ASH 2009

 
 
 

The 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology took place December 5-8, 2009, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

Defibrotide may prevent VOD in children

Alice Goodman Read Article
Published: 01/09/10

Bone marrow harvest
Bone marrow harvest

Prophylactic use of defibrotide, an investigational polydisperse oligonuceleotide, reduced the incidence of venoocclusive disease (VOD) in pediatric patients undergoing transplantation in a randomized controlled clinical trial. “There was a significant reduction in morbidity and mortality among the patients who received defibrotide prophylactically compared with those who received it for treatment,” said lead author of the study Selim Corbacioglu, MD, of the University of Ulm, Germany. [Read Article]

Home administration of romiplostim safe and effective

Keely McClain Read Article
Published: 01/07/10

A recent multicenter study shows that it is safe and effective for people with chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) to administer romiplostim at home. The results, which were presented at a poster session at the 51st annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, showed that the rate of adverse events appeared lower after patients began home administration and did not appear to increase with longer duration of treatment. [Read Article]

Deferasirox encouraging in hereditary hemochromatosis

Keely McClain Read Article
Published: 01/07/10

Tissue sample<br /> showing hemochromatosis
Tissue sample
showing hemochromatosis

The first trial to assess the safety and efficacy of deferasirox in patients with HFE-related hereditary hemochromatosis and non-transfusional iron overload shows encouraging results that warrant larger studies.  The 2 phase, open-label, multicenter, dose-escalation study, conducted by Pradyumna Phatak, MD, of Rochester General Hospital, and colleagues, evaluated the drug at 4 levels of dosing: 5, 10, 15, and 20 mg/kg/day. [Read Article]

INCB018424 may be first drug for myelofibrosis

Alice Goodman Read Article
Published: 01/05/10

Bone marrow biopsy showing myelofibrosis
Bone marrow biopsy
showing myelofibrosis

INCB018424, an oral investigational dual inhibitor of JAK1 and JAK2 enzymes, is poised to be the first treatment targeted to mechanisms that underlie myelofibrosis. There is currently no approved therapy for this lethal, devastating disease. The drug—referred to as “424” by lead investigator Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD, from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston,  improved performance status, reduced the size of the spleen, and was safe and well tolerated. [Read Article]

Study shows uniform method of T-cell depletion feasible

Keely McClain Read Article
Published: 01/04/10

Steven Devine, MD
Steven Devine, MD

A 3-year, multicenter study suggests it is feasible to employ a uniform method of T-cell depletion in allogeneic stem cell transplants from related donors to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Steven Devine, MD, of Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute in Ohio, collaborated with researchers at 8 medical centers to test a single processing method for T-cell depletion and evaluate its efficacy. [Read Article]

Lenalidomide consolidation after ASCT induces antitumor effect

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 01/03/10

Residual disease after single or double autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) for multiple myeloma is often responsible for relapse. Different strategies are used to decrease residual disease, and lenalidomide consolidation is one of them. New research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology has shown that consolidation with lenalidomide alone is not only feasible, but it can decrease residual tumor mass and lead to an antitumor effect. [Read Article]

FLAG plus liposomal daunorubicin best in relapsed AML

Alice Goodman Read Article
Published: 01/02/10

Bone marrow aspirate showing AML
Bone marrow aspirate
showing AML

Adding liposomal daunorubicin to a regimen of FLAG  (fludarabine, cytarabine, and G-CSF) improves treatment response  in pediatric patients with relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The complete remission (CR) rate increased after 2 courses of FLAG plus daunorubicin, according to final results of the international randomized phase 3 International Relapsed AML 2001/01 trial presented at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology held recently in New Orleans. [Read Article]

CALGB abandons alemtuzumab consolidation in CLL

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 01/02/10

Thomas S. Lin, MD, PhD
Thomas S. Lin, MD, PhD

Alemtuzumab consolidation improves complete response rate and eradicates minimum residual disease in previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients, yet the Cancer and Leukemia Group B will pursue other consolidation therapy in this setting, reported Thomas S. Lin, MD, PhD, at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. Alemtuzumab caused severe infections in patients who responded completely to induction with fludarabine and rituximab, yet provided no additional survival benefit, according to the final analysis of CALGB Study 10101. [Read Article]

Ofatumumab fails in rituximab-refractory FL

Alice Goodman Read Article
Published: 01/01/10

Anton Hagenbeek, MD, PhD
Anton Hagenbeek, MD, PhD

Ofatumumab will not replace rituximab any time soon, at least as a single agent. Only modest responses for single-agent ofatumumab were achieved in rituximab-refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) patients enrolled in a single-arm, international, phase 2 trial. Anton Hagenbeek, MD, PhD, of the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,  presented the findings of the international, single-arm, phase 2 trial at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held in New Orleans from December 5-8. [Read Article]

Omacetaxine overcomes resistance mutation in CML

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 01/01/10

Jorge Cortes, MD
Jorge Cortes, MD

A new subcutaneously administered drug, omacetaxine, appears to be safe and effective in Philadelphia-positive (Ph+) chromosome chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients who have the T315I mutation and are resistant to firstline therapy with imatinib. With treatment, about half of the patients had reductions of the T315I clone from baseline. Jorge Cortes, MD, of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, presented the findings at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Elotuzumab works synergistically with lenalidomide in relapsed MM

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/31/09

Multiple myeloma cells
Multiple myeloma cells

Results of an interim study of elotuzumab in combination with lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone show the investigational humanized antibody works synergistically with lenalidomide in relapsed multiple myeloma (MM) patients. Sagar Lonial, MD, of the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, presented the interim results of the phase 1/2 study at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology held recently. [Read Article]

Lower pediatric ALL cure rates in low-income countries are reversible

Bridget Wells Read Article
Published: 12/30/09

Bone marrow aspirate showing ALL
Bone marrow aspirate
showing ALL

Abandonment of treatment and toxic death are higher in low-income countries, leading to lower cure rates than in high-income countries, even when using the same treatment protocol. This gap can be closed with a number of feasible interventions, according to Scott C. Howard, MD, of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, who presented data on pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in low-income countries at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, which took place in New Orleans, December 5-8, 2009. [Read Article]

Speaker says FC-Cam combo too toxic in CLL

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/30/09

Thomas Elter, MD
Thomas Elter, MD

The combination of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and alemtuzumab (FC-Cam) has “unacceptable toxicity” without increased efficacy compared to FluCam, according to Thomas Elter, MD, of the University of Cologne in Germany. Consequently, he said the schedule is not recommended for patients with relapsed or genetic high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). He presented the final analysis of the CLL2L trial for the German CLL Study Group at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Deferasirox safe, effective for β-thalassemia patients with cardiac iron

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/29/09

Deferasirox
Deferasirox molecules
chelating iron

The first large prospective study to report 2-year data on cardiac iron removal for any iron chelator shows that deferasirox is safe and effective for β-thalassemia patients with myocardial siderosis. Patients’ myocardial T2* continued to improve during the second year of therapy, resulting in a statistically significant improvement from baseline. Dudley J. Pennell, MD, of Royal Brompton Hospital in London, reported the results of the extension phase of the EPIC trial at the annual meeting of ASH. [Read Article]

Gene therapy works in immunodeficiencies

Bridget Wells Read Article
Published: 12/29/09

Gene therapy is a safe treatment with clear benefits for patients with adenoside deaminase-deficient (ADA) severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), said Maria Grazia Roncarolo, MD, PhD, from The San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy. Dr Roncarolo presented data on gene therapy in immunodeficiencies at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, which took place in New Orleans, December 5-8, 2009. [Read Article]

VBR shows promise in relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma

Alice Goodman Read Article
Published: 12/29/09

Follicular lymphoma cells
Follicular lymphoma cells

The combination of bortezomib, bendamustine, and rituximab (VBR) compares favorably in relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) to historical trials of either bortezomib or bendamustine with rituximab, according to preliminary results of the phase 2 VERTICAL study. Nathan Fowler, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, reported the encouraging results in this heavily pretreated, high-risk population at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Study shows no survival advantage to tandem HDT in MM

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/27/09

Myeloma cell
Myeloma cell
© Steve Gschmeissner
Photo Researchers, Inc.

Single high-dose therapy (HDT) supported with autologous blood stem cell (ABSC) transplantation shows a similar survival advantage as tandem HDT in young multiple myeloma (MM) patients. A 10-year median follow-up of myeloma patients after transplant revealed a median event-free survival of 32 months in both arms, according to Jean-Paul Fermand, MD, from the Hospital Saint-Louis in Paris, who presented the findings at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Everolimus shows promise in Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/26/09

Bone marrow aspirate showing WM
Bone marrow aspirate
showing WM

The mTOR inhibitor everolimus, an agent previously approved for treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, is showing promise in relapsed or refractory Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM). Irene M. Ghobrial, MD, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, reported the results of a multicenter phase 2 trial of the oral agent at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology held recently in New Orleans. The investigators believe everolimus offers a potential new therapeutic strategy for these patients. [Read Article]

Tandem transplant strategy prolongs survival in relapsed FL

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/23/09

Follicular lymphoma cells
Follicular lymphoma cells

A tandem strategy comprising autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) followed by nonmyeloablative allogeneic transplant (NMT) prolongs survival in relapsed follicular lymphoma patients with minimal toxicity. The tandem strategy mimics the curative effect of myeloablative allogeneic transplant while decreasing transplant-related mortality. Sandra Cohen, MD, of the University of Montreal in Canada, presented data supporting the use of the tandem transplants at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Nilotinib may become new standard of care for CML

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/22/09

CML cells
CML cells

Nilotinib may become the new standard of care in newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), according to the results of a study presented at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. Nilotinib achieved higher major molecular response rates than imatinib and lower overall disease progression. Giuseppe Saglio, MD, of the University of Turin in Italy, presented the findings of the phase 3, randomized, open-label, multicenter study. [Read Article]

Improving APL outcomes in developing countries

Keely McClain Read Article
Published: 12/21/09

Eduardo M. Rego, MD, PhD
Eduardo M. Rego, MD, PhD

A group of physicians, as part of a global initiative of The American Society of Hematology, is working diligently to improve outcomes in people with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) in developing countries and to develop local expertise and establish a national network of hematologic institutions in Mexico, Brazil, and Uruguay. Eduardo M. Rego, MD, PhD, from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, described the impact the International Consortium on Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (IC-APL) is achieving, during the plenary session of the annual meeting of ASH held recently. [Read Article]

Hydroxyurea underutilized in pediatric SCD

Alice Goodman Read Article
Published: 12/21/09

Amanda Brandow, DO
Amanda M. Brandow, DO

Hydroxyurea is underutilized in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) to prevent episodes of pain, despite published guidelines recommending its use for this purpose, according to results of a survey reported at the 51st Annual Meeting of ASH, held in New Orleans December 5-8. The drug is also sometimes prescribed for the wrong indications, with little evidence to support these uses, and patients often refuse to take the drug for the misguided reasons, the survey showed. [Read Article]

Nanoparticles evolve from science fiction to helpful tools

Bridget Wells Read Article
Published: 12/18/09

Dendrimer complex
Dendrimer complex
©Michigan Nanotechnology
Institute

Although nanoparticles, are not  “magic bullets” for curing cancer, yet, they do offer promise in improving therapy, diagnosis, and research techniques. Warren C. W. Chan, PhD, of the University of Toronto in  Canada, and James R. Baker, MD, of the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences in Ann Arbor, discussed the use of nanotechnology in hematology at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Bendamustine plus rituximab challenges CHOP-R as firstline treatment of lymphoma

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/17/09

Mathias J. Rummel, MD, PhD
Mathias J. Rummel, MD, PhD

A simple two-drug regimen of bendamustine plus rituximab (B-R) leads to significantly superior progression-free survival (PFS) and complete response rates when compared to standard therapy with CHOP plus rituximab (CHOP-R). In fact, B-R has the potential to become the firstline treatment of patients with advanced follicular, indolent, and mantle cell lymphomas (MCL). Mathias J. Rummel, MD, PhD, from University Hospital, Giessen, Germany, presented the final results of a head-to-head comparison of the two chemotherapy regimens at the 51st annual meeting of ASH. [Read Article]

Bias may be culprit for worse outcome in elderly AML

Bridget Wells Read Article
Published: 12/17/09

AML cells
Acute myeloid leukemia cells

Elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) do much worse than younger AML patients, but the reasons may not all be biological, according to Shabbir M. H. Alibhai, MD, of the University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Rather, the difference may be due to disparity in referral to specialized cancer centers and treatment choices. Dr Alibhai presented data from Canadian and American AML studies at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, which took place in New Orleans, December 5-8, 2009. [Read Article]

Speaker says bury 45 mg of daunorubicin for AML induction

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/16/09

Daunorubicin is no longer the standard dose for induction therapy in newly diagnosed younger patients with acute myeloid leukemia, declared Hugo F. Fernandez, MD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. In fact, he said, “45 mg should be buried at this point in time.” He presented the definitive results of the ECOG E1900 study in the ASH/ASCO Joint Symposium at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology held December 5-8 in New Orleans, Louisiana. [Read Article]

cGVHD after RIC transplant reduces relapse in myeloma patients

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/16/09

Myeloma cell
Myeloma cell
© Steve Gschmeissner
Photo Researchers, Inc.

Myeloma patients who develop chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) after a reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) have a lower risk of relapse and superior progression-free survival (PFS) than those who don’t develop chronic GVHD.  Acute GVHD, however, has no impact on PFS. Parameswaran N. Hari, MD, reported this analysis, based on data reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Dabigatran comparable to warfarin for acute VTE

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/15/09

Sam Schulman, MD
Sam Schulman, MD

The direct oral thrombin inhibitor dabigatran has the potential to replace warfarin for treatment of acute venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to new research reported at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. And dabigatran should make life easier for patients. Dr Sam Schulman, MD, of McMaster University in Canada, reported the results of the randomized double-blind trial of dabigatran compared with warfarin at the plenary session of the annual meeting. [Read Article]

Poverty linked to cognitive impairment in children with SCD

Bridget Wells Read Article
Published: 12/15/09

Sickle cell
Sickle cell

Children with sickle cell disease have lower levels of cognition compared to healthy children, even those in the same socioeconomic group, according to Allison King, MD, MPD, of Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Dr King presented information on sickle cell disease and the effect of low socioeconomic status at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, which took place in New Orleans, December 5-8, 2009. [Read Article]

Asprin, LMWH fail to improve recurrent miscarriage rate

Keely McClain Read Article
Published: 12/15/09

Stef Kaandorp, MD
Stef Kaandorp, MD

The ALIFE study found no improvement in live birth rate for women with unexplained recurrent miscarriage who took aspirin and nadroparin compared to aspirin alone or placebo. The findings were reported by Stef Kaandorp, MD, from the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, which took place in New Orleans, December 5-8, 2009. [Read Article]

Incorporating integrative therapies into standard practice

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/14/09

Kara M. Kelly, MD
Kara M. Kelly, MD

With an “incredible amount of false information out there” on the internet regarding alternative therapies and only about 50% of patients reporting the use of complementary medicines to their oncologists, physicians are finding it increasingly beneficial to formally integrate aspects of complementary medicine into their practices. Kara M. Kelly, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, shared insights on integrative therapies (IT) for children with hematologic malignancies at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held recently in New Orleans. [Read Article]

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