A randomized, double-blind comparative trial evaluating the safety of liposomal amphotericin B versus amphotericin B lipid complex in the empirical treatment of febrile neutropenia. L Amph/ABLC Collaborative Study Group. (1/19)

In this double-blind study to compare safety of 2 lipid formulations of amphotericin B, neutropenic patients with unresolved fever after 3 days of antibacterial therapy were randomized (1:1:1) to receive amphotericin B lipid complex (ABLC) at a dose of 5 mg/kg/d (n=78), liposomal amphotericin B (L Amph) at a dose of 3 mg/kg/d (n=85), or L Amph at a dose of 5 mg/kg/d (n=81). L Amph (3 mg/kg/d and 5 mg/kg/d) had lower rates of fever (23.5% and 19.8% vs. 57.7% on day 1; P<.001), chills/rigors (18.8% and 23.5% vs. 79.5% on day 1; P<.001), nephrotoxicity (14.1% and 14.8% vs. 42.3%; P<.01), and toxicity-related discontinuations of therapy (12.9% and 12.3% vs. 32.1%; P=.004). After day 1, infusional reactions were less frequent with ABLC, but chills/rigors were still higher (21.0% and 24.3% vs. 50.7%; P<.001). Therapeutic success was similar in all 3 groups.  (+info)

Rituximab dose-escalation trial in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. (2/19)

PURPOSE: To conduct a dose-escalation trial of rituximab in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to define the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), to evaluate first-dose reactions in patients with high circulating lymphocyte counts, and to assess the efficacy at higher versus lower doses. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Fifty patients with CLL (n = 40) or other mature B-cell lymphoid leukemias (n = 10) were treated with four weekly infusions of rituximab. The first dose was 375 mg/m(2) for all patients; dose- escalation began with dose 2 but was held constant for each patient. Escalated doses were from 500 to 2,250 mg/m(2). RESULTS: Toxicity with the first dose (375 mg/m(2)) was noted in 94% of patients but was grade 1 or 2 in most, predominantly fever and chills. Six patients (12%) experienced severe toxicity with the first dose, including fever, chills, dyspnea, and hypoxia in all six patients, hypotension in five, and hypertension in one. Toxicity on subsequent doses was minimal until a dose of 2,250 mg/m(2) was achieved. Eight (67%) of 12 patients had grade 2 toxicity, including fever, chills, nausea, and malaise, although no patient had grade 3 or 4 toxicity. Severe toxicity with the first dose was significantly more common in patients with other B-cell leukemias, occurring in five (50%) of 10 patients versus one (2%) of 40 patients with CLL (P <.001). The overall response rate was 40%; all responses in patients with CLL were partial remissions. Response rates were 36% in CLL and 60% in other B-cell lymphoid leukemias. Response was correlated with dose: 22% for patients treated at 500 to 825 mg/m(2), 43% for those treated at 1,000 to 1,500 mg/m(2), and 75% for those treated at the highest dose of 2,250 mg/m(2) (P =.007). The median time to disease progression was 8 months. Myelosuppression and infections were uncommon. CONCLUSION: Rituximab has significant activity in patients with CLL at the higher dose levels. Severe first-dose reactions were uncommon in patients with CLL, even with high circulating lymphocyte counts, but were frequent in patients with other mature B-cell leukemias in which CD20 surface expression is increased. Efficacy of rituximab was also significant in this group of patients.  (+info)

Dacarbazine and interferon alpha with or without interleukin 2 in metastatic melanoma: a randomized phase III multicentre trial of the Dermatologic Cooperative Oncology Group (DeCOG). (3/19)

In several phase II-trials encouraging tumour responses rates in advanced metastatic melanoma (stage IV; AJCC-classification) have been reported for the application of biochemotherapy containing interleukin 2. This study was designed to compare the efficacy of therapy with dacarbazine (DTIC) and interferon alpha (IFN-alpha) only to that of therapy with DTIC and IFN-alpha with the addition of interleukin 2 (IL-2) in terms of the overall survival time and rate of objective remissions and to provide an elaborated toxicity profile for both types of therapy. 290 patients were randomized to receive either DTIC (850 mg/m(2)every 28 days) plus IFN-alpha2a/b (3 MIU/m(2), twice on day 1, once daily from days 2 to 5; 5 MIU/m(2)3 times a week from week 2 to 4) with or without IL-2 (4.5 MIU/m(2)for 3 hours i.v. on day 3; 9.0 MIU/m(2) i.v. day 3/4; 4.5 MIU/m(2) s.c. days 4 to 7). The treatment plan required at least 2 treatment cycles (8 weeks of therapy) for every patient. Of 290 randomized patients 281 were eligible for an intention-to-treat analysis. There was no difference in terms of survival time from treatment onset between the two arms (median 11.0 months each). In 273 patients treated according to protocol tumour response was assessable. The response rates did not differ between both arms (P = 0.87) with 18.0% objective responses (9.7% PR; 8.3% CR) for DTIC plus IFN-alpha as compared to 16.1% (8.8% PR; 7.3% CR) for DTIC, IFN-alpha and IL-2. Treatment cessation due to adverse reactions was significantly more common in patients receiving IL-2 (13.9%) than in patients receiving DTIC/IFN-alpha only (5.6%). In conclusion, there was neither a difference in survival time nor in tumour response rates when IL-2, applied according to the combined intravenous and subcutaneous schedule used for this study, was added to DTIC and IFN-alpha. However, toxicity was increased in melanoma patients treated with IL-2. Further phase III trials with continuous infusion and higher dosages must be performed before any final conclusions can be drawn on the potential usefulness of IL-2 in biochemotherapy of advanced melanoma.  (+info)

Therapeutic use of cytokines to modulate phagocyte function for the treatment of infectious diseases: current status of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and interferon-gamma. (4/19)

The innate immune system represents the initial arm of host defense against pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Neutrophils, monocytes, and tissue-based macrophages are major cellular components of this system. The potential ability to augment activity of the innate immune system has increased dramatically during the past 2 decades, with the discovery and development of cytokines. Four cytokines, namely granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), and interferon (IFN)-gamma, have received increasing attention as potential adjunctive agents for the treatment of infectious diseases. In various animal models of infection, therapeutic administration of each of the 4 cytokines has been shown to enhance pathogen eradication and to decrease morbidity and/or mortality. However, variable therapeutic efficacy has been reported in clinical trials conducted to date. This review summarizes the current status of the use of G-CSF, GM-CSF, M-CSF, and IFN-gamma in the treatment of infectious diseases.  (+info)

Phase 2 study of a combined immunochemotherapy using rituximab and fludarabine in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. (5/19)

This multicenter phase 2 trial investigated safety and efficacy of a new immunochemotherapeutic regimen combining rituximab (R) and fludarabine (F) in patients with fludarabine- and anthracycline-naive chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The rationale for using R + F includes single-agent efficacy of both drugs, in vitro synergism of R and F, and no apparent overlapping toxicity. Of 31 eligible patients with B-CLL enrolled, 20 were previously untreated and 11 relapsed. Treatment consisted of fludarabine administered at standard doses (25 mg/m(2)/d; days 1-5, 29-33, 57-61, and 85-89) and rituximab (375 mg/m(2)/d) given on days 57, 85, 113, and 151. Side effects such as fever, chills, and exanthema were generally mild (National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria [NCI-CTC] grade 1/2 in 48% and grade 3 and/or 4 in 3% of patients). Fever and chills were mainly associated with the first rituximab infusion. Hematologic toxicity included neutropenia (grade 1 and/or 2 in 26%, grade 3 and/or 4 in 42%) and thrombocytopenia (grade 1 and/or 2 in 19%, grade 3 and/or 4 in 9%). One patient died of cerebral bleeding during prolonged thrombocytopenia after the second cycle of fludarabine. There were a total of 32 infections in 16 patients, none of which was fatal. The overall response rate (complete remission [CR] and partial remission [PR]) was 87% (27 of 31 evaluable patients). In 20 previously untreated patients, 17 (85%) responded. Ten of 31 patients achieved CR (5 of 20 untreated; 5 of 11 pretreated; 9 of 21 Binet stage B, 1 of 10 Binet stage C). The median duration of response was 75 weeks. We conclude that the combination of rituximab and fludarabine is feasible and effective in patients with B-CLL.  (+info)

An overview of the current clinical use of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab. (6/19)

The chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab has become part of the standard therapy for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). To date, more than 300 000 patients have been treated with rituximab worldwide, including patients with indolent and aggressive NHL, Hodgkin's disease and other B-cell malignancies. Combination of rituximab with cytotoxic agents or cytokines has been explored in a number of different studies. Rituximab is now also approved for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma when combined with standard CHOP chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone). The monoclonal antibody is generally well tolerated. Most adverse events are infusion-associated, including chills, fever and rigor related to the release of cytokines.  (+info)

A major outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hong Kong. (7/19)

BACKGROUND: There has been an outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) worldwide. We report the clinical, laboratory, and radiologic features of 138 cases of suspected SARS during a hospital outbreak in Hong Kong. METHODS: From March 11 to 25, 2003, all patients with suspected SARS after exposure to an index patient or ward were admitted to the isolation wards of the Prince of Wales Hospital. Their demographic, clinical, laboratory, and radiologic characteristics were analyzed. Clinical end points included the need for intensive care and death. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. RESULTS: There were 66 male patients and 72 female patients in this cohort, 69 of whom were health care workers. The most common symptoms included fever (in 100 percent of the patients); chills, rigors, or both (73.2 percent); and myalgia (60.9 percent). Cough and headache were also reported in more than 50 percent of the patients. Other common findings were lymphopenia (in 69.6 percent), thrombocytopenia (44.8 percent), and elevated lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase levels (71.0 percent and 32.1 percent, respectively). Peripheral air-space consolidation was commonly observed on thoracic computed tomographic scanning. A total of 32 patients (23.2 percent) were admitted to the intensive care unit; 5 patients died, all of whom had coexisting conditions. In a multivariate analysis, the independent predictors of an adverse outcome were advanced age (odds ratio per decade of life, 1.80; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.16 to 2.81; P=0.009), a high peak lactate dehydrogenase level (odds ratio per 100 U per liter, 2.09; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.28 to 3.42; P=0.003), and an absolute neutrophil count that exceeded the upper limit of the normal range on presentation (odds ratio, 1.60; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.03 to 2.50; P=0.04). CONCLUSIONS: SARS is a serious respiratory illness that led to significant morbidity and mortality in our cohort.  (+info)

Risk of transmission of leptospirosis from infected cattle to dairy workers in southern Israel. (8/19)

BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that occurs worldwide, found predominantly in agricultural workers, port workers and dairy workers. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the risk of disease transmission to dairy workers following an outbreak in 1999 of Leptospirosis hardjo in the dairy herds of two kibbutzim in southern Israel. METHODS: A seroepidemiologic survey of all the dairy workers from these two kibbutzim was conducted, including individual interview and examination. Data were collected on the presence of clinical symptoms of leptospirosis during the previous month. One month later the medical personnel on the two kibbutzim were contacted in order to determine if any worker had subsequently developed clinical signs or symptoms of leptospirosis. All dairy workers had blood drawn for serology. Those workers whose initial serology had been borderline for leptospirosis had a repeated serology test between 2 and 4 weeks later. Doxycycline was given prophylactically to all dairy workers on one kibbutz only. RESULTS: Either with or without chemoprophylaxis, no dairy workers exposed to herds infected with Leptospira hardjo showed evidence of seroconversion or disease. This indicated a low risk of transmission of this serovar from cows to dairy workers. CONCLUSION: Since human illness with leptospirae can cause illness associated with significant morbidity, we recommend that physicians make an informed decision regarding doxycycline prophylaxsis for dairy workers exposed to cattle herds infected with Leptospira hardjo.  (+info)