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

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,... [Read Article]

Drug reverses dabigatran’s effects in elderly/impaired

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... [Read Article]

HIV doesn’t hinder lymphoma patients’ response to ASCT

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... [Read Article]

Maintenance prolongs PFS, not OS, in relapsed CLL

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... [Read Article]

Older patients benefit from brentuximab treatment

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... [Read Article]

CARs come in different makes and models

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... [Read Article]

CAR is feasible in majority of ALL patients, team says

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... [Read Article]

CAR produces durable responses in B-cell ALL

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... [Read Article]

Combo shows promise for rel/ref MM

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... [Read Article]

Extended anticoagulation offers transient benefit

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... [Read Article]