There is no standard staging system for pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Patients have traditionally been divided into one of three categories:
Localized (apparently benign) disease.
Metastatic disease. The most common sites of metastasis for pheochromocytoma or extra-adrenal paraganglioma are lymph nodes, bones, lungs, and liver.
Two randomized trials showed prolonged overall survival (OS) with the use of oral chemotherapy with melphalan with or without colchicine versus colchicine alone.[1,2][Level of evidence: 1iiA]
As is true for all plasma cell dyscrasias, anecdotal responses for amyloidosis have been reported, as in the Southwest Oncology Group's trial (SWOG-9628 [NCT00002849])Translators: NCT # added after final markup, for dexamethasone alone and in combination, including thalidomide, cyclophosphamide, melphalan, bortezomib, and lenalidomide.[4,5,6,7,8]
Stem cell rescue
A randomized, prospective study of 100 patients with immunoglobulin amyloidosis light chain compared melphalan plus high-dose dexamethasone with high-dose melphalan plus autologous stem cell rescue.
After a median follow-up of 3 years, median OS favored the nontransplant arm (56.9 months vs. 22.2 months; P = .04).[Level of evidence: 1iiA] The 24% transplant-related mortality in this series and others reflects the difficulties involved with high-dose chemotherapy in older patients with organ dysfunction.[9,10,11,12] A randomized trial confirming the benefit of autologous transplantation is not anticipated.
An anecdotal series describes full-intensity and reduced-intensity allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Current Clinical Trials
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with primary systemic amyloidosis. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.
Kyle RA, Gertz MA, Greipp PR, et al.: A trial of three regimens for primary amyloidosis: colchicine alone, melphalan and prednisone, and melphalan, prednisone, and colchicine. N Engl J Med 336 (17): 1202-7, 1997.
Skinner M, Anderson J, Simms R, et al.: Treatment of 100 patients with primary amyloidosis: a randomized trial of melphalan, prednisone, and colchicine versus colchicine only. Am J Med 100 (3): 290-8, 1996.
Dhodapkar MV, Hussein MA, Rasmussen E, et al.: Clinical efficacy of high-dose dexamethasone with maintenance dexamethasone/alpha interferon in patients with primary systemic amyloidosis: results of United States Intergroup Trial Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) S9628. Blood 104 (12): 3520-6, 2004.
Wechalekar AD, Goodman HJ, Lachmann HJ, et al.: Safety and efficacy of risk-adapted cyclophosphamide, thalidomide, and dexamethasone in systemic AL amyloidosis. Blood 109 (2): 457-64, 2007.
Dispenzieri A, Lacy MQ, Zeldenrust SR, et al.: The activity of lenalidomide with or without dexamethasone in patients with primary systemic amyloidosis. Blood 109 (2): 465-70, 2007.
Sanchorawala V, Wright DG, Rosenzweig M, et al.: Lenalidomide and dexamethasone in the treatment of AL amyloidosis: results of a phase 2 trial. Blood 109 (2): 492-6, 2007.
Kastritis E, Wechalekar AD, Dimopoulos MA, et al.: Bortezomib with or without dexamethasone in primary systemic (light chain) amyloidosis. J Clin Oncol 28 (6): 1031-7, 2010.
Moreau P, Jaccard A, Benboubker L, et al.: Lenalidomide in combination with melphalan and dexamethasone in patients with newly diagnosed AL amyloidosis: a multicenter phase 1/2 dose-escalation study. Blood 116 (23): 4777-82, 2010.
Jaccard A, Moreau P, Leblond V, et al.: High-dose melphalan versus melphalan plus dexamethasone for AL amyloidosis. N Engl J Med 357 (11): 1083-93, 2007.
Dispenzieri A, Kyle RA, Lacy MQ, et al.: Superior survival in primary systemic amyloidosis patients undergoing peripheral blood stem cell transplantation: a case-control study. Blood 103 (10): 3960-3, 2004.
Skinner M, Sanchorawala V, Seldin DC, et al.: High-dose melphalan and autologous stem-cell transplantation in patients with AL amyloidosis: an 8-year study. Ann Intern Med 140 (2): 85-93, 2004.
Leung N, Leung TR, Cha SS, et al.: Excessive fluid accumulation during stem cell mobilization: a novel prognostic factor of first-year survival after stem cell transplantation in AL amyloidosis patients. Blood 106 (10): 3353-7, 2005.
Mehta J, Gerta MA, Dispenzieri A: High-dose therapy for amyloidosis: the end of the beginning? Blood 103 (10): 3612-3, 2004.
Schönland SO, Lokhorst H, Buzyn A, et al.: Allogeneic and syngeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in patients with amyloid light-chain amyloidosis: a report from the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Blood 107 (6): 2578-84, 2006.
In this article
WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute
February 25, 2014
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