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1.  ADAMTS13 phenotype in plasma from normal individuals and patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura 
European Journal of Pediatrics  2006;166(3):249-257.
The activity of ADAMTS13, the von Willebrand factor cleaving protease, is deficient in patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). In the present study, the phenotype of ADAMTS13 in TTP and in normal plasma was demonstrated by immunoblotting. Normal plasma (n = 20) revealed a single band at 190 kD under reducing conditions using a polyclonal antibody, and a single band at 150 kD under non-reducing conditions using a monoclonal antibody. ADAMTS13 was not detected in the plasma from patients with congenital TTP (n = 5) by either antibody, whereas patients with acquired TTP (n = 2) presented the normal phenotype. Following immunoadsorption of immunoglobulins, the ADAMTS13 band was removed from the plasma of the patients with acquired TTP, but not from that of normal individuals. This indicates that ADAMTS13 is complexed with immunoglobulin in these patients. The lack of ADAMTS13 expression in the plasma from patients with hereditary TTP may indicate defective synthesis, impaired cellular secretion, or enhanced degradation in the circulation. This study differentiated between normal and TTP plasma, as well as between congenital and acquired TTP. This method may, therefore, be used as a complement in the diagnosis of TTP.
doi:10.1007/s00431-006-0354-2
PMCID: PMC1820762  PMID: 17187257
ADAMTS13; von Willebrand factor; Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura; Immunoblotting; Plasma; von Willebrand factor cleaving protease
2.  Thalidomide and dexamethasone vs. bortezomib and dexamethasone for melphalan refractory myeloma: a randomized study 
European Journal of Haematology  2012;88(6):485-496.
Objectives
Thalidomide and bortezomib have been frequently used for second-line therapy in patients with myeloma relapsing after or refractory to initial melphalan-based treatment, but no randomized trials have been published comparing these two treatment alternatives.
Methods
Thalidomide- and bortezomib-naïve patients with melphalan refractory myeloma were randomly assigned to low-dose thalidomide + dexamethasone (Thal-Dex) or bortezomib + dexamethasone (Bort-Dex). At progression on either therapy, the patients were offered crossover to the alternative drug combination. An estimated 300 patients would be needed for the trial to detect a 50% difference in median PFS between the treatment arms.
Results
After inclusion of 131 patients, the trial was prematurely closed because of low accrual. Sixty-seven patients were randomized to Thal-Dex and 64 to Bort-Dex. Progression-free survival was similar (median, 9.0 months for Thal-Dex and 7.2 for Bort-Dex). Response rate was similar (55% for Thal-Dex and 63% for Bort-Dex), but time to response was shorter (P < 0.05) and the VGPR rate higher (P < 0.01) for Bort-Dex. Time-to-other treatment after crossover was similar (median, 13.2 months for Thal-Dex and 11.2 months for Bort-Dex), as was overall survival (22.8 months for Thal-Dex and 19.0 for Bort-Dex). Venous thromboembolism was seen in seven patients and cerebrovascular events in four patients in the Thal-Dex group. Severe neuropathy, reactivation of herpes virus infections, and mental depression were more frequently observed in the Bort-Dex group. In the quality-of-life analysis, no difference was noted for physical function, pain, and global quality of life. Fatigue and sleep disturbances were significantly more prevalent in the Bort-Dex group.
Conclusions
Thalidomide (50–100 mg daily) in combination with dexamethasone seems to have an efficacy comparable with that of bortezomib and dexamethasone in melphalan refractory myeloma. However, the statistical strength of the results in this study is limited by the low number of included patients.
doi:10.1111/j.1600-0609.2012.01775.x
PMCID: PMC3492844  PMID: 22404182
multiple myeloma; thalidomide; bortezomib; randomized trial; quality of life

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