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Breccia M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Coco F.L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Coco F.L.,Laboratory of Neuro Oncohematology
Thrombosis Research

Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) has become the most curable form of acute myeloid leukemia after the advent of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). However, early deaths (ED) mostly due to the disease-associated coagulopathy remain the major cause of treatment failure. In particular, hemorrhagic events account for 40-65% of ED and several prognostic factors have been identified for such hemorrhagic deaths, including poor performance status, high white blood cell (WBC) count and coagulopathy. Occurrence of thrombosis during treatment with ATRA may be associated with differentiation syndrome (DS) or represent an isolated event. Some prognostic factors have been reported to be associated with thrombosis, including increased WBC or aberrant immunophenotype of leukemic promyelocytes. Aim of this review is to report the incidence, severity, possible pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of thrombo-haemorrhagic deaths in APL. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Breccia M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Minotti C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Latagliata R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Loglisci G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 4 more authors.
Leukemia Research

Despite the impressive results obtained with standard chemotherapy, approximately 20% of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) patients undergo disease relapse thereby requiring salvage therapy. Few data is available on long-term prognosis in relation to time to complete remission (CR): we reviewed 142 patients treated with AIDA protocols and we found that 42 out of 142 (29.6%) patients achieved CR after 35 days (median time, 42 days). No significant differences in presenting features, including FAB subtype, type of PML/RARA transcript and relapse risk at presentation between the two patient groups achieving CR > or <35 days were revealed, except for male sex and older age that were significantly associated with delayed CR. Rate of relapse was 31% in patients with delayed CR compared to 17% in the group of patients who achieved CR < 35 days (p=0.001), with a 5-year CIR of 29.6% compared to 12% (p=0.03). APL patients with delayed CR should be more closely monitored during follow-up for early identification of relapse and prompt administration of pre-emptive salvage therapy. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Breccia M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Mazzarella L.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Bagnardi V.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Bagnardi V.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 12 more authors.

We investigated whether body mass index (BMI) correlates with distinct outcomes in newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). The study population included 144 patients with newly diagnosed and genetically confirmed APL consecutively treated at a single institution. All patients received All-trans retinoic acid and idarubicin according to the GIMEMA protocols AIDA-0493 and AIDA-2000. Outcome estimates according to the BMI were carried out together with multivariable analysis for the risk of relapse and differentiation syndrome. Fifty-four (37.5%) were under/normal weight (BMI < 25), whereas 90 (62.5%) patients were overweight/obese (BMI ≥ 25). An increased BMI was associated with older age (P < .0001) and male sex (P = .02). BMI was the most powerful predictor of differentiation syndrome in multivariable analysis (odds ratio = 7.24; 95% CI, 1.50-34; P = .014). After a median follow-up of 6 years, the estimated cumulative incidence of relapse at 5 years was 31.6% (95% CI, 22.7%-43.8%) in overweight/obese and 11.2% (95% CI, 5.3%-23.8%) in underweight/normal weight patients (P = .029). Multivariable analysis showed that BMI was an independent predictor of relapse (hazard ratio = 2.45, 95% CI, 1.00-5.99, in overweight/obese vs under/normal weight patients, P = .049). An increased BMI at diagnosis is associated with a higher risk of developing differentiation syndrome and disease relapse in APL patients treated with AIDA protocols. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Testa U.,Oncology and Molecular Medicine | Lo-Coco F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Lo-Coco F.,Laboratory of Neuro Oncohematology
Annals of Hematology

All trans retinoic acid (ATRA) has revolutionized the therapy of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Treatment of this leukemia with ATRA in combination with chemotherapy has resulted in complete remission rates >90 % and long-term remission rates above 80 %. Furthermore, the combination of ATRA and arsenic trioxide (ATO) was shown to be safe and effective in frontline treatment and, for patients with low and intermediate risk disease, possibly superior to the standard ATRA and anthracycline-based regimen. However, in spite of this tremendous progress, APL still remains associated with a high incidence of early death due to the frequent occurrence of an abrupt bleeding diathesis. This hemorrhagic syndrome more frequently develops in high-risk APL patients, currently defined as those exhibiting >10 × 109/L WBC at presentation. In addition to high WBC count, other molecular and immunophenotypic features have been associated with high-risk APL. Among them, the expression in APL blasts of the stem/progenitor cell antigen CD34, the neural adhesion molecule (CD56), and the T cell antigen CD2 help to identify a subset of patients at higher risk of relapse and often the expression of these markers is associated with high WBC count. At the molecular level, the short PML/RARA isoform and FLT3-internal tandem duplication (ITD) mutations have been associated with increased relapse risk. These observations indicate that extended immunophenotypic and molecular characterization of APL at diagnosis including evaluation of CD2, CD56, and CD34 antigens and of FLT3 mutations may help to better design risk-adapted treatment in this disease. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Source

Lo-Coco F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Lo-Coco F.,Laboratory of Neuro Oncohematology | Latagliata R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Breccia M.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases

Unlike other forms of AML, APL is less frequently diagnosed in the elderly and has a relatively favourable outcome. Elderly patients with APL seem at least as responsive to therapy as do younger patients, but rates of response and survival are lower in this age setting owing to a higher incidence of early deaths and deaths in remission when conventional treatment with ATRA and chemotherapy is used. Elderly APL patients are more likely to present with low-risk features compared with younger patients, and this may explain the relative low risk of relapse reported in several clinical studies. Alternative approaches, such as arsenic trioxide and gentuzumab ozogamicin have been tested with success in this setting and could replace in the near future frontline conventional chemotherapy and ATRA. Source

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