Several recent reports have suggested that doxycycline can inhibit amyloid fibril formation in different in vitro and in vivo model systems. Doxycycline is the antibiotic of choice for infectious disease prophylaxis in patients with penicillin allergy, following autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation for various hematological malignancies. We examined the outcome of patients with light chain amyloidosis (AL) undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation to study the impact of doxycycline used as antibacterial prophylaxis.
We studied 455 patients who underwent autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) for AL between March 1996 and December 2011. We excluded 44 patients who died of transplant related complications or did not survive beyond 100 days after transplant. Patient records were reviewed to ascertain the prophylactic antibiotic used. Survival was estimated using Kaplan Meier method and the survival curves were compared using log-rank test. Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the prognostic impact of different variables.
The median age of the patients was 58 years (range, 26–74); 290 (67%) were male. The median estimated follow up for the entire cohort was 73 months (95% CI; 66, 79) and 314 (69%) were alive at last follow up. Doxycycline was used a prophylaxis in 106 (23%) of the patients, with most of the remaining receiving penicillin. The usual reason for using doxycycline was a history of penicillin allergy. Hematological response to transplant occurred in 377 (87%) patients, and there was no significant difference between patients receiving doxycycline prophylaxis compared with the rest. The median OS for the entire cohort was 161 months (95% CI; 101, NR). The median OS for those receiving doxycycline prophylaxis was not reached compared with 113 months for the rest (P=0.09). Looking specifically at those patients with a hematological response, the median OS was not reached for the doxycycline group compared with 161 months for the rest (P=0.04, figure). There was no difference in the OS between the groups among those with no hematological response. The impact of the prophylaxis was independent of the number of organs involved as well as organ response to SCT.
The results of the current study appear to demonstrate a survival advantage for patients with AL who receives doxycycline prophylaxis, in the setting of hematological response from SCT. The results are consistent with the data regarding the effect of doxycycline on amyloid fibril formation. These initial findings should form the basis of clinical exploration of doxycycline as an adjunctive therapy in patients receiving other standard therapies for AL. Such a study can further clarify if use of doxycycline for longer duration can be of additional benefit.
Kumar:Cephalon: Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding; Millennium: Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding; Merck: Consultancy, Honoraria; Genzyme: Research Funding.
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