Publications by Year: 2014

Purrington KS, Slager S, Eccles D, Yannoukakos D, Fasching PA, Miron P, Carpenter J, Chang-claude J, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, et al. Genome-wide association study identifies 25 known breast cancer susceptibility loci as risk factors for triple-negative breast cancer. Carcinogenesis [Internet]. 2014;35(5):1012 - 1019. WebsiteAbstract
Triple-negative (TN) breast cancer is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer associated with a unique set of epidemiologic and genetic risk factors. We conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study of TN breast cancer (stage 1: 1529 TN cases, 3399 controls; stage 2: 2148 cases, 1309 controls) to identify loci that influence TN breast cancer risk. Variants in the 19p13.1 and PTHLH loci showed genome-wide significant associations (P < 5 × 10-8) in stage 1 and 2 combined. Results also suggested a substantial enrichment of significantly associated variants among the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) analyzed in stage 2. Variants from 25 of 74 known breast cancer susceptibility loci were also associated with risk of TN breast cancer (P < 0.05). Associations with TN breast cancer were confirmed for 10 loci (LGR6, MDM4, CASP8, 2q35, 2p24.1, TERT-rs10069690, ESR1, TOX3, 19p13.1, RALY), and we identified associations with TN breast cancer for 15 additional breast cancer loci (P < 0.05: PEX14, 2q24.1, 2q31.1, ADAM29, EBF1, TCF7L2, 11q13.1, 11q24.3, 12p13.1, PTHLH, NTN4, 12q24, BRCA2, RAD51L1-rs2588809, MKL1). Further, two SNPs independent of previously reported signals in ESR1 [rs12525163 odds ratio (OR) = 1.15, P = 4.9 × 10-4] and 19p13.1 (rs1864112 OR = 0.84, P = 1.8 × 10-9) were associated with TN breast cancer. A polygenic risk score (PRS) for TN breast cancer based on known breast cancer risk variants showed a 4-fold difference in risk between the highest and lowest PRS quintiles (OR = 4.03, 95% confidence interval 3.46-4.70, P = 4.8 × 10-69). This translates to an absolute risk for TN breast cancer ranging from 0.8% to 3.4%, suggesting that genetic variation may be used for TN breast cancer risk prediction.
San-Miguel JF, Hungria VTM, Yoon S-S, Beksac M, Dimopoulos MA, Elghandour A, Jedrzejczak WW, Günther A, Nakorn TN, Siritanaratkul N, et al. Panobinostat plus bortezomib and dexamethasone versus placebo plus bortezomib and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma: A multicentre, randomised, double-blind phase 3 trial. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2014;15(11):1195 - 1206. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Panobinostat is a potent oral pan-deacetylase inhibitor that in preclinical studies has synergistic anti-myeloma activity when combined with bortezomib and dexamethasone. We aimed to compare panobinostat, bortezomib, and dexamethasone with placebo, bortezomib, and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Methods: PANORAMA1 is a multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind phase 3 trial of patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who have received between one and three previous treatment regimens. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) via an interactive web-based and voice response system, stratified by number of previous treatment lines and by previous use of bortezomib, to receive 21 day cycles of placebo or panobinostat (20 mg; on days 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, orally), both in combination with bortezomib (1·3 mg/m2 on days 1, 4, 8, 11, intravenously) and dexamethasone (20 mg on days 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, orally). Patients, physicians, and the investigators who did the data analysis were masked to treatment allocation; crossover was not permitted. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (in accordance with modified European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation criteria and based on investigators' assessment) and was analysed by intention to treat. The study is ongoing, but no longer recruiting, and is registered at, number NCT01023308. Findings: 768 patients were enrolled between Jan 21, 2010, and Feb 29, 2012, with 387 randomly assigned to panobinostat, bortezomib, and dexamethasone and 381 to placebo, bortezomib, and dexamethasone. Median follow-up was 6·47 months (IQR 1·81-13·47) in the panobinostat group and 5·59 months (2·14-11·30) in the placebo group. Median progression-free survival was significantly longer in the panobinostat group than in the placebo group (11·99 months [95% CI 10·33-12·94] vs 8·08 months [7·56-9·23]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·63, 95% CI 0·52-0·76; p<0·0001). Overall survival data are not yet mature, although at the time of this analysis, median overall survival was 33·64 months (95% CI 31·34-not estimable) for the panobinostat group and 30·39 months (26·87-not estimable) for the placebo group (HR 0·87, 95% CI 0·69-1·10; p=0·26). The proportion of patients achieving an overall response did not differ between treatment groups (235 [60·7%, 95% CI 55·7-65·6] for panobinostat vs 208 [54·6%, 49·4-59·7] for placebo; p=0·09); however, the proportion of patients with a complete or near complete response was significantly higher in the panobinostat group than in the placebo group (107 [27·6%, 95% CI 23·2-32·4] vs 60 [15·7%, 12·2-19·8]; p=0·00006). Minimal responses were noted in 23 (6%) patients in the panobinostat group and in 42 (11%) in the placebo group. Median duration of response (partial response or better) was 13·14 months (95% CI 11·76-14·92) in the panobinostat group and 10·87 months (9·23-11·76) in the placebo group, and median time to response (partial response or better) was 1·51 months (1·41-1·64) in the panobinostat group and 2·00 months (1·61-2·79) in the placebo group. Serious adverse events were reported in 228 (60%) of 381 patients in the panobinostat group and 157 (42%) of 377 patients in the placebo group. Common grade 3-4 laboratory abnormalities and adverse events (irrespective of association with study drug) included thrombocytopenia (256 [67%] in the panobinostat group vs 118 [31%] in the placebo group), lymphopenia (202 [53%] vs 150 [40%]), diarrhoea (97 [26%] vs 30 [8%]), asthenia or fatigue (91 [24%] vs 45 [12%]), and peripheral neuropathy (67 [18%] vs 55 [15%]). Interpretation: Our results suggest that panobinostat could be a useful addition to the treatment armamentarium for patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Longer follow up will be necessary to determine whether there is any effect on overall survival. Funding: Novartis Pharmaceuticals. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Leleu X, Palumbo A, Moreau P, Delforge M, Cavo M, Ludwig H, Morgan GJ, Davies FE, Sonneveld P, et al. Expert panel consensus statement on the optimal use of pomalidomide in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(8):1573 - 1585. WebsiteAbstract
In this report, a panel of European myeloma experts discuss the role of pomalidomide in the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). Based on the available evidence, the combination of pomalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone is a well-tolerated and effective treatment option for patients with RRMM who have exhausted treatment with lenalidomide and bortezomib. The optimal starting dose of pomalidomide is 4 mg given on days 1-21 of each 28-day cycle, whereas dexamethasone is administered at a dose of 40 mg weekly (reduced to 20 mg for patients aged >75 years). The treatment should continue until evidence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Dose-modification schemes have been established for patients who develop neutropenia, thrombocytopaenia and other grade 3-4 adverse events during pomalidomide therapy. Guidance on the prevention and management of infections and venous thromboembolism is provided, based on the available clinical evidence and the experience of panel members. The use of pomalidomide in special populations, such as patients with advanced age, renal impairment or unfavourable cytogenetic features, is also discussed. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Karavasilis V, Kosmidis P, Syrigos KN, Mavropoulou P, Dimopoulos MA, Kotoula V, Pectasides D, Boukovinas I, Klouvas G, Kalogera-Fountzila A, et al. Docetaxel and intermittent erlotinib in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer; a phase II study from the hellenic cooperative oncology group. Anticancer Research [Internet]. 2014;34(10):5649 - 5655. WebsiteAbstract
Aim: To determine the more effective dosing sequence of intermittent erlotinib and docetaxel for treating chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Patients and Methods: Patients were randomized to receive daily erlotinib for 12 consecutive days prior to docetaxel (Arm A) or after docetaxel (Arm B). Progression-free survival (PFS) was the primary end-point; secondary end-points were overall survival (OS) and objective response rate (ORR). Results: Fifty eligible patients received a total of 226 treatment cycles (median: 3). Median PFS and OS were 3.6 months and 10.5 months, respectively (differences were not statistically significant between the two arms). Neutropenia grade 3 and 4 occurred in 15 patients, while two patients developed grade 3 diarrhea. There were two treatment-related deaths (pulmonary embolism and non-neutropenic sepsis). Conclusion: Intermittent administration of erlotinib does not appear to improve the clinical outcome of single-agent docetaxel chemotherapy in unselected patients with NSCLC in the first-line setting. © 2014, International Institute of Anticancer Research. All rights reserved.
Dimopoulos MA, Orlowski RZ, Facon T, Sonneveld P, Anderson KC, Beksac M, Benboubker L, Roddie H, Potamianou A, Couturier C, et al. Retrospective matched-pairs analysis of bortezomib plus dexamethasone versus bortezomib monotherapy in relapsed multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2014;100(1):100 - 106. WebsiteAbstract
Bortezomib-dexamethasone is widely used for relapsed myeloma in routine clinical practice, but comparative data versus single-agent bortezomib are lacking. This retrospective analysis compared second-line treatment with bortezomib- dexamethasone and bortezomib using 109 propensity score-matched pairs of patients treated in three clinical trials: MMY-2045, APEX, and DOXIL-MMY-3001. Propensity scores were estimated using logistic regression analyses incorporating 13 clinical variables related to drug exposure or clinical outcome. Patients received intravenous bortezomib 1.3 mg/m2 on days 1, 4, 8, and 11, in 21-day cycles, alone or with oral dexamethasone 20 mg on the days of/after bortezomib dosing. Median bortezomib cumulative dose (27.02 and 28.60 mg/m2) and treatment duration (19.6 and 17.6 weeks) were similar with bortezomib-dexamethasone and bortezomib, respectively. The overall response rate was higher (75% vs. 41%; odds ratio=3.467; P<0.001), and median time-to-progression (13.6 vs. 7.0 months; hazard ratio [HR]=0.394; P=0.003) and progression-free survival (11.9 vs. 6.4 months; HR=0.595; P=0.051) were longer with bortezomib-dexamethasone versus bortezomib, respectively. Rates of anygrade adverse events, most common grade 3 or higher adverse events, and discontinuations due to adverse events appeared similar between the groups. Two patients per group died of treatment-related adverse events. These data indicate the potential benefit of bortezomib-dexamethasone compared with single-agent bortezomib at first relapse in myeloma. The MMY-2045, APEX, and DOXIL-MMY-3001 clinical trials were registered at, respectively, identifier: 00908232, 00048230, and 00103506. ©2014 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Ludwig H, Miguel JS, Dimopoulos MA, Palumbo A, Garcia Sanz R, Powles R, Lentzsch S, Ming Chen W, Hou J, Jurczyszyn A, et al. International Myeloma Working Group recommendations for global myeloma care. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(5):981 - 992. WebsiteAbstract
Recent developments have led to remarkable improvements in the assessment and treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). New technologies have become available to precisely evaluate the biology and extent of the disease, including information about cytogenetics and genetic abnormalities, extramedullary manifestations and minimal residual disease. New, more effective drugs have been introduced into clinical practice, which enable clinicians to significantly improve the outcome of patients but also pose new challenges for the prevention and management of their specific side effects. Given these various new options and challenges, it is important to identify the minimal requirements for diagnosis and treatment of patients, as access to the most sophisticated advances may vary depending on local circumstances. Here, we propose the minimal requirements and possible options for diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Katodritou E, Terpos E, Symeonidis AS, Pouli A, Kelaidi C, Kyrtsonis M-C, Kotsopoulou M, Delimpasi S, Christoforidou A, Giannakoulas N, et al. Clinical features, outcome, and prognostic factors for survival and evolution to multiple myeloma of solitary plasmacytomas: A report of the Greek myeloma study group in 97 patients. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2014;89(8):803 - 808. WebsiteAbstract
Solitary plasmacytoma (SP) is a rare plasma cell dyscrasia characterized by the presence of bone or extramedullary plasma cell tumors. The treatment of choice is local radiotherapy (R/T)±surgical excision. The role of adjuvant chemotherapy (C/T) or novel agents (NA) is uncertain. Data related to prognostic factors are inconclusive. Herein, we describe the clinical features, survival and prognosis of 97 consecutive patients, 65 with bone SP (SBP), and 32 with extramedullary SP (SEP), diagnosed and treated in 12 Greek Myeloma Centers. Objective response rate (≥PR) and complete response (CR) was 91.8% and 61.9%, respectively, and did not differ between the 2 groups. Overall, 38 patients relapsed or progressed to multiple myeloma (MM). After a median follow-up of 60 months, 5 and 10-year overall survival (OS) probability was 92% and 89% in SEP and 86% and 69% in SBP, respectively (P=0.2). The 5- and 10-year MM-free survival (MMFS) probability was 90% and 70% for patients with SEP vs. 59% and 50% for patients with SBP, respectively (P=0.054). Overall, the 5- and 10-year OS probability, plasmacytoma relapse-free survival (PRFS), progression-free survival and MMFS was 84% and 78%, 72% and 58%, 58% and 43%, and 70% and 59%, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, prolonged PRFS and young age were positive predictors of OS. Achievement of CR was the only positive predictor of PRFS. Immunoparesis was the only negative predictor of progression to MM. The addition of C/T or NA-based treatment increased toxicity without offering any survival advantage over R/T. Am. J. Hematol. 89:803-808, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Benboubker L, Dimopoulos MA, Dispenzieri A, Catalano J, Belch AR, Cavo M, Pinto A, Weisel K, Ludwig H, Bahlis N, et al. Lenalidomide and dexamethasone in transplant-ineligible patients with myeloma. New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2014;371(10):906 - 917. WebsiteAbstract
Background: The combination melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide (MPT) is considered a standard therapy for patients with myeloma who are ineligible for stem-cell transplantation. However, emerging data on the use of lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone warrant a prospective comparison of the two approaches. Methods: We randomly assigned 1623 patients to lenalidomide and dexamethasone in 28-day cycles until disease progression (535 patients), to the same combination for 72 weeks (18 cycles; 541 patients), or to MPT for 72 weeks (547 patients). The primary end point was progression-free survival with continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone versus MPT. Results: The median progression-free survival was 25.5 months with continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone, 20.7 months with 18 cycles of lenalidomide-dexamethasone, and 21.2 months with MPT (hazard ratio for the risk of progression or death, 0.72 for continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone vs. MPT and 0.70 for continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone vs. 18 cycles of lenalidomide-dexamethasone; P<0.001 for both comparisons). Continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone was superior to MPT for all secondary efficacy end points, including overall survival (at the interim analysis). Overall survival at 4 years was 59% with continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone, 56% with 18 cycles of lenalidomide-dexamethasone, and 51% with MPT. Grade 3 or 4 adverse events were somewhat less frequent with continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone than with MPT (70% vs. 78%). As compared with MPT, continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone was associated with fewer hematologic and neurologic toxic events, a moderate increase in infections, and fewer second primary hematologic cancers. Conclusions: As compared with MPT, continuous lenalidomide-dexamethasone given until disease progression was associated with a significant improvement in progression-free survival, with an overall survival benefit at the interim analysis, among patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who were ineligible for stem-cell transplantation. Copyright © 2014 Massachusetts Medical Society.
Ocio EM, Richardson PG, Rajkumar SV, Palumbo A, Mateos MV, Orlowski R, Kumar S, Usmani S, Roodman D, Niesvizky R, et al. New drugs and novel mechanisms of action in multiple myeloma in 2013: A report from the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG). Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(3):525 - 542. WebsiteAbstract
Treatment in medical oncology is gradually shifting from the use of nonspecific chemotherapeutic agents toward an era of novel targeted therapy in which drugs and their combinations target specific aspects of the biology of tumor cells. Multiple myeloma (MM) has become one of the best examples in this regard, reflected in the identification of new pathogenic mechanisms, together with the development of novel drugs that are being explored from the preclinical setting to the early phases of clinical development. We review the biological rationale for the use of the most important new agents for treating MM and summarize their clinical activity in an increasingly busy field. First, we discuss data from already approved and active agents (including second- and third-generation proteasome inhibitors (PIs), immunomodulatory agents and alkylators). Next, we focus on agents with novel mechanisms of action, such as monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs), cell cycle-specific drugs, deacetylase inhibitors, agents acting on the unfolded protein response, signaling transduction pathway inhibitors and kinase inhibitors. Among this plethora of new agents or mechanisms, some are specially promising: anti-CD38 MoAb, such as daratumumab, are the first antibodies with clinical activity as single agents in MM. Moreover, the kinesin spindle protein inhibitor Arry-520 is effective in monotherapy as well as in combination with dexamethasone in heavily pretreated patients. Immunotherapy against MM is also being explored, and probably the most attractive example of this approach is the combination of the anti-CS1 MoAb elotuzumab with lenalidomide and dexamethasone, which has produced exciting results in the relapsed/refractory setting. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Kastritis E, Zagouri F, Symeonidis A, Roussou M, Sioni A, Pouli A, Delimpasi S, Katodritou E, Michalis E, Michael M, et al. Preserved levels of uninvolved immunoglobulins are independently associated with favorable outcome in patients with symptomatic multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(10):2075 - 2079. WebsiteAbstract
Suppression of uninvolved immunoglobulins is common in multiple myeloma (MM) but the prognostic significance of this phenomenon has not been assessed. We evaluated the prognostic significance of the preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in 1755 consecutive, unselected, patients with newly diagnosed, symptomatic MM with pre-therapy immunoglobulin levels measured by nephelometry. Suppression of at least one uninvolved immunoglobulin was observed in 87% of patients and was more common in patients with immunoglobulin A myeloma, those aged over 65 years, in patients with advanced-International Staging System (ISS) stage, extensive-bone marrow infiltration, anemia, low platelet counts, high levels of serum M-monoclonal protein or renal dysfunction. Patients with preserved immunoglobulins had a better survival than patients with suppressed immunoglobulins (median survival 55 vs 41.5 months, P<0.001). In multivariate analysis, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was independently associated with better survival (hazard ratio: 0.781, 95% confidence interval: 0.618-0.987, P=0.039); irrespective of the treatment. In a subset of 500 patients, which were strictly followed for disease progression, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was associated with a significantly longer progression-free survival (60 vs 25 months, P<0.001), independently of other common prognostic factors. In conclusion, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic MM was independently associated with long term disease control and improved survival. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Rajkumar SV, Dimopoulos MA, Palumbo A, Blade J, Merlini G, Mateos M-V, Kumar S, Hillengass J, Kastritis E, Richardson P, et al. International Myeloma Working Group updated criteria for the diagnosis of multiple myeloma. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2014;15(12):e538 - e548. WebsiteAbstract
This International Myeloma Working Group consensus updates the disease definition of multiple myeloma to include validated biomarkers in addition to existing requirements of attributable CRAB features (hypercalcaemia, renal failure, anaemia, and bone lesions). These changes are based on the identification of biomarkers associated with near inevitable development of CRAB features in patients who would otherwise be regarded as having smouldering multiple myeloma. A delay in application of the label of multiple myeloma and postponement of therapy could be detrimental to these patients. In addition to this change, we clarify and update the underlying laboratory and radiographic variables that fulfil the criteria for the presence of myeloma-defining CRAB features, and the histological and monoclonal protein requirements for the disease diagnosis. Finally, we provide specific metrics that new biomarkers should meet for inclusion in the disease definition. The International Myeloma Working Group recommends the implementation of these criteria in routine practice and in future clinical trials, and recommends that future studies analyse any differences in outcome that might occur as a result of the new disease definition. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Dimopoulos MA, Swern AS, Li JS, Hussein M, Weiss L, Nagarwala Y, Baz R. Efficacy and safety of long-term treatment with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Blood Cancer Journal [Internet]. 2014;4(11). WebsiteAbstract
Data from two randomized pivotal, phase 3 trials evaluating the combination of lenalidomide and dexamethasone in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) were pooled to characterize the subset of patients who achieved long-term benefit of therapy (progression-free survival ≥3 years). Patients with long-term benefit of therapy (n = 45) had a median duration of treatment of 48.1 months and a response rate of 100%. Humoral improvement (uninvolved immunoglobulin A) was more common in patients with long-term benefit of therapy (79% vs 55%; P = 0.002). Significant predictors of long-term benefit of therapy in multivariate analysis were age < 65 years (P = 0.03), β2-microglobulin <2.5 mg/l (P = 0.002) and fewer prior therapies (P = 0.002). The exposureadjusted incidence rate (EAIR) of grade 3-4 neutropenia was lower in patients with long-term benefit of therapy (13.9 vs 38.2 per 100 patient-years). The EAIR for invasive second primary malignancy was the same in patients with long-term benefit of therapy and other patients (1.7 per 100 patient-years). These findings indicate that patients with RRMM can experience long-term benefit with lenalidomide and dexamethasone treatment with manageable side effects. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Siegel DS, Richardson P, Dimopoulos M, Moreau P, Mitsiades C, Weber D, Houp J, Gause C, Vuocolo S, Eid J, et al. Vorinostat in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Blood Cancer Journal [Internet]. 2014;4(2). WebsiteAbstract
The addition of vorinostat to lenalidomide/dexamethasone represents a novel combination therapy in multiple myeloma (MM), informed by laboratory studies suggesting synergy. This was a phase I, multicenter, open-label, non-randomized, dose-escalating study in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory MM. Clinical evaluation, electrocardiogram, laboratory studies and adverse events were obtained and assessed. The maximum-tolerated dose was not reached owing to a non-occurrence of two dose-limiting toxicities per six patients tested at any of the dosing levels. Patients tolerated the highest dose tested (Level 5) and this was considered the maximum administered dose: at 400mg vorinostat on days 1-7 and 15-21, 25mg lenalidomide on days 1-21 and 40mg dexamethasone on days 1, 8, 15 and 22, per 28-day cycle. Drug-related adverse events were reported in 90% of patients serious adverse experiences were reported in 45% of the patients and 22% of all patients had adverse experiences considered, possibly related to study drug by the investigators. A confirmed partial response or better was reported for 14/30 patients (47%) evaluable for efficacy, including 31% of patients previously treated with lenalidomide. Vorinostat in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone proved tolerable with appropriate supportive care, with encouraging activity observed. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Pentheroudakis G, Kotoula V, Kouvatseas G, Charalambous E, Dionysopoulos D, Zagouri F, Koutras A, Papazisis K, Pectasides D, Samantas E, et al. Association of VEGF-A splice variant mRNA expression with outcome in bevacizumab-treated patients with metastatic breast cancer. Clinical Breast Cancer [Internet]. 2014;14(5):330 - 338. WebsiteAbstract
We studied tissue mRNA levels of VEGF-Axxxa angiogenic versus VEGF-Axxxb anti-angiogenic isoforms by means of specially designed PCR assays in two parallel cohorts of metastatic breast cancer patients, one treated with taxane (Cohort A) and one treated with taxaneDbevacizumab (Cohort B). Tissue mRNA expression of angiogenic VEGF-Axxxa isoforms was retrospectively associated with adverse prognosis in the absence of bevacizumab and with favorable outcome when bevacizumab was administered. Background: The prognostic utility of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) splice variants in patients with advanced breast cancer treated with bevacizumab has not been studied. Patients and Methods: A total of 111 patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with weekly docetaxel or ixabepilone without bevacizumab (cohort A) and 100 treated with weekly paclitaxel and bevacizumab (cohort B) were studied. Formalin-fixed tumors were macrodissected for reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction relative quantification of VEGF-A165, -189, and -206 isoforms spliced at exon 8 proximal splice site (VEGF-Axxxa) and at exon 8 distal splice site (VEGF-Axxxb). Results: For high VEGF-Axxxa, the hazard ratios (HRs) for progression were 1.08 (P = .71) in non-bevacizumab-treated patients (cohort A) and 0.66 (P = .22) in bevacizumab-treated patients (cohort B), and the HRs for death were 1.45 (P = .13) and 0.50 (P = .049), respectively. The interaction of VEGF-Axxxa with bevacizumab administration was significant (P = .011) for overall survival (OS). High tissue VEGF-Axxxb was not prognostic in cohort A but was predictive for bevacizumab benefit in cohort B (HR for progression, 0.57 [P = .04]; HR for death, 0.51 [P = .02]). Exploratory analyses done only in cohort B suggested that abundance of VEGFR1 messenger RNA (mRNA) in peripheral blood and low VEGFR2 mRNA in tissue correlated with poor outcome. In multivariate analysis, high tissue mRNA of angiogenic VEGFAxxxa in the presence of bevacizumab therapy predicted for favorable progression-free survival (HR for progression, 0.39; P = .0227) and OS (HR for death, 0.32; P = .0140). Conclusion: Tissue mRNA expression of angiogenic VEGFAxxxa isoforms was retrospectively associated with adverse prognosis in the absence of bevacizumab and with favorable outcome when bevacizumab was administered in patients with advanced breast cancer. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Bamias A, Tzannis K, Papatsoris A, Oudard S, Beuselinck B, Escudier B, Liontos M, Elaidi T-R, Chrisofos M, Stravodimos K, et al. Prognostic significance of cytoreductive nephrectomy in patients with synchronous metastases from renal cell carcinoma treated with first-line sunitinib: A european multiinstitutional study. Clinical Genitourinary Cancer [Internet]. 2014;12(5):373 - 383. WebsiteAbstract
In our multicenter retrospective analysis in 186 patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) and synchronous metastases treated with sunitinib, we examined the role of cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) in this clinical setting. CN proved to have a beneficial prognostic effect in survival independent of other diseaseor patient-related factors. CN remains a reasonable option for mRCC patients scheduled to be treated with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Introduction/Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic role of CN in patients with mRCC and synchronous metastases treated with the VEGF receptor TKI, sunitinib. Patients and Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of metastases before, at the time of, or within 3 months from the diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and first-line treatment with sunitinib were included. Baseline characteristics were correlated with overall survival (OS) according to hazard ratios estimated from univariate Cox proportional hazards models. Significant factors were then included in a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model. Results: One hundred eighty-six patients treated between January 2006 and March 2012 were selected. Thirty-six (19%) had not undergone CN. CN was offered to younger patients with better prognoses. Patients who underwent CN lived significantly longer than patients without CN (median OS, 23.9 [95% confidence interval (CI), 20.8-28.8] vs. 9 [95% CI, 4-16.4] months; P < .001). Multivariate analysis showed that CN had an independent prognostic significance. No specific subgroup benefiting from CN was identified. Conclusion: CN was an independent favorable prognostic factor in patients with synchronous metastases from RCC, treated with sunitinib. Information regarding the selection of mRCC patients likely to benefit from CN might be derived by ongoing phase III trials. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Zagouri F, Brandstetter A, Moussiolis D, Chrysikos D, Dimitrakakis C, Tsigginou A, Marinopoulos S, Zografos GC, Sergentanis TN, Dimopoulos M-A, et al. Low protein expression of MET in ER-positive and HER2-positive breast cancer. Anticancer Research [Internet]. 2014;34(3):1227 - 1231. WebsiteAbstract
Aim: The mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (MET) is a receptor tyrosine kinase that plays a key role in cell survival, growth, angiogenesis and metastasis. Because its expression is frequently altered in tumors, MET is currently under investigation as a potential target for anticancer therapy. The purpose of the present study was to determine the prognostic value of tumor MET expression levels in patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer, in order to strengthen the rationale for targeted therapy using MET inhibitors in this breast cancer subpopulation. Materials and Methods: We determined the expression of MET in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded surgical specimens of ERand HER2-positive breast cancer by immunohistochemistry. Results: Comparisons of MET expression with clinical parameters, including survival of the patients, were performed with MET expression as a dichotomized variable classified as high or low. Out of 78 tumors, 3 (3.8%) showed high MET expression. The analysis examining the association between MET and survival did not yield any statistically significant result regarding overall survival or disease-free survival. Conclusion: ER- and HER2-positive breast carcinomas do not exhibit high MET expression. This null finding, the first to be reported in the literature, is of great importance, since it indicates that this sub-group population is not proper candidate for clinical trials with MET inhibitors.
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Katodritou E, Papatheodorou A, Pouli A, Kyrtsonis M-C, Michalis E, Papanikolaou X, Gkotzamanidou M, et al. The combination of lenalidomide and dexamethasone reduces bone resorption in responding patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma but has no effect on bone formation: Final results on 205 patients of the Greek myeloma study group. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2014;89(1):34 - 40. WebsiteAbstract
The combination of lenalidomide plus dexamethasone (RD) is very effective for patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma. However, the effect of RD on bone metabolism has not been previously evaluated in these patients. To address this issue, we initially performed a retrospective study in 106 consecutive patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma who received RD. We measured the following bone indices on Cycle 1/Day 1 and then on Cycles 3 and 6/Day 28: dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1), sRANKL, osteoprotegerin (OPG), bone resorption markers (C-telopeptide of collagen type-I, CTX and TRACP-5b) and bone formation markers (bone-specific alkaline phosphatase-bALP and osteocalcin). RD produced a reduction of CTX only in responders, with no effect on bone formation. To validate these results, we then evaluated prospectively 99 patients who received either RD (n=50) or VRD (bortezomib + RD, n=49). RD reduced CTX, mainly in responders but showed no effect on bone formation, confirming the result of the retrospective study. However, the addition of bortezomib to RD (VRD arm) reduced Dkk-1, sRANKL/OPG, and CTX, while it increased bALP and OC after six cycles of therapy. These changes were irrespective of treatment response, which was similar between treatment arms. No skeletal-related events were observed in the VRD arm while two, nonresponding patients treated with RD developed a vertebral fracture. We conclude that RD reduces bone resorption only in responding patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma but has no effect on bone formation. Combination with bortezomib, which enhances bone formation, seems to be preferred for the management of myeloma patients with osteolytic disease. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Terpos E, Christoulas D, Kastritis E, Roussou M, Migkou M, Eleutherakis-Papaiakovou E, Gavriatopoulou M, Gkotzamanidou M, Kanellias N, Manios E, et al. VTD consolidation, without bisphosphonates, reduces bone resorption and is associated with a very low incidence of skeletal-related events in myeloma patients post ASCT. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(4):928 - 934. WebsiteAbstract
We prospectively evaluated the effect of bortezomib, thalidomide and dexamethasone (VTD) consolidation on bone metabolism of 42 myeloma patients who underwent an autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). VTD started on day 100 post ASCT; patients received four cycles of VTD (first block), were followed without treatment for 100 days and then received another four VTD cycles (second block). During this 12-month period, bisphosphonates were not administered. Best response included stringent complete remission (sCR) in 15 (35.7%) patients, complete response (CR) in 13 (30.9%), vgPR in 7 (16.6%), PR in 4 (9.5%), while 3 (7.1%) patients developed a progressive disease (PD). Importantly, 33.3% and 47.6% of patients improved their status of response after the first and second VTD block, respectively. VTD consolidation resulted in a significant reduction of circulating C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of collagen type I (CTX), soluble receptor activator of the nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (sRANKL) and osteocalcin (OC), whereas bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (bALP) remained stable compared with pre-VTD values. During the study period, only one patient with a PD developed a skeletal-related event (that is, radiation to bone). The median time to progression (TTP) after ASCT was 34 months and the median time of next treatment was 40 months. We conclude that VTD consolidation post ASCT reduces bone resorption and is associated with a very low incidence of skeletal-related events (SREs) despite the absence of bisphosphonates; the later do not appear to be necessary in this context. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Dimopoulos MA, Delimpasi S, Katodritou E, Vassou A, Kyrtsonis MC, Repousis P, Kartasis Z, Parcharidou A, Michael M, Michalis E, et al. Significant improvement in the survival of patients with multiple myeloma presenting with severe renal impairment after the introduction of novel agents. Annals of Oncology [Internet]. 2014;25(1):195 - 200. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Renal impairment (RI) is a common presenting complication of multiple myeloma (MM); the availability of new treatments has improved the outcomes of patients with MM; however, their impact on the survival of patients who present with RI has not been extensively studied. Patients and methods: We analyzed the characteristics and outcomes of 1773 consecutive unselected patients who were treated for symptomatic myeloma since January 1990. Results: Although there was a significant increase in the proportion of patients of advanced age in the more recent periods, the frequency of RI as well as the proportion of patients who presented with severe RI (eGFR < 30 ml/min/1.73 m2) remained unchanged around 18%. Thus, after adjustment for age, there was a decrease in the risk of severe RI at presentation after 2000. Myeloma response rates (≥PR) to frontline therapy have substantially increased, and this was translated in a significant increase in the median survival. Specifically for patients with severe RI, the median OS has improved from 18 and 19.5 months in the 1990-1994 and 1995-1999 to 29 and 32 months for the periods 2000-2004 and after 2005 (P = 0.005). Severe RI was associated with a high risk of early death (12% versus 7% for patients with moderate RI versus 3% for patients with mild or no RI (P < 0.001), especially among older patients, and has remained unchanged over time. Conclusions: There has been a major improvement in the survival of patients with severe RI in the past decade, despite the increasing numbers of patients of advanced age. However, the risk of early death remains high in patients with severe RI, especially in the elderly. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Katodritou E, Terpos E, Kelaidi C, Kotsopoulou M, Delimpasi S, Kyrtsonis M-C, Symeonidis A, Giannakoulas N, Stefanoudaki A, Christoulas D, et al. Treatment with bortezomib-based regimens improves overall response and predicts for survival in patients with primary or secondary plasma cell leukemia: Analysis of the Greek myeloma study group. American Journal of Hematology [Internet]. 2014;89(2):145 - 150. WebsiteAbstract
Plasma cell leukemia (PCL) is a rare and aggressive plasma cell disorder, with poor outcome. Bortezomib-based regimens (BBR) are highly effective in myeloma, but there is limited information about their efficacy and safety in PCL. Thus, we retrospectively collected data from 42 consecutive PCL patients (25 with primary PCL-pPCL and 17 with secondary PCL-sPCL) to explore the role of BBR in this entity. BBR were administered in 29 of 42 patients, while 6 of 25 patients with pPCL underwent autologous transplantation. Objective response (≥partial response) was significantly higher in patients treated with BBR versus conventional therapies (69% vs. 30.8%, P=0.04); 27.5% of patients treated with BBR achieved at least very good partial response (vgPR). The highest ORR was observed in pPCL patients treated with BBR (88.9%; ≥vgPR: 33.3%). In BBR-group, grade 3 of 4 hematological, neurological and renal toxicity and neutropenic infections were observed in 41.4%, 7%, 3.4%, and 31%, respectively. With a median follow-up of 51 months, median overall survival (OS) for patients treated with BBR versus conventional therapies was 13 versus 2 months (P<0.007). Median OS of patients with pPCL and sPCL treated with BBR was 18 and 7 months, respectively (P<0.001). In the multivariate analysis normal PLTs, treatment with BBR and high quality response were the only powerful predictors for survival. Our study carrying the longest reported median follow-up, demonstrated that treatment of PCL with BBR induces high response rates and prolongs survival over conventional therapies, regardless of additional autologous transplantation rescue or established high risk features, with manageable toxicity. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Ludwig H, Sonneveld P, Davies F, Bladé J, Boccadoro M, Cavo M, Morgan G, De La Rubia J, Delforge M, Dimopoulos M, et al. European perspective on multiple myeloma treatment strategies in 2014. Oncologist [Internet]. 2014;19(8):829 - 844. WebsiteAbstract
The treatment of multiple myeloma has undergone significant changes and has resulted in the achievement of molecular remissions, the prolongation of remission duration, and extended survival becoming realistic goals, with a cure being possible in a small but growing number of patients. In addition, nowadays it is possible to categorize patients more precisely into different risk groups, thus allowing the evaluation of therapies in different settings and enabling a better comparison of results across trials. Here, we review the evidence from clinical studies, which forms the basis for our recommendations for the management of patients with myeloma. Treatment approaches depend on "fitness," with chronological age still being an important discriminator for selecting therapy. In younger, fit patients, a short three drug-based induction treatment followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) remains the preferred option. Consolidation and maintenance therapy are attractive strategies not yet approved by the European Medicines Agency, and a decision regarding post-ASCT therapy should only be made after detailed discussion of the pros and cons with the individual patient. Two- and three-drug combinations are recommended for patients not eligible for transplantation. Treatment should be administered for at least nine cycles, although different durations of initial therapy have only rarely been compared so far. Comorbidity and frailty should be thoroughly assessed in elderly patients, and treatment must be adapted to individual needs, carefully selecting appropriate drugs and doses. A substantial number of new drugs and novel drug classes in early clinical development have shown promising activity. Their introduction into clinical practice will most likely further improve treatment results. © AlphaMed Press.
Melea PI, Melakopoulos I, Kastritis E, Tesseromatis C, Margaritis V, Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. Conservative treatment of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw in multiple myeloma patients. International Journal of Dentistry [Internet]. 2014;2014. WebsiteAbstract
The use of intravenous bisphosphonates (pamidronate or zoledronic acid) is the cornerstone for the management of multiple myeloma-(MM-) related bone disease. However, osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is a rare, but sometimes difficult to manage, adverse effect of bisphosphonates therapy. A retrospective review of all MM patients who were treated with bisphosphonates in our department, from 2003 to 2013, and developed ONJ was performed. According to inclusion criteria, 38 patients were studied. All these patients were treated as conservatively as possible according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons criteria. Patients were managed with observation, oral antibacterial mouth rinse with chlorhexidine, oral antibiotics, pain control with analgesics, nonsurgical sequestrectomy with or without simultaneous administration of antibiotics, or major surgery with or without antibiotics. Healing of the lesions was achieved in 23 (60%) patients who were treated with conservative measures; the median time to healing was 12 months (95% CI: 4-21). The number of bisphosphonates infusions influenced the time to healing: the median time to healing for patients who received <16 infusions was 7 months and for those with >16 infusions was it 14 months P=0.017. We conclude that a primarily nonsurgical approach appears to be a successful management strategy for bisphosphonate-related ONJ. © 2014 Pelagia I. Melea et al.
Zagouri F, Kastritis E, Gavriatopoulou M, Sergentanis TN, Psaltopoulou T, Terpos E, Dimopoulos M-A. Lenalidomide in patients with POEMS syndrome: A systematic review and pooled analysis. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2014;55(9):2018 - 2023. WebsiteAbstract
The purpose of this pooled analysis was to synthesize all available data so as to evaluate the efficacy and safety of lenalidomide in patients with POEMS syndrome. Eligible articles were identified by a search in MEDLINE and databases using a predefined combination. Eligible cases of patients treated in our department were additionally included. Overall, 51 patients were included. The median age of patients was 54.5 years (range: 32-79 years). Lenalidomide was given as first- or second-line treatment in 28.6% and 47.6% of patients, respectively. Hematological responses included complete response in 18.6%, very good partial response in 39.5% and partial response in 37.2% of cases. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) reduction was reported in all cases. Neuropathy improved in 92.0% of cases and stabilized in 8%. The progression-free survival (PFS) estimate at 12 months was 93.9%. Lenalidomide can represent a safe and effective option for the treatment of patients with POEMS. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.
Hajek R, Siegel D, Orlowski RZ, Ludwig H, Palumbo A, Dimopoulos M. The role of histone deacetylase inhibitors in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2014;55(1):11 - 18. WebsiteAbstract
Clinical outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have improved substantially since the introduction of novel agents including the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib and the immunomodulatory drugs thalidomide and lenalidomide. However, most patients with MM eventually relapse, and prognosis remains poor among patients with relapsed and/or refractory disease. Combination therapy using agents with different mechanisms of action is emerging as an attractive treatment approach in oncology to increase efficacy and/or overcome resistance to standard treatment regimens. This review discusses unmet needs in the treatment of MM and the development of histone deacetylase inhibitors as a treatment modality for MM. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd.
Zagouri F, Sergentanis TN, Tsigginou A, Dimitrakakis C, Zografos GC, Dimopoulos M-A, Psaltopoulou T. Female breast cancer in Europe: Statistics, diagnosis and treatment modalities. Journal of Thoracic Disease [Internet]. 2014;6(6):589 - 590. Website
Kastritis E, Moulopoulos LA, Terpos E, Koutoulidis V, Dimopoulos MA. The prognostic importance of the presence of more than one focal lesion in spine MRI of patients with asymptomatic (smoldering) multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(12):2402 - 2403. Website
Thomakos N, Zacharakis D, Rodolakis A, Zagouri F, Papadimitriou CA, Bamias A, Dimopoulos M-A, Haidopoulos D, Vlahos G, Antsaklis A. Gynecologic oncology patients in the surgical high dependency unit: An analysis of indications. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics [Internet]. 2014;290(2):335 - 339. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: The establishment of high dependency units (HDUs) has been an undoubted advance in the management of patients undergoing major oncological procedures. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of various preoperative and perioperative patients' characteristics on the prolonged HDU stay. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study including all gynecologic oncology patients who underwent surgical management and were admitted postoperatively to our hospitals' HDU from 2006 to 2010. Results: A total of 1,014 patients were transferred to the HDU and divided into two groups according to the length of HDU stay. Group A consisted of 840 (82.8 %) patients who stayed in the HDU for ≤24 h and Group B included 174 (17.2 %) patients who remained in the HDU under close observation for >24 h. Older age was the only preoperative characteristic that remained significantly associated with HDU prolonged stay. In addition, three intraoperative factors such as use of invasive hemodynamic monitoring, bowel resection and estimated blood loss were proved to be independently associated with prolonged HDU stay. Conclusion: Certain characteristics could identify those patients who are more likely to benefit most from HDU admission. © 2014 Springer-Verlag.
Zagouri F, Kastritis E, Symeonidis AS, Giannakoulas N, Katodritou E, Delimpasi S, Repousis P, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Immunoglobulin D myeloma: Clinical features and outcome in the era of novel agents. European Journal of Haematology [Internet]. 2014;92(4):308 - 312. WebsiteAbstract
Objectives: Immunoglobulin D (IgD) multiple myeloma is an uncommon variant of the disease probably associated with poorer prognosis. However, data on IgD myeloma patients treated in the novel agent era are lacking. Methods: To assess the frequency and the specific characteristics and evaluate the outcome of patients with IgD myeloma, we analyzed the database of the Greek Myeloma Study Group. Results: Between January 2000 and December 2012, among the 1239 patients with symptomatic myeloma, 31 (2.5%) were diagnosed with IgD myeloma. The median age of patients with IgD myeloma was 65 yr (range 26-80 yr) versus 68 yr (range 23-96 yr) of all others, and 84% had lambda light chain (vs. 38% of the patients with other subtypes). Patients with IgD myeloma presented more often with features of high-risk disease, that is, with advanced ISS, high LDH, significant renal dysfunction, and large amounts of Bence Jones proteinuria. Response to primary therapy was similar to other patients, although there was a trend for better quality of responses in patients with IgD myeloma. The median survival of these patients was 51.5 months versus 50.7 months for patients of other subtypes. In a multivariate model to adjust for differences in prognostic features, IgD myeloma was not associated with a different prognosis. Conclusion: The incidence of IgD myeloma is 2.5%. Although patients with IgD myeloma present more often with high-risk features, their outcome in the era of novel agents is similar to that of patients with other myeloma subtypes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Dimopoulos MA, Palumbo A, Hajek R, Kropff M, Petrucci MT, Lewis P, Millar S, Zhang J, Mei J, Delforge M. Factors that influence health-related quality of life in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma aged ≥ 65 years treated with melphalan, prednisone and lenalidomide followed by lenalidomide maintenance: Results of a randomized trial. Leukemia and Lymphoma [Internet]. 2014;55(7):1489 - 1497. WebsiteAbstract
In the MM-015 trial, melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide followed by lenalidomide maintenance (MPR-R) significantly prolonged progression-free survival versus melphalan-prednisone (MP) in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma aged ≥ 65 years. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL), a secondary endpoint of MM-015, was also improved with MPR-R. This sub-analysis evaluated the impact of individual predictive factors on HRQoL. Patients completed HRQoL questionnaires at baseline, every third cycle and at progressive disease (PD)/treatment discontinuation. In a mixed-effects model female gender, advanced age and PD negatively affected HRQoL while better treatment responses showed positive effects. Compared to PD, HRQoL during MPR-R treatment was statistically significantly better in two of six preselected domains both of which were also clinically meaningful. HRQoL scores at end of treatment were all either improved or not statistically significantly different versus baseline. In conclusion, continuous treatment with MPR-R, which delays PD, appears to be associated with clinically meaningful improvements in HRQoL. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.
Gkotzamanidou M, Sfikakis PP, Kyrtopoulos SA, Bamia C, Dimopoulos MA, Souliotis VL. Chromatin structure, transcriptional activity and DNA repair efficiency affect the outcome of chemotherapy in multiple myeloma. British journal of cancer [Internet]. 2014;111(7):1293 - 1304. WebsiteAbstract
Melphalan is one of the most active chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). However, the mechanism underlying differential patient responses to melphalan therapy is unknown. METHODS :Chromatin structure, transcriptional activity and DNA damage response signals were examined following ex vivo treatment with melphalan of both malignant bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of MM patients, responders (n=57) or non-responders (n=28) to melphalan therapy. PBMCs from healthy controls (n=25) were also included in the study. In both BMPCs and PBMCs, the local chromatin looseness, transcriptional activity and repair efficiency of the transcribed strand (TS) were significantly higher in non-responders than in responders and lowest in healthy controls (all P<0.05). Moreover, we found that melphalan-induced apoptosis inversely correlated with the repair efficiency of the TS, with the duration of the inhibition of mRNA synthesis, phosphorylation of p53 at serine 15 and apoptosis rates being higher in responders than in non-responders (all P<0.001). Our findings provide a mechanistic basis for the link between DNA repair efficiency and response to melphalan therapy. Interestingly, the observation of these phenomena in PBMCs provides a novel approach for the prediction of response to anti-myeloma therapy.
Matikas A, Kanellis G, Papadimitriou C, Papadaki T, Kotsakis A, Dimopoulos MA, Georgoulias V. Plasmablastic lymphoma of the breast in an immunocompetent patient: Long-lasting complete response induced by chemotherapy and autologous stem cell trasplantation. Anticancer Research [Internet]. 2014;34(9):5111 - 5115. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is a rare entity which is often causally related to infection by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Despite its predilection for oral cavity involvement, multiple cases of extra-oral involvement have been reported in the literature, more often among immunocompetent individuals. Case report: Herein we present the first case of primary PBL of the breast in an otherwise immunocompetent 36-year-old woman who was successfully treated with consolidation megatherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation. Conclusion: PBL carries a particularly poor prognosis and more intensive treatment is usually warranted. However, no treatment guidelines exist and treatment choices are made based on case reports and small retrospective case series. © 2014, International Institute of Anticancer Research. All rights reserved.
Kastritis E, Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Author's reply. Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy [Internet]. 2014;15(2):300. Website
Gkotzamanidou M, Terpos E, Kastritis E, Dimopoulos MA. Hematologic response and stabilization of renal function in a patient with light chain deposition disease after lenalidomide treatment: A novel therapeutic approach?. Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;14(5):e179 - e181. Website
Gkotzamanidou M, Terpos E, Bamia C, Kyrtopoulos SA, Sfikakis PP, Dimopoulos MA, Souliotis VL. Progressive changes in chromatin structure and DNA damage response signals in bone marrow and peripheral blood during myelomagenesis. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014;28(5):1113 - 1121. WebsiteAbstract
The molecular pathways implicated in multiple myeloma (MM) development are rather unknown. We studied epigenetic and DNA damage response (DDR) signals at selected model loci (N-ras, p53, d-globin) in bone marrow plasma cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS; n=20), smoldering/asymptomatic MM (SMM; n=29) and MM (n=18), as well as in healthy control-derived PBMCs (n=20). In both tissues analyzed, a progressive, significant increase in the looseness of local chromatin structure, gene expression levels and DNA repair efficiency from MGUS to SMM and finally to MM was observed (all P<0.002). Following ex vivo treatment with melphalan, a gradual suppression of the apoptotic pathway occurred in samples collected at different stages of myelomagenesis, with the severity and duration of the inhibition of RNA synthesis, p53 phosphorylation at serine15 and induction of apoptosis being higher in MGUS than SMM and lowest in MM patients (all P<0.0103). Interestingly, for all endpoints analyzed, a strong correlation between plasma cells and corresponding PBMCs was observed (all P<0.0003). We conclude that progressive changes in chromatin structure, transcriptional activity and DDR pathways during myelomagenesis occur in malignant plasma cells and that these changes are also reflected in PBMCs. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Stofas A, Levidou G, Piperi C, Adamopoulos C, Dalagiorgou G, Bamias A, Karadimou A, Lainakis GA, Papadoukakis S, Stravodimos K, et al. The role of CXC-chemokine receptor CXCR2 and suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS-3) in renal cell carcinoma. BMC Cancer [Internet]. 2014;14(1). WebsiteAbstract
Background: Chemokine receptor signaling pathways are implicated in the pathobiology of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). However, the clinical relevance of CXCR2 receptor, mediating the effects of all angiogenic chemokines, remains unclear. SOCS (suppressor of cytokine signaling)-3 is a negative regulator of cytokine-driven responses, contributing to interferon-α resistance commonly used to treat advanced RCC with limited information regarding its expression in RCC.Methods: In this study, CXCR2 and SOCS-3 were immunohistochemically investigated in 118 RCC cases in relation to interleukin (IL)-6 and (IL)-8, their downstream transducer phosphorylated (p-)STAT-3, and VEGF expression, being further correlated with microvascular characteristics, clinicopathological features and survival. In 30 cases relationships with hypoxia-inducible factors, i.e. HIF-1a, p53 and NF-κΒ (p65/RelA) were also examined. Validation of immunohistochemistry and further investigation of downstream transducers, p-JAK2 and p-c-Jun were evaluated by Western immunoblotting in 5 cases.Results: Both CXCR2 and IL-8 were expressed by the neoplastic cells their levels being interrelated. CXCR2 strongly correlated with the levels of HIF-1a, p53 and p65/RelA in the neoplastic cells. Although SOCS-3 was simultaneously expressed with p-STAT-3, its levels tended to show an inverse relationship with p-JAK-2 and p-c-Jun in Western blots and were positively correlated with HIF-1a, p53 and p65/p65/RelA expression. Neither CXCR2 nor SOCS-3 correlated with the extent of microvascular network. IL-8 and CXCR2 expression was associated with high grade, advanced stage and the presence/number of metastases but only CXCR2 adversely affected survival in univariate analysis. Elevated SOCS-3 expression was associated with progression, the presence/number of metastasis and shortened survival in both univariate and multivariate analysis.Conclusions: Our findings implicate SOCS-3 overexpression in RCC metastasis and biologic aggressiveness advocating its therapeutic targeting. IL-8/CXCR2 signaling also contributes to the metastatic phenotype of RCC cells but appears of lesser prognostic utility. Both CXCR2 and SOCS-3 appear to be related to transcription factors induced under hypoxia. © 2014 Stofas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Palumbo A, Bringhen S, Kumar SK, Lupparelli G, Usmani S, Waage A, Larocca A, Van Der Holt B, Musto P, Offidani M, et al. Second primary malignancies with lenalidomide therapy for newly diagnosed myeloma: A meta-analysis of individual patient data. The Lancet Oncology [Internet]. 2014;15(3):333 - 342. WebsiteAbstract
Background: Lenalidomide has been linked to second primary malignancies in myeloma. We aimed to pool and analyse available data to compare the incidence of second primary malignancies in patients with and without lenalidomide exposure. Methods: We identified relevant studies through a search of PubMed and abstracts from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, and the International Myeloma Workshop. Randomised, controlled, phase 3 trials that recruited patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma between Jan 1, 2000, and Dec 15, 2012, and in which at least one group received lenalidomide were eligible for inclusion. We obtained individual patient data (age, sex, date of diagnosis, allocated treatment and received treatment, duration of treatment and cause of discontinuation, maintenance treatment, date of first relapse, date of second primary malignancy diagnosis, type of second primary malignancy, date of death or last contact, and cause of death) by direct collaboration with the principal investigators of eligible trials. Primary outcomes of interest were cumulative incidence of all second primary malignancies, solid second primary malignancies, and haematological second primary malignancies, and were analysed by a one-step meta-analysis. Findings: We found nine eligible trials, of which seven had available data for 3254 patients. 3218 of these patients received treatment (2620 had received lenalidomide and 598 had not), and were included in our analyses. Cumulative incidences of all second primary malignancies at 5 years were 6·9% (95% CI 5·3-8·5) in patients who received lenalidomide and 4·8% (2·0-7·6) in those who did not (hazard ratio [HR] 1·55 [95% CI 1·03-2·34]; p=0·037). Cumulative 5-year incidences of solid second primary malignancies were 3·8% (95% CI 2·7-4·9) in patients who received lenalidomide and 3·4% (1·6-5·2) in those that did not (HR 1·1 [95% CI 0·62-2·00]; p=0·72), and of haematological second primary malignancies were 3·1% (95% CI 1·9-4·3) and 1·4% (0·0-3·6), respectively (HR 3·8 [95% CI 1·15-12·62]; p=0·029). Exposure to lenalidomide plus oral melphalan significantly increased haematological second primary malignancy risk versus melphalan alone (HR 4·86 [95% CI 2·79-8·46]; p<0·0001). Exposure to lenalidomide plus cyclophosphamide (HR 1·26 [95% CI 0·30-5·38]; p=0·75) or lenalidomide plus dexamethasone (HR 0·86 [95% CI 0·33-2·24]; p=0·76) did not increase haematological second primary malignancy risk versus melphalan alone. Interpretation: Patients with newly diagnosed myeloma who received lenalidomide had an increased risk of developing haematological second primary malignancies, driven mainly by treatment strategies that included a combination of lenalidomide and oral melphalan. These results suggest that alternatives, such as cyclophosphamide or alkylating-free combinations, should be considered instead of oral melphalan in combination with lenalidomide for myeloma. Funding: Celgene Corporation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Palumbo A, Rajkumar SV, San Miguel JF, Larocca A, Niesvizky R, Morgan G, Landgren O, Hajek R, Einsele H, Anderson KC, et al. International Myeloma Working Group consensus statement for the management, treatment, and supportive care of patients with myeloma not eligible for standard autologous stem-cell transplantation. Journal of Clinical Oncology [Internet]. 2014;32(6):587 - 600. WebsiteAbstract
Purpose: To provide an update on recent advances in the management of patients with multiple myeloma who are not eligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation. Methods: A comprehensive review of the literature on diagnostic criteria is provided, and treatment options and management of adverse events are summarized. Results: Patients with symptomatic disease and organ damage (ie, hypercalcemia, renal failure, anemia, or bone lesions) require immediate treatment. The International Staging System and chromosomal abnormalities identify high- and standard-risk patients. Proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs, corticosteroids, and alkylating agents are the most active agents. The presence of concomitant diseases, frailty, or disability should be assessed and, if present, treated with reduced-dose approaches. Bone disease, renal damage, hematologic toxicities, infections, thromboembolism, and peripheral neuropathy are the most frequent disabling events requiring prompt and active supportive care. Conclusion: These recommendations will help clinicians ensure the most appropriate care for patients with myeloma in everyday clinical practice. © 2014 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Fonseca R, Monge J, Dimopoulos MA. Staging and prognostication of multiple myeloma. Expert Review of Hematology [Internet]. 2014;7(1):21 - 31. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a heterogeneous disease that, over the past 15 years, has seen an increased understanding of its biology and of novel therapeutic options. Distinctive subtypes of the disease have been described, each with different outcomes and clinic-pathological features. Even though a detailed classification of MM into at least seven or eight major subtypes is possible, a more practical clinical approach can classify the disease into high-risk and non-high-risk MM. Such classification has permitted a more personalized approach to the management of the disease. Additionally, risk stratification should be included in outcome discussions with patients, as survival differs significantly by high-risk status. Nowadays, test for risk stratification are widely available and can be routinely used in the clinic. A greater understanding of the genetic abnormalities underlying the biology of MM will allow for the development of novel targeted therapies and better prognostic markers of the disease. © Informa UK, Ltd.
Stratta P, Airoldi A, Battista M, Guglielmetti G, Radin E, Izzo C, Merlotti G, Quaglia M, Kastritis E, Terpos E, et al. Comment on: Think to prevent before than to treat renal impairment in multiple myeloma: Do not forget tubular damage mimicking Fanconi syndrome. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy [Internet]. 2014;15(2):299 - 300. Website
Engelhardt M, Terpos E, Kleber M, Gay F, Wäsch R, Morgan G, Cavo M, van de Donk N, Beilhack A, Bruno B, et al. European myeloma network recommendations on the evaluation and treatment of newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma. Haematologica [Internet]. 2014;99(2):232 - 242. WebsiteAbstract
Multiple myeloma management has undergone profound changes in the past thanks to advances in our understanding of the disease biology and improvements in treatment and supportive care approaches. This article presents recommendations of the European Myeloma Network for newly diagnosed patients based on the GRADE system for level of evidence. All patients with symptomatic disease should undergo risk stratification to classify patients for International Staging System stage (level of evidence: 1A) and for cytogenetically defined high- versus standard-risk groups (2B). Novel-agent-based induction and up-front autologous stem cell transplantation in medically fit patients remains the standard of care (1A). Induction therapy should include a triple combination of bortezomib, with either adriamycin or thalidomide and dexamethasone (1A), or with cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone (2B). Currently, allogeneic stem cell transplantation may be considered for young patients with high-risk disease and preferably in the context of a clinical trial (2B). Thalidomide (1B) or lenalidomide (1A) maintenance increases progression-free survival and possibly overall survival (2B). Bortezomib-based regimens are a valuable consolidation option, especially for patients who failed excellent response after autologous stem cell transplantation (2A). Bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone or melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide are the standards of care for transplant-ineligible patients (1A). Melphalan-prednisone-lenalidomide with lenalidomide maintenance increases progression-free survival, but overall survival data are needed. New data from the phase III study (MM-020/IFM 07-01) of lenalidomide-low-dose dexamethasone reached its primary end point of a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival as compared to melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide and provides further evidence for the efficacy of lenalidomide-low-dose dexamethasone in transplant-ineligible patients (2B). © 2013 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Terpos E, Dimopoulos MA. Less strength and more fractures for MGUS bones. Blood [Internet]. 2014;123(5):603 - 604. WebsiteAbstract
In this issue of Blood, Farr et al showed that patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) have increased cortical bone porosity and reduced bone strength,1 conditions that can lead to the increased fracture risk, which has been reported in MGUS patients. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.
Liontos M, Lykka M, Dimopoulos M-A, Bamias A. Profile of trebananib (AMG386) and its potential in the treatment of ovarian cancer. OncoTargets and Therapy [Internet]. 2014;7:1837 - 1845. WebsiteAbstract
Angiogenesis has been implicated in ovarian cancer pathogenesis. Bevacizumab, an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor monoclonal antibody, has recently been incorporated in ovarian cancer treatment in combination with chemotherapy both in a frontline setting and in disease recurrence. However, resistance eventually develops and treatment with bevacizumab is associated with increased risk for toxicities such as thromboembolic and hemorrhagic events, gastrointestinal perforation, and impaired wound healing, suggesting the need for new therapeutic approaches. Targeting of the angiopoietins/Tie2 pathway has gained accumulating interest during the last few years as a strategy to overcome bevacizumab resistance and toxicities. Trebananib is a first-in-class peptibody that inhibits angiopoietin 1 and 2 interaction with their receptor Tie2. The molecular profile of this agent, the preclinical data, and clinical studies demonstrating its efficacy in ovarian cancer are discussed in this review. © 2014 Liontos et al.
Dimopoulos MA, Kastritis E, Owen RG, Kyle RA, Landgren O, Morra E, Leleu X, García-Sanz R, Munshi N, Anderson KC, et al. Treatment recommendations for patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) and related disorders: IWWM-7 consensus. Blood [Internet]. 2014;124(9):1404 - 1411. WebsiteAbstract
Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a distinct B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder for which clearly defined criteria for the diagnosis, initiation of therapy, and treatment strategy have been proposed as part of the consensus panels of International Workshops on WM (IWWM). As part of the IWWM-7 and based on recently published and ongoing clinical trials, the panels updated treatment recommendations. Therapeutic strategy in WM should be based on individual patient and disease characteristics (age, comorbidities, need for rapid disease control, candidacy for autologous transplantation, cytopenias, IgM-related complications, hyperviscosity, and neuropathy). Mature data show that rituximab combinations with cyclophosphamide/ dexamethasone, bendamustine, or bortezomib/dexamethasone provided durable responses and are indicatedformostpatients. Newmonoclonalan-tibodies (ofatumumab), second-generation proteasome inhibitors (carfilzomib), mam-malian target of rapamycin inhibitors, and Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors are promising and may expand future treatment options. A different regimen is typically recommended for relapsed or refractory disease. In selected patients with relapsed disease after long-lasting remission, reuse of a prior effective regimen may be appropriate. Autologous stem cell transplantation may be considered in young patients with chemosensitive disease and in newly diagnosed patients with very-high-risk features. Active enrollment of patients with WM in clinical trials is encouraged.
Dimopoulos MA, Terpos E. Solitary bone plasmacytomas need to flow. Blood [Internet]. 2014;124(8):1209 - 1210. WebsiteAbstract
In this issue of Blood, 2 studies, one by Paiva et al (for the Spanish Myeloma Study group) and one by Hill et al (for the Leeds group [UK]), showed independently that flow cytometry of the bone marrow could identify patients with solitary plasmacytomas (SPs) at high risk for progression to active multiple myeloma (MM).1,2 In the fi rst study, 71% of patients with solitary bone plasmacytoma (SBP) who had positive fl ow cytometry for bone marrow phenotypically aberrant clonal plasma cells progressed to MM at a median time of 26 months, whereas only 6% of patients with negative fl ow cytometry progressed to myeloma (panel A). The respective values for solitary soft tissue plasmacytomas, outside of the bone, were 20% vs 6%, respectively.1 In the second study, the results were similar: 72% of patients with SBP and occult bone marrow disease detected by flow cytometry vs 12.5% without clonal plasma cells in the bone marrow also progressed to MM at a median time of 26 months (panel B).2 These findings are of great importance because multiparameter flow cytometry may be included in the initial work-up of a patient with a suspected SP. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.
Fountzilas G, Dafni U, Papadimitriou C, Timotheadou E, Gogas H, Eleftheraki AG, Xanthakis I, Christodoulou C, Koutras A, Papandreou CN, et al. Dose-dense sequential adjuvant chemotherapy followed, as indicated, by trastuzumab for one year in patients with early breast cancer: First report at 5-year median follow-up of a Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group randomized phase III trial. BMC Cancer [Internet]. 2014;14(1). WebsiteAbstract
Background: Dose-dense sequential chemotherapy including anthracyclines and taxanes has been established in the adjuvant setting of high-risk operable breast cancer. However, the preferable taxane and optimal schedule of administration in a dose-dense regimen have not been defined yet.Methods: From July 2005 to November 2008, 1001 patients (990 eligible) were randomized to receive, every 2 weeks, 3 cycles of epirubicin 110 mg/m2 followed by 3 cycles of paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 followed by 3 cycles of intensified CMF (Arm A; 333 patients), or 3 cycles of epirubicin followed by 3 cycles of CMF, as in Arm A, followed 3 weeks later by 9 weekly cycles of docetaxel 35 mg/m2 (Arm B; 331), or 9 weekly cycles of paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 (Arm C; 326). Trastuzumab was administered for one year to HER2-positive patients post-radiation.Results: At a median follow-up of 60.5 months, the 3-year disease-free survival (DFS) rate was 86%, 90% and 88%, for Arms A, B and C, respectively, while the 3-year overall survival (OS) rate was 96% in all arms. No differences were found in DFS or OS between the combined B and C Arms versus Arm A (DFS: HR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.59-1.11, P = 0.20; OS: HR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.55-1.30, P = 0.43). Among the 255 patients who received trastuzumab, 189 patients (74%) completed 1 year of treatment uneventfully. In all arms, the most frequently reported severe adverse events were neutropenia (30% vs. 27% vs. 26%) and leucopenia (12% vs. 13% vs. 12%), while febrile neutropenia occurred in fifty-one patients (6% vs. 4% vs. 5%). Patients in Arm A experienced more often severe pain (P = 0.002), neurological complications (P = 0.004) and allergic reactions (P = 0.004), while patients in Arm B suffered more often from severe skin reactions (P = 0.020).Conclusions: No significant differences in survival between the regimens were found in the present phase III trial. Taxane scheduling influenced the type of severe toxicities. HER2-positive patients demonstrated comparable 3-year DFS and OS rates with those reported in other similar studies.Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610000151033. © 2014 Fountzilas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Kastritis E, Zagouri F, Symeonidis A, Roussou M, Sioni A, Pouli A, Delimpasi S, Katodritou E, Michalis E, Michael M, et al. Preserved levels of uninvolved immunoglobulins are independently associated with favorable outcome in patients with symptomatic multiple myeloma. Leukemia [Internet]. 2014. WebsiteAbstract
Suppression of uninvolved immunoglobulins is common in multiple myeloma (MM) but the prognostic significance of this phenomenon has not been assessed. We evaluated the prognostic significance of the preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in 1755 consecutive, unselected, patients with newly diagnosed, symptomatic MM with pre-therapy immunoglobulin levels measured by nephelometry. Suppression of at least one uninvolved immunoglobulin was observed in 87% of patients and was more common in patients with immunoglobulin A myeloma, those aged over 65 years, in patients with advanced-International Staging System (ISS) stage, extensive-bone marrow infiltration, anemia, low platelet counts, high levels of serum M-monoclonal protein or renal dysfunction. Patients with preserved immunoglobulins had a better survival than patients with suppressed immunoglobulins (median survival 55 vs 41.5 months, P<0.001). In multivariate analysis, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was independently associated with better survival (hazard ratio: 0.781, 95% confidence interval: 0.618-0.987, P=0.039); irrespective of the treatment. In a subset of 500 patients, which were strictly followed for disease progression, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was associated with a significantly longer progression-free survival (60 vs 25 months, P<0.001), independently of other common prognostic factors. In conclusion, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic MM was independently associated with long term disease control and improved survival.Leukemia advance online publication, 11 April 2014; doi:10.1038/leu.2014.110.