San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy

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Afdhal N.H.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Giannini E.G.,University of Genoa | Tayyab G.,Lahore General Hospital | Mohsin A.,Services Hospital Lahore | And 10 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Eltrombopag is an oral thrombopoietin-receptor agonist. This study evaluated the efficacy of eltrombopag for increasing platelet counts and reducing the need for platelet transfusions in patients with thrombocytopenia and chronic liver disease who are undergoing an elective invasive procedure. METHODS: We randomly assigned 292 patients with chronic liver disease of diverse causes and platelet counts of less than 50,000 per cubic millimeter to receive eltrombopag, at a dose of 75 mg daily, or placebo for 14 days before a planned elective invasive procedure that was performed within 5 days after the last dose. The primary end point was the avoidance of a platelet transfusion before, during, and up to 7 days after the procedure. A key secondary end point was the occurrence of bleeding (World Health Organization [WHO] grade 2 or higher) during this period. RESULTS: A platelet transfusion was avoided in 104 of 145 patients who received eltrombopag (72%) and in 28 of 147 who received placebo (19%) (P<0.001). No significant difference between the eltrombopag and placebo groups was observed in bleeding episodes of WHO grade 2 or higher, which were reported in 17% and 23% of patients, respectively. Thrombotic events of the portal venous system were observed in 6 patients who received eltrombopag, as compared with 1 who received placebo, resulting in the early termination of the study. The incidence and severity of other adverse events were similar in the eltrombopag and placebo groups. CONCLUSIONS: Eltrombopag reduced the need for platelet transfusions in patients with chronic liver disease who were undergoing elective invasive procedures, but it was associated with an increased incidence of portal-vein thrombosis, as compared with placebo. (Funded by GlaxoSmithKline; ELEVATE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00678587.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.


PubMed | S Giuseppe Hospital, Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital, Carrara City Hospital, S Maria Delle Croci Hospital and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of chemotherapy (Florence, Italy) | Year: 2016

A multicenter randomized study comparing high dose of mitomycin and epirubicin given as hepatic intra-arterial chemotherapy (HIAC) combined with caval chemofiltration (CF) versus low doses of the same drugs in unresectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer showed a significant improvement in the survival rate of the 20 patients treated with high dose compared to the 22 patients treated with low doses with a 1 year survival of 69% vs 39%. The median survival was 17 vs 11 months and the responses were 65% vs 33%. Toxicity was colangitis in 50% of patients considered. The extrahepatic progression was similar in the two groups (7/20 vs 8/22).


Andriulli A.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | Di Marco V.,University of Palermo | Margaglione M.,University of Foggia | Ippolito A.M.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | And 22 more authors.
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2014

Background & Aims The pool of HCV genotype 1 patients likely to be cured by peg-interferon and ribavirin remains to be quantified. Methods In 1045 patients treated with peg-interferon and ribavirin, two therapeutic strategies were confronted: the first one evaluated only baseline variables associated with sustained virological response (SVR), and the second one included the rapid virologic response (RVR) in addition to baseline predictors. An 80% SVR rate was the threshold to retain a strategy as clinically relevant. Results Overall, 414 patients (39.6%) attained SVR. In the first strategy, the hierarchy of features independently associated with SVR was IL28B CC genotype (OR 5.082; CI 3.637-7.101), low (<400,000 IU) viremia (OR 2.907; CI 2.111-4.004), F0-F2 fibrosis (OR 1.631; CI 1.122-2.372) and type 2 diabetes (OR 0.528; CI 0.286-0.972). In the alternative strategy, SVR was associated with RVR (OR 6.273; CI 4.274-9.208), IL28B CC genotype (OR 3.306; CI 2.301-4.751), low viremia (OR 2.175; CI 1.542-3.070), and F0-F2 fibrosis (OR 1.506; CI 1.012-2.242). Combining the favorable baseline variables, the rates of SVR ranged from 42.4% to 83.3%, but only 66 patients (6.3%, overall) with all predictors could be anticipated to reach the >80% SVR threshold. Only 26.6% of no-RVR patients attained SVR. Among the 255 RVR patients, the likelihood of SVR was 61.8% in those with unfavorable predictors, 80% in the presence of a single predictor, and 100% when both predictors were present. By using this model, 200 patients (19.1%) were predicted to have an 80% chance of being cured with dual therapy. Conclusions A consistent subset of naïve HCV-1 patients, identified by some baseline characteristics and RVR, may benefit from dual treatment with peg-interferon and ribavirin. © 2013 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Barbara G.,University of Bologna | Cremon C.,University of Bologna | Annese V.,University of Florence | Basilisco G.,Gastroenterology Unit | And 18 more authors.
Gut | Year: 2016

Objective: Low-grade intestinal inflammation plays a role in the pathophysiology of IBS. In this trial, we aimed at evaluating the efficacy and safety of mesalazine in patients with IBS. Design: We conducted a phase 3, multicentre, tertiary setting, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in patients with Rome III confirmed IBS. Patients were randomly assigned to either mesalazine, 800 mg, or placebo, three times daily for 12 weeks, and were followed for additional 12 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was satisfactory relief of abdominal pain/discomfort for at least half of the weeks of the treatment period. The key secondary endpoint was satisfactory relief of overall IBS symptoms. Supportive analyses were also performed classifying as responders patients with a percentage of affirmative answers of at least 75% or >75% of time. Results: A total of 185 patients with IBS were enrolled from 21 centres. For the primary endpoint, the responder patients were 68.6% in the mesalazine group versus 67.4% in the placebo group (p=0.870; 95% CI -12.8 to 15.1). In explorative analyses, with the 75% rule or >75% rule, the percentage of responders was greater in the mesalazine group with a difference over placebo of 11.6% (p=0.115; 95% CI -2.7% to 26.0%) and 5.9% (p=0.404; 95% CI -7.8% to 19.4%), respectively, although these differences were not significant. For the key secondary endpoint, overall symptoms improved in the mesalazine group and reached a significant difference of 15.1% versus placebo (p=0.032; 95% CI 1.5% to 28.7%) with the >75% rule. Conclusions: Mesalazine treatment was not superior than placebo on the study primary endpoint. However, a subgroup of patients with IBS showed a sustained therapy response and benefits from a mesalazine therapy. Trial registration number: ClincialTrials.gov number, NCT00626288. © 2016, BMJ. All rights reserved.


Andriulli A.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | Botteri E.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Almasio P.L.,University of Palermo | Vantini I.,University of Verona | And 2 more authors.
Pancreas | Year: 2010

Objectives: To assess the evidence for tobacco smoking as a risk factor for the causation of chronic pancreatitis. Methods: We performed a meta-analysis with random-effects models to estimate pooled relative risks (RRs) of chronic pancreatitis for current, former, and ever smokers, in comparison to never smokers. We also performed dose-response, heterogeneity, publication bias, and sensitivity analyses. Results: Ten case-control studies and 2 cohort studies that evaluated, overall, 1705 patients with chronic pancreatitis satisfied the inclusion criteria. When contrasted to never smokers, the pooled risk estimates for current smokers was 2.8 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8-4.2) overall and 2.5 (95% CI, 1.3-4.6) when data were adjusted for alcohol consumption. A dose-response effect of tobacco use on the risk was ascertained: the RR for subjects smoking less than 1 pack per day was 2.4 (95% CI, 0.9-6.6) and increased to 3.3 (95% CI, 1.4-7.9) in those smoking 1 or more packs per day. The risk diminished significantly after smoking cessation, as the RR estimate for former smokers dropped to a value of 1.4 (95% CI, 1.1-1.9). Conclusions: Tobacco smoking may enhance the risk of developing chronic pancreatitis. Recommendation for smoking cessation, besides alcohol abstinence, should be incorporated in the management of patients with chronic pancreatitis. © 2010 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Monteleone G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Neurath M.F.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Ardizzone S.,cco University Hospital | Di Sabatino A.,University of Pavia | And 18 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2015

Background Crohn's disease-related inflammation is characterized by reduced activity of the immunosuppressive cytokine transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) due to high levels of SMAD7, an inhibitor of TGF-β1 signaling. Preclinical studies and a phase 1 study have shown that an oral SMAD7 antisense oligonucleotide, mongersen, targets ileal and colonic SMAD7. Methods In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial, we evaluated the efficacy of mongersen for the treatment of persons with active Crohn's disease. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 10, 40, or 160 mg of mongersen or placebo per day for 2 weeks. The primary outcomes were clinical remission at day 15, defined as a Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) score of less than 150, with maintenance of remission for at least 2 weeks, and the safety of mongersen treatment. A secondary outcome was clinical response (defined as a reduction of 100 points or more in the CDAI score) at day 28. Results The proportions of patients who reached the primary end point were 55% and 65% for the 40-mg and 160-mg mongersen groups, respectively, as compared with 10% for the placebo group (P<0.001). There was no significant difference in the percentage of participants reaching clinical remission between the 10-mg group (12%) and the placebo group. The rate of clinical response was significantly greater among patients receiving 10 mg (37%), 40 mg (58%), or 160 mg (72%) of mongersen than among those receiving placebo (17%) (P = 0.04, P<0.001, and P<0.001, respectively). Most adverse events were related to complications and symptoms of Crohn's disease. Conclusions We found that study participants with Crohn's disease who received mongersen had significantly higher rates of remission and clinical response than those who received placebo. © 2015 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.


Niro G.A.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | Ippolito A.M.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | Fontana R.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | Valvano M.R.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis | Year: 2013

Long-term outcome of patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection under continuous nucleos(t)ide analogues (NUCs) has been poorly elucidated. We enrolled 121 anti-HBe-positive patients into a prospective surveillance programme while on (>36 months) NUCs therapy. HBV-DNA clearance, add-on therapy and safety were evaluated. Development of cirrhosis, events of liver decompensation and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) during the follow-up were the main endpoints, as the complication-free survival. At baseline, 74 patients (61%) had chronic hepatitis, the remainders a cirrhotic liver. HBV-DNA levels >38 000 IU/mL were discovered in 103 patients. At enrolment, 79 patients were naïve to NUCs treatment. Lamivudine monotherapy (n = 70) or a different NUC (n = 51) was administered. At month 6 of therapy, HBV-DNA clearance was documented in 88 patients (73%). Treatment schedule was modified in 52 patients due to breakthrough or suboptimal response. During a mean follow-up of 6 ± 3 years, viral clearance was achieved in the majority of patients. Ten of 74 patients (13.5%) with chronic hepatitis progressed to cirrhosis, 1 patient developed a HCC. In the 47 patients with cirrhosis at presentation, HCC occurred in 14 (30%) and liver decompensation in 5 (11%). The 5 and 10-year event-free survivals were, respectively, 89.3% (95% CI, 81.7 -96.9) and 75.6% (95% CI, 61.5 -89.7) for patients with chronic hepatitis, and 70.2% (95% CI, 56.3 -84.1) and 40.4% (95% CI, 16.9 -63.9) for those with cirrhosis. Protracted, effective treatment with oral NUCs affects the natural history of chronic HBV infection by reducing the incidence of cirrhosis and risk of complications, but does not guarantee against the development of HCC in cirrhosis at presentation. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Niro G.A.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | Smedile A.,University of Turin | Ippolito A.M.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | Ciancio A.,University of Turin | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2010

Background & Aims: To investigate the impact of HDV infection on morbidity and mortality of patients. Patients and methods: This was a retrospective study on 188 patients that underwent a program of periodic surveillance until 2008. The demographic data, stage of liver disease, treatment efficacy, development of liver complications (ascites, oesophageal bleeding, encephalopathy), and survival were registered. A Cox regression analysis was carried out to determine the impact of viral and patient features on survival. Results: At baseline, 126 patients (67%) tested positive for serum IgM anti-HDV antibodies, 171 (91%) for anti-HBe, 175 (93%) for serum HDV-RNA, and 61 (33%) for serum HBV-DNA. Eighty-two patients (43%) had chronic hepatitis at histology; the remaining 106 individuals had a clinical/histological diagnosis of cirrhosis. Ninety-six patients received interferon (n = 90) or lamivudine (n = 6) therapy, and 27 of them (30%) attained a sustained response. During follow up, 21 patients with chronic hepatitis progressed to cirrhosis. Of the 127 cirrhotic patients, hepatic decompensation occurred in 42 patients (33%) and hepatocellular carcinoma in 17 (13%). The 5- and 10-year survival free of events were 96.8% and 81.9%, respectively, for patients with chronic hepatitis, and 83.9% and 59.4% for cirrhotics (p < 0.01). At multivariate analysis, lack of antiviral therapy (p = 0.01), cirrhosis at presentation (p < 0.01), and male sex (p = 0.03) independently predicted a worse outcome. Conclusion: HDV liver disease lasts several decades. Half of all patients who develop cirrhosis later will advance to liver failure. At present, interferon therapy is recommended as soon as possible to slow or alter the natural course of liver disease. © 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of the European Association for the Study of the Liver.


Andriulli A.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | Iacobellis A.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | Valvano M.R.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | Spirito F.,Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital | And 5 more authors.
Digestive Diseases and Sciences | Year: 2013

Background: Given the significant side-effects and healthcare costs associated with telaprevir- or boceprevir-combination therapy, identifying patients likely to respond to dual therapy peg-interferon (Peg-IFN)/ribavirin is highly desirable. Since the perception of how large the pool of patients who may achieve rapid virologic response (RVR) is vaguely ascertained, we searched the literature for this information. Methods: Studies on patients treated with Peg-IFN/ribavirin were identified by searching MEDLINE and analyzed by meta-analysis. The primary end point was weighted estimates of RVR. The influence on race/ethnicity, baseline viremia, type of Peg-IFN, ribavirin dosage, and significant hepatic fibrosis on the results was evaluated. Results: Across 38 studies on 13,219 patients, the fraction of RVR patients was 19.6 %. The only baseline factor influencing RVR was race/ethnicity, with higher rates in Asian (26.7 %) and Caucasian patients (22.5 %). Of the 1,735 RVR patients, 85.1 % attained sustained virologic response (SVR). In these, SVR was influenced by ribavirin dose (86.8 vs. 72.8 % for high or low), type of Peg-IFN (91.8 % for alpha-2b vs. 82.9 % for alpha-2a), and treatment duration (91.7 % for 48 weeks vs. 79.4 % for 24 weeks). Conclusions: One fifth to one fourth of hepatitis C virus genotype 1 (HCV-1) patients can be safely treated with dual therapy of Peg-IFN/ribavirin, and may be spared from cost and inconvenience of regimens considering the addition of HCV protease inhibitors. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


PubMed | Casa Sollievo Sofferenza Hospital and University of Milan
Type: | Journal: European journal of internal medicine | Year: 2016

In cirrhotics with low circulating platelets (PLT), restoration of normal cell counts has been traditionally recommended before invasive procedures. However, there is neither consensus on the PLT transfusion threshold nor evidence of its clinical efficacy.In order to fill this gap of knowledge, we prospectively collected and analyzed data on circulating PLT counts [and International Normalized Ratio (INR)] values in a case series of 363 cirrhotics scheduled to undergo invasive investigations. PLT and/or fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) units were infused at the discretion of the attending physician, and the occurrence of post-procedural bleeding was related to pre-and post-infusion results.852 Procedures were carried out in 363 cirrhotics sub-grouped according to the Child-Pugh-Turcotte (CPT) classification (class A/B/C: 124/154/85). The infusion of PLT and/or FFP improved only marginally circulating PLT counts and INR values. Ten post-procedural bleeds occurred in the whole case series, i.e. 1 episode every 85 procedures or every 36 patients. Post-procedural bleeding was unrelated to the PLT counts, to the degree of INR abnormalities, nor to the CPT classes, but was more frequent in patients who underwent repeated investigations. In the 10 patients with the most profound alterations in PLT and/or INR values, no post-procedural bleeding occurred.In cirrhotic patients with low PLT and/or abnormal INR values undergoing invasive investigations, post-procedural bleeding was rare and unpredicted by PLT counts or abnormal INR values. In particular, the recommendation to infuse platelets when counts are <5010

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