San Diego skyline. Photo by Michael Seljos.

The 2015 BMT Tandem Meetings took place February 11-15 in San Diego, California.

‘Biodegradable’ CAR may aid transplant in AML



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Saad S. Kenderian
Photo courtesy of
BMT Tandem Meetings

Researchers have developed a “biodegradable” chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy that could potentially serve as a preparative regimen for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients undergoing allogeneic transplant. The team created CAR T cells that target CD33 (CART33) and modified them with RNA so... [Read Article]

Drug shows promise for treating VOD after HSCT



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Preparing for HSCT
Photo by Chad McNeeley

Results of 3 studies appear to support the use of defibrotide in patients who develop hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Defibrotide is the sodium salt of a complex mixture of single-stranded oligodeoxyribonucleotides derived from porcine mucosal DNA. It has antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory, and... [Read Article]

Haplo-BMT feasible in high-risk malignancies



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Bone marrow harvest
Photo by Chad McNeeley

Haploidentical bone marrow transplant (haplo-BMT) is a feasible option for patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies who don’t have timely access to an HLA-matched donor, according to a speaker at the 2015 BMT Tandem Meetings. Haplo-BMT using myeloablative conditioning, T-cell replete grafts, and post-transplant cyclophosphamide elicited “excellent” rates... [Read Article]

Older age doesn’t decrease HRQOL among PBSC donors



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PBSC collection
Photo courtesy of Canterbury
District Health Board

New research indicates that older stem cell donors have somewhat poorer overall health before they donate, but their health-related quality of life (HRQOL) post-donation is similar to that of younger donors. In fact, the older donors included in this study actually fared better than... [Read Article]

Ibrutinib demonstrates efficacy in CLL after allo-HSCT



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Prescription medications
Photo courtesy of CDC

Ibrutinib can produce favorable results in heavily pretreated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who have undergone allogeneic transplant, according to studies presented at the 2015 BMT Tandem Meetings. One study showed that ibrutinib prompted an 88% overall response rate (ORR) in 16 patients with relapsed/refractory CLL. Another... [Read Article]

Predicting outcomes of allo-HSCT in ALL



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Preparing HSCs for transplant
Photo by Chad McNeeley

A retrospective study has revealed a few factors that may predict outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT) in adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The study showed that cytogenetics at diagnosis did not impact survival rates, although having high-risk cytogenetics was associated with an... [Read Article]

Product ‘solves engraftment problem’ with UCBT



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Umbilical cord blood donation
Photo courtesy of NHS

A product that promotes CD34 expansion has solved the problem of poor engraftment associated with umbilical cord blood transplant (UCBT), according to a speaker at the 2015 BMT Tandem Meetings. John Wagner, MD, of the University of Minnesota, supported this statement with early results from trials... [Read Article]

Expanded MSCs can treat severe aGVHD



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Mesenchymal stem cells

Infusions of expanded mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can treat severe, steroid-resistant, acute graft-vs-host disease (aGVHD) in pediatric patients, according to a study presented at the 2015 BMT Tandem Meetings. The MSC product, known as remestemcel-L, induced responses in all grades of aGVHD and all organ systems. Response at day 28 was associated... [Read Article]

Day 90 CR not a good endpoint for auto-HSCT, doc says



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Patient receives chemotherapy
Photo by Rhoda Baer

A phase 3 study comparing conditioning regimens in multiple myeloma patients undergoing autologous transplant has yielded counterintuitive results. Patients who received busulfan plus melphalan (bu-mel) had a lower complete response (CR) rate at 90 days and a higher rate of grade 3-4 non-hematologic toxicity, compared to patients... [Read Article]