMF-7 and daratumumab which targets CD38, have been recently approved by FDA for patients with relapsed/refractory MM. Both agents are well tolerated. Multiple clinical trials incorporating these monoclonal antibodies in MM treatment are currently ongoing. Of special interest are the anticipated results of phase III clinical trials with elotuzumab [NCT0189164; NCT01335399; NCT02495922] and daratumumab [NCT02252172; NCT02195479] in newly diagnosed MM patients. Moreover, of great interest are the awaited data on pembrolizumabin combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone in refractory/relapsed MM patients [NCT02576977] and in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in newly diagnosed MM patients. It seems that the incorporation of monoclonal antibodies will change the landscape of myeloma therapy in the near future. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Drivalos A, Chrisofos M, Efstathiou E, Kapranou A, Kollaitis G, Koutlis G, Antoniou N, Karanastasis D, Dimopoulos MA, Bamias A. Expression of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, Ε-cadherin, and N-cadherin in localized prostate cancer. Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations [Internet]. 2016;34(4):165.e11 - 165.e18. WebsiteAbstract
Objective: To explore the correlation between the expression of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, Ε-cadherin, and N-cadherin in prostate cancer (PCa) and its clinicopathological data including tumor grade and clinical stage. Methods: The expression of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, Ε-cadherin, and N-cadherin was examined in 157 cases of PCa and adjacent normal prostatic tissue by immunohistochemical assay, and the correlation with clinicopathological features was analyzed. Results: Expressions of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, and Ε-cadherin in PCa were lower than those in normal prostatic tissues (P<0.05). N-cadherin expression was higher in cancer prostatic tissue than in normal prostatic tissues (P<0.05). The reduced expression of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, and Ε-cadherin was related to Gleason score, pathological stage, lymph node metastasis, and prostate-specific antigen level, but it was not associated with positive surgical margins and patient age. The increased expression of N-cadherin was related to Gleason score, pathological stage, lymph node metastasis, and prostate-specific antigen level, but not to age and positive surgical margins. The expression of E-cadherin was highly negatively correlated with that of N-cadherin and also positively correlated with that of α5-integrin and α7-integrin. Conclusion: The reduced expression of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, and Ε-cadherin and abnormal expression of N-cadherin play an important role in the occurrence and development of PCa. The results indicate that these have potential values in the diagnosis and are predictable indices in the proliferation of PCa. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Sonneveld P, Leung N, Merlini G, Ludwig H, Kastritis E, Goldschmidt H, Joshua D, Orlowski RZ, Powles R, et al. International Myeloma working group recommendations for the diagnosis and management of Myeloma-Related Renal Impairment. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2016;34(13):1544 - 1557. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose The aim of the International Myeloma Working Group was to develop practical recommendations for the diagnosis and management of multiple myeloma-related renal impairment (RI). Methods Recommendations were based on published data through December 2015, and were developed using the system developed by the Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation Working Group. Recommendations All patients with myeloma at diagnosis and at disease assessment should have serum creatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and electrolytes measurements as well as free light chain, if available, and urine electrophoresis of a sample from a 24-hour urine collection (grade A). The Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration, preferably, or the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula should be used for the evaluation of estimated glomerular filtration rate in patients with stabilized serum creatinine (grade A). International Myeloma Working Group criteria for renal reversibility should be used (grade B). For themanagement of RI in patientswithmultiplemyeloma, high fluid intake is indicated along with antimyeloma therapy (grade B). The use of high-cutoff hemodialysis membranes in combination with antimyeloma therapy can be considered (grade B). Bortezomib-based regimens remain the cornerstone of the management of myeloma-related RI (grade A). High-dose dexamethasone should be administered at least for the first month of therapy (grade B). Thalidomide is effective in patients with myeloma with RI, and no dose modifications are needed (grade B). Lenalidomide is effective and safe, mainly in patients with mild to moderate RI (grade B); for patients with severe RI or on dialysis, lenalidomide should be given with closemonitoring for hematologic toxicity (grade B) with dose reduction as needed. High-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (with melphalan 100 mg/m2 to 140 mg/m2) is feasible in patients with RI (grade C). Carfilzomib can be safely administered to patients with creatinine clearance . 15 mL/min, whereas ixazomib in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone can be safely administered to patients with creatinine clearance . 30 mL/min (grade A). © 2016 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Bamias A, Tsantoulis P, Zilli T, Papatsoris A, Caparrotti F, Kyratsas C, Tzannis K, Stravodimos K, Chrisofos M, Wirth GJ, et al. Outcome of patients with nonmetastatic muscle-invasive bladder cancer not undergoing cystectomy after treatment with noncisplatin-based chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy: a retrospective analysis. Cancer Medicine [Internet]. 2016;5(6):1098 - 1107. WebsiteAbstract
Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT), radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or combinations can be used in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) not undergoing cystectomy. Nevertheless, unfitness for cystectomy is frequently associated with unfitness for other therapeutic modalities. We report the outcome of patients with MIBC who did not undergo cystectomy and did not receive cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Selection criteria for the study were nonmetastatic MIBC, no cystectomy, no cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy should have been used aside from TURBT. Forty-nine patients (median age 79), managed between April 2001 and January 2012, were included in this analysis. Median Charlson Comorbidity Index was 5, while 76% were unfit for cisplatin. Treatment included radiotherapy (n = 7), carboplatin-based chemotherapy (n = 25), carboplatin-based chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy (n = 10), and radiochemotherapy (n = 7). Five-year event-free rate was 26% (standard error [SE] = 7) for overall survival, 23% (SE = 7) for progression-free survival, and 30 (SE = 8) for cancer-specific survival (CSS). Patients who were treated with combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy had significantly longer CSS compared to those treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy only (5-year CSS rate: 16% [SE 8] vs. 63% [SE 15], P = 0.053). Unfit-for-cystectomy patients frequently receive suboptimal nonsurgical treatment. Their outcome was poor. Combining chemotherapy with radiotherapy produced better outcomes and should be prospectively evaluated. © 2016 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Moreau P, Van De Donk NWCJ, Miguel JS, Lokhorst H, Nahi H, Ben-Yehuda D, Cavo M, Cook G, Delforge M, Einsele H, et al. Practical Considerations for the Use of Daratumumab, a Novel CD38 Monoclonal Antibody, in Myeloma. Drugs [Internet]. 2016;76(8):853 - 867. WebsiteAbstract
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are a recent addition to multiple myeloma (MM) therapies and a number of mAbs directed at myeloma cell surface molecules are in development. Daratumumab is a CD38 mAb that has demonstrated substantial activity and good tolerability in four phase I, phase I/II and phase II studies as monotherapy, as well as in combination with current standard treatments in MM. The positive results obtained in the relapsed/refractory setting in patients with advanced-stage disease and in a small number of patients with newly diagnosed disease provide the rationale for the investigation of the agent in a number of ongoing phase III trials. mAbs are generally better tolerated than conventional chemotherapy; however, their use requires other special considerations. Such factors include those common to all mAbs, namely infusion-related reactions, but also factors that are observed with mAbs used in myeloma, such as interference with response assessment, or factors that are related to CD38 mAbs such as daratumumab, for instance blood typing interference. Our review provides an overview of the results from the daratumumab clinical trials conducted to date, as well as practical management considerations for the use of daratumumab based on our experience with the agent. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
Fountzilas G, Giannoulatou E, Alexopoulou Z, Zagouri F, Timotheadou E, Papadopoulou K, Lakis S, Bobos M, Poulios C, Sotiropoulou M, et al. TP53 mutations and protein immunopositivity may predict for poor outcome but also for trastuzumab benefit in patients with early breast cancer treated in the adjuvant setting. Oncotarget [Internet]. 2016;7(22):32731 - 32753. WebsiteAbstract
Background: We investigated the impact of PIK3CA and TP53 mutations and p53 protein status on the outcome of patients who had been treated with adjuvant anthracycline-taxane chemotherapy within clinical trials in the pre- and post-trastuzumab era. Results: TP53 and PIK3CA mutations were found in 380 (21.5%) and 458 (25.9%) cases, respectively, including 104 (5.9%) co-mutated tumors; p53 immunopositivity was observed in 848 tumors (53.5%). TP53 mutations (p < 0.001) and p53 protein positivity (p = 0.001) were more frequent in HER2-positive and triple negative (TNBC) tumors, while PIK3CA mutations were more frequent in Luminal A/B tumors (p < 0.001). TP53 mutation status and p53 protein expression but not PIK3CA mutation status interacted with trastuzumab treatment for disease-free survival; patients with tumors bearing TP53 mutations or immunopositive for p53 protein fared better when treated with trastuzumab, while among patients treated with trastuzumab those with the above characteristics fared best (interaction p = 0.017 for mutations; p = 0.015 for IHC). Upon multivariate analysis the above interactions remained significant in HER2-positive patients; in the entire cohort, TP53 mutations were unfavorable in patients with Luminal A/B (p = 0.003) and TNBC (p = 0.025); p53 immunopositivity was strongly favorable in patients treated with trastuzumab (p = 0.009). Materials and Methods: TP53 and PIK3CA mutation status was examined in 1766 paraffin tumor DNA samples with informative semiconductor sequencing results. Among these, 1585 cases were also informative for p53 protein status assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC; 10% positivity cut-off). Conclusions: TP53 mutations confer unfavorable prognosis in patients with Luminal A/B and TNBC tumors, while p53 immunopositivity may predict for trastuzumab benefit in the adjuvant setting.
Siegel DS, Dimopoulos M, Jagannath S, Goldschmidt H, Durrant S, Kaufman JL, Leleu X, Nagler A, Offner F, Graef T, et al. VANTAGE 095: An International, Multicenter, Open-Label Study of Vorinostat (MK-0683) in Combination with Bortezomib in Patients with Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2016;16(6):329 - 334.e1. WebsiteAbstract
Background The present global, open-label, single-arm, multicenter, phase IIb study was designed to determine the efficacy and tolerability of oral vorinostat combined with standard doses of bortezomib in patients with multiple myeloma considered refractory to novel myeloma agents. Patients and Methods Eligible patients were age ≥ 18 years, had received ≥ 2 previous regimens, had disease refractory to ≥ 1 previous bortezomib-containing regimen, and had received ≥ 1 dose of an immunomodulatory drug (thalidomide or lenalidomide)-based regimen. The patients received 21-day cycles of bortezomib (1.3 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11) plus oral vorinostat (400 mg/d on days 1-14). Oral dexamethasone, 20 mg, on the day of and the day after each dose of bortezomib could be added for patients with progressive disease after 2 cycles or no change after 4 cycles. The primary endpoint was the objective response rate. Results The objective response rate was 11.3% (95% confidence interval, 6.6%-17.7%), and the median duration of response was 211 days (range, 64-550 days). The median overall survival duration was 11.2 months (95% confidence interval, 8.5-14.4 months), with a 2-year survival rate of 32%. The frequently reported adverse events were thrombocytopenia (69.7%), nausea (57.0%), diarrhea (53.5%), anemia (52.1%), and fatigue (48.6%); the overall safety profile was consistent with that of bortezomib and vorinostat. Conclusion The combination of vorinostat and bortezomib is active in patients with multiple myeloma refractory to novel treatment modalities and offers a new therapeutic option for this difficult-to-treat patient population (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT00773838). © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Kastritis E, Papassotiriou I, Terpos E, Roussou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Komitopoulou A, Skevaki C, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Pamboucas C, Psimenou E, et al. Clinical and prognostic significance of serum levels of von Willebrand factor and ADAMTS-13 antigens in AL amyloidosis. Blood [Internet]. 2016;128(3):405 - 409. WebsiteAbstract
Cardiac dysfunction determines prognosis in amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis. The heart is the central organ of the vascular system in which endothelium function is critical for the circulatory homeostasis, but there are limited data on endothelial function in AL amyloidosis. von Willebrand factor (VWF) has been considered as a marker of endothelial activation and dysfunction, whereas a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin type-1 repeats 13 (ADAMTS-13) cleaves VWF multimers, but both have been associated with prognosis in cardiovascular disease. We measured the serum levels of VWF (VWF:Ag) and ADAMTS-13 antigens in 111 newly diagnosed patients with AL amyloidosis. The levels of VWF:Ag were significantly higher than in healthy controls; 76% of patients with AL had VWF:Ag levels higher than the upper levels of controls. There was no significant association of VWF:Ag levels with patterns of organ involvement, free light-chain levels, the levels of cardiac biomarkers, or renal dysfunction but correlated with low systolic blood pressure. VWF:Ag levels ≥230.0 U/dL were associated with higher probability of early death and poor survival independently of cardiac biomarkers and low systolic blood pressure (SBP). Moreover, among patients with Mayo stage III or stage IIIB (that is stage III with N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide [NTproBNP] >8500 pg/mL) disease, VWF:Ag identified subgroups of patients with very poor outcome. Low ADAMTS-13 levels correlated with high levels of NTproBNP but had no independent prognostic significance. In conclusion, high VWF:Ag levels, probably representing endothelial dysfunction, are associated with prognosis in patients with AL amyloidosis, independently of other features of the disease or cardiac biomarkers. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Current therapy guidelines for Waldenstrom's macroglobulinaemia. Best Practice and Research: Clinical Haematology [Internet]. 2016;29(2):194 - 205. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenstrom's macroglobulinaemia (WM) is a B-cell neoplasm in which bone marrow is infiltrated by lymphoplasmacytic cells that secrete monoclonal immunoglobulin M (IgM). More than a decade ago, specific criteria were agreed to define diagnosis and symptomatic disease requiring therapy; however, treatment recommendations change as new options emerge. Treatment decisions consider specific disease characteristics (burden of disease, IgM levels, presence of cytopenias) and patient characteristics (age, comorbidities, toxicity). Recently, the impact of specific mutations (in MYD88 and CXCR4) in response to specific therapies has been reported, and this may affect treatment decisions in the future. Chemo-immunotherapy combinations based on rituximab with cyclophosphamide/dexamethasone, bendamustine or bortezomib/dexamethasone are indicated for most patients. The BTK inhibitor ibrutinib was recently approved for patients with WM, and is a new option for selected newly diagnosed or relapsing patients. New B-cell receptor inhibitors, second-generation proteasome inhibitors and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors are promising; however, more data are needed from high-quality clinical trials. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
Sergentanis TN, Kastritis E, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA, Psaltopoulou T. Cytogenetics and Survival of Multiple Myeloma: Isolated and Combined Effects. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2016;16(6):335 - 340. WebsiteAbstract
Background A variety of clinical and laboratory prognostic factors for multiple myeloma (MM) have been addressed in published studies. The prognostic significance of cytogenetic abnormalities is also under investigation. Patients and Methods The present study evaluated the potential prognostic role of cytogenetic events and their combinations in terms of overall survival in a large cohort of unselected patients with MM (n = 432). Multivariate Cox regression analysis was performed, adjusting for age, gender, Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes classification, International Staging System score, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, serum lactate dehydrogenase, serum calcium, platelet count, and blood hemoglobin. Results The presence of del(13q) (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18-2.47), t(4;14) (adjusted HR, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.19-3.35), and/or del(17p) (adjusted HR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.22-3.37) was independently associated with poorer overall survival. The poor prognosis seemed more pronounced among patients harboring combinations of 2 adverse cytogenetic abnormalities. In contrast, t(14;16), t(11;14), and add(1q21) were not associated with overall survival. The effect of bortezomib seemed rather minimal in the modification of the prognostic role mediated by del(17p). Conclusion The presence of del(13q), t(4;14), and del(17p), singly or in combination, seems to be an independent poor prognostic factor for patients with MM. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Liontos M, Anastasiou I, Bamias A, Dimopoulos M-A. DNA damage, tumor mutational load and their impact on immune responses against cancer. Annals of Translational Medicine [Internet]. 2016;4(14). WebsiteAbstract
Advances in immunotherapy have changed the therapeutic landscape in many malignancies. Immune checkpoint inhibitors have already received regulatory approval in melanomas, lung, renal and bladder carcinomas. A common feature of these neoplasms is the increased mutational load, related to a possible increase number of tumor neoantigens that are recognized by the immune system. The mechanisms that DNA damage could confer to the mutational load and the formation of neoantigens and how this could be exploited to advance our immunotherapeutic strategies is discussed in this review. © Annals of Translational Medicine.
Liontos M, Trigka E-A, Korkolopoulou P, Tzannis K, Lainakis G, Koutsoukos K, Kostouros E, Lykka M, Papandreou CN, Karavasilis V, et al. Expression and prognostic significance of VEGF and mTOR pathway proteins in metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients: a prognostic immunohistochemical profile for kidney cancer patients. World Journal of Urology [Internet]. 2016:1 - 9. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: To identify prognostic molecular profiles in patients with mRCC treated with sunitinib, we performed immunohistochemical analysis for VEGF and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway components. Methods: The immunohistochemical expression of VEGF, p85α, p110γ, PTEN, p-Akt, p-mTOR, p-4E-BP1 and p-p70S6K was studied in 79 patients with mRCC who received first-line treatment with sunitinib. Expression was correlated with clinicopathological features and survival. Results: VEGF was highly expressed (median H-Score 150), while positivity for the markers of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway was: p85α 43/66 (65 %), p110γ41/60 (68 %), PTEN 32/64 (50 %), p-Akt57/63 (90 %), p-mTOR48/64 (75 %), p-4E-BP1 58/64 (90 %) and p-p70S6K 60/65 (92 %). No single immunohistochemical marker was found to have prognostic significance. Instead, the combination of increased p-mTOR and low VEGF expression was adversely correlated with overall survival (OS) (3.2 vs. 16.9 months, P = 0.001). Conclusion: Immunohistochemistry for VEGF and p-mTOR proteins may discriminate patients refractory to first-line sunitinib with poor prognosis. Prospective validation of our findings is needed. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Kumar S, Paiva B, Anderson KC, Durie B, Landgren O, Moreau P, Munshi N, Lonial S, Bladé J, Mateos M-V, et al. International Myeloma Working Group consensus criteria for response and minimal residual disease assessment in multiple myeloma. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2016;17(8):e328 - e346. WebsiteAbstract
Treatment of multiple myeloma has substantially changed over the past decade with the introduction of several classes of new effective drugs that have greatly improved the rates and depth of response. Response criteria in multiple myeloma were developed to use serum and urine assessment of monoclonal proteins and bone marrow assessment (which is relatively insensitive). Given the high rates of complete response seen in patients with multiple myeloma with new treatment approaches, new response categories need to be defined that can identify responses that are deeper than those conventionally defined as complete response. Recent attempts have focused on the identification of residual tumour cells in the bone marrow using flow cytometry or gene sequencing. Furthermore, sensitive imaging techniques can be used to detect the presence of residual disease outside of the bone marrow. Combining these new methods, the International Myeloma Working Group has defined new response categories of minimal residual disease negativity, with or without imaging-based absence of extramedullary disease, to allow uniform reporting within and outside clinical trials. In this Review, we clarify several aspects of disease response assessment, along with endpoints for clinical trials, and highlight future directions for disease response assessments. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
Cohen YC, Joffe E, Benyamini N, Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E, Trestman S, Held-Kuznetsov V, Avivi I, Kastritis E. Primary failure of bortezomib in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma-understanding the magnitude, predictors, and significance. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016;57(6):1382 - 1388. WebsiteAbstract
Botezomib-based induction is highly effective for the treatment of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM). We investigated the outcomes of NDMM patients who failed to respond to bortezomib-based induction in a real-life clinical setting. In a cohort of 295 consecutive NDMM patients in 3 medical centers, 74 (25%) failed to achieve at least partial response after 4 induction cycles, and were classified as non-responsive. Compared to induction responders, they were older, more frequently anemic, had a higher incidence of del17p and ISS-3, and a worse performance status. In multivariable analysis, bortezomib-based induction failure occurred in 25% of patients and was the strongest independent factor predicting mortality with a 5-fold hazard ratio (95% CI 1.44-8.68). Three-year overall survival in responsive vs. non-responsive patients were 76% vs. 53%, respectively (p < 0.0001). Survival from time of salvage second-line treatment was significantly shorter among induction non-responders vs. responders (25 months vs. not-reached, p = 0.024). © 2015 Taylor & Francis.
Fotiou D, Gerotziafas G, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. A review of the venous thrombotic issues associated with multiple myeloma. Expert Review of Hematology [Internet]. 2016;9(7):695 - 706. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have an increased risk of venous thromboembolic (VTE) complications. The first reports of high VTE rates date back to 1999 but became more apparent with the introduction of novel agents in the treatment of MM and mostly with immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs; thalidomide, lenalidomide and pomalidomide). Areas covered: Currently thromboprophylaxis is recommended for patients who receive IMiDs-based regimens and the type of thrombophrophylaxis is based on patient-, disease- and treatment-related risk factors. Making the distinction between the intrinsic risk of thrombosis in MM and the effect of therapy is crucial. The use of aspirin, low molecular weight heparins and warfarin are the recommended drugs but despite their appropriate use the rates of VTE are not completely eliminated. Expert commentary: Research into biomarkers of increased coagulability and their incorporation in risk assessment models could identify patients most likely to benefit from thromboprophylaxis but such models are not widely used in myeloma. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Dimopoulos MA, Palumbo A, Corradini P, Cavo M, Delforge M, Di Raimondo F, Weisel KC, Oriol A, Hansson M, Vacca A, et al. Safety and efficacy of pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone in STRATUS (MM-010): A phase 3b study in refractory multiple myeloma. Blood [Internet]. 2016;128(4):497 - 503. WebsiteAbstract
Patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) have poor prognosis. The STRATUS study assessed safety and efficacy of pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone in the largest cohort to date of patients with RRMM. Patients who failed treatment with bortezomib and lenalidomide and had adequate prior alkylator therapy were eligible. Pomalidomide 4 mg was given on days 1-21 of 28-day cycles with low-dose dexamethasone 40 mg (20 mg for patients aged >75 years) on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 until progressive disease or unacceptable toxicity. Safety was the primary end point; secondary end points included overall response rate (ORR), duration of response (DOR), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Among 682 patients enrolled, median age was 66 years, and median time since diagnosis was 5.3 years. Median number of prior regimens was 5. Most patients were refractory to both lenalidomide and bortezomib (80.2%). Median follow-up was 16.8 months; median duration of treatment was 4.9 months. Most frequent grade 3/4 treatment-emergent adverse events were hematologic (neutropenia [49.7%], anemia [33.0%], and thrombocytopenia [24.1%]). Most common grade 3/4 nonhematologic toxicities were pneumonia (10.9%) and fatigue (5.9%). Grade 3/4 venous thromboembolism and peripheral neuropathy were rare (1.6% each). The ORR was 32.6%, and the median DOR was 7.4 months. Median PFS and OS were 4.6 months and 11.9 months, respectively. We present the largest trial to date evaluating pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone in patients with RRMM, further confirming that this regimen offers clinically meaningful benefit and is generally well tolerated. www.Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01712789. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.
Koutsoukos K, Tzannis K, Christodoulou C, Karavasilis V, Bakoyiannis C, Makatsoris T, Papandreou CN, Pectasides D, Dimopoulos MA, Bamias A. Two cycles of adjuvant carboplatin in stage I seminoma: 8-year experience by the Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HECOG). World Journal of Urology [Internet]. 2016;34(6):853 - 857. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: Following the establishment of adjuvant carboplatin in stage I testicular seminoma as a standard, we adopted this treatment for all stage I seminoma patients. We report our 8-year experience and compare these results with our previous adjuvant etoposide/cisplatin (EP) strategy. Patients and methods: Patients with stage I seminoma, treated with adjuvant carboplatin and with a minimum follow-up of 1 year, were included. Two cycles of carboplatin [area under the curve (AUC) 6] were administered. Results: A total of 138 patients with median age of 34 years, treated from September 2003 to December 2011, were selected. There were 5 relapses [5-year relapse-free rate (RFR) 96.8 % (95 % confidence interval 91.6–98.8)]: 3 relapses at retroperitoneal lymph nodes, 1 relapse at the adrenal gland, and 1 isolated brain metastasis. Four patients with relapse were cured with salvage chemotherapy. All patients with relapse had tumor diameter ≥4 cm and/or age ≤34 years. Patients with at least 1 of the above risk factors (n = 111) had a significantly higher relapse rate compared with a similar population (n = 64) treated with 2 cycles of adjuvant EP: 5-year RFR was 95 % (SE 2 %) versus 100 % (SE 0 %), (p = 0.067). Conclusions: Age and tumor diameter were associated with relapse in stage I seminoma treated with adjuvant carboplatin. Although adjuvant carboplatin in patients with age ≤34 and/or tumor diameter ≥4 cm is associated with higher relapse rates than EP, the prognosis of these patients is excellent, and therefore, the use of less toxic treatment is justified. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Ziogas DC, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Carfilzomib for treating myeloma. Expert Opinion on Orphan Drugs [Internet]. 2016;4(9):989 - 999. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Carfilzomib, a second-generation proteasome inhibitor, has been increasingly used in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM) since its initial approval by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012, either as a single agent or in combination with other known anti-myeloma treatments. Based on its efficacy and safety profile in the relapsed/refractory setting, carfilzomib is currently evaluated in patients with de novo MM. Areas covered: Here, we will shed some light on the introduction of carfilzomib as an effective anti-myeloma treatment, presenting its mechanism of action, its response rates and adverse events, as well as a summary of all clinical trials evaluating current dosage and schedule of administration. We will follow the entire path of drug’s development from the bench of preclinical studies to the market and bedside delivery. Revising the published evidence, we will try to answer all questions raised about the novel drug, expressing in parallel our site experience. Expert opinion: Carfilzomib, alone or in combination with other agents, is a welcome therapeutic option for MM patients with a well-defined toxicity profile. Results of ongoing trials are expected in order to update drug indications and maximize its therapeutic benefits in patients with refractory/relapse MM. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Avet-Loiseau H, Fonseca R, Siegel D, Dimopoulos MA, Špička I, Masszi T, Hájek R, Rosiñol L, Goranova-Marinova V, Mihaylov G, et al. Carfilzomib significantly improves the progression-free survival of high-risk patients in multiple myeloma. Blood [Internet]. 2016;128(9):1174 - 1180. WebsiteAbstract
The presence of certain high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities, such as translocations (4;14) and (14;16) and deletion (17p), are known to have a negative impact on survival in multiple myeloma (MM). The phase 3 study ASPIRE (N = 792) demonstrated that progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly improved with carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd), compared with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) in relapsed MM. This preplanned subgroup analysis of ASPIRE was conducted to evaluate KRd vs Rd by baseline cytogenetics according to fluorescence in situ hybridization. Of 417 patients with known cytogenetic risk status, 100 patients (24%) were categorized with high-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n548; Rd, n552) and 317 (76%) were categorized with standard-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 147; Rd, n = 170). For patients with high-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd resulted in a median PFS of 23.1 months, a 9-month improvement relative to treatment with Rd. For patients with standard-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd led to a 10-month improvement in median PFS vs Rd. The overall response rates for KRd vs Rd were 79.2% vs 59.6% (high-risk cytogenetics) and 91.2% vs 73.5% (standardrisk cytogenetics); approximately fivefold as many patients with high- or standard-risk cytogenetics achieved a complete response or better with KRd vs Rd (29.2% vs 5.8% and 38.1% vs 6.5%, respectively). KRd improved but did not abrogate the poor prognosis associated with high-risk cytogenetics. This regimen had a favorable benefit-risk profile in patients with relapsed MM, irrespective of cytogenetic risk status, and should be considered a standard of care in these patients. Copyright © 2011 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all rights reserved.
Gkotzamanidou M, Terpos E, Bamia C, Munshi NC, Dimopoulos MA, Souliotis VL. DNA repair of myeloma plasma cells correlates with clinical outcome: The effect of the nonhomologous end-joining inhibitor SCR7. Blood [Internet]. 2016;128(9):1214 - 1225. WebsiteAbstract
DNA repair activity of malignant cells seems to influence therapeutic outcome and patients' survival. Herein, we investigated the mechanistic basis for the link between DNA repair efficiency and response to antimyeloma therapy. Nucleotide excision repair (NER), interstrand cross-links repair (ICL/R), double-strand breaks repair (DSB/R), and chromatin structure were evaluated in multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines (melphalan-sensitive RPMI8226; melphalan-resistant LR5) and bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) from MM patients who responded (n = 17) or did not respond (n = 9) to subsequent melphalan therapy. The effect of DSB/R inhibition was also evaluated. Responders' BMPCs showed slower rates of NER and DSB/R (P < .0022), similar rates of ICL/R, and more condensed chromatin structure compared with nonresponders. Moreover, apoptosis rates of BMPCs were inversely correlated with individual DNA repair efficiency and were higher in responders' cells compared with those of nonresponders (P = .0011). Similarly, RPMI8226 cells showed slower rates of NER and DSB/R, comparable rates of ICL/R, more condensed chromatin structure, and higher sensitivity than LR5 cells. Interestingly, cotreatment of BMPCs or cell lines with DSB/R inhibitors significantly reduced the rates ofDSB/R and increasedmelphalan sensitivity of the cells, with the nonhomologous end-joining inhibitor SCR7 showing the strongest effect. Together, responders' BMPCs are characterized by lower efficiencies of NER and DSB/R mechanisms, resulting in higher accumulation of the extremely cytotoxic ICLs andDSBs lesions,which in turn triggers the induction of the apoptotic pathway. Moreover, the enhancement of melphalan cytotoxicity by DSB/R inhibition offers a promising strategy toward improvement of existing antimyeloma regimens. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.
Zagouri F, Roussou M, Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanellias N, Kalapanida D, Christoulas D, Migkou M, Terpos E, et al. Lenalidomide with low- or intermediate-dose dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016;57(8):1776 - 1780. WebsiteAbstract
Abstract: To compare the outcomes of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) who were treated with lenalidomide combined with high versus low dose of dexamethasone. One hundred forty consecutive relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) patients who received lenalidomide with dexamethasone, in two consecutive time periods, were divided into two groups: group RD (70 consecutive patients in the first period) who received lenalidomide with intermediate doses of dexamethasone and group Rd (70 consecutive patients in the more recent period) who received lenalidomide with low-dose dexamethasone. 62% and 73% of patients who received RD and Rd (p = 0.148) achieved at least a partial response, accordingly. The median OS was 20 and 41 months for the RD and the Rd group, accordingly. In the multivariate analysis, Rd was associated with improved PFS. More patients treated with RD developed grade 3&4 neutropenia and fatigue. It seems that Rd is at least as effective as RD. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Fotiou D, Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E. Managing renal complications in multiple myeloma. Expert Review of Hematology [Internet]. 2016;9(9):839 - 850. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: About 20–40% of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) will present with some degree of renal impairment (RI) and about 25% of patients will experience RI at later disease stages. Patients with MM and RI have poorer overall survival and are at higher risk of early death. Areas covered: The mechanisms of acute renal damage in MM are covered and the issues around diagnosis and renal evaluation response are discussed. The importance of optimal supportive care is stressed and the role and effectiveness of different anti-myeloma agents covered including the role of high cut-off hemodialysis, autologous stem cell transplantation and kidney transplant. Expert commentary: Outcomes of patients with RI and rates of renal recovery have improved with the use of novel anti-myeloma agents. Bortezomib-dexamethasone backbone regimes (±third agent) are the current first choice in newly diagnosed patients. In relapsed/refractory disease additional treatment options include newer novel agents. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Kokotis P, Schmelz M, Kostouros E, Karandreas N, Dimopoulos M-A. Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathy: A Long-Term Clinical and Neurophysiologic Follow-Up Study. Clinical Colorectal Cancer [Internet]. 2016;15(3):e133 - e140. WebsiteAbstract
Micro-Abstract Acute oxaliplatin neurotoxicity and chronic sensory cumulative neuropathy were investigated in a long-term study of 31 consecutive patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Our results improve the knowledge of acute neurotoxicity and support the finding of the persistence of the sensory nerve deficits for years after the cessation of oxaliplatin therapy. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Yui JC, Van Keer J, Weiss BM, Waxman AJ, Palmer MB, D'Agati VD, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA, Vij R, Bansal D, et al. Proteasome inhibitor associated thrombotic microangiopathy. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2016;91(9):E348 - E352. WebsiteAbstract
A variety of medications have been implicated in the causation of thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). Recently, a few case reports have emerged of TMA attributed to the proteasome inhibitors (PI) bortezomib and carfilzomib in patients with multiple myeloma. The aim of this case series was to better characterize the role of PI in the etiology of drug-induced TMA. We describe eleven patients from six medical centers from around the world who developed TMA while being treated with PI. The median time between medication initiation and diagnosis of TMA was 21 days (range 5 days to 17 months). Median laboratory values at diagnosis included hemoglobin—7.5 g dL−1, platelet count—20 × 109/L, LDH—698 U L−1, creatinine—3.12 mg dL−1. No patient had any other cause of TMA, including ADAMTS13 inhibition, other malignancy or use of any other medication previously associated with TMA. Nine patients had resolution of TMA without evidence of hemolysis after withdrawal of PI. Two patients had stabilization of laboratory values but persistent evidence of hemolysis despite medication withdrawal. One patient had recurrence of TMA with rechallenge of PI. There is a strong level of evidence that PI can cause DITMA. In evaluating patients with suspected TMA, PI use should be recognized as a potential etiology, and these medications should be discontinued promptly if thought to be the cause of TMA. Am. J. Hematol. 91:E348–E352, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Castillo JJ, Garcia-Sanz R, Hatjiharissi E, Kyle RA, Leleu X, McMaster M, Merlini G, Minnema MC, Morra E, Owen RG, et al. Recommendations for the diagnosis and initial evaluation of patients with Waldenström Macroglobulinaemia: A Task Force from the 8th International Workshop on Waldenström Macroglobulinaemia. British Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2016;175(1):77 - 86. WebsiteAbstract
The diagnosis of Waldenström macroglobulinaemia (WM) can be challenging given the variety of signs and symptoms patients can present. Furthermore, once the diagnosis of WM is established, the initial evaluation should be thorough as well as appropriately directed. During the 8th International Workshop for WM in London, United Kingdom, a multi-institutional task force was formed to develop consensus recommendations for the diagnosis and initial evaluation of patients with WM. In this document, we present the results of the deliberations that took place to address these issues. We provide recommendations for history-taking and physical examination, laboratory studies, bone marrow aspiration and biopsy analysis and imaging studies. We also provide guidance on the initial evaluation of special situations, such as anaemia, hyperviscosity, neuropathy, Bing-Neel syndrome and amyloidosis. We hope these recommendations serve as a practical guidance to clinicians taking care of patients with a suspected or an established diagnosis of WM. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Karavasilis V, Papadimitriou C, Gogas H, Kouvatseas G, Pentheroudakis G, Koutras A, Christodoulou C, Bafaloukos D, Samantas E, Pisanidis N, et al. Safety and Tolerability of Anthracycline-Containing Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Elderly High-Risk Breast Cancer Patients. Clinical Breast Cancer [Internet]. 2016;16(4):291 - 298.e3. WebsiteAbstract
Micro-Abstract We characterized the feasibility and toxicity profile of anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy in women >65 years of age with early breast cancer. Elderly breast cancer patients derive clinical benefit comparable with that of younger patients, mainly at the cost of increased risk of hematological toxicity. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
Leblond V, Kastritis E, Advani R, Ansell SM, Buske C, Castillo JJ, García-Sanz R, Gertz M, Kimby E, Kyriakou C, et al. Treatment recommendations from the Eighth International Workshop on Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia. Blood [Internet]. 2016;128(10):1321 - 1328. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a distinct B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder for which clearly defined criteria for the diagnosis, initiation of therapy, and treatment strategy have been proposed as part of the consensus panels of the International Workshop on Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia (IWWM). At IWWM-8, a task force for treatment recommendations was impanelled to review recently published and ongoing clinical trial data as well as the impact of new mutations (MYD88 and CXCR4) on treatment decisions, indications for B-cell receptor and proteasome inhibitors, and future clinical trial initiatives for WM patients. The panel concluded that therapeutic strategies in WM should be based on individual patient and disease characteristics. Chemoimmunotherapy combinations with rituximab and cyclophosphamide-dexamethasone, bendamustine, or bortezomib-dexamethasone provide durable responses and are still indicated in most patients. Approval of the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib in the United States and Europe represents a novel and effective treatment option for both treatment-naive and relapsing patients. Other B-cell receptor inhibitors, second-generation proteasome inhibitors (eg, carfilzomib), and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors are promising and may increase future treatment options. Active enrollment in clinical trials whenever possible was endorsed by the panel for most patients with WM. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.
Gavriatopoulou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Current treatments for renal failure due to multiple myeloma. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy [Internet]. 2016;17(16):2165 - 2177. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Renal impairment (RI) is one of the most common complication of multiple myeloma (MM). RI is present in almost 20% of MM patients at diagnosis and in 40%-50% of patients during the course of their disease. Areas covered: Biology along with tools for diagnosis and management of RI are reported in this paper. Papers published in PubMed and reported abstracts up to May 2016 were used. Expert opinion: Moderate and severe RI increases the risk of early death; thus rapid intervention and initiation of anti-myeloma treatment is essential and improves renal outcomes in RI patients. Bortezomib and dexamethasone triplet combinations are the current standard of therapy for MM patients with acute kidney injury due to cast nephropathy; they offer high rates of both anti-myeloma response and renal recovery. Thalidomide and lenalidomide may be used in bortezomib refractory patients. In the relapsed/refractory setting additional treatment options such as carfilzomib, pomalidomide and monoclonal antibodies are available; however, there is limited data for their effects on patients with RI. High dose melphalan with autologous stem cell transplantation should be considered in otherwise eligible patients with RI. Finally, high cut-off hemodialysis membranes do not seem to offer significant additive effects on anti-myeloma therapies. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Dimopoulos MA, Oriol A, Nahi H, San-Miguel J, Bahlis NJ, Usmani SZ, Rabin N, Orlowski RZ, Komarnicki M, Suzuki K, et al. Daratumumab, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone for multiple myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2016;375(14):1319 - 1331. WebsiteAbstract
BACKGROUND: Daratumumab showed promising efficacy alone and with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in a phase 1-2 study involving patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. METHODS: In this phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 569 patients with multiple myeloma who had received one or more previous lines of therapy to receive lenalidomide and dexamethasone either alone (control group) or in combination with daratumumab (daratumumab group). The primary end point was progression-free survival. RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 13.5 months in a protocol-specified interim analysis, 169 events of disease progression or death were observed (in 53 of 286 patients [18.5%] in the daratumumab group vs. 116 of 283 [41.0%] in the control group; hazard ratio, 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27 to 0.52; P<0.001 by stratified log-rank test). The Kaplan- Meier rate of progression-free survival at 12 months was 83.2% (95% CI, 78.3 to 87.2) in the daratumumab group, as compared with 60.1% (95% CI, 54.0 to 65.7) in the control group. A significantly higher rate of overall response was observed in the daratumumab group than in the control group (92.9% vs. 76.4%, P<0.001), as was a higher rate of complete response or better (43.1% vs. 19.2%, P<0.001). In the daratumumab group, 22.4% of the patients had results below the threshold for minimal residual disease (1 tumor cell per 105 white cells), as compared with 4.6% of those in the control group (P<0.001); results below the threshold for minimal residual disease were associated with improved outcomes. The most common adverse events of grade 3 or 4 during treatment were neutropenia (in 51.9% of the patients in the daratumumab group vs. 37.0% of those in the control group), thrombocytopenia (in 12.7% vs. 13.5%), and anemia (in 12.4% vs. 19.6%). Daratumumab-associated infusion-related reactions occurred in 47.7% of the patients and were mostly of grade 1 or 2. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of daratumumab to lenalidomide and dexamethasone significantly lengthened progression-free survival among patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Daratumumab was associated with infusion-related reactions and a higher rate of neutropenia than the control therapy. Copyright © 2016 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.
Stewart AK, Dimopoulos MA, Masszi T, Špička I, Oriol A, Hájek R, Rosiñol L, Siegel DS, Niesvizky R, Jakubowiak AJ, et al. Health-related quality-of-life results from the open-label, randomized, phase III ASPIRE trial evaluating carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone versus lenalidomide and dexamethasone in patientswith relapsed multiple myeloma. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2016;34(32):3921 - 3930. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose To determine the effects of carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd) versus lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) on health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) in the Carfilzomib, Lenalidomide, and Dexamethasone Versus Lenalidomide and Dexamethasone for the Treatment of Patients With Relapsed Multiple Myeloma (ASPIRE) trial. Methods Patients with relapsed multiple myeloma were randomly assigned to receive KRd or Rd. The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 and myeloma-specific module were administered at baseline; day 1 of cycles 3, 6, 12, and 18; and after treatment. The Global Health Status/Quality of Life (GHS/QoL) scale and seven subscales (fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, physical functioning, role functioning, disease symptoms, and adverse effects of treatment) were compared between groups using a mixed model for repeated measures. The percentages of responders with ≥ 5- or 15-point GHS/QoL improvement at each cycle were compared between groups. Results Baseline questionnaire compliance was excellent (94.1% of randomly assigned patients). KRd patients had higher GHS/QoL scores versus Rd patients over 18 treatment cycles (two-sided P<.001). The minimal important difference was met at cycle 12 (5.6 points) and approached at cycle 18 (4.8 points). There was no difference between groups for the other prespecified subscales from ASPIRE. A higher proportion of KRd patients met the GHS/QoL responder definition (≥ 5-point improvement) with statistical differences at cycle 12 (KRd v Rd patients, 25.5% v 17.4%, respectively) and 18 (KRd v Rd patients, 24.2% v 12.9%, respectively). Conclusion KRd improves GHS/QoL without negatively affecting patient-reported symptoms when compared with Rd. These data further support the benefit of KRd in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. © 2016 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Ziogas DC, Kastritis E, Terpos E, Roussou M, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Spanomichou D, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Fotiou D, Panagiotidis I, et al. Hematologic and renal improvement of monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition disease after treatment with bortezomib-based regimens. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016:1 - 8. WebsiteAbstract
Monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition disease (MIDD) is characterized by non-organized immunoglobulin-fragments along renal basement membranes with subsequent organ deterioration. Treatment is directed against the immunoglobulin-producing clone. We treated 18 MIDD patients with bortezomib-based regimens (12 received bortezomib-dexamethasone, 6 bortezomib-dexamethasone with cyclophosphamide). Eleven (61%) patients achieved a hematologic response, but only 6 (33.3%) reached to a complete (CR) or very good partial response (VGPR). Regarding renal outcomes 77.8 and 55.6% had ≥30 and ≥50% reduction of proteinuria, respectively, but 33.3% ended up in end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Among patients with CR or VGPR, median eGFR improvement was 7.7 ml/min/1.73 m2 and none progressed to ESRD, but no significant renal recovery was observed in patients achieving a partial response or less, with 50% progressing to dialysis. Pretreatment eGFR seems to influence renal prognosis. Bortezomib-based treatment is considered an effective approach in MIDD and reaching to a deep hematologic response (≥VGPR) conditionally controls further renal declining. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Bagratuni T, Gavriatopoulou M, Roussou M, Papatheodorou A, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanellias N, Liakou C, et al. High levels of periostin correlate with increased fracture rate, diffuse MRI pattern, abnormal bone remodeling and advanced disease stage in patients with newly diagnosed symptomatic multiple myeloma. Blood Cancer Journal [Internet]. 2016;6(10):e482. WebsiteAbstract
Periostin is an extracellular matrix protein that is implicated in the biology of normal bone remodeling and in different cancer cell growth and metastasis. However, there is no information on the role of periostin in multiple myeloma (MM). Thus, we evaluated periostin in six myeloma cell lines in vitro; in the bone marrow plasma and serum of 105 newly diagnosed symptomatic MM (NDMM) patients and in the serum of 23 monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), 33 smoldering MM (SMM) patients, 30 patients at the plateau phase post-first-line therapy, 30 patients at first relapse and 30 healthy controls. We found high levels of periostin in the supernatants of myeloma cell lines compared with ovarian cancer cell lines that were not influenced by the incubation with the stromal cell line HS5. In NDMM patients the bone marrow plasma periostin was almost fourfold higher compared with the serum levels of periostin and correlated with the presence of fractures and of diffuse magnetic resonance imaging pattern of marrow infiltration. Serum periostin was elevated in NDMM patients compared with healthy controls, MGUS and SMM patients and correlated with advanced disease stage, high lactate dehydrogenase, increased activin-A, increased bone resorption and reduced bone formation. Patients at first relapse had also elevated periostin compared with healthy controls, MGUS and SMM patients, while even patients at the plateau phase had elevated serum periostin compared with healthy controls. These results support an important role of periostin in the biology of myeloma and reveal periostin as a possible target for the development of antimyeloma drugs. © 2016 The Author(s).
San-Miguel JF, Hungria VTM, Yoon S-S, Beksac M, Dimopoulos MA, Elghandour A, Jedrzejczak WW, Günther A, Nakorn TN, Siritanaratkul N, et al. Overall survival of patients with relapsed multiple myeloma treated with panobinostat or placebo plus bortezomib and dexamethasone (the PANORAMA 1 trial): a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. The Lancet Haematology [Internet]. 2016;3(11):e506 - e515. WebsiteAbstract
Background Panobinostat plus bortezomib and dexamethasone significantly increased median progression-free survival compared with placebo plus bortezomib and dexamethasone in the phase 3 PANORAMA 1 trial. Here, we present the final overall survival analysis for this trial. Methods PANORAMA 1 is a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 3 trial of patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma with one to three previous treatments. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive panobinostat (20 mg orally) or placebo, with bortezomib (1·3 mg/m2 intravenously) and dexamethasone (20 mg orally), over two distinct treatment phases. In treatment phase 1 (eight 3-week cycles), patients received: panobinostat or placebo on days 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, and 12; bortezomib on days 1, 4, 8, and 11; and dexamethasone on days 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, and 12. During treatment phase 2 (four 6-week cycles with a 2 weeks on, 1 week off schedule), panobinostat or placebo was given three times a week, bortezomib was administered once a week, and dexamethasone was given on the days of and following bortezomib administration. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival; overall survival was a key secondary endpoint. This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01023308. Findings Between Jan 21, 2010, and Feb 29, 2012, 768 patients were enrolled into the study and randomly assigned to receive either panobinostat (n=387) or placebo (n=381), plus bortezomib and dexamethasone. At data cutoff (June 29, 2015), 415 patients had died. Median overall survival was 40·3 months (95% CI 35·0–44·8) in those who received panobinostat, bortezomib, and dexamethasone versus 35·8 months (29·0–40·6) in those who received placebo, bortezomib, and dexamethasone (hazard ratio [HR] 0·94, 95% CI 0·78–1·14; p=0·54). Of patients who had received at least two previous regimens including bortezomib and an immunomodulatory drug, median overall survival was 25·5 months (95% CI 19·6–34·3) in 73 patients who received panobinostat, bortezomib, and dexamethasone versus 19·5 months (14·1–32·5) in 74 who received placebo (HR 1·01, 95% CI 0·68–1·50). Interpretation The overall survival benefit with panobinostat over placebo with bortezomib and dexamethasone was modest. However, optimisation of the regimen could potentially prolong treatment duration and improve patients' outcomes, although further trials will be required to confirm this. Funding Novartis Pharmaceuticals. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
Gavriatopoulou M, Kastritis E, Kyrtsonis M-C, Vassilakopoulos TP, Roussou M, Fotiou D, Migkou M, Mpakiri M, Tasidou A, Terpos E, et al. Phase 2 study of ofatumumab, fludarabine and cyclophosphamide in relapsed/refractory Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016:1 - 3. Website
Siegel DS, Weisel KC, Dimopoulos MA, Baz R, Richardson P, Delforge M, Song KW, San Miguel JF, Moreau P, Goldschmidt H, et al. Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and moderate renal impairment: a pooled analysis of three clinical trials. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016;57(12):2833 - 2838. WebsiteAbstract
Renal impairment (RI) is a major comorbidity in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Here we present the pooled safety and efficacy analysis of three clinical trials (MM-002, MM-003, and MM-010) of pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone (POM + LoDEX) in patients with moderate RI (creatinine clearance [CrCl] ≥ 30 to <60 mL/min) and without RI (≥ 60 mL/min). Trial protocols were approved by the institutional review board of each site involved. Patients with RI were older than patients without RI, although other baseline characteristics were similar. The dosing and safety profile of POM + LoDEX was similar across RI subgroups. Median overall response rate, progression-free survival, time to progression, and duration of response were not significantly different between RI subgroups. However, patients with vs. without RI had significantly shorter median overall survival (10.5 vs. 14.0 months, respectively; p =.004). This analysis demonstrates that POM + LoDEX is a safe and effective treatment for patients with moderate RI. The trials were registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT00833833 (MM-002), NCT01311687 (MM-003), and NCT01712789 (MM-010) and at EudraCT as 2010-019820-30 (MM-003) and 2012-001888-78 (MM-010). © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Moreau P, Weisel KC, Song KW, Gibson CJ, Saunders O, Sternas LA, Hong K, Zaki MH, Dimopoulos MA. Relationship of response and survival in patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma treated with pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone in the MM-003 trial randomized phase III trial (NIMBUS). Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016;57(12):2839 - 2847. WebsiteAbstract
Relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) patients have poor overall survival (OS). Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone (POM + LoDEX) significantly extends OS in RRMM vs. high-dose dexamethasone. Survival of patients with stable disease (SD) was compared to patients with progressive disease (PD) or ≥ partial response (≥PR) at cycles (C) 3, 5, and 7. Among 302 patients randomized to POM + LoDEX, at C3 19.2% achieved ≥ PR, 38.4% SD, and 14.6% PD. Patients with SD at C3 (17.4%) and C5 (13.6%) showed improved responses at C7. Median OS from randomization by response at C3 was 22.4 months for ≥ PR (n = 58, HR 0.66; 95% CI 0.40–1.08, p = 0.0976 vs. SD), 16.2 months for SD (n = 116), and 6.3 months for PD (n = 44, HR 3.43; 95% CI 2.23–5.27, p < 0.0001 vs. SD). Similar patterns were observed for C5 and C7. Results show that POM + LoDEX should be a standard treatment after lenalidomide and bortezomib, including in SD patients. © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Hulin C, Belch A, Shustik C, Petrucci MT, Dührsen U, Lu J, Song K, Rodon P, Pégourié B, Garderet L, et al. Updated outcomes and impact of age with lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone or melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide in the randomized, phase III FIRST trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2016;34(30):3609 - 3617. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: This analysis of the FIRST trial in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) ineligible for stem-cell transplantation examined updated outcomes and impact of patient age. Patients and Methods: Patients with untreated symptomatic MM were randomly assigned at a one-to-one-to-one ratio to lenalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone until disease progression (Rd continuous), Rd for 72 weeks (18 cycles; Rd18), or melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide (MPT; 72 weeks), stratified by age (≤ 75 v > 75 years), disease stage (International Staging System stage I/II v III), and country. The primary end point was progression-free survival. Rd continuous and MPT were primary comparators. Results: Between August 21, 2008, and March 7, 2011, 1,623 patients were enrolled (Rd continuous, n = 535; Rd18, n = 541; MPT, n = 547), including 567 (35%) age older than 75 years. Higher rates of advanced-stage disease and renal impairment were observed in patients older than 75 versus 75 years of age or younger. Rd continuous reduced the risk of progression or death compared with MPT by 31% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.69; 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.80; P <.001) overall, 36% (HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.77; P <.001) in patients age 75 years or younger, and 20% (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.62 to 1.03; P =.084) in those age older than 75 years. Median overall survival was longer with Rd continuous than with MPT, including a 14-month difference in patients age older than 75 years. Progression-free survival with Rd18 was similar to that with MPT, and overall survival with Rd18 was marginally inferior to that with Rd continuous. Rates of grade 3 to 4 treatment-emergent adverse events were similar for Rd continuous-treated patients age 75 years or older and those age older than 75 years; however, older patients had more frequent lenalidomide dose reductions. Conclusion: Results support Rd continuous treatment as a new standard of care for stem-cell transplantation-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed MM of all ages. © 2016 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Dimopoulos MA, Sonneveld P, Sun H. The author and colleagues reply: Bueno. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2016;375(25):2497 - 2498. Website
Caers J, de Larrea CF, Leleu X, Heusschen R, Zojer N, Decaux O, Kastritis E, Minnema M, Jurczyszyn A, Beguin Y, et al. The changing landscape of smoldering multiple myeloma: A european perspective. Oncologist [Internet]. 2016;21(3):333 - 342. WebsiteAbstract
Smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) is an asymptomatic clonal plasma cell disorder and bridges monoclonal gammo- pathyof undetermined significance to multiple myeloma (MM), based on higher levels of circulating monoclonal immunoglobulin and bone marrow plasmocytosis without end-organ damage. Until a Spanish study reported fewer MM-related events and better overall survival among patients with high- risk SMM treated with lenalidomide and dexamethasone, prior studies had failed to show improved survival with earlier intervention,although a reduction in skeletal-related events (without any impact on disease progression) has been described with bisphosphonate use. Risk factors have now been defined, and a subset of ultra-high-risk patients have been reclassified by the International Myeloma Working Group as MM, and thus will require optimal MM treatment, based on biomarkers that identify patients with a >80% risk of progression. The number of these redefined patients is small (~10%), but important to unravel, because theirriskof progression to overt MM is substantial ($80% within 2 years). Patients with a high-risk cytogenetic profile are not yet considered for early treatment, because groups are heterogeneous and risk factors other than cytogenetics are deemed to weight higher. Because patients with ultra-high- risk SMM are now considered as MM and may be treated as such, concerns exist that earlier therapy may increase the risk of selecting resistant clones and induce side effects and costs. Therefore, an even more accurate identification of patients who would benefit from interventions needs to be performed, and clinical judgment and careful discussion of pros and cons of treatment initiation need to be undertaken. For the majority of SMM patients, the standard of care remains observation until development of symptomatic MM occurs, encouraging participation in ongoing and upcoming SMM/early MM clinical trials, as well as consideration of bisphosphonate use in patients with early bone loss. © AlphaMed Press 2016.
Richardson PG, Hungria VTM, Yoon S-S, Beksac M, Dimopoulos MA, Elghandour A, Jedrzejczak WW, Guenther A, Na Nakorn T, Siritanaratkul N, et al. Panobinostat plus bortezomib and dexamethasone in previously treated multiple myeloma: Outcomes by prior treatment. Blood [Internet]. 2016;127(6):713 - 721. WebsiteAbstract
Panobinostat is a potent pan-deacetylase inhibitor that affects the growth and survival of multiple myeloma (MM) cells through alteration of epigenetic mechanisms and protein metabolism. Panobinostat plus bortezomib and dexamethasone (PAN-BTZ-Dex) led to a significant increase in progression-free survival (PFS) vs placebo plus bortezomib and dexamethasone (Pbo-BTZ-Dex) in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractoryMMin the phase 3PANORAMA1 trial. This subgroup analysis evaluated outcomes in patients in the PANORAMA 1 trial based on prior treatment: A prior immunomodulatory drug (IMiD; n 5 485), prior bortezomib plus an IMiD (n 5 193), and ≥2 prior regimens including bortezomib and an IMiD (n5147). Median PFS with PAN-BTZ-Dex vs Pbo-BTZ-Dex across subgroups was as follows: prior IMiD (12.3 vs 7.4 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-0.68), prior bortezomib plus IMiD (10.6 vs 5.8 months; HR, 0.52;95%CI, 0.36-0.76),and ≥2 prior regimens including bortezomib and an IMiD (12.5 vs 4.7 months; HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.31-0.72). Common grade 3/4 adverse events and laboratory abnormalities in patients who received PAN-BTZ-Dex across the prior treatment groups included thrombocytopenia, lymphopenia, neutropenia, diarrhea, and asthenia/ fatigue. Incidence of on-treatment deaths among patients who received prior bortezomib and an IMiD (regardless of number of prior regimens) was similar between treatment arms. This analysis demonstrated a clear PFS benefit of 7.8 months with PAN-BTZ-Dex among patients who received ‡2 prior regimens including bortezomib and an IMiD, a population with limited treatment options and poorer prognosis. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01023308. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.
Bamias A, Peroukidis S, Stamatopoulou S, Tzannis K, Koutsoukos K, Andreadis C, Bozionelou V, Pistalmatzian N, Papatsoris A, Stravodimos K, et al. Utilization of Systemic Chemotherapy in Advanced Urothelial Cancer: A Retrospective Collaborative Study by the Hellenic Genitourinary Cancer Group (HGUCG). Clinical Genitourinary Cancer [Internet]. 2016;14(2):e153 - e159. WebsiteAbstract
Background Advanced urothelial cancer (AUCa) is associated with poor long-term survival. Two major concerns are related to nonexposure to cisplatin-based chemotherapy and poor outcome after relapse. Our purpose was to record patterns of practice in AUCa in Greece, focusing on first-line treatment and management of relapsed disease. Methods Patients with AUCa treated from 2011 to 2013 were included in the analysis. Fitness for cisplatin was assessed by recently established criteria. Results Of 327 patients treated with first-line chemotherapy, 179 (55%) did not receive cisplatin. Criteria for unfitness for cisplatin were: Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) ≥ 2, 21%; creatinine clearance ≤ 60 mL/min, 55%; hearing impairment, 8%; neuropathy, 1%; and cardiac failure, 5%. Forty-six patients (27%) did not fulfill any criterion for unfitness for cisplatin. The main reasons for these deviations were comorbidities (28%) and advanced age (32%). Seventy-four (68%) of 109 patients who experienced a relapse received second-line chemotherapy. The most frequent reason for not offering second-line chemotherapy was poor PS or limited life expectancy (66%). Conclusion In line with international data, approximately 50% of Greek patients with AUCa do not receive cisplatin-based chemotherapy, although 27% of them were suitable for such treatment. In addition, about one third of patients with relapse did not receive second-line chemotherapy because of poor PS or short life expectancy. Enforcing criteria for fitness for cisplatin and earlier diagnosis of relapse represent 2 targets for improvement in current treatment practice for AUCa. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Ghobrial IM. Waldenström's macroglobulinemia: A clinical perspective in the era of novel therapeutics. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2016;27(2):233 - 240. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare, low-grade malignancy with no established standard of care. Rituximab regimens are most commonly used, supported by their efficacy in hematologic malignancies, including WM. A growing number of investigational regimens for WM have been evaluated in phase II clinical trials, including single-agent and combination strategies that include newer-generation monoclonal antibodies (ofatumumab and alemtuzumab), proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib and carfilzomib), immunomodulatory agents (thalidomide and lenalidomide), phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway inhibitors (everolimus and perifosene), a Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor (ibrutinib), and a histone deacetylase inhibitor (panobinostat). Other novel agents are in early-stage development for WM. International treatment guidelines for WM suggest suitable regimens in the newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory settings, in accordance with patient age, disease presentation, and efficacy and safety profiles of particular drugs. These factors must be considered when choosing appropriate therapy for individual patients with WM, to maximize response and prolong survival, while minimizing the risk of adverse events. This review article provides a clinical perspective of the modern management of patients with WM, in the context of available trial data for novel regimens and recently updated treatment guidelines. © The Author 2015.
Dimopoulos MA, Roussou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Psimenou E, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Migkou M, Matsouka C, Mparmparousi D, Gika D, Kafantari E, et al. Bortezomib-based triplets are associated with a high probability of dialysis independence and rapid renal recovery in newly diagnosed myeloma patients with severe renal failure or those requiring dialysis. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2016;91(5):499 - 502. WebsiteAbstract
Renal failure (RF) is a common and severe complication of symptomatic myeloma, associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Such patients are commonly excluded from clinical trials. Bortezomib/dexamethasone (VD)-based regimens are the backbone of the treatment of newly diagnosed MM patients who present with severe RF even those requiring dialysis. We analyzed the outcomes of 83 consecutive bortezomib-treated patients with severe RF (eGFR<30 ml/min/1.73 m2), of which 31 (37%) required dialysis. By IMWG renal response criteria, 54 (65%) patients achieved at least MRrenal, including CRrenal in 35% and PRrenal in 12%. Triplet combinations (i.e., VD plus a third agent) versus VD alone were associated with higher rates of renal responses (72 vs. 50%; P=0.06). Fifteen of the 31 (48%) patients became dialysis independent within a median of 217 days (range 11-724). Triplets were associated with a higher probability of dialysis discontinuation (57 vs. 35%). Serum free light chain (sFLC) level ≥11,550 mg/L was associated with lower rates of major renal response, longer time to major renal response, lower probability, and longer time to dialysis discontinuation. Rapid myeloma response (≥PR within the first month) was also associated with higher rates of renal response. Patients who became dialysis-independent had longer survival than those remaining on dialysis. In conclusion, VD-based triplets are associated with a significant probability of renal response and dialysis discontinuation, improving the survival of patients who became dialysis independent. Rapid disease response is important for renal recovery and sFLCs are predictive of the probability and of the time required for renal response. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Moreau P, Palumbo A, Chng W-J, Feng S. Carfilozomib versus bortezomib for relapsed or refractory myeloma – Authors' reply. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2016;17(4):e126. Website
Trachana S-P, Pilalis E, Gavalas NG, Tzannis K, Papadodima O, Liontos M, Rodolakis A, Vlachos G, Thomakos N, Haidopoulos D, et al. The development of an angiogenic protein "signature" in ovarian cancer ascites as a tool for biologic and prognostic profiling. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2016;11(6). WebsiteAbstract
Advanced ovarian cancer (AOC) is one of the leading lethal gynecological cancers in developed countries. Based on the important role of angiogenesis in ovarian cancer oncogenesis and expansion, we hypothesized that the development of an "angiogenic signature" might be helpful in prediction of prognosis and efficacy of anti-angiogenic therapies in this disease. Sixty-nine samples of ascitic fluid- 35 from platinum sensitive and 34 from platinum resistant patients managed with cytoreductive surgery and 1st-line carboplatin-based chemotherapy- were analyzed using the Proteome Profiler™ Human Angiogenesis Array Kit, screening for the presence of 55 soluble angiogenesis-related factors. A protein profile based on the expression of a subset of 25 factors could accurately separate resistant from sensitive patients with a success rate of approximately 90%. The protein profile corresponding to the "sensitive" subset was associated with significantly longer PFS (8 [95% Confidence Interval {CI}: 8-9] vs. 20 months [95% CI: 15-28]; Hazard ratio {HR}: 8.3, p<0.001) and OS (20.5 months [95% CI: 13.5-30] vs. 74 months [95% CI: 36-not reached]; HR: 5.6 [95% CI: 2.8-11.2]; p<0.001). This prognostic performance was superior to that of stage, histology and residual disease after cytoreductive surgery and the levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in ascites. In conclusion, we developed an "angiogenic signature" for patients with AOC, which can be used, after appropriate validation, as a prognostic marker and a tool for selection for anti-angiogenic therapies. © 2016 Trachana et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Zagouri F, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Emerging antibodies for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Expert Opinion on Emerging Drugs [Internet]. 2016;21(2):225 - 237. WebsiteAbstract
ABSTRACT: Introduction: Monoclonal antibodies mark the beginning of a new era in the context of multiple myeloma (MM) treatment. Numerous antibodies have been tested or are currently in development for patients with MM, in order to improve tolerability and quality of life. Areas covered: This manuscript reviews emerging antibodies for the treatment of MM i.e. elotuzumab, daratumumab, MOR03087, isatuximab, bevacizumab, cetuximab, siltuximab, tocilizumab, elsilimomab, azintrel, rituximab, tositumomab, milatuzumab, lucatumumab, dacetuzumab, figitumumab, dalotuzumab, AVE1642, tabalumab, pembrolizumab, pidilizumab, nivolumab. Expert opinion: Amongst these antibodies, elotuzumab which targets SLAMF-7 and daratumumab which targets CD38, have been recently approved by FDA for patients with relapsed/refractory MM. Both agents are well tolerated. Multiple clinical trials incorporating these monoclonal antibodies in MM treatment are currently ongoing. Of special interest are the anticipated results of phase III clinical trials with elotuzumab [NCT0189164; NCT01335399; NCT02495922] and daratumumab [NCT02252172; NCT02195479] in newly diagnosed MM patients. Moreover, of great interest are the awaited data on pembrolizumabin combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone in refractory/relapsed MM patients [NCT02576977] and in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in newly diagnosed MM patients. It seems that the incorporation of monoclonal antibodies will change the landscape of myeloma therapy in the near future. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Drivalos A, Chrisofos M, Efstathiou E, Kapranou A, Kollaitis G, Koutlis G, Antoniou N, Karanastasis D, Dimopoulos MA, Bamias A. Expression of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, Ε-cadherin, and N-cadherin in localized prostate cancer. Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations [Internet]. 2016;34(4):165.e11 - 165.e18. WebsiteAbstract
Objective: To explore the correlation between the expression of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, Ε-cadherin, and N-cadherin in prostate cancer (PCa) and its clinicopathological data including tumor grade and clinical stage. Methods: The expression of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, Ε-cadherin, and N-cadherin was examined in 157 cases of PCa and adjacent normal prostatic tissue by immunohistochemical assay, and the correlation with clinicopathological features was analyzed. Results: Expressions of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, and Ε-cadherin in PCa were lower than those in normal prostatic tissues (P<0.05). N-cadherin expression was higher in cancer prostatic tissue than in normal prostatic tissues (P<0.05). The reduced expression of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, and Ε-cadherin was related to Gleason score, pathological stage, lymph node metastasis, and prostate-specific antigen level, but it was not associated with positive surgical margins and patient age. The increased expression of N-cadherin was related to Gleason score, pathological stage, lymph node metastasis, and prostate-specific antigen level, but not to age and positive surgical margins. The expression of E-cadherin was highly negatively correlated with that of N-cadherin and also positively correlated with that of α5-integrin and α7-integrin. Conclusion: The reduced expression of α5-integrin, α7-integrin, and Ε-cadherin and abnormal expression of N-cadherin play an important role in the occurrence and development of PCa. The results indicate that these have potential values in the diagnosis and are predictable indices in the proliferation of PCa. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Sonneveld P, Leung N, Merlini G, Ludwig H, Kastritis E, Goldschmidt H, Joshua D, Orlowski RZ, Powles R, et al. International Myeloma working group recommendations for the diagnosis and management of Myeloma-Related Renal Impairment. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2016;34(13):1544 - 1557. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose The aim of the International Myeloma Working Group was to develop practical recommendations for the diagnosis and management of multiple myeloma-related renal impairment (RI). Methods Recommendations were based on published data through December 2015, and were developed using the system developed by the Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation Working Group. Recommendations All patients with myeloma at diagnosis and at disease assessment should have serum creatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and electrolytes measurements as well as free light chain, if available, and urine electrophoresis of a sample from a 24-hour urine collection (grade A). The Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration, preferably, or the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula should be used for the evaluation of estimated glomerular filtration rate in patients with stabilized serum creatinine (grade A). International Myeloma Working Group criteria for renal reversibility should be used (grade B). For themanagement of RI in patientswithmultiplemyeloma, high fluid intake is indicated along with antimyeloma therapy (grade B). The use of high-cutoff hemodialysis membranes in combination with antimyeloma therapy can be considered (grade B). Bortezomib-based regimens remain the cornerstone of the management of myeloma-related RI (grade A). High-dose dexamethasone should be administered at least for the first month of therapy (grade B). Thalidomide is effective in patients with myeloma with RI, and no dose modifications are needed (grade B). Lenalidomide is effective and safe, mainly in patients with mild to moderate RI (grade B); for patients with severe RI or on dialysis, lenalidomide should be given with closemonitoring for hematologic toxicity (grade B) with dose reduction as needed. High-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (with melphalan 100 mg/m2 to 140 mg/m2) is feasible in patients with RI (grade C). Carfilzomib can be safely administered to patients with creatinine clearance . 15 mL/min, whereas ixazomib in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone can be safely administered to patients with creatinine clearance . 30 mL/min (grade A). © 2016 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Bamias A, Tsantoulis P, Zilli T, Papatsoris A, Caparrotti F, Kyratsas C, Tzannis K, Stravodimos K, Chrisofos M, Wirth GJ, et al. Outcome of patients with nonmetastatic muscle-invasive bladder cancer not undergoing cystectomy after treatment with noncisplatin-based chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy: a retrospective analysis. Cancer Medicine [Internet]. 2016;5(6):1098 - 1107. WebsiteAbstract
Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT), radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or combinations can be used in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) not undergoing cystectomy. Nevertheless, unfitness for cystectomy is frequently associated with unfitness for other therapeutic modalities. We report the outcome of patients with MIBC who did not undergo cystectomy and did not receive cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Selection criteria for the study were nonmetastatic MIBC, no cystectomy, no cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy should have been used aside from TURBT. Forty-nine patients (median age 79), managed between April 2001 and January 2012, were included in this analysis. Median Charlson Comorbidity Index was 5, while 76% were unfit for cisplatin. Treatment included radiotherapy (n = 7), carboplatin-based chemotherapy (n = 25), carboplatin-based chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy (n = 10), and radiochemotherapy (n = 7). Five-year event-free rate was 26% (standard error [SE] = 7) for overall survival, 23% (SE = 7) for progression-free survival, and 30 (SE = 8) for cancer-specific survival (CSS). Patients who were treated with combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy had significantly longer CSS compared to those treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy only (5-year CSS rate: 16% [SE 8] vs. 63% [SE 15], P = 0.053). Unfit-for-cystectomy patients frequently receive suboptimal nonsurgical treatment. Their outcome was poor. Combining chemotherapy with radiotherapy produced better outcomes and should be prospectively evaluated. © 2016 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Moreau P, Van De Donk NWCJ, Miguel JS, Lokhorst H, Nahi H, Ben-Yehuda D, Cavo M, Cook G, Delforge M, Einsele H, et al. Practical Considerations for the Use of Daratumumab, a Novel CD38 Monoclonal Antibody, in Myeloma. Drugs [Internet]. 2016;76(8):853 - 867. WebsiteAbstract
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are a recent addition to multiple myeloma (MM) therapies and a number of mAbs directed at myeloma cell surface molecules are in development. Daratumumab is a CD38 mAb that has demonstrated substantial activity and good tolerability in four phase I, phase I/II and phase II studies as monotherapy, as well as in combination with current standard treatments in MM. The positive results obtained in the relapsed/refractory setting in patients with advanced-stage disease and in a small number of patients with newly diagnosed disease provide the rationale for the investigation of the agent in a number of ongoing phase III trials. mAbs are generally better tolerated than conventional chemotherapy; however, their use requires other special considerations. Such factors include those common to all mAbs, namely infusion-related reactions, but also factors that are observed with mAbs used in myeloma, such as interference with response assessment, or factors that are related to CD38 mAbs such as daratumumab, for instance blood typing interference. Our review provides an overview of the results from the daratumumab clinical trials conducted to date, as well as practical management considerations for the use of daratumumab based on our experience with the agent. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
Fountzilas G, Giannoulatou E, Alexopoulou Z, Zagouri F, Timotheadou E, Papadopoulou K, Lakis S, Bobos M, Poulios C, Sotiropoulou M, et al. TP53 mutations and protein immunopositivity may predict for poor outcome but also for trastuzumab benefit in patients with early breast cancer treated in the adjuvant setting. Oncotarget [Internet]. 2016;7(22):32731 - 32753. WebsiteAbstract
Background: We investigated the impact of PIK3CA and TP53 mutations and p53 protein status on the outcome of patients who had been treated with adjuvant anthracycline-taxane chemotherapy within clinical trials in the pre- and post-trastuzumab era. Results: TP53 and PIK3CA mutations were found in 380 (21.5%) and 458 (25.9%) cases, respectively, including 104 (5.9%) co-mutated tumors; p53 immunopositivity was observed in 848 tumors (53.5%). TP53 mutations (p < 0.001) and p53 protein positivity (p = 0.001) were more frequent in HER2-positive and triple negative (TNBC) tumors, while PIK3CA mutations were more frequent in Luminal A/B tumors (p < 0.001). TP53 mutation status and p53 protein expression but not PIK3CA mutation status interacted with trastuzumab treatment for disease-free survival; patients with tumors bearing TP53 mutations or immunopositive for p53 protein fared better when treated with trastuzumab, while among patients treated with trastuzumab those with the above characteristics fared best (interaction p = 0.017 for mutations; p = 0.015 for IHC). Upon multivariate analysis the above interactions remained significant in HER2-positive patients; in the entire cohort, TP53 mutations were unfavorable in patients with Luminal A/B (p = 0.003) and TNBC (p = 0.025); p53 immunopositivity was strongly favorable in patients treated with trastuzumab (p = 0.009). Materials and Methods: TP53 and PIK3CA mutation status was examined in 1766 paraffin tumor DNA samples with informative semiconductor sequencing results. Among these, 1585 cases were also informative for p53 protein status assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC; 10% positivity cut-off). Conclusions: TP53 mutations confer unfavorable prognosis in patients with Luminal A/B and TNBC tumors, while p53 immunopositivity may predict for trastuzumab benefit in the adjuvant setting.
Siegel DS, Dimopoulos M, Jagannath S, Goldschmidt H, Durrant S, Kaufman JL, Leleu X, Nagler A, Offner F, Graef T, et al. VANTAGE 095: An International, Multicenter, Open-Label Study of Vorinostat (MK-0683) in Combination with Bortezomib in Patients with Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2016;16(6):329 - 334.e1. WebsiteAbstract
Background The present global, open-label, single-arm, multicenter, phase IIb study was designed to determine the efficacy and tolerability of oral vorinostat combined with standard doses of bortezomib in patients with multiple myeloma considered refractory to novel myeloma agents. Patients and Methods Eligible patients were age ≥ 18 years, had received ≥ 2 previous regimens, had disease refractory to ≥ 1 previous bortezomib-containing regimen, and had received ≥ 1 dose of an immunomodulatory drug (thalidomide or lenalidomide)-based regimen. The patients received 21-day cycles of bortezomib (1.3 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11) plus oral vorinostat (400 mg/d on days 1-14). Oral dexamethasone, 20 mg, on the day of and the day after each dose of bortezomib could be added for patients with progressive disease after 2 cycles or no change after 4 cycles. The primary endpoint was the objective response rate. Results The objective response rate was 11.3% (95% confidence interval, 6.6%-17.7%), and the median duration of response was 211 days (range, 64-550 days). The median overall survival duration was 11.2 months (95% confidence interval, 8.5-14.4 months), with a 2-year survival rate of 32%. The frequently reported adverse events were thrombocytopenia (69.7%), nausea (57.0%), diarrhea (53.5%), anemia (52.1%), and fatigue (48.6%); the overall safety profile was consistent with that of bortezomib and vorinostat. Conclusion The combination of vorinostat and bortezomib is active in patients with multiple myeloma refractory to novel treatment modalities and offers a new therapeutic option for this difficult-to-treat patient population (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT00773838). © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Kastritis E, Papassotiriou I, Terpos E, Roussou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Komitopoulou A, Skevaki C, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Pamboucas C, Psimenou E, et al. Clinical and prognostic significance of serum levels of von Willebrand factor and ADAMTS-13 antigens in AL amyloidosis. Blood [Internet]. 2016;128(3):405 - 409. WebsiteAbstract
Cardiac dysfunction determines prognosis in amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis. The heart is the central organ of the vascular system in which endothelium function is critical for the circulatory homeostasis, but there are limited data on endothelial function in AL amyloidosis. von Willebrand factor (VWF) has been considered as a marker of endothelial activation and dysfunction, whereas a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin type-1 repeats 13 (ADAMTS-13) cleaves VWF multimers, but both have been associated with prognosis in cardiovascular disease. We measured the serum levels of VWF (VWF:Ag) and ADAMTS-13 antigens in 111 newly diagnosed patients with AL amyloidosis. The levels of VWF:Ag were significantly higher than in healthy controls; 76% of patients with AL had VWF:Ag levels higher than the upper levels of controls. There was no significant association of VWF:Ag levels with patterns of organ involvement, free light-chain levels, the levels of cardiac biomarkers, or renal dysfunction but correlated with low systolic blood pressure. VWF:Ag levels ≥230.0 U/dL were associated with higher probability of early death and poor survival independently of cardiac biomarkers and low systolic blood pressure (SBP). Moreover, among patients with Mayo stage III or stage IIIB (that is stage III with N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide [NTproBNP] >8500 pg/mL) disease, VWF:Ag identified subgroups of patients with very poor outcome. Low ADAMTS-13 levels correlated with high levels of NTproBNP but had no independent prognostic significance. In conclusion, high VWF:Ag levels, probably representing endothelial dysfunction, are associated with prognosis in patients with AL amyloidosis, independently of other features of the disease or cardiac biomarkers. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Current therapy guidelines for Waldenstrom's macroglobulinaemia. Best Practice and Research: Clinical Haematology [Internet]. 2016;29(2):194 - 205. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenstrom's macroglobulinaemia (WM) is a B-cell neoplasm in which bone marrow is infiltrated by lymphoplasmacytic cells that secrete monoclonal immunoglobulin M (IgM). More than a decade ago, specific criteria were agreed to define diagnosis and symptomatic disease requiring therapy; however, treatment recommendations change as new options emerge. Treatment decisions consider specific disease characteristics (burden of disease, IgM levels, presence of cytopenias) and patient characteristics (age, comorbidities, toxicity). Recently, the impact of specific mutations (in MYD88 and CXCR4) in response to specific therapies has been reported, and this may affect treatment decisions in the future. Chemo-immunotherapy combinations based on rituximab with cyclophosphamide/dexamethasone, bendamustine or bortezomib/dexamethasone are indicated for most patients. The BTK inhibitor ibrutinib was recently approved for patients with WM, and is a new option for selected newly diagnosed or relapsing patients. New B-cell receptor inhibitors, second-generation proteasome inhibitors and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors are promising; however, more data are needed from high-quality clinical trials. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
Sergentanis TN, Kastritis E, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA, Psaltopoulou T. Cytogenetics and Survival of Multiple Myeloma: Isolated and Combined Effects. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2016;16(6):335 - 340. WebsiteAbstract
Background A variety of clinical and laboratory prognostic factors for multiple myeloma (MM) have been addressed in published studies. The prognostic significance of cytogenetic abnormalities is also under investigation. Patients and Methods The present study evaluated the potential prognostic role of cytogenetic events and their combinations in terms of overall survival in a large cohort of unselected patients with MM (n = 432). Multivariate Cox regression analysis was performed, adjusting for age, gender, Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes classification, International Staging System score, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, serum lactate dehydrogenase, serum calcium, platelet count, and blood hemoglobin. Results The presence of del(13q) (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18-2.47), t(4;14) (adjusted HR, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.19-3.35), and/or del(17p) (adjusted HR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.22-3.37) was independently associated with poorer overall survival. The poor prognosis seemed more pronounced among patients harboring combinations of 2 adverse cytogenetic abnormalities. In contrast, t(14;16), t(11;14), and add(1q21) were not associated with overall survival. The effect of bortezomib seemed rather minimal in the modification of the prognostic role mediated by del(17p). Conclusion The presence of del(13q), t(4;14), and del(17p), singly or in combination, seems to be an independent poor prognostic factor for patients with MM. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Liontos M, Anastasiou I, Bamias A, Dimopoulos M-A. DNA damage, tumor mutational load and their impact on immune responses against cancer. Annals of Translational Medicine [Internet]. 2016;4(14). WebsiteAbstract
Advances in immunotherapy have changed the therapeutic landscape in many malignancies. Immune checkpoint inhibitors have already received regulatory approval in melanomas, lung, renal and bladder carcinomas. A common feature of these neoplasms is the increased mutational load, related to a possible increase number of tumor neoantigens that are recognized by the immune system. The mechanisms that DNA damage could confer to the mutational load and the formation of neoantigens and how this could be exploited to advance our immunotherapeutic strategies is discussed in this review. © Annals of Translational Medicine.
Liontos M, Trigka E-A, Korkolopoulou P, Tzannis K, Lainakis G, Koutsoukos K, Kostouros E, Lykka M, Papandreou CN, Karavasilis V, et al. Expression and prognostic significance of VEGF and mTOR pathway proteins in metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients: a prognostic immunohistochemical profile for kidney cancer patients. World Journal of Urology [Internet]. 2016:1 - 9. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: To identify prognostic molecular profiles in patients with mRCC treated with sunitinib, we performed immunohistochemical analysis for VEGF and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway components. Methods: The immunohistochemical expression of VEGF, p85α, p110γ, PTEN, p-Akt, p-mTOR, p-4E-BP1 and p-p70S6K was studied in 79 patients with mRCC who received first-line treatment with sunitinib. Expression was correlated with clinicopathological features and survival. Results: VEGF was highly expressed (median H-Score 150), while positivity for the markers of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway was: p85α 43/66 (65 %), p110γ41/60 (68 %), PTEN 32/64 (50 %), p-Akt57/63 (90 %), p-mTOR48/64 (75 %), p-4E-BP1 58/64 (90 %) and p-p70S6K 60/65 (92 %). No single immunohistochemical marker was found to have prognostic significance. Instead, the combination of increased p-mTOR and low VEGF expression was adversely correlated with overall survival (OS) (3.2 vs. 16.9 months, P = 0.001). Conclusion: Immunohistochemistry for VEGF and p-mTOR proteins may discriminate patients refractory to first-line sunitinib with poor prognosis. Prospective validation of our findings is needed. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Kumar S, Paiva B, Anderson KC, Durie B, Landgren O, Moreau P, Munshi N, Lonial S, Bladé J, Mateos M-V, et al. International Myeloma Working Group consensus criteria for response and minimal residual disease assessment in multiple myeloma. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2016;17(8):e328 - e346. WebsiteAbstract
Treatment of multiple myeloma has substantially changed over the past decade with the introduction of several classes of new effective drugs that have greatly improved the rates and depth of response. Response criteria in multiple myeloma were developed to use serum and urine assessment of monoclonal proteins and bone marrow assessment (which is relatively insensitive). Given the high rates of complete response seen in patients with multiple myeloma with new treatment approaches, new response categories need to be defined that can identify responses that are deeper than those conventionally defined as complete response. Recent attempts have focused on the identification of residual tumour cells in the bone marrow using flow cytometry or gene sequencing. Furthermore, sensitive imaging techniques can be used to detect the presence of residual disease outside of the bone marrow. Combining these new methods, the International Myeloma Working Group has defined new response categories of minimal residual disease negativity, with or without imaging-based absence of extramedullary disease, to allow uniform reporting within and outside clinical trials. In this Review, we clarify several aspects of disease response assessment, along with endpoints for clinical trials, and highlight future directions for disease response assessments. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
Cohen YC, Joffe E, Benyamini N, Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E, Trestman S, Held-Kuznetsov V, Avivi I, Kastritis E. Primary failure of bortezomib in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma-understanding the magnitude, predictors, and significance. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016;57(6):1382 - 1388. WebsiteAbstract
Botezomib-based induction is highly effective for the treatment of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM). We investigated the outcomes of NDMM patients who failed to respond to bortezomib-based induction in a real-life clinical setting. In a cohort of 295 consecutive NDMM patients in 3 medical centers, 74 (25%) failed to achieve at least partial response after 4 induction cycles, and were classified as non-responsive. Compared to induction responders, they were older, more frequently anemic, had a higher incidence of del17p and ISS-3, and a worse performance status. In multivariable analysis, bortezomib-based induction failure occurred in 25% of patients and was the strongest independent factor predicting mortality with a 5-fold hazard ratio (95% CI 1.44-8.68). Three-year overall survival in responsive vs. non-responsive patients were 76% vs. 53%, respectively (p < 0.0001). Survival from time of salvage second-line treatment was significantly shorter among induction non-responders vs. responders (25 months vs. not-reached, p = 0.024). © 2015 Taylor & Francis.
Fotiou D, Gerotziafas G, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. A review of the venous thrombotic issues associated with multiple myeloma. Expert Review of Hematology [Internet]. 2016;9(7):695 - 706. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have an increased risk of venous thromboembolic (VTE) complications. The first reports of high VTE rates date back to 1999 but became more apparent with the introduction of novel agents in the treatment of MM and mostly with immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs; thalidomide, lenalidomide and pomalidomide). Areas covered: Currently thromboprophylaxis is recommended for patients who receive IMiDs-based regimens and the type of thrombophrophylaxis is based on patient-, disease- and treatment-related risk factors. Making the distinction between the intrinsic risk of thrombosis in MM and the effect of therapy is crucial. The use of aspirin, low molecular weight heparins and warfarin are the recommended drugs but despite their appropriate use the rates of VTE are not completely eliminated. Expert commentary: Research into biomarkers of increased coagulability and their incorporation in risk assessment models could identify patients most likely to benefit from thromboprophylaxis but such models are not widely used in myeloma. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Dimopoulos MA, Palumbo A, Corradini P, Cavo M, Delforge M, Di Raimondo F, Weisel KC, Oriol A, Hansson M, Vacca A, et al. Safety and efficacy of pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone in STRATUS (MM-010): A phase 3b study in refractory multiple myeloma. Blood [Internet]. 2016;128(4):497 - 503. WebsiteAbstract
Patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) have poor prognosis. The STRATUS study assessed safety and efficacy of pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone in the largest cohort to date of patients with RRMM. Patients who failed treatment with bortezomib and lenalidomide and had adequate prior alkylator therapy were eligible. Pomalidomide 4 mg was given on days 1-21 of 28-day cycles with low-dose dexamethasone 40 mg (20 mg for patients aged >75 years) on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 until progressive disease or unacceptable toxicity. Safety was the primary end point; secondary end points included overall response rate (ORR), duration of response (DOR), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Among 682 patients enrolled, median age was 66 years, and median time since diagnosis was 5.3 years. Median number of prior regimens was 5. Most patients were refractory to both lenalidomide and bortezomib (80.2%). Median follow-up was 16.8 months; median duration of treatment was 4.9 months. Most frequent grade 3/4 treatment-emergent adverse events were hematologic (neutropenia [49.7%], anemia [33.0%], and thrombocytopenia [24.1%]). Most common grade 3/4 nonhematologic toxicities were pneumonia (10.9%) and fatigue (5.9%). Grade 3/4 venous thromboembolism and peripheral neuropathy were rare (1.6% each). The ORR was 32.6%, and the median DOR was 7.4 months. Median PFS and OS were 4.6 months and 11.9 months, respectively. We present the largest trial to date evaluating pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone in patients with RRMM, further confirming that this regimen offers clinically meaningful benefit and is generally well tolerated. www.Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01712789. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.
Koutsoukos K, Tzannis K, Christodoulou C, Karavasilis V, Bakoyiannis C, Makatsoris T, Papandreou CN, Pectasides D, Dimopoulos MA, Bamias A. Two cycles of adjuvant carboplatin in stage I seminoma: 8-year experience by the Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HECOG). World Journal of Urology [Internet]. 2016;34(6):853 - 857. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: Following the establishment of adjuvant carboplatin in stage I testicular seminoma as a standard, we adopted this treatment for all stage I seminoma patients. We report our 8-year experience and compare these results with our previous adjuvant etoposide/cisplatin (EP) strategy. Patients and methods: Patients with stage I seminoma, treated with adjuvant carboplatin and with a minimum follow-up of 1 year, were included. Two cycles of carboplatin [area under the curve (AUC) 6] were administered. Results: A total of 138 patients with median age of 34 years, treated from September 2003 to December 2011, were selected. There were 5 relapses [5-year relapse-free rate (RFR) 96.8 % (95 % confidence interval 91.6–98.8)]: 3 relapses at retroperitoneal lymph nodes, 1 relapse at the adrenal gland, and 1 isolated brain metastasis. Four patients with relapse were cured with salvage chemotherapy. All patients with relapse had tumor diameter ≥4 cm and/or age ≤34 years. Patients with at least 1 of the above risk factors (n = 111) had a significantly higher relapse rate compared with a similar population (n = 64) treated with 2 cycles of adjuvant EP: 5-year RFR was 95 % (SE 2 %) versus 100 % (SE 0 %), (p = 0.067). Conclusions: Age and tumor diameter were associated with relapse in stage I seminoma treated with adjuvant carboplatin. Although adjuvant carboplatin in patients with age ≤34 and/or tumor diameter ≥4 cm is associated with higher relapse rates than EP, the prognosis of these patients is excellent, and therefore, the use of less toxic treatment is justified. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Ziogas DC, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Carfilzomib for treating myeloma. Expert Opinion on Orphan Drugs [Internet]. 2016;4(9):989 - 999. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Carfilzomib, a second-generation proteasome inhibitor, has been increasingly used in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM) since its initial approval by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012, either as a single agent or in combination with other known anti-myeloma treatments. Based on its efficacy and safety profile in the relapsed/refractory setting, carfilzomib is currently evaluated in patients with de novo MM. Areas covered: Here, we will shed some light on the introduction of carfilzomib as an effective anti-myeloma treatment, presenting its mechanism of action, its response rates and adverse events, as well as a summary of all clinical trials evaluating current dosage and schedule of administration. We will follow the entire path of drug’s development from the bench of preclinical studies to the market and bedside delivery. Revising the published evidence, we will try to answer all questions raised about the novel drug, expressing in parallel our site experience. Expert opinion: Carfilzomib, alone or in combination with other agents, is a welcome therapeutic option for MM patients with a well-defined toxicity profile. Results of ongoing trials are expected in order to update drug indications and maximize its therapeutic benefits in patients with refractory/relapse MM. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Avet-Loiseau H, Fonseca R, Siegel D, Dimopoulos MA, Špička I, Masszi T, Hájek R, Rosiñol L, Goranova-Marinova V, Mihaylov G, et al. Carfilzomib significantly improves the progression-free survival of high-risk patients in multiple myeloma. Blood [Internet]. 2016;128(9):1174 - 1180. WebsiteAbstract
The presence of certain high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities, such as translocations (4;14) and (14;16) and deletion (17p), are known to have a negative impact on survival in multiple myeloma (MM). The phase 3 study ASPIRE (N = 792) demonstrated that progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly improved with carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd), compared with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) in relapsed MM. This preplanned subgroup analysis of ASPIRE was conducted to evaluate KRd vs Rd by baseline cytogenetics according to fluorescence in situ hybridization. Of 417 patients with known cytogenetic risk status, 100 patients (24%) were categorized with high-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n548; Rd, n552) and 317 (76%) were categorized with standard-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 147; Rd, n = 170). For patients with high-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd resulted in a median PFS of 23.1 months, a 9-month improvement relative to treatment with Rd. For patients with standard-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd led to a 10-month improvement in median PFS vs Rd. The overall response rates for KRd vs Rd were 79.2% vs 59.6% (high-risk cytogenetics) and 91.2% vs 73.5% (standardrisk cytogenetics); approximately fivefold as many patients with high- or standard-risk cytogenetics achieved a complete response or better with KRd vs Rd (29.2% vs 5.8% and 38.1% vs 6.5%, respectively). KRd improved but did not abrogate the poor prognosis associated with high-risk cytogenetics. This regimen had a favorable benefit-risk profile in patients with relapsed MM, irrespective of cytogenetic risk status, and should be considered a standard of care in these patients. Copyright © 2011 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all rights reserved.
Gkotzamanidou M, Terpos E, Bamia C, Munshi NC, Dimopoulos MA, Souliotis VL. DNA repair of myeloma plasma cells correlates with clinical outcome: The effect of the nonhomologous end-joining inhibitor SCR7. Blood [Internet]. 2016;128(9):1214 - 1225. WebsiteAbstract
DNA repair activity of malignant cells seems to influence therapeutic outcome and patients' survival. Herein, we investigated the mechanistic basis for the link between DNA repair efficiency and response to antimyeloma therapy. Nucleotide excision repair (NER), interstrand cross-links repair (ICL/R), double-strand breaks repair (DSB/R), and chromatin structure were evaluated in multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines (melphalan-sensitive RPMI8226; melphalan-resistant LR5) and bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) from MM patients who responded (n = 17) or did not respond (n = 9) to subsequent melphalan therapy. The effect of DSB/R inhibition was also evaluated. Responders' BMPCs showed slower rates of NER and DSB/R (P < .0022), similar rates of ICL/R, and more condensed chromatin structure compared with nonresponders. Moreover, apoptosis rates of BMPCs were inversely correlated with individual DNA repair efficiency and were higher in responders' cells compared with those of nonresponders (P = .0011). Similarly, RPMI8226 cells showed slower rates of NER and DSB/R, comparable rates of ICL/R, more condensed chromatin structure, and higher sensitivity than LR5 cells. Interestingly, cotreatment of BMPCs or cell lines with DSB/R inhibitors significantly reduced the rates ofDSB/R and increasedmelphalan sensitivity of the cells, with the nonhomologous end-joining inhibitor SCR7 showing the strongest effect. Together, responders' BMPCs are characterized by lower efficiencies of NER and DSB/R mechanisms, resulting in higher accumulation of the extremely cytotoxic ICLs andDSBs lesions,which in turn triggers the induction of the apoptotic pathway. Moreover, the enhancement of melphalan cytotoxicity by DSB/R inhibition offers a promising strategy toward improvement of existing antimyeloma regimens. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.
Zagouri F, Roussou M, Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanellias N, Kalapanida D, Christoulas D, Migkou M, Terpos E, et al. Lenalidomide with low- or intermediate-dose dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016;57(8):1776 - 1780. WebsiteAbstract
Abstract: To compare the outcomes of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) who were treated with lenalidomide combined with high versus low dose of dexamethasone. One hundred forty consecutive relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) patients who received lenalidomide with dexamethasone, in two consecutive time periods, were divided into two groups: group RD (70 consecutive patients in the first period) who received lenalidomide with intermediate doses of dexamethasone and group Rd (70 consecutive patients in the more recent period) who received lenalidomide with low-dose dexamethasone. 62% and 73% of patients who received RD and Rd (p = 0.148) achieved at least a partial response, accordingly. The median OS was 20 and 41 months for the RD and the Rd group, accordingly. In the multivariate analysis, Rd was associated with improved PFS. More patients treated with RD developed grade 3&4 neutropenia and fatigue. It seems that Rd is at least as effective as RD. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Fotiou D, Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E. Managing renal complications in multiple myeloma. Expert Review of Hematology [Internet]. 2016;9(9):839 - 850. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: About 20–40% of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) will present with some degree of renal impairment (RI) and about 25% of patients will experience RI at later disease stages. Patients with MM and RI have poorer overall survival and are at higher risk of early death. Areas covered: The mechanisms of acute renal damage in MM are covered and the issues around diagnosis and renal evaluation response are discussed. The importance of optimal supportive care is stressed and the role and effectiveness of different anti-myeloma agents covered including the role of high cut-off hemodialysis, autologous stem cell transplantation and kidney transplant. Expert commentary: Outcomes of patients with RI and rates of renal recovery have improved with the use of novel anti-myeloma agents. Bortezomib-dexamethasone backbone regimes (±third agent) are the current first choice in newly diagnosed patients. In relapsed/refractory disease additional treatment options include newer novel agents. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Kokotis P, Schmelz M, Kostouros E, Karandreas N, Dimopoulos M-A. Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathy: A Long-Term Clinical and Neurophysiologic Follow-Up Study. Clinical Colorectal Cancer [Internet]. 2016;15(3):e133 - e140. WebsiteAbstract
Micro-Abstract Acute oxaliplatin neurotoxicity and chronic sensory cumulative neuropathy were investigated in a long-term study of 31 consecutive patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Our results improve the knowledge of acute neurotoxicity and support the finding of the persistence of the sensory nerve deficits for years after the cessation of oxaliplatin therapy. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Yui JC, Van Keer J, Weiss BM, Waxman AJ, Palmer MB, D'Agati VD, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA, Vij R, Bansal D, et al. Proteasome inhibitor associated thrombotic microangiopathy. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2016;91(9):E348 - E352. WebsiteAbstract
A variety of medications have been implicated in the causation of thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). Recently, a few case reports have emerged of TMA attributed to the proteasome inhibitors (PI) bortezomib and carfilzomib in patients with multiple myeloma. The aim of this case series was to better characterize the role of PI in the etiology of drug-induced TMA. We describe eleven patients from six medical centers from around the world who developed TMA while being treated with PI. The median time between medication initiation and diagnosis of TMA was 21 days (range 5 days to 17 months). Median laboratory values at diagnosis included hemoglobin—7.5 g dL−1, platelet count—20 × 109/L, LDH—698 U L−1, creatinine—3.12 mg dL−1. No patient had any other cause of TMA, including ADAMTS13 inhibition, other malignancy or use of any other medication previously associated with TMA. Nine patients had resolution of TMA without evidence of hemolysis after withdrawal of PI. Two patients had stabilization of laboratory values but persistent evidence of hemolysis despite medication withdrawal. One patient had recurrence of TMA with rechallenge of PI. There is a strong level of evidence that PI can cause DITMA. In evaluating patients with suspected TMA, PI use should be recognized as a potential etiology, and these medications should be discontinued promptly if thought to be the cause of TMA. Am. J. Hematol. 91:E348–E352, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Castillo JJ, Garcia-Sanz R, Hatjiharissi E, Kyle RA, Leleu X, McMaster M, Merlini G, Minnema MC, Morra E, Owen RG, et al. Recommendations for the diagnosis and initial evaluation of patients with Waldenström Macroglobulinaemia: A Task Force from the 8th International Workshop on Waldenström Macroglobulinaemia. British Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2016;175(1):77 - 86. WebsiteAbstract
The diagnosis of Waldenström macroglobulinaemia (WM) can be challenging given the variety of signs and symptoms patients can present. Furthermore, once the diagnosis of WM is established, the initial evaluation should be thorough as well as appropriately directed. During the 8th International Workshop for WM in London, United Kingdom, a multi-institutional task force was formed to develop consensus recommendations for the diagnosis and initial evaluation of patients with WM. In this document, we present the results of the deliberations that took place to address these issues. We provide recommendations for history-taking and physical examination, laboratory studies, bone marrow aspiration and biopsy analysis and imaging studies. We also provide guidance on the initial evaluation of special situations, such as anaemia, hyperviscosity, neuropathy, Bing-Neel syndrome and amyloidosis. We hope these recommendations serve as a practical guidance to clinicians taking care of patients with a suspected or an established diagnosis of WM. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Karavasilis V, Papadimitriou C, Gogas H, Kouvatseas G, Pentheroudakis G, Koutras A, Christodoulou C, Bafaloukos D, Samantas E, Pisanidis N, et al. Safety and Tolerability of Anthracycline-Containing Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Elderly High-Risk Breast Cancer Patients. Clinical Breast Cancer [Internet]. 2016;16(4):291 - 298.e3. WebsiteAbstract
Micro-Abstract We characterized the feasibility and toxicity profile of anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy in women >65 years of age with early breast cancer. Elderly breast cancer patients derive clinical benefit comparable with that of younger patients, mainly at the cost of increased risk of hematological toxicity. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
Leblond V, Kastritis E, Advani R, Ansell SM, Buske C, Castillo JJ, García-Sanz R, Gertz M, Kimby E, Kyriakou C, et al. Treatment recommendations from the Eighth International Workshop on Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia. Blood [Internet]. 2016;128(10):1321 - 1328. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a distinct B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder for which clearly defined criteria for the diagnosis, initiation of therapy, and treatment strategy have been proposed as part of the consensus panels of the International Workshop on Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia (IWWM). At IWWM-8, a task force for treatment recommendations was impanelled to review recently published and ongoing clinical trial data as well as the impact of new mutations (MYD88 and CXCR4) on treatment decisions, indications for B-cell receptor and proteasome inhibitors, and future clinical trial initiatives for WM patients. The panel concluded that therapeutic strategies in WM should be based on individual patient and disease characteristics. Chemoimmunotherapy combinations with rituximab and cyclophosphamide-dexamethasone, bendamustine, or bortezomib-dexamethasone provide durable responses and are still indicated in most patients. Approval of the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib in the United States and Europe represents a novel and effective treatment option for both treatment-naive and relapsing patients. Other B-cell receptor inhibitors, second-generation proteasome inhibitors (eg, carfilzomib), and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors are promising and may increase future treatment options. Active enrollment in clinical trials whenever possible was endorsed by the panel for most patients with WM. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.
Gavriatopoulou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Current treatments for renal failure due to multiple myeloma. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy [Internet]. 2016;17(16):2165 - 2177. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Renal impairment (RI) is one of the most common complication of multiple myeloma (MM). RI is present in almost 20% of MM patients at diagnosis and in 40%-50% of patients during the course of their disease. Areas covered: Biology along with tools for diagnosis and management of RI are reported in this paper. Papers published in PubMed and reported abstracts up to May 2016 were used. Expert opinion: Moderate and severe RI increases the risk of early death; thus rapid intervention and initiation of anti-myeloma treatment is essential and improves renal outcomes in RI patients. Bortezomib and dexamethasone triplet combinations are the current standard of therapy for MM patients with acute kidney injury due to cast nephropathy; they offer high rates of both anti-myeloma response and renal recovery. Thalidomide and lenalidomide may be used in bortezomib refractory patients. In the relapsed/refractory setting additional treatment options such as carfilzomib, pomalidomide and monoclonal antibodies are available; however, there is limited data for their effects on patients with RI. High dose melphalan with autologous stem cell transplantation should be considered in otherwise eligible patients with RI. Finally, high cut-off hemodialysis membranes do not seem to offer significant additive effects on anti-myeloma therapies. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Dimopoulos MA, Oriol A, Nahi H, San-Miguel J, Bahlis NJ, Usmani SZ, Rabin N, Orlowski RZ, Komarnicki M, Suzuki K, et al. Daratumumab, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone for multiple myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2016;375(14):1319 - 1331. WebsiteAbstract
BACKGROUND: Daratumumab showed promising efficacy alone and with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in a phase 1-2 study involving patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. METHODS: In this phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 569 patients with multiple myeloma who had received one or more previous lines of therapy to receive lenalidomide and dexamethasone either alone (control group) or in combination with daratumumab (daratumumab group). The primary end point was progression-free survival. RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 13.5 months in a protocol-specified interim analysis, 169 events of disease progression or death were observed (in 53 of 286 patients [18.5%] in the daratumumab group vs. 116 of 283 [41.0%] in the control group; hazard ratio, 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27 to 0.52; P<0.001 by stratified log-rank test). The Kaplan- Meier rate of progression-free survival at 12 months was 83.2% (95% CI, 78.3 to 87.2) in the daratumumab group, as compared with 60.1% (95% CI, 54.0 to 65.7) in the control group. A significantly higher rate of overall response was observed in the daratumumab group than in the control group (92.9% vs. 76.4%, P<0.001), as was a higher rate of complete response or better (43.1% vs. 19.2%, P<0.001). In the daratumumab group, 22.4% of the patients had results below the threshold for minimal residual disease (1 tumor cell per 105 white cells), as compared with 4.6% of those in the control group (P<0.001); results below the threshold for minimal residual disease were associated with improved outcomes. The most common adverse events of grade 3 or 4 during treatment were neutropenia (in 51.9% of the patients in the daratumumab group vs. 37.0% of those in the control group), thrombocytopenia (in 12.7% vs. 13.5%), and anemia (in 12.4% vs. 19.6%). Daratumumab-associated infusion-related reactions occurred in 47.7% of the patients and were mostly of grade 1 or 2. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of daratumumab to lenalidomide and dexamethasone significantly lengthened progression-free survival among patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Daratumumab was associated with infusion-related reactions and a higher rate of neutropenia than the control therapy. Copyright © 2016 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.
Stewart AK, Dimopoulos MA, Masszi T, Špička I, Oriol A, Hájek R, Rosiñol L, Siegel DS, Niesvizky R, Jakubowiak AJ, et al. Health-related quality-of-life results from the open-label, randomized, phase III ASPIRE trial evaluating carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone versus lenalidomide and dexamethasone in patientswith relapsed multiple myeloma. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2016;34(32):3921 - 3930. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose To determine the effects of carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd) versus lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) on health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) in the Carfilzomib, Lenalidomide, and Dexamethasone Versus Lenalidomide and Dexamethasone for the Treatment of Patients With Relapsed Multiple Myeloma (ASPIRE) trial. Methods Patients with relapsed multiple myeloma were randomly assigned to receive KRd or Rd. The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 and myeloma-specific module were administered at baseline; day 1 of cycles 3, 6, 12, and 18; and after treatment. The Global Health Status/Quality of Life (GHS/QoL) scale and seven subscales (fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, physical functioning, role functioning, disease symptoms, and adverse effects of treatment) were compared between groups using a mixed model for repeated measures. The percentages of responders with ≥ 5- or 15-point GHS/QoL improvement at each cycle were compared between groups. Results Baseline questionnaire compliance was excellent (94.1% of randomly assigned patients). KRd patients had higher GHS/QoL scores versus Rd patients over 18 treatment cycles (two-sided P<.001). The minimal important difference was met at cycle 12 (5.6 points) and approached at cycle 18 (4.8 points). There was no difference between groups for the other prespecified subscales from ASPIRE. A higher proportion of KRd patients met the GHS/QoL responder definition (≥ 5-point improvement) with statistical differences at cycle 12 (KRd v Rd patients, 25.5% v 17.4%, respectively) and 18 (KRd v Rd patients, 24.2% v 12.9%, respectively). Conclusion KRd improves GHS/QoL without negatively affecting patient-reported symptoms when compared with Rd. These data further support the benefit of KRd in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. © 2016 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Ziogas DC, Kastritis E, Terpos E, Roussou M, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Spanomichou D, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Fotiou D, Panagiotidis I, et al. Hematologic and renal improvement of monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition disease after treatment with bortezomib-based regimens. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016:1 - 8. WebsiteAbstract
Monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition disease (MIDD) is characterized by non-organized immunoglobulin-fragments along renal basement membranes with subsequent organ deterioration. Treatment is directed against the immunoglobulin-producing clone. We treated 18 MIDD patients with bortezomib-based regimens (12 received bortezomib-dexamethasone, 6 bortezomib-dexamethasone with cyclophosphamide). Eleven (61%) patients achieved a hematologic response, but only 6 (33.3%) reached to a complete (CR) or very good partial response (VGPR). Regarding renal outcomes 77.8 and 55.6% had ≥30 and ≥50% reduction of proteinuria, respectively, but 33.3% ended up in end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Among patients with CR or VGPR, median eGFR improvement was 7.7 ml/min/1.73 m2 and none progressed to ESRD, but no significant renal recovery was observed in patients achieving a partial response or less, with 50% progressing to dialysis. Pretreatment eGFR seems to influence renal prognosis. Bortezomib-based treatment is considered an effective approach in MIDD and reaching to a deep hematologic response (≥VGPR) conditionally controls further renal declining. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Bagratuni T, Gavriatopoulou M, Roussou M, Papatheodorou A, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanellias N, Liakou C, et al. High levels of periostin correlate with increased fracture rate, diffuse MRI pattern, abnormal bone remodeling and advanced disease stage in patients with newly diagnosed symptomatic multiple myeloma. Blood Cancer Journal [Internet]. 2016;6(10):e482. WebsiteAbstract
Periostin is an extracellular matrix protein that is implicated in the biology of normal bone remodeling and in different cancer cell growth and metastasis. However, there is no information on the role of periostin in multiple myeloma (MM). Thus, we evaluated periostin in six myeloma cell lines in vitro; in the bone marrow plasma and serum of 105 newly diagnosed symptomatic MM (NDMM) patients and in the serum of 23 monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), 33 smoldering MM (SMM) patients, 30 patients at the plateau phase post-first-line therapy, 30 patients at first relapse and 30 healthy controls. We found high levels of periostin in the supernatants of myeloma cell lines compared with ovarian cancer cell lines that were not influenced by the incubation with the stromal cell line HS5. In NDMM patients the bone marrow plasma periostin was almost fourfold higher compared with the serum levels of periostin and correlated with the presence of fractures and of diffuse magnetic resonance imaging pattern of marrow infiltration. Serum periostin was elevated in NDMM patients compared with healthy controls, MGUS and SMM patients and correlated with advanced disease stage, high lactate dehydrogenase, increased activin-A, increased bone resorption and reduced bone formation. Patients at first relapse had also elevated periostin compared with healthy controls, MGUS and SMM patients, while even patients at the plateau phase had elevated serum periostin compared with healthy controls. These results support an important role of periostin in the biology of myeloma and reveal periostin as a possible target for the development of antimyeloma drugs. © 2016 The Author(s).
San-Miguel JF, Hungria VTM, Yoon S-S, Beksac M, Dimopoulos MA, Elghandour A, Jedrzejczak WW, Günther A, Nakorn TN, Siritanaratkul N, et al. Overall survival of patients with relapsed multiple myeloma treated with panobinostat or placebo plus bortezomib and dexamethasone (the PANORAMA 1 trial): a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. The Lancet Haematology [Internet]. 2016;3(11):e506 - e515. WebsiteAbstract
Background Panobinostat plus bortezomib and dexamethasone significantly increased median progression-free survival compared with placebo plus bortezomib and dexamethasone in the phase 3 PANORAMA 1 trial. Here, we present the final overall survival analysis for this trial. Methods PANORAMA 1 is a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 3 trial of patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma with one to three previous treatments. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive panobinostat (20 mg orally) or placebo, with bortezomib (1·3 mg/m2 intravenously) and dexamethasone (20 mg orally), over two distinct treatment phases. In treatment phase 1 (eight 3-week cycles), patients received: panobinostat or placebo on days 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, and 12; bortezomib on days 1, 4, 8, and 11; and dexamethasone on days 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, and 12. During treatment phase 2 (four 6-week cycles with a 2 weeks on, 1 week off schedule), panobinostat or placebo was given three times a week, bortezomib was administered once a week, and dexamethasone was given on the days of and following bortezomib administration. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival; overall survival was a key secondary endpoint. This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01023308. Findings Between Jan 21, 2010, and Feb 29, 2012, 768 patients were enrolled into the study and randomly assigned to receive either panobinostat (n=387) or placebo (n=381), plus bortezomib and dexamethasone. At data cutoff (June 29, 2015), 415 patients had died. Median overall survival was 40·3 months (95% CI 35·0–44·8) in those who received panobinostat, bortezomib, and dexamethasone versus 35·8 months (29·0–40·6) in those who received placebo, bortezomib, and dexamethasone (hazard ratio [HR] 0·94, 95% CI 0·78–1·14; p=0·54). Of patients who had received at least two previous regimens including bortezomib and an immunomodulatory drug, median overall survival was 25·5 months (95% CI 19·6–34·3) in 73 patients who received panobinostat, bortezomib, and dexamethasone versus 19·5 months (14·1–32·5) in 74 who received placebo (HR 1·01, 95% CI 0·68–1·50). Interpretation The overall survival benefit with panobinostat over placebo with bortezomib and dexamethasone was modest. However, optimisation of the regimen could potentially prolong treatment duration and improve patients' outcomes, although further trials will be required to confirm this. Funding Novartis Pharmaceuticals. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
Gavriatopoulou M, Kastritis E, Kyrtsonis M-C, Vassilakopoulos TP, Roussou M, Fotiou D, Migkou M, Mpakiri M, Tasidou A, Terpos E, et al. Phase 2 study of ofatumumab, fludarabine and cyclophosphamide in relapsed/refractory Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016:1 - 3. Website
Siegel DS, Weisel KC, Dimopoulos MA, Baz R, Richardson P, Delforge M, Song KW, San Miguel JF, Moreau P, Goldschmidt H, et al. Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and moderate renal impairment: a pooled analysis of three clinical trials. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016;57(12):2833 - 2838. WebsiteAbstract
Renal impairment (RI) is a major comorbidity in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Here we present the pooled safety and efficacy analysis of three clinical trials (MM-002, MM-003, and MM-010) of pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone (POM + LoDEX) in patients with moderate RI (creatinine clearance [CrCl] ≥ 30 to <60 mL/min) and without RI (≥ 60 mL/min). Trial protocols were approved by the institutional review board of each site involved. Patients with RI were older than patients without RI, although other baseline characteristics were similar. The dosing and safety profile of POM + LoDEX was similar across RI subgroups. Median overall response rate, progression-free survival, time to progression, and duration of response were not significantly different between RI subgroups. However, patients with vs. without RI had significantly shorter median overall survival (10.5 vs. 14.0 months, respectively; p =.004). This analysis demonstrates that POM + LoDEX is a safe and effective treatment for patients with moderate RI. The trials were registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT00833833 (MM-002), NCT01311687 (MM-003), and NCT01712789 (MM-010) and at EudraCT as 2010-019820-30 (MM-003) and 2012-001888-78 (MM-010). © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Moreau P, Weisel KC, Song KW, Gibson CJ, Saunders O, Sternas LA, Hong K, Zaki MH, Dimopoulos MA. Relationship of response and survival in patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma treated with pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone in the MM-003 trial randomized phase III trial (NIMBUS). Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2016;57(12):2839 - 2847. WebsiteAbstract
Relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) patients have poor overall survival (OS). Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone (POM + LoDEX) significantly extends OS in RRMM vs. high-dose dexamethasone. Survival of patients with stable disease (SD) was compared to patients with progressive disease (PD) or ≥ partial response (≥PR) at cycles (C) 3, 5, and 7. Among 302 patients randomized to POM + LoDEX, at C3 19.2% achieved ≥ PR, 38.4% SD, and 14.6% PD. Patients with SD at C3 (17.4%) and C5 (13.6%) showed improved responses at C7. Median OS from randomization by response at C3 was 22.4 months for ≥ PR (n = 58, HR 0.66; 95% CI 0.40–1.08, p = 0.0976 vs. SD), 16.2 months for SD (n = 116), and 6.3 months for PD (n = 44, HR 3.43; 95% CI 2.23–5.27, p < 0.0001 vs. SD). Similar patterns were observed for C5 and C7. Results show that POM + LoDEX should be a standard treatment after lenalidomide and bortezomib, including in SD patients. © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Hulin C, Belch A, Shustik C, Petrucci MT, Dührsen U, Lu J, Song K, Rodon P, Pégourié B, Garderet L, et al. Updated outcomes and impact of age with lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone or melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide in the randomized, phase III FIRST trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2016;34(30):3609 - 3617. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: This analysis of the FIRST trial in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) ineligible for stem-cell transplantation examined updated outcomes and impact of patient age. Patients and Methods: Patients with untreated symptomatic MM were randomly assigned at a one-to-one-to-one ratio to lenalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone until disease progression (Rd continuous), Rd for 72 weeks (18 cycles; Rd18), or melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide (MPT; 72 weeks), stratified by age (≤ 75 v > 75 years), disease stage (International Staging System stage I/II v III), and country. The primary end point was progression-free survival. Rd continuous and MPT were primary comparators. Results: Between August 21, 2008, and March 7, 2011, 1,623 patients were enrolled (Rd continuous, n = 535; Rd18, n = 541; MPT, n = 547), including 567 (35%) age older than 75 years. Higher rates of advanced-stage disease and renal impairment were observed in patients older than 75 versus 75 years of age or younger. Rd continuous reduced the risk of progression or death compared with MPT by 31% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.69; 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.80; P <.001) overall, 36% (HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.77; P <.001) in patients age 75 years or younger, and 20% (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.62 to 1.03; P =.084) in those age older than 75 years. Median overall survival was longer with Rd continuous than with MPT, including a 14-month difference in patients age older than 75 years. Progression-free survival with Rd18 was similar to that with MPT, and overall survival with Rd18 was marginally inferior to that with Rd continuous. Rates of grade 3 to 4 treatment-emergent adverse events were similar for Rd continuous-treated patients age 75 years or older and those age older than 75 years; however, older patients had more frequent lenalidomide dose reductions. Conclusion: Results support Rd continuous treatment as a new standard of care for stem-cell transplantation-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed MM of all ages. © 2016 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Dimopoulos MA, Sonneveld P, Sun H. The author and colleagues reply: Bueno. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2016;375(25):2497 - 2498. Website
2015
Giralt S, Garderet L, Durie B, Cook G, Gahrton G, Bruno B, Hari P, Lokhorst H, McCarthy P, Krishnan A, et al. American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, European Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, and International Myeloma Working Group Consensus Conference on Salvage Hematopoietic Cell Tra. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation [Internet]. 2015;21(12):2039 - 2051. WebsiteAbstract
In contrast to the upfront setting in which the role of high-dose therapy with autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) as consolidation of a first remission in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) is well established, the role of high-dose therapy with autologous or allogeneic HCT has not been extensively studied in MM patients relapsing after primary therapy. The International Myeloma Working Group together with the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and the European Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation convened a meeting of MM experts to: (1) summarize current knowledge regarding the role of autologous or allogeneic HCT in MM patients progressing after primary therapy, (2) propose guidelines for the use of salvage HCT in MM, (3) identify knowledge gaps, (4) propose a research agenda, and (5) develop a collaborative initiative to move the research agenda forward. After reviewing the available data, the expert committee came to the following consensus statement for salvage autologous HCT: (1) In transplantation-eligible patients relapsing after primary therapy that did NOT include an autologous HCT, high-dose therapy with HCT as part of salvage therapy should be considered standard; (2) High-dose therapy and autologous HCT should be considered appropriate therapy for any patients relapsing after primary therapy that includes an autologous HCT with initial remission duration of more than 18 months; (3) High-dose therapy and autologous HCT can be used as a bridging strategy to allogeneic HCT; (4) The role of postsalvage HCT maintenance needs to be explored in the context of well-designed prospective trials that should include new agents, such as monoclonal antibodies, immune-modulating agents, and oral proteasome inhibitors; (5) Autologous HCT consolidation should be explored as a strategy to develop novel conditioning regimens or post-HCT strategies in patients with short (less than 18 months remissions) after primary therapy; and (6) Prospective randomized trials need to be performed to define the role of salvage autologous HCT in patients with MM relapsing after primary therapy comparing it to "best non-HCT" therapy. The expert committee also underscored the importance of collecting enough hematopoietic stem cells to perform 2 transplantations early in the course of the disease. Regarding allogeneic HCT, the expert committee agreed on the following consensus statements: (1) Allogeneic HCT should be considered appropriate therapy for any eligible patient with early relapse (less than 24 months) after primary therapy that included an autologous HCT and/or high-risk features (ie, cytogenetics, extramedullary disease, plasma cell leukemia, or high lactate dehydrogenase); (2) Allogeneic HCT should be performed in the context of a clinical trial if possible; (3) The role of postallogeneic HCT maintenance therapy needs to be explored in the context of well-designed prospective trials; and (4) Prospective randomized trials need to be performed to define the role salvage allogeneic HCT in patients with MM relapsing after primary therapy. © 2015 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
Dimopoulos MA, Weise KC, Song KW, Delforge M, Karlin L, Goldschmidt H, Moreau P, Banos A, Oriol A, Garderet L, et al. Cytogenetics and long-term survival of patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma treated with pomalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(10):1327 - 1333. WebsiteAbstract
Patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who no longer receive benefit from novel agents have limited treatment options and short expected survival. del(17p) and t(4;14) are correlated with shortened survival. The phase 3 MM-003 trial demonstrated significant progression-free and overall survival benefits from treatment with pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone compared to high-dose dexamethasone among patients in whom bortezomib and lenalidomide treatment had failed. At an updated median follow-up of 15.4 months, the progression-free survival was 4.0 versus 1.9 months (HR, 0.50; P<0.001), and median overall survival was 13.1 versus 8.1 months (HR, 0.72; P=0.009). Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone, compared with highdose dexamethasone, improved progression-free survival in patients with del(17p) (4.6 versus 1.1 months; HR, 0.34; P <0.001), t(4;14) (2.8 versus 1.9 months; HR, 0.49; P=0.028), and in standard-risk patients (4.2 versus 2.3 months; HR, 0.55; P<0.001). Although the majority of patients treated with high-dose dexamethasone took pomalidomide after discontinuation, the overall survival of patients treated with pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone or highdose dexamethasone was 12.6 versus 7.7 months (HR, 0.45; P=0.008) in patients with del(17p), 7.5 versus 4.9 months (HR, 1.12; P=0.761) in those with t(4;14), and 14.0 versus 9.0 months (HR, 0.85; P=0.380) in standard-risk subjects. The overall response rate was higher in patients treated with pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone than in those treated with high-dose dexamethasone both among standard-risk patients (35.2% versus 9.7%) and those with del(17p) (31.8% versus 4.3%), whereas it was similar in patients with t(4;14) (15.9% versus 13.3%). The safety of pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone was consistent with initial reports. In conclusion, pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone is efficacious in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and del(17p) and/or t(4;14). This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT01311687 and with EudraCT as 2010-019820-30. © 2015 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Terpos E, Kleber M, Engelhardt M, Zweegman S, Gay F, Kastritis E, Van De Donk NWCJ, Bruno B, Sezer O, Broij A, et al. European myeloma network guidelines for the management of multiple myeloma-related complications. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(10):1254 - 1266. WebsiteAbstract
The European Myeloma Network provides recommendations for the management of the most common complications of multiple myeloma. Whole body low-dose computed tomography is more sensitive than conventional radiography in depicting osteolytic disease and thus we recommend it as the novel standard for the detection of lytic lesions in myeloma (grade 1A). Myeloma patients with adequate renal function and bone disease at diagnosis should be treated with zoledronic acid or pamidronate (grade 1A). Symptomatic patients without lytic lesions on conventional radiography can be treated with zoledronic acid (grade 1B), but its advantage is not clear for patients with no bone involvement on computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. In asymptomatic myeloma, bisphosphonates are not recommended (grade 1A). Zoledronic acid should be given continuously, but it is not clear if patients who achieve at least a very good partial response benefit from its continuous use (grade 1B). Treatment with erythropoietic-stimulating agents may be initiated in patients with persistent symptomatic anemia (hemoglobin <10g/dL) in whom other causes of anemia have been excluded (grade 1B). Erythropoietic agents should be stopped after 6-8 weeks if no adequate hemoglobin response is achieved. For renal impairment, bortezomib-based regimens are the current standard of care (grade 1A). For the management of treatment-induced peripheral neuropathy, drug modification is needed (grade 1C). Vaccination against influenza is recommended; vaccination against streptococcus pneumonia and hemophilus influenza is appropriate, but efficacy is not guaranteed due to suboptimal immune response (grade 1C). Prophylactic aciclovir (or valacyclovir) is recommended for patients receiving proteasome inhibitors, autologous or allogeneic transplantation (grade 1A). © 2015 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Palumbo A, Avet-Loiseau H, Oliva S, Lokhorst HM, Goldschmidt H, Rosinol L, Richardson P, Caltagirone S, Lahuerta JJ, Facon T, et al. Revised international staging system for multiple myeloma: A report from international myeloma working group. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2015;33(26):2863 - 2869. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: The clinical outcome of multiple myeloma (MM) is heterogeneous. A simple and reliable tool is needed to stratify patients with MM. We combined the International Staging System (ISS) with chromosomal abnormalities (CA) detected by interphase fluorescent in situ hybridization after CD138 plasma cell purification and serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) to evaluate their prognostic value in newly diagnosed MM (NDMM). Patients and Methods: Clinical and laboratory data from 4,445 patients with NDMM enrolled onto 11 international trials were pooled together. The K-adaptive partitioning algorithm was used to define the most appropriate subgroups with homogeneous survival. Results: ISS, CA, and LDH data were simultaneously available in 3,060 of 4,445 patients. We defined the following three groups: revised ISS (R-ISS) I (n = 871), including ISS stage I (serum β2-microglobulin level < 3.5 mg/L and serum albumin level ≥ 3.5 g/dL), no high-risk CA [del(17p) and/or t(4;14) and/or t(14;16)], and normal LDH level (less than the upper limit of normal range); R-ISS III (n = 295), including ISS stage III (serum β2-microglobulin level > 5.5 mg/L) and high-risk CA or high LDH level; and R-ISS II (n = 1,894), including all the other possible combinations. At a median follow-up of 46 months, the 5-year OS rate was 82% in the R-ISS I, 62% in the R-ISS II, and 40% in the R-ISS III groups; the 5-year PFS rates were 55%, 36%, and 24%, respectively. Conclusion: The R-ISS is a simple and powerful prognostic staging system, and we recommend its use in future clinical studies to stratify patients with NDMM effectively with respect to the relative risk to their survival. © 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Kastritis E, Kyrtsonis M-C, Morel P, Gavriatopoulou M, Hatjiharissi E, Symeonidis AS, Vassou A, Repousis P, Delimpasi S, Sioni A, et al. Competing risk survival analysis in patients with symptomatic waldenström macroglobulinemia: The impact of disease unrelated mortality and of rituximab-based primary therapy. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(11):e448 - e449. Website
Mateos MV, Richardson PG, Dimopoulos MA, Palumbo A, Anderson KC, Shi H, Elliott J, Dow E, van de Velde H, Niculescu L, et al. Effect of cumulative bortezomib dose on survival in multiple myeloma patients receiving bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone in the phase III VISTA study. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2015;90(4):314 - 319. WebsiteAbstract
This analysis, using data from the bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) arm of the Phase III VISTA study, investigated whether increased cumulative bortezomib dose could improve overall survival (OS) in transplant-ineligible patients with previously untreated multiple myeloma. Median cumulative bortezomib dose received by the 340 patients was 39 mg/m2; this was selected as the cut-off for defining the dose groups to be compared for OS. Patient characteristics were well balanced between dose groups except for age. OS was significantly longer in the higher (≥39 mg/m2) versus lower (<39 mg/m2) cumulative bortezomib dose group (median 66.3 vs. 46.2 months; hazard ratio (HR) 0.533, P<0.0001; age-adjusted HR 0.561, P=0.0002). To overcome confounding effects of early discontinuations/deaths, which were more common in the lower cumulative dose group (27 vs. 4% of patients discontinued due to adverse events (AEs) in the lower and higher cumulative dose groups, respectively), a landmark analysis was conducted at 180 days, eliminating patients who died or discontinued before this time from the analysis. OS from this landmark remained significantly longer in the higher dose group (median 60.4 vs. 50.3 months; HR 0.709, P=0.0372). Thus, higher cumulative bortezomib dose, reflecting prolonged treatment duration and/or dose intensity, appears associated with improved OS. Approaches to achieve higher cumulative doses could include subcutaneous bortezomib administration, dose/schedule modifications, continuing therapy in responding patients, and proactive AE management. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Lonial S, Dimopoulos M, Palumbo A, White D, Grosicki S, Spicka I, Walter-Croneck A, Moreau P, Mateos M-V, Magen H, et al. Elotuzumab therapy for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2015;373(7):621 - 631. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Elotuzumab, an immunostimulatory monoclonal antibody targeting signaling lymphocytic activation molecule F7 (SLAMF7), showed activity in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in a phase 1b-2 study in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Methods: In this phase 3 study, we randomly assigned patients to receive either elotuzumab plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone (elotuzumab group) or lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone (control group). Coprimary end points were progression-free survival and the overall response rate. Final results for the coprimary end points are reported on the basis of a planned interim analysis of progression-free survival. Results: Overall, 321 patients were assigned to the elotuzumab group and 325 to the control group. After a median follow-up of 24.5 months, the rate of progression-free survival at 1 year in the elotuzumab group was 68%, as compared with 57% in the control group; at 2 years, the rates were 41% and 27%, respectively. Median progression-free survival in the elotuzumab group was 19.4 months, versus 14.9 months in the control group (hazard ratio for progression or death in the elotuzumab group, 0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.57 to 0.85; P<0.001). The overall response rate in the elotuzumab group was 79%, versus 66% in the control group (P<0.001). Common grade 3 or 4 adverse events in the two groups were lymphocytopenia, neutropenia, fatigue, and pneumonia. Infusion reactions occurred in 33 patients (10%) in the elotuzumab group and were grade 1 or 2 in 29 patients. Conclusions: Patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who received a combination of elotuzumab, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone had a significant relative reduction of 30% in the risk of disease progression or death. Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.
Song KW, Dimopoulos MA, Weisel KC, Moreau P, Palumbo A, Belch A, Schey S, Sonneveld P, Sternas L, Yu X, et al. Health-RELATED quality of life from the MM-003 trial of pomalidomide plus LOW-Dose dexamethasone VERSUS HIGH-DOSE dexamethasone in relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(2):63 - 67. Website
Dimopoulos MA, Petrucci MT, Foà R, Catalano J, Kropff M, Terpos E, Zhang J, Grote L, Jacques C, Palumbo A. Impact of maintenance therapy on subsequent treatment in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: Use of “progression-free survival 2” as a clinical trial end-point. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(8):e328 - e330. Website
San Miguel JF, Weisel KC, Song KW, Delforge M, Karlin L, Goldschmidt H, Moreau P, Banos A, Oriol A, Garderet L, et al. Impact of prior treatment and depth of response on survival in MM-003, a randomized phase 3 study comparing pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone versus high-dose dexamethasone in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2015;100(10):1334 - 1339. WebsiteAbstract
Pomalidomide is a distinct oral IMiD® immunomodulatory agent with direct antimyeloma, stromal-support inhibitory, and immunomodulatory effects. The pivotal, multicenter, open-label, randomized phase 3 trial MM-003 compared pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone vs high-dose dexamethasone in 455 patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma after failure of bortezomib and lenalidomide treatment. Initial results demonstrated significantly longer progression-free survival and overall survival with an acceptable tolerability profile for pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone vs high-dose dexamethasone. This secondary analysis describes patient outcomes by treatment history and depth of response. Pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone significantly prolonged progression-free survival and favored overall survival vs high-dose dexamethasone for all subgroups analyzed, regardless of prior treatments or refractory status. Both univariate and multivariate analyses showed that no variable relating to either the number (≤ or > 3) or type of prior treatment was a significant predictor of progression-free survival or overall survival. No cross-resistance with prior lenalidomide or thalidomide treatment was observed. Patients achieving a minimal response or better to pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone treatment experienced a survival benefit, which was even higher in those achieving at least a partial response (17.2 and 19.9 months, respectively, as compared with 7.5 months for patients with less than minimal response). These data suggest that pomalidomide + low-dose dexamethasone should be considered a standard of care in patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma regardless of prior treatment. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01311687; EudraCT: 2010-019820-30. © 2015 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Kastritis E, Roussou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Migkou M, Kalapanida D, Pamboucas C, Kaldara E, Ntalianis A, Psimenou E, Toumanidis ST, et al. Long-term outcomes of primary systemic light chain (AL) amyloidosis in patients treated upfront with bortezomib or lenalidomide and the importance of risk adapted strategies. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2015;90(4):E60 - E65. WebsiteAbstract
Bortezomib and lenalidomide are increasingly used in patients with AL amyloidosis, but long term data on their use as primary therapy in AL amyloidosis are lacking while early mortality remains significant. Thus, we analyzed the long term outcomes of 85 consecutive unselected patients, which received primary therapy with bortezomib or lenalidomide and we prospectively evaluated a risk adapted strategy based on bortezomib/dexamethasone to reduce early mortality. Twenty-six patients received full-dose bortezomib/dexamethasone, 36 patients lenalidomide with oral cyclophosphamide and low-dose dexamethasone and 23 patients received bortezomib/dexamethasone at a dose and schedule adjusted to the risk of early death. On intent to treat, 67% of patients achieved a hematologic response (24% hemCRs) and 34% an organ response; both were more frequent with bortezomib. An early death occurred in 20%: in 36% of those treated with full-dose bortezomib/dexamethasone, in 22% of lenalidomide-treated patients but only in 4.5% of patients treated with risk-adapted bortezomib/dexamethasone. Activity of full vs. adjusted dose bortezomib/dexamethasone was similar; twice weekly vs. weekly administration of bortezomib also had similar activity. After a median follow up of 57 months, median survival is 47 months and is similar for patients treated with bortezomib vs. lenalidomide-based regimens. However, risk adjusted-bortezomib/dexamethasone was associated with improved 1-year survival vs. full-dose bortezomib/dexamethasone or lenalidomide-based therapy (81% vs. 56% vs. 53%, respectively). In conclusion, risk-adapted bortezomib/dexamethasone may reduce early mortality and preserve activity while long term follow up indicates that remissions obtained with lenalidomide or bortezomib may be durable, even without consolidation with alkylators. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Morgan G, Palumbo A, Dhanasiri S, Lee D, Weisel K, Facon T, Delforge M, Oriol A, Zaki M, Yu X, et al. Overall survival of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma patients after adjusting for crossover in the MM-003 trial for pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone. British Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2015;168(6):820 - 823. WebsiteAbstract
Summary: In the phase III MM-003 trial, pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone (POM+LoDEX) improved overall survival (OS) versus high-dose dexamethasone (HiDEX) in 455 patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) after treatment with bortezomib and lenalidomide. Here, a two-stage Weibull method was used to adjust for the crossover of patients in the HiDEX arm to pomalidomide-based therapy. The adjusted difference in median OS between patients in the POM+LoDEX and HiDEX arms was 7·0 months (12·7 vs. 5·7 months, respectively). These findings provide important evidence for understanding the clinical efficacy of pomalidomide on OS benefits seen in RRMM patients. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Richardson PG, Laubach JP, Lonial S, Moreau P, Yoon S-S, Hungria VT, Dimopoulos MA, Beksac M, Alsina M, San-Miguel JF. Panobinostat: A novel pan-deacetylase inhibitor for the treatment of relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy [Internet]. 2015;15(7):737 - 748. WebsiteAbstract
Outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have improved significantly over the past decade. Despite these advances, MM remains incurable and an unmet medical need remains for patients who are relapsed and/or refractory. Panobinostat is a potent, oral pan-deacetylase inhibitor that elicits anti-myeloma activity through epigenetic modulation of gene expression and disruption of protein metabolism. Preclinical data demonstrated that panobinostat has synergistic effects on myeloma cells when combined with bortezomib and dexamethasone. In a Phase III clinical trial evaluating bortezomib and dexamethasone in combination with panobinostat or placebo in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory MM (PANORAMA 1), panobinostat led to a significant increase in median progression-free survival. Panobinostat is currently under regulatory review with a recent accelerated approval granted for the treatment of relapsed disease, in which both bortezomib and immunomodulatory drugs have failed. Here, we summarize the preclinical, pharmacokinetic and clinical data for panobinostat in MM. © 2015 Informa UK, Ltd.
Richardson PG, Palumbo A, Schey SA, Dimopoulos MA, Facon T, Weisel KC, O'Gorman P, Leleu X, Lacy MQ, Streetly MJ, et al. Pomalidomide - An appraisal of its clinical development and role in the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. European Oncology and Haematology [Internet]. 2015;11(2):109 - 117. WebsiteAbstract
Pomalidomide is a distinct immunomodulatory agent with significant activity in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). The optimal treatment schedule in patients with RRMM who have received multiple lines of treatment, including bortezomib and lenalidomide, is 4 mg/day on days 1-21 of a 28-day cycle in combination with weekly low-dose dexamethasone. Improved responses and outcomes relative to traditional therapies continue to be confirmed in recently completed and ongoing trials. Pomalidomide exhibits direct tumoricidal, immunomodulatory, anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory activities, which facilitate combination therapy with agents with complementary mechanisms of action, resulting in greater anti-myeloma effects than single-agent therapy or previous combination therapies. For example, in combination with proteasome inhibitors and traditional chemotherapeutic agents in doublet or triplet regimens, pomalidomide provides high rates of durable response, and represents an important new treatment option for patients with RRMM requiring effective new therapies. Additionally, pomalidomide maintains its efficacy and tolerability profile in difficult-to-treat patients, including the elderly, patients with poor cytogenetics and those with renal impairment. This review summarises the clinical development of pomalidomide and discusses this effective agent for the treatment of patients with RRMM in the context of current myeloma treatment options, as well as potential future directions to further improve patient outcomes.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Appraising myc involvement in high risk myeloma. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2015;56(3):551 - 552. Website
Dimopoulos MA, Sonneveld P, Siegel D, Palumbo A, San-Miguel J. Carfilzomib and pomalidomide in patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma with baseline risk factors. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2015;26(11):2247 - 2256. WebsiteAbstract
While survival times have increased over the last decade, most patients with multiple myeloma (MM) eventually relapse and become refractory to therapy. The treatment of patients with relapsed and/or refractory MM is frequently further complicated by the presence of pre-existing comorbidities that arise from an advanced disease state and of toxicities stemming from prior antimyeloma treatment. Carfilzomib and pomalidomide have recently been approved for the treatment of patients with relapsed and refractory MM. While these agents represent important additions to the available treatment options, the identification of patients who may best benefit from the use of each of therapy is still being investigated. A number of patient-related and disease-related factors may impact treatment efficacy and/or tolerability, and the clinical presentation and medical history of each patient must be carefully considered to optimize treatment. Here, we review results from carfilzomib and pomalidomide clinical trials in patients with relapsed and/or refractory MM who also have baseline comorbidities or treatment-induced or disease-induced complications (including the presence of renal impairment, cardiac risk factors, peripheral neuropathy, or high-risk chromosomal abnormalities) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the two agents in these difficult-to-treat patients and to provide treatment recommendations specific to each scenario. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E, Niesvizky R, Palumbo A. Clinical characteristics of patients with relapsed multiple myeloma q. Cancer Treatment Reviews [Internet]. 2015;41(10):827 - 835. WebsiteAbstract
Although survival outcomes have improved over the last decade for patients with multiple myeloma (MM), few patients remain free of disease and most inevitably relapse. Selecting a treatment for patients with relapsed MM is challenging given the number and diversity of regimens patients may have previously received, which can affect subsequent therapeutic choices. Importantly, a number of patient- and disease-related factors can also have an effect on treatment choice, treatment efficacy, and tolerability; thus, an understanding of the heterogeneity of patients in the setting of relapsed MM is important for appropriate treatment selection. Here, we review select patient and disease characteristics reported in key interventional and observational studies in relapsed MM (including age, sex, race, and the presence of high-risk disease, renal impairment, or peripheral neuropathy at baseline) to examine common and disparate features of patients with relapsed MM. As therapeutic regimens can have varying efficacy and/or tolerability in patients depending on these factors, we also provide treatment recommendations for patients with select baseline characteristics. © 2015 The Authors.
Dimopoulos MA, Richardson PG, Moreau P, Anderson KC. Current treatment landscape for relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma. Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2015;12(1):42 - 54. WebsiteAbstract
Recent developments in the treatment of multiple myeloma have led to improvements in response rates and to increased survival; however, relapse is inevitable in almost all patients. Recurrence of myeloma is typically more aggressive with each relapse, leading to the development of treatment-refractory disease, which is associated with a shorter survival. Several phase II and III trials have demonstrated the efficacy of recently approved agents in the setting of relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma, including immunomodulatory agents, such as lenalidomide and pomalidomide, and proteasome inhibitors, such as bortezomib and carfilzomib. Currently, however, there is no standard treatment for patients with relapsed and/or refractory disease. This Review discusses the current treatment landscape for patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma and highlights disease-related and patient-related factors - such as pre-existing comorbidities or toxicities - that are important considerations for clinicians when selecting an appropriate treatment regimen.
Zagouri F, Liakou P, Bartsch R, Peccatori FA, Tsigginou A, Dimitrakakis C, Zografos GC, Dimopoulos M-A, Azim HA. Discrepancies between ESMO and NCCN breast cancer guidelines: An appraisal. Breast [Internet]. 2015;24(4):513 - 523. WebsiteAbstract
An ever growing number of medical organizations, societies, working groups and governmental agencies issue algorithms i.e. guidelines, of decision making flowcharts in diagnosis and treatment in a variety of diseases. In the field of evidence-based diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, a large number of guidelines are available both from medical associations and national health departments. Among the most appreciated and utilized comprehensive guides is the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Breast Cancer Guidelines and from the other side of the Atlantic the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines in Breast Cancer. Although there is much concordance between the guidelines from these two organizations, it is intriguing to locate their discrepancies also. The aim of this report is to present a number of different points between ESMO and NCCN in the whole spectrum of breast cancer management, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and follow up. This systematic review was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines using a predefined search strategy and summarizes in detail, the differences between ESMO and NCCN guidelines regarding genetic risk evaluation and screening, surgery, chemotherapy, endocrine treatment, targeted biological agents, radiotherapy, pregnancy and fertility and follow-up. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Dimopoulos M-A, Psaltopoulou T. Fulvestrant and male breast cancer: a pooled analysis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment [Internet]. 2015;149(1):269 - 275. WebsiteAbstract
Male breast cancer is an uncommon malignancy; little is known regarding hormonal manipulations for tamoxifen-resistant male breast cancer patients. This is the first pooled analysis of the literature to synthesize all available data and to evaluate the efficacy and safety of fulvestrant in male breast cancer. This study was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. All studies that examined the efficacy of fulvestrant in male breast cancer, regardless of sample size, were considered eligible. The search strategy retrieved 31 articles; of these, five articles were eligible (23 patients) for this pooled analysis. The mean age of the study sample was 63.1 years. Adjuvant hormonal treatment was administered in 87.5 % of cases. Fulvestrant was given as first or second line in 40 % of patients, while as third line or beyond in 60 % of patients. 79.0 % of patients at fulvestrant administration had visceral metastases. Regarding best response, in 26.1 % PR was achieved, in 47.8 % of cases SD was recorded, whereas in 26.1 % of patients PD was noted. The median PFS was equal to 5 months. No grade 3 and 4 adverse events were recorded; of note, hot flashes were reported in 18.2 % of male breast cancer patients. Fulvestrant may potentially play a promising role in the optimal therapeutic strategy for male patients with breast cancer diagnosis. However, further clinical and pharmacokinetic investigations are more than warranted before fulvestrant use becomes a common practice in male breast cancer patients. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Orlowski RZ, Gercheva L, Williams C, Sutherland H, Robak T, Masszi T, Goranova-Marinova V, Dimopoulos MA, Cavenagh JD, Špička I, et al. A phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of siltuximab (anti-IL-6 mAb) and bortezomib versus bortezomib alone in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2015;90(1):42 - 49. WebsiteAbstract
We compared the safety and efficacy of siltuximab (S), an anti-interleukin-6 chimeric monoclonal antibody, plus bortezomib (B) with placebo (plc) + B in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma in a randomized phase 2 study. Siltuximab was given by 6 mg/kg IV every 2 weeks. On progression, B was discontinued and high-dose dexamethasone could be added to S/plc. Response and progression-free survival (PFS) were analyzed pre-dexamethasone by European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) criteria. For the 281 randomized patients, median PFS for S + B and plc + B was 8.0 and 7.6 months (HR 0.869, P = 0.345), overall response rate was 55 versus 47% (P = 0.213), complete response rate was 11 versus 7%, and median overall survival (OS) was 30.8 versus 36.8 months (HR 1.353, P = 0.103). Sustained suppression of C-reactive protein, a marker reflective of inhibition of interleukin-6 activity, was seen with S + B. Siltuximab did not affect B pharmacokinetics. Siltuximab/placebo discontinuation (75 versus 66%), grade ≥3 neutropenia (49 versus 29%), thrombocytopenia (48 versus 34%), and all-grade infections (62 versus 49%) occurred more frequently with S + B. The addition of siltuximab to bortezomib did not appear to improve PFS or OS despite a numerical increase in response rate in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Swern AS, Li JS, Hussein M, Weiss L, Nagarwala Y, Baz R. Response to letter, 'immortal time bias in retrospective analysis'. Blood cancer journal [Internet]. 2015;5:e327. Website
Sergentanis TN, Zagouri F, Tsilimidos G, Tsagianni A, Tseliou M, Dimopoulos MA, Psaltopoulou T. Risk Factors for Multiple Myeloma: A Systematic Review of Meta-Analyses. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2015;15(10):563 - 577e3. WebsiteAbstract
The epidemiology of multiple myeloma (MM) is an increasingly investigated field, with many controversies. This systematic review aims to synthesize meta-analyses examining risk factors for MM so as to provide a comprehensive, parsimonious summary of the current evidence. Eligible meta-analyses were sought in PubMed adopting a predefined algorithm, without any restriction of publication language; end-of-search date was October 10, 2014. The selection of eligible studies and data extraction were performed by working in pairs, independently and blindly to each other; in case of disagreement, consensus with the whole team was reached. Among the 22 ultimately included meta-analyses, 9 examined occupational factors, 4 assessed aspects of lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, body mass index), 5 evaluated the presence of other diseases, and 4 addressed genetic factors as potential risk factors of MM. A vast compendium of significant associations arose, including farming, occupation as a firefighter, occupation as a hairdresser, exposures to chemicals or pesticides, overweight and obesity, patterns of alcohol intake, pernicious anemia, ankylosing spondylitis, gene promoter methylation, and polymorphisms. In conclusion, MM is a multifactorial disease, encompassing a wide variety of risk factors that span numerous life aspects. Further accumulation of evidence through meta-analyses is anticipated in this rapidly growing field. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
Gertz MA, Terpos E, Dispenzieri A, Kumar S, Shah RA, Orlowski R, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA, Shah J. Therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome/acute leukemia after multiple myeloma in the era of novel agents. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2015;56(6):1723 - 1726. WebsiteAbstract
Survival for patients with multiple myeloma has increased. Both melphalan and lenalidomide are associated with subsequent development of myelodysplasia. We reviewed the cases of all patients with multiple myeloma who had subsequent development of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or acute non-lymphoblastic leukemia (ANLL) during a 12-year period in three centers. Of 55 patients identified, two received only lenalidomide before myelodysplasia developed. The median time between the diagnoses of multiple myeloma and MDS/ANLL was 52.7 months. Median survival after the diagnosis of MDS or ANLL was 6.7 months. Treatment of MDS comprised allogeneic stem cell transplant in eight patients (median survival, 219 days; one patient alive at 624 days) and a hypomethylating agent in 21 patients (response of stable or better in five patients). Myelodysplasia remains a devastating complication of therapy for multiple myeloma, with short survival and poor response rates to available modalities. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.
Stefanou DT, Bamias A, Episkopou H, Kyrtopoulos SA, Likka M, Kalampokas T, Photiou S, Gavalas N, Sfikakis PP, Dimopoulos MA, et al. Aberrant dna damage response pathways may predict the outcome of platinum chemotherapy in ovarian cancer. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2015;10(2). WebsiteAbstract
Ovarian carcinoma (OC) is the most lethal gynecological malignancy. Despite the advances in the treatment of OC with combinatorial regimens, including surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy, patients generally exhibit poor prognosis due to high chemotherapy resistance. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that DNA damage response (DDR) pathways are involved in resistance of OC patients to platinum chemotherapy. Selected DDR signals were evaluated in two human ovarian carcinoma cell lines, one sensitive (A2780) and one resistant (A2780/C30) to platinum treatment as well as in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from OC patients, sensitive (n = 7) or resistant (n = 4) to subsequent chemotherapy. PBMCs from healthy volunteers (n = 9) were studied in parallel. DNA damage was evaluated by immunofluorescence ãH2AX staining and comet assay. Higher levels of intrinsic DNA damage were found in A2780 than in A2780/C30 cells. Moreover, the intrinsic DNA damage levels were significantly higher in OC patients relative to healthy volunteers, as well as in platinum-sensitive patients relative to platinum-resistant ones (all P <0.05). Following carboplatin treatment, A2780 cells showed lower DNA repair efficiency than A2780/ C30 cells. Also, following carboplatin treatment of PBMCs ex vivo , the DNA repair efficiency was significantly higher in healthy volunteers than in platinum-resistant patients and lowest in platinum-sensitive ones (t1/2 for loss of ãH2AX foci: 2.7± 0.5h, 8.8±1.9h and 15.4±3.2h, respectively; using comet assay, t1/2 of platinum-induced damage repair: 4.8±1.4h, 12.9±1.9h and 21.4±2.6h, respectively; all P<0.03). Additionally, the carboplatin-induced apoptosis rate was higher in A2780 than in A2780/C30 cells. In PBMCs, apoptosis rates were inversely correlated with DNA repair efficiencies of these cells, being significantly higher in plati-num-sensitive than in platinum-resistant patients and lowest in healthy volunteers (all P< 0.05). We conclude that perturbations of DNA repair pathways as measured in PBMCs from OC patients correlate with the drug sensitivity of these cells and reflect the individualized response to platinum-based chemotherapy. © 2015 Stefanou et al.
Psaltopoulou T, Sergentanis TN, Sergentanis IN, Karadimitris A, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Alcohol intake, alcoholic beverage type and multiple myeloma risk: A meta-analysis of 26 observational studies. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2015;56(5):1484 - 1501. WebsiteAbstract
This meta-analysis aimed to examine the association between alcohol consumption and multiple myeloma (MM) risk. Eligible publications were sought in PubMed to 31 December 2013. Separate analyses were performed by study design, gender, alcoholic beverages and levels of consumption. Sixteen case-control studies (3921 cases and 19 594 controls) and 10 cohort studies (3167 incident cases in total cohort of 2 557 649 subjects) were eligible. Ever consumption of alcohol was associated with reduced MM risk (pooled relative risk [RR] = 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.79-0.99) and especially consumption of wine correlated with reduced MM risk (pooled RR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.67-0.89 for ever drinkers). MM risk was not affected by beer or liquor intake. A protective association was observed among females (pooled RR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.69-0.89 for ever drinkers), whereas the association among males seemed null. In conclusion, contrary to most solid tumors, alcohol intake may confer protection in terms of MM risk among females, with wine being particularly beneficial. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Azim, H.A. J, Chrysikos D, Dimopoulos M-A, Psaltopoulou T. Aromatase inhibitors in male breast cancer: a pooled analysis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment [Internet]. 2015;151(1):141 - 147. WebsiteAbstract
Although several studies have shown the efficacy of third-generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs) in women with breast cancer, the role of such molecules remains elusive in male breast cancer patients. It is also unknown whether the addition of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues to AIs would be a superior strategy or not. This pooled analysis was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. All studies that examined the efficacy of AIs in metastatic male breast cancer were considered eligible. Overall, 15 studies (105 cases) were eligible for this pooled analysis. The mean age of the study sample was 62.8 years. ER status was positive in all eligible cases. AI was given as first line in 61.5 % of cases. GnRH analogue was co-administered with AI in 37.1 % of cases (n = 39). CR, PR, SD and PD were achieved in 5.7, 23.8, 37.2 and 33.3 % of cases, respectively. The median PFS and OS were equal to 10.0 and 39.0 months, respectively. Co-administration of GnRH analogues was associated with more than threefold increase in rates of clinical benefit (OR = 3.37, 95 % CI 1.30–8.73) but did not seem to correlate with better PFS or OS. No statistically significant associations between the examined outcomes and the other parameters were noted. Available data suggest that AIs may potentially play a promising role in the optimal therapeutic strategy for metastatic male breast cancer patients. Especially, co-administration of AI with a GnRH analogue seems to increase the rate of clinical benefit and could be more effective, warranting further consideration. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Stewart AK, Rajkumar SV, Dimopoulos MA, Masszi T, Špicka I, Oriol A, Hajek R, Rosinol L, Siegel DS, Mihaylov GG, et al. Carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone for relapsed multiple myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2015;372(2):142 - 152. WebsiteAbstract
Background Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone is a reference treatment for relapsed multiple myeloma. The combination of the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib with lenalidomide and dexamethasone has shown efficacy in a phase 1 and 2 study in relapsed multiple myeloma. Methods We randomly assigned 792 patients with relapsed multiple myeloma to carfilzomib with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (carfilzomib group) or lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone (control group). The primary end point was progression-free survival. Results Progression-free survival was significantly improved with carfilzomib (median, 26.3 months, vs. 17.6 months in the control group; hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57 to 0.83; P = 0.0001). The median overall survival was not reached in either group at the interim analysis. The Kaplan-Meier 24-month overall survival rates were 73.3% and 65.0% in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively (hazard ratio for death, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.99; P = 0.04). The rates of overall response (partial response or better) were 87.1% and 66.7% in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively (P<0.001; 31.8% and 9.3% of patients in the respective groups had a complete response or better; 14.1% and 4.3% had a stringent complete response). Adverse events of grade 3 or higher were reported in 83.7% and 80.7% of patients in the carfilzomib and control groups, respectively; 15.3% and 17.7% of patients discontinued treatment owing to adverse events. Patients in the carfilzomib group reported superior health-related quality of life. Conclusions In patients with relapsed multiple myeloma, the addition of carfilzomib to lenalidomide and dexamethasone resulted in significantly improved progression-free survival at the interim analysis and had a favorable risk-benefit profile. (Funded by Onyx Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01080391.) Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.
Bakogeorgos M, Mountzios G, Bournakis E, Economopoulou P, Kotsantis G, Fytrakis N, Kouvatseas G, Dimopoulos M-A, Kentepozidis N. Do elderly patients with non-small cell lung cancer get the best out of recent advances in first-line treatment? A comparative study in two tertiary cancer centers in Greece. Journal of Geriatric Oncology [Internet]. 2015;6(2):111 - 118. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are thought to receive suboptimal treatment mainly due to concerns for poor compliance and/or excessive toxicity. Patients and Methods: Using the age of 70. years as the pre-defined cut-off, we compared elderly patients with advanced NSCLC suitable for first line chemotherapy with their younger counterparts in terms of: i) diagnosis and disease characteristics ii) adherence to treatment schedule, including dose intensity (DI), and relative dose intensity (RDI), iii) toxicity, tolerance, and efficacy outcomes. Results: Among 292 eligible patients, data were available for 245, of whom 107 (43.7%) belonged to the elderly group. This group was more likely to present with co-morbidities, non-smoking current status and diagnosis based on cytology alone. As compared to the non-elderly, elderly patients were more likely to receive single-agent therapy (8.0% vs. 29.2% respectively, p<. 0.001) and less likely to receive platinum-based chemotherapy (80.3% vs. 57.9%, p<. 0.001). Elderly patients also received docetaxel (24.3% vs. 40.4%), and bevacizumab (7.5% vs. 21.3%) significantly less often and received oral vinorelbine (24.3% vs. 11.8%) more frequently. Non-elderly patients were more likely to receive any of the cytotoxic drugs with RDI. >. 0.8 (49.6% vs. 33.0%, p=. 0.012) and RDI. >. 0.9 (29.6% vs. 16%, p=. 0.015). Substantial toxicity, as well as median overall survival did not differ significantly between the two groups. Conclusions: Only one third of the elderly patients received at least 80% of the scheduled treatment intensity. Nearly half received diagnosis based on cytology alone, which may deprive them from new, histology-driven, therapeutic approaches. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Palumbo A, Bringhen S, Mateos M-V, Larocca A, Facon T, Kumar S, Offidani M, McCarthy P, Evangelista A, Lonial S, et al. Geriatric assessment predicts survival and toxicities in elderly myeloma patients: An International Myeloma Working Group report. Blood [Internet]. 2015;125(13):2068 - 2074. WebsiteAbstract
We conducted a pooled analysis of 869 individual newly diagnosed elderly patient data from 3 prospective trials. At diagnosis, a geriatric assessment had been performed. An additive scoring system (range 0-5), based on age, comorbidities, and cognitive and physical conditions, was developed to identify 3 groups: fit (score = 0, 39%), intermediate fitness (score = 1,31%), and frail (score ≥2, 30%). The 3-year overall survivalwas 84%in fit, 76% in intermediate-fitness (hazard ratio [HR], 1.61; P = .042), and 57% in frail (HR, 3.57; P < .001) patients. Thecumulative incidence of grade ≥3 nonhematologic adverse events at 12 months was 22.2%in fit, 26.4%in intermediate-fitness (HR, 1.23; P = .217), and 34.0%in frail (HR, 1.74; P < .001) patients. The cumulative incidence of treatment discontinuation at 12months was 16.5%in fit, 20.8%in intermediate-fitness (HR, 1.41; P = .052), and 31.2% in frail (HR, 2.21; P < .001) patients. Our frailty score predicts mortality and the risk of toxicity in elderly myeloma patients. The International Myeloma Working group proposes this score for the measurement of frailty in designing future clinical trials. These trials are registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01093136 (EMN01), #NCT01190787 (26866138MMY2069), and #NCT01346787 (IST-CAR-506).
Andersen JP, Bøgsted M, Dybkær K, Mellqvist U-H, Morgan GJ, Goldschmidt H, Dimopoulos MA, Einsele H, San Miguel J, Palumbo A, et al. Global myeloma research clusters, output, and citations: A bibliometric mapping and clustering analysis. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2015;10(1). WebsiteAbstract
Background: International collaborative research is a mechanism for improving the development of dis-ease- specific therapies and for improving health at the population level. However, limited data are available to assess the trends in research output related to orphan diseases. Methods and Findings: We used bibliometric mapping and clustering methods to illustrate the level of fragmentation in myeloma research and the development of collaborative efforts. Publication data from Thomson Reuters Web of Science were retrieved for 2005-2009 and followed until 2013. We created a database of multiple myeloma publications, and we analysed impact and coauthorship density to identify scientific collaborations, developments, and international key players over time. The global annual publication volume for studies on multiple myeloma increased from 1,144 in 2005 to 1,628 in 2009, which represents a 43% increase. This increase is high compared to the 24% and 14% increases observed for lymphoma and leukaemia. The major proportion (>90% of publications) was from the US and EU over the study period. The output and impact in terms of citations, identified several successful groups with a large number of intra-cluster collaborations in the US and EU. The US-based myeloma clusters clearly stand out as the most productive and highly cited, and the European Myeloma Network members exhibited a doubling of collaborative publications from 2005 to 2009, still increasing up to 2013. Conclusion and Perspective: Multiple myeloma research output has increased substantially in the past decade. The fragmented European myeloma research activities based on national or regional groups are progressing, but they require a broad range of targeted research investments to improve multiple myeloma health care. © 2015 Andersen et al.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. Reply to D.L. Cooper. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2015;33(26):2926 - 2927. Website
Dimopoulos MA, Hillengass J, Usmani S, Zamagni E, Lentzsch S, Davies FE, Raje N, Sezer O, Zweegman S, Shah J, et al. Role of magnetic resonance imaging in the management of patients with multiple myeloma: A consensus statement. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2015;33(6):657 - 664. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: The aim of International Myeloma Working Group was to develop practical recommendations for the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in multiple myeloma (MM). Methods: An interdisciplinary panel of clinical experts on MM and myeloma bone disease developed recommendations for the value of MRI based on data published through March 2014. Recommendations: MRI has high sensitivity for the early detection of marrow infiltration by myeloma cells compared with other radiographic methods. Thus, MRI detects bone involvement in patients with myeloma much earlier than the myeloma-related bone destruction, with no radiation exposure. It is the gold standard for the imaging of axial skeleton, for the evaluation of painful lesions, and for distinguishing benign versus malignant osteoporotic vertebral fractures. MRI has the ability to detect spinal cord or nerve compression and presence of soft tissue masses, and it is recommended for the workup of solitary bone plasmacytoma. Regarding smoldering or asymptomatic myeloma, all patients should undergo whole-body MRI (WB-MRI; or spine and pelvic MRI if WB-MRI is not available), and if they have > one focal lesion of a diameter > 5 mm, they should be considered to have symptomatic disease that requires therapy. In cases of equivocal small lesions, a second MRI should be performed after 3 to 6 months, and if there is progression on MRI, the patient should be treated as having symptomatic myeloma. MRI at diagnosis of symptomatic patients and after treatment (mainly after autologous stem-cell transplantation) provides prognostic information; however, to date, this does not change treatment selection. © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Nooka AK, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA, Lonial S. Treatment options for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Blood [Internet]. 2015;125(20):3085 - 3099. WebsiteAbstract
Over the last few decades, significant improvement in outcomes has been observed for myeloma patients, mainly as a result of the use of currently available approved antimyeloma agents, along with combining autologous stem cell transplantation in the treatment of myeloma. With more targeted agents in development, the treatment of a myeloma patient at relapse has become complicated and, as a consequence, results in vast heterogeneity in treatment patterns. Although a consensus on the timing of initiation of treatment, the choice of agents to be used, and the role of transplant is less clear, we describe an evidence-based approach and the factors to consider upon relapse. We describe additional newer agents and targets that are under development, with the goal of achievement of durable remissions for myeloma patients. © 2015 by The American Society of Hematology.
Palumbo A, Gay F, Cavallo F, Raimondo FD, Larocca A, Hardan I, Nagler A, Petrucci MT, Hajek R, Pezzatti S, et al. Continuous therapy versus fixed duration of therapy in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2015;33(30):3459 - 3466. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: Continuous therapy (CT) prolongs progression-free survival 1 (PFS1; time from random assignment until the first progression or death), but chemotherapy-resistant relapse may negatively impact overall survival (OS). Progression-free survival 2 (PFS2; time from random assignment until the second progression or death) may represent an additional tool to estimate outcome. This study evaluates the benefit of novel agent-based CT versus fixed duration of therapy (FDT) in patients with newly diagnosed myeloma. Methods: We included patients enrolled onto three phase III trials that randomly assigned patients to novel agent-based CT versus FDT. Primary analyses were restricted to the intent-to-treat population eligible for CT (patients progression free and alive at 1 year after random assignment). Primary end points were PFS1, PFS2, and OS. All hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs were adjusted for several potential confounders using Cox models. Results: In the pooled analysis of the three trials, 604 patients were randomly assigned to CT and 614 were assigned to FDT. Median follow-up was 52 months. In the intent-to-treat CT population, CT (n = 417), compared with FDT (n = 410), significantly improved PFS1 (median, 32 v 16 months, respectively; HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.56; P < .001), PFS2 (median, 55 v 40 months, respectively; HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.75; P < .001), and OS (4-year OS, 69% v 60%, respectively; HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.88; P = .003). Conclusion: In this pooled analysis, CT significantly improved PFS1, PFS2, and OS. The improvement in PFS2 suggests that the benefit reported during first remission is not cancelled by a shorter second remission. PFS2 is a valuable end point to estimate long-term clinical benefit and should be included in future trials. Copyright © 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Kyrtsonis M-C, Roussou M, Hadjiharissi E, Symeonidis A, Repoussis P, Michalis E, Delimpasi S, Tsatalas K, et al. Dexamethasone, rituximab, and cyclophosphamide as primary treatment of Waldenström macroglobulinemia: Final analysis of a phase 2 study. Blood [Internet]. 2015;126(11):1392 - 1394. Website
Liapis K, Kastritis E, Bagratouni T, Vassiliou S, Papachristidis A, Charitaki E, Alevizopoulos N, Harhalakis N, Terpos E, Delimpasi S, et al. Early tumor-cell gene expression changes may predict the response to first-line bortezomib-based therapy in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Journal of B.U.ON. [Internet]. 2015;20(5):1314 - 1321. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: Maximizing the response rate to first-line therapy in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) is important because it leads to improved outcome. Gene-expression studies have identified prognostic gene sets in patients receiving bortezomib-based therapy. Comparison of the lists of genes derived from two gene-expression-based models (GEP70, GEP80) showed that they overlap in three genes, namely PSMD4, BIRC5, and KIAA1754. An unanswered question is whether early gene-expression changes can be used as predictors of the response to first-line bortezomib. In this study we aimed to examine the predictive value of gene expression changes for the depth of response after bortezomib-based therapy in newly diagnosed MM. Methods: We prospectively assessed the relation between early PSMD4, BIRC5, and KIAA1754 gene expression changes (before therapy and one week later) and the response rate after bortezomib-based therapy in 25 patients with newly diagnosed MM. Gene expression was studied by RT-PCR on CD138-selected plasma cells, and changes were recorded as upregulation, downregulation, or unchanged. Results: Whereas baseline prognostic factors including genetic lesions and stage were not predictive of the response rate, we found that early BIRC5 and KIAA1754 gene-expression changes were significantly associated with the depth of response to bortezomib (p=0.001 and p<0.001, respectively). PSMD4 was not predictive of the depth of response. KIAA1754 upregulation was linked to complete remission (CR) or very good partial remission (VGPR). BIRC5 upregulation was linked to stable disease (SD) or progressive disease (PD). We also observed that BIRC5 upregulation was associated with worse progression-free survival (PFS). Conclusions: Our results suggest that BIRC5 and KIAA1754 gene-expression changes may predict the response to bortezomib-based therapy. These data may have relevance for the stratification and early adaptation of first-line treatment in patients with newly diagnosed MM.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Dimopoulos M-A, Bamias A. Epothilones in epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer: A systematic review. OncoTargets and Therapy [Internet]. 2015;8:2187 - 2198. WebsiteAbstract
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy; consequently, there is a need for effective therapies. Epothilones are microtubule-stabilizing agents that inhibit cell growth. Currently, patupilone and its four synthetic derivatives ixabepilone, BMS-310705, sagopilone, 20-desmethyl-20-methylsulfanyl epothilone B and epothilone D, as well as its derivative KOS-1584, are under clinical evaluation. This is the first systematic review conducted in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analyses) guidelines that synthesizes all available data emerging from trials and evaluates the efficacy and safety of epothilones in epithelial ovarian, primary fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer. Despite the fact that epothilones have proven active in taxane-resistant settings in preclinical models, it is not yet clear from Phase II/III studies reviewed here that their clinical activity is superior to that of taxanes. Nevertheless, responses to epothilones have been observed in platinum-refractory/resistant ovarian cancer patients. Moreover, despite the shared mechanism of action of epothilones, their clinical profile seems clearly different, with diarrhea being the most common dose-limiting toxicity encountered with patupilone, whereas neutropenia and sensory neuropathy are the most common toxic effects observed with the other epothilones. In any case, randomized trials comparing epothilones with standard treatments seem warranted to define further the role of these agents, whereas biomarker analysis might further optimize patient selection. © 2015 Zagouri et al.
Giannos A, Filipits M, Zagouri F, Brandstetter A, Tsigginou A, Sotiropoulou M, Papaspyrou I, Sergentanis TN, Psaltopoulou T, Rodolakis A, et al. Expression of ARs in triple negative breast cancer tumors: A potential prognostic factor?. OncoTargets and Therapy [Internet]. 2015;8:1843 - 1847. WebsiteAbstract
Background/aim: In light of the controversial published literature, this study aims to examine the potential prognostic role of AR immunohistochemical expression in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Patients and methods: Ninety patients with TNBC were included in this study; the associations between AR expression (Allred score), clinicopathological variables (stage, grade, histological subtype, tumor size, nodal status, age at diagnosis, Ki67 expression, and p53 expression), and overall survival were evaluated. Results: AR expression was not associated with stage, grade, histological subtype, tumor size, nodal status, age at diagnosis, Ki67 expression, and p53 expression. AR immunopositivity was not associated with overall survival either at the univariate or at the multivariate Cox regression analysis (multivariate hazard ratio =0.66, 95% confidence interval: 0.26–1.70, P=0.393). Conclusion: AR expression does not seem to play a prognostic role in TNBC. © 2015 Giannos et al.
Katodritou E, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Delimpasis S, Symeonidis AS, Repousis P, Kyrtsonis M-C, Vadikolia C, Michalis E, Polychronidou G, et al. Lack of survival improvement with novel anti-myeloma agents for patients with multiple myeloma and central nervous system involvement: the Greek Myeloma Study Group experience. Annals of Hematology [Internet]. 2015;94(12):2033 - 2042. WebsiteAbstract
Involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) is a rare complication of multiple myeloma (MM). Herein, we have described the incidence, characteristics, prognostic factors for post CNS-MM survival, and outcome of CNS-MM and explored the efficacy of novel agents (NA) (thalidomide, bortezomib, lenalidomide) in this setting. Between 2000 and 2013, 31 (0.9 %) out of 3408 newly diagnosed symptomatic MM patients, consecutively diagnosed and treated during the same period in 12 Greek centers, developed CNS-MM (M/F 15/16, median age 59 years, range 20–96 years; newly diagnosed/relapsed-refractory 2/29; median time to CNS-MM diagnosis 29 months). Clinical and laboratory characteristics were retrospectively recorded. Twenty-six percent of patients had circulating plasma cells (PCs) or plasma cell leukemia (PCL) at CNS-MM and 39 % had skull-derived plasmacytomas, suggesting hematological and contiguous spread. Treatment for CNS-MM was offered in 29/31 patients and 11/29 responded (NA 18/29, additional radiotherapy 9/28, intrathecal chemotherapy 13/29). The median post CNS-MM survival was 3 months (95 % CI 1.9–4.1) and did not differ between patients treated with NA and/or radiotherapy vs. others. In the multivariate analysis, prior treatment of MM with NA, extramedullary disease (EMD) during MM course (i.e., plasmacytomas, circulating PCs, or documented PCL) and abnormally high LDH at MM diagnosis were independent prognostic factors, whereas treatment of CNS-MM with NA did not predict for post CNS-MM survival. Despite the relatively limited number of patients due to the rarity of CNS-MM, our results suggest that NA do not seem to improve post CNS-MM survival. Patients with EMD display shortened post CNS-MM survival and should be followed thoroughly. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Dimopoulos MA, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanellias N, Roussou M, Pamboucas C, Toumanidis ST, Terpos E. Osteoprotegerin is a significant prognostic factor for overall survival in patients with primary systemic amyloidosis independent of the Mayo staging. Blood Cancer Journal [Internet]. 2015;5(6). WebsiteAbstract
Bone metabolism has not been systematically studied in primary (AL) amyloidosis. Thus we prospectively evaluated bone remodeling indices in 102 patients with newly diagnosed AL amyloidosis, 35 healthy controls, 35 newly diagnosed myeloma and 40 monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance patients. Bone resorption markers (C-telopeptide of type-1 collagen, N-telopeptide of type-1 collagen) and osteoclast regulators (soluble receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (sRANKL), osteoprotegerin (OPG)) were increased in AL patients compared with controls (P<0.01), but bone formation was unaffected. Myeloma patients had increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation compared with AL patients, while sRANKL/OPG ratio was markedly decreased in AL, due to elevated OPG in AL (P<0.001). OPG correlated with N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (P<0.001) and was higher in patients with cardiac involvement (P = 0.028) and advanced Mayo stage (P = 0.001). OPG levels above the upper value of healthy controls was associated with shorter survival (34 versus 91 months; P = 0.026), while AL patients with OPG levels in the top quartile had very short survival (12 versus 58 months; P = 0.024). In Mayo stage 1 disease, OPG identified patients with poor survival (12 versus 460 months; P = 0.012). We conclude that increased OPG in AL is not only a compensation to osteoclast activation but may also reflect early cardiac damage and may identify patients at increased risk of death within those with earlier Mayo stage.
Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Dimopoulos MA, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanellias N, Roussou M, Pamboucas C, Toumanidis ST, Terpos E. Osteoprotegerin is a significant prognostic factor for overall survival in patients with primary systemic amyloidosis independent of the Mayo staging. Blood Cancer Journal [Internet]. 2015;5. WebsiteAbstract
Bone metabolism has not been systematically studied in primary (AL) amyloidosis. Thus we prospectively evaluated bone remodeling indices in 102 patients with newly diagnosed AL amyloidosis, 35 healthy controls, 35 newly diagnosed myeloma and 40 monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance patients. Bone resorption markers (C-telopeptide of type-1 collagen, N-telopeptide of type-1 collagen) and osteoclast regulators (soluble receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (sRANKL), osteoprotegerin (OPG)) were increased in AL patients compared with controls (P<0.01), but bone formation was unaffected. Myeloma patients had increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation compared with AL patients, while sRANKL/OPG ratio was markedly decreased in AL, due to elevated OPG in AL (P<0.001). OPG correlated with N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (P<0.001) and was higher in patients with cardiac involvement (P=0.028) and advanced Mayo stage (P=0.001). OPG levels above the upper value of healthy controls was associated with shorter survival (34 versus 91 months; P=0.026), while AL patients with OPG levels in the top quartile had very short survival (12 versus 58 months; P=0.024). In Mayo stage 1 disease, OPG identified patients with poor survival (12 versus >60 months; P=0.012). We conclude that increased OPG in AL is not only a compensation to osteoclast activation but may also reflect early cardiac damage and may identify patients at increased risk of death within those with earlier Mayo stage.
Weisel K, Dimopoulos M, Song KW, Moreau P, Palumbo A, Belch A, Schey S, Sonneveld P, Sternas L, Yu X, et al. Pomalidomide and Low-Dose Dexamethasone Improves Health-Related Quality of Life and Prolongs Time to Worsening in Relapsed/Refractory Patients With Multiple Myeloma Enrolled in the MM-003 Randomized Phase III Trial. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2015;15(9):519 - 530. WebsiteAbstract
Background Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important element for consideration in treatment decisions in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). The pivotal MM-003 (A Phase 3, Multicenter, Randomized, Open-Label Study to Compare the Efficacy and Safety of Pomalidomide in Combination With Low-Dose Dexamethasone vs. High-Dose Dexamethasone in Patients With Refractory Multiple Myeloma or Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma and Companion Study [NIMBUS]) randomized, open-label, multicenter, phase III trial demonstrated improved progression-free survival (PFS) and prolonged overall survival (OS) with pomalidomide (POM) plus low-dose dexamethasone (POM + LoDEX) versus high-dose dexamethasone (HiDEX) in patients with RRMM in whom lenalidomide (LEN) and bortezomib (BORT) had failed. MM-003 also investigated HRQoL as a predefined secondary end point. Patients and Methods Recruited patients (n = 455) were refractory to their last treatment and had failed LEN and BORT after ≥ 2 consecutive cycles of each (alone or in combination). Eight clinically relevant and validated HRQoL domains from the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30, EORTC QLQ-MY20, and EQ-5D questionnaires were selected for analysis. Time to symptom worsening based on minimally important differences (MIDs) was calculated. Results Clinically meaningful improvements in HRQoL as determined by MIDs, regression analyses, and best response analyses were observed more frequently in patients receiving POM + LoDEX than in those receiving HiDEX. POM + LoDEX significantly extended median time to clinically meaningful worsening in HRQoL versus HiDEX in 4 HRQoL domains and demonstrated a trend in an additional 3 domains. Patients in the HiDEX arm experienced earlier HRQoL deterioration compared with those in the POM + LoDEX arm in each domain analyzed. Conclusion POM + LoDEX offer good clinical outcomes that lead to improved and prolonged HRQoL compared with HiDEX in patients with RRMM and end-stage disease. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
Zagouri F, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos M-A. An update on the use of lenalidomide for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy [Internet]. 2015;16(12):1865 - 1877. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Lenalidomide, an immunomodulatory agent with unique mechanism of action, represents the cornerstone in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) providing rapid and sustained control of the disease with a manageable safety profile.Areas covered: This review article, synthesizing all available data coming from trials and evaluating the efficacy and safety of lenalidomide in patients with MM, tries to provide to the clinicians with an easy-to-grasp synopsis of recent and clinically meaningful advances on the field.Expert opinion: Lenalidomide combined with dexamethasone is a safe and effective option for newly diagnosed MM patients ineligible for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Long-term administration of the agent as continuous treatment for ineligible for ASCT patients or maintenance therapy after ASCT has documented unprecedented progression-free survival improvements, whereas lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone has shown deep and durable remissions for patients with relapsed and/or refractory disease. © 2015 Informa UK, Ltd.
Kourlaba G, Dimopoulos MA, Pectasides D, Skarlos DV, Gogas H, Pentheroudakis G, Koutras A, Fountzilas G, Maniadakis N. Comparison of filgrastim and pegfilgrastim to prevent neutropenia and maintain dose intensity of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer [Internet]. 2015;23(7):2045 - 2051. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of prophylactic single fixed dose of pegfilgrastim and daily administration of filgrastim on febrile neutropenia (FN), severe neutropenia, treatment delay, and dose reduction in patients with breast cancer receiving dose-dense adjuvant chemotherapy. Methods: A retrospective cohort study with 1058 breast cancer patients matched by age and chemotherapy was conducted. The primary endpoints were FN, severe (grade 3, 4) neutropenia, dose reduction (>10 % reduction of the dose planned), and treatment delay (dose given more than 2 days later). Results: Eighteen episodes of FN (3.4 %) in the filgrastim group and 23 (4.3 %) in the pegfilgrastim group (p = 0.500) were recorded. More than half of the total episodes (27/41) occurred during the first 4 cycles of treatment. Patients who received filgrastim were almost three times more likely to experience a severe neutropenia episode and were significantly more likely to experience a dose reduction (18.5 %) compared to those who received pegfilgrastim (10.8 %) (p < 0.001). The percentage of patients, who received their planned dose on time, was significantly lower in patients receiving filgrastim (58 %) compared to those receiving pegfilgrastim (72.4 %, p < 0.001). Conclusions: No significant difference was detected on FN rate between daily administration of filgrastim and single administration of pegfilgrastim. However, patients receiving pegfilgrastim had a significantly lower rate of severe neutropenia, as well as dose reduction and treatment delay, thus, achieving a higher dose density. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
2014
Purrington KS, Slager S, Eccles D, Yannoukakos D, Fasching PA, Miron P, Carpenter J, Chang-claude J, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, et al. Genome-wide association study identifies 25 known breast cancer susceptibility loci as risk factors for triple-negative breast cancer. Carcinogenesis [Internet]. 2014;35(5):1012 - 1019. WebsiteAbstract
Triple-negative (TN) breast cancer is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer associated with a unique set of epidemiologic and genetic risk factors. We conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study of TN breast cancer (stage 1: 1529 TN cases, 3399 controls; stage 2: 2148 cases, 1309 controls) to identify loci that influence TN breast cancer risk. Variants in the 19p13.1 and PTHLH loci showed genome-wide significant associations (P < 5 × 10-8) in stage 1 and 2 combined. Results also suggested a substantial enrichment of significantly associated variants among the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) analyzed in stage 2. Variants from 25 of 74 known breast cancer susceptibility loci were also associated with risk of TN breast cancer (P < 0.05). Associations with TN breast cancer were confirmed for 10 loci (LGR6, MDM4, CASP8, 2q35, 2p24.1, TERT-rs10069690, ESR1, TOX3, 19p13.1, RALY), and we identified associations with TN breast cancer for 15 additional breast cancer loci (P < 0.05: PEX14, 2q24.1, 2q31.1, ADAM29, EBF1, TCF7L2, 11q13.1, 11q24.3, 12p13.1, PTHLH, NTN4, 12q24, BRCA2, RAD51L1-rs2588809, MKL1). Further, two SNPs independent of previously reported signals in ESR1 [rs12525163 odds ratio (OR) = 1.15, P = 4.9 × 10-4] and 19p13.1 (rs1864112 OR = 0.84, P = 1.8 × 10-9) were associated with TN breast cancer. A polygenic risk score (PRS) for TN breast cancer based on known breast cancer risk variants showed a 4-fold difference in risk between the highest and lowest PRS quintiles (OR = 4.03, 95% confidence interval 3.46-4.70, P = 4.8 × 10-69). This translates to an absolute risk for TN breast cancer ranging from 0.8% to 3.4%, suggesting that genetic variation may be used for TN breast cancer risk prediction.
Katodritou E, Terpos E, Symeonidis AS, Pouli A, Kelaidi C, Kyrtsonis M-C, Kotsopoulou M, Delimpasi S, Christoforidou A, Giannakoulas N, et al. Clinical features, outcome, and prognostic factors for survival and evolution to multiple myeloma of solitary plasmacytomas: A report of the Greek myeloma study group in 97 patients. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2014;89(8):803 - 808. WebsiteAbstract
Solitary plasmacytoma (SP) is a rare plasma cell dyscrasia characterized by the presence of bone or extramedullary plasma cell tumors. The treatment of choice is local radiotherapy (R/T)±surgical excision. The role of adjuvant chemotherapy (C/T) or novel agents (NA) is uncertain. Data related to prognostic factors are inconclusive. Herein, we describe the clinical features, survival and prognosis of 97 consecutive patients, 65 with bone SP (SBP), and 32 with extramedullary SP (SEP), diagnosed and treated in 12 Greek Myeloma Centers. Objective response rate (≥PR) and complete response (CR) was 91.8% and 61.9%, respectively, and did not differ between the 2 groups. Overall, 38 patients relapsed or progressed to multiple myeloma (MM). After a median follow-up of 60 months, 5 and 10-year overall survival (OS) probability was 92% and 89% in SEP and 86% and 69% in SBP, respectively (P=0.2). The 5- and 10-year MM-free survival (MMFS) probability was 90% and 70% for patients with SEP vs. 59% and 50% for patients with SBP, respectively (P=0.054). Overall, the 5- and 10-year OS probability, plasmacytoma relapse-free survival (PRFS), progression-free survival and MMFS was 84% and 78%, 72% and 58%, 58% and 43%, and 70% and 59%, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, prolonged PRFS and young age were positive predictors of OS. Achievement of CR was the only positive predictor of PRFS. Immunoparesis was the only negative predictor of progression to MM. The addition of C/T or NA-based treatment increased toxicity without offering any survival advantage over R/T. Am. J. Hematol. 89:803-808, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Karavasilis V, Kosmidis P, Syrigos KN, Mavropoulou P, Dimopoulos MA, Kotoula V, Pectasides D, Boukovinas I, Klouvas G, Kalogera-Fountzila A, et al. Docetaxel and intermittent erlotinib in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer; a phase II study from the hellenic cooperative oncology group. Anticancer Research [Internet]. 2014;34(10):5649 - 5655. WebsiteAbstract
Aim: To determine the more effective dosing sequence of intermittent erlotinib and docetaxel for treating chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Patients and Methods: Patients were randomized to receive daily erlotinib for 12 consecutive days prior to docetaxel (Arm A) or after docetaxel (Arm B). Progression-free survival (PFS) was the primary end-point; secondary end-points were overall survival (OS) and objective response rate (ORR). Results: Fifty eligible patients received a total of 226 treatment cycles (median: 3). Median PFS and OS were 3.6 months and 10.5 months, respectively (differences were not statistically significant between the two arms). Neutropenia grade 3 and 4 occurred in 15 patients, while two patients developed grade 3 diarrhea. There were two treatment-related deaths (pulmonary embolism and non-neutropenic sepsis). Conclusion: Intermittent administration of erlotinib does not appear to improve the clinical outcome of single-agent docetaxel chemotherapy in unselected patients with NSCLC in the first-line setting. © 2014, International Institute of Anticancer Research. All rights reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Leleu X, Palumbo A, Moreau P, Delforge M, Cavo M, Ludwig H, Morgan GJ, Davies FE, Sonneveld P, et al. Expert panel consensus statement on the optimal use of pomalidomide in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(8):1573 - 1585. WebsiteAbstract
In this report, a panel of European myeloma experts discuss the role of pomalidomide in the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). Based on the available evidence, the combination of pomalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone is a well-tolerated and effective treatment option for patients with RRMM who have exhausted treatment with lenalidomide and bortezomib. The optimal starting dose of pomalidomide is 4 mg given on days 1-21 of each 28-day cycle, whereas dexamethasone is administered at a dose of 40 mg weekly (reduced to 20 mg for patients aged >75 years). The treatment should continue until evidence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Dose-modification schemes have been established for patients who develop neutropenia, thrombocytopaenia and other grade 3-4 adverse events during pomalidomide therapy. Guidance on the prevention and management of infections and venous thromboembolism is provided, based on the available clinical evidence and the experience of panel members. The use of pomalidomide in special populations, such as patients with advanced age, renal impairment or unfavourable cytogenetic features, is also discussed. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Ludwig H, Miguel JS, Dimopoulos MA, Palumbo A, Garcia Sanz R, Powles R, Lentzsch S, Ming Chen W, Hou J, Jurczyszyn A, et al. International Myeloma Working Group recommendations for global myeloma care. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(5):981 - 992. WebsiteAbstract
Recent developments have led to remarkable improvements in the assessment and treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). New technologies have become available to precisely evaluate the biology and extent of the disease, including information about cytogenetics and genetic abnormalities, extramedullary manifestations and minimal residual disease. New, more effective drugs have been introduced into clinical practice, which enable clinicians to significantly improve the outcome of patients but also pose new challenges for the prevention and management of their specific side effects. Given these various new options and challenges, it is important to identify the minimal requirements for diagnosis and treatment of patients, as access to the most sophisticated advances may vary depending on local circumstances. Here, we propose the minimal requirements and possible options for diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Rajkumar SV, Dimopoulos MA, Palumbo A, Blade J, Merlini G, Mateos M-V, Kumar S, Hillengass J, Kastritis E, Richardson P, et al. International Myeloma Working Group updated criteria for the diagnosis of multiple myeloma. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2014;15(12):e538 - e548. WebsiteAbstract
This International Myeloma Working Group consensus updates the disease definition of multiple myeloma to include validated biomarkers in addition to existing requirements of attributable CRAB features (hypercalcaemia, renal failure, anaemia, and bone lesions). These changes are based on the identification of biomarkers associated with near inevitable development of CRAB features in patients who would otherwise be regarded as having smouldering multiple myeloma. A delay in application of the label of multiple myeloma and postponement of therapy could be detrimental to these patients. In addition to this change, we clarify and update the underlying laboratory and radiographic variables that fulfil the criteria for the presence of myeloma-defining CRAB features, and the histological and monoclonal protein requirements for the disease diagnosis. Finally, we provide specific metrics that new biomarkers should meet for inclusion in the disease definition. The International Myeloma Working Group recommends the implementation of these criteria in routine practice and in future clinical trials, and recommends that future studies analyse any differences in outcome that might occur as a result of the new disease definition. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Benboubker L, Dimopoulos MA, Dispenzieri A, Catalano J, Belch AR, Cavo M, Pinto A, Weisel K, Ludwig H, Bahlis N, et al. Lenalidomide and dexamethasone in transplant-ineligible patients with myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2014;371(10):906 - 917. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The combination melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide (MPT) is considered a standard therapy for patients with myeloma who are ineligible for stem-cell transplantation. However, emerging data on the use of lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone warrant a prospective comparison of the two approaches. Methods: We randomly assigned 1623 patients to lenalidomide and dexamethasone in 28-day cycles until disease progression (535 patients), to the same combination for 72 weeks (18 cycles; 541 patients), or to MPT for 72 weeks (547 patients). The primary end point was progression-free survival with continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone versus MPT. Results: The median progression-free survival was 25.5 months with continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone, 20.7 months with 18 cycles of lenalidomide-dexamethasone, and 21.2 months with MPT (hazard ratio for the risk of progression or death, 0.72 for continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone vs. MPT and 0.70 for continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone vs. 18 cycles of lenalidomide-dexamethasone; P<0.001 for both comparisons). Continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone was superior to MPT for all secondary efficacy end points, including overall survival (at the interim analysis). Overall survival at 4 years was 59% with continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone, 56% with 18 cycles of lenalidomide-dexamethasone, and 51% with MPT. Grade 3 or 4 adverse events were somewhat less frequent with continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone than with MPT (70% vs. 78%). As compared with MPT, continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone was associated with fewer hematologic and neurologic toxic events, a moderate increase in infections, and fewer second primary hematologic cancers. Conclusions: As compared with MPT, continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone given until disease progression was associated with a significant improvement in progression-free survival, with an overall survival benefit at the interim analysis, among patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who were ineligible for stem-cell transplantation. Copyright © 2014 Massachusetts Medical Society.
Ocio EM, Richardson PG, Rajkumar SV, Palumbo A, Mateos MV, Orlowski R, Kumar S, Usmani S, Roodman D, Niesvizky R, et al. New drugs and novel mechanisms of action in multiple myeloma in 2013: A report from the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG). Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(3):525 - 542. WebsiteAbstract
Treatment in medical oncology is gradually shifting from the use of nonspecific chemotherapeutic agents toward an era of novel targeted therapy in which drugs and their combinations target specific aspects of the biology of tumor cells. Multiple myeloma (MM) has become one of the best examples in this regard, reflected in the identification of new pathogenic mechanisms, together with the development of novel drugs that are being explored from the preclinical setting to the early phases of clinical development. We review the biological rationale for the use of the most important new agents for treating MM and summarize their clinical activity in an increasingly busy field. First, we discuss data from already approved and active agents (including second- and third-generation proteasome inhibitors (PIs), immunomodulatory agents and alkylators). Next, we focus on agents with novel mechanisms of action, such as monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs), cell cycle-specific drugs, deacetylase inhibitors, agents acting on the unfolded protein response, signaling transduction pathway inhibitors and kinase inhibitors. Among this plethora of new agents or mechanisms, some are specially promising: anti-CD38 MoAb, such as daratumumab, are the first antibodies with clinical activity as single agents in MM. Moreover, the kinesin spindle protein inhibitor Arry-520 is effective in monotherapy as well as in combination with dexamethasone in heavily pretreated patients. Immunotherapy against MM is also being explored, and probably the most attractive example of this approach is the combination of the anti-CS1 MoAb elotuzumab with lenalidomide and dexamethasone, which has produced exciting results in the relapsed/refractory setting. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
San-Miguel JF, Hungria VTM, Yoon S-S, Beksac M, Dimopoulos MA, Elghandour A, Jedrzejczak WW, Günther A, Nakorn TN, Siritanaratkul N, et al. Panobinostat plus bortezomib and dexamethasone versus placebo plus bortezomib and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma: A multicentre, randomised, double-blind phase 3 trial. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2014;15(11):1195 - 1206. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Panobinostat is a potent oral pan-deacetylase inhibitor that in preclinical studies has synergistic anti-myeloma activity when combined with bortezomib and dexamethasone. We aimed to compare panobinostat, bortezomib, and dexamethasone with placebo, bortezomib, and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Methods: PANORAMA1 is a multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind phase 3 trial of patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who have received between one and three previous treatment regimens. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) via an interactive web-based and voice response system, stratified by number of previous treatment lines and by previous use of bortezomib, to receive 21 day cycles of placebo or panobinostat (20 mg; on days 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, orally), both in combination with bortezomib (1·3 mg/m2 on days 1, 4, 8, 11, intravenously) and dexamethasone (20 mg on days 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, orally). Patients, physicians, and the investigators who did the data analysis were masked to treatment allocation; crossover was not permitted. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (in accordance with modified European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation criteria and based on investigators' assessment) and was analysed by intention to treat. The study is ongoing, but no longer recruiting, and is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01023308. Findings: 768 patients were enrolled between Jan 21, 2010, and Feb 29, 2012, with 387 randomly assigned to panobinostat, bortezomib, and dexamethasone and 381 to placebo, bortezomib, and dexamethasone. Median follow-up was 6·47 months (IQR 1·81-13·47) in the panobinostat group and 5·59 months (2·14-11·30) in the placebo group. Median progression-free survival was significantly longer in the panobinostat group than in the placebo group (11·99 months [95% CI 10·33-12·94] vs 8·08 months [7·56-9·23]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·63, 95% CI 0·52-0·76; p<0·0001). Overall survival data are not yet mature, although at the time of this analysis, median overall survival was 33·64 months (95% CI 31·34-not estimable) for the panobinostat group and 30·39 months (26·87-not estimable) for the placebo group (HR 0·87, 95% CI 0·69-1·10; p=0·26). The proportion of patients achieving an overall response did not differ between treatment groups (235 [60·7%, 95% CI 55·7-65·6] for panobinostat vs 208 [54·6%, 49·4-59·7] for placebo; p=0·09); however, the proportion of patients with a complete or near complete response was significantly higher in the panobinostat group than in the placebo group (107 [27·6%, 95% CI 23·2-32·4] vs 60 [15·7%, 12·2-19·8]; p=0·00006). Minimal responses were noted in 23 (6%) patients in the panobinostat group and in 42 (11%) in the placebo group. Median duration of response (partial response or better) was 13·14 months (95% CI 11·76-14·92) in the panobinostat group and 10·87 months (9·23-11·76) in the placebo group, and median time to response (partial response or better) was 1·51 months (1·41-1·64) in the panobinostat group and 2·00 months (1·61-2·79) in the placebo group. Serious adverse events were reported in 228 (60%) of 381 patients in the panobinostat group and 157 (42%) of 377 patients in the placebo group. Common grade 3-4 laboratory abnormalities and adverse events (irrespective of association with study drug) included thrombocytopenia (256 [67%] in the panobinostat group vs 118 [31%] in the placebo group), lymphopenia (202 [53%] vs 150 [40%]), diarrhoea (97 [26%] vs 30 [8%]), asthenia or fatigue (91 [24%] vs 45 [12%]), and peripheral neuropathy (67 [18%] vs 55 [15%]). Interpretation: Our results suggest that panobinostat could be a useful addition to the treatment armamentarium for patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Longer follow up will be necessary to determine whether there is any effect on overall survival. Funding: Novartis Pharmaceuticals. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Kastritis E, Zagouri F, Symeonidis A, Roussou M, Sioni A, Pouli A, Delimpasi S, Katodritou E, Michalis E, Michael M, et al. Preserved levels of uninvolved immunoglobulins are independently associated with favorable outcome in patients with symptomatic multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(10):2075 - 2079. WebsiteAbstract
Suppression of uninvolved immunoglobulins is common in multiple myeloma (MM) but the prognostic significance of this phenomenon has not been assessed. We evaluated the prognostic significance of the preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in 1755 consecutive, unselected, patients with newly diagnosed, symptomatic MM with pre-therapy immunoglobulin levels measured by nephelometry. Suppression of at least one uninvolved immunoglobulin was observed in 87% of patients and was more common in patients with immunoglobulin A myeloma, those aged over 65 years, in patients with advanced-International Staging System (ISS) stage, extensive-bone marrow infiltration, anemia, low platelet counts, high levels of serum M-monoclonal protein or renal dysfunction. Patients with preserved immunoglobulins had a better survival than patients with suppressed immunoglobulins (median survival 55 vs 41.5 months, P<0.001). In multivariate analysis, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was independently associated with better survival (hazard ratio: 0.781, 95% confidence interval: 0.618-0.987, P=0.039); irrespective of the treatment. In a subset of 500 patients, which were strictly followed for disease progression, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was associated with a significantly longer progression-free survival (60 vs 25 months, P<0.001), independently of other common prognostic factors. In conclusion, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic MM was independently associated with long term disease control and improved survival. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Orlowski RZ, Facon T, Sonneveld P, Anderson KC, Beksac M, Benboubker L, Roddie H, Potamianou A, Couturier C, et al. Retrospective matched-pairs analysis of bortezomib plus dexamethasone versus bortezomib monotherapy in relapsed multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2014;100(1):100 - 106. WebsiteAbstract
Bortezomib-dexamethasone is widely used for relapsed myeloma in routine clinical practice, but comparative data versus single-agent bortezomib are lacking. This retrospective analysis compared second-line treatment with bortezomib- dexamethasone and bortezomib using 109 propensity score-matched pairs of patients treated in three clinical trials: MMY-2045, APEX, and DOXIL-MMY-3001. Propensity scores were estimated using logistic regression analyses incorporating 13 clinical variables related to drug exposure or clinical outcome. Patients received intravenous bortezomib 1.3 mg/m2 on days 1, 4, 8, and 11, in 21-day cycles, alone or with oral dexamethasone 20 mg on the days of/after bortezomib dosing. Median bortezomib cumulative dose (27.02 and 28.60 mg/m2) and treatment duration (19.6 and 17.6 weeks) were similar with bortezomib-dexamethasone and bortezomib, respectively. The overall response rate was higher (75% vs. 41%; odds ratio=3.467; P<0.001), and median time-to-progression (13.6 vs. 7.0 months; hazard ratio [HR]=0.394; P=0.003) and progression-free survival (11.9 vs. 6.4 months; HR=0.595; P=0.051) were longer with bortezomib-dexamethasone versus bortezomib, respectively. Rates of anygrade adverse events, most common grade 3 or higher adverse events, and discontinuations due to adverse events appeared similar between the groups. Two patients per group died of treatment-related adverse events. These data indicate the potential benefit of bortezomib-dexamethasone compared with single-agent bortezomib at first relapse in myeloma. The MMY-2045, APEX, and DOXIL-MMY-3001 clinical trials were registered at, respectively, clinicaltrials.gov identifier: 00908232, 00048230, and 00103506. ©2014 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Pentheroudakis G, Kotoula V, Kouvatseas G, Charalambous E, Dionysopoulos D, Zagouri F, Koutras A, Papazisis K, Pectasides D, Samantas E, et al. Association of VEGF-A splice variant mRNA expression with outcome in bevacizumab-treated patients with metastatic breast cancer. Clinical Breast Cancer [Internet]. 2014;14(5):330 - 338. WebsiteAbstract
We studied tissue mRNA levels of VEGF-Axxxa angiogenic versus VEGF-Axxxb anti-angiogenic isoforms by means of specially designed PCR assays in two parallel cohorts of metastatic breast cancer patients, one treated with taxane (Cohort A) and one treated with taxaneDbevacizumab (Cohort B). Tissue mRNA expression of angiogenic VEGF-Axxxa isoforms was retrospectively associated with adverse prognosis in the absence of bevacizumab and with favorable outcome when bevacizumab was administered. Background: The prognostic utility of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) splice variants in patients with advanced breast cancer treated with bevacizumab has not been studied. Patients and Methods: A total of 111 patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with weekly docetaxel or ixabepilone without bevacizumab (cohort A) and 100 treated with weekly paclitaxel and bevacizumab (cohort B) were studied. Formalin-fixed tumors were macrodissected for reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction relative quantification of VEGF-A165, -189, and -206 isoforms spliced at exon 8 proximal splice site (VEGF-Axxxa) and at exon 8 distal splice site (VEGF-Axxxb). Results: For high VEGF-Axxxa, the hazard ratios (HRs) for progression were 1.08 (P = .71) in non-bevacizumab-treated patients (cohort A) and 0.66 (P = .22) in bevacizumab-treated patients (cohort B), and the HRs for death were 1.45 (P = .13) and 0.50 (P = .049), respectively. The interaction of VEGF-Axxxa with bevacizumab administration was significant (P = .011) for overall survival (OS). High tissue VEGF-Axxxb was not prognostic in cohort A but was predictive for bevacizumab benefit in cohort B (HR for progression, 0.57 [P = .04]; HR for death, 0.51 [P = .02]). Exploratory analyses done only in cohort B suggested that abundance of VEGFR1 messenger RNA (mRNA) in peripheral blood and low VEGFR2 mRNA in tissue correlated with poor outcome. In multivariate analysis, high tissue mRNA of angiogenic VEGFAxxxa in the presence of bevacizumab therapy predicted for favorable progression-free survival (HR for progression, 0.39; P = .0227) and OS (HR for death, 0.32; P = .0140). Conclusion: Tissue mRNA expression of angiogenic VEGFAxxxa isoforms was retrospectively associated with adverse prognosis in the absence of bevacizumab and with favorable outcome when bevacizumab was administered in patients with advanced breast cancer. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Katodritou E, Papatheodorou A, Pouli A, Kyrtsonis M-C, Michalis E, Papanikolaou X, Gkotzamanidou M, et al. The combination of lenalidomide and dexamethasone reduces bone resorption in responding patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma but has no effect on bone formation: Final results on 205 patients of the Greek myeloma study group. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2014;89(1):34 - 40. WebsiteAbstract
The combination of lenalidomide plus dexamethasone (RD) is very effective for patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma. However, the effect of RD on bone metabolism has not been previously evaluated in these patients. To address this issue, we initially performed a retrospective study in 106 consecutive patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma who received RD. We measured the following bone indices on Cycle 1/Day 1 and then on Cycles 3 and 6/Day 28: dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1), sRANKL, osteoprotegerin (OPG), bone resorption markers (C-telopeptide of collagen type-I, CTX and TRACP-5b) and bone formation markers (bone-specific alkaline phosphatase-bALP and osteocalcin). RD produced a reduction of CTX only in responders, with no effect on bone formation. To validate these results, we then evaluated prospectively 99 patients who received either RD (n=50) or VRD (bortezomib + RD, n=49). RD reduced CTX, mainly in responders but showed no effect on bone formation, confirming the result of the retrospective study. However, the addition of bortezomib to RD (VRD arm) reduced Dkk-1, sRANKL/OPG, and CTX, while it increased bALP and OC after six cycles of therapy. These changes were irrespective of treatment response, which was similar between treatment arms. No skeletal-related events were observed in the VRD arm while two, nonresponding patients treated with RD developed a vertebral fracture. We conclude that RD reduces bone resorption only in responding patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma but has no effect on bone formation. Combination with bortezomib, which enhances bone formation, seems to be preferred for the management of myeloma patients with osteolytic disease. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Swern AS, Li JS, Hussein M, Weiss L, Nagarwala Y, Baz R. Efficacy and safety of long-term treatment with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Blood Cancer Journal [Internet]. 2014;4(11). WebsiteAbstract
Data from two randomized pivotal, phase 3 trials evaluating the combination of lenalidomide and dexamethasone in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) were pooled to characterize the subset of patients who achieved long-term benefit of therapy (progression-free survival ≥3 years). Patients with long-term benefit of therapy (n = 45) had a median duration of treatment of 48.1 months and a response rate of 100%. Humoral improvement (uninvolved immunoglobulin A) was more common in patients with long-term benefit of therapy (79% vs 55%; P = 0.002). Significant predictors of long-term benefit of therapy in multivariate analysis were age < 65 years (P = 0.03), β2-microglobulin <2.5 mg/l (P = 0.002) and fewer prior therapies (P = 0.002). The exposureadjusted incidence rate (EAIR) of grade 3-4 neutropenia was lower in patients with long-term benefit of therapy (13.9 vs 38.2 per 100 patient-years). The EAIR for invasive second primary malignancy was the same in patients with long-term benefit of therapy and other patients (1.7 per 100 patient-years). These findings indicate that patients with RRMM can experience long-term benefit with lenalidomide and dexamethasone treatment with manageable side effects. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Ludwig H, Sonneveld P, Davies F, Bladé J, Boccadoro M, Cavo M, Morgan G, De La Rubia J, Delforge M, Dimopoulos M, et al. European perspective on multiple myeloma treatment strategies in 2014. Oncologist [Internet]. 2014;19(8):829 - 844. WebsiteAbstract
The treatment of multiple myeloma has undergone significant changes and has resulted in the achievement of molecular remissions, the prolongation of remission duration, and extended survival becoming realistic goals, with a cure being possible in a small but growing number of patients. In addition, nowadays it is possible to categorize patients more precisely into different risk groups, thus allowing the evaluation of therapies in different settings and enabling a better comparison of results across trials. Here, we review the evidence from clinical studies, which forms the basis for our recommendations for the management of patients with myeloma. Treatment approaches depend on "fitness," with chronological age still being an important discriminator for selecting therapy. In younger, fit patients, a short three drug-based induction treatment followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) remains the preferred option. Consolidation and maintenance therapy are attractive strategies not yet approved by the European Medicines Agency, and a decision regarding post-ASCT therapy should only be made after detailed discussion of the pros and cons with the individual patient. Two- and three-drug combinations are recommended for patients not eligible for transplantation. Treatment should be administered for at least nine cycles, although different durations of initial therapy have only rarely been compared so far. Comorbidity and frailty should be thoroughly assessed in elderly patients, and treatment must be adapted to individual needs, carefully selecting appropriate drugs and doses. A substantial number of new drugs and novel drug classes in early clinical development have shown promising activity. Their introduction into clinical practice will most likely further improve treatment results. © AlphaMed Press.
Zagouri F, Brandstetter A, Moussiolis D, Chrysikos D, Dimitrakakis C, Tsigginou A, Marinopoulos S, Zografos GC, Sergentanis TN, Dimopoulos M-A, et al. Low protein expression of MET in ER-positive and HER2-positive breast cancer. Anticancer Research [Internet]. 2014;34(3):1227 - 1231. WebsiteAbstract
Aim: The mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (MET) is a receptor tyrosine kinase that plays a key role in cell survival, growth, angiogenesis and metastasis. Because its expression is frequently altered in tumors, MET is currently under investigation as a potential target for anticancer therapy. The purpose of the present study was to determine the prognostic value of tumor MET expression levels in patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer, in order to strengthen the rationale for targeted therapy using MET inhibitors in this breast cancer subpopulation. Materials and Methods: We determined the expression of MET in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded surgical specimens of ERand HER2-positive breast cancer by immunohistochemistry. Results: Comparisons of MET expression with clinical parameters, including survival of the patients, were performed with MET expression as a dichotomized variable classified as high or low. Out of 78 tumors, 3 (3.8%) showed high MET expression. The analysis examining the association between MET and survival did not yield any statistically significant result regarding overall survival or disease-free survival. Conclusion: ER- and HER2-positive breast carcinomas do not exhibit high MET expression. This null finding, the first to be reported in the literature, is of great importance, since it indicates that this sub-group population is not proper candidate for clinical trials with MET inhibitors.
Bamias A, Tzannis K, Papatsoris A, Oudard S, Beuselinck B, Escudier B, Liontos M, Elaidi T-R, Chrisofos M, Stravodimos K, et al. Prognostic significance of cytoreductive nephrectomy in patients with synchronous metastases from renal cell carcinoma treated with first-line sunitinib: A european multiinstitutional study. Clinical Genitourinary Cancer [Internet]. 2014;12(5):373 - 383. WebsiteAbstract
In our multicenter retrospective analysis in 186 patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) and synchronous metastases treated with sunitinib, we examined the role of cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) in this clinical setting. CN proved to have a beneficial prognostic effect in survival independent of other diseaseor patient-related factors. CN remains a reasonable option for mRCC patients scheduled to be treated with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Introduction/Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic role of CN in patients with mRCC and synchronous metastases treated with the VEGF receptor TKI, sunitinib. Patients and Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of metastases before, at the time of, or within 3 months from the diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and first-line treatment with sunitinib were included. Baseline characteristics were correlated with overall survival (OS) according to hazard ratios estimated from univariate Cox proportional hazards models. Significant factors were then included in a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model. Results: One hundred eighty-six patients treated between January 2006 and March 2012 were selected. Thirty-six (19%) had not undergone CN. CN was offered to younger patients with better prognoses. Patients who underwent CN lived significantly longer than patients without CN (median OS, 23.9 [95% confidence interval (CI), 20.8-28.8] vs. 9 [95% CI, 4-16.4] months; P < .001). Multivariate analysis showed that CN had an independent prognostic significance. No specific subgroup benefiting from CN was identified. Conclusion: CN was an independent favorable prognostic factor in patients with synchronous metastases from RCC, treated with sunitinib. Information regarding the selection of mRCC patients likely to benefit from CN might be derived by ongoing phase III trials. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Delimpasi S, Katodritou E, Vassou A, Kyrtsonis MC, Repousis P, Kartasis Z, Parcharidou A, Michael M, Michalis E, et al. Significant improvement in the survival of patients with multiple myeloma presenting with severe renal impairment after the introduction of novel agents. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2014;25(1):195 - 200. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Renal impairment (RI) is a common presenting complication of multiple myeloma (MM); the availability of new treatments has improved the outcomes of patients with MM; however, their impact on the survival of patients who present with RI has not been extensively studied. Patients and methods: We analyzed the characteristics and outcomes of 1773 consecutive unselected patients who were treated for symptomatic myeloma since January 1990. Results: Although there was a significant increase in the proportion of patients of advanced age in the more recent periods, the frequency of RI as well as the proportion of patients who presented with severe RI (eGFR < 30 ml/min/1.73 m2) remained unchanged around 18%. Thus, after adjustment for age, there was a decrease in the risk of severe RI at presentation after 2000. Myeloma response rates (≥PR) to frontline therapy have substantially increased, and this was translated in a significant increase in the median survival. Specifically for patients with severe RI, the median OS has improved from 18 and 19.5 months in the 1990-1994 and 1995-1999 to 29 and 32 months for the periods 2000-2004 and after 2005 (P = 0.005). Severe RI was associated with a high risk of early death (12% versus 7% for patients with moderate RI versus 3% for patients with mild or no RI (P < 0.001), especially among older patients, and has remained unchanged over time. Conclusions: There has been a major improvement in the survival of patients with severe RI in the past decade, despite the increasing numbers of patients of advanced age. However, the risk of early death remains high in patients with severe RI, especially in the elderly. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Katodritou E, Terpos E, Kelaidi C, Kotsopoulou M, Delimpasi S, Kyrtsonis M-C, Symeonidis A, Giannakoulas N, Stefanoudaki A, Christoulas D, et al. Treatment with bortezomib-based regimens improves overall response and predicts for survival in patients with primary or secondary plasma cell leukemia: Analysis of the Greek myeloma study group. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2014;89(2):145 - 150. WebsiteAbstract
Plasma cell leukemia (PCL) is a rare and aggressive plasma cell disorder, with poor outcome. Bortezomib-based regimens (BBR) are highly effective in myeloma, but there is limited information about their efficacy and safety in PCL. Thus, we retrospectively collected data from 42 consecutive PCL patients (25 with primary PCL-pPCL and 17 with secondary PCL-sPCL) to explore the role of BBR in this entity. BBR were administered in 29 of 42 patients, while 6 of 25 patients with pPCL underwent autologous transplantation. Objective response (≥partial response) was significantly higher in patients treated with BBR versus conventional therapies (69% vs. 30.8%, P=0.04); 27.5% of patients treated with BBR achieved at least very good partial response (vgPR). The highest ORR was observed in pPCL patients treated with BBR (88.9%; ≥vgPR: 33.3%). In BBR-group, grade 3 of 4 hematological, neurological and renal toxicity and neutropenic infections were observed in 41.4%, 7%, 3.4%, and 31%, respectively. With a median follow-up of 51 months, median overall survival (OS) for patients treated with BBR versus conventional therapies was 13 versus 2 months (P<0.007). Median OS of patients with pPCL and sPCL treated with BBR was 18 and 7 months, respectively (P<0.001). In the multivariate analysis normal PLTs, treatment with BBR and high quality response were the only powerful predictors for survival. Our study carrying the longest reported median follow-up, demonstrated that treatment of PCL with BBR induces high response rates and prolongs survival over conventional therapies, regardless of additional autologous transplantation rescue or established high risk features, with manageable toxicity. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Siegel DS, Richardson P, Dimopoulos M, Moreau P, Mitsiades C, Weber D, Houp J, Gause C, Vuocolo S, Eid J, et al. Vorinostat in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Blood Cancer Journal [Internet]. 2014;4(2). WebsiteAbstract
The addition of vorinostat to lenalidomide/dexamethasone represents a novel combination therapy in multiple myeloma (MM), informed by laboratory studies suggesting synergy. This was a phase I, multicenter, open-label, non-randomized, dose-escalating study in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory MM. Clinical evaluation, electrocardiogram, laboratory studies and adverse events were obtained and assessed. The maximum-tolerated dose was not reached owing to a non-occurrence of two dose-limiting toxicities per six patients tested at any of the dosing levels. Patients tolerated the highest dose tested (Level 5) and this was considered the maximum administered dose: at 400mg vorinostat on days 1-7 and 15-21, 25mg lenalidomide on days 1-21 and 40mg dexamethasone on days 1, 8, 15 and 22, per 28-day cycle. Drug-related adverse events were reported in 90% of patients serious adverse experiences were reported in 45% of the patients and 22% of all patients had adverse experiences considered, possibly related to study drug by the investigators. A confirmed partial response or better was reported for 14/30 patients (47%) evaluable for efficacy, including 31% of patients previously treated with lenalidomide. Vorinostat in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone proved tolerable with appropriate supportive care, with encouraging activity observed. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Roussou M, Migkou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Gavriatopoulou M, Gkotzamanidou M, Kanellias N, Manios E, et al. VTD consolidation, without bisphosphonates, reduces bone resorption and is associated with a very low incidence of skeletal-related events in myeloma patients post ASCT. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(4):928 - 934. WebsiteAbstract
We prospectively evaluated the effect of bortezomib, thalidomide and dexamethasone (VTD) consolidation on bone metabolism of 42 myeloma patients who underwent an autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). VTD started on day 100 post ASCT; patients received four cycles of VTD (first block), were followed without treatment for 100 days and then received another four VTD cycles (second block). During this 12-month period, bisphosphonates were not administered. Best response included stringent complete remission (sCR) in 15 (35.7%) patients, complete response (CR) in 13 (30.9%), vgPR in 7 (16.6%), PR in 4 (9.5%), while 3 (7.1%) patients developed a progressive disease (PD). Importantly, 33.3% and 47.6% of patients improved their status of response after the first and second VTD block, respectively. VTD consolidation resulted in a significant reduction of circulating C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of collagen type I (CTX), soluble receptor activator of the nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (sRANKL) and osteocalcin (OC), whereas bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (bALP) remained stable compared with pre-VTD values. During the study period, only one patient with a PD developed a skeletal-related event (that is, radiation to bone). The median time to progression (TTP) after ASCT was 34 months and the median time of next treatment was 40 months. We conclude that VTD consolidation post ASCT reduces bone resorption and is associated with a very low incidence of skeletal-related events (SREs) despite the absence of bisphosphonates; the later do not appear to be necessary in this context. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Gkotzamanidou M, Sfikakis PP, Kyrtopoulos SA, Bamia C, Dimopoulos MA, Souliotis VL. Chromatin structure, transcriptional activity and DNA repair efficiency affect the outcome of chemotherapy in multiple myeloma. British journal of cancer [Internet]. 2014;111(7):1293 - 1304. WebsiteAbstract
Melphalan is one of the most active chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). However, the mechanism underlying differential patient responses to melphalan therapy is unknown. METHODS :Chromatin structure, transcriptional activity and DNA damage response signals were examined following ex vivo treatment with melphalan of both malignant bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of MM patients, responders (n=57) or non-responders (n=28) to melphalan therapy. PBMCs from healthy controls (n=25) were also included in the study. In both BMPCs and PBMCs, the local chromatin looseness, transcriptional activity and repair efficiency of the transcribed strand (TS) were significantly higher in non-responders than in responders and lowest in healthy controls (all P<0.05). Moreover, we found that melphalan-induced apoptosis inversely correlated with the repair efficiency of the TS, with the duration of the inhibition of mRNA synthesis, phosphorylation of p53 at serine 15 and apoptosis rates being higher in responders than in non-responders (all P<0.001). Our findings provide a mechanistic basis for the link between DNA repair efficiency and response to melphalan therapy. Interestingly, the observation of these phenomena in PBMCs provides a novel approach for the prediction of response to anti-myeloma therapy.
Melea PI, Melakopoulos I, Kastritis E, Tesseromatis C, Margaritis V, Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. Conservative treatment of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw in multiple myeloma patients. International Journal of Dentistry [Internet]. 2014;2014. WebsiteAbstract
The use of intravenous bisphosphonates (pamidronate or zoledronic acid) is the cornerstone for the management of multiple myeloma-(MM-) related bone disease. However, osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is a rare, but sometimes difficult to manage, adverse effect of bisphosphonates therapy. A retrospective review of all MM patients who were treated with bisphosphonates in our department, from 2003 to 2013, and developed ONJ was performed. According to inclusion criteria, 38 patients were studied. All these patients were treated as conservatively as possible according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons criteria. Patients were managed with observation, oral antibacterial mouth rinse with chlorhexidine, oral antibiotics, pain control with analgesics, nonsurgical sequestrectomy with or without simultaneous administration of antibiotics, or major surgery with or without antibiotics. Healing of the lesions was achieved in 23 (60%) patients who were treated with conservative measures; the median time to healing was 12 months (95% CI: 4-21). The number of bisphosphonates infusions influenced the time to healing: the median time to healing for patients who received <16 infusions was 7 months and for those with >16 infusions was it 14 months P=0.017. We conclude that a primarily nonsurgical approach appears to be a successful management strategy for bisphosphonate-related ONJ. © 2014 Pelagia I. Melea et al.
Dimopoulos MA, Palumbo A, Hajek R, Kropff M, Petrucci MT, Lewis P, Millar S, Zhang J, Mei J, Delforge M. Factors that influence health-related quality of life in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma aged ≥ 65 years treated with melphalan, prednisone and lenalidomide followed by lenalidomide maintenance: Results of a randomized trial. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2014;55(7):1489 - 1497. WebsiteAbstract
In the MM-015 trial, melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide followed by lenalidomide maintenance (MPR-R) significantly prolonged progression-free survival versus melphalan-prednisone (MP) in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma aged ≥ 65 years. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL), a secondary endpoint of MM-015, was also improved with MPR-R. This sub-analysis evaluated the impact of individual predictive factors on HRQoL. Patients completed HRQoL questionnaires at baseline, every third cycle and at progressive disease (PD)/treatment discontinuation. In a mixed-effects model female gender, advanced age and PD negatively affected HRQoL while better treatment responses showed positive effects. Compared to PD, HRQoL during MPR-R treatment was statistically significantly better in two of six preselected domains both of which were also clinically meaningful. HRQoL scores at end of treatment were all either improved or not statistically significantly different versus baseline. In conclusion, continuous treatment with MPR-R, which delays PD, appears to be associated with clinically meaningful improvements in HRQoL. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Tsigginou A, Dimitrakakis C, Zografos GC, Dimopoulos M-A, Psaltopoulou T. Female breast cancer in Europe: Statistics, diagnosis and treatment modalities. Journal of Thoracic Disease [Internet]. 2014;6(6):589 - 590. Website
Thomakos N, Zacharakis D, Rodolakis A, Zagouri F, Papadimitriou CA, Bamias A, Dimopoulos M-A, Haidopoulos D, Vlahos G, Antsaklis A. Gynecologic oncology patients in the surgical high dependency unit: An analysis of indications. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics [Internet]. 2014;290(2):335 - 339. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: The establishment of high dependency units (HDUs) has been an undoubted advance in the management of patients undergoing major oncological procedures. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of various preoperative and perioperative patients' characteristics on the prolonged HDU stay. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study including all gynecologic oncology patients who underwent surgical management and were admitted postoperatively to our hospitals' HDU from 2006 to 2010. Results: A total of 1,014 patients were transferred to the HDU and divided into two groups according to the length of HDU stay. Group A consisted of 840 (82.8 %) patients who stayed in the HDU for ≤24 h and Group B included 174 (17.2 %) patients who remained in the HDU under close observation for >24 h. Older age was the only preoperative characteristic that remained significantly associated with HDU prolonged stay. In addition, three intraoperative factors such as use of invasive hemodynamic monitoring, bowel resection and estimated blood loss were proved to be independently associated with prolonged HDU stay. Conclusion: Certain characteristics could identify those patients who are more likely to benefit most from HDU admission. © 2014 Springer-Verlag.
Zagouri F, Kastritis E, Symeonidis AS, Giannakoulas N, Katodritou E, Delimpasi S, Repousis P, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Immunoglobulin D myeloma: Clinical features and outcome in the era of novel agents. European Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2014;92(4):308 - 312. WebsiteAbstract
Objectives: Immunoglobulin D (IgD) multiple myeloma is an uncommon variant of the disease probably associated with poorer prognosis. However, data on IgD myeloma patients treated in the novel agent era are lacking. Methods: To assess the frequency and the specific characteristics and evaluate the outcome of patients with IgD myeloma, we analyzed the database of the Greek Myeloma Study Group. Results: Between January 2000 and December 2012, among the 1239 patients with symptomatic myeloma, 31 (2.5%) were diagnosed with IgD myeloma. The median age of patients with IgD myeloma was 65 yr (range 26-80 yr) versus 68 yr (range 23-96 yr) of all others, and 84% had lambda light chain (vs. 38% of the patients with other subtypes). Patients with IgD myeloma presented more often with features of high-risk disease, that is, with advanced ISS, high LDH, significant renal dysfunction, and large amounts of Bence Jones proteinuria. Response to primary therapy was similar to other patients, although there was a trend for better quality of responses in patients with IgD myeloma. The median survival of these patients was 51.5 months versus 50.7 months for patients of other subtypes. In a multivariate model to adjust for differences in prognostic features, IgD myeloma was not associated with a different prognosis. Conclusion: The incidence of IgD myeloma is 2.5%. Although patients with IgD myeloma present more often with high-risk features, their outcome in the era of novel agents is similar to that of patients with other myeloma subtypes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Zagouri F, Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Sergentanis TN, Psaltopoulou T, Terpos E, Dimopoulos M-A. Lenalidomide in patients with POEMS syndrome: A systematic review and pooled analysis. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2014;55(9):2018 - 2023. WebsiteAbstract
The purpose of this pooled analysis was to synthesize all available data so as to evaluate the efficacy and safety of lenalidomide in patients with POEMS syndrome. Eligible articles were identified by a search in MEDLINE and ClinicalTrials.gov databases using a predefined combination. Eligible cases of patients treated in our department were additionally included. Overall, 51 patients were included. The median age of patients was 54.5 years (range: 32-79 years). Lenalidomide was given as first- or second-line treatment in 28.6% and 47.6% of patients, respectively. Hematological responses included complete response in 18.6%, very good partial response in 39.5% and partial response in 37.2% of cases. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) reduction was reported in all cases. Neuropathy improved in 92.0% of cases and stabilized in 8%. The progression-free survival (PFS) estimate at 12 months was 93.9%. Lenalidomide can represent a safe and effective option for the treatment of patients with POEMS. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.
Matikas A, Kanellis G, Papadimitriou C, Papadaki T, Kotsakis A, Dimopoulos MA, Georgoulias V. Plasmablastic lymphoma of the breast in an immunocompetent patient: Long-lasting complete response induced by chemotherapy and autologous stem cell trasplantation. Anticancer Research [Internet]. 2014;34(9):5111 - 5115. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is a rare entity which is often causally related to infection by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Despite its predilection for oral cavity involvement, multiple cases of extra-oral involvement have been reported in the literature, more often among immunocompetent individuals. Case report: Herein we present the first case of primary PBL of the breast in an otherwise immunocompetent 36-year-old woman who was successfully treated with consolidation megatherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation. Conclusion: PBL carries a particularly poor prognosis and more intensive treatment is usually warranted. However, no treatment guidelines exist and treatment choices are made based on case reports and small retrospective case series. © 2014, International Institute of Anticancer Research. All rights reserved.
Kastritis E, Moulopoulos LA, Terpos E, Koutoulidis V, Dimopoulos MA. The prognostic importance of the presence of more than one focal lesion in spine MRI of patients with asymptomatic (smoldering) multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(12):2402 - 2403. Website
Hajek R, Siegel D, Orlowski RZ, Ludwig H, Palumbo A, Dimopoulos M. The role of histone deacetylase inhibitors in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2014;55(1):11 - 18. WebsiteAbstract
Clinical outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have improved substantially since the introduction of novel agents including the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib and the immunomodulatory drugs thalidomide and lenalidomide. However, most patients with MM eventually relapse, and prognosis remains poor among patients with relapsed and/or refractory disease. Combination therapy using agents with different mechanisms of action is emerging as an attractive treatment approach in oncology to increase efficacy and/or overcome resistance to standard treatment regimens. This review discusses unmet needs in the treatment of MM and the development of histone deacetylase inhibitors as a treatment modality for MM. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd.
Kastritis E, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Author's reply. Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy [Internet]. 2014;15(2):300. Website
Stratta P, Airoldi A, Battista M, Guglielmetti G, Radin E, Izzo C, Merlotti G, Quaglia M, Kastritis E, Terpos E, et al. Comment on: Think to prevent before than to treat renal impairment in multiple myeloma: Do not forget tubular damage mimicking Fanconi syndrome. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy [Internet]. 2014;15(2):299 - 300. Website
Engelhardt M, Terpos E, Kleber M, Gay F, Wäsch R, Morgan G, Cavo M, van de Donk N, Beilhack A, Bruno B, et al. European myeloma network recommendations on the evaluation and treatment of newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2014;99(2):232 - 242. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma management has undergone profound changes in the past thanks to advances in our understanding of the disease biology and improvements in treatment and supportive care approaches. This article presents recommendations of the European Myeloma Network for newly diagnosed patients based on the GRADE system for level of evidence. All patients with symptomatic disease should undergo risk stratification to classify patients for International Staging System stage (level of evidence: 1A) and for cytogenetically defined high- versus standard-risk groups (2B). Novel-agent-based induction and up-front autologous stem cell transplantation in medically fit patients remains the standard of care (1A). Induction therapy should include a triple combination of bortezomib, with either adriamycin or thalidomide and dexamethasone (1A), or with cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone (2B). Currently, allogeneic stem cell transplantation may be considered for young patients with high-risk disease and preferably in the context of a clinical trial (2B). Thalidomide (1B) or lenalidomide (1A) maintenance increases progression-free survival and possibly overall survival (2B). Bortezomib-based regimens are a valuable consolidation option, especially for patients who failed excellent response after autologous stem cell transplantation (2A). Bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone or melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide are the standards of care for transplant-ineligible patients (1A). Melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide with lenalidomide maintenance increases progression-free survival, but overall survival data are needed. New data from the phase III study (MM-020/IFM 07-01) of lenalidomide-low-dose dexamethasone reached its primary end point of a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival as compared to melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide and provides further evidence for the efficacy of lenalidomide-low-dose dexamethasone in transplant-ineligible patients (2B). © 2013 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Gkotzamanidou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Hematologic response and stabilization of renal function in a patient with light chain deposition disease after lenalidomide treatment: A novel therapeutic approach?. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;14(5):e179 - e181. Website
Palumbo A, Rajkumar SV, San Miguel JF, Larocca A, Niesvizky R, Morgan G, Landgren O, Hajek R, Einsele H, Anderson KC, et al. International Myeloma Working Group consensus statement for the management, treatment, and supportive care of patients with myeloma not eligible for standard autologous stem-cell transplantation. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2014;32(6):587 - 600. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: To provide an update on recent advances in the management of patients with multiple myeloma who are not eligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation. Methods: A comprehensive review of the literature on diagnostic criteria is provided, and treatment options and management of adverse events are summarized. Results: Patients with symptomatic disease and organ damage (ie, hypercalcemia, renal failure, anemia, or bone lesions) require immediate treatment. The International Staging System and chromosomal abnormalities identify high- and standard-risk patients. Proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs, corticosteroids, and alkylating agents are the most active agents. The presence of concomitant diseases, frailty, or disability should be assessed and, if present, treated with reduced-dose approaches. Bone disease, renal damage, hematologic toxicities, infections, thromboembolism, and peripheral neuropathy are the most frequent disabling events requiring prompt and active supportive care. Conclusion: These recommendations will help clinicians ensure the most appropriate care for patients with myeloma in everyday clinical practice. © 2014 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Less strength and more fractures for MGUS bones. Blood [Internet]. 2014;123(5):603 - 604. WebsiteAbstract
In this issue of Blood, Farr et al showed that patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) have increased cortical bone porosity and reduced bone strength,1 conditions that can lead to the increased fracture risk, which has been reported in MGUS patients. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.
Gkotzamanidou M, Terpos E, Bamia C, Kyrtopoulos SA, Sfikakis PP, Dimopoulos MA, Souliotis VL. Progressive changes in chromatin structure and DNA damage response signals in bone marrow and peripheral blood during myelomagenesis. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(5):1113 - 1121. WebsiteAbstract
The molecular pathways implicated in multiple myeloma (MM) development are rather unknown. We studied epigenetic and DNA damage response (DDR) signals at selected model loci (N-ras, p53, d-globin) in bone marrow plasma cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS; n=20), smoldering/asymptomatic MM (SMM; n=29) and MM (n=18), as well as in healthy control-derived PBMCs (n=20). In both tissues analyzed, a progressive, significant increase in the looseness of local chromatin structure, gene expression levels and DNA repair efficiency from MGUS to SMM and finally to MM was observed (all P<0.002). Following ex vivo treatment with melphalan, a gradual suppression of the apoptotic pathway occurred in samples collected at different stages of myelomagenesis, with the severity and duration of the inhibition of RNA synthesis, p53 phosphorylation at serine15 and induction of apoptosis being higher in MGUS than SMM and lowest in MM patients (all P<0.0103). Interestingly, for all endpoints analyzed, a strong correlation between plasma cells and corresponding PBMCs was observed (all P<0.0003). We conclude that progressive changes in chromatin structure, transcriptional activity and DDR pathways during myelomagenesis occur in malignant plasma cells and that these changes are also reflected in PBMCs. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Stofas A, Levidou G, Piperi C, Adamopoulos C, Dalagiorgou G, Bamias A, Karadimou A, Lainakis GA, Papadoukakis S, Stravodimos K, et al. The role of CXC-chemokine receptor CXCR2 and suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS-3) in renal cell carcinoma. BMC Cancer [Internet]. 2014;14(1). WebsiteAbstract
Background: Chemokine receptor signaling pathways are implicated in the pathobiology of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). However, the clinical relevance of CXCR2 receptor, mediating the effects of all angiogenic chemokines, remains unclear. SOCS (suppressor of cytokine signaling)-3 is a negative regulator of cytokine-driven responses, contributing to interferon-α resistance commonly used to treat advanced RCC with limited information regarding its expression in RCC.Methods: In this study, CXCR2 and SOCS-3 were immunohistochemically investigated in 118 RCC cases in relation to interleukin (IL)-6 and (IL)-8, their downstream transducer phosphorylated (p-)STAT-3, and VEGF expression, being further correlated with microvascular characteristics, clinicopathological features and survival. In 30 cases relationships with hypoxia-inducible factors, i.e. HIF-1a, p53 and NF-κΒ (p65/RelA) were also examined. Validation of immunohistochemistry and further investigation of downstream transducers, p-JAK2 and p-c-Jun were evaluated by Western immunoblotting in 5 cases.Results: Both CXCR2 and IL-8 were expressed by the neoplastic cells their levels being interrelated. CXCR2 strongly correlated with the levels of HIF-1a, p53 and p65/RelA in the neoplastic cells. Although SOCS-3 was simultaneously expressed with p-STAT-3, its levels tended to show an inverse relationship with p-JAK-2 and p-c-Jun in Western blots and were positively correlated with HIF-1a, p53 and p65/p65/RelA expression. Neither CXCR2 nor SOCS-3 correlated with the extent of microvascular network. IL-8 and CXCR2 expression was associated with high grade, advanced stage and the presence/number of metastases but only CXCR2 adversely affected survival in univariate analysis. Elevated SOCS-3 expression was associated with progression, the presence/number of metastasis and shortened survival in both univariate and multivariate analysis.Conclusions: Our findings implicate SOCS-3 overexpression in RCC metastasis and biologic aggressiveness advocating its therapeutic targeting. IL-8/CXCR2 signaling also contributes to the metastatic phenotype of RCC cells but appears of lesser prognostic utility. Both CXCR2 and SOCS-3 appear to be related to transcription factors induced under hypoxia. © 2014 Stofas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Palumbo A, Bringhen S, Kumar SK, Lupparelli G, Usmani S, Waage A, Larocca A, Van Der Holt B, Musto P, Offidani M, et al. Second primary malignancies with lenalidomide therapy for newly diagnosed myeloma: A meta-analysis of individual patient data. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2014;15(3):333 - 342. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Lenalidomide has been linked to second primary malignancies in myeloma. We aimed to pool and analyse available data to compare the incidence of second primary malignancies in patients with and without lenalidomide exposure. Methods: We identified relevant studies through a search of PubMed and abstracts from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, and the International Myeloma Workshop. Randomised, controlled, phase 3 trials that recruited patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma between Jan 1, 2000, and Dec 15, 2012, and in which at least one group received lenalidomide were eligible for inclusion. We obtained individual patient data (age, sex, date of diagnosis, allocated treatment and received treatment, duration of treatment and cause of discontinuation, maintenance treatment, date of first relapse, date of second primary malignancy diagnosis, type of second primary malignancy, date of death or last contact, and cause of death) by direct collaboration with the principal investigators of eligible trials. Primary outcomes of interest were cumulative incidence of all second primary malignancies, solid second primary malignancies, and haematological second primary malignancies, and were analysed by a one-step meta-analysis. Findings: We found nine eligible trials, of which seven had available data for 3254 patients. 3218 of these patients received treatment (2620 had received lenalidomide and 598 had not), and were included in our analyses. Cumulative incidences of all second primary malignancies at 5 years were 6·9% (95% CI 5·3-8·5) in patients who received lenalidomide and 4·8% (2·0-7·6) in those who did not (hazard ratio [HR] 1·55 [95% CI 1·03-2·34]; p=0·037). Cumulative 5-year incidences of solid second primary malignancies were 3·8% (95% CI 2·7-4·9) in patients who received lenalidomide and 3·4% (1·6-5·2) in those that did not (HR 1·1 [95% CI 0·62-2·00]; p=0·72), and of haematological second primary malignancies were 3·1% (95% CI 1·9-4·3) and 1·4% (0·0-3·6), respectively (HR 3·8 [95% CI 1·15-12·62]; p=0·029). Exposure to lenalidomide plus oral melphalan significantly increased haematological second primary malignancy risk versus melphalan alone (HR 4·86 [95% CI 2·79-8·46]; p<0·0001). Exposure to lenalidomide plus cyclophosphamide (HR 1·26 [95% CI 0·30-5·38]; p=0·75) or lenalidomide plus dexamethasone (HR 0·86 [95% CI 0·33-2·24]; p=0·76) did not increase haematological second primary malignancy risk versus melphalan alone. Interpretation: Patients with newly diagnosed myeloma who received lenalidomide had an increased risk of developing haematological second primary malignancies, driven mainly by treatment strategies that included a combination of lenalidomide and oral melphalan. These results suggest that alternatives, such as cyclophosphamide or alkylating-free combinations, should be considered instead of oral melphalan in combination with lenalidomide for myeloma. Funding: Celgene Corporation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Fonseca R, Monge J, Dimopoulos MA. Staging and prognostication of multiple myeloma. Expert Review of Hematology [Internet]. 2014;7(1):21 - 31. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a heterogeneous disease that, over the past 15 years, has seen an increased understanding of its biology and of novel therapeutic options. Distinctive subtypes of the disease have been described, each with different outcomes and clinic-pathological features. Even though a detailed classification of MM into at least seven or eight major subtypes is possible, a more practical clinical approach can classify the disease into high-risk and non-high-risk MM. Such classification has permitted a more personalized approach to the management of the disease. Additionally, risk stratification should be included in outcome discussions with patients, as survival differs significantly by high-risk status. Nowadays, test for risk stratification are widely available and can be routinely used in the clinic. A greater understanding of the genetic abnormalities underlying the biology of MM will allow for the development of novel targeted therapies and better prognostic markers of the disease. © Informa UK, Ltd.
Fountzilas G, Dafni U, Papadimitriou C, Timotheadou E, Gogas H, Eleftheraki AG, Xanthakis I, Christodoulou C, Koutras A, Papandreou CN, et al. Dose-dense sequential adjuvant chemotherapy followed, as indicated, by trastuzumab for one year in patients with early breast cancer: First report at 5-year median follow-up of a Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group randomized phase III trial. BMC Cancer [Internet]. 2014;14(1). WebsiteAbstract
Background: Dose-dense sequential chemotherapy including anthracyclines and taxanes has been established in the adjuvant setting of high-risk operable breast cancer. However, the preferable taxane and optimal schedule of administration in a dose-dense regimen have not been defined yet.Methods: From July 2005 to November 2008, 1001 patients (990 eligible) were randomized to receive, every 2 weeks, 3 cycles of epirubicin 110 mg/m2 followed by 3 cycles of paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 followed by 3 cycles of intensified CMF (Arm A; 333 patients), or 3 cycles of epirubicin followed by 3 cycles of CMF, as in Arm A, followed 3 weeks later by 9 weekly cycles of docetaxel 35 mg/m2 (Arm B; 331), or 9 weekly cycles of paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 (Arm C; 326). Trastuzumab was administered for one year to HER2-positive patients post-radiation.Results: At a median follow-up of 60.5 months, the 3-year disease-free survival (DFS) rate was 86%, 90% and 88%, for Arms A, B and C, respectively, while the 3-year overall survival (OS) rate was 96% in all arms. No differences were found in DFS or OS between the combined B and C Arms versus Arm A (DFS: HR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.59-1.11, P = 0.20; OS: HR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.55-1.30, P = 0.43). Among the 255 patients who received trastuzumab, 189 patients (74%) completed 1 year of treatment uneventfully. In all arms, the most frequently reported severe adverse events were neutropenia (30% vs. 27% vs. 26%) and leucopenia (12% vs. 13% vs. 12%), while febrile neutropenia occurred in fifty-one patients (6% vs. 4% vs. 5%). Patients in Arm A experienced more often severe pain (P = 0.002), neurological complications (P = 0.004) and allergic reactions (P = 0.004), while patients in Arm B suffered more often from severe skin reactions (P = 0.020).Conclusions: No significant differences in survival between the regimens were found in the present phase III trial. Taxane scheduling influenced the type of severe toxicities. HER2-positive patients demonstrated comparable 3-year DFS and OS rates with those reported in other similar studies.Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610000151033. © 2014 Fountzilas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Kastritis E, Zagouri F, Symeonidis A, Roussou M, Sioni A, Pouli A, Delimpasi S, Katodritou E, Michalis E, Michael M, et al. Preserved levels of uninvolved immunoglobulins are independently associated with favorable outcome in patients with symptomatic multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014. WebsiteAbstract
Suppression of uninvolved immunoglobulins is common in multiple myeloma (MM) but the prognostic significance of this phenomenon has not been assessed. We evaluated the prognostic significance of the preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in 1755 consecutive, unselected, patients with newly diagnosed, symptomatic MM with pre-therapy immunoglobulin levels measured by nephelometry. Suppression of at least one uninvolved immunoglobulin was observed in 87% of patients and was more common in patients with immunoglobulin A myeloma, those aged over 65 years, in patients with advanced-International Staging System (ISS) stage, extensive-bone marrow infiltration, anemia, low platelet counts, high levels of serum M-monoclonal protein or renal dysfunction. Patients with preserved immunoglobulins had a better survival than patients with suppressed immunoglobulins (median survival 55 vs 41.5 months, P<0.001). In multivariate analysis, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was independently associated with better survival (hazard ratio: 0.781, 95% confidence interval: 0.618-0.987, P=0.039); irrespective of the treatment. In a subset of 500 patients, which were strictly followed for disease progression, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was associated with a significantly longer progression-free survival (60 vs 25 months, P<0.001), independently of other common prognostic factors. In conclusion, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic MM was independently associated with long term disease control and improved survival.Leukemia advance online publication, 11 April 2014; doi:10.1038/leu.2014.110.
Liontos M, Lykka M, Dimopoulos M-A, Bamias A. Profile of trebananib (AMG386) and its potential in the treatment of ovarian cancer. OncoTargets and Therapy [Internet]. 2014;7:1837 - 1845. WebsiteAbstract
Angiogenesis has been implicated in ovarian cancer pathogenesis. Bevacizumab, an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor monoclonal antibody, has recently been incorporated in ovarian cancer treatment in combination with chemotherapy both in a frontline setting and in disease recurrence. However, resistance eventually develops and treatment with bevacizumab is associated with increased risk for toxicities such as thromboembolic and hemorrhagic events, gastrointestinal perforation, and impaired wound healing, suggesting the need for new therapeutic approaches. Targeting of the angiopoietins/Tie2 pathway has gained accumulating interest during the last few years as a strategy to overcome bevacizumab resistance and toxicities. Trebananib is a first-in-class peptibody that inhibits angiopoietin 1 and 2 interaction with their receptor Tie2. The molecular profile of this agent, the preclinical data, and clinical studies demonstrating its efficacy in ovarian cancer are discussed in this review. © 2014 Liontos et al.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. Solitary bone plasmacytomas need to flow. Blood [Internet]. 2014;124(8):1209 - 1210. WebsiteAbstract
In this issue of Blood, 2 studies, one by Paiva et al (for the Spanish Myeloma Study group) and one by Hill et al (for the Leeds group [UK]), showed independently that flow cytometry of the bone marrow could identify patients with solitary plasmacytomas (SPs) at high risk for progression to active multiple myeloma (MM).1,2 In the fi rst study, 71% of patients with solitary bone plasmacytoma (SBP) who had positive fl ow cytometry for bone marrow phenotypically aberrant clonal plasma cells progressed to MM at a median time of 26 months, whereas only 6% of patients with negative fl ow cytometry progressed to myeloma (panel A). The respective values for solitary soft tissue plasmacytomas, outside of the bone, were 20% vs 6%, respectively.1 In the second study, the results were similar: 72% of patients with SBP and occult bone marrow disease detected by flow cytometry vs 12.5% without clonal plasma cells in the bone marrow also progressed to MM at a median time of 26 months (panel B).2 These findings are of great importance because multiparameter flow cytometry may be included in the initial work-up of a patient with a suspected SP. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Owen RG, Kyle RA, Landgren O, Morra E, Leleu X, García-Sanz R, Munshi N, Anderson KC, et al. Treatment recommendations for patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) and related disorders: IWWM-7 consensus. Blood [Internet]. 2014;124(9):1404 - 1411. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a distinct B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder for which clearly defined criteria for the diagnosis, initiation of therapy, and treatment strategy have been proposed as part of the consensus panels of International Workshops on WM (IWWM). As part of the IWWM-7 and based on recently published and ongoing clinical trials, the panels updated treatment recommendations. Therapeutic strategy in WM should be based on individual patient and disease characteristics (age, comorbidities, need for rapid disease control, candidacy for autologous transplantation, cytopenias, IgM-related complications, hyperviscosity, and neuropathy). Mature data show that rituximab combinations with cyclophosphamide/ dexamethasone, bendamustine, or bortezomib/dexamethasone provided durable responses and are indicatedformostpatients. Newmonoclonalan-tibodies (ofatumumab), second-generation proteasome inhibitors (carfilzomib), mam-malian target of rapamycin inhibitors, and Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors are promising and may expand future treatment options. A different regimen is typically recommended for relapsed or refractory disease. In selected patients with relapsed disease after long-lasting remission, reuse of a prior effective regimen may be appropriate. Autologous stem cell transplantation may be considered in young patients with chemosensitive disease and in newly diagnosed patients with very-high-risk features. Active enrollment of patients with WM in clinical trials is encouraged.
2013
Alevizaki M, Kyratzoglou E, Bamias A, Tzanela M, Dimopoulos MA, Saltiki K. Metachronous appearance of second malignancies in medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) patients: A diagnostic challenge and brief review of the literature. Endocrine [Internet]. 2013;44(3):610 - 615. WebsiteAbstract
Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a rare tumour which frequently occurs in the context of the multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes, where it coexists with other usually benign tumours. The clinical picture varies and distant metastases are frequently present at diagnosis. Calcitonin levels are elevated in the presence of metastatic disease. Two MTC cases are presented, which had elevated postoperative calcitonin levels. Imaging revealed lung lesions which were originally attributed to metastatic disease from the MTC. However, at follow-up, these cases presented unusual features. The rapid increase in the lung lesions and the development of hypercalcaemia in the first patient suggested a second unrelated tumour. Biopsy of the lung lesion was compatible with lung adenocarcinoma. In the second patient, the appearance of a liver mass, although calcitonin levels remained stable, led to biopsy of the lesion: this was negative for calcitonin and compatible with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma. These MTC cases show that further malignancies may coexist with MTC and may obscure the clinical picture and influence the therapeutic decisions, especially in the case of metastatic disease. Features such as unusual imaging characteristics and the development of hypercalcemia, never encountered in MTC outside the MEN2 syndromes, as well as 'disproportionately' low calcitonin levels, incompatible with extensive metastatic disease, were the factors that led to further work-up. Both the cases subsequently proved to carry an unsuspected second malignancy. It is crucial to discriminate the metastatic lesion attributed to MTC from another coexisting primary malignancy, because different therapeutic strategies are needed for each setting. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Circulating levels of angiogenic cytokines in waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia: Clinical correlations. Current Angiogenesis [Internet]. 2013;2(2):104 - 109. WebsiteAbstract
Angiogenesis is involved in several diseases, including hematological malignancies and solid tumors as an essential step of disease progression. In Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM) the bone marrow microvessel density is increased in 30%-40% of patients with symptomatic disease, but not in patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance of IgM type (IgM-MGUS) and in patients with asymptomatic WM. The serum levels of angiogenic cytokines such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF-A, basic fibroblast growth factor, angiogenin and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) are markedly elevated in WM patients, while Ang-1 levels and the corresponding Ang-1 to Ang-2 ratio are significantly decreased, indicating an angiogenic shift. Circulating angiogenin and angiopoietin-1/angiopoietin-2 ratio correlate with disease activity and clinical features of WM. Ang-2 may also have a prognostic significance for WM patients as high levels of Ang-2 were found to be associated with significantly shorter progression-free survival. The chemokine C-C motif ligand 3 (CCL3) is a chemo-attractant for macrophages and mast-cells and was found to be elevated in the serum of patients with WM. CCL3 is produced by WM cells and correlates with inferior overall survival. In turn, activated inflammatory cells synthesize angiogenic regulators and modulate angiogenesis. This paper summarizes all available data for the role of angiogenic cytokines and supporting cells in the biology of WM and their correlation with clinical and laboratory features of the disease. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.
Chaidos A, Barnes CP, Cowan G, May PC, Melo V, Hatjiharissi E, Papaioannou M, Harrington H, Doolittle H, Terpos E, et al. Clinical drug resistance linked to interconvertible phenotypic and functional states of tumor-propagating cells in multiple myeloma. Blood [Internet]. 2013;121(2):318 - 328. WebsiteAbstract
The phenotype and function of cells enriched in tumor-propagating activity and their relationship to the phenotypic architecture in multiple myeloma (MM) are controversial. Here, in a cohort of 30 patients, we show that MM composes 4 hierarchically organized, clonally related subpopulations, which, although phenotypically distinct, share the same oncogenic chromosomal abnormalities as well as immunoglobulin heavy chain complementarity region 3 area sequence. Assessed in xenograft assays, myeloma-propagating activity is the exclusive property of a population characterized by its ability for bidirectional transition between the dominant CD19-CD138+ plasma cell (PC) and a low frequency CD19-CD138- subpopulation (termed Pre-PC); in addition, Pre-PCs are more quiescent and unlike PCs, are primarily localized at extramedullary sites. As shown by gene expression profiling, compared with PCs, Pre-PCs are enriched in epigenetic regulators, suggesting that epigenetic plasticity underpins the phenotypic diversification of myeloma-propagating cells. Prospective assessment in paired, pretreatment, and posttreatment bone marrow samples shows that Pre-PCs are up to 300-fold more drug-resistant than PCs. Thus, clinical drug resistance in MM is linked to reversible, bidirectional phenotypic transition of myeloma-propagating cells. These novel biologic insights have important clinical implications in relation to assessment of minimal residual disease and development of alternative therapeutic strategies in MM. © 2013 by The American Society of Hematology.
Bamias A, Bamia C, Zagouri F, Kostouros E, Kakoyianni K, Rodolakis A, Vlahos G, Haidopoulos D, Thomakos N, Antsaklis A, et al. Improved survival trends in platinum-resistant patients with advanced ovarian, fallopian or peritoneal cancer treated with first-line paclitaxel/platinum chemotherapy: The impact of novel agents. Oncology (Switzerland) [Internet]. 2013;84(3):158 - 165. WebsiteAbstract
Objective: The prognosis for patients with platinum-resistant advanced ovarian cancer remains poor. The impact of approved agents on survival has not been clarified during the last decade. We studied survival trends during the last 15 years in platinum-resistant patients treated with cytoreductive surgery followed by paclitaxel/platinum chemotherapy. Methods: Patients with epithelial ovarian, fallopian or peritoneal cancer, stages III/IV and platinum-resistant disease after first-line chemotherapy with paclitaxel/platinum were included. They were grouped according to the period of chemotherapy: group A 31/3/1995-31/12/2001 (n = 56) and Group B 1/1/2002-24/12/2008 (n = 57). In order to compensate for the difference in follow-up between the 2 groups, we performed minimum follow-up (MFU) analyses by considering as cases only women who had an event within 3 years of follow-up. Patients with no events for up to 3 years were censored at that time. Results: MFU analyses showed that median overall survival (OS) was significantly longer in group B: 12.3 vs. 17.5 months (p = 0.012). This was due to a doubling of the median OS after relapse: 5.7 vs. 10.9 months (p = 0.0180). Multivariate Cox regression indicated group and histology as factors statistically significantly associated with OS. Following relapse, patients in group B were predominantly treated with liposomal doxorubicin and gemcitabine, and patients in group A were treated with platinum compounds, docetaxel and oral etoposide (p < 0.001). Conclusions: The introduction of novel agents without cross-resistance to platinum or taxanes has improved the prognosis of platinum-resistant patients. © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Dimopoulos MA, Delforge M, Hájek R, Kropff M, Petrucci MT, Lewis P, Nixon A, Zhang J, Mei J, Palumbo A. Lenalidomide, melphalan, and prednisone, followed by lenalidomide maintenance, improves health-related quality of life in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients aged 65 years or older: Results of a randomized phase III trial. Haematologica [Internet]. 2013;98(5):784 - 788. WebsiteAbstract
The MM-015 trial assessed the effect of lenalidomide-based therapy on health-related quality of life. Patients (n=459) with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma aged 65 years or over were randomized 1:1:1 to nine 4-week cycles of lenalidomide, melphalan, and prednisone, followed by lenalidomide maintenance; or lenalidomide, melphalan, and prednisone, or melphalan and prednisone, with no maintenance therapy. Patients completed health-related quality of life questionnaires at baseline, after every third treatment cycle, and at treatment end. Health-related quality of life improved in all treatment groups during induction therapy. Patients receiving lenalidomide maintenance had the most pronounced improvements, Global Health Status/Quality of Life (P<0.05), Physical Functioning (P<0.01), and Side Effects of Treatment (P<0.05) out of 6 pre-selected health-related quality of life domains. More patients receiving lenalidomide maintenance achieved minimal important differences (P<0.05 for Physical Functioning). Therefore, lenalidomide, melphalan, and prednisone, followed by lenalidomide maintenance, improves health-related quality of life in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. (Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT00405756). © 2013 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Moreau P, San Miguel J, Ludwig H, Schouten H, Mohty M, Dimopoulos M, Dreyling M. Multiple myeloma: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2013;24(SUPPL.6):vi133 - vi137. Website
Miguel JFS, Schlag R, Khuageva NK, Dimopoulos MA, Shpilberg O, Kropff M, Spicka I, Petrucci MT, Palumbo A, Samoilova OS, et al. Persistent overall survival benefit and no increased risk of second malignancies with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone versus melphalan-prednisone in patients with previously untreated multiple myeloma. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2013;31(4):448 - 455. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose This final analysis of the phase III VISTA trial (Velcade As Initial Standard Therapy in Multiple Myeloma: Assessment With Melphalan and Prednisone) was conducted to determine whether the overall survival (OS) benefit with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) versus melphalanprednisone (MP) in patients with myeloma who were ineligible for transplantation was maintained after 5 years of follow-up and to explore the risk of second primary malignancies. Patients and Methods In all, 682 patients received up to nine 6-week cycles of VMP or MP and were then observed every 12 weeks or less. Data on second primary malignancies were collected by individual patient inquiries at all sites from 655 patients. Results After median follow-up of 60.1 months (range, 0 to 74 months), there was a 31% reduced risk of death with VMP versus MP (hazard ratio [HR], 0.695; P < .001; median OS 56.4 v 43.1 months). OS benefit with VMP was seen across prespecified patient subgroups (age ≥ 75 years, stage III myeloma, creatinine clearance < 60 mL/min). Sixty-three percent of VMP patients and 73% of MP patients had received subsequent therapy. Time to next therapy (median, 30.7 v 20.5 months; HR, 0.557; P < .001) was longer with VMP than with MP. Among patients who received subsequent therapies, survival from start of subsequent therapy was similar following VMP (median, 28.1 months) or MP (median, 26.8 months; HR, 0.914). Following VMP/MP, incidence proportions of hematologic malignancies (1%/1%) and solid tumors (5%/3%) and exposure-adjusted incidence rates (0.017/0.013 per patient-year) were similar and were consistent with background rates. Conclusion VMP resulted in a significant reduction in risk of death versus MP that was maintained after 5 years' follow-up and despite substantial use of novel-agent-based salvage therapies. There is no emerging safety signal for second primary malignancies following VMP. © 2012 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Thomakos N, Rodolakis A, Zagouri F, Zacharakis D, Sotiropoulou M, Akrivos N, Haidopoulos D, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, Antsaklis A. Serum CA 125, CA 15-3, CEA, and CA 19-9: A prognostic factor for uterine carcinosarcomas?. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics [Internet]. 2013;287(1):97 - 102. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: There is a controversy in the literature regarding the role and the prognostic significance of serum markers in uterine carcinosarcomas (CSs). We attempted to determine the utility of serum CA 125, CA 15-3, CA 19-9, and CEA as prognostic factors and disease follow-up in patients with CS of the uterus. Methods: Thirty-seven patients with CS of the uterus were included in this study. Information regarding demographic, clinical, pathologic, tumor marker data (CA 125, CA 19-9, CA 15-3, and CEA both pre- and postoperatively) treatment and outcome information was obtained, followed by Statistical analysis. Results: The mean follow-up period was 3.5 years. None of the study serum markers showed significant association with the outcome. Greater hazard was found for cases that staged from IIIA to IV compared to those staged from IA to IIB (HR = 4.75, 95 % CI: 1.99-11.3). Also, greater hazard was found for adenosquamous histological type compared to the other histological types. When multiple Cox regression analysis with stepwise approach was implied, it indicated stage as the only significant factor for the outcome. Elevated CA19-9 was more frequent in cases with heterologous sarcoma (p = 0.036). Conclusion: In this retrospective study, none of the preoperative serum tumor markers, neither epithelial component, histological type, nor grade showed a significant association with prognosis. This null finding may have significant implications in the common clinical practice; given that there is a controversy in the literature regarding the role and the significance of the prognostic significance of serum CEA, CA 125, CA 19-9, and CA 15-3. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Dimitrakakis C, Tsigginou A, Zografos CG, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou CA. Taxanes for Breast Cancer during Pregnancy: A Systematic Review. Clinical Breast Cancer [Internet]. 2013;13(1):16 - 23. WebsiteAbstract
Landmark studies have established taxanes in the treatment of patients with breast cancer; however, recommendations regarding their administration during pregnancy are controversial. The present systematic review aims to synthesize all available data that stem exclusively from breast cancer case series to evaluate the efficacy and safety of taxanes during pregnancy. Overall, 16 studies (50 pregnancies) were eligible for the systematic review according to prisma guidelines. The mean age of patients with breast cancer at pregnancy was 34.6 years. The gestational age (GA) at chemotherapy administration varied from 12 to 36 weeks. The mean GA at delivery was 35.9 weeks. The mean weight of babies at delivery was 2380 g. In 76.7% of cases, a completely healthy neonate was born; in the remaining cases, a neonate who was dystrophic and premature, one with mild hydrocephalus, one with signs of bacterial sepsis, one with hyperbilirubinemia, one with apnea of prematurity, respiratory distress syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux, one with meconium-stained fluid, and another neonate with neutropenia and pyloric stenosis were reported. Ninety percent of children were completely healthy, with a median follow-up of 16 months; in the remaining cases, one child with recurrent otitis media, one with immunoglobulin A deficiency and mild constipation, and another child with delayed speech were reported. In conclusion, available data suggest that taxanes may potentially play a promising role in the optimal therapeutic strategy of patients with breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, Bartsch R. Trastuzumab administration during pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment [Internet]. 2013;137(2):349 - 357. WebsiteAbstract
Landmark studies have established trastuzumab in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. The present systematic review and meta-analysis aims to synthesize all available data, so as to evaluate the safety of trastuzumab during pregnancy. This study was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. All studies that examined the safety of trastuzumab administered during pregnancy, regardless of sample size, were considered eligible. Overall, 17 studies (18 pregnancies; 19 newborns) were included. In 55.6 % of cases, trastuzumab was administered in the metastatic setting. The mean duration of trastuzumab administration was 14.8 weeks. Occurrence of oligohydramnios/anhydramnios (O/A) was the most common (61.1 %) adverse event. 73.3 % of pregnancies exposed to trastuzumab during the second/third trimester were complicated with O/A; the respective rate of pregnancies exposed to trastuzumab exclusively during the first trimester was 0 % (P = 0.043). The mean GA at delivery was 33.8 weeks, and the mean weight of babies at delivery was 2,261 gr. In 52.6 % of cases, a healthy neonate was born. At the long-term evaluation, all children without problems at birth were healthy with a median follow-up of 9 months, while four out of nine children facing troubles at birth were dead within an interval ranging between birth and 5.25 months. All children exposed to trastuzumab in utero exclusively in the first trimester were completely healthy at birth. Trastuzumab should not be administered during pregnancy. However, for women who become accidentally pregnant during trastuzumab administration and wish to continue pregnancy, trastuzumab should be stopped and pregnancy could be allowed to continue. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Buske C, Leblond V, Dimopoulos M, Kimby E, Jäger U, Dreyling M. Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2013;24(SUPPL.6):vi155 - vi159. Website
Zis P, Vemmos K, Spengos K, Manios E, Zis V, Dimopoulos M-A, Zakopoulos N. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in acute stroke: Pathophysiology of the time rate of blood pressure variation and association with the 1-year outcome. Blood Pressure Monitoring [Internet]. 2013;18(2):94 - 100. WebsiteAbstract
OBJECTIVES: Time rate of blood pressure (BP) variation is a measure of the speed of BP fluctuations derived from a computerized analysis of ambulatory BP monitoring. The aim of this study was to identify pathophysiological differences in the time rate of BP variation between stroke subtypes, on the basis of the Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment criteria, in the acute phase and to examine the impact of time rate of BP variation on outcome at 1 year after stroke. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A consecutive series of 109 first-ever stroke patients, who fulfilled our inclusion criteria, underwent 24 h ambulatory BP monitoring within 24 h after the onset of stroke. On the basis of the patients' Modified Rankin Scale score at 1 year after stroke, the study population was divided into two groups: patients with a positive (n=73) and those with a negative outcome (n=36). RESULTS: The 24-h rate of systolic BP variation is higher in patients with large artery atherosclerosis [0.692 mmHg/min; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.627-0.757] compared with those with lacunar strokes (0.609 mmHg/min; 95% CI 0.579-0.640) or strokes of unknown etiology (0.586 mmHg/min; 95% CI 0.522-0.649). Moreover, patients with higher 24-h rates of systolic BP variation were more likely to have a negative outcome at 1 year (odds ratio 1.96; 95% CI 1.16-3.32). Moreover, each 0.1 mmHg/min increase in the 24-h rate of SBP variation was associated with a 1.96-fold increase in the odds of a negative outcome (95% CI 1.16-3.32). CONCLUSION: Time rate of BP variation shows significant differences between stroke subtypes in the acute phase of the event, and it is associated with outcome at 1 year. Lowering the time rate of BP variation, in the acute phase, might lead to better outcomes in patients who have had a cerebrovascular incident. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Fountzilas G, Dafni U, Bobos M, Kotoula V, Batistatou A, Xanthakis I, Papadimitriou C, Kostopoulos I, Koletsa T, Tsolaki E, et al. Evaluation of the prognostic role of centromere 17 gain and HER2/topoisomerase II alpha gene status and protein expression in patients with breast cancer treated with anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy: Pooled analysis of two Hellenic Cooperat. BMC Cancer [Internet]. 2013;13. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The HER2 gene has been established as a valid biological marker for the treatment of breast cancer patients with trastuzumab and probably other agents, such as paclitaxel and anthracyclines. The TOP2A gene has been associated with response to anthracyclines. Limited information exists on the relationship of HER2/TOP2A gene status in the presence of centromere 17 (CEP17) gain with outcome of patients treated with anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy.Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue samples from 1031 patients with high-risk operable breast cancer, enrolled in two consecutive phase III trials, were assessed in a central laboratory by fluorescence in situ hybridization for HER2/TOP2A gene amplification and CEP17 gain (CEP17 probe). Amplification of HER2 and TOP2A were defined as a gene/CEP17 ratio of >2.2 and ≥2.0, respectively, or gene copy number higher than 6. Additionally, HER2, TopoIIa, ER/PgR and Ki67 protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and patients were classified according to their IHC phenotype. Treatment consisted of epirubicin-based adjuvant chemotherapy followed by hormonal therapy and radiation, as indicated.Results: HER2 amplification was found in 23.7% of the patients and TOP2A amplification in 10.1%. In total, 41.8% of HER2-amplified tumors demonstrated TOP2A co-amplification. The median (range) of HER2, TOP2A and CEP17 gain was 2.55 (0.70-45.15), 2.20 (0.70-26.15) and 2.00 (0.70-26.55), respectively. Forty percent of the tumors had CEP17 gain (51% of those with HER2 amplification). Adjusting for treatment groups in the Cox model, HER2 amplification, TOP2A amplification, CEP17 gain and HER2/TOP2A co-amplification were not associated with time to relapse or time to death.Conclusion: HER2 amplification, TOP2A amplification, CEP17 gain and HER2/TOP2A co-amplification were not associated with outcome in high-risk breast cancer patients treated with anthracycline-based adjuvant chemotherapy.Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) ACTRN12611000506998 and ACTRN12609001036202. © 2013 Fountzilas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Kastritis E, Terpos E, Moulopoulos L, Spyropoulou-Vlachou M, Kanellias N, Eleftherakis-Papaiakovou E, Gkotzamanidou M, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Roussou M, et al. Extensive bone marrow infiltration and abnormal free light chain ratio identifies patients with asymptomatic myeloma at high risk for progression to symptomatic disease. Leukemia [Internet]. 2013;27(4):947 - 953. WebsiteAbstract
Asymptomatic multiple myeloma (AMM) is characterized by a constant risk of progression to symptomatic myeloma. To evaluate previously recognized risk factors and to identify high-risk features we analyzed 96 patients with AMM and at least 18 months of follow-up. The progression rate at 1,2, and 3 years was 8%, 15% and 26%, respectively, and the projected 5-year progression rate was 38%. Extensive bone marrow (BM) infiltration, abnormal free light chain (FLC) ratio and serum monoclonal (M)-protein≥3 gr/dl were the most significant factors for progression, whereas the type of heavy (IgG vs IgA) or light chain or immunoparesis of the uninvolved immunoglobulins were not. Abnormal marrow signal of magnetic resonance imaging of the spine was associated with a significant risk of progression (median 15 months, P=0.001). Extensive BM infiltration ≥60% (hazard ratio, HR: 13.7, P<0.001) and FLC ratio≥100 (HR: 9, P=0.003) independently identified a 'very high-risk' group, which included 12.5% of patients with AMM and who progressed ≤18 months from initial diagnosis. Development of anemia and/or lytic bone lesions were the most common features of symptomatic progression. In conclusion, there is a subgroup of patients who have a substantial risk of progression to symptomatic disease that can be detected at diagnosis (either by extensive BM infiltration≥60% or FLC ratio≥100) and may be considered for immediate treatment. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Zagouri F, Bago-Horvath Z, Rössler F, Brandstetter A, Bartsch R, Papadimitriou CA, Dimitrakakis C, Tsigginou A, Papaspyrou I, Giannos A, et al. High MET expression is an adverse prognostic factor in patients with triple-negative breast cancer. British Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2013;108(5):1100 - 1105. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) pathway is frequently altered in tumours. The purpose of our study was to determine the prognostic value of tumour MET expression levels in patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), in order to strengthen the rationale for targeted therapy of TNBC using MET inhibitors. Methods: We determined expression of MET in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded surgical specimens of TNBC by immunohistochemistry. Recurrence-free and overall survival was analysed with Cox models adjusted for clinical and pathological factors.Results:Immunostaining for MET was classified as high in 89 of 170 (52%) tumours. MET expression was more frequently observed in G3 carcinomas (P=0.02) but was not significantly associated to any of the other clinical or pathological parameters. High MET expression predicted shorter survival of the patients. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analyses identified MET to be an independent prognostic factor for recurrence (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for recurrence 3.43; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.65-7.12; P=0.001) and death (adjusted HR for death 3.74; 95% CI 1.65-8.46; P=0.002). Conclusion: These results provide further evidence that the MET pathway could be exploited as a target for TNBC. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.
Papageorgiou SG, Diamantopoulos P, Levidou G, Angelopoulou MK, Economopoulou P, Efthimiou A, Constantinou N, Katsigiannis A, Korkolopoulou P, Pappa V, et al. Isolated central nervous system relapses in primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma after CHOP-like chemotherapy with or without Rituximab. Hematological Oncology [Internet]. 2013;31(1):10 - 17. WebsiteAbstract
Central nervous system (CNS) involvement in patients with primary mediastinal large B-cell (PMLBCL) lymphoma is a rare event, occurring in approximately 6% of patients, on the basis of the review of the literature prior to induction of Rituximab. The aim of this retrospective study was to describe the incidence of CNS relapse among 100 consecutive patients with PMLBCL who were treated with R-CHOP±RT in comparison to patients treated with CHOP±RT (n=45) in 11 hospitals in Greece. Two patients experienced a CNS relapse, representing an overall frequency of 2.0% in R-CHOP treated patients and a 2-year actuarial incidence of 2.3%. Both patients had isolated CNS relapses. The incidence of CNS relapse after CHOP without Rituximab was 2/45 (4.4%) for a 2-year actuarial incidence of 7.5% (p=0.29). Again, both patients had isolated CNS relapses. Parenchymal-only localizations accounted for 3/4 cases. Risk factors for CNS involvement could include leukocytosis, poor performance status and higher age-adjusted International Prognostic Index, although their impact was weakened by competing risk survival analysis. Both patients relapsing after R-CHOP required CNS radiotherapy to achieve a complete remission and be forwarded to high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation: They are both alive and disease-free 18 and 23months after CNS relapse. Both cases relapsing after CHOP without Rituximab were salvaged by CNS radiotherapy (one also received intrathecal chemotherapy) entering long-term remissions. In conclusion, CNS relapses are rare in PMLBCL tending to be isolated in the CNS, probably reflecting the persistence of latent CNS disease than dissemination of resistant disease. The impact of Rituximab in reducing CNS relapses remains unknown. Established risk factors for CNS involvement in aggressive lymphomas may not be helpful in assessing the risk of CNS recurrence in this disease. Routine CNS prophylaxis is not probably required in PMLBCL. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Fernández De Larrea C, Kyle RA, Durie BGM, Ludwig H, Usmani S, Vesole DH, Hajek R, San Miguel JF, Sezer O, Sonneveld P, et al. Plasma cell leukemia: Consensus statement on diagnostic requirements, response criteria and treatment recommendations by the International Myeloma Working Group. Leukemia [Internet]. 2013;27(4):780 - 791. WebsiteAbstract
Plasma cell leukemia (PCL) is a rare and aggressive variant of myeloma characterized by the presence of circulating plasma cells. It is classified as either primary PCL occurring at diagnosis or as secondary PCL in patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma. Primary PCL is a distinct clinic-pathological entity with different cytogenetic and molecular findings. The clinical course is aggressive with short remissions and survival duration. The diagnosis is based upon the percentage (≥20%) and absolute number (≥2 × 10 9/l) of plasma cells in the peripheral blood. It is proposed that the thresholds for diagnosis be re-examined and consensus recommendations are made for diagnosis, as well as, response and progression criteria. Induction therapy needs to begin promptly and have high clinical activity leading to rapid disease control in an effort to minimize the risk of early death. Intensive chemotherapy regimens and bortezomib-based regimens are recommended followed by high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation if feasible. Allogeneic transplantation can be considered in younger patients. Prospective multicenter studies are required to provide revised definitions and better understanding of the pathogenesis of PCL. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Stavropoulou AV, Fostira F, Pertesi M, Tsitlaidou M, Voutsinas GE, Triantafyllidou O, Bamias A, Dimopoulos MA, Timotheadou E, Pectasides D, et al. Prevalence of BRCA1 Mutations in Familial and Sporadic Greek Ovarian Cancer Cases. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2013;8(3). WebsiteAbstract
Germline mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes contribute to approximately 18% of hereditary ovarian cancers conferring an estimated lifetime risk from 15% to 50%. A variable incidence of mutations has been reported for these genes in ovarian cancer cases from different populations. In Greece, six mutations in BRCA1 account for 63% of all mutations detected in both BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of BRCA1 mutations in a Greek cohort of 106 familial ovarian cancer patients that had strong family history or metachronous breast cancer and 592 sporadic ovarian cancer cases. All 698 patients were screened for the six recurrent Greek mutations (including founder mutations c.5266dupC, p.G1738R and the three large deletions of exon 20, exons 23-24 and exon 24). In familial cases, the BRCA1 gene was consequently screened for exons 5, 11, 12, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24. A deleterious BRCA1 mutation was found in 43/106 (40.6%) of familial cancer cases and in 27/592 (4.6%) of sporadic cases. The variant of unknown clinical significance p.V1833M was identified in 9/698 patients (1.3%). The majority of BRCA1 carriers (71.2%) presented a high-grade serous phenotype. Identifying a mutation in the BRCA1 gene among breast and/or ovarian cancer families is important, as it enables carriers to take preventive measures. All ovarian cancer patients with a serous phenotype should be considered for genetic testing. Further studies are warranted to determine the prevalence of mutations in the rest of the BRCA1 gene, in the BRCA2 gene, and other novel predisposing genes for breast and ovarian cancer. © 2013 Stavropoulou et al.
Petrucci MT, Giraldo P, Corradini P, Teixeira A, Dimopoulos MA, Blau IW, Drach J, Angermund R, Allietta N, Broer E, et al. A prospective, international phase 2 study of bortezomib retreatment in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. British Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2013;160(5):649 - 659. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) typically follows a relapsing course with many patients requiring multiple therapies. This single-arm phase 2 study prospectively evaluated the efficacy and safety of bortezomib retreatment in MM patients who had relapsed after achieving at least a partial response (≥PR) to prior bortezomib-based therapy. Patients aged ≥18years, with measurable, secretory MM, who relapsed ≥6months after prior bortezomib treatment were eligible. Patients received up to eight cycles of bortezomib (±dexamethasone). The primary endpoint was best confirmed response at retreatment; secondary endpoints included duration of response (DOR), time to progression (TTP), and safety. Adverse events (AEs) were graded by National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0. A total of 130 patients (median of two prior lines of therapy) were enrolled and received retreatment. At retreatment, 28% and 72% of patients received bortezomib and bortezomib-dexamethasone, respectively. Overall response rate was 40%. In patients who achieved ≥PR, median DOR and TTP were 6·5 and 8·4months, respectively. Thrombocytopenia was the most common grade ≥3 AE (35%). Forty percent of patients experienced neuropathy events, which improved and resolved in a median of 1·5 and 8·9months, respectively. In conclusion, bortezomib retreatment was effective and tolerable in relapsed MM patients, with no evidence of cumulative toxicities. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Bamias A, Dafni U, Karadimou A, Timotheadou E, Aravantinos G, Psyrri A, Xanthakis I, Tsiatas M, Koutoulidis V, Constantinidis C, et al. Prospective, open-label, randomized, phase iii study of two dose-dense regimens MVAC versus gemcitabine/ cisplatin in patients with inoperable, metastatic or relapsed urothelial cancer: A hellenic cooperative oncology group study (HE 16/03). Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2013;24(4):1011 - 1017. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The combinations of methotrexate, vinblastine, Adriamycin, cisplatin (Pharmanell, Athens, Greece) (MVAC) or gemcitabine, cisplatin (GC) represent the standard treatment of advanced urothelial cancer (UC). Dosedense (DD)-MVAC has achieved longer progression-free survival (PFS) than the conventional MVAC. However, the role of GC intensification has not been studied. We conducted a randomized, phase III study comparing a DD-GC regimen with DD-MVAC in advanced UC. Patients and methods: One hundred and thirty patients were randomly assigned between DD-MVAC: 66 (M 30 mg/ m2, V 3 mg/m2, A 30 mg/m2, C 70 mg/m2 q 2 weeks) and DD-GC 64 (G 2500 mg/m2, C 70 mg/m2 q 2 weeks). The median follow-up was 52.1 months (89 events). Results: The median overall survival (OS) and PFS were 19 and 8.5 months for DD-MVAC and 18 and 7.8 months for DD-GC (P = 0.98 and 0.36, respectively). Neutropenic infections were less frequent for DD-GC than for DD-MVAC (0% versus 8%). More patients on DD-GC received at least six cycles of treatment (85% versus 63%, P = 0.011) and the discontinuation rate was lower for DD-GC (3% versus 13%). Conclusions: Although DD-GC was not superior to DD-MVAC, it was better tolerated. DD-GC could be considered as a reasonable therapeutic option for further study in this patient population. Clinical Trial Number: ACTRN12610000845033, www.anzctr.org.au. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Roussou M, Gkotzamanidou M, Nikitas N, Psimenou E, Mparmparoussi D, Matsouka C, Spyropoulou-Vlachou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E. The role of novel agents on the reversibility of renal impairment in newly diagnosed symptomatic patients with multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2013;27(2):423 - 429. WebsiteAbstract
The role of thalidomide, bortezomib and lenalidomide in multiple myeloma patients presenting with renal impairment was evaluated in 133 consecutive newly diagnosed patients who were treated with a novel agent-based regimen. A significant improvement of renal function (≥renalPR (renal partial response)) was observed in 77% of patients treated with bortezomib, in 55% with thalidomide and in 43% with lenalidomide (P=0.011). In multivariate analysis, bortezomib-based therapy was independently associated with a higher probability of renal response compared with thalidomide-or lenalidomide-based therapy. Other important variables included eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate) ≥30 ml/min, age ≤65 years and myeloma response. Patients treated with bortezomib achieved at least renalPR in a median of 1.34 months vs 2.7 months for thalidomide and >6 months for lenalidomide-treated patients (P=0.028). In multivariate analysis bortezomib-based therapy, higher doses of dexamethasone (≥160 mg during the first month of treatment), an eGFR ≥30 ml/min and age ≤65 years were independently associated with shorter time to renal response. In conclusion, bortezomib-based therapies may be more appropriate for the initial management of patients with myeloma-related renal failure; however, thalidomide and lenalidomide are also associated with significant probability of improvement of their renal function. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Stavropoulou AV, Fostira F, Pertesi M, Tsitlaidou M, Voutsinas GE, Triantafyllidou O, Bamias A, Dimopoulos MA, Timotheadou E, Pectasides D, et al. Correction: Prevalence of BRCA1 mutations in familial and sporadic greek ovarian cancer cases (PLoS ONE). PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2013;8(4). Website
Mountzios G, Pectasides D, Pectasides E, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou CA. Developments in the treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer. Forum of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2013;4(1):32 - 43. WebsiteAbstract
Despite the available prevention and early detection strategies, squamous-cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix is still diagnosed as locally advanced disease in a large proportion of patients. Treatment with cisplatin, in combination with external beam irradiation, has been the cornerstone of treatment in this setting for more than two decades. Induction chemotherapy strategies followed by concurrent chemo-radiation or surgery and pre-operative concurrent chemo-radiation have been recently implemented in clinical trials in an effort to optimize both local control and the occurrence of distant metastases. More recently, combinations of chemotherapy or radiotherapy with molecular agents targeting critical pathways in cervical malignant transformation are being assessed in clinical trials. In this paper, we review the role of cisplatin in the disease in the context of other potent radiosensitizers. We also discuss all recently implemented therapeutic modalities for the treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer with emphasis on the novel induction strategies. Concerns regarding treatment-related toxicity in the context of co-morbidities and the need for potent predictive biomarkers for individualized therapeutic approach are also addressed.
Wechalekar AD, Schonland SO, Kastritis E, Gillmore JD, Dimopoulos MA, Lane T, Foli A, Foard D, Milani P, Rannigan L, et al. A European collaborative study of treatment outcomes in 346 patients with cardiac stage III AL amyloidosis. Blood [Internet]. 2013;121(17):3420 - 3427. WebsiteAbstract
Treatment outcomes of patients with cardiac stage III light chain (AL) amyloidosis remain poorly studied. Such cases have been excluded from most clinical studies due to perceived dismal prognosis. We report treatment outcomes of 346 patients with stage III AL amyloidosis from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and Greece. Median overall survival (OS) was 7 months with OS at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months of 73%, 55%, 46%, and 29%, respectively; 42% died before first response evaluation. On an intention-to-treat basis, the overall hematologic response rate was 33%, including a complete response rate of 12%. OS rates at 12 and 24 months, respectively, for 201 response evaluable patients were 88% and 85% for complete responders, 74% and 53% for partial responders, and 39% and 22% for nonresponders. Forty-five percent of responders achieved an organ response. Amino-terminal fragment of brain-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) >8500 ng/L and systolic blood pressure (SBP) <100 mm Hg were the only factors that independently impacted OS and identified an especially poor prognosis subgroup of patients with a median OS of only 3 months. Outcome and organ function of stage III AL amyloidosis without very elevated NT-proBNP and low SBP is improved by a very good hematologic response to chemotherapy.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Bartsch R, Berghoff AS, Chrysikos D, De Azambuja E, Dimopoulos M-A, Preusser M. Intrathecal administration of trastuzumab for the treatment of meningeal carcinomatosis in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer: A systematic review and pooled analysis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment [Internet]. 2013;139(1):13 - 22. WebsiteAbstract
Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (MC) represents an uncommon, but devasting manifestation of metastatic breast cancer. This is the first systematic review/pooled analysis to synthesize all available data evaluating the efficacy and safety of intrathecal (IT) administration of trastuzumab for the treatment of MC in HER2-positive breast cancer patients. This study was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. A total of 13 articles (17 patients) were eligible. The mean age of patients at IT trastuzumab administration was 48.2 years (SD 8.4, range 38-66). The mean total dose was 399.8 mg (SD 325.4, range 35-1,110 mg). IT trastuzumab alone or as part of combination therapies seemed to be safe; no serious adverse events were reported in 88.2 % of cases. In 68.8 % of cases, a significant clinical improvement was observed, while stabilization or progression of the disease was noticed in 31.2 % of cases. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) response was noted in 66.7 % of cases. The median overall survival was 13.5 months, whereas the median central nervous system progression-free survival (CNS-PFS) was 7.5 months. In 23.5 % of cases, IT trastuzumab was administered beyond CNS progression with a response noticed in 75 % of cases and a CNS-PFS of 9.4 months. The cumulative dose of IT trastuzumab given was 1,040 mg (SD 697.9, median 1,215, range 55-1,675). The protective effect of prior radio- or neurosurgery upon CNS-PFS was sizeable but did not reach formal statistical significance (HR 0.28, 95 % CI 0.06-1.37). Clinical improvement (HR 0.14, 95 % CI 0.02-0.91) and CSF response (HR 0.09, 95 % CI 0.01-0.89) were associated with longer CNS-PFS. IT trastuzumab administration seems to represent a safe and in some cases effective option for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer patients with leptomeningeal involvement. However, clinical trials are urgently needed to establish the definite role of IT trastuzumab in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients with MC. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Terpos E, Roodman GD, Dimopoulos MA. Optimal use of bisphosphonates in patients with multiple myeloma. Blood [Internet]. 2013;121(17):3325 - 3328. Website
Voutsas IF, Pistamaltzian N, Tsiatas ML, Skopeliti M, Katsila T, Mavrothalassiti I, Spyrou S, Dimopoulos M-A, Tsitsilonis OE, Bamias A. Ovarian malignant ascites-derived lymphocytes stimulated with prothymosin α or its immunoactive decapeptide lyse autologous tumour cells in vitro and retard tumour growth in SCID mice. European Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2013;49(7):1706 - 1714. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Tumour-associated lymphocytes (TALs) present in effusions of ovarian cancer patients exhibit impaired activities, due to the immunosuppressive environment of the ascites. Means to enhance their cytotoxicity against autologous tumour cells are of clinical importance. The immunomodulator prothymosin alpha (proTα) increases the specific lysis of tumour cells by activated CD8+ T-lymphocytes and its immunoreactivity is exerted by the carboxy-terminal decapeptide, proTα(100-109). These two molecules were studied on TALs in vitro, and in SCID mice bearing human ovarian tumours. Methods: TALs and tumour cells were isolated from 41 ovarian cancer patients and co-cultured in the presence of proTα or proTα(100-109). The cytotoxicity of peptide-stimulated TALs was tested against autologous tumour cells and K562. Ex vivo peptide-stimulated TALs from three patients were adoptively transferred intraperitoneally in SCID mice, previously inoculated with each patient's autologous tumour cells. Results: ProTα and its immunoreactive peptide proTα(100-109), enhanced the cytotoxic activity of TALs against autologous tumour cells in vitro, but marginally affected the lysis of K562. The effect of proTα and proTα(100-109) was higher after 7-14 days of stimulation, whereas TAL cytotoxicity was significantly decreased after 21 days. Mice administered TALs, ex vivo activated with proTα or proTα(100-109) for 7 days, showed a relatively lower tumour increase rate and a prolongation of their survial, compared to controls. Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that, in the presence of tumour antigens, proTα and proTα(100-109) enhance the depressed cytotoxicity of TALs against autologous tumour cells in vitro and retard tumour growth in vivo. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Terpos E, Kanellias N, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Pomalidomide: A novel drug to treat relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. OncoTargets and Therapy [Internet]. 2013;6:531 - 538. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease despite the introduction of the immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) thalidomide and lenalidomide and the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib that have improved the outcome of patients with both newly diagnosed and relapsed/ refractory disease. However, patients who relapse after treatment with these agents or are refractory to them represent an unmet need and highlight the necessity for the development of novel anti-myeloma agents. Pomalidomide is an IMiD, structurally related to thalidomide, with enhanced antiangiogenic, antineoplastic, and anti-inflammatory properties and exhibiting potent anti-myeloma activity in vitro and in vivo. Pomalidomide has shown remarkable activity in patients who were refractory to both bortezomib and lenalidomide in Phase II and III studies. This paper reviews the chemistry and mechanisms of action of pomalidomide as well as all the available data from clinical trials on pomalidomide use in patients with refractory/relapsed multiple myeloma. © 2013 Terpos et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E, Kastritis E. Proteasome Inhibitor Therapy for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2013;13(2):235 - 237. WebsiteAbstract
Proteasome inhibitors effectively kill tumor cells in myeloma and other plasma cell-related diseases. Preclinical data indicated that lymphoplasmatic cells are also vulnerable to proteasome inhibition and proteasome-targeting therapies have proved their clinical activity in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM). Bortezomib is the first in class proteasome inhibitor (PI), and has been used in several clinical trials either alone or in combination with rituximab. Bortezomib treatment alone might induce major responses in 25%-60% of patients with WM but in combination with rituximab major responses might be as high as 50%-83%. Bortezomib might reduce immunoglobulin M levels rapidly and is not myelotoxic. However, peripheral neuropathy remains a major toxicity of bortezomib therapy; alternative schedules and dosing or route of administration (subcutaneous) might reduce neurotoxicity. Second generation PIs, such as carfilzomib, are also promising but further investigation is needed. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Maltezas D, Dimopoulos MA, Katodritou I, Repousis P, Pouli A, Terpos E, Panayiotidis P, Delimpasi S, Michalis E, Anargyrou K, et al. Re-evaluation of prognostic markers including staging, serum free light chains or their ratio and serum lactate dehydrogenase in multiple myeloma patients receiving novel agents. Hematological Oncology [Internet]. 2013;31(2):356 - 362. WebsiteAbstract
International Staging System (ISS), serum free light chain ratio (sFLCR) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are well known, easily assessed independent prognostic indicators of outcome in multiple myeloma (MM). The purpose of the study was to re-examine the prognostic contribution of these variables in a multicenter setting with special attention to MM patients treated with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) or novel agents (NA). Three hundred and five symptomatic newly diagnosed MM patients were retrospectively studied. Twenty-seven per cent, 32% and 41% were in ISS stages 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Fifty-six per cent of them presented kappa light chain monoclonality; median sFLCR was 27.04 (0.37-1.9×105) and 47.97 (0.26-2.3×107) for kappa patients and lambda patients, respectively; patients with sFLCR above median constituted the high sFLCR group. Thirty-one per cent of patients had increased LDH. As first line treatment, 55.7% received conventional treatment and 44.3% NA. After induction, 24% underwent ASCT, whereas 76% received NA at any line, either bortezomib (82.5%), thalidomide (48%) or lenalidomide (27%). When the 305 patients were analyzed together, staging, high sFLCR and abnormal LDH were predictive of survival. The same was true for patients that never received NA, whereas neither high sFLCR nor abnormal LDH constituted adverse factors in patients that received NA frontline. In the last group of patients, no difference was observed between ISS stages 2 and 3. The median 5-year survival of patients that never received NA versus those who did frontline was 29% vs 47%, 7% vs 52% and 24% vs 40% in patients with abnormal LDH, high sFLCR and ISS stage 3, respectively (p=0.03, p<0.00001 and p=0.035). In conclusion, patients gaining the most from NA are those with an aggressive disease as reflected by advanced stage, abnormal LDH and high sFLCR. In addition, the adverse impact of these three variables is obscured by NA. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Psaltopoulou T, Sergentanis TN, Kanellias N, Kanavidis P, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Tobacco smoking and risk of multiple myeloma: A meta-analysis of 40 observational studies. International Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2013;132(10):2413 - 2431. WebsiteAbstract
This meta-analysis aims to quantitatively synthesize all available data on the association between tobacco smoking and multiple myeloma (MM) risk. Eligible studies were identified and pooled effect estimates (odds ratios and relative risks) were calculated regarding ever, current and former smoking. Separate analyses were performed on case-control and cohort studies, as well as on males and females. Meta-regression analysis with percentage of males, mean age, years of smoking, pack-years, cigarettes per day, years since quit and age at onset was performed. Forty articles were deemed eligible; of them 27 used a case-control design (4,625 cases and 21,591 controls) and 13 used a cohort design (2,228 incident cases among a total cohort size equal to 1,852,763 subjects). Ever smoking was not associated with MM risk (pooled effect estimate = 0.92, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.85-1.00); similar results were obtained for current (pooled effect estimate = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.74-1.03) and former smoking (pooled effect estimate = 1.04, 95% CI: 0.96-1.13). Regarding ever smoking, the null association was reproducible upon cohort studies (pooled effect estimate = 1.01, 95%CI: 0.89-1.15), whereas the inverse association in case-control studies (pooled effect estimate = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.78-0.96) was particularly due to the bias-prone hospital-based ones. Meta-regression analysis did not yield statistically significant results. In conclusion, MM does not seem to be associated with tobacco smoking. There is a need to further explore how molecular mechanisms are involved in the resistance of MM progenitor cells toward smoking. What's new? Tobacco smoking has been linked with many cancers but some cancers seem unaffected. To assess the effect of tobacco smoking on multiple myeloma, the authors performed a meta-analysis of 40 existing studies. They found no significant association with ever, current or former smoking. They suggest that a specific resistance mechanism protects multiple myeloma progenitor cells from the negative influence of tobacco smoking. Copyright © 2012 UICC.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Koutoulidis V, Sparber C, Steger GG, Dubsky P, Zografos GC, Psaltopoulou T, Gnant M, Dimopoulos M-A, et al. Aromatase inhibitors with or without gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue in metastatic male breast cancer: A case series. British Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2013;108(11):2259 - 2263. WebsiteAbstract
Background:Data regarding the safety and effectiveness of aromatase inhibitors (AIs) as monotherapy or combined with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue in male breast cancer are scarce. Methods: In this retrospective chart review, cases of male breast cancer patients treated with AIs with or without a GnRH analogue were evaluated. Results: Twenty-three men were included into this case series. Aromatase inhibitors in combination with or without a GnRH analogue were given as first-line therapy in 60.9% and as second-line therapy in 39.1% of patients, respectively. All patients had visceral metastases, whereas in five of them bone lesions coexisted. In all cases AIs were tolerated well, and no case of grade 3 and 4 adverse events was reported. A partial response was observed in 26.1% of patients and stable disease in 56.5%. Median overall survival (OS) was 39 months and median progression-free survival (PFS) was 13 months. Regarding OS and PFS, no significant effects of GnRH analogue co-administration or type of AI were noted.Conclusion:Our study shows that AIs with or without GnRH analogues may represent an effective and safe treatment option for hormone-receptor positive, pretreated, metastatic, male breast cancer patients. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.
Dimitrakakis C, Tsigginou A, Zagouri F, Marinopoulos S, Sergentanis TN, Keramopoulos A, Liakou P, Zografos GC, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, et al. Breast cancer in women aged 25 years and younger. Obstetrics and Gynecology [Internet]. 2013;121(6):1235 - 1240. WebsiteAbstract
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate breast cancer characteristics in women aged 25 years and younger. METHODS: This was a retrospective, nested, within-cases matched study. The study design was based on a two-phase protocol. In the first phase, stage, grade, histologic subtype, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status were compared between 28 patients (aged 25 years and younger) and 685 older premenopausal women (aged older than 25 years) with breast cancer. The second phase aimed to determine whether young patients exhibited worse prognosis when compared with older premenopausal women. RESULTS: Young patients presented at a more advanced stage (P=.012) and exhibited a higher grade (P=.018). No significant differences were noted regarding histologic subtype, estrogen receptor, and progesterone receptor status. Genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations was performed in 12 of 28 young patients and mutations were found in 25% of them. Moreover, young women presented poorer overall survival (hazard ratio [HR] 4.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-17.03) than their older counterparts, matched by histologic subtype, stage, and grade; a similar pattern was noted regarding relapse-free survival (HR 8.28, 95% CI 2.24-30.60). CONCLUSION: Breast cancer diagnosis in women aged 25 years and younger is uncommon; however, these patients present at a more advanced stage, with a higher grade, and exhibit poorer survival. © 2013 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Bamias A, Tzannis K, Beuselinck B, Oudard S, Escudier B, Diosynopoulos D, Papazisis K, Lang H, Wolter P, De Guillebon E, et al. Development and validation of a prognostic model in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated with sunitinib: A European collaboration. British Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2013;109(2):332 - 341. WebsiteAbstract
Background:Accurate prediction of outcome for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) patients receiving targeted therapy is essential. Most of the available models have been developed in patients treated with cytokines, while most of them are fairly complex, including at least five factors. We developed and externally validated a simple model for overall survival (OS) in mRCC. We also studied the recently validated International Database Consortium (IDC) model in our data sets.Methods:The development cohort included 170 mRCC patients treated with sunitinib. The final prognostic model was selected by uni- and multivariate Cox regression analyses. Risk groups were defined by the number of risk factors and by the 25th and 75th percentiles of the model's prognostic index distribution. The model was validated using an independent data set of 266 mRCC patients (validation cohort) treated with the same agent.Results:Eastern Co-operative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS), time from diagnosis of RCC and number of metastatic sites were included in the final model. Median OS of patients with 1, 2 and 3 risk factors were: 24.7, 12.8 and 5.9 months, respectively, whereas median OS was not reached for patients with 0 risk factors. Concordance (C) index for internal validation was 0.712, whereas C-index for external validation was 0.634, due to differences in survival especially in poor-risk populations between the two cohorts. Predictive performance of the model was improved after recalibration. Application of the mRCC International Database Consortium (IDC) model resulted in a C-index of 0.574 in the development and 0.576 in the validation cohorts (lower than those recently reported for this model). Predictive ability was also improved after recalibration in this analysis. Risk stratification according to IDC model showed more similar outcomes across the development and validation cohorts compared with our model.Conclusion:Our model provides a simple prognostic tool in mRCC patients treated with a targeted agent. It had similar performance with the IDC model, which, however, produced more consistent survival results across the development and validation cohorts. The predictive ability of both models was lower than that suggested by internal validation (our model) or recent published data (IDC model), due to differences between observed and predicted survival among intermediate and poor-risk patients. Our results highlight the importance of external validation and the need for further refinement of existing prognostic models. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.
Dimitrakakis C, Zagouri F, Tsigginou A, Marinopoulos S, Sergentanis TN, Keramopoulos A, Zografos GC, Ampela K, Mpaltas D, Papadimitriou C, et al. Does pregnancy-associated breast cancer imply a worse prognosis? a matched case-case study. Breast Care [Internet]. 2013;8(3):203 - 207. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Significant controversy exists in the literature regarding the role of pregnancy in the prognosis of breast cancer. We designed a matched case-case study, matching pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC) cases with breast cancer cases for stage, age, and year of diagnosis. Patients and Methods: 39 consecutive cases of PABC were matched with 39 premenopausal cases of breast cancer. Univariate and multivariate survival analyses followed by adjustment for stage, grade, estrogen receptor status, and age at diagnosis, were performed. Results: Regarding overall survival (OS), univariate analysis pointed to longer OS in non-PABC cases vs. PABC cases. Accordingly, a more advanced stage predicted shorter survival. In the multivariate analysis, the independent aggravating effect mediated by pregnancy persisted. Interestingly, a post hoc nested analysis within PABC cases indicated that the 3rd trimester pointed to shorter OS. The aforementioned results on OS were also replicated during the examination of relapse-free survival. Conclusion: Implementing a matched case-case design, the present study points to pregnancy as a poor prognostic factor for breast cancer. © 2013 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.
Terpos E, Morgan G, Dimopoulos MA, Drake MT, Lentzsch S, Raje N, Sezer O, García-Sanz R, Shimizu K, Turesson I, et al. International Myeloma Working Group recommendations for the treatment of multiple myeloma-related bone disease. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2013;31(18):2347 - 2357. WebsiteAbstract
The aim of the International Myeloma Working Group was to develop practice recommendations for the management of multiple myeloma (MM) -related bone disease. An interdisciplinary panel of clinical experts on MM and myeloma bone disease developed recommendations based on published data through August 2012. Expert consensus was used to propose additional recommendations in situations where there were insufficient published data. Levels of evidence and grades of recommendations were assigned and approved by panel members. Bisphosphonates (BPs) should be considered in all patients with MM receiving first-line antimyeloma therapy, regardless of presence of osteolytic bone lesions on conventional radiography. However, it is unknown if BPs offer any advantage in patients with no bone disease assessed by magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography/computed tomography. Intravenous (IV) zoledronic acid (ZOL) or pamidronate (PAM) is recommended for preventing skeletal-related events in patients with MM. ZOL is preferred over oral clodronate in newly diagnosed patients with MM because of its potential antimyeloma effects and survival benefits. BPs should be administered every 3 to 4 weeks IV during initial therapy. ZOL or PAM should be continued in patients with active disease and should be resumed after disease relapse, if discontinued in patients achieving complete or very good partial response. BPs are well tolerated, but preventive strategies must be instituted to avoid renal toxicity or osteonecrosis of the jaw. Kyphoplasty should be considered for symptomatic vertebral compression fractures. Low-dose radiation therapy can be used for palliation of uncontrolled pain, impending pathologic fracture, or spinal cord compression. Orthopedic consultation should be sought for long-bone fractures, spinal cord compression, and vertebral column instability.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Gazouli M, Dimitrakakis C, Tsigginou A, Papaspyrou I, Chrysikos D, Lymperi M, Zografos GC, Antsaklis A, et al. MMP-2 -1306C > T polymorphism in breast cancer: A case-control study in a South European population. Molecular Biology Reports [Internet]. 2013;40(8):5035 - 5040. WebsiteAbstract
This case control study aims to investigate the role of MMP-2 -1306C > T polymorphism as a potential risk factor and possible prognostic marker for breast cancer in a South European population. 113 consecutive incident cases of histologically confirmed ductal breast cancer and 124 healthy controls were recruited. MMP-2 -1306C > T polymorphism was genotyped; multivariate logistic regression as well as Cox regression analysis were performed. MMP-2 -1306C > T status was not associated with breast cancer risk either at the total sample or at the subanalyses on premenopausal and postmenopausal women. At the survival analysis, a trend towards a favorable association between MMP-2 -1306C > T allele and disease-free survival as well as overall survival was observed. Regarding subanalyses on ER-negative and ER-positive cases, the favorable association implicating MMP-2 -1306C > T allele was particularly evident among ER-positive cases; no significant associations emerged among ER-negative cases. MMP-2 -1306C > T polymorphism does not seem to be a risk factor for breast cancer in South European population; however, a trend towards a favorable association with survival has been observed. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Zografos CG, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, Filipits M, Bartsch R. Molecularly targeted therapies in metastatic pancreatic cancer: A systematic review. Pancreas [Internet]. 2013;42(5):760 - 773. WebsiteAbstract
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death. Most patients present with an advanced stage of disease that has a dismal outcome, with a median survival of approximately 6 months. Evidently, there is a clear need for the development of new agents with novel mechanisms of action in this disease. A number of biological agents modulating different signal transduction pathways are currently in clinical development, inhibiting angiogenesis and targeting epidermal growth factor receptor, cell cycle, matrix metalloproteinases, cyclooxygenase-2, mammalian target of rapamycin, or proteasome. This is the first systematic review of the literature to synthesize all available data coming from trials and evaluate the efficacy and safety of molecular targeted drugs in unresectable and metastatic pancreatic cancer. However, it should be stressed that although multiple agents have been tested, only 9 phase 3 trials have been conducted and one agent (erlotinib) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in clinical practice. As knowledge accumulates on the molecular mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis in the pancreas, the anticipated development and assessment of molecularly targeted agents may offer a promising perspective for a disease which, to date, remains incurable. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Richardson PG, Mitsiades CS, Laubach JP, Hajek R, Spicka I, Dimopoulos MA, Moreau P, Siegel DS, Jagannath S, Anderson KC. Preclinical data and early clinical experience supporting the use of histone deacetylase inhibitors in multiple myeloma. Leukemia Research [Internet]. 2013;37(7):829 - 837. WebsiteAbstract
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) mediate protein acetylation states, which in turn regulate normal cellular processes often dysregulated in cancer. These observations led to the development of HDAC inhibitors that target tumors through multiple effects on protein acetylation. Clinical evidence demonstrates that treatment with HDAC inhibitors (such as vorinostat, panobinostat, and romidepsin) in combination with other antimyeloma agents (such as proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory drugs) has promising antitumor activity in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma patients. This mini-review highlights the role of protein acetylation in the development of cancers and the rationale for the use of HDAC inhibitors in this patient population. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Pentheroudakis G, Kotoula V, Eleftheraki AG, Tsolaki E, Wirtz RM, Kalogeras KT, Batistatou A, Bobos M, Dimopoulos MA, Timotheadou E, et al. Prognostic Significance of ESR1 Gene Amplification, mRNA/Protein Expression and Functional Profiles in High-Risk Early Breast Cancer: A Translational Study of the Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HeCOG). PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2013;8(7). WebsiteAbstract
Background:Discrepant data have been published on the incidence and prognostic significance of ESR1 gene amplification in early breast cancer.Patients and Methods:Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor blocks were collected from women with early breast cancer participating in two HeCOG adjuvant trials. Messenger RNA was studied by quantitative PCR, ER protein expression was centrally assessed using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and ESR1 gene copy number by dual fluorescent in situ hybridization probes.Results:In a total of 1010 women with resected node-positive early breast adenocarcinoma, the tumoral ESR1/CEP6 gene ratio was suggestive of deletion in 159 (15.7%), gene gain in 551 (54.6%) and amplification in 42 cases (4.2%), with only 30 tumors (3%) harboring five or more ESR1 copies. Gene copy number ratio showed a significant, though weak correlation to mRNA and protein expression (Spearman's Rho <0.23, p = 0.01). ESR1 clusters were observed in 9.5% (57 gain, 38 amplification) of cases. In contrast to mRNA and protein expression, which were favorable prognosticators, gene copy number changes did not obtain prognostic significance. When ESR1/CEP6 gene ratio was combined with function (as defined by ER protein and mRNA expression) in a molecular classifier, the Gene Functional profile, it was functional status that impacted on prognosis. In univariate analysis, patients with functional tumors (positive ER protein expression and gene ratio normal or gain/amplification) fared better than those with non-functional tumors with ESR1 gain (HR for relapse or death 0.49-0.64, p = 0.003). Significant interactions were observed between gene gain/amplification and paclitaxel therapy (trend for DFS benefit from paclitaxel only in patients with ESR1 gain/amplification, p = 0.066) and Gene Functional profile with HER2 amplification (Gene Functional profile prognostic only in HER2-normal cases, p = 0.029).Conclusions:ESR1 gene deletion and amplification do not constitute per se prognostic markers, instead they can be classified to distinct prognostic groups according to their protein-mediated functional status. © 2013 Pentheroudakis et al.
Palladini G, Dispenzieri A, Gertz MA, Kumar S, Wechalekar A, Hawkins PN, Schönland S, Hegenbart U, Comenzo R, Kastritis E, et al. Reply to S. Girnius et al. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2013;31(21):2750 - 2751. Website
Gavalas NG, Liontos M, Trachana S-P, Bagratuni T, Arapinis C, Liacos C, Dimopoulos MA, Bamias A. Angiogenesis-related pathways in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences [Internet]. 2013;14(8):15885 - 15909. WebsiteAbstract
Ovarian Cancer represents the most fatal type of gynecological malignancies. A number of processes are involved in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer, especially within the tumor microenvironment. Angiogenesis represents a hallmark phenomenon in cancer, and it is responsible for tumor spread and metastasis in ovarian cancer, among other tumor types, as it leads to new blood vessel formation. In recent years angiogenesis has been given considerable attention in order to identify targets for developing effective anti-tumor therapies. Growth factors have been identified to play key roles in driving angiogenesis and, thus, the formation of new blood vessels that assist in "feeding" cancer. Such molecules include the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), the fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and the angiopoietin/Tie2 receptor complex. These proteins are key players in complex molecular pathways within the tumor cell and they have been in the spotlight of the development of anti-angiogenic molecules that may act as stand-alone therapeutics, or in concert with standard treatment regimes such as chemotherapy. The pathways involved in angiogenesis and molecules that have been developed in order to combat angiogenesis are described in this paper. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Zagouri F, Psaltopoulou T, Dimitrakakis C, Bartsch R, Dimopoulos M-A. Challenges in managing breast cancer during pregnancy. Journal of Thoracic Disease [Internet]. 2013;5(SUPPL.1):S62 - S67. WebsiteAbstract
Pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC) is defined as breast cancer occurring anytime during gestation, lactation or within one year after delivery. The optimal management of pregnant women with breast cancer is challenging and not well established; the main concern is the effect of the drugs on the developing fetus and long-term complications after in utero exposure to anti-cancer drugs. Surgical resection is the mainstay of treatment for early breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy. Modified radical mastectomy is standard of care in first trimester, whereas breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy with lymph node dissection) can be performed preferably in the second and third trimester. Of note, breast-conserving surgery is not contraindicated per se during the first trimester, but owing to the potential impact of delaying radiotherapy. Radiation therapy is not favored during pregnancy. Moreover, tamoxifen is contraindicated during pregnancy; the agent has been associated with birth defects in up to 20% of exposures. Chemotherapy is generally contraindicated during the first trimester because of the possible damage to organogenesis. Anthracyclines-based regimens are the most widely used is breast cancer treatment and were been shown to be associated with favourable safety profile when administered during pregnancy. As for taxanes, more limited data is available. The use of trastuzumab is contraindicated during pregnancy, given the apparent risk of oligo- and/or anhydramnios as well as the unknown long-term sequelae on the fetus. It is obvious that, diagnosis of breast cancer during pregnancy adds complexity to cancer treatment recommendations. In all cases, a multidisciplinary therapeutic approach among obstetricians, gynaecologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pediatricians and hematologists is clearly warranted © Pioneer Bioscience Publishing Company.
Bagratuni T, Kastritis E, Politou M, Roussou M, Kostouros E, Gavriatopoulou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanelias N, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Clinical and genetic factors associated with venous thromboembolism in myeloma patients treated with lenalidomide-based regimens. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2013;88(9):765 - 770. WebsiteAbstract
Lenalidomide has significant antimyeloma activity but it is associated with a significant risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). In this study, we assessed clinical and genetic risk factors that may predispose for VTE in myeloma patients who were treated with lenalidomide-based regimens. We analyzed common clinical and selected genetic factors in 200 consecutive, unselected myeloma patients who were treated with lenalidomide-based regimens in a single institution. Twelve patients (6%) developed a VTE (nine deep venous thrombosis and three pulmonary embolism). All VTEs occurred in patients who were receiving aspirin prophylaxis; no patient who received LMWH or acenocoumarol had a VTE. The frequency of VTEs was 9.4% in previously untreated and 4.5% in previously treated patients. VTEs were more frequent in patients >65 years (8.1% vs. 1.6%) especially among patients receiving aspirin as prophylaxis (10.4% vs. 1.8% for patients ≤65 years). In patients who received prophylaxis with low dose aspirin a single-nucleotide polymorphism in NFκB1 (rs3774968) gene was associated with increased risk of VTE (OR 3.76, 95%CI 1-16, P=0.051). None of the patients who developed VTEs had common genetic variations that are associated with increased risk of VTEs in the general population, such as FVLeiden and FIIG20210A. Our data indicated that LMWH or vitamin K antagonists (with a target INR 2-3) effectively reduce the risk of VTEs. In patients who received prophylaxis with aspirin genetic variants of genes that are involved directly or indirectly in inflammatory response may be associated with increased risk of VTE. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Kastritis E, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Current treatments for renal failure due to multiple myeloma. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy [Internet]. 2013;14(11):1477 - 1495. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Renal impairment (RI) is a common complication of symptomatic myeloma; 20-40% of newly diagnosed patients present with moderate or severe RI and 10% of them may require dialysis. Immediate initiation of specific antimyeloma therapy is crucial in order to improve RI. Areas covered: There has been a significant improvement in the outcome of patients with RI over the past 15 years. The authors review current data on the role of antimyeloma therapy on the improvement or resolution of RI and the importance of novel regimens, especially those based on bortezomib. IMiDs-based regimens, conventional chemotherapy and high-dose therapy is also reviewed. The role of extrarenal free light chain removal, by means of plasma exchange or extended hemodialysis with the use of high cutoff dialysis membranes, is also discussed. Expert opinion: Bortezomib/dexamethasone-based regimens are the preferred regimens for most patients with multiple myeloma (MM) who present with RI, especially for newly diagnosed patients; however, other novel agents (thalidomide, lenalidomide) in combination with dexamethasone may also improve RI in several patients. Further investigation is needed for the clarification of the role of plasma exchange or extended high cutoff dialysis. Carfilzomib, which was recently approved, may also be a treatment choice for selected patients with relapsed MM and RI. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd.
Mountzios G, Soultati A, Pectasides D, Pectasides E, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou CA. Developments in the systemic treatment of metastatic cervical cancer. Cancer Treatment Reviews [Internet]. 2013;39(5):430 - 443. WebsiteAbstract
Despite the available prevention and early detection strategies, advanced squamous-cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix remains a major concern for public health. Systemic treatment with cisplatin, either in combination with external beam irradiation for locally advanced disease, or as monotherapy for recurrent/metastatic disease has been the cornerstone of treatment for more than two decades. Cisplatin has been also combined with a number of agents including paclitaxel, topotecan, gemcitabine, vinorelbine and ifosfamide, leading to encouraging response rates and increases in progression-free survival in a series of randomized phase III trials. Platinum-based triplets have been also tested, albeit at the cost of substantial toxicity. More recently, combinations with molecular agents targeting critical pathways in cervical malignant transformation are being assessed in clinical trials. In the current review, we discuss all recent advances in the systemic treatment of metastatic cervical cancer with emphasis on the results of large randomized phase III trials. Concerns regarding treatment-related toxicity in the context of co-morbidities and the need for potent predictive biomarkers for individualized treatment are also addressed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Terpo E. Non-secretory myeloma: One, two, or more entities?. ONCOLOGY (United States) [Internet]. 2013;27(9). Website
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Terpos E. Non-secretory myeloma: one, two, or more entities?. Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.) [Internet]. 2013;27(9):930 - 932. Website
Dimopoulos MA, Beksac M, Benboubker L, Roddie H, Allietta N, Broer E, Couturier C, Mazier M-A, Angermund R, Facon T. Phase II study of bortezomib-dexamethasone alone or with added cyclophosphamide or lenalidomide for sub-optimal response as second-line treatment for patients with multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2013;98(8):1264 - 1272. WebsiteAbstract
This phase II study is the first prospective evaluation of bortezomib-dexamethasone as second-line therapy for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. A total of 163 patients were enrolled to receive four cycles of bortezomibdexamethasone. Patients were investigator-assessed for response at cycle 5 Day 1, then treated as follows: responding patients received another four cycles of bortezomib-dexamethasone, while patients with stable disease were subsequently randomized to sequential treatment with a further four cycles of bortezomib-dexamethasone alone or with added cyclophosphamide or lenalidomide. The primary end point was response to sequential therapy; however, this could not be evaluated because investigator-assessed response rates to bortezomib-dexamethasone after four cycles were high, and an insufficient number of patients were randomized to sequential treatment per protocol. Among all 163 patients, validated best confirmed response rate was 66%, including 37% complete/very good partial responses; median response duration was 9.7 months. After a median follow up of 16.9 months, median time to progression and progression-free survival were 9.5 and 8.6 months, respectively; estimated 1-year overall survival was 81%. Median glomerular filtration rate improved from baseline during treatment. Among 58 patients with baseline glomerular filtration rate below 50 mL/min, 24 had renal responses. Grade 3/4 adverse events included: thrombocytopenia (17%), anemia (10%), constipation (6%), peripheral sensory neuropathy (5%), and polyneuropathy (5%). Overall, 57% of neuropathy events improved/resolved; median time to improvement was 2.1 months. These findings suggest bortezomib-dexamethasone represents an active, feasible second-line treatment option for patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma.. © 2013 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Miguel JS, Weisel K, Moreau P, Lacy M, Song K, Delforge M, Karlin L, Goldschmidt H, Banos A, Oriol A, et al. Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone versus high-dose dexamethasone alone for patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (MM-003): A randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2013;14(11):1055 - 1066. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Few effective treatments exist for patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma not responding to treatment with bortezomib and lenalidomide. Pomalidomide alone has shown limited efficacy in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma, but synergistic effects have been noted when combined with dexamethasone. We compared the efficacy and safety of pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone with high-dose dexamethasone alone in these patients. Methods: This multicentre, open-label, randomised phase 3 trial was undertaken in Australia, Canada, Europe, Russia, and the USA. Patients were eligible if they had been diagnosed with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, and had failed at least two previous treatments of bortezomib and lenalidomide. They were assigned in a 2:1 ratio with a validated interactive voice and internet response system to either 28 day cycles of pomalidomide (4 mg/day on days 1-21, orally) plus low-dose dexamethasone (40 mg/day on days 1, 8, 15, and 22, orally) or high-dose dexamethasone (40 mg/day on days 1-4, 9-12, and 17-20, orally) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Stratification factors were age (≤75 years vs >75 years), disease population (refractory vs relapsed and refractory vs bortezomib intolerant), and number of previous treatments (two vs more than two). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01311687, and with EudraCT, number 2010-019820-30. Findings: The accrual for the study has been completed and the analyses are presented. 302 patients were randomly assigned to receive pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone and 153 high-dose dexamethasone. After a median follow-up of 10·0 months (IQR 7·2-13·2), median PFS with pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone was 4·0 months (95% CI 3·6-4·7) versus 1·9 months (1·9-2·2) with high-dose dexamethasone (hazard ratio 0·48 [95% CI 0·39-0·60]; p<0·0001). The most common grade 3-4 haematological adverse events in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone and high-dose dexamethasone groups were neutropenia (143 [48%] of 300 vs 24 [16%] of 150, respectively), anaemia (99 [33%] vs 55 [37%], respectively), and thrombocytopenia (67 [22%] vs 39 [26%], respectively). Grade 3-4 non-haematological adverse events in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone and high-dose dexamethasone groups included pneumonia (38 [13%] vs 12 [8%], respectively), bone pain (21 [7%] vs seven [5%], respectively), and fatigue (16 [5%] vs nine [6%], respectively). There were 11 (4%) treatment-related adverse events leading to death in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone group and seven (5%) in the high-dose dexamethasone group. Interpretation: Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone, an oral regimen, could be considered a new treatment option in patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Funding: Celgene Corporation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Dimopoulos M, Siegel DS, Lonial S, Qi J, Hajek R, Facon T, Rosinol L, Williams C, Blacklock H, Goldschmidt H, et al. Vorinostat or placebo in combination with bortezomib in patients with multiple myeloma (VANTAGE 088): A multicentre, randomised, double-blind study. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2013;14(11):1129 - 1140. WebsiteAbstract
Background: We aimed to assess efficacy and tolerability of vorinostat in combination with bortezomib for treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Methods: In our randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, we enrolled adults (≥18 years) at 174 university hospitals in 31 countries worldwide. Eligible patients had to have non-refractory multiple myeloma that previously responded to treatment (one to three regimens) but were currently progressing, ECOG performance statuses of 2 or less, and no continuing toxic effects from previous treatment. We excluded patients with known resistance to bortezomib. We randomly allocated patients (1:1) using an interactive voice response system to receive 21 day cycles of bortezomib (1·3 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11) in combination with oral vorinostat (400 mg) or matching placebo once-daily on days 1-14. We stratified patients by baseline tumour stage (International Staging System stage 1 or stage ≥2), previous bone-marrow transplantation (yes or no), and number of previous regimens (1 or ≥2). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) in the intention-to-treat population. We assessed adverse events in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number 00773747. Findings: Between Dec 24, 2008, and Sept 8, 2011, we randomly allocated 317 eligible patients to the vorinostat group (315 of whom received at least one dose) and 320 to the placebo group (all of whom received at least one dose). Median PFS was 7·63 months (95% CI 6·87-8·40) in the vorinostat group and 6·83 months (5·67-7·73) in the placebo group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·77, 95% CI 0·64-0·94; p=0·0100). 312 (99%) of 315 patients in the vorinostat group and 315 (98%) of 320 patients in the placebo group had adverse events (300 [95%] adverse events in the vorinostat group and 282 [88%] in the control group were regarded as related to treatment). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were thrombocytopenia (143 [45%] patients in the vorinostat group vs 77 [24%] patients in the placebo group), neutropenia (89 [28%] vs 80 [25%]), and anaemia (53 [17%] vs 40 [13%]). Interpretation: Although the combination of vorinostat and bortezomib prolonged PFS relative to bortezomib and placebo, the clinical relevance of the difference in PFS between the two groups is not clear. Different treatment schedules of bortezomib and vorinostat might improve tolerability and enhance activity. Funding: Merck. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Gkotzamanidou M, Christoulas D, Souliotis VL, Papatheodorou A, Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. Angiogenic cytokines profile in smoldering multiple myeloma: No difference compared to MGUS but altered compared to symptomatic myeloma. Medical Science Monitor [Internet]. 2013;19:1188 - 1194. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Symptomatic multiple myeloma (MM) evolves from an asymptomatic precursor state termed monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering myeloma (SMM). Angiogenesis plays a key role in the pathogenesis of MM but there are very limited data for angiogenesis in SMM. Material/Methods: We measured the circulating levels of angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and angiogenin in 54 patients with SMM. The results were compared with those of 27 MGUS patients, 55 MM patients, and 22 healthy controls. The expression of VEGF-A gene was also evaluated in 10 patients with SMM, 10 with symptomatic MM, and 10 with MGUS. Results: The ratio of circulating Ang-1/Ang-2 was reduced in MM patients with symptomatic disease due to a dramatic increase of Ang-2 (p<0.001), but not in patients with SMM or MGUS, in whom it did not differ compared to controls. VEGF and angiogenin were increased in all patients compared to controls. However, circulating VEGF was higher in symptomatic MM compared to SMM and MGUS, while angiogenin was reduced. There were no differences in the expression of VEGF-A among the 3 patients categories. Conclusions: SMM has a circulating angiogenic cytokine profile similar to that of MGUS, but has altered profile compared to symptomatic MM. Thus, in the progression of MGUS to SMM, circulating angiogenic cytokines seem to be the same. On the contrary, in symptomatic myeloma, the alterations of angiopoietins along with VEGF contribute to myeloma cell growth, supporting the target of these molecules for the development of novel anti-myeloma agents. © Med Sci Monit, 2013.
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Katodritou E, Pouli A, Michalis E, Papassotiriou I, Dimopoulos MA. The chronic kidney disease epidemiology collaboration cystatin C (CKD-EPI-CysC) equation has an independent prognostic value for overall survival in newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic multiple myeloma; is it time to change from MDRD to CKD-EPI-CysC. European Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2013;91(4):347 - 355. WebsiteAbstract
Objectives: The estimation of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in multiple myeloma (MM) is based on equations that use serum creatinine (sCr), such as the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equation. However, the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) group has suggested that eGFR based on both sCr and cystatin C (CKD-EPI-sCr-CysC) is more accurate than other formulae for the estimation of kidney dysfunction. The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate, for the first time in the literature, the CKD-EPI-sCR-CysC formula in newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic MM. Methods: We studied 220 newly diagnosed, previously untreated, patients with symptomatic myeloma and calculated eGFR using the MDRD, the CKD-EPI-sCR, the CKD-EPI-CysC, and the CKD-EPI-sCr-CysC equations. Results: CKD-EPI-sCr-CysC equation detected more myeloma patients with stage 3-5 renal impairment than the MDRD, CKD-EPI, or CKD-EPI-CysC equations: 45% vs. 39.5%, 42.2%, and 43.1%, respectively (P < 0.01). This was also observed in the elderly patients (>70 yrs), while in patients ≤70 yrs, the CKD-EPI-CysC equation managed to identify higher number of patients with stage 3-5 renal impairment (RI) than the other equations. Furthermore, 63 (28.6%) patients with eGFR values by the MDRD formula were reclassified to higher CKD stages according to CKD-EPI-CysC equation. The median overall survival for all patients was 52 months. In the multivariate analysis, that included International Staging System stage, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) ≥300 U/L and eGFR for each different equation (as a continuous variable), only eGFR that included CysC, but not sCr had independent prognostic value (P = 0.013) along with high LDH (P = 0.029). Conclusions: Our results suggest that equations based on CysC reveal higher number of MM patients with RI compared with equations based only in sCr. Furthermore, the CKD-EPI-CysC formula independently predicted for survival. Based on these data, we suggest that CKD-EPI equations based on CysC should substitute MDRD, as it has been suggested for patients with several other renal disorders. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E, Niesvizky R. How lenalidomide is changing the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology [Internet]. 2013;88(SUPPL.1):S23 - S35. WebsiteAbstract
Lenalidomide is a distinct second-generation immunomodulatory drug with multiple anticancer and immunomodulatory effects against hematologic malignancies, in particular multiple myeloma (MM). Dexamethasone synergistically enhances the anticancer effects of lenalidomide, and the combination of lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Len/Dex) is approved for the treatment of patients with relapsed and/or refractory MM. Results from pivotal phase III trials in this setting have demonstrated that Len/Dex extends overall survival compared with dexamethasone alone. Optimal clinical benefits are seen when Len/Dex is initiated at first relapse and continued, beyond best treatment response, until disease progression. Lenalidomide based regimens are also effective as induction therapy in patients with newly diagnosed MM. Importantly, lenalidomide has a predictable and manageable tolerability profile, with minimal neurotoxicity, allowing long-term administration. As the paradigm of myeloma disease continues to change, future studies will determine the efficacy of lenalidomide in novel combinations with potentially complimentary agents. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, Psaltopoulou T. Hsp90 inhibitors in breast cancer: A systematic review. Breast [Internet]. 2013;22(5):569 - 578. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: Pharmacological inhibition of Hsp90 shows great promise in breast cancer treatment. This is the first systematic review to synthesize all available data and to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Hsp90 inhibitors in breast cancer. Methods: This study was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. Eligible articles were identified by a search of MEDLINE and ClinicalTrials.gov databases, using a predefined combination of the terms "breast", "cancer", "Hsp90", "inhibitors". Results: Overall, 19 articles (190 patients) were eligible. The greatest clinical activity has been observed on the field of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. However, accumulating data suggest that Hsp90 inhibitors may play a significant role in the treatment of triple negative and aromatase inhibitor-resistant breast cancer. Conclusion: In the last decade, the development of Hsp90 inhibitors has moved forward rapidly; however, no phase III trials have been conducted and none agent has been approved for use in the clinical practice. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Zografos CG, Filipits M, Bartsch R, Dimopoulos M-A, Psaltopoulou T. Pertuzumab in breast cancer: A systematic review. Clinical Breast Cancer [Internet]. 2013;13(5):315 - 324. WebsiteAbstract
Pertuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that represents the first among a new class of agents known as human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) dimerization inhibitors. This is the first systematic review according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines to synthesize all available data of pertuzumab in breast cancer. The search strategy retrieved 11 studies that evaluated pertuzumab. One study was conducted in the neoadjuvant setting (417 patients), whereas all the others dealt with patients with recurrent, metastatic, or refractory disease (1023 patients). Six studies were conducted in HER2+ breast cancer population (1354 patients), whereas 5 studies (86 patients) were conducted in HER2- (or unknown HER2 status) disease. Pertuzumab is the most recent agent approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in combination with trastuzumab and docetaxel for the treatment of patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer who have not received prior anti-HER2 therapy or chemotherapy for metastatic disease. This approval has been based on data from a phase III Clinical Evaluation of Pertuzumab and Trastuzumab (CLEOPATRA) study. The antitumor activity with the significant reduction in the risk of progression or death, as reflected upon the increase of 6.1 months in median progression-free survival, indicates that pertuzumab may provide an avenue for achieving additional benefit for patients with HER2+. Moreover, pertuzumab seems to have a putative role in the management of patients with HER2 who are resistant to trastuzumab. The promising role of pertuzumab in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings remains to be further investigated and established in the future. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Garćia-Sanz R, Gavriatopoulou M, Morel P, Kyrtsonis M-C, Michalis E, Kartasis Z, Leleu X, Palladini G, Tedeschi A, et al. Primary therapy of Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) with weekly bortezomib, low-dose dexamethasone, and rituximab (BDR): Long-term results of a phase 2 study of the European Myeloma Network (EMN). Blood [Internet]. 2013;122(19):3276 - 3282. WebsiteAbstract
In this phase 2 multicenter trial, we evaluated the activity of bortezomib, dexamethasone, and rituximab (BDR) combination in previously untreated symptomatic patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). To prevent immunoglobulin M (IgM) "flare," single agent bortezomib (1.3 mg/m 2 IV days 1, 4, 8, and 11;21-day cycle), was followed by weekly IV bortezomib (1.6 mg/m2 days 1, 8, 15, and 22) every 35 days for 4 additional cycles, followed by IV dexamethasone (40 mg) and IV rituximab (375 mg/m2) in cycles 2 and 5. Fifty-nine patients were treated; 45.5% and 40% were high and intermediate risk per the International Prognostic Scoring System for WM. On intent to treat, 85% responded (3% complete response, 7% very good partial response, 58% partial response [PR]).In 11% of patients, an increase of IgM ≥25% was observed after rituximab; no patient required plasmapheresis. After a minimum follow-up of 32 months, median progression-free survival was42months, 3-year durationof response for patients with≥PR was 70%, and 3-year survival was 81%. Peripheral neuropathy occurred in 46% (grade ≥3 in 7%); only 8% discontinued bortezomib due to neuropathy. BDR is rapidly acting, well tolerated, and nonmyelotoxic, inducing durable responses in previously untreated WM. © 2013 by The American Society of Hematology.
Tsakiri EN, Sykiotis GP, Papassideri IS, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA, Gorgoulis VG, Bohmann D, Trougakos IP. Proteasome dysfunction in Drosophila signals to an Nrf2-dependent regulatory circuit aiming to restore proteostasis and prevent premature aging. Aging Cell [Internet]. 2013;12(5):802 - 813. WebsiteAbstract
The ubiquitin-proteasome system is central to the regulation of cellular proteostasis. Nevertheless, the impact of in vivo proteasome dysfunction on the proteostasis networks and the aging processes remains poorly understood. We found that RNAi-mediated knockdown of 20S proteasome subunits in Drosophila melanogaster resulted in larval lethality. We therefore studied the molecular effects of proteasome dysfunction in adult flies by developing a model of dose-dependent pharmacological proteasome inhibition. Impaired proteasome function promoted several 'old-age' phenotypes and markedly reduced flies' lifespan. In young somatic tissues and in gonads of all ages, loss of proteasome activity induced higher expression levels and assembly rates of proteasome subunits. Proteasome dysfunction was signaled to the proteostasis network by reactive oxygen species that originated from malfunctioning mitochondria and triggered an Nrf2-dependent upregulation of the proteasome subunits. RNAi-mediated Nrf2 knockdown reduced proteasome activities, flies' resistance to stress, as well as longevity. Conversely, inducible activation of Nrf2 in transgenic flies upregulated basal proteasome expression and activity independently of age and conferred resistance to proteotoxic stress. Interestingly, prolonged Nrf2 overexpression reduced longevity, indicating that excessive activation of the proteostasis pathways can be detrimental. Our in vivo studies add new knowledge on the proteotoxic stress-related regulation of the proteostasis networks in higher metazoans. Proteasome dysfunction triggers the activation of an Nrf2-dependent tissue- and age-specific regulatory circuit aiming to adjust the cellular proteasome activity according to temporal and/or spatial proteolytic demands. Prolonged deregulation of this proteostasis circuit accelerates aging. © 2013 The Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. In: Neoplastic Diseases of the Blood. ; 2013. pp. 681 - 699. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström's macroglobulinemia is a neoplastic disorder of the B lymphocytes that is characterized by the infiltration of the bone marrow by a lymphoplasmatic clone that produces a monoclonal immunoglobulin which is always of the IgM type. WM is named after Jan Waldenström, a Swedish physician who first described two patients who presented with oronasal bleeding, lymphadenopathy, anemia and thrombocytopenia, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, high serum viscosity, normal bone radiographs, and bone marrow showing predominantly lymphoid cells. At that time electrophoresis of the serum proteins was not available; however, he attributed the hyperviscosity to an abnormal high-molecular-weight serum protein, which subsequently was shown to be a monoclonal immunoglobulin of the M class (IgM). Indeed, these two first patients presented with several of the most common features of WM, as have been subsequently described. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. All rights reserved.
2012
Terpos E, Anargyrou K, Katodritou E, Kastritis E, Papatheodorou A, Christoulas D, Pouli A, Michalis E, Delimpasi S, Gkotzamanidou M, et al. Circulating angiopoietin-1 to angiopoietin-2 ratio is an independent prognostic factor for survival in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma who received therapy with novel antimyeloma agents. International Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2012;130(3):735 - 742. WebsiteAbstract
The circulating levels of several angiogenic cytokines [angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiogenin and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)] were evaluated in 174 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed, symptomatic, multiple myeloma (MM). Circulating levels of Ang-1/Ang-2 were reduced in myeloma patients compared to controls, whereas VEGF and angiogenin levels were increased. Reduced angiopoietin-1/angiopoietin-2 ratio correlated with advanced disease features including international staging system (ISS)-3 stage, renal impairment and extensive bone disease. Based on immunohistochemical results in 20 patients (10 with the higher and 10 with the lower values of circulating angiopoietin-2) we found that angiopoietin-2 is expressed by myeloma cells and correlates with increased microvessel density in subsets of patients. Furthermore, Ang-1/Ang-2 ratio correlated with survival. Patients with circulating Ang-1/Ang-2 below or equal to the median value (6.03) had a median survival of 26.3 months compared to 53 months of all others (p = 0.002). Interestingly, this was mainly observed in patients who received first-line therapy with novel agent-based regimens (65% of our patients). Furthermore, a subset of ISS-3 patients with serum Ang-1/Ang-2 above the median value had favourable prognosis (median survival: 45 months versus 17 months of all others; p = 0.0001). The multivariate analysis revealed that low Ang-1/Ang-2 ratio could independently predict for inferior survival in our cohort of patients (relative risk (RR) 2.07, 95% CI 1.50-2.42; p < 0.001). These results highlight the role of angiopoietins pathway in the biology of MM and reveal novel targets for the development of antimyeloma agents. Copyright © 2011 UICC.
Pectasides D, Papaxoinis G, Kotoula V, Fountzilas H, Korantzis I, Koutras A, Dimopoulos AM, Papakostas P, Aravantinos G, Varthalitis I, et al. Expression of angiogenic markers in the peripheral blood of docetaxel-treated advanced breast cancer patients: A Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HeCOG) study. Oncology Reports [Internet]. 2012;27(1):216 - 224. WebsiteAbstract
It is well known that low-dose metronomic chemotherapy has antiangiogenic activity. The aim of the present trial was to investigate the antiangiogenic properties of weekly docetaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer. In total, 157 metastatic breast cancer patients received 35 mg/m 2 docetaxel weekly as a recommended treatment. Blood samples were collected before the start of chemotherapy (baseline) and during treatment. Nitric oxide (NO) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) plasma levels were measured at baseline and during treatment, while VEGF-A, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and thrombospondin-1 (THBS-1) peripheral blood mRNA levels were measured at baseline, in 127 patients and 39 female healthy controls. In general, the treatment was well-tolerated. Sixty-one patients (38%) achieved an objective response (4% complete and 34% partial response), while 52 (33%) had stable disease and 27 (17%) progressed. At a median follow-up of 33.5 months (range 2.8-45.0), 118 patients (74%) demonstrated disease progression and 94 (59%) had died. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 8.8 months and median overall survival (OS) was 27.7 months. Median baseline level of plasma NO was significantly lower in patients than in healthy controls (p=0.010), while none of the plasma markers significantly changed upon docetaxel treatment. In addition, the median relative quantification value for THBS-1 mRNA was significantly higher (p<0.001) in patients as compared to healthy controls. NO plasma levels were positively associated with the number of organs involved (p=0.008). In multivariate analysis, low eNOS mRNA levels showed adverse prognostic significance for OS and high THBS-1 mRNA levels were found to be associated with shorter OS and PFS, independently from established clinical prognostic factors. Although an antiangiogenic activity of weekly docetaxel was not demonstrated in the present study, some interesting observations regarding the prognostic role of a number of blood angiogenic markers could be made.
Nicolatou-Galitis O, Migkou M, Psyrri A, Bamias A, Pectasides D, Economopoulos T, Raber-Durlacher JE, Dimitriadis G, Dimopoulos MA. Gingival bleeding and jaw bone necrosis in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma receiving sunitinib: Report of 2 cases with clinical implications. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology [Internet]. 2012;113(2):234 - 238. WebsiteAbstract
There is emerging evidence that oral mucositis/stomatitis is a common adverse effect of sunitininb antiangiogenic therapy in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). In addition, a case of sunitinib-related jaw osteonecrosis was recently described. We report on 2 patients with mRCC treated with sunitinib. The first patient, a 19-year-old woman, treated with cisplatin and sunitinib, presented with oral pain, malodor, spontaneous and continuous gingival bleeding, and painful necrotic ulcerations clinically resembling necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (NUG). Suntinib-related stomatitis and bleeding were considered cumulative to NUG symptoms. The second patient, a 64-year-old woman, treated with sunitinib only, complained of mandibular pain. Sunitinib-related jaw osteonecrosis was diagnosed. Gingival bleeding and soft tissue necrosis, as well as jaw osteonecrosis may develop as adverse events of sunitinib use. Antiangiogenic therapies are increasingly used in the treatment of cancers. The presented cases are aimed to alert health care professionals on adverse oral events. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Palumbo A, Bladé J, Boccadoro M, Palladino C, Davies F, Dimopoulos M, Dmoszynska A, Einsele H, Moreau P, Sezer O, et al. How to manage neutropenia in multiple myeloma. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2012;12(1):5 - 11. WebsiteAbstract
Neutropenia is a hematologic adverse event characterized by an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) lower than 1500 cells/mL. This reduction may be due to decreased neutrophil production, accelerated use, a shift in compartments of neutrophils, or a combination of these factors. Neutropenia is often associated with infections, which are major causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with cancer. In patients with multiple myeloma, the novel agents thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib have improved outcome, but chemotherapy-related neutropenia should be carefully considered. Chemotherapy-related high-risk factors for severe neutropenia include regimens with an expected neutropenia rate of > 50%, such as the 3-drug combinations including lenalidomide plus alkylating agents or doxorubicin, whereas low-risk regimens include combinations of the novel agents with dexamethasone alone. Patient characteristics, disease stage, type of current and previous treatment, and ANC < 1000 cells/mL at baseline are additional factors that define the risk of severe neutropenia. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) should be used to manage chemotherapy-related neutropenia so that patients may stay on treatment for a longer time and benefit from it. Primary G-CSF prophylaxis should be used when high-risk regimens are administered or when low/intermediate-risk regimens are used and additional risk factors are present. Reactive G-CSF treatment is indicated when patients undergoing low-risk chemotherapy experience grade 3/4 neutropenia. If ANC restores to > 1000 cells/mL, therapy can be resumed with no dose modifications. In case of persistence of severe neutropenia, treatment should be delayed until ANC reaches > 1000 cells/mL, and dose reductions are necessary. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Stefanadis C, Synetos A, Tousoulis D, Tsiamis E, Michelongona A, Zagouri F, Bamias A, Dimopoulos MA, Kyvelou S, Kapelakis I, et al. Systemic administration of bevacizumab increases the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with metastatic cancer. International Journal of Cardiology [Internet]. 2012;154(3):341 - 344. Website
Ziogas AC, Gavalas NG, Tsiatas M, Tsitsilonis O, Politi E, Terpos E, Rodolakis A, Vlahos G, Thomakos N, Haidopoulos D, et al. VEGF directly suppresses activation of T cells from ovarian cancer patients and healthy individuals via VEGF receptor Type 2. International Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2012;130(4):857 - 864. WebsiteAbstract
The role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in tumor angiogenesis is well characterized; nevertheless, it is also a key element in promoting tumor evasion of the immune system by downregulating dendritic cell maturation and thus T cell activation. We sought to investigate the possible direct effect of VEGF on T cell activation and through which type of VEGF receptor (VEGFR) it exerts this effect. Circulating T cells from healthy donors and ovarian cancer patients were expanded in cultures with anti-CD3 and IL-2 with or without VEGF for 14 days, and the number of T cells was assessed. Cultured T cells were also tested for their cytotoxic activity in a standard 4-hr 51Cr-release assay, and the expression of VEGFRs 1, 2 and 3 was assayed by flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry and Western blotting. To assess the ability of activated T cells to secrete VEGF, levels in culture supernatants were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. The addition of VEGF in cultures significantly reduced T cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. Protein expression studies demonstrated that CD3 + T cells express VEGFR-2 on their surface upon activation. Experiments with anti-VEGFR-2 antibodies showed that the direct suppressive effect of VEGF on T cell proliferation is mediated by VEGFR-2. We also showed that VEGF significantly reduced the cytotoxic activity of T cells and that activated T cells secrete VEGF in the culture environment. Overall, our study shows that T cells secret VEGF and expresses VEGFR-2 upon activation. VEGF directly suppresses T cell activation via VEGF receptor type 2. © 2011 UICC.
Kosmidis PA, Syrigos K, Kalofonos HP, Dimopoulos M-A, Skarlos D, Pavlidis N, Boukovinas I, Bafaloukos D, Pectasides D, Bacoyiannis C, et al. Vinorelbine versus paclitaxel for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and a performance status of 2. Anticancer Research [Internet]. 2012;32(1):175 - 181. WebsiteAbstract
Aim: The purpose of this study was to compare two single agents paclitaxel (intravenous) versus vinorelbine (oral) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with performance status (PS):2. Patients and Methods: The patients were randomized to receive either oral vinorelbine 60 mg/m 2 on days I, 8, 15 every 4 weeks for 4 cycles (group A) or paclitaxel 90 mg/m 2 intravenously for 1 h on days 1, 8, 15 every 4 weeks for a total of 4 cycles (group B). Results: Among the 74 eligible patients (36 in arm A and 38 in arm B) in arm A, two (6%) had a partial response (95% Cl, 0.7-18.7) and 5 (14%) had stable disease (95% CI, 4.7-29.5). In arm B, five (13%) had a partial response (95% CI, 4.4-28.1) and 7 (18%) had stable disease (95% CI, 7.7-34.3). No significant difference was found in terms of clinical benefit between the two groups after two cycles of treatment except for appetite in favour of paclitaxel (p=0.01). Median survival was 3.1 months (95% CI, 2.2-4.0) for arm A and 5.1 months (95% CI, 2.7-7.6) for arm B (p=0.95). Toxicity was mild and only alopecia was more profound in the patients of arm B (p=0.008). Conclusion: No significant difference was found in clinical benefit between PS:2 NSCLC patients treated with either vinorelbine or paclitaxel.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. When a little aspirin may be enough. Blood [Internet]. 2012;119(4):905 - 906. Website
Palumbo A, Hajek R, Delforge M, Kropff M, Petrucci MT, Catalano J, Gisslinger H, Wiktor-Jȩdrzejczak W, Zodelava M, Weisel K, et al. Continuous lenalidomide treatment for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2012;366(19):1759 - 1769. WebsiteAbstract
BACKGROUND: Lenalidomide has tumoricidal and immunomodulatory activity against multiple myeloma. This double-blind, multicenter, randomized study compared melphalan-prednisone- lenalidomide induction followed by lenalidomide maintenance (MPR-R) with melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide (MPR) or melphalan-prednisone (MP) followed by placebo in patients 65 years of age or older with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. METHODS: We randomly assigned patients who were ineligible for transplantation to receive MPR-R (nine 4-week cycles of MPR followed by lenalidomide maintenance therapy until a relapse or disease progression occurred [152 patients]) or to receive MPR (153 patients) or MP (154 patients) without maintenance therapy. The primary end point was progression-free survival. RESULTS: The median follow-up period was 30 months. The median progression-free survival was significantly longer with MPR-R (31 months) than with MPR (14 months; hazard ratio, 0.49; P<0.001) or MP (13 months; hazard ratio, 0.40; P<0.001). Response rates were superior with MPR-R and MPR (77% and 68%, respectively, vs. 50% with MP; P<0.001 and P = 0.002, respectively, for the comparison with MP). The progression-free survival benefit associated with MPR-R was noted in patients 65 to 75 years of age but not in those older than 75 years of age (P = 0.001 for treatment-by-age interaction). After induction therapy, a landmark analysis showed a 66% reduction in the rate of progression with MPR-R (hazard ratio for the comparison with MPR, 0.34; P<0.001) that was age-independent. During induction therapy, the most frequent adverse events were hematologic; grade 4 neutropenia was reported in 35%, 32%, and 8% of the patients in the MPR-R, MPR, and MP groups, respectively. The 3-year rate of second primary tumors was 7% with MPR-R, 7% with MPR, and 3% with MP. CONCLUSIONS: MPR-R significantly prolonged progression-free survival in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who were ineligible for transplantation, with the greatest benefit observed in patients 65 to 75 years of age. (Funded by Celgene; MM-015 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00405756.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Michalis E, Tsatalas C, Michael M, Pouli A, Kartasis Z, Delimpasi S, Gika D, Zomas A, et al. The international scoring system (ISS) for multiple myeloma remains a robust prognostic tool independently of patients' renal function. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2012;23(3):722 - 729. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The International Staging System (ISS) is the most widely used staging system for patients with multiple myeloma (MM). However, serum β2-microglobulin increases in renal impairment (RI) and there have been concerns that ISS-3 stage may include 'up-staged' MM patients in whom elevated β2-microglobulin reflects the degree of renal dysfunction rather than tumor load. Patients and methods: In order to assess the impact of RI on the prognostic value of ISS, we analyzed 1516 patients with symptomatic MM and the degree of RI was classified according to the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative-Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) criteria. Results: Forty-eight percent patients had stages 3-5 CKD while 29% of patients had ISS-1, 38% had ISS-2 and 33% ISS-3. The frequency and severity of RI were more common in ISS-3 patients. RI was associated with inferior survival in univariate but not in multivariate analysis. When analyzed separately, ISS-1 and ISS-2 patients with RI had inferior survival in univariate but not in multivariate analysis. In ISS-3 MM patients, RI had no prognostic impact either in univariate or multivariate analysis. Results were similar, when we analyzed only patients with Bence-Jones >200 mg/day. Conclusions: ISS remains unaffected by the degree of RI, even in patients with ISS-3, which includes most patients with renal dysfunction. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Lenalidomide for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. In: Immunomodulating Drugs for the Treatment of Cancer. ; 2012. Website
Richardson PG, Delforge M, Beksac M, Wen P, Jongen JL, Sezer O, Terpos E, Munshi N, Palumbo A, Rajkumar SV, et al. Management of treatment-emergent peripheral neuropathy in multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2012;26(4):595 - 608. WebsiteAbstract
Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is one of the most important complications of multiple myeloma (MM) treatment. PN can be caused by MM itself, either by the effects of the monoclonal protein or in the form of radiculopathy from direct compression, and particularly by certain therapies, including bortezomib, thalidomide, vinca alkaloids and cisplatin. Clinical evaluation has shown that up to 20% of MM patients have PN at diagnosis and as many as 75% may experience treatment-emergent PN during therapy. The incidence, symptoms, reversibility, predisposing factors and etiology of treatment-emergent PN vary among MM therapies, with PN incidence also affected by the dose, schedule and combinations of potentially neurotoxic agents. Effective management of treatment-emergent PN is critical to minimize the incidence and severity of this complication, while maintaining therapeutic efficacy. Herein, the state of knowledge regarding treatment-emergent PN in MM patients and current management practices are outlined, and recommendations regarding optimal strategies for PN management during MM treatment are provided. These strategies include early and regular monitoring with neurological evaluation, with dose modification and treatment discontinuation as indicated. Areas requiring further research include the development of MM-specific, patient-focused assessment tools, pharmacogenomic analysis of patient DNA, and trials to assess the efficacy of pharmacological interventions. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Chanan-Khan AA, San Miguel JF, Jagannath S, Ludwig H, Dimopoulos MA. Novel therapeutic agents for the management of patients with multiple myeloma and renal impairment. Clinical Cancer Research [Internet]. 2012;18(8):2145 - 2163. WebsiteAbstract
Renal impairment is a major complication of multiple myeloma. Patients presenting with severe renal impairment represent a greater therapeutic challenge and generally have poorer outcome. However, once patients with renal impairment achieve remission, their outcomes are comparable with those of patients without renal impairment. Therapies that offer substantial activity in this setting are needed. Bortezomib, thalidomide, and lenalidomide have substantially improved the survival of patients with multiple myeloma. Here we review the pharmacokinetics, activity, and safety of these agents in patients with renal impairment. Bortezomib can be administered at the full approved dose and schedule in renally impaired patients; similarly, no dose reductions are required with thalidomide. The pharmacokinetics of lenalidomide is affected by its renal route of excretion, and dose adjustments are recommended for moderate/severe impairment. Substantial evidence has emerged showing that these novel agents improve outcomes of patients with renal impairment, including impairment reversal. Bortezomib, thalidomide, and lenalidomide (at the recommended doses) are active options for patients with mild to moderate impairment, although limited data are available for thalidomide. Information on lenalidomide-based combinations is still emerging, but the available data indicate considerable activity. Substantial evidence indicates that bortezomib-high-dose dexamethasone with or without a third drug (e.g., cyclophosphamide, thalidomide, or doxorubicin) is an appropriate option for patients with any degree of renal impairment. ©2012 AACR.
Gogas H, Dafni U, Karina M, Papadimitriou C, Batistatou A, Bobos M, Kalofonos HP, Eleftheraki AG, Timotheadou E, Bafaloukos D, et al. Postoperative dose-dense sequential versus concomitant administration of epirubicin and paclitaxel in patients with node-positive breast cancer: 5-Year results of the Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group HE 10/00 phase III Trial. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment [Internet]. 2012;132(2):609 - 619. WebsiteAbstract
To explore the impact of dose intensity (DI) in the adjuvant setting of breast cancer, a randomized phase III trial was conducted comparing postoperative dose-dense sequential chemotherapy with epirubicin, paclitaxel, and cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and fluorouracil (CMF)in high-risk breast cancer patients. From Oct 2000 to June 2005, 1,121 node-positive patients were randomized to dose-dense sequential epirubicin 110 mg/m 2 and paclitaxel (Taxol®, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Princeton, NJ) 250 mg/m 2 (group A), or concurrent epirubicin 83 mg/m 2 and paclitaxel 187 mg/m 2 (group B), both followed by three cycles of "intensified" combination chemotherapy with CMF. By protocol design total cumulative dose and duration of treatment were identical in both groups. Dose intensity of epirubicin and paclitaxel was double in the dose-dense arm. Prophylactic treatment with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor was given with the dose-dense treatments. Disease-free survival (DFS) was the primary endpoint. At a median follow-up of 76 months, 253 patients (23%) had documented disease relapse (123 vs. 130 in groups A and B, respectively) and 208 deaths (101, group A and 107, group B) had been observed. The 5-year DFS rate of 74 and 74% and OS rate of 86 and 85% were observed for group A and group B, respectively. No differences were found in DFS or OS between the two treatment groups (P = 0.78 and P = 0.45 for DFS and OS, respectively). Safety analysis results showing that both regimens were well tolerated and safe have been previously published (Fountzilas et al. Ann Oncol 2008). No DFS or OS benefit from the dose-dense sequential epirubicin and paclitaxel was detected when compared to the concurrent administration of the same drugs. No additional safety issues were raised with long-term follow-up. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Zagouri F, Thomakos N, Rodolakis A, Bamias A, Chalazonitis A, Sotiropoulou M, Antsaklis A, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou CA. Quiz case: A 19-year-old woman with hypercalcemia and abdominal pain. Onkologie [Internet]. 2012;35(3):126 - 127. Website
Dimopoulos MA, Richardson PG, Brandenburg N, Yu Z, Weber DM, Niesvizky R, Morgan GJ. A review of second primary malignancy in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma treated with lenalidomide. Blood [Internet]. 2012;119(12):2764 - 2767. WebsiteAbstract
In a retrospective pooled analysis of 11 clinical trials of lenalidomide-based therapy for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM; N = 3846), the overall incidence rate (IR, events per 100 patientyears) of second primary malignancies (SPMs) was 3.62. IR of invasive (hematologic and solid tumor) SPMs was 2.08, consistent with the background incidence of developing cancer. In a separate analysis of pooled data from pivotal phase 3 trials of relapsed or refractory MM (N = 703), the overall IR of SPMs was 3.98 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.51- 6.31) with lenalidomide/dexamethasone and 1.38 (95% CI, 0.44-4.27) with placebo/ dexamethasone; IRs of nonmelanoma skin cancers were 2.40 (95% CI, 1.33-4.33) and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.23-3.66), respectively; IRs of invasive SPMs were 1.71 (95% CI, 0.86-3.43) and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.23-3.66), respectively. The risk of SPMs must be taken into account before initiating lenalidomide treatment. In the context of the observed survival benefit in relapsed or refractory MM patients, the benefit/risk profile of lenalidomide/dexamethasone remains positive. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.
Vassilakopoulos TP, Pangalis GA, Katsigiannis A, Papageorgiou SG, Constantinou N, Terpos E, Zorbala A, Vrakidou E, Repoussis P, Poziopoulos C, et al. Rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone with or without radiotherapy in primary mediastinal large b-cell lymphoma: The emerging standard of care. Oncologist [Internet]. 2012;17(2):239 - 249. WebsiteAbstract
More aggressive treatment approaches (methotrexate, cytarabine, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, and bleomycin [the MACOP-B regimen] or consolidation with high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation) have been considered to be superior to cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) in patients with primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMLBCL). Rituximab-CHOP (R-CHOP) is the standard of care for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, whereas efficacy in PMLBCL has not been adequately confirmed. Patient and Methods. Seventy-six consecutive PMLBCL patients who received R-CHOP with or without radiotherapy (RT) were compared with 45 consecutive historical controls treated with CHOP with or without RT. Baseline characteristics of the two groups were balanced. Results. The rate of early treatment failure was much lower with R-CHOP with or without RT (9% versus 30%; p =.004). The 5-year freedom from progression rate after R-CHOP with or without RT was 81%, versus 48% for CHOP with or without RT (p < .0001). The 5-year event-free survival rates were 80% and 47% (p < .0001) and the 5-year overall and lymphoma-specific survival rates were 89% and 69% (p = .003) and 91% and 69% (p = .001), respectively, with only seven of 76 lymphoma-related deaths. Among R-CHOP responders, 52 of 68 received RT. Conclusions. Based on these results, most patients with PMLBCL appear to be cured by R-CHOP in 21-day cycles with or without RT, which could be the current standard of care. Therefore, the need for more aggressive treatment strategies is questionable unless high-risk patients are adequately defined. Further studies are required to establish the precise role of RT. ©AlphaMed Press.
Kontovinis L, Laschos K, Karadimou A, Andreadis C, Bamias A, Paraskevopoulos P, Dimopoulos M, Papazisis K. Sequential treatment with sorafenib and sunitinib in metastatic renal cell carcinoma: Clinical outcomes from a retrospective clinical study. Medical Oncology [Internet]. 2012;29(2):750 - 754. WebsiteAbstract
Sorafenib and sunitinib are inhibitors of receptor protein tyrosine kinases (TKIs) and are approved for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Although the mTOR inhibitor everolimus is effective for the treatment of patients who have failed TKI therapy, it is important to consider all available treatment options before switching therapy mode of action. Herein, we report outcomes in patients with mRCC switched to sorafenib following disease progression on sunitinib treatment. The medical records of 35 patients treated between November 2006 and November 2009 at two large referral centers in Greece were retrospectively analyzed for time-to-progression (TTP), overall survival (OS), and tolerability of sorafenib after sunitinib. Median TTP and OS on sorafenib were 4.9 and 11.5 months, respectively. Among 33 patients evaluable for tumor response, three had a partial response and 17 achieved disease stabilization (objective response rate 8.5%; total clinical benefit rate 57%). Sorafenib was well tolerated, with mostly grade 1/2 adverse events and no treatment-related deaths. Sorafenib was effective and well tolerated in this group of patients. The TTP with sorafenib following sunitinib was comparable to outcomes reported previously, providing further support that TKIs should be used in sequence before switching to an mTOR inhibitor. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.
Fountzilas G, Dafni U, Bobos M, Batistatou A, Kotoula V, Trihia H, Malamou-Mitsi V, Miliaras S, Chrisafi S, Papadopoulos S, et al. Differential response of immunohistochemically defined breast cancer subtypes to anthracycline-based adjuvant chemotherapy with or without paclitaxel. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2012;7(6). WebsiteAbstract
Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of adjuvant dose-dense sequential chemotherapy with epirubicin, paclitaxel, and CMF in subgroups of patients with high-risk operable breast cancer, according to tumor subtypes defined by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Materials and Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor tissue samples from 1,039 patients participating in two adjuvant dose-dense sequential chemotherapy phase III trials were centrally assessed in tissue micro-arrays by IHC for 6 biological markers, that is, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), HER2, Ki67, cytokeratin 5 (CK5), and EGFR. The majority of the cases were further evaluated for HER2 amplification by FISH. Patients were classified as: luminal A (ER/PgR-positive, HER2-negative, Ki67low); luminal B (ER/PgR-positive, HER2-negative, Ki67high); luminal-HER2 (ER/PgR-positive, HER2-positive); HER2-enriched (ER-negative, PgR-negative, HER2-positive); triple-negative (TNBC) (ER-negative, PgR-negative, HER2-negative); and basal core phenotype (BCP) (TNBC, CK5-positive and/or EGFR-positive). Results: After a median follow-up time of 105.4 months the 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 73.1% and 86.1%, respectively. Among patients with HER2-enriched tumors there was a significant benefit in both DFS and OS (log-rank test; p = 0.021 and p = 0.006, respectively) for those treated with paclitaxel. The subtype classification was found to be of both predictive and prognostic value. Setting luminal A as the referent category, the adjusted for prognostic factors HR for relapse for patients with TNBC was 1.91 (95% CI: 1.31-2.80, Wald's p = 0.001) and for death 2.53 (95% CI: 1.62-3.60, p<0.001). Site of and time to first relapse differed according to subtype. Locoregional relapses and brain metastases were more frequent in patients with TNBC, while liver metastases were more often seen in patients with HER2-enriched tumors. Conclusions: Triple-negative phenotype is of adverse prognostic value for DFS and OS in patients treated with adjuvant dose-dense sequential chemotherapy. In the pre-trastuzumab era, the HER2-enriched subtype predicts favorable outcome following paclitaxel-containing treatment. © 2012 Fountzilas et al.
Soultati A, Mountzios G, Avgerinou C, Papaxoinis G, Pectasides D, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou C. Endothelial vascular toxicity from chemotherapeutic agents: Preclinical evidence and clinical implications. Cancer Treatment Reviews [Internet]. 2012;38(5):473 - 483. WebsiteAbstract
In cancer biology angiogenesis plays a vital role in tumour growth and its subsequent metastatic potential. By targeting the angiogenic process, a new treatment strategy was added in the clinician's therapeutic armamentarium. On the other hand, numerous classic cytotoxic agents are currently considered as potential angiogenesis inhibitors, although they were not originally developed as such, representing the so-called "accidental" anti-angiogenic drugs. The discovery of these new properties of classic cytotoxic agents led to the re-evaluation of their effect on vascular cells, rendering thus the endothelium an appealing target for therapeutic intervention, either with chemotherapy alone or with combination of cytotoxics with molecular angiogenesis inhibitors. Moreover, current evidence supports that chemotherapy-induced endothelial dysfunction constitutes an integrating predictive marker of future cardiovascular events and correlates well with traditional cardiovascular risk factors. It has therefore been suggested that evaluation of endothelial function may be useful in identifying asymptomatic subjects at high risk for cardiovascular events as well as for risk stratification of patients with established cardiovascular disease. Integration of the assessment of endothelial function in the clinical setting will thus enable effective intervention strategies to prevent or minimize the impact of these late adverse effects and design accurate follow-up protocols focused on cardiovascular complications. In the current review we provide a comprehensive overview of the effects of cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents on endothelial function and the clinical implications of chemotherapy-associated endothelial toxicity in patients with cancer. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Ludwig H, Avet-Loiseau H, Bladé J, Boccadoro M, Cavenagh J, Cavo M, Davies F, De La Rubia J, Delimpasi S, Dimopoulos M, et al. European perspective on multiple myeloma treatment strategies: Update following recent congresses. Oncologist [Internet]. 2012;17(5):592 - 606. WebsiteAbstract
The management of multiple myeloma has undergone profound changes over the recent past as a result of advances in our understanding of the disease biology as well as improvements in treatment and supportive care strategies. Notably, recent years have seen a surge in studies incorporating the novel agents thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide into treatment for different disease stages and across different patient groups. This article presents an update to a previous review of European treatment practices and is based on discussions during an expert meeting that was convened to review novel agent data published or presented at medical meetings until the end of 2011 and to assess their impact on treatment strategies. ©AlphaMed Press.
Tasidou A, Roussou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Gkotzamanidou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Migkou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Nikitas N, Anagnostou D, et al. Increased expression of cyclin-D1 on trephine bone marrow biopsies independently predicts for shorter overall survival in patients with multiple myeloma treated with novel agents. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2012;87(7):734 - 736. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) comprises 1% of all malignancies and 13% of hematological malignancies in the Caucasian population. Yearly incidence is 4/100,000 in the US and is higher in blacks and males [1]. The pathogenesis of the disease is relatively unknown; several chromosomal abnormalities have been related to the development of the disease, but none is characteristic of MM. Cyclin-D1 is a protein encoded by the CCND1 (bcl-1) gene on chromosome 11q13, and is an important regulator of G1 to S phase progression.
Chanan-Khan AA, Lonial S, Weber D, Borrello I, Foa R, Hellmann A, Dimopoulos M, Swern AS, Knight R. Lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone improves survival and time-to-progression in patients ≥65 years old with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. International Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2012;96(2):254 - 262. WebsiteAbstract
Two pivotal, phase III, randomised, placebocontrolled, registration trials (MM-009 and MM-010) showed that lenalidomide plus dexamethasone was more effective than placebo plus dexamethasone in the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. This pooled, retrospective subanalysis of MM-009 and MM-010 analysed outcomes according to patient age. A total of 704 patients (390 aged <65 years, 232 aged 65-74 years, and 82 aged ≥75 years) received lenalidomide or placebo, both in combination with dexamethasone. The overall response rate (ORR) was significantly higher in patients treated with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone versus placebo plus dexamethasone in all age groups (P<0.0001 for all). Median progression-free survival (PFS) and median time-to-progression (TTP) were similar, and both were significantly longer with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone in all age groups (P<0.001 for all). Median overall survival (OS) favoured lenalidomide plus dexamethasone in all age groups, although the difference was not statistically significant. Adverse events of anaemia, febrile neutropenia, deep-vein thrombosis, neuropathy, and gastrointestinal disorders increased with age. Lenalidomide combined with dexamethasone improved the ORR and prolonged PFS, TTP, and OS compared with placebo plus dexamethasone, irrespective of age. This finding was consistent with the overall MM-009 and MM-010 populations. © 2012 The Japanese Society of Hematology.
Thomakos N, Zacharakis D, Akrivos N, Zagouri F, Simou M, Bamias A, Dimopoulos M-A, Rodolakis A, Antsaklis A. Merkel cell carcinoma in pelvic lymph nodes after surgical staging for endometrial cancer: A case report and review of the literature. International Journal of Surgery Case Reports [Internet]. 2012;3(7):340 - 342. WebsiteAbstract
INTRODUCTION: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare malignant neuroendocrine tumor of the skin. PRESENTATION OF CASE: We present a case of MCC in pelvic lymph nodes, revealed after surgical staging for endometrial cancer. A 54-year-old Caucasian woman presented to our department with a threemonth history of postmenopausal bleeding. After proper preoperative evaluation, the patient underwent total abdominal hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-ophorectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection. The pathology report confirmed the presence of a small, grade I, endometrioid adenocarcinoma and MCC in the pelvic lymph nodes. Primary site of the disease could not been retrieved. The tumor board decided adjuvant chemotherapy (carboplatin and etoposide) and close follow-up every 2 months. Our patient is alive with no evidence of disease 12 months after surgery. DISCUSSION: It is noteworthy that 19% of the patients with MCC had lymph node metastasis with no apparent primary lesion. The mechanism of this regression remains unclear, although a higher apoptotic activity has been observed in MCC than other skin tumors. In addition, other co-malignancies have also been linked to MCC patients. The explanation for the frequent occurrence of other primary neoplasms in patients with MCC is still unclear. However, a reasonable cause could be an altered genetic profile or an immuno-compromised situation in these patients. CONCLUSION: Further analytic investigations are needed to clarify the role of various factors in the spontaneous regression or not of this neuroendocrine tumor as well as in the simultaneous genesis of other primary carcinomas. © 2012 Surgical Associates Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Delimpasi S, Katodritou E, Hatzimichael E, Kyrtsonis M-C, Repousis P, Tsirogianni M, Kartasis Z, Parcharidou A, et al. Multiple myeloma in octogenarians: Clinical features and outcome in the novel agent era. European Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2012;89(1):10 - 15. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) affects mainly elderly persons and because the population of octogenarians increases, it is common to treat patients ≥80 years of age. These patients are often not included in clinical trials; thus, there is limited data on their characteristics and treatment outcome. Patients and methods: We retrospectively analyzed 682 consecutive, unselected patients with newly diagnosed symptomatic myeloma who started treatment between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2010. Results: We identified 155 (23%) patients ≥ 80 years of age. Compared to patients <80 years, octogenarians had poorer performance status (P < 0.001), anemia (P = 0.006), low serum albumin (P = 0.001), and advanced ISS (P < 0.001). The median survival of patients ≥80 years was 22 months, and 14% died within 2 months from therapy initiation. The median survival of patients ≥80 years who received upfront novel agents was 26 vs. 17 months for those who did not. ECOG performance status ≤1 and frontline use of novel agents were independently associated with better survival. Response to first-line therapy was associated with improved survival (29 vs. 16 months, P = 0.017). Conclusions: Patients ≥80 years of age present with features of advanced myeloma and impaired performance status. The addition of novel agents may improve their outcome, but careful assessment and prospective clinical trials targeting the population of elderly patients are needed. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Kastritis E, Terpos E, Roussou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Pamboukas C, Boletis I, Marinaki S, Apostolou T, Nikitas N, Gkortzolidis G, et al. A phase 1/2 study of lenalidomide with low-dose oral cyclophosphamide and low-dose dexamethasone (RdC) in AL amyloidosis. Blood [Internet]. 2012;119(23):5384 - 5390. WebsiteAbstract
In this phase 1/2 study, we explored the feasibility and activity of an oral regimen of lenalidomide with low-dose dexamethasone and low-dose oral cyclophosphamide (RdC) in patients with primary systemic light chain amyloidosis. RdC was given for up to 12 cycles in prespecified cohorts at escalated doses: 13 patients were treated in phase 1 and 24 in phase 2; 65% were previously untreated, and most had renal and/or cardiac involvement and elevated cardiac biomarkers. Lenalidomide 15 mg/d and cyclophosphamide 100 mg/d were further evaluated in phase 2. On intention to treat, 20 (55%) patients achieved a hematologic response, including 3 (8%) complete remissions. Hematologic responses were seen at all dose levels and in 4 of 5 patients who had received bortezomib previously. An organ response was recorded in 22% of patients on intention-to-treat and in 40% of patients who survived at least 6 months. The median time to progression was 10 months and the 2-year survival was 41%. Fatigue, nonneutropenic infections, and rash were the most common toxicities. The results of the present study show that RdC is an oral regimen with activity in primary systemic light chain amyloidosis and may be an additional treatment option, especially for patients with preserved organ function or for patients who cannot receive or who relapse after bortezomib. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00981708. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.
Bamias A, Sotiropoulou M, Zagouri F, Trachana P, Sakellariou K, Kostouros E, Kakoyianni K, Rodolakis A, Vlahos G, Haidopoulos D, et al. Prognostic evaluation of tumour type and other histopathological characteristics in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, treated with surgery and paclitaxel/carboplatin chemotherapy: Cell type is the most useful prognostic factor. European Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2012;48(10):1476 - 1483. WebsiteAbstract
Aim: Ovarian carcinomas have been classified into types I and II according to the hypothesised mode of carcinogenesis and molecular characteristics. The prognostic significance of this classification has not been studied. Patients and methods: Five hundred and sixty-eight patients with histologically confirmed, ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal carcinomas, international federation of gynecology and obstetrics (FIGO) stages IIC-IV, treated with paclitaxel/platinum following cytoreductive surgery, were included in this analysis. Type I included low-grade serous, mucinous, endometrioid and clear-cell and type II high-grade serous, unspecified adenocarcinomas and undifferentiated carcinomas. Results: Median overall survival (OS) was 49 months for type I versus 45 for type II (p = 0.576). In contrast to type II, there was considerable prognostic heterogeneity among the subtypes included in type I. Cox regression analysis showed that cell-type classification: low-grade serous, mucinous, endometrioid, clear-cell, type II (high-grade serous, unspecified adenocarcinomas, undifferentiated carcinoma) was an independent predictor of survival (respective median OS 121 versus 15 versus 64 versus 29 versus 45 months, p = 0.003). On the contrary, histopathological subtype or tumour type (I versus II) did not offer additional prognostic information. Conclusion: The proposed model of ovarian tumourigenesis does not reflect tumour behaviour in advanced disease. Tumour-cell type is the most relevant histopathological prognostic factor in advanced ovarian cancer treated with platinum/paclitaxel. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Levidou G, Ventouri K, Nonni A, Gakiopoulou H, Bamias A, Sotiropoulou M, Papaspirou I, Dimopoulos MA, Patsouris E, Korkolopoulou P. Replication protein A in nonearly ovarian adenocarcinomas: Correlation with MCM-2, MCM-5, Ki-67 index and prognostic significance. International Journal of Gynecological Pathology [Internet]. 2012;31(4):319 - 327. WebsiteAbstract
Replication protein A (RPA) is an ssDNA-binding protein required for the initiation of DNA replication and the stabilization of ssDNA. Collaboration with several molecules, that is, the MCM2-7 complex, has been suggested to be imperative for its multifaceted role. In this study, we investigated the immunohistochemical expression of the RPA2 subunit in correlation with the MCM-2 and MCM-5 and Ki67 index, and assessed its prognostic significance in 76 patients with nonearly ovarian adenocarcinomas, the majority of whom had a serous histotype. RPA2 protein expression was observed in all cases, whereas the staining intensity varied from weak to strong. RPA2 expression was correlated with the tumor stage in the entire cohort and in serous tumors (P=0.0053 in both relationships). Moreover, RPA2 immunoexpression was positively correlated with MCM-2 (P=0.0001) and MCM-5 (P<0.0001) expression, but was unrelated to the Ki67 index (P>0.10). In multivariate survival analysis, RPA2 expression emerged as an independent predictor of adverse outcome (P<0.0001) along with tumor histologic grade. RPA2 remained an independent predictor of survival (P=0.002) even after adjustment for MCM-2 and MCM-5 expression and when analysis was restricted to serous carcinomas (P=0.004). Our results further support the interrelation of RPA2 protein with MCM-2 and MCM-5 in OCs. Moreover, RPA2 protein may play an important role in ovarian tumorigenesis, and may serve as a useful independent molecular marker for stratifying patients with OC in terms of prognosis. © 2012 International Society of Gynecological Pathologists.
Zis P, Spengos K, Manios E, Vemmos K, Zis V, Dimopoulos M-A, Zakopoulos N. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in acute stroke: The importance of time rate of blood pressure variation. Blood Pressure Monitoring [Internet]. 2012;17(5):220 - 221. Website
Terpos E, Kastritis E, Christoulas D, Gkotzamanidou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanellias N, Papatheodorou A, Dimopoulos MA. Circulating activin-A is elevated in patients with advanced multiple myeloma and correlates with extensive bone involvement and inferior survival; no alterations post-lenalidomide and dexamethasone therapy. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2012;23(10):2681 - 2686. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Activin-A is a transforming growth factor -β superfamily member, which seems to be implicated in the biology of osteolytic disease in multiple myeloma. Design and methods: Circulating activin-A was evaluated in 98 newly diagnosed myeloma patients (85 with symptomatic disease), in 40 patients with relapsed myeloma before and after four cycles of lenalidomide and dexamethasone (RD), in 27 healthy controls and in 10 monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance patients. Results: Patients with newly diagnosed symptomatic myeloma had increased circulating activin-A compared with controls (P < 0.001), while patients with relapsed disease had elevated activin-A even compared with symptomatic patients at diagnosis (P < 0.001). High activin-A correlated with advanced International Staging System stage (P = 0.002), increased bone resorption (P < 0.001) and extensive bone disease (P = 0.03). Low levels of activin-A (<442 pg/ml) were associated with superior median overall survival: not reached versus 59 months (P = 0.04), while activin-A inversely correlated with survival as a continuous variable (P < 0.001). RD did not alter circulating activin-A after four cycles of treatment, even in responders. Conclusions: High circulating activin-A correlates with advanced features of myeloma, supporting the rationale for the use of activin-A antagonists, such as sotatercept in myeloma. The inability of RD to reduce activin-A reveals RD as a good candidate for combination therapies with activin-A antagonists in myeloma. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Stefanou DT, Episkopou H, Kyrtopoulos SA, Bamias A, Gkotzamanidou M, Bamia C, Liakou C, Bekyrou M, Sfikakis PP, Dimopoulos M-A, et al. Development and validation of a PCR-based assay for the selection of patients more likely to benefit from therapeutic treatment with alkylating drugs. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology [Internet]. 2012;74(5):842 - 853. WebsiteAbstract
AIM In order to develop and validate a simple, sensitive and rapid method for the quantitation of alkylating drug-induced DNA damage. METHODS HepG2 cells and blood samples were treated with alkylating drugs (melphalan, cisplatin, carboplatin). Gene-specific damage was examined using Southern blot and a multiplex long quantitative PCR (QPCR) carried out in a 7kb fragment (part of the p53 gene) and a 0.5kb fragment (part of the IFN-β1 sequence; internal standard). RESULTS The extent of PCR amplification of a p53 fragment was inversely proportional to the treatment concentrations of all anticancer drugs examined, indicating a dose-related inhibition by the DNA adducts formed. Parallel analysis of the same samples using both Southern blot and QPCR showed that the DNA adducts measured by QPCR corresponded to the interstrand cross-links in the case of melphalan, and to total drug-induced lesions in the case of the platinum drugs. The detection limit was ∼10-20 lesions/106 nucleotides using DNA from ∼8000 cells. The method is about 250 times more sensitive than the Southern blot-based method and the reproducibility is excellent, with an intraday coefficient of variance (CV) of 5-9% and an interday CV of 4-12%. Application of the QPCR assay to ex vivo melphalan-treated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from multiple myeloma patients, showed that the positive predictive value of this assay for clinical response to melphalan therapy was 92.9%. CONCLUSION The PCR-based assay developed in this study can be used for the selection of cancer patients more likely to benefit from therapeutic treatment with alkylating drugs. © 2012 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.
Moulopoulos LA, Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Christoulas D, Gkotzamanidou M, Roussou M, Koureas A, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, et al. Diffuse pattern of bone marrow involvement on magnetic resonance imaging is associated with high risk cytogenetics and poor outcome in newly diagnosed, symptomatic patients with multiple myeloma: A single center experience on 228 patients. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2012;87(9):861 - 864. WebsiteAbstract
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and specific cytogenetic abnormalities offer important prognostic information for myeloma patients. However, limited data are available about the association between cytogenetic abnormalities and MRI patterns of marrow infiltration. To address this issue, we analyzed 228 consecutive newly diagnosed, symptomatic patients who were diagnosed and treated in a single center. On bone marrow MR images, 95 (41%) patients had diffuse, 94 (41%) had focal, 35 (15%) were normal, and 4 (1.7%) patients had variegated pattern of marrow infiltration. High risk cytogenetics were more commonly observed with diffuse MRI pattern (50% vs. 31% in focal and normal patterns). Patients with diffuse MRI pattern had poorer survival compared to others and responded better to novel agent-based therapies than to conventional chemotherapy (objective response: 88% vs. 46%, P < 0.001). There was a significant improvement of patients' survival with a diffuse MRI pattern when treated upfront with novel agents compared to conventional chemotherapy (47 vs. 24 months; P < 0.001). Diffuse MRI pattern along with ISS-3 and high risk cytogenetics could identify a very high risk group of patients with extremely poor median survival (21 months) and an only 35% probability of 3-year OS. Our study shows that symptomatic myeloma patients with a diffuse MRI pattern at diagnosis very often show high risk cytogenetic abnormalities and are benefiting from upfront novel agent-based therapies. Diffuse MRI pattern in combination with high risk cytogenetics and ISS-3 can identify a subset of myeloma patients with very poor prognosis who may need innovative treatment strategies and possibly more aggressive therapies. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..
Palumbo A, Rocci A, Ludwig H, Dimopoulos MA. Dr. Palumbo and colleagues reply. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2012;367(6):573 - 574. Website
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Katodritou E, Bratengeier C, Gkotzamanidou M, Michalis E, Delimpasi S, Pouli A, Meletis J, Kastritis E, et al. Elevated circulating sclerostin correlates with advanced disease features and abnormal bone remodeling in symptomatic myeloma: Reduction post-bortezomib monotherapy. International Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2012;131(6):1466 - 1471. WebsiteAbstract
Sclerostin is a Wingless and Int-1 inhibitor, which is produced by osteocytes and inhibits osteoblast-driven bone formation. Sclerostin is implicated in the pathogenesis of bone loss in metabolic bone disorders but there is no information for its effect on multiple myeloma (MM)-related osteolytic disease. We evaluated circulating sclerostin in 157 newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic myeloma, in 25 with relapsed myeloma who received bortezomib monotherapy, in 21 patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), and in 21 healthy controls. Patients with active myeloma had elevated circulating sclerostin compared to MGUS patients and controls (p < 0.01). MM patients who presented with fractures at diagnosis (n = 34) had very high levels of circulating sclerostin compared with all others (p < 0.01), whereas sclerostin correlated negatively with bone specific alkaline phosphatase (a bone formation marker; r = -0.541, p < 0.0001) and positively with C-telopeptide of collagen type-1 (a bone resorption marker; r = 0.524, p < 0.0001). Patients with International Staging System (ISS)-3 disease had higher circulating sclerostin compared to ISS-1 and ISS-2 MM (p = 0.001). Furthermore, patients with high sclerostin (upper quartile, n = 40) had a median survival of 27 months versus 98 months of all others (p = 0.031). Relapsed MM patients had higher levels of circulating sclerostin even compared to newly diagnosed patients (p < 0.01). Bortezomib monotherapy resulted in a reduction of sclerostin by almost 50% in both responders and non-responders. These results suggest that patients with active myeloma have elevated circulating sclerostin, which correlated with advanced disease features including severe bone disease. Our study indicates sclerostin as a possible target for the development of novel therapies to enhance osteoblast function in myeloma. Copyright © 2011 UICC.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA, Bladé J. Evolving Chemotherapy Options for the Treatment of Myeloma Kidney: A 40-Year Perspective. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease [Internet]. 2012;19(5):312 - 323. WebsiteAbstract
Kidney impairment (KI) at the time of initial diagnosis is common in myeloma. The improvement of kidney function and the reversal of KI are of utmost importance. Recent advances have made it possible to reverse acute kidney damage due to myeloma in most patients, at least if treatment is immediately implemented. Immediate antimyeloma therapy and appropriate hydration are the most commonly used treatment modalities for the management of acute KI related to myeloma. Mechanical approaches can only temporarily reduce the free light-chain load, and without effective chemotherapy they are probably not able to significantly improve kidney function. However, the role of mechanical approaches together with effective chemotherapy is still being explored. Thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib have improved the survival of myeloma patients, but they have also improved the outcome of patients presenting with KI. Thalidomide is safe to use on patients with KI without dose adjustments. Lenalidomide needs dose modification, but it can improve kidney function in many patients. Bortezomib seems to be the agent of choice for most patients presenting with KI without dose modifications. This review focuses on the management of patients presenting with "myeloma kidney" using modern chemotherapy approaches, especially novel agents. © 2012 National Kidney Foundation, Inc.
Colombo N, Kutarska E, Dimopoulos M, Bae D-S, Rzepka-Gorska I, Bidzinski M, Scambia G, Engelholm SA, Joly F, Weber D, et al. Randomized, open-label, phase III study comparing patupilone (EPO906) with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in platinum-refractory or -resistant patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, primary fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2012;30(31):3841 - 3847. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: This study compared the efficacy and safety of patupilone with those of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in patients with platinum-refractory or -resistant epithelial ovarian, primary fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer. Patients and Methods: Patients with three or fewer prior regimens were eligible if they had received first-line taxane/ platinum-based combination chemotherapy and were platinum refractory or resistant. Patients were randomly assigned to receive patupilone (10 mg/m 2 intravenously every 3 weeks) or PLD (50 mg/m2 intravenously every 4 weeks). Results: A total of 829 patients were randomly assigned (patupilone, n = 412; PLD, n = 417). There was no statistically significant difference in overall survival (OS), the primary end point, between the patupilone and PLD arms (P = .195; hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.79 to 1.09), with median OS rates of 13.2 and 12.7 months, respectively. Median progression-free survival was 3.7 months for both arms. The overall response rate (all partial responses) was higher in the patupilone arm than in the PLD arm (15.5% v 7.9%; odds ratio, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.36 to 3.29), although disease control rates were similar (59.5% v 56.3%, respectively). Frequently observed adverse events (AEs) of any grade included diarrhea (85.3%) and peripheral neuropathy (39.3%) in the patupilone arm and mucositis/stomatitis (43%) and hand-foot syndrome (41.8%) in the PLD arm. Conclusion: Patupilone did not demonstrate significant improvement in OS compared with the active control, PLD. No new or unexpected serious AEs were identified. © 2012 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Gkotzamanidou M, Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Christoulas D, Moulopoulos LA, Terpos E. Sclerostin: A possible target for the management of cancer-induced bone disease. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets [Internet]. 2012;16(8):761 - 769. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Sclerostin is a cysteine-knot-containing protein, which is produced by osteocytes and inhibits osteoblast function. The aim of this review is to summarize the data about the role of sclerostin in cancer-induced bone disease. Areas covered: We performed a thorough search for articles in the PubMed using the words "sclerostin, cancer, multiple myeloma", and for similar abstracts that were presented in the ASH and ASCO annual meetings (2005 2011). In multiple myeloma, sclerostin is produced by myeloma cells and elevated in the serum or the plasma of the patients, and correlates with extensive bone disease and adverse myeloma features. In prostate cancer, sclerostin expression is reduced and in combination with bone morhogenetic protein-6 and noggin expression may serve as prognostic predictor for metastatic progression. In breast cancer, in vitro data suggest that the malignant cell induces the expression of sclerostin to inhibit osteoblasts in the metastatic bone area. Expert opinion: Sclerostin may play a role in inhibiting bone formation in the biology of bone metastases in breast cancer and of myeloma-related bone disease. The results of phase I/II studies with anti-sclerostin drugs in subjects with low bone mass may lead to the potential clinical investigation of these agents in cancer-indauced bone disease. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. VWF, WM, and angiogenesis: Is there a link?. Blood [Internet]. 2012;120(16):3163 - 3164. WebsiteAbstract
The serum levels of several angiogenic cytokines are increased in patients withWaldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). Angiopoietin-2 is also increased and the balance of angiopoietin-1/angiopoietin-2, which antagonize for the receptor tyrosine kinase Tie-2 is in favor of angiopoietin-2. Lymphoplasmacytic cells may produce VEGF, but they also produce large amounts of CCL-3 which attracts macrophages, and probably mast cells. Mast cells support lymphoplasmacytic cells and may also produce VEGF. VWF is stored in the Weibel-Palade bodies together with several other mediators, including angiopoietin-2. The endothelial cells (ECs) release the content of Weibel-Palade bodies in response to stimuli, such as VEGF and VWF and other molecules (such as angiopoitein-2) are released simultaneously. VWF may also have an inhibitory activity in the constitutive VEGFR-2-dependent pathway(s), which promote EC migration.
Nikitas N, Karadimou A, Tsitoura E, Soupos N, Tsiatas M, Karavasilis V, Pectasides D, Pavlidis N, Chrisofos M, Adamakis I, et al. Association of ERCC1 SNPs with outcome in platinum-treated patients with advanced urothelial cancer: A Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group study. Pharmacogenomics [Internet]. 2012;13(14):1595 - 1607. WebsiteAbstract
Aim: The association between two polymorphisms of ERCC1 and treatment outcomes after platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with advanced urothelial cancer (UC) was examined. Materials & methods: Genotyping of 19007C>T and 8092C>A polymorphisms was determined by PCR amplification and RFLP in 113 advanced UC patients, treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. Results: Seventy eight patients (69%) were carriers of the 19007T polymorphic allele: 51 (45%) heterozygotes and 27 (24%) homozygotes. Fifty three (47%) patients were carriers of the 8092A polymorphic allele: the frequencies of C/A and A/A genotypes were 37% and 10%, respectively. The T/T genotype was independently associated with prolonged median cancer-specific survival (not-reached vs 14.8 months; p = 0.026). There was no interaction between T/T or any other genotype with the type of platinum derivative (cisplatin/carboplatin). Conclusion: 19007C>T, especially in its homozygotic state, but not 8092C>A polymorphism, could be a useful prognostic marker in advanced UC treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. Original submitted 17 July 2012; Revision submitted 21 September 201. © 2012 Future Medicine Ltd.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Gazouli M, Tsigginou A, Dimitrakakis C, Papaspyrou I, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Chrysikos D, Theodoropoulos G, Zografos GC, et al. HSP90, HSPA8, HIF-1 alpha and HSP70-2 polymorphisms in breast cancer: a case-control study. Molecular biology reports [Internet]. 2012;39(12):10873 - 10879. WebsiteAbstract
This case control study aims to investigate the role of HSP90 Gln488His (C > G), HSP70-2 P1/P2, HIF-1 alpha C1772T and HSPA8 intronic 1541-1542delGT polymorphisms as potential risk factors and/or prognostic markers for breast cancer. 113 consecutive incident cases of histologically confirmed ductal breast cancer and 124 healthy cases were recruited. The above mentioned polymorphisms were genotyped; multivariate logistic regression was performed. HSP90 GG (His/His) genotype was associated with elevated breast cancer risk. Similarly, the allele dose-response model pointed to increase in breast cancer risk per G allele. HSP70-2 P1/P2, HSPA8 intronic 1541-1542delGT and HIF-1 alpha polymorphisms were not associated with breast cancer risk, as evidenced by the dose-response allele models. The positive association between HSP90 G allele and breast cancer risk seemed to pertain to both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. With respect to survival analysis, none of the aforementioned polymorphisms was associated with either disease-free survival or overall survival. HSP90α Gln488His polymorphism seems to be a risk factor for breast cancer. On the other hand, our study did not point to excess risk conferred by HSPA8 1541-1542delGT, Hsp70-2 P1/P2 and HIF-1α C1772T.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Gazouli M, Tsigginou A, Dimitrakakis C, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Papaspyrou I, Chrysikos D, Theodoropoulos G, Zografos GC, et al. HTERT MNS16A polymorphism in breast cancer: a case-control study. Molecular biology reports [Internet]. 2012;39(12):10859 - 10863. WebsiteAbstract
This case-control study aims to investigate the role of HTERT MNS16A polymorphism as a potential risk factors and/or a prognostic marker for breast cancer. 113 consecutive incident cases of histologically confirmed ductal breast cancer and 124 healthy controls were recruited. HTERT MNS16A polymorphism was genotyped (L: long allele, S: short allele); multivariate logistic regression was performed. No significant association was noted either at the overall analysis (OR = 1.57, 95 % CI 0.84-2.93 for heterozygous LS carriers; OR = 1.02, 95 % CI 0.54-1.95 for homozygous SS carriers) or at the subanalyses in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. With respect to survival analysis, HTERT MNS16A polymorphism was not associated with either disease-free survival or overall survival. HTERT MNS16A polymorphism does not seem to be a risk factor for breast cancer in the Caucasian Greek population. Further, larger studies from other countries and subjects seem to be needed as this novel polymorphism is being examined in depth.
Terpos E, Asli B, Christoulas D, Brouet J-C, Kastritis E, Rybojad M, Bengoufa D, Dimopoulos MA, Fermand JP. Increased angiogenesis and enhanced bone formation in patients with IgM monoclonal gammopathy and urticarial skin rash: New insight into the biology of Schnitzler syndrome. Haematologica [Internet]. 2012;97(11):1699 - 1703. WebsiteAbstract
Schnitzler syndrome is a rare plasma cell disorder the pathogenesis of which is still not fully understood. We evaluated the circulating levels of four major angiogenic cytokines (VEGF, angiogenin, angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2) and six bone remodeling markers (sRANKL, osteoprotegerin, dickkopf-1, CTX, osteocalcin and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase-bALP) in 13 patients with Schnitzler syndrome. At diagnosis, patients had elevated angiogenic cytokines. The mean VEGF levels were almost 3.5-fold higher in Schnitzler syndrome compared to controls, while 10 of 13 patients had higher VEGF than the upper control value. Successful treatment led to a significant reduction in VEGF. Patients with Schnitzler syndrome had increased bone formation (high bALP, osteocalcin and osteoprotegerin) which was not balanced by an increase in bone resorption (normal CTX and sRANKL). These data support a role for VEGF as a new minor criterion in the diagnosis and follow up of Schnitzler syndrome, while the uncoupling of bone remodeling in favor of bone formation justifies the presence of bone densification. ©2012 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Palladini G, Dispenzieri A, Gertz MA, Kumar S, Wechalekar A, Hawkins PN, Schönland S, Hegenbart U, Comenzo R, Kastritis E, et al. New criteria for response to treatment in immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis based on free light chain measurement and cardiac biomarkers: Impact on survival outcomes. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2012;30(36):4541 - 4549. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: To identify the criteria for hematologic and cardiac response to treatment in immunoglobulin light chain (AL) amyloidosis based on survival analysis of a large patient population. Patients and Methods: We gathered for analysis 816 patients with AL amyloidosis from seven referral centers in the European Union and the United States. A different cohort of 374 patients prospectively evaluated at the Pavia Amyloidosis Research and Treatment Center was used for validation. Data was available for all patients before and 3 and/or 6 months after initiation of first-line therapy. The prognostic relevance of different criteria for hematologic and cardiac response was assessed. Results: There was a strong correlation between the extent of reduction of amyloidogenic free light chains (FLCs) and improvement in survival. This allowed the identification of four levels of response: amyloid complete response (normal FLC ratio and negative serum and urine immunofixation), very good partial response (difference between involved and uninvolved FLCs [dFLC] < 40 mg/L), partial response (dFLC decrease > 50%), and no response. Cardiac involvement is the major determinant of survival, and changes in cardiac function after therapy can be reliably assessed using the cardiac biomarker N-terminal natriuretic peptide type B (NT-proBNP). Changes in FLC and NT-proBNP predicted survival as early as 3 months after treatment initiation. Conclusion: This study identifies and validates new criteria for response to first-line treatment in AL amyloidosis, based on their association with survival in large patient populations, and offers surrogate end points for clinical trials. © 2012 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Prevention and treatment of myeloma bone disease. Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports [Internet]. 2012;7(4):249 - 257. WebsiteAbstract
Osteolytic bone disease is the most common complication of multiple myeloma, resulting in skeletalrelated events (SREs) that cause significant morbidity. Bone destruction in myeloma is due to an increased activity of osteoclasts coupled with suppressed bone formation by osteoblasts. Currently, bisphosphonates are the mainstay of the treatment of myeloma bone disease. Zoledronic acid and pamidronate have shown similar efficacy in reducing SREs in a randomized study in the conventional chemotherapy era. However, in a recent study (the Myeloma-IX trial of the UK Medical Research Council, MRC), zoledronic acid was found to be superior to clodronate in reducing SREs, but also it produced a survival advantage of approximately 10 months in patients with bone disease at baseline. During recent years, novel agents targeting bone have been used in myeloma. This review focuses on the established therapy of myeloma bone disease and also on recent advances in treatment that take advantage of the better understanding of the pathophysiology of bone disease. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E, Goldschmidt H, Alegre A, Mark T, Niesvizky R. Treatment with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in patients with multiple myeloma and renal impairment. Cancer Treatment Reviews [Internet]. 2012;38(8):1012 - 1019. WebsiteAbstract
Renal impairment (RI) is a common complication affecting patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Timely identification of MM-related RI and early treatment with novel antimyeloma agents can reverse renal damage in a high proportion of patients and improve outcomes. The IMiDs® immunomodulatory compound lenalidomide (Len) in combination with dexamethasone (Dex) is an effective and well-tolerated regimen for patients with relapsed or refractory (RR) MM. A retrospective analysis of Phase III data has shown that Len/Dex remains effective and well-tolerated in patients with moderate or severe RI, albeit with an increase in myelosuppression. This analysis demonstrated that in a high proportion of patients Len/Dex treatment can reverse MM-related RI and restore normal function. Lenalidomide has a predominantly renal route of excretion and in patients with RI the plasma concentration and half-life of the drug are significantly increased. As a consequence, lower starting doses are required in patients with RI to avoid over-exposure and an increased risk of adverse events, while maintaining good therapeutic index. A prospective cohort study in 50 patients with RRMM has reported that when Len/Dex dosing was adjusted according to renal function, response rates and survival outcomes were similar in patients with and without RI, and there was no increase in adverse events in patients with RI. Further clinical studies are required to confirm the efficacy and tolerability of Len/Dex regimens in MM patients with RI, and to evaluate the impact of reversing renal damage in terms of patient survival. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Gavalas NG, Tsiatas M, Tsitsilonis O, Politi E, Ioannou K, Ziogas AC, Rodolakis A, Vlahos G, Thomakos N, Haidopoulos D, et al. VEGF directly suppresses activation of T cells from ascites secondary to ovarian cancer via VEGF receptor type 2. British Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2012;107(11):1869 - 1875. WebsiteAbstract
Background:Vascular endothelial growth factor action in tumour angiogenesis is well characterised; nevertheless, it functions as a key element in the promotion of the immune systems evasion by tumours. We sought to investigate the possible direct effect of VEGF on T-cell activation and through which type of VEGF receptor it exerts this effect on cells isolated from ovarian cancer patients ascites.Methods:T cells isolated from the ascites of ovarian cancer patients were cultured with anti-CD3 and IL-2, with or without VEGF for 14 days and the number of viable T cells was counted. Cytotoxic activity of cultured T cells and expression of VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), was assayed.Results:The addition of VEGF in cultures significantly reduced the number and proliferation rate of T cells in a dose-dependent manner and CD3 T cells expressed VEGFR-2 on their surface upon activation. Experiments with specific anti-VEGFR-2 antibodies revealed that the direct suppressive effect of VEGF on T-cell proliferation is mediated by VEGFR-2. We also showed that VEGF significantly reduced the cytotoxic activity of T cells.Conclusion:Our study showed that ascites-derived T cells secrete VEGF and express VEGFR-2 upon activation. Vascular endothelial growth factor directly suppresses T-cell activation via VEGFR-2. © 2012 Cancer Research UK.
Zagouri F, Dimitrakakis C, Dimopoulos M-A, Tsigginou A, Antsaklis A, Papadimitriou CA. A woman with breast cancer and severe impaired lactose tolerance: An intriguing therapeutic dilemma. Breast Journal [Internet]. 2012;18(6):628 - 629. Website
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. New insights in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. In: Bone Marrow Lymphoid Infiltrates: Diagnosis and Clinical Impact. ; 2012. pp. 223 - 236. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia (WM) is a neoplastic B lymphoid disorder characterized by the bone marrow (BM) infiltration by a lymphoplasmatic clone that produces a monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) of the IgM type. WM is named after Jan Waldenström, a Swedish physician who first described two patients who presented with oronasal bleeding, lymphadenopathy, anemia and thrombocytopenia, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, high serum viscosity, normal bone radiographs, and BM infiltration by lymphoid cells. At that time serum electrophoresis was not available and he attributed the hyperviscosity to an abnormal high-molecular-weight serum protein, which subsequently was shown to be a monoclonal IgM. These two first patients presented with several of the most common features of WM, as have been subsequently described [1]. © 2012 Springer-Verlag London. All rights are reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E. Waldenström's macroglobulinemia associated with cryoglobulinemia: Pathogenetic, clinical, and therapeutic aspects. In: HCV Infection and Cryoglobulinemia. ; 2012. pp. 277 - 283. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) is a distinct B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder that is characterized by infiltration of the bone marrow with lymphoplasmacytic cells and by an IgM monoclonal gammopathy. Both type I and type II cryoglobulins may be associated with WM. About 10-20% of patients with the diagnosis of WM have cryoglobulins, but clinically evident type I cryoglobulinemia occurs in less than 5% of WM patients. In type I cryoglobulinemia, the signs and symptoms are mainly related to the physicochemical properties of the monoclonal IgM and immune phenomena do not develop. In type II cryoglobulinemia, the symptoms are related to the immune phenomena, with vasculitis of small and medium-sized vessels as the most common finding. However, the clinical features of types I and II cryoglobulinemia may overlap. Plasmapheresis/plasma exchange is very effective for the immediate reduction of the amount of circulating type I cryoglobulins and immediate anti-lymphoma treatment with highly effective regimens should be considered concomitantly or following plasma exchange. In WM patients with type II cryoglobulinemia, plasmapheresis may not be as effective and immunosuppressive therapies should be considered, including rituximab. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Italia. All rights reserved.
2011
Tousoulis D, Andreou I, Tsiatas M, Miliou A, Tentolouris C, Siasos G, Papageorgiou N, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, Stefanadis C. Effects of rosuvastatin and allopurinol on circulating endothelial progenitor cells in patients with congestive heart failure: The impact of inflammatory process and oxidative stress. Atherosclerosis [Internet]. 2011;214(1):151 - 157. WebsiteAbstract
Objective: Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) contribute to the maintenance of endothelial integrity and function. We investigated the effects of rosuvastatin and allopurinol on the number of EPCs in patients with heart failure and aimed to provide insight into the molecular inflammatory and oxidative mechanisms that could be responsible for the alterations in EPC levels after treatment. Methods: Sixty patients with systolic heart failure were randomized to receive rosuvastatin 10mg/d, allopurinol 300mg/d or placebo and followed up for 1 month. The number of CD34 +/KDR + and CD34 +/CD133 +/KDR + EPCs in blood was evaluated by flow cytometry. Endothelial function was assessed by brachial artery flow-mediated dilation. Levels of markers of inflammation and oxidative stress were also determined. Results: Circulating EPCs were significantly increased after rosuvastatin treatment (from 230 (170-380) and 10 (8-24) to 390 (230-520) and 19 (8-33) cells/10 6 lymphomonocytes, respectively, p=0.004 and p=0.008), whereas they remained unchanged in the other groups. The increase in EPC levels was not associated with the changes in the levels of the measured inflammatory and oxidative markers. Conclusion: Short-term treatment with rosuvastatin, but not allopurinol, significantly increases the number of circulating EPCs in patients with heart failure providing further insights into its role in these individuals. The impact of rosuvastatin on EPCs is not mediated by changes in inflammatory and oxidative status. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, San-Miguel JF, Anderson KC. Emerging therapies for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. European Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2011;86(1):1 - 15. WebsiteAbstract
Encouraging progress has been made in the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM). The rapidly evolving understanding of key pathways responsible for tumor growth and survival has led to the development of novel agents (including immunomodulatory drugs, proteasome inhibitors, histone deacetylase inhibitors, and other targeted agents) with the potential to provide significant improvements in response and survival, and influence treatment guidelines. This review summarizes recent advances in understanding of the biology of relapsed/refractory MM and clinical trials with novel targeted agents that are currently under investigation for patients with this disease. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS) and smoldering multiple myeloma. In: Myeloma: Pathology, Diagnosis, and Treatment. ; 2011. pp. 121 - 133. WebsiteAbstract
The identification of a monoclonal protein in serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP) is a common event requiring medical consultation. A monoclonal protein may be the hallmark of a malignant disease, such as multiple myeloma or Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia (and less often of other lymphoproliferative disorders), of diseases associated with a malignant plasma cell clone, such as AL amyloidosis or other plasma cell related disorders, or, quite commonly may have no direct impact and belong to monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance (MGUS). Jan Waldenstrom introduced the term “essential hyperglobulinemia” in order to describe patients who had a small serum protein electrophoretic spike but no evidence of overt multiple myeloma (MM), Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM), primary amyloidosis (AL), or related disorders. The seminal work by Kyle indicated that some patients with this monoclonal gammopathy develop MM, or WM or AL or other lymphoproliferative malignancies, and introduced the term “monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance” (MGUS)[1]. Kyle also described patients with histologic and biochemical features of myeloma (bone marrow clonal plasma cells (BMPC) involvement of 10% or higher, presence of a serum M-protein value higher than 3 g/dl) that did not have lytic bone lesions, anemia, renal impairment or other clinical manifestations of myeloma who remained stable, with no need for chemotherapy, for several years[2]. Alexanian also presented data on “indolent myeloma”[3], that included patients who had no clinical features of overt myeloma such as anemia and renal dysfunction and had fewer than three lytic bone lesions. Among these patients, median time to initiation of chemotherapy was two years, but some patients remained stable for several years. Thus, the term “smoldering” MM or “asymptomatic” or “indolent” MM, entered the clinical practice. The definitions, however, were not strict among different groups. In 2003 a consensus paper defined MGUS and asymptomatic or smoldering myeloma (Table 10.1). MGUS requires that M-protein in serum is <30 g/l and that bone marrow clonal plasma cells are <10% with no evidence of other B cell proliferative disorders and no end organ damage (anemia, renal impairment, hypercalcemia, lytic bone lesions). © Cambridge University Press 2014.
Dimopoulos MA, Mateos M-V, Richardson PG, Schlag R, Khuageva NK, Shpilberg O, Kropff M, Spicka I, Palumbo A, Wu KL, et al. Risk factors for, and reversibility of, peripheral neuropathy associated with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma: Subanalysis of the phase 3 VISTA study. European Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2011;86(1):23 - 31. WebsiteAbstract
Objectives: This subanalysis of the phase 3 VISTA trial aimed to assess the frequency, characteristics and reversibility of, and prognostic factors for, bortezomib-associated peripheral neuropathy (PN) in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma ineligible for high-dose therapy who received bortezomib plus melphalan-prednisone.Methods: Patients received nine 6-wk cycles of VMP (bortezomib 1.3 mg/m2, days 1, 4, 8, 11, 22, 25, 29, 32, cycles 1-4, and days 1, 8, 22, 29, cycles 5-9; melphalan 9 mg/m2, days 1-4, cycles 1-9; and prednisone 60 mg/m2, days 1-4, cycles 1-9).Results: Overall, 47% of patients receiving VMP developed PN, including 19% grade 2 and 13% grade ≥3 (<1% grade 4). The PN incidence was dose-related and reached a plateau at a cumulative bortezomib dose of approximately 45 mg/m2. Median time to PN onset was 2.3 months. Bortezomib-associated PN was reversible; 79% of events improved by at least one NCI CTCAE grade within a median of 1.9 months and 60% completely resolved within a median of 5.7 months, with reversibility similar in responding and non-responding patients. By multivariate analysis, baseline neuropathy was the only consistent risk factor for any PN [hazard ratio (HR) 1.785, P = 0.0065], grade ≥2 PN (HR 2.205, P = 0.0032), and grade ≥3 PN (HR 2.438, P = 0.023); age, pre-existing diabetes, International Staging System stage, obesity, and creatinine clearance did not affect the overall rate of PN.Conclusions: Rates of bortezomib-induced PN in the frontline setting were similar to those in relapsed patients and resolved in most cases. (Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00111319). © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Lainakis G, Zagouri F, Kastritis E, Sergentanis TN, Bozas G, Dimopoulos MA, Papadimitriou CA. Systemic chemotherapy with pemetrexed and cisplatin for malignant peritoneal mesothelioma: A single institution experience. Tumori [Internet]. 2011;97(1):25 - 29. WebsiteAbstract
Background and aims. Primary malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare malignancy with an unfavorable prognosis. Pemetrexed has proven effective in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma, alone or in combination with platinum agents. In the present study, chemo-naïve patients were evaluated for the efficacy and safety of the pemetrexed-cisplatin combination. Methods. Six patients with diffuse peritoneal mesothelioma were treated with 6 cycles of pemetrexed (500 mg/m2) and cisplatin (75 mg/m2). Chemotherapy was administered on an outpatient basis every 3 weeks. Results. Complete response was observed in 2 patients (33%) and partial response was observed in 3 patients (50%). The estimated median overall survival was 24 months and the estimated median time to disease progression was 9.5 months. The regimen was well tolerated. Conclusions. Though our data reflect a small sample size, pemetrexed plus cisplatin accomplished a particularly high clinical benefit rate on chemo-naïve patients. Free full text available at www.tumorionline.it.
San-Miguel JF, Dimopoulos MA, Stadtmauer EA, Rajkumar SV, Siegel D, Bravo M-L, Olesnyckyj M, Knight RD, Zeldis JB, Harousseau J-L, et al. Effects of lenalidomide and dexamethasone treatment duration on survival in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma treated with lenalidomide and dexamethasone. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2011;11(1):38 - 43. WebsiteAbstract
Background: In two randomized phase III trials (MM-009 and MM-010), lenalidomide plus dexamethasone significantly prolonged time to progression and overall survival (OS) in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma compared with dexamethasone alone. In both trials the treatment was continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. We conducted a subanalysis to determine if continuing therapy after achieving ≥ partial response (PR) improved survival. Patients and Methods: Data were collected on 212 patients who were treated with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone and achieved ≥ PR. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates were compared between patients on continued treatment versus patients discontinuing therapy because of adverse events, withdrawal of consent, or other reasons. Time-dependent multivariate regression analyses were used to determine the benefit of continuing treatment with lenalidomide. Results: A total of 174 patients received continued treatment until disease progression or death, and 38 patients discontinued therapy without progression. There was a trend toward longer median OS in patients who continued therapy (50.9 months vs. 35.0 months; P = .0594). When controlling for the number of previous antimyeloma therapies, β2-microglobulin levels, and Durie-Salmon stage (which adversely affected survival in these patients), continued lenalidomide treatment (HR, 0.137; 95% CI, 0.045-0.417; P = .0005) or each additional cycle of lenalidomide (HR, 0.921; 95% CI, 0.886-0.957; P < .0001) were both associated with longer survival. Conclusion: Continued lenalidomide treatment until disease progression after achievement of ≥ PR is associated with a significant survival advantage when controlling for patient characteristics. These findings should be confirmed in a prospectively designed trial. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kastritis E, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Emerging drugs for Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. Expert Opinion on Emerging Drugs [Internet]. 2011;16(1):45 - 57. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare but distinct B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder characterized by lymphoplasmacytic bone marrow infiltration and IgM monoclonal paraproteinemia. Alkylators or nucleosides analogs, often in combination with rituximab, are the most commonly used drugs, but WM will relapse and even salvage treatments may fail. Areas covered: We present recent advances on the treatment of WM, focusing on drugs that are under clinical investigation and for which data indicate promising activity and positive future prospects. Bortezomib is a proteasome inhibitor that eventually becomes a major treatment option for WM. Everolimus and perifosine which target mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and Akt, respectively, of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway showed some activity. Bendamustine, a novel alkylating agent is active, especially in combination with rituximab. Immunomodulatory drugs can act synergistically with rituximab but are toxic. Targeting surface antigens of the lymphoplasmatic cells have shown promising results. Expert opinion: Combinations of novel drugs with established agents are feasible and increase response rates but whether there will be an increase in the survival of patients with WM needs further investigation. The toxicity profile is an important determinant for the feasibility of these drugs in patients with WM. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.
Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA, Berenson J. Established role of bisphosphonate therapy for prevention of skeletal complications from myeloma bone disease. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology [Internet]. 2011;77(SUPPL.1):S13 - S23. WebsiteAbstract
Patients with advanced multiple myeloma (MM) often have increased osteolytic activity of osteoclasts and impaired osteogenesis by osteoblasts, resulting in osteolytic bone lesions that increase the risk of skeletal-related events (SREs) including pathologic fracture, the need for radiotherapy or surgery to bone, and spinal cord compression. Such SREs are potentially life-limiting, and can reduce patients' functional independence and quality of life. Bisphosphonates (e.g., oral clodronate and intravenous pamidronate and zoledronic acid) can inhibit osteoclast-mediated osteolysis, thereby reducing the risk of SREs, ameliorating bone pain, and potentially prolonging survival in patients with MM. Extensive clinical experience demonstrates that bisphosphonates are generally well tolerated, and common adverse events are typically mild and manageable. Studies are ongoing to optimize the timing and duration of bisphosphonate therapy in patients with bone lesions from MM. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Terpos E, Tasidou A, Eleftherakis-Papaiakovou E, Christoulas D, Gavriatopoulou M, Gkotzamanidou M, Roussou M, Kastritis E, Papadaki T, Dimopoulos M-A. Expression of CCL3 by neoplastic cells in patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia: An immunohistochemical study in bone marrow biopsies of 67 patients. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2011;11(1):115 - 117. WebsiteAbstract
C-C motif ligand 3 (CCL3) chemokine plays a crucial role in the inflammation process, cell migration and chemoattraction of monocytes/ macrophages, neutrophils and mast cells. CCL3 is overexpressed by malignant cells in B-cell disorders, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia and multiple myeloma. Elevated circulating CCL3 was previously described in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) but the source of its production was unknown. We performed an immunohistochemical study in bone marrow biopsies of 67 WM patients and found that the whole number of the neoplastic cells express CCL3 in all cases. This finding was constant in newly diagnosed patients with both symptomatic and asymptomatic WM and also in patients with active disease post previous therapies. Our results support, for the first time in the literature, the production of CCL3 by WM cells. They also suggest a possible role of CCL3 in WM biology and reveal CCL3 as a potential target for developing novel drugs against WM. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mountzios I, Bournakis E, Efstathiou E, Varkaris A, Wen S, Chrisofos M, Deliveliotis C, Alamanis C, Anastasiou I, Constantinides C, et al. Intermittent docetaxel chemotherapy in patients with castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Urology [Internet]. 2011;77(3):682 - 687. WebsiteAbstract
Objectives To determine whether intermittent docetaxel might control disease while limiting the toxicity and improving the quality-of-life parameters in patients with advanced, castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Intermittent docetaxel represents an appealing therapeutic approach. Methods We reviewed the records of 35 patients with chemotherapy-naive castrate-resistant prostate cancer who had received docetaxel 45 mg/m2 every 2 weeks, with oral prednisone 5 mg twice daily. Treatment was held when the patients had reached a >50% prostate-specific antigen reduction from baseline that was confirmed by a second measurement 4 weeks later, in the absence of disease progression. Docetaxel was resumed at a >25% prostate-specific antigen increase from the nadir level, also confirmed by a second measurement 4 weeks later, or in cases of documented disease progression. Results Of the 35 patients, 18 (51.42%) had entered the first chemotherapy-free interval (CFI) after a median of 6 infusions (range 2-12), 6 patients had entered a second CFI after a median of 4 months (range 2-12), and 1 patient, a third CFI at the last follow-up point. The median interval "off chemotherapy" was 4.5 months (range 1-16) for the first CFI. Two patients discontinued docetaxel because of Grade 4 nonhematologic toxicity. The median interval to treatment failure was 8.1 months (95% confidence interval 5.1-12.2) for the entire cohort and 12.2 months (95% confidence interval 8.3-25+) for the patients who had entered the first CFI. Conclusions The results of our study have shown that intermittent docetaxel is a clinically active and likely more tolerable and less costly therapeutic strategy for patients with castrate-resistant prostate cancer than continuous administration. Additional validation of this approach is warranted. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Kyrtsonis M-C, Michael M, Hadjiharissi E, Symeonidis A, Michalis E, Repoussis P, Tsatalas K, Sioni A, et al. Prognostication of the high-risk WM patient. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2011;11(1):127 - 129. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström's macroglobulinemia is characterized by a protracted course in most patients and the median survival may be long. However, a subset of patients may present with more aggressive disease that is associated with short survival. In order to better characterize these "poor-risk" patients, we identified patients who died within 2 years from the initiation of front-line treatment. These patients were older and had more often features of aggressive disease, such as elevated LDH and low serum albumin than the standard-risk population. Furthermore, only a minority of poor-risk patient had a response to initial therapy. However, conventional clinical factors or even the lack on response could not adequately identify poor-risk patients, indicating the need for novel molecular or other markers that would be able to effectively recognize patients at greatest need for aggressive therapies. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Papadimitriou CA, Papakostas P, Karina M, Malettou L, Dimopoulos MA, Pentheroudakis G, Samantas E, Bamias A, Miliaras D, Basdanis G, et al. A randomized phase III trial of adjuvant chemotherapy with irinotecan, leucovorin and fluorouracil versus leucovorin and fluorouracil for stage II and III colon cancer: A Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group study. BMC Medicine [Internet]. 2011;9. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Colon cancer is a public health problem worldwide. Adjuvant chemotherapy after surgical resection for stage III colon cancer has been shown to improve both progression-free and overall survival, and is currently recommended as standard therapy. However, its value for patients with stage II disease remains controversial. When this study was designed 5-fluorouracil (5FU) plus leucovorin (LV) was standard adjuvant treatment for colon cancer. Irinotecan (CPT-11) is a topoisomerase I inhibitor with activity in metastatic disease. In this multicenter adjuvant phase III trial, we evaluated the addition of irinotecan to weekly 5FU plus LV in patients with stage II or III colon cancer.Methods: The study included 873 eligible patients. The treatment consisted of weekly administration of irinotecan 80 mg/m2intravenously (IV)