Background: Primary systemic light-chain (AL) amyloidosis is characterized by the deposition of immunoglobulin light chain-derived amyloid fibrils in various tissues leading to multiorgan dysfunction.
Patients and methods: In order to define characteristics, treatment, and outcome of Greek patients with AL amyloidosis, we analyzed 112 unselected patients with AL from several hospitals.
Results: The heart was involved in 59% of patients and kidneys in 71%. Patients were treated with several different treatment regimens; high-dose dexamethasone-based regimens were used as primary treatment in 43% and melphalan-based regimens in 37%, while 12% received up-front bortezomib with dexamethasone. A hematologic response to first-line therapy was documented in 50% (complete response, 14.5%), and organ responses were observed in 25% of patients, the latter being strongly associated with achievement of hematologic response. Median overall survival was 34.2 months and was independently affected by heart involvement, creatinine, age, involvement of > or = 2 organs, and bone marrow plasmacytosis > 30%. In patients with cardiac involvement, advanced age and extended bone marrow plasmacytosis were associated with an even worse outcome, while for patients without heart involvement, only bone marrow plasmacytosis was independently associated with survival. Hematologic response was associated with improved survival in patients with heart involvement but mostly in patients with less bone marrow infiltration.
Conclusion: In this first series of patients from Greece with AL amyloidosis, disease features and outcome appeared similar to those reported from tertiary centers. Heart involvement and bone marrow plasma cell infiltration comprise adverse prognostic factors but also indicate the heterogeneity of the disease and the need for individual treatment approaches.