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J Clin Med ; 10(21)2021 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480828


BACKGROUND: Among the several therapeutic options assessed for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), tocilizumab (TCZ), an antagonist of the interleukine-6 receptor, has emerged as a promising therapeutic choice, especially for the severe form of the disease. Proper synthesis of the available randomized clinical trials (RCTs) is needed to inform clinical practice. METHODS: A systematic review with a meta-analysis of RCTs investigating the efficacy of TCZ in COVID-19 patients was conducted. PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register were searched up until 30 April 2021. RESULTS: The database search yielded 2885 records; 11 studies were considered eligible for full-text review, and nine met the inclusion criteria. Overall, 3358 patients composed the TCZ arm, and 3131 the comparator group. The main outcome was all-cause mortality at 28-30 days. Subgroup analyses according to trials' and patients' features were performed. A trial sequential analysis (TSA) was also carried out to minimize type I and type II errors. According to the fixed-effect model approach, TCZ was associated with a better survival odds ratio (OR) (0.84; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.75-0.94; I2: 24% (low heterogeneity)). The result was consistent in the subgroup of severe disease (OR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.74-0.93; I2: 53% (moderate heterogeneity)). However, the TSA illustrated that the required information size was not met unless the study that was the major source of heterogeneity was omitted. CONCLUSIONS: TCZ may represent an important weapon against severe COVID-19. Further studies are needed to consolidate this finding.

J Transl Med ; 19(1): 132, 2021 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166915


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic has created unique challenges to healthcare systems throughout the world. Ensuring subjects' safety is mandatory especially in oncology, in consideration of cancer patients' particular frailty. We examined the proportion of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgM and/or IgG positive subjects in three different groups from Istituto Nazionale Tumori - IRCCS "Fondazione G. Pascale" in Naples (Campania region, Italy): cancer patients treated with Innovative Immunotherapy (Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors, ICIs), cancer patients undergoing standard Chemotherapies (CHTs) and healthcare providers. 9 out of 287 (3.1%) ICIs patients resulted positive, with a significant lower percentage in respect to CHTs patients (39 positive subjects out of 598, 6.5%) (p = 0.04). There was no statistically significant difference between ICIs cohort and healthcare providers, 48 out of 1050 resulting positive (4.6%). Performing a Propensity Score Matching based on gender and tumor stage, the effect of treatment on seropositivity was analyzed through a regression logistic model and the ICIs treatment resulted to be the only protective factor significantly (p = 0.03) associated with positivity (odds ratio-OR: 0.41; 95% confidence interval-CI 0.18-0.91). According to these preliminary data, ICIs would appear to be a protective factor against the onset of COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Immunotherapy , Neoplasms/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Italy/epidemiology , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/immunology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
J Immunother Cancer ; 8(2)2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-713881


BACKGROUND: The inflammatory pathology observed in severe COVID-19 disease caused by the 2019 novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is characterized by elevated serum levels of C reactive protein (CRP) and cytokines, including interferon gamma, interleukin 8 (IL-8), and interleukin 6 (IL-6). Initial reports from the outbreak in Italy, China and the USA have provided anecdotal evidence of improved outcomes with the administration of anti-IL-6 agents, and large-scale trials evaluating these therapies are ongoing. STUDY DESCRIPTION: In this retrospective case series, clinical outcomes and correlates of response to treatment with the IL-6 receptor antagonist sarilumab are described for 15 patients with COVID-19 from a single institution in Southern Italy. Among 10 patients whose symptoms improved after sarilumab treatment, rapid decreases in CRP levels corresponded with clinical improvement. Lower levels of IL-6 at baseline as well as lower neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio as compared with patients whose COVID-19 did not improve with treatment were associated with sarilumab-responsive disease. CONCLUSIONS: This observation may reflect a possible clinical benefit regarding early intervention with IL-6-modulatory therapies for COVID-19 and that CRP could be a potential biomarker of response to treatment.

Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Biomarkers, Pharmacological/blood , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Interleukin-6/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Female , Humans , Italy , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophils , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Receptors, Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome