Publications by Year: 2010

Ludwig H, Beksac M, Bladé J, Boccadoro M, Cavenagh J, Cavo M, Dimopoulos M, Drach J, Einsele H, Facon T, et al. Current multiple myeloma treatment strategies with novel agents: A European perspective. Oncologist [Internet]. 2010;15(1):6 - 25. WebsiteAbstract
The treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) has undergone significant developments in recent years. The availability of the novel agents thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide has expanded treatment options and has improved the outcome of patients with MM. Following the introduction of these agents in the relapsed/refractory setting, they are also undergoing investigation in the initial treatment of MM. A number of phase III trials have demonstrated the efficacy of novel agent combinations in the transplant and nontransplant settings, and based on these results standard induction regimens are being challenged and replaced. In the transplant setting, a number of newer induction regimens are now available that have been shown to be superior to the vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone regimen. Similarly, in the front-line treatment of patients not eligible for transplantation, regimens incorporating novel agents have been found to be superior to the traditional melphalan plus prednisone regimen. Importantly, some of the novel agents appear to be active in patients with high-risk disease, such as adverse cytogenetic features, and certain comorbidities, such as renal impairment. This review presents an overview of the most recent data with these novel agents and summarizes European treatment practices incorporating the novel agents. ©AlphaMed Press.
Bladé J, Dimopoulos M, Rosiñol L, Rajkumar SV, Kyle RA. Smoldering (asymptomatic) multiple myeloma: Current diagnostic criteria, new predictors of outcome, and follow-up recommendations. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2010;28(4):690 - 697. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: To provide an overview on smoldering (asymptomatic) multiple myeloma (SMM) including current diagnostic criteria, predictors of progression, pattern of progression, and outcome. Design: A comprehensive review of the literature on risk factors for progression, treatment attempts to delay progression and outcome in patients with SMM. Results: The risk factors for progression of SMM include: plasma cell mass including M-protein size and percentage of bone marrow clonal plasma cells (BMPC), abnormal free light chain ratio, proportion of phenotypically abnormal BMPC, immunoparesis, evolution pattern (evolving v nonevolving), and pattern of magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities. Most patients with SMM progress with anemia and/or skeletal involvement. Immediate therapy with cytotoxic agents, such as melphalan/prednisone has not resulted in improved outcome. Patients should not be treated until progressive disease with end-organ damage occurs. Increasing anemia is the most reliable indicator of progression. Conclusion: These recently recognized predictors of outcome may be helpful for better disease monitoring and for investigation of new treatment approaches. Thus, recommendations for follow-up every to 3 to 6 months depending on the risk of progression are suggested, and clinical trials with new noncytotoxic biologically derived agents to delay progression, particularly in high-risk patients, are ongoing. © 2009 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Bozas G, Terpos E, Gika D, Karadimou A, Dimopoulos MA, Bamias A. Prechemotherapy serum levels of CD105, transforming growth factor β2, and vascular endothelial growth factor are associated with prognosis in patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer treated with cytoreductive surgery and platinum-based chemother. International Journal of Gynecological Cancer [Internet]. 2010;20(2):248 - 254. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Serum CD105 has been associated with angiogenic activity in cancer, and low CD105 expression has been associated with improved prognosis. The present study evaluated the prognostic significance of serum levels of CD105 and related factors in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) after cytoreductive surgery and chemotherapy. Patients and Methods: Eighty-six patients with stages IIC to IV EOC treated postoperatively with platinum-based chemotherapy were included. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure prechemotherapy serum levels of CD105, transforming growth factor β1/2 (TGF-β1/2), angiopoietin 2, vascular endothelial growth factor, and tumor necrosis factor-α. Results: High levels of TGF-β2 (≥8908.86 pg/mL) and CD105 (≥4.25 ng/mL) were independently associated with improved overall survival (not reached vs 39 months, P = 0.009 and 75 vs 39 months, P = 0.029, respectively), whereas a high level of TGF-β2 and a low level of vascular endothelial growth factor (<219.04 pg/mL) were independently associated with improved progression-free survival (49 vs 17 months, P = 0.022 and 57 vs 16 months, P = 0.023, respectively). Among patients with favorable (≥4.25 ng/mL) CD105 levels, only patients with low TGF-β1 levels (<177.1 ng/mL) had superior survival than patients with low CD105 levels. Conclusions: Our study confirms the prognostic significance of angiogenesis in EOC and supports a biological interaction between CD105 and TGF-β1. High angiogenic activity may be associated by increased efficacy of postoperative chemotherapy. Copyright© 2010 by IGCS and ESGO.
Michael M, Kastritis E, Delimpassi S, Michalis E, Repoussis P, Kyrtsonis M-C, Katodritou E, Anagnostopoulos N, Zervas K, Dimopoulos MA. Clinical characteristics and outcome of primary systemic light-chain amyloidosis in Greece. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2010;10(1):56 - 61. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Primary systemic light-chain (AL) amyloidosis is characterized by the deposition of immunoglobulin light chain-derived amyloid fibrils in various tissues leading to multiorgan dysfunction. Patients and Methods: In order to define characteristics, treatment, and outcome of Greek patients with AL amyloidosis, we analyzed 112 unselected patients with AL from several hospitals. Results: The heart was involved in 59% of patients and kidneys in 71%. Patients were treated with several different treatment regimens; high-dose dexamethasone-based regimens were used as primary treatment in 43% and melphalan-based regimens in 37%, while 12% received up-front bortezomib with dexamethasone. A hematologic response to first-line therapy was documented in 50% (complete response, 14.5%), and organ responses were observed in 25% of patients, the latter being strongly associated with achievement of hematologic response. Median overall survival was 34.2 months and was independently affected by heart involvement, creatinine, age, involvement of ≥2 organs, and bone marrow plasmacytosis > 30%. In patients with cardiac involvement, advanced age and extended bone marrow plasmacytosis were associated with an even worse outcome, while for patients without heart involvement, only bone marrow plasmacytosis was independently associated with survival. Hematologic response was associated with improved survival in patients with heart involvement but mostly in patients with less bone marrow infiltration. Conclusion: In this first series of patients from Greece with AL amyloidosis, disease features and outcome appeared similar to those reported from tertiary centers. Heart involvement and bone marrow plasma cell infiltration comprise adverse prognostic factors but also indicate the heterogeneity of the disease and the need for individual treatment approaches.
Bafaloukos D, Linardou H, Aravantinos G, Papadimitriou C, Bamias A, Fountzilas G, Kalofonos HP, Kosmidis P, Timotheadou E, Makatsoris T, et al. A randomized phase II study of carboplatin plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin versus carboplatin plus paclitaxel in platinum sensitive ovarian cancer patients: A Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group study. BMC Medicine [Internet]. 2010;8. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Platinum-based combinations are the standard second-line treatment for platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer (OC). This randomized phase II study was undertaken in order to compare the combination of carboplatin and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (LD) with carboplatin and paclitaxel (CP) in this setting.Methods: Patients with histologically confirmed recurrent OC, at the time of or more than 6 months after platinum-based chemotherapy, were randomized to six cycles of CP (carboplatin AUC5 + paclitaxel 175 mg/m2, d1q21) or CLD (carboplatin AUC5 + pegylated LD 45 mg/m2, d1q28).Results: A total of 189 eligible patients (CP 96, CLD 93), with a median age of 63 years, median Performance Status (PS) 0 and a median platinum free interval (PFI) of 16.5 months, entered the study. Discontinuation due to toxicity was higher in the CP patients (13.5% versus 3%, P = 0.016). The overall response rate was similar: CP 58% versus CLD 51%, P = 0.309 (Complete Response; CR 34% versus 23%) and there was no statistical difference in time-to-progression (TTP) or overall survival (OS; TTP 10.8 months CP versus 11.8 CLD, P = 0.904; OS 29.4 months CP versus 24.7 CLD, P = 0.454). No toxic deaths were recorded. Neutropenia was the most commonly seen severe toxicity (CP 30% versus CLD 35%). More frequent in CLD were severe thrombocytopenia (11% versus 2%, P = 0.016), skin toxicity and Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (PPE) grade 1-2 (38% versus 9%, P< 0.001), while grade 3 neurotoxicity and alopecia were higher in CP (7% versus 0%, P = 0.029, 20% versus 5%, P = 0.003). PS and PFI were independent prognostic factors for TTP and OS.Conclusions: The combination of pegylated LD with carboplatin is effective, showing less neurotoxicity and alopecia than paclitaxel-carboplatin. It thus warrants a further phase III evaluation as an alternative treatment option for platinum-sensitive OC patients. © 2010 Bafaloukos et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Bamias A, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Avascular osteonecrosis of the jaw as a side effect of bisphosphonate treatment. Onkologie [Internet]. 2010;33(6):288 - 289. Website
Zangari M, Tricot G, Polavaram L, Zhan F, Finlayson A, Knight R, Fu T, Weber D, Dimopoulos MA, Niesvizky R, et al. Survival effect of venous thromboembolism in patients with multiple myeloma treated with lenalidomide and high-dose dexamethasone. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2010;28(1):132 - 135. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the survival effect of venous thromboembolism (VTE) development in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Methods: Two identically designed, multicenter, double-blind, phase III clinical trials (MM-009 and MM-010) were conducted in Europe and the United States to assess the effect of lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone versus dexamethasone plus placebo in patients with relapsed or refractory MM, after failing at least one prior line of treatment. In this retrospective analysis, we evaluated incidence and survival effect of thromboembolism in 353 patients randomly assigned to receive 25 mg of lenalidomide on days 1 through 21 of a 28-day cycle, plus 40 mg of oral dexamethasone on days 1 through 4, 9 through 12, and 17 through 20 for the first four cycles; after the fourth cycle, 40 mg of dexamethasone was administered on days 1 through 4 only. Results: Seventeen percent of patients experienced a thromboembolic episode. The development of VTE did not significantly affect overall survival (P = .90) or time to progression (P = .34). No significant survival impact was observed in a subgroup of patients who received prophylactic anticoagulation (overall survival P = .7, time to progression P = .1). Conclusion: Patients with MM treated with lenalidomide and high-dose dexamethasone who developed a VTE did not experience shorter overall survival or time to progression. © 2009 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Bamias A, Karadimou A, Lampaki S, Lainakis G, Malettou L, Timotheadou E, Papazisis K, Andreadis C, Kontovinis L, Anastasiou I, et al. Prognostic stratification of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma treated with sunitinib: Comparison with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering prognostic factors model. BMC Cancer [Internet]. 2010;10. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The treatment paradigm in advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has changed in the recent years. Sunitinib has been established as a new standard for first-line therapy. We studied the prognostic significance of baseline characteristics and we compared the risk stratification with the established Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) model.Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of patients treated in six Greek Oncology Units of HECOG. Inclusion criteria were: advanced renal cell carcinoma not amenable to surgery and treatment with Sunitinib. Previous cytokine therapy but no targeted agents were allowed. Overall survival (OS) was the major end point. Significance of prognostic factors was evaluated with multivariate cox regression analysis. A model was developed to stratify patients according to risk.Results: One hundred and nine patients were included. Median follow up has been 15.8 months and median OS 17.1 months (95% CI: 13.7-20.6). Time from diagnosis to the start of Sunitinib (<= 12 months vs. >12 months, p = 0.001), number of metastatic sites (1 vs. >1, p = 0.003) and performance status (PS) (<= 1 vs >1, p = 0.001) were independently associated with OS. Stratification in two risk groups ("low" risk: 0 or 1 risk factors; "high" risk: 2 or 3 risk factors) resulted in distinctly different OS (median not reached [NR] vs. 10.8 [95% confidence interval (CI): 8.3-13.3], p < 0.001). The application of the MSKCC risk criteria resulted in stratification into 3 groups (low and intermediate and poor risk) with distinctly different prognosis underlying its validity. Nevertheless, MSKCC model did not show an improved prognostic performance over the model developed by this analysis.Conclusions: Studies on risk stratification of patients with advanced RCC treated with targeted therapies are warranted. Our results suggest that a simpler than the MSKCC model can be developed. Such models should be further validated. © 2010 Bamias et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Andreou I, Tousoulis D, Miliou A, Tentolouris C, Zisimos K, Gounari P, Siasos G, Papageorgiou N, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, et al. Effects of rosuvastatin on myeloperoxidase levels in patients with chronic heart failure: A randomized placebo-controlled study. Atherosclerosis [Internet]. 2010;210(1):194 - 198. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Studies indicate that myeloperoxidase (MPO) is associated with disease progression and severity in heart failure (HF), while it may provide a mechanistic link between inflammation and adverse cardiac remodeling. The mechanisms that regulate MPO are unclear, while it is unknown whether specific treatments such as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors and xanthine oxidase inhibitors may modify MPO. Therefore in the present study we examined the effects of rosuvastatin and allopurinol on MPO levels in patients HF. Methods: Sixty clinically stable patients with systolic HF were randomized to receive rosuvastatin 10. mg/day, allopurinol 300. mg/day or placebo and followed up for 1 month. Plasma levels of MPO and serum levels of soluble CD40 ligand, interleukin-6, and oxidized LDL were determined using ELISA. All measurements were made before and after 1-month treatment. Results: Rosuvastatin significantly reduced plasma levels of MPO (p= 0.003), which remained unchanged in the other groups. Furthermore, the change of MPO levels in the rosuvastatin-treated group was significantly different compared with the other groups (p<0.05). Rosuvastatin administration also led to a significant decrease in oxidized LDL (p=0.009), while the other inflammatory markers remained unchanged in all groups. In the total population, a significant correlation was observed between the baseline levels of MPO and hsCRP (r=0.275, p=0.027), fibrinogen (r=0.278, p=0.025), and sCD40L (r=0.288, p=0.021). Conclusions: Short-term treatment with rosuvastatin regulates inflammatory process in patients with heart failure by significantly reducing plasma levels of MPO. This finding reveals a novel pleiotropic effect of statins in patients with heart failure, and provides further insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms of MPO in heart failure. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Mateos M-V, Richardson PG, Schlag R, Khuageva NK, Dimopoulos MA, Shpilberg O, Kropff M, Spicka I, Petrucci MT, Palumbo A, et al. Bortezomib plus melphalan and prednisone compared with melphalan and prednisone in previously untreated multiple myeloma: Updated follow-up and impact of subsequent therapy in the phase III VISTA trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2010;28(13):2259 - 2266. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to confirm overall survival (OS) and other clinical benefits with bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone (VMP) versus melphalan and prednisone (MP) in the phase III VISTA (Velcade as Initial Standard Therapy in Multiple Myeloma) trial after prolonged follow-up, and evaluate the impact of subsequent therapies. Patients and Methods: Previously untreated symptomatic patients with myeloma ineligible for high-dose therapy received up to nine 6-week cycles of VMP (n = 344) or MP (n = 338). Results: With a median follow-up of 36.7 months, there was a 35% reduced risk of death with VMP versus MP (hazard ratio, 0.653; P < .001); median OS was not reached with VMP versus 43 months with MP; 3-year OS rates were 68.5% versus 54.0%. Response rates to subsequent thalidomide-(41% v 53%) and lenalidomide-based therapies (59% v 52%) appeared similar after VMP or MP; response rates to subsequent bortezomib-based therapy were 47% versus 59%. Among patients treated with VMP (n = 178) and MP (n = 233), median survival from start of subsequent therapy was 30.2 and 21.9 months, respectively, and there was no difference in survival from salvage among patients who received subsequent bortezomib, thalidomide, or lenalidomide. Rates of adverse events were higher with VMP versus MP during cycles 1 to 4, but similar during cycles 5 to 9. With VMP, 79% of peripheral neuropathy events improved within a median of 1.9 months; 60% completely resolved within a median of 5.7 months. Conclusion: VMP significantly prolongs OS versus MP after lengthy follow-up and extensive subsequent antimyeloma therapy. First-line bortezomib use does not induce more resistant relapse. VMP used upfront appears more beneficial than first treating with conventional agents and saving bortezomib- and other novel agent-based treatment until relapse. © 2010 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Karadimou A, Dimopoulos MA, Bamias A. The role of high-dose chemotherapy in the treatment of testicular cancer.; 2010 pp. 25 - 30. WebsiteAbstract
Testicular cancer is a highly curable neoplasm, even in the case of extragonadal disease. Nevertheless, patients with adverse prognostic features or relapsing after first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy have a worse prognosis with a death rate greater than 50%. High-dose chemotherapy (HDC) has long been used in this group of patients. The introduction of stem cells, instead of bone marrow, as the source of hemopoietic cells and the use of leukocyte growth factors have substantially reduced the mortality and morbidity of this procedure although the role of HDC is not well defined. This review summarizes the available data, focusing on published randomized studies. The problems associated with the design of these studies and the interpretation of data are discussed. Currently this HDC approach is mainly used in patients who relapse after first-line chemotherapy. Nevertheless, selection of patients likely to benefit from this treatment remains an issue of intense clinical research. © 2010 Karadimou et al.
Dimopoulos MA, Chen C, Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Treon SP. Bortezomib as a treatment option in patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2010;10(2):110 - 117. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a B-Cell lymphoproliferative disorder characterized by lymphoplasmacytic bone marrow infiltration and immunoglobulin M (IgM) monoclonal gammopathy. It remains incurable, with a median survival of 5-10 years in symptomatic WM. Current first-line treatment options include alkylating agents, nucleoside analogues, and rituximab-based therapies. However, primary or secondary resistance invariably develops. Thus, new treatment options are needed. Preclinical studies have shown that the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib targets signaling pathways of relevance in WM. Bortezomib, alone and in combination with rituximab, has demonstrated notable activity in clinical studies in patients with WM, predominantly in phase II trials in the relapsed or refractory setting. In newly diagnosed patients, bortezomib plus rituximab and dexamethasone is highly active (complete response/near-complete response = 22%). Bortezomib-based therapies result in rapid responses, potentially making them suitable treatment options for patients with hyperviscosity-related symptoms who require a rapid reduction in IgM level. In addition, bortezomib appears unique in reducing rituximab-associated IgM flares. Bortezomib is generally well tolerated in WM. However, neurotoxicity is common and might be the cause of dose reduction or treatment discontinuation. Bortezomib has no adverse effect on stem cell harvesting and engraftment, making it a feasible treatment option in transplantation-eligible patients. These encouraging data have led to the inclusion of bortezomib as a salvage treatment option in the recently updated Fourth International Workshop on Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia treatment recommendations.
Mountzios G, Bamias A, Dalianis A, Danias P, Pantelidaki E, Nanas J, Dimopoulos MA. Endocardial metastases as the only site of relapse in a patient with bladder carcinoma: A case report and review of the literature. International Journal of Cardiology [Internet]. 2010;140(1):e4 - e7. WebsiteAbstract
Tumors metastatic to the heart (cardiac metastases) are infrequent and few systematic studies on this topic have been published. Urothelial carcinomas are among the rarest associated with heart metastases and all cases reported to date concern autopsy examinations. We present the first report of urothelial carcinoma metastatic to the endocardium diagnosed antemortem. Notably, the endocardiac infiltration was the only site of recurrence and occurred 6 years after original diagnosis of bladder carcinoma. Although rare enough, the possibility of heart metastases without any other signs of recurrence should be included in the differential diagnosis in cases of urothelial cancer with increasing fatigue and dyspnea. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Murray S, Linardou H, Mountzios G, Manoloukos M, Markaki S, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Dimopoulos MA, Papadimitriou CA. Low frequency of somatic mutations in uterine sarcomas: A molecular analysis and review of the literature. Mutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis [Internet]. 2010;686(1-2):68 - 73. WebsiteAbstract
Objective: The rarity of uterine sarcomas along with their pathological and molecular heterogeneities render their study particularly challenging. We evaluated a panel of somatic mutations principally centering on the tyrosine kinase gene family and their downstream signaling cascades in an attempt to identify potential candidate markers that may assist in diagnostic or therapeutic decisions in these tumors. Methods: We performed mutational analysis of 20 exons from 9 genes (EGFR, CDKN2A, MET, KIT, RAS, BRAF, PI3KCA, HER-2 and PDGFR-α) on biopsy material from 25 patients who underwent primary surgery for uterine sarcoma between October 1995 and October 2003. Due to the limited number of studies conducted we have also undertaken a literature review of somatic mutations in uterine sarcomas. Results: A total of 3 different somatic mutations were identified: one KRAS (codon G12D) in a carcinosarcoma and two exon 20 PI3KCA mutations (H1047R and H1047Y) both in carcinosarcomas. Mutational status of all mutations was confirmed using germline DNA extracted from peripheral blood. Consistent with the literature data, no other mutations regarding the rest of the genes of the panel were identified. Due to the low number of somatic mutations in our series, we did not perform further clinicopathological correlations. Conclusion: The absence of somatic mutations in the majority of genes that are considered critical in neoplastic transformation hampers the identification of potential therapeutic targets in patients with uterine sarcoma. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Bamias A, Psaltopoulou T, Sotiropoulou M, Haidopoulos D, Lianos E, Bournakis E, Papadimitriou C, Rodolakis A, Vlahos G, Dimopoulos MA. Mucinous but not clear cell histology is associated with inferior survival in patients with advanced stage ovarian carcinoma treated with platinum-paclitaxel chemotherapy. Cancer [Internet]. 2010;116(6):1462 - 1468. WebsiteAbstract
BACKGROUND: Mucinous and clear cell histology have been associated with adverse prognosis in ovarian carcinomas. The authors compared the outcome of these subtypes with that of serous tumors in patients who were treated with combination paclitaxel/platinum at their center. METHODS: Four hundred twenty patients with histologically confirmed, serous (n = 367), mucinous (n = 24), or clear cell (n = 29) ovarian carcinomas, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage III or IV disease, and who were treated with paclitaxel/platinum after cytoreductive surgery were included in this analysis. RESULTS: The median overall survival for each histological subtype was 47.7 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 37.7-57.7 months) for serous, 15.4 months (95% CI, 4.2-26.6 months) for mucinous, and 36.6 months (95% CI, 22.7-50.5 months) for clear cell carcinomas. Cox regression analysis showed that mucinous histology was an independent predictor of poor prognosis compared with serous tumors (hazard ratio, 0.360; 95% CI, 0.215-0.603; P = .001). In contrast, such a difference between clear cell and serous carcinomas was not found (P = .337). Median survival of patients with mucinous tumors and residual disease >2 cm was poor, averaging 7.1 months (95% CI, 4.6-9.6 months). CONCLUSIONS: Mucinous but not clear cell histology is associated with significantly worse prognosis in advanced ovarian cancer treated with combination platinum/paclitaxel. Different therapeutic strategies should be studied in this entity. © 2010 American Cancer Society.
Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA, Shrivastava V, Leitzel K, Christoulas D, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Anargyrou K, Hamer P, Kastritis E, et al. High levels of serum TIMP-1 correlate with advanced disease and predict for poor survival in patients with multiple myeloma treated with novel agents. Leukemia Research [Internet]. 2010;34(3):399 - 402. WebsiteAbstract
Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) was evaluated in the pre-treatment serum of 55 newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic myeloma. TIMP-1 was elevated in 47% of patients and correlated with lytic bone disease and increased bone resorption. Importantly, TIMP-1 correlated with ISS stage (p=0.005) and was an independent prognostic covariate for survival [HR: 1.003 (1-1.006), p=0.004] in these patients who were all treated with novel agents (bortezomib and/or IMiDs) during their disease course. Our study provides evidence that pre-treatment serum TIMP-1 is associated with advanced myeloma and suggests the further evaluation of this molecule to better determine its prognostic potential in MM. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
Kastritis E, Wechalekar AD, Dimopoulos MA, Merlini G, Hawkins PN, Perfetti V, Gillmore JD, Palladini G. Bortezomib with or without dexamethasone in primary systemic (light chain) amyloidosis. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2010;28(6):1031 - 1037. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: To assess the efficacy and tolerability of bortezomib with or without dexamethasone and to define prognostic factors for patients with primary systemic light chain (AL) amyloidosis treated with bortezomib or both. Patients and Methods: Ninety-four patients from three centers were analyzed: 19% received the combination as first-line treatment, 81% had a median of two previous therapies, and 69% had refractory disease, while most patients had symptomatic heart involvement or elevated serum N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP). Results: A hematologic response was achieved in 71% within a median of 52 days, including 25% complete responses (CRs). Previously untreated patients had a 47% CR rate. Age 65 years or younger (P = .043) and twice weekly administration of bortezomib (P = .041) were associated with higher response rates. A cardiac response was documented in 29% of patients, in most as sustained improvement of functional class and less often as a decrease in wall thickness. Hematologic responses were associated with a cardiac response and NT-proBNP reduction. After a median follow-up of 12 months, 29% of patients had organ progression and 27% had hematologic progression. Median survival has not been reached and the 1-year survival rate is 76%. Baseline NT-proBNP was independently associated with survival (P = .001), while in a landmark analysis, survival was associated with NT-proBNP reduction of ≥ 30% (P = .006) and achievement of hematologic response (P = .001). Toxicity was manageable and mostly consisted of neuropathy, orthostasis, peripheral edema, and constipation or diarrhea. Conclusion: Bortezomib with or without dexamethasone is active in AL amyloidosis and induces rapid responses and high rates of hematologic and organ responses. Serial measurement of cardiac biomarkers is a powerful predictor of outcome. © 2010 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Terpos E, Katodritou E, Roussou M, Pouli A, Michalis E, Delimpasi S, Parcharidou A, Kartasis Z, Zomas A, Symeonidis A, et al. High serum lactate dehydrogenase adds prognostic value to the international myeloma staging system even in the era of novel agents. European Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2010;85(2):114 - 119. WebsiteAbstract
Objectives: High serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is associated with features of advanced disease and inferior survival in multiple myeloma. It is however unclear whether LDH adds to the prognostic value of International Staging System (ISS) and whether it retains its prognostic significance in patients who are exposed to novel agent-based therapies. Patients/Methods: To address these issues we analyzed 996 consecutive symptomatic patients who were included in the database of the Greek Myeloma Study Group and received frontline treatment between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2008. Results: The median overall survival (OS) of all patients was 40 months with a clear improvement in those who started treatment after January 1, 2000 (49 vs. 31 months; P < 0.01). A multivariate model showed that LDH, ISS, performance status, age and platelet counts had an independent prognostic value for OS (P < 0.001 for all parameters). The median OS of patients with high (11% of patients) and normal LDH was 15 vs. 44 months (P < 0.001). High LDH was associated with inferior OS within all ISS groups: 22 vs. 76 months for high and normal LDH groups, respectively, in ISS-1 (P < 0.01); 11 vs. 40 months in ISS-2 (P < 0.001) and 17 vs. 27 months in ISS-3 (P < 0.01). The median OS of high and normal LDH groups among patients who received novel agents was 21 vs. 51 months, respectively (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Lactate dehydrogenase is a readily available and inexpensive variable, which has a major impact on the survival of myeloma patients even when they belong to a low or intermediate ISS subgroup and even when they receive novel agent-based therapies. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Zagouri F, Dimopoulos MA, Bournakis E, Papadimitriou CA. Molecular markers in epithelial ovarian cancer: Their role in prognosis and therapy. European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology [Internet]. 2010;31(3):268 - 277. WebsiteAbstract
Epithelial cancer of the ovary is the most lethal malignancy of all gynaecological cancers. Various clinical and pathological features of ovarian cancer are used as predictors of clinical outcome. The use of molecular markers in common clinical practice seems promising for the diagnosis and prognostication. The aim of this review article is to describe current theories regarding the pathogenesis and molecular evolution of epithelial ovarian cancer. With respect to the molecules involved, this article focuses on whether they are associated with poor prognosis or not. This evaluation is performed in light of the progress made and the potential usefulness in treatment decisions without overlooking existing controversies that should be further studied. It is tempting to anticipate the gradual integration of molecular profiling in clinical practice.
Dimopoulos MA, Christoulas D, Roussou M, Kastritis E, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Matsouka C, Mparmparoussi D, Psimenou E, Grapsa I, et al. Lenalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of refractory/relapsed multiple myeloma: Dosing of lenalidomide according to renal function and effect on renal impairment. European Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2010;85(1):1 - 5. WebsiteAbstract
Objectives: Lenalidomide and dexamethasone (LenDex) is an active regimen for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM). However, there is limited data for the effect of LenDex on renal impairment (RI) and on renal reversibility. Patients & Methods: Fifty consecutive patients with relapsed/refractory MM received LenDex in 28-d cycles. Median lines of previous therapies were 2 (range: 1-6). Lenalidomide was administered on days 1-21 according to creatinine clearance (CrCl), while dexamethasone was given at a dose of 40 mg on days 1-4 and 15-18 for the first four cycles and only on days 1-4 thereafter. Results: Twelve patients (24%) had RI at baseline, defined as CrCl < 50 mL/min. Most patients were pretreated with either thalidomide or bortezomib and > 50% of them were refractory to both drugs. At least partial response was documented in 60.5% and 58% of patients with and without RI. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for all patients was 9 and 16 months, respectively. RI was not associated with an inferior PFS or OS. There were no differences in the incidence of adverse events among patients with and without RI. Three of 12 patients with RI (25%) achieved complete renal response and two (16%) achieved minor renal response with LenDex. Conclusions: We conclude that LenDex is an active treatment even in heavily pretreated MM. With dosing of lenalidomide according to renal function, LenDex can be administered to patients with RI (who may not have other treatment options) without excessive toxicity. Furthermore, LenDex may improve the renal function in approximately 40% of patients with RI. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Berenson JR, Anderson KC, Audell RA, Boccia RV, Coleman M, Dimopoulos MA, Drake MT, Fonseca R, Harousseau J-L, Joshua D, et al. Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance: A consensus statement: Guideline. British Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2010;150(1):28 - 38. WebsiteAbstract
On February 25, 2009, a panel of international experts on plasma cell dyscrasia and skeletal disease met to discuss monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). This non-malignant B-cell disorder is the most common plasma cell dyscrasia and is associated with an increased risk of developing serious B-cell disorders. Individuals with MGUS also have an increased risk of osteoporosis and osteopenia associated with an increased likelihood of developing fractures especially in the vertebral column, peripheral neuropathy and thromboembolic events. The goal of the meeting was to develop a consensus statement regarding the appropriate tests to screen, evaluate and follow-up patients with MGUS. The panel also addressed the identification and treatment of MGUS-related skeletal problems, thromboembolic events and neurological complications. The following consensus statement outlines the conclusions and marks the first time that a consensus statement for the screening and treatment of MGUS has been clearly stated. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Bakarakos P, Theohari I, Nomikos A, Mylona E, Papadimitriou C, Dimopoulos A-M, Nakopoulou L. Immunohistochemical study of PTEN and phosphorylated mTOR proteins in familial and sporadic invasive breast carcinomas. Histopathology [Internet]. 2010;56(7):876 - 882. WebsiteAbstract
Aims: Loss of phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) leads to activation of several kinases, including mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which promotes cell cycle progression. The aim was to study the expression of PTEN and phosphorylated (p)-mTOR in familial and sporadic invasive breast carcinomas and their relation to clinicopathological features, molecular indices (Wnt1) and patients' survival. Methods and results: PTEN and p-mTOR were detected immunohistochemically in 215 sections of invasive breast carcinomas (112 with a familial history of breast cancer). Image analysis was used and univariate and multivariate analyses employed for statistical evaluation of results. PTEN was detecte5d in the nucleus (73.5%) and p-mTOR in the cytoplasm (44.2%) of cancer cells. Loss of PTEN protein was more frequently detected in women with a familial history of breast cancer (72%) (P < 0.0001), while its expression was negatively correlated with Wnt1, in total (P = 0.049). p-mTOR showed a positive association with lymph node status (P = 0.010) and was found to have a negative impact on patients' overall survival (P = 0.016). Conclusions: Loss of PTEN protein expression appears to occur more frequently in women with a family history of breast cancer, whereas activation of mTOR protein seems to be related to a more aggressive phenotype. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Limited.
Moulopoulos LA, Dimopoulos MA, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Anagnostou D, Koureas A, Roussou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Migkou M, Iakovaki M, et al. Diffuse MRI marrow pattern correlates with increased angiogenesis, advanced disease features and poor prognosis in newly diagnosed myeloma treated with novel agents. Leukemia [Internet]. 2010;24(6):1206 - 1212. Website
Kyle RA, Durie BGM, Rajkumar SV, Landgren O, Blade J, Merlini G, Kröger N, Einsele H, Vesole DH, Dimopoulos M, et al. Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering (asymptomatic) multiple myeloma: IMWG consensus perspectives risk factors for progression and guidelines for monitoring and management. Leukemia [Internet]. 2010;24(6):1121 - 1127. WebsiteAbstract
Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) was identified in 3.2% of 21 463 residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, 50 years of age or older. The risk of progression to multiple myeloma, Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, AL amyloidosis or a lymphoproliferative disorder is approximately 1% per year. Low-risk MGUS is characterized by having an M protein < 15 g/l, IgG type and a normal free light chain (FLC) ratio. Patients should be followed with serum protein electrophoresis at six months and, if stable, can be followed every 2-3 years or when symptoms suggestive of a plasma cell malignancy arise. Patients with intermediate and high-risk MGUS should be followed in 6 months and then annually for life. The risk of smoldering (asymptomatic) multiple myeloma (SMM) progressing to multiple myeloma or a related disorder is 10% per year for the first 5 years, 3% per year for the next 5 years and 1-2% per year for the next 10 years. Testing should be done 2-3 months after the initial recognition of SMM. If the results are stable, the patient should be followed every 4-6 months for 1 year and, if stable, every 6-12 months. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Kokkoris P, Anargyrou K, Gavriatopoulou M, Migkou M, Tsionos K, Dimopoulos MA. Increased bone mineral density in a subset of patients with relapsed multiple myeloma who received the combination of bortezomib, dexamethasone and zoledronic acid. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2010;21(7):1561 - 1562. Website
Mountzios G, Terpos E, Syrigos K, Papadimitriou C, Papadopoulos G, Bamias A, Mavrikakis M, Dimopoulos M-A. Markers of bone remodeling and skeletal morbidity in patients with solid tumors metastatic to the skeleton receiving the biphosphonate zoledronic acid. Translational Research [Internet]. 2010;155(5):247 - 255. WebsiteAbstract
The molecular triad, which includes the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL), its receptor RANK, and the endogenous soluble RANKL decoy receptor osteoprotegerin (OPG), has emerged as an important determinant of bone metabolism. We aimed to evaluate the effect of treatment with the biphosphonate zoledronic acid (ZA) on biochemical markers of bone remodeling and to detect possible correlations of markerlevel changes with skeletal morbidity and clinical outcomes in patients with solid tumors and osseous metastases. The following serum markers were measured at the onset of skeletal metastases and after 6 months of treatment with ZA (4 mg intravenously monthly) in 70 patients with breast (n = 30), lung (n = 18), or prostate (n = 22) cancer: RANKL, OPG, C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX), tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase isoform 5b (TRACP-5b), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (bALP), and osteopontin (OPN). Logistic regression models were applied to assess the correlation between marker-level changes and skeletal related events (SRE, primary endpoint), recurrence or progression, and death. Within a median follow-up of 32 months, 34 patients (48.6%) presented with at least 1 SRE and 48 patients (68.6%) relapsed. The RANKL/OPG ratio was upregulated in patients with breast and lung cancer, and it tended to decline after treatment with ZA, whereas prostate cancer patients presented with profound elevation of OPG only that persisted after treatment. CTX levels were significantly reduced after treatment in the whole study population (P = 0.003). None of the markers was able to predict skeletal morbidity or clinical outcomes independently of well-established prognostic clinical parameters. © 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
Bamias A, Karina M, Papakostas P, Kostopoulos I, Bobos M, Vourli G, Samantas E, Christodoulou C, Pentheroudakis G, Pectasides D, et al. A randomized phase iii study of adjuvant platinum/docetaxel chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy in patients with gastric cancer. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology [Internet]. 2010;65(6):1009 - 1021. WebsiteAbstract
The optimal adjuvant treatment for gastric cancer remains controversial. We compared the efficacy of a docetaxel and platinum adjuvant chemotherapy regimen, in patients with high-risk gastric cancer, with that of the same chemotherapy plus radiation therapy (RT). In addition, we evaluated the prognostic and/or predictive value of a panel of molecular markers. Patients with histologically proven, radically resected gastric cancer, stage >T3 and/or N+ were randomized to 6 cycles of docetaxel with cisplatin, both at 75 mg/m 2 every 3 weeks (arm A) or the same treatment with RT (arm B; 45 Gy). Due to excessive nausea and vomiting, cisplatin was substituted by carboplatin at AUC (area under the curve) of 5 after the first 45 patients (22 group A, 23 group B). The prognostic value of EGFR, ERCC1, HER2, MET/HGFR, MAP-Tau, and PTEN expression was also studied in a subset of 67 patients using immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays (TMAs). A total of 147 patients were randomized. After a median follow-up of 53.7 months, no differences in overall (OS) and diseasefree survival (DFS) were found between the two arms. The most common grade 3/4 toxicities for arms A and B (excluding alopecia) were non-febrile neutropenia (11 and 17%, respectively), febrile neutropenia (9 and 7%) and diarrhea (7 and 4%, respectively). Patients with ERCC1 positive tumors had significantly longer median DFS (33.1 vs. 11.8 months, Wald P = 0.016) and OS (63.2 vs. 18.8 months, Wald P = 0.046). Our results indicate that the addition of RT to platinum/docetaxel adjuvant chemotherapy does not appear to improve survival in high-risk, radically resected gastric cancer. However, the possibility that a benefit by the addition of RT was not detected due to decreased power of the study should not be excluded. © Springer-Verlag 2010.
Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA, Sezer O, Roodman D, Abildgaard N, Vescio R, Tosi P, Garcia-Sanz R, Davies F, Chanan-Khan A, et al. The use of biochemical markers of bone remodeling in multiple myeloma: A report of the International Myeloma Working Group. Leukemia [Internet]. 2010;24(10):1700 - 1712. WebsiteAbstract
Lytic bone disease is a frequent complication of multiple myeloma (MM). Lytic lesions rarely heal and X-rays are of limited value in monitoring bone destruction during anti-myeloma or anti-resorptive treatment. Biochemical markers of bone resorption (amino- and carboxy-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (NTX and CTX, respectively) or CTX generated by matrix metalloproteinases (ICTP)) and bone formation provide information on bone dynamics and reflect disease activity in bone. These markers have been investigated as tools for evaluating the extent of bone disease, risk of skeletal morbidity and response to anti-resorptive treatment in MM. Urinary NTX, serum CTX and serum ICTP are elevated in myeloma patients with osteolytic lesions and correlate with advanced disease stage. Furthermore, urinary NTX and serum ICTP correlate with risk for skeletal complications, disease progression and overall survival. Bone markers have also been used for the early diagnosis of bone lesions. This International Myeloma Working Group report summarizes the existing data for the role of bone markers in assessing the extent of MM bone disease and in monitoring bone turnover during anti-myeloma therapies and provides information on novel markers that may be of particular interest in the near future. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Christoulas D, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Gkotzamanidou M, Iakovaki M, Matsouka C, Mparmparoussi D, Roussou M, et al. Treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma with lenalidomide and dexamethasone with or without bortezomib: Prospective evaluation of the impact of cytogenetic abnormalities and of previous therapies. Leukemia [Internet]. 2010;24(10):1769 - 1778. WebsiteAbstract
We prospectively studied the impact of several cytogenetic abnormalities (CAs) in patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma who received lenalidomide and dexamethasone (RD) with or without the addition of bortezomib (V). On the basis of the presence of previous neuropathy, 50 patients were treated with RD and 49, without preexisting neuropathy, with VRD. The overall response rate was 63%, similar for RD and VRD. Poor risk cytogenetics were associated with lower response rates in RD (P=0.01), but not in VRD (P=0.219). The median progression-free survival (PFS) was similar for RD (9 months) and VRD (7 months). The median overall survival (OS) for all patients was 16 months, with no differences between RD or VRD regimens. Poor risk cytogenetics, especially del17p, resistance to previous thalidomide, elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and presence of extramedullary disease were associated with inferior response to therapy and shorter PFS and OS. The impact of other CAs on OS was more pronounced in RD. In conclusion, the presence of CAs is an important adverse prognostic factor for patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma, but resistance to previous thalidomide, elevated LDH and presence of extramedullary disease remain of major prognostic importance. The outcome of patients with del17p remains extremely poor even with VRD combination. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Harousseau J-L, Dimopoulos MA, Wang M, Corso A, Chen C, Attal M, Spencer A, Yu Z, Olesnyckyj M, Zeldis JB, et al. Better quality of response to lenalidomide plus dexamethasone is associated with improved clinical outcomes in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2010;95(10):1738 - 1744. WebsiteAbstract
Background This retrospective pooled analysis of two phase III trials (MM-009/MM-010) compared clinical outcomes of patients who achieved a complete response or very good partial response to treatment with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone with the outcomes of those who only achieved a partial response. Design and Methods Patients (n=353) received lenalidomide (25 mg/day for 21 days of each 28-day cycle) plus dexamethasone (40 mg on days 1-4, 9-12, and 17-20 for four cycles, and only on days 1-4 after the first four cycles). Time to response, duration of response, time-to-progression, overall survival, and adverse events were investigated for patients who had a complete or very good partial response and compared with those of patients who had a partial response. Results At the time of unblinding, 32% of patients had achieved a complete or very good partial response and 28% had a partial response. Half (50.5%) of the patients who had a partial response as their initial response achieved a complete or very good partial response with further treatment. The probability of achieving a complete or very good partial response with continued lenalidomide treatment decreased with delayed achievement of a partial response (by cycle 4 versus later); however, it remained clinically significant. With an extended follow-up of 48 months, the median response duration, time-to-progression, and overall survival were longer in patients with a complete or very good partial response than in those with a partial response (24.0 versus 8.3 months, P<0.001; 27.7 versus 12.0 months, P<0.001; not reached versus 44.2 months, P=0.021, respectively). The benefit of a complete or very good partial response was independent of when it was achieved. Conclusions Continuing treatment with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone to achieve best response, in the absence of disease progression and toxicity, provided deeper remissions and greater clinical benefit over time for patients in this study. © 2010 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Kastritis E, Kyrtsonis M-C, Hadjiharissi E, Symeonidis A, Michalis E, Repoussis P, Tsatalas C, Michael M, Sioni A, Kartasis Z, et al. Validation of the International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) for Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia (WM) and the importance of serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Leukemia Research [Internet]. 2010;34(10):1340 - 1343. WebsiteAbstract
The recently proposed, ISSWM staging system for symptomatic patients with WM was based on patients treated with alkylating agents and nucleoside analogs and has not been externally validated nor has been validated for cause-specific survival (CSS). We independently validated ISSWM both for overall survival (OS) and for CSS and assessed whether addition of elevated serum LDH may add to the strength of ISSWM in 335 patients treated upfront mainly with alkylating agents (43%), and rituximab-based therapies (47%). ISSWM could discriminate three groups with significantly different OS and CSS (p< 0.01 for both). High serum LDH was predictive of shorter OS and CSS (p< 0.01). The combination of high risk according to ISSWM and elevated serum LDH identified a subset of patients for whom innovative treatment approaches are needed. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Jagannath S, Dimopoulos MA, Lonial S. Combined proteasome and histone deacetylase inhibition: A promising synergy for patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Leukemia Research [Internet]. 2010;34(9):1111 - 1118. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable disease characterized by the accumulation of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow. Recently, an improved understanding of the biology of the disease has led to the development of targeted agents such as the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib and the immunomodulatory agents thalidomide and lenalidomide; however, MM remains incurable. The combination of bortezomib and an HDAC inhibitor synergistically induces MM cell apoptosis and may be of value in the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory MM. This review examines the potential of combined proteasome and HDAC inhibition in the treatment of relapsed/refractory MM. © 2010.
Savvari P, Matsouka C, Barbaroussi D, Christoulas D, Nikitas N, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou CA. Burkitt'S lymphoma in pregnancy with bilateral breast involvement: Case report with review of the literature. Onkologie [Internet]. 2010;33(8-9):461 - 464. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) in pregnancy presenting with breast involvement is a rare clinical entity, and only 13 cases have been reported so far. Case Report: We describe the case of a 28-year-old postpartum woman who presented with markedly enlarged breasts caused by BL. She was treated with 8 cycles of the CALGB 10002 regimen, as well as with irradiation to both breasts. After achieving a complete objective response, the patient received consolidation with high dose BEAM followed by autologous stem cell transplantation. 20 months after the initial diagnosis, our patient remains alive and relapse-free. Data extracted from the published case reports include information regarding demographic details, type of treatment, sites of disease, and survival. The clinical outcome of the reviewed cases was very unfavorable. Conclusions: BL affecting breasts during pregnancy or lactation is a rare entity that requires a prompt diagnosis and an aggressive therapeutic approach. © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Vassilakopoulou M, Mountzios G, Papamechael C, Protogerou AD, Aznaouridis K, Katsichti P, Venetsanou K, Dimopoulos M-A, Ikonomidis I, Papadimitriou CA. Paclitaxel chemotherapy and vascular toxicity as assessed by flow-mediated and nitrate-mediated vasodilatation. Vascular Pharmacology [Internet]. 2010;53(3-4):115 - 121. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Antitumor activity of paclitaxel is based on promotion of abnormal microtubule (MT) assembly but it is also considered to have significant pro-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic effects in vivo and thus may cause vascular dysfunction. Methods: We studied 27 women treated with paclitaxel-containing combinations for breast or ovarian cancer. The control group was represented by 10 women with carcinoma of the uterine cervix who received low doses of weekly cisplatin as radiation sensitizer. We measured endothelial-dependent flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) and nitrate-mediated dilatation (NMD) of the right brachial artery by ultrasonography, as well as levels of the inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 before and after chemotherapy. Results: Patients who received paclitaxel and an anthracycline had the most marked reduction in both FMD (p=0.005) and NMD (p=0.027). A significant reduction in FMD was also observed in patients treated with weekly paclitaxel (p=0.045), whereas NMD was not affected (p=0.421). Although TNF-α and IL-6 levels were different among chemotherapy groups after treatment, no significant differences were observed between levels of both markers before and after chemotherapy. Conclusion: Treatment with paclitaxel-containing combinations impairs endothelial function in vivo but endothelial function deterioration is not related to the serum levels of inflammation markers. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Kastritis E, Roussou M, Michael M, Gavriatopoulou M, Michalis E, Migkou M, Delimpasi S, Kyrtsonis MC, Gogos D, Liapis K, et al. High levels of serum angiogenic growth factors in patients with AL amyloidosis: Comparisons with normal individuals and multiple myeloma patients. British Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2010;150(5):587 - 591. WebsiteAbstract
Summary Serum levels of five angiogenic cytokines were evaluated in 82 patients with primary systemic amyloidosis (AL). Angiopoietin-1, vascular endothelial growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor and angiogenin were higher in AL patients than in controls (n = 35) and newly-diagnosed, symptomatic, myeloma patients (n = 35). Angiopoetin-1/Angiopoetin-2 ratio was lower in AL compared to controls but higher than in myeloma patients. Angiopoetin-2 correlated with cardiac dysfunction indices; however, none of the angiogenic growth factors was prognostically significant. The increased angiogenic cytokine levels observed in AL seem to represent either a toxic effect of amyloid fibrils or light chains, or a compensatory response to organ dysfunction. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Dimopoulos M, Alegre A, Stadtmauer EA, Goldschmidt H, Zonder JA, De Castro CM, Masliak Z, Reece D, Olesnyckyj M, Yu Z, et al. The efficacy and safety of lenalidomide plus dexamethasone in relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma patients with impaired renal function. Cancer [Internet]. 2010;116(16):3807 - 3814. WebsiteAbstract
BACKGROUND: In patients with multiple myeloma, renal impairment (RI) at the time of diagnosis is associated with poor survival. To the authors' knowledge, the current retrospective analysis presented is the first to assess the impact of various degrees of renal dysfunction on safety and efficacy outcomes in a large cohort of patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma who received treatment with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone. METHODS: Three hundred fifty-three patients from 2 large phase 3 trials were randomized to receive lenalidomide (25 mg) plus dexamethasone (40 mg). For the purpose of this analysis, RI was defined according to the calculated creatinine clearance (CLCr) level as follows: mild or no RI (CLCr ≥ 60 mL/minute), moderate RI (CLCr from ≥ 30 mL/minute to <60 mL/minute), and severe RI (CLCr <30 mL/minute). RESULTS: The RI subgroups did not differ significantly in terms of the overall response rate (range, 50%-64%) or response quality (very good partial response or better, 27%-37%). In all RI subgroups, the time to progression and progression-free survival did not differ significantly compared with the mild or no RI group. Patients with RI experienced an increased incidence of thrombocytopenia, required more frequent lenalidomide dose reduction or interruption, and had shorter overall survival than patients with mild or no RI (P = .006). Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone led to improvement in renal function in the majority of patients. CONCLUSIONS: The results from this study indicated that, with careful monitoring of the CLCr level and adverse events as well as appropriate dose adjustments, lenalidomide plus dexamethasone is an effective and well tolerated treatment option for patients with multiple myeloma who have RI. © 2010 American Cancer Society.
Mountzios G, Dimopoulos M-A, Soria J-C, Sanoudou D, Papadimitriou CA. Histopathologic and genetic alterations as predictors of response to treatment and survival in lung cancer: A review of published data. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology [Internet]. 2010;75(2):94 - 109. WebsiteAbstract
Lung carcinogenesis is considered to be the result of composite environmental, genetic and epigenetic changes. Despite the fact that many of the genetic alterations, including loss of heterozygocity in the 3p chromosome locus and point mutations in the tumor-suppressor genes TP53 and retinoblastoma (RB1), occur in nearly all histopathologic types of lung cancer, the frequency and the " timing" of their occurrence seems to differ between small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells, that are characterized by neuroendocrine differentiation, and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Although loss of cell-cycle control is the crucial molecular event in both types, the mechanism by which it provokes oncogenesis differs significantly between SCLC and NSCLC. Importantly, some of these molecular events, including DNA-damage response and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations are valuable in predicting response to conventional chemotherapy or molecular-targeted agents as well as in the prognosis of patients that harbor these alterations. In the current review we report on the best characterized histopathologic and genetic changes in NSCLC and SCLC in relation to each histological subtype and we discuss their predictive and prognostic implications. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Intravenous pamidronate for myeloma bone disease: Can the dose be lowered?. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2010;11(10):913 - 914. Website
Roussou M, Kastritis E, Christoulas D, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Grapsa I, Psimenou E, Gika D, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Reversibility of renal failure in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma and the role of novel agents. Leukemia Research [Internet]. 2010;34(10):1395 - 1397. WebsiteAbstract
The purpose of this analysis was to assess the effect of novel agent-based regimens on the improvement of renal impairment (RI) in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma. Ninety-six consecutive patients with RI received conventional chemotherapy (CC)-based regimens (n= 32), IMiDs-based regimens (n= 47) or bortezomib-based regimens (n= 17) as frontline therapy. Improvement of RI was more frequent in patients treated with novel agents (79% in IMiD- and 94% in bortezomib-treated groups versus 59% in CC-treated group; p= 0.02). Bortezomib-based regimens and CrCl > 30 ml/min at baseline independently correlated with a higher probability of at least renal partial response (PRrenal) and with a shorter time to PRrenal or better. Thus bortezomib-based regimens may be the preferred treatment for newly diagnosed myeloma patients with RI. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Boskos CS, Liacos C, Korkolis D, Aygerinos K, Lamproglou I, Terpos E, Stoupa E, Baltatzis G, Beroukas K, Papasavvas P, et al. Thymidine phosphorylase to dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase ratio as a predictive factor of response to preoperative chemoradiation with capecitabine in patients with advanced rectal cancer. Journal of Surgical Oncology [Internet]. 2010;102(5):408 - 412. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: To identify if thymidine phosphorylase (TP), dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), and ratio TP/DPD levels in tumor tissues are potential predictive factors for response to combined preoperative chemoradiation with capecitabine, in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). Methods And Patients: Between 2004 and 2006, 28 patients with LARC (cT2-T4, N0-N2) were treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiation. Total radiation dose was 50.4 Gy and daily dose was 1.8 Gy in 5.5 weeks. Capecitabine was administrated 1,650 mg/m2/day, 7 days/week. Preoperative staging was based on combined computer tomography and endorectal ultrasound. Tissue samples, both neoplastic and normal ones, were endoscopically taken before treatment for TP and DPD measurement with ELISA. Levels of total proteins were calculated by the Bradford method. Results: Median TP, DPD, ratio TP/DPD levels in the primary tumors were 32.85 U/mg, 18.73 U/mg, and 1.64 respectively. Median ratio TP/DPD of patients with proven pathological "response" (downstaging of the disease) was higher than the "no response" group, 4.40 and 1.42, respectively (P = 0.0001). Levels of TP and DPD in tumor tissue did not reveal any statistically important difference between the two groups. Conclusions: TP/DPD ratio is a possible predictive factor for tumor response after concomitant preoperative chemoradiation with capecitabine in LARC. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E, Chanan-Khan A, Leung N, Ludwig H, Jagannath S, Niesvizky R, Giralt S, Fermand J-P, Bladé J, et al. Renal impairment in patients with multiple myeloma: A consensus statement on behalf of the International Myeloma Working Group. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2010;28(33):4976 - 4984. WebsiteAbstract
Renal impairment is a common complication of multiple myeloma (MM). The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula is the recommended method for the assessment of renal function in patients with MM with stabilized serum creatinine. In acute renal injury, the RIFLE (risk, injury, failure, loss and end-stage kidney disease) and Acute Renal Injury Network criteria seem to be appropriate to define the severity of renal impairment. Novel criteria based on eGFR measurements are recommended for the definition of the reversibility of renal impairment. Rapid intervention to reverse renal dysfunction is critical for the management of these patients, especially for those with light chain cast nephropathy. Bortezomib with high-dose dexamethasone is considered as the treatment of choice for such patients. There is limited experience with thalidomide in patients with myeloma with renal impairment. Thus, thalidomide can be carefully administered, mainly in the context of well-designed clinical trials, to evaluate if it can improve the rapidity and probability of response that is produced by the combination with bortezomib and high-dose dexamethasone. Lenalidomide is effective in this setting and can reverse renal insufficiency in a significant subset of patients, when it is given at reduced doses, according to renal function. The role of plasma exchange in patients with suspected light chain cast nephropathy and renal impairment is controversial. High-dose melphalan (140 mg/m2) and autologous stem-cell transplantation should be limited to younger patients with chemosensitive disease. © 2010 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Harousseau J-L, Palumbo A, Richardson PG, Schlag R, Dimopoulos MA, Shpilberg O, Kropff M, Kentos A, Cavo M, Golenkov A, et al. Superior outcomes associated with complete response in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients treated with nonintensive therapy: Analysis of the phase 3 VISTA study of bortezomib plus melphalan-prednisone versus melphalan-prednisone. Blood [Internet]. 2010;116(19):3743 - 3750. WebsiteAbstract
The phase 3 Velcade as Initial Standard Therapy in Multiple Myeloma: Assessment with Melphalan and Prednisone study in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients ineligible for high-dose therapy demonstrated that bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) was superior to melphalan-prednisone across all efficacy end points. We assessed the prognostic impact of response on time-to-event parameters in the intent-to-treat population. Patients received nine 6-week cycles of treatment. Time to progression, time to next therapy, and treatment-free interval were associated with quality of response. When European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation criteria were used, complete response (CR) was associated with significantly longer time to progression (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.45, P = .004), time to next therapy (HR = 0.46, P = .0004), and treatment-free interval (HR = 0.38, P < .0001) versus partial response, but there was no significant difference in overall survival (HR = 0.87, P = .54); similar differences were seen with CR versus very good partial response by uniform criteria. Quality of response improved with prolonged VMP treatment, with 28% of CRs achieved during cycles 5-9. CR duration appeared similar among patients with "early" (cycles 1-4) and "late" CRs (cycles 5-9) and among patients receiving 9 versus < 9 cycles of bortezomib within VMP. These results highlight that CR is an important treatment goal and support prolonged VMP therapy to achieve maximal response. This study is registered at as NCT00111319. © 2010 by The American Society of Hematology.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. Lenalidomide: An update on evidence from clinical trials. Blood Reviews [Internet]. 2010;24(SUPPL. 1):S21 - S26. WebsiteAbstract
Lenalidomide is a novel immunomodulatory agent with a unique dual mechanism of action: its tumoricidal effect leads to direct tumor cell death, and its immunomodulatory effect keeps the tumor in remission. Phase III clinical trials have demonstrated that in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM), lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone offers high clinical response rates and improved time to disease progression, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) compared with dexamethasone alone. In patients with newly diagnosed MM, the combination of lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone prolonged survival compared with lenalidomide and standard high-dose dexamethasone. The benefits of lenalidomide-based treatment regimens can be optimized by initiating treatment early in the disease course, either as a frontline treatment or at first relapse. Lenalidomide is generally well tolerated; the primary adverse events are myelosuppression and venous thromboembolic complications. These adverse events emerge early in the course of treatment and can be managed using standard interventions such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, dose reduction, and thromboprophylaxis. The combination of lenalidomide and dexamethasone is effective and generally well tolerated in patients with renal impairment provided that creatinine clearance level and adverse events are carefully monitored and the starting dose of lenalidomide is adjusted appropriately. Early results from phase III trials indicate that in patients with newly diagnosed MM, continuous lenalidomide therapy is well tolerated and associated with significant improvements in PFS, offering a new treatment option for patients with MM - although no OS benefit has yet been seen in this setting. Lenalidomide-based treatment is effective across the spectrum of MM disease phases, allowing for the long-term management of myeloma. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Thomakos N, Papadimitriou CA, Zagouri F, Dimopoulos M-A, Antsaklis A. Venous thromboembolic events alert for gynecologic neoplasms. Onkologie [Internet]. 2010;33(11):632 - 636. WebsiteAbstract
Paraneoplastic syndromes represent a group of clinical manifestations widely separated from the primary site of malignancy, which are not caused by local infiltration of the tumor or its metastases. Alterations of hemostasis and vascular abnormalities commonly accompany the progression of malignant disease. Hypercoagulability, changes in coagulation factors, anticoagulant proteins, circulating anticoagulants or platelets, and vascular responses have been noted during the disease process. The purpose of this review is to illustrate and present the current state of knowledge surrounding vascular paraneoplastic manifestations in gynecologic oncology. Since they may constitute the presenting feature of an undiagnosed gynecologic cancer, it is important to seek to identify such malignancies in women presenting with clinical thrombotic or bleeding syndromes. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Delforge M, Bladé J, Dimopoulos MA, Facon T, Kropff M, Ludwig H, Palumbo A, Van Damme P, San-Miguel JF, Sonneveld P. Treatment-related peripheral neuropathy in multiple myeloma: the challenge continues. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2010;11(11):1086 - 1095. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib and the immunomodulatory drugs thalidomide and lenalidomide has substantially improved outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma. As a result, these drugs have become cornerstones of current antimyeloma treatment regimens. However, after several years of clinical experience it has become apparent that peripheral neuropathy is the most common and potentially disabling non-haematological side-effect associated with thalidomide and bortezomib. Maximising treatment benefit while preserving quality of life therefore requires a careful balance between achieving optimum activity and minimising toxicity, including neuropathy, to further enhance efficacy. In this review, we discuss all aspects of drug-induced peripheral neuropathy in myeloma, with a particular focus on thalidomide and bortezomib. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kostis E, Migkou M, Christoulas D, Terpos E, Gavriatopoulou M, Roussou M, Bournakis E, Kastritis E, Efstathiou E, et al. Prophylactic antibiotics for the prevention of neutropenic fever in patients undergoing autologous stem-cell transplantation: Results of a single institution, randomized phase 2 trial. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2010;85(11):863 - 867. WebsiteAbstract
One hundred and fifty-seven patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy (HDT) and autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) for hematopoietic malignancies and solid tumors were randomly assigned to receive (Group A) or not (Group B) prophylaxis with ciprofloxacin, orally, and vancomycin, intravenously. Prophylactic antibiotics were given from day 0 until resolution of neutropenia or the appearance of a febrile event. Furthermore, patients in both groups received once a day fluconazole, orally. The primary end-point of our study was the incidence of neutropenic febrile episodes attributed to infection. One hundred and twelve (71.3%) patients developed neutropenic fever, 50 (56.2%) in Group A and 62 (91.2%) in Group B (P < 0.001) with the majority (82%) of patients developing fever of unknown origin. Patients on prophylactic antibiotics had a significantly lower rate of bacteremias (5.6%) than did those randomized to no prophylaxis (29.4%) (P = 0.005) and, when developing neutropenic fever, they had a lower probability of response to first-line empirical antibiotics (P = 0.025). Prophylactic administration of ciprofloxacin and vancomycin reduced the incidence of neutropenic fever in patients receiving HDT with ASCT, however, without affecting the total interval of hospitalization, time to engraftment, or all-cause mortality. Therefore, our results do not support the use of antibiotic prophylaxis for patients undergoing HDT and ASCT. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. Multiple myeloma. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2010;21(SUPPL. 7):vii143 - vii150. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common hematological malignancy, with an incidence of 6/100 000 in Europe. Interactions between myeloma cells and the microenvironment are essential for MM cell survival. Better knowledge of disease biology has led to the introduction of novel agents for the management of myeloma patients. Patients with asymptomatic MM may remain stable for a long time without any therapy, and treatment is needed only in symptomatic disease. Patients who are eligible for high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) are usually treated with bortezomib- or immunomodulatory drug (IMiD)-based regimens as induction therapy pre-ASCT. In elderly patients, the combination of melphalan and prednisone with either thalidomide (MPT) or bortezomib (MPV) is considered as the standard of care in this setting. Novel agent-based therapies are used for the management of relapsed/refractory disease. However, previous therapies, age, comorbidities and drug safety have to be taken into consideration before deciding the appropriate therapy for patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma. Patients with renal impairment or with extended bone disease may be treated with bortezomib-based regimens, while patients with pre-existing peripheral neuropathy may be treated with lenalidomide-based combinations. Maintenance therapy with thalidomide can be administered post-ASCT; however, caution is needed due to thalidomide toxicity. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Thomakos N, Rodolakis A, Belitsos P, Zagouri F, Chatzinikolaou I, Dimopoulos A, Papadimitriou CA, Antsaklis A. Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia with retroperitoneal metastases: A fatal complication. World Journal of Surgical Oncology [Internet]. 2010;8. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia (GTN) is a pathologic entity that can affect any pregnancy and develop long after the termination of the pregnancy. Its course can be complicated by metastases to distant sites such as the lung, brain, liver, kidney and vagina. The therapeutic approach of this condition includes both surgical intervention and chemotherapy. The prognosis depends on many prognostic factors that determine the stage of the disease.Case Report: We present a woman with GTN and retroperitoneal metastatic disease who came to our department and was diagnosed as having high risk metastatic GTN. Accordingly she received chemotherapy as primary treatment but unfortunately developed massive bleeding after the first course of chemotherapy, was operated in an attempt to control bleeding but finally succumbed.Conclusion: This case demonstrates that GTN, while usually curable, can be a deadly disease requiring improved diagnostic, treatment modalities and chemotherapeutic agents. The gynaecologist should be aware of all possible metastatic sites of GTN and the patient immediately referred to a specialist center for further assessment and treatment. © 2010 Thomakos et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. Renal insufficiency and failure. Hematology / the Education Program of the American Society of Hematology. American Society of Hematology. Education Program [Internet]. 2010;2010:431 - 436. WebsiteAbstract
Renal impairment is a common complication of multiple myeloma. Chronic renal failure is classified according to glomerular filtration rate as estimated by the MDRD (modification of diet in renal disease) formula, while RIFLE (risk, injury, failure, loss and end-stage renal disease) and AKIN (acute renal injury network) criteria may be used for the definition of the severity of acute renal injury. Novel criteria based on estimated glomerular filtration rate measurements are proposed for the definition of the reversibility of renal impairment. Renal complete response (CRrenal) is defined as sustained (i.e., lasting at least 2 months) improvement of creatinine clearance (CRCL) from under 50 mL/min at baseline to 60 mL/min or above. Renal partial response (PRrenal) is defined as sustained improvement of CRCL from under 15 mL/min at baseline to 30 to 59 mL/min. Renal minor response (MRrenal) is defined as sustained improvement of the baseline CRCL of under 15 mL/min to 15 to 29 mL/min or, if baseline CRCL was 15 to 29 mL/min, improvement to 30 to 59 mL/min. Bortezomib with high-dose dexamethasone is considered the treatment of choice for myeloma patients with renal impairment and improves renal function in most patients. Although there is limited experience with thalidomide, this agent can be administered at the standard dosage to patients with renal failure. Lenalidomide, when administered at reduced doses according to renal function, is effective and can reverse renal impairment in a subset of myeloma patients.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. High dose melphalan in primary systemic amyloidosis: Status quo?. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2010;51(12):2149 - 2151. Website
Bamias A, Gavalas NG, Karadimou A, Dimopoulos MA. Immune response in ovarian cancer: How is the immune system involved in prognosis and therapy: Potential for treatment utilization. Clinical and Developmental Immunology [Internet]. 2010;2010. WebsiteAbstract
Ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death among women. Resistance to the disease occurs in more than 70 of the cases even after treated with chemotherapy agents such as paclitaxel- and platinum-based agents. 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, and cytokines have been associated with disease outcome, indicating their increasing clinical significance, having been associated with prognosis and as markers of disease progress, respectively. Harnessing the immune system capacity in order to induce antitumor response remains a major challenge. This paper 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. Copyright © 2010 Nikos G. Gavalas et al.
Karadimou A, Lianos E, Pectasides D, Dimopoulos MA, Bamias A. Efficacy of methotrexate/vinblastine/doxorubicin/cisplatin combination in gemcitabine-pretreated patients with advanced urothelial cancer: A retrospective analysis.; 2010 pp. 193 - 199. WebsiteAbstract
Objective: Second-line treatment options in advanced urothelial cancer are limited. We investigated the efficacy of a methotrexate/vinblastine/doxorubicin/cisplatin (MVAC) combination after failure of gemcitabine/platinum chemotherapy. Patients and methods: Twenty-five patients with advanced urothelial cancer, who received second-line MVAC after first-line gemcitabine/cisplatin (n = 9) or gemcitabine/carboplatin (n = 16), were included in this retrospective analysis. Results: Twenty-two patients (88%) relapsed within 6 months after first-line treatment. Following MVAC, there were 5 (20%) objective responses. Median follow-up was 20.2 months. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 3.8 months (95% CI: 2.3-5.2), and median overall survival (OS) was 9 months (95% CI: 6.6-11.4). Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0.1 versus 2 was associated with longer PFS (5 months versus 3.3 months, P = 0.049). Response or stabilization of disease during second-line chemotherapy predicted for a significantly longer PFS and OS (7.4 versus 3.5, P = 0.005; 15.5 versus 7, P = 0.046). Conclusions: Second-line MVAC chemotherapy may result in prolonged survival in some patients with refractory disease. Further research in this field is necessary. © 2010 Karadimou et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.