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Caraffa di Catanzaro, Italy

Molica S.,Azienda Ospedaliera Pugliese Ciaccio
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy

Until now, no approach that is able to improve overall survival of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients has been available. In the German CLL Study Group (GCLLSG) CLL8 trial, treatment-naive, physically fit patients (aged 30-81 years) with CD20 + CLL were randomly assigned in a one-to-one ratio to receive six courses of intravenous fludarabine (25 mg/m 2 per day) and cyclophosphamide (250 mg/m 2 per day) for the first 3 days of each 28-day treatment course with or without rituximab (375 mg/m 2 on day 0 of first course and 500 mg/m 2 on day 1 of second to sixth courses). The two groups were well balanced with respect to baseline characteristics. The study was stopped at the preplanned interim analysis owing to an advantage in the median progression-free survival in the chemoimmunotherapy arm (51.8 vs 32.8 months; hazard ratio: 0.56; 95% CI: 0.46-0.69; p < 0.0001). Furthermore, at 3 years after randomization, 87% of patients in the chemoimmunotherapy group were alive compared with 83% in the chemotherapy group (hazard ratio: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.48-0.92; p = 0.01). In terms of toxicity, chemoimmunotherapy was more frequently associated with grade 3 and 4 neutropenia (p < 0.0001). There were eight (2%) treatment related-deaths in the chemoimmunotherapy arm compared with ten (3%) in the chemotherapy arm. The CLL8 trial has demonstrated that an association of rituximab, fludarabine and cyclophosphamide is effective in prolonging progression-free survival and overall survival of patients with symptomatic CLL, therefore establishing the new standard of treatment for physically fit patients. © 2011 Expert Reviews Ltd. Source

The latest Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held in San Francisco, included data on novel-targeted agents active in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). MABTENANCE and PROLONG study suggest that either rituximab or ofatumumab improves progression-free survival in CLL. According to final analysis of CLL-10 trial, rituximab and bendamustine may have a role in the upfront treatment of fit elderly patients. Further insight into the use of ibrutinib, a first-in-class covalent Bruton's tyrosine kinase-inhibitor that is currently approved for patients with relapsed/refractory CLL and with del(17p), was also presented. Idelalisib, a selective inhibitor of PI3K delta, demonstrated its activity with manageable toxicity in previously untreated patients 65 years with CLL or small lymphocytic lymphoma. Finally, a series Phase I/II studies of BCL-2 inhibitor (i.e., venetoclax, GDC-0199) used alone or in combination provide promising results in patients with relapsed/refractory CLL. © Informa UK, Ltd. Source

Molica S.,Azienda Ospedaliera Pugliese Ciaccio

In this issue of Blood, Falchi et al present their experience with 2-deoxy-2-[18F] fluoroglucose/positron emission tomography (FDG/PET) in the management of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or Richter syndrome (RS) over a 10-year period at a referral center. The results of this study shed light on the potential role of FDG/PET in CLL. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Molica S.,Azienda Ospedaliera Pugliese Ciaccio
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most prevalent type of leukemia and affects mostly the elderly. Chemoimmunotherapy with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab is generally considered a standard treatment for younger fit patients with CLL. In a recent randomized Phase III study of patients with newly diagnosed CLL and coexisting conditions, obinutuzumab, a humanized anti-CD20 glycoenginered type 2 antibody, used in combination with chlorambucil, demonstrated significant improvement in progression-free survival and several other outcome parameters, in comparison to rituximab plus chlorambucil. Grade 3-4 infusion-related reactions and neutropenia occurred more frequently in patients who received obinutuzumab compared with those who received rituximab; however, the rate of serious infections was similar. Results of this trial clearly established that obinutuzumab in combination with chlorambucil represent the new first-line standard of treatment in this setting. A broad range of novel agents with different mechanisms of action have already proven their efficacy in CLL. New drugs targeting specific molecular features, such as ibrutinib, idelalisib or ABT-199, are being tested at present, and their advent is very likely to change the future treatment paradigm of CLL that relies today on chemoimmunotherapy for both fit and elderly/unfit patients. © 2015 Informa UK Ltd. Source

Efficace F.,Italian Group for Adult Hematologic Diseases GIMEMA | Rosti G.,University of Bologna | Aaronson N.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | Cottone F.,Italian Group for Adult Hematologic Diseases GIMEMA | And 5 more authors.

The main objective of this study was to compare the reporting of health status and symptom severity, for a set of core symptoms related to imatinib therapy, between chronic myeloid leukemia patients and their treating physicians. Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire including questions on symptom severity and health status. The symptoms assessed were: abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, edema, fatigue, headache, muscle cramps, musculoskeletal pain, nausea and skin problems. The physicians were asked to complete a questionnaire for each of their patients entering the study. Four hundred twenty-two patients were included in the study. All respective paired physicians (n=29) completed the questionnaire, and thus the analyses are based on 422 patient-physician dyads. Agreement on symptom ratings ranged from 34% (for muscle cramps) to 66% (for nausea). For all symptoms, patients reported higher severity more often than their physicians. The three symptoms whose severity was most frequently underestimated by physicians were fatigue (51%), muscle cramps (49%) and musculoskeletal pain (42%). Health status was overestimated by physicians in 67% of the cases. Physicians and their patients with chronic myeloid leukemia often disagree in their ratings of the patients' symptom severity. Most typically, physicians tend to underestimate symptom severity and overestimate the overall health status of their patients. Current findings support the use of patient-reported outcome measures as a possible means to enhance the management of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. © Ferrata Storti Foundation. Source

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