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Bleomycin

"A complex of related glycopeptide antibiotics from Streptomyces verticillus consisting of bleomycin A2 and B2. It inhibits DNA metabolism and is used as an antineoplastic, especially for solid tumors." (MeSH 2013)

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Latest Research Publications

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Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Liu JF, Nie XC, Shao YC, et al.
Bleomycin Suppresses the Proliferation and the Mobility of Human Gastric Cancer Cells Through the Smad Signaling Pathway.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016; 40(6):1401-1409 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Extensive studies have demonstrated that Bleomycin (BLM) is a glycopeptide antibiotic that has been used as an anticancer chemotherapeutic reagent. It can induce both single- and double-strand DNA damage, inhibit synthesis of DNA, suppress proliferation, and induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Smad signaling transducers are considered as important molecules in tumor development and progression, and may closely be related to the biological behaviors of some malignant carcinomas, including gastric cancer.
METHODS: The effects of different concentrations of BLM on the proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis, migration, and invasion on gastric cancer cell lines MKN45 and AGS were assayed by using CCK-8 assay, Annexin V/PI double staining, PI staining, and transwell assay. Western blot and Immunohistochemistry were applied to analyze the potential mechanism(s).
RESULTS: BLM treatment resulted in a low proliferation, high apoptosis, low migration and invasion in MKN45 and AGS cells. Furthermore, the possible mechanisms underlying that Smad3 activity could be changed after binding with BLM, and subsequently the Smad signaling pathway had a cascade response.
CONCLUSION: These results highlight BLM as an exciting theme for gastric cancer treatment, which may represent an effective clinical therapeutic reagent for gastric cancer patients.

Fondello C, Agnetti L, Villaverde MS, et al.
The combination of bleomycin with suicide or interferon-β gene transfer is able to efficiently eliminate human melanoma tumor initiating cells.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 83:290-301 [PubMed] Related Publications
We explored the potential of a chemogene therapy combination to eradicate melanoma tumor initiating cells, key producers of recurrence and metastatic spread. Three new human melanoma cell lines, two obtained from lymph nodes and one from spleen metastasis were established and characterized. They were cultured as monolayers and spheroids and, in both spatial configurations they displayed sensitivity to single treatments with bleomycin (BLM) or human interferon-β (hIFNβ) gene or herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir suicide gene (SG) lipofection. However, the combination of bleomycin with SG or hIFNβ gene transfer displayed greater antitumor efficacy. The three cell lines exhibited a proliferative behavior consistent with melan A and gp100 melanoma antigens expression, and BRAF V600E mutation. BLM and both genetic treatments increased the fraction of more differentiated and treatment-sensitive cells. Simultaneously, they significantly decreased the sub-population of tumor initiating cells. There was a significant correlation between the cytotoxicity of treatments with BLM and gene transfer and the fraction of cells exhibiting (i) high proliferation index, and (ii) high intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species. Conversely, the fraction of cells surviving to our treatments closely paralleled their (i) colony and (ii) melanosphere forming capacity. A very significant finding was that the combination of BLM with SG or hIFNβ gene almost abrogated the clonogenic capacity of the surviving cells. Altogether, the results presented here suggest that the combined chemo-gene treatments are able to eradicate tumor initiating cells, encouraging further studies aimed to apply this strategy in the clinic.

Zhang S, Fang Y, Cai BW, et al.
Intracystic bleomycin for cystic craniopharyngiomas in children.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016; 7:CD008890 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Craniopharyngiomas are the most common benign histological tumours to involve the hypothalamo-pituitary region in childhood. Cystic craniopharyngiomas account for more than 90% of the tumours. The optimal treatment of cystic craniopharyngioma remains controversial. Radical resection is the treatment of choice in patients with favourable tumour localisation. When the tumour localisation is unfavourable, a gross-total or partial resection followed by radiotherapy is the main treatment option in adults. However, it presents a risk of morbidity, especially for children. Intracystic bleomycin has been utilised potentially to delay the use of radiotherapy or radical resection, to decrease morbidity. This review is the second update of a previously published Cochrane review.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the benefits and harmful effects of intracystic bleomycin in children from birth to 18 years with cystic craniopharyngioma when compared to placebo (no treatment), surgical treatment (with or without adjuvant radiotherapy) or other intracystic treatments.
SEARCH METHODS: We searched the electronic databases CENTRAL (2016, Issue 1), MEDLINE/PubMed (from 1966 to February 2016) and EMBASE/Ovid (from 1980 to February 2016) with pre-specified terms. In addition, we searched the reference lists of relevant articles and reviews, conference proceedings (International Society for Paediatric Oncology 2005-2015) and ongoing trial databases (Register of the National Institute of Health and International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) register) in February 2016.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-randomised trials or controlled clinical trials (CCTs) comparing intracystic bleomycin and other treatments for cystic craniopharyngiomas in children (from birth to 18 years).
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently performed the study selection, data extraction and 'Risk of bias' assessment. We used risk ratio (RR) for binary data and mean difference (MD) for continuous data. If one of the treatment groups experienced no events and there was only one study available for the outcome, we used the Fischer's exact test. We performed analysis according to the guidelines in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic reviews of Interventions.
MAIN RESULTS: We could not identify any studies in which the only difference between the treatment groups was the use of intracystic bleomycin. We did identify a RCT comparing intracystic bleomycin with intracystic phosphorus(32) ((32)P) (seven children). In this update we identified no additional studies. The included study had a high risk of bias. Survival could not be evaluated. There was no clear evidence of a difference between the treatment groups in cyst reduction (MD -0.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.69 to 0.39, P value = 0.59, very low quality of evidence), neurological status (Fisher's exact P value = 0.429, very low quality of evidence), third nerve paralysis (Fischer's exact P value = 1.00, very low quality of evidence), fever (RR 2.92, 95% CI 0.73 to 11.70, P value = 0.13, very low quality of evidence) or total adverse effects (RR 1.75, 95% CI 0.68 to 4.53, P value = 0.25, very low quality of evidence). There was a significant difference in favour of the (32)P group for the occurrence of headache and vomiting (Fischer's exact P value = 0.029, very low quality of evidence for both outcomes).
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Since we identified no RCTs, quasi-randomised trials or CCTs of the treatment of cystic craniopharyngiomas in children in which only the use of intracystic bleomycin differed between the treatment groups, no definitive conclusions could be made about the effects of intracystic bleomycin in these patients. Only one low-power RCT comparing intracystic bleomycin with intracystic (32)P treatment was available, but no definitive conclusions can be made about the effectiveness of these agents in children with cystic craniopharyngiomas. Based on the currently available evidence, we are not able to give recommendations for the use of intracystic bleomycin in the treatment of cystic craniopharyngiomas in children. High-quality RCTs are needed.

Johnson P, Federico M, Kirkwood A, et al.
Adapted Treatment Guided by Interim PET-CT Scan in Advanced Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 374(25):2419-29 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We tested interim positron-emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) as a measure of early response to chemotherapy in order to guide treatment for patients with advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma.
METHODS: Patients with newly diagnosed advanced classic Hodgkin's lymphoma underwent a baseline PET-CT scan, received two cycles of ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine) chemotherapy, and then underwent an interim PET-CT scan. Images were centrally reviewed with the use of a 5-point scale for PET findings. Patients with negative PET findings after two cycles were randomly assigned to continue ABVD (ABVD group) or omit bleomycin (AVD group) in cycles 3 through 6. Those with positive PET findings after two cycles received BEACOPP (bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone). Radiotherapy was not recommended for patients with negative findings on interim scans. The primary outcome was the difference in the 3-year progression-free survival rate between randomized groups, a noninferiority comparison to exclude a difference of 5 or more percentage points.
RESULTS: A total of 1214 patients were registered; 937 of the 1119 patients (83.7%) who underwent an interim PET-CT scan according to protocol had negative findings. With a median follow-up of 41 months, the 3-year progression-free survival rate and overall survival rate in the ABVD group were 85.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 82.1 to 88.6) and 97.2% (95% CI, 95.1 to 98.4), respectively; the corresponding rates in the AVD group were 84.4% (95% CI, 80.7 to 87.5) and 97.6% (95% CI, 95.6 to 98.7). The absolute difference in the 3-year progression-free survival rate (ABVD minus AVD) was 1.6 percentage points (95% CI, -3.2 to 5.3). Respiratory adverse events were more severe in the ABVD group than in the AVD group. BEACOPP was given to the 172 patients with positive findings on the interim scan, and 74.4% had negative findings on a third PET-CT scan; the 3-year progression-free survival rate was 67.5% and the overall survival rate 87.8%. A total of 62 patients died during the trial (24 from Hodgkin's lymphoma), for a 3-year progression-free survival rate of 82.6% and an overall survival rate of 95.8%.
CONCLUSIONS: Although the results fall just short of the specified noninferiority margin, the omission of bleomycin from the ABVD regimen after negative findings on interim PET resulted in a lower incidence of pulmonary toxic effects than with continued ABVD but not significantly lower efficacy. (Funded by Cancer Research UK and Others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00678327.).

Hasan R, Khan OS, Aftabuddin M, et al.
A Case of Massive Pleural Effusion: Pleurodesis by Bleomycin.
Mymensingh Med J. 2016; 25(2):374-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant pleural effusion is a common complication of primary and metastatic pleural malignancies. Pleurodesis for the management of malignant pleural effusion is intended to achieve symphysis between parietal and visceral pleura, and to prevent relapse of pleural effusion. Many chemical agents are tried to induce inflammation and damage of the pleural mesothelial layer to achieve this symphysis. Hemorrhagic pleural effusion, especially in the right hemithorax commonly occurs as presentation of primary and metastatic pleural malignancies. This case reports massive right-sided hemorrhagic pleural effusion as the sole manifestation of primary lung cancer in a 45 year old man. Patient attended our department of thoracic surgery complaining of cough, shortness of breath and right sided chest pain. A chest X-ray and chest computer tomography (CT) radiograph shows right sided massive pleural effusion. Right sided tube thoracotomy done. Pleural fluid study was done. Fluid for cytopathology was positive for malignant cell. Computed tomography guided fine needle aspiration cytology from right lung lesion was also done. Diagnosis was as small cell carcinoma. Pleural effusion resolved after 9(th) post operative day of chest tube insertion. Bleomycin pleurodesis was done. Day after pleurodesis intra thoracic tube was removed and patient was discharged from hospital on 10(th) Post operative day with an advice to attend the oncology department for further treatment. The protocol of tube thoracostomy and chemical pleurodesis was almost always successful in giving symptomatic relief of respiratory distress for a considerable period of time. However, chemical pleurodesis is not possible in all cases of malignant pleural effusion because it has got potential complication including death.

Guida M, Campana LG, Curatolo P, et al.
Local treatment with electrochemotherapy of superficial angiosarcomas: Efficacy and safety results from a multi-institutional retrospective study.
J Surg Oncol. 2016; 114(2):246-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Angiosarcoma is an aggressive vascular neoplasm with a high propensity for local recurrence. Electrochemotherapy is an emerging skin-directed therapy, exerting prominent cytotoxic activity, and antivascular effects. Its efficacy in angiosarcoma has not been investigated.
METHODS: This multicenter retrospective analysis reviewed patients who underwent electrochemotherapy from 2007 to 2014 for superficial advanced angiosarcomas. Bleomycin was administered intravenously and delivered within tumors by means of percutaneously applied electric pulses, according to the European Standard Operating Procedures for Electrochemotherapy. Tumor assessment was performed using RECIST (version 1.1). Toxicity (CTCAE, v4.0) and local progression-free survival (LPFS) were also evaluated.
RESULTS: Nineteen patients (13 with locally advanced and 6 with metastatic angiosarcomas) were treated. Tumor sites were: scalp (n = 5), breast (n = 8), other skin sites (n = 3), and soft tissue (n = 3). Target lesions (n = 54) ranged in size from 1.5 to 2.5 cm (median, 2 cm). Treatment was well tolerated. After 2 months, an objective response was observed in 12/19 (63%) patients, complete in 8 (42%). One-year LPFS within treatment field was 68%. Local symptom improvement included palliation of bleeding (5/19 patients) and pain relief (6/19 patients).
CONCLUSIONS: Electrochemotherapy may represent a new locoregional treatment for selected patients with superficial angiosarcomas. J. Surg. Oncol. 2016;114:246-253. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Numico G, Cristofano A, Occelli M, et al.
Prolonged Drainage and Intrapericardial Bleomycin Administration for Cardiac Tamponade Secondary to Cancer-Related Pericardial Effusion.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(15):e3273 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Malignant pericardial effusion (MPE) is a serious complication of several cancers. The most commonly involved solid tumors are lung and breast cancer. MPE can give rise to the clinical picture of cardiac tamponade, a life threatening condition that needs immediate drainage. While simple pericardiocentesis allows resolution of the symptoms, MPE frequently relapses unless further procedures are performed. Prolonged drainage, talcage with antineoplastic agents, or surgical creation of a pleuro-pericardial window are the most commonly suggested ones. They all result in MPE resolution and high rates of long-term control. Patients suitable for further systemic treatments can have a good prognosis irrespective of the pericardial site of disease. We prospectively enrolled patients with cardiac tamponade treated with prolonged drainage associated with Bleomycin administration. Twenty-two consecutive patients with MPE and associated signs of hemodynamical compromise underwent prolonged drainage and subsequent Bleomycin administration. After injection of 100 mg lidocaine hydrochloride, 10 mg Bleomycin was injected into the pericardial space. The catheter was clumped for 48 h and then reopened. Removal was performed when the drainage volume was <25 mL daily. Twelve patients (54%) achieved complete response and 9 (41%) a partial response. Only 1 (5%) had a treatment failure and underwent a successful surgical procedure. Acute toxicity was of a low degree and occurred in 7 patients (32%). It consisted mainly in thoracic pain and supraventricular arrhythmia. The 1-year pericardial effusion progression-free survival rate was 74.0% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 51.0-97.3). At a median follow-up of 75 months, a pericardial progression was detected in 4 patients (18%). One- and two-year overall survival rates were 33.9% (95% CI: 13.6-54.2) and 14.5% (95% CI: 0.0-29.5), respectively, with lung cancer patients having a shorter survival than breast cancer patients. The worst prognosis, however, was shown in patients not suitable for systemic treatments, irrespective of the site of the primary tumor.Prolonged drainage and intrapericardial Bleomycin is a safe and effective treatment, which should be considered as first choice at least in patients suitable for active systemic treatment.

Gupta A, Sen S, Naina H
Acute fibrinous and organising pneumonia: a rare histopathological variant of chemotherapy-induced lung injury.
BMJ Case Rep. 2016; 2016 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bleomycin-induced lung injury is the most common chemotherapy-associated lung disease, and is linked with several histopathological patterns. Acute fibrinous and organising pneumonia (AFOP) is a relatively new and rare histological pattern of diffuse lung injury. We report the first known case of bleomycin-induced AFOP. A 36-year-old man with metastatic testicular cancer received three cycles of bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin, before being transitioned to paclitaxel, ifosfamide and cisplatin. He subsequently presented with exertional dyspnoea, cough and pleuritic chest pain. CT of the chest demonstrated bilateral ground glass opacities with peribronchovascular distribution and pulmonary function tests demonstrated a restrictive pattern of lung disease with impaired diffusion. Transbronchial biopsy revealed intra-alveolar fibrin deposits with organising pneumonia, consisting of intraluminal loose connective tissue consistent with AFOP. The patient received high-dose corticosteroids with symptomatic and radiographic improvement. AFOP should be recognised as a histopathological variant of bleomycin-induced lung injury.

Mu Y, Wang Y, Li M, et al.
Comparison of efficacy of different embolic agents on uterine leiomyoma.
Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2016; 43(1):114-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to explore the efficacies, postoperative side effects, and complications of uterine artery embolization (UAE) treatments for uterine leiomyoma (UL) with different embolic agents. The study included 107 patients with UL that were treated with UAE with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA group) or pingyangmycin lipiodol emulsion and silk-segment (PLES group). Six months later, the improvement rate of anaemia, the menstrual improvement rate, the incidence rate of fever, the disappearance rates of compression symptoms and abdominal symptoms in the PVA group were 93.8%, 94.7%, 22.0%, 60.0%, and 88.9%, respectively, which showed no significant difference from those in the PLES group (90.5%, 92.3%, 84.8%, 53.3%, and 8 1.3%, respectively). The incidence rate of fever after embolization in PVA group was significantly lower than that in PLES group (c² = 41.958, p = 0.000). However, the efficacy, improvement rate of symptoms, and postoperative side effects of two groups showed no significant difference (p > 0.05). PVA and PLES have significant efficacy for UAE treatment on patients with UL.

Groselj A, Krzan M, Kosjek T, et al.
Bleomycin pharmacokinetics of bolus bleomycin dose in elderly cancer patients treated with electrochemotherapy.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2016; 77(5):939-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: With the aim to determine effective therapeutic window of electrochemotherapy, we analyzed bleomycin pharmacokinetic parameters in elderly patients.
METHODS: In prospective clinical study in the treatment of tumors with electrochemotherapy, blood samples of patients older than 65 years were collected after the bolus intravenous injection of bleomycin (15,000 IU/m(2)). In serum samples, quantitative analysis was performed with liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry. Based on the data, the pharmacokinetic parameters of bleomycin elimination were determined.
RESULTS: Pharmacokinetic analysis of the data revealed a monophasic serum clearance curve, which demonstrates slow elimination of bleomycin, being less than 500 ml/min and a half-time of 30 min.
CONCLUSIONS: Slow monophasic elimination of bleomycin from serum in elderly patients implies on the longer therapeutic window, from 8 to up to 40 min or even longer post-bleomycin injection for electrochemotherapy. However, prolonged therapeutic bleomycin serum concentrations may also affect the possible adverse effects, such as lung fibrosis and extensive necrosis of tumors due to the uptake of toxic bleomycin concentrations into the tumors. This may imply on lowering of bleomycin dosage, in particular in the elderly patients.

Pellegrino A, Damiani GR, Mangioni C, et al.
Outcomes of Bleomycin-based electrochemotherapy in patients with repeated loco-regional recurrences of vulvar cancer.
Acta Oncol. 2016; 55(5):619-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Objective To evaluate the safety, local tumor efficacy and relief of symptoms of electrochemotherapy (ECT) treatment in patients affected by recurrence of vulvar cancer (VC), unsuitable for standard treatments. Methods Ten patients were recruited with histological diagnosis of recurrence of VC. Intravenous bleomycin was injected, after an accurate mapping of all lesions and ECT was performed. Response to therapy was evaluated and quality of life (QoL) was evaluated via questionnaires. Results Diagnosis stage of primary tumors, according to the FIGO system, was: four patients respectively at stage IB (40%), and at stage II (40%), one patient at stage IIIA (10%), one patient with Paget cancer (10%). Mean age was 76 years (SD ± 7) at time of enrollment. Eight patients (80%) were previously submitted to surgery and/or radio-chemotherapy. Mean treatment time was 20 (range 10-20) min. After a median follow-up of 12 (3-22) months, six patients (60%) were alive. Conclusions Objective responses (ORs) with local control of the tumor were obtained in 80%. After a mean follow-up of 12 (3-22) months six patients (60%) were alive. The favorable outcome of this study, indicates that ECT is a reliable treatment option that may improve their functioning, thus enhancing the care provided in the palliative setting.

Alshatwi AA, Periasamy VS, Athinarayanan J, Elango R
Synergistic anticancer activity of dietary tea polyphenols and bleomycin hydrochloride in human cervical cancer cell: Caspase-dependent and independent apoptotic pathways.
Chem Biol Interact. 2016; 247:1-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bleomycin is a chemotherapeutic agent that is frequently used in the treatment of various cancers. Bleomycin causes serious adverse effects via antioxidant defense abnormalities against reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, the current cervical cancer monodrug therapy strategy has failed to produce the expected outcomes; hence, combinational therapies are gaining great interest. Tea polyphenols are also effective antioxidative and chemo-preventive agents. However, the combined effect of tea polyphenol (TPP) and bleomycin (BLM) against cervical cancer remains unknown. In this study, we focused on the potential of TPP on BLM anticancer activity against cervical cancer cells. Cervical cancer cells (SiHa) were treated with various concentrations of TPP, BLM and TPP combined with BLM (TPP-BLM), and their effects on cell growth, intracellular reactive oxygen species, poly-caspase activity, early apoptosis and the expression of caspase-3, caspase-8 and caspase-9, Bcl-2 and p53 were assessed. The MTT assay revealed that the SiHa cells were less sensitive to growth inhibition by TPP treatment compared with both BLM and the combination therapy. Nuclear staining indicated that exposure to TPP-BLM increased the percentage of apoptotic nuclei compared with a mono-agent treatment. Caspase activation assay demonstrated that proportion of early and late apoptotic/secondary necrotic cells was higher in the cells treated with the combination therapy than in those treated with either TPP or BLM alone. The TPP-BLM treatment synergistically induced apoptosis through caspase-3, caspase-8 and caspase-9 activation, Bcl-2 upregulation and p53 overexpression. This study suggests that TPP-BLM may be used as an efficient antioxidant-based combination therapy for cervical cancer.

Lopes LF, Macedo CR, Aguiar Sdos S, et al.
Lowered Cisplatin Dose and No Bleomycin in the Treatment of Pediatric Germ Cell Tumors: Results of the GCT-99 Protocol From the Brazilian Germ Cell Pediatric Oncology Cooperative Group.
J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34(6):603-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We describe the results of a risk-adapted, response-based therapeutic approach from the Brazilian GCT-99 study on germ cell tumors.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: From May 1999 to October 2009, 579 participants were enrolled in the Brazilian GCT-99 study. Treatment, defined as specific chemotherapy regimen and number of cycles, was allocated by means of risk-group assignment at diagnosis with consideration for stage and primary tumor site. Patients at low risk received no chemotherapy. Patients at intermediate risk (IR) with a good response (GR) received four cycles of platinum and etoposide (PE), for total doses of platinum 420 mg/m(2) and etoposide 2,040 mg/m(2). Patients at IR with a partial response (PR) received three cycles of PE plus three cycles of ifosfamide, vinblastine, and bleomycin. Patients at high risk (HR) with a GR received four cycles of PE and ifosfamide (PEI) at total doses of platinum 420 mg/m(2), etoposide 1,200 mg/m(2), and ifosfamide 30 g/m(2). Patients at HR with a PR received six cycles of PEI.
RESULTS: The risk-group distribution was 213 LR, 138 IR, and 129 HR for 480 evaluable patients. Overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) rates at 10 years were, respectively, 90% and 88.6% in the IR-GR group (n = 126) and 74.1% and 74.1% in the IR-PR group (n = 12). Ten-year rates for the HR-GR group (n = 86) were an OS of 66.8% and an EFS of 62.5%. The HR-PR group (n = 43) had an OS of 74.8% and an EFS of 73.4%. In univariable and multivariable analysis, increased serum lactate dehydrogenase level and histology for a metastatic immature teratoma were prognostic of a worsened outcome.
CONCLUSION: Reduction of therapy to two drugs did not compromise survival outcomes for patients in the IR-GR group, and escalation of therapy with PEI did not significantly improve OS and EFS in patients at HR.

Meyer D, Gooding C
Intralesional Bleomycin as an Adjunct Therapeutic Modality in Eyelid and Extraocular Malignancies and Tumors.
Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2015 Oct-Dec; 22(4):410-4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To present our recent experience with intralesional bleomycin (IBI) in nonmelanoma extraocular tumors, and present previous experience on periocular capillary hemangiomas and orbital lymphangiomas in a tertiary referral hospital. This was a retrospective descriptive study of patients with eyelid and extraocular malignancies where conventional therapies failed, or surgery was contraindicated or refused and were offered IBI as an alternate therapy. All patients were recruited from the Oculoplastics Clinic at Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. A solution containing 1 international unit of bleomycin per milliliter saline was injected intralesionally together with 2% lignocaine in a ratio of 4:1. The injected volume was calculated to be equivalent to the estimated volume of the lesion. A multipuncture technique with a 29-gauge needle was used. Patients requiring retreatment were injected every 4-8 weeks until satisfactory clinical endpoints were achieved. Our previous experience with IBI in extensive capillary hemangiomas and orbital lymphangiomas is reviewed. Cases are presented to illustrate that IBI induced significant regression and reduction in tumor size and marked clinical improvement of the eyelid and orbital basal cell carcinomas, Kaposi sarcoma, and mycosis fungoides. The improvements obviated the need for further surgical intervention in most cases. Based on clinical experience we propose that IBI should be considered a treatment modality in select cases of the malignant eyelid and ophthalmic vascular tumors where the conventional standard of care is not possible. IBI is a reasonable alternative or adjunct to consider in such cases.

Cort A, Ozben T, Melchiorre M, et al.
Effects of bleomycin and antioxidants on the fatty acid profile of testicular cancer cell membranes.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016; 1858(2):434-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bleomycin is used in chemotherapy regimens for the treatment of patients having testicular germ-cell tumor (TGCT). There is no study in the literature investigating the effects of bleomycin on membrane lipid profile in testicular cancer cells. We investigated membrane fatty acid (FA) profiles isolated, derivatized and analyzed by gas chromatography of NTera-2 testicular cancer cells incubated with bleomycin (Bleo) for 24 h in the absence and presence of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) and curcumin (Cur) as commonly used antioxidant adjuvants. At the same time the MAPK pathway and EGFR levels were followed up. Bleomycin treatment increased significantly saturated fatty acids (SFA) of phospholipids at the expense of monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Bleomycin also led to a significant increase in the trans lipid isomers of oleic and arachidonic acids due to its free radical producing effect. Incubation with bleomycin increased the p38 MAPK and JNK levels and downregulated EGFR pathway. Coincubation of bleomycin with NAC reversed effects caused by bleomycin. Our results highlight the important role of membrane fatty acid remodeling occurring during the use of bleomycin and its concurrent use with antioxidants which can adjuvate the cytotoxic effects of the chemotherapeutic agents.

Grau JJ, Caballero M, Langdon C, et al.
Electrochemotherapy as palliative treatment in patients with thyroid papillary carcinoma.
Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2016 May-Jun; 82(3):285-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Local progression of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) after failure of standard therapies may cause pain, ulceration, and bleeding. As patients are fully aware of the tumor growth, they might suffer high grade anxiety. Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a new local palliative treatment for skin metastases of malignant melanoma or other tumors, including squamous head e neck cancer patients.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of ECT in patients with local progression of PTC.
METHODS: Four patients with local progression of PTC were treated with ECT based on Bleomycin, and evaluated according to tumor response, local pain and side effects.
RESULTS: In all cases, some grade of tumor response was observed, lasting 6, 7, 12 and 8 months, respectively. Also, reduction of local pain and anxiety was registered in all patients. Tumor infiltrated skin necrosis was the only collateral effect of the treatment. ECT induced a tumor response in all PTC patients with improvement of symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: ECT may be an option for local palliative treatment in PTC patients with local tumor progression.

Landström F, Ivarsson M, Von Sydow AK, et al.
Electrochemotherapy - Evidence for Cell-type Selectivity In Vitro.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(11):5813-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Electrochemotherapy (ECT) is a new cancer treatment modality that uses electroporation to potentiate chemotherapeutic agents, especially bleomycin. ECT causes both a direct toxic effect and an anti-vascular effect. The aim of the present study was to investigate a possible selective effect of ECT on the survival of fibroblasts, endothelial cells (HUVEC) and two squamous cell carcinoma cell lines (CAL-27 and SCC-4).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cells were electroporated using two bleomycin concentrations. The survival rate was assessed 1, 2, 3 and 4 days after treatment, by two different assays.
RESULTS: The survival rate of the fibroblasts was statistically significantly higher than the other cell lines at day 4. The HUVEC survival rate was statistically significantly lower than the other cell types at day 1 after electroporation-alone.
CONCLUSION: A selective survival effect after ECT was observed in vitro, supporting the anti-vascular effect seen in vivo.

Chen P, Guo H, Chen J, Fu Y
The chemotherapeutic drug boanmycin induces cell senescence and senescence-associated secretory phenotype factors, thus acquiring the potential to remodel the tumor microenvironment.
Anticancer Drugs. 2016; 27(2):84-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Boanmycin hydrochloride, a new antitumor agent, functions similarly to bleomycin, but has a shorter half-life and faster clearance in vivo. Therefore, it is used in clinical studies for lung squamous cell cancer. However, previous studies have shown that besides its antitumor effect, bleomycin also induces the generation of senescence fibroblasts, which secrete senescence-associated secretory phenotype factors that have protumorigenic potential, consequently altering the tumor microenvironment. Hence, it is critical to clarify boanmycin potential in remodeling the tumor microenvironment after the chemotherapy treatment of tumors. Bone is the favorite organ for lung cancer metastasis. Thus, in this study, lung fibroblasts and bone osteoblasts (OBs) were used to reflect the resident stromal cells in the primary lung and bone metastatic microenvironment, respectively. Lung fibroblasts (IMR90) and primary OBs were treated with 6.7 μl/ml boanmycin or bleomycin for 24 h and MTT was monitored from day 1 to day 9; senescence-associated β-galactosidase staining, which indicated the cell senescence, was performed on day 7; and well-established senescence-associated secretory phenotype factor interleukin-6 expression was detected on day 9. MTT data showed that boanmycin inhibited cell proliferation in both IMR90 and OBs. Moreover, senescence-associated β-galactosidase staining showed that in response to boanmycin, there were 90% senescence cells in IMR90 and 95% in OBs. However, in vehicle, there were only 40 or 30% senescence cells, respectively. Furthermore, quantitative PCR data also showed that the interleukin-6 expression was highly induced by boanmycin to six-fold in OBs. Boanmycin treatment for cancer chemotherapy has the remodeling ability to alter the tumor microenvironment and might contribute toward lung cancer relapse and metastasis on long-term treatment.

Zorzi AP, Yang CL, Dell S, Nathan PC
Bleomycin-associated Lung Toxicity in Childhood Cancer Survivors.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2015; 37(8):e447-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pulmonary disease is a significant morbidity among childhood cancer survivors. The aim of this study was to characterize the pulmonary dysfunction experienced by childhood cancer survivors treated with bleomycin. A cross-sectional analysis of pulmonary function testing (PFT) in survivors treated with bleomycin was preformed. The most recent posttherapy PFT was assessed. Spirometry and lung volumes were categorized as normal, restrictive, obstructive, or mixed. Diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (DLCO) was categorized as normal or abnormal. PFT data of 143 survivors was analyzed. PFTs were performed a median of 2.3 years (interquartile range, 1.4 to 4.9) from completion of therapy. Spirometry was abnormal in 58 (41%), only 5 (9%) had respiratory symptoms. Forty-two (70%) had obstructive, 11 (18%) restrictive, and 5 (9%) mixed ventilatory defects. The majority of abnormalities were mild (91%). DLCO was abnormal in 27. Reductions were mild in 96%. Patients with a history of relapse were more likely to develop abnormalities in spirometry and/or DLCO (odds ratio=5.02, 95% confidence interval: 1.3-19.4, P=0.01; odds ratio=3.47, 95% confidence interval: 1.01-11.9, P=0.03). Asymptomatic abnormalities of PFT are common among childhood cancer survivors treated with bleomycin and associated with a history of relapse. Research studying the risk for clinical progression of this dysfunction is warranted.

Delanoy N, Pécuchet N, Fabre E, et al.
Bleomycin-Induced Pneumonitis in the Treatment of Ovarian Sex Cord-Stromal Tumors: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2015; 25(9):1593-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Adult ovarian sex cord-stromal tumors (SCSTs) are a rare histological subtype of ovarian cancer associated with a favorable prognosis. Bleomycin-containing regimens are standards of care, although pneumonitis may cause potentially fatal dose-limiting toxicity. We aimed to evaluate the safety of bleomycin in SCST treatment.
METHODS: We performed a systematic literature review of all studies of bleomycin therapy for SCSTs that were referenced in MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and published from 1986 to 2014.
RESULTS: Eight studies totaling 221 patients were included. Rates of pneumonitis (7.7%; 95% confidence interval, 4.2-11.2) and mortality (1.8%; 95% confidence interval, 0.1-3.6) related to bleomycin were significant. However, these results were very similar to those reported for men who were treated with bleomycin for a male germ cell tumor, suggesting that women with ovarian SCSTs are not particularly vulnerable to bleomycin lung toxicity. The main risk factors of bleomycin-induced pneumonitis are high cumulative bleomycin dose (>400 U or mg), age older than 40 years, and impaired renal function. Whether granulocyte colony-stimulating factor is a risk factor remains controversial.
CONCLUSIONS: Bleomycin-induced pneumonitis frequently occurs in patients with SCSTs and lacks effective treatment. Prevention lies in limiting cumulative bleomycin dose, monitoring pulmonary function during treatment, discontinuing bleomycin at the onset of pulmonary symptoms or if pulmonary function is impaired, and avoiding bleomycin in older patients.

Al-Jizani WA, Al-Mansour MM, Al-Fayea TM, et al.
Bleomycin pulmonary toxicity in adult Saudi patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Future Oncol. 2015; 11(15):2149-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Bleomycin pulmonary toxicity (BPT) has been described in Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) patients treated with bleomycin-containing chemotherapy regimens.
METHODOLOGY: We reviewed the records of 164 consecutive HL patients.
RESULTS: BPT was observed in 24 of 164 patients (15%). Older age and history of concomitant lung disease were significantly associated with approximately threefold (odds ratio: 3.38; 95% CI: 1.25-9.13; p = 0.02) and sevenfold (odds ratio: 7.19; 95% CI: 2.64-19.54; p < 0.0001) increase in BPT risk, respectively. The actuarial 5-year progression-free and overall survival for BPT and non-BPT groups, were not significantly different.
CONCLUSION: In Saudi Arabian HL patients, the risk of BPT and its effect on survival outcome were comparable to that reported from developed countries.

Stein ME, Zidan J, Charas T, et al.
Bleomycin-induced pneumonitis in three patients treated with chemotherapy for primary advanced seminoma.
J BUON. 2015 May-Jun; 20(3):928-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatinum (BEP) comprise the most common regimen in the treatment of advanced testicular tumors, including seminoma. Common side effects are of hematologic, renal, and cardiovascular origin. One of the most prominent side effects is pulmonary toxicity attributed to bleomycin. We describe three patients who developed bleomycin-induced pneumonitis (BIP) with full recovery.
METHODS: Pre-and post-treatment clinical, biochemical (including specific tumor markers) and radiological response assessment of 26 patients with primary advanced seminoma (AS) who were referred to our hospital for platinum-based chemotherapy between 1989-2010 are described.
RESULTS: All patients were assessable for evaluation and all achieved long-term complete remission. Side effects were mild and manageable. Three patients developed bleomycin pulmonary toxicity after reaching cumulative doses of 180-240 units. All three patients presented with classical symptoms of non-productive cough, exertional dyspnea, and low-grade fever. Radiologically, the patients presented in the first months following completion of chemotherapy with initial bilateral interstitial and alveolar infiltrates, which worsened and progressed into consolidation and then regressed until total disappearance. All patients were treated with high-dose steroids and broad-spectrum antibiotics.
CONCLUSION: AS is a very chemotherapy-responsive and sensitive disease, and approximately 90% of the patients enjoy complete regression of tumor masses and durable and sustained long-term survival with no evidence of disease. BIP may be a dangerous acute and chronic side effect, even in doses lower than 360 units. Considering the favorable clinical outcome of our patients, prompt diagnosis should be made and rapid medical intervention should be implemented.

Haverkamp H, Böll B, Eichenauer DA, et al.
Impact of Bleomycin and Vincristine Dose Reductions in Patients With Advanced Hodgkin Lymphoma Treated With BEACOPP: An Analysis of the German Hodgkin Study Group HD12 and HD15 Trials.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(22):2430-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The role of bleomycin and vincristine in the treatment of patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is unclear, and the impact of dose reductions of these drugs on outcome and tolerability has not been systematically assessed. Because both drugs can cause significant toxicity and are frequently discontinued, we performed an analysis of patients with HL treated with BEACOPP (bleomycin, etoposide, adriamycin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone) in the German Hodgkin Study Group HD12 and HD15 trials.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Characteristics and outcome of patients were analyzed with respect to discontinuation of bleomycin and/or vincristine.
RESULTS: With 3,309 patients with HL analyzed, bleomycin was discontinued in 17.6% and vincristine in 32.6%. A total of 157 patients (4.7%) received ≤ four cycles of bleomycin, and 218 (6.6%) received ≤ three cycles of vincristine; these were compared with patients receiving > four cycles of bleomycin or > three cycles of vincristine, respectively. After a median follow-up of 59 and 67 months for progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), respectively, there was no significant difference in PFS or OS in patients receiving ≤ or > four cycles of bleomycin (5-year PFS difference, 1.7%; 95% CI, -4.2% to 7.6%; 5-year OS difference, 1.5%; 95% CI, -2.6% to 5.5%). Similarly, there was no significant difference in patients receiving ≤ or > three cycles of vincristine (5-year PFS difference, -1.3%; 95% CI, -5.6% to 3.1%; 5-year OS difference, -0.1%; 95% CI, -3.1% to 2.9%).
CONCLUSION: Bleomycin and vincristine discontinuation because of drug-specific adverse effects does not affect the efficacy of treatment in this setting.

Granata V, Fusco R, Piccirillo M, et al.
Electrochemotherapy in locally advanced pancreatic cancer: Preliminary results.
Int J Surg. 2015; 18:230-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Report the preliminary results on electrochemotherapy (ECT) in the treatment of locally advanced pancreatic cancer of a phase I/II study and described the new functional imaging tools to assess ECT response in Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging compared to morphological Computer Tomography (CT), ultrasound (US) without and with contrast enhancement (CEUS) and MR Imaging.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirteen patients were enrolled in an ongoing clinical phase I/II study approved by Ethical Committee of National Cancer Institute G. Pascale Foundation - IRCCS of Naples. ECT with bleomycin was performed during open surgery. All patients underwent US and CT scan, before and after ECT treatment; 7 patients were evaluated using morphological and functional (dynamic contrast enhancement-DCE and diffusion weighted- DW) parameters in MR; 5 patients underwent CEUS. RECIST criteria were used to evaluate ECT response on US, CT and MR images. Functional parameters were also used to evaluate ECT response on MR images.
RESULTS: No acute (intraoperative) and/or postoperative serious adverse events related to electrochemotherapy were observed; no clinically significant electrocardiographic, hemodynamic, or serum biologic changes were noted. No clinically relevant elevation of amylase or lipase levels was observed and no bleeding or damage to surrounding viscera occurred. In three patients had seen splenic infarction without thrombosis of the splenic vessels.
CONCLUSION: Electrochemotherapy is feasible and safe treatment modality in patients with locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Dynamic and diffusion MR imaging in comparison to MR morphological sequence alone and to UC and CT imaging is more suitable to assess ECT treatment response. CEUS is not indicated in follow up after ECT.

Yeung M, Hurren R, Nemr C, et al.
Mitochondrial DNA damage by bleomycin induces AML cell death.
Apoptosis. 2015; 20(6):811-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mitochondria contain multiple copies of their own 16.6 kb circular genome. To explore the impact of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage on mitochondrial (mt) function and viability of AML cells, we screened a panel of DNA damaging chemotherapeutic agents to identify drugs that could damage mtDNA. We identified bleomycin as an agent that damaged mtDNA in AML cells at concentrations that induced cell death. Bleomycin also induced mtDNA damage in primary AML samples. Consistent with the observed mtDNA damage, bleomycin reduced mt mass and basal oxygen consumption in AML cells. We also demonstrated that the observed mtDNA damage was functionally important for bleomycin-induced cell death. Finally, bleomycin delayed tumor growth in xenograft mouse models of AML and anti-leukemic concentrations of the drug induced mtDNA damage in AML cells preferentially over normal lung tissue. Taken together, mtDNA-targeted therapy may be an effective strategy to target AML cells and bleomycin could be useful in the treatment of this disease.

Fujimura T, Kambayashi Y, Furudate S, et al.
Immunomodulatory effects of peplomycin on immunosuppressive and cytotoxic cells in the lesional skin of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
Dermatology. 2015; 230(3):250-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Continuous intra-arterial administration of peplomycin (PEP) through a tumor-feeding artery using an intravascular indwelling catheter is one of the best treatments for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) on cosmetic areas. Although this reagent is useful for the treatment of SCC, its immunomodulatory effect on the tumor microenvironment is still unknown.
OBJECTIVE/METHODS: In this study, we investigated the immunomodulatory effects of PEP on the tumor-infiltrating regulatory T cells and tumor-associated macrophages as well as CD8(+)TIA-1(+) cytotoxic T cells in the lesional skin of 5 patients with SCC on the lips.
RESULTS: Our data suggest that, in addition to the direct antitumor effects, PEP decreased immunosuppressive cells and increased cytotoxic T lymphocytes at the tumor sites, which might maintain antitumor immune response against SCC.

Qiu Y, Lin X, Ma G, et al.
Eighteen cases of soft tissue atrophy after intralesional bleomycin a5 injections for the treatment of infantile hemangiomas: a long-term follow-up.
Pediatr Dermatol. 2015 Mar-Apr; 32(2):188-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pingyangmycin is a commonly used drug in China for the treatment of infantile hemangiomas (IHs) and vascular malformations. Also known as bleomycin A5, it has a similar chemical structure to bleomycin. The side effects of bleomycin include swelling, erythema, fever, headache, hyperpigmentation, ulceration, allergic reactions, and pulmonary fibrosis. We conducted this retrospective study to identify the correlation between bleomycin A5 injections and soft tissue atrophy. We performed a retrospective chart review of all patients with IHs who had this treatment and presented with soft tissue atrophy in our department from January 2011 through July 2013. Eighteen children with IHs (14 girls, 4 boys) were included in this study. The average age was 8.6 ± 3.8 years. All of the atrophied deformities were located at the injection site. Thirteen (72.2%) were located on the upper lip, three (16.7%) on the nose, and two (11.1%) on the cheeks. Seventeen (94.5%) received their first injection at the age of 1 or 2 months. The mean number of injections was 3.5 ± 1.6. The mean interval between injections was 1.2 ± 0.3 months. Eight of 18 patients (44.4%) had ulceration after injection. Intralesional bleomycin A5 injection is not safe for the treatment of IHs because it may lead to soft tissue atrophy. Other safer treatments, such as oral propranolol, should replace this treatment.

Quaglino P, Matthiessen LW, Curatolo P, et al.
Predicting patients at risk for pain associated with electrochemotherapy.
Acta Oncol. 2015; 54(3):298-306 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Electrochemotherapy describes the use of electric pulses to enhance chemotherapy uptake, and has proven highly efficient in treating cutaneous metastases. Patients referred for electrochemotherapy present with diverse clinical pictures, from multiple small lesions to large, ulcerated lesions. Post-electrochemotherapy pain has been observed in some patients. The objectives of this study were to evaluate pain scores before and after electrochemotherapy, and to investigate if patients at risk of post-procedure pain could be identified.
METHODS: Seven cancer centres in the International Network for Sharing Practices on Electrochemotherapy (INSPECT) consecutively and prospectively reported to a common database. Electrochemotherapy consisted of intratumoural or intravenous injection of bleomycin, followed by delivery of electric pulses in local or general anesthesia.
RESULTS: Of 121 patients 39% had metastatic melanoma, 18% squamous cell carcinoma, 16% breast cancer, 13% basal-cell carcinoma, and 14% other malignancies. Median size of the largest nodules was 2.3 cm (range 0.3-40 cm). A majority of patients presented with low pain scores, and this continued through follow-up (74%). A subset of patients had moderate (13%) or severe pain (13%) after treatment. Post-procedure pain was statistically significantly associated with: 1) moderate or severe pain before treatment (p<0.0001); 2) size of the largest treated lesion (p<0.01); 3) previous irradiation (p<0.02); and 4) high treatment current value (p<0.0001).
CONCLUSION: The majority of patients had no or mild pain after electrochemotherapy. Patients at risk for post-procedure pain could be identified at the pre-treatment visit, and/or at the time of treatment, enabling a pain management strategy for this group.

Altena R, Fehrmann RS, Boer H, et al.
Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) plasma levels increase during bleomycin- and cisplatin-based treatment of testicular cancer patients and relate to endothelial damage.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(1):e0115372 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Chemotherapy-related endothelial damage contributes to the early development of cardiovascular morbidity in testicular cancer patients. We aimed to identify relevant mechanisms of and search for candidate biomarkers for this endothelial damage.
METHODS: Human micro-vascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) were exposed to bleomycin or cisplatin with untreated samples as control. 18k cDNA microarrays were used. Gene expression differences were analysed at single gene level and in gene sets clustered in biological pathways and validated by qRT-PCR. Protein levels of a candidate biomarker were measured in testicular cancer patient plasma before, during and after bleomycin-etoposide-cisplatin chemotherapy, and related to endothelial damage biomarkers (von Willebrand Factor (vWF), high-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP)).
RESULTS: Microarray data identified several genes with highly differential expression; e.g. Growth Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF-15), Activating Transcription Factor 3 (ATF3) and Amphiregulin (AREG). Pathway analysis revealed strong associations with 'p53' and 'Diabetes Mellitus' gene sets. Based on known function, we measured GDF-15 protein levels in 41 testicular patients during clinical follow-up. Pre-chemotherapy GDF-15 levels equalled controls. Throughout chemotherapy GDF-15, vWF and hsCRP levels increased, and were correlated at different time-points.
CONCLUSION: An unbiased approach in a preclinical model revealed genes related to chemotherapy-induced endothelial damage, like GDF-15. The increases in plasma GDF-15 levels in testicular cancer patients during chemotherapy and its association with vWF and hsCRP suggest that GDF-15 is a potentially useful biomarker related to endothelial damage.

Behringer K, Goergen H, Hitz F, et al.
Omission of dacarbazine or bleomycin, or both, from the ABVD regimen in treatment of early-stage favourable Hodgkin's lymphoma (GHSG HD13): an open-label, randomised, non-inferiority trial.
Lancet. 2015; 385(9976):1418-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The role of bleomycin and dacarbazine in the ABVD regimen (ie, doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine) has been questioned, especially for treatment of early-stage favourable Hodgkin's lymphoma, because of the drugs' toxicity. We aimed to investigate whether omission of either bleomycin or dacarbazine, or both, from ABVD reduced the efficacy of this regimen in treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma.
METHODS: In this open-label, randomised, multicentre trial (HD13) we compared two cycles of ABVD with two cycles of the reduced-intensity regimen variants ABV (doxorubicin, bleomycin, and vinblastine), AVD (doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine), and AV (doxorubicin and vinblastine), in patients with newly diagnosed, histologically proven, classic or nodular, lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma. In each treatment group, 30 Gy involved-field radiotherapy (IFRT) was given after both cycles of chemotherapy were completed. From Jan 28, 2003, patients were centrally randomly assigned (1:1:1:1) with a minimisation method to the four groups. Because of high event rates, assignment to the AV and ABV groups stopped early, on Sept 30, 2005, and Feb 10, 2006; assignment to ABVD and AVD continued (1:1) until Sept 30, 2009. Our primary objective was to show non-inferiority of the experimental variants compared with ABVD in terms of freedom from treatment failure (FFTF), by excluding a difference of 6% after 5 years corresponding to a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.72, via a 95% CI. Analyses reported here include qualified patients only, and between-group comparisons include only patients recruited during the same period. The trial was registered, number ISRCTN63474366.
FINDINGS: Of 1502 qualified patients, 566, 198, 571, and 167 were randomly assigned to receive ABVD, ABV, AVD, or AV, respectively. 5 year FFTF was 93.1%, 81.4%, 89.2%, and 77.1% with ABVD, ABV, AVD, and AV, respectively. Compared with ABVD, inferiority of the dacarbazine-deleted variants was detected with 5 year differences of -11.5% (95% CI -18.3 to -4.7; HR 2.06 [1.21 to 3.52]) for ABV and -15.2% (-23.0 to -7.4; HR 2.57 [1.51 to 4.40]) for AV. Non-inferiority of AVD compared with ABVD could also not be detected (5 year difference -3.9%, -7.7 to -0·1; HR 1.50, 1.00 to 2.26). 178 (33%) of 544 patients given ABVD had WHO grade III or IV toxicity, compared with 53 (28%) of 187 given ABV, 142 (26%) of 539 given AVD, and 40 (26%) of 151 given AV. Leucopenia was the most common event, and highest in the groups given bleomycin.
INTERPRETATION: Dacarbazine cannot be omitted from ABVD without a substantial loss of efficacy. With respect to our predefined non-inferiority margin, bleomycin cannot be safely omitted either, and the standard of care for patients with early-stage favourable Hodgkin's lymphoma should remain ABVD followed by IFRT.
FUNDING: Deutsche Krebshilfe and Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research.

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