Prednisone in MOPP chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease.
High remission rates have been produced by MOPP (mustine, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone) chemotherapy in patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease, but the prednisone component has caused adverse effects in patients who have undergone radiotherapy. The remission rates and length of remission were reviewed in 211 patients with Hodgkin's disease who received chemotherapy either with or without prednisone. In contrast to the findings of a British study, there were no significant differences in remission rates or length of remission between patients who had received prednisone and patients who had not. There were differences between the British prospective study and this retrospective one, but it is difficult to know what accounted for the substantial differences in the findings. (+info)
A prospective, randomized trial of tacrolimus/prednisone versus tacrolimus/prednisone/mycophenolate mofetil in renal transplant recipients.
BACKGROUND: Between September 20, 1995 and September 20, 1997, 208 adult patients undergoing renal transplantation were randomized to receive tacrolimus/prednisone (n=106) or tacrolimus/prednisone/mycophenolate mofetil (n=102), with the goal of reducing the incidence of rejection. METHODS: The mean recipient age was 50.7+/-13.7 years. Sixty-three (30.3%) patients were 60 years of age or older at the time of transplantation. The mean donor age was 34.5+/-21.7 years. The mean cold ischemia time was 30.5+/-9.2 hr. The mean follow-up is 15+/-7 months. RESULTS: The overall 1-year actuarial patient survival was 94%; the overall 1-year actuarial graft survival was 87%. When the patient and graft survival data were stratified to recipients under the age of 60 who did not have delayed graft function, the overall 1-year actuarial patient survival was 97%, and the corresponding 1-year actuarial graft survival was 93%. There were no differences between the two groups. The overall incidence of rejection was 36%; in the double-therapy group, it was 44%, whereas in the triple therapy group, it was 27% (P=0.014). The mean serum creatinine was 1.6+/-0.8 mg/dl. A total of 36% of the successfully transplanted patients were taken off prednisone; 32% of the patients were taken off antihypertensive medications. The incidence of delayed graft function was 21%, the incidence of cytomegalovirus was 12.5%, and the initial and final incidences of posttransplant insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus were 7.0% and 2.9%; again, there was no difference between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: This trial suggests that the combination of tacrolimus, steroids, and mycophenolate mofetil is associated with excellent patient and graft survival and a lower incidence of rejection than the combination of tacrolimus and steroids. (+info)
Can we cure indolent lymphomas?
The current consensus is that indolent lymphomas are incurable disorders. There are some indications that these malignancies are potentially curable. Indeed, not all indolent lymphomas are currently incurable. For example, patients with Ann Arbor stage I-II indolent lymphomas can experience long-term disease-free survival and probable cure. Also, from the available literature data, it seems that the achievement of a molecular complete remission is a desirable objective. Patients who achieve a persistently negative PCR state seldom relapse, whereas the opposite is true for persistently positive cases. In view of its excellent correlation with disease-free survival when examined serially in multiple blood or marrow samples, the PCR technique has the potential of providing a tumor marker that can be used as an early end point for clinical trials. By serving as an early surrogate end point, PCR could play an important role in expediting the development of new treatment strategies. Whether IFN is capable of increasing the molecular complete remission rate as measured by PCR is not known. However, it is clear that from the clinical standpoint, IFN has been able to increase 2-fold the length of remission in patients with advanced indolent lymphomas. In at least two studies, this has been associated with prolongation of survival. More intensive regimens such as alternating triple therapy, when used in combination with IFN, seem to have improved the quality of remissions as judged by the PCR assay. Finally, the site where the bcl-2 breakpoint occurs seems to have clinical significance. Those follicular lymphomas with germ-line bcl-2, in our experience, have behaved more aggressively than the others, and their failure-free survival seems different from the usual indolent lymphomas and more closely resembles the large cell lymphomas. Although the biological significance of this observation is not yet understood, this group might actually constitute a prognostically different subset with a more aggressive and perhaps more curable lymphoma. Whether the plateau observed in their failure-free survival curve will be maintained with more follow-up and whether they might be a curable subset remain to be determined. (+info)
Reduced kidney transplant rejection rate and pharmacoeconomic advantage of mycophenolate mofetil.
BACKGROUND: Several multinational controlled clinical trials have shown that triple therapy immunosuppressive regimens which include mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), cyclosporin A (CSA) and steroids (S) are superior compared with conventional regimens which include azathioprine (AZA), CSA and S, mainly because MMF reduces the rate of acute rejection episodes in the first 6 months after kidney transplantation. Post-marketing studies are useful to evaluate the general applicability and costs of MMF-based immunosuppressive regimens. METHODS: Based on the excellent results of the published controlled clinical trials, we have changed the standard triple therapy immunosuppressive protocol (AZA+CSA+S) to an MMF-based regimen (MMF+CSA+S) at our centre. To analyse the impact of this change in regimen, we have monitored 6-month patient and graft survival, rejection rate, serum creatinine and CSA levels, as well as the costs of the immunosuppressive and anti-rejection treatments, in 40 consecutive renal transplant recipients (MMF group) and have compared the data with 40 consecutive patients transplanted immediately prior to the change in regimen (AZA group). RESULTS: Recipient and donor characteristics were similar in the AZA and MMF groups. Patient survival (37/40; 92.5% in the AZA group vs 38/40; 95% in the MMF group), graft survival (36/40 vs 36/40; both 90%) and serum creatinine (137+/-56 vs 139+/-44 micromol/l) after 6 months were not significantly different. However, the rate of acute rejection episodes (defined as a rise in creatinine without other obvious cause and treated at least with pulse steroids) was significantly reduced with MMF from 60 to 20% (P=0.0005). The resulting cost for rejection treatment was lowered 8-fold (from sFr. 2113 to 259 averaged per patient) and the number of transplant biopsies was lowered > 3-fold in the MMF group. The cost for the immunosuppressive therapy was increased 1.5-fold with MMF (from sFr. 5906 to 9231 per patient for the first 6 months). CONCLUSIONS: The change from AZA to MMF resulted in a significant reduction in early rejection episodes, resulting in fewer diagnostic procedures and rehospitalizations. The optimal long-term regimen in terms of patient and pharmacoeconomic benefits remains to be defined. (+info)
Global biventricular dysfunction in patients with asymptomatic coronary artery disease may be caused by myocarditis.
BACKGROUND: The causal role of asymptomatic critical coronary artery obstruction in patients presenting with severe global biventricular dysfunction but no evidence of myocardial infarction is uncertain. METHODS AND RESULTS: Among 291 patients aged >40 years undergoing a noninvasive (2-dimensional echocardiography) and invasive (catheterization, coronary angiography, and biventricular endomyocardial biopsy, 6 to 8 samples/patient) cardiac study because of progressive heart failure (New York Heart Association functional class III or IV) with global biventricular dysfunction and no history of myocardial ischemic events, 7 patients (2.4%; 7 men; mean age, 49+/-6.9 years) had severe coronary artery disease (3 vessels in 4 patients; 2 vessels in 1 patient, proximal occlusion of left anterior descending coronary artery in 2 patients). Left ventricular end-diastolic diameter and ejection fraction by 2-dimensional echocardiography were 73+/-10.5 mm and 23+/-6.5%, respectively, and right ventricular end-diastolic diameter and ejection fraction were 39+/-7 mm and 29+/-7.2%, respectively. Biopsy specimens showed extensive lymphocytic infiltrates with focal myocytolysis meeting the Dallas criteria for myocarditis in all patients (in 5 patients with and 2 patients without fibrosis). Cardiac autoantibodies were detected with indirect immunofluorescence in the serum of 2 patients with active myocarditis. The 2 patients with active inflammation received prednisone (1 mg. kg-1. d-1 for 4 weeks followed by 0.33 mg. kg-1. d-1 for 5 months) and azathioprine (2 mg. kg-1. d-1 for 5 months) in addition to conventional drug therapy for heart failure. At 8-month overall follow-up, cardiac volume and function improved considerably in immunosuppressed patients but remained unchanged in conventionally treated patients, of whom 1 died. CONCLUSIONS: Global biventricular dysfunction in patients with severe asymptomatic coronary artery disease and no evidence of previous myocardial infarction may be caused by myocarditis. Histologic findings may influence the treatment. (+info)
Early harvest and late transplantation as an effective therapeutic strategy in multiple myeloma.
Transplantation after high-dose chemotherapy prolongs survival in patients with multiple myeloma compared with standard therapy. It is unclear whether the optimal timing of transplantation is immediately after induction chemotherapy or whether stem cells may be cryopreserved for transplantation at subsequent progression or relapse. In this study, stem cells were collected within 6 months of diagnosis, followed by transplantation only at progression of myeloma. One hundred and eighteen patients with multiple myeloma had stem cells collected and cryopreserved. Eleven had transplants early in the disease after they demonstrated failure to respond to primary therapy. The remaining 107 were eligible for transplants when there was evidence of progressive disease. Of the 118 patients, 67 had transplants, nine died of progressive disease before transplantation, and 42 remain alive in plateau phase. The median survival of the group is 58.5 months; 67 are alive. Serum beta2-microglobulin, bone marrow labeling index (S phase), and hemoglobin level predicted overall survival (P < 0.006, P < 0.001, and P < 0.01, respectively). We conclude that early cryopreservation of blood stem cells followed by transplantation at progression is a feasible approach to therapy in patients with myeloma. The underlying biology of the disease has a greater impact on survival than the timing of transplantation. A prospective randomized trial is required to answer definitively the question of the optimal timing of blood cell transplantation. (+info)
Plasma cortisol suppression response in the South African black population with glaucoma.
Plasma cortisol suppression was measured in 25 Black glaucomatous patients and in 19 Black patients of similar age and sex, but without glaucoma, who acted as controls. Initial serum cortisol levels were found to be slightly higher in the glaucomatous group. The response to systemically-administered cortisone was statistically more marked in the glaucomatous patients compared with the control group. (+info)
Follicular large cell lymphoma: an aggressive lymphoma that often presents with favorable prognostic features.
It is debated whether follicular large cell lymphoma (FLCL) has a clinical behavior that is distinct from indolent follicular lymphomas, and whether there is a subset of patients who can be potentially cured. We report here our experience with 100 FLCL patients treated at our institution since 1984 with three successive programs. We evaluated the predictive value of pretreatment clinical features, including two risk models, the Tumor Score System and the International Prognostic Index (IPI). With a median follow-up of 67 months, the 5-year survival is 72% and the failure-free survival (FFS) is 67%, with a possible plateau in the FFS curve, particularly for patients with stage I-III disease. Features associated with shorter survival included age >/=60, elevated lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) or beta-2-microglobulin (beta2M), advanced stage, and bone marrow involvement. Stage III patients had significantly better survival than stage IV patients (P <.05). By the IPI and Tumor Score System, 80% of the patients were in the lower risk groups; both systems stratified patients into prognostic groups. Patients with FLCL have clinical features and response to treatment similar to that reported for diffuse large cell lymphoma. Prognostic risk systems for aggressive lymphomas are useful for FLCL. A meaningful fraction of patients may possibly be cured when treated as aggressive lymphomas. (+info)