Publications by Year: 2012

Ziogas AC, Gavalas NG, Tsiatas M, Tsitsilonis O, Politi E, Terpos E, Rodolakis A, Vlahos G, Thomakos N, Haidopoulos D, et al. VEGF directly suppresses activation of T cells from ovarian cancer patients and healthy individuals via VEGF receptor Type 2. International Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2012;130(4):857 - 864. WebsiteAbstract
The role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in tumor angiogenesis is well characterized; nevertheless, it is also a key element in promoting tumor evasion of the immune system by downregulating dendritic cell maturation and thus T cell activation. We sought to investigate the possible direct effect of VEGF on T cell activation and through which type of VEGF receptor (VEGFR) it exerts this effect. Circulating T cells from healthy donors and ovarian cancer patients were expanded in cultures with anti-CD3 and IL-2 with or without VEGF for 14 days, and the number of T cells was assessed. Cultured T cells were also tested for their cytotoxic activity in a standard 4-hr 51Cr-release assay, and the expression of VEGFRs 1, 2 and 3 was assayed by flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry and Western blotting. To assess the ability of activated T cells to secrete VEGF, levels in culture supernatants were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. The addition of VEGF in cultures significantly reduced T cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. Protein expression studies demonstrated that CD3 + T cells express VEGFR-2 on their surface upon activation. Experiments with anti-VEGFR-2 antibodies showed that the direct suppressive effect of VEGF on T cell proliferation is mediated by VEGFR-2. We also showed that VEGF significantly reduced the cytotoxic activity of T cells and that activated T cells secrete VEGF in the culture environment. Overall, our study shows that T cells secret VEGF and expresses VEGFR-2 upon activation. VEGF directly suppresses T cell activation via VEGF receptor type 2. © 2011 UICC.
Stefanadis C, Synetos A, Tousoulis D, Tsiamis E, Michelongona A, Zagouri F, Bamias A, Dimopoulos MA, Kyvelou S, Kapelakis I, et al. Systemic administration of bevacizumab increases the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with metastatic cancer. International Journal of Cardiology [Internet]. 2012;154(3):341 - 344. Website
Nicolatou-Galitis O, Migkou M, Psyrri A, Bamias A, Pectasides D, Economopoulos T, Raber-Durlacher JE, Dimitriadis G, Dimopoulos MA. Gingival bleeding and jaw bone necrosis in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma receiving sunitinib: Report of 2 cases with clinical implications. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology [Internet]. 2012;113(2):234 - 238. WebsiteAbstract
There is emerging evidence that oral mucositis/stomatitis is a common adverse effect of sunitininb antiangiogenic therapy in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). In addition, a case of sunitinib-related jaw osteonecrosis was recently described. We report on 2 patients with mRCC treated with sunitinib. The first patient, a 19-year-old woman, treated with cisplatin and sunitinib, presented with oral pain, malodor, spontaneous and continuous gingival bleeding, and painful necrotic ulcerations clinically resembling necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (NUG). Suntinib-related stomatitis and bleeding were considered cumulative to NUG symptoms. The second patient, a 64-year-old woman, treated with sunitinib only, complained of mandibular pain. Sunitinib-related jaw osteonecrosis was diagnosed. Gingival bleeding and soft tissue necrosis, as well as jaw osteonecrosis may develop as adverse events of sunitinib use. Antiangiogenic therapies are increasingly used in the treatment of cancers. The presented cases are aimed to alert health care professionals on adverse oral events. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Palumbo A, Bladé J, Boccadoro M, Palladino C, Davies F, Dimopoulos M, Dmoszynska A, Einsele H, Moreau P, Sezer O, et al. How to manage neutropenia in multiple myeloma. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2012;12(1):5 - 11. WebsiteAbstract
Neutropenia is a hematologic adverse event characterized by an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) lower than 1500 cells/mL. This reduction may be due to decreased neutrophil production, accelerated use, a shift in compartments of neutrophils, or a combination of these factors. Neutropenia is often associated with infections, which are major causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with cancer. In patients with multiple myeloma, the novel agents thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib have improved outcome, but chemotherapy-related neutropenia should be carefully considered. Chemotherapy-related high-risk factors for severe neutropenia include regimens with an expected neutropenia rate of > 50%, such as the 3-drug combinations including lenalidomide plus alkylating agents or doxorubicin, whereas low-risk regimens include combinations of the novel agents with dexamethasone alone. Patient characteristics, disease stage, type of current and previous treatment, and ANC < 1000 cells/mL at baseline are additional factors that define the risk of severe neutropenia. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) should be used to manage chemotherapy-related neutropenia so that patients may stay on treatment for a longer time and benefit from it. Primary G-CSF prophylaxis should be used when high-risk regimens are administered or when low/intermediate-risk regimens are used and additional risk factors are present. Reactive G-CSF treatment is indicated when patients undergoing low-risk chemotherapy experience grade 3/4 neutropenia. If ANC restores to > 1000 cells/mL, therapy can be resumed with no dose modifications. In case of persistence of severe neutropenia, treatment should be delayed until ANC reaches > 1000 cells/mL, and dose reductions are necessary. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Terpos E, Anargyrou K, Katodritou E, Kastritis E, Papatheodorou A, Christoulas D, Pouli A, Michalis E, Delimpasi S, Gkotzamanidou M, et al. Circulating angiopoietin-1 to angiopoietin-2 ratio is an independent prognostic factor for survival in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma who received therapy with novel antimyeloma agents. International Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2012;130(3):735 - 742. WebsiteAbstract
The circulating levels of several angiogenic cytokines [angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiogenin and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)] were evaluated in 174 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed, symptomatic, multiple myeloma (MM). Circulating levels of Ang-1/Ang-2 were reduced in myeloma patients compared to controls, whereas VEGF and angiogenin levels were increased. Reduced angiopoietin-1/angiopoietin-2 ratio correlated with advanced disease features including international staging system (ISS)-3 stage, renal impairment and extensive bone disease. Based on immunohistochemical results in 20 patients (10 with the higher and 10 with the lower values of circulating angiopoietin-2) we found that angiopoietin-2 is expressed by myeloma cells and correlates with increased microvessel density in subsets of patients. Furthermore, Ang-1/Ang-2 ratio correlated with survival. Patients with circulating Ang-1/Ang-2 below or equal to the median value (6.03) had a median survival of 26.3 months compared to 53 months of all others (p = 0.002). Interestingly, this was mainly observed in patients who received first-line therapy with novel agent-based regimens (65% of our patients). Furthermore, a subset of ISS-3 patients with serum Ang-1/Ang-2 above the median value had favourable prognosis (median survival: 45 months versus 17 months of all others; p = 0.0001). The multivariate analysis revealed that low Ang-1/Ang-2 ratio could independently predict for inferior survival in our cohort of patients (relative risk (RR) 2.07, 95% CI 1.50-2.42; p < 0.001). These results highlight the role of angiopoietins pathway in the biology of MM and reveal novel targets for the development of antimyeloma agents. Copyright © 2011 UICC.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. When a little aspirin may be enough. Blood [Internet]. 2012;119(4):905 - 906. Website
Pectasides D, Papaxoinis G, Kotoula V, Fountzilas H, Korantzis I, Koutras A, Dimopoulos AM, Papakostas P, Aravantinos G, Varthalitis I, et al. Expression of angiogenic markers in the peripheral blood of docetaxel-treated advanced breast cancer patients: A Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HeCOG) study. Oncology Reports [Internet]. 2012;27(1):216 - 224. WebsiteAbstract
It is well known that low-dose metronomic chemotherapy has antiangiogenic activity. The aim of the present trial was to investigate the antiangiogenic properties of weekly docetaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer. In total, 157 metastatic breast cancer patients received 35 mg/m 2 docetaxel weekly as a recommended treatment. Blood samples were collected before the start of chemotherapy (baseline) and during treatment. Nitric oxide (NO) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) plasma levels were measured at baseline and during treatment, while VEGF-A, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and thrombospondin-1 (THBS-1) peripheral blood mRNA levels were measured at baseline, in 127 patients and 39 female healthy controls. In general, the treatment was well-tolerated. Sixty-one patients (38%) achieved an objective response (4% complete and 34% partial response), while 52 (33%) had stable disease and 27 (17%) progressed. At a median follow-up of 33.5 months (range 2.8-45.0), 118 patients (74%) demonstrated disease progression and 94 (59%) had died. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 8.8 months and median overall survival (OS) was 27.7 months. Median baseline level of plasma NO was significantly lower in patients than in healthy controls (p=0.010), while none of the plasma markers significantly changed upon docetaxel treatment. In addition, the median relative quantification value for THBS-1 mRNA was significantly higher (p<0.001) in patients as compared to healthy controls. NO plasma levels were positively associated with the number of organs involved (p=0.008). In multivariate analysis, low eNOS mRNA levels showed adverse prognostic significance for OS and high THBS-1 mRNA levels were found to be associated with shorter OS and PFS, independently from established clinical prognostic factors. Although an antiangiogenic activity of weekly docetaxel was not demonstrated in the present study, some interesting observations regarding the prognostic role of a number of blood angiogenic markers could be made.
Kosmidis PA, Syrigos K, Kalofonos HP, Dimopoulos M-A, Skarlos D, Pavlidis N, Boukovinas I, Bafaloukos D, Pectasides D, Bacoyiannis C, et al. Vinorelbine versus paclitaxel for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and a performance status of 2. Anticancer Research [Internet]. 2012;32(1):175 - 181. WebsiteAbstract
Aim: The purpose of this study was to compare two single agents paclitaxel (intravenous) versus vinorelbine (oral) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with performance status (PS):2. Patients and Methods: The patients were randomized to receive either oral vinorelbine 60 mg/m 2 on days I, 8, 15 every 4 weeks for 4 cycles (group A) or paclitaxel 90 mg/m 2 intravenously for 1 h on days 1, 8, 15 every 4 weeks for a total of 4 cycles (group B). Results: Among the 74 eligible patients (36 in arm A and 38 in arm B) in arm A, two (6%) had a partial response (95% Cl, 0.7-18.7) and 5 (14%) had stable disease (95% CI, 4.7-29.5). In arm B, five (13%) had a partial response (95% CI, 4.4-28.1) and 7 (18%) had stable disease (95% CI, 7.7-34.3). No significant difference was found in terms of clinical benefit between the two groups after two cycles of treatment except for appetite in favour of paclitaxel (p=0.01). Median survival was 3.1 months (95% CI, 2.2-4.0) for arm A and 5.1 months (95% CI, 2.7-7.6) for arm B (p=0.95). Toxicity was mild and only alopecia was more profound in the patients of arm B (p=0.008). Conclusion: No significant difference was found in clinical benefit between PS:2 NSCLC patients treated with either vinorelbine or paclitaxel.
Richardson PG, Delforge M, Beksac M, Wen P, Jongen JL, Sezer O, Terpos E, Munshi N, Palumbo A, Rajkumar SV, et al. Management of treatment-emergent peripheral neuropathy in multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2012;26(4):595 - 608. WebsiteAbstract
Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is one of the most important complications of multiple myeloma (MM) treatment. PN can be caused by MM itself, either by the effects of the monoclonal protein or in the form of radiculopathy from direct compression, and particularly by certain therapies, including bortezomib, thalidomide, vinca alkaloids and cisplatin. Clinical evaluation has shown that up to 20% of MM patients have PN at diagnosis and as many as 75% may experience treatment-emergent PN during therapy. The incidence, symptoms, reversibility, predisposing factors and etiology of treatment-emergent PN vary among MM therapies, with PN incidence also affected by the dose, schedule and combinations of potentially neurotoxic agents. Effective management of treatment-emergent PN is critical to minimize the incidence and severity of this complication, while maintaining therapeutic efficacy. Herein, the state of knowledge regarding treatment-emergent PN in MM patients and current management practices are outlined, and recommendations regarding optimal strategies for PN management during MM treatment are provided. These strategies include early and regular monitoring with neurological evaluation, with dose modification and treatment discontinuation as indicated. Areas requiring further research include the development of MM-specific, patient-focused assessment tools, pharmacogenomic analysis of patient DNA, and trials to assess the efficacy of pharmacological interventions. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Gogas H, Dafni U, Karina M, Papadimitriou C, Batistatou A, Bobos M, Kalofonos HP, Eleftheraki AG, Timotheadou E, Bafaloukos D, et al. Postoperative dose-dense sequential versus concomitant administration of epirubicin and paclitaxel in patients with node-positive breast cancer: 5-Year results of the Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group HE 10/00 phase III Trial. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment [Internet]. 2012;132(2):609 - 619. WebsiteAbstract
To explore the impact of dose intensity (DI) in the adjuvant setting of breast cancer, a randomized phase III trial was conducted comparing postoperative dose-dense sequential chemotherapy with epirubicin, paclitaxel, and cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and fluorouracil (CMF)in high-risk breast cancer patients. From Oct 2000 to June 2005, 1,121 node-positive patients were randomized to dose-dense sequential epirubicin 110 mg/m 2 and paclitaxel (Taxol®, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Princeton, NJ) 250 mg/m 2 (group A), or concurrent epirubicin 83 mg/m 2 and paclitaxel 187 mg/m 2 (group B), both followed by three cycles of "intensified" combination chemotherapy with CMF. By protocol design total cumulative dose and duration of treatment were identical in both groups. Dose intensity of epirubicin and paclitaxel was double in the dose-dense arm. Prophylactic treatment with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor was given with the dose-dense treatments. Disease-free survival (DFS) was the primary endpoint. At a median follow-up of 76 months, 253 patients (23%) had documented disease relapse (123 vs. 130 in groups A and B, respectively) and 208 deaths (101, group A and 107, group B) had been observed. The 5-year DFS rate of 74 and 74% and OS rate of 86 and 85% were observed for group A and group B, respectively. No differences were found in DFS or OS between the two treatment groups (P = 0.78 and P = 0.45 for DFS and OS, respectively). Safety analysis results showing that both regimens were well tolerated and safe have been previously published (Fountzilas et al. Ann Oncol 2008). No DFS or OS benefit from the dose-dense sequential epirubicin and paclitaxel was detected when compared to the concurrent administration of the same drugs. No additional safety issues were raised with long-term follow-up. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Lenalidomide for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. In: Immunomodulating Drugs for the Treatment of Cancer. ; 2012. Website
Dimopoulos MA, Richardson PG, Brandenburg N, Yu Z, Weber DM, Niesvizky R, Morgan GJ. A review of second primary malignancy in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma treated with lenalidomide. Blood [Internet]. 2012;119(12):2764 - 2767. WebsiteAbstract
In a retrospective pooled analysis of 11 clinical trials of lenalidomide-based therapy for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM; N = 3846), the overall incidence rate (IR, events per 100 patientyears) of second primary malignancies (SPMs) was 3.62. IR of invasive (hematologic and solid tumor) SPMs was 2.08, consistent with the background incidence of developing cancer. In a separate analysis of pooled data from pivotal phase 3 trials of relapsed or refractory MM (N = 703), the overall IR of SPMs was 3.98 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.51- 6.31) with lenalidomide/dexamethasone and 1.38 (95% CI, 0.44-4.27) with placebo/ dexamethasone; IRs of nonmelanoma skin cancers were 2.40 (95% CI, 1.33-4.33) and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.23-3.66), respectively; IRs of invasive SPMs were 1.71 (95% CI, 0.86-3.43) and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.23-3.66), respectively. The risk of SPMs must be taken into account before initiating lenalidomide treatment. In the context of the observed survival benefit in relapsed or refractory MM patients, the benefit/risk profile of lenalidomide/dexamethasone remains positive. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.
Zagouri F, Thomakos N, Rodolakis A, Bamias A, Chalazonitis A, Sotiropoulou M, Antsaklis A, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou CA. Quiz case: A 19-year-old woman with hypercalcemia and abdominal pain. Onkologie [Internet]. 2012;35(3):126 - 127. Website
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Michalis E, Tsatalas C, Michael M, Pouli A, Kartasis Z, Delimpasi S, Gika D, Zomas A, et al. The international scoring system (ISS) for multiple myeloma remains a robust prognostic tool independently of patients' renal function. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2012;23(3):722 - 729. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The International Staging System (ISS) is the most widely used staging system for patients with multiple myeloma (MM). However, serum β2-microglobulin increases in renal impairment (RI) and there have been concerns that ISS-3 stage may include 'up-staged' MM patients in whom elevated β2-microglobulin reflects the degree of renal dysfunction rather than tumor load. Patients and methods: In order to assess the impact of RI on the prognostic value of ISS, we analyzed 1516 patients with symptomatic MM and the degree of RI was classified according to the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative-Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) criteria. Results: Forty-eight percent patients had stages 3-5 CKD while 29% of patients had ISS-1, 38% had ISS-2 and 33% ISS-3. The frequency and severity of RI were more common in ISS-3 patients. RI was associated with inferior survival in univariate but not in multivariate analysis. When analyzed separately, ISS-1 and ISS-2 patients with RI had inferior survival in univariate but not in multivariate analysis. In ISS-3 MM patients, RI had no prognostic impact either in univariate or multivariate analysis. Results were similar, when we analyzed only patients with Bence-Jones >200 mg/day. Conclusions: ISS remains unaffected by the degree of RI, even in patients with ISS-3, which includes most patients with renal dysfunction. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Vassilakopoulos TP, Pangalis GA, Katsigiannis A, Papageorgiou SG, Constantinou N, Terpos E, Zorbala A, Vrakidou E, Repoussis P, Poziopoulos C, et al. Rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone with or without radiotherapy in primary mediastinal large b-cell lymphoma: The emerging standard of care. Oncologist [Internet]. 2012;17(2):239 - 249. WebsiteAbstract
More aggressive treatment approaches (methotrexate, cytarabine, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, and bleomycin [the MACOP-B regimen] or consolidation with high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation) have been considered to be superior to cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) in patients with primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMLBCL). Rituximab-CHOP (R-CHOP) is the standard of care for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, whereas efficacy in PMLBCL has not been adequately confirmed. Patient and Methods. Seventy-six consecutive PMLBCL patients who received R-CHOP with or without radiotherapy (RT) were compared with 45 consecutive historical controls treated with CHOP with or without RT. Baseline characteristics of the two groups were balanced. Results. The rate of early treatment failure was much lower with R-CHOP with or without RT (9% versus 30%; p =.004). The 5-year freedom from progression rate after R-CHOP with or without RT was 81%, versus 48% for CHOP with or without RT (p < .0001). The 5-year event-free survival rates were 80% and 47% (p < .0001) and the 5-year overall and lymphoma-specific survival rates were 89% and 69% (p = .003) and 91% and 69% (p = .001), respectively, with only seven of 76 lymphoma-related deaths. Among R-CHOP responders, 52 of 68 received RT. Conclusions. Based on these results, most patients with PMLBCL appear to be cured by R-CHOP in 21-day cycles with or without RT, which could be the current standard of care. Therefore, the need for more aggressive treatment strategies is questionable unless high-risk patients are adequately defined. Further studies are required to establish the precise role of RT. ©AlphaMed Press.
Kontovinis L, Laschos K, Karadimou A, Andreadis C, Bamias A, Paraskevopoulos P, Dimopoulos M, Papazisis K. Sequential treatment with sorafenib and sunitinib in metastatic renal cell carcinoma: Clinical outcomes from a retrospective clinical study. Medical Oncology [Internet]. 2012;29(2):750 - 754. WebsiteAbstract
Sorafenib and sunitinib are inhibitors of receptor protein tyrosine kinases (TKIs) and are approved for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Although the mTOR inhibitor everolimus is effective for the treatment of patients who have failed TKI therapy, it is important to consider all available treatment options before switching therapy mode of action. Herein, we report outcomes in patients with mRCC switched to sorafenib following disease progression on sunitinib treatment. The medical records of 35 patients treated between November 2006 and November 2009 at two large referral centers in Greece were retrospectively analyzed for time-to-progression (TTP), overall survival (OS), and tolerability of sorafenib after sunitinib. Median TTP and OS on sorafenib were 4.9 and 11.5 months, respectively. Among 33 patients evaluable for tumor response, three had a partial response and 17 achieved disease stabilization (objective response rate 8.5%; total clinical benefit rate 57%). Sorafenib was well tolerated, with mostly grade 1/2 adverse events and no treatment-related deaths. Sorafenib was effective and well tolerated in this group of patients. The TTP with sorafenib following sunitinib was comparable to outcomes reported previously, providing further support that TKIs should be used in sequence before switching to an mTOR inhibitor. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.
Palumbo A, Hajek R, Delforge M, Kropff M, Petrucci MT, Catalano J, Gisslinger H, Wiktor-Jȩdrzejczak W, Zodelava M, Weisel K, et al. Continuous lenalidomide treatment for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2012;366(19):1759 - 1769. WebsiteAbstract
BACKGROUND: Lenalidomide has tumoricidal and immunomodulatory activity against multiple myeloma. This double-blind, multicenter, randomized study compared melphalan-prednisone- lenalidomide induction followed by lenalidomide maintenance (MPR-R) with melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide (MPR) or melphalan-prednisone (MP) followed by placebo in patients 65 years of age or older with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. METHODS: We randomly assigned patients who were ineligible for transplantation to receive MPR-R (nine 4-week cycles of MPR followed by lenalidomide maintenance therapy until a relapse or disease progression occurred [152 patients]) or to receive MPR (153 patients) or MP (154 patients) without maintenance therapy. The primary end point was progression-free survival. RESULTS: The median follow-up period was 30 months. The median progression-free survival was significantly longer with MPR-R (31 months) than with MPR (14 months; hazard ratio, 0.49; P<0.001) or MP (13 months; hazard ratio, 0.40; P<0.001). Response rates were superior with MPR-R and MPR (77% and 68%, respectively, vs. 50% with MP; P<0.001 and P = 0.002, respectively, for the comparison with MP). The progression-free survival benefit associated with MPR-R was noted in patients 65 to 75 years of age but not in those older than 75 years of age (P = 0.001 for treatment-by-age interaction). After induction therapy, a landmark analysis showed a 66% reduction in the rate of progression with MPR-R (hazard ratio for the comparison with MPR, 0.34; P<0.001) that was age-independent. During induction therapy, the most frequent adverse events were hematologic; grade 4 neutropenia was reported in 35%, 32%, and 8% of the patients in the MPR-R, MPR, and MP groups, respectively. The 3-year rate of second primary tumors was 7% with MPR-R, 7% with MPR, and 3% with MP. CONCLUSIONS: MPR-R significantly prolonged progression-free survival in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who were ineligible for transplantation, with the greatest benefit observed in patients 65 to 75 years of age. (Funded by Celgene; MM-015 number, NCT00405756.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.
Chanan-Khan AA, San Miguel JF, Jagannath S, Ludwig H, Dimopoulos MA. Novel therapeutic agents for the management of patients with multiple myeloma and renal impairment. Clinical Cancer Research [Internet]. 2012;18(8):2145 - 2163. WebsiteAbstract
Renal impairment is a major complication of multiple myeloma. Patients presenting with severe renal impairment represent a greater therapeutic challenge and generally have poorer outcome. However, once patients with renal impairment achieve remission, their outcomes are comparable with those of patients without renal impairment. Therapies that offer substantial activity in this setting are needed. Bortezomib, thalidomide, and lenalidomide have substantially improved the survival of patients with multiple myeloma. Here we review the pharmacokinetics, activity, and safety of these agents in patients with renal impairment. Bortezomib can be administered at the full approved dose and schedule in renally impaired patients; similarly, no dose reductions are required with thalidomide. The pharmacokinetics of lenalidomide is affected by its renal route of excretion, and dose adjustments are recommended for moderate/severe impairment. Substantial evidence has emerged showing that these novel agents improve outcomes of patients with renal impairment, including impairment reversal. Bortezomib, thalidomide, and lenalidomide (at the recommended doses) are active options for patients with mild to moderate impairment, although limited data are available for thalidomide. Information on lenalidomide-based combinations is still emerging, but the available data indicate considerable activity. Substantial evidence indicates that bortezomib-high-dose dexamethasone with or without a third drug (e.g., cyclophosphamide, thalidomide, or doxorubicin) is an appropriate option for patients with any degree of renal impairment. ©2012 AACR.
Chanan-Khan AA, Lonial S, Weber D, Borrello I, Foa R, Hellmann A, Dimopoulos M, Swern AS, Knight R. Lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone improves survival and time-to-progression in patients ≥65 years old with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. International Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2012;96(2):254 - 262. WebsiteAbstract
Two pivotal, phase III, randomised, placebocontrolled, registration trials (MM-009 and MM-010) showed that lenalidomide plus dexamethasone was more effective than placebo plus dexamethasone in the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. This pooled, retrospective subanalysis of MM-009 and MM-010 analysed outcomes according to patient age. A total of 704 patients (390 aged <65 years, 232 aged 65-74 years, and 82 aged ≥75 years) received lenalidomide or placebo, both in combination with dexamethasone. The overall response rate (ORR) was significantly higher in patients treated with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone versus placebo plus dexamethasone in all age groups (P<0.0001 for all). Median progression-free survival (PFS) and median time-to-progression (TTP) were similar, and both were significantly longer with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone in all age groups (P<0.001 for all). Median overall survival (OS) favoured lenalidomide plus dexamethasone in all age groups, although the difference was not statistically significant. Adverse events of anaemia, febrile neutropenia, deep-vein thrombosis, neuropathy, and gastrointestinal disorders increased with age. Lenalidomide combined with dexamethasone improved the ORR and prolonged PFS, TTP, and OS compared with placebo plus dexamethasone, irrespective of age. This finding was consistent with the overall MM-009 and MM-010 populations. © 2012 The Japanese Society of Hematology.
Soultati A, Mountzios G, Avgerinou C, Papaxoinis G, Pectasides D, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou C. Endothelial vascular toxicity from chemotherapeutic agents: Preclinical evidence and clinical implications. Cancer Treatment Reviews [Internet]. 2012;38(5):473 - 483. WebsiteAbstract
In cancer biology angiogenesis plays a vital role in tumour growth and its subsequent metastatic potential. By targeting the angiogenic process, a new treatment strategy was added in the clinician's therapeutic armamentarium. On the other hand, numerous classic cytotoxic agents are currently considered as potential angiogenesis inhibitors, although they were not originally developed as such, representing the so-called "accidental" anti-angiogenic drugs. The discovery of these new properties of classic cytotoxic agents led to the re-evaluation of their effect on vascular cells, rendering thus the endothelium an appealing target for therapeutic intervention, either with chemotherapy alone or with combination of cytotoxics with molecular angiogenesis inhibitors. Moreover, current evidence supports that chemotherapy-induced endothelial dysfunction constitutes an integrating predictive marker of future cardiovascular events and correlates well with traditional cardiovascular risk factors. It has therefore been suggested that evaluation of endothelial function may be useful in identifying asymptomatic subjects at high risk for cardiovascular events as well as for risk stratification of patients with established cardiovascular disease. Integration of the assessment of endothelial function in the clinical setting will thus enable effective intervention strategies to prevent or minimize the impact of these late adverse effects and design accurate follow-up protocols focused on cardiovascular complications. In the current review we provide a comprehensive overview of the effects of cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents on endothelial function and the clinical implications of chemotherapy-associated endothelial toxicity in patients with cancer. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Levidou G, Ventouri K, Nonni A, Gakiopoulou H, Bamias A, Sotiropoulou M, Papaspirou I, Dimopoulos MA, Patsouris E, Korkolopoulou P. Replication protein A in nonearly ovarian adenocarcinomas: Correlation with MCM-2, MCM-5, Ki-67 index and prognostic significance. International Journal of Gynecological Pathology [Internet]. 2012;31(4):319 - 327. WebsiteAbstract
Replication protein A (RPA) is an ssDNA-binding protein required for the initiation of DNA replication and the stabilization of ssDNA. Collaboration with several molecules, that is, the MCM2-7 complex, has been suggested to be imperative for its multifaceted role. In this study, we investigated the immunohistochemical expression of the RPA2 subunit in correlation with the MCM-2 and MCM-5 and Ki67 index, and assessed its prognostic significance in 76 patients with nonearly ovarian adenocarcinomas, the majority of whom had a serous histotype. RPA2 protein expression was observed in all cases, whereas the staining intensity varied from weak to strong. RPA2 expression was correlated with the tumor stage in the entire cohort and in serous tumors (P=0.0053 in both relationships). Moreover, RPA2 immunoexpression was positively correlated with MCM-2 (P=0.0001) and MCM-5 (P<0.0001) expression, but was unrelated to the Ki67 index (P>0.10). In multivariate survival analysis, RPA2 expression emerged as an independent predictor of adverse outcome (P<0.0001) along with tumor histologic grade. RPA2 remained an independent predictor of survival (P=0.002) even after adjustment for MCM-2 and MCM-5 expression and when analysis was restricted to serous carcinomas (P=0.004). Our results further support the interrelation of RPA2 protein with MCM-2 and MCM-5 in OCs. Moreover, RPA2 protein may play an important role in ovarian tumorigenesis, and may serve as a useful independent molecular marker for stratifying patients with OC in terms of prognosis. © 2012 International Society of Gynecological Pathologists.
Bamias A, Sotiropoulou M, Zagouri F, Trachana P, Sakellariou K, Kostouros E, Kakoyianni K, Rodolakis A, Vlahos G, Haidopoulos D, et al. Prognostic evaluation of tumour type and other histopathological characteristics in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, treated with surgery and paclitaxel/carboplatin chemotherapy: Cell type is the most useful prognostic factor. European Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2012;48(10):1476 - 1483. WebsiteAbstract
Aim: Ovarian carcinomas have been classified into types I and II according to the hypothesised mode of carcinogenesis and molecular characteristics. The prognostic significance of this classification has not been studied. Patients and methods: Five hundred and sixty-eight patients with histologically confirmed, ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal carcinomas, international federation of gynecology and obstetrics (FIGO) stages IIC-IV, treated with paclitaxel/platinum following cytoreductive surgery, were included in this analysis. Type I included low-grade serous, mucinous, endometrioid and clear-cell and type II high-grade serous, unspecified adenocarcinomas and undifferentiated carcinomas. Results: Median overall survival (OS) was 49 months for type I versus 45 for type II (p = 0.576). In contrast to type II, there was considerable prognostic heterogeneity among the subtypes included in type I. Cox regression analysis showed that cell-type classification: low-grade serous, mucinous, endometrioid, clear-cell, type II (high-grade serous, unspecified adenocarcinomas, undifferentiated carcinoma) was an independent predictor of survival (respective median OS 121 versus 15 versus 64 versus 29 versus 45 months, p = 0.003). On the contrary, histopathological subtype or tumour type (I versus II) did not offer additional prognostic information. Conclusion: The proposed model of ovarian tumourigenesis does not reflect tumour behaviour in advanced disease. Tumour-cell type is the most relevant histopathological prognostic factor in advanced ovarian cancer treated with platinum/paclitaxel. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tasidou A, Roussou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Gkotzamanidou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Migkou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Nikitas N, Anagnostou D, et al. Increased expression of cyclin-D1 on trephine bone marrow biopsies independently predicts for shorter overall survival in patients with multiple myeloma treated with novel agents. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2012;87(7):734 - 736. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) comprises 1% of all malignancies and 13% of hematological malignancies in the Caucasian population. Yearly incidence is 4/100,000 in the US and is higher in blacks and males [1]. The pathogenesis of the disease is relatively unknown; several chromosomal abnormalities have been related to the development of the disease, but none is characteristic of MM. Cyclin-D1 is a protein encoded by the CCND1 (bcl-1) gene on chromosome 11q13, and is an important regulator of G1 to S phase progression.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Delimpasi S, Katodritou E, Hatzimichael E, Kyrtsonis M-C, Repousis P, Tsirogianni M, Kartasis Z, Parcharidou A, et al. Multiple myeloma in octogenarians: Clinical features and outcome in the novel agent era. European Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2012;89(1):10 - 15. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) affects mainly elderly persons and because the population of octogenarians increases, it is common to treat patients ≥80 years of age. These patients are often not included in clinical trials; thus, there is limited data on their characteristics and treatment outcome. Patients and methods: We retrospectively analyzed 682 consecutive, unselected patients with newly diagnosed symptomatic myeloma who started treatment between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2010. Results: We identified 155 (23%) patients ≥ 80 years of age. Compared to patients <80 years, octogenarians had poorer performance status (P < 0.001), anemia (P = 0.006), low serum albumin (P = 0.001), and advanced ISS (P < 0.001). The median survival of patients ≥80 years was 22 months, and 14% died within 2 months from therapy initiation. The median survival of patients ≥80 years who received upfront novel agents was 26 vs. 17 months for those who did not. ECOG performance status ≤1 and frontline use of novel agents were independently associated with better survival. Response to first-line therapy was associated with improved survival (29 vs. 16 months, P = 0.017). Conclusions: Patients ≥80 years of age present with features of advanced myeloma and impaired performance status. The addition of novel agents may improve their outcome, but careful assessment and prospective clinical trials targeting the population of elderly patients are needed. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Thomakos N, Zacharakis D, Akrivos N, Zagouri F, Simou M, Bamias A, Dimopoulos M-A, Rodolakis A, Antsaklis A. Merkel cell carcinoma in pelvic lymph nodes after surgical staging for endometrial cancer: A case report and review of the literature. International Journal of Surgery Case Reports [Internet]. 2012;3(7):340 - 342. WebsiteAbstract
INTRODUCTION: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare malignant neuroendocrine tumor of the skin. PRESENTATION OF CASE: We present a case of MCC in pelvic lymph nodes, revealed after surgical staging for endometrial cancer. A 54-year-old Caucasian woman presented to our department with a threemonth history of postmenopausal bleeding. After proper preoperative evaluation, the patient underwent total abdominal hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-ophorectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection. The pathology report confirmed the presence of a small, grade I, endometrioid adenocarcinoma and MCC in the pelvic lymph nodes. Primary site of the disease could not been retrieved. The tumor board decided adjuvant chemotherapy (carboplatin and etoposide) and close follow-up every 2 months. Our patient is alive with no evidence of disease 12 months after surgery. DISCUSSION: It is noteworthy that 19% of the patients with MCC had lymph node metastasis with no apparent primary lesion. The mechanism of this regression remains unclear, although a higher apoptotic activity has been observed in MCC than other skin tumors. In addition, other co-malignancies have also been linked to MCC patients. The explanation for the frequent occurrence of other primary neoplasms in patients with MCC is still unclear. However, a reasonable cause could be an altered genetic profile or an immuno-compromised situation in these patients. CONCLUSION: Further analytic investigations are needed to clarify the role of various factors in the spontaneous regression or not of this neuroendocrine tumor as well as in the simultaneous genesis of other primary carcinomas. © 2012 Surgical Associates Ltd.
Kastritis E, Terpos E, Roussou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Pamboukas C, Boletis I, Marinaki S, Apostolou T, Nikitas N, Gkortzolidis G, et al. A phase 1/2 study of lenalidomide with low-dose oral cyclophosphamide and low-dose dexamethasone (RdC) in AL amyloidosis. Blood [Internet]. 2012;119(23):5384 - 5390. WebsiteAbstract
In this phase 1/2 study, we explored the feasibility and activity of an oral regimen of lenalidomide with low-dose dexamethasone and low-dose oral cyclophosphamide (RdC) in patients with primary systemic light chain amyloidosis. RdC was given for up to 12 cycles in prespecified cohorts at escalated doses: 13 patients were treated in phase 1 and 24 in phase 2; 65% were previously untreated, and most had renal and/or cardiac involvement and elevated cardiac biomarkers. Lenalidomide 15 mg/d and cyclophosphamide 100 mg/d were further evaluated in phase 2. On intention to treat, 20 (55%) patients achieved a hematologic response, including 3 (8%) complete remissions. Hematologic responses were seen at all dose levels and in 4 of 5 patients who had received bortezomib previously. An organ response was recorded in 22% of patients on intention-to-treat and in 40% of patients who survived at least 6 months. The median time to progression was 10 months and the 2-year survival was 41%. Fatigue, nonneutropenic infections, and rash were the most common toxicities. The results of the present study show that RdC is an oral regimen with activity in primary systemic light chain amyloidosis and may be an additional treatment option, especially for patients with preserved organ function or for patients who cannot receive or who relapse after bortezomib. This study is registered at as NCT00981708. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.
Fountzilas G, Dafni U, Bobos M, Batistatou A, Kotoula V, Trihia H, Malamou-Mitsi V, Miliaras S, Chrisafi S, Papadopoulos S, et al. Differential response of immunohistochemically defined breast cancer subtypes to anthracycline-based adjuvant chemotherapy with or without paclitaxel. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2012;7(6). WebsiteAbstract
Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of adjuvant dose-dense sequential chemotherapy with epirubicin, paclitaxel, and CMF in subgroups of patients with high-risk operable breast cancer, according to tumor subtypes defined by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Materials and Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor tissue samples from 1,039 patients participating in two adjuvant dose-dense sequential chemotherapy phase III trials were centrally assessed in tissue micro-arrays by IHC for 6 biological markers, that is, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), HER2, Ki67, cytokeratin 5 (CK5), and EGFR. The majority of the cases were further evaluated for HER2 amplification by FISH. Patients were classified as: luminal A (ER/PgR-positive, HER2-negative, Ki67low); luminal B (ER/PgR-positive, HER2-negative, Ki67high); luminal-HER2 (ER/PgR-positive, HER2-positive); HER2-enriched (ER-negative, PgR-negative, HER2-positive); triple-negative (TNBC) (ER-negative, PgR-negative, HER2-negative); and basal core phenotype (BCP) (TNBC, CK5-positive and/or EGFR-positive). Results: After a median follow-up time of 105.4 months the 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 73.1% and 86.1%, respectively. Among patients with HER2-enriched tumors there was a significant benefit in both DFS and OS (log-rank test; p = 0.021 and p = 0.006, respectively) for those treated with paclitaxel. The subtype classification was found to be of both predictive and prognostic value. Setting luminal A as the referent category, the adjusted for prognostic factors HR for relapse for patients with TNBC was 1.91 (95% CI: 1.31-2.80, Wald's p = 0.001) and for death 2.53 (95% CI: 1.62-3.60, p<0.001). Site of and time to first relapse differed according to subtype. Locoregional relapses and brain metastases were more frequent in patients with TNBC, while liver metastases were more often seen in patients with HER2-enriched tumors. Conclusions: Triple-negative phenotype is of adverse prognostic value for DFS and OS in patients treated with adjuvant dose-dense sequential chemotherapy. In the pre-trastuzumab era, the HER2-enriched subtype predicts favorable outcome following paclitaxel-containing treatment. © 2012 Fountzilas et al.
Ludwig H, Avet-Loiseau H, Bladé J, Boccadoro M, Cavenagh J, Cavo M, Davies F, De La Rubia J, Delimpasi S, Dimopoulos M, et al. European perspective on multiple myeloma treatment strategies: Update following recent congresses. Oncologist [Internet]. 2012;17(5):592 - 606. WebsiteAbstract
The management of multiple myeloma has undergone profound changes over the recent past as a result of advances in our understanding of the disease biology as well as improvements in treatment and supportive care strategies. Notably, recent years have seen a surge in studies incorporating the novel agents thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide into treatment for different disease stages and across different patient groups. This article presents an update to a previous review of European treatment practices and is based on discussions during an expert meeting that was convened to review novel agent data published or presented at medical meetings until the end of 2011 and to assess their impact on treatment strategies. ©AlphaMed Press.
Stefanou DT, Episkopou H, Kyrtopoulos SA, Bamias A, Gkotzamanidou M, Bamia C, Liakou C, Bekyrou M, Sfikakis PP, Dimopoulos M-A, et al. Development and validation of a PCR-based assay for the selection of patients more likely to benefit from therapeutic treatment with alkylating drugs. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology [Internet]. 2012;74(5):842 - 853. WebsiteAbstract
AIM In order to develop and validate a simple, sensitive and rapid method for the quantitation of alkylating drug-induced DNA damage. METHODS HepG2 cells and blood samples were treated with alkylating drugs (melphalan, cisplatin, carboplatin). Gene-specific damage was examined using Southern blot and a multiplex long quantitative PCR (QPCR) carried out in a 7kb fragment (part of the p53 gene) and a 0.5kb fragment (part of the IFN-β1 sequence; internal standard). RESULTS The extent of PCR amplification of a p53 fragment was inversely proportional to the treatment concentrations of all anticancer drugs examined, indicating a dose-related inhibition by the DNA adducts formed. Parallel analysis of the same samples using both Southern blot and QPCR showed that the DNA adducts measured by QPCR corresponded to the interstrand cross-links in the case of melphalan, and to total drug-induced lesions in the case of the platinum drugs. The detection limit was ∼10-20 lesions/106 nucleotides using DNA from ∼8000 cells. The method is about 250 times more sensitive than the Southern blot-based method and the reproducibility is excellent, with an intraday coefficient of variance (CV) of 5-9% and an interday CV of 4-12%. Application of the QPCR assay to ex vivo melphalan-treated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from multiple myeloma patients, showed that the positive predictive value of this assay for clinical response to melphalan therapy was 92.9%. CONCLUSION The PCR-based assay developed in this study can be used for the selection of cancer patients more likely to benefit from therapeutic treatment with alkylating drugs. © 2012 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.
Colombo N, Kutarska E, Dimopoulos M, Bae D-S, Rzepka-Gorska I, Bidzinski M, Scambia G, Engelholm SA, Joly F, Weber D, et al. Randomized, open-label, phase III study comparing patupilone (EPO906) with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in platinum-refractory or -resistant patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, primary fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2012;30(31):3841 - 3847. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: This study compared the efficacy and safety of patupilone with those of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in patients with platinum-refractory or -resistant epithelial ovarian, primary fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer. Patients and Methods: Patients with three or fewer prior regimens were eligible if they had received first-line taxane/ platinum-based combination chemotherapy and were platinum refractory or resistant. Patients were randomly assigned to receive patupilone (10 mg/m 2 intravenously every 3 weeks) or PLD (50 mg/m2 intravenously every 4 weeks). Results: A total of 829 patients were randomly assigned (patupilone, n = 412; PLD, n = 417). There was no statistically significant difference in overall survival (OS), the primary end point, between the patupilone and PLD arms (P = .195; hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.79 to 1.09), with median OS rates of 13.2 and 12.7 months, respectively. Median progression-free survival was 3.7 months for both arms. The overall response rate (all partial responses) was higher in the patupilone arm than in the PLD arm (15.5% v 7.9%; odds ratio, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.36 to 3.29), although disease control rates were similar (59.5% v 56.3%, respectively). Frequently observed adverse events (AEs) of any grade included diarrhea (85.3%) and peripheral neuropathy (39.3%) in the patupilone arm and mucositis/stomatitis (43%) and hand-foot syndrome (41.8%) in the PLD arm. Conclusion: Patupilone did not demonstrate significant improvement in OS compared with the active control, PLD. No new or unexpected serious AEs were identified. © 2012 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. VWF, WM, and angiogenesis: Is there a link?. Blood [Internet]. 2012;120(16):3163 - 3164. WebsiteAbstract
The serum levels of several angiogenic cytokines are increased in patients withWaldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). Angiopoietin-2 is also increased and the balance of angiopoietin-1/angiopoietin-2, which antagonize for the receptor tyrosine kinase Tie-2 is in favor of angiopoietin-2. Lymphoplasmacytic cells may produce VEGF, but they also produce large amounts of CCL-3 which attracts macrophages, and probably mast cells. Mast cells support lymphoplasmacytic cells and may also produce VEGF. VWF is stored in the Weibel-Palade bodies together with several other mediators, including angiopoietin-2. The endothelial cells (ECs) release the content of Weibel-Palade bodies in response to stimuli, such as VEGF and VWF and other molecules (such as angiopoitein-2) are released simultaneously. VWF may also have an inhibitory activity in the constitutive VEGFR-2-dependent pathway(s), which promote EC migration.
Zis P, Spengos K, Manios E, Vemmos K, Zis V, Dimopoulos M-A, Zakopoulos N. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in acute stroke: The importance of time rate of blood pressure variation. Blood Pressure Monitoring [Internet]. 2012;17(5):220 - 221. Website
Terpos E, Kastritis E, Christoulas D, Gkotzamanidou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanellias N, Papatheodorou A, Dimopoulos MA. Circulating activin-A is elevated in patients with advanced multiple myeloma and correlates with extensive bone involvement and inferior survival; no alterations post-lenalidomide and dexamethasone therapy. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2012;23(10):2681 - 2686. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Activin-A is a transforming growth factor -β superfamily member, which seems to be implicated in the biology of osteolytic disease in multiple myeloma. Design and methods: Circulating activin-A was evaluated in 98 newly diagnosed myeloma patients (85 with symptomatic disease), in 40 patients with relapsed myeloma before and after four cycles of lenalidomide and dexamethasone (RD), in 27 healthy controls and in 10 monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance patients. Results: Patients with newly diagnosed symptomatic myeloma had increased circulating activin-A compared with controls (P < 0.001), while patients with relapsed disease had elevated activin-A even compared with symptomatic patients at diagnosis (P < 0.001). High activin-A correlated with advanced International Staging System stage (P = 0.002), increased bone resorption (P < 0.001) and extensive bone disease (P = 0.03). Low levels of activin-A (<442 pg/ml) were associated with superior median overall survival: not reached versus 59 months (P = 0.04), while activin-A inversely correlated with survival as a continuous variable (P < 0.001). RD did not alter circulating activin-A after four cycles of treatment, even in responders. Conclusions: High circulating activin-A correlates with advanced features of myeloma, supporting the rationale for the use of activin-A antagonists, such as sotatercept in myeloma. The inability of RD to reduce activin-A reveals RD as a good candidate for combination therapies with activin-A antagonists in myeloma. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Katodritou E, Bratengeier C, Gkotzamanidou M, Michalis E, Delimpasi S, Pouli A, Meletis J, Kastritis E, et al. Elevated circulating sclerostin correlates with advanced disease features and abnormal bone remodeling in symptomatic myeloma: Reduction post-bortezomib monotherapy. International Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2012;131(6):1466 - 1471. WebsiteAbstract
Sclerostin is a Wingless and Int-1 inhibitor, which is produced by osteocytes and inhibits osteoblast-driven bone formation. Sclerostin is implicated in the pathogenesis of bone loss in metabolic bone disorders but there is no information for its effect on multiple myeloma (MM)-related osteolytic disease. We evaluated circulating sclerostin in 157 newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic myeloma, in 25 with relapsed myeloma who received bortezomib monotherapy, in 21 patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), and in 21 healthy controls. Patients with active myeloma had elevated circulating sclerostin compared to MGUS patients and controls (p < 0.01). MM patients who presented with fractures at diagnosis (n = 34) had very high levels of circulating sclerostin compared with all others (p < 0.01), whereas sclerostin correlated negatively with bone specific alkaline phosphatase (a bone formation marker; r = -0.541, p < 0.0001) and positively with C-telopeptide of collagen type-1 (a bone resorption marker; r = 0.524, p < 0.0001). Patients with International Staging System (ISS)-3 disease had higher circulating sclerostin compared to ISS-1 and ISS-2 MM (p = 0.001). Furthermore, patients with high sclerostin (upper quartile, n = 40) had a median survival of 27 months versus 98 months of all others (p = 0.031). Relapsed MM patients had higher levels of circulating sclerostin even compared to newly diagnosed patients (p < 0.01). Bortezomib monotherapy resulted in a reduction of sclerostin by almost 50% in both responders and non-responders. These results suggest that patients with active myeloma have elevated circulating sclerostin, which correlated with advanced disease features including severe bone disease. Our study indicates sclerostin as a possible target for the development of novel therapies to enhance osteoblast function in myeloma. Copyright © 2011 UICC.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA, Bladé J. Evolving Chemotherapy Options for the Treatment of Myeloma Kidney: A 40-Year Perspective. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease [Internet]. 2012;19(5):312 - 323. WebsiteAbstract
Kidney impairment (KI) at the time of initial diagnosis is common in myeloma. The improvement of kidney function and the reversal of KI are of utmost importance. Recent advances have made it possible to reverse acute kidney damage due to myeloma in most patients, at least if treatment is immediately implemented. Immediate antimyeloma therapy and appropriate hydration are the most commonly used treatment modalities for the management of acute KI related to myeloma. Mechanical approaches can only temporarily reduce the free light-chain load, and without effective chemotherapy they are probably not able to significantly improve kidney function. However, the role of mechanical approaches together with effective chemotherapy is still being explored. Thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib have improved the survival of myeloma patients, but they have also improved the outcome of patients presenting with KI. Thalidomide is safe to use on patients with KI without dose adjustments. Lenalidomide needs dose modification, but it can improve kidney function in many patients. Bortezomib seems to be the agent of choice for most patients presenting with KI without dose modifications. This review focuses on the management of patients presenting with "myeloma kidney" using modern chemotherapy approaches, especially novel agents. © 2012 National Kidney Foundation, Inc.
Moulopoulos LA, Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Christoulas D, Gkotzamanidou M, Roussou M, Koureas A, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, et al. Diffuse pattern of bone marrow involvement on magnetic resonance imaging is associated with high risk cytogenetics and poor outcome in newly diagnosed, symptomatic patients with multiple myeloma: A single center experience on 228 patients. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2012;87(9):861 - 864. WebsiteAbstract
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and specific cytogenetic abnormalities offer important prognostic information for myeloma patients. However, limited data are available about the association between cytogenetic abnormalities and MRI patterns of marrow infiltration. To address this issue, we analyzed 228 consecutive newly diagnosed, symptomatic patients who were diagnosed and treated in a single center. On bone marrow MR images, 95 (41%) patients had diffuse, 94 (41%) had focal, 35 (15%) were normal, and 4 (1.7%) patients had variegated pattern of marrow infiltration. High risk cytogenetics were more commonly observed with diffuse MRI pattern (50% vs. 31% in focal and normal patterns). Patients with diffuse MRI pattern had poorer survival compared to others and responded better to novel agent-based therapies than to conventional chemotherapy (objective response: 88% vs. 46%, P < 0.001). There was a significant improvement of patients' survival with a diffuse MRI pattern when treated upfront with novel agents compared to conventional chemotherapy (47 vs. 24 months; P < 0.001). Diffuse MRI pattern along with ISS-3 and high risk cytogenetics could identify a very high risk group of patients with extremely poor median survival (21 months) and an only 35% probability of 3-year OS. Our study shows that symptomatic myeloma patients with a diffuse MRI pattern at diagnosis very often show high risk cytogenetic abnormalities and are benefiting from upfront novel agent-based therapies. Diffuse MRI pattern in combination with high risk cytogenetics and ISS-3 can identify a subset of myeloma patients with very poor prognosis who may need innovative treatment strategies and possibly more aggressive therapies. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..
Palumbo A, Rocci A, Ludwig H, Dimopoulos MA. Dr. Palumbo and colleagues reply. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2012;367(6):573 - 574. Website
Gkotzamanidou M, Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Christoulas D, Moulopoulos LA, Terpos E. Sclerostin: A possible target for the management of cancer-induced bone disease. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets [Internet]. 2012;16(8):761 - 769. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Sclerostin is a cysteine-knot-containing protein, which is produced by osteocytes and inhibits osteoblast function. The aim of this review is to summarize the data about the role of sclerostin in cancer-induced bone disease. Areas covered: We performed a thorough search for articles in the PubMed using the words "sclerostin, cancer, multiple myeloma", and for similar abstracts that were presented in the ASH and ASCO annual meetings (2005 2011). In multiple myeloma, sclerostin is produced by myeloma cells and elevated in the serum or the plasma of the patients, and correlates with extensive bone disease and adverse myeloma features. In prostate cancer, sclerostin expression is reduced and in combination with bone morhogenetic protein-6 and noggin expression may serve as prognostic predictor for metastatic progression. In breast cancer, in vitro data suggest that the malignant cell induces the expression of sclerostin to inhibit osteoblasts in the metastatic bone area. Expert opinion: Sclerostin may play a role in inhibiting bone formation in the biology of bone metastases in breast cancer and of myeloma-related bone disease. The results of phase I/II studies with anti-sclerostin drugs in subjects with low bone mass may lead to the potential clinical investigation of these agents in cancer-indauced bone disease. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.
Palladini G, Dispenzieri A, Gertz MA, Kumar S, Wechalekar A, Hawkins PN, Schönland S, Hegenbart U, Comenzo R, Kastritis E, et al. New criteria for response to treatment in immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis based on free light chain measurement and cardiac biomarkers: Impact on survival outcomes. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2012;30(36):4541 - 4549. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: To identify the criteria for hematologic and cardiac response to treatment in immunoglobulin light chain (AL) amyloidosis based on survival analysis of a large patient population. Patients and Methods: We gathered for analysis 816 patients with AL amyloidosis from seven referral centers in the European Union and the United States. A different cohort of 374 patients prospectively evaluated at the Pavia Amyloidosis Research and Treatment Center was used for validation. Data was available for all patients before and 3 and/or 6 months after initiation of first-line therapy. The prognostic relevance of different criteria for hematologic and cardiac response was assessed. Results: There was a strong correlation between the extent of reduction of amyloidogenic free light chains (FLCs) and improvement in survival. This allowed the identification of four levels of response: amyloid complete response (normal FLC ratio and negative serum and urine immunofixation), very good partial response (difference between involved and uninvolved FLCs [dFLC] < 40 mg/L), partial response (dFLC decrease > 50%), and no response. Cardiac involvement is the major determinant of survival, and changes in cardiac function after therapy can be reliably assessed using the cardiac biomarker N-terminal natriuretic peptide type B (NT-proBNP). Changes in FLC and NT-proBNP predicted survival as early as 3 months after treatment initiation. Conclusion: This study identifies and validates new criteria for response to first-line treatment in AL amyloidosis, based on their association with survival in large patient populations, and offers surrogate end points for clinical trials. © 2012 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Prevention and treatment of myeloma bone disease. Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports [Internet]. 2012;7(4):249 - 257. WebsiteAbstract
Osteolytic bone disease is the most common complication of multiple myeloma, resulting in skeletalrelated events (SREs) that cause significant morbidity. Bone destruction in myeloma is due to an increased activity of osteoclasts coupled with suppressed bone formation by osteoblasts. Currently, bisphosphonates are the mainstay of the treatment of myeloma bone disease. Zoledronic acid and pamidronate have shown similar efficacy in reducing SREs in a randomized study in the conventional chemotherapy era. However, in a recent study (the Myeloma-IX trial of the UK Medical Research Council, MRC), zoledronic acid was found to be superior to clodronate in reducing SREs, but also it produced a survival advantage of approximately 10 months in patients with bone disease at baseline. During recent years, novel agents targeting bone have been used in myeloma. This review focuses on the established therapy of myeloma bone disease and also on recent advances in treatment that take advantage of the better understanding of the pathophysiology of bone disease. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E, Goldschmidt H, Alegre A, Mark T, Niesvizky R. Treatment with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in patients with multiple myeloma and renal impairment. Cancer Treatment Reviews [Internet]. 2012;38(8):1012 - 1019. WebsiteAbstract
Renal impairment (RI) is a common complication affecting patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Timely identification of MM-related RI and early treatment with novel antimyeloma agents can reverse renal damage in a high proportion of patients and improve outcomes. The IMiDs® immunomodulatory compound lenalidomide (Len) in combination with dexamethasone (Dex) is an effective and well-tolerated regimen for patients with relapsed or refractory (RR) MM. A retrospective analysis of Phase III data has shown that Len/Dex remains effective and well-tolerated in patients with moderate or severe RI, albeit with an increase in myelosuppression. This analysis demonstrated that in a high proportion of patients Len/Dex treatment can reverse MM-related RI and restore normal function. Lenalidomide has a predominantly renal route of excretion and in patients with RI the plasma concentration and half-life of the drug are significantly increased. As a consequence, lower starting doses are required in patients with RI to avoid over-exposure and an increased risk of adverse events, while maintaining good therapeutic index. A prospective cohort study in 50 patients with RRMM has reported that when Len/Dex dosing was adjusted according to renal function, response rates and survival outcomes were similar in patients with and without RI, and there was no increase in adverse events in patients with RI. Further clinical studies are required to confirm the efficacy and tolerability of Len/Dex regimens in MM patients with RI, and to evaluate the impact of reversing renal damage in terms of patient survival. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Gazouli M, Tsigginou A, Dimitrakakis C, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Papaspyrou I, Chrysikos D, Theodoropoulos G, Zografos GC, et al. HTERT MNS16A polymorphism in breast cancer: a case-control study. Molecular biology reports [Internet]. 2012;39(12):10859 - 10863. WebsiteAbstract
This case-control study aims to investigate the role of HTERT MNS16A polymorphism as a potential risk factors and/or a prognostic marker for breast cancer. 113 consecutive incident cases of histologically confirmed ductal breast cancer and 124 healthy controls were recruited. HTERT MNS16A polymorphism was genotyped (L: long allele, S: short allele); multivariate logistic regression was performed. No significant association was noted either at the overall analysis (OR = 1.57, 95 % CI 0.84-2.93 for heterozygous LS carriers; OR = 1.02, 95 % CI 0.54-1.95 for homozygous SS carriers) or at the subanalyses in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. With respect to survival analysis, HTERT MNS16A polymorphism was not associated with either disease-free survival or overall survival. HTERT MNS16A polymorphism does not seem to be a risk factor for breast cancer in the Caucasian Greek population. Further, larger studies from other countries and subjects seem to be needed as this novel polymorphism is being examined in depth.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Gazouli M, Tsigginou A, Dimitrakakis C, Papaspyrou I, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Chrysikos D, Theodoropoulos G, Zografos GC, et al. HSP90, HSPA8, HIF-1 alpha and HSP70-2 polymorphisms in breast cancer: a case-control study. Molecular biology reports [Internet]. 2012;39(12):10873 - 10879. WebsiteAbstract
This case control study aims to investigate the role of HSP90 Gln488His (C > G), HSP70-2 P1/P2, HIF-1 alpha C1772T and HSPA8 intronic 1541-1542delGT polymorphisms as potential risk factors and/or prognostic markers for breast cancer. 113 consecutive incident cases of histologically confirmed ductal breast cancer and 124 healthy cases were recruited. The above mentioned polymorphisms were genotyped; multivariate logistic regression was performed. HSP90 GG (His/His) genotype was associated with elevated breast cancer risk. Similarly, the allele dose-response model pointed to increase in breast cancer risk per G allele. HSP70-2 P1/P2, HSPA8 intronic 1541-1542delGT and HIF-1 alpha polymorphisms were not associated with breast cancer risk, as evidenced by the dose-response allele models. The positive association between HSP90 G allele and breast cancer risk seemed to pertain to both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. With respect to survival analysis, none of the aforementioned polymorphisms was associated with either disease-free survival or overall survival. HSP90α Gln488His polymorphism seems to be a risk factor for breast cancer. On the other hand, our study did not point to excess risk conferred by HSPA8 1541-1542delGT, Hsp70-2 P1/P2 and HIF-1α C1772T.
Gavalas NG, Tsiatas M, Tsitsilonis O, Politi E, Ioannou K, Ziogas AC, Rodolakis A, Vlahos G, Thomakos N, Haidopoulos D, et al. VEGF directly suppresses activation of T cells from ascites secondary to ovarian cancer via VEGF receptor type 2. British Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2012;107(11):1869 - 1875. WebsiteAbstract
Background:Vascular endothelial growth factor action in tumour angiogenesis is well characterised; nevertheless, it functions as a key element in the promotion of the immune systems evasion by tumours. We sought to investigate the possible direct effect of VEGF on T-cell activation and through which type of VEGF receptor it exerts this effect on cells isolated from ovarian cancer patients ascites.Methods:T cells isolated from the ascites of ovarian cancer patients were cultured with anti-CD3 and IL-2, with or without VEGF for 14 days and the number of viable T cells was counted. Cytotoxic activity of cultured T cells and expression of VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), was assayed.Results:The addition of VEGF in cultures significantly reduced the number and proliferation rate of T cells in a dose-dependent manner and CD3 T cells expressed VEGFR-2 on their surface upon activation. Experiments with specific anti-VEGFR-2 antibodies revealed that the direct suppressive effect of VEGF on T-cell proliferation is mediated by VEGFR-2. We also showed that VEGF significantly reduced the cytotoxic activity of T cells.Conclusion:Our study showed that ascites-derived T cells secrete VEGF and express VEGFR-2 upon activation. Vascular endothelial growth factor directly suppresses T-cell activation via VEGFR-2. © 2012 Cancer Research UK.
Zagouri F, Dimitrakakis C, Dimopoulos M-A, Tsigginou A, Antsaklis A, Papadimitriou CA. A woman with breast cancer and severe impaired lactose tolerance: An intriguing therapeutic dilemma. Breast Journal [Internet]. 2012;18(6):628 - 629. Website
Terpos E, Asli B, Christoulas D, Brouet J-C, Kastritis E, Rybojad M, Bengoufa D, Dimopoulos MA, Fermand JP. Increased angiogenesis and enhanced bone formation in patients with IgM monoclonal gammopathy and urticarial skin rash: New insight into the biology of Schnitzler syndrome. Haematologica [Internet]. 2012;97(11):1699 - 1703. WebsiteAbstract
Schnitzler syndrome is a rare plasma cell disorder the pathogenesis of which is still not fully understood. We evaluated the circulating levels of four major angiogenic cytokines (VEGF, angiogenin, angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2) and six bone remodeling markers (sRANKL, osteoprotegerin, dickkopf-1, CTX, osteocalcin and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase-bALP) in 13 patients with Schnitzler syndrome. At diagnosis, patients had elevated angiogenic cytokines. The mean VEGF levels were almost 3.5-fold higher in Schnitzler syndrome compared to controls, while 10 of 13 patients had higher VEGF than the upper control value. Successful treatment led to a significant reduction in VEGF. Patients with Schnitzler syndrome had increased bone formation (high bALP, osteocalcin and osteoprotegerin) which was not balanced by an increase in bone resorption (normal CTX and sRANKL). These data support a role for VEGF as a new minor criterion in the diagnosis and follow up of Schnitzler syndrome, while the uncoupling of bone remodeling in favor of bone formation justifies the presence of bone densification. ©2012 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Nikitas N, Karadimou A, Tsitoura E, Soupos N, Tsiatas M, Karavasilis V, Pectasides D, Pavlidis N, Chrisofos M, Adamakis I, et al. Association of ERCC1 SNPs with outcome in platinum-treated patients with advanced urothelial cancer: A Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group study. Pharmacogenomics [Internet]. 2012;13(14):1595 - 1607. WebsiteAbstract
Aim: The association between two polymorphisms of ERCC1 and treatment outcomes after platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with advanced urothelial cancer (UC) was examined. Materials & methods: Genotyping of 19007C>T and 8092C>A polymorphisms was determined by PCR amplification and RFLP in 113 advanced UC patients, treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. Results: Seventy eight patients (69%) were carriers of the 19007T polymorphic allele: 51 (45%) heterozygotes and 27 (24%) homozygotes. Fifty three (47%) patients were carriers of the 8092A polymorphic allele: the frequencies of C/A and A/A genotypes were 37% and 10%, respectively. The T/T genotype was independently associated with prolonged median cancer-specific survival (not-reached vs 14.8 months; p = 0.026). There was no interaction between T/T or any other genotype with the type of platinum derivative (cisplatin/carboplatin). Conclusion: 19007C>T, especially in its homozygotic state, but not 8092C>A polymorphism, could be a useful prognostic marker in advanced UC treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. Original submitted 17 July 2012; Revision submitted 21 September 201. © 2012 Future Medicine Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. New insights in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. In: Bone Marrow Lymphoid Infiltrates: Diagnosis and Clinical Impact. ; 2012. pp. 223 - 236. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia (WM) is a neoplastic B lymphoid disorder characterized by the bone marrow (BM) infiltration by a lymphoplasmatic clone that produces a monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) of the IgM type. WM is named after Jan Waldenström, a Swedish physician who first described two patients who presented with oronasal bleeding, lymphadenopathy, anemia and thrombocytopenia, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, high serum viscosity, normal bone radiographs, and BM infiltration by lymphoid cells. At that time serum electrophoresis was not available and he attributed the hyperviscosity to an abnormal high-molecular-weight serum protein, which subsequently was shown to be a monoclonal IgM. These two first patients presented with several of the most common features of WM, as have been subsequently described [1]. © 2012 Springer-Verlag London. All rights are reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E. Waldenström's macroglobulinemia associated with cryoglobulinemia: Pathogenetic, clinical, and therapeutic aspects. In: HCV Infection and Cryoglobulinemia. ; 2012. pp. 277 - 283. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) is a distinct B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder that is characterized by infiltration of the bone marrow with lymphoplasmacytic cells and by an IgM monoclonal gammopathy. Both type I and type II cryoglobulins may be associated with WM. About 10-20% of patients with the diagnosis of WM have cryoglobulins, but clinically evident type I cryoglobulinemia occurs in less than 5% of WM patients. In type I cryoglobulinemia, the signs and symptoms are mainly related to the physicochemical properties of the monoclonal IgM and immune phenomena do not develop. In type II cryoglobulinemia, the symptoms are related to the immune phenomena, with vasculitis of small and medium-sized vessels as the most common finding. However, the clinical features of types I and II cryoglobulinemia may overlap. Plasmapheresis/plasma exchange is very effective for the immediate reduction of the amount of circulating type I cryoglobulins and immediate anti-lymphoma treatment with highly effective regimens should be considered concomitantly or following plasma exchange. In WM patients with type II cryoglobulinemia, plasmapheresis may not be as effective and immunosuppressive therapies should be considered, including rituximab. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Italia. All rights reserved.