San Diego Convention Center, site of the 2016 ASH Annual Meeting.

The 58th ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition took place December 3-6, 2016, in San Diego, California.

Artificial RBCs show promise in preclinical study



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Lab mice
Photo by Aaron Logan

Researchers have developed artificial red blood cells (RBCs) that appear able to emulate functions of natural red blood cells (RBCs), at least in rodents. The artificial RBCs, known as ErythroMer, are designed to be freeze-dried, stored at ambient temperatures, and reconstituted with water when needed. If ErythroMer proves... [Read Article]

Combos prove no better than 7+3 for AML



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Guillermo Garcia-Manero, MD
Photo courtesy of
MD Anderson Cancer Center

Neither a 2-drug combination nor a 3-drug combination is superior to 7+3 chemotherapy in younger patients with previously untreated acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to a phase 3 trial. Treatment with idarubicin and high-dose cytarabine (IA), with or without vorinostat (V), was no... [Read Article]

All cases of CRS are not created equal



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Poster session at the
2016 ASH Annual Meeting

Investigators have found that life-threatening cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and its symptoms are due to the release of macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) cytokines, such as IL-6, IL-8, and IL2RA. MAS cytokines, at least in vitro, are not made by chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T... [Read Article]

HU trial to prevent stroke in SCA feasible in Nigeria



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Najibah Galadanci, MBBS
© Todd Buchanan 2016

High rates of recruitment (90%), enrollment (92%), and adherence to study drug and follow-up visits have confirmed the feasibility of conducting a trial of hydroxyurea (HU) for stroke prevention in Nigeria (the SPIN trial), researchers say. The 235 children with sickle cell anemia... [Read Article]

Old drug, new tricks possible in MM



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Christoph Driessen, MD, PhD

An antiretroviral drug used to treat the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may find a role in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) patients who are proteasome inhibitor (PI)-refractory. According to investigators, nelfinavir may sensitize refractory patients so that PI-based treatments become an option for them. In a phase 2 study of... [Read Article]

MM patients with t(11;14) benefit from venetoclax



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Shaji Kumar, MD

Venetoclax, the oral BCL-2 inhibitor approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with 17p deletion, is also showing activity in multiple myeloma (MM) patients, particularly those with t(11;14) translocation. Final results of a phase 1 study showed venetoclax to be safe as monotherapy in relapsed... [Read Article]

KTE-C19 feasible in most young, high-risk ALL patients, study suggests



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ALL patient
Photo by Bill Branson

Trial results suggest treatment with the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy KTE-C19 is feasible for most young patients with high-risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Nearly all ALL patients in this trial were able to receive their assigned dose of KTE-C19 after a preparative chemotherapy regimen. The... [Read Article]

G-CHOP no better than R-CHOP in previously untreated DLBCL



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Vial of obinutuzumab

Substituting obinutuzumab for rituximab in combination with CHOP chemotherapy does not improve outcomes in patients with previously untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), according to a study presented at the 2016 ASH Annual Meeting. In this phase 3 trial, known as GOYA, researchers compared obinutuzumab plus CHOP (G-CHOP) to rituximab plus CHOP... [Read Article]

Combined checkpoint blockade promising in HL



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2016 ASH Annual Meeting
© Todd Buchanan 2016

Immune checkpoint blockade with nivolumab plus ipilimumab has shown promise in treating hematologic malignancies, particularly classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), based on results of the combination cohort of the phase 1 CheckMate 039 study. Thirty-one heavily pretreated HL patients achieved an overall response rate (ORR) of 74%,... [Read Article]

Ruxolitinib may prevent CRS after CAR T-cell therapy



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SCID mouse
Photo courtesy of NCI

A novel xenograft model of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) demonstrated that the JAK/STAT inhibitor ruxolitinib can prevent severe cytokine release syndrome (CRS) without impairing the anti-tumor effect of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, according to research presented at the 2016 ASH Annual Meeting. Almost all patients responding to... [Read Article]