AACR 2015


A session at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015, Photo by AACR/Todd Buchanan

The AACR Annual Meeting 2015 took place April 18-22 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Inhibitor promotes chemosensitization in CLL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 05/24/15

CLL cells

A DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) inhibitor can sensitize chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells to chemotherapy, according to preclinical research. The inhibitor, NDD0004, sensitized CLL cells—even those from patients with high-risk cytogenetics—to treatment with mitoxantrone. However, not all CLL samples were sensitive to treatment, so researchers are now trying to determine which patients might derive benefit from DNA-PK inhibitors. [Read Article]

Study helps explain how drug fights DLBCL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 05/12/15

Researchers in the lab
Photo by Rhoda Baer

The tumor microenvironment may play a key role in treatment with CUDC-427, according to researchers. Their experiments showed that certain diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cell lines were sensitive to CUDC-427, and others were not. However, co-culturing with stromal cells or TNF family ligands made resistant cell lines sensitive to CUDC-427. And mice bearing cells that resisted CUDC-427 in vitro responded very well to treatment. [Read Article]

Inhibitor may benefit certain ALL patients

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 05/09/15

Lab mouse

Results of preclinical research suggest the BCL-2 inhibitor ABT-199 (venetoclax) may be effective in certain pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). In xenograft models of various ALL subtypes, ABT-199 produced an objective response rate below 30%. However, additional analyses unearthed information that could potentially help us identify which ALL patients might respond to the drug. [Read Article]

Agent preferentially targets FLT3-ITD AML

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 05/07/15

AML cells in the bone marrow

Preclinical research suggests a novel agent has preferential activity in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD) mutations. The agent, VNLG-152, proved more cytotoxic in AML cell lines and patient samples with FLT3-ITD than in samples and cell lines with wild-type FLT3. Exactly how and why this occurs remains somewhat of a mystery, however. [Read Article]

Defining the role of TAMs in DLBCL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 05/06/15

A macrophage stretching its
pseudopodia to engulf particles

New research suggests the prognostic value of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) is disease-specific as well as treatment-specific. Investigators set out to determine if TAMs have a negative prognostic impact in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), as previous studies produced conflicting results. The team found that higher TAM levels are associated with worse survival in DLBCL, but only in patients who do not receive rituximab. [Read Article]

Susceptibility to 2nd cancers in WM/LPL survivors

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/30/15

AACR Annual Meeting 2015

A retrospective study has revealed factors that appear to influence a person’s susceptibility to Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM)/lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL) and other malignancies. Study investigators looked at patients diagnosed with WM or LPL over a 20-year period and found about a 50% excess of second primary cancers in this population. The patients had a significantly increased risk of multiple hematologic and solid tumor malignancies . . . [Read Article]

MKIs can overcome resistance in CML

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/29/15

AACR Annual Meeting 2015

Two multikinase inhibitors (MKIs) can treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) that is resistant to other inhibitors, according to preclinical research. A series of in vitro experiments showed that the MKIs, sorafenib and axitinib, can overcome treatment resistance mediated by hyperactivation of the Src kinase Lyn, overexpression of the docking protein Gab2, and the presence of the Bcr-Abl T315I mutation. [Read Article]

Molecule increases TRAIL expression to fight NHL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/28/15

Inside the Pennsylvania
Convention Center, site of the
AACR Annual Meeting 2015

When current treatment approaches failed to save a young patient with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a researcher from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was driven to investigate new therapeutic options. The investigation led the researcher, Mala Talekar, MBBS, to ONC201 (formerly TIC10), a small molecule that induces apoptosis by increasing surface expression of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). [Read Article]

CDK inhibitor proves active against AML, ALL

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 04/26/15

Lab mouse

Preclinical research suggests a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor is active against acute leukemias, particularly those with mixed-lineage leukemia rearrangements (MLL-r). CYC065 selectively inhibits CDK2, which drives cell-cycle transition and activates major DNA double-strand break repair pathways; CDK5, which drives metastatic spread; and CDK9, which regulates the transcription of genes important for the proliferation and survival of malignant cells. [Read Article]

Drug that fell short in prostate cancer could treat MM

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/25/15

Attendees at AACR 2015

A drug that has fallen short of expectations in clinical trials of prostate cancer may be effective for treating multiple myeloma (MM), according to research presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015. The drug, tasquinimod, inhibits the function of S100A9, a pro-inflammatory protein that is elevated in MM, prostate cancer, and other malignancies. Researchers found that tasquinimod can reduce tumor growth and improve survival in mouse models of MM. [Read Article]

‘Watch and wait’ may be inadvisable for CLL

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 04/24/15

Registration area at AACR 2015

Withholding treatment from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients because they are of advanced age and have comorbidities may not be in their best interest, according to research presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015. Most of the patients in this prospective, single-center study had 2 or more comorbidities, and their median age was 63. But less than a quarter of the patients died of comorbidities, and none of them died of old age. [Read Article]

EBV-CTLs produce durable responses in EBV-LPD

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 04/20/15

An EBV-infected cell (green)
among uninfected cells (blue)
Image courtesy of NIH/
Benjamin Chaigne-Delalande

Cytotoxic T lymphocytes designed to target Epstein-Barr virus (EBV-CTLs) can elicit durable responses in patients with EBV–associated lymphoproliferative disorder (EBV-LPD), according to data presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015. Results from two trials showed that EBV-CTLs derived from a patient’s transplant donor could produce a response rate of 62%, and EBV-CTLs derived from third-party donors could produce a response rate of 61%. [Read Article]


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