Publications by Year: 2009

Terpos E, Katodritou E, Tsiftsakis E, Kastritis E, Christoulas D, Pouli A, Michalis E, Verrou E, Anargyrou K, Tsionos K, et al. Cystatin-C is an independent prognostic factor for survival in multiple myeloma and is reduced by bortezomib administration. Haematologica [Internet]. 2009;94(3):372 - 379. WebsiteAbstract
Background Renal impairment is a common complication of multiple myeloma. Cystatin-C is considered an accurate marker of glomerular filtration rate in several renal disorders. Microarray analysis has revealed that cystatin-C is one of the most highly up-regulated genes in multiple myeloma. The aim of this study was to evaluate the serum levels of cystatin-C in myeloma patients, explore possible correlations with clinical data, including survival, and assess the effect of bortezomib on cystatin-C in relapsed multiple myeloma. Results We measured serum cystatin-C in 157 newly diagnosed, previously untreated myeloma patients, in 28 patients with relapsed disease pre- and post-bortezomib therapy and in 52 healthy controls, using a latex particle-enhanced nephelometric immunoassay. Results In newly diagnosed patients, cystatin-C was elevated and showed strong correlations with advanced ISS stage, extensive bone disease, high ffc-microglobulin, high serum creatinine, and low creatinine clearance. Multivariate analysis revealed that only cystatin-C and lactate dehydrogenase had an independent prognostic impact on patients' survival. The combination of cystatin-C and lactate dehydrogenase revealed three prognostic groups of patients: a high-risk group (both elevated cystatin-C and lactate dehydrogenase) with a median survival of 24 months, an intermediate-risk group (elevated cystatin-C or elevated lactate dehydrogenase) with a median survival of 48 months and a low-risk group (both low cystatin-C and lactate dehydrogenase) in which median survival has not yet been reached (p<0.001). Cystatin-C could also identify a subset of ISS-II patients with worse outcome. Relapsed patients had higher cystatin-C levels even compared to newly diagnosed patients. Treatment with bortezomib produced a significant reduction of cystatin- C, mainly in responders. Conclusions Serum cystatin-C is not only a sensitive marker of renal impairment but also reflects tumor burden and is of prognostic value in myeloma. Its reduction after treatment with bortezomib reflects bortezomib's anti-myeloma activity and possibly bortezomib's direct effect on renal function. © 2009 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Kastritis E, Zervas K, Symeonidis A, Terpos E, Delimbassi S, Anagnostopoulos N, Michali E, Zomas A, Katodritou E, Gika D, et al. Improved survival of patients with multiple myeloma after the introduction of novel agents and the applicability of the International Staging System (ISS): An analysis of the Greek Myeloma Study Group (GMSG). Leukemia [Internet]. 2009;23(6):1152 - 1157. WebsiteAbstract
When the novel agents thalidomide, bortezomib and lenalidomide are administered to patients with myeloma in the context of clinical trials, they are associated with a significant improvement in response, progression-free survival and in some studies, overall survival (OS); however, their effect on the outcome of unselected myeloma patients has not been fully assessed. We compared the outcome of 1376 unselected patients with symptomatic myeloma, who started treatment before or after the introduction of thalidomide. The median OS in patients who started treatment after the introduction of novel agents increased by 12 months (48 vs 36 months, P<0.001). This improvement was more pronounced in patients ≤70 years (from 39 to 74 months, P<0.001), but less evident in patients >70 years (from 26 to 33 months, P=0.27). In patients treated after the introduction of novel agents, the international staging system (ISS) could discriminate three groups with significantly different outcomes (5-year survival for ISS stage I, II and III was 66, 45 and 18%, respectively, P<0.001). ISS was also valid in patients who actually received upfront treatment with novel drugs (4-year survival rate was 85, 61 and 26% for ISS stage I, II and III patients, P=0.001).
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Bamia C, Melakopoulos I, Gika D, Roussou M, Migkou M, Eleftherakis-Papaiakovou E, Christoulas D, Terpos E, et al. Reduction of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) after implementation of preventive measures in patients with multiple myeloma treated with zoledronic acid. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2009;20(1):117 - 120. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is a well-described complication of bisphosphonates use in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). We investigated whether the occurrence of ONJ decreased after the implementation of preventive measures in 128 patients with MM who received zoledronic acid. Patients and methods: Patients with MM who received zoledronic acid were included in this analysis. Patients with a previous use of other bisphosphonates were excluded; patients were stratified into group A (n = 38) and group B (n = 90) if treatment was started before or after the implementation of preventive measures. Results: One hundred and twenty-eight patients were included in this analysis. Sixteen patients (12.5%) developed ONJ - group A: 8 (26.3%), group B: 2 (6.7%) (P = 0.002). The incidence rate (IR) was 0.671/100 person-months for group A and 0.230/100 person-months for group B [IR ratio 2.92, P = 0.029, 95% confidence interval 1.06-8.03]. No patient in group B developed stage III ONJ. Conclusion: In conclusion, the risk of developing ONJ after treatment of zoledronic acid is reduced (but not deleted) by the implementation of preventive measures. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Migkou M, Dimopoulos M-A, Gavriatopoulou M, Terpos E. Applications of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of hematological malignancies. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy [Internet]. 2009;9(2):207 - 220. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The introduction of mAbs has changed the clinical approach to patients with lymphoma and leukemia. Objective: To summarize the most significant applications of mAb-based regimens in the treatment of hematological malignancies and explore their possible role in the future management of these patients. Results: Rituximab (anti-CD20) was the first mAb developed for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas. Several randomized studies have demonstrated its efficacy in lymphomas and low toxicity profile; rituximab also has significant activity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Alemtuzumab (anti-CD52) has shown efficacy in previously untreated or refractory CLL patients, while gemtuzumab ozogamicin (anti-CD33) appears to have significant activity in acute myeloid leukemias and myelodysplastic syndromes. Conclusions: In the next few years, investigations will be concentrated on the improvement of the older mAbs, and the development of new mAbs, targeting molecules important for malignant cell cycle and survival in an attempt to further improve patient survival. © 2009 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved.
Kastritis E, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Zirogiannis P, Hadjikonstantinou V, Dimopoulos MA. Treatment of light chain deposition disease with bortezomib and dexamethasone. Haematologica [Internet]. 2009;94(2):300 - 302. Website
Pectasides D, Papaxoinis G, Fountzilas G, Aravantinos G, Bamias A, Pavlidis N, Kalofonos HP, Timotheadou E, Samantas E, Briasoulis E, et al. Epithelial ovarian cancer in Greece: A retrospective study of 1,791 patients by the hellenic cooperative oncology group (HeCOG). Anticancer Research [Internet]. 2009;29(2):745 - 751. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The aim of this retrospective study was to present the epidemiological, pathological and clinical characteristics and treatment results of Greek women with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Patients and Methods: From February 1976 to December 2006, 1,791 patients had been diagnosed, treated and followed up in the participating centers of the Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HeCOG). Cox-regression analysis was carried out in order to identify possible prognostic factors. Results: The median age at diagnosis was 60 years. Seventy-five percent had a performance status (PS) of 0-1, 58.5% had a serous carcinoma, 36% had poorly differentiated tumors and 57% had International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage III disease. Approximately half of the patients had been subjected to a total abdominal hysterectomy, bilateral oophorectomy and omentectomy, and 80% of them had undergone optimal debulking surgery. Among 1,462 patients with advanced disease, 96% had received platinum-based chemotherapy, while platinum plus paclitaxel had been administered to two-thirds of them. Among 609 patients with known data for response, 34% had achieved a complete objective response (CR) and 30% a partial response (PR), resulting in an overall response rate (RR) of 64%. Performance status, FIGO stage and residual disease (RD) after cytoreductive surgery were the strongest prognostic factors for time-to-tumor progression (TTP) and for overall survival (OS), while age was found to be significant only for OS. The median TTP was 107 months (95% confidence interval (CI), 92-121 months) for patients with stages I-II, 17 months (95% CI, 15-18 months) for those with stages III-IV, 96 months (95% CI, 58-133 months) for patients without RD and 17 months (95% CI, 15-18 months) for those with RD. Median OS had not been reached for the patients with stages I-II, while it was 40 months (95% CI, 37-43 months) for those with stages III-IV, 141 months (95% CI, 103-179 months) for patients without RD and 42 months (95% CI, 39-45 months) for those with RD. Conclusion: There were no significant differences in patient characteristics or types of treatments administered in Greek women with EOC in comparison with those reported in the English literature.
Kastritis E, Charidimou A, Varkaris A, Dimopoulos MA. Targeted therapies in multiple myeloma. Targeted Oncology [Internet]. 2009;4(1):23 - 36. WebsiteAbstract
Increasing knowledge of the biology of multiple myeloma led the way for the development of novel drugs that have changed the management of the disease. New treatments target not only to the malignant plasma cell but also target the interactions of myeloma cells with their microenvironment. Several preclinical studies have identified potential targets and drugs are developed that act on pathways crucial for myeloma cell survival, proliferation, migration and drug resistance. The identification of active agents in the laboratory is followed by rationally designed clinical studies that validate these drugs, either as single agents or in combinations with other active drugs. These novel agents may be either small molecules or monoclonal antibodies targeting receptors, kinase activity of receptors or key molecules within critical pathways, intracellular maintenance mechanisms and immune modulation. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.
Dimopoulos MA, Gertz MA, Kastritis E, Garcia-Sanz R, Kimby EK, Leblond V, Fermand J-P, Merlini G, Morel P, Morra E, et al. Update on treatment recommendations from the fourth international workshop on Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2009;27(1):120 - 126. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a distinct B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder characterized by lymphoplasmacytic bone marrow infiltration along with an immunoglobulin M (lgM) monoclonal gammopathy. Patients with disease-related cytopenias, bulky adenopathy or organomegaly, symptomatic hyperviscosity, severe neuropathy, amyloidosis, cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or evidence of disease transformation should be considered for immediate therapy. Initiation of therapy should not be based on serum lgM levels alone, and asymptomatic patients should be observed. Individual patient considerations should be considered when deciding on a first-line agent including the presence of cytopenias, need for rapid disease control, age, and candidacy for autologous transplantation. Therapeutic outcomes should be evaluated using updated criteria. As part of the Fourth International Workshop on Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia, a consensus panel updated its recommendations on both first-line and salvage therapy in view of recently published and ongoing clinical trials. The panel considered encouraging results from recent studies of first-line combinations such as rituximab with nucleoside analogs with or without alkylating agents or with cyclophosphamide-based therapies (eg, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone or cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone) or the combination of rituximab with thalidomide. Such therapeutic approaches are likely to yield responses at least as good as, if not better than, monotherapy with any of the alkylating agents, nucleoside analogs, or rituximab. In the salvage setting, reuse of a first-line regimen or use of a different regimen should be considered along with bortezomib, alemtuzumab, autologous transplantation, and, in selected circumstances, allogeneic transplantation. Finally, the panel reaffirmed its encouragement of the active enrollment of patients with WM onto innovative clinical trials whenever possible. © 2008 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Kastritis E, Murray S, Kyriakou F, Horti M, Tamvakis N, Kavantzas N, Patsouris ES, Noni A, Legaki S, Dimopoulos MA, et al. Somatic mutations of adenomatous polyposis coli gene and nuclear b-catenin accumulation have prognostic significance in invasive urothelial carcinomas: Evidence for Wnt pathway implication. International Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2009;124(1):103 - 108. WebsiteAbstract
Wnt pathway signaling is crucial in many cancers and data indicate crosstalk with other key cancer pathways, however in urothelial carcinogenesis it has not been extensively studied. We searched for mutations in adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), a key regulator of the pathway, and studied b-catenin expression and interactions with the expression of other markers of apoptosis, angiogenesis, and proliferation in patients with invasive urothelial cancer. The mutation cluster region of APC was directly sequenced in 70 patients with muscle invasive disease who were treated with surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. COX-2, p53, Ki67, and b-catenin were studied immunohistochemically and micro vessel density was quantified by CD105 expression. Single somatic amino-acid substitutions (missense) were found in 9 (13%) and frameshift deletions in 2 (3%) tumors, all located in regions adjacent to b-catenin binding sites. Patients having either APC missense mutations or b-catenin nuclear accumulation had less frequent COX-2 overexpression (24% vs. 76%, p = 0.043) and more frequent lymph node involvement (75% vs. 38%, p = 0.023). Patients with either APC mutations or b-catenin accumulation had shorter disease-free interval (13.4 vs. 28 months, p = 0.07), whereas in multivariate analysis they had shorter disease- specific survival (60.5 vs. 20.6 months, p = 0.048). Somatic APC missense mutations are not rare in advanced urothelial neoplasms. Either APC mutations and/or aberrant expression of b-catenin are associated with worse outcome. Further study of the role of the Wnt pathway, potential crosstalk with other pathways and potential candidate therapeutic targets in urothelial cancer is needed. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Dispenzieri A, Kyle R, Merlini G, Miguel JS, Ludwig H, Hajek R, Palumbo A, Jagannath S, Blade J, Lonial S, et al. International Myeloma Working Group guidelines for serum-free light chain analysis in multiple myeloma and related disorders. Leukemia [Internet]. 2009;23(2):215 - 224. WebsiteAbstract
The serum immunoglobulin-free light chain (FLC) assay measures levels of free κ and λ immunoglobulin light chains. There are three major indications for the FLC assay in the evaluation and management of multiple myeloma and related plasma cell disorders (PCD). In the context of screening, the serum FLC assay in combination with serum protein electrophoresis (PEL) and immunofixation yields high sensitivity, and negates the need for 24-h urine studies for diagnoses other than light chain amyloidosis (AL). Second, the baseline FLC measurement is of major prognostic value in virtually every PCD. Third, the FLC assay allows for quantitative monitoring of patients with oligosecretory PCD, including AL, oligosecretory myeloma and nearly two-thirds of patients who had previously been deemed to have non-secretory myeloma. In AL patients, serial FLC measurements outperform PEL and immunofixation. In oligosecretory myeloma patients, although not formally validated, serial FLC measurements reduce the need for frequent bone marrow biopsies. In contrast, there are no data to support using FLC assay in place of 24-h urine PEL for monitoring or for serial measurements in PCD with measurable disease by serum or urine PEL. This paper provides consensus guidelines for the use of this important assay, in the diagnosis and management of clonal PCD.
Fountzilas G, Dafni U, Dimopoulos MA, Koutras A, Skarlos D, Papakostas P, Gogas H, Bafaloukos D, Kalogera-Fountzila A, Samantas E, et al. A randomized phase III study comparing three anthracycline-free taxane-based regimens, as first line chemotherapy, in metastatic breast cancer: A Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group study. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment [Internet]. 2009;115(1):87 - 99. WebsiteAbstract
Background Effective anthracycline-free combinations need to be evaluated in metastatic breast cancer (MBC), due to the increased number of patients treated with anthracycline-based adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients and methods Patients with MBC were randomized to paclitaxel and carboplatin (PCb) every 3 weeks or docetaxel and gemcitabine (GDoc) every 3 weeks or weekly paclitaxel (Pw). Trastuzumab was given to patients with HER-2 over-expressing tumors. The primary endpoint of the study was survival. Quality of life (QoL) and cost were assessed. Results Totally, 416 eligible patients entered the study. Median survival times were 29.9 months for PCb, 26.9 for GDoc and 41.0 for Pw (P = 0.037). According to multivariate analysis, adjuvant chemotherapy, >1 metastatic sites, lack of maintenance hormonal therapy, and worse performance status (PS) were significant adverse prognostic factors for survival, while Pw when compared to GDoc improved survival (P = 0.03), as well as when compared to PCb in the subgroup of patients with PS = 1 (P = 0.01, treatment by PS interaction P = 0.03). No significant differences in terms of time to progression were found. Severe myelotoxicity and mucositis were more frequent with GDoc, while severe neuropathy with PCb and Pw. QoL changes did not differ significantly between treatment groups, while cost analysis favored Pw. Conclusions Pw appears to be the most preferable choice among the 3 anthracycline-free taxanes-based regimens tested in the present study. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Evangelopoulos ME, Toumanidis S, Sotou D, Evangelopoulos C, Mavrikakis M, Alevizaki M, Dimopoulos MA. Mitral valve prolapse in young healthy individuals. An early index of autoimmunity?. Lupus [Internet]. 2009;18(5):436 - 440. WebsiteAbstract
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a benign valvular abnormality. However, an increased prevalence of MVP is reported in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and autoimmune thyroid disease. Our aim was to evaluate whether the presence of MVP in healthy individuals might indicate a premature index of subclinical autoimmune disorder. A total of 75 individuals with MVP and 44 individuals without MVP were identified by echocardiography. Serum samples were examined for various organ and non-organ specific autoantibodies. In all, 35 of the 75 individuals with MVP had at least one autoantibody. ANA were detected in 17/75 in MVP(+) versus 1/44 in the MVP(-), (P < 0.05), and anti-ENA in 6/75 in the MVP(+) versus 0/44 in the control group, P = ns. In the MVP(+) group, thyroid autoantibodies, IgA and IgG RF were found at a statistically significant higher incidence, 16/75, 11/75 and 10/75 versus 1/44, 0/44 and 0/44 in the MVP(-)group, respectively (P < 0.05). The levels of IgG anticardiolipin antibodies were significantly higher in the MVP(+) group, P < 0.05. The presence of organ and non-organ specific autoantibodies in young healthy MVP(+) individuals insinuate the presence of subclinical autoimmunity and might suggest that autoimmune mechanisms might be involved in its pathogenesis. A follow-up of these individuals might elucidate whether MVP constitutes an early index of autoimmunity. © 2009 SAGE Publications.
Zagouri F, Dimopoulos A-M, Fotiou S, Kouloulias V, Papadimitriou CA. Treatment of early uterine sarcomas: Disentangling adjuvant modalities. World Journal of Surgical Oncology [Internet]. 2009;7:38. WebsiteAbstract
Uterine sarcomas are a rare group of neoplasms with aggressive clinical course and poor prognosis. They are classified into four main histological subtypes in order of decreasing incidence: carcinosarcomas, leiomyosarcomas, endometrial stromal sarcomas and "other" sarcomas. The pathological subtype demands a tailored approach. Surgical resection is regarded as the mainstay of treatment. Total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy represents the standard treatment of uterine sarcomas. Pelvic and para-aortic lymph node dissection in carcinosarcomas is recommended, given their high incidence of lymph node metastases, and may have a role in endometrial stromal sarcomas. Adjuvant radiation therapy has historically been of little survival value, but it appears to improve local control and may delay recurrence. Regarding adjuvant chemotherapy, there is little evidence in the literature supporting its use except for carcinosarcomas. However, more trials are needed to address these issues, especially, their sequential application. Patients with uterine sarcomas should be referred to large academic centers for participation in clinical trials. © 2009 Zagouri et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Attal M. Multiple Myeloma in the Era of Novel Agents. Seminars in Hematology [Internet]. 2009;46(2):107 - 109. Website
Kastritis E, Palumbo A, Dimopoulos MA. Treatment of Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma. Seminars in Hematology [Internet]. 2009;46(2):143 - 157. WebsiteAbstract
The introduction of several novel and active treatments and improvements in supportive care of myeloma patients has resulted in a prolongation of the survival of these patients. However, myeloma remains an incurable disease and almost all patients will relapse. Effective management of the relapsing/refractory disease incorporates several different strategies, depending on prior treatments, responses, and duration of responses, as well as residual toxicity, age, and physical condition. High-dose dexamethasone still has a role in the management of disease complications such as cytopenias, renal impairment, or spinal cord compression until another agent is added. High-dose therapy may be considered for selected patients who have a long-term treatment-free interval after their first transplantation. Allogeneic transplantation is limited to selected young patients, preferably with an HLA-matched donor. However, the backbone of current strategies for the management of relapsed/refractory myeloma includes the novel agents thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide. These agents, either with dexamethasone or in combination with chemotherapy, have shown significant activity both in relapsed and in refractory patients. Based on the results of phase III trials, lenalidomide and bortezomib have increased the post-relapse survival and are active in patients who have received prior novel agents; lenalidomide is active in thalidomide-pretreated or bortezomib-pretreated patients and bortezomib alone or in combination with chemotherapy is active in thalidomide/lenalidomide-pretreated patients. Combinations of novel agents show synergistic activity and may overcome drug resistance. Finally, special consideration is needed for the management of patients with renal impairment or other poor prognostic features. © 2009.
Terpos E, Efstathiou E, Christoulas D, Roussou M, Katodritou E, Dimopoulos M-A. RANKL inhibition: Clinical implications for the management of patients with multiple myeloma and solid tumors with bone metastases. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy [Internet]. 2009;9(4):465 - 479. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) binds to RANK on the surface of osteoclast precursors and enhances their differentiation, survival and fusion, activates mature osteoclasts and inhibits their apoptosis. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is the decoy receptor of RANKL. Disruption of the RANK/RANKL/OPG axis is implicated in bone metastases. Objective/ methods: A review of the role of RANKL signaling in bone development and the rationale for targeting RANKL in treatment of bone metastases and myeloma bone disease. Results/conclusions: In preclinical models of solid tumors and myeloma, RANKL inhibition reduced osteoclast numbers and subsequent bone resorption, prevented development of osteolytic lesions and decreased tumor burden. Preliminary clinical studies with denosumab, an anti-RANKL fully human monoclonal antibody, in patients with solid tumors with bone metastases and myeloma showed that targeting RANKL reduces osteoclastogenesis, bone resorption markers and skeletal-related events, supporting further study of this molecule and others with anti-RANKL activity. © 2009 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kostopoulou V, Tsiatas ML, Kelekis DA, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou CA. Endovascular stenting for the management of port-a-cath associated superior vena cava syndrome. Emergency Radiology [Internet]. 2009;16(2):143 - 146. WebsiteAbstract
Port-a-cath systems are often essential for the administration of long-term chemotherapy in the treatment of malignancies because they improve venous access, but they are associated with complications, mainly thrombosis of central veins. In the present report, we describe a case of right subclavian and superior vena cava port-a-cath-related thrombosis causing superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) in a patient affected by Hodgkin's disease. The patient underwent percutaneous revascularization with stent positioning, experiencing immediate relief of symptoms. Endovascular procedures for the treatment of nonmalignant SVCS seem to represent a challenging therapeutic option. © 2008 Am Soc Emergency Radiol.
Palumbo A, Dimopoulos M, Miguel JS, Harousseau J-L, Attal M, Hussein M, Knop S, Ludwig H, Von Lilienfeld-Toal M, Sonneveld P. Lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Blood Reviews [Internet]. 2009;23(2):87 - 93. WebsiteAbstract
Recent studies have shown a clinical benefit of lenalidomide, an oral immunomodulatory drug, plus dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were cytopenias, fatigue, muscle cramps, rash, infection, insomnia, and venous thromboembolism. Lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of patients with MM who have received at least one prior therapy. An expert panel reviewed the efficacy and toxicity of lenalidomide plus dexamethasone, and provided recommendations on the management of patients receiving this treatment. Patient selection is straightforward, as prognostic factors do not appear to heavily influence efficacy. In addition, the panel agreed on strategies for the management of side effects. The recommendations presented here will aid the safe administration of lenalidomide, and avoid unnecessary dose reduction and discontinuation, thus assuring the best efficacy of treatment. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kountourakis P, Psyrri A, Scorilas A, Markakis S, Kowaiski D, Camp RL, Diamandis EP, Dimopoulos MA. Expression and prognostic significance of kallikrein-related peptidase 8 protein levels in advanced ovarian cancer by using automated quantitative analysis. Thrombosis and Haemostasis [Internet]. 2009;101(3):541 - 546. WebsiteAbstract
Kallikrein-related peptidases, a subgroup of the serine protease enzyme family, are considered to be important prognostic biomarkers in cancer. In this study we sought to determine the prognostic value of kallikrein-related peptidase 8 (KLK8,hK8,KLK-8) in ovarian cancer using a novel method of compartmentalised in situ protein analysis.A tissue array composed of 150 advanced stage ovarian cancers, uniformly treated with surgical debulking followed by platinum-paclitaxel combination chemotherapy,was constructed. For the evaluation of kallikrein-related peptidase 8 protein expression, we used an immunofluorescence-based method of automated in situ quantitative protein analysis (AQUA). Mean follow-up time of the cohort was 34.35 months. One hundred twenty-six of 150 cases had sufficient tissue for AQUA analysis.There were significant correlations between tumour mask KLK8 protein expression levels and clinicopathological variables, including grade (p=0.0011), residual disease (p=0.0063) and clinical response to chemotherapy(p=0.0346). In univariate survival analysis there was a significant correlation between KLK8 tumour mask expression and five years progression-free survival, meanwhile it was not associated with five-year overall survival (p =0.0694). Specifically, low KLK8 expression correlated with better outcome (top vs. bottom quartile, p=0.0319). In multivariate survival analysis, adjusting for well-characterised prognostic variables, tumour KLK8 expression level retained its prognostic significance for progression-free survival (95%Cl: 0.341-1.027, p=0.045). The possibility that KLK8 may be a suitable candidate as a diagnostic and prognostic marker warrants further investigation. © 2009 Schattauer GmbH.
Episkopou H, Kyrtopoulos SA, Sfikakis PP, Fousteri M, Dimopoulos MA, Mullenders LHF, Souliotis VL. Association between transcriptional activity, local chromatin structure, and the efficiencies of both subpathways of nucleotide excision repair of melphalan adducts. Cancer Research [Internet]. 2009;69(10):4424 - 4433. WebsiteAbstract
The repair of melphalan-induced N-alkylpurine monoadducts and interstrand cross-links was examined in different repair backgrounds, focusing on four genes (β-actin, p53, N-ras, and δ-globin) with dissimilar transcription activities. Adducts were found to be substrates for both global genome repair (GGR) and transcription-coupled repair (TCR), with TCR being less efficient than GGR. In nucleotide excision repair-deficient cells, adducts accumulated to similar levels in all four genes. The repair efficiency in different gene loci varied in a qualitatively and quantitatively similar way in both GGR-deficient and TCR-deficient backgrounds and correlated with transcriptional activity and local chromatin condensation. No strand-specific repair was found in GGR +/TCR+ cells, implying that GGR dominated. Adducts were lost over two sharply demarcated phases: a rapid phase resulting in the removal within 1 hour of up to ∼80% of the adducts, and a subsequent phase with t1/2 ∼36 to 48 hours. Following pretreatment of cells with α-amanitin, the rate of transcription, the state of chromatin condensation, and the repair efficiencies (both TCR and GGR) of the transcribed β-actin, p53, and N-ras genes became similar to those of the nontranscribed δ-globin gene. In conclusion, a continuous, parallel variation of the state of transcription and local chromatin condensation, on one hand, and the rates of both GGR and TCR, on the other hand, have been shown. ©2009 American Association for Cancer Research.
Dimopoulos MA, Chen C, Spencer A, Niesvizky R, Attal M, Stadtmauer EA, Petrucci MT, Yu Z, Olesnyckyj M, Zeldis JB, et al. Long-term follow-up on overall survival from the MM-009 and MM-010 phase III trials of lenalidomide plus dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2009;23(11):2147 - 2152. WebsiteAbstract
We present a pooled update of two large, multicenter MM-009 and MM-010 placebo-controlled randomized phase III trials that included 704 patients and assessed lenalidomide plus dexamethasone versus dexamethasone plus placebo in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM). Patients in both studies were randomized to receive 25mg daily oral lenalidomide or identical placebo, plus 40mg oral dexamethasone. In this pooled analysis, using data up to unblinding (June 2005 for MM-009 and August 2005 for MM-010), treatment with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone significantly improved overall response (60.6 vs 21.9%, P<0.001), complete response rate (15.0 vs 2.0%, P<0.001), time to progression (median of 13.4 vs 4.6 months, P<0.001) and duration of response (median of 15.8 months vs 7 months, P<0.001) compared with dexamethasone-placebo. At a median follow-up of 48 months for surviving patients, using data up to July 2008, a significant benefit in overall survival (median of 38.0 vs 31.6 months, P=0.045) was retained despite 47.6% of patients who were randomized to dexamethasone-placebo receiving lenalidomide-based treatment after disease progression or study unblinding. Low β2- microglobulin and low bone marrow plasmacytosis were associated with longer survival. In conclusion, these data confirm the significant response and survival benefit with lenalidomide and dexamethasone.
Roussou M, Tasidou A, Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Migkou M, Christoulas D, Gavriatopoulou M, Zagouri F, Matsouka C, Anagnostou D, et al. Increased expression of macrophage inflammatory protein-1α on trephine biopsies correlates with extensive bone disease, increased angiogenesis and advanced stage in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2009;23(11):2177 - 2181. Website
Gavriatopoulou M, Dimopoulos M-A, Christoulas D, Migkou M, Iakovaki M, Gkotzamanidou M, Terpos E. Dickkopf-1: A suitable target for the management of myeloma bone disease. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets [Internet]. 2009;13(7):839 - 848. WebsiteAbstract
Bone disease remains a major problem in the management of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and is characterized by the presence of lytic lesions due to increased osteoclastic activity and reduced osteoblast function. Wingless-type and integrase 1 (Wnt)/β-catenin signaling is a central pathway for bone development and homeostasis. Dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1) is a soluble inhibitor of Wnt, which disrupts osteoblast differentiation and action. Dkk-1 is produced by myeloma cells and overexpressed in myeloma microenvironment of patients with extensive bone disease. In addition to its direct inhibitory effect of Dkk-1 on osteoblasts, Dkk-1 disrupts the Wnt3a-regulated osteoprotegerin and receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) expression in osteoblasts and thus it indirectly enhances osteoclast function in MM. Dkk-1 serum and bone marrow plasma levels are increased in MM patients and correlated with advanced International Staging System stage and presence of osteolytic lesions. Preclinical studies in mouse myeloma models showed that targeting Dkk-1 with neutralizing anti-Dkk-1 antibodies resulted in increased numbers of osteoblasts, reduced numbers of multinucleated osteoclasts and increased bone volume. The bone anabolic effect of anti-Dkk-1 may also be associated with reduced myeloma burden. These data show that Dkk-1 has a pivotal role in bone health and disease and is a novel target for the management of myeloma patients with lytic bone disease. © 2009 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved.
Alevizaki M, Papageorgiou G, Rentziou G, Saltiki K, Marafelia P, Loukari E, Koutras DA, Dimopoulos M-A. Increasing prevalence of papillary thyroid carcinoma in recent years in greece: The majority are incidental. Thyroid [Internet]. 2009;19(7):749 - 754. WebsiteAbstract
Background: New cases of well-differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) are diagnosed more frequently worldwide. We investigated trends and differences in clinical and histological characteristics of new DTC cases presenting in one large center. Methods: During the last 34 years 852 follicular cell-derived DTC cases (83% papillary [PTC], 17% follicular [FTC] carcinoma) presented in the Endocrine Unit of the Department of Clinical Therapeutics in Alexandra Hospital (18.8% men, mean age 42.4±14.5 years). Patients were classified in three period groups according to year of diagnosis: period 1, 1963-1982; period 2, 1983-1992; and period 3, 1993-2007. We recorded the histological type, age at diagnosis, and, in period 3, the type of pre-existing thyroid disease, the stage, and tumor size. Results: During periods 1, 2, and 3, the mean age at diagnosis was 37.7±12.3, 42.4±14.53, and 44.1±14.9 years (p=0.001), respectively, and the male to female ratio was similar. The prevalence of FTC was 22.7%, 28.1%, and 6.5%, respectively. In period 3, 51.6% of the PTCs were microcarcinomas (microPTC) ≤10mm; these patients tended to be older (p=0.09). Microcarcinomas were more frequent among patients operated for pre-existing multinodular goiter (MNG) or prominent hot nodule compared to pre-existing single cold nodule (p<0.001, Pearson χ2). In period 3, 88% of the microPTC diagnoses were incidental. Of the incidental microPTCs detected in MNG, 25% had capsular invasion, 4.5% had lymph node involvement, and 3.6% had soft tissue involvement. Conclusions: We hypothesize that the prevalence of FTC during the last decade in our center in Greece was very low due to correction of iodine deficiency and a relative increase in the prevalence of microPTC. More than 50% of PTC diagnosed during the last decade were microPTCs that were detected incidentally in older persons with preexisting MNG or a prominent hot nodule. This is one of the highest, if not the highest percentage of microPTCs that were incidentally detected. Despite many of these having features of invasiveness, most appear to remain clinically silent. Research is needed to identify factors predisposing microPTCs to evolve from a subclinical to a clinically apparent form. © 2009 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Giralt S, Stadtmauer EA, Harousseau JL, Palumbo A, Bensinger W, Comenzo RL, Kumar S, Munshi NC, Dispenzieri A, Kyle R, et al. International myeloma working group (IMWG) consensus statement and guidelines regarding the current status of stem cell collection and high-dose therapy for multiple myeloma and the role of plerixafor (AMD 3100). Leukemia [Internet]. 2009;23(10):1904 - 1912. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma is the most common indication for high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell support (ASCT) in North America today. Stem cell procurement for ASCT has most commonly been performed with stem cell mobilization using colony-stimulating factors with or without prior chemotherapy. The target CD34+ cell dose to be collected as well as the number of apheresis performed varies throughout the country, but a minimum of 2 million CD34+ cells/kg has been traditionally used for the support of one cycle of high-dose therapy. With the advent of plerixafor (AMD3100) (a novel stem cell mobilization agent), it is pertinent to review the current status of stem cell mobilization for myeloma as well as the role of autologous stem cell transplantation in this disease. On June 1, 2008, a panel of experts was convened by the International Myeloma Foundation to address issues regarding stem cell mobilization and autologous transplantation in myeloma in the context of new therapies. The panel was asked to discuss a variety of issues regarding stem cell collection and transplantation in myeloma especially with the arrival of plerixafor. Herein, is a summary of their deliberations and conclusions.
Palumbo A, Sezer O, Kyle R, Miguel JS, Orlowski RZ, Moreau P, Niesvizky R, Morgan G, Comenzo R, Sonneveld P, et al. International Myeloma Working Group guidelines for the management of multiple myeloma patients ineligible for standard high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation. Leukemia [Internet]. 2009;23(10):1716 - 1730. WebsiteAbstract
In 2005, the first guidelines were published on the management of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). An expert panel reviewed the currently available literature as the basis for a set of revised and updated consensus guidelines for the diagnosis and management of patients with MM who are not eligible for autologous stem cell transplantation. Here we present recommendations on the diagnosis, treatment of newly diagnosed non-transplant-eligible patients and the management of complications occurring during induction therapy among these patients. These guidelines will aid the physician in daily clinical practice and will ensure optimal care for patients with MM.
Triantafyllou NI, Grapsa EI, Kararizou E, Psimenou E, Lagguranis A, Dimopoulos A. Periodic therapeutic plasma exchange in patients with moderate to severe chronic myasthenia gravis non-responsive to immunosuppressive agents: An eight year follow-Up. Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis [Internet]. 2009;13(3):174 - 178. WebsiteAbstract
Few patients with moderate or severe myasthenia gravis (MG) do not respond to immunosuppressive treatment. We present our experience with periodic therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), in 11 patients with MG resistant to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy, who had frequent relapses even whilst on high doses of immunosuppressive drugs, over a period of 8 years. All patients underwent TPE until control of their symptoms was achieved, and afterwards TPE sessions were continued periodically in an attempt to achieve remission of the disease, without immunosuppressant therapy. Two of the patients were progressively weaned off immunosuppressive agents, as well as TPE, and they are now symptom free. The other nine patients are still under a periodic TPE regime. Seven of them were weaned off all medications and required an average of 3.7 TPE sessions per year during the last 5 years. In the other two patients, those with the most severe form of the disease, the immunosuppressant dosage has been decreased and a TPE session every 2-3 weeks is required in order to control their symptoms. Through all these years TPE has been well tolerated and only minor side-effects were observed in two patients. Finally, during this 8 year follow-up period, nine of the patients treated with periodic TPE have been in good control of their symptoms over the last 5 years, and the other two patients live a normal life without any treatment in the last 3 years. Our results suggest that periodic TPE is safe and effective in the control of symptoms in patients with moderate to severe MG who do not respond to immunosuppressive therapies. © 2009 International Society for Apheresis.
Bamias A, Lainakis G, Manios E, Koroboki E, Gyftaki R, Zakopoulos N, Dimopoulos MA. Diagnosis and management of hypertension in advanced renal cell carcinoma: Prospective evaluation of an algorithm in patients treated with sunitinib. Journal of Chemotherapy [Internet]. 2009;21(3):347 - 350. WebsiteAbstract
Hypertension may complicate treatment with antiangiogenic agents, leading to dose reductions and treatment delays. To prospectively evaluate the frequency and management of hypertension in 10 patients with advanced kidney cancer receiving sunitinib, we used 24-h blood pressure monitoring (BPM) and home BPM and homogenously treated hypertension according to guidelines of the European Society of Hypertension. Normal BP was ensured prior to sunitinib initiation with the successive use of hydrochlorothiazide + irbesartan, nebivolol, amlodipine. During treatment, additional antihypertensive therapy was introduced, if necessary. Sunitinib dose was modified only if BP was not controlled with four anti-hypertensive agents. Four patients had baseline hypertension, while 5 of 6 normotensive patients required antihypertensive treatment during sunitinib administration. One patient permanently discontinued sunitinib due to hypertensive crisis but 9 patients received full dose. Sunitinib-associated hypertension is more frequent than previously reported. Aggressive BP monitoring and treatment of hypertension may achieve uninterrupted, full-dose therapy in most patients treated with sunitinib. The application of such protocols instead of commonly used toxicity criteria should be further validated. © E.S.I.F.T. srl.
Stadtmauer EA, Weber DM, Niesvizky R, Belch A, Prince MH, San Miguel JF, Facon T, Olesnyckyj M, Yu Z, Zeldis JB, et al. Lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone at first relapse in comparison with its use as later salvage therapy in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. European Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2009;82(6):426 - 432. WebsiteAbstract
This subset analysis of data from two phase III studies in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM) evaluated the benefit of initiating lenalidomide plus dexamethasone at first relapse. Multivariate analysis showed that fewer prior therapies, along with β2-microglobulin (≤2.5 mg/L), predicted a better time to progression (TTP; study end-point) with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone treatment. Patients with one prior therapy showed a significant improvement in benefit after first relapse compared with those who received two or more therapies. Patients with one prior therapy had significantly prolonged median TTP (17.1 vs. 10.6 months; P = 0.026) and progression-free survival (14.1 vs. 9.5 months, P = 0.047) compared with patients treated in later lines. Overall response rates were higher (66.9% vs. 56.8%, P = 0.06), and the complete response plus very good partial response rate was significantly higher in first relapse (39.8% vs. 27.7%, P = 0.025). Importantly, overall survival was significantly prolonged for patients treated with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone with one prior therapy, compared with patients treated later in salvage (median of 42.0 vs. 35.8 months, P = 0.041), with no differences in toxicity, dose reductions, or discontinuations despite longer treatment. Therefore, lenalidomide plus dexamethasone is both effective and tolerable for second-line MM therapy and the data suggest that the greatest benefit occurs with earlier use. © 2009 Blackwell Munksgaard.
Bamias A, Lainakis G, Manios E, Koroboki E, Karadimou A, Zakopoulos N, Dimopoulos MA. Could rigorous diagnosis and management of hypertension reduce cardiac events in patients with renal cell carcinoma treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors?. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2009;27(15):2567 - 2569. Website
Dimopoulos M, Kastritis E, Roussou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Tassidou A, Terpos E. Rituximab-based treatments in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. Clinical Lymphoma and Myeloma [Internet]. 2009;9(1):59 - 61. WebsiteAbstract
The anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab has shown activity in approximately one third of patients with Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia (WM). Because this agents is nonmyelosuppressive, several studies have assessed its combination with chemotherapeutic agents such as fludarabine, cladribine, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin. These regimens induce at least partial response in > 70% of previously untreated patients. Recent data suggest that prolonged exposure to nucleoside-containing regimens should be avoided because of concerns of myelodysplasia and disease transformation. Rituximab has also been combined with thalidomide, which is an active and nonmyelosuppressive regimen. The rituximab-based combination represents today the most commonly used primary treatment for WM.
Kastritis E, Zervas K, Repoussis P, Michali E, Katodrytou E, Zomas A, Simeonidis A, Terpos E, Delimbassi S, Vassou A, et al. Prognostication in young and old patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia: Importance of the international prognostic scoring system and of serum lactate dehydrogenase. Clinical Lymphoma and Myeloma [Internet]. 2009;9(1):50 - 52. WebsiteAbstract
We analyzed 232 patients with previously untreated, symptomatic WM, of whom 10% were 50 years of age and 21% were > 75 years of age. Disease features and response to treatment were similar among age groups. Patients > 75 years of age had significantly shorter survival (OS; 53 months vs. 113 months for those > 50-75 years vs. not reached for patients 50 years of age; P < .001). Despite the fact that 33% of elderly patients died of causes unrelated to WM, disease-specific survival (DSS) was 72 months for patients > 75 years, 120 months for those > 50-75 years and not reached for patients 50 years (P = .001). International Prognostic Scoring System for WM (IPSSWM) could discriminate 3 risk groups with significantly different OS or DSS. The addition of elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase in the IPSS improved the ability of IPSS to identify a group of patients with a significantly worse outcome (median survival, 55 months).
Gavalas NG, Dimopoulos MA, Bamias A. Anti-tumor immune response in ovarian cancer: Clinical implications, prognostic significance and potential for novel treatment strategies. Oncology Reviews [Internet]. 2009;3(3):173 - 186. WebsiteAbstract
Ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death among women. Disease relapse occurs in a high number of cases and treatment currently involves the use of chemotherapy with the use of paclitaxel and platinum-based agents. Resistance to the disease occurs in more than 70% of the cases. The immune system is increasingly becoming a target for intense research in order to study the host's immune response against ovarian cancer. T cell populations, including NK T cells and Tregs, have been associated with disease outcome indicating their increasing clinical significance, having been associated with positive prognosis and as markers of disease progress, respectively. Cytokines may also be associated with positive prognosis and they can have a direct or indirect effect in mobilizing relevant T cells, thus eliciting an immune response. Harnessing the immune system capacity in order to induce anti-tumor response is a major challenge. This is achieved via the use of antibodies that can elicit an immune response or via the use of direct administration of cytotoxic T cell populations (e.g., CD8+). This review examines the recent developments in our understanding of the mechanisms of development of the immune response in ovarian cancer as well as its prognostic significance and the existing experience in clinical studies using factors associated with immune response, such as monoclonal antibodies, cytokines, vaccines and activated or expanded relevant autologous populations from peripheral blood. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.
Savvari P, Peitsidis P, Alevizaki M, Dimopoulos M-A, Antsaklis A, Papadimitriou CA. Paraneoplastic humorally mediated hypercalcemia induced by parathyroid hormone-related protein in gynecologic malignancies. Onkologie [Internet]. 2009;32(8-9):517 - 523. WebsiteAbstract
Humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy (HHM) is a metabolic phenomenon that is mediated by the paraneoplastic secretion of parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP). Gynecologic malignant neoplasms complicated by HHM have been reported for organs such as the uterus, cervix, ovary, vulva and the vagina. The purpose of our study was to perform a review of the published cases in the literature and, further, to identify parameters with effect on outcome. Among 34 women with gynecologic neoplasms, 22 suffered from ovarian and 6 from uterine malignancies, while 3 had vulvar and another 3 cervical cancer. Furthermore, clear cell carcinoma was the predominant histology associated with PTH-rP expression. A significant correlation was found between serum calcium and PTH-rP levels. Treatment of hypercalcemia was successful in all cases; pamidronate was utilized in 8 patients. Ovarian cancer patients with severe hypercalcemia and high PTH-rP serum levels had shorter survival compared to their counterparts with mild hypercalcemia or moderately elevated PTH-rP serum levels, but the differences were not statistically significant. Copyright © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Georgaki S, Skopeliti M, Tsiatas M, Nicolaou KA, Ioannou K, Husband A, Bamias A, Dimopoulos MA, Constantinou AI, Tsitsilonis OE. Phenoxodiol, an anticancer isoflavene, induces immunomodulatory effects in vitro and in vivo. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine [Internet]. 2009;13(9 B):3929 - 3938. WebsiteAbstract
Phenoxodiol (PXD) is a synthetic analogue of the plant isoflavone genistein with improved anticancer efficacy. Various properties and mechanisms of action have been attributed to the drug, the most important being its ability to sensitize resistant tumour cells to chemotherapy, which led to its fast track FDA approval for phase II/III clinical trials. In this study, we examined the effects of PXD on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and its potential role in regulating immune responses. We show that PXD, at concentrations ≥1 μg/ml (4 μM), inhibited proliferation and reduced the viability of healthy donor-derived PBMC. In contrast, lower PXD concentrations (0.05-0.5 μg/ml) augmented, upon 3-day incubation, PBMC cytotoxicity. Experiments with purified CD56 + lymphocytes revealed that PXD enhanced the lytic function of natural killer (NK) cells by directly stimulating this lymphocytic subpopulation. Furthermore, in an in vivo colon cancer model, Balb/C mice administered low-dose PXD, exhibited significantly reduced tumour growth rates and prolonged survival (in 40% of the animals). Ex vivo results showed that PXD stimulated both NK and tumour-specific cell lytic activity. We conclude that PXD, when administered at low concentrations, can act as an immunomodulator, enhancing impaired immune responses, often seen in cancer-bearing individuals. © 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Papadimitriou CA, Kalofonos H, Zagouri F, Papakostas P, Bozas G, Makatsoris T, Dimopoulos M-A, Fountzilas G. Weekly docetaxel with or without gemcitabine as second-line chemotherapy in paclitaxel-pretreated patients with metastatic breast cancer: A randomized phase II study conducted by the hellenic co-operative oncology group. Oncology [Internet]. 2009;77(3-4):212 - 216. WebsiteAbstract
Objective: A randomized phase II trial was conducted to test whether the addition of gemcitabine to weekly docetaxel could improve the objective response rate and survival outcomes as second-line chemotherapy in patients with metastatic breast cancer who have failed a paclitaxel-containing regimen. Methods: Patients were randomized to receive either weekly docetaxel 40 mg/m2 (group A, n = 34) or the combination of weekly docetaxel 35 mg/m2 with gemcitabine 600 mg/m2 (group B, n = 41). Three consecutive weekly infusions followed by a 1-week rest period represented 1 chemotherapy cycle. Results: The objective response rate was 18% and 27.5% in group A and B, respectively (p = 0.413). No statistically significant differences were demonstrated in terms of median overall survival and time to disease progression. The rate and grade 3 and 4 neutropenia were higher in group B (23 vs. 3%). Conclusions: The weekly administration of docetaxel and gemcitabine did not result in superior clinical outcomes over weekly docetaxel. © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Dimopoulos M, Terpos E, Comenzo RL, Tosi P, Beksac M, Sezer O, Siegel D, Lokhorst H, Kumar S, Rajkumar SV, et al. International myeloma working group consensus statement and guidelines regarding the current role of imaging techniques in the diagnosis and monitoring of multiple Myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2009;23(9):1545 - 1556. WebsiteAbstract
Several imaging technologies are used for the diagnosis and management of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Conventional radiography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear medicine imaging are all used in an attempt to better clarify the extent of bone disease and soft tissue disease in MM. This review summarizes all available data in the literature and provides recommendations for the use of each of the technologies. Conventional radiography still remains the 'gold standard' of the staging procedure of newly diagnosed and relapsed myeloma patients. MRI gives information complementary to skeletal survey and is recommended in MM patients with normal conventional radiography and in all patients with an apparently solitary plasmacytoma of bone. Urgent MRI or CT (if MRI is not available) is the diagnostic procedure of choice to assess suspected cord compression. Bone scintigraphy has no place in the routine staging of myeloma, whereas sequential dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans are not recommended. Positron emission tomography/CT or MIBI imaging are also not recommended for routine use in the management of myeloma patients, although both techniques may be useful in selected cases that warrant clarification of previous imaging findings, but such an approach should ideally be made within the context of a clinical trial. © 2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Papadimitriou CA, Markaki S, Lianos E, Peitsidis P, Vourli G, Nikitas N, Vlachos G, Rodolakis A, Antsaklis A, Dimopoulos MA. Clinicopathological features of primary fallopian tube carcinoma: A single institution experience. European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology [Internet]. 2009;30(4):389 - 395. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose of investigation: Primary fallopian tube carcinoma (PFTC) is a rare malignancy with only few data existing on the impact of prognostic factors. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 26 patients. Tissue blocks were reviewed and sections were stained for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 (MMP-2, MMP-9), tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases 1 and 2 (TIMP-1, TIMP-2), c-erbB-2, estrogen (ER), and progesterone receptors (PgR). Results: Reactivity for VEGF, ER, PgR, MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-1, TIMP-2 and c-erbB-2 was observed in 85%, 46%, 27%, 11.5%, 58%, 0%, 23% and 8% of specimens, respectively. None of the markers studied displayed prognostic significance. Regarding clinical prognostic factors, the hazard ratio (HR) for progression and death for patients with tumor residuum > 2 cm was 5.24 (p < 0.01) and 11.19 (p < 0.005), respectively. Patients with advanced stage disease had a HR of 12.55 (p < 0.05) for progression, while the HR for death was not found to be statistically significant. Conclusion: None of the biomarkers studied seems to influence survival. Early-stage disease and optimal debulking are associated with improved outcome.
Kranidiotis GP, Voidonikola PT, Dimopoulos MK, Anastasiou-Nana MI. Stauffer's syndrome as a prominent manifestation of renal cancer: A case report. Cases Journal [Internet]. 2009;2(1). WebsiteAbstract
Background: Renal cell carcinoma is associated with a wide spectrum of para-neoplastic syndromes, which may be precursors of primary or recurrent disease. Non-metastatic hepatic dysfunction in patients suffering from renal cell carcinoma is known as Stauffer's syndrome. It is associated with the production of cytokines by the tumour, and several biochemical abnormalities, including elevated serum alkaline phosphatase. Case presentation: We describe a 36-year-old woman presenting with various non-specific, systemic disease manifestations, and elevated liver enzymes due to cholestasis as the main laboratory abnormality. Imaging studies showed a solid mass in the left kidney, which, after surgical excision, was identified as renal cell carcinoma. No metastasis was found. Conclusion: Stauffer syndrome may precede other manifestations of renal cell carcinoma. In case of unexplained abnormal liver function, particularly in presence of systemic symptoms, underlying renal cell carcinoma should be excluded by focused investigations. © 2009 Kranidiotis et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Roussou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Zagouri F, Migkou M, Matsouka C, Barbarousi D, Christoulas D, Primenou E, Grapsa I, et al. Reversibility of renal impairment in patients with multiple myeloma treated with bortezomib-based regimens: identification of predictive factors. Clinical lymphoma & myeloma [Internet]. 2009;9(4):302 - 306. WebsiteAbstract
PURPOSE: Renal impairment is a frequent complication of multiple myeloma (MM) and is associated with significant morbidity and increased early death rate. Bortezomib is active and well tolerated in patients with MM who present or develop renal impairment. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We analyzed 46 consecutive patients who presented with renal impairment in order to evaluate the impact of bortezomib on the improvement of renal function and to identify predictive factors associated with renal response. All patients received bortezomib with dexamethasone with or without other agents. RESULTS: Renal response was documented in 59% of patients within a median of 11 days (range, 8-41 days). Two of 9 patients who required dialysis became dialysis independent. A complete renal response (CRrenal) was documented in 30% of patients. Toxicities were similar to those seen in myeloma patients without renal failure who were treated with bortezomib-based regimens. Patients with light chain-only myeloma had a higher probability of achieving a renal response, and previously untreated patients had a higher probability for complete resolution of renal impairment, while light chain-only myeloma was independently associated with a shorter time to renal response. The degree of renal impairment was not predictive of the probability for renal response or CRrenal; however, in a subset of patients for whom cystatin C was available, a baseline cystatin C > 2 mg/L or cystatin C calculated estimated glomerular filtration rate < 30 mL/min were associated with a lower probability of CRrenal. CONCLUSION: We conclude that bortezomib-based regimens may improve renal function in the majority of myeloma patients with renal impairment.
Katodritou E, Dimopoulos MA, Zervas K, Terpos E. Update on the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) for the management of anemia of multiple myeloma and lymphoma. Cancer Treatment Reviews [Internet]. 2009;35(8):738 - 743. WebsiteAbstract
Anemia is a common side-effect of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and lymphoma. The etiology is complex, but the main cause is the underlying mechanism of anemia of chronic disease, which is characterized among others, by impairment of iron metabolism and consequently iron restricted erythropoiesis (IRE), resulting from the up-regulation of the iron distributing regulator, hepcidin. Erythopoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) have been the standard of care since early 90's offering high response rates and improving the quality of life of the patients. However, the role of ESAs in the treatment of cancer-related anemia has been questioned recently, due to the growing evidence which support that ESAs may be associated with increased risk for thrombosis and may have a detrimental impact on patients' survival. Under the light of the recent considerations, the place of ESAs in the management of cancer-related anemia has been reassigned. Regarding the management of anemia in MM or lymphoma, the updated American Society of Clinical Oncology/American Society of Hematology (ASCO/ASH) 2007 clinical practice guidelines on the use of ESAs in cancer-related anemia, recommended that ESAs should be preferably omitted in patients planned to receive chemotherapy and applied in case that anemia does not improve over treatment. The quest for reliable predictors for response to ESAs and for indicators of IRE which plays a major etiological role for the development of anemia of cancer still remains an open issue. In the current review we present an update on ESAs use in anemia of MM and lymphoma. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Zagouri F, Papaefthimiou M, Chalazonitis AN, Antoniou N, Dimopoulos M-A, Bamias A. Prostate cancer with metastasis to the omentum and massive ascites: A rare manifestation of a common disease. Onkologie [Internet]. 2009;32(12):758 - 761. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The most common sites of metastasis in prostate cancer include bone and regional lymph nodes followed by lung, liver, and brain. Peritoneal metastasis without skeletal involvement is extremely rare. Case Report: We present herein a patient with hormone refractory prostate cancer with peritoneal metastasis accompanied by ascites but without bone metastasis. The patient initially experienced an excellent response to docetaxelbased chemotherapy. Conclusions: Prostate cancer can present with distant metastasis in unexpected sites. The lack of skeletal involvement does not exclude the possibility of distant metastases. The presence of ascites may indicate peritoneal disease which could be responsive to current standard chemotherapy. Copyright © 2009 S. Karger AG.
Dimopoulos M-A, Moulopoulos LA, Terpos E. A new pet for myeloma. Blood [Internet]. 2009;114(10):2007 - 2008. WebsiteAbstract
In this issue of Blood, Bartel and colleagues report the independent predictive value of the PET/CT and of the FDG suppression before transplantation in newly diagnosed myeloma patients who were treated using the TT3 regimen.
Morel P, Duhamel A, Gobbi P, Dimopoulos MA, Dhodapkar MV, McCoy J, Crowley J, Ocio EM, Garcia-Sanz R, Treon SP, et al. International prognostic scoring system for Waldenström macroglobulinemia. Blood [Internet]. 2009;113(18):4163 - 4170. WebsiteAbstract
Recently, many new drugs have been developed for the treatment of Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). To optimize the treatment according to the prognosis and to facilitate the comparison of trials, we developed an International Prognostic Scoring System for WM in a series of 587 patients with clearly defined criteria for diagnosis and for initiation of treatment. The median survival after treatment initiation was 87 months. Five adverse covariates were identified: advanced age (>65 years), hemoglobin less than or equal to 11.5 g/dL, platelet count less than or equal to 100 × 10 9/L, β2-microglobulin more than 3 mg/L, and serum monoclonal protein concentration more than 7.0 g/dL. Low-risk patients (27%) presented with no or 1 of the adverse characteristics and advanced age, intermediate-risk patients (38%) with 2 adverse characteristics or only advanced age, and high-risk patients (35%) with more than 2 adverse characteristics. Five-year survival rates were 87%, 68%, and 36%, respectively (P < .001). The ISSWM retained its prognostic significance in subgroups defined by age, treatment with alkylating agent, and purine analog. Thus, the ISSWM may provide a means to design risk-adapted studies. However, independent validation and new biologic markers may enhance its significance. © 2009 by The American Society of Hematology.
Tsiatas ML, Gyftaki R, Liacos C, Politi E, Rodolakis A, Dimopoulos M-A, Bamias A. Study of T lymphocytes infiltrating peritoneal metastases in advanced ovarian cancer associations with vascular endothelial growth factor levels and prognosis in patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy. International Journal of Gynecological Cancer [Internet]. 2009;19(8):1329 - 1334. WebsiteAbstract
The presence of CD3+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) has been found to correlate with improved survival in epithelial ovarian cancer, but the association of TIL subpopulations with clinical outcome remains controversial. We performed a prospective analysis of TIL subpopulations from patients with epithelial ovarian cancer and their activation status and studied their association with prognosis. Methods: Flow cytometric analysis was performed on TIL subpopulations isolated from 45 fresh ovarian tumor specimens, obtained during surgery, after mechanical dissociation and enzymatic degradation. Vascular endothelial growth factor and tumor necrosis factor α levels in ascites and serum were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Significantly increased numbers of CD56+ cells (natural killer and natural killerYlike T cells; P = 0.045), activated CD4 +HLA-DR+ cells (P = 0.046), and activated CD8 +CD25+ cells (P = 0.028) were found in serous and endometrioid carcinomas compared with mucinous and clear cell carcinomas. A high percentage of CD4+CD25hi cells (regulatory T cells) and activated CD4+HLA-DR+ cells significantly associated with improved median overall survival (not reached vs 35 months [P = 0.0241] and not reached vs 35 months [P = 0.0144], respectively) and median progression-free survival (30 months vs 14 months [P = 0.0819] and 30 months vs 13 months [P = 0.0479], respectively). Vascular endothelial growth factor ascites levels were inversely correlated with CD14+ (ρ = -0.529, P = 0.001), whereas HLA-DR8+CD8 lymphocytes were inversely correlated with both ascites and serum vascular endothelial growth factor levels (ρ = -0.494, P = 0.006, and ρ = -0.586, P = 0.037, respectively). Conclusions: The presence of regulatory T cells and activated CD4+ cells within the tumor microenvironment is associated with improved overall and progression-free survival in patients with ovarian cancer. Coyright © 2009 by IGCS and ESGO.
Lainakis G, Bamias A, Psimenou E, Fountzilas G, Dimopoulos MA. Sunitinib treatment in patients with severe renal function impairment: A report of four cases by the hellenic cooperative oncology group. Clinical Nephrology [Internet]. 2009;72(1):73 - 78. WebsiteAbstract
Sunitinib is approved for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). No data are available on sunitinib use specifically in patients with significantly impaired renal function. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of sunitinib in patients with advanced RCC and Grade 4 renal function impairment. Four patients had a calculated creatinine clearance of 15 - 29 ml/min/1.73 m2 prior to initiation of sunitinib. Three patients tolerated treatment well with no renal toxicity: 2 received 17 and 5 cycles of sunitinib at full dose, while 1 received 5 cycles with a dose reduction due to myelotoxicity. We observed one partial response and two patients had stable disease for 24 and 4 months, respectively. The 4th patient had a creatinine clearance of 18 ml/min/1.73 m2 and had treatment discontinued during the first cycle due to poorly controlled hypertension and deterioration of his renal function. We conclude that sunitinib can be administered to the majority of patients with RCC and significant renal function impairment. © 2009 Dustri-Verlag Dr. K. Feistle.
Zagouri F, Linardou H, Dimopoulos AM, Papadimitriou CA. Management of advanced stage uterine sarcomas: A bone of contention. European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology [Internet]. 2009;30(5):483 - 492. WebsiteAbstract
Uterine sarcomas constitute a rare group of neoplasms characterized by an aggressive clinical course and poor prognosis. It is this rarity that has resulted in clinical-trial reports and literature reviews including a broad range of histological subtypes of sarcoma. This has a detrimental effect on interpretation and application of the results; the pathological subtype demands a tailored approach. Surgical resection remains the mainstay of treatment for non metastatic uterine sarcomas. Although adjuvant radiation therapy has reportedly been of little survival value, it appears to improve local control and may delay recurrence. The role of adjuvant chemotherapy has yet to be established; however, bearing in mind the limitations and assumptions in the pooling of data the therapeutic options should be based on the pathological subtype. Considering the poor overall survival in uterine sarcomas, the need for new therapeutic agents is critical. New drugs with possible activity in uterine sarcomas include trabectedin, temozolomide, liposomal doxorubicin and gemcitabine.
Mountzios G, Dimopoulos MA, Bamias A, Vourli G, Kalofonos H, Aravantinos G, Fountzilas G, Papadimitriou CA. Randomized multicenter phase II trial of cisplatin and ifosfamide with or without paclitaxel in recurrent or metastatic carcinoma of the uterine cervix: A Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HeCOG) study. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2009;20(8):1362 - 1368. WebsiteAbstract
Background: We undertook a randomized phase II trial to test whether the addition of paclitaxel (Taxol) to the cisplatin and ifosfamide (IP) combination could improve objective response (OR) rate, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with recurrent or metastatic cancer of the uterine cervix. Patients and methods: One hundred and fifty-three patients were randomly allocated to receive either the IP regimen (ifosfamide 1.5 g/m2, daily, on days 1-3 and cisplatin 70 mg/m2 on day 2) or the same combination with the addition of paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 on day 1 [ifosfamide, paclitaxel and cisplatinum (ITP) regimen]. Cycles were administered every 4 weeks on an outpatient basis. Results: A modest increase in neurotoxicity was observed with the triplet combination. OR rate was significantly higher in the ITP group (59% versus 33%, P = 0.002). Median PFS was 7.9 and 6.3 months for patients in the ITP and IP arms, respectively (P = 0.023). Median OS was 15.4 months and 13.2 months in the ITP and IP arms, respectively (P = 0.048). In multivariate analysis, the triplet yielded a hazard ratio of 0.70 for relapse or progression (P = 0.046) and 0.75 for death (P = 0.124) compared with the doublet. Conclusion: The ITP combination merits further investigation in randomized phase III studies. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Terpos E, Sezer O, Croucher PI, García-Sanz R, Boccadoro M, San Miguel J, Ashcroft J, Bladé J, Cavo M, Delforge M, et al. The use of bisphosphonates in multiple myeloma: Recommendations of an expert panel on behalf of the European Myeloma Network. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2009;20(8):1303 - 1317. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Bisphosphonates (BPs) prevent, reduce, and delay multiple myeloma (MM)-related skeletal complications. Intravenous pamidronate and zoledronic acid, and oral clodronate are used for the management of MM bone disease. The purpose of this paper is to review the current evidence for the use of BPs in MM and provide European Union-specific recommendations to support the clinical practice of treating myeloma bone disease. Design and methods: An interdisciplinary, expert panel of specialists on MM and myeloma-related bone disease convened for a face-to-face meeting to review and assess the evidence and develop the recommendations. The panel reviewed and graded the evidence available from randomized clinical trials, clinical practice guidelines, and the body of published literature. Where published data were weak or unavailable, the panel used their own clinical experience to put forward recommendations based solely on their expert opinions. Results: The panel recommends the use of BPs in MM patients suffering from lytic bone disease or severe osteoporosis. Intravenous administration may be preferable; however, oral administration can be considered for patients unable to make hospital visits. Dosing should follow approved indications with adjustments if necessary. In general, BPs are well tolerated, but preventive steps should be taken to avoid renal impairment and osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). The panel agrees that BPs should be given for 2 years, but this may be extended if there is evidence of active myeloma bone disease. Initial therapy of ONJ should include discontinuation of BPs until healing occurs. BPs should be restarted if there is disease progression. Conclusions: BPs are an essential component of MM therapy for minimizing skeletal morbidity. Recent retrospective data indicate that a modified dosing regimen and preventive measures can greatly reduce the incidence of ONJ. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Terpos E, Tasidou A, Kastritis E, Eleftherakis-Papaiakovou E, Gavriatopoulou M, Migkou M, Dimopoulos M-A. Angiogenesis in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. Clinical Lymphoma and Myeloma [Internet]. 2009;9(1):46 - 49. WebsiteAbstract
Angiogenesis represents an essential step of disease progression in several hematological malignancies. In Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) the bone marrow microvessel density is increased in 30%-40% of patients but seems to have no impact on survival. Angiogenic cytokines, such as angiogenin, vascular endothelial growth factor, and basic fibroblast growth factor are increased in the serum of WM or IgM-MGUS patients, while the ratio of angiopoietin-1/ angiopoietin-2 is reduced in WM but not in IgM-monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Angiogenin and angiopoietin-1/angiopoietin-2 ratio correlates with disease activity and clinical features of WM. Macrophage and mast-cell chemoattractants, such as macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha are also elevated in the serum of patients with WM, while both macrophages and mast cells that are increased in the WM microenvironment have angiogenic properties and participate in the angiogenesis process in several malignancies. This review summarizes all data available by November 2008 (end of literature search) for the role of angiogenesis in the biology of WM and its correlation with clinical and laboratory features of the disease.
Christoulas D, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Pathogenesis and management of myeloma bone disease. Expert Review of Hematology [Internet]. 2009;2(4):385 - 398. WebsiteAbstract
Osteolytic bone disease is a frequent complication of multiple myeloma, resulting in skeletal complications that are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. It is the result of increased activity of osteoclasts that is not followed by reactive bone formation by osteoblasts. Recent studies have revealed novel molecules and pathways that are implicated in osteoclast activation and osteoblast inhibition, including the RANKL/osteoprotegerin pathway, macrophage inflammatory proteins and the wingless type signaling pathway. These molecules also appear to interfere with tumor growth and survival, providing possible targets for the development of novel drugs for the management of lytic disease in myeloma. Currently, bisphosphonates are the mainstay of treatment for myeloma bone disease, although several novel agents appear promising. This review focuses on recent advances in understanding the biology of bone disease in multiple myeloma, diagnosis and recent progress in treatment options. © 2009 Expert Reviews Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Richardson PG, Schlag R, Khuageva NK, Shpilberg O, Kastritis E, Kropff M, Petrucci MT, Delforge M, Alexeeva J, et al. VMP (Bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone) is active and well tolerated in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma with moderately impaired renal function, and results in reversal of renal impairment: Cohort analysis of the phase III VISTA study. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2009;27(36):6086 - 6093. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: To assess bortezomib plus melphalan and prednisone (VMP) and melphalan and prednisone (MP) in previously untreated patients with multiple myeloma (MM) with renal impairment enrolled on the phase III VISTA study, and to evaluate renal impairment reversibility. Patients and Methods: Patients received nine 6-week cycles of VMP (bortezomib 1.3 mg/m2, melphalan 9 mg/m2, prednisone 60 mg/m2) or MP. Patients with serum creatinine higher than 2 mg/dL were excluded. Results: In the VMP/MP arms, 6%/4%, 27%/30%, and 67%/66% of patients had baseline glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of ≤ 30, 31 to 50, and higher than 50 mL/min, respectively. Response rates were higher and time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS) longer with VMP versus MP across renal cohorts. Response rates with VMP and TTP in both arms did not appear significantly different between patients with GFR ≤ 50 or higher than 50 mL/min; OS appeared somewhat longer in patients with normal renal function in both arms. Renal impairment reversal (baseline GFR < 50 improving to > 60 mL/min) was seen in 49 (44%) of 111 patients receiving VMP versus 40 (34%) of 116 patients receiving MP. By multivariate analysis, younger age (< 75 years; P = .006) and less severe impairment (GFR ≥ 30 mL/min; P = .027) were associated with higher reversal rates. In addition, treatment with VMP approached significance (P = .07). In both arms, rates of grade 4 and 5 adverse events (AEs) and serious AEs appeared higher in patients with renal impairment; with VMP, rates of discontinuations/bortezomib dose reductions due to AEs did not appear affected. Conclusion: VMP is a feasible, active, and well-tolerated treatment option for previously untreated patients with MM with moderate renal impairment, resulting in 44% renal impairment reversal. © 2009 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. First-line bortezomib benefits patients with multiple myeloma. Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2009;6(12):683 - 685. WebsiteAbstract
Bortezomib-based regimens are beneficial in the treatment of patients with symptomatic, newly diagnosed and relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. researchers who investigated the efficacy and safety of single-agent bortezomib as first-line therapy in patients with myeloma have particularly emphasized the incidence and management of peripheral neuropathy, which is the most common adverse effect of bortezomib administration. © 2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.