ASCO 2013


Credit: ASCO/Todd Buchanan

The 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting took place May 31 through June 4 in Chicago, Illinois.


Statin/chemo combo effective in relapsed AML

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 06/21/13

AML cells
Credit: Lance Liotta

New research suggests that adding a statin to chemotherapy can produce high remission rates in patients with relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In the phase 2 study, patients who received treatment with pravastatin, idarubicin, and cytarabine had a remission rate of 75%, which included complete responses (CRs) and CRs with incomplete platelet and/or neutrophil recovery (CRis). The researchers did point out that these patients were not . . . [Read Article]

Ruxolitinib retards bone marrow fibrosis in MF

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 06/19/13

Credit: Peter Anderson

An exploratory analysis provides the first indication that the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib may meaningfully retard the advancement of bone marrow fibrosis in myelofibrosis (MF). The degree of fibrosis and its changes over time in patients with MF is an area of ongoing research, and standard pharmacotherapy has not been shown to result in bone marrow fibrosis improvement, said Hans-Michael Kvasnicka, MD, of the University of Frankfurt in Germany.  [Read Article]

Nilotinib improves clinical benefit in CML patients

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 06/18/13

Richard Larson, MD
Credit: UChicago Beijing

Four-year data from the ENESTnd trial continues to show the improved clinical benefit of front-line nilotinib versus imatinib in patients with newly diagnosed, Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase. “Front-line nilotinib compared with imatinib affords a higher proportion of patients the opportunity to achieve deep molecular responses, a key eligibility criterion for participation in studies of treatment-free remission,” said Richard Larson . . . [Read Article]

GIFOX plus auto-SCT can improve PFS in PTCL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 06/14/13

Doctor and patient
Credit: NIH

Combination gemcitabine, ifosfamide, and oxaliplatin (GIFOX) can induce solid responses in previously untreated patients with peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) and allow them to undergo autologous stem cell transplant (auto-SCT), results of a phase 2 study suggest. The researchers said GIFOX reduced tumor bulk, enabled easy stem cell collection, and was effective independent of patient age. Furthermore, progression-free survival (PFS) . . . [Read Article]

CRd elicits responses in relapsed/refractory MM

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 06/13/13

Session at ASCO 2013
Credit: ASCO/Scott Morgan

Combination carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (CRd) can produce rapid responses in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM), even those who are refractory to lenalidomide, results of a phase 1b/2 study suggest. Although the responses were considered durable—lasting a median of 18.8 months—nearly half of patients ultimately discontinued the treatment due to disease progression. Michael Wang, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston . . .  [Read Article]

Switching TKIs induces deep molecular responses in CML

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 06/13/13

ASCO_2013_stairs_Credit_ASCO-Todd Buchanan_230.jpg
Attendees at ASCO 2013
Credit: ASCO/Todd Buchanan

Switching to nilotinib can lead to deep, sustained molecular responses for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients who still have evidence of residual disease on long-term imatinib therapy, according to 2-year results from the ENESTcmr trial. “Significantly more patients achieved confirmed undetectable BCR-ABL in 2 consecutive assessments by 24 months (22.1%) with the switch to nilotinib versus those remaining on imatinib (8.7%),” said Nelson Spector, MD, of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro . . . [Read Article]

Rituximab maintenance continues to prolong PFS in FL

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 06/12/13

Follicular lymphoma

An update of the PRIMA trial has shown that follicular lymphoma patients who received rituximab maintenance continue to have improved progression-free survival (PFS) at 4 years of follow-up. “Maintenance therapy can deepen the response and lengthen remission,” said Gilles Salles, MD, of the University of Lyon in France. He presented updated data from the phase 3 trial at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting. The study included 1200 . . . [Read Article]

Axl appears to be viable target in AML

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 06/12/13

Crowd at ASCO 2013
Credit: ASCO/Brian Powers

Investigators have found evidence to suggest that Axl, a member of the TAM family of receptor tyrosine kinases, is a therapeutic target for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The small-molecule Axl inhibitor BGB324 produced antileukemic effects, whether alone or in combination with doxorubicin, in human leukemia cells and in mouse models of the disease. Isabel Ben-Batalla, PhD, of University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, and her colleagues presented these results at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

Chlorambucil isn’t ‘throw-away’ drug, study suggests

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 06/11/13

Monoclonal antibodies
Credit: Linda Bartlett

Adding the monoclonal antibody obinutuzumab (GA101) to treatment with chlorambucil can improve outcomes in elderly patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to new research. In a phase 3 trial, chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab (G-Clb) elicited better response and survival rates than Clb alone. “[The study] confirmed that chlorambucil, which we in the United States have virtually thrown out the window as totally ineffective, may not be so if you . . . [Read Article]

Allo-HSCT may even the playing field in MDS, AML, MPNs

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 06/10/13

Preparation for HSCT
Credit: Chad McNeeley

Allogeneic transplant may counteract the poor prognosis conferred by spliceosome mutations, results of a small study suggest. Previous research has indicated that mutations in SRSF2 and U2AF1 are associated with dismal outcomes in patients with myeloid neoplasms. However, in a new study, patients who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT) had similar outcomes whether they had these mutations or not. [Read Article]

Updated results reveal ‘new standard of care’ for relapsed/refractory MM

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 06/06/13

ASCO_2013_session_audience_Credit_ASCO-Scott Morgan_230.jpg
Audience at ASCO 2013
Credit: ASCO/Scott Morgan

New data suggest pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone (POM-LoDEX) should be the standard of care for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM), according to a speaker at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting. Updated results of the phase 3 MM-003 trial showed that, with longer follow-up, POM-LoDEX still conferred a survival advantage over high-dose dexamethasone (HiDEX). And patients experienced the benefit of POM-LoDEX whether or not they were refractory . . .  [Read Article]

Increasing busulfan dose can improve EFS, OS in MF

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 06/05/13

ASCO_2013_stairs_Credit_ASCO-Todd Buchanan_230.jpg
Attendees at ASCO 2013
Credit: ASCO/Todd Buchanan

Higher-intensity conditioning can reduce myelofibrosis (MF) relapse after allogeneic transplant, without increasing non-relapse mortality, a new study suggests. Investigators found that a higher dose of busulfan, delivered with pharmacokinetic (PK) guidance, was at least as safe as the dose typically administered in reduced-intensity conditioning regimens. And the increased dose reduced the likelihood of relapse and death. “We are able to limit the mortality of the treatment but, at the same time, reduce . . . [Read Article]

Some kids with LPHL can be spared chemo, radiation

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 06/04/13

Crowd at ASCO 2013
Credit: ASCO/Phil McCarten

In a Children’s Oncology Group study, researchers showed that a majority of children with low-risk lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (LPHL) could achieve and retain complete remissions from chemotherapy and avoid receiving radiation. And most children with stage IA, single-node disease could avoid both radiation and chemotherapy by having their tumors completely resected. Burton Appel, MD, of Hackensack University Medical Center in New . . . [Read Article]

PTCy doesn’t increase risk of PTLD, study shows

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 06/03/13

ASCO_2013_attendees_Credit_ASCO-Todd Buchanan_230.jpg
ASCO Annual Meeting 2013
Credit: ASCO/Todd Buchanan

Results of a single-center study suggest that post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) does not increase the risk of post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). Researchers analyzed a decade’s worth of allogeneic transplant data from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. And of the nearly 800 patients who received PTCy as prophylaxis for graft-vs-host disease (GVHD), none developed PTLD. The researchers did note, however, that some . . . [Read Article]

Drug appears effective in relapsed/refractory CLL

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 05/16/13

Jennifer Brown, MD, PhD
Credit: Dana-Farber

An oral agent targeting PI3K-delta demonstrated considerable activity in heavily pretreated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), results of a phase 1 study showed. The drug—idelalisib (GS-1101)—elicited “deep and durable” lymph node responses and resulted in a median progression-free survival of 17.1 months, according to study investigator Jennifer Brown, MD, PhD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. These results are notable, Dr Brown said . . . [Read Article]

CTs may be unnecessary to detect DLBCL relapse

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 05/16/13

Patient undergoing a CT scan
Credit: Angela Mary Butler

New research suggests routine CT scans are unnecessary for most patients in remission from diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). In a majority of the patients studied, physicians detected DLBCL relapse via abnormal lab or physical exam results, or after patients reported relapse-related symptoms. Only 1.5% of patients had a relapse that was detected solely through a scheduled CT scan. These findings may help physicians develop guidelines for following . . . [Read Article]


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