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1.  Salvage high-dose chemotherapy for children with extragonadal germ-cell tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2005;93(4):412-417.
We reviewed the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) experience with salvage high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) in paediatric patients with extragonadal germ-cell tumour (GCT). A total of 23 children with extragonadal GCT, median age 12 years (range 1–20), were treated with salvage HDC with haematopoietic progenitor cell support. The GCT primary location was intracranial site in nine cases, sacrococcyx in eight, retroperitoneum in four, and mediastinum in two. In all, 22 patients had a nongerminomatous GCT and one germinoma. Nine patients received HDC in first- and 14 in second- or third-relapse situation. No toxic deaths occurred. Overall, 16 of 23 patients (70%) achieved a complete remission. With a median follow-up of 66 months (range 31–173 months), 10 (43%) are continuously disease-free. Of six patients who had a disease recurrence after HDC, one achieved a disease-free status with surgical resection followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In total, 11 patients (48%) are currently disease-free. Eight of 14 patients (57%) with extracranial primary and three of nine patients (33%) with intracranial primary GCT are currently disease-free. HDC induced impressive long-term remissions as salvage treatment in children with extragonadal extracranial GCTs. Salvage HDC should be investigated in prospective trials in these patients.
PMCID: PMC2361583  PMID: 16106248
extragonadal germ cell tumour; high-dose chemotherapy; salvage therapy; children
2.  Itraconazole Oral Solution for Primary Prophylaxis of Fungal Infections in Patients with Hematological Malignancy and Profound Neutropenia: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Double-Placebo, Multicenter Trial Comparing Itraconazole and Amphotericin B 
Systemic and superficial fungal infections are a major problem among immunocompromised patients with hematological malignancy. A double-blind, double-placebo, randomized, multicenter trial was performed to compare the efficacy and safety of itraconazole oral solution (2.5 mg/kg of body weight twice a day) with amphotericin B capsules (500 mg orally four times a day) for prophylaxis of systemic and superficial fungal infection. Prophylactic treatment was initiated on the first day of chemotherapy and was continued until the end of the neutropenic period (>0.5 × 109 neutrophils/liter) or up to a maximum of 3 days following the end of neutropenia, unless a systemic fungal infection was documented or suspected. The maximum treatment duration was 56 days. In the intent-to-treat population, invasive aspergillosis was noted in 5 (1.8%) of the 281 patients assigned to itraconazole oral solution and in 9 (3.3%) of the 276 patients assigned to oral amphotericin B; of these, 1 and 4 patients died, respectively. Proven systemic fungal infection (including invasive aspergillosis) occurred in 8 patients (2.8%) who received itraconazole, compared with 13 (4.7%) who received oral amphotericin B. Itraconazole significantly reduced the incidence of superficial fungal infections as compared to oral amphotericin B (2 [1%] versus 13 [5%]; P = 0.004). Although the incidences of suspected fungal infection (including fever of unknown origin) were not different between the groups, fewer patients were administered intravenous systemic antifungals (mainly intravenous amphotericin B) in the group receiving itraconazole than in the group receiving oral amphotericin B (114 [41%] versus 132 [48%]; P = 0.066). Adequate plasma itraconazole levels were achieved in about 80% of the patients from 1 week after the start of treatment. In both groups, the trial medication was safe and well tolerated. Prophylactic administration of itraconazole oral solution significantly reduces superficial fungal infection in patients with hematological malignancies and neutropenia. The incidence of proven systemic fungal infections, the number of deaths due to deep fungal infections, and the use of systemic antifungals tended to be lower in the itraconazole-treated group than in the amphotericin B-treated group, without statistical significance. Itraconazole oral solution is a broad-spectrum systemic antifungal agent with prophylactic activity in neutropenic patients, especially for those at high risk of prolonged neutropenia.
PMCID: PMC89980  PMID: 10858349
3.  Acute graft versus host disease due to T lymphocytes recognizing a single HLA-DPB1*0501 mismatch. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;98(1):100-107.
Analysis of a large number of unrelated bone marrow transplantations (BMT) has shown that HLA-DP incompatibility did not detectably influence the risk for acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD). Accordingly, it was proposed that HLA-DP determinants did not function as transplantation antigens in the same way as HLA-A, -B, or -DR. We have previously shown that HLA-DP (as well as HLA-A, -B, -DQ, or -DR)-specific T cells could be isolated from skin biopsies of patients who developed an aGVHD after semiallogeneic BMT. Nevertheless, whether a single HLA-DP mismatched allele could induce a detectable allo-specific reaction in vivo after BMT remained to be established. To directly address this issue we studied one patient who presented aGVHD after receiving purified CD34+ bone marrow (BM) cells from an unrelated donor with a single HLA-DP mismatch in the GVHD direction. To characterize the immunological events associated with GVHD, we analyzed the peripheral T cell repertoire, the T cell receptor Vbeta diversity, and the specificity of T cells invading a skin biopsy at the onset of GVHD. Our results demonstrated that a large fraction of skin-infiltrating lymphocytes, which expressed diverse T cell receptors, were reactive against this single HLA-DPB1 *0501 mismatch and consequently that a single HLA-DP mismatch between BM donor and recipient can activate a strong T cell response in vivo.
PMCID: PMC507405  PMID: 8690780
4.  High dose chemotherapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation in refractory Hodgkin's disease. 
British Journal of Cancer  1986;53(6):737-742.
Seventeen patients with Hodgkin's disease (HD) were treated with high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT). Eleven patients were resistant to initial therapy. Three patients had relapsed and were still responders to second or third line therapy. Three patients had relapsed but were progressing under second or third line therapy. Pre-ABMT chemotherapy included high dose cyclophosphamide in all patients (50 mg Kg-1 day-1 bolus for 4 days), most often associated with BCNU or CCNU, aracytine and 6 thioguanine. Four patients received additional TBI (10 Gy). In 9 patients complete remission (CR) was achieved, 4 failed to respond and 4 cases were not evaluable due to early death. Among CR patients, 2 died from late toxicity, 4 relapsed between the 2nd and 5th months, but 3 patients remain in CR, off therapy at 25+, 43+, and 66+ months, including 1/11 initially resistant and 2/6 who had relapsed. There were 9 treatment related deaths: 6 due to infection, 1 cardiac failure and 2 multiorgan failure. The high complete response rate in these heavily pretreated patients suggests that there may be an indication for high dose therapy earlier in resistant HD. Moreover under such conditions, treatment related morbidity would be expected to be lower.
PMCID: PMC2001409  PMID: 3521696
5.  Prognostic utility of intact immunoglobulin Ig′κ/Ig′λ ratios in multiple myeloma patients 
Leukemia  2012;27(1):202-207.
To determine whether isotype matched immunoglobulin (Ig; Ig′κ/Ig′λ) ratios had prognostic significance in patients with intact Ig multiple myeloma (MM). Novel immunoassays measuring serum concentrations of the Ig heavy chain/light chain (HLC) subsets IgGκ, IgGλ, IgAκ and IgAλ were compared with monoclonal protein (‘M-spike') quantification by serum protein electrophoresis, β2-microglobulin (β2-M), albumin, serum free light chain (FLC) and cytogenetic markers in relation to outcome in 339 MM patients. Abnormal IgGκ/IgGλ and IgAκ/IgAλ ratios present in the respective tumor isotypes at clinical presentation were predictive of shorter progression-free survival (PFS) (hazard ratio (HR) 1.9; P=0.0002), predominantly due to the suppression of the uninvolved (polyclonal) Ig of the same isotype as the tumor (HR 1.8; P=0.002). No significant associations were observed between PFS and M-spike concentrations, suppression of non-tumor Igs of different isotypes or FLC κ/λ ratios. β2-M and HLC ratios were independently prognostic (P=0.045 and P=0.001). A staging system using β2-M and extreme HLC ratios (<0.01 or >200) had greater prognostic value than the widely used ISS staging system (HR 1.7; P=0.00002 vs HR 1.3; P=0.017). These results suggest that HLC ratios may have a role in clinical management of MM.
PMCID: PMC3542628  PMID: 22699454
multiple myeloma; immunoglobulin; prognostic factors

Results 1-5 (5)