The Orange County Convention Center, site of the 2015 ASH Annual Meeting. Photo courtesy of ASH.

The 57th ASH Annual Meeting took place December 5-8, 2015, in Orlando, Florida.

Drug granted orphan designation for SCD

Sickled and normal
red blood cells
Image by Graham Beards

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation for the small molecule GBT440 to treat patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). GBT440 is being developed as a potentially disease-modifying therapy for SCD. The drug works by increasing hemoglobin’s affinity... [Read Article]

A new standard of care for rel/ref MM?

Philippe Moreau, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

Adding the oral proteasome inhibitor ixazomib to treatment with lenalidomide and dexamethasone can prolong progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (MM), according to interim results of the phase 3 TOURMALINE-MM1 trial. It is not yet clear if the 3-drug combination can prolong... [Read Article]

High-risk B-ALL subgroup has ‘outstanding outcomes’

Elizabeth Raetz, MD
Photo courtesy of ASH

A subgroup of young patients with high-risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) can have “outstanding outcomes” with contemporary therapy, according to researchers. Results of a large study suggested that patients ages 1 to 30 who have high-risk B-ALL according to National Cancer Institute (NCI) classification can have... [Read Article]

EZH2 inhibitor can produce durable responses

Micrograph showing DLBCL

Updated results of a phase 1 study suggest the EZH2 inhibitor tazemetostat can produce durable responses in patients with advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The drug has demonstrated activity against diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), follicular lymphoma (FL), and marginal zone lymphoma (MZL). The overall response rate among NHL patients in this study... [Read Article]

BM fibrosis grade may impact OS in PMF

Micrograph showing PMF

Having a higher grade of bone marrow (BM) fibrosis may confer inferior overall survival (OS) in patients with primary myelofibrosis (PMF), according to a retrospective study. Investigators found that having a fibrosis grade of 2 or higher at diagnosis was associated with “unique clinical and molecular variables” that suggested a more aggressive... [Read Article]

Frailty in HSCT population not dependent on age

Woman exercising_Peter Griffin-230.jpg
Woman exercising in a park
Photo by Peter Griffin

Frailty after hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), while associated with higher mortality, is not necessarily a function of age, according to investigators studying the impact of frailty on transplant outcomes. Instead, other factors, such as increasing time from transplant, employment status,... [Read Article]

Combo deepens responses and improves PFS in MM

Jesús San-Miguel, MD, PhD
Photo courtesy of the
University of Navarra

The addition of panobinostat to bortezomib-dexamethasone therapy in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM) patients can double the rate of deep responses and prolong progression-free survival (PFS), according to an updated analysis of data from the PANORMA 1 trial. Panobinostat, a pan-deacetylase... [Read Article]

Statin may reduce vaso-occlusive pain in SCD

Prescription medications
Photo courtesy of the CDC

In a small study, the cholesterol-lowering medication simvastatin reduced the frequency of vaso-occlusive pain in adults and children with sickle cell disease (SCD). Overall, there was a 46% decrease in the frequency of vaso-occlusive pain after 3 months of treatment with simvastatin. There was a slight overall... [Read Article]

Potential new alternative in CML when TKI therapy fails

Exhibit hall at the 2015
ASH Annual Meeting
Photo courtesy of ASH

ABL001, an allosteric inhibitor of BCR-ABL1, has shown early evidence of single-agent activity in a multicenter, first-in-human, first-in-class trial of heavily treated patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) that is resistant to or intolerant of prior tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), even at the... [Read Article]

Osteoarticular pain affects CML patients stopping TKI

ASH 2015_Attendees.jpg
ASH Annual Meeting attendees
Photo courtesy of ASH

Cases of musculoskeletal pain have been reported after patients stop taking tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). TKI discontinuation trials—notably, the STOP imatinib (STIM) trials and EURO-SKI trial—have been conducted to assess the feasibility of maintaining molecular remission once patients discontinue... [Read Article]