Light Chain Amyloidosis: Patient Experience Survey from the Amyloidosis Research Consortium.
ABSTRACT: Information detailing the experience of patients with light chain (AL) amyloidosis is lacking. The primary aim of this study was to gather data on the patient experience to understand the challenges in diagnosis and to gain insight into barriers to accessing appropriate care.Patients with amyloidosis, family members, and caregivers were invited to participate in an online 16-question survey (available from January 29 to February 5, 2015). Participants with AL amyloidosis were sent an eight-question follow-up survey.The initial survey was completed by 533 participants (follow-up survey completed by 201 participants). AL amyloidosis was the most common diagnosis. For 37.1% of respondents, the diagnosis of amyloidosis was not established until ? 1 year after the onset of initial symptoms. Diagnosis was received after visits to 1, 2, 3, 4, or ? 5 physicians by 7.6%, 23.5%, 20.3%, 16.8%, and 31.8% of respondents, respectively. Correct diagnosis was most often made by hematologists/oncologists (34.1%). Treatments included chemotherapy (63.1%) and stem cell transplantation (38.9%) and were difficult to tolerate for 54.1% of respondents. A significant number of respondents felt uninformed about clinical trials. Nevertheless, approximately half (46.1%) believed that enrolling in a trial would enhance their care.Establishing a diagnosis of amyloidosis is difficult. Current treatments are difficult to tolerate and do not substantially improve quality of life for most patients. There is an urgent need for well-tolerated therapies with clear treatment benefit. Patient awareness of clinical trials can be improved, especially given that respondents indicated high willingness to participate.
Project description:In amyloid light chain (AL) amyloidosis, a small B-cell clone, most commonly a plasma cell clone, produces monoclonal light chains that exert organ toxicity and deposit in tissue in the form of amyloid fibrils. Organ involvement determines the clinical manifestations, but symptoms are usually recognized late. Patients with disease diagnosed at advanced stages, particularly when heart involvement is present, are at high risk of death within a few months. However, symptoms are always preceded by a detectable monoclonal gammopathy and by elevated biomarkers of organ involvement, and hematologists can screen subjects who have known monoclonal gammopathy for amyloid organ dysfunction and damage, allowing for a presymptomatic diagnosis. Discriminating patients with other forms of amyloidosis is difficult but necessary, and tissue typing with adequate technology available at referral centers, is mandatory to confirm AL amyloidosis. Treatment targets the underlying clone and should be risk adapted to rapidly administer the most effective therapy patients can safely tolerate. In approximately one-fifth of patients, autologous stem cell transplantation can be considered up front or after bortezomib-based conditioning. Bortezomib can improve the depth of response after transplantation and is the backbone of treatment of patients who are not eligible for transplantation. The daratumumab+bortezomib combination is emerging as a novel standard of care in AL amyloidosis. Treatment should be aimed at achieving early and profound hematologic response and organ response in the long term. Close monitoring of hematologic response is vital to shifting nonresponders to rescue treatments. Patients with relapsed/refractory disease are generally treated with immune-modulatory drugs, but daratumumab is also an effective option.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Light chain (AL) amyloidosis is a rare, complex disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Delays in diagnosis are common and may have detrimental consequences on patients' prognosis. Too little is known regarding the patient journey to diagnosis. OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to describe the patient-reported journey to a correct diagnosis for AL amyloidosis. METHODS:Using a mixed-methods approach, data were collected from clinician (n = 4) and patient (n = 10) interviews and a survey of community-based patients with AL amyloidosis (n = 341). Data were used to document the patient experience between the onset of symptoms and the receipt of a diagnosis. RESULTS:Delays in diagnosis were common. Qualitative and quantitative data indicated that initial symptoms were varied and similar to other more prevalent diseases. Two themes regarding the journey to diagnosis emerged: (1) barriers to an early diagnosis; and (2) the emotional toll of the journey. Time to diagnosis was heavily influenced by how patients interpreted their initial symptoms, whether they sought early medical help, and challenges associated with making differential diagnoses. Survey results indicate that patients with primary cardiac involvement were more likely to receive a delayed diagnosis than those with primary kidney involvement. Patients described mixed emotions associated with the eventual diagnosis of AL amyloidosis. CONCLUSIONS:These data support a need for better early identification and support for patients seeking a diagnosis. Increasing clinician awareness may reduce the time to diagnosis. Additional research is needed to identify optimal diagnostic testing to reduce delays in treatment initiation and subsequent severe impacts on health.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Systemic amyloidosis is a multi-system disease caused by fibrillary protein deposition with ensuing dysfunction of the affected organ systems. Its diagnosis is often delayed because the manifestations of the disease are variable and non-specific. Its main forms are light chain (AL) amyloidosis and transthyretinrelated ATTR amyloidosis, which, in turn, has both a sporadic subtype (wildtype, ATTRwt) and a hereditary subtype (mutated, ATTRv). METHODS:This review is based on pertinent publications that were retrieved by a selective search in PubMed covering the years 2005 to 2019. RESULTS:No robust epidemiological figures are available for Germany to date. Both AL amyloidosis and hereditary ATTR amyloidosis are rare diseases, but the prev - alence of ATTRwt amyloidosis is markedly underestimated. The diagnostic algorithm is complex and generally requires histological confirmation of the diagnosis. Only cardiac ATTR amyloidosis can be diagnosed non-invasively with bone scintigraphy once a monoclonal gammopathy has been excluded. AL amyloidosis can be considered a complication of a plasma cell dyscrasia and treated with reference to patterns applied in multiple myeloma. Despite the availability of causally directed treatment, it has not yet been possible to reduce the mortality of advanced cardiac AL amyloidosis. Three drugs (tafamidis, patisiran, and inotersen) are now available to treat grade 1 or 2 polyneuropathy in ATTRv amyloidosis, and further agents are now being tested in clinical trials. It is expected that tafamidis will soon be approved in Germany for the treatment of cardiac ATTR amyloidosis. CONCLUSION:The diagnosis of amyloidosis is difficult because of its highly varied presentation. In case of clinical suspicion, a rapid, targeted diagnostic evaluation and subsequent initiation of treatment should be performed in a specialized center. When the new drugs to treat amyloidosis become commercially available, their use and effects should be documented in nationwide registries.
Project description:Light chain (AL) amyloidosis is a disease in which malignant plasma cell clones affect multiple organs including the heart and kidney. The mechanism for organ function deterioration in AL amyloidosis differs from multiple myeloma. Thus, not all agents used to treat multiple myeloma shows similar efficacy in AL amyloidosis. In AL amyloidosis, both hematologic and organ responses after treatment are important to improve the clinical outcome. Especially, improving heart function is one of the key aspects in the treatment of AL amyloidosis. With recent advances in the understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanism of AL amyloidosis, novel treatment methods are under active trial. In this article, I have reviewed the advances in pathophysiology, diagnosis, risk stratification, and treatment of AL amyloidosis.
Project description:Background:Immunoglobulin light-chain amyloidosis (AL amyloidosis) is a rare and often fatal disease for which there is currently no treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or the European Medicines Agency. Treatment options, which are typically based on therapies for multiple myeloma and are used off-label, are associated with substantial adverse events (AEs). Because the severity of AEs is often determined by clinicians, evaluations of treatment tolerability may not fully consider patients' own experience with treatment. Objectives:To explore the prevalence of AEs and treatment tolerability problems as reported by patients who received therapies for AL amyloidosis, and to examine the effects of AEs on treatment continuation and on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Methods:Patients with AL amyloidosis were recruited for this noninterventional, longitudinal, online survey. The patients responded to survey items regarding demographics, disease characteristics, most recent AL amyloidosis treatment, and HRQOL. The study analyses are based on data collected during the 6-month follow-up survey and are restricted to patients who completed the baseline and 6-month surveys and received treatment for AL amyloidosis within 6 months before the follow-up survey. Results:A total of 100 patients met the inclusion criteria and were included in the study. The patients self-reported having a variety of AEs, which ranged in severity. Overall, 69.4% of patients had problems tolerating their treatment in the past 6 months, of whom 22% discontinued at least 1 therapy. In addition, approximately 33% of patients reduced their AL amyloidosis treatment because of AEs. Most often reported AEs included fatigue (83%), shortness of breath (53%), nausea (52%), and diarrhea (51%). Overall, 50% of the patients reported that their treatment was moderately well-tolerated and 41% said it was very well-tolerated. Those whose treatment was not well-tolerated had significantly worse HRQOL than patients whose treatment was well-tolerated. Conclusions:Patient-reported experiences should be considered by clinicians when making treatment-related decisions. More research is needed to explore additional factors that may contribute to treatment discontinuation in patients with AL amyloidosis.
Project description:Light chain (AL) amyloidosis is a rare disease characterized by misfolded amyloid protein deposits in tissues and vital organs, and little is known about the burden of AL amyloidosis on health-related quality of life. This study aimed to quantify the burden of AL amyloidosis in terms of health-related quality of life in a diverse, community-based sample of AL amyloidosis patients.The SF-36v2® Health Survey (SF-36v2), a widely used generic measure of health-related quality of life (using physical and mental summary scales and subscales assessing eight aspects of functioning and well-being), was administered as an online survey of AL amyloidosis patients with AL amyloidosis (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02574676 ; n = 341). Compared with adjusted general population sample norms, health-related quality of life of AL amyloidosis patients was significantly worse across all SF-36v2 scales and summary measures based on analysis of variance (p < 0.05 for all). The largest decrement in AL amyloidosis patients was related to General Health (Δ = 9.7; p < 0.001). With the exception of Bodily Pain and Mental Health, differences were also clinically meaningful based on established clinically minimal important differences. The burden of AL amyloidosis overall and in key subgroups tended to be greater on physical health than on mental health. Stratified analyses indicated additional burden among patients with recently diagnosed disease and those with cardiac involvement than among their respective counterparts.Understanding the burden of AL amyloidosis highlights the unmet need for treatment, helps physicians identify ancillary treatments and services geared towards improving patients' functioning, well-being, and overall health-related quality of life. These findings also help to support the use of health-related quality of life end points as important outcome measures in current and future treatment studies.ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02574676 . Registered October 5, 2015.
Project description:Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) has been used as treatment for immunoglobulin light-chain (AL) amyloidosis for over two decades with improving outcomes; however, the majority of patients are not candidates for this therapy at diagnosis. Novel agents such as immunomodulatory drugs, proteasome inhibitors, and immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies targeting CD38 have been adopted from the multiple myeloma spheres with encouraging results. Herein, we discuss the role of daratumumab, a monoclonal antibody to CD38, in the treatment of AL amyloidosis. We focus on its mechanism of action, tolerability, and the current published data on its use in AL amyloidosis. Early data from phase I and phase II studies show that daratumumab is tolerated well in this population and induces rapid and deep responses. Phase III trials are currently accruing and we envision daratumumab becoming a key component in the treatment of AL amyloidosis in the future.
Project description:The term "amyloidosis" encompasses the heterogeneous group of diseases caused by the extracellular deposition of autologous fibrillar proteins. The global incidence of amyloidosis is estimated at five to nine cases per million patient-years. While amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis is more frequent in developed countries, amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis is more common in some European regions and in developing countries. The spectrum of AA amyloidosis has changed in recent decades owing to: an increase in the median age at diagnosis; a percent increase in the frequency of primary AL amyloidosis with respect to the AA type; and a substantial change in the epidemiology of the underlying diseases. Diagnosis of amyloidosis is based on clinical organ involvement and histological evidence of amyloid deposits. Among the many tinctorial characteristics of amyloid deposits, avidity for Congo red and metachromatic birefringence under unidirectional polarized light remain the gold standard. Once the initial diagnosis has been made, the amyloid subtype must be identified and systemic organ involvement evaluated. In this sense, the (123)I-labeled serum amyloid P component scintigraphy is a safe and noninvasive technique that has revolutionized the diagnosis and monitoring of treatment in systemic amyloidosis. It can successfully identify anatomical patterns of amyloid deposition throughout the body and enables not only an initial estimation of prognosis, but also the monitoring of the course of the disease and the response to treatment. Given the etiologic diversity of AA amyloidosis, common therapeutic strategies are scarce. All treatment options should be based upon a greater control of the underlying disease, adequate organ support, and treatment of symptoms. Nevertheless, novel therapeutic strategies targeting the formation of amyloid fibrils and amyloid deposition may generate new expectations for patients with AA amyloidosis.
Project description:Amyloidosis is a collection of systemic diseases characterised by misfolding of previously soluble precursor proteins that become infiltrative depositions, thereby disrupting normal organ structure and function. In the heart, accumulating amyloid fibrils lead to progressive ventricular wall thickening and stiffness, resulting in diastolic dysfunction gradually progressing to a restrictive cardiomyopathy. The main types of cardiac amyloidosis are amyloid light chain (AL) amyloidosis caused by an underlying plasma cell dyscrasia, amyloid transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis of wild-type (normal) TTR at older age (ATTRwt) and hereditary or mutant amyloid TTR (ATTRm) in which a genetic mutation leads to an unstable TTR protein. Overall survival is poor once heart failure develops, underlining the need for early referral and diagnosis. Treatment for AL amyloidosis has improved markedly over the last decades, and TTR amyloidosis gene silencers and orally available transthyretin stabilisers are ready to enter the clinical arena after recent positive outcome trials. Novel therapies aiming at fibril degradation with monoclonal antibodies are under investigation. In this review, we focus on 'red flag' signs and symptoms, diagnosis and management of cardiac amyloidosis which differs considerably from the general management of heart failure. Only by increasing awareness, prognosis for patients with this devastating disease can be improved.
Project description:Cardiac amyloidosis can result from any of the systemic amyloidoses. The disease is often characterized by a restrictive cardiomyopathy although the particular signs and symptoms depend in part on the underlying cause. In addition to managing the symptoms of heart failure, treatment options vary depending on the etiology of amyloid deposition. It is therefore critical to identify the cause of cardiac amyloidosis before initiating definitive therapy. We present a patient with presumed immunoglobulin (AL) amyloidosis who had a circulating lambda monoclonal protein, but a bone marrow biopsy with kappa predominant plasma cells. This unusual finding called into question the diagnosis of AL amyloidosis and highlights the importance and difficulty of determining the cause of cardiac amyloid deposition before initiating treatment. We review the different forms of cardiac amyloidosis and propose a diagnostic algorithm to help identify the etiology of cardiac amyloid deposition before beginning therapy.