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San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy

Lorusso D.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Pietragalla A.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Mainenti S.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Masciullo V.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | And 2 more authors.
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2010

Background: Ovarian cancer is the fourth cause of death from gynaecological cancer and cervical cancer is the first in women <45 years old in developing countries.The aim of this article is to review the role of topotecan (Hycamtin®), a semi-synthetic alkaloid derivative of camptothecin, in ovarian and cervical cancer in monotherapy and in combination. Methods: This article reviews the mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, toxicity and efficacy of topotecan. The paper also reports the principal phases II and III studies of topotecan in advanced or recurrent ovarian and cervical cancer. Results: Topotecan (Hycamtin®), currently indicated for the treatment of relapsed ovarian cancer, has demonstrated activity both in platinum-sensitive and in platinum-resistant disease. The combination cisplatin-topotecan for the treatment of advanced and recurrent cervical cancer has demonstrated a clinical benefit in terms of response rate, overall survival and progression free survival. Haematological toxicity of topotecan also is easy to manage and not cumulative, especially with the weekly scheduled recently introduced in clinical practice. Conclusion: Topotecan (Hycamtin®) will continue to play a role in the treatment of advanced ovarian and cervical cancer, in monotherapy or in combination with other cytotoxic agents. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Ferrari D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zalfa C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Nodari L.R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gelati M.,Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza | And 6 more authors.
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2012

Cell therapy is reaching the stage of phase I clinical trials for post-traumatic, post-ischemic, or neurodegenerative disorders, and the selection of the appropriate cell source is essential. In order to assess the capacity of different human neural stem cell lines (hNSC) to contribute to neural tissue regeneration and to reduce the local inflammation after an acute injury, we transplanted GMP grade non-immortalized hNSCs and v-myc (v-IhNSC), c-myc T58A (T-IhNSC) immortalized cells into the corpus callosum of adult rats after 5 days from focal demyelination induced by lysophosphatidylcholine. At 15 days from transplantation, hNSC and T-IhNSC migrated to the lesioned area where they promoted endogenous remyelination and differentiated into mature oligodendrocytes, while the all three cell lines were able to integrate in the SVZ. Moreover, where demyelination was accompanied by an inflammatory reaction, a significant reduction of microglial cells activation was observed. This effect correlated with a differential migratory pattern of transplanted hNSC and IhNSC, significantly enhanced in the former, thus suggesting a specific NSC-mediated immunomodulatory effect on the local inflammation. We provide evidence that, in the subacute phase of a demyelination injury, different human immortalized and non-immortalized NSC lines, all sharing homing to the stem niche, display a differential pathotropism, both through cell-autonomous and non-cell autonomous effects. Overall, these findings promote IhNSC as an inexhaustible cell source for large-scale preclinical studies and non-immortalized GMP grade hNSC lines as an efficacious, safe, and reliable therapeutic tool for future clinical applications. © 2011 Springer Basel AG. Source

Becattini C.,University of Perugia | Agnelli G.,University of Perugia | Schenone A.,Galliera Hospital | Eichinger S.,Medical University of Vienna | And 7 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: About 20% of patients with unprovoked venous thromboembolism have a recurrence within 2 years after the withdrawal of oral anticoagulant therapy. Extending anticoagulation prevents recurrences but is associated with increased bleeding. The benefit of aspirin for the prevention of recurrent venous thromboembolism is unknown. METHODS:In this multicenter, investigator-initiated, double-blind study, patients with first-ever unprovoked venous thromboembolism who had completed 6 to 18 months of oral anticoagulant treatment were randomly assigned to aspirin, 100 mg daily, or placebo for 2 years, with the option of extending the study treatment. The primary efficacy outcome was recurrence of venous thromboembolism, and major bleeding was the primary safety outcome. RESULTS:Venous thromboembolism recurred in 28 of the 205 patients who received aspirin and in 43 of the 197 patients who received placebo (6.6% vs. 11.2% per year; hazard ratio, 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.36 to 0.93) (median study period, 24.6 months). During a median treatment period of 23.9 months, 23 patients taking aspirin and 39 taking placebo had a recurrence (5.9% vs. 11.0% per year; hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.92). One patient in each treatment group had a major bleeding episode. Adverse events were similar in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Aspirin reduced the risk of recurrence when given to patients with unprovoked venous thromboembolism who had discontinued anticoagulant treatment, with no apparent increase in the risk of major bleeding. (Funded by the University of Perugia and others; WARFASA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00222677.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society. Source

Milone G.,Programma di Trapianto Emopoietico | Martino M.,Programma Trapianto di Midollo | Spadaro A.,Programma di Trapianto Emopoietico | Leotta S.,Programma di Trapianto Emopoietico | And 7 more authors.
British Journal of Haematology | Year: 2014

Summary: To date, no prospective study on Plerixafor 'on-demand' in combination with chemotherapy and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) has been reported. We present an interim analysis of the first prospective study in which Plerixafor was administered on-demand in patients affected by multiple myeloma and lymphoma who received high dose cyclophosphamide or DHAP (dexamethasone, cytarabine, cisplatin) plus G-CSF to mobilize peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC). One hundred and two patients were evaluable for response. A cohort of 240 patients receiving the same mobilizing chemotherapy was retrospectively studied. Failure to mobilize CD34+ cells in peripheral blood was reduced by 'on-demand' strategy compared to conventional mobilization; from 13·0 to 3·0% (P = 0·004). Failure to harvest CD34+ cells 2 × 106/kg decreased from 20·9 to 4·0% (P = 0·0001). The on-demand Plerixafor strategy also resulted in a lower rate of mobilization failure (P = 0·03) and harvest failure (P = 0·0008) when compared to a 'bias-adjusted set of controls'. Evaluation of economic costs of the two strategies showed that the overall cost of the two treatments were comparable when salvage mobilizations were taken into account. When in combination with cyclophosphamide or DHAP plus G-CSF, the 'on-demand' use of Plerixafor showed, in comparison to conventionally treated patients, a significant improvement in mobilization of PBSC with no increase in overall cost. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Cavo M.,University of Bologna | Pantani L.,University of Bologna | Petrucci M.T.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Patriarca F.,Policlinico Universitario | And 21 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2012

In a randomized, phase 3 study, superior complete/near-complete response (CR/nCR) rates and extended progression-free survival were demonstrated with bortezomib-thalidomide-dexamethasone (VTD) versus thalidomide-dexamethasone (TD) as induction therapy before, and consolidation after, double autologous stem cell transplantation for newly diagnosed myeloma patients (intention-to-treat analysis; VTD, n = 236; TD, n = 238). This per-protocol analysis (VTD, n = 160; TD, n = 161) specifically assessed the efficacy and safety of consolidation with VTD or TD. Before starting consolidation, CR/nCR rates were not significantly different in the VTD (63.1%) and TD arms (54.7%). After consolidation, CR (60.6% vs 46.6%) and CR/nCR (73.1% vs 60.9%) rates were significantly higher for VTD-treated versus TD-treated patients. VTD consolidation significantly increased CR and CR/nCR rates, but TD did not (McNemar test). With a median follow-up of 30.4 months from start of consolidation, 3-year progression-free survival was significantly longer for the VTD group (60% vs 48% for TD). Grade 2 or 3 peripheral neuropathy (8.1% vs 2.4%) was more frequent with VTD (grade 3, 0.6%) versus TD consolidation. The superior efficacy of VTD versus TD as induction was retained despite readministration as consolidation therapy after double autologous transplantation. VTD consolidation therapy significantly contributed to improved clinical outcomes observed for patients randomly assigned to the VTD arm of the study. The study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01134484. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

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