Publications by Year: 2013

Alevizaki M, Kyratzoglou E, Bamias A, Tzanela M, Dimopoulos MA, Saltiki K. Metachronous appearance of second malignancies in medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) patients: A diagnostic challenge and brief review of the literature. Endocrine [Internet]. 2013;44(3):610 - 615. WebsiteAbstract
Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a rare tumour which frequently occurs in the context of the multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes, where it coexists with other usually benign tumours. The clinical picture varies and distant metastases are frequently present at diagnosis. Calcitonin levels are elevated in the presence of metastatic disease. Two MTC cases are presented, which had elevated postoperative calcitonin levels. Imaging revealed lung lesions which were originally attributed to metastatic disease from the MTC. However, at follow-up, these cases presented unusual features. The rapid increase in the lung lesions and the development of hypercalcaemia in the first patient suggested a second unrelated tumour. Biopsy of the lung lesion was compatible with lung adenocarcinoma. In the second patient, the appearance of a liver mass, although calcitonin levels remained stable, led to biopsy of the lesion: this was negative for calcitonin and compatible with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma. These MTC cases show that further malignancies may coexist with MTC and may obscure the clinical picture and influence the therapeutic decisions, especially in the case of metastatic disease. Features such as unusual imaging characteristics and the development of hypercalcemia, never encountered in MTC outside the MEN2 syndromes, as well as 'disproportionately' low calcitonin levels, incompatible with extensive metastatic disease, were the factors that led to further work-up. Both the cases subsequently proved to carry an unsuspected second malignancy. It is crucial to discriminate the metastatic lesion attributed to MTC from another coexisting primary malignancy, because different therapeutic strategies are needed for each setting. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Miguel JFS, Schlag R, Khuageva NK, Dimopoulos MA, Shpilberg O, Kropff M, Spicka I, Petrucci MT, Palumbo A, Samoilova OS, et al. Persistent overall survival benefit and no increased risk of second malignancies with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone versus melphalan-prednisone in patients with previously untreated multiple myeloma. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2013;31(4):448 - 455. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose This final analysis of the phase III VISTA trial (Velcade As Initial Standard Therapy in Multiple Myeloma: Assessment With Melphalan and Prednisone) was conducted to determine whether the overall survival (OS) benefit with bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) versus melphalanprednisone (MP) in patients with myeloma who were ineligible for transplantation was maintained after 5 years of follow-up and to explore the risk of second primary malignancies. Patients and Methods In all, 682 patients received up to nine 6-week cycles of VMP or MP and were then observed every 12 weeks or less. Data on second primary malignancies were collected by individual patient inquiries at all sites from 655 patients. Results After median follow-up of 60.1 months (range, 0 to 74 months), there was a 31% reduced risk of death with VMP versus MP (hazard ratio [HR], 0.695; P < .001; median OS 56.4 v 43.1 months). OS benefit with VMP was seen across prespecified patient subgroups (age ≥ 75 years, stage III myeloma, creatinine clearance < 60 mL/min). Sixty-three percent of VMP patients and 73% of MP patients had received subsequent therapy. Time to next therapy (median, 30.7 v 20.5 months; HR, 0.557; P < .001) was longer with VMP than with MP. Among patients who received subsequent therapies, survival from start of subsequent therapy was similar following VMP (median, 28.1 months) or MP (median, 26.8 months; HR, 0.914). Following VMP/MP, incidence proportions of hematologic malignancies (1%/1%) and solid tumors (5%/3%) and exposure-adjusted incidence rates (0.017/0.013 per patient-year) were similar and were consistent with background rates. Conclusion VMP resulted in a significant reduction in risk of death versus MP that was maintained after 5 years' follow-up and despite substantial use of novel-agent-based salvage therapies. There is no emerging safety signal for second primary malignancies following VMP. © 2012 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Chaidos A, Barnes CP, Cowan G, May PC, Melo V, Hatjiharissi E, Papaioannou M, Harrington H, Doolittle H, Terpos E, et al. Clinical drug resistance linked to interconvertible phenotypic and functional states of tumor-propagating cells in multiple myeloma. Blood [Internet]. 2013;121(2):318 - 328. WebsiteAbstract
The phenotype and function of cells enriched in tumor-propagating activity and their relationship to the phenotypic architecture in multiple myeloma (MM) are controversial. Here, in a cohort of 30 patients, we show that MM composes 4 hierarchically organized, clonally related subpopulations, which, although phenotypically distinct, share the same oncogenic chromosomal abnormalities as well as immunoglobulin heavy chain complementarity region 3 area sequence. Assessed in xenograft assays, myeloma-propagating activity is the exclusive property of a population characterized by its ability for bidirectional transition between the dominant CD19-CD138+ plasma cell (PC) and a low frequency CD19-CD138- subpopulation (termed Pre-PC); in addition, Pre-PCs are more quiescent and unlike PCs, are primarily localized at extramedullary sites. As shown by gene expression profiling, compared with PCs, Pre-PCs are enriched in epigenetic regulators, suggesting that epigenetic plasticity underpins the phenotypic diversification of myeloma-propagating cells. Prospective assessment in paired, pretreatment, and posttreatment bone marrow samples shows that Pre-PCs are up to 300-fold more drug-resistant than PCs. Thus, clinical drug resistance in MM is linked to reversible, bidirectional phenotypic transition of myeloma-propagating cells. These novel biologic insights have important clinical implications in relation to assessment of minimal residual disease and development of alternative therapeutic strategies in MM. © 2013 by The American Society of Hematology.
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Circulating levels of angiogenic cytokines in waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia: Clinical correlations. Current Angiogenesis [Internet]. 2013;2(2):104 - 109. WebsiteAbstract
Angiogenesis is involved in several diseases, including hematological malignancies and solid tumors as an essential step of disease progression. In Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM) the bone marrow microvessel density is increased in 30%-40% of patients with symptomatic disease, but not in patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance of IgM type (IgM-MGUS) and in patients with asymptomatic WM. The serum levels of angiogenic cytokines such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF-A, basic fibroblast growth factor, angiogenin and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) are markedly elevated in WM patients, while Ang-1 levels and the corresponding Ang-1 to Ang-2 ratio are significantly decreased, indicating an angiogenic shift. Circulating angiogenin and angiopoietin-1/angiopoietin-2 ratio correlate with disease activity and clinical features of WM. Ang-2 may also have a prognostic significance for WM patients as high levels of Ang-2 were found to be associated with significantly shorter progression-free survival. The chemokine C-C motif ligand 3 (CCL3) is a chemo-attractant for macrophages and mast-cells and was found to be elevated in the serum of patients with WM. CCL3 is produced by WM cells and correlates with inferior overall survival. In turn, activated inflammatory cells synthesize angiogenic regulators and modulate angiogenesis. This paper summarizes all available data for the role of angiogenic cytokines and supporting cells in the biology of WM and their correlation with clinical and laboratory features of the disease. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.
Moreau P, San Miguel J, Ludwig H, Schouten H, Mohty M, Dimopoulos M, Dreyling M. Multiple myeloma: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2013;24(SUPPL.6):vi133 - vi137. Website
Buske C, Leblond V, Dimopoulos M, Kimby E, Jäger U, Dreyling M. Waldenström's macroglobulinaemia: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2013;24(SUPPL.6):vi155 - vi159. Website
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, Bartsch R. Trastuzumab administration during pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment [Internet]. 2013;137(2):349 - 357. WebsiteAbstract
Landmark studies have established trastuzumab in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. The present systematic review and meta-analysis aims to synthesize all available data, so as to evaluate the safety of trastuzumab during pregnancy. This study was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. All studies that examined the safety of trastuzumab administered during pregnancy, regardless of sample size, were considered eligible. Overall, 17 studies (18 pregnancies; 19 newborns) were included. In 55.6 % of cases, trastuzumab was administered in the metastatic setting. The mean duration of trastuzumab administration was 14.8 weeks. Occurrence of oligohydramnios/anhydramnios (O/A) was the most common (61.1 %) adverse event. 73.3 % of pregnancies exposed to trastuzumab during the second/third trimester were complicated with O/A; the respective rate of pregnancies exposed to trastuzumab exclusively during the first trimester was 0 % (P = 0.043). The mean GA at delivery was 33.8 weeks, and the mean weight of babies at delivery was 2,261 gr. In 52.6 % of cases, a healthy neonate was born. At the long-term evaluation, all children without problems at birth were healthy with a median follow-up of 9 months, while four out of nine children facing troubles at birth were dead within an interval ranging between birth and 5.25 months. All children exposed to trastuzumab in utero exclusively in the first trimester were completely healthy at birth. Trastuzumab should not be administered during pregnancy. However, for women who become accidentally pregnant during trastuzumab administration and wish to continue pregnancy, trastuzumab should be stopped and pregnancy could be allowed to continue. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Thomakos N, Rodolakis A, Zagouri F, Zacharakis D, Sotiropoulou M, Akrivos N, Haidopoulos D, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, Antsaklis A. Serum CA 125, CA 15-3, CEA, and CA 19-9: A prognostic factor for uterine carcinosarcomas?. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics [Internet]. 2013;287(1):97 - 102. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: There is a controversy in the literature regarding the role and the prognostic significance of serum markers in uterine carcinosarcomas (CSs). We attempted to determine the utility of serum CA 125, CA 15-3, CA 19-9, and CEA as prognostic factors and disease follow-up in patients with CS of the uterus. Methods: Thirty-seven patients with CS of the uterus were included in this study. Information regarding demographic, clinical, pathologic, tumor marker data (CA 125, CA 19-9, CA 15-3, and CEA both pre- and postoperatively) treatment and outcome information was obtained, followed by Statistical analysis. Results: The mean follow-up period was 3.5 years. None of the study serum markers showed significant association with the outcome. Greater hazard was found for cases that staged from IIIA to IV compared to those staged from IA to IIB (HR = 4.75, 95 % CI: 1.99-11.3). Also, greater hazard was found for adenosquamous histological type compared to the other histological types. When multiple Cox regression analysis with stepwise approach was implied, it indicated stage as the only significant factor for the outcome. Elevated CA19-9 was more frequent in cases with heterologous sarcoma (p = 0.036). Conclusion: In this retrospective study, none of the preoperative serum tumor markers, neither epithelial component, histological type, nor grade showed a significant association with prognosis. This null finding may have significant implications in the common clinical practice; given that there is a controversy in the literature regarding the role and the significance of the prognostic significance of serum CEA, CA 125, CA 19-9, and CA 15-3. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Dimitrakakis C, Tsigginou A, Zografos CG, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou CA. Taxanes for Breast Cancer during Pregnancy: A Systematic Review. Clinical Breast Cancer [Internet]. 2013;13(1):16 - 23. WebsiteAbstract
Landmark studies have established taxanes in the treatment of patients with breast cancer; however, recommendations regarding their administration during pregnancy are controversial. The present systematic review aims to synthesize all available data that stem exclusively from breast cancer case series to evaluate the efficacy and safety of taxanes during pregnancy. Overall, 16 studies (50 pregnancies) were eligible for the systematic review according to prisma guidelines. The mean age of patients with breast cancer at pregnancy was 34.6 years. The gestational age (GA) at chemotherapy administration varied from 12 to 36 weeks. The mean GA at delivery was 35.9 weeks. The mean weight of babies at delivery was 2380 g. In 76.7% of cases, a completely healthy neonate was born; in the remaining cases, a neonate who was dystrophic and premature, one with mild hydrocephalus, one with signs of bacterial sepsis, one with hyperbilirubinemia, one with apnea of prematurity, respiratory distress syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux, one with meconium-stained fluid, and another neonate with neutropenia and pyloric stenosis were reported. Ninety percent of children were completely healthy, with a median follow-up of 16 months; in the remaining cases, one child with recurrent otitis media, one with immunoglobulin A deficiency and mild constipation, and another child with delayed speech were reported. In conclusion, available data suggest that taxanes may potentially play a promising role in the optimal therapeutic strategy of patients with breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Dimopoulos MA, Delforge M, Hájek R, Kropff M, Petrucci MT, Lewis P, Nixon A, Zhang J, Mei J, Palumbo A. Lenalidomide, melphalan, and prednisone, followed by lenalidomide maintenance, improves health-related quality of life in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients aged 65 years or older: Results of a randomized phase III trial. Haematologica [Internet]. 2013;98(5):784 - 788. WebsiteAbstract
The MM-015 trial assessed the effect of lenalidomide-based therapy on health-related quality of life. Patients (n=459) with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma aged 65 years or over were randomized 1:1:1 to nine 4-week cycles of lenalidomide, melphalan, and prednisone, followed by lenalidomide maintenance; or lenalidomide, melphalan, and prednisone, or melphalan and prednisone, with no maintenance therapy. Patients completed health-related quality of life questionnaires at baseline, after every third treatment cycle, and at treatment end. Health-related quality of life improved in all treatment groups during induction therapy. Patients receiving lenalidomide maintenance had the most pronounced improvements, Global Health Status/Quality of Life (P<0.05), Physical Functioning (P<0.01), and Side Effects of Treatment (P<0.05) out of 6 pre-selected health-related quality of life domains. More patients receiving lenalidomide maintenance achieved minimal important differences (P<0.05 for Physical Functioning). Therefore, lenalidomide, melphalan, and prednisone, followed by lenalidomide maintenance, improves health-related quality of life in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. ( identifier NCT00405756). © 2013 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Bamias A, Bamia C, Zagouri F, Kostouros E, Kakoyianni K, Rodolakis A, Vlahos G, Haidopoulos D, Thomakos N, Antsaklis A, et al. Improved survival trends in platinum-resistant patients with advanced ovarian, fallopian or peritoneal cancer treated with first-line paclitaxel/platinum chemotherapy: The impact of novel agents. Oncology (Switzerland) [Internet]. 2013;84(3):158 - 165. WebsiteAbstract
Objective: The prognosis for patients with platinum-resistant advanced ovarian cancer remains poor. The impact of approved agents on survival has not been clarified during the last decade. We studied survival trends during the last 15 years in platinum-resistant patients treated with cytoreductive surgery followed by paclitaxel/platinum chemotherapy. Methods: Patients with epithelial ovarian, fallopian or peritoneal cancer, stages III/IV and platinum-resistant disease after first-line chemotherapy with paclitaxel/platinum were included. They were grouped according to the period of chemotherapy: group A 31/3/1995-31/12/2001 (n = 56) and Group B 1/1/2002-24/12/2008 (n = 57). In order to compensate for the difference in follow-up between the 2 groups, we performed minimum follow-up (MFU) analyses by considering as cases only women who had an event within 3 years of follow-up. Patients with no events for up to 3 years were censored at that time. Results: MFU analyses showed that median overall survival (OS) was significantly longer in group B: 12.3 vs. 17.5 months (p = 0.012). This was due to a doubling of the median OS after relapse: 5.7 vs. 10.9 months (p = 0.0180). Multivariate Cox regression indicated group and histology as factors statistically significantly associated with OS. Following relapse, patients in group B were predominantly treated with liposomal doxorubicin and gemcitabine, and patients in group A were treated with platinum compounds, docetaxel and oral etoposide (p < 0.001). Conclusions: The introduction of novel agents without cross-resistance to platinum or taxanes has improved the prognosis of platinum-resistant patients. © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Zis P, Vemmos K, Spengos K, Manios E, Zis V, Dimopoulos M-A, Zakopoulos N. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in acute stroke: Pathophysiology of the time rate of blood pressure variation and association with the 1-year outcome. Blood Pressure Monitoring [Internet]. 2013;18(2):94 - 100. WebsiteAbstract
OBJECTIVES: Time rate of blood pressure (BP) variation is a measure of the speed of BP fluctuations derived from a computerized analysis of ambulatory BP monitoring. The aim of this study was to identify pathophysiological differences in the time rate of BP variation between stroke subtypes, on the basis of the Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment criteria, in the acute phase and to examine the impact of time rate of BP variation on outcome at 1 year after stroke. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A consecutive series of 109 first-ever stroke patients, who fulfilled our inclusion criteria, underwent 24 h ambulatory BP monitoring within 24 h after the onset of stroke. On the basis of the patients' Modified Rankin Scale score at 1 year after stroke, the study population was divided into two groups: patients with a positive (n=73) and those with a negative outcome (n=36). RESULTS: The 24-h rate of systolic BP variation is higher in patients with large artery atherosclerosis [0.692 mmHg/min; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.627-0.757] compared with those with lacunar strokes (0.609 mmHg/min; 95% CI 0.579-0.640) or strokes of unknown etiology (0.586 mmHg/min; 95% CI 0.522-0.649). Moreover, patients with higher 24-h rates of systolic BP variation were more likely to have a negative outcome at 1 year (odds ratio 1.96; 95% CI 1.16-3.32). Moreover, each 0.1 mmHg/min increase in the 24-h rate of SBP variation was associated with a 1.96-fold increase in the odds of a negative outcome (95% CI 1.16-3.32). CONCLUSION: Time rate of BP variation shows significant differences between stroke subtypes in the acute phase of the event, and it is associated with outcome at 1 year. Lowering the time rate of BP variation, in the acute phase, might lead to better outcomes in patients who have had a cerebrovascular incident. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Kastritis E, Terpos E, Moulopoulos L, Spyropoulou-Vlachou M, Kanellias N, Eleftherakis-Papaiakovou E, Gkotzamanidou M, Migkou M, Gavriatopoulou M, Roussou M, et al. Extensive bone marrow infiltration and abnormal free light chain ratio identifies patients with asymptomatic myeloma at high risk for progression to symptomatic disease. Leukemia [Internet]. 2013;27(4):947 - 953. WebsiteAbstract
Asymptomatic multiple myeloma (AMM) is characterized by a constant risk of progression to symptomatic myeloma. To evaluate previously recognized risk factors and to identify high-risk features we analyzed 96 patients with AMM and at least 18 months of follow-up. The progression rate at 1,2, and 3 years was 8%, 15% and 26%, respectively, and the projected 5-year progression rate was 38%. Extensive bone marrow (BM) infiltration, abnormal free light chain (FLC) ratio and serum monoclonal (M)-protein≥3 gr/dl were the most significant factors for progression, whereas the type of heavy (IgG vs IgA) or light chain or immunoparesis of the uninvolved immunoglobulins were not. Abnormal marrow signal of magnetic resonance imaging of the spine was associated with a significant risk of progression (median 15 months, P=0.001). Extensive BM infiltration ≥60% (hazard ratio, HR: 13.7, P<0.001) and FLC ratio≥100 (HR: 9, P=0.003) independently identified a 'very high-risk' group, which included 12.5% of patients with AMM and who progressed ≤18 months from initial diagnosis. Development of anemia and/or lytic bone lesions were the most common features of symptomatic progression. In conclusion, there is a subgroup of patients who have a substantial risk of progression to symptomatic disease that can be detected at diagnosis (either by extensive BM infiltration≥60% or FLC ratio≥100) and may be considered for immediate treatment. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Bamias A, Dafni U, Karadimou A, Timotheadou E, Aravantinos G, Psyrri A, Xanthakis I, Tsiatas M, Koutoulidis V, Constantinidis C, et al. Prospective, open-label, randomized, phase iii study of two dose-dense regimens MVAC versus gemcitabine/ cisplatin in patients with inoperable, metastatic or relapsed urothelial cancer: A hellenic cooperative oncology group study (HE 16/03). Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2013;24(4):1011 - 1017. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The combinations of methotrexate, vinblastine, Adriamycin, cisplatin (Pharmanell, Athens, Greece) (MVAC) or gemcitabine, cisplatin (GC) represent the standard treatment of advanced urothelial cancer (UC). Dosedense (DD)-MVAC has achieved longer progression-free survival (PFS) than the conventional MVAC. However, the role of GC intensification has not been studied. We conducted a randomized, phase III study comparing a DD-GC regimen with DD-MVAC in advanced UC. Patients and methods: One hundred and thirty patients were randomly assigned between DD-MVAC: 66 (M 30 mg/ m2, V 3 mg/m2, A 30 mg/m2, C 70 mg/m2 q 2 weeks) and DD-GC 64 (G 2500 mg/m2, C 70 mg/m2 q 2 weeks). The median follow-up was 52.1 months (89 events). Results: The median overall survival (OS) and PFS were 19 and 8.5 months for DD-MVAC and 18 and 7.8 months for DD-GC (P = 0.98 and 0.36, respectively). Neutropenic infections were less frequent for DD-GC than for DD-MVAC (0% versus 8%). More patients on DD-GC received at least six cycles of treatment (85% versus 63%, P = 0.011) and the discontinuation rate was lower for DD-GC (3% versus 13%). Conclusions: Although DD-GC was not superior to DD-MVAC, it was better tolerated. DD-GC could be considered as a reasonable therapeutic option for further study in this patient population. Clinical Trial Number: ACTRN12610000845033, © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Fernández De Larrea C, Kyle RA, Durie BGM, Ludwig H, Usmani S, Vesole DH, Hajek R, San Miguel JF, Sezer O, Sonneveld P, et al. Plasma cell leukemia: Consensus statement on diagnostic requirements, response criteria and treatment recommendations by the International Myeloma Working Group. Leukemia [Internet]. 2013;27(4):780 - 791. WebsiteAbstract
Plasma cell leukemia (PCL) is a rare and aggressive variant of myeloma characterized by the presence of circulating plasma cells. It is classified as either primary PCL occurring at diagnosis or as secondary PCL in patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma. Primary PCL is a distinct clinic-pathological entity with different cytogenetic and molecular findings. The clinical course is aggressive with short remissions and survival duration. The diagnosis is based upon the percentage (≥20%) and absolute number (≥2 × 10 9/l) of plasma cells in the peripheral blood. It is proposed that the thresholds for diagnosis be re-examined and consensus recommendations are made for diagnosis, as well as, response and progression criteria. Induction therapy needs to begin promptly and have high clinical activity leading to rapid disease control in an effort to minimize the risk of early death. Intensive chemotherapy regimens and bortezomib-based regimens are recommended followed by high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation if feasible. Allogeneic transplantation can be considered in younger patients. Prospective multicenter studies are required to provide revised definitions and better understanding of the pathogenesis of PCL. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Fountzilas G, Dafni U, Bobos M, Kotoula V, Batistatou A, Xanthakis I, Papadimitriou C, Kostopoulos I, Koletsa T, Tsolaki E, et al. Evaluation of the prognostic role of centromere 17 gain and HER2/topoisomerase II alpha gene status and protein expression in patients with breast cancer treated with anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy: Pooled analysis of two Hellenic Cooperat. BMC Cancer [Internet]. 2013;13. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The HER2 gene has been established as a valid biological marker for the treatment of breast cancer patients with trastuzumab and probably other agents, such as paclitaxel and anthracyclines. The TOP2A gene has been associated with response to anthracyclines. Limited information exists on the relationship of HER2/TOP2A gene status in the presence of centromere 17 (CEP17) gain with outcome of patients treated with anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy.Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue samples from 1031 patients with high-risk operable breast cancer, enrolled in two consecutive phase III trials, were assessed in a central laboratory by fluorescence in situ hybridization for HER2/TOP2A gene amplification and CEP17 gain (CEP17 probe). Amplification of HER2 and TOP2A were defined as a gene/CEP17 ratio of >2.2 and ≥2.0, respectively, or gene copy number higher than 6. Additionally, HER2, TopoIIa, ER/PgR and Ki67 protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and patients were classified according to their IHC phenotype. Treatment consisted of epirubicin-based adjuvant chemotherapy followed by hormonal therapy and radiation, as indicated.Results: HER2 amplification was found in 23.7% of the patients and TOP2A amplification in 10.1%. In total, 41.8% of HER2-amplified tumors demonstrated TOP2A co-amplification. The median (range) of HER2, TOP2A and CEP17 gain was 2.55 (0.70-45.15), 2.20 (0.70-26.15) and 2.00 (0.70-26.55), respectively. Forty percent of the tumors had CEP17 gain (51% of those with HER2 amplification). Adjusting for treatment groups in the Cox model, HER2 amplification, TOP2A amplification, CEP17 gain and HER2/TOP2A co-amplification were not associated with time to relapse or time to death.Conclusion: HER2 amplification, TOP2A amplification, CEP17 gain and HER2/TOP2A co-amplification were not associated with outcome in high-risk breast cancer patients treated with anthracycline-based adjuvant chemotherapy.Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) ACTRN12611000506998 and ACTRN12609001036202. © 2013 Fountzilas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Zagouri F, Bago-Horvath Z, Rössler F, Brandstetter A, Bartsch R, Papadimitriou CA, Dimitrakakis C, Tsigginou A, Papaspyrou I, Giannos A, et al. High MET expression is an adverse prognostic factor in patients with triple-negative breast cancer. British Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2013;108(5):1100 - 1105. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) pathway is frequently altered in tumours. The purpose of our study was to determine the prognostic value of tumour MET expression levels in patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), in order to strengthen the rationale for targeted therapy of TNBC using MET inhibitors. Methods: We determined expression of MET in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded surgical specimens of TNBC by immunohistochemistry. Recurrence-free and overall survival was analysed with Cox models adjusted for clinical and pathological factors.Results:Immunostaining for MET was classified as high in 89 of 170 (52%) tumours. MET expression was more frequently observed in G3 carcinomas (P=0.02) but was not significantly associated to any of the other clinical or pathological parameters. High MET expression predicted shorter survival of the patients. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analyses identified MET to be an independent prognostic factor for recurrence (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for recurrence 3.43; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.65-7.12; P=0.001) and death (adjusted HR for death 3.74; 95% CI 1.65-8.46; P=0.002). Conclusion: These results provide further evidence that the MET pathway could be exploited as a target for TNBC. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.
Stavropoulou AV, Fostira F, Pertesi M, Tsitlaidou M, Voutsinas GE, Triantafyllidou O, Bamias A, Dimopoulos MA, Timotheadou E, Pectasides D, et al. Prevalence of BRCA1 Mutations in Familial and Sporadic Greek Ovarian Cancer Cases. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2013;8(3). WebsiteAbstract
Germline mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes contribute to approximately 18% of hereditary ovarian cancers conferring an estimated lifetime risk from 15% to 50%. A variable incidence of mutations has been reported for these genes in ovarian cancer cases from different populations. In Greece, six mutations in BRCA1 account for 63% of all mutations detected in both BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of BRCA1 mutations in a Greek cohort of 106 familial ovarian cancer patients that had strong family history or metachronous breast cancer and 592 sporadic ovarian cancer cases. All 698 patients were screened for the six recurrent Greek mutations (including founder mutations c.5266dupC, p.G1738R and the three large deletions of exon 20, exons 23-24 and exon 24). In familial cases, the BRCA1 gene was consequently screened for exons 5, 11, 12, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24. A deleterious BRCA1 mutation was found in 43/106 (40.6%) of familial cancer cases and in 27/592 (4.6%) of sporadic cases. The variant of unknown clinical significance p.V1833M was identified in 9/698 patients (1.3%). The majority of BRCA1 carriers (71.2%) presented a high-grade serous phenotype. Identifying a mutation in the BRCA1 gene among breast and/or ovarian cancer families is important, as it enables carriers to take preventive measures. All ovarian cancer patients with a serous phenotype should be considered for genetic testing. Further studies are warranted to determine the prevalence of mutations in the rest of the BRCA1 gene, in the BRCA2 gene, and other novel predisposing genes for breast and ovarian cancer. © 2013 Stavropoulou et al.
Petrucci MT, Giraldo P, Corradini P, Teixeira A, Dimopoulos MA, Blau IW, Drach J, Angermund R, Allietta N, Broer E, et al. A prospective, international phase 2 study of bortezomib retreatment in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. British Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2013;160(5):649 - 659. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) typically follows a relapsing course with many patients requiring multiple therapies. This single-arm phase 2 study prospectively evaluated the efficacy and safety of bortezomib retreatment in MM patients who had relapsed after achieving at least a partial response (≥PR) to prior bortezomib-based therapy. Patients aged ≥18years, with measurable, secretory MM, who relapsed ≥6months after prior bortezomib treatment were eligible. Patients received up to eight cycles of bortezomib (±dexamethasone). The primary endpoint was best confirmed response at retreatment; secondary endpoints included duration of response (DOR), time to progression (TTP), and safety. Adverse events (AEs) were graded by National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0. A total of 130 patients (median of two prior lines of therapy) were enrolled and received retreatment. At retreatment, 28% and 72% of patients received bortezomib and bortezomib-dexamethasone, respectively. Overall response rate was 40%. In patients who achieved ≥PR, median DOR and TTP were 6·5 and 8·4months, respectively. Thrombocytopenia was the most common grade ≥3 AE (35%). Forty percent of patients experienced neuropathy events, which improved and resolved in a median of 1·5 and 8·9months, respectively. In conclusion, bortezomib retreatment was effective and tolerable in relapsed MM patients, with no evidence of cumulative toxicities. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Papageorgiou SG, Diamantopoulos P, Levidou G, Angelopoulou MK, Economopoulou P, Efthimiou A, Constantinou N, Katsigiannis A, Korkolopoulou P, Pappa V, et al. Isolated central nervous system relapses in primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma after CHOP-like chemotherapy with or without Rituximab. Hematological Oncology [Internet]. 2013;31(1):10 - 17. WebsiteAbstract
Central nervous system (CNS) involvement in patients with primary mediastinal large B-cell (PMLBCL) lymphoma is a rare event, occurring in approximately 6% of patients, on the basis of the review of the literature prior to induction of Rituximab. The aim of this retrospective study was to describe the incidence of CNS relapse among 100 consecutive patients with PMLBCL who were treated with R-CHOP±RT in comparison to patients treated with CHOP±RT (n=45) in 11 hospitals in Greece. Two patients experienced a CNS relapse, representing an overall frequency of 2.0% in R-CHOP treated patients and a 2-year actuarial incidence of 2.3%. Both patients had isolated CNS relapses. The incidence of CNS relapse after CHOP without Rituximab was 2/45 (4.4%) for a 2-year actuarial incidence of 7.5% (p=0.29). Again, both patients had isolated CNS relapses. Parenchymal-only localizations accounted for 3/4 cases. Risk factors for CNS involvement could include leukocytosis, poor performance status and higher age-adjusted International Prognostic Index, although their impact was weakened by competing risk survival analysis. Both patients relapsing after R-CHOP required CNS radiotherapy to achieve a complete remission and be forwarded to high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation: They are both alive and disease-free 18 and 23months after CNS relapse. Both cases relapsing after CHOP without Rituximab were salvaged by CNS radiotherapy (one also received intrathecal chemotherapy) entering long-term remissions. In conclusion, CNS relapses are rare in PMLBCL tending to be isolated in the CNS, probably reflecting the persistence of latent CNS disease than dissemination of resistant disease. The impact of Rituximab in reducing CNS relapses remains unknown. Established risk factors for CNS involvement in aggressive lymphomas may not be helpful in assessing the risk of CNS recurrence in this disease. Routine CNS prophylaxis is not probably required in PMLBCL. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Roussou M, Gkotzamanidou M, Nikitas N, Psimenou E, Mparmparoussi D, Matsouka C, Spyropoulou-Vlachou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E. The role of novel agents on the reversibility of renal impairment in newly diagnosed symptomatic patients with multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2013;27(2):423 - 429. WebsiteAbstract
The role of thalidomide, bortezomib and lenalidomide in multiple myeloma patients presenting with renal impairment was evaluated in 133 consecutive newly diagnosed patients who were treated with a novel agent-based regimen. A significant improvement of renal function (≥renalPR (renal partial response)) was observed in 77% of patients treated with bortezomib, in 55% with thalidomide and in 43% with lenalidomide (P=0.011). In multivariate analysis, bortezomib-based therapy was independently associated with a higher probability of renal response compared with thalidomide-or lenalidomide-based therapy. Other important variables included eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate) ≥30 ml/min, age ≤65 years and myeloma response. Patients treated with bortezomib achieved at least renalPR in a median of 1.34 months vs 2.7 months for thalidomide and >6 months for lenalidomide-treated patients (P=0.028). In multivariate analysis bortezomib-based therapy, higher doses of dexamethasone (≥160 mg during the first month of treatment), an eGFR ≥30 ml/min and age ≤65 years were independently associated with shorter time to renal response. In conclusion, bortezomib-based therapies may be more appropriate for the initial management of patients with myeloma-related renal failure; however, thalidomide and lenalidomide are also associated with significant probability of improvement of their renal function. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Maltezas D, Dimopoulos MA, Katodritou I, Repousis P, Pouli A, Terpos E, Panayiotidis P, Delimpasi S, Michalis E, Anargyrou K, et al. Re-evaluation of prognostic markers including staging, serum free light chains or their ratio and serum lactate dehydrogenase in multiple myeloma patients receiving novel agents. Hematological Oncology [Internet]. 2013;31(2):356 - 362. WebsiteAbstract
International Staging System (ISS), serum free light chain ratio (sFLCR) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are well known, easily assessed independent prognostic indicators of outcome in multiple myeloma (MM). The purpose of the study was to re-examine the prognostic contribution of these variables in a multicenter setting with special attention to MM patients treated with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) or novel agents (NA). Three hundred and five symptomatic newly diagnosed MM patients were retrospectively studied. Twenty-seven per cent, 32% and 41% were in ISS stages 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Fifty-six per cent of them presented kappa light chain monoclonality; median sFLCR was 27.04 (0.37-1.9×105) and 47.97 (0.26-2.3×107) for kappa patients and lambda patients, respectively; patients with sFLCR above median constituted the high sFLCR group. Thirty-one per cent of patients had increased LDH. As first line treatment, 55.7% received conventional treatment and 44.3% NA. After induction, 24% underwent ASCT, whereas 76% received NA at any line, either bortezomib (82.5%), thalidomide (48%) or lenalidomide (27%). When the 305 patients were analyzed together, staging, high sFLCR and abnormal LDH were predictive of survival. The same was true for patients that never received NA, whereas neither high sFLCR nor abnormal LDH constituted adverse factors in patients that received NA frontline. In the last group of patients, no difference was observed between ISS stages 2 and 3. The median 5-year survival of patients that never received NA versus those who did frontline was 29% vs 47%, 7% vs 52% and 24% vs 40% in patients with abnormal LDH, high sFLCR and ISS stage 3, respectively (p=0.03, p<0.00001 and p=0.035). In conclusion, patients gaining the most from NA are those with an aggressive disease as reflected by advanced stage, abnormal LDH and high sFLCR. In addition, the adverse impact of these three variables is obscured by NA. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Terpos E, Kanellias N, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Pomalidomide: A novel drug to treat relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. OncoTargets and Therapy [Internet]. 2013;6:531 - 538. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease despite the introduction of the immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) thalidomide and lenalidomide and the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib that have improved the outcome of patients with both newly diagnosed and relapsed/ refractory disease. However, patients who relapse after treatment with these agents or are refractory to them represent an unmet need and highlight the necessity for the development of novel anti-myeloma agents. Pomalidomide is an IMiD, structurally related to thalidomide, with enhanced antiangiogenic, antineoplastic, and anti-inflammatory properties and exhibiting potent anti-myeloma activity in vitro and in vivo. Pomalidomide has shown remarkable activity in patients who were refractory to both bortezomib and lenalidomide in Phase II and III studies. This paper reviews the chemistry and mechanisms of action of pomalidomide as well as all the available data from clinical trials on pomalidomide use in patients with refractory/relapsed multiple myeloma. © 2013 Terpos et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.
Psaltopoulou T, Sergentanis TN, Kanellias N, Kanavidis P, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Tobacco smoking and risk of multiple myeloma: A meta-analysis of 40 observational studies. International Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2013;132(10):2413 - 2431. WebsiteAbstract
This meta-analysis aims to quantitatively synthesize all available data on the association between tobacco smoking and multiple myeloma (MM) risk. Eligible studies were identified and pooled effect estimates (odds ratios and relative risks) were calculated regarding ever, current and former smoking. Separate analyses were performed on case-control and cohort studies, as well as on males and females. Meta-regression analysis with percentage of males, mean age, years of smoking, pack-years, cigarettes per day, years since quit and age at onset was performed. Forty articles were deemed eligible; of them 27 used a case-control design (4,625 cases and 21,591 controls) and 13 used a cohort design (2,228 incident cases among a total cohort size equal to 1,852,763 subjects). Ever smoking was not associated with MM risk (pooled effect estimate = 0.92, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.85-1.00); similar results were obtained for current (pooled effect estimate = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.74-1.03) and former smoking (pooled effect estimate = 1.04, 95% CI: 0.96-1.13). Regarding ever smoking, the null association was reproducible upon cohort studies (pooled effect estimate = 1.01, 95%CI: 0.89-1.15), whereas the inverse association in case-control studies (pooled effect estimate = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.78-0.96) was particularly due to the bias-prone hospital-based ones. Meta-regression analysis did not yield statistically significant results. In conclusion, MM does not seem to be associated with tobacco smoking. There is a need to further explore how molecular mechanisms are involved in the resistance of MM progenitor cells toward smoking. What's new? Tobacco smoking has been linked with many cancers but some cancers seem unaffected. To assess the effect of tobacco smoking on multiple myeloma, the authors performed a meta-analysis of 40 existing studies. They found no significant association with ever, current or former smoking. They suggest that a specific resistance mechanism protects multiple myeloma progenitor cells from the negative influence of tobacco smoking. Copyright © 2012 UICC.
Mountzios G, Pectasides D, Pectasides E, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou CA. Developments in the treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer. Forum of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2013;4(1):32 - 43. WebsiteAbstract
Despite the available prevention and early detection strategies, squamous-cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix is still diagnosed as locally advanced disease in a large proportion of patients. Treatment with cisplatin, in combination with external beam irradiation, has been the cornerstone of treatment in this setting for more than two decades. Induction chemotherapy strategies followed by concurrent chemo-radiation or surgery and pre-operative concurrent chemo-radiation have been recently implemented in clinical trials in an effort to optimize both local control and the occurrence of distant metastases. More recently, combinations of chemotherapy or radiotherapy with molecular agents targeting critical pathways in cervical malignant transformation are being assessed in clinical trials. In this paper, we review the role of cisplatin in the disease in the context of other potent radiosensitizers. We also discuss all recently implemented therapeutic modalities for the treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer with emphasis on the novel induction strategies. Concerns regarding treatment-related toxicity in the context of co-morbidities and the need for potent predictive biomarkers for individualized therapeutic approach are also addressed.
Voutsas IF, Pistamaltzian N, Tsiatas ML, Skopeliti M, Katsila T, Mavrothalassiti I, Spyrou S, Dimopoulos M-A, Tsitsilonis OE, Bamias A. Ovarian malignant ascites-derived lymphocytes stimulated with prothymosin α or its immunoactive decapeptide lyse autologous tumour cells in vitro and retard tumour growth in SCID mice. European Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2013;49(7):1706 - 1714. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Tumour-associated lymphocytes (TALs) present in effusions of ovarian cancer patients exhibit impaired activities, due to the immunosuppressive environment of the ascites. Means to enhance their cytotoxicity against autologous tumour cells are of clinical importance. The immunomodulator prothymosin alpha (proTα) increases the specific lysis of tumour cells by activated CD8+ T-lymphocytes and its immunoreactivity is exerted by the carboxy-terminal decapeptide, proTα(100-109). These two molecules were studied on TALs in vitro, and in SCID mice bearing human ovarian tumours. Methods: TALs and tumour cells were isolated from 41 ovarian cancer patients and co-cultured in the presence of proTα or proTα(100-109). The cytotoxicity of peptide-stimulated TALs was tested against autologous tumour cells and K562. Ex vivo peptide-stimulated TALs from three patients were adoptively transferred intraperitoneally in SCID mice, previously inoculated with each patient's autologous tumour cells. Results: ProTα and its immunoreactive peptide proTα(100-109), enhanced the cytotoxic activity of TALs against autologous tumour cells in vitro, but marginally affected the lysis of K562. The effect of proTα and proTα(100-109) was higher after 7-14 days of stimulation, whereas TAL cytotoxicity was significantly decreased after 21 days. Mice administered TALs, ex vivo activated with proTα or proTα(100-109) for 7 days, showed a relatively lower tumour increase rate and a prolongation of their survial, compared to controls. Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that, in the presence of tumour antigens, proTα and proTα(100-109) enhance the depressed cytotoxicity of TALs against autologous tumour cells in vitro and retard tumour growth in vivo. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Bartsch R, Berghoff AS, Chrysikos D, De Azambuja E, Dimopoulos M-A, Preusser M. Intrathecal administration of trastuzumab for the treatment of meningeal carcinomatosis in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer: A systematic review and pooled analysis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment [Internet]. 2013;139(1):13 - 22. WebsiteAbstract
Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (MC) represents an uncommon, but devasting manifestation of metastatic breast cancer. This is the first systematic review/pooled analysis to synthesize all available data evaluating the efficacy and safety of intrathecal (IT) administration of trastuzumab for the treatment of MC in HER2-positive breast cancer patients. This study was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. A total of 13 articles (17 patients) were eligible. The mean age of patients at IT trastuzumab administration was 48.2 years (SD 8.4, range 38-66). The mean total dose was 399.8 mg (SD 325.4, range 35-1,110 mg). IT trastuzumab alone or as part of combination therapies seemed to be safe; no serious adverse events were reported in 88.2 % of cases. In 68.8 % of cases, a significant clinical improvement was observed, while stabilization or progression of the disease was noticed in 31.2 % of cases. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) response was noted in 66.7 % of cases. The median overall survival was 13.5 months, whereas the median central nervous system progression-free survival (CNS-PFS) was 7.5 months. In 23.5 % of cases, IT trastuzumab was administered beyond CNS progression with a response noticed in 75 % of cases and a CNS-PFS of 9.4 months. The cumulative dose of IT trastuzumab given was 1,040 mg (SD 697.9, median 1,215, range 55-1,675). The protective effect of prior radio- or neurosurgery upon CNS-PFS was sizeable but did not reach formal statistical significance (HR 0.28, 95 % CI 0.06-1.37). Clinical improvement (HR 0.14, 95 % CI 0.02-0.91) and CSF response (HR 0.09, 95 % CI 0.01-0.89) were associated with longer CNS-PFS. IT trastuzumab administration seems to represent a safe and in some cases effective option for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer patients with leptomeningeal involvement. However, clinical trials are urgently needed to establish the definite role of IT trastuzumab in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients with MC. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Terpos E, Roodman GD, Dimopoulos MA. Optimal use of bisphosphonates in patients with multiple myeloma. Blood [Internet]. 2013;121(17):3325 - 3328. Website
Wechalekar AD, Schonland SO, Kastritis E, Gillmore JD, Dimopoulos MA, Lane T, Foli A, Foard D, Milani P, Rannigan L, et al. A European collaborative study of treatment outcomes in 346 patients with cardiac stage III AL amyloidosis. Blood [Internet]. 2013;121(17):3420 - 3427. WebsiteAbstract
Treatment outcomes of patients with cardiac stage III light chain (AL) amyloidosis remain poorly studied. Such cases have been excluded from most clinical studies due to perceived dismal prognosis. We report treatment outcomes of 346 patients with stage III AL amyloidosis from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and Greece. Median overall survival (OS) was 7 months with OS at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months of 73%, 55%, 46%, and 29%, respectively; 42% died before first response evaluation. On an intention-to-treat basis, the overall hematologic response rate was 33%, including a complete response rate of 12%. OS rates at 12 and 24 months, respectively, for 201 response evaluable patients were 88% and 85% for complete responders, 74% and 53% for partial responders, and 39% and 22% for nonresponders. Forty-five percent of responders achieved an organ response. Amino-terminal fragment of brain-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) >8500 ng/L and systolic blood pressure (SBP) <100 mm Hg were the only factors that independently impacted OS and identified an especially poor prognosis subgroup of patients with a median OS of only 3 months. Outcome and organ function of stage III AL amyloidosis without very elevated NT-proBNP and low SBP is improved by a very good hematologic response to chemotherapy.
Stavropoulou AV, Fostira F, Pertesi M, Tsitlaidou M, Voutsinas GE, Triantafyllidou O, Bamias A, Dimopoulos MA, Timotheadou E, Pectasides D, et al. Correction: Prevalence of BRCA1 mutations in familial and sporadic greek ovarian cancer cases (PLoS ONE). PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2013;8(4). Website
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E, Kastritis E. Proteasome Inhibitor Therapy for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2013;13(2):235 - 237. WebsiteAbstract
Proteasome inhibitors effectively kill tumor cells in myeloma and other plasma cell-related diseases. Preclinical data indicated that lymphoplasmatic cells are also vulnerable to proteasome inhibition and proteasome-targeting therapies have proved their clinical activity in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM). Bortezomib is the first in class proteasome inhibitor (PI), and has been used in several clinical trials either alone or in combination with rituximab. Bortezomib treatment alone might induce major responses in 25%-60% of patients with WM but in combination with rituximab major responses might be as high as 50%-83%. Bortezomib might reduce immunoglobulin M levels rapidly and is not myelotoxic. However, peripheral neuropathy remains a major toxicity of bortezomib therapy; alternative schedules and dosing or route of administration (subcutaneous) might reduce neurotoxicity. Second generation PIs, such as carfilzomib, are also promising but further investigation is needed. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Gazouli M, Dimitrakakis C, Tsigginou A, Papaspyrou I, Chrysikos D, Lymperi M, Zografos GC, Antsaklis A, et al. MMP-2 -1306C > T polymorphism in breast cancer: A case-control study in a South European population. Molecular Biology Reports [Internet]. 2013;40(8):5035 - 5040. WebsiteAbstract
This case control study aims to investigate the role of MMP-2 -1306C > T polymorphism as a potential risk factor and possible prognostic marker for breast cancer in a South European population. 113 consecutive incident cases of histologically confirmed ductal breast cancer and 124 healthy controls were recruited. MMP-2 -1306C > T polymorphism was genotyped; multivariate logistic regression as well as Cox regression analysis were performed. MMP-2 -1306C > T status was not associated with breast cancer risk either at the total sample or at the subanalyses on premenopausal and postmenopausal women. At the survival analysis, a trend towards a favorable association between MMP-2 -1306C > T allele and disease-free survival as well as overall survival was observed. Regarding subanalyses on ER-negative and ER-positive cases, the favorable association implicating MMP-2 -1306C > T allele was particularly evident among ER-positive cases; no significant associations emerged among ER-negative cases. MMP-2 -1306C > T polymorphism does not seem to be a risk factor for breast cancer in South European population; however, a trend towards a favorable association with survival has been observed. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Pentheroudakis G, Kotoula V, Eleftheraki AG, Tsolaki E, Wirtz RM, Kalogeras KT, Batistatou A, Bobos M, Dimopoulos MA, Timotheadou E, et al. Prognostic Significance of ESR1 Gene Amplification, mRNA/Protein Expression and Functional Profiles in High-Risk Early Breast Cancer: A Translational Study of the Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HeCOG). PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2013;8(7). WebsiteAbstract
Background:Discrepant data have been published on the incidence and prognostic significance of ESR1 gene amplification in early breast cancer.Patients and Methods:Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor blocks were collected from women with early breast cancer participating in two HeCOG adjuvant trials. Messenger RNA was studied by quantitative PCR, ER protein expression was centrally assessed using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and ESR1 gene copy number by dual fluorescent in situ hybridization probes.Results:In a total of 1010 women with resected node-positive early breast adenocarcinoma, the tumoral ESR1/CEP6 gene ratio was suggestive of deletion in 159 (15.7%), gene gain in 551 (54.6%) and amplification in 42 cases (4.2%), with only 30 tumors (3%) harboring five or more ESR1 copies. Gene copy number ratio showed a significant, though weak correlation to mRNA and protein expression (Spearman's Rho <0.23, p = 0.01). ESR1 clusters were observed in 9.5% (57 gain, 38 amplification) of cases. In contrast to mRNA and protein expression, which were favorable prognosticators, gene copy number changes did not obtain prognostic significance. When ESR1/CEP6 gene ratio was combined with function (as defined by ER protein and mRNA expression) in a molecular classifier, the Gene Functional profile, it was functional status that impacted on prognosis. In univariate analysis, patients with functional tumors (positive ER protein expression and gene ratio normal or gain/amplification) fared better than those with non-functional tumors with ESR1 gain (HR for relapse or death 0.49-0.64, p = 0.003). Significant interactions were observed between gene gain/amplification and paclitaxel therapy (trend for DFS benefit from paclitaxel only in patients with ESR1 gain/amplification, p = 0.066) and Gene Functional profile with HER2 amplification (Gene Functional profile prognostic only in HER2-normal cases, p = 0.029).Conclusions:ESR1 gene deletion and amplification do not constitute per se prognostic markers, instead they can be classified to distinct prognostic groups according to their protein-mediated functional status. © 2013 Pentheroudakis et al.
Bamias A, Tzannis K, Beuselinck B, Oudard S, Escudier B, Diosynopoulos D, Papazisis K, Lang H, Wolter P, De Guillebon E, et al. Development and validation of a prognostic model in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated with sunitinib: A European collaboration. British Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2013;109(2):332 - 341. WebsiteAbstract
Background:Accurate prediction of outcome for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) patients receiving targeted therapy is essential. Most of the available models have been developed in patients treated with cytokines, while most of them are fairly complex, including at least five factors. We developed and externally validated a simple model for overall survival (OS) in mRCC. We also studied the recently validated International Database Consortium (IDC) model in our data sets.Methods:The development cohort included 170 mRCC patients treated with sunitinib. The final prognostic model was selected by uni- and multivariate Cox regression analyses. Risk groups were defined by the number of risk factors and by the 25th and 75th percentiles of the model's prognostic index distribution. The model was validated using an independent data set of 266 mRCC patients (validation cohort) treated with the same agent.Results:Eastern Co-operative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS), time from diagnosis of RCC and number of metastatic sites were included in the final model. Median OS of patients with 1, 2 and 3 risk factors were: 24.7, 12.8 and 5.9 months, respectively, whereas median OS was not reached for patients with 0 risk factors. Concordance (C) index for internal validation was 0.712, whereas C-index for external validation was 0.634, due to differences in survival especially in poor-risk populations between the two cohorts. Predictive performance of the model was improved after recalibration. Application of the mRCC International Database Consortium (IDC) model resulted in a C-index of 0.574 in the development and 0.576 in the validation cohorts (lower than those recently reported for this model). Predictive ability was also improved after recalibration in this analysis. Risk stratification according to IDC model showed more similar outcomes across the development and validation cohorts compared with our model.Conclusion:Our model provides a simple prognostic tool in mRCC patients treated with a targeted agent. It had similar performance with the IDC model, which, however, produced more consistent survival results across the development and validation cohorts. The predictive ability of both models was lower than that suggested by internal validation (our model) or recent published data (IDC model), due to differences between observed and predicted survival among intermediate and poor-risk patients. Our results highlight the importance of external validation and the need for further refinement of existing prognostic models. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.
Palladini G, Dispenzieri A, Gertz MA, Kumar S, Wechalekar A, Hawkins PN, Schönland S, Hegenbart U, Comenzo R, Kastritis E, et al. Reply to S. Girnius et al. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2013;31(21):2750 - 2751. Website
Richardson PG, Mitsiades CS, Laubach JP, Hajek R, Spicka I, Dimopoulos MA, Moreau P, Siegel DS, Jagannath S, Anderson KC. Preclinical data and early clinical experience supporting the use of histone deacetylase inhibitors in multiple myeloma. Leukemia Research [Internet]. 2013;37(7):829 - 837. WebsiteAbstract
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) mediate protein acetylation states, which in turn regulate normal cellular processes often dysregulated in cancer. These observations led to the development of HDAC inhibitors that target tumors through multiple effects on protein acetylation. Clinical evidence demonstrates that treatment with HDAC inhibitors (such as vorinostat, panobinostat, and romidepsin) in combination with other antimyeloma agents (such as proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory drugs) has promising antitumor activity in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma patients. This mini-review highlights the role of protein acetylation in the development of cancers and the rationale for the use of HDAC inhibitors in this patient population. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Zografos CG, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, Filipits M, Bartsch R. Molecularly targeted therapies in metastatic pancreatic cancer: A systematic review. Pancreas [Internet]. 2013;42(5):760 - 773. WebsiteAbstract
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death. Most patients present with an advanced stage of disease that has a dismal outcome, with a median survival of approximately 6 months. Evidently, there is a clear need for the development of new agents with novel mechanisms of action in this disease. A number of biological agents modulating different signal transduction pathways are currently in clinical development, inhibiting angiogenesis and targeting epidermal growth factor receptor, cell cycle, matrix metalloproteinases, cyclooxygenase-2, mammalian target of rapamycin, or proteasome. This is the first systematic review of the literature to synthesize all available data coming from trials and evaluate the efficacy and safety of molecular targeted drugs in unresectable and metastatic pancreatic cancer. However, it should be stressed that although multiple agents have been tested, only 9 phase 3 trials have been conducted and one agent (erlotinib) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in clinical practice. As knowledge accumulates on the molecular mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis in the pancreas, the anticipated development and assessment of molecularly targeted agents may offer a promising perspective for a disease which, to date, remains incurable. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Terpos E, Morgan G, Dimopoulos MA, Drake MT, Lentzsch S, Raje N, Sezer O, García-Sanz R, Shimizu K, Turesson I, et al. International Myeloma Working Group recommendations for the treatment of multiple myeloma-related bone disease. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2013;31(18):2347 - 2357. WebsiteAbstract
The aim of the International Myeloma Working Group was to develop practice recommendations for the management of multiple myeloma (MM) -related bone disease. An interdisciplinary panel of clinical experts on MM and myeloma bone disease developed recommendations based on published data through August 2012. Expert consensus was used to propose additional recommendations in situations where there were insufficient published data. Levels of evidence and grades of recommendations were assigned and approved by panel members. Bisphosphonates (BPs) should be considered in all patients with MM receiving first-line antimyeloma therapy, regardless of presence of osteolytic bone lesions on conventional radiography. However, it is unknown if BPs offer any advantage in patients with no bone disease assessed by magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography/computed tomography. Intravenous (IV) zoledronic acid (ZOL) or pamidronate (PAM) is recommended for preventing skeletal-related events in patients with MM. ZOL is preferred over oral clodronate in newly diagnosed patients with MM because of its potential antimyeloma effects and survival benefits. BPs should be administered every 3 to 4 weeks IV during initial therapy. ZOL or PAM should be continued in patients with active disease and should be resumed after disease relapse, if discontinued in patients achieving complete or very good partial response. BPs are well tolerated, but preventive strategies must be instituted to avoid renal toxicity or osteonecrosis of the jaw. Kyphoplasty should be considered for symptomatic vertebral compression fractures. Low-dose radiation therapy can be used for palliation of uncontrolled pain, impending pathologic fracture, or spinal cord compression. Orthopedic consultation should be sought for long-bone fractures, spinal cord compression, and vertebral column instability.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Koutoulidis V, Sparber C, Steger GG, Dubsky P, Zografos GC, Psaltopoulou T, Gnant M, Dimopoulos M-A, et al. Aromatase inhibitors with or without gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue in metastatic male breast cancer: A case series. British Journal of Cancer [Internet]. 2013;108(11):2259 - 2263. WebsiteAbstract
Background:Data regarding the safety and effectiveness of aromatase inhibitors (AIs) as monotherapy or combined with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue in male breast cancer are scarce. Methods: In this retrospective chart review, cases of male breast cancer patients treated with AIs with or without a GnRH analogue were evaluated. Results: Twenty-three men were included into this case series. Aromatase inhibitors in combination with or without a GnRH analogue were given as first-line therapy in 60.9% and as second-line therapy in 39.1% of patients, respectively. All patients had visceral metastases, whereas in five of them bone lesions coexisted. In all cases AIs were tolerated well, and no case of grade 3 and 4 adverse events was reported. A partial response was observed in 26.1% of patients and stable disease in 56.5%. Median overall survival (OS) was 39 months and median progression-free survival (PFS) was 13 months. Regarding OS and PFS, no significant effects of GnRH analogue co-administration or type of AI were noted.Conclusion:Our study shows that AIs with or without GnRH analogues may represent an effective and safe treatment option for hormone-receptor positive, pretreated, metastatic, male breast cancer patients. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.
Dimitrakakis C, Zagouri F, Tsigginou A, Marinopoulos S, Sergentanis TN, Keramopoulos A, Zografos GC, Ampela K, Mpaltas D, Papadimitriou C, et al. Does pregnancy-associated breast cancer imply a worse prognosis? a matched case-case study. Breast Care [Internet]. 2013;8(3):203 - 207. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Significant controversy exists in the literature regarding the role of pregnancy in the prognosis of breast cancer. We designed a matched case-case study, matching pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC) cases with breast cancer cases for stage, age, and year of diagnosis. Patients and Methods: 39 consecutive cases of PABC were matched with 39 premenopausal cases of breast cancer. Univariate and multivariate survival analyses followed by adjustment for stage, grade, estrogen receptor status, and age at diagnosis, were performed. Results: Regarding overall survival (OS), univariate analysis pointed to longer OS in non-PABC cases vs. PABC cases. Accordingly, a more advanced stage predicted shorter survival. In the multivariate analysis, the independent aggravating effect mediated by pregnancy persisted. Interestingly, a post hoc nested analysis within PABC cases indicated that the 3rd trimester pointed to shorter OS. The aforementioned results on OS were also replicated during the examination of relapse-free survival. Conclusion: Implementing a matched case-case design, the present study points to pregnancy as a poor prognostic factor for breast cancer. © 2013 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.
Dimitrakakis C, Tsigginou A, Zagouri F, Marinopoulos S, Sergentanis TN, Keramopoulos A, Liakou P, Zografos GC, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, et al. Breast cancer in women aged 25 years and younger. Obstetrics and Gynecology [Internet]. 2013;121(6):1235 - 1240. WebsiteAbstract
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate breast cancer characteristics in women aged 25 years and younger. METHODS: This was a retrospective, nested, within-cases matched study. The study design was based on a two-phase protocol. In the first phase, stage, grade, histologic subtype, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status were compared between 28 patients (aged 25 years and younger) and 685 older premenopausal women (aged older than 25 years) with breast cancer. The second phase aimed to determine whether young patients exhibited worse prognosis when compared with older premenopausal women. RESULTS: Young patients presented at a more advanced stage (P=.012) and exhibited a higher grade (P=.018). No significant differences were noted regarding histologic subtype, estrogen receptor, and progesterone receptor status. Genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations was performed in 12 of 28 young patients and mutations were found in 25% of them. Moreover, young women presented poorer overall survival (hazard ratio [HR] 4.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-17.03) than their older counterparts, matched by histologic subtype, stage, and grade; a similar pattern was noted regarding relapse-free survival (HR 8.28, 95% CI 2.24-30.60). CONCLUSION: Breast cancer diagnosis in women aged 25 years and younger is uncommon; however, these patients present at a more advanced stage, with a higher grade, and exhibit poorer survival. © 2013 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Dimopoulos M, Siegel DS, Lonial S, Qi J, Hajek R, Facon T, Rosinol L, Williams C, Blacklock H, Goldschmidt H, et al. Vorinostat or placebo in combination with bortezomib in patients with multiple myeloma (VANTAGE 088): A multicentre, randomised, double-blind study. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2013;14(11):1129 - 1140. WebsiteAbstract
Background: We aimed to assess efficacy and tolerability of vorinostat in combination with bortezomib for treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Methods: In our randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, we enrolled adults (≥18 years) at 174 university hospitals in 31 countries worldwide. Eligible patients had to have non-refractory multiple myeloma that previously responded to treatment (one to three regimens) but were currently progressing, ECOG performance statuses of 2 or less, and no continuing toxic effects from previous treatment. We excluded patients with known resistance to bortezomib. We randomly allocated patients (1:1) using an interactive voice response system to receive 21 day cycles of bortezomib (1·3 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11) in combination with oral vorinostat (400 mg) or matching placebo once-daily on days 1-14. We stratified patients by baseline tumour stage (International Staging System stage 1 or stage ≥2), previous bone-marrow transplantation (yes or no), and number of previous regimens (1 or ≥2). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) in the intention-to-treat population. We assessed adverse events in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This study is registered with, number 00773747. Findings: Between Dec 24, 2008, and Sept 8, 2011, we randomly allocated 317 eligible patients to the vorinostat group (315 of whom received at least one dose) and 320 to the placebo group (all of whom received at least one dose). Median PFS was 7·63 months (95% CI 6·87-8·40) in the vorinostat group and 6·83 months (5·67-7·73) in the placebo group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·77, 95% CI 0·64-0·94; p=0·0100). 312 (99%) of 315 patients in the vorinostat group and 315 (98%) of 320 patients in the placebo group had adverse events (300 [95%] adverse events in the vorinostat group and 282 [88%] in the control group were regarded as related to treatment). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were thrombocytopenia (143 [45%] patients in the vorinostat group vs 77 [24%] patients in the placebo group), neutropenia (89 [28%] vs 80 [25%]), and anaemia (53 [17%] vs 40 [13%]). Interpretation: Although the combination of vorinostat and bortezomib prolonged PFS relative to bortezomib and placebo, the clinical relevance of the difference in PFS between the two groups is not clear. Different treatment schedules of bortezomib and vorinostat might improve tolerability and enhance activity. Funding: Merck. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Miguel JS, Weisel K, Moreau P, Lacy M, Song K, Delforge M, Karlin L, Goldschmidt H, Banos A, Oriol A, et al. Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone versus high-dose dexamethasone alone for patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (MM-003): A randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2013;14(11):1055 - 1066. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Few effective treatments exist for patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma not responding to treatment with bortezomib and lenalidomide. Pomalidomide alone has shown limited efficacy in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma, but synergistic effects have been noted when combined with dexamethasone. We compared the efficacy and safety of pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone with high-dose dexamethasone alone in these patients. Methods: This multicentre, open-label, randomised phase 3 trial was undertaken in Australia, Canada, Europe, Russia, and the USA. Patients were eligible if they had been diagnosed with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, and had failed at least two previous treatments of bortezomib and lenalidomide. They were assigned in a 2:1 ratio with a validated interactive voice and internet response system to either 28 day cycles of pomalidomide (4 mg/day on days 1-21, orally) plus low-dose dexamethasone (40 mg/day on days 1, 8, 15, and 22, orally) or high-dose dexamethasone (40 mg/day on days 1-4, 9-12, and 17-20, orally) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Stratification factors were age (≤75 years vs >75 years), disease population (refractory vs relapsed and refractory vs bortezomib intolerant), and number of previous treatments (two vs more than two). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered with, number NCT01311687, and with EudraCT, number 2010-019820-30. Findings: The accrual for the study has been completed and the analyses are presented. 302 patients were randomly assigned to receive pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone and 153 high-dose dexamethasone. After a median follow-up of 10·0 months (IQR 7·2-13·2), median PFS with pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone was 4·0 months (95% CI 3·6-4·7) versus 1·9 months (1·9-2·2) with high-dose dexamethasone (hazard ratio 0·48 [95% CI 0·39-0·60]; p<0·0001). The most common grade 3-4 haematological adverse events in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone and high-dose dexamethasone groups were neutropenia (143 [48%] of 300 vs 24 [16%] of 150, respectively), anaemia (99 [33%] vs 55 [37%], respectively), and thrombocytopenia (67 [22%] vs 39 [26%], respectively). Grade 3-4 non-haematological adverse events in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone and high-dose dexamethasone groups included pneumonia (38 [13%] vs 12 [8%], respectively), bone pain (21 [7%] vs seven [5%], respectively), and fatigue (16 [5%] vs nine [6%], respectively). There were 11 (4%) treatment-related adverse events leading to death in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone group and seven (5%) in the high-dose dexamethasone group. Interpretation: Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone, an oral regimen, could be considered a new treatment option in patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Funding: Celgene Corporation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Terpo E. Non-secretory myeloma: One, two, or more entities?. ONCOLOGY (United States) [Internet]. 2013;27(9). Website
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Terpos E. Non-secretory myeloma: one, two, or more entities?. Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.) [Internet]. 2013;27(9):930 - 932. Website
Bagratuni T, Kastritis E, Politou M, Roussou M, Kostouros E, Gavriatopoulou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Kanelias N, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Clinical and genetic factors associated with venous thromboembolism in myeloma patients treated with lenalidomide-based regimens. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2013;88(9):765 - 770. WebsiteAbstract
Lenalidomide has significant antimyeloma activity but it is associated with a significant risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). In this study, we assessed clinical and genetic risk factors that may predispose for VTE in myeloma patients who were treated with lenalidomide-based regimens. We analyzed common clinical and selected genetic factors in 200 consecutive, unselected myeloma patients who were treated with lenalidomide-based regimens in a single institution. Twelve patients (6%) developed a VTE (nine deep venous thrombosis and three pulmonary embolism). All VTEs occurred in patients who were receiving aspirin prophylaxis; no patient who received LMWH or acenocoumarol had a VTE. The frequency of VTEs was 9.4% in previously untreated and 4.5% in previously treated patients. VTEs were more frequent in patients >65 years (8.1% vs. 1.6%) especially among patients receiving aspirin as prophylaxis (10.4% vs. 1.8% for patients ≤65 years). In patients who received prophylaxis with low dose aspirin a single-nucleotide polymorphism in NFκB1 (rs3774968) gene was associated with increased risk of VTE (OR 3.76, 95%CI 1-16, P=0.051). None of the patients who developed VTEs had common genetic variations that are associated with increased risk of VTEs in the general population, such as FVLeiden and FIIG20210A. Our data indicated that LMWH or vitamin K antagonists (with a target INR 2-3) effectively reduce the risk of VTEs. In patients who received prophylaxis with aspirin genetic variants of genes that are involved directly or indirectly in inflammatory response may be associated with increased risk of VTE. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Zagouri F, Psaltopoulou T, Dimitrakakis C, Bartsch R, Dimopoulos M-A. Challenges in managing breast cancer during pregnancy. Journal of Thoracic Disease [Internet]. 2013;5(SUPPL.1):S62 - S67. WebsiteAbstract
Pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC) is defined as breast cancer occurring anytime during gestation, lactation or within one year after delivery. The optimal management of pregnant women with breast cancer is challenging and not well established; the main concern is the effect of the drugs on the developing fetus and long-term complications after in utero exposure to anti-cancer drugs. Surgical resection is the mainstay of treatment for early breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy. Modified radical mastectomy is standard of care in first trimester, whereas breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy with lymph node dissection) can be performed preferably in the second and third trimester. Of note, breast-conserving surgery is not contraindicated per se during the first trimester, but owing to the potential impact of delaying radiotherapy. Radiation therapy is not favored during pregnancy. Moreover, tamoxifen is contraindicated during pregnancy; the agent has been associated with birth defects in up to 20% of exposures. Chemotherapy is generally contraindicated during the first trimester because of the possible damage to organogenesis. Anthracyclines-based regimens are the most widely used is breast cancer treatment and were been shown to be associated with favourable safety profile when administered during pregnancy. As for taxanes, more limited data is available. The use of trastuzumab is contraindicated during pregnancy, given the apparent risk of oligo- and/or anhydramnios as well as the unknown long-term sequelae on the fetus. It is obvious that, diagnosis of breast cancer during pregnancy adds complexity to cancer treatment recommendations. In all cases, a multidisciplinary therapeutic approach among obstetricians, gynaecologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pediatricians and hematologists is clearly warranted © Pioneer Bioscience Publishing Company.
Gavalas NG, Liontos M, Trachana S-P, Bagratuni T, Arapinis C, Liacos C, Dimopoulos MA, Bamias A. Angiogenesis-related pathways in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences [Internet]. 2013;14(8):15885 - 15909. WebsiteAbstract
Ovarian Cancer represents the most fatal type of gynecological malignancies. A number of processes are involved in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer, especially within the tumor microenvironment. Angiogenesis represents a hallmark phenomenon in cancer, and it is responsible for tumor spread and metastasis in ovarian cancer, among other tumor types, as it leads to new blood vessel formation. In recent years angiogenesis has been given considerable attention in order to identify targets for developing effective anti-tumor therapies. Growth factors have been identified to play key roles in driving angiogenesis and, thus, the formation of new blood vessels that assist in "feeding" cancer. Such molecules include the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), the fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and the angiopoietin/Tie2 receptor complex. These proteins are key players in complex molecular pathways within the tumor cell and they have been in the spotlight of the development of anti-angiogenic molecules that may act as stand-alone therapeutics, or in concert with standard treatment regimes such as chemotherapy. The pathways involved in angiogenesis and molecules that have been developed in order to combat angiogenesis are described in this paper. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Kastritis E, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Current treatments for renal failure due to multiple myeloma. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy [Internet]. 2013;14(11):1477 - 1495. WebsiteAbstract
Introduction: Renal impairment (RI) is a common complication of symptomatic myeloma; 20-40% of newly diagnosed patients present with moderate or severe RI and 10% of them may require dialysis. Immediate initiation of specific antimyeloma therapy is crucial in order to improve RI. Areas covered: There has been a significant improvement in the outcome of patients with RI over the past 15 years. The authors review current data on the role of antimyeloma therapy on the improvement or resolution of RI and the importance of novel regimens, especially those based on bortezomib. IMiDs-based regimens, conventional chemotherapy and high-dose therapy is also reviewed. The role of extrarenal free light chain removal, by means of plasma exchange or extended hemodialysis with the use of high cutoff dialysis membranes, is also discussed. Expert opinion: Bortezomib/dexamethasone-based regimens are the preferred regimens for most patients with multiple myeloma (MM) who present with RI, especially for newly diagnosed patients; however, other novel agents (thalidomide, lenalidomide) in combination with dexamethasone may also improve RI in several patients. Further investigation is needed for the clarification of the role of plasma exchange or extended high cutoff dialysis. Carfilzomib, which was recently approved, may also be a treatment choice for selected patients with relapsed MM and RI. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd.
Mountzios G, Soultati A, Pectasides D, Pectasides E, Dimopoulos M-A, Papadimitriou CA. Developments in the systemic treatment of metastatic cervical cancer. Cancer Treatment Reviews [Internet]. 2013;39(5):430 - 443. WebsiteAbstract
Despite the available prevention and early detection strategies, advanced squamous-cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix remains a major concern for public health. Systemic treatment with cisplatin, either in combination with external beam irradiation for locally advanced disease, or as monotherapy for recurrent/metastatic disease has been the cornerstone of treatment for more than two decades. Cisplatin has been also combined with a number of agents including paclitaxel, topotecan, gemcitabine, vinorelbine and ifosfamide, leading to encouraging response rates and increases in progression-free survival in a series of randomized phase III trials. Platinum-based triplets have been also tested, albeit at the cost of substantial toxicity. More recently, combinations with molecular agents targeting critical pathways in cervical malignant transformation are being assessed in clinical trials. In the current review, we discuss all recent advances in the systemic treatment of metastatic cervical cancer with emphasis on the results of large randomized phase III trials. Concerns regarding treatment-related toxicity in the context of co-morbidities and the need for potent predictive biomarkers for individualized treatment are also addressed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Beksac M, Benboubker L, Roddie H, Allietta N, Broer E, Couturier C, Mazier M-A, Angermund R, Facon T. Phase II study of bortezomib-dexamethasone alone or with added cyclophosphamide or lenalidomide for sub-optimal response as second-line treatment for patients with multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2013;98(8):1264 - 1272. WebsiteAbstract
This phase II study is the first prospective evaluation of bortezomib-dexamethasone as second-line therapy for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. A total of 163 patients were enrolled to receive four cycles of bortezomibdexamethasone. Patients were investigator-assessed for response at cycle 5 Day 1, then treated as follows: responding patients received another four cycles of bortezomib-dexamethasone, while patients with stable disease were subsequently randomized to sequential treatment with a further four cycles of bortezomib-dexamethasone alone or with added cyclophosphamide or lenalidomide. The primary end point was response to sequential therapy; however, this could not be evaluated because investigator-assessed response rates to bortezomib-dexamethasone after four cycles were high, and an insufficient number of patients were randomized to sequential treatment per protocol. Among all 163 patients, validated best confirmed response rate was 66%, including 37% complete/very good partial responses; median response duration was 9.7 months. After a median follow up of 16.9 months, median time to progression and progression-free survival were 9.5 and 8.6 months, respectively; estimated 1-year overall survival was 81%. Median glomerular filtration rate improved from baseline during treatment. Among 58 patients with baseline glomerular filtration rate below 50 mL/min, 24 had renal responses. Grade 3/4 adverse events included: thrombocytopenia (17%), anemia (10%), constipation (6%), peripheral sensory neuropathy (5%), and polyneuropathy (5%). Overall, 57% of neuropathy events improved/resolved; median time to improvement was 2.1 months. These findings suggest bortezomib-dexamethasone represents an active, feasible second-line treatment option for patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma.. © 2013 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Gkotzamanidou M, Christoulas D, Souliotis VL, Papatheodorou A, Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. Angiogenic cytokines profile in smoldering multiple myeloma: No difference compared to MGUS but altered compared to symptomatic myeloma. Medical Science Monitor [Internet]. 2013;19:1188 - 1194. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Symptomatic multiple myeloma (MM) evolves from an asymptomatic precursor state termed monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering myeloma (SMM). Angiogenesis plays a key role in the pathogenesis of MM but there are very limited data for angiogenesis in SMM. Material/Methods: We measured the circulating levels of angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and angiogenin in 54 patients with SMM. The results were compared with those of 27 MGUS patients, 55 MM patients, and 22 healthy controls. The expression of VEGF-A gene was also evaluated in 10 patients with SMM, 10 with symptomatic MM, and 10 with MGUS. Results: The ratio of circulating Ang-1/Ang-2 was reduced in MM patients with symptomatic disease due to a dramatic increase of Ang-2 (p<0.001), but not in patients with SMM or MGUS, in whom it did not differ compared to controls. VEGF and angiogenin were increased in all patients compared to controls. However, circulating VEGF was higher in symptomatic MM compared to SMM and MGUS, while angiogenin was reduced. There were no differences in the expression of VEGF-A among the 3 patients categories. Conclusions: SMM has a circulating angiogenic cytokine profile similar to that of MGUS, but has altered profile compared to symptomatic MM. Thus, in the progression of MGUS to SMM, circulating angiogenic cytokines seem to be the same. On the contrary, in symptomatic myeloma, the alterations of angiopoietins along with VEGF contribute to myeloma cell growth, supporting the target of these molecules for the development of novel anti-myeloma agents. © Med Sci Monit, 2013.
Dimopoulos MA, Garćia-Sanz R, Gavriatopoulou M, Morel P, Kyrtsonis M-C, Michalis E, Kartasis Z, Leleu X, Palladini G, Tedeschi A, et al. Primary therapy of Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) with weekly bortezomib, low-dose dexamethasone, and rituximab (BDR): Long-term results of a phase 2 study of the European Myeloma Network (EMN). Blood [Internet]. 2013;122(19):3276 - 3282. WebsiteAbstract
In this phase 2 multicenter trial, we evaluated the activity of bortezomib, dexamethasone, and rituximab (BDR) combination in previously untreated symptomatic patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). To prevent immunoglobulin M (IgM) "flare," single agent bortezomib (1.3 mg/m 2 IV days 1, 4, 8, and 11;21-day cycle), was followed by weekly IV bortezomib (1.6 mg/m2 days 1, 8, 15, and 22) every 35 days for 4 additional cycles, followed by IV dexamethasone (40 mg) and IV rituximab (375 mg/m2) in cycles 2 and 5. Fifty-nine patients were treated; 45.5% and 40% were high and intermediate risk per the International Prognostic Scoring System for WM. On intent to treat, 85% responded (3% complete response, 7% very good partial response, 58% partial response [PR]).In 11% of patients, an increase of IgM ≥25% was observed after rituximab; no patient required plasmapheresis. After a minimum follow-up of 32 months, median progression-free survival was42months, 3-year durationof response for patients with≥PR was 70%, and 3-year survival was 81%. Peripheral neuropathy occurred in 46% (grade ≥3 in 7%); only 8% discontinued bortezomib due to neuropathy. BDR is rapidly acting, well tolerated, and nonmyelotoxic, inducing durable responses in previously untreated WM. © 2013 by The American Society of Hematology.
Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. In: Neoplastic Diseases of the Blood. ; 2013. pp. 681 - 699. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström's macroglobulinemia is a neoplastic disorder of the B lymphocytes that is characterized by the infiltration of the bone marrow by a lymphoplasmatic clone that produces a monoclonal immunoglobulin which is always of the IgM type. WM is named after Jan Waldenström, a Swedish physician who first described two patients who presented with oronasal bleeding, lymphadenopathy, anemia and thrombocytopenia, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, high serum viscosity, normal bone radiographs, and bone marrow showing predominantly lymphoid cells. At that time electrophoresis of the serum proteins was not available; however, he attributed the hyperviscosity to an abnormal high-molecular-weight serum protein, which subsequently was shown to be a monoclonal immunoglobulin of the M class (IgM). Indeed, these two first patients presented with several of the most common features of WM, as have been subsequently described. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. All rights reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E, Niesvizky R. How lenalidomide is changing the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology [Internet]. 2013;88(SUPPL.1):S23 - S35. WebsiteAbstract
Lenalidomide is a distinct second-generation immunomodulatory drug with multiple anticancer and immunomodulatory effects against hematologic malignancies, in particular multiple myeloma (MM). Dexamethasone synergistically enhances the anticancer effects of lenalidomide, and the combination of lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Len/Dex) is approved for the treatment of patients with relapsed and/or refractory MM. Results from pivotal phase III trials in this setting have demonstrated that Len/Dex extends overall survival compared with dexamethasone alone. Optimal clinical benefits are seen when Len/Dex is initiated at first relapse and continued, beyond best treatment response, until disease progression. Lenalidomide based regimens are also effective as induction therapy in patients with newly diagnosed MM. Importantly, lenalidomide has a predictable and manageable tolerability profile, with minimal neurotoxicity, allowing long-term administration. As the paradigm of myeloma disease continues to change, future studies will determine the efficacy of lenalidomide in novel combinations with potentially complimentary agents. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Papadimitriou CA, Dimopoulos M-A, Psaltopoulou T. Hsp90 inhibitors in breast cancer: A systematic review. Breast [Internet]. 2013;22(5):569 - 578. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: Pharmacological inhibition of Hsp90 shows great promise in breast cancer treatment. This is the first systematic review to synthesize all available data and to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Hsp90 inhibitors in breast cancer. Methods: This study was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. Eligible articles were identified by a search of MEDLINE and databases, using a predefined combination of the terms "breast", "cancer", "Hsp90", "inhibitors". Results: Overall, 19 articles (190 patients) were eligible. The greatest clinical activity has been observed on the field of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. However, accumulating data suggest that Hsp90 inhibitors may play a significant role in the treatment of triple negative and aromatase inhibitor-resistant breast cancer. Conclusion: In the last decade, the development of Hsp90 inhibitors has moved forward rapidly; however, no phase III trials have been conducted and none agent has been approved for use in the clinical practice. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Tsakiri EN, Sykiotis GP, Papassideri IS, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA, Gorgoulis VG, Bohmann D, Trougakos IP. Proteasome dysfunction in Drosophila signals to an Nrf2-dependent regulatory circuit aiming to restore proteostasis and prevent premature aging. Aging Cell [Internet]. 2013;12(5):802 - 813. WebsiteAbstract
The ubiquitin-proteasome system is central to the regulation of cellular proteostasis. Nevertheless, the impact of in vivo proteasome dysfunction on the proteostasis networks and the aging processes remains poorly understood. We found that RNAi-mediated knockdown of 20S proteasome subunits in Drosophila melanogaster resulted in larval lethality. We therefore studied the molecular effects of proteasome dysfunction in adult flies by developing a model of dose-dependent pharmacological proteasome inhibition. Impaired proteasome function promoted several 'old-age' phenotypes and markedly reduced flies' lifespan. In young somatic tissues and in gonads of all ages, loss of proteasome activity induced higher expression levels and assembly rates of proteasome subunits. Proteasome dysfunction was signaled to the proteostasis network by reactive oxygen species that originated from malfunctioning mitochondria and triggered an Nrf2-dependent upregulation of the proteasome subunits. RNAi-mediated Nrf2 knockdown reduced proteasome activities, flies' resistance to stress, as well as longevity. Conversely, inducible activation of Nrf2 in transgenic flies upregulated basal proteasome expression and activity independently of age and conferred resistance to proteotoxic stress. Interestingly, prolonged Nrf2 overexpression reduced longevity, indicating that excessive activation of the proteostasis pathways can be detrimental. Our in vivo studies add new knowledge on the proteotoxic stress-related regulation of the proteostasis networks in higher metazoans. Proteasome dysfunction triggers the activation of an Nrf2-dependent tissue- and age-specific regulatory circuit aiming to adjust the cellular proteasome activity according to temporal and/or spatial proteolytic demands. Prolonged deregulation of this proteostasis circuit accelerates aging. © 2013 The Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Katodritou E, Pouli A, Michalis E, Papassotiriou I, Dimopoulos MA. The chronic kidney disease epidemiology collaboration cystatin C (CKD-EPI-CysC) equation has an independent prognostic value for overall survival in newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic multiple myeloma; is it time to change from MDRD to CKD-EPI-CysC. European Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2013;91(4):347 - 355. WebsiteAbstract
Objectives: The estimation of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in multiple myeloma (MM) is based on equations that use serum creatinine (sCr), such as the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equation. However, the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) group has suggested that eGFR based on both sCr and cystatin C (CKD-EPI-sCr-CysC) is more accurate than other formulae for the estimation of kidney dysfunction. The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate, for the first time in the literature, the CKD-EPI-sCR-CysC formula in newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic MM. Methods: We studied 220 newly diagnosed, previously untreated, patients with symptomatic myeloma and calculated eGFR using the MDRD, the CKD-EPI-sCR, the CKD-EPI-CysC, and the CKD-EPI-sCr-CysC equations. Results: CKD-EPI-sCr-CysC equation detected more myeloma patients with stage 3-5 renal impairment than the MDRD, CKD-EPI, or CKD-EPI-CysC equations: 45% vs. 39.5%, 42.2%, and 43.1%, respectively (P < 0.01). This was also observed in the elderly patients (>70 yrs), while in patients ≤70 yrs, the CKD-EPI-CysC equation managed to identify higher number of patients with stage 3-5 renal impairment (RI) than the other equations. Furthermore, 63 (28.6%) patients with eGFR values by the MDRD formula were reclassified to higher CKD stages according to CKD-EPI-CysC equation. The median overall survival for all patients was 52 months. In the multivariate analysis, that included International Staging System stage, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) ≥300 U/L and eGFR for each different equation (as a continuous variable), only eGFR that included CysC, but not sCr had independent prognostic value (P = 0.013) along with high LDH (P = 0.029). Conclusions: Our results suggest that equations based on CysC reveal higher number of MM patients with RI compared with equations based only in sCr. Furthermore, the CKD-EPI-CysC formula independently predicted for survival. Based on these data, we suggest that CKD-EPI equations based on CysC should substitute MDRD, as it has been suggested for patients with several other renal disorders. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Chrysikos D, Zografos CG, Filipits M, Bartsch R, Dimopoulos M-A, Psaltopoulou T. Pertuzumab in breast cancer: A systematic review. Clinical Breast Cancer [Internet]. 2013;13(5):315 - 324. WebsiteAbstract
Pertuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that represents the first among a new class of agents known as human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) dimerization inhibitors. This is the first systematic review according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines to synthesize all available data of pertuzumab in breast cancer. The search strategy retrieved 11 studies that evaluated pertuzumab. One study was conducted in the neoadjuvant setting (417 patients), whereas all the others dealt with patients with recurrent, metastatic, or refractory disease (1023 patients). Six studies were conducted in HER2+ breast cancer population (1354 patients), whereas 5 studies (86 patients) were conducted in HER2- (or unknown HER2 status) disease. Pertuzumab is the most recent agent approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in combination with trastuzumab and docetaxel for the treatment of patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer who have not received prior anti-HER2 therapy or chemotherapy for metastatic disease. This approval has been based on data from a phase III Clinical Evaluation of Pertuzumab and Trastuzumab (CLEOPATRA) study. The antitumor activity with the significant reduction in the risk of progression or death, as reflected upon the increase of 6.1 months in median progression-free survival, indicates that pertuzumab may provide an avenue for achieving additional benefit for patients with HER2+. Moreover, pertuzumab seems to have a putative role in the management of patients with HER2 who are resistant to trastuzumab. The promising role of pertuzumab in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings remains to be further investigated and established in the future. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.