ASH 2010

 
 
 

The 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology took place December 4-7, 2010, in Orlando, FL.

 

Rituximab versus watch and wait in follicular lymphoma

Keely McClain Read Article
Published: 01/20/11

 Kirit Ardeshna, MD
Kirit Ardeshna, MD

Many physicians favor the watch and wait approach when it comes to asymptomatic, non-bulky follicular lymphoma, but new research suggests that treatment with rituximab significantly improves time to initiation of new therapy (TTINT). Kirit Ardeshna, MD, of University College London Hospitals, presented a preliminary analysis of the randomized trial at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, held in Orlando, Florida. [Read Article]

Ponatinib: Hope for imatinib-resistant CML?

Keely McClain Read Article
Published: 01/19/11

 Jorge Cortes, MD
Jorge Cortes, MD

Although treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has progressed greatly, there are still no available treatment options for patients who have failed 2 or more tyrosine kinase inhibitors or patients with the T3151 mutation. Jorge Cortes, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, presented current data from an ongoing phase 1 trial to assess the safety of ponatinib in patients with refractory CML and to establish a recommended dose and evaluate antileukemic activity at the 52nd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition. [Read Article]

AML patients reach CR after induction, if not before

Alice Goodman Read Article
Published: 01/18/11

Bone marrow aspirate showing AML
Bone marrow aspirate
showing AML

Preliminary results of a study designed to compare induction therapy with or without gemtuzumab in children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) found that remission rates achieved after two courses of induction therapy were similar with those reported in previous trials of induction therapy in AML. These blinded results for the induction phase of study AAML 0531 were presented by Alan S. Gamis, MD, of Children’s and Mercy Hospitals in Kansas City, Missouri, at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Nilotinib and long-term outcomes in early CML

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 01/13/11

CML cells
CML cells

The second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor nilotinib continues to best imatinib in a 2-year head-to-head comparison in the treatment of early chronic phase Philadelphia-positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Nilotinib recently received FDA approval (June 2010) as a first-line therapy for early chronic phase Ph+ CML based on the results from an 18-month study that found that nilotinib demonstrated superior efficacy as compared with standard therapy imatinib, with higher and faster molecular responses. [Read Article]

Ofatumumab: High response in refractory CLL

Alice Goodman Read Article
Published: 01/10/11

CLL in a lymph node
CLL in a lymph node

The final analysis of a randomized trial confirmed interim results showing that ofatumumab achieved high response rates in high-risk patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) refractory to both fludarabine and alemtuzumab or to fludarabine alone with bulky disease. Data from an ongoing study were presented by the lead author, William G. Wierda, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center, at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in Orlando, Florida. [Read Article]

Improving risk stratification in VTE

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 01/06/11

Red blood cells
Red blood cells

When a pair of researchers from the Bronx set out to make sense of a contradiction, they uncovered information that could help improve risk stratification in venous thromboembolism (VTE). Chunhui Fang, MD, of Jacobi Medical Center, and Henny Heisler Billett, MD, of Montefiore Medical Center, found themselves confused by VTE research. Studies suggested having type O blood lowers a person’s risk of VTE, and O blood is more common in blacks than in whites. Why, then, did data indicate that blacks have a higher incidence of VTE than whites? [Read Article]

No benefit to adding valproic acid to AML induction

Alice Goodman Read Article
Published: 01/05/11

Bone marrow aspirate showing AML
Bone marrow aspirate
showing AML

No improvement in survival or other benefit was observed when valproic acid was added to intensive induction therapy and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) for treatment of older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The intensive regimen with valproic acid caused marked hematologic toxicity and increased early deaths and neurologic toxicity. These results of the German-Austrian AMLSG 06-04 study were presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

New delivery technique improves cord blood engraftment

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 01/04/11

Cord blood extraction
Cord blood extraction

A new delivery technique of injecting cord blood directly into the posterior iliac crest of patients appears to be successful in transplanting adults using a single cord blood unit. Researchers compared the intrabone cord blood transplant (IBCBT) technique to double cord blood transplantation (dUCBT) reported to the Eurocord-EBMT registry during the same period. Francesco Frassoni, MD, of the Ospedale San Martino in Genova, Italy, reported the results at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Deferasirox normalizes cardiac iron

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 01/03/11

Blood smear showing thalassemia
Blood smear showing
thalassemia

The iron chelator deferasirox continues to show improvement and normalization of myocardial T2* in patients with β-thalassemia major for up to 3 years. The efficacy of various iron chelators in reducing cardiac iron, a leading cause of death in transfused patients with β-thalassemia major, has been demonstrated in prospective controlled studies of up to 1-year duration. Since removal of iron from the heart takes several years, it is important to assess longer-term effects of iron chelation therapy in terms of cardiac iron removal, said Dudley Pennell, MD, of Royal Brompton Hospital, London, at ASH 2010. [Read Article]

Doc calls for protocols in transfusion

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/31/10

Primera Technology, Inc.
©Primera Technology, Inc.

Developing a protocol for massive transfusion is in the best interest of every hospital, according to a speaker at the 52nd Annual ASH Meeting. Thomas Deloughery, MD, of Oregon Health and Science University, said massive transfusions are not exclusive to trauma centers and could be necessary in any part of a hospital. So developing a well-designed protocol is a must for all institutions. “You don’t want to figure out how to make things work for a massive transfusion when you’re in the middle of one,” Dr Deloughery said. “You need a plan to make sure that it works.” [Read Article]

Largest donor follow-up study finds donation to be safe

Keely McClain Read Article
Published: 12/30/10

Alexander H. Schmidt, MD, PhD
Alexander H. Schmidt, MD, PhD

Alexander Schmidt, MD, PhD, of the DKMS German Bone Marrow Donor Center in Tubingen, Germany, presented data from a follow-up study of unrelated donors with the greatest number of observation years in any study of this kind, so far. In the retrospective study, 15,456 people who donated peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) or bone marrow (BM) prior to January 31, 2009, were sent a short questionnaire. The results were presented at the 52nd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition. [Read Article]

New discoveries can help predict GVHD

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/29/10

Stem cells
Stem cells

Findings presented at the 52nd Annual ASH Meeting could improve our ability to predict the occurrence of graft-vs-host disease (GVHD). In one study, 3 biomarkers predicted the development of grade 2-4 GVHD in a majority of cases. In another study, researchers identified predictors of GVHD by analyzing graft composition. David T. Scadden, MD, of Harvard Stem Cell Institute, presented this research December 7 during the “Best of ASH” session. [Read Article]

Managing the older patient with hemophilia

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/28/10

Hospital room
Hospital room

The good news is that hemophilia patients are surviving longer. And along with a longer life expectancy come age-related comorbidities that require complex hemostatic management. Claire S. Philipp, MD, from the UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, provided some guidelines during an education session at the 52nd ASH annual meeting to manage age-related conditions of hemophilia patients. [Read Article]

Is transplant alone enough to treat AL?

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/24/10

 Sumit Madan, MD
Sumit Madan, MD

Pre-transplant therapy appears to have little bearing on post-transplant outcome in patients with amyloidosis (AL), according to a study out of the Mayo Clinic. Researchers found that time to disease progression and survival span were similar in AL patients who received treatment prior to stem cell transplant (SCT) and those who only underwent SCT. Sumit Madan, MD, presented these results at the 52nd ASH Annual  Meeting on December 6. [Read Article]

New drug combos effective in MM

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/23/10

Multiple myeloma cells
Multiple myeloma cells

It’s a “remarkably exciting time” in the history of multiple myeloma (MM), a veteran hematologist said at the 52nd ASH Annual Meeting. Novel drug combinations are demonstrating unforeseen results in newly diagnosed and highly refractory MM patients. Robert A. Hromas, MD, of the University of New Mexico, discussed these results during the “Best of ASH” session on December 7. [Read Article]

Overcoming relapse in T-cell lymphomas

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/22/10

 Madeleine Duvic, MD
Madeleine Duvic, MD

A targeted agent produces encouraging responses in relapsed T-cell lymphomas, according to two presentations at the 52nd ASH Annual Meeting. KW-0761 stimulated a response in 42% of heavily pretreated cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) patients, with superior responses observed in Sézary patients. In a study of relapsed adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATL), there was an overall response rate of 50%, with a high rate of complete response in patients’ blood. [Read Article]

Sex-matched haploidentical HSCT provides advantage

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/21/10

Tong Wu, MD
Tong Wu, MD

In a single-center study of 440 cases, gender-matched transplants were the best choice for haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), according to research presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. And if a gender-matched donor is not available, said Tong Wu, MD, of Beijing Daopei Hospital in Beijing, China, then a female donor to a male recipient is the next best choice. [Read Article]

Improving safety & efficacy of trauma transfusion

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/20/10

Primera Technology, Inc.
©Primera Technology, Inc.

Transfusing trauma patients isn’t as safe or effective as we once thought, but a speaker at the 52nd ASH Annual Meeting offered suggestions to help change that. Timothy Hannon, MD, of St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, said we could improve the safety of trauma transfusion by shifting the “first in, first out” paradigm, which says trauma centers tend to receive the oldest blood products. He also said giving trauma patients more blood upfront but less overall could improve transfusion efficacy. [Read Article]

Team’s method predicts vWD in children

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/17/10

Von Willebrand Factor
Von Willebrand Factor

A case-control study has uncovered factors that can predict for von Willebrand disease (vWD) in children. Assessing children for Tosetto bleeding score, family bleeding history, anemia, and early life bleeding events allowed researchers to predict vWD with high sensitivity and specificity. Heather L. Bujnicki, a student at University of Pittsburg Medical School, discussed these findings December 6 at the 52nd Annual ASH Meeting. [Read Article]

Data call into question current eligibility criteria for clinical trials

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/16/10

Bone marrow aspirate showing AML
Bone marrow aspirate
showing AML

A trial at MD Anderson Cancer Center of 5-azacitidine and vorinostat for AML-MDS patients not eligible for other clinical trials because of poor performance status calls into question eligibility requirements for other phase 1/2 trials. Twenty of 24 evaluable patients met the primary expectations and survived more than 60 days. Guillermo Garcia-Manero, MD, reported the results at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Drug is active in heavily pretreated CLL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/15/10

CLL in bone marrow
CLL in bone marrow

A PI3K delta inhibitor demonstrates success where other treatments have failed, according to data presented at the 52nd Annual ASH Meeting. CAL-101 elicited a high rate of nodal response and resulted in a low incidence of adverse events in relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. Richard Furman, MD, of Weill Cornell Medical College, presented these results December 5. [Read Article]

Promising gene therapy protocol corrects Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/14/10

 Christoph Klein, MD
Christoph Klein, MD

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is the standard therapy for the X-linked immune deficiency Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS). However, an alternative therapy is on the horizon. Researchers tested a gene therapy protocol, which corrected the cellular defects of the disease in 9 of 10 patients treated between 2006 and 2009. Christoph Klein, MD, of the Hannover Medical School in Germany, presented the trial results at the 52nd ASH Annual Meeting held in early December. [Read Article]

Calculating the cost of DVT

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/13/10

A study of Canadian patients gives us new insight into the cost of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), providing an average per-patient figure, an itemization of DVT-related expenses, and factors that can predict cost. Research revealed a per-patient total of roughly Can$5100, a nearly equal division between medical and non-medical expenses, and 3 predictive factors. Raphael Guanella, MD, of Geneva University Hospital in Switzerland, presented these findings at the 52nd Annual ASH Meeting, which took place December 4-7. [Read Article]

Doc says drug could change treatment of HL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/13/10

 Robert Chen, MD
Robert Chen, MD

A new study suggests the antibody drug conjugate brentuximab vedotin (or SGN-35) is highly active in patients who have few viable treatment options. Brentuximab vedotin elicited an overall response rate of 75% in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients who had relapsed or were refractory to prior therapy, including autologous transplant. “Patients with Hodgkin lymphoma who relapse after autologous stem cell transplant have a poor prognosis,” Robert Chen, MD, of City of Hope National Medical Center, said when he presented this research at the 52nd Annual ASH Meeting. [Read Article]

Reclassification of DBA offers potential treatment with lenalidomide

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/10/10

Lenalidomide structure
Lenalidomide structure

Haploinsufficiency of Cdc25C and PP2Acα has been thought to be important for treatment with lenalidomide. New research, however, indicates that haploinsufficiency of these factors is not required to elicit an erythroid response to the drug. And Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) patients who have no congenital anomalies and normal erythrocyte adenosine deaminase (eADA) activity may now have a new treatment option available to them, according to data presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Misperceptions, anxiety steer drug decisions in pregnancy

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/09/10

 Gideon Koren, MD
Gideon Koren, MD

Many women require medications during pregnancy, yet are reluctant to take them because of perceived dangers to their unborn children. Gideon Koren, MD, of the University of Toronto, Canada, discussed some common therapies of hematologic conditions in the context of teratology during the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. [Read Article]

Choice of ATG matters in severe acquired aplastic anemia

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/07/10

Horse

The choice of antithymocyte globulin (ATG) in the treatment of severe aplastic anemia (SAA) is critically important, according to new research presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. Phillip Scheinberg, MD, of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, presented data showing the clear superiority of horse ATG compared to rabbit ATG in treating SAA patients who are not candidates for stem cell transplant. [Read Article]

Predicting recurrent VTE in cancer patients

Keely McClain Read Article
Published: 12/07/10

Martha Louzada, MD
Martha Louzada, MD

Martha Louzada, MD, of the University of Western Ontario and London Health Science Centre, presented findings from a retrospective study designed to find a clinical prediction rule for risk stratification of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in cancer patients at the 52nd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition, held December 4-7 in Orlando, Florida. [Read Article]

Validation of biomarkers and stroke in SCD

Keely McClain Read Article
Published: 12/05/10

Jonathan Flanagan, PhD
Jonathan Flanagan, PhD

Jonathan Flanagan, PhD, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, presented the results of a recent study designed to identify genetic predictors of stroke in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) at the 52nd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition, held December 4-7 in Orlando, Florida. Investigators compared the genotypes of 130 pediatric SCD patients with documented primary stroke and 103 pediatric SCD patients with no history of stroke.

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