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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.