ASH 2013

 
 
 

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, site of the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting.

The 2013 ASH Annual Meeting took place December 7-10 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

Thalidomide confers durable PFS, OS benefit in MM

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/30/13

thalidomide_bottles_240.jpg
Bottles of thalidomide

Adding low-dose thalidomide to consolidation therapy after transplant can confer a durable survival advantage in patients with multiple myeloma, results of a phase 3 study suggest. Patients who received thalidomide, prednisolone, and zoledronic acid after autologous stem cell transplant (auto-SCT) had significantly better survival at 5.4 years of follow-up than patients who received only prednisolone and zoledronic acid.  [Read Article]

Forcing the production of fetal hemoglobin

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/29/13

lab_mouse_240.jpg
Lab mouse

Researchers say they have discovered a way to manipulate biological events in adult blood cells to force the production of fetal hemoglobin. And because fetal hemoglobin is unaffected by the genetic defect in sickle cell disease (SCD), this research could open the door to a new therapy for SCD. “Our study shows the power of a technique called forced chromatin looping in reprogramming gene expression in blood-forming cells,” said Jeremy . . . [Read Article]

Responses improve after a switch to nilotinib

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/28/13

CML_cells_Credit_UC_San_Diego_School_of_Medicine_eurekalert_230.jpg
Micrograph showing CML
Credit: UCSD

Data from 2 large trials reaffirm that chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients achieve deep molecular responses when they switch to nilotinib after taking imatinib. The 36-month update of the phase 3 ENESTcmr study showed that treatment with nilotinib led to deeper molecular responses in Philadelphia-chromosome-positive (Ph+), chronic-phase CML patients who switched to the newer drug after receiving long-term imatinib treatment. [Read Article]

Which mAb is best after response in FL?

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/27/13

monoclonal_antibodies_growing_Credit_Linda_Bartlett_230.jpg
Monoclonal antibodies
Credit: Linda Bartlett

New research suggests rituximab maintenance can improve progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with follicular lymphoma (FL), when compared to consolidation with 90Y ibritumomab tiuxetan. However, there was no significant difference between the treatment arms with regard to overall survival or time to next treatment. And the rate of grade 3/4 adverse events was similar between the arms. Armando Lopez-Guillermo, MD, PhD, of Hospital Clinic de Barcelona . . . [Read Article]

Brentuximab vedotin proves active in DLBCL

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/26/13

monoclonal_antibodies_Credit_Credit_Linda_Bartlett_230.jpg
Monoclonal antibodies
Credit: Linda Bartlett

Brentuximab vedotin has demonstrated “compelling” antitumor activity in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), according to researchers. The investigators were also surprised to find that the activity of this anti-CD30 monoclonal antibody conjugate did not seem to correlate with a patient’s level of CD30 expression. In fact, some of the patients with the weakest CD30 expression had the best responses to the drug. [Read Article]

Ruxolitinib improves overall survival in MF

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/24/13

pills_white_Credit_Zach_Armstrong_230.jpg
Prescription pills
Credit: Zach Armstrong

A pooled analysis of 2 trials has shown that ruxolitinib can reduce the risk of death by 35% in myelofibrosis (MF) patients. Patients who received the JAK1/2 inhibitor in the COMFORT-I and COMFORT-II studies had significantly prolonged survival compared with patients who received placebo or best available therapy (BAT). These benefits were seen for both intermediate-2-risk and high-risk patients. In fact, high-risk patients in the ruxolitinib group had a survival rate . . . [Read Article]

Bortezomib can reduce GVHD, boost survival

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/23/13

HSCs_being_prepared_for_transplant_credit_Chad_McNeeley_230.jpg
Preparing for SCT
Credit: Chad McNeeley

Adding bortezomib to standard preventive therapy for graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) can improve outcomes for patients receiving stem cell transplants (SCTs) from mismatched and unrelated donors, new research suggests. In this phase 2 trial, patients treated with bortezomib had lower rates of acute GVHD, lower rates of relapse, and higher rates of overall survival than what is typically seen in patients receiving standard GVHD prophylaxis. [Read Article]

Subanalysis reveals how edoxaban fares in cancer patients

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/22/13

thrombus_Credit_Kevin_MacKenzie_230.jpg
Thrombus
Credit: Kevin MacKenzie

Edoxaban is at least as effective as warfarin at preventing venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with active cancer or a history of cancer, according to a subanalysis of the Hokusai-VTE trial. The analysis also suggested that edoxaban causes less clinically relevant bleeding than warfarin. And the rates of all-cause mortality were similar between the 2 treatment arms. These results are consistent with those observed in the entire trial population. [Read Article]

Chelation therapy improves survival in MDS

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/21/13

blood_bags_Credit_Elise_Amendola_230.jpg
Blood for transfusion
Credit: Elise Amendola

Chelation therapy can significantly improve outcomes in iron-overloaded, lower-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients, according to new research. In a prospective registry study, patients who received chelation had longer survival and longer time to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) transformation than non-chelated patients. Roger M. Lyons, MD, of the Cancer Care Centers of South Texas in San Antonio, presented the results of this study at the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

Nilotinib beats imatinib in newly diagnosed CML

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/20/13

prescriptions_Credit_CDC_230.jpg
Prescriptions
Credit: CDC

New data indicate a trend for longer overall survival and event-free survival in newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients on nilotinib versus imatinib. Five-year data from the phase 3 ENESTnd study demonstrate higher rates of early and deeper molecular response in newly diagnosed CML patients taking nilotinib, as well as a reduced risk of progression compared to imatinib. These results were presented at the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting as abstract 92. [Read Article]

New JAK2 inhibitor appears active against MPNs

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/19/13

myelofibrosis_Credit_Peter_Anderson_PhD_DVM_230.jpg
Micrograph showing MF
Credit: Peter Anderson

In a phase 1 study, a novel JAK2 inhibitor demonstrated activity against myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). The drug, called LY2784544, prompted clinical improvements in patients with myelofibrosis (MF) and partial responses in patients with polycythemia vera (PV). And it significantly reduced spleen size in more than half of evaluable patients. These results, along with the drug’s “acceptable tolerability,” support the ongoing phase 2 trial of LY2784544, said Josef Prchal, MD, of the University of Utah. [Read Article]

Iron chelators elicit comparable results

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/19/13

blood_for_transfusion_Credit_UAB_Hospital_230.jpg
Blood for transfusion
Credit: UAB Hospital

Two iron chelators, deferasirox and deferoxamine, are both effective for the improvement of cardiac iron over 2 years in patients with a wide range of baseline liver iron concentrations (LIC) and cardiac iron levels, according to an extension of the CORDELIA trial. Long-term data with deferasirox for cardiac iron removal have been limited to single-arm studies, which showed a continuous decrease in cardiac iron with up to 3 years of treatment. And randomized clinical trial data with other iron chelation . . . [Read Article]

No dose adjustment necessary for dabigatran

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/18/13

thrombus_Credit_Kevin_MacKenzie_230.jpg
Thrombus
Credit: Kevin MacKenzie

There’s no need to adjust the dose of dabigatran in patients with mild or moderate renal dysfunction, new research suggests. Results of the RE-COVER trials indicated that dabigatran is just as effective as warfarin for preventing recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE), and the newer drug can reduce the risk of bleeding. In a subanalysis of these data, investigators evaluated patient outcomes according to renal function and found no significant differences in treatment effects. [Read Article]

Targeting CD33 in AML: The continuing saga of gemtuzumab

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/18/13

Gamis_Alan_MD_MPH_courtesy_ASH.jpg
Alan Gamis, MD, MPH
Photo courtesy of ASH

Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) merits further investigation in children and young adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to a speaker at the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting. GO was withdrawn from the market in 2010, after research suggested the anti-CD33 antibody may increase the risk of death and may not confer benefits over chemotherapy alone. But results of a Children’s Oncology Group (COG) study suggest GO can reduce the risk of relapse in children and young adults with AML. [Read Article]

Crizotinib appears effective in adult lymphoma patients

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/17/13

ASH2013_crowd_logo_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2013
Photo courtesy of ASH

The ALK inhibitor crizotinib has exhibited “potent antitumor activity” in a small study of adults with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Previous research showed that crizotinib can produce complete responses in pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL). Now, data presented at the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting have shown the drug can do the same in adults with relapsed or refractory ALCL. However, the drug appears to . . . [Read Article]

CAR T cells induce durable responses in CLL

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/17/13

ASH2103_posters_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Posters at ASH 2013
Photo courtesy of ASH

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells directed against CD19 (CTL019 cells) have long-term persistence and induce durable responses in relapsed, refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to research presented at the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting. CTL019 cells induced potent, sustained responses in more than half of patients with advanced, relapsed and refractory CLL, regardless of p53 mutation status, according to David Porter, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania. [Read Article]

Continuous len-dex proves superior to standard triplet in MM

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/16/13

Facon_Thierry_MD_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Thierry Facon, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

The largest registration trial conducted in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) patients “establishes continuous lenalidomide with low-dose dexamethasone as the new standard of care,” according to Thierry Facon, MD, of Hôpital Claude Huriez in Lille, France. He presented results of the FIRST trial during the plenary session of the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting. The FIRST trial is an open-label, phase 3 study of 1623 patients from 246 centers in 18 countries. [Read Article]

Scientists use snake venom for novel antithrombotic agent

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/15/13

Ni_Heyu_MD_PhD_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Heyu Ni, MD, PhD
Photo courtesy of ASH

An antithrombotic agent made from the triply purified venom of the Agkistrodon acutus snake is showing promise in vitro and in mouse and human studies. The agent, anfibatide, targets the glycoprotein Ib (GPIb) complex. Until now, no drug has been developed to target this complex, according to investigators. Heyu Ni, MD, PhD, of the University of Toronto in Canada, described the development of anfibatide during a press briefing at the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

Obinutuzumab bests rituximab in CLL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/14/13

goede_valentin_MD_Credit_ASH_230_v2.jpg
Valentin Goede, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

Adding obinutuzumab (GA101) to treatment with chlorambucil (Clb) can induce deep remissions and change the course of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to a presentation at the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting. Stage 1 results of the CLL11 study showed that obinutuzumab plus Clb (G-Clb) can produce superior outcomes in elderly CLL patients, when compared to Clb alone. Now, stage 2 results suggest G-Clb can elicit superior response and progression- . . . [Read Article]

Is a new MF drug more effective than JAK inhibitors?

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/13/13

ASH2013_session_crowd_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Session audience at ASH 2013
Photo courtesy of ASH

The telomerase inhibitor imetelstat exhibits “disease-modifying activity” in patients with myelofibrosis (MF), according to a speaker at the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting. Results of a pilot study showed that imetelstat can produce complete remissions, reverse bone marrow fibrosis, and induce morphologic and molecular remissions in patients with high-risk or intermediate-2-risk MF. However, the drug can also induce severe myelosuppression, which suggests a need for close patient monitoring. [Read Article]

Cognitive function after HCT linked to telomere length

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/13/13

Bhatia_Smita_MD_MPH_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Smita Bhatia, MD, MPH
Photo courtesy of ASH

Investigators have become increasingly aware that patients experience impaired cognition after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), but previous research left gaps in the understanding of this phenomenon. Now, investigators have found preliminary evidence of an association between telomere length and cognitive functioning after HCT. The research was presented at the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting as abstract 913. [Read Article]

Asparaginase reformulation appears safe, effective in ALL

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/13/13

ped_ALL_pt_receiving_chemo_Bill_Branson_230.jpg
ALL patient
Credit: Bill Branson

Results of a new study indicate that intravenous infusions of reformulated asparaginase are just as safe and effective as injections of native asparaginase. Researchers compared native E coli asparaginase given intramuscularly to intravenous E coli asparaginase in its polyethylene glycol (PEG)-conjugated formulation in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). And the team found no significant differences in 4-year event-free survival (EFS) or toxicity between the 2 treatment arms. [Read Article]

Using HH blood for donation: A win-win situation

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/12/13

Leitman_Susan_F_MD_ASH2013_240.jpg
Susan F. Leitman, MD

A study conducted over the past 12 years indicates that patients with hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) can safely become blood donors and contribute to the allogeneic blood supply. It “improves hereditary hemochromatosis patient care and benefits the community at the same time,” said Susan F. Leitman, MD, of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. In other words, it’s a win-win situation for both patients and the general public. [Read Article]

Enzastaurin no better than placebo in DLBCL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/12/13

ASH3013_conv_cntr_220.jpg
Inside the Ernest N. Morial
Convention Center, site of the
2013 ASH Annual Meeting

In a phase 3 study, patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who received post-induction therapy with enzastaurin saw no improvements in survival over patients who received placebo. All patients were in their first remission after treatment with R-CHOP, but they were thought to have a high risk of relapse. The patients who received 3 years of treatment with enzastaurin had similar rates of event-free survival (EFS), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) as patients who received placebo. [Read Article]

Anemia disorders may be misdiagnosed

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/11/13

ASH2013_attendees_previewing_posters.jpg
ASH attendees viewing posters

Some infants diagnosed with Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) may actually have another anemia syndrome that has a different course and requires a different treatment approach, a new study suggests. Researchers conducted genetic analyses on samples from 175 patients believed to have DBA. And 8 of the patients showed hallmarks of Pearson marrow pancreas syndrome (PS). The team reported these findings at the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting.  [Read Article]

Haploidentical BMT possible in older patients

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/11/13

ASH2013_crowd_logo_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2013
Photo courtesy of ASH

Until recently, haploidentical bone marrow transplantation (haploBMT) carried excessive risk. But the use of reduced-intensity conditioning and post-transplant cyclophosphamide for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis are changing that. Now, older patients and others without a matched sibling donor have the opportunity for a less risky haploBMT. “Age is no longer a barrier at our institution,” said Yvette L. Kasamon, MD, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. [Read Article]

Novel antibody can target driver of WM

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/10/13

ASH_2013_attendees_JS_220.jpg
Inside the Ernest N. Morial
Convention Center, site of the
2013 ASH Annual Meeting

A mutation in the gene CXCR4 drives Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM), according to research presented at the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting. Researchers discovered this mutation—C1013GCXCR4—in 30% of the WM patients they studied. But the mutation was not present in healthy subjects. Experiments suggested C1013GCXCR4 is associated with more aggressive WM, and an antibody can target the mutation in mouse models of the disease. [Read Article]

CAR T-cell therapy works against adult ALL too

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/10/13

Grupp_Stephan_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD
Photo courtesy of ASH

New research suggests chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy isn’t just effective in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL); it can work in adults as well. Investigators previously reported results with this therapy in pediatric ALL patients. Now, they’ve presented updated data involving 22 pediatric and 5 adult patients with relapsed or refractory ALL. Eighty-nine percent of the patients achieved a complete response to the treatment. However, 6 relapsed . . . [Read Article]

    {title}

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

    {summary}