Edit Wolfson Medical Center

H̱olon, Israel

Edit Wolfson Medical Center

H̱olon, Israel
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Klepfish A.,Edit Wolfson Medical Center | Silbershatz I.,Hematology Institute | Lugassy G.,Hematology Institute | Shimoni A.,Sheba Medical Center | Mittelman M.,Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
Harefuah | Year: 2013

Hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes (TSG) has been recognized as an important factor in the pathogenesis of malignancies, including myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Decitabine (trade name Dacogen; 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine) is a cytosine analog which inhibits the enzyme DNA methyltransferase (DNMT), inducing hypomethylation and activates TSG, leading to tumor cell growth inhibition. In clinical trials with hypomethylating agents in advanced MDS, a total response rate of 30-73% has been observed, with a complete response (CR) of 9-37%, partial response (PR] of similar rate and a hematologic improvement (HI] in 20-48% of the patients. We report the results of a national Israeli compassionate program of decitabine administration to patients with advanced MDS. From July 2007 through August 2008, under the joint sponsorship of The Israel Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusions and Janssen, Israel, a compassionate program was conducted. Decitabine was administered to patients with advanced MDS who were not candidates for any other anti-MDS treatment, except for supportive care. The selected regimen was a 5-day intravenous administration of 20 mg/m/d, every 28 days. After the program had been completed, an approval of the institutional Helsinki committees was obtained, and the data were collected in an attempt to evaluate the results of this novel treatment. The standard response criteria, i.e. total response, CR, PR and HI were applied. Toxicity, survival and leukemic transformation rate were also analyzed. Twenty-four patients with advanced MDS participated in the program but evaluable information could be collected only on 17 patients. The median number of therapeutic cycles was two per patient. Twelve patients were transfusion-dependent at program onset, of whom 7 either benefited from reduced transfusion requirements or became transfusion-free. The overall response rate was 26%, with 23% PR and 13% HI. Two patients (13%) demonstrated leukemic transformation. The median overall survival was 17 months and the median event-free survival was 13 months. Nine out of 12 patients, who could be evaluated, experienced 3-4 degree bone marrow suppression. A single patient suffered from vocal cord paralysis, apparently, unrelated to the treatment. The overall response rate was 26% in this national compassionate program of decitabine administration to patients with advanced MDS. Although somewhat low, this is similar to other reports. Possible reasons for the relatively low response rate include a small number of patients, the nature of a compassionate program, the limited number of therapeutic cycles, and the very advanced degree of the disease in most patients who had been on several treatment lines prior to the program. Nevertheless, understanding the role of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of neoplasms and MDS, which led to the introduction of hypomethylation agents such as decitabine into clinical practice, is an encouraging step towards better care of cancer, including MDS.


Amant F.,Catholic University of Leuven | Van Calsteren K.,Catholic University of Leuven | Halaska M.J.,Charles University | Gziri M.M.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 13 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2012

Background: Chemotherapy for the treatment of maternal cancers during pregnancy has become more acceptable in the past decade; however, the effect of prenatal exposure to chemotherapy on cardiac and neurodevelopmental outcomes of the offspring is still uncertain. We aimed to record the general health, cardiac function, and neurodevelopmental outcomes of children who were prenatally exposed to chemotherapy. Methods: We did an interim analysis of a multicentre observational cohort study assessing children who were prenatally exposed to maternal cancer staging and treatment, including chemotherapy. We assessed children at birth, at age 18 months, and at age 5-6, 8-9, 11-12, 14-15, or 18 years. We did clinical neurological examinations, tests of the general level of cognitive functioning (Bayley or intelligence quotient [IQ] test), electrocardiography and echocardiography, and administered a questionnaire on general health and development. From age 5 years, we also did audiometry, the Auditory Verbal Learning Test, and subtasks of the Children's Memory Scale, and the Test of Everyday Attention for Children, and we also completed the Child Behavior Checklist. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00330447. Findings: 236 cycles of chemotherapy were administered in 68 pregnancies. We assessed 70 children, born at a median gestational age of 35·7 weeks (range 28·3-41·0; IQR 3·3; 47 women at <37 weeks), with a median follow-up period of 22·3 months (range 16·8-211·6; IQR 54·9). Although neurocognitive outcomes were within normal ranges, cognitive development scores were lower for children who were born preterm than for those born at full term. When controlling for age, sex, and country, the score for IQ increased by an average 11·6 points (95% CI 6·0-17·1) for each additional month of gestation (p<0·0001). Our measurements of the children's behaviour, general health, hearing, and growth corresponded with those of the general population. Cardiac dimensions and functions were within normal ranges. We identified a severe neurodevelopmental delay in both members of one twin pregnancy. Interpretation: Fetal exposure to chemotherapy was not associated with increased CNS, cardiac or auditory morbidity, or with impairments to general health and growth compared with the general population. However, subtle changes in cardiac and neurocognitive measurements emphasise the need for longer follow-up. Prematurity was common and was associated with impaired cognitive development. Therefore, iatrogenic preterm delivery should be avoided when possible. Funding: Research Foundation-Flanders; Research Fund-K U Leuven; Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology; Stichting tegen Kanker; Clinical Research Fund-University Hospitals Leuven; and Belgian Cancer Plan, Ministery of Health. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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