Hematology Unit

Firenze, Italy

Hematology Unit

Firenze, Italy
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This study aimed to assess the von Willebrand factor (VWF) antigen levels and its proteolytic enzyme ADAMTS13 activity in preeclampsia. The study includes 10 non-pregnant women, 50 normal pregnancy, and 110 preeclamptic (PE) women at the same period of pregnancy. For all studied groups plasma ADAMTS13 activities were determined with the FRETs-VWF 73 assay, while VWF antigen levels with an immunoturbometric assay. The plasma ADAMTS13 activity was significantly reduced in PE as compared with normal pregnancy and non-pregnant women (P < 0.01 for both). In contrast, plasma VWF antigen and VWF RCO were significantly elevated in PE, as compared with normal pregnancy group as well as non-pregnant women (P < 0.01 for both). In conclusion, reduction of plasma ADAMTS13 and elevation in VWF might have a role in the pathogenesis of PE. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2013.

Davies A.,University of Southampton | Merli F.,Hematology Unit | Mihaljevic B.,University of Belgrade | Siritanaratkul N.,Siriraj Hospital | And 7 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2014

Background: Intravenous rituximab is a mainstay of treatment for follicular lymphoma. A subcutaneous formulation that achieves equivalent rituximab serum concentrations might improve convenience and save health-care resources without sacrificing clinical activity. We aimed to assess pharmacokinetic non-inferiority of 3 week cycles of fixed-dose subcutaneous rituximab versus standard intravenous rituximab. Methods: In our two-stage, randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial, we enrolled patients with previously untreated grade 1-3a, CD20-positive follicular lymphoma at 67 centres in 23 countries. In stage 1, we randomly allocated patients 1:1 with the Pocock and Simon algorithm to intravenous rituximab (375 mg/m2) or fixed-dose subcutaneous rituximab (1400 mg), stratified by induction chemotherapy regimen (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone or cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone), Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index score, and region. After randomisation, patients received one induction dose of intravenous rituximab in cycle 1 and then allocated treatment for cycles 2-8. Patients with a complete or partial response following induction therapy continued intravenous or subcutaneous rituximab as maintenance every 8 weeks. The primary endpoint was the ratio of observed rituximab serum trough concentrations (Ctrough) between groups at cycle 7 (before cycle 8 dosing) of induction treatment in a per-protocol population. Patients were analysed as treated for safety endpoints. Stage 2 follow-up is ongoing and is fully accrued. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01200758. Findings: Between Feb 4, 2010, and Oct 21, 2011, we enrolled 127 patients. Pharmacokinetic data were available for 48 (75%) of 64 patients randomly allocated intravenous rituximab and 54 (86%) of 63 patients randomly allocated subcutaneous rituximab. Geometric mean Ctrough was 83·13 μg/mL in the intravenous group and 134·58 μg/mL in the subcutaneous group (ratio 1·62, 90% CI 1·36-1·94), showing non-inferiority of subcutaneous rituximab. 57 (88%) of 65 patients in the intravenous rituximab safety population had adverse events (30 [46%] grade ≥3), as did 57 (92%) of 62 patients in the subcutaneous rituximab safety population (29 [47%] grade ≥3). The most common grade 3 or worse adverse event in both groups was neutropenia (14 [22%] patients in the intravenous group and 16 [26%] patients in the subcutaneous group). Adverse events related to administration were mostly grade 1-2 and occurred in 21 (32%) patients in the intravenous group and 31 (50%) patients in the subcutaneous group. Interpretation: Stage 1 data show that the pharmacokinetic profile of subcutaneous rituximab was non-inferior to intravenous rituximab and was not associated with new safety concerns. Stage 2 will provide data for efficacy and safety of the subcutaneous administration. Funding: F Hoffmann-La Roche. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Iolascon A.,CEINGE | Iolascon A.,University of Naples Federico II | Heimpel H.,University of Ulm | Wahlin A.,Umeå University | And 2 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2013

The congenital dyserythropoietic anemias (CDAs) are hereditary disorders characterized by distinct morphologic abnormalities of marrow erythroblasts. The unveiling of the genes mutated in the major CDA subgroups (I-CDAN1 and II-SEC23B) has now been completed with the recent identification of the CDA III gene ( KIF23). KIF23 encodes mitotic kinesin-like protein 1, which plays a critical role in cytokinesis, whereas the cellular role of the proteins encoded by CDAN1 and SEC23B is still unknown. CDA variants with mutations in erythroid transcription factor genes (KLF1 and GATA-1 ) have been recently identified. Molecular diagnosis of CDA is now possible in most patients. © 2013 by The American Society of Hematology.

Marchetti M.,Hematology Unit | Liberato N.L.,Azienda Ospedaliera Della Provincia di Pavia
Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research | Year: 2014

In refractory Crohn's disease, anti-TNF and anti-α 4 integrin agents are used for ameliorating disease activity but impose high costs to health-care systems. The authors systematically reviewed cost-effectiveness analyses based on decision models: most of the studies were judged to have a good quality, but a large portion assessed health and costs in a short time horizon, usually disregarding fistulizing disease and not considering safety. Infliximab induction followed by on-demand retreatment consistently proved to have a good cost per quality-adjusted life year, while maintenance treatment never satisfied commonly accepted cost-utility thresholds. Challenges in cost-effectiveness analysis include the lack of a standard model structure, a large variability in the costs of surgery and poor data on indirect costs. As clinical practice is moving to mucosal healing as a robust response marker, personalized schedules of anti-TNF therapies might prove cost-effective even in the perspective of the health-care system in the near future. © 2014 Informa UK Ltd.

Tadmor T.,Hematology Unit | Polliack A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Leukemia and Lymphoma | Year: 2011

Unusual clinical manifestations, rare sites of involvement, and associations with other disorders and malignancies occurring in patients with hairy cell leukemia (HCL) are uncommon events encountered in a relatively rare disease. The exact prevalence of these associations is difficult to determine accurately in HCL as they are often anecdotal case reports and not always detailed in all larger series of patients. This short review deals with the unusual clinical manifestations and rare sites of involvement of the disease and lists some of the disorders associated with HCL, based on what has been reported in the literature as well as from personal experience. No attempts are made here to establish the true prevalence of these phenomena and only selected references are included. Some details of the coexistence of HCL with other neoplasias, hematological disorders, and 'paraneoplastic' autoimmune disorders are provided, while opportunistic infections in HCL, particularly atypical mycobacterial disease, are briefly discussed. For the sake of brevity many of the details are provided in tabular form. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.

Aviv Dr. A.,Hematology Unit | Tadmor T.,Hematology Unit | Tadmor T.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Polliack A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2013

Primary breast lymphoma is a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with some distinct clinical features. The most common histopathological type is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), but other less frequent subtypes are also encountered. In this review, we describe the characteristics of primary breast DLBCL, with emphasis on pathogenesis, staging, risk stratification and prognosis. In addition, key issues regarding therapy and various available therapeutic modalities are addressed, as well as the role of rituximab in therapy and whether central nervous system prophylaxis is still routinely required. There are very few prospective clinical studies addressing therapy, and available data rely mostly on retrospective case series involving small numbers of patients. Our conclusions and proposed recommendations are therefore not offered as formal guidelines. This review attempts to represent an unbiased analysis of the published data and is intended as a useful aid for clinicians treating this uncommon type of extra nodal lymphoma. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

Tadmor T.,Hematology Unit | Polliack A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Blood Reviews | Year: 2012

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a disease of older patients and median age at diagnosis is 72. years. This older group is under-represented in clinical trials, (median age 58-62. years). Here we review background data on incidence, survival, definitions of older age, fitness criteria, frailty and co-morbidities. Issues influencing the choice of therapy in older patients are also addressed and different therapeutic options are highlighted based on recent available data. Fit older patients with less co-morbidities benefit most from the very effective chemoimmunotherapy (FC-R) given for younger patients today, but whether other novel drug combinations or new agents are more suitable for less fit patients is still unsettled. Based on careful evaluation of published data from larger clinical trials and major referral centers we present our concept of therapy as a guide to optimal management for subgroups of older patients with CLL. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Montagner S.,Institute for Research in Biomedicine | Montagner S.,University of Bern | Orlandi E.M.,Hematology Unit | Merante S.,Hematology Unit | Monticelli S.,Institute for Research in Biomedicine
Immunological Reviews | Year: 2013

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a large class of small regulatory molecules able to control translation of target mRNAs and consequently to regulate various biological processes at a posttranscriptional level. Their importance is highlighted by the fact that altered miRNA expression is linked to a variety of human diseases, particularly cancer. Accordingly, miRNA biogenesis itself must be carefully regulated, both transcriptionally and posttranscriptionally. Here, we focus on the role of miRNAs in three lineages of myeloid cells important in both innate and acquired immunity: mast cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. These three cell types are strategically located throughout the body tissues, where they can respond to foreign material, danger, and inflammatory signals. We discuss the role of miRNAs in these cell types, with a special focus on three of the most extensively studied miRNAs, namely miR-221, miR-146a, and miR-155. We also discuss the role of cell-to-cell transfer of miRNAs in dendritic cells, mast cells, and macrophages, and we speculate about possible future directions in the field. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Dolberg O.J.,Hematology Unit | Dolberg O.J.,Tel Aviv University | Levy Y.,Meir Medical Center | Levy Y.,Tel Aviv University
Autoimmunity Reviews | Year: 2014

Aplastic anemia (AA) is a disease characterized by pancytopenia and hypoplastic bone marrow caused by the decrease of hematopoietic stem cells. The pathogenesis of AA is complex and involves an abnormal hematopoietic microenvironment, hematopoietic stem cell/progenitor cell deficiencies and immunity disorders. Survival in severe aplastic anemia (SAA) has markedly improved in the past 4 decades because of advances in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, immunosuppressive and biologic drugs, and supportive care. Herein, we will update the main issues concern AA according to our literature review. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

King M.-J.,Membrane Biochemistry | Zanella A.,Hematology Unit
International Journal of Laboratory Hematology | Year: 2013

This overview describes two groups of nonimmune hereditary hemolytic anemias caused by defects in membrane proteins located in distinct layers of the red cell membrane. Hereditary spherocytosis (HS), hereditary elliptocytosis (HE), and hereditary pyropoikilocytosis (HPP) represent disorders of the red cell cytoskeleton. Hereditary stomatocytoses represents disorders of cation permeability in the red cell membrane. The current laboratory screening tests for HS are the osmotic fragility test, acid glycerol lysis time test (AGLT), cryohemolysis test, and eosin-5′-maleimide (EMA)-binding test. For atypical HS, SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of erythrocyte membrane proteins is carried out to confirm the diagnosis. The diagnosis of HE/HPP is based on abnormal red cell morphology and the detection of protein 4.1R deficiency or spectrin variants using gel electrophoresis. None of screening tests can detect all HS cases. Some testing centers (a survey of 25 laboratories) use a combination of tests (e.g., AGLT and EMA). No specific screening test for hereditary stomatocytoses is available. The preliminary diagnosis is based on presenting a compensated hemolytic anemia, macrocytosis, and a temperature or time dependent pseudohyperkalemia in some patients. Both the EMA-binding test and the osmotic fragility test may help in differential diagnosis of HS and hereditary stomatocytosis. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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