ASH 2012

 
 
 

The 54th ASH Annual Meeting took place December 8-11, 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Enzyme accelerates LSC cloning in CML

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 01/02/13

jamieson_catriona_MD_PhD_Credit_UCSD_230.jpg
Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD
Photo courtesy of UCSD

Researchers say they have identified an enzyme that promotes leukemia stem cell (LSC) cloning and the growth of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The team found evidence to suggest the enzyme—adenosine deaminase (ADAR1)—plays a role in the self-renewal and therapeutic resistance of LSCs. The group therefore believes ADAR1 could be a promising therapeutic target for CML. Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, of the University of California San Diego, and her colleagues . . . [Read Article]

Update suggests deferasirox still effective in NTDT

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/31/12

ASH_2012_GWCC_Credit_larryyoungphotos.com_220.jpg
The Georgia World Congress
Center, site of ASH 2012
Credit: larryyoungphotos.com

Non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia (NTDT) patients receiving deferasirox for up to 2 years continue to respond, with decreases in liver iron concentration (LIC) and serum ferritin, according to an update presented at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting. “More patients reached LIC less than 5 Fe/g dry weight (dw) and less than 3 mg Fe/g dw during the extension phase of this study, indicating that, with appropriate dosing and treatment, deferasirox continues to remove iron effectively,” said . . . [Read Article]

IFN plus nilotinib induces molecular responses in CML

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/27/12

ASH_2012_crowd_Credit_Larry_Young_larryyoungphotos.com_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2012
Credit: larryyoungphotos.com

The combination of an old drug, interferon, and a newer one, nilotinib, can lead to deep molecular responses in newly diagnosed, chronic-phase chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patients, according to a study presented at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting here. CML treatment has evolved from chemotherapy to interferon to tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as imatinib, nilotinib, and dasatinib. Interferon, unlike imatinib, preferentially targets CML stem cells. [Read Article]

Changing schedule improves safety, maintains efficacy

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/26/12

OBrien_Susan_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Susan O’Brien, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

A chemotherapeutic agent wrapped in a monoclonal antibody selectively destroys malignant cells in patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), new research suggests. The agent elicited a high response rate in patients with relapsed or refractory disease. And changing the dosing schedule from monthly to weekly reduced side effects. Susan O’Brien, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, reported these results at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting as abstract 671. [Read Article]

New combo for GVHD provides alternative to standard

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/25/12

ASH_2012_attendees_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Crowd at ASH 2012
Photo courtesy of ASH

Overall, an experimental combination used to prevent graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) was comparable to the standard of care, researchers found. The new combination—tacrolimus plus sirolimus—surpassed the standard—tacrolimus plus methotrexate—in some areas but fell short in others. There was no difference in GVHD-free survival between the 2 treatment arms. But tacrolimus-sirolimus sped up engraftment, reduced the incidence of acute GVHD, and decreased . . . [Read Article]

Gene therapy activates fetal hemoglobin production

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/24/12

ASH_welcome_banner_Credit_larryyoungphotos.com_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2012
Credit: larryyoungphotos.com

Investigators have taken the first steps toward developing gene therapy for sickle cell disease, according to research presented at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting. The team has shown, in a mouse model, the feasibility of activating fetal hemoglobin, which is unaffected by the sickle cell mutation. Raffaele Renella, MD, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital, and his colleagues described their findings in abstract 753. And Roy L. Silverstein, MD, of the Blood Center of Wisconsin, reviewed the . . . [Read Article]

Drug continues to do well in MCL

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/23/12

ASH_2012_session_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Session at ASH 2012
Photo courtesy of ASH

Results of a phase 2 study indicate the tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib can elicit durable responses in relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). And these responses appear to improve with time. Michael Wang, MD, of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, presented data from the study at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting as abstract 904. The study was sponsored by Pharmacyclics, the makers of ibrutinib. “In a heavily treated relapsed or refractory population, oral ibrutinib . . . [Read Article]

Deferasirox is comparable to deferoxamine in beta-thalassemia major

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/22/12

ASH_2012_GWCC_Credit_larryyoungphotos.com_220.jpg
The Georgia World Congress
Center, site of ASH 2012
Credit: larryyoungphotos.com

Deferasirox appears to be slightly superior to deferoxamine for myocardial iron removal in patients with beta-thalassemia major, according to results of the first randomized, controlled trial comparing the 2 drugs. “The study met its primary endpoint in demonstrating non-inferiority of deferasirox compared with deferoxamine, with a trend towards superiority for deferasirox,” Dudley Pennell, MD, of the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, UK, reported at the 54th . . . [Read Article]

‘Waste not, want not’ true with cord blood too

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/21/12

cord_blood_donation_Credit_NHS_230.jpg
Cord blood donation
Credit: NHS

Cord blood units not suitable for use in allogeneic transplant may be suitable for transfusion in neonates with very low birth weights, according to research presented at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting. Investigators compared red cells they derived from “insufficient” cord blood units to red cells from adult blood donors and found the cells had comparable hematologic parameters. The cord-blood derived cells have yet to be tested in neonates. But if the cells are are proven effective in a planned clinical . . . [Read Article]

Ruxolitinib may improve survival in MF

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/20/12

ASH_escalators_banner_Credit_larryyoungphotos.com_230_v2.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2012
Credit: larryyoungphotos.com

The benefits observed in myelofibrosis patients taking the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib can be sustained over 2 years, new data suggest. In the COMFORT-I and COMFORT-II studies, ruxolitinib elicited rapid, durable reductions in splenomegaly and improved myelofibrosis-related symptoms and quality of life. Now, 2-year data from the COMFORT-II trial suggest the drug significantly reduces myelofibrosis disease burden and may confer an overall survival advantage. [Read Article]

HDAC inhibitor enhances GVHD prophylaxis

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/20/12

choi_sung_MD_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Sung Choi, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

Adding the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat to standard prophylaxis can reduce the risk of graft-vs-host disease (GVHD), according to research presented at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting. The incidence of acute, grade 2-4 GVHD at 180 days was 24% in patients who received vorinostat plus standard prophylaxis, compared to 56% in historical controls who received standard therapy alone. Sung Choi, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, presented these results as abstract 740.  [Read Article]

Study suggests stockings offer no protection from PTS

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/20/12

ASH_welcome_banner_Credit_larryyoungphotos.com_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2012
Credit: larryyoungphotos.com

Results of a new study indicate compression stockings do not prevent post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) in patients with proximal deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Two prior trials suggested that wearing elastic compression stockings daily for 2 or more years after a proximal DVT could substantially reduce a patient’s risk of developing PTS. But now, results of the SOX trial—in which researchers compared active compression stockings to non-active stockings—suggest the previous findings may be wrong. [Read Article]

Protein levels could guide treatment for HL

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/19/12

ASH_2012_crowd_Credit_Larry_Young_larryyoungphotos.com_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2012
Credit: larryyoungphotos.com

Blood levels of the protein galectin-1 are correlated with disease risk in patients with newly diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), according to data presented at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting. In a study of 315 treatment-naïve HL patients, researchers found that serum galectin-1 levels were associated with tumor burden and other adverse clinical characteristics. Jing Ouyang, PhD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, presented these results at the meeting as abstract 51. [Read Article]

T-cell therapy elicits responses in CLL/ALL

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/19/12

june_carl_left_and_armand_keating_at_ASH_2012_Credit_ASH_190.jpg
Carl H. June, MD, (left) pictured
with 2012 ASH President
Armand Keating, MD, led this
research and was awarded
the Ernest Beutler Prize.
Photo courtesy of ASH

New research suggests that infusions of engineered T cells can induce durable responses in patients with relapsed or refractory leukemias. Patients received chimeric antigen receptor T cells directed against CD19 (CART19 cells) to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The therapy induced responses in 9 of the 12 patients treated, and 5 of these were complete responses. Two patients remain in complete remission 2 years after receiving the therapy. [Read Article]

Agent shows efficacy in preclinical study of AML

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/18/12

lab_mouse_closeup_240.jpg
Lab mouse

The human protein angiocidin can reduce leukemic burden by almost two-thirds in mouse models of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), results of a new study suggest. The research also indicated the protein has an additive effect when administered with ara-C. George P. Tuszynski, PhD, of Temple University’s School of Medicine in Philadelphia, presented these findings (abstract 2618) at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting, which recently took place in Atlanta. [Read Article]

Nilotinib maintains advantage over imatinib

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/18/12

Kantarjian_Hagop_MD_Credit_MD_Anderson_230.jpg
Hagop Kantarjian, MD
Credit: MD Anderson

The 4-year update comparing nilotinib to imatinib continues to show an advantage for nilotinib in the treatment of newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia patients in chronic phase (Ph+ CML-CP). “Nilotinib continues to demonstrate superiority vs imatinib, yielding faster and deeper molecular responses and a significantly decreased risk of progression,” said Hagop Kantarjian, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

Two cords not necessarily better than one

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/18/12

wagner_john_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
John E. Wagner, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

Knowing that cell dose influences engraftment and survival in stem cell transplants, investigators anticipated that 2 cell dose units would improve survival in children who received umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplants for hematologic malignancies. They conducted a phase 3 trial to confirm their hypothesis and discovered that 2 units are not better than 1. Outcomes were similar in terms of survival, engraftment, non-relapse morality, relapse, and disease-free survival. [Read Article]

Treg therapy suppresses inhibitor formation in hemophilic mice

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/17/12

ASH_2012_attendees_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2012
Photo courtesy of ASH

T-regulatory cells (Tregs) that are expanded ex vivo and transplanted into hemophilic mice can significantly suppress inhibitor formation to factor VIII (FVIII), according to new information presented at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting, held recently in Atlanta. The expanded Tregs also suppress the formation of inhibitors to factor IX (FIX) in animals with pre-existing inhibitor titers. The investigators say these findings could lead to improved immune tolerance induction protocols. [Read Article]

SCD patients’ ER visits increase with age

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/17/12

ER_team_with_patient_Credit_Tom_Watanabe_230.jpg
ER team with a patient
Credit: Tom Watanabe

Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) rely more on the emergency room (ER) as they move from pediatric to adult healthcare, according to research presented at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting. An analysis of Medicaid data from more than 3200 SCD patients showed that ER visits tripled between the ages of 15 to 24. “There seems to be a breakdown in medical care during the transition from childhood to adulthood,” said investigator Morey A. Blinder, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine . . .  [Read Article]

Prophylaxis reduces bleeding, but not enough

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/16/12

platelet_transfusion.jpg
Platelet transfusion

In recent years, the value of prophylactic platelet transfusion has been called into question, with some researchers speculating the practice offers no benefit. Now, results of the TOPPS trial suggest prophylactic transfusion does reduce bleeding when compared to a no-prophylaxis policy, but the results leave something to be desired. Researchers found that prophylactic platelet transfusion decreased the number of bleeding events and the time . . . [Read Article]

Ponatinib shows efficacy, gains FDA approval

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/15/12

ASH_2012_session_crowd2_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2012
Photo courtesy of ASH

Days after favorable data were presented at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting, the FDA has announced its approval of ponatinib (Iclusig) to treat adult patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia-chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). The approval, which was completed under the FDA’s accelerated program, comes months ahead of schedule. The agency had originally planned to complete its review of the drug in March. [Read Article]

Study supports extended apixaban use

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/14/12

thrombus_credit_Kevin MacKenzie_University of Aberdeen_Wellcome Images.jpg
Thrombus
Credit: Kevin MacKenzie

Due to results of the AMPLIFY-EXTENSION study, researchers are recommending a new indication for apixaban: long-term use to prevent recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE). The investigators compared 12 months of treatment with apixaban at 2 doses—2.5 mg and 5 mg—to placebo in patients who previously received anticoagulant therapy for 6 to 12 months to treat a prior VTE. The team found that both doses of apixaban effectively prevented VTE, VTE-related . . .  [Read Article]

A new option for relapsed/refractory MM

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/13/12

ASH_2012_session_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2012
Photo courtesy of ASH

Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone (POM-LoDEX) should be considered as a new treatment option for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, according to a presenter at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting. The combination improved progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) when compared to high-dose dexamethasone (HiDEX) in patients who had failed treatment with lenalidomide and/or bortezomib. On the other hand, slightly more than half of patients . . . [Read Article]

Is daunorubicin really necessary in ALL induction?

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/13/12

Baruchel_Andre_ASH 2012_240.jpg
André Baruchel, MD

Anthracyclines have been used in some standard-risk protocols since the 1970s to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). While their impact on efficacy is still unclear, they confer a risk of myelosuppression and cardiac events. The FRALLE group examined whether daunorubicin is really necessary in induction therapy for standard-risk children with ALL. They provided the answer at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting, held December 8–11 in Atlanta. [Read Article]

SNPs help create ‘perfect storm’ of CHF after HSCT

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/12/12

ASH_2012_attendees_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2012
Photo courtesy of ASH

Researchers have identified a trio of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that appear to drive congestive heart failure (CHF) in patients who have undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Saro H. Armenian, DO, and Smita Bhatia, MD, both of the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, California, presented these findings (abstract 589) at the 54th ASH Annual Meeting, which took place December 8-11. Dr Bhatia noted that CHF after HSCT is due to a variety of factors . . . [Read Article]

Lower hematocrit confirmed as target in PV

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/12/12

barbui_tiziano_MD_Credit_ASH.jpg
Tiziano Barbui, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

Maintaining a hematocrit level below 45% has long been a treatment recommendation for patients with polycythemia vera (PV). However, only recently has a large, randomized study been completed confirming this recommendation. And the results show that strict hematocrit control is well worth the effort—patients who maintain a low hematocrit are 4 times less likely to experience stroke, acute coronary syndrome, transient ischemic cerebral attack, other thrombotic events . . . [Read Article]

Doc says drug could change treatment of CLL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/11/12

Byrd_John_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
John C. Byrd, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

The tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib can elicit high survival rates in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), results of a new study suggest. In fact, the drug produced higher survival rates than those typically observed with standard cytotoxic chemotherapy. And ibrutinib was generally well-tolerated, provoking mostly grade 1 and 2 adverse events that were often transient. “Ibrutinib offers great potential to significantly change the  . . .  [Read Article]

Curing leukemia without chemotherapy

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/10/12

Lo-Coco_Francesco_MD_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Francesco Lo-Coco, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

Results of a phase 3 trial of arsenic trioxide (ATO) and ATRA have shown that it is possible to cure acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) without chemotherapy, according to one of the study investigators. Claiming that cancer is not necessarily an irreversible condition, Francesco Lo-Coco, MD, of University Tor Vergata in Rome, showed that the final results of the Intergroup study APL0406 supported this claim. He presented the data (abstract 6) during the plenary session of the 54th ASH . . . [Read Article]

    {title}

    {icon} {author} Read Article
    Published: {pubDate}

    {summary}