ASH 2014

 
 
 

Attendees at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting

The 56th ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition took place December 6-9, 2014, in San Francisco, California.

 

New test could improve warfarin monitoring

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 01/14/15

warfarin_tablets.jpg
Warfarin tablets

Monitoring warfarin using a modified prothrombin time (PT) test can improve anticoagulation stability and long-term clinical outcomes, result of the Fiix trial suggest. With Fiix-PT—a test that only measures the activity of coagulation factors II and X—the effect of warfarin fluctuated less than with standard PT. Fiix-PT also proved superior in reducing long-term, recurrent thromboembolism (TE), and it did not increase bleeding, despite the fact that the test omits factor VII activity. [Read Article]

Drug reverses dabigatran’s effects in elderly/impaired

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 01/08/15

prescriptions_Credit_CDC_230.jpg
Prescriptions
Credit: CDC

An investigational, humanized antibody fragment known as idarucizumab can reverse the anticoagulation effects of dabigatran, new research suggests. In a small study, idarucizumab led to sustained reversal of dabigatran’s effects in healthy subjects, elderly volunteers, and participants with mild to moderate renal impairment. Furthermore, dabigatran anticoagulation could be re-established 24 hours after the subjects had received idarucizumab. [Read Article]

HIV doesn’t hinder lymphoma patients’ response to ASCT

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 01/07/15

HIV_budding_from_cultured_lymphocyte_Image_from_CDC_220.jpg
HIV budding from
a cultured lymphocyte
Credit: CDC

Patients with HIV-related lymphoma (HRL) should not be excluded from clinical trials of autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) due to their HIV status, new research suggests. Investigators found no significant difference in rates of treatment failure, disease progression, or survival between transplant-treated historical controls who had lymphoma but not HIV and patients with HRL who received the modified BEAM regimen followed by ASCT on a phase 2 trial. [Read Article]

Maintenance prolongs PFS, not OS, in relapsed CLL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 01/07/15

monoclonal_antibodies_Credit_Credit_Linda_Bartlett_230.jpg
Monoclonal antibodies
Credit: Linda Bartlett

Maintenance therapy with the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody ofatumumab improves progression-free survival (PFS), but not overall survival (OS), in patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to an interim analysis of the PROLONG study. The median PFS was about 29 months in patients who received ofatumumab and about 15 months for patients who did not receive maintenance (P<0.0001). But there was no significant difference in the median OS. [Read Article]

Older patients benefit from brentuximab treatment

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 01/06/15

doc_and_patient_older_woman_Credit_NIH_230.jpg
Doctor and patient
Credit: NIH

Younger patients with Hodgkin lymphoma fare well on brentuximab vedotin, experiencing an overall objective response rate (ORR) of 75% and a complete response (CR) rate of 34% in the pivotal phase 2 study of patients with relapsed/refractory disease. And a retrospective study of patients older than 60 years showed that single-agent therapy was well tolerated, prompting an ORR of 53% and a CR rate of 40% in a relapsed or refractory population. [Read Article]

CARs come in different makes and models

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 01/02/15

T-cells_NIAID_230.jpg
T cells
Credit: NIAID

CTL019, a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell targeting CD19, is not the only CAR in the production line. Investigators at the National Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) are also pursuing CAR T-cell therapy. These groups are using a retroviral platform to transduce the T cells rather than a lentiviral one, as is the case with CTL019. Investigators reported progress to date on these makes of CARs at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

CAR is feasible in majority of ALL patients, team says

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 01/02/15

ped_ALL_pt_receiving_chemo_Bill_Branson_230.jpg
ALL patient
Credit: Bill Branson

A chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is feasible in 90% of heavily pretreated or transplanted patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and can serve as a bridge to transplant, according to investigators. Daniel W. Lee III, MD, of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, reported on a phase 1 study of this CD19 CAR T-cell therapy in children and young adults with CD19+ ALL or non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

CAR produces durable responses in B-cell ALL

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 01/02/15

blood_collection_Credit_Charles_Haymond_230.jpg
Blood collection
Credit: Charles Haymond

JCAR015, a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, can produce durable responses in patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who do not undergo subsequent hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), new research suggests. JCAR015 consists of autologous T cells genetically modified to express a 19-28z CAR targeting CD19. Jae H. Park, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, presented data on JCAR015 at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

Combo shows promise for rel/ref MM

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 01/01/15

monoclonal_antibodies_growing_Credit_Linda_Bartlett_230.jpg
Monoclonal antibodies
Credit: Linda Bartlett

Combination therapy involving a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) produces encouraging activity in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM), according to researchers. The team conducted a phase 1b trial testing the IgG1 mAb SAR650984 in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (SAR-len-dex). The treatment produced an overall response rate (ORR) of 58% and a higher ORR among patients who received the highest dose of SAR. [Read Article]

Extended anticoagulation offers transient benefit

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/31/14

Pulmonary_embolism_CT_scan_of_Credit_Medical_College_of_Georgia_220.jpg
CT scan showing a PE
Credit: Medical College
of Georgia

New research indicates that extending anticoagulant therapy to 2 years can reduce the risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) without increasing major bleeding, but this benefit only lasts while patients are receiving the therapy. In the PADIS-PE study, patients with a first episode of symptomatic, unprovoked pulmonary embolism (PE) received 6 months of treatment with a vitamin K antagonist (VKA), followed by 18 months of warfarin or placebo. [Read Article]

Drug combats complications of SCD

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/30/14

prescriptions_Credit_CDC_230.jpg
Prescription medications
Credit: CDC

Pharmaceutical-grade L-glutamine can reduce the risk of complications in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), according to new research. In a phase 3 study of more than 200 patients, those who received L-glutamine saw a reduction in sickle cell crises, hospitalizations, and the incidence of acute chest syndrome (ACS) when compared to patients who received placebo. In addition, L-glutamine appeared to have a synergistic effect with hydroxyurea. [Read Article]

Classic HL vulnerable to PD-1 blockade therapy

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/24/14

ASH2014_Armand_Philippe_MD_Credit ASH.jpg
Philippe Armand, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

Two monoclonal antibodies that block the programmed death-1 (PD-1) pathway are showing promise in early phase trials in relapsed/refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). Nivolumab prompted an 87% overall response rate (ORR) in heavily pretreated patients, and pembrolizumab elicited a 66% ORR in patients who had failed prior treatment with brentuximab vedotin. These results were presented in 2 abstracts at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

Approach can cure even high-risk FL, study suggests

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/23/14

stem_cells_for_transplant_Chad_McNeeley_220.jpg
Technician preparing
stem cells for transplant
Credit: Chad McNeeley

Follicular lymphoma (FL) patients who receive high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplant (HDT/ASCT) after they’ve responded to chemotherapy can achieve long-term cancer-free survival, new research suggests. The study showed that many patients transplanted in complete remission (CR) did not relapse and could be considered cured. Patients transplanted in their first CR fared the best, as median progression-free survival (PFS) . . .  [Read Article]

CKT more important than del(17p) in CLL, group finds

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/22/14

chromosomes_BethA.Sullivan_230.jpg
Chromosomes
Credit: Beth A. Sullivan

New research suggests complex metaphase karyotype (CKT) is a stronger predictor of inferior outcome than 17p deletion in patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who are treated with the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib. The study showed that CKT, defined as 3 or more distinct chromosomal abnormalities, was independently associated with inferior event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS), but del(17p) was not. [Read Article]

Brentuximab combinations highly active in Hodgkin lymphoma

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/19/14

ASH2014_woman_smiling_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2014
Photo courtesy of ASH

Two recent studies have shown combination therapy with brentuximab vedotin to be highly active in newly diagnosed patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and in relapsed or refractory patients after frontline therapy. The first study evaluated brentuximab with ABVD or AVD and the second with bendamustine. Objective response rates were 95% with ABVD, 96% with AVD, and 96% with bendamustine. [Read Article]

LMWH should replace warfarin, doc says

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/18/14

Lee_Agnes_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Agnes Y.Y. Lee, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

Low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) should replace warfarin as thromboprophylaxis in cancer patients, according to a speaker at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. Results of the phase 3 CATCH trial showed that long-term treatment with the LMWH tinzaparin was associated with a 35% lower risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) when compared to warfarin, although the difference between the treatment arms was not statistically significant. [Read Article]

Study confirms IDH2 as therapeutic target in AML, MDS

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/18/14

ASH_sign_JS_230.jpg
ASH attendees gather
in the Moscone Center

The first-in-human study of AG-221 has confirmed IDH2 as a therapeutic target in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), according to investigators. From the first dose of therapy, the high plasma level observed in patients “translates into a drastic decrease in 2-HG,” said Eytan M. Stein, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Mutations in IDH1 and IDH2 result in the accumulation of the oncometabolite 2-HG. [Read Article]

Blinatumomab confirmed as treatment option in MRD+ ALL

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/17/14

ASH2014_Gokbuget_Nicola_MD_PhD_abstr379.jpg
Nicola Gökbuget, MD, PhD

The first international, multicenter trial in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) using minimal residual disease (MRD) as a criterion for inclusion has confirmed clinical benefit for patients using a non-chemotherapeutic approach. In the BLAST trial, blinatumomab, a bispecific T-cell engager antibody that directs cytotoxic T cells to CD19-positive cells, produced a complete MRD response in 80% of patients who were in complete hematologic remission but had quantifiable MRD at the time of treatment. [Read Article]

Researchers show CTL019 cells proliferate and persist

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/16/14

ASH_2014_Grupp_Stephan_MD_PhD_CreditASH.jpg
Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD
Photo courtesy of ASH

Two goals for cell therapy with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells are significant levels of in vivo proliferation and persistence after the cells are infused. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, working with CTL019 cells, are beginning to see both of these phenomena in children with relapsed, refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD, described these results at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

Iron chelation improves survival in lower-risk MDS

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/16/14

ASH_2014_crowd_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2014
Photo courtesy of ASH

Iron chelation therapy significantly improves survival for patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and delays the progression to acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a new study suggests. “There is a signal for survival with an impressive difference with chelation therapy,” said study investigator Roger Lyons, MD, of Cancer Care Centers of South Texas in San Antonio. “If this is real, then everyone with lower-risk MDS will go on chelation therapy upfront.” [Read Article]

Magnesium disappoints in sickle cell disease

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/15/14

doc-and-patient_Credit_St_Jude_Childrens_Research_Hospital_220.jpg
Doctor examines child with
sickle cell disease
Credit: St. Jude Hospital

Magnesium does not improve outcomes in children hospitalized for sickle cell pain crises, results of the MAGiC study suggest. Researchers hypothesized that magnesium—a known vasodilator, anti-inflammatory, and pain reliever—could alter the pathophysiology of pain crises. However, when compared to normal saline, intravenous (IV) magnesium did not shorten hospital stays, lessen opioid use, or improve patients’ quality of life. [Read Article]

Product controls bleeding in kids with hemophilia A

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/13/14

ASH2014_crowd_JS_230.jpg
Inside Moscone Center, site of
the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting

A recombinant factor VIII (FVIII) Fc fusion protein is effective for routine prophylaxis and control of bleeding in previously treated children with severe hemophilia A, according to the first phase 3 study of a long-acting FVIII in very young patients. Prophylactic treatment of hemophilia A with recombinant FVIII requires frequent infusions, up to 3 to 4 per week. Conventional FVIII replacement therapies have circulating half-lives of 8 to 12 hours. [Read Article]

Two activin receptor fusion proteins show promise in anemia

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/12/14

ASH2014_Stairs_Credit ASH_220.jpg
Stairs in the Moscone Center,
site of the ASH Annual Meeting
Photo courtesy of ASH

Two activin receptor fusion proteins, luspatercept and sopatercept, increased hemoglobin levels and transfusion independence in patients with β-thalassemia and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)/chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), respectively, in phase 2 trials. Luspatercept is a type IIB activin receptor, while sotatercept is type IIA. Both impact late-stage erythropoiesis and improve anemia. Investigators reported the trial results at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

Ixazomib induces durable responses in hard-to-treat amyloidosis

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/12/14

ASH2014_woman_smiling_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2014
Photo courtesy of ASH

The oral proteasome inhibitor ixazomib induces high-quality hematologic responses in patients with relapsed/refractory systemic light-chain (AL) amyloidosis, with generally manageable side effects, a phase 1 study suggests. Preliminary results from this study indicated that ixazomib had promise for treating AL amyloidosis. Now, researchers have reported updated safety data and figures for hematologic and organ responses, progression-free survival, and overall survival. [Read Article]

First randomized evidence for kinase inhibitor use in AML

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/11/14

ASH2014_Rollig_Christoph_CreditASH.jpg
Christoph Röllig, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

Researchers have presented the first randomized evidence that kinase inhibitors are effective in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The multikinase inhibitor sorafenib improved event-free and relapse-free survival in younger patients. “Interestingly, at this point in time, we can see no clear overall survival benefit for patients treated in the sorafenib arm,” said trial investigator Christoph Röllig, MD, of the Universitätsklinikum Dresden in Germany. [Read Article]

Antibody shows activity in relapsed/refractory NHL

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/11/14

monoclonal_antibodies_growing_Credit_Linda_Bartlett_230.jpg
Monoclonal antibodies
Credit: Linda Bartlett

The anti-CD19 antibody M0R208 has demonstrated encouraging single-agent activity in patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), according to a presenter at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. “It is encouraging to see results in an NHL study that selects a different target than CD20,” said Kristie Blum, MD, of The Ohio State University in Columbus. “In particular, it is good to see activity in elderly large-cell lymphoma patients.” [Read Article]

Combo may enhance spleen reductions in MF

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 12/11/14

ASH14_sign_br_JS_230.jpg
Attendees stop to talk at
the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting

Combination therapy with ruxolitinib and panobinostat shows signs of efficacy in myelofibrosis (MF), according to research presented at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. “Targeting multiple components of the JAK/STAT pathway, as well as parallel signaling pathways that may also be involved in the pathogenesis of myelofibrosis, has the potential to have a synergistic therapeutic effect on the underlying disease,” said Jean-Jacques Kiladjian, MD, PhD. [Read Article]

More isn’t always better with daunorubicin induction in AML

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 12/10/14

ASH2014_HallD_ASH_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2014
Photo courtesy of ASH

Results regarding daunorubicin escalation in induction for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have varied among different studies. And a 90 mg/m2 dose has been shown to be more effective than 45. Now, results of the UK NCRI AML17 trial have added yet another dimension to the discussion—the use of 60 mg/m2 compared to 90. Alan K. Burnett, MD, of Cardiff University in the UK, presented the data as abstract 7 at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

CLL drug can fight AML too, study suggests

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/10/14

pill_production_Credit_FDA_230.jpg
Pills
Credit: FDA

A BCL2 inhibitor that previously proved active against chronic lymphocytic leukemia has shown activity in certain patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) as well. This phase 2 trial was the first use of the inhibitor, ABT-199 (or venetoclax), in patients with relapsed or refractory AML. Five of 32 patients treated with ABT-199 achieved a complete response (CR) or CR with incomplete blood count recovery (CRi), and several more had stable disease. [Read Article]

PFS improvement will translate to OS, speaker says

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/09/14

moskowitz_craig_ASH_230.jpg
Craig Moskowitz, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

Administering brentuximab vedotin immediately after autologous stem cell transplant can improve progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), results of the phase 3 AETHERA trial suggest. The overall survival (OS) data for this study are not yet mature, but the significant improvement in PFS will likely translate to improved OS in a few years’ time, according to Craig Moskowitz, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. [Read Article]

Team identifies cells responsible for metastasis in MM

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 12/09/14

ASH2014_crowd_JS_240.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2014

Multiple myeloma (MM) is driven to spread by only a subset of the myeloma cells within a patient’s body, according to research presented at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. Attacking those cells with targeted drugs may degrade MM’s ability to spread throughout the bone marrow, study investigators said. The team had used a mouse model of MM to track which of 15 subclones of myeloma cells spread beyond their initial site in the animals’ hind legs. [Read Article]

A new standard of care for relapsed MM?

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 12/08/14

ASH_2014_crowd_Credit_ASH_230.jpg
Attendees at ASH 2014
Photo courtesy of ASH

Trial results suggest a 3-drug regimen could represent a new standard of care for relapsed multiple myeloma (MM), according to a speaker at the 2014 ASH Annual Meeting. In the phase 3 ASPIRE trial, patients who received combination carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd) had superior progression-free survival compared to patients who received only lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd). There was a trend toward improved overall survival with KRd as well. [Read Article]

    {title}

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

    {summary}