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Mauro F.R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Chauvie S.,Azienda Ospedaliera S. Croce e Carle | Paoloni F.,Italian Group for Adult Hematologic Diseases GIMEMA | Biggi A.,Azienda Ospedaliera S. Croce e Carle | And 18 more authors.

In order to evaluate the predictive value of positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT) in discriminating the presence of a Richter's syndrome (RS) or a second malignancy (SM), as well as to evaluate its prognostic value in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), we retrospectively analyzed the data of 90 patients who, in the suspicion of a RS or a SM, underwent PET/CT followed by the biopsy of the involved tissue. The median maximum Standardized Uptake Value (SUV max) in the presence of a CLL/small lymphocytic lymphoma, a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), a Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), a SM were 3.5, 14.6, 7.0 and 6.3, respectively (P≤0.0001). A SUV max cutoff value ≥5 showed a sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of 88.2, 71.2, 51.3 and 94%, respectively, for the presence of a more aggressive disease (DLBCL, HL and SM). A SUV max ≥5 identified also a subset of treatment naive patients with an inferior progression-free survival (P=0.011) and overall survival (P=0.067). These findings suggest that PET/CT may helpfully integrate the biologically-based prognostic stratification of CLL. Prospective clinical trials including larger cohorts of patients are needed to conclusively define the role and prognostic impact of PET/CT in the routine management of CLL patients. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source

Weis J.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Arraras J.I.,Hospital de Navarra | Conroy T.,Center Alexis Vautrin | Efficace F.,Italian Group for Adult Hematologic Diseases GIMEMA | And 10 more authors.

Background European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) has developed a new multidimensional instrument measuring cancer-related fatigue that can be used in conjunction with the quality of life core questionnaire, EORTC QLQ-C30. The paper focuses on the development of the phase III module, collaborating with seven European countries, including a patient sample of 318 patients. Methods The methodology followed the EORTC guidelines for developing phase III modules. Patients were assessed by questionnaires (EORTC QLQ-C30 with the EORTC Fatigue Module FA15) followed by an interview, asking for their opinions on the difficulty in understanding, on annoyance and on intrusiveness Results The phase II FA15 was revised on the basis of qualitative analyses (comments of the patients), quantitative results (descriptive statistics) as well as the multi-item response theory analyses. The three dimensions (physical, emotional and cognitive) of the scale could be confirmed Conclusions As a result, EORTC QLQ-FA13 is now available as a valid phase III module measuring cancer-related fatigue in clinical trials and will be psychometrically improved in the upcoming phase IV. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Efficace F.,Italian Group for Adult Hematologic Diseases GIMEMA | Cocks K.,University of Leeds | Breccia M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Sprangers M.,University of Amsterdam | And 4 more authors.
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology

Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and other patient-reported outcomes (PROs) might be crucial in comparing effectiveness of treatments as they could provide invaluable information to better inform clinical decision-making. This is particularly true in the era of targeted therapies (TT). A systematic review was undertaken on all studies with CML patients published from 1980 to 2010 and including a PRO evaluation. Out of 619 articles scrutinized, 15 met eligibility criteria and no study was published before 1995. Six dealt mainly with interferon-based therapies, 7 with bone marrow transplantation and only 2 evaluated PROs in the context of TT. No disease-specific, validated PRO instrument for these patients was found. The main evidence being that Imatinib provides clear advantage in terms of HRQOL over interferon-based treatments. There is lack of data concerning PROs in patients treated with current TT. Documenting HRQOL and side effects of CML treatments, from the patients' perspective is needed to evaluate overall treatment effectiveness and net clinical benefit of newer therapeutic strategies. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Efficace F.,Italian Group for Adult Hematologic Diseases GIMEMA | Gaidano G.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Sprangers M.,University of Amsterdam | Cottone F.,Italian Group for Adult Hematologic Diseases GIMEMA | And 10 more authors.
Annals of Oncology

Background: The main objective of this study was to assess preferences for involvement in treatment decisions and requests for prognostic information in newly diagnosed higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients. Patient and methods: This was a prospective cohort observational study that consecutively enrolled MDS patients with an international prognostic scoring system (IPSS) risk category of intermediate-2 or high risk (summarized as 'higher risk'). The control preference scale was used to assess patient preferences for involvement in treatment decisions, and whether a request by patients for prognostic information during consultation was made, was also recorded. All of the patients were surveyed at the time of diagnosis before receiving treatment. Univariate and multivariate analyses were carried out to assess how sociodemographic, clinical and laboratory data related to decision-making preferences and requests for prognostic information. Relationship with the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) profile was also examined. Results: A total of 280 patients were enrolled, 74% with intermediate-2 and 26% with high-risk IPSS. The mean age of patients was 70-year old (range: 32-89 years). One hundred thirty-two patients (47%) favored a passive role in treatment decision-making, whereas only 14% favored an active role. The remaining 39% of patients favored a shared decisionmaking approach. Patients with lower hemoglobin levels were more likely to prefer a passive role (P = 0.037). HRQOL was generally better in patients preferring an active role versus those preferring a passive one. Overall, 61% (N = 171) of patients requested prognostic information on survival during consultation. The likelihood of not requesting prognostic information was higher for older patients (P = 0.003) and for those with lower education (P = 0.010). Conclusion: Decision-making preferences vary among patients with newly diagnosed higher-risk MDS. Current findings suggest that patients with worse underlying health conditions are more likely to prefer less involvement in treatment decisions. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved. Source

Efficace F.,Italian Group for Adult Hematologic Diseases GIMEMA | Gaidano G.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Breccia M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Voso M.T.,University Of Rome Cattolica ore | And 17 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology

Background: The clinical presentation of myelodysplastic syndromes is highly variable and so accurate prediction of outcomes in these patients is crucial. We aimed to assess whether self-reported fatigue severity predicts overall survival beyond gold-standard prognostic indices in patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes. Methods: We did a multicentre, prospective, observational, cohort study of patients from 37 centres in Europe, USA, and east Asia. Adults (≥18 years) with myelodysplastic syndromes were consecutively enrolled within 6 months of diagnosis with an intermediate-2-risk or high-risk score according to the International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS). Patients were enrolled irrespective of older age, comorbidities, performance status, and progression from a lower IPSS risk score category. All patients had to complete a quality of life assessment at baseline. With use of univariate and then multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, we constructed a multivariate model of how prognostic variables, including IPSS and fatigue score from the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality-of-life questionnaire-core 30, predicted overall survival. The primary endpoint was overall survival by baseline self-reported fatigue scale ratings. This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00809575. Findings: Between Nov 10, 2008, and Aug 13, 2012, we enrolled 280 patients with a median age of 71 years (IQR 64-77). The median follow-up was 15 months (IQR 8-27), and the last patient was assessed Feb 16, 2015. The median overall survival from diagnosis was 17 months (95% CI 15-19). In univariate analysis, the baseline factors that were significantly associated with reduced overall survival were increasing age, transfusion dependency (defined as having received at least one red blood cell transfusion every 8 weeks over a period of 4 months), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of two or more, increased white blood cell count, high-risk IPSS score, and higher self-reported fatigue severity. In multivariate analysis, baseline factors independently associated with reduced overall survival were high-risk IPSS score (hazard ratio [HR] 2·525, 95% CI 1·357-4·697; p=0·0035) and a higher score for fatigue (1·110, 1·040-1·170, for every ten points of fatigue deterioration; p=0·0007). In further multivariate models for survival, including either the WHO-based prognostic scoring system or the revised version of the IPSS classification, fatigue remained a statistically significant independent prognostic factor with a HR of 1·120 (1·050-1·180, p=0.0003) and a HR of 1·130 (1·060-1·190, p=0·0002), respectively. Interpretation: In patients with newly diagnosed higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes, self-reported fatigue severity provides prognostic information for survival independent from gold-standard risk classifications. Our findings suggest that fatigue assessment should be included in routine diagnostic investigation for these patients and considered as a standard baseline stratification factor in future randomised controlled trials. Funding: Associazione Italiana contro le Leucemie, Linfomi e Mieloma (AIL). © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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