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1.
Eur J Neurol ; 26(2): 371-375, 2019 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30315672

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Rituximab, a chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, has been used in polyneuropathy associated with anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein (anti-MAG) antibody polyneuropathy with controversial results. Herein, two patients with anti-MAG antibody neuropathy and concurrent chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are reported, who dramatically responded to obinutuzumab, a novel glycoengineered humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody. METHODS: Patient 1 was an 82-year-old man with severe demyelinating sensory-motor neuropathy. He was wheelchair-bound, with loss of sensation up to the knees. He had a CLL, immunoglobulin M (IgM) lambda monoclonal gammopathy, with anti-MAG antibodies >70 000 Bühlmann titer units (BTU). Patient 2 was an 84-year-old woman with demyelinating neuropathy, paresthesias and gait instability. She had CLL and IgM kappa paraprotein with anti-MAG antibodies >70 000 BTU. Both patients were treated with obinutuzumab intravenously at 100 mg on day +1, 900 mg +2, then at 1000 mg on days 8 and 15 of cycle 1 and day 1 of cycles 2-6; chlorambucil was given orally at 0.5 mg/kg on days 1 and 15 of cycles 1-6. RESULTS: Patient 1 at cycle 6 was able to stand, gait was possible with monolateral support, hypoesthesia and strength improved. M-protein and IgM level decreased. In patient 2, already after three cycles, the monoclonal component disappeared and there was dramatic improvement of symptoms and gait normalization. At the end of therapy anti-MAG antibody titer decreased to 5462 BTU. Neurophysiology also improved. CONCLUSIONS: In our patients, obinutuzumab was effective as a first-line treatment of anti-MAG antibody polyneuropathy. CLL might have had a role in the response to therapy, but the associations might be considered in future trials.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Chlorambucil/therapeutic use , Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein/immunology , Polyneuropathies/drug therapy , Aged, 80 and over , Autoantibodies/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/complications , Male , Polyneuropathies/complications , Polyneuropathies/immunology , Treatment Outcome
2.
Ann Oncol ; 29(4): 966-972, 2018 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29365086

ABSTRACT

Background: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has a heterogeneous clinical course. Beside patients requiring immediate treatment, others show an initial indolent phase followed by progression and others do not progress for decades. The latter two subgroups usually display mutated IGHV genes and a favorable FISH profile. Patients and methods: Patients with absence of disease progression for over 10 years (10-34) from diagnosis were defined as ultra-stable CLL (US-CLL). Forty US-CLL underwent extensive characterization including whole exome sequencing (WES), ultra-deep sequencing and copy number aberration (CNA) analysis to define their unexplored genetic landscape. Microarray analysis, comparing US-CLL with non-US-CLL with similar immunogenetic features (mutated IGHV/favorable FISH), was also carried out to recognize US-CLL at diagnosis. Results: WES was carried out in 20 US-CLL and 84 non-silent somatic mutations in 78 genes were found. When re-tested in a validation cohort of 20 further US-CLL, no recurrent lesion was identified. No clonal mutations of NOTCH1, BIRC3, SF3B1 and TP53 were found, including ATM and other potential progression driving mutations. CNA analysis identified 31 lesions, none with known poor prognostic impact. No novel recurrent lesion was identified: most cases showed no lesions (38%) or an isolated del(13q) (31%). The expression of 6 genes, selected from a gene expression profile analysis by microarray and quantified by droplet digital PCR on a cohort of 79 CLL (58 US-CLL and 21 non-US-CLL), allowed to build a decision-tree capable of recognizing at diagnosis US-CLL patients. Conclusions: The genetic landscape of US-CLL is characterized by the absence of known unfavorable driver mutations/CNA and of novel recurrent genetic lesions. Among CLL patients with favorable immunogenetics, a decision-tree based on the expression of 6 genes may identify at diagnosis patients who are likely to maintain an indolent disease for decades.


Subject(s)
Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains/genetics , Immunoglobulin Variable Region/genetics , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/genetics , Cohort Studies , DNA Copy Number Variations , Disease Progression , Genes, p53 , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence , Mutation , Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
3.
Leukemia ; 32(2): 323-331, 2018 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28690313

ABSTRACT

MLL-rearranged acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) represents an aggressive malignancy in infants (<1 year of age), associated with poor outcome. Current treatment intensification is not further possible, and novel therapy strategies are needed. Notably, MLL-rearranged ALL is characterised by a strongly deregulated epigenome and shows sensitivity to epigenetic perturbators. Here we demonstrate the in vivo efficacy of the histone deacetylase inhibitor panobinostat (LBH589) using xenograft mouse models of MLL-rearranged ALL. Panobinostat monotherapy showed strong anti-leukaemic effects, extending survival and reducing overall disease burden. Comprehensive molecular analyses in vitro showed that this anti-leukaemic activity involves depletion of H2B ubiquitination via suppression of the RNF20/RNF40/WAC E3 ligase complex; a pivotal pathway for MLL-rearranged leukaemic maintenance. Knockdown of WAC phenocopied loss of H2B ubiquitination and concomitant cell death induction. These combined data demonstrate that panobinostat cross-inhibits multiple epigenetic pathways, ultimately contributing to its highly efficacious targeting of MLL-rearranged ALL.


Subject(s)
Gene Rearrangement/drug effects , Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase/genetics , Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein/genetics , Panobinostat/pharmacology , Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/drug therapy , Ubiquitination/drug effects , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Animals , Cell Death/drug effects , Cell Death/genetics , Epigenesis, Genetic/drug effects , Epigenesis, Genetic/genetics , Gene Rearrangement/genetics , Heterografts/drug effects , Heterografts/metabolism , Histone Deacetylases/metabolism , Histones/genetics , Humans , Mice , Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/genetics , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/genetics , Ubiquitination/genetics
4.
Leukemia ; 31(11): 2365-2375, 2017 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28331226

ABSTRACT

Leukemias bearing CRLF2 and JAK2 gene alterations are characterized by aberrant JAK/STAT signaling and poor prognosis. The HDAC inhibitor givinostat/ITF2357 has been shown to exert anti-neoplastic activity against both systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis and myeloproliferative neoplasms through inhibition of the JAK/STAT pathway. These findings led us to hypothesize that givinostat might also act against CRLF2-rearranged BCP-ALL, which lack effective therapies. Here, we found that givinostat inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis of BCP-ALL CRLF2-rearranged cell lines, positive for exon 16 JAK2 mutations. Likewise, givinostat killed primary cells, but not their normal hematopoietic counterparts, from patients carrying CRLF2 rearrangements. At low doses, givinostat downregulated the expression of genes belonging to the JAK/STAT pathway and inhibited STAT5 phosphorylation. In vivo, givinostat significantly reduced engraftment of human blasts in patient-derived xenograft models of CRLF2-positive BCP-ALL. Importantly, givinostat killed ruxolitinib-resistant cells and potentiated the effect of current chemotherapy. Thus, givinostat in combination with conventional chemotherapy may represent an effective therapeutic option for these difficult-to-treat subsets of ALL. Lastly, the selective killing of cancer cells by givinostat may allow the design of reduced intensity regimens in CRLF2-rearranged Down syndrome-associated BCP-ALL patients with an overall benefit in terms of both toxicity and related complications.


Subject(s)
Carbamates/pharmacology , Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/pathology , Receptors, Cytokine/genetics , Adolescent , Animals , Cell Line, Tumor , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Nitriles , Phosphorylation , Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/genetics , Pyrazoles/pharmacology , Pyrimidines , STAT5 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays
5.
Leukemia ; 31(2): 292-300, 2017 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27479180

ABSTRACT

Protein kinase CK2 sustains acute myeloid leukemia cell growth, but its role in leukemia stem cells is largely unknown. Here, we discovered that the CK2 catalytic α and regulatory ß subunits are consistently expressed in leukemia stem cells isolated from acute myeloid leukemia patients and cell lines. CK2 inactivation with the selective inhibitor CX-4945 or RNA interference induced an accumulation of leukemia stem cells in the late S-G2-M phases of the cell cycle and triggered late-onset apoptosis. As a result, leukemia stem cells displayed an increased sensitivity to the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin. From a molecular standpoint, CK2 blockade was associated with a downmodulation of the stem cell-regulating protein BMI-1 and a marked impairment of AKT, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) activation, whereas FOXO3a nuclear activity was induced. Notably, combined CK2 and either NF-κB or STAT3 inhibition resulted in a superior cytotoxic effect on leukemia stem cells. This study suggests that CK2 blockade could be a rational approach to minimize the persistence of residual leukemia cells.


Subject(s)
Casein Kinase II/metabolism , Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Neoplastic Stem Cells/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , STAT3 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Adenosine Triphosphate/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antineoplastic Agents/pharmacology , Biomarkers , Casein Kinase II/antagonists & inhibitors , Casein Kinase II/genetics , Cell Cycle/genetics , Cell Line, Tumor , Cell Proliferation , Cell Survival , Drug Resistance, Neoplasm/drug effects , Female , Forkhead Box Protein O3/genetics , Forkhead Box Protein O3/metabolism , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute/genetics , Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Polycomb Repressive Complex 1/genetics , Polycomb Repressive Complex 1/metabolism , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Signal Transduction
6.
Blood Cancer J ; 6: e404, 2016 Mar 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26967821

ABSTRACT

Efficacy of lenalidomide was investigated in 103 patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) treated on the prospective, multicenter randomized phase-II CLL-009 trial. Interphase cytogenetic and mutational analyses identified TP53 mutations, unmutated IGHV, or del(17p) in 36/96 (37.5%), 68/88 (77.3%) or 22/92 (23.9%) patients. The overall response rate (ORR) was 40.4% (42/104). ORRs were similar irrespective of TP53 mutation (36.1% (13/36) vs 43.3% (26/60) for patients with vs without mutation) or IGHV mutation status (45.0% (9/20) vs 39.1% (27/68)); however, patients with del(17p) had lower ORRs than those without del(17p) (21.7% (5/22) vs 47.1% (33/70); P=0.049). No significant differences in progression-free survival and overall survival (OS) were observed when comparing subgroups defined by the presence or absence of high-risk genetic characteristics. In multivariate analyses, only multiple prior therapies (⩾3 lines) significantly impacted outcomes (median OS: 21.2 months vs not reached; P=0.019). This analysis indicates that lenalidomide is active in patients with relapsed/refractory CLL with unfavorable genetic profiles, including TP53 inactivation or unmutated IGHV. (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00963105).


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , Drug Resistance, Neoplasm , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/diagnosis , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/drug therapy , Thalidomide/analogs & derivatives , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains/genetics , Lenalidomide , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/genetics , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Prognosis , Recurrence , Retreatment , Survival Analysis , Thalidomide/therapeutic use , Treatment Outcome , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/genetics
7.
Cell Death Dis ; 7: e2052, 2016 Jan 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26775704

ABSTRACT

SMAC-mimetics represent a targeted therapy approach to overcome apoptosis resistance in many tumors. Here, we investigated the efficacy of the SMAC-mimetic BV6 in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL). In ALL cell lines, intrinsic apoptosis sensitivity was associated with rapid cIAP degradation, NF-κB activation, TNF-α secretion and induction of an autocrine TNF-α-dependent cell death loop. This pattern of responsiveness was also observed upon ex vivo analysis of 40 primograft BCP-ALL samples. Treatment with BV6 induced cell death in the majority of ALL primografts including leukemias with high-risk and poor-prognosis features. Inhibition of cell death by the TNF receptor fusion protein etanercept demonstrated that BV6 activity is dependent on TNF-α. In a preclinical NOD/SCID/huALL model of high-risk ALL, marked anti-leukemia effectivity and significantly prolonged survival were observed upon BV6 treatment. Interestingly, also in vivo, intrinsic SMAC-mimetic activity was mediated by TNF-α. Importantly, BV6 increased the effectivity of conventional induction therapy including vincristine, dexamethasone and asparaginase leading to prolonged remission induction. These data suggest SMAC-mimetics as an important addendum to efficient therapy of pediatric BCP-ALL.


Subject(s)
Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism , Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/genetics , Apoptosis , Cell Death , Cell Line, Tumor , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/metabolism , Risk Factors , Signal Transduction
8.
Cell Death Dis ; 6: e1930, 2015 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26492365

ABSTRACT

Salinomycin, isolated from Streptomyces albus, displays antimicrobial activity. Recently, a large-scale screening approach identified salinomycin and nigericin as selective apoptosis inducers of cancer stem cells. Growing evidence suggests that salinomycin is able to kill different types of non-stem tumor cells that usually display resistance to common therapeutic approaches, but the mechanism of action of this molecule is still poorly understood. Since salinomycin has been suggested to act as a K(+) ionophore, we explored its impact on mitochondrial bioenergetic performance at an early time point following drug application. In contrast to the K(+) ionophore valinomycin, salinomycin induced a rapid hyperpolarization. In addition, mitochondrial matrix acidification and a significant decrease of respiration were observed in intact mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and in cancer stem cell-like HMLE cells within tens of minutes, while increased production of reactive oxygen species was not detected. By comparing the chemical structures and cellular effects of this drug with those of valinomycin (K(+) ionophore) and nigericin (K(+)/H(+) exchanger), we conclude that salinomycin mediates K(+)/H(+) exchange across the inner mitochondrial membrane. Compatible with its direct modulation of mitochondrial function, salinomycin was able to induce cell death also in Bax/Bak-less double-knockout MEF cells. Since at the concentration range used in most studies (around 10 µM) salinomycin exerts its effect at the level of mitochondria and alters bioenergetic performance, the specificity of its action on pathologic B cells isolated from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) versus B cells from healthy subjects was investigated. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), proposed to mimic the tumor environment, attenuated the apoptotic effect of salinomycin on B-CLL cells. Apoptosis occurred to a significant extent in healthy B cells as well as in MSCs and human primary fibroblasts. The results indicate that salinomycin, when used above µM concentrations, exerts direct, mitochondrial effects, thus compromising cell survival.


Subject(s)
Antibiotics, Antineoplastic/pharmacology , Mitochondria/drug effects , Pyrans/pharmacology , Acid-Base Equilibrium , Animals , Cell Respiration , Cell Survival/drug effects , Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor , Fibroblasts/drug effects , Fibroblasts/physiology , Humans , Jurkat Cells , Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial/drug effects , Mice , Nigericin/pharmacology , Oxygen Consumption , Valinomycin/pharmacology
9.
Bone Marrow Transplant ; 49(4): 485-91, 2014 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24442244

ABSTRACT

The importance of early therapy intensification in B-cell CLL (B-CLL) patients remains to be defined. Even though several studies have been published, no randomized trials comparing directly autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) and the accepted conventional therapy (that is, rituximab, fludarabine and CY; R-FC) have been reported so far. To assess the benefit of a first-line aggressive therapy, we designed a multicenter, randomized, phase 3 trial comparing R-FC and high-dose chemotherapy supported by ASCT in patients under 65 years of age, with stage B(II) or C B-CLL. Primary end point was CR: 96 patients were enrolled (48 in each arm). On an intent-to-treat basis, the CR rates in the ASCT and R-FC arms were 62.5% and 58%, respectively. After 5 years of follow-up, PFS was 60.4% in the ASCT arm and 65.1% in the R-FC arm, time to progression 65.8 and 70.5%, and overall survival 88% vs 88.1%, respectively. Our trial demonstrates, for the first time in a randomized manner, that frontline ASCT does not translate into a survival advantage when compared with benchmark chemoimmunotherapy in B-CLL patients; the possibility of its clinical benefit in certain subgroups remains uncertain.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/therapeutic use , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/therapy , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived/administration & dosage , Cyclophosphamide/administration & dosage , Cytarabine/administration & dosage , Doxorubicin/administration & dosage , Female , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization/methods , Humans , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/drug therapy , Male , Melphalan/administration & dosage , Middle Aged , Prednisone/administration & dosage , Prospective Studies , Rituximab , Transplantation, Autologous , Vidarabine/administration & dosage , Vidarabine/analogs & derivatives , Vincristine/administration & dosage
11.
Cell Death Dis ; 3: e364, 2012 Aug 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22875001

ABSTRACT

Previously, we found that rapid leukemia engraftment (short time to leukemia, TTL(short)) in the NOD/SCID/huALL (non-obese diabetic/severe combined immuno-deficiency/human acute lymphoblastic leukemia) xenograft model is indicative of early patient relapse. As earlier intact apoptosis sensitivity was predictive for good prognosis in patients, we investigated the importance of apoptosis signaling on NOD/SCID/huALL engraftment. Intact apoptosome function as reflected by cytochrome c-related activation of caspase-3 (CRAC-positivity) was strongly associated with prolonged NOD/SCID engraftment (long time to leukemia, TTL(long)) of primary leukemia cells, good treatment response and superior patient survival. Conversely, deficient apoptosome function (CRAC-negativity) was associated with rapid engraftment (TTL(short)) and early relapse. Moreover, an intact apoptosis signaling was associated with high transcript and protein levels of the pro-apoptotic death-associated protein kinase1 (DAPK1). Our data strongly emphasize the impact of intrinsic apoptosis sensitivity of ALL cells on the engraftment phenotype in the NOD/SCID/huALL model, and most importantly also on patient outcome.


Subject(s)
Apoptosis , Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Adolescent , Animals , Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins/metabolism , Apoptosomes/metabolism , Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases/metabolism , Caspase 3/metabolism , Child , Child, Preschool , Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4/metabolism , Cytochromes c/metabolism , Death-Associated Protein Kinases , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Infant , Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute/pathology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred NOD , Mice, SCID , Phenotype , Recurrence , Transplantation, Heterologous , Tumor Cells, Cultured
13.
Euro Surveill ; 16(40)2011 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21996379

ABSTRACT

Since 18 August 2011, 17 cases of travel-associated Legionnaires' disease have been reported. They were tourists from five European countries who had stayed in five accommodation sites in Lazise, Italy. The dates of symptom onset ranged from 18 July to 25 August 2011. Control measures were implemented and no further cases associated with stays at the sites have been reported after disinfection. Timely notification of any further cases potentially associated with stay in Lazise is recommended.


Subject(s)
Disease Outbreaks , Legionnaires' Disease/epidemiology , Travel , Adult , Aged , Bacterial Typing Techniques , Camping , Environmental Exposure , Female , Housing , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Legionella pneumophila/classification , Legionella pneumophila/isolation & purification , Legionnaires' Disease/microbiology , Male , Middle Aged , Water Microbiology
15.
Leukemia ; 25(11): 1768-81, 2011 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21701493

ABSTRACT

In B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) cells, Lyn, a tyrosine kinase belonging to the Src family, is overexpressed and atypically localized in an aberrant cytosolic complex in an active conformation, contributing to the unbalance between cell survival and pro-apoptotic signals. In this study, we demonstrate that Lyn constitutively phosphorylates the immunoreceptor tyrosine inhibitory motifs of the inhibitory cell surface co-receptor CD5, a marker of B-CLL. As a result, CD5 provides an anchoring site to Src homology 2 domain-containing phosphatase 1 (SHP-1), a known negative regulator of hematopoietic cell function, thereby triggering the negative B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling. The subsequent segregation of SHP-1 into two pools, one bound to the inhibitory co-receptor CD5 in an active form, the other in the cytosol in an inhibited conformation, proves crucial for withstanding apoptosis, as shown by the use of phosphotyrosine phosphatase-I-I, a direct inhibitor of SHP-1, or SHP-1 knockdown. These results confirm that Lyn exhibits the unique ability to negatively regulate BCR signaling, in addition to positively regulating effectors downstream of the BCR, and identify SHP-1 as a novel player in the deranged signaling network and as a potential attractive target for new therapeutic strategies in B-CLL.


Subject(s)
Apoptosis , CD5 Antigens/metabolism , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/pathology , Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 6/metabolism , src-Family Kinases/physiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Blotting, Western , Cell Compartmentation , Female , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Immunoprecipitation , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphorylation , Subcellular Fractions/metabolism , src Homology Domains
17.
J Biol Regul Homeost Agents ; 23(4): 239-50, 2009.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20003763

ABSTRACT

B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) is a malignant disorder characterized by the accumulation of the leukemic cells in the G0-G1 phase of the cell cycle and expressing high levels of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. Since we observed that the treatment of autoimmune complications with Cyclosporine A (CsA) determined in some CLL patients an improvement not only of the autoimmune phenomena, but also of the leukemic process, we evaluated the in vitro cytotoxicity of CsA as compared to Dexamethasone (Dex) on leukemic cells. Leukemic cells obtained from 32 B-CLL patients showed a heterogeneous pattern of spontaneous apoptosis at 24 h interval and this pattern permitted to identify: Group 1 (14/32) with high (>20%) apoptotic rate and Group 2 (18/32) with low cell death. CsA and Dex increased cell death in both groups with a different timing by an apoptotic mechanism that does not involve Bcl-2. Furthermore, in Group 2, CsA-induced apoptosis was significant higher than that observed with Dex both at 4 and 24 h. We suggest that, in B-CLL, CsA has a significant pro-apoptotic activity manifested also in patients with low spontaneous apoptosis. Our observations might be taken into account to consider new therapeutic strategies in B-CLL.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Apoptosis/drug effects , Cyclosporine/pharmacology , Dexamethasone/pharmacology , Immunosuppressive Agents/pharmacology , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , G1 Phase/drug effects , Gene Expression Regulation, Leukemic/drug effects , Humans , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/drug therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2/biosynthesis , Resting Phase, Cell Cycle/drug effects , Time Factors , Tumor Cells, Cultured
18.
Bone Marrow Transplant ; 42(6): 421-5, 2008 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-18574446

ABSTRACT

Acute GVHD (aGVHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality after unrelated BMT (UBMT). Our purpose was to analyze the role of extracorporeal photochemotherapy (ECP) in controlling grade II-IV aGVHD in children given UBMT. Of 41 consecutive children, 31 developed grade II-IV aGVHD after UBMT: 16 had a good response to steroids (GR group), whereas 15 underwent ECP (ECP group) within 100 days of UBMT. Eligibility criteria for starting ECP were steroid resistance, dependence or viral reactivations. Criteria for judging response to aGVHD treatment were that the resolution of all signs were considered a complete response (CR), at least a 50% improvement was classified as a partial response (PR) and stable or progressive disease was judged as no response (NR). On completing ECP, the CR rate was 73%, whereas the GR group had a CR rate of 56% by day 100. The 2-year overall survival and progression-free survival rates were 57 and 67% in the GR group vs 85 and 87% in the ECP group. Our data seem to suggest that ECP may improve outcome in patients after UBMT. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger population.


Subject(s)
Bone Marrow Transplantation , Graft vs Host Disease/mortality , Lymphoproliferative Disorders/mortality , Acute Disease , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Child, Preschool , Disease-Free Survival , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Graft vs Host Disease/therapy , Humans , Infant , Lymphoproliferative Disorders/therapy , Male , Photopheresis , Retrospective Studies , Survival Rate , Transplantation, Homologous
19.
Leukemia ; 21(5): 1060-9, 2007 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17361229

ABSTRACT

Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based sequence-specific primers, the killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) genotypes of 35 patients with natural killer (NK)-type lymphoproliferative disease of granular lymphocytes and of 50 normal subjects were investigated to evaluate whether genes coding for activating KIRs were more frequently detected in patients with NK-lymphoproliferative disease of granular lymphocytes (LDGL). Genotype frequency indicated that the most frequently found gene content was eight genes in controls and 14 in patients (P<0.05). The KIR genotype analysis revealed that patient and, surprisingly, control KIR genotypes preferentially consisted of type B haplotypes characterized by the presence of multiple-activating KIRs. Evidence was also provided that the same KIR genotype was shared by a variable number of patients. Interestingly, the recurrent genotypes observed in the patient group were not found in controls. Concerning inhibitory genes, KIR2DL5a and 2DL5b were more frequently detected in patients than in controls (P<0.01), likely representing a discrete feature of the genetic repertoire of the patients. KIR gene repertoire analysis in patients suggests that the susceptibility to NK-LDGL might be related to the presence of activating KIR genes and supports the concept that these receptors may be involved in the priming of granular lymphocytes (GL) proliferation. Population analysis might disclose a genetic background predisposing to this disease.


Subject(s)
Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Lymphoproliferative Disorders/immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/genetics , Adult , Aged , Female , Gene Frequency , Genes, MHC Class I , Genotype , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Lymphoproliferative Disorders/genetics , Lymphoproliferative Disorders/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, KIR , Receptors, KIR2DL5
20.
Leukemia ; 21(5): 965-72, 2007 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17344921

ABSTRACT

Activation of telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) is essential for unlimited cell growth and plays a critical role in tumorigenesis. We investigated hTERT gene expression in 134 B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) cases and evaluated its prognostic value with other prognostic markers (IgVH mutation status, CD38 and ZAP-70 expression). Real-time PCR assays to quantify either all hTERT transcripts (AT) or only the full length (FL) transcript encoding the functional protein were developed. hTERT-AT levels strongly correlated with hTERT-FT levels (r=0.743, P<0.0001); both inversely correlated with the percentage of IgVH mutation (P<0.005) and were significantly higher in unmutated than in mutated cases (P=0.004 and P=0.001, respectively). The hTERT values which best discriminated between the unmutated and mutated IgVH cases were 150 and 40 copies for hTERT-AT and hTERT-FL, respectively. Using these cut-off values, there was a significant difference in the survival of patients with high or low hTERT levels (P<0.0001). Unmutated cases with low hTERT levels had an overall survival close to mutated cases with high hTERT levels. Thus, this work identifies hTERT-RNA level as a new prognostic marker in B-CLL, and may be used to identify previously unrecognized patient groups with the same IgVH mutation status and different disease outcomes.


Subject(s)
Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains/genetics , Immunoglobulin Variable Region/genetics , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/genetics , Mutation , Telomerase/genetics , ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1/analysis , Adult , Aged , B-Lymphocytes/enzymology , Female , Humans , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/enzymology , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/mortality , Male , Middle Aged , ZAP-70 Protein-Tyrosine Kinase/analysis
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